Sixty to Zero

3 Feb

Once the shock of realizing we were having twins wore off, I went out and bought a small spiral notebook. This poor notebook has borne the brunt of my stress and anxiety. Every few days for the last few months I would make a to-do list of things that must be done before the babies arrived. And trust me, there is an endless number of tasks that one can come up with when imagining the daunting task of three small children in one as yet not completely unpacked house. As soon as items were crossed off, new ones would be added. For months this went on.

Over the weekend, I completed the last list in the notebook, titled “Final To-Do Before Twins Arrive.” That was good timing. On Monday, when the sentence of bedrest was pronounced, I panicked and thought “but there’s so much to do!!!” When my head stopped swimming, I realized that no, there wasn’t actually much to do. In fact, aside from the floors needing cleaning, everything was done and ready.

I think I scared Patrick, and even myself, with the crazy pace I had been keeping lately. I blame it on the involuntary impulse to nest. Because really, what else on earth would compel me to empty, scrub, and re-organize the upstairs bathroom closet?

Last week I sent a brief but to-the-point e-mail to Patrick at work:

“We need to paint the kitchen NOW!! IT HAS TO BE DONE!!!!!!”

Patrick’s response:

“You’re supposed to be RESTING, not NESTING!”

I don’t recall nesting much before Finn was born. I read back over our archives and sure enough, there wasn’t too much scurrying about, other than the infamous attempt to crochet a hideous bright red poncho that I was certain my baby needed if he was to thrive.

Hoo baby, is it different this time around! Looking back on my worn-out notebook, I realized my nesting has gone through three phases.

1) Buy Buy  Buy!

I made long lists of things twins need and did extensive research. Someday I’ll post the NASA-worthy charts and graphs I made to help discern the very best possible stroller. Craigslist and I became very good friends and I started scanning papers and websites for coupons and deals on baby things. Slowly but surely, I’ve crossed everything off the list and feel like we’re prepared for every contingency. My proudest purchase is the dream stroller that kicked every other stroller on the list’s trash. Behold, the Valco Twin Tri-Mode, queen of all strollers, won on E-bay for a song.

2) Make Make Make!

During and after the buy phase, I moved into the make phase. I would constantly think of things to put on the buy list and then think, I can make that!

Lucia's finished crib quilt

Fun fabric pieces

Thus was born baby quilts for each of the twins (Lucia’s is finished, Boy’s is cut and ready to be pieced),  multiple baby carriers: a wrap, a sling, and a soft carrier, a nursing cover, and an amazing birthday quilt for Finn.

A sock monkey themed birthday quilt for Finn

I moved from sewing into cooking and have stocked our deep freezer with meals to last us a while. A few weeks ago,  I made 4 dozen tamales with a couple of friends. You would think this would be enough tamales, but last weekend I was at Meijer and saw a bag of masa on sale and thought “why not?” So I looked up a more South Texas version of tamales and  made 4 dozen more. They were killer! I was so excited when I started  putting them together and the smell took me back to my Grandma Bertha’s house. They’re nowhere near the masterpieces that she can make, but they taste like home. I had tons of leftover meat, so Patrick and I sat down during the State of the Union and made another 5 dozen. That’s right, we now have 13 dozen tamales. We’ve been spreading the love and passing them around, as one does not survive on tamales alone. If the twins haven’t arrived by Sunday, I’m thinking of throwing a tamale/Superbowl Party. Is that compatible with bedrest?

3) Organize Organize Organize!

This was the most out of character and thus the most obvious sign of temporary insanity, er I mean nesting. I went through the entire house (to be fair, I was the planner and Patrick was the grunt labor) and reorganized it, making it more Finn safe and baby friendly. Every room, closet, cabinet, everything. The house is now way more efficient than it used to be.

I feel as if I’ve gone from sixty to zero in no time flat. My little notebook is stashed downstairs somewhere- I wouldn’t be surprised if Patrick hid it- and I find myself with no immediate tasks except to keep telling Lucia to swim down. It’s harder than one would think to just be still. But I have a stack of books at my side, Netflix open in front of me, and a box of knitting that I’ve been meaning to get back to. A few minutes ago, Finn ran into my room and handed me a chocolate bar (he was prompted by Patrick). So this actually isn’t as bad as I was expecting and I’m doing my best to enjoy the peace while I can.

Finn is the happiest person in this equation. He has his daddy home to play with in the mornings and has been going to a different friend’s house every afternoon. Can you imagine trying to be on bedrest with this one around?


5 Responses to “Sixty to Zero”

  1. Liz February 3, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    I am so impressed with the fact that you finished everything before bedrest. It’s like you had some internal clock counting down. Very cool.

    Here’s that website I talked about the other day.

    In reviewing it, I admit that I’m laughing my head off. I particularly like the one where you lay inverted on a plank, or the one where you just jiggle your belly all day. But hey, I thought I’d pass it along just in case. It could be a cure for boredom at the very least, right?

  2. Melissa February 3, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    I was looking at yesterday! I was wondering if hanging upside down for long periods of time was compatible with bedrest. In the end, I decided to just visualize and talk to the babies.

  3. Kirsten Christensen February 4, 2010 at 12:41 am #

    Hi Melissa! I’m thinking of you and sending all kinds of good thoughts and prayers for Lucia to turn around and for things to go wonderfully when they both enter the world. You are amazing! Your to-do list is impressive!

    I was put on bedrest when I was pregnant with Hal and when Grayson was a VERY active three year-old. I remember wanting to laugh at the doctor when he said ‘bedrest” and considered asking if he also did babysitting on the side…. Hal ended up making his entrance within just a couple of days, so the bedrest thing was soon eclipsed by other concerns, but I do remember the amusement of thinking of ‘rest’ and ‘toddler’ in the same breath!

    Wonderful that you have good friends to help with Finn.

    Warm thoughts to you all from the Northwest!

  4. aprillee February 4, 2010 at 4:08 am #

    I am so glad that you are feeling ready and are resting! I had to have a C section with Jared and while it was not my first choice I actually recovered really quick/well and think I might go for it next time but I hope you don’t have to and those soon to be super cute twins will hang out within you a bit longer. Your quilts are really fun too! Finn and his soon to be siblings are so lucky to have you and Patrick.

  5. Uncle Joel February 4, 2010 at 5:41 am #

    Melissa & Patrick, I have not thought of, or visited, your blog in a long time. Your dad mentioned it this morning and I thought to myself, WOW…Melissa is still posting on her blog. So here I am trying to catch up on all the posts I have missed out on! Anyway, rest assured that Betty, Monica, and I are praying, and will continue praying for the “FIVE” of you!!! I know that the GOOD LORD will be there with you as the moment arrives. GOD BLESS, Uncle(jeeez….great uncle) Joel

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