Nanny Zone and other uncharted waters…..

I have already seen it.  People shake their head at me along the lines of “spoiled mommy” and even given me a look like “really?” when they find out we hired a nanny.  I laugh.  I laugh at it because they are clearly not twin parents.  Yep, I said it.  It is harder to have 2 infants than one.  Also, those who shake their head generally  “had to do it the hard way” Want to fight?  Bring it…I am a gawd-damned terror in high heels these days.

When we started out on this foray we had multiple ideas of what we would do for child care.  there are so many options and ways to go about it.  Most of them are based on your income.  What can you afford?  What is the best you can get for your kids for those dollars?  there is no wrong answer with childcare because you basically do what is best for your child that you can afford.  We can afford a nanny.

Enter the Makis:  We were not married until our late 30s.  We then had a very hard time conceiving so by the time our bundles of joy arrived we were in our 40s.  Your 40s are your “power decade”.  You are at the pinnacle of your earning potential and have wonderful things like: Time in job (earning you extra time off and job security) You make more money.  There, I said it.  You make more money at 41 than you do at 21.  You have equity.  You have savings. You have a TON of credit.  You have patience.  You have already gotten the “crazy” out of your system (thanks to being child-free in my 20s).  Granted there are downsides:  We get tired quicker.  Kids are a harder on your back (I have already strained my back)  You will be an “older” parent.  Funny thing with this last one is that I do not know many people having kids who are not over 33 so it isn’t even THAT much of a difference!  People are simply having kids later.

So….here we are in the Nanny Zone.  We have found someone who is in our home who feeds, holds, and plays with our children while we are at work.  We decided this because we are busy and we don’t want our children to be overly inconvenienced – all it took was a few weeks of waking our slumbering babes at 6:15am to get dressed so they can go to daycare for 10 hours to realize that this was not for us.  It was heart wrenching.  Being able to feed them then let them loll around in their jammies with toys and each other until they are ready to get up and watch strawberry shortcake and eat some more was worth every penny.  Do I still have a hard time with someone else caring for the kids.  100% yes.  My kids cry and my soul is in shreds.  Kills me.

This morning I am not working, but I needed to get some things done and to reset my brain after a really tough holiday season.  The nanny is with the kids while I take a moment to myself.  When I left, they were laying by the fire, my son holding my daughters hand and they were laughing at a plastic alligator they got for Christmas.  I am guessing they will not notice I am gone for several hours.

Now, please don’t shake your head at me or call me spoiled.  I went through a twin pregnancy at 41.  I went through an emergency delivery and spent a month in NICU with my children.  I am simply someone who understands that I am a better mother when I am balanced, healthy, and my tank has been refilled.  I do not need “tough love” nor do my children, you see, I have earned the right for them to not have tough love.  I waited until I could afford having children. We deserve the best life based on what we have worked hard for.  Thank heavens I met a man who shares these ideas.  I met a man who took paternity leave and can fully understand what caring for twins takes and every decision we make is with both of us having experienced the best and worst of being home full time with kids.

I guess I am writing this because on Monday I am 100% back to work.  No more Wednesdays at home or half days.  2014 is when I am a full time professional with my children in the care of another person during the weekdays.  It is ALSO the year that I reclaim my physical fitness and refocus on my marriage (all of you new parents know what I mean wink wink, nudge nudge).  I suspect this will also be one of the best years of my life.

Sometimes you just want to put your thoughts down, unsolicited, on your blog.  It clears things up in your mind.  It is sort of like buying an ikea wall organizer….once it is up, you have NO CLUE how you lived without it before.  Amazing how an Ikea reference can be used on pretty much any topic.

Okay  – I promise to start talking about food again.  Life has found its cadence for me and I am excited to focus on my tastebuds a little more.  Next stop:  The grocery store!

 

 

Oh, my heart.

I am overwhelmed with how much I love motherhood.  My twins are 6 months old in 3 days!!


I am coming to the end of my “Wednesdays at Home” which was the final step of me returning to work.  After this week, I have the holidays then my children will be in full care of a nanny.  Oh, my heart.

My heart lives outside of my body in 2 small, innocent perfect humans.  I am not one of those talented mothers with all of the answers.  I have talent in many other ways, but trying to figure out what is best for my family is not one of them.  Much like a marriage, you have to grab your partners hand and jump.  In January, we jump again.  This time by entrusting the well being of our children to another person.

I am weepy.  I am a puddle of motherhood.  I do not know any person on this planet who is more important to me than these two.  My husband is very close.  But they claimed me June 20th and they are the first thing I consider as I wake and the last thing I contemplate before I sleep.  While I am definitely still focusing on my own enrichment, it is in NO way before I focus on them.

How to let go?  How to not wake them up early to cuddle them or keep them up late to hold them on a work night?  How do I pick their rest over my selfish need to hold them?  What can I eliminate from my busy life to make sure that I am always available to them?

Then there is that.

The fact that it does not create well balanced humans when you suffocate them and REQUIRE that you are part of their every move.  I am watching this happen with a few singleton child parents who cannot even allow their child to be out of their view.  It is not what I want for the twins.  My children need diversity, they need to start to trust, to laugh at other people, to know that there is a world outside of Mommy’s grasp.  I want well balanced, easy going and relaxed children.  I don’t want to create a “cry baby” or “Mommas boy or girl” who cannot walk into a play area and just play and is always looking up for Mommy.  “Wheres my mommy?”  I want my child to RUN to a play area with abandonment and no worries and have the confidence that they are safe.  Scary thought, yes, but I refuse to take childish comfort away from them.  The comfort in assuming the world will take care of them.  The only way I can do that is allow them some independence.

Independent.  But not totally.  To still need me.  A lot…need me a WHOLE lot.  I cannot let my selfish desire to be the center of their world turn them into a “helmet child” and I cannot tell you how disgusted I am by helicopter mothers.  If I am doing my job right – I will not NEED to follow my child into every room and watch every single thing they do…..even if I want to.  Which I do.

Someone said “You cannot spoil and infant” to me.  I understand where that comes from, but I also learned that starting early with patterns is comforting, and that being firm and consistent has created calm, happy babies.  By being firm, my children have consistent sleep patterns and sleep in their cribs through the night.  This being said I am still Missy Maki and while I am a career gal, I still need my kids to have the best and I can afford it.  Kind of.

So, I am hiring a nanny.  The best of both worlds.  Focused care, in our home, and consistently with the same person who can track their changes and do the exact things we want to have done on a daily basis.  Life will not have to change for them, but they will meet someone new.

I hope they love her.

But not too much.

Oh, my heart……

 

Snowy December and Simple Chicken Pot Pie

The snow is not much more than flurries, but it was a magical night.  In one year my children will be 1.5 years old and waking up to a blanket of white will be miraculous.  But for now I will enjoy the childish glee of fresh snow.

Last night was bitter cold and when I got home the meal planning calendar said “Chicken Pot Pie”.  This was perfect for the cold blustery weather that both my husband and I dealt with!  We were interviewing a nanny applicant, the kids were scooting around in their “cars” in the dining room, the fire was going and the holiday lights were lit.  If you were to step back and look into my life from the outside, you would see an enviable life.  Contented people, happy children, and a kitchen bustling with a makings of dinner!

The pot pie was simple – you can find ways to be more DIY, such as making your own crust, fresh veggies from the farmers market that you froze during the summer months, etc, but this was my quick warm, satisfying dinner.  One thing I do is I poach chicken breasts, cut into chunks, then portion into 2 to 2.5 cups into freezer bags, label then freeze.  I was happy to have that this evening!  We were hungry, and this pot pie was so good my husband asked to have the leftovers wrapped for his lunch!

Simple Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup corn or carrote
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1 cup peas
  • 2.5 cups poached chicken breast - chopped
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • pre made or home made pie crust for top
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Saute veggies in butter, add chicken.
  3. Add flour.
  4. Combine broth and half and half and slowly introduce to vegetable mixture
  5. Cook until bubbly.
  6. Add salt and pepper and pour into pie crust.
  7. Seal crust over top and make slits for steam.
  8. Cook 40 minutes until the filling is bubbly and crust is golden!
http://www.mrsmakicooks.com/2013/12/10/snowy-december-and-simple-chicken-pot-pie/

Missy Maki Blogger Challenge Day 3: Pass on some advice!

Day 3:  Pass on some useful advice or information from your own experiences

Ha.  Perfect.  Take my advice, I am not using it!

But really folks, if you have made it this far and care to read on, let me tell you what I know from what I have been through or seen.  I wish I could set this to song….

  1.  Yes, you DO need more friends.  The friends you make as you get older are more wisely chosen.  When I hear “I’ve got enough friends” I shake my head.  What makes your heart so small that you cannot love another person?  Granted, you may not have enough time to be with everyone, but a true friend is there tomorrow, or in 10 years.  Always be open to new friends.
  2. Focus on a marriage, not a wedding.  I cannot go into this too much because I don’t want to hurt people.  Weddings are lovely, but they are a joke if you don’t place the marriage above the dress, venue, and ring.  Don’t get me started on rings.
  3. Learn to apologize.  Then do it.  No one is perfect and nothing makes you more loveable than being able to admit you are wrong and laugh at yourself.
  4. Stop blaming your parents and design your future.  You are not the product of your parents and you get to decide exactly what you want to be.  The only caveat is that you have to do the work to be what you want to be.  Dream big, work hard, and be whoever the hell you want.
  5. If you want to be loved by a certain type of person or get a certain job, you must be attractive to that person or have the qualifications.  Don’t expect the universe to bend to you.  Jump in the river….swim with the stream!  It is like I say to my team “Be a company girl….or find another company!”  Stop wasting people’s time if you aren’t willing to do the work.  You want a hot husband who is fit?  Get in shape and buy some nice clothes and get a nice haircut.  This doesn’t change your personality!  You are still you, just fit and with a great haircut.  Why is that bad?  Honestly, don’t answer that question.  This is my blog and I don’t care.
  6. Brush and floss.
  7. Become a parent. In any capacity you can.  Be a parent.  It will show you the best part of you and make your soul salvageable.  Now, please clean up your act if you are drinking or drug abusing or have emotional problems first.  But do it.  Take the steps and give yourself the opportunity to love in a way you never thought you could.  Wake up exhausted but glowing from the inside out.
  8. Accessorize.  Don’t be boring. Pierce your ears or something.  Put a bow in our hair. HAVE FUN!!
  9. Use lotion everywhere, every day, even if you can only afford the inexpensive type.  Just use it.
  10. Find out your happy weight and stop beating yourself up.  This is an attainable weight that you don’t have to live on 1200 calories and exercise 5 days a week to be at.  This is a healthy medium “you” who gets to have a glass of wine, works out enough to be healthy and makes about 75% good food decisions.  We are not robots.  When I got down to a skinny weight, my mother told me straight to my face that I looked bad, older.  That cured that and now I try to be a healthy mid-sized happy version of me.  I like to cook and eat and drink.  I am going to enjoy life.  I am also going to exercise.  But I won’t skip a wine dinner to go for a run.  You feel me?
  11. Marry someone who challenges you to be better.  Don’t pick someone who dotes.  Don’t pick someone who isn’t motivated.  Pick someone with goals and who is attracted to you for your motivation (and that you are hot).  You keep each other motivated that way.  You feed off of one another.
  12. Be pro-choice, pro lifestyle choices, and never be racist or sexist.  If you are against any of these I feel sorry for you.  I am sure you are a lovely person, but never bring these topics up to me in a challenging way because it will not go well.  Women can do what they want with their bodies.  People can love who they wish.  We are all created equally and our skin or sex has nothing to do with basic human rights.  I am PASSIONATE about this. Stop destroying the world for my children with a closed mind.
  13. Read #12 again.
  14. Write a check to the homeless shelter and to the animal rescue in your city.  $5 or $500.  I don’t care, but do it.  We have a responsibility to the people and animals who have come on hard times.  They are not your family, yet they are.  Remember the world comes down to good and bad in the end.
  15. Take your mother to lunch.  Tell your brother you love him.  Rub your spouse’s back.  Pet your cat for an extra long time.  Put a card on a co-workers desk telling them why you admire them.  Tell your niece she is beautiful.  Step out of your comfort zone to make someone else’s day better.  Change the world with a tiny bit of kindness.  Let yourself be inconvenienced so someone else can feel good.  The result is that you will feel even better than the person you are being considerate of.  Love is an amazing thing.
  16. Ego.  So easy to let it get out of control, but openly embrace your shortcomings, love your quirks, slap the extra jiggle in your trunk and have a laugh.  You are not perfect and when you act like you are….you are much less attractive.  When people have big egos….I separate myself from them because I don’t want to be lumped with them.
  17. You are who you hang around with.  Be aware.  Be very aware.
  18. Buy second hand when you can.  You don’t need new everything.  I don’t care if you are rich, be conscientious.
  19. Never abuse anyone.  Physically or with words.
  20. Smile.  Smile even if you feel like crying, to quote a great song.  Smile…..you are lovely!
  21. Save your memories.  Write them, photograph them, but save them.  Tell them to your children.  Allow your offspring to have a legacy and something to hold onto and say “This.  This is where I come from”.  There is nothing like coming across a box of old letters between your grandmother and her best friend in her 20s.  Or a diary with juicy details!  Or one dress to represent each year of your life….put them away for your granddaughter to find.  Be aware of what you leave behind.  Leave small treasure chests of memories…..even the really, really bad ones.  You will make a relative, somewhere down the road say “I am not the only one who feels this way” and in the end….is there anything as satisfying as soothing a relative from the grave?  Other than talking to them from the grave…but that is creepy.

That should do it!  Selfie time!

Missy Maki Blogger Challenge Day 2: What would I do with 3 free months?

Day 2:  If you could take 3 months off from your current life and do anything in the world, what would you do?

Interesting timing on this.  As a fresh, brand new mother, this is not enticing. Even if you froze time while I took these 3 months… I would still be wishing myself back into my life and with my children and husband.  I don’t want to step out of my life.  I want to keep the fun rolling, the new experiences and watch as each child learns something new.  Solid foods, sitting up, holding bottles, crawling, walking, talking.  I can’t imagine stepping away.

Now, if I were given the opportunity to do a project, and my career would stand still, but I could stay in my life….that would change things.

I would write.  I would make up a story from beginning to end.  I would devote time to my writing, and take time outs to walk and think about the character’s and then write more.  I would write about a regular person, perhaps who fell in love.  I would write that story and there would be no reason for the book.  No moral learned, no lessons handed out.  It would be a story about a person who fell in love and how it felt, and how their life changed.  Not autobiographical….I think I would write from a man’s point of view, just for a change.  In fact I am officially inspired about this story and tonight I am going to think about the love story. I never knew this was something I wanted to do until I sat down tonight and started writing……

It is not a great undertaking, but I would love to tell a story.  A love story.

Here is my daily selfie, right before bed!

Missy Maki Blogging Challenge Day 1 – What makes me “Me”

Describe where or what you came from. Write how this makes you YOU.

I am fairly average in all things.  Looks, size, and I am middle class, I think.  Describing your past is a tough one.  The things that stick out are usually bad or really good but all the average blah blah things that go on in your life and create the habits that make you who you are just don’t make an impression nor are they great reading material.  I mean, I am literally boring myself writing this.  So let’s “Irish up the coffee” as a good bartender would say and just get to the franks and beans of my past.

I grew up in the city but have country roots.  We sat down to dinner every night, spent our weekends as a family, not gadding about.  I had a lot of time to think, I was not overscheduled the way kids are these days.  Hell, I am overscheduled.  I don’t know how to fix this and it scares the hell out of me.  Most days I feel like a wheel off its fork….rolling rolling rolling and that I just need to keep the pace or I will fall over.  So I just maintain a velocity fueled by large quantities of coffee and going to bed as early as possible. This is where I pop out of mediocrity and admit something:  I am HIGHLY motivated.  I am one of the least lazy people I know.  If I am sitting on the sofa…I will be doing something.  Folding clothes, organizing, writing, working in my email.  I never stop.  Ever.  Some may say this is a good thing but it is also bad, particularly if you have a very relaxed spouse.

I have a brother that I am incredibly close too and that I am ridiculously immature with.  He gets me.  That is a big part of who I am because we spent all our free time growing up together so we have similar senses of humor.  Edgy, gross at times, irreverent always. We also share a fierce love of Dune.

I am really close with my Mom.  My mom manages 1 of my 2 careers.  I cannot do it alone and I asked for her help to keep me on track and because of that I am getting more done now than I did before having twins.  My brother and I have played multitudes of practical jokes on her that range to the genuinely funny to her not speaking to us for a month.  We have a fun, hilarious, crazy relationship, the three of us.  My stepfather passed away so it is how it was in the beginning, just being the three of us.  I just realized that.  We all live in Portland.

I am infertile and no one knows why.  It started in my early thirties and then, after trying everything under the moon and 4.5 years of focused, Dr. assisted attempts, we bit the bullet and paid for IVF.  It took 2 times but I have twins.  Boy-girl twins who make every accomplishment in my life pale by comparison.  I knew I was supposed to be a parent.  Knew it.  After they were on the outside of my body I realized how vulnerable I am and I am scared to death that ANYTHING will happen and make me unable to make their lives perfect.  I’m not envious of people who get pregnant right away.  There is no one I have come in contact with that I would exchange any part of my life for theirs.  I want MY husband and MY kids.  They are special.  They were special before they got here and they will always be the Maki Twins.  Special, beloved people.  Despite what people may think…..I believe we are the luckiest of everyone.  No doubt in my mind.  We live a life people dream of!  The world wanted my husband and I to enjoy married life before kids, and we did!  What a luxury, and the strength we have as a couple is amazing.  We are both over the top doting parents.  Our evenings and weekends are ALL about the kids.  We like having them with us.  We easily and happily slipped into a fun foursome, a tribe!!

Humor is the base of my personality.  I tend to put a positive spin on things but that has a lot to do with my childhood.  Not all childhoods are perfection and rainbows, but you must own it.  I don’t believe in blaming your childhood on others even if they were responsible, but you have to take what you know, felt and saw and find the inner strength to be better.  To rise, to not repeat.  That is our legacy, making the world better for our children than it was for us.  Not by purchasing things, but by creating loved, confident people who will make the right choices.  When we are loved, we feel confident.  Also – love is not a reward. This is important to me.  You love because you love.  Not because your child/spouse/friend was good that day or you don’t have a migraine.  Unconditional love is a right for all humans.  When we know that we will be loved no matter what, we are comforted in making a less popular decision.  This could be why I have a very large circle of friends actually.  But, I will tell you this:  My husband taught me about love in my 30s.  Everybody gets kisses and hugs every day, even if I am PISSED…..and I do get pissed.  I am nobodies Pollyanna.

I guess most parts of my life came together in my 30s.  Confidence, joy, and love.  Now in my 40s I have motherhood and a new style of love to enjoy.  If I were to rate my life on a 1-10, I would say a 9.  Only because I love working but miss my kids and that is one of those trade-offs that every woman deals with.  In the end I decided that showing my children a joyful mother was more important.  It starts at the top.  Our marriage must be tended, and our own hearts and dreams fulfilled, when we do this, our children see how to build balance and joy.  Obviously this must be while balancing life.  Thus….the 9.

So, like most people I am a work in progress.  I have 10 pounds to lose, a pile of laundry to fold, and baby toys everywhere.  I have no clue the balance of my bank account and I am addicted to caffeine.  I shop online too much, decorate our home for the holidays as if Santa himself lived here, and burn scented candles in the summer.  I color my hair, keep the heat at 72 so I can wear tank tops in the winter and have a weakness for electronics. I cook 90 percent of our meals but would sell my soul for a taco bell bean burrito at times.  I consider myself pretty darned average…..I just tend to be honest about my shortcomings……particularly right here on my blog.

Talk to you tomorrow!

I have decided to post a selfie every dayof what I look like when I finish writing: