Sunday, February 28, 2016

Asher rides & Benjamin reads

Today, on a quiet day with no big plans, we got to have 2 big firsts!  This morning we went out- the boys and Eric on bikes and Charlotte on her scooter- to get some fresh air in the beautiful sunshine.  Asher resisted getting his training wheels off, but agreed to try riding Benjamin's bike without training wheels.  He got on with Eric holding the back, and then Eric tried to coach him, but Asher said, "Let go, Daddy! I'm gonna do it!" and that was it! He was off!
We couldn't believe it.  I told my mom that both boys have deprived us off that rite of parenting- the half-crouched jog behind the bike reassuring the kid that they can do it. We always have that chance with Charlotte, but given her stubborn independent streak, that also seems unlikely.
He is adorable!
And then Benjamin. After nap, he asked me if I would read to him, and handed me a book marked "early reader." I told him, "I bet you could read this to me!" so he decided to give it a try, and read the whole thing! There were a couple of words that gave him pause (the elephant in the book is named Gerald and I had to tell him what it was) and one page that he read just fine but asked me to read back to him more fluently so he could better understand, but he did it!  I got so excited, and I gave him hugs and kisses. I could tell that he was pleased with himself, too.
Benjamin's first book
Asher seemed a little pouty when Benjamin got all the positive attention.  I found myself wanting to be just as positive with him(and I had been, just this morning!). But really, it was Benjamin's accomplishment and he deserved my full attention as his reward.  We then called Meema to tell her what Benjamin did, because I remember calling my grandma Sonia right after I read my first book (Green Eggs and Ham).

And last but not least, my girl- she didn't do anything out of the ordinary today, just acted her usual, spunky self. She dressed herself in kitty cat leggings, a tutu, and a multi-colored polka dot shirt, as only she can do.  She rode her scooter and talked to herself, setting up a race around the parking lot where she was always in the lead.
Charlotte Kitty Cat on her scooter
And she played with our neighbor friends and showed off her independence,  strength, and creativity.
I say, "Charlotte, sit down!" and this is what she does.
For the past few nights, Charlotte has been wearing underwear to bed rather than a pull-up, and staying dry.  What a big girl she is!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Considerations and Mid-February Melancholy

I have no real reason for my absence from blogging.  Of course I've been busy- I don't even know how much I have posted about it on here, but I started a private practice and so have been working a little bit more. But that's not it, because I definitely get online and waste plenty of time doing nothing.

I wonder about not keeping a blog at all, but I love looking back at all the things I've written. I use this blog in lieu of a baby book, so if it isn't written in here, it's like it never happened.  At the same time, I feel like everything I write is the same as before, that I'm just raving about how great I think my kids are or some other nonsense. I put pictures up but they are all crappy iphone pictures that aren't that great to look at. And the kids are always in motion so the pictures are blurry.

While our days are still eventful, we have emerged from the intensity of the early days with twins, of having twin toddlers and a baby, of having a baby at all.  I don't need this blog as an outlet for my anxiety or as a place to release all that builds up in a day chasing and caring for pre-verbal children.  I have 3 perfectly healthy, happy children who are all potty-trained, feed themselves, and play together nicely (most of the time).  They are wonderful and adorable (or at least I think so) but how many times can I say that?

As they have gotten older, my interests have shifted.  I am thinking more about my career and my future outside of being a mom.  Although all 3 children still need me a lot, I have more time to myself. The boys are in school 5 mornings a week, and Charlotte is in school 3 mornings a week. I find time to jog, to cook, to grocery shop- sometimes alone, sometimes with 1 or more of my children. I have nothing to complain about. Not that a blog is just for complaining, but it was a way to explore my experiences in a high risk pregnancy, as a mom of multiples, as a mom to twins plus one.

That said, I'm not going to stop blogging. I just needed to get all that out because I felt like the drop in my posting was conspicuous! I will now go back to my regularly scheduled programming of updates of my kids' lives, their milestones, and my struggles as a mommy to 3 who works part time.

And, of course, I have hit my mid-February melancholy, where the days are gray and the weather is lousy, and I begin pricing real estate in California and looking at one-way tickets to tropical locales. The kids all got strep last week, so we had to cancel social plans, and then when they were supposed to go back to school on Tuesday morning, we were told the roads were unsafe and there was a 2 hour delay.  The cleaning lady came yesterday and you already wouldn't know it by the state of my house.

That said, our spring will be busy: I am presenting on sexuality, sexual pleasure, and consent for a group of women in March; we are going to DC with Memere and Pepere for the boys' 6th birthday; and I will be running the Broad St Run again this year.  I am looking forward to beginning my training and doing long runs in warm spring air...

So far I have made it through the month without crying over anything other than the death of the owner of our favorite sushi restaurant (he was super sweet and would greet us at the door and exclaim over us and, as our family grew, our kids), which seems an acceptable thing to cry about.

More updates soon on Valentine's Day and Asher's attitude...

Monday, February 1, 2016

I went to Paris...

This year's annual girls' trip took us to Paris.  Meema was on her way to Asia anyway, so she just made an extended layover in Paris and flew me over with her.  We were scheduled to fly out on Saturday, January 23rd, but that week, the weather reports became dire, and we changed our departure to Thursday the 21st.  I had a full week in Paris, and it just flew by.  I missed my husband and my babies, but they survived just fine without me, and things have returned to normal immediately upon my return.

My sister joined us as well, and the three of us had a wonderful time.  We share vacation priorities: 1) eat 2) shop.  It was the season of sales in Paris, so we scored many great deals- and hurray for the strong dollar!

Thursday the 21st:
Bright eyed and bushy tailed when we got on the plane, before I slept 0 minutes on our "overnight" flight
 Friday the 22nd we took naps and then went shopping in the afternoon/evening.  We got some great deals at the department store closest to the house, then went out to dinner at an Italian restaurant (don't we all want Italian when we go to Paris?) and drank wine.

Saturday the 23rd:
As the snow began at home, we walked the streets of Paris toward the Bon Marche department store.  We stopped for lunch at Avant Comptoir:
There was pork on the menu and as well as the wall. 
More wine! We are French, wine at lunch.
My sister and I walked home, and stopped for pictures on what was once the bridge with all the locks. No more locks.

 We had a quiet dinner at home, and as I was turning out the lights to go to bed, I noticed the view from our balcony:
 On Sunday we went to the market at Richard Le Noir- my mom's favorite Paris ritual.  We had to pace the market before buying anything, but then got cold and impatient and ended up buying some things willy-nilly, which was not the plan.  My feet were frozen (I had worn flats and we were on cold cement) so we had to rush home to defrost before going out again later.
Fish so fresh it doesn't smell fishy 

 I took a picture of this at a café:
Big warning that "smoking kills" on an empty pack of cigarettes. The French don't seem to care.
That night we had dinner at a restaurant on the Ile St Louis, and the city looked beautiful both coming and going.
The Seine, with Notre Dame in the background 
On the Ile, with an almost-full moon overhead

Elana and Mom by the Seine
 Monday was our one and only sunny day (although I can't really complain, the weather was mild and we were able to be outside comfortably the whole visit, aside from our market trip).
View from the apartment
Café time- more coffee! 
We went to see the special exhibits at the Pompidou Center- Wifred Lam and Anself Kiefer. The Kiefer exhibit was dreadfully dark and depressing. Both Elana and my mom came out the door saying, "Now there is someone who really needs therapy!"
At the top of the Pompidou Center

We left the Pompidou Center to have lunch- crepes!- and do some more shopping. I got watches for the boys that are on slap bands, they are in love with them and Asher said it is the best gift he ever got. Then Elana and I went back to the Pompidou to see some of their regular exhibits.  That night we hosted our cousins Charlotte and Henri and Henri's girlfriend for dinner.  Fanny doesn't speak English and I don't speak great French, but we made it work and had a great time.

On Tuesday we kind of wandered out and around.  We had a disastrous time trying to get lunch, we couldn't find a café or restaurant anywhere that had food we wanted to eat, and when we did find one, they had nowhere to seat us. We ended up at a mediocre and overpriced place where the waitress ignored us and it took over 30 minutes to get 2 salads (that included only uncooked ingredients). We became hysterical with hunger and impatience and were laughing, which surely made us even more unwelcome.  

At the end of the day, we went to the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, but their regular collection of art nouveau was closed, so that was depressing. Not a great visit in terms of culture, I have to say!  After the museum we walked through the Tuileries and up to the Louvre before finding a wine bar to rest our feet before dinner.
a panaromic I took of the Tuileries
Sunset from the apartment
 On Thursday, my last day in Paris, we visited the Jewish museum, and then went toward Montmartre to shop with cousin Charlotte.
Elana and Charlotte. After my mom spilled my latte all over Charlotte's new suede boots.
View uphill with Sacre Coeur in the distance
I was ultimately unsuccessful in my search for a "manteau," a winter coat that isn't puffy down and that might give me a more sophisticated look.  But we wandered a new neighborhood and enjoyed Charlotte's company.  We remarked on how many stores there are in Paris that sell a little of everything, none of it useful.  

I had my final dinner at Les Enfants Rouge, which got very hot and crowded. After we left I took this picture, and you can see the windows are all steamed up.
Friday morning I flew home by myself.  I had an obstacle-free journey and watched 3 movies on the plane, in addition to napping.  As soon as I got home, it was back to real life- I worked, went for a run, and we had dinner with friends.  It almost feels like it all never happened!  I can't wait to see where our next girls' trip takes us.