Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Major Mommy Fail -- so ashamed

Why am I posting this?  I'm so ashamed and horrified.  The point of this is honesty, however, to share my experiences. I may delete, but in the interest of honesty am going to tell what happened.

In a nutshell, I forgot a feeding.

We did the morning bottle and cereal, played, and then one at a time the guys went down for a nap.  With a to-do list as long as my arm, I considered taking a nap myself.  With teething, the guys are starting to wake during the night and I am becoming progressively more tired with every passing day.  Sometimes I have trouble speaking -- sound drunk -- because I simply cannot remember the words I wish to use or the order in which they should be spoken.  I played the 'as soon as I get this task done, I'll nap' game until H woke up and it became a moot point.  This was at about eleven.

His tooth was hurting so I put Anbesol on it (useless, but I always try) and then rocked him for a while.  He dozed off and so did I.  At noon, K awoke, his movements projecting through the monitor to wake me.  I set H down and he woke, and I went and got K.  The two played for a while, but were cranky.  They were not distraught, just generally moody.  They would play in the play yard for a few minutes, then crank and I'd pick one up and that would make him happy for a few minutes and then he'd crank, so I put the dog up and let the kids loose on the floor which kept them happy for a few more minutes.  Around one I started to think about giving them their 2:30 feeding early.

That's when I realized that we had never done the 11:30 bottles. 

I ran to the kitchen and mixed up two bottles, feeding the guys a full two hours late.  We did the 2:30 meal at 3:30 and were back on track at the 6:00 bottles.

They did wind up getting all their meals for the day.  They did not starve and seem no worse for wear today.  But, how could I have done that?  That's pretty much rule #1 in the baby care rule book:  feed the babies.  I thought I was a good mom.  I give them snuggles and let them have freedom to explore.  I work with them on sitting and standing skills.  I read to them.  I watch carefully for signs of developmental delays or physical challenges which may arise from their prematurity. 

All of this is meaningless, however, if I just casually forget their basic needs.  What was I thinking?  How could that have happened?  I'm devastated.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pulling Themselves Up!

H&K are both pulling themselves up to standing!

Our 'homework' for this two-week period, as assigned by the Developmental Therapist who comes to work with the guys, was to work on sitting.  They both sit unsupported, but you have to set them in that position.  They don't get into and out of sitting on their own.  My task was therefore to sit them, then place a toy just out of reach so they would have to lean forward out of the sit just a tad to get the toy, then return to sit.  Apparently, however, my guys have decided this skill is not on their priority lists. 

At first they started pulling themselves to standing instead of sitting while holding our hands.  Then, one day I'm sitting on the sofa and H's head appears above the top of the ottoman.  He had pulled himself up to standing all by himself!  Once he learned this, there was no stopping him.  He pulls himself up on the table, the walker, the walls of his play yard. 

Pulling up to standing never appeared to occur to K until after he saw H do it.  Two days after H's first big stand, K pulled himself up.  Neither is cruising yet, and neither seems to know what to do once they stand.  They just stand there laughing, but are unable to go anywhere or get down.

I just got used to them crawling!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Heart Rate Monitor Went Off Again

Just when Hubby and I were talking about letting the doctor take our monitor's away -- H's went off last night.  This time it was not the apnea alarm -- it was the low heart rate alarm.  I don't know what might have caused this.  It went off for six seconds, and he self-corrected before I could stumble/run my butt down the hallway to the nursery. 

Here's always the worry.  Would he have self corrected if there had been no monitor, or did the sound of the alarm jerk him out of it?  Also, I have no way of knowing how low his heart rate was.  The thing goes off if his rate goes below 75.  So did it go to 74, or did his heart pretty much stop for a few seconds? 

About a month ago, his apnea alarm started going off nightly.  It was during a stormy season here, and he had been wheezing during the day.  The pediatrician diagnosed us with an asthma-like condition.  Essentially, the guys' lungs are still underdeveloped due to their prematurity, and they are extra sensitive to environmental factors like weather changes and dust in the air.  Their lungs are easily inflamed or something.  We started the guys on Albuterol inhalers, and that cleared up the problem immediately.  Again, though, I wonder:  If it wasn't for the monitors, would H have stopped breathing in the middle of the night and never have woken up?

In so many ways they are not like preemies anymore.  In so many ways, it is like having two regular, healthy babies at this point.  Every night, however, I tape wires to them and plug them into these monitoring machines.  More of a blessing, but kind of a curse, the machines give us extra security that the guys will be safe throughout the night.  They also, however, remind us that we have reason to worry more than other parents about the health of our children.  The leads are starting to cause minor yet surely uncomfortable skin reactions, and about once a week I am jerked awake by the alarm letting me know someone has managed to dislodge one of the leads.

We have a ten-month checkup coming up.  I fear the doc will say it is time to get rid of the monitors, at least to get rid of K's since his hasn't gone off in a couple of months.  I don't know whether to fight to keep the monitors or not.  Would I be damaging them more by being overprotective?  Is it time to set aside the monitors and medical tape, or is it best to keep them hooked up?  If the doc does want to remove the monitors, should we buy those store bought apnea mats you put in the crib?  I imagine those are full of false alarms.

Ohh, why did his alarm go off?  :(

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A New Way to Ruin Your Day

Step 1:  Have a teething baby in your home.
Step 2:  Carefully rock the baby into a quiet and hopefully pain-free sleep.
Step 3:  Carry the sleeping baby to his crib.
Step 4:  While carrying the sleeping baby, SNEEZE!

It helps if you try to fight off the sneeze, ensuring that when it does come, it is a doosey.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Solution for Rolling Baby on Changing Table

Lately it's become next to impossible to change H's diaper because he spends the whole time rolling over, crawling away, trying to grab the wipes and lotion, looking at what's behind his head, etc.  This weekend, my dad had to bring a bare-bottomed H out into the living room to enlist help with the diaper change!

My first step was to re-arrange the changing table so the wipes, etc. are by his feet instead of by his head.  (I tried just pointing him the other way when changing him, but apparently I cannot 'change left.'  Who knew that skill would be side-specific?)  This helped,but he still keeps trying to roll onto his tummy and see what is above his head.

Today I pulled the old crib mobile out of the Closet of Outgrown Baby Stuff.  We never got much use out of the mobile, except for the musical mirror base of it.  I removed the hanging toys from the mobile, and tacked them to the wall above the changing table.

So far we've had two changes, one of them quite stinky, and H spent the time contentedly examining the toys hanging above him.  SUCCESS!  I imagine this will only last a short while.  I might buy more time by hanging different toys from the wall.  Meanwhile, however, I'm enjoying my temporary respite from what had become fifteen-minute diaper changes. 

At first I thought I would have to buy or design a mobile that would stick out from the wall and hang the toys directly above his head, but just tacking the toys to the wall worked perfectly.  Yayy!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Our First Ever Father's Day

Hubby, I think, was never bothered by the passing of Mother's Day and Father's Day each year, so this occasion didn't hit him with the same force with which it hit me.  For six long years, I dreamed of being able to wish him a Happy Father's Day.  Okay - that may be a little dramatic, but every year I did feel disappointed at not being able to celebrate the holiday with my husband.  The feeling was exacerbated by the memory of a friend of mine who, learning she was pregnant right before Father's Day, chose to tell her dad the good news by giving him a Father's Day card for Grandpa.  I have been looking forward to being able to celebrate this holiday with my dad as Grandpa instead of Dad.

That said, we really did not do much to celebrate.  I got our dads each a calendar with the boys' photos.  (I should mention I've become a Shutterfly junkie.)  I got Hubby the same calendar, plus a mug with the guy's picture on it.  He recently started a new job, so these items will grace his new office [cubicle.] 

The holiday itself was spent in blissful ignoring of household chores.  The four of us swam in the hot tub, then took baths, then watched some TV.  K celebrated the day by finally breaking that top tooth through. 

The days leading up to Sunday, however, were exhausting!  Hubby's folks and brother came to stay a couple of days.  About an hour after they left on Saturday, my folks showed up for a visit.  All the books say how you should take advantage of guests to get some rest, but I find the whole thing exhausting!  Hubby's folks are "table-eaters," so while they are here, we pretend to be table-eaters as well.  In reality, we are "living room eaters."  They are also three-meal-a-day people, as opposed to our "you hungry?" method of meal planning.  I have never done so many dishes in my life!  Between full place settings, meals that consist of more than one food item, and bottles, I was running the dishwasher 2-3x a day.  Plus, to me, having more grownups than babies in the house means I can now work on unpacking the boxes in the garage, sorting through baby clothes, etc. 

I am pleased to announce, however, that I did take one decadently long hot shower which felt amazing on my perpetually sore arm and back muscles.

Here is my question.  Why is it that people don't believe me when I say the kids are tired?  Or hungry?  The grandparents all seem to think that because a baby is smiling and bouncing that he is good to go.  I, however, see the glazed look in the eyes, the rubbing of the noses.  Our boys are happy guys and will play and play until they reach the absolute limits of exhaustion.  At this point, they are miserable and very difficult to console.  So is their mother.  You have to catch them while they're still happy and playing, and kind of wind them down until they get drowsy.  Grandparents also seem to have difficulty feeding the guys.  It is true that it is harder to feed them when we have company.  They're distracted by all the activity, and aren't really focused on eating.  Still, if you don't put forth a strong effort to get them to eat at least half their food and bottle, they will be seriously hungry in an hour.  The grands also don't want to give up the kids for us to feed them, so we just deal with everything being wonky while company's here.  I don't exactly have a schedule to my days, but I have kind of a rhythm that works well for us.  Having company knocks that all off the block, and that stresses me out.

I have found that I have trouble watching others handle my kids.  It's not that I don't trust them.  After all, these are the folks that raised hubby and I, so obviously they know how to keep a baby alive.  The thing is, when my boy is crying, I have almost a physical need to grab him up and soothe him.  I resist the urge, knowing that the grands would take it as a sign that I don't think they can handle a crying baby.  The truth is, however, that I get this when Hubby is taking care of the guys as well.  I think it's because when one or both of my guys are crying, I need comfort as much as they do.  Nobody else is their mom, and I really have trouble letting someone else take them. 

We got through the visits, though, and the Grands and boys had a great time.  We used Sunday's laziness to recover and get halfway back on schedule, and today we're back in the swing of things. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Holy Shnikeys, I Have Kids!

When does this feeling go away?  I was playing with the boys the other day, and suddenly was struck with the reality that I am a parent.  These aren't just babies.  They're people.  I am in charge of raising two people to adulthood.  I am not only responsible for their safety and health, for changing diapers and managing naps.  I am responsible for teaching manners and helping with Algebra and Civics.  I'm in charge of teaching them to treat girls with respect, and how to do laundry and cook spaghetti.  I'm in charge of sports schedules and music lessons and carpools and college choices.  I'm in charge of "talking to kids about ____" smoking, drinking, drugs, sex.  I'm in charge of family vacations and setting curfews and making sure they wear their retainers. 

Most of the time, I focus on our current needs.  Right now, we are learning to crawl.  We are increasing solid food, and trying to curb the husband's enthusiasm for introducing finger foods.  We're dealing with teething, getting better at sitting up, and trying to learn to get to a sitting position from lying down or being on all fours.  We're also trying to learn to stop crawling on our brother's head. 

Every once in a while, however, the enormity of the task I have undertaken strikes me, and it scares the crap out of me.  Holy $&!+, I'm a Mommy!  I have kids!

How old are they before this stops hitting me?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Search for a Mommy-Mobile

Oh, how frustrating!  Again this weekend we will be car shopping.  Blech.  Right now, in fact, I'm supposed to be looking at car reviews online.  I'm also supposed to be sweeping/mopping/vacuuming, but instead I'm blogging.

Almost three years ago, I got into a bad wreck and crushed my sporty little eclipse.  When looking for new cars at that point, I insisted we get a four-door in case we were successful at getting pregnant.  We looked at some station wagons and minivans, but realized that if we found ourselves permanently unable to have children that we would come to hate the car.  We split the difference, and leased a four-door Audi sedan.

The Audi was great!  So much room -- plenty for kids, right?  Cut to a couple of years later.  We put two car seats in the back and were unable to move the driver's seat back far enough to drive comfortably.  The trunk is ample - quite large in fact, but we cannot take a family trip to the grocery store or to Lowe's or Home Depot because we can EITHER carry baby supplies OR purchased goods.  As the lease comes to an end, we therefore breathe a sigh of relief and start the laborious process of shopping for a more appropriate urban assault vehicle.

This is proving difficult.  We want something large enough for every possibility, but we want to be money smart as well.  We start off looking at some sort of small crossover.  I point out that if we were to take a trip, we wouldn't be able to fit two pack n plays, double stroller, diaper bag, our suitcase, the boys' suitcase and a cooler for baby food in the trunk.  We then move to a larger crossover, but now we're in a similar price point to the SUV's.  We start test driving large crossovers and SUV's, and I fall in love with something that has everything we need.  We then crunch numbers and remember, once again, that when you add up the extra cost of these vehicles PLUS the extra fuel cost, we would be doubling the monthly bill from what a smaller crossover would cost. 

The process begins again.  We've only done this a couple of times, and already I'm sick of car dealerships!

Also, hubby keeps pushing for a pickup truck.  He says that a four-door pickup with a cover on the bed would fit all of our needs.  I just don't know. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Twins Nine Months Old!

I'm not sure why, but nine months seems particularly significant.  Maybe it's because a pregnancy is nine months (although mine was only six.)  Maybe it's because their adjusted age is now six months, a milestone age.  In any case, I find myself overwhelmed with thoughts of where we are now and how far we've come.  I'm amazed.  When they were new, I couldn't even picture us getting to this point.  We are so happy!

Overall, the boys are quite healthy.  They still seem to have a bit of reflux, but I'm not changing their sheets daily due to spit ups and we have no actual vomiting anymore. 
As for monitoring and episodes, the boys are only on their monitors at night now and the alarms rarely go off!  We do have more frequent false alarms when the guys scoot around and pull off the leads, but Kal hasn't had an actual alarm in a couple of months.  Recently Henry's apnea alarm did start going off a couple of times a night.  It was kind of terrifying for me, as I wondered if we were having a backslide.  He always self-corrected, but you always wonder if it was the alarm that woke him.  You fear that if the alarms were gone that he would just stop breathing and not self-correct.  He was also wheezing quite a bit during the day at this time so we took him to the pediatrician.  She gave us an asthma puffer.  We do that 2x daily, and have only had one alarm since!  Apparently his preemie lungs are irritated by the change in seasons.  This has really been H's only health problem.  For the time being, we continue our love/hate relationship with those wires on the kids' backs.

K has had a rougher time than H has had.  K had hernia surgery a couple of months ago, and a couple of weeks ago had an operation to open a blocked tear duct.  He wears a cranial band to round out his head.  He has 'c-pap nose.'  The center part of his nose was partially worn away by the C-Pap he wore in the hospital.  We are looking into plastic surgeons, but my pediatrician wisely suggested we see an ear, nose, throat specialist first to see if he has any structural damage inside his nose before we address the cosmetic issue.  He therefore has an ENT appointment for later in the month.  Whenever I say we not have had health problems, Hubby reminds me that our nine month old son has already been in surgery twice and isn't finished.  That makes me realize how my perception was altered by having preemies.  Before this experience, I would have thought it was horrible to have these surgeries on a baby.  Now I am grateful that the surgeries were not more major, and that so far all their health problems are correctable.
When they were born they weighed two and a half pounds each, needed machines to breathe and to keep their temperatures steady, and were hooked up to wires and tubes and IVs. 

Today the boys are army-crawling and getting up on all fours.  They have not put the two things together to actually crawl, but that is coming.  H actually took a couple of crawl 'steps' yesterday.  They are growing teeth.  H is getting his third and K is getting his sixth.  They chatter and babble at us and at each other, and squeal and laugh at the cats and at the dog.  Every day you see something new click into place, and it is the most amazing and wonderful journey.  I can't believe it was only a few short months ago that they were just sleepy little newborns.  Now they're active litte men!

How are mom and dad doing?  We're getting the swing of it.  We don't get enough sleep and are exhausted all the time, but we are loving every minute of it.  Since I have finally started venturing out with the boys to go places other than the doc, I've become a pro at installing car seats and folding up strollers.  People in public see me preparing two bottles and will ask if I need help.  I just laugh and decline.  I remember how helpless and inept I felt when the guys first came home.  Now I'm a full-fledged Mommy!  I'm starting to get my life back, am able to keep the house reasonably clean and laundry washed (not always folded.)  I do still feel odd due to the constancy of my life.  There is not much distinction between my weeks and my weekends, between my days and my evenings.  It's a strange feeling.  I also do miss the environment at my last job.  It was just a great place to be -- lots of fun, with lots of great people.  The thing is, these two guys are the most interesting people I've ever met.  I don't regret my choice to stay home at all.  In fact, the time is passing too quickly.  They will be two before I know it!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Why I'm Still Sleep Deprived

At nine months old, the boys sleep through the night.  They have for quite some time.  Barring special events like middle of the night teething wakings, apnea alarms, etc. they sleep straight through.  Generally they are in bed by ten and wake around seven. 

So why am I still sleep deprived?  It's my own darned fault.  In a simple phrase, it's "Ahhhh Time."

The boys eat their last meal around 8:30.  The final feeding tends to be leisurely, and includes cereal as well as bottles.  After they eat, we put their jammies and apnea wires on them.  They then use their last burst of energy in a quick play time before they snuggle up and then doze off.  Often they are ready to be put down by 9:30, but almost always they are ready by ten.  We put the boys in their cribs, turn on their humidifier, and head to the living room. 

This is where the problem begins.

I rinse off the last of the dishes and start the dishwasher running.  At this point, anything left on the to-do list is officially tomorrow's problem.  The house is quiet, there is a ban on chores, the computer is off.  Ahhhhh!

Instead of sleeping, I post my bleary-eyed exhausted self on the sofa beside hubby, and we watch a movie or a couple of hours of TV.  This peaceful time to ourselves is too good to pass up.  We simply cannot resist it.  Around midnight we finally collapse into bed.  The next morning, as the alarms blare, we promise ourselves and each other that tonight we will go to bed at a reasonable time.  Evening comes, along with Ahhhh Time, and we find ourselves powerless to resist the allure once again.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hubby, More Help on the Weekends Please!

I know that since mid-pregnancy, dear hubby has worked and I have not.  During my pregnancy and for a time after the births, he took care of most of the household chores.  Currently, he works all day, comes home tired, and does much of the cooking.  I deeply and truly appreciate all he has done to allow me to be at home with my boys and to take care of us. 

THAT SAID, I would appreciate a little help on the weekends.  During the week, Hubby often comes home and naps, then gets on the computer and/or the phone.  I take care of the evening feeding by myself, as I do all the daytime feedings.  He and I both play with the boys until I get them ready for bed.  This is a good system, although I am exhausted by the time they are both in their cribs.  I also gladly take care of any midnight wakings, and let the dog out when he invariably starts to cry at three a.m.

On the weekend, however, this pattern continues.  Hubby takes care of his family drama, spends time on the computer, and works on whatever project has entered his mind (such as perfecting an oatmeal cookie recipe or looking up information on used cars for the umpteenth time.)  As every one of the boys' meal times approach, he is busy with something so I do most of the meals myself.  This weekend, for example, my folks came to watch the boys while we went car shopping.  Hardly a relaxing experience.  On Sunday, hubby did one feeding with me.  All the other feedings, however, were handled entirely by me.  My weekends, therefore are much like my weeks.  Every 3 to 3 1/2 hours I make bottles, every other time making cereal or dishing out pureed veggies as well.  I change diapers, entertain boys and rock them to sleep when they get cranky.  When they are both crying, sometimes hubby will take one, but often he is on the phone leaving me to do my best to soothe them both.  I also continue to get up in the middle of the night as required, and I get up a half hour before we expect the boys to wake so I can get bottles ready to go and be awake to get the boys up before hubby wakes.

I NEED A BREAK!   I love these guys and I love staying home with them, but would it kill hubby to take them one weekend morning a month?  Even if he does not feed them, at least get the bottles ready, wake the boys and bring them to me?  Can't he make bottles or mix cereal, or take one guy for feedings to give me the one-on-one time I crave with each of the guys?  I often hear "I'll feed you if you feed them."  He then makes an elaborate meal for us, which is nice, but I'd rather have a PB&J, and get a little relief from mommy duties. 

I don't mean to be ungrateful.  He takes care of a lot of things, freeing me to be with the guys.  I just wish sometimes he'd be with the guys to free me for other things.  I know I'd get push back if I mentioned this.  He does, as I said, work, which I don't.  He also takes care of most of OUR meals and is finding us a car so that's one less thing I worry about.  Still.  Jeez.  I'm pooped!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Aaaaagh! I Ache All Over!

When pregnant, my joints loosened to the point where it was painful to get out of bed.  I was carrying the weight of two babies pulling on my lower back, my feet and boobs were painfully swollen.  I was thrilled to be pregnant, but was nonetheless looking forward to the time when these body pains would be gone.

Now that the boys are here, I have two 20-lb weights I pick up repeatedly and carry around constantly.  I sit on the floor to feed and to play, often holding one or two babies as I pull myself up.  Bending over the edges of cribs and a superyard xt renders the issue of 'lifting with your legs' moot. 

My feet, hips, abs, elbows, shoulders, hands and especially my back are constantly sore.  Oooof!  When will my body get used to this?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Reflux Back Again?

Our boys' reflux has gotten increasingly better, as promised, as they have gotten older.  We still thicken their formula, but not as much as we did before.  We also took them off their reflux medications.  I think a big help was when they started eating some 'solid' food -- purees and cereals and such.

Well, for the past couple of weeks, the reflux appears to be raising its head again.  It's not severe, meaning it's not causing their heart rates or respiration to drop dangerously low.  Nobody's turning blue.  In fact, they are still better than they were when we first took them off their meds.  Still, it's a bit of a concern.  They get these vurpy hiccoughs that sometimes wake them.  Today Henry spit up through his nose again, something he hasn't done for over a month.  It wasn't a huge amount of spit up, but enough to cause him to cough and sputter, which scared him and me both. 

I wonder if their recent addition of an albuterol inhaler is upsetting their tummies?  Perhaps it is teething -- they are drooling lakes and maybe swallowing all that drool is causing issues.  Maybe we're not giving them enough food.  I've realized that we're giving them a lot of formula and not much food.  Maybe they're ready to change that.  Maybe it's too much liquid and not enough substance in their tummies causing the vurpy-ness.  I'm starting, therefore, to stop the bottles in the middle and give them as much food as they are interested in eating before offering the rest of the bottle.  I'm also giving them two different foods at a meal instead of just one.  Hopefully this will work.  If not, we may be looking at another pediatrician visit.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

TL01 You Will Not Get Things Accomplished

Things Learned #1 About Having Twin Babies
You Will Not Get Things Accomplished

The sooner you accept this fact, the better.  The trick is you have to truly, deeply, accept it within your deepest of hearts.  You cannot have Twinpeace without this golden nugget of acceptance glowing inside your soul. 

When they first come home, people will tell you to sleep when the babies sleep, to let the housework and laundry slide, etc., etc.  The thing is, nothing will really keep you from trying to keep up with your life.  First off, you and I both know that people will judge how well you are handling parenthood by how well your home is kept up.  Secondly, many of us with multiples also have preemies.  This means that you have the germ paranoia of a new parent multiplied by about five thousand.  Let the dishes sit in the sink?  What if a spore of mold makes it's way into my little guys' nursery?  Thirdly, many mothers of multiples have already been on bedrest, have depended on family and friends to take care of things, and are itching to take care of our own lives again.

I will therefore not recommend anyone let it all go, to leave it sit.  You will do that as much as you can, but you will try to get back into the swing of chores.  I can only say that you must accept that you will get two bottles rinsed out, then will be called to mommy duty before rinsing the nipples.  You will get the vacuum out of the closet and it will sit there the rest of the day -- maybe two or three days -- before you give up and put it back in the closet.  Laundry put into the washer first thing in the morning will never make it into the dryer.  I'm not saying your house will not be spotless -- I'm saying you will struggle just to keep up with dishes and laundry, forget about mopping, and dusting is right out the window.  So is cleaning the windows.

As time goes on -- my boys are almost nine months now -- sleeping patterns become more predictable and manageable.  Sleeping through the night is so huge -- you can now use your babies' down time in a useful way, instead of wandering around like a zombie with a dishcloth in your hand.  Now you can try to plan -- during this nap, you will fold a load of laundry.  During the next nap, you will unload the dishwasher.  The following nap will have at least a superficial vacuum.  Dinner?  Maybe the husband can pick something up on the way home. 

Even as they mature, however, there are two of them, not just one.  This means that despite my best intentions, there will be many times that I barely get the 409 out of the cabinet, and a baby wakes unexpectedly.  Once I get him calmed down, the other one is awake and crying.  By the time they are both happily playing, it is time to feed them and start the cycle over again.  Then there are the times when I put them down for what I think will be a ten minute nap, and they sleep for two hours.  Naturally, I did not begin anything because I believed I did not have time.  This means I now wasted two hours on Facebook or Blogger.  The guilt can be unbearable!  Plus, I tend to spend the rest of the day taking their temperatures, certain they are sick.

At this point, I am gradually adding more tasks that I can take care of on a weekly basis.  Some weeks, not all of it gets done.  Some days are spent entirely on feedings, diaper changes, and keeping babies content and I don't even get a minute to wash bottles or to give the guys a bath.

To new or expectant mothers of multiples, I have the following advice:
  1. Accept you will not get things done, that anything you try to get accomplished may be interrupted at any time and you may not return to it anytime soon.
  2. If you do find that you have 'wasted' some time, enjoy it.  Seriously.  Wasting time is a luxury to be savored.  It is also important to your sanity.  If your kids unexpectedly sleep longer than you thought they would and you vegged out, don't feel guilty.  You needed that recharge
  3. Once you figure out your best bottle/nipple combination, buy three days worth.  This is a lot for multiples, but worth it.  If you find yourself in the midst of a particularly hectic day, you don't have to worry about running out of clean bottles.  You won't believe what a huge load this is off your mind.
  4. If 'public area surface cleaning' is all you can accomplish, that's a huge accomplishment!  Keeping living room and kitchen tidy enough for company to drop by and not pity the new mom is more than many of us can handle.  This is not the time for vacuuming behind the sofa.
  5. Remember, always remember, when you are stressing about something that needs to get done:  if you are with your baby, there is absolutely nothing more important that you should be doing.  Find your peace and enjoyment.  The rest of the world be hanged.
My little guys a year ago last week

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Twins' First Memorial Day Weekend

Hubby got into town super late Friday night, actually early Saturday morning.  I didn't enlist a babysitter for the airport pickup, believing he would be getting in around their bedtime.  My thought was I could put them in their jammies, they would fall asleep on the way to the airport, wake briefly to see dad, then sleep on the way home where we would put them to bed.

After several delayed flights, phone calls to the airlines, and alternating beggint and charming the people working the airport gates, my husband managed the incredible feat of getting a flight home in the midst of a storm.  His flight got in at 2:00 a.m.  At 1:30, therefore, I got the boys out of bed and secured them into their carseats to pick hubby up at the airport.  Thankfully, they pretty much slept through it all and went back to bed when we got home without demanding an extra bottle.

Saturday the mother in law came to stay the night.  She is a delightful woman, but has very strong ideas about health and nutrition.  She feels that formula has no real nutrition and that we should be more aggressive about introducing the boys to a wider variety of foods.  She asked, for example, if they had tried broccoli.  I said I had bought some intending to make baby food from it, but then learned that broccoli is hard on young babies' tummies and is not recommended for super young guys.  I ate the broccoli myself.  She proceeded to tell me about all the nutritional benefits of broccoli.  Naturally, I can't argue that.  She is right -- it's super healthy.  I just don't think it's right yet for my guys.  She also thinks we should feed them more banans, since they are nutrient dense.

Bananas = Crack for Babies

The only thing I've found that the boys will eat past the point of being full is bananas.  They will practically impale themselves on the spoons to get it.  Again, I cannot argue that they are nutrient-dense and good for you.  We only give a banana every 2-3 days, however, as they are also high in sugar.  The boys get one fruit, one grain and one veggie every day.  Sometimes the fruit is banana, but sometimes it's apples, pears, mango or papaya.  We want to be sure they get a variety, and don't want to load them up with just fruit.

Other than that, and my husband arguing with her about politics, it was an extremely nice visit.  She loves to rock the boys and I tihnk they didn't know what to do with all the attention. 

She left Sunday afternoon, and the husband and I took a deep breath and enjoyed our time alone with the boys.  We took them for a little 'swim' in our hot tub.  They are getting so they really enjoy it.  They splash and laugh.

On Monday, we napped (oh, the decadence!) with the boys on our chests.  It was heavenly.  Then we went to a neighbor's for a Memorial Day BBQ.  It was all right.  We thought it would be more neighborhood people, however, and instead it was mostly made up of their church friends.  We are not their religion -- we are not any religion -- and felt out of place.  There were a lot of kids there.  A LOT OF KIDS.  Here's what I have learned about myself.  Even after having kids of my own, I still do not particularly care to be around other people's kids.  The host was very gracious, however, and we did meet a couple of our neighbors.  The boys seemed nonplussed by the whole experience, but it was nice to have them outside for a while.

It was nice, however, to get back home and feed them while watching Nurse Jackie.