My Story

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

Friday, April 26, 2013

Snuggle moment

I just want a record of my favorite parenting moment so far.

My girls aren't very cuddly.  I wish they were more into snuggling, but they aren't real big on hugs (so far) and when they're being held, they want to look around rather than cuddle in close.

Today we had trouble getting the girls down for a nap.  After watching them struggle against falling asleep for a while, enough time had passed that they were likely hungry and once hunger sets in while you're already fighting sleep, well we figured they needed to eat before sleep would become possible.  So we went into the nursery with snacks and we each held one while they ate.

I had Teeny Tiny.  After her bottle (and Middie Biddies bottle because she seems to be on a milk strike so she ended up with a pouch of puree instead), I was rocking with her and she was being very giggly.  With a newly filled tummy and being held instead of being in the crib, she was just thrilled to pieces.

She kept looking at my face, giggling, and then aggressively snuggling by pressing her head into my chest.  In the past, this action was more of a baby fighting sleep, losing the battle and slowly laying her head down, then realizing she was falling asleep and jerking back up.  This time, she wasn't being drowsy, she wasn't accidentally snuggling because she was too sleepy not to, she was actively giving me hugs.

Today was a good day.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sleeping transition

Apparently the magic sleep suits were indeed magic.

The temperature is rising and yesterday it got into the mid 80's in the nursery so I decided it was time to transition the girls out of their sleep suits and back into lightweight wearable blankets.  This did not go over well at all.

I dragged my feet getting the girls to bed last night because K was on his way home and I wanted him to get a cuddle before they were down for the night.  By the time we put them down, they had been awake a little over 3 hours.  They generally display sleep cues after about 2.5 hours of awake time, but stretching it out a little longer usually means they'll collapse when I put them down.

But not last night.  There was crying, fighting sleep, it was unpleasant.  Middie Biddie realized she had a freedom of movement she never bothered to explore before, so while she usually just lies there like a dead fish, last night she was rolling onto her side and turning herself around.

We tried giving them some milk because enough time had passed that I figured they were hungry, but they wouldn't take it.

Finally about 9:30, K went in, did a little rocking, and then hovered and sang for about an hour, basically willing the girls asleep.  I sat and listened to the monitor in case K wanted me to bring anything or help him out.  By the time they were finally asleep, they had spent about 6 hours awake.

First nap of today without the sleep suits went great, they were asleep within minutes.  I'm hoping the transition is complete and we don't have a repeat of last night.  Then again, I have a video job tonight so I won't be here anyway!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I'm afraid

Teeny Tiny is on the move.  Middie Biddie is flying through all the crawling preliminaries and will likely be cruising very soon too.  I'm turning into a paranoid freak (again).

I have a room that's about as safety proofed as it can get.  There's crawling space, a few toys scattered around, and I'm keeping an eye out for every bit of fuzz that might find it's way into little fingers/mouths.  Yet I feel like I just sit here all day and watch Tiny cruise around, constantly ready to grab her and divert her.

I'm tense all day, afraid I'm going to step on Tiny little fingers as I try to get to Middie Biddie who is whining at me because she's frustrated that she can't really move yet.

When I'm ok and feeling confident that the room they're in is safe, I worry that by not giving them freedom of the house, I'm stifling development.  Maybe I'm stunting their growth by keeping them confined to a relatively small space.

So I put them in the living room and Tiny is off and I'm just too nervous to really let her explore.  Middie Biddie goes scooting backwards in the other direction and all I can think about is how stressed I'm going to be when they can both really haul ass.

I'm looking forward to that next set of gates getting here.  I can turn the living room into a giant safe cage.

What do other people do?  Are other babies pretty much going wherever they want to go and dangerous things are blocked off?  Or do you keep them corralled to specific areas?

That's a serious question.  What are other peoples levels of paranoia?  Do you literally remain within arms reach of your kiddo at all times, completely focused on them when they're awake during the day?  Because all the sanctimommies out there make it seem like that's what's expected.  Is that my job now?  To not allow my eyes to stray from kiddos for even a minute?

Still seem to have some of that irrational fear that if a kiddo finds some cat hair fuzz on the carpet and manages to get a taste of it, someone is going to scream "Bad Mommy for not catching that sooner!  You're Fired!"

I need someone to give me a reality check on what the standard level of "keeping an eye on them" looks like.  I'm such an all or nothing person that I really have no perspective.

Play date tomorrow.  I'm pretty sure the girls will be confined to their stroller.  With only one mobile, and only by crawling, I don't think a coffee shop filled with toddlers will be a good place for them to roam.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Caging the house

I thought it would be fine to just have one kid proofed room and just keep the kids in there, but, and I'm sure this will come as no shock, I think they're getting bored in there and we do need to be able to let them explore other parts of the house.

K has had a rough work schedule so we haven't done a whole lot of kid proofing.  I'm doing my best to kid proof small sections at a time while they nap, but I'm not getting very far.  One of the major concerns is keeping the girls out of the cats stuff.  For some of the cats, we can just put their food up high, give them a means to climb up and it's all good.  But one of our cats is diabetic and old, she can't really climb at all so we need to keep all the stuff I want to keep the girls out of accessible to her.  It's proving to be a challenge.

Basically we're opting to just turn most of the rooms into big cages with all of the questionable stuff out of reach along the sides of the walls.

We're doing this in stages.  Right now, only Teeny Tiny is truly mobile, Middie Biddie is still slowly scooting backwards so we can kind of aim her the direction we don't mind her going.  We're doing our best to make things more difficult to get to rather than make things impossible.  I'm sure we'll go for impossible once they are both up and running but it's not necessary just yet.  As long as I can buy myself a few seconds to grab a kid that's heading for bad things before she gets there, that's good enough.

I'm liking this set of playard gates.

It's pretty easy to just set up a few panels as little walls and to leave the panel at the end free standing so it can be used as a gate.  It pivots on it's connection spot well.

Here's where we blocked off the cat food, fountain, a big wad of cables and outlets, and all the TV stuff.  There's an opening to allow the cats through at the moment but I've ordered another set of these gates so we'll be extending them to block off the big room (that's currently where we throw everything we don't know what to do with) as well as the kitchen.  When the girls are asleep, I'll be able to open up a portion to let the cats through.  Maybe I'll just put a step or two by the couch so the cats can get up on the couch and jump down on the other side of the fence.  Haven't quite figured that out yet.  Hell, we might just put all of the cats stuff in our bedroom so the old cat never has to come out at all.  


In order to keep these in place when they aren't enclosed and thus self supporting, I've employed the use of cable keepers and zip ties.  To hold one end against the wall, and the other end secured to the floor.


We haven't yet redone the floor in our main room so I don't mind putting nails into the carpet for now.  When we redo the floor, we'll be starting at the other end of the house and a seam will run right about where the gate is, so I'm thinking that when we do get there, it might be worthwhile to sacrifice one of the laminate boards to keep everything secure.  In a year or two when the gates are no longer needed, it should only take a few minutes to pull up the boards and replace them since the damaged boards will be near the end of the room.  

We do need to get a move on redoing the floors since I would like to have people over for the girls first birthday in about 6 weeks.  I'd really like to have the cat stink minimized before we invite everyone over.  It's difficult because we have to start at the section just outside the nursery door.  We can't really do that while they're napping because of the noise, and K has been exhausted when he comes home so it hasn't been a priority when we're both home and they're awake.  I've also ordered a couple of sets of alphabet mats so once the floors are done, the girls will have some traction as they try to move around.  An extra layer of padding can't be bad either.

Next week is our anniversary/birthdays, a week that K always takes off work for celebrations, so I'm hoping we can buckle down and get it done then.  Why does our vacation week always turn into "work our asses off getting stuff done around the house" week?
Anyway, the girls are doing well in the playroom.  I've found that they enjoy it more when there are only a few toys to find and play with.  When there's too many, they get overloaded and don't enjoy any of them.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Not eating for three anymore

The last couple of weeks I've been drastically weaning on the pumping.  From 24 hours between to 36 to 48.  I'm currently sitting at 48 hours since my last pump and I'm not really feeling the need to, so I may have pumped my last pump.

As I went to get some bread and butter for a snack, after already having several snacks, it suddenly dawned on me, I have absolutely no excuse to eat for 3 anymore.

A year and a half of needing to stuff myself just to keep up with the baby production and now it's over.

Well, shit.  Do you mean I have to go back to being self conscious when I order dessert?  I have to actually attempt to eat like a normal person instead of just shoving whatever appeals to me into my face?  Fucking PORTION CONTROL?!?!

Damn it.

Dinner planning has been going well.  We're being flexible and often switch what days we're going to have what.  I don't know if we're eating any healthier, but we're certainly seeing less food being thrown away.  We're also grocery shopping a lot less because we're finding enough food to feed us for the week already in the kitchen, for the most part anyway.  We are definitely getting McDonalds less often so I guess we are eating healthier.

We've started getting produce delivery again.  Only once a month to make sure we use it all before it goes bad.  We've had one delivery and it lasted about 2 weeks so we're considering changing our subscription to every other week.

Baby steps.  Trying to make each improvement a habit before upping a level.

*grumble grumble*  No built in excuse to pig out anymore *grumble grumble*  My fat is now just fat and not baby weight *gripe and grumble*

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Milestone day

Yesterday we hit a couple of milestones.

Teeny Tiny became officially mobile as she army crawled herself across the room, and Middie Biddie was sitting on my lap on the couch and used Daddy's shirt to pull herself to standing.

We've been waiting for Teeny Tiny to figure out crawling for months now.  Kept making progress for 3 months yet never quite crossing that threshold into officially crawling.

Middie Biddie was a surprise.  Had no idea she was thinking about doing that.  Then I saw the horrible diaper rash she's currently sporting and I'm not surprised she wanted to get off her bum.


Monday, April 15, 2013

It was an acting choice

There are a lot of little moments in our life that define who we become.

One of mine was a kid playing soccer.  While all the other kids went running after the ball wherever it went, it suddenly dawned on me that instead of expending all that energy in chasing it and just getting tangled up in the throngs of other people all scrambling for the ball, meh, I can just stand here.  It'll come back.

And thus ended any hope of any athletic career.

Another was in high school when I got cast as Rizzo in Grease.  I'm not a cool person, but I was cast to play the leader of the cool kids.  I was thinking about how I could manage to portray that.  How do I portray someone that is respected by her peers?

And then it hit me.  I didn't have to do anything.  That the other characters respected my character was already in the script.  Someone who is truly powerful doesn't have to prove it.  She simply assumes that everyone around her will accept her power without question.  The more one struggles to prove they have power, or respect, the more they prove the very opposite.

I go on a lot of message boards where people ask for advice.  It passes the time and makes me feel like I have something to contribute.  People there often tell me I'm very insightful which is a bit of an ego boost.  More and more I see people trying to maneuver around other people, to get the upper hand, to win.  More and more often I find that the answer is really simple.

Simply know that you have power.  The more people fight you or try to convince you that you are powerless, the more they are tipping their hand and demonstrating that you actually have the power.  They are trying to convince you to do something or behave a certain way because they need you to do so.  The louder they get, the more they are showing you that they need your permission to do something and they are using every tactic in the book to get you to give it.  Guilt is a very strong incentive and widely used.

I try not to feel guilty too much.  I often fail, but I try.  Pretty much any guilt I do feel comes from within.  Generally if someone else tries to make me feel guilty, I recognize it as the power ploy that it is and I get angry instead.

No real point here.  I've often wondered why I'm so fascinated by peoples motivations, unearthing them and figuring out how to predict their future behavior based on those motivations.  I've recently figured out that it all stems from my days as an actor.  When all I had were the words on the page to guide me in knowing a character and doing my best to figure out everything that drives that person by nothing more than the words they say.  The advice boards are constant character studies.  I guess that's why I'm always there, figuring out who people are from a few words on the page, and then trying to give them advice that will lead them to where they want to be in life.  Don't know if I'm actually any good at it, but I like to try.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

She likes to move it move it

Teeny Tiny seems incapable of holding still.  She's always been this way, but it's getting much more pronounced.  Still not quite crawling, but threatening to do so every day.


She'll dance whether she's in her exersaucer, sitting to eat, while being held.  She's just a dancing machine!  While she loves music from the various toys and when I sing, if I turn on the radio, something about actual music seems to upset her.  As I type, she's pushing the buttons of a play table to make music and is dancing in her seat.

This is what I'm looking at right now.  Notice how she's a bit blurry.



If she's ever on a dance competition TV show, this is the video I'll be submitting of her dancing before she could crawl.

video

This is making diaper changes a major challenge.  She just refuses to hang out on her back.  The strength she puts into flipping herself over makes me afraid I'm going to hurt her trying to keep her on her back to get the diaper on.  The mobile above the diaper station is no longer interesting enough to distract her.  I'm doing as much of the process as I can with her bum in the air, but there's only so much before I have to flip her back over and hold her down to get that diaper on!  It's Diaper Derby over here!

Now Middie Biddie is playing it smart.  We've noticed that Teeny Tiny does all the work of learning new skills, she's been trying to figure out how to crawl for 3 months now, whereas Middie Biddie just hangs back and observes and then suddenly one day she is caught up to Teeny Tiny without nearly the same amount of effort.  She's recently been scooting backwards and is now up on her hands and knees rocking.  I suspect she'll crawl within a couple of days of Teeny Tiny even though she hasn't been working on it nearly as long.

Also, I've found that the girls love taking selfies.  When they're bored, I can pull out the phone, use the front camera, and actually get pics of giggly babies.  Yeah, the camera on the back is higher quality than the front camera, but hey, it entertains them for a few minutes.




Friday, April 5, 2013

Oh crap, here we go!

Teeny Tiny achieved mobility today.  She did one little scoot in the crawling position, then she figured out it's much easier to simply roll wherever she wanted to go.  Within an hour of learning she could get from one place to the other, well....

I do believe the honeymoon period is over, and the running is about to begin.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Weaning

Well, here I go.  I've been at 2 pumps a day for a week or two now, and today, I'm down to one.  On Monday (the girls 10 month birthday), we return the rental pump and I'll only pump when physical comfort demands it.

There are a lot of factors going into this decision.

1)  If we don't return the pump by Monday, we pay for another month of rental.  There's no way I'm going to be using it another entire month and I have a less powerful pump of my own that I can use for relief.


2)  We have 1,000oz in the freezer so the girls can have a significant portion of their bottles be breast milk every day until their first birthday.  Some of it is getting kind of old so we're at the use it or lose it portion of the year anyway.

3)  My supply is dwindling.  I'm only producing 1/4 of what I used to produce so the return on the time investment is becoming much less satisfactory.

4)  Thursday following their 10 month birthday, I'm getting a super fancy schmancy scan on my ankle that requires some sort of injection of icky stuff.  I was told I'd have to pump and dump for 17 hours after the injection.  Since all the other timing seems to be leading towards weaning right now, I may as well avoid the work of pumping and the heartbreak of dumping if I can.  In theory, I'll have gone a couple of days without pumping so I might be totally engorged.  If so, I'll pump that morning and buy myself a couple more days before needing to pump again and won't have to worry about the injection.

5)  I want to.

So there you have it.  Everything that's going on with my boobs as of late.  I hope your life is enriched by the knowledge of my boobs and their behaviors.