My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

An actual, honest to goodness, Christmas

We actually had a good Christmas!  I can't believe it!  So here's the obligatory run down of the day so far.

K had to work yesterday until evening so the girls and I went over to my parents house for a simple dinner.  I dressed them up for the heck of it and the big balls my parents got for the girls were a hit.

He got home at bedtime so he got the girls into their Christmas Eve jammies and much to our surprise, they went to sleep almost immediately.  The rest of the evening was spent blowing up inflatable toys and rearranging the living room in prep for Christmas morning.  Everything the girls already owned was taken out of the room and replaced with the Christmas tree and new toys.  

K and I opened our presents for each other and had a quiet Christmas Eve.  I got a waffle maker that I'll never have to use!  You see, whenever K makes a nice breakfast, he includes pancakes.  I don't much like pancakes, but I like waffles.  So he got me a waffle maker so that HE could make me waffles!  I got him a Doctor Who tardis lunch box because he's been brown bagging his lunch a lot.

K had to go into work for an hour this morning because the animals in a pet store still need to eat on holidays.  He left around 6:30am, and as he was pulling out of the driveway, Teeny Tiny woke up crying.  She's been waking up often the last couple of weeks because of a hacking cough and getting stuffed up.  So I got her diaper changed and rocked her back to sleep.  Then I went back to bed and the next thing I know, K is waking me up because my parents have arrived.  Mom and Dad were kind enough to do our laundry last night so we now have clean clothes again.  Yay!  The washer and dryer will theoretically be installed tomorrow but I've given up on actually counting on things this time of year so I appreciate my parents helping out with things like this.  That's how it is with them, they help out where they can without being all intrusive in our lives.  They're pretty swell.  

I told my parents that the girls will probably finish breakfast and be set loose on the gifts around 9:30-10am because that's their usual schedule.  But it was 10am and the girls were still asleep!  K made us all a wonderful breakfast (including waffles and eggs benedict for me, I'm totally spoiled) and we were pretty much able to eat our entire meal before the girls woke up around 10:45am.  They NEVER sleep in that late!  It's just too bad that K had to get up so early for work, it would have been nice to let him sleep in like that.  Oh well.  

So the girls had their breakfast and we set them free in the living room to watch what would happen.  They scrambled over to the present pile and each took one of their new puppy pals and got down to playing.  I had my video camera set up just running in the corner of the room so sometime in the future I'll be able to check out the video and save whatever pieces I want.  I like that I captured it all.

After doing some playing with the unwrapped toys, I went to sit on the floor and encouraged them to rip the paper on the wrapped things.  We never sat and focused on unwrapping any presents, just when they would come over to me, I'd help them rip a little more paper.

My folks left to visit my brothers family about 12:30 and very shortly thereafter the girls started showing tired signs and seemed to need a nap.  They had only been awake for about 2 hours, but they went straight to sleep.  They've now been asleep for about 2 hours and should be awake any time.  My brothers family will probably come over this evening for pizza and no, I'm not getting dressed!  Christmas is a day for jammies.

The only bad thing is that it appears that the cold that was clearing up is swinging back around, possibly starting all over again.  It was a bit snottier this morning than I would have liked, but it certainly wasn't a Christmas killer so I'm happy!  The rest of the day will be spent with Doctor Who and more playing with new toys.  My first enjoyable Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013

THIS is why I hate Christmas

Yeah, I'm a Scrooge.  Everyone knows it and dislikes this trait about me.  Every year I try to pin down exactly why I hate it so much.  So here's this years explanation.

Everything fucking breaks and you can't get it fixed!  Everything is just 10x harder the week of Christmas. Even just going to the store for some milk is a pain in the ass because everyone is in every store everywhere.
So this year, here's what my week has looked like:

The baby monitor broke a couple of weeks ago.  The video portion works but the sound doesn't.  Motorola is sending us a new one (thanks!) and it probably should have arrived by now.  But of course not because everything takes longer to deliver in December.  Yesterday I said fuck it, and bought a cheap sound monitor to keep next to the video monitor.  Why was this so important to me?

Because the girls have been sick and have possibly been exposed to RSV.  That means if breathing becomes labored, they would need to go to the ER.  We can hear them cry through their bedroom wall, but labored breathing isn't something that would be loud enough to wake us up without a monitor.

Then about a week ago, the laundry room started to stink.  I wondered if it was gas, but it didn't have that classic rotten egg smell and I moved the carbon monoxide monitor into that room that never went off.  So I thought ok, maybe it's not gas, maybe it's mold under the linoleum due to water leak issues we had a while back.  But we'll come back to this.

A few days ago, our dryer died.  It still appeared to function, but it generated no heat so nothing was getting dry so we can't really do laundry.  Just fucking perfect.  Ok, not a major disaster, I can deal with this.  We've been looking at washers and dryers for a while now because we knew the washing machine would die on us at some point.  This isn't a major shocking big purchase.  We turned off the gas valve thinking maybe the smell is indeed gas and maybe it's because the ignition thingy on the dryer doesn't work so the dryer is filling up with gas.

Yesterday, my parents came over to watch the girls for a couple of hours so I could get a break.  With everyone being sick, my ankle hurts, K can't take any days off right now because he works retail, I'm just a bit overwhelmed.  I needed to get diapers and on my way to the store, I realized that a Sears appliance store was right next door.  Okey dokey, let's just throw some money at my current problem and get on the list to see when we can get my new machines installed.  Tomorrow?  Before Christmas?  Really?  SOLD!

Today they come to deliver and install the machines.  OF COURSE it's not on their paperwork that I paid for haulaway service so that's all confused.  Then they come in and freak out because they can smell gas and they sure as hell aren't going to do any installations with gas in the air.  They tell me to call the power company emergency line and they'll leave the washer and dryer in my living room so that hopefully we can get a quicker installation tomorrow since the products will already be here.

Emergency power guy comes over.  Takes a while to find the leak, there's a hole in the line going from the furnace to the house.  So for god knows how long, we've been venting methane throughout our house, and since the primary vent is in the laundry room, that's where most of it has collected.  It's basically a wonder that my house hasn't become a fireball at any point in the last week.

But we now have the gas leak fixed and the house has been aired out (and chilled down obviously).  So I get on the phone to reschedule installation of the washer and dryer and OF COURSE they can't do it until after Christmas.  So now I have two washers and two dryers in my house that currently serve zero function and piles of laundry that can't be done until after Christmas.

So that's it.  Every year, the week of Christmas it's just fucking something.  Some big problem that Christmas prevents it from getting fixed.  Ok, so it's not always Christmas fault, I mean Christmas didn't kill my girls three years ago, but whatever.  The week of Christmas is always a major problem that I can't just handle like I would be able to handle it any other week of the year.

I tried this year.  I really did.  I got a Christmas tree, it's decorated, shit, I even made most of the ornaments on it!  We came up with a plan for Christmas day, K got the girls special Christmas Eve jammies to sleep in, I seriously tried to unScrooge this year.  And yet, it nearly killed us all.  I'm off to google what kind of damage breathing in methane for a week or so has done to us.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

No comment

Today is the third anniversary.  There are no comments to make about it, but I can't let it be forgotten.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Language associations

We've spent the last 10 days watching baby TV and cleaning up snot.  I was going to try to make it the full 2 years recommended before allowing your children any screen time, but I don't have the energy to keep them occupied and they feel like crud and don't want to be occupied by fun stuff so TV has been our saving grace.  It's going to be rough turning it off again once I'm feeling better and up to entertaining them.

However, the girls have been demonstrating some major learning leaps.  Middie Biddie's language is exploding.  A few things they've learned this week -

  • Teeny Tiny will follow the directions from the TV.  When the squirrels hide the acorn, she knows to clap her hands when the one searching gets close to it, even without being reminded by the TV character to do so.
  • Middie Biddie now calls any plate of food "eggies".  Mostly because that's almost always what they eat when they get up from their nap and I when I get them up, I'll say something like "it's time to have eggies and then we'll play".  
  • For diaper changes, we've been using a spare phone to keep them occupied so they won't fight us.  Believe me, they usually win the fight, so anything to keep them happy and lying still!  On the spare phone, we've downloaded My Singing Monsters and the most prominent sound is the white monster singing "bum, bu bum....buuuuum bu bummmm".  Middie Biddie now says "bom bom" when we head for the diaper changing station.
  • Middie Biddie has also learned to say "down" when we're playing physical games where I lift her up and then drop her down.  She'll climb into the couch, stand up, and then drop to her butt saying "down".  She's quite pleased with herself when she does this.
  • Teeny Tiny now taps on counting books because we will tap and count things when reading them.
  • Middie Biddie gives kisses!  She used to just kind of bow her head if you were looking at her and asked for a kiss (we're more of a cheek or forehead kissing household), but now she's participating in the kiss exchange!
  • Teeny Tiny is fully waving bye bye and understands that it means goodbye.
  • Middie Biddie is saying "ah da!", also known as "all done", but usually she's only repeating after me rather than communicating her own thought.
  • Today, Middie Biddie said a sentence!  Watching the peekaboo show, she kept telling the character "I see you!"  This is the first time she's said something in context without it being repeating what someone else prompted her to say.  I captured a minute of this on video.

So there we have it.  "Bom bom" means diaper change, "eggies" means plate of food, and "down" or sometimes "upda" as in "up/down" means she wants to be lifted and manhandled around.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

TV, Cheerios, and Snot

That's our household this week, TV, Cheerios, and snot.

I know I've claimed the girls were coming down with things before, but it never really got beyond just threatening to get sick.  Well, now they're sick.  We went 18 months before their first illness.  I really could have gone another 18 months.

So far, I'm the only one only mildly hit.  I might not even be sick at all but just run down because my ankle is hurting and I've got some other mild things going on.  K has been hit pretty hard and called out of work yesterday which he hardly ever does.

The girls are just snot monsters.  Waking up howling with goatees of snot.  We've tried the nose frida and it does it's job, but it only gets the snot that's there, not the snot that's coming 5 minutes later.  Makes it hardly worth bothering.

During the day, they don't really want to eat meals so they are kind of living from their little snack cups.  I'm trying to put in things other than cheerios, but for the most part, they just want to sit in front of the TV and munch all day.

As for sleep, they're waking up howling pretty randomly.  Last night we had Teeny Tiny in our bed since she was waking up more often and it made her wake up times minimal.  First time we ever had a baby in bed with us.  Yeah, I relished!  But now that they are starting to get over it, it's time to redo sleep training and remind them that they know how to put themselves to sleep in their cribs.  Teeny Tiny really prefers sleeping with a person and as much as I want to make that happen, she needs to go to sleep in her crib.  If she wakes up when we're in bed, ok, she can come to our bed, but we're not, and it's her bedtime, so she's having to cry it out tonight.  I've been in there to check and she's perfectly fine when she has our attention, she doesn't really need us.  Can you tell I'm trying to convince myself that she needs to cry it out and I just keep typing to keep myself from going in there again?

A couple more days and then we'll go back our routines.  Back to real meals and playtime without TV.

This sucks.  Please calm down Teeny Tiny.  I really can't handle this.


A couple of minutes after publishing this, I caved and went in for snuggles.  As soon as I had her in the rocking chair, she was happy and began to fall asleep.  She woke up pissed off just as quickly when I put her back in the crib.  Damned if I do, damned if I don't.  If I do, I just prolong the upset and teach bad habits.  If I don't, I'm being a cruel bitch who doesn't even comfort her baby when she's hurting.

Ok, in the time it took me to type that, I think the crying has stopped.  So maybe I did the right thing.  Maybe I calmed her down enough that she's too sleepy now to keep up the tantrum.  Yup, she's now lying down, perhaps whimpering a little bit, but as long as she's lying down, sleep will eventually win.  Before, she was standing in the corner of the crib by the door just screeching for one of us to go in.  Please let this be the last word on the subject for the night.  Please let this be sleep taking over and not just a small break in the howling.  Please let me be a good mom.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

New skills means redecorating

Toddler proofing blog post!

The moment Middie Biddie learned to walk, she learned to climb.  The couches are now the favorite toys in the house.  What I used to use to blockade the children are now attractants.  Therefore, time to move stuff!

Behind this Teeny Tiny smile, you can kind of see what I used to have going on in their play room.  The corner of my desk had a gate that was nailed to the couch.  The router, modem, and lamp were tucked behind the corner of the couch and a collapsed exersaucer was nailed to the wall as a blockade.

I felt we needed to move the couch away from the angled gate because I was afraid one would climb the couch and then fall in behind it, most likely really injuring themselves during the fall and even if they didn't, they would now be caged in with every cable from my computer and uncovered outlets, not to mention full access to everything on and under my desk.

So we've moved the couch to the other side of the room, used excess floor boards to cover all of the running cables, and put up an old filing cabinet in the corner for routers and modems to sit on.  The filing cabinet is screwed to the wall, but the drawers are only taped closed at the moment.  We'll get proper latches on those soon enough.

Middie Biddie likes to hang over the edge of the couch and we had a spare crib mattress that has seen better days lying around, so I plopped that under the dangerous side.  I can't really prevent all falls, but I can at least make them less injurious if they happen.

In the main room, not a whole lot of change.  Please no comments on my housekeeping skills, the laundry will be put away eventually and the broom just roams freely at will.  The pack and play attached to the side of the couch is now storage for extra pillows and blankets.  If a kiddo should tumble into it, they'll be landing in a pillow pit.

For the first time in my adult life, I'm going to have a Christmas tree.  Scrooge no more I guess.  We've opted to go the fake route, at least for a few years.  It's easier, cheaper in the long run, lighter if it falls on anyone, and now that I'm making Christmas ornaments in my pottery shop, I'll be able to use it year round for photography.  It's not decorated yet and I haven't fluffed out the top portion, but here's my baby/cat proofing solution - we set it inside a bassinet and put the pretty ruffles back on that we had packed away when it was actually in use.  So far, the cats have left the ruffles alone which is good because it does help make it look pretty.  I'll get some twine and tie the base of the tree into the center of the bassinet and then tie the handles of the bassinet to a wall.  For now, it's sitting just out of reach of the girls playroom on the edge of our room of perpetual storage.  It helps block the view of the ugliness going on behind it.  This set up also makes the tree very easy to move so Christmas morning we can put it in the middle of the room and put presents underneath it.

Sometimes I think I should change the name of this blog to "Macgyvering my way through motherhood".

Friday, December 6, 2013

Banishing the phrase "be grateful for what you have"

Someone in my twin mom group posted a link to a list of 20 things that make having twins different from having children close together in age.  The list is meant to be a funny way of venting a touch of frustration.

But in the comments, a mom admonished the writer for not being grateful for what she has.  The commenter had lost one of her twins and spoke of the sorrow of watching one grow up while only seeing the ghost of the other.  Had this post and comment not been over two months old, I would have been tempted to reply to her about how I had lost both of my first set of twins, she should be grateful she at least got to bring one home.

But what good would it have done to say that?  If I had said that, would someone else have come in behind me about how her miscarriage lead to a hysterectomy so I should be grateful that I had the opportunity to try again whereas she did not?  And on and on the line of misery could go.

What is the purpose of this phrase?  The only purpose I can figure out is to shame another person for expressing her frustrations.  No matter what your life is like, it has some frustrations.  That's simply a truth of existence.  And along with that truth, it will also always be true that someone has it better than you, and someone else has it worse than you.

Gratefulness doesn't entertain.  Gratefulness does not help someone else feel less alone when they are having a rough time.  Gratefulness does not help you find solutions to your problems.  For those reasons, gratefulness is private.  Frustration is public.  Frustration pushes us forward, bonds people together, it entertains.  I will never be ashamed of my frustrations.  I will always know that someone else is looking at my life and wanting what I have just as I'm looking at someone elses life and wanting what they have.

The next time you are tempted to shame someone by insisting that they be grateful for what they have, ask yourself why you want to do that.  Ask yourself who in the chain of misery would say the same damned thing to you and how it would make you feel when they did.  Then ask yourself if saying that phrase will actually benefit anyone in any way.

I'll state for the record that I am grateful for what I have.  You don't have to tell me to be grateful.  I have two babies that got through the preemie stage with no ill side affects, who I can anticipate growing into beautiful, healthy adults.  As grateful as I am, I will still acknowledge and publicly work through my life frustrations, and I won't feel ashamed for doing so.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

What happened to my chicken?

As of a few days ago, Middie Biddie is officially a walker!  She finally broke through her fear and started walking all around.

Unfortunately, now that she's had a couple of days of properly falling on her butt and learning that it's not so bad, she's lost a lot of that fear that kept her safe and has become a climber.  Yup, figured out how to climb onto the couch today - the couch we use to block off the router, modem, lamp, and a variety of other things I don't want babies reaching.

I think we'll be spending the next week doing a whole new level of baby proofing.

In other news, I cleaned up more puddles today than I ever wanted to clean up.  It started with finding a pee puddle right outside the litterbox.  While I was cleaning that up, I heard a small crash behind me to find that one of the girls had thrown her milk cup to the floor and the lid had popped off.  Swell.  So I finished cleaning up urine and got to work on the milk.  At the next meal, she did the same thing to yet another cup of milk, and I found that the cat had peed on a towel in the bathroom.  I'm so glad we got rid of the carpet and now have easily cleanable floors!

I know I complain a lot, but the fact is I'm a lot happier than I've been in other stages of my life.  Now that the girls are older, they're funny!  I spend a significant portion of my day laughing like I never have before.  This parenting thing has a lot more ups and downs than non-parenting, but the ups are a lot higher.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Twins Thanksgiving

Upon arrival.  Everybody has their hair done, nice clothes.
Trying something new

Grandma wanted some sparkling cider.  She didn't get any.

The playroom is that way girls, you're not allowed in the kitchen.

End of the evening.  Shoes and socks have disappeared, mom is in a borrowed shirt because hers got covered in chocolate pie when picking up a child covered in chocolate pie, Teeny Tiny has a new outfit and her hair all undone for a variety of reasons.

I left out pics of other family because I don't know what their privacy level is.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Separate play time

I have some concerns about Middie Biddie.  She's on the late end of the spectrum in various skills, consistently so.  She seems to hit her milestones within days before or after the end of the normal range.  They are a couple of weeks shy of 18 months and only today did she walk well enough for me to think that I'm ready to say she can.  Still knocking over blocks instead of stacking them.

But while I'm keeping an eye on those things, they aren't really big concerns.  What I'm most concerned about is how much attention she's getting and whether or not she's going to feel like Teeny Tiny is favored. Their personalities are so different.  Teeny Tiny demands and goes after whatever she wants whereas Middie Biddie is far more passive.  The question is - is she really content to play on her own and to just get a different toy when hers gets stolen, or has she simply resigned herself to not having a choice?  Does she amuse herself because she wants to or is she waiting for us to come lavish attention on her because she's too shy to ask for it?

When Teeny Tiny takes one of her toys, I'll often tell her No and try to return it.  But usually the moment TT wants the toy, MB just kind of lets her have it like she doesn't care and finds something else to play with by the time I can get it back for her.  I'm not sure what to do.  I want MB to know that she doesn't have to let TT take her stuff.  In the years to come, I want her to know that I will enforce TT politely asking and won't allow her to just take.  But in practice, at least at the moment, if I try to return the toy, MB no longer wants it and now TT is upset that I took it from her.  I don't want TT to think it's ok to just take what she wants but MB isn't cooperating by wanting the toy back so I can give it to her!

Today, we decided to try something a little different and K took TT into our bedroom to let her explore while I stayed with MB in the playroom.  In just that half hour, it's like she flourished.  She walked a solid 5 steps to me.  She laughed a lot more and was much more responsive to my interaction.  She turned away from me at times to play on her own, but she interacted a lot more than when we're all in there together.  I think she really appreciated having one on one time.

We're going to try to do that for one of the after meal play periods every day.  Each parent taking one kid and playing on our own.  Frankly, it's so much easier when there's just one!  No jostling for position on the lap, no books flying at my face while I'm reading the one in my hands, no tripping over each other when trying to walk towards me.  I don't want to thrust attention on Middie Biddie when she doesn't want it, but hopefully having more one on one time will help make her feel secure that we want to play with her.  Maybe once she knows she'll get attention, she'll start asking for it a bit more.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Another burst of baby changes

After quite a long time of no real developments, the girls are suddenly exploding with new skills and behaviors.  

Middie Biddie is still kind of struggling with walking.  Basically, it seems to take her about a week to add another step that she's able to take before faceplanting.  Or maybe it's another step that she's willing to take rather than able.  I've never seen her attempt to walk across a room and fall, she only goes from one thing to hold to another if it's 2 steps away, and she'll only attempt 3 or 4 steps if she's heading towards a pair of open arms.  She is the cautious one!  But she is getting herself standing without pulling up on anything and practicing her balance a little bit.

We're doing a lot of walking with Middie Biddie holding fingers, trying to encourage her to get comfortable with the concept.  Teeny Tiny will grab a pant leg and walk around the room with us so we have a baby conga line going.  Today, TT grabbed one of my fingers and just walked around me in circles making me a little dizzy.  I was able to kind of teach her to do that dance turn under my arm.  

Teeny Tiny is running all over the place of course, no fear there.  She loves dancing just like always and is getting a little more complicated with it.  More than just random wiggling, she now seems to have a beat and she tilts her head one way while shaking her body the other way.  It's the cutest thing that she simply will not allow me to capture on camera.  I now have a ton of videos of her doing one little bop and then just wandering around the room making me think she'll do the dance again.  I got a very small glimpse of it on camera, but just a hint of the cuteness.

Words are suddenly popping out everywhere.  I'm not sure how much has true meaning and how much is just knowing which sounds go after which question.

Who am I?  Mama!!
Who are you?  Bay-bay!!
What does Clifford say?  Bow-wow (sort of)

As I taught the girls to eat and would introduce them to new foods, I would make this kind of gulping "ahh-oom" noise to encourage them to enjoy it.  Now, TT will make that noise and kind of smack her mouth with her hand when she's hungry.  It's not official sign language but it works for me!  Actual communication of desires!  

In general, they are suddenly trying to imitate what we say.  I'll admit I'm not the greatest at talking to my kids.  They say you should narrate everything you're doing to help them develop language but I just don't.  Now that they're trying to imitate, I'm doing it a lot more.  I guess I'm just someone who needs feedback.

Teeny Tiny is stacking blocks and will now stack rings on her ring stacker even if she has to walk around to collect the various pieces that have scattered around the room.  Both absolutely delight in having a ball rolled to them so that can kind of fling it back to me.  Both are obsessed with books.  The board books are getting shredded and they are constantly bringing them to me and sitting on my lap for a story.  Even when I'm reading one, the other will get another book and bring it over, often smacking me in the face with it.  Our next shopping trip will be looking for books that can't be destroyed and are soft.  I'm going to start looking like an abuse victim soon with bruises on my face from the corners of books and limping with my carved up ankle.

They're also starting to climb so we're looking at babyproofing the rest of the house and reducing the gates in the house.  It also means that they are reaching stuff on K's desk.  I'm going to have to talk to him about it when he gets home.  He thinks he keeps it clean with his stuff out of reach, but they brought me stuff off his desk today that I would prefer they not be able to reach.

They're starting to play with each other a bit more.  The other day they were giggling while Middie Biddie tried to plop a piece of cheese into Teeny Tiny's open mouth at lunch.  I think once Middie Biddie gets properly walking, their relationship is going to blossom with all sorts of games.

We're consolidated down to one nap now.  Anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours.

K's back isn't getting better.  I got on his case last night because he's not really doing the exercises necessary to get better.  He's not going to like it but I'm really going to become a nag about that.  Yeah, it might damage the relationship as he gets annoyed with me for a few months, but if the trade off is reducing his pain, it's worth it.  The pain itself is damaging the relationship so I'm looking at the long game here.  

Tomorrow is K's day off so we're going to go down to the Y and look at their daycare facilities and find out how to go about getting the girls enrolled in some sort of mommy and me swimming class.  My parents have offered to help with that so that the girls and I can go even if K has to work (no way I'm taking children into a pool if they outnumber me!), but hopefully this will also encourage K to start swimming to exercise his back, and me to start slimming down.  Being able to leave the girls at the daycare for an hour or so will also take away a big excuse for us not to exercise.  

I gotta tell ya, ever since having the girls, I feel really old.  K is feeling it too.  With my ankle and general aches and pains, I haven't really felt decent since they were born.  K has gone from majorly sleep deprived during their infancy to overworked and tired during their older babyhood, and into severely injured and aching in their toddlerhood.  He literally has not had 1 full day of feeling good and full of energy since they got here.  It's worth it of course, but ugh!  We really should have met and started our family about 10 years before we did.  No, I take that back, maturity is awesome.  What we should have done was found a way to exchange these bodies for nice healthy younger versions.  But I guess the warranty has expired and we're stuck with what we've got.

Friday, November 15, 2013

A rough 24 hours

I'm a little high on pain pills so I might pointlessly ramble.  Then again, that kind of describes this whole blog doesn't it?

I'm not sure how we got through yesterday.  I was only about 50% here due to the issues with my ankle surgery.  The initial numbing had worn off so the pain started, and I took one pain pill which apparently gets me pretty high.  So I was in and out of bed all day yesterday.

The big problem was that K got some sort of bug or food poisoning or something that made him vomit for 24 straight hours.  All of the vomiting destroyed his back, either muscle spasms or inflammation, crap I don't know.  The point is he could hardly walk and when he did, it was generally a dash for the bathroom.

I had to decide which version of out of action I wanted to be - in pain so I couldn't walk very well, or not in much pain but high as a kite.  Other than the one pain pill I took early in the day, once that wore off I opted to go ahead and be in a little bit of pain but remain able to drive should Mr. Vomitman need a ride to the ER.

There was some fear as we struggled to take care of the girls while neither one of us were fully capable.  Fortunately Teeny Tiny can walk now and Middie Biddie can walk when holding our fingers so we were able to get through the day without having to pick them up and carry them much.  I suspect I'll be making them walk most of the day tomorrow when I'm on my own again.  I'm just not comfortable carrying them when I'm not walking well.  I'm not exactly coordinated on a good day.

So anyway, yeah, lots of vomiting yesterday.  I was getting pretty scared after the girls went to bed because K hadn't been able to keep down so much as a sip of water in 24 hours and had a headache.  I made him some broth and it took him about 10 minutes to sip about a teaspoons worth and even that came back up.  By midnight, he was in a lot of pain from his leg and feeling like crap from dehydration.  He wouldn't go to the ER though, and I don't think he was dehydrated enough to warrant a trip, but there was quite a bit of debate about it.  He was eventually able to keep down half a popsicle.

This morning, he was feeling a lot better, but his leg was hurting so bad (an extension of the back injury) that he really needed to take some pain meds.  Since we're on the same meds, only one of us gets to take them at a time.  So I headed out to the store to stock up on Gatorade and chicken soup.

Got to take advantage of my snazzy temporary disabled parking pass and I used one of the scooters in the store.  I know they are there for people who are injured like me or who are more permanently disabled, but I was still embarrassed using one.  Honestly, the embarrassment is because I'm such a fatass right now that I was kind of afraid people wouldn't see the surgery shoe on my foot and would just assume I was being fat and lazy rather than having a legit need to scoot.  But if not for my fat ass making me embarrassed, those things are pretty fun!

K is pretty much back to normal as of this afternoon so I've taken some pain meds.  I'm healed enough that I should be fine tomorrow without them.

Gratuitous kid pick of Teeny Tiny photobombing Middie Biddie, because why the hell not.

Oh yeah!  I've gotten some Christmas ornaments listed in my shop.  Take a look and tell me what you think!  I have more that I just haven't gotten around to listing so go ahead and ask me if you see something that you might want in a different color or something.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Feeling useless at the moment

I had surgery on my ankle on Monday.  Yesterday, I felt fine.  I could walk on it with no problem and hardly felt a thing.  I was at about 90% capacity.

Then the numbing stuff wore off by this morning and I'm hobbling around.  It sucks.  The pain meds completely wipe me out and make me sick so I ended up taking a long nap this afternoon.  Will probably end up with insomnia tonight since I slept so much this afternoon.  I couldn't even sit on the floor with the girls to help entertain them because Middie Biddie kept leaning right on my ankle to help pick herself up to standing.

The doctors said that by day 3 I would be fine being home with them alone but wow am I glad K got a couple extra days off because there's no way I'd be ready to be responsible for them by tomorrow.

This sucks.

Does anyone play My Singing Monsters?  I need some friends on that game.  Add me if you are.  My number is 5690994HE.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The crying begins

Remember how I was bragging that my kids don't seem to ever cry?  Well that ship has sailed.

We seem to be entering a new phase.  We're either in or just coming out of a growth spurt and a whole set of mental lightbulbs have recently switched on.  There are new facial expressions, new understanding of toys and how things works, and now new reasons to get upset.

Oh, I don't know what those reasons are of course.  Just suddenly I'll have a crying toddler who's acting like they just got a major boo-boo.  But, there is no boo-boo.  I'll try cuddles and kisses, I'll try songs, I'll try shaking a favorite toy at them and nuthin.  Just crying, unhappiness.

Then they decide they're over it.  Nothing happened to fix whatever the problem was, some switch just flips and they go from "waaaaaahhhhhh" to "ga goo!"

Today I was lying on the couch while K was with us in the playroom (I don't know what hit me, I was just suddenly exhausted) and suddenly I would have a toddler in front of my face crying at me.  Then after a couple of minutes of making sure I properly appreciated how horrible their life is, they'd head off to go play with something.

I don't know what to do with this.  I have yet to find anything that reduces the amount of time is spent crying when one of these jags hits them.  I can't find a problem to solve, I can't hug the unhappy away, and I can't ignore them into being bored with being upset, and I can't seem to distract them into forgetting about it.  I've tried all of these and none of them help!

The good news is that K has this week off work so I've got a second pair of eyes and hands to try to figure this out, and if we can't, at least I have a witness that I'm farking TRYING so I don't feel so guilty when I think back on how much of the day the girls spent crying.

Didn't K just take a week off?  Why yes he did, but he's taking another one!  Well why on earth would he do that?  Let me tell you!

I'm having surgery on my ankle on Monday and asked him to take off Monday-Wednesday to give me a day or two to rest.  Apparently he's owed a day off for a holiday of some sort (he had to work, animals at the store still have to eat on holidays) and his boss just decided to schedule him with a solid week off.

Yup.  You know you're a stay at home twin mom when recovering from surgery sounds like a vacation.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Blog purpose reintroduction

When I'm asked questions on this blog, I take them to heart and really think about the answers.  So when Anon asked me about why I'm considering a third child when it seems I dislike caring for the first two so much, I answered, and then K reminded me of something when he read over my answer.  He reminded me why I started this blog in the first place and where I'm coming from when I write it.

So, I'm going to share with you all again what I see as the purpose of this blog.  My goal is to try to make people feel better.  Stick with me, I'm going to explain that because I know some of you just choked on your coffee.

I'm leaving my thoughts and experiences behind so that the person who is googling what is making their lives suck at the moment might find me out here saying "yeah, me too."  No one goes into google and types "I'm having a great day, tell me about your great day!!!".  No.  We reach out and search for others experiences when things are wrong, or upsetting, or we feel alone in our negative thoughts.

Internet forums and magazine articles are filled with people trying to shit rainbows and glitter on your bad day.  Strangers patting you on the head with a glib "cheer up!" or "count your blessings!" or other demands that you not feel the negative that you're currently feeling.  I'm not one of those people because those people always make me feel worse.  They make me feel like it's some sort of failing that I'm in a bad place at the moment.  So whatever was putting me in a bad place, now I'm both in that bad place AND I've got the guilt and failure that it's my fault I'm there and can't get out of it.

What makes me feel better?  When someone else says "Yeah, I feel/felt the exact same way."  During the girls early months, I was outside of a Moms of Multiples meeting bawling my eyes out.  The meeting was over and I had to go home to the misery of it all.  I was feeling awful that I took care of my girls out of obligation and not out of some motherly attachment and adoration.  That they didn't feel like they were even mine.  I spewed all of this verbal diarrhea on another mom and she said that she had felt the exact same way.  That after all the IVF, all the desperately wanting of children, she felt exactly how I was feeling during those first few months.  That made me feel so much better.  Until someone else said they felt that way, I felt like a complete freak for not having that wave of bond and love the moment I first held my girls.  Then another mom told me about how that love creeps up on you over time.  How you just want to run away for a few months, then one day you'll find that you don't mind going home from whatever errand you're running, and then one day you'll kind of miss them when you're away.  

These experiences aren't out there in the books, magazine articles, birth announcements.  Ok, they are in the books, the self help books about what's wrong with you.  But these experiences aren't wrong, they're just unpleasant so people pretend they don't exist.

I don't pretend.  Unpleasant shit exists in this world.  It just does and no amount of unicorns shitting glitter and rainbows will change that.  

I'm currently the facilitator for the first year group of EMOMS.  When I go to meetings and help keep the conversation flowing, I walk a very fine line between letting people know that not everyone experiences rainbows, while at the same time trying not to scare the crap out of everyone.  I try to let people know that my experience was awful and I'll be honest about it to anyone who wants to talk to me privately.  I'm the person that the majority of the room is afraid to hear from, but after the meeting, in quiet, hushed tones, someone sneaks up to me and whispers "thank you for being so honest, I thought it was just me."  

THAT'S the person I'm here for.  The person who needs to hear that they aren't alone, the person who is ashamed of what they are feeling or thinking, the person who won't admit things because of the judgment it brings.  Think of me as your judgment lightening rod.  I'm putting all of the ugly out there because I can take the backlash so someone else can know they aren't alone without having to publicize what they're afraid of admitting.

I started this blog a couple of months into my first pregnancy when I experienced something really upsetting.  After sex with K, I had this random emotional breakdown, just this wave of upset that made me cry for no damned reason.  I started googling to see if this was some sort of common pregnancy hormone reaction thing and couldn't really find a whole lot.  I got some random websites saying how hormone fluctuations lead to mood swings, blah blah blah, all very sterile information, but not personal accounts.  That's the day I started this blog.  I figured there weren't personal accounts because sex is inherently embarrassing, and I knew that I felt weird about the experience so if others had the same thing happen, well they probably felt weird about it too and didn't want to advertise their weirdness.  Since others didn't want to advertise, I figured I'd do it for them.  This is weird, it happened to me, so if you're googling alone in the dark, I hope you find me and feel a little less weird about yourself.

At the time, I didn't expect to lose those babies and become a big mess of misery.  I just thought I'd write about the day to day weirdness of pregnancy and eventually complain about baby poop under my fingernails.  But then shit happened and this became a very different blog for a while.  When I had the girls, it didn't feel like an ending of the fear and misery of trying to get them here, it really did feel like the fourth trimester trials and I was still on parenting probation to see if I really could bring them into the world.

They're here now.  They're almost 17 months now.  So now I use this space to think things through, log various milestones, share my complaints about parenting so others can know they aren't alone.  Every household seems more together than you feel about yours.  I'm just trying to show how not together things are around here.  Lift the veil so to speak.

Overall, I'm happy with life.  Every day has highs and lows, and I'm going to complain more about the lows than I'm going to celebrate the highs.  It's commiserating in the lows that helps people seeking comfort for their problems when they're googling at 3am.  3am googlers, I'm here for you.  I'll be the public face of every ugly thought or feeling you have so you can keep yours hidden.

But every once in a while, I'll overhear my girls giggling and I'll sneak around the corner with a camera and capture something really cute that's happening.  Sometimes I'll let you in on those moments too.

Anonymous asks a good question

On my last post, I just got a comment and I was going to reply inline there, but I think it warrants it's own post.  So I'll answer it in my usual long winded way.

Anonymous asks:  
Just out of curiosity and being a snoop (not meaning to be rude) but if you don't like waking up early, the baby phase, and you like having time to "decompress" while the twins are napping...why would you want another one? You wouldn't get anytime for yourself because they'd be on different schedules plus you'd have to go through the baby phase again. I keep getting mixed signals and messages from reading through your posts!

That's actually a really good question and I'm not at all offended that it's been asked.

Usually when I have something to say, it's something that's bothering me and that's what goes into the blog.  When everything is a content, happy equilibrium, I don't have a whole lot to say.  If you look at the history of my writing, you'll see that as the girls came out of the baby phase, my writing slowed down significantly.  Where I was writing once, sometimes several times a day during the miscarriage, IVF, pregnancy, and baby phases, I now go a week or more without posting, and even then it's often just a check in that everything is fine.  There's just not a whole lot of interesting ways to say "another normal day of watching the girls play.  They made me laugh a few times, I got a frustrated a few times, and I'm getting sick of scrambling eggs.  Yup, another day has gone by."

There's also a privacy factor.  When I write, I feel like I'm sharing with other people.  Not just information, but whatever I'm writing about is kind of given away.  When life sucks, I write about it to lighten the load.  Some of the better moments, I want to keep those all for myself.

I'm also acutely aware of the fact that the period of my life in which I'll be spending my entire day looking after children is finite.  It's only a handful of years before they spend the bulk of their day in a classroom and I need to find an additional identity beyond being their mom.  No, I didn't like the first 6 months.  They su-ucked.  But then there's ages 6m-5 years that are so far, pretty darned fun.  I'm enjoying the next stage more and more, but there's that nagging ... I don't know what, where I think "If I were to do this again, I would do blank or not worry so much about blank, and I'd enjoy it a lot more the next time."

I like kids more and more as they get older.  It's a year or two of sacrifice to gestate and raise a baby to the kid stage where they become fun.  Once you get through that difficult time, you have these cool people around you for the rest of your life.  That's awesome.

Then there's the wondering of a single baby would suck a lot less than twin babies.  There were NO breaks with twins.  With a singleton, we could each get 4-5 hour stretches of sleep because there wouldn't be a need for both of us to be dealing with every middle of the night wake up.  If I had that extra sleep, and if I could enjoy the time in which my baby was snuggly and happy, would it be a completely different baby experience?  A large part of me says yes, it would be completely different and I might get to enjoy a lot of those things that other mothers enjoy about their babies that I didn't get to enjoy with my twins.  I could go out and about with one baby strapped in a carrier while the girls walked.  I couldn't safely walk around with two babies in a carrier.  Maybe other twin moms can, but I couldn't figure it out.

As for my desire to sleep in and decompress during nap time - well yeah, who doesn't want that?  I don't sleep well at night, I'm a chronic insomniac.  So by the time I'm asleep, I want to stay that way as long as possible.  The nap decompression is a little different - while I'm waiting for them to fall asleep, I'm sitting here by the monitor in a state of alertness.  I'm very attentively watching to see if one has fallen asleep, if the other one is needing something or just whining and should I go in and check her diaper, if I do will I wake up the other one, will she wake up the other one with her whining, why is she whining, what do I do??????  By the time they are both asleep at the same time, I need to stop biting my nails and chill the hell out.

It's draining to be constantly trying to figure out someones needs when they can't tell you what they are so you're constantly alert and interpreting various signals and clues.  By the time a third got here, the girls and I could communicate with words which would take that particular stress away (and add a whole different one, but I'll complain about that when it gets here).

Last, I'm looking into the future a bit and seeing empty nest syndrome.  First when they start school, and then again when they finish school and launch into the world.  Going from having 2 kids taking up your entire day to a suddenly empty house for a good portion of that day, that's very jarring.  When I get there, am I going to regret not having a third so I can continue to have a kid to care for?  I don't know.

We aren't certain we want a third for all the reasons that make you ask this question.  If I were 28 instead of 38, I probably wouldn't be thinking about it.  But I am 38, K is 44, and we're already feeling a bit too old for all of this.  Very quickly the day is coming that we REALLY are too old for this and our options will be gone.

Yes, there are mixed messages on this blog.  I have yet to meet anyone who isn't full of mixed messages and feelings about things, so I'm in good company.

So, in a nutshell, like most people, I talk most when I have something to complain about, full-time child rearing is very temporary and I'm not sure I'll be ready for it to be over when it is, sleep good, I missed a lot of baby experiences because I had two and a singleton might give the chance to enjoy what I couldn't enjoy with twins, I'd be better at it next time, and I'm getting (I am) old and time to make the decision is running out.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Defeating power outages and time changes

Wow.  My girls are talented.

Their wake up time has been creeping later and later and I was hoping that the time change would just magically fix that.  They used to wake up around 9am but have been creeping closer to 10am, sometimes even being content in bed until a little after that.  While that's great for a mommy who likes to sleep in, it does make for a really late start to the day.

We haven't been doing anything to fix that since the time change was coming up and we figured time would just change around them making their wake up closer to 9am again.  Yesterday, we had a power outage and I thought "great!  They'll fade out with the sun and probably go to sleep a little earlier!"

Nope.  While they did fade out with the sun around 6pm, they did what they've been doing for a while.  They go to sleep somewhere between 7-7:30pm and then wake up about an hour later and play in the dark for yet another hour or two finally passing out around 10pm.  They did the same damned thing last night.  But I figured, whatever, the time is going to change, and they'll suddenly be doing everything an hour earlier, problem solved.

About 10:15am (that's with the time change, so what normally would have been 11:15am), K wakes me up with "should we get the girls up?".  The little twits!  They completely defeated the time change by sleeping in an extra hour!  Argh!!!!  I can only guess it's because I bundled them up extra warm last night when the power was out and it was getting cold.  Then the power came back on so beds were extra snuggly this morning.

To complicate this matter further, we have a party to attend at 3pm.  That would have worked out great if they had done what they were supposed to and gotten up around 9am so they could take a nap shortly after noon.  But no, they've only just faded out around 1:30pm so we're going to be late for the party.  Oh well.  It's at a gymnastics studio and since Middie Biddie isn't really walking and most of the kids there are going to be about 3 years old, they weren't going to be able to play much anyway for fear of getting run over by tumbling toddlers.  I guess we'll probably arrive about the time the toddlers have worked most of their wiggles out and are ready for cake.

Damnit.  I think Middie Biddie has been so content to sit in her crib and quietly play without waking us up that she's been pooping and then sitting in her poop for a considerable time.  K did diaper changes this morning and informed me that the rash we'd finally gotten rid of was back in full force.

It looks like we can't just let their sleep happen anymore, we're going to have to control it.  If it weren't for the rash and sitting in poop issue, we'd probably just let them do what they want.  But if she's not going to wake us up to let us know she needs a diaper change, we're going to have to create an actual honest to god schedule.  Yuck.  My days of sleeping in are over.  I guess we're going to have 9am alarms every morning now.

*grumble grumble*

Stupid need for structure.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Never done this before

Middie Biddie is having a major whine fest tonight.  Normally I just force her to deal with it and check the diaper every 45 minutes or so but tonight, after over 2 hours, I decided to try something different.

I put Teeny Tiny in Middie Biddie's crib with her.  I'm watching them party on the monitor having a grand old time together.  That's what they normally do over the railings, but now they are interacting with each other on a level I don't think I've seen before.

Obviously neither is getting any sleep.  On the other hand, they weren't sleeping before and Middie Biddie was really upset about it.  They aren't upset now.  When they both get tired of wrestling and start to fade out, I'll go back in and put Teeny Tiny back in her crib.

I'm sure someone will tell me why this is the most awful thing to do for some reason.  Oh well.  One night of sleep disturbance won't kill them.  The clocks change in a couple of days so I'm just pretending that I'm getting them accustomed to the new schedule before it happens.  Yeah, that's it!  I'm getting them adjusted so it's not a shock!  This has nothing to do with just wanting to watch my girls play together in the cutest way possible!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Discussing a third

*milestone update*  Teeny Tiny officially has a vocabulary of 2 words!  If I ask "who am I?" she says "mama!"  If I ask "who are you?" she says "bay-bay!"

And now on to the real post.

As I was bitching and moaning about this period last night, it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks - I might actually be capable of getting pregnant on accident.  For the last 20 years, that's just never been a reality for me and suddenly, my whole comprehension of what could or could not happen suddenly shifted.

In the past, on the rare occasion I had a period, there really wasn't much to it.  I could get away with just wearing a pantyliner since my body didn't have a whole lot of material to expel.  Then I had my first postpartum period and of course it was pretty heavy.  Didn't think much about it since it was the first period in a year, of course it was heavy.  Then 2 months later, another period and again, it was heavy.  Now 2 months after that, and good lord I can't believe all this was ever stored inside me!

It suddenly occurred to me that hey wait a minute, this is a full, proper, healthy uterine lining I'm shedding here.  And I must have ovulated to signal the shedding.  This is happening every 2 months.  HOLY CRAP!!!
Now of course, my body changes don't change the issue on K's side of things.  But being responsible adults, we had a sit down to discuss the possibility and desirability of a third.  Many a man has been told his swimmers are no good only to be surprised later.  I figured we should discuss whether or not we actively want a third or if we should consider some form of birth control other than "it probably won't happen".

We have some reservations about a third.  But those reservations are pretty much the same reservations anyone has about having any baby.  Do we have the room for another?  Finances are already a problem, would a third be devastating?  How will that take attention away from the girls?

K's primary reservation has always been the IVF process.  Does he want another baby enough to go through all of that?  That's where he's really be teetering on the fence.

My primary reservation has been that I was so miserable during the newborn stage.  I love each new stage that the girls get to and I really don't miss the one I'm losing, how much of their development would I be missing because a newborn was taking all of my attention?

But I have been daydreaming about it a little bit.  How I missed out on newborn baby snuggles because I always had to put down the one that was happy and pick up of the one who wasn't.  How a lot of my misery was rooted in the fact that I simply didn't know when the miserable three hour loop would end.  I have an idea of that now.  With only one, K and I could switch off night time responsibilities a lot easier so each of us would get more sleep.  If I got pregnant today, by the time a baby got here, the girls would be old enough to go to the drop-in daycare center for a few hours if I got overwhelmed.  Heck, they would be old enough to grab my water for me if I got trapped on the couch.  That alone would be a big help.  Of course then the question becomes whether or not they would choose to, but that's a whole different issue.

I've thought about how I would do things differently.  I would probably try harder to get nursing down (I'm assuming the next baby would be a singleton born full term without all of the preemie concerns) but I would probably still pump.  Hopefully have the best of both worlds of being able to just whip one out when the baby was hungry as well as have someone else be able to feed it.  I probably wouldn't be so obsessed about my supply since I now know that my body will produce enough for three even if I just follow the advice for getting enough for 1.  And without the preemie concerns, I probably wouldn't be so determined to ensure that the next baby got only breastmilk, I don't think I would be as opposed to supplementing with formula for a full term baby.  That whole feeling of the world over my shoulder judging my every move, hopefully that wouldn't be there.  That was soul crushing with the girls.

So, we've come to the conclusion that while we don't have the same burning desire for a third that we had for a first, if it happened, our reaction would be celebration and not "oh shit".  We don't think it will happen, but we are looking at the reality that for the first time in my 38 years on this planet, it actually COULD happen.  That's pretty exciting!

We still have the same plan for the embryos in storage.  When the girls are about 3 and I'm about 40, we're going to really look at how strongly we want a third and decide if we want it badly enough to go through everything again.  Maybe since I now seem to be providing a hospitable environment for an embryo naturally, perhaps they would allow us to thaw one every month and just transfer it at the right time to see if it would stick without going through massive amounts of medications and expense.  But we'll make the final decisions then on whether or not we want to use the embryos we have or let them go.

Last night during our discussion, we pulled out the medical records from when this whole adventure began and did some googling on K's test numbers.  We wanted to know if his tests came back indicating his ability to get me pregnant was impossible or just improbable.  We didn't really come to a final conclusion on that (I think it was more on the side of improbable) because I stumbled across a new fertility clinic in the area.  For those of you that have been with me for a while, you'll recall that I despised the clinic that took over the one I was originally at.  To see a new clinic in town thrills me to pieces!  Looked around their website a bit more, it's MY doctor!  Woot!  While I hated the clinic, my doctor was awesome, and I was his last patient there because he had the same opinion of the clinic that took over that I did.  He's back in practice!  I emailed last night to see if they offer embryo storage because I'm currently sitting on a bill for the next year.  If I can get them transferred somewhere else, I'd rather pay someone else to store them than to put more money into that clinics pockets.  It's such a relief that no matter what we decide for our future, I don't think we're ever going to have to deal with my pain in the ass clinic ever again, I have other options!  So, if you're in the Pacific Northwest and looking for a fertility clinic, there's a new player in town.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Obligatory blog post

I don't have a lot to write about but it's been over a week so I'm feeling the need to update.

The girls are transitioning to one nap a day.  Some days they are figuring it out and sleeping 2-3 hours so that one nap will work.  Then there are days like yesterday.

Ugh.  Middie Biddie absolutely refused to nap at all.  Whined and cried the whole time.  After a while I had to take her out of her room so she wouldn't disturb Teeny Tiny.  The day pretty much sucked from there.  Whiny, crying, needing sleep but not wanting it all the rest of the day.  She was toast by 5pm but I couldn't put them down for the night that early.  I stretched their playtime until 6pm and then put them down but she just started her crying again.  I changed diapers, I gave her some juice, I rocked until she was almost passed out but as soon as we headed for the crib, the crying would start up again.  They finally went to sleep a little after 7pm only to wake up an hour later.  More diaper changes, some water offered, and then more cry it out.  It sucked.

I think her issue yesterday was constipation.  She struggled during dinner to produce one solid poo nugget and that's the only poo I remember from yesterday.  That's why the juice at night.  She was rejecting milk and water and I wanted to get some fluids into her.  This morning, she had two very poopy diapers within an hour of waking up and she's been in a better mood so far.

I however, am in a foul mood.  So normal women do this period thing every month huh?  IT SUCKS!!!  Now that I've completed a pregnancy, I seem to have some normality to my schedule.  Fortunately, it appears to be every 2 months because I think I would kill someone if it were every month.  I stained the sheets, my underwear, my jammies, I have cramps and just blech.  Yay potential fertility, boo to bloody ickiness.  At least I'll likely hit menopause soon and not have decades of this crap like most women.

A couple of days ago we decided to be spontaneous and just grab the girls and leave the house.  We ended up at a coffee shop with a toddler play area and were the only ones there for most of the time so the girls were able to play without me worrying about my non-walking Middie Biddie getting run over.  The few short minutes that a couple of boys were they, one of them very nicely brought a toy over to the girls and then when to play with his brother.  They were probably about 6 and 8 or so.  Then we went to a local fast food seafood place and the girls were just angels for dinner.  Only a few things hit the floor and they started dancing in their high chairs when Lady Gaga played.  No meltdown or anything even though it was a pretty loud place they were unfamiliar with.  All in all, a very successful outing.

That's what's going on around here.  Most days are like the one before without a whole lot to report.

Friday, October 18, 2013

No more happy puking

Middie Biddie used to be a happy puker.  She would often shove food to the back of her throat to make herself vomit and was perfectly happy when she did so.  Didn't phase her one bit.  It's been a while since she's done that and she is no longer a happy puker.

Tonight I made ravioli for dinner.  They were cut up, but I guess maybe not small enough.  I'm not exactly sure what happened, it's all kind of a blur.  While the girls were eating dinner, I ducked under the table to clip their toenails.  Not something I do very often because they fight me so hard and really, what's the harm in long toenails?  But they were getting to a point where I think they might be bending back when stubbing a toe so they needed to be cut.

While I was working on Middie Biddies feet, I suddenly felt her jerk.  I look up and see vomit on her plate and she is red faced, struggling, a bit frantic, vomit coming out of her nose and snotty gooy bubbles around her mouth.  I think she must have choked on a ravioli.  I wasn't sure if she was still in the process of choking or just freaked out by the puking.

I immediately grabbed the plates of food and threw them away (the garbage can is within reach and the fastest place for them to go) partially to get the vomit out of her face and also to make sure Teeny Tiny didn't do the same thing with her portion.  I lean Middie Biddie forward like I used to do when she was puking to encourage her to let more out but she was struggling without really puking so I picked her up and put her in burp position on my shoulder figuring that position would either help her puke or I could do a modified Heimlich maneuver if need be.  The next few minutes were her crying and sputtering but apparently breathing and me trying to figure out if the emergency portion of the ordeal was over or if I would soon be calling 911.
Then there were minutes of me cleaning her face and trying to soothe her but every once in a while she would do kind of an aftershock puke of just general mouth goo and some other goo out her nose.  Ya know, the kind of ick that comes out of your face when you're crying and it just exits every orifice.  I changed her clothes, put her in the pack and play, changed my vomit covered shirt and cleaned the table so we could try something else for dinner if she was up to eating.

This whole time, Teeny Tiny is sitting in the table being really quite patient.  I heard the occasional scared peep out of her, but she handled it quite well.

I'd say the whole ordeal was about 20 minutes.  Then I heated up a premade toddler meal, those package thingies in the baby aisle and fed that to them for dinner.  Normally I like to try to make something other than a microwave dinner but this is just the kind of reason I keep a few of those on hand.

They ate dinner pretty well and during evening play time it was clear that they were just both tired and wanted to go to bed.  We've been off bottles for a while now but I decided fuck it, they're having a rotten evening and they prefer bottles, so they each got a bottle of milk before bed.

Before bed I checked Middie Biddie's temp.  K and I have both been feeling stiff and sore and we're not resting well and have mentioned that it's possible the household might be coming down with something.   The girls also took two solid naps today which is more sleep than they've been wanting lately.  But her temp was fine so I guess it really was choking.

We've graduated from happy baby puking to freaked out kid vomiting.  It sucks.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Toddler hair

This is just a note for anyone else who has a baby with hair that's falling in her eyes, but she doesn't like barrettes.

Middie Biddie has that ragamuffin look because her hair is just like mine, curly in the back, but stick straight and growing into the eyes in front.  The girls haven't gotten a haircut yet because I kind of want them to have long hair that can just easily be braided so it's out of the way.  But we're in that stage of hair growth that's just awkward.

I've tried several clips for clipping it out of her eyes and she is not having it.  Sometimes I can put something in there and then lead her hands towards other parts of her hair as she tries to rip it out, then not finding the clip, she'll forget about it and it can stay there the rest of the day.  But that takes effort, and fight, and usually doesn't work.

Solution?  Those little ouchless hair rubber bands.  The ones that are clear and about the size to fit around an adult finger.  I'm able to get her hair into one of those with surprisingly little fight (seriously surprised since it requires pulling a bit on her hair as I get the rubber band in), and she can't get it out so she forgets about it.

Before and after shots for your amusement.



Back Pedaling

So day 2 of the great one nap experiment and it's over.

By 10:15am they were starting to get cranky so we gave them snacks.  That entertained them for a few minutes but Teeny Tiny was getting that mile long stare.  By 11am, the cranky was out in full force, Teeny Tiny rubbing her poor exhausted eyes and Middie Biddie getting in on the whining action.  Basically both of them were pissed off and wanted to go to bed.

K normally takes forever to give his opinion.  It's one of the few things that bugs me about him.  I ask him something, and it's a full 1 or 2 minutes of silence before he answers.  So as they were cranking out, I asked him "screw the one nap, put them down now?" and before I had the question fully out there he enthusiastically shouted "yes!"

The old method may not have been perfect but 3 out of 4 members of the household were damned happy using it.  Middie Biddie would have her moments of annoyance with it, but was content for the most part.  So it just makes sense to continue with what makes 3 out of 4 happy rather than what's making 4 out of 4 miserable.

They probably just need a more gentle transition to the new schedule.  So I think we'll go back to letting them take their first nap whenever they want, then having crib time around 4pm and start limiting how long that quiet time is allowed to last regardless of sleep status.  I guess we'll just spend the next month gently pushing the morning nap a wee bit later and shortening the afternoon quiet time until they consolidate naturally into one nap.

Now that I've tried keeping them awake more during the day to interact with us, I feel much less guilt about them having potentially too much crib time.  They were NOT happy about being interactive and playing in the play rooms for that much of the day.  Now I can let them have their crib time and feel confident that it's as much about their happiness as it is for mine.  At least for another few weeks anyway.  These things are constantly changing!

Well that sucked

Woke up bright and early with the girls this morning around 9am.  It's K's day off and normally he takes care of everything until I wake up on my own and meander out into the house.  Knowing today we were going to try to accomplish a few things, as well as go for much longer stretches of awake time with the girls, I opted to get up with him this morning.

K still did the vast majority of parenting today.  His back was bothering him and I had some stuff to do for my pottery shop so it made sense for him to sit and play with the girls while I ran around and accomplished stuff.

Around 11am, they got cranky.  Normally this would mean nap time but we're trying the new schedule so we kept them up.  They stayed cranky.  Shortly after noon we couldn't stand it anymore so we put them down even though we were planning to hold out until 1pm.  We were hoping for a solid 2-3 hour nap, but Middie Biddie was fully awake by 2:30 and it took another half hour for Teeny Tiny to wake up too.

They were cranky and throwing tantrums ALL DAY LONG!  We were going to hold out until 8pm for bedtime but by 7pm the whole family was just done.  Teeny Tiny had major droopy eyes, both were quick to cry, and the parents were just white knuckling to get through the day.  They were in bed by 7:15pm and Teeny Tiny went right to sleep.  Middie Biddie took a quick nap and then babbled for over an hour.  Not sure if she was awake or talking in her sleep.

It was just a crappy day all around.  I'm hoping that once they get accustomed to only having one sleep opportunity during the day, they'll take that opportunity to get the full amount of nap sleep that they need.  For one nap, it really should be in the 2-3 hour range.

I did manage to get the new car seats installed and all of the laundry done though.

One thing I realized after the girls went to bed, it really is difficult to do ANYTHING when the kids are cranky.  I don't mean that it's difficult because they require attention or take up your time, but rather your brain does not fully function when it's hearing the cranky happening.  K was fully in charge of the kid care today and I needed to figure out how to take photos of the Christmas ornaments I'm going to be putting up in my shop.  While they were cranky, I just couldn't figure it out and the pictures I ended up with sucked.  Once they were in bed and my brain wasn't being assaulted by whining, I just thought "duh!" and figured out how to get it done better.  I just suddenly figured out how to stage them better, how to get the lighting better, and how to fix what I thought was a broken camera.  These aren't edited to be shop ready yet, but just look at the difference from my first set when I was listening to horrible unhappy kid noises and then the set I took after they went to bed -

My kids are awesome, but I swear they suck the IQ points right out of me.  It's like there's only so many to go around and when they are awake, several get allotted to them and I lose out.