Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Thursday

Thanksgiving Thursday is a time to be thankful for what you have in your life...even when you are having a really bad week, take a minute and reflect on the good. I have no ambition to do this every Thursday, but I will strive to take the time to pause and reflect and remember the good things in life that I am thankful for.
Today I am thankful....
for the fact that I did not have triplets! There is just two of them....
for friends who make me laugh daily...
for a really awesome babysitter who can make date night possible...
for date night, gives me something to look forward to all week...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Finding Time...

When you are pregnant you come up with all these grandiose ideas of what having a child will be like. Well, at least I did. People you know, things you read and strangers you meet along your journey all tell you how important it is to take time for yourself. To keep doing the things you enjoy and get away on your own whenever possible. When I was pregnant with Diva I was delusional to think that the baby weight would disappear before I left the hospital. I would have a beautiful baby that was happy and slept well. I would have time to do all the things I had done before and the things I wanted to start doing. Before I had Diva I belonged to a gym. I was there religiously every morning between 5:30 and 6:00 and really liked going. During my pregnancy I gained 80 pounds and lost all motivation for physical activity. After she was born it was a struggle to find time to anything for myself. When I did have a minute the guilt of leaving her was so overwhelming I rarely left her. As she got older is started to get a little easier to do the things I used to enjoy. If I couldn't do it by myself I could always take her with me. Well fast forward to today. The boys will be 8 weeks later this week. When I was pregnant I continued to be given the advice "It's so important to take time for yourself." Well, that's easier said than done. A lot has changed since the addition of Shrek and Donkey. I have gone from a family of 3 to a family of 5. I resigned from a job that I really enjoyed, mostly, to become a stay at home mom. Finding a moment for myself has been difficult to say the least. The guilt has remained with me, this time doubled. I feel guilty about everything. I always have....I call it my Catholic guilty, even though I'm not Catholic. I feel guilty about having twins. One baby is hard, twins is doubly so. Like newborns Shrek and Donkey cry, a lot. They are demanding and do not have the patience to wait a minute. I have told Mr. Hubs frequently I'm not sure where my days go. I look up and it's already time to start dinner and I don't feel like I have accomplished anything. I feel guilty leaving Shrek and Donkey with anyone. Not only is there the typical newborn issues, there is the issue of feeding them at the same time, comforting them and keeping your sanity if they both start crying at the same time. I feel guilty subjecting anyone, even Mr. Hubs, to this for any length of time. In addition to Shrek and Donkey I have Diva who anytime I go anywhere she wants to be with me. This makes alone time non-existent. So, I continue to have big plans. I'm turning 30 in a few weeks... *sigh* I told Mr. Hubs I would like to go shopping. This is something I have always loved to do. In my mind I would like to do this by myself, but in reality I know that 1.) I will feel way to guilty to leave Shrek and Donkey with Mr. Hubs and 2.) Diva will want to come with me. She will cry and throw a fit and I will feel bad and take her with me. I've also been planning to start exercising again. Because the aftermath of twins is not a good thing. I lost all the weight I gained and then some, but things are not as they should be. I used to really like exercising and used it as my stress reliever. These days I eat to relieve my stress. The logistics of when I will exercise are daunting to me. Shrek and Donkey take about 3 naps a day. Napping at the same time is hit and miss. One usually needs a lot more encouragement to nap than the other. As a result I am constantly patting bottoms, sticking pacifiers in mouths and running back and forth in between them. This goes on until it's time to feed them again. My mantra lately has been "this is only temporary. It will get easier!" It will, won't it? In the evenings Diva is home and demanding our undivided attention. It is a mad dash to get everyone bathed and in bed at decent bedtimes. Diva is a child who thrives on routine and needs a lot of sleep. We all suffer if she stays up late too often. By the time everyone is asleep and in bed Mr. Hubs and I are exhausted and need a few minutes to decompress ourselves. This is usually the first time we get to talk to each other! So, finding time? I'm still working on that. It's only temporary, it will get easier...at least that's what I am going to keep telling myself.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Thursday

Thanksgiving Thursday is a time to be thankful for what you have in your life...even when you are having a really bad week, take a minute and reflect on the good. I have no ambition to do this every Thursday, but I will strive to take the time to pause and reflect and remember the good things in life that I am thankful for.
Today I am thankful....
for Mr. Hubs who gets up with me EVERY NIGHT to feed babies and change diapers...
for the deflated spare tire that was once my stomach because this body has given birth to 3 big healthy babies...even though I changed 6 times this morning cussing it the entire time...
for the option to be able to stay home with my kids and the option to go back to work if I choose...
for deciding not to take the pacifier away this week, it's a busy week and we are all much happier for that decision...
for really great family, friends and an awesome babysitter who enabled me and Mr. Hubs to go out and have a little fun this week...
for Shrek who gives me lots of gummy smiles and laughs....
for Donkey who is so laid back and doesn't get upset about much of anything and makes me laugh daily with his facial expressions...
for Diva who is so kind hearted and loving. She has brought Mr. Hubs and I so much love and joy and filled our hearts to the point they might explode. She always has hugs and kisses and says something that makes the day a little better...

I challenge you to take a minute to be thankful for something in your life.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Suck It

I'm writing this in a delirious state...last night, well early this morning, was rough. From about 3:30 on Shrek and Donkey took shifts screaming. Why? Because they kept losing their pacifiers/binkies/pacies whatever you call them. It's not an exaggeration for me to say I hate the things. Diva never used one, but as a result she sucks her middle and ring finger to go to sleep. We've tried everything short of putting something on her fingers to get her stop. It doesn't really bother me that she sucks on them. What will happen to her teeth and mouth is what bothers me more. We hadn't left the hospital with Shrek and Donkey before they had a pacifier. As a result we are in their room every 5 minutes at night and nap time putting the things back in their mouths until they fall asleep. Then when they wake up in the slightest they start fussing for it. This causes them to wake up pretty frequently during the night. I am nearing my breaking point with the things. I understand that babies have a need to suck, but these boys want to suck something 24/7! So, what do you do? Do I take it away cold turkey or wean them off of it gradually? I've read opinions on both options. Naturally everyone thinks that their way is the best. I've decided that I will start with nap time. Probably their morning nap since they seem more agreeable during that time. I'm going to do this knowing I will probably cave by the 2nd nap and give them their pacifiers back because I can't take the crying. I'm inconsistent to say the least. I'd like to say I was one of those tough moms that could handle the crying and tough it out. But, I'm not. It breaks my heart when they cry and get upset. To see them quiver their bottom lips and have tears pouring out really bothers me. I'm not sure I will win the pacifier war. I'm the same way about getting them to sleep. When Diva was a baby we "cried it out". We probably waited much longer to do it than most other people. Mr. Hubs had to do most of it because it broke my heart and I wanted to run in and pick her up. In reality she cried for maybe 2 hours and we were in there every 5 or 10 minutes patting her back. After that she slept 12-14 hours a night and has continued to be a rockstar sleeper to this day. The plan is to repeat the process with Shrek and Donkey. When Diva was a baby she always responded better to Mr. Hubs. He was able to calm her down better than I could. It seemed like she always got more worked up when I was around. Now with Shrek and Donkey it's the opposite. They seem to get more worked up when Mr. Hubs is around and become more calm with me. Great. That means it's going to be up to me to do the majority of the comforting when the time comes. Can I do it? I may have to drink a lot of wine that night! I've been experimenting with nap times when no one else is around to see what a weanie I am. Today is Day 1 of the experiment. I'll let you know how it goes. Shrek and Donkey have been laying down for a nap for 20 minutes without pacifiers while I type. Shrek has cried/screamed for 15 of that with me going in twice to pat his back for a few minutes. Now, in minute 23 it's very quiet in there. Hmmm....
Donkey hasn't made a peep. He's laying next to his brother staring at him though. I don't know that he has plans to go to sleep. It's strange. I would like to say that Donkey was more laid back or Shrek was and that I knew that was the one I would have an easier time with. Not so with these boys. As soon as I think I have it figured out they switch roles. Just like this morning. Donkey cried and fussed form 3:30 to around 6 and then went to sleep. Then Shrek started until I finally just got him up at 7:30 where he continued to fuss and cry for another 45 minutes. So, for the time being I will continue to play their games. It will probably be a few more weeks until Mr. Hubs and I are comfortable with going completely cold turkey and letting the boys "cry it out" for any length of time. Until that time I will remain in this delirious state of mind. For the most part I am amazed at how the human body can get used to so little sleep.

Monday, October 11, 2010

How Do You Explain Heaven?

I don't know why death is on my mind this week. Maybe because my brother in law was killed 2 years ago this week. Maybe because Diva has been asking a lot of questions about heaven and death. Maybe a combination. I don't know, but it is. Death is a natural part of life. A part I don't like, but a part none the less. Diva has been very curious about death and Heaven lately. How do you explain Heaven to a 3 year old? It started during a conversation about family. She is deeply interested in who my mom and dad are and who Daddy's mom and dad are. Well, that's where it's complicated. Papa J is not Daddy's Daddy. Papa Walt is Daddy's Daddy. "Where is he?" Well....here goes...Mr. Hubs and I had been married 3 months when his dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. By the time we found it the cancer had spread- everywhere. Mainly it had spread to his brain. We were hopeful and optimistic. We fought a good fight. His dad was a real trooper and humored us as we took him to appointments and treatments and tried all sorts of interventions. However, in the end the battle was lost. 9 months after the cancer was found Papa Walt died. The whole family had gathered and was by his side. It was a very traumatic event for me since I had never watched someone go through that. I was was very fond of my father in law and took his death hard. Mr. Hubs and I have tried to keep Papa Walt's memory alive. We didn't have children at the time of his death, but knew that we wanted our future kids to know who he was. Naively at the time we thought that was the worst thing that was going to happen to us. Well, fast forward 4 years to the "my brother in law was killed 2 years go this week" comment. Two years ago Mr. Hubs and I were content in our lives. Diva was 1 1/2 and a living doll. My mother in law had married Papa Jim and Mr. Hubs and his brother were getting along well and having a good relationship. I was at work talking on the phone to Mr. Hubs ironically when his best friend called to tell him his brother had been in a car accident and was killed. I'm pretty sure the world stopped turning. I know the air left the room. That was two years ago this week. At the time Diva wasn't old enough to understand. Now she is asking questions about her family. We have pictures up around the house of Papa Walt and WJ. We talk about them and share memories of them. Diva is very curious about where they are and why she can't see them. There are lots of questions. I've tried to explain that they are in Heaven and we can't see them. This is a lost point with her. The next comment is always "I want Papa Walt." I see the pain across Mr. Hubs face as he gets really quiet and tries to avoid the subject. I try to change the subject after about 5 attempts to explain. It's a common occurrence around here to take Diva and look at all the pictures of Papa Walt and WJ. She doesn't understand how Papa Walt is Daddy's Daddy, but she had a Papa Jim who is married to Nana Sue. I clearly haven't come up with any good explanations since we continue to have the same conversations every other day. I'm at a loss. Do I keep with the same explanations hoping she will understand? Do I change the subject immediately? I honestly don't know what to do. I don't want their memories to die, and I want Olivia to know about her Daddy's family. So, for the time being I guess I will continue to repeat the same conversations about Papa Walt and WJ and let her know that we love Papa Jim dearly and are very happy we have him.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Who Are You and Why Are You Touching My Baby?

People love babies. I know this. Working in Child Abuse for 10 years has taught me that people love babies. They are cute and snuggly and so loveable. Now, two babies, that is really something special. I've adjusted to the fact that I have twins. I have even adjusted to the fact that I have a 3 year old and twin babies. What I am still not used to is the staring. I'm a somewhat shy person. I don't like to draw attention to myself, I don't speak up in crowds and I have a hard time standing up for myself. Since I have had Shrek and Donkey I have noticed how unapologetically people stare at me and my family like we are circus freaks. Not only do people blatantly stare when we go out somewhere, but they ask questions too. My favorite questions is "Are they twins?" I promise one of these days I am going to reply "No, they are just brothers." or maybe "No, I just had my kids really close together." My most recent experience with the staring and questioning was at the State Fair. We took Diva to the fair recently so naturally we had to take Shrek and Donkey since we can't leave them home alone. I had mentioned to Mr. Hubs about the people staring. He thought I was being overly sensitive. However, on this trip we hadn't been there 5 minutes before he said "Wow, you're right, people really do stare." Some people would even turn around after we had passed to get another look-- no lie! We made our way through the fair with our brood in tow consisting of a giant double stroller and a small umbrella stroller for Diva. We did the petting zoo, attempted to ride ponies (that didn't happen and she decided she just wanted to look at them), did "jupery jumps" (Diva speak for Jupiter Jumps) and all the other fun fair stuff. We realized over the coarse of our hour long attempt at lunch that it takes a little longer to get everyone fed and happy these days. Towards the end of the day Diva was still going strong and Mommy and Daddy were very tired. We made our way to another building where they had exhibits and photography winners. Mr. Hubs is a wonderful photographer and wanted to see what other people were doing. When we get there Shrek and Donkey needed diaper changes so we start that process. Naturally Diva had to "go potty" again so her and Daddy did that while I changed diapers. It was time to feed the babies again so we found a bench and got ready to feed them. I decided since everyone else had potty breaks I probably should. I left Mr. Hubs with the kids. When I made my return there was a woman leaning over the stroller where Shrek and Donkey had spent their day. Diva was bouncing around and Mr. Hubs was sitting on the bench holding one baby. As I got closer she had her hands in the stroller trying to put a pacifier in Shrek's mouth. In my mind I kept saying "Maybe Mr. Hubs knows her? I really hope he knows her." When I sat down it became very evident that Mr. Hubs had no idea who this woman touching my baby was. She was friendly enough and chatting away. I quickly grabbed Shrek away from her and started feeding him his bottle. About this same time the woman's husband approached us and asked her what she was doing..."I'm just helping him, he had his hands full." I gave Mr. Hubs a look to say "What the H happened while I was gone?!" The woman's husband whisked her away after that and I asked Mr. Hubs "Who was the woman touching my baby?" He still had the look of shock on his face and said "No idea, she just came over here and started messing with him. I told her you would be right back." Great, we've progressed from staring to utter strangers touching my kids. So, there we sat, feeling molested and fed our babies while Diva danced and pranced around without a care in the world. Naturally as we sat on our little bench surrounded by strollers and kids people walked by and stared like we were a fair exhibit. I'm still in shock that a stranger would come up and touch another person's child. I don't know if I will get used to the staring and the dumb questions. It makes me terribly uncomfortable. But I know that I cannot stay in a cave until the kids are grown. I want to get out and enjoy life, stares or not. I just hope the touching is kept to a minimum.