When I was in my 20s, I used to think that taking a nap was a waste of time. Life changed a bit in my 30s and my opinion also changed as I would occasionally enjoy an afternoon siesta with my husband when there was time. It was a luxurious choice and not a necessity. Fast forward to my 40s, with twins. The need of a nap has definitely shifted. In the infant stage I napped whenever they napped because of the lack of sleep at night. When the twins started to sleep through the night, I enjoyed using their nap time to do whatever I wanted to do. Once they have become mobile, the physical demand of chasing and handling them has increased drastically. Often times when they finally go down for a nap, I would not be able to function the rest of the day if I don’t lie down for a bit myself. When Bunny and Okra transitioned to two naps, I found myself needing to sometimes take a nap both times in order to have enough energy to take care of them when they were up. Their naps were from 9:30 to 11, and 2:30 to 4 or so. To me it was a bit ridiculous that I needed to nap when they napped in the morning, but the time between their wake up time and nap time was so challenging at times that a little shut-eye was really necessary for me to remain sane. My afternoon nap was almost a must, as I found myself automatically walking to my bedroom, shutting the door, closing the shades, and lying down almost every single afternoon after the kids lay down. I used to feel a bit guilty about napping because some other moms of twins don’t need to. Then I worked to get myself over feeling bad because in reality my rest and my naps help me to be a better mom and gain more patience and calmness with my kids. The last few days we started to transition the kids to one nap because Bunny had been rolling in her crib for a long time (talking about 1.5 hours) before she would finally fall asleep for her naps. To let them nap only once, we have to keep the kids occupied and awake until noonish. I get so tired for being awake with them and chasing after them all morning I need to go shut my eyes as well. I am thankful that their one nap usually lasts 2.5 hours. I shudder to think about the day when they drop their naps entirely. I hope that it doesn’t come any time soon. How do parents function when that happens???
Three years ago, I wrote this very complicated story of how my brother’s ex-girlfriend got back into my life. With our history, I was worried that my professional time with her would be very unpleasant. Everything turned out to be fine and she is a delightful human being professionally. I am talking about her now because today’s blog post has something to do with her ex-husband. He was my brother’s best friend when she cheated on my brother by being with him. (My brother is still friends with the both of them. Bless his heart.) . Their 10-year-marriage did not result in any children. She remarried and gave birth to her daughter at 42. He was single for quite a few years. Last month, he got married again at the age of 48. His new wife can’t be more than 30 years old. This is why I wasn’t too surprised when I saw a pregnancy announcement on FB from his wife yesterday. She included pictures of the two of them, the Valentine’s gifts that he lavished on her (such as flowers and an expensive purse), and an ultrasound photo with words on it that said “It’s a girl!”. My first thought was, good for them that his older sperm didn’t stop her from getting pregnant. Then my second thought was, most 30 year olds would be quite fertile so getting pregnant easily wouldn’t be out of the ordinary. Next I was thinking, maybe they struggled to get pregnant for quite some time and decided to get married once they finally got pregnant? You can’t make assumptions about people’s story by just looking at one FB post. Subsequently, I laughed at myself for my internal dialogue with myself and then realized that I did not have a single ounce of jealousy in me about this pregnancy announcement. The ultrasound photo did not bother me. Thinking back in the last year and a half, I remember how I have been feeling less and less jealous or envious of expectant moms, pregnancy bumps, ultrasound photos, or pregnancy announcements. Random pregnant ladies and little newborns don’t have an effect on me anymore. I feel genuinely happy for expectant parents regardless of how easy or hard it was for them to get pregnant. I really love this change in me, and it shows me that my life with my twins has made it possible for me to focus on them rather than focusing on others. They are more than enough for me and I don’t need to feel envious of those who can make babies easily or can carry their own babies in their bellies. I do know that not everyone feels this way even after their infertility has been resolved. This is just a little interesting observation about myself. I welcome this change as it has come about naturally and was not forced. I didn’t have to work at feeing a certain way. It doesn’t mean that I have forgotten my past. It is just that my emotions don’t have to stay there while my life is moving forward. I know some people who struggled to have babies still have these intense feelings about others’ pregnancies even after they have had their babies. Different people can feel so differently. It is good to know that it is possible to eventually lose the feeling of envy and jealousy. And it seems like I have somehow reached this point.
It’s been heartwarming to watch the kids play together more often and fight less. Despite being sick on and off, they started to give each other hugs and their version of kisses without annoying each other too much. The other day my mom and I sat on the couch saying “one, two, three, RUN!!!” in Cantonese while the two of them were running back and forth together in the living room for more than 15 minutes. Watching them run and laugh and hearing the pitter patter of their little feet, I suddenly felt tears welling up in my eyes. Being overcome with emotions was so unexpected at that moment because I have seen them run around and play together many many times. It is part of my life and I don’t always think about my past of trying so hard to have these kids. But that day I did, especially hearing the sounds of those little feet pounding on the floor. It was probably triggered by my memory of our first year trying for a baby. Bob’s best friend’s wife gave me a book she bought off of my wishlist on Am.azon as a Christmas gift. That was the month before we started trying for a baby and the book was about increasing the chances of making a baby. In her gift note, she wrote, “I hope your house will be filled of pitter patter of little feet very soon”. Little did I know that this wish wouldn’t be fulfilled without a long and trying journey with many twists and turns. I remember her note vividly and often felt a void whenever I thought about it during our TTC days. Now that we not only have one, but two pairs of these little feet running around, to say that I feel tremendously blessed and thankful to experience the moments and the joy of watching my own kids grow is an understatement. These moments of thanksgiving and blessings allow me to not take having these children for granted. Often times these little moments are what encourage me to stay calm (most of the time) and focus on the joy of watching these kids thrive despite some really hard long days full of toddler tantrums and fights. I am just so grateful.
If you know me well in real life, you would know that I don’t have any piercings on my body. Wearing earrings had never appealed to me. People used to tell me that I’d for sure change my mind for my wedding because I’d want to wear studs on that day. My wedding day was almost eight years ago and I still don’t have any piercings. My mother-in-law has been sad because she can’t give me earrings as gifts and I won’t let my baby girl get her ears pierced. After having zero desire of wearing any earrings for 44 year, I suddenly have had this itch to get my ears pierced. This idea came into my head one day a couple of months ago and I haven’t been able to shake it out of my head. Small studs on my ears suddenly sounds inviting to me. I don’t know what changed. It just came so suddenly. And then, more recently, in the last few days, I have had this urge to get a tiny tattoo maybe on my wrist or on the back of my neck. Again, if you know me well like my husband does, you’d be surprised that this even crossed my mind. But it did. And it surprises me. I have been browsing online for ideas of tiny tattoos, and I am drawn to simple designs and lines that are delicate and subtle. Maybe a few simple strokes that represent my twins and me. I don’t know what I’d get, but the desire has grown stronger and stronger. I really don’t know where all these changes come from. Maybe approaching 45 is creating some sort of emotional currents in me that need to be manifested physically? The human mind is so peculiar. I don’t know where this will lead, but I have a feeling that these urges will result in studs on my ears and permanent ink on my body. If/when that happens, I will for sure show you all.