RSS Feed

Thoughts on Twin Parenting-Month 14 (What??)

Posted on

I can’t believe that I never even got around to posing about the twins’ first birthday. Work and life man. I know.  Lame. their actual birthday was good though, aside from Gus completely losing his shit over frosting being all over his hands and being totally uncooperative for any photos. There were a few though:

20140301_142856-1

20140301_143335

20140301_143607-1

20140301_150254_2_bestshot

20140301_195908

20140301_200042

20140301_200154

20140301_200744

20140301_204211

Month 13 is kind of a blur. They did some things, I guess. I don’t remember. It was a whole month ago! A lot of Double Trouble happening for sure:

20140304_170925

20140307_192358

20140316_181457

20140323_170111

20140323_182846

20140328_151828

20140401_185258

IMG_20140314_160530

IMG_20140319_085357

IMG_20140325_180608

IMG_20140327_184039

 

Which brings us to today, when they have turned 14 months old. It doesn’t seem possible that so much time has passed, and yet here they are.  Molly is walking and running. Gus finally gave up the army crawl for regular crawling, but really has no interest in doing any walking himself.  They chase each other around. They play together and babble at each other and it is really just the best thing ever. Well, except for when they kiss and hug each other.  THAT’S the best thing ever. There is also a fair amount of rough housing, hair pulling and slapping. I guess it’s to be expected, but damn.

They have quite a few words between the two of them. Both can say: more, kitty, no, mama, Hannah, banana, Caitlyn, woof, bottle, hiya, hi, hello, ball, night night and thank you. Molly can also say shake. Gus also says: Go (usually shaking his finger and always “go go go!”), tickle and sock. Both love to give kisses and hugs, and know how to high five. They pretend lots of toys are phones and put them to their ears and say “hewwoo?” and it’s adorable. They sleep pretty well, though Gus has been ending up in our bed for a good chunk of the night recently. They eat pretty much everything we do, and BOY can they ever eat. They eat a ton. They are pretty delightful little toddlers.

20140406_103800

20140406_194007

20140410_185756

20140411_182952

20140412_131147

20140412_131150

20140419_090526

20140419_164952

20140419_172513

20140419_192128

20140420_081939

20140420_082419

20140424_195244-1

20140425_152305

20140427_174658

IMG_20140411_202517

Aaack.

Posted on

The thing about putting stuff out there on the internet is that now, if I do fail, everybody will know. This is all so much a mental thing for me. Already, my brain is telling me that I’m never going to make it through 12 weeks.  That I’m not good enough. That even if I do make it through, it won’t be worth it OR that I’ll just go back to my old ways later on.

I was talking with my brother (M) about our youngest brother (T) this week. I’ve been pretty vocal about not being happy about his life choices, and the upheaval he insists on causing our family. M thinks that subconsciously, T has learned from our mother that no matter what, someone will always just be there to bail you out and take care of you. No matter how awful things get. No matter the consequence. And while this is some deep shit to get in to, it really resonated with me. He may not be wrong. I am something of a successful adult but I have to work hard to overcome an attitude of “Meh…things will work out just fine…” and actually get off of my ass and do things. I think am more like her than I really care to admit. I’m not calling my mother out for being a horrible person here. I’ve mostly made peace with the person she is and I know she will never change. I have decided to love her anyway. My kids think she hung the moon, and they never have to live with her day in and day out, so it’s good. It’s fine. I’m rambling.

But. BUT. I have a point.

She posted on Facebook maybe two weeks ago that she was finally done.  Quitting smoking. She had support and just knew she could do it. (She doesn’t smoke around my kids, FYI) You see where this is going, yes? She lasted maybe a day or two and just goes on acting like she never said anything. So, I guess my fear is that now that I’ve made the sweeping declaration, that I’m going to fail too, but maybe try to hide it. Or act like I never said I wanted to do this. This is maybe The Crazy coming out. I don’t know.

What I’m thinking here is that the biggest obstacle I have to overcome is myself. I need to be accountable to my support person, and to Ed, but the number one person I need to show that I CAN actually do this, is me. I think the only way to make it happen is to take it day by day.  It’s still super scary, but taking it one day at a time makes it less so. I can do this. I will do this. I’m not talking myself out of it today. If I need a mantra, that will be it.

*****************

In other news, I’ve signed up for My Fitness Pal, purchased a FitBit, and am considering a good blender for smoothies and juices. I also started a separate blog to talk about what I’m doing. Let me know if the comments if you want the blog link or if you want to be friends with me on the other things and I will email you. I feel like the more people I have on my side, the better. Most of the time my excitement outweighs the terror. Yes.  I’m excited. Let’s go with that.

Doing Something About It

Posted on

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like myself. I mean, a really long time.

I was kind of getting back to me before I got pregnant with the twins.  I was enjoying life, and felt balanced between work and home. I got involved at the kids’ school and made friends. I was exercising and I was actually enjoying it. This isn’t to say that the gestating and birth of the twins ruined me by any means, but I have felt a bit set back, stretched thin, frazzled, anxious and definitely not the person I want to be. I discovered recently that a good chunk of feeling this way had to do with letting my thyroid meds lapse.  I was super foggy and sluggish and it was impacting every aspect of my life. I’ve gotten that under control, and am 5 weeks in to re-medicating and I feel a lot better.  I’m functioning like a human again. Remembering to do the simple tasks that I couldn’t focus on before and thinking clearly.

And this has been great. I’m organized and getting things done and still having time left over for some fun, but I’m not quite there yet. I’ve been thinking a lot about last summer, how I went on a “diet” which basically eliminated gluten and dairy from my life, and how I can’t remember the last time I felt that good.  And I began beating myself up because, why, if I was feeling so great last year, would I start putting all of the things that make me feel so terrible back in to my body.  And let’s not even get started on my body image, and how badly I feel about the way that I look. That’s sort of secondary to wanting to be healthy, but it is still something I struggle with. I don’t want to be a MILF, per se, but I do want to look as if I haven’t completely given up and it’s hard to do that when for all intents and purposes, I have.

I originally gained a bulk of weight due to a long misdiagnosed auto-immune disorder that gave me a severely underactive thyroid. Once diagnosed and medicated, some of the weight came off but I had to work really hard at it. Then I got married and started having babies, and basically said “fuck it.” It is so much easier to eat what I want when I want it. To not have to worry about willpower. To be one of those people who says “I may be fat, but I’m happy!” I’ve been on health kicks before, but they always fall by the wayside when something better (for example, cake) comes along. I’ve talked myself out of it a million times–I’m actually pretty healthy. I have low blood pressure and great cholesterol numbers. I exercise some–not enough, but some, and this is probably the only reason that I don’t weigh double what I do now. The problem is that I cannot stop shoving crap in my mouth, which starts a cycle of me feeling badly in both my mind and my actual gut. I almost always regret the junk I eat within minutes, but of course, the damage is already done at that point. So I eat more. And it doesn’t stop. Ever.

What I want is for food to stop consuming my life. I want to be able to have a slice of cake on occasion and not be tempted to eat the whole cake. I’d like to go to the grocery store and not be consumed with what treat I’m going to buy myself. I’ve thought a lot about it, and have decided to get some professional help. This is very much a mental thing for me; something I’m never going to get past by just dieting on my own.

Ed has a friend who runs a weight loss clinic. He was on one of their programs when I was pregnant with the twins and had a lot of success. I’ve tried being accountable to myself and it hasn’t worked. I’ve tried to do it on my own for the better part of 15 years. I can’t do it. So, starting on Monday, for the span of 12 weeks, I will have someone telling me what I can eat and when I can eat it. I’ll be checking in with her daily and meeting face to face weekly.  I don’t think that it’s going to be easy. In fact, I’m kind of nervous about it. What will I do when I can’t eat my feelings?

I have to keep a daily journal as part of the program, so I’m considering blogging the whole thing–probably not here but in a different space. I’ll share that link if it happens. In the meantime, I’m going to do my best to not binge eat this weekend. I was going to end this by saying “Wish me luck!”, but I don’t think I need luck. I need strength, and maybe just some love. I want to be a better me–for my kids and for my husband. And for me too. I really hope I can do it.

Quick Bits

Posted on
  1. The twins turned one on March 1st, and I have so many things to say about it, and about who they are at this amazing age, and I just keep running out of time to do it the way that I want to, with pictures.  I think my time might be better served in creating baby books, or 1 year photo books.  I don’t know.  But these babies, man.  They are just so delightful. I think I say that all the time, I know. I KNOW. But they chase each other around my living room like little puppy dogs giggling and making sure the other is following, they stand at the gate and yell “MOM!” at me just like the big kids do, they bark at the dog, and sing for bananas and waffles EVERY time they are in their high chairs. I just feel so lucky that these tiny people are mine. And anyway, I want to capture all of that somehow, but finding the time is hard.
  2. I went to Phoenix last month and met a bunch of lovely internet people. There were no axe murderers, at least none who have revealed themselves yet. It was such a good time, and I feel like a grownup for navigating the airport and rental car all by myself. Ed wrangled the kids just fine while I was gone. It was just good all around.  Highly recommend, would do again.
  3. Speaking of trips, Ed is traveling for a full week in April, as in 8 days 7 nights, and that has me in a mild panic. I can lone wolf with the best of them, but for that many days straight? Eeeesh.
  4. Next week, I’m having my work  laptop replaced because it’s almost 4 years old, and I have to go in to the local call center to do it. My old home office, the one I worked at for 10 years before beginning to work from home, closed when I was on maternity leave, so this is a totally new to me office. I’m a little bit nervous about it, even though I do know a few people there, but also, they have a dress code so I’ll be getting out some of my old work clothes, I guess.  I was semi-bitching about it to Ed and he reminded me that I am a Vice President at a bank who doesn’t have to wear a suit to work every day. He’s right. I’m lucky.  I’ll shut up.
  5. Speaking of dressing up, Eddie has a TKD banquet this weekend that is semi-formal so I bought a couple faux wrap dresses from Lands End, thinking that they would be similar in fit to the fit and flare I have. Nope. They hug me in a very unattractive way, SO I need to go out and buy a dress before Saturday. Lame. I have to buy Eddie new dress clothes anyway, since he’s a giant man boy now, but I wasn’t planning on trying on dresses. I’m excited about the banquet though. Ed and I are taking him alone, and I think it will be nice.
  6. I’m doing that 100 Happy Days Project that is sweeping the internet, where you take and post a picture of something that makes you happy for 100 days in a row.  It’s fun. It makes me remember to find something to be happy about. Anyway, I’m posting them on Instagram, if you are inclined to look.
  7. I saw my endocrinologist for the first time in over a year–a new NP who was really great actually–and learned that my TSH was over 20.  The official normal range varies, but I feel best when mine is around 3.5/4. I have been flailing lately, and have been unfocused and forgetful and horrible so the numbers shouldn’t come as a surprise, and yet, I didn’t think I was THAT bad off.  I’ve been off my meds for a while, just pushing it off and forgetting and pushing it off again. I’d like to say this is the first time it’s happened, but…it isn’t. So.  I’m trying to be better. Meds. Blood work every 6 weeks until we get it under control. An ultrasound, that scares me because I have a nodule they’ve been watching, and I wonder if THIS is the time I’ll need a biopsy. But I’m doing it all anyway in the name of being healthy and getting my shit together.

A day in my life

Posted on

Everyone has been doing these posts, and I’ve really enjoyed peeking in to the wide variety of days that happen out there, so I decided to track a day of my own. This is a pretty typical day for us, schedule wise. This was Tuesday 3/4.

4:15am: My phone alarm is going off in the kitchen.  I’m disoriented for a minute because a baby has usually woken me up before now, and I’ve usually relocated the phone from its charger in the kitchen to my night stand. So.  Apparently, the babies are sleeping all the way through today.  Yay. I shut off the alarm, pee, unlock the back door for my mother who will be dropped off soon, and go back to bed.

7:00am: My real alarm is going off now.  I can hear Caitlyn, our early bird, making lunches in the kitchen. I press snooze.

7:10am: Alarm and snooze again.

7:20am: Ed is up getting ready for a meeting and the babies are starting to yell for their bottles.  I get up and pee and brush my teeth. Ed asks me about the computer charger as he’s getting ready to go. Is the one in his hand the one for our laptop? He’s taken my laptop cord on more than one occasion. I run downstairs to double check, even though I’m fairly certain he has the right one–he does. I make the bottles and bring them in to the babies.  Molly thinks I have taken WAY too long.

Molly

7:30am: I head down to my office to finish up a report that needed to be sent for approval sooner rather than later.

8:00am: Back upstairs to shuffle kids along. Caitlyn is downstairs watching TV with her breakfast because she has been up and ready to go for more than an hour. I get the babies from bed, and change diapers, nudge Hannah along in the eating and getting dressed departments and remind Eddie to focus on what he’s supposed to be doing, and to stop stuffing his mouth.

EH Breakfast

8:50am: Push the kids out the door and stop Eddie at the last minute to lint roll his pants, because he’s apparently rubbed up against the cat and dog numerous times.  He might actually BE a cat or a dog at this point, so covered in hair he is. He gripes, because who CARES if he has hair all over him. (Spoiler: I care.) Once he’s outside, I watch for the bus from the front door to make sure everyone gets on, and that the neighborhood hooligans don’t rope Eddie in to their shenanigans.

8:55am: I throw my breakfast, a bagel, in to the toaster, and make a cup of coffee, noticing just in time that there are gross, dried dishwasher crumbs in the bottom of my cup.  I make a mental note to ask who was the last person to unload the dishwasher/who put a dirty mug away in the cupboard. The babies are standing at the gate yelling for their breakfast, so I chitchat with my mother for a few minutes and help her get them in their seats. They’ve recently discovered that if they work together, they can pull the whole gate down, so that’s exciting.

twins breakfast

9:05am: I take my breakfast to my desk, and do some mindless internetting while I eat.

My breakfast

9:30am: Blah Blah Boring Boring Work Work Work.

10:45am: I need more coffee. I cycle laundry and scoop the cat box on my way up and actually remember to bring my dishes upstairs.

10:55am: Back downstairs with my coffee and buckled down to edit the report that has now come back with feedback.

11:40am: I ask Becky for help with Excel and she changes my life. I continue working on the report from hell.

becky tweet

Excel

1:00pm: I go upstairs to heat up some lunch.  My mother has defrosted the last of the Christmas pierogies, and brought them to me. They are all cheese and none kraut so I’m a little bit bitter, but still, they are acceptable. I hang out with the babies for a few minutes, and am showered with many kisses and hugs.

1:15pm: Back downstairs with my lunch, and back to work as well.

lunch

1:53pm: I’m thirsty! Shit, I left my water upstairs. I go to get it, cycle laundry again, and give the twins their milk sippies because my mother forgot. I notice that I got my Keurig delivery, and I am momentarily distracted.

keurig

2:02pm: Back to work

2:47pm: Finally finish this bastard report.  I celebrate by futzing around on Facebook and Twitter.

3:00pm: Read and respond to my email and have a snack.

snack

3:30pm: Publish my report, and wait for the inevitable backlash.

3:35pm: Call Ed to check in about dinner and evening plans. He is…less than thrilled about my planned leftover smorgasbord but he will be out of town and shit needs to get eaten.We decide that he will take Eddie to TKD.

3:45pm: Prepare for the big kids to get home.  I get snacks out and print their chore charts for the week since I wasn’t home to do it yesterday.

3:50pm: Break for Candy Crush. Level 170 is killing me.  Also, I totally landed on the jackpot, booster wheel! You suck!

candy crush

booster

3:55pm: The telltale stomping of the kids arriving home. They all traipse in to my office to let me know they are here, as if I couldn’t hear them. They yammer for snaaaaaacks. They are staaaaaarving. Hannah comes back in to show me her Dr. Seuss hat that she made to celebrate his birthday.

hannah after school

4:00pm: Back to work to wrap things up for the day.

4:30pm: Upstairs to get the girls going on chores, and Eddie moving to get changed and out the door for TKD. My father arrives and since I’m done, I send my mother home for the day.  They have to be somewhere by 6 anyway, so it works out.

4:45pm: Eddie leaves and I get Molly up from a ridiculously late nap.  We play in the living room for a while.

predinner shenanigans

5:30pm: Hannah has knocked Gus over by being careless and has been sent to her bed. I put the babies in their seats and give them their dinner.  Gus ends up throwing all of his green beans on the floor and screaming “naaaaaanaaaaaaa!” until I bring him a banana. I maybe shouldn’t give in so easily, but whatever. I have Cait hang out with them for a few while I get her set up on my computer to do a report for school.

babydinner

5:45pm: Ed calls about some PTA stuff that’s going on, and I need to make a call to the principal to make sure everyone is on the same page. I avert a major crisis. Then I remember Hannah, and let her come out.

6:00pm: Hannah plays with the babies on the floor while I get the oven going and start dinner. I’m texting back and forth with a teacher at school, and I call our treasurer to make sure she’ll be able to drop off the checks they need.

6:40pm: Dinner is ready and Ed and Eddie are home. I plate dinner for the kids, and Ed, who is on the phone, heads right in to the bedroom to continue his conversation. The kids go and eat downstairs at the table in their playroom.  Tonight is just not a night for family dinner.

dinner

7:00pm: The babies are getting crabby, so they have diapers and bottles.  Ed is still on the phone, and I’m getting hangry.

7:20pm: He’s done, and is finally making his plate. I made mine 5 minutes ago when I thought he was done, and the babies have since eaten all of my mashed potatoes.

7:25pm: We eat. Finally.

7:40pm: Everything is now terrible, so the babies say their goodnights and go to bed.

7:45pm: The kids come up with their dishes, and I direct them to their homework. Caitlyn puts some more work in to her report. Eddie catches up on the regular math be missed today while being pulled for advance math. Hannah starts counting out cheerios for her 100th day of school.

100 days

8:30pm: The girls are bejammied and on their way to bed.  Eddie is a night owl and is still awake.  He hangs out in the kitchen with me while I throw some oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip bars together, and clean up dinner.

avoiding bed

8:55pm: I put the bars in the oven, send Eddie to bed and settle on the couch with Ed to watch Castle.

9:15pm: Take the bars out of the oven and take them down in to the cold basement to cool for a few minutes.  I feed the cat, let the dog out, and make sure my office is shut down for the night. Halfway back upstairs, I realize that I’ve forgotten the cookie bars AND to shut off my space heater.  Take care of both of those things, and let the dog in. I cut pieces of cookie bar for Ed and me, and make a cup of tea for him and a cup of decaf for myself, since we are old.

9:30pm: We finish Castle with our dessert and beverages.

10:00pm: We both fool around with our phones a bit, then get up and get ready for bed. I get a few things ready for my morning since I have to actually be up and out of the house by 9, which is a rare occurrence. I also make sure Ed doesn’t need anything for the overnight trip he’s taking tomorrow. I make a note of the few things he does need, to get them together in the morning.

10:45pm: We are in bed, and the day is over.

Thoughts on Twin Parenting–Month 11(because if it’s not here, it didn’t happen)

Posted on

I totally missed my 11 month post, but here is their 11 month photo, taken 2/1/14!

 

11mos

Reflecting on 12 Months of Twin Parenting

Posted on

In August 2012, when we found out that we were expecting twins, my immediate reaction was panic. I tell people all the time, that after finding out, I don’t think I even blinked for 24 hours. I was afraid of so many things in those early days of knowing: something happening to one or both of them, the label of a high risk pregnancy, restrictions being placed on me that would impact my other kids, premature labor and birth and the NICU, a c-section, and of course just the prospect of having two infants to care for at the same time. I could get past the potential medical issues. For one thing, I was fairly certain that based on my previous history that I’d have no problems carrying the babies close to term. Secondly, I already had one NICU experience under my belt, and while I didn’t relish the possibility of it happening again. I knew that I could make it through if it did. The hardest thing to wrap my head around was that there would be two babies here, constantly requiring my care, in addition to three other small people who already lived here, and were very set in their ways. It didn’t help either that twin moms around every corner told me stories of woe and catastrophized every worst possible scenario—not unlike the things say when you are expecting your firstborn, but somehow…worse. “Prepare to NEVER sleep again!” “You will never leave the house with both of them alone; it’s just too much work!” “Don’t plan on having any sort of social life, especially for the first year. Your life will be babies babies babies!” I’ve always sort of excelled at the newborn stage, and these comments knocked me down, and made me question whether or not I’d truly be able to handle everything that was to come. I was sure it would be terrible.

And then it wasn’t.

We brought Molly home on a Tuesday; that much I remember. I remember that she would only sleep on top of me for those first few nights. I remember feeling so torn leaving Angus at the hospital and getting so much one on one time with her, but then two days later, on a Thursday, he was home too and the true experience of having infant twins began. There were long days and even longer nights. I was tired, sure. Sometimes I was frazzled and I definitely had some moments of feeling hopeless. But there was never anything so terrible that made me feel like it wasn’t worth it or that it was too much to handle.

I’ve chronicled the months of being pregnant, and then the months of parenting twins over these past 19 months with the original idea being that somehow, if someone else was going through it, that I could help them. I’m not sure that any of the posts are actually helpful or provide any sort of insightful advice, but I will say that they do give a true picture of everything that I’ve been through. I know that I am beyond lucky to have carried my babies for over 36 weeks, and to have had them here with me happy and healthy, since they were one week old.

In a way, I am thankful to the moms who gave me the doom and gloom perspective. Maybe if they hadn’t I wouldn’t be here today thinking that things haven’t been bad because I was expecting the absolute worst.  I don’t know. What I do know is that I would not paint a doom and gloom picture to any mom who is expecting twins. Every single day wasn’t sunshine and roses, but there were very few days that were all thunder clouds and thistles. I have really enjoyed this first year.

I’ve connected with a lot of new twin moms since becoming one myself and when they ask for advice, I always say the same thing: You are enough. It’s easy to feel like this can’t possibly be true, but it is. You ARE. Tell yourself. Hear it. Believe it. Even as you are ignoring one who is squawking because the other is yelling louder, and you inevitably feel guilty that you are causing irreparable damage—you are enough.  Things even out. Babies are resilient, and will be no worse for the wear.

My twins will turn one year old on Saturday, which is what is prompting this sort of reflection. I’m excited to celebrate their birthday but if I’m being honest, I’m just a tiny bit sad that it’s over.  I feel the same way every year, for every kid’s birthday. I love to watch them grow up, but I’d love it more if I could keep a tiny piece of them as they are today in my pocket forever. This time is no different; it’s been a great first year.