Friday, December 30, 2011

Getting Sucked In

Last Christmas when the babies were nearly four months old, I had it in my head that I would limit the Christmas gift frenzy this year and onward.  While I am not religious, the commercialization of Christmas bothers me.  Maybe that makes me a hypocrite, I don't know.

This year, for our family celebration on December 25th with just my mom, I think I did pretty well staying on task.  The babies received one gift each from Santa (not that they have any idea who he is), one gift each from Mommy, and three gifts to share from Grandma.  They had smaller separate celebrations with close friends and our sitter before Christmas with gift exchanges and those were terrific.

Frenziness did ensue, however, on Christmas Eve.  When I was growing up, my mother, brothers and I spent Christmas Eve at my Grandparent's house with my aunts, uncles and cousins.  There were eight or nine kids depending on the year and five or six adults with some others stopping in throughout the night.  My grandpa passed out gifts and my uncle would sometimes dress up as Santa.  For our large group, we had a nice turkey dinner and opened gifts in a fairly small house and it was not a frenzy.

Fast forward thirty-ish years, my grandparents have passed, and the celebration is now held at my cousin's house.  My cousin and his wife are the parents to boy-girl twins who will be three years old in February.  My aunt and uncles and another cousin and her husband and her three children, an 11 year-old girl and twin 5 year-old boys, also attend.  (Yes, there are three sets of twins in our family.)

Now I don't know if it's because my cousin and his wife went through a decade of fertility treatments before they had children or if over-indulgence is just who they are, but the toy room in this house looks like an indoor playground I should have to pay admission for.  They have always been over-the-top when it comes to their kids.  For their first birthday party, they rented out a facility and hired an adult dressed as Mickey Mouse to attend (who scared the crap out of their son, by the way).  Birthday number two was more of the same - this time Elmo was there.

This Christmas Eve, since my boys are now standing and walking and able to really play with toys, they spent some time in the playroom.  It was nice before all the kids showed up and then it was so overwhelming, the Dynamo just looked up at me at one point with terror in his eyes.  Later in the night, Sweet Potato just started screaming like he was hurt for no apparent reason.  He was on the floor of the family room among much chaos and loud music playing.  Poor kid.  We left at the beginning of the gift exchange (only gifts for the kids) because it was already 45 minutes past the babies' bedtime.  I felt horrible that not only did I not get to see my cousin's kids open gifts from me, their parents didn't get to see my kids open the gifts they bought.

I'm torn about how to handle this tradition.  My mother says a little chaos in their lives is good and maybe she's right but I wonder if it's really worth it.  As they get older, they are going to see and realize what their cousins have compared to what they don't have and that might not be a bad thing for them to see -eventually.  Next year at age two and the year after at age three, I see this as a potential nightmare.   And to be a bit selfish, Christmas Eve at the relatives was a high stress time for me.  It's difficult for me to keep an eye on both of them and although my mom helps, she gets distracted with family.

I considered skipping the event this year but reconsidered since this is the only family the twins are exposed to.  My brothers live out of state and they have never met them, my father and grandparents are gone.  The good news is I have almost an entire year to figure it out.

Kindle Alert! Life from Scratch

The Kindle version of Life from Scratch is currently only 99 cents!  Support Mel and go get it!  I just did and can't wait to read it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Visiting Santa?

Is it wrong that I don't want to take the twins to see Santa yet?  I see pictures of babies much younger than my boys sitting on Santa's lap and with the exception of this great photo from Sarah, there is usually some unhappiness going on.  I'm almost positive Santa would scare the crap out of the Dynamo and Sweet Potato would likely be perplexed and pull his beard.  (And it's not like I get many pictures of Sweet Potato smiling anyway since his interest immediately goes to the camera in his face.)

Babies screaming on Santa's lap for some reason are not that appealing to me.  I know people find it funny.  Ellen DeGeneres highlights Bad Santa Photos on her show so they must be funny, right?  Because I think she's hilarious. 

Perhaps I am an unconventional mother who's desire not to scare her babies is stronger than her desire to get a picture of them visiting Santa Claus.  Am I going to regret it if I don't take them?  Will they wonder when they're older why they didn't see Santa when they were 1?  I mean I'm considering waiting until they are 4 years old!  Or maybe 3. 

What age did you first take your little ones to sit on Santa's lap and how did it go?

Monday, December 5, 2011

One-On-One Time

I've had some one-on-one time with both babies over the past few days.  The day of Sweet Potato's flu shot challenge, I had time with just him while we waited out any reactions and we played together in the exam room.  There was no brother there trying to get my attention or take the toys he was playing with.  It made an unpleasant situation not so bad.  That same afternoon, I opted to take the Dynamo with me to run some errands.  On our list was a quick visit to Fabulous D's house and a trip to the grocery store which he loves. 

Yesterday the twins had their second ever playdate with another set of boy-boy twins.  There was no missing afternoon nap for the Dynamo (and he even displayed a nice melt down to prove it), but Sweet Potato would not think of napping while his friends were over and he was in such good spirits, I didn't have the heart to try to take away his fun.  (Not to mention, I didn't want to risk him waking the Dynamo after an already rocky start to his nap.)  After the playdate ended, and the Dynamo was in a deep sleep, I put Sweet Potato down.  The kid slept twice as long as he usually does and right through dinner. 

When the Dynamo woke up as Sweet Potato napped, I made him dinner and it was so nice just the two of us.  For a minute, I thought this must be what it's like to have just one baby!  And we had some nice playtime together after dinner.  He went to bed for the night at the usual time and Sweet Potato was up an additional hour since he napped so late.  I got to feed him dinner just the two of us while the Dynamo was winding down.

I think time with just mommy for the babies is good for all of us.  We haven't really done it since I took them for swim lessons separately earlier this year.  It makes it harder for me if they are on different nap times and I don't want to mess with the routine, but this type of occasional schedule change is so worth it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Flu Shot Challenge

Because of Sweet Potato's allergy to egg whites, his flu shot had to be administered at the allergist's office in the form of a "flu shot challenge".   They did a scratch test for the vaccine, waited for any reaction (to which there was a small skin reaction), broke up the dose into two parts, gave dose #1, waited and watched for any reaction (to which there was none), gave the rest of the dose and waited and watched.  The two hour appointment was a success.  And Sweet Potato was a trooper.  I brought a few toys, his pillow pet and a blanket for the five different waits in the exam room.  He was really more interested in playing with the exam table and drawers in the room, but this new toy (purchased locally on sale and with a coupon for $2.40!) kept his interest for the majority of the time. 

I really like his allergist and I'm learning more about his food allergies.  When he was first diagnosed, I buried my head in the sand (which lasted for about one day), but now I am all about education.  There's a good chance he will outgrow his allergy to eggs but outgrowing his allergy to peanuts and tree nuts is less likely.  At my request, his allergist gave me a copy of his medical report from his first visit (I was too overwhelmed that day to even think of asking for documentation).  I learned that the likelihood of a reaction to exposure to eggs is "high" (a 12.80 kU/L rating) and the likelihood to a reaction to peanuts rated a "very high" (a 28.70 kU/L rating).  I also learned that while reactions are likely, the rating itself does not determine the type of reaction.  In other words, he could have a mild reaction or a major one regardless of how high the kU/L rating.  (And I apologize if I am not using these terms/abbreviations correctly.  I'm still learning.)  Also, a reaction to one exposure can be completely different to a reaction for a second exposure.  And the key bit of thing for me to know is - AVOIDANCE is the most important thing.

After the twins were asleep last night, I spent more time online and found some medical bracelets and children's books on allergies.  I think those things are in our near future.  Educating Sweet Potato and everyone he comes in contact with on avoidance and treatment (Benadryl, administering his EpiPen, calling 911) has to be a high priority for me.  I do not expect this to be an easy task.  In fact, my mom, who has been aware of his allergies since the first reaction to scrambled eggs happened at age 12 months, ate a chocolate bar with ALMONDS at my house yesterday.  From her hands to his skin can cause a reaction.  Eating a crumb of her candy bar that falls on the floor can be fatal.

When I think of the future and Sweet Potato going to school, birthday parties, and playdates, I really worry.  Then I remember by moto since I became pregnant with the twins: one day at a time.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another Day in the Life

...of A Single Mom to Twin Babies.

Sunday, November 13th

6:00 AM:  Awakened by chatter on baby monitor.  Times two. Go downstairs, pour morning bottles. Make coffee!
6:05 AM:  Into the nursery to greet two happy babies standing up in their cribs.  Morning bottles, playtime with Mommy.  Music on.  The Dynamo practices taking a few steps, the babies fight over toys and argue with Mommy about who gets to turn the light switches on and off.  Throw load of laundry in the wash.
7:30 AM:  Breakfast!  Babies in high chairs.  The Dynamo feeds himself Cheerios while I feed Sweet Potato oatmeal mixed with applesauce and vitamin drops.  Then switch.  Five tablespoons cereal each.  They split a small banana, feeding themselves and dropping some on the floor.
7:50 AM:  Clean faces and hands and put babies back in playroom.  Clean up kitchen.
8:00 AM:  Set up baby monitor in bathroom and take a shower! Babies play together while I shower, get dressed and blow dry my hair.
8:30 AM:  More playtime with Mommy.
9:00 AM:  Nap time in cribs! I eat breakfast. Switch laundry.  Straighten playroom.  Sweep floor.
10:30 AM:  Babies awake!  Mid-morning bottles.
10:45 AM:  Change babies out of pjs.  Coats, socks and shoes on.  Load them in the car and head to the park less than 5 minutes away. (Thank goodness the only thing they want to do right now is swing which I can manage on my own.  Once they want to do the slides or climb or go in two different directions, going solo will be a challenge! Maybe I need those backpack leash things. Thoughts?)

Take these pictures:

12:10 PM:  Out of swings, into stroller, into car.  Tears. Times two.  They don't want to leave.
12:30 PM:  Home, out of coats and shoes, into highchairs.  Lunch!  They split a jelly sandwich on wheat toast, diced pears and some goldfish crackers.  They feed themselves.
12:50 PM:  Babies back in playroom. Clean kitchen. Switch laundry. Read emails and blog posts. Pay some bills online.
1:10 PM:  Join the babies in the playroom. Work on colors and shapes.  Attempt to read to them while Sweet Potato fights me for the book.
2:30 PM:  Nap time!  Fold laundry. Order two of these for the twins for Christmas.  (Hey the trailer was included!)  Change light bulb outside on garage.
3:50 PM:  Babies awake!  Feed them some baby yogurt.  Into coats, socks and shoes for a ride in the wagon around the block.  Sweet Potato points up at the trees and slurs his excitement.  Both babies try to touch the wheels as the wagon is moving.
5:30 PM:  Dinner!  Macaroni and cheese, peas and carrots, Gerber Graduates lil crunchies.
6:00 PM:  Bath time!  Sweet Potato goes into the walker in the doorway to the bathroom while I bathe the Dynamo in a tub just like this one (awesome by the way).  I pull Sweet Potato and the walker into the nursery while carrying a toweled up Dynamo.  PJs for the Dynamo, onto the floor, Sweet Potato out of the walker, onto the floor, Dynamo IN the walker, Sweet Potato crawls to the bathroom as I pull the Dynamo and the walker there (the walker doesn't move well on the hallway carpet).  Sweet Potato has bath and into PJs!  (Did you follow all that?  It's as crazy as it sounds but it works!) 
6:50 PM:  More playtime in the playroom.  I put away toys they are not using and restock diapers, and wipes. I have quick dinner.
7:15 PM:  Evening bottles.  Babies in bouncy seats watching Baby Einstein DVD.  Lights down.
7:30 PM:  Take the Dynamo up, brush teeth!, into the crib.  He fusses waiting for his brother.
7:35 PM:  Sweet Potato's turn, brush teeth, into crib.  Fill nursery humidifier with water.  Kiss the babies good night through the crib slats.
7:45 PM:  Wash bottles, baby dishes, clean-up kitchen for sitter coming tomorrow.  Clean blueberry baby yogurt off wall (how did that get there?).
8:30 PM:  Go to bed!  Catch up on news, blogs, FB on smartphone.
9:00 PM:  Sleep, glorious sleep!

Not a peep until about 6 AM the next day.  Awakened by chatter on baby monitor.  Times two.  :)

What a difference six months make.  To see what I mean, check out my last Day in The Life Post.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Breaking Up With A Blogger

I'm sure we've all done it - broken up with a blogger.  You find someone online, a connection is made, you add them to your reader and can't wait to read their next post.  You comment on their posts often sharing your excitement over their good news or offering support if the news isn't so good.  You're there with an ear, some advice and how you handled the same thing they are going through or might handle it if you haven't been in their shoes before.  You do this for a long time, years maybe, and then realize your online friend never comments on your posts.  In fact, you're pretty sure they never even read your blog.

At what point do you walk away?

Maybe you've added a comment and asked the writer a question.  Something quick for her to answer - an explanation of an abbreviation from her post for example.  And she doesn't add another comment.  And she writes a new post and never answers your question there either.  Eh - no big deal.  An oversight.

Then there's the blogger who invites comments or emails that require her to respond.  Perhaps she talks about this awesome recipe and tells her readers to leave a comment if they'd like her to email it to them.  And you do.  And she doesn't.  I guess she didn't mean you.  She meant her other followers.

Do you stop reading then?

When I was in the thick of TTC, I followed a blogger who was years ahead of me with mostly heartache.  Like many of us, she was hit with disappointment and challenges left and right.  I followed her through some life changes like a move across the country, supported her when she had unfavorable comments on a post, emailed (and was granted) a password request when she went private.  And then somewhere between my second and third miscarriage, I unsubscribed.  It felt like a completely one-sided relationship.  Not once did she comment on a post of mine.  When I needed it most, not one 'thinking of you' from her.  It shouldn't matter.  I was fortunate enough to have so many online friends who did comment.  But the next update from her in my reader?  It stung a little bit.

Like many relationships where I feel slighted, I look to myself.  Am I there for my readers like I should be?  Am I doing enough?  There are many times when I comment in my head when I read a post but don't take the time to type it.  I tell myself I'll do it later.  And then I don't.  I feel guilty about that.  But to never comment?  After months or years of support given to me?  No, I wouldn't do that.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Note to Self - Post More Often

I think I have said this before.  I need to post more often because once I do, whatever issue I'm complaining about at the time, is better.  Yesterday?  Napper Champions.  Two naps, both babies, at the same time, in the AM and in the PM.  It helps that my babysitter ROCKS.  And it helps that it was nice enough for them to get some outside time.

Thank you so much for your supportive comments!  To answer Gwinne's question, I have tried adjusting the time both earlier and later.  I learned early on (during the Witching Hour Phase), that if I miss the window for the Dynamo, it's extra difficult for him to fall asleep.  This is true for naps too although he's not as fussy as he was back then.

We have good nap days and not so good nap days.  More importantly for Mama (and it's all about Mama), we have pretty good nights. 

In other news, the Dynamo took nine steps last night by himself.  NINE.  Eeeeek!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nap Monsters

Naptime has had a good run. There have been several months of at the same time, in the cribs, both babies, napping. That time apparently is over. Morning naps are still pretty okay but afternoon naps? Fogettaboutit. Especially the Dynamo. Perhaps the transition is to one nap a day, you say? Well I’d buy that if they actually slept longer than an hour and fifteen minutes in the morning. And while they do not wake the other up at night (and thankfully do not wake up too much at night anymore as it is), they do tend to wake the other during the day. I tried, very unsuccessfully I might add, to separate them for naps. I set up the Pack-N-Play in my room for the Dynamo and put Sweet Potato in his crib in the nursery. Epic fail. I knew it wouldn’t work before I even tried it.

Oh well. It was nice while it lasted….

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


My little non-trick-or-treat-ers....

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall Fun

Last Saturday, after struggling with the twins after lunch to get diapers changed, warm clothes ON, coats ON, shoes ON, and load them up in the car (meanwhile an hour has gone by since I started this process), we met my friend and her son and hit up a farm market.

It was cold and cloudy but we still managed to have a good time despite the expression on Sweet Potato's face in nearly every picture....

This is one of those rare pictures where they look so alike.

Minutes after this was taken, the Dynamo tried to eat the flowers -hands free.

Then we came home and the Dynamo just wanted to read a book....

 And Sweet Potato wanted a snack....

Sunday was a nicer day and I wanted to start a tradition at the farm market close by our house so we went again...

This weekend?  We might hit up another farm market.  This one with a train and giant jumping pillow!  Maybe I can get a picture of Sweet Potato smiling at the camera.  And maybe this time I'll actually get some pumpkins.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It All Comes Back

Yesterday I was killing time on my lunch hour window shopping. I went into a Dollar Tree and perused the isles. When I hit the isle with the pregnancy tests, it all came back. I bought so many of those things at a Dollar store. There they were. I was brought back to all those months where I tested and tested (and tested!) - sometimes way too early, sometimes way too much. It reminds me of all my online friends still testing (and testing, and testing). I think of all of you often.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

So another thing about the allergies….

I know I should not complain about my mother.  Besides watching the twins for me three days per week (at about 1/3 the cost of daycare),  my mom does a lot for me around the house and I am very grateful.

HOWEVER,  she also stirs up my anxiety and frustrates me.

Example:  After Sweet Potato had his blood test, the pediatrician called me about the results and recommended I take him to an allergist.  Honestly, I was happy to go.  I wanted answers from a specialist.  My mother bombarded me with questions about why he was going to an allergist, thought the pediatrician was passing the buck, why didn’t he see the allergist first then, etc.  Okay, Grandma? Not Helping.  When she doesn’t understand things, she gets defensive and fires off questions without thinking (I think).  She doesn’t realize that the day I find out my kid has to have an EpiPen with him at all times, I really don’t need to be stirred up with potential conflict.

What’s even more frustrating is I don’t think she gets the seriousness of the allergy situation.  When I got the blood test results before Sweet Potato met with the allergist, they said he was also allergic to soybean.  Turns out he is not and that is a typical result from the blood test for those with an egg allergy.  The allergist retested him.  In the nine days between the time of the blood test results and the visit to the allergist, I, of course, restricted all things with soybean including animal crackers (not that either kid is a big fan of them, but I am).  I had purchased a large container from BJs and put a post-it note on them “No Sweet Potato”.  Besides soybean, it also says on the label in bold print:  made in a bakery that uses nuts.

So yesterday I gave the container to my mom to take home.  I didn’t want them in the house.  She emails me this morning: “Tell me again why I'm eating too many animal crackers?  The only thing I see that used to be a problem for [Sweet Potato] is the soy.  I don't see any egg.”   Grrrrr.  Let’s just say it’s a good thing this was in an email.  So I wrote her back and tried to make it fun and said to look again.  She did find the part about the nuts.  And hopefully she will learn something from this.  Because as the person who is with my kids the most after me, she needs to know how to read labels.

I know I need to chill out.  And I will try.  But geez!

Also, I heard from Gwinne that Blogger may not let you leave comments.  If you want to and can’t, please email me at  I would love the input!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Birthdays, Play Dates, and Allergies

I had a party for the twins first birthday last month and besides the fact that I almost killed my mother and got very few decorations put up (we're talking two balloons), I would call it a success.  It was nice enough to have outside and my awesome friends helped me clean up.  I am not really a theme person but let's just say the theme was the number one:


The twins also had their very first play date a couple of weekends ago.  I hosted the play date for a co-worker who is also a parent to twin boys.  His boys are nine months old and we were excited to see our babies interact with each other.  The Dynamo gave his cautious stare for the first twenty minutes or so but after that, he just thought of the other boys as another item in the room - kind of like his brother.  Sweet Potato was all smiles as soon as he met his new friends but both he and The Dynamo were really more interested in my co-worker (who stands at 6 feet, 4 inches) and his wife.  Apparently new adults, especially tall ones, are more interesting than new babies.


My last tid-bit today is my most serious one.  Sweet Potato has been diagnosed with allergies.  After a scary, but thankfully not too serious, reaction to two tiny bites of scrambled eggs a few weeks ago, a blood test initiated by his pediatrician and a consult and scratch test with an allergist, he has been diagnosed with allergies to peanuts, egg whites, and cat dander.  The peanut and egg allergies are quite high.

I've been a bit of a wreck for the past two weeks imaging the effect this will have on our small family.  He's been prescribed an EpiPen Jr. and I have to have it with him at all times and my sweet cat of twelve years is temporarily staying with my mom until I can find a permanent home for her.  This explains his eczema last winter as the pet dander is stirred up the most when the furnace is running.  This weekend starts operation remove-pet-dander from my house which I'm told can take months.  I've been researching air filters/purifiers and a new vacuum cleaner to help.  If anyone has any suggestions or experience with food or pet allergies in their little one, I would love to hear them.  Honestly I am pretty freaked out.  And sad.  Both Sweet Potato and The Dynamo love the kitty.  And the peanut allergy scares the hell out of me.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Letting It Go

How do you let it go?  When you make a mommy mistake, how do you let it go?

The twins turned (omg) ONE yesterday and I had a party for them on Saturday.  I plan to do a proper birthday post compete with pictures soon but have a question for my readers.  With my crazy party planning on Friday and Saturday the twins could easily tell something was up and their calm daily routine was a little off as I was running around the house doing things.  I think this threw their nap schedules off.  Sweet Potato missed his afternoon nap altogether and the Dynamo finally went down for his a little later than usual and was still asleep as the guests started to arrive. 

About twenty minutes into the party I decided to wake up the Dynamo.  He had been asleep in the nursery by now more for than an hour and a half and that is typically his max nap time (unlike Sweet Potato who takes a three hour morning nap on occasion and that morning had slept for two and half hours).  The party was outside and there was a lot of commotion both inside and outside the house.

I was outside, went in and realized somehow the baby monitor had been turned off.  I don't know how this happened but when I flipped it on, I instantly heard the Dynamo crying.  To be fair he wasn't wailing and when I went upstairs there weren't actual tears streaming down his face but how long had my little man been crying?  He's almost always standing up when I go to get him and he was sitting in his crib.  Had he been crying for so long that he got tired of standing and had to sit?  I just can't seem to let this go.  I feel so bad that he was up there and no one heard him.  When it's just me in the house you can hear them without the baby monitor but with lots of people coming in and out, no one would have heard him without the monitor on.

I changed him into his birthday onesie and shorts and he soon recovered.  In fact, he was the life of the party "helping" me open presents, eating well and wiping his first-time-ever cake frosting all over his face.  So no scars on baby.  No memory I'm sure.  BUT I STILL CAN'T SHAKE IT.  And this is tiny.  I know I will make more, bigger mommy mistakes.  If I can't get over this, how will I handle those?

How do you do it?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Twin Reduction - Both Sides

I first heard about the NYT article, The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy, from Facebook when one of my co-workers posted a link to an editorial on it written by a Southern Baptist doctor.  I won’t link to his post but let me just say the word ‘murder’ was in his title.  As ignorant as I thought that blog post was, as I read the NYT article, I flinched all the way through it.  And then I read Mel’s post.  And then I read Dora’s.  I had too much to say for a comment and didn’t think I had enough time to write a proper post (thank goodness for a slow work day) but I couldn’t get the article out of my head.

When the beta hCG for my fourth pregnancy was as high as it was (422 @ 14dpIUI) and then skyrocketed from there (1287 @ 16dpIUI and 3694 @ 18dpIUI), the thought that there was more than one was pretty clear and that there could be more than two even entered my mind.  And that introduced the thought of selective reduction.  I quickly put that thought aside until I knew the facts which believe it or not, I am pretty good at doing. (I’m a one day at a time kind of girl.  I mean I have to be - I’m a single mother who doesn’t make a lot of money and who doesn’t have a lot of physical support.  I have to take it one day at a time or I will have a major anxiety attack!)  But this is not about selectively reducing high order multiples; it’s about reducing a twin pregnancy to a singleton.  I admit I breathed a sigh of relief after the first ultrasound showed that there were only two but there were two.  And one of me.  I won’t deny the thought of reducing was still there.  Briefly.  I am thankful I didn’t make that choice.  Not only am I doing it, my babies are thriving.  And my life is so full.

I wonder why the Times didn't profile someone like me: a single mother who, after her 8th IUI and 3rd miscarriage in a row became pregnant with twins and briefly considered selective reduction because, well, she’s single.  Beyond that, She (Me), at age 40 ½, had a fairly uneventful pregnancy, worked full-time until 36 ½ weeks, carried to 37 weeks, and while there were a few complications at the end of the pregnancy, gave birth to two healthy boys with no known medical issues or developmental delays.  Wait, I know why.  Because that’s boring.  It’s much more interesting to say IVF instead of IUI, discuss the negative impact raising twins can have on families and mothers, and talk about struggling rather than thriving.

I read how the subjects in the article couldn’t imagine caring for twins – TWO infants.  OMG that’s so hard, how will WE manage, how will we afford it?  In their defense, I don’t have other children and I don’t know any differently.   And the reality is I am one of the lucky ones.  I know how lucky I am that my boys went to term and are healthy.  I've read a lot of blogs where a twin is lost either before or after birth, or where one twin is healthy while the other is not.  I know about a dozen families in real life with twins and can think of only one or two where there is not a medical issue (that I know of) with at least one of the twins.    

And I especially wonder about this statement taken from the article:

Because A. had already miscarried once, her doctor worried she might not carry two to term; if she reduced, the doctor said, she had a better chance of taking a baby home.

Really?  Because I had three losses in a row and my doctor never once indicated a similar worry.  Perhaps there’s more to this medically that this statement indicates.   

With saying all this, I do have a confession to make.  (I warned you my thoughts are all over the place).  When the twins were newborns, I wondered if I made the right decision*.   I mean it was hard – it IS hard – but it was about more than that.  It was about their quality of life.  Because there’s two of them and one of me, I didn’t take them out often (it would literally take an hour to get all of us out the door).  Because there’s two of them and one of me, we don’t go to the park often.  Because there’s two of them and one of me, they don’t get as much attention as they might get if it was one on one.  I wondered if they would miss out on future experiences because I likely won’t be able to afford to pay for two to attend something where I might have been able to afford for one of them to.  I talked about this with one of my friends who has one brother and he put it in perspective for me.  He said that while they may not be able to do as many costly “things” as they could if there was only one, in his opinion the experience of growing up with a sibling outweighs that.  And watching them now, days away from turning one, I get it.  I love how Mel writes about her twins' connection and mine have it already.  Sure, they fight over toys and the Dynamo sometimes pushes Sweet Potato away or down if he thinks he might get more attention, but their faces light up when they see each other.  They laugh and squeal and chase and head-butt and kiss (eat?) and love and mimic each other.  It's truly a joy to watch. 

I know I sound judgy and a little hypocritical.  I am torn about this topic in a way I likely would not be if my situation was different.  While I always add the caveat I don’t think I could ever terminate, I am not against it.   I am Pro-Choice.   If you, as my friend, came to me in a situation where you thought you needed to reduce, for whatever reason, I would support you.  And as Dora said, as callous as the women in the Times article sounded, we don’t know what their thought process was like, how many tears were shed, what quotes the writer didn’t use or were edited out.;

If I have learned anything from infertility and RPL it is not to question someone else's choices in family building.  I'm not perfect at that but I continue to try to keep an open mind.

*I never once imagined one of THEM not being here as in one of my actual little boys.  It was always an abstract thought – not an actual baby who came into this world and I met not being here.  I could never imagine not having both of them in my life.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Still Here

Hello friends!  I'm still here reading your blogs and commenting when I can.  Currently I'm trying to get the twins first birthday party planned and the house and yard ready for the big day.  Almost ONE.  I can't believe it. 

The babies are both standing holding on to the gate -or a chair -or the wall.  The Dynamo started doing this a few weeks ago and now moves around the room from thing to thing.  Sweet Potato's first time was this past Monday.  It's so strange to see them standing!  And my boys are tall (check out their 'Watch Me Grow' pages for stats)  so they look like little preschoolers when they stand.  They are crawling machines too. 

They both can say "Mama". It's officially the Dynamo's first word.  It will likely be Sweet Potato's too but he says it all together like "Mamamamamama" so I'm not sure if that counts. :) 

We're still basically at only two bottom teeth each which is killing me.  Those top teeth want to come in soooo badly and the babies are clearly uncomfortable.  I wish they would poke through already.  The Dynamo is so close. 

Oh and they are so happy together!  They LOVE to play together and squeal and laugh and smile at each other all the time.  It is such a joy to watch.  I am a very lucky mama.   

That's all I have for now.  I feel like I have so much to say and then once I sit down to write a post, I draw a blank.  Probably not having a lot of free time is part of it.  I'll be sure to post again after the big day!

Thanks for sticking around!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

11 Months

Sweet Potato

The Dynamo

Friday, July 1, 2011


June was a whirlwind month.  I started a new job and it nearly knocked me on my ass.  I don't mean physically but emotionally.  It's a change.  A necessary change and a huge one.  It took me nearly all month to realize that it was the right change but that didn't come without many emotions. 

I still catch myself with bouts of anxiety over the fact that I am solely responsible for these two amazing babies.  Me.  Alone.  And every decision I make affects them. The thoughts overwhelm me sometimes.  I know I am 'doing it' and I know I am lucky and I know I have good babies and that helps.   

With this new job, I have less time to blog so here are some highlights:

In June:
  • Sweet Potato started and finished waterbabies (The Dynamo went last session).
  • Both babies got their first two bottom teeth!
  • Sweet Potato joined his brother in the army/belly crawling department!
  • The babies got their first colds.
  • The Dynamo joined his brother with lots of "talking".
  • The Dynamo started waving bye (sort of).
  • Sweet Potato claps his hands together (sort of).
And of course, I couldn't post without adding some pictures....

The Dynamo

Sweet Potato

Finally a shot where they are both looking!
Taken on their 10-month birthday.
Happy July!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Drive By Post

So I couldn't be busier but blogging has been on my mind so I carved out some time today to type this quick post.  For starters, I got a new job!  After this work crap, I found a position that sounds great and I start tomorrow!! YIKES.  It's quite weird for me to be going someplace else for work after I have been at the same company for 17 years but I'm ready.  It was an extensive hiring process and took five weeks but I think my timing was perfect.  I have to admit Friday was a sad day at my old job.  Lots of tears but this is absolutely the right decision for me and my family.

In other news,the babies have gone backwards in the night time sleep department.  I'm blaming it on this -
The Dynamo has teeth!

Sweet Potato has been waking up a lot at night too and no teeth yet for him.  I feel like it's back to the newborn stage and find giving them a bottle is the only thing that calms them to go back to sleep.  And I do give them bottles before bed.  I tell ya starting a new job with no sleep is not going to be fun but what's a (single) girl to do! 

The Dynamo is a little army crawler and I got the baby gates up just in time.  He gets up on his knees and rocks too.  Sweet Potato scoots a little bit on his fanny and on his belly he goes around in circles or backwards so I think it's just a matter of time for him.  

Sweet Potato and I have swim lessons this month twice a week (unlike last session with the Dynamo where it was only once each week for eight weeks) and he seems to really like it!  I get big smiles from him all the time.

I have a lot of other posts brewing in my head and hopefully I can find (make) time to post them.  I have been keeping up with all of your blogs and I know I have a few blog awards to acknowledge.  Thank you for those!  Happy June!

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Day in The Life

...of A Single Mom to Twin Babies.

Saturday, May 14th

4:20 AM:  Awakened by rare night time cries from the Dynamo. I bring him in bed with me.
5:00 AM:  Return the Dynamo to his crib. Sweet Potato does not wake up.  Go back to bed.
6:30 AM:  Both babies awake. Morning bottles and mat time until breakfast. 
7:15 AM:  Head to the basement to feed kitty.  Make coffee!
7:45 AM:  Breakfast!  Babies in high chairs.  The Dynamo chomps on a Mum-Mum while I feed Sweet Potato oatmeal with banana mixed with pears.  Then switch.  Four tablespoons cereal each.
8:15 AM:  Clean faces and hands and wheel high chairs over to sink so babies can watch me wash baby bottles, bowls and plates and unload the dishwasher.  I sing and dance along with the radio while they play with rattles and teething rings.
8:35 AM:  Play time in doorway jumper and walker. Shoot this video -

9:00 AM:  Nap time in cribs! 
9:10 AM:  Strip my bed sheets and throw in wash along with other linens.
9:25 AM:  Straighten up play room, eat bagel, change out of my pjs, clean out storage cabinets in mud/laundry room.  Restock downstairs changing table.
10:45 AM:  Babies awake!  Mid-morning bottles which they don't finish.
11:15 AM:  Change babies out of pjs. Play time in nursery while I sort through their old clothes. Take apart, clean and box up nursery humidifier*.  Replace it with table fan. 
12:00 PM:  Lunch!  The Dynamo picks Cheerios off his high chair tray while I feed Sweet Potato chicken with rice, green beans and carrots.   Then switch.  
12:30 PM:  Play time in the exersaucer and musical sit/stand toys. 
12:45 PM:  Switch morning laundry, do a full load of twins laundry.  Hand wash the Dynamo's swim trunks and swim diaper and my bathing suit for swim class.
1:10 PM:  Read emails and blog posts.  Order diapers, wipes and this swimming pool from  Eat quick lunch.  Rescue Sweet Potato who has tipped over from a sitting position.
1:25 PM:  Play time with floor toys.  Kitty joins us.  The Dynamo pulls chunks of cat fur off kitty while Sweet Potato laughs.  Kitty tolerates the love.
1:45 PM:  Afternoon naps in cribs.
2:00 PM:  Vacuum kitchen, foyer and play room floors.  Unpack box of jars of baby food, put on storage rack and take inventory.  Organize pantry. 
2:15 PM:  Babies awake?!  More play time in the nursery as I continue my clothing sort.  Generate five bags of clothes for friend of a friend who just had twin boys via a surrogate. Watch the Dynamo move around the nursery on his belly backwards; pull him out from under Sweet Potato's crib.  Help Sweet Potato practice rolling over in both directions. 
2:45 PM:  Relocate to play room (rainy day kept us indoors!).  Finish mid-morning bottles.
3:15 PM:  Switch laundry, make bed, wash bouncy seat head rests and Sweet Potato's monkey.  Drag bins of my winter clothes from upstairs to basement storage. 
3:45 PM:  More mat time; reposition babies from belly to sitting, from sitting to belly, pull the Dynamo out from under the changing table where he has backed himself into on his belly.
4:25 PM:  Read books to babies: Dr Seuss' The Things You Can Think! and There's A Wocket in My Pocket!.
5:00 PM:  Dinner!  Oatmeal with banana mixed with apples.  Five tablespoons cereal each.
5:20 PM:  Babies play on mat while I clean up dinner dishes.  Join them on the mat and fold laundry.
5:50 PM:  I have quick microwave dinner.
6:00 PM:  Babies in jammies.  They play together with blocks and Sesame Street pop-up toy and sit in front of their musical sit/stand toys.
6:30 PM:  Evening bottles.  Babies in bouncy seats watching Baby Einstein DVD.  Lights down.
7:00 PM:  Sweet Potato in crib.  Dynamo fighting sleep.
7:30 PM:  Dynamo in crib.
8:00 PM:  Clean up play room, get mail, take out trash.
8:30 PM:  Go to bed!  Catch up on news, blogs, FB on smartphone.
9:00 PM:  The Dynamo wakes up; bring him in bed with me.  Feel tip of very first bottom tooth poking through gums!
9:30 PM:  Back to his crib for the Dynamo. Back to bed for me.
11:50 PM:  Teething strikes again: the Dynamo wakes up....

Notice there are no entries for bathing either myself of the babies in my Saturday schedule.  I often stay stinky on Saturdays and only bathe the twins right now when someone else is in the house.    

Next Saturday's "Day in the Life" consists of childproofing!  I live in a split level house with no railings. Baby gates here we come.

*Switching out the humidifier with the fan was a bit premature as my heat is back on in the house!  

Update: Click Here to read a typical day in the life when the twins are six months older.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Test Driving Our New (to us) Stroller

All strapped in in the foyer -

Sweet Potato: "Let's go Mom, let's go!"

Finally making it to the driveway -

"WAIT!  We must watch every car drive by our house."

Hitting the neighborhood -

"Ah... the good life."

(In case you're wondering, the bottoms of their shoes are black from going up and down the driveway in the walker!)

Friday, May 6, 2011


In no particular order...

  • The father of a close friend of mine fell off a ladder last week and is on life support.  She and her family are deciding what the next course of treatment will be this weekend.  And her birthday is tomorrow. 
  • I'm interviewing for a new job next week which has the potential to take me away from a place I have worked for nearly 17 years with many people I am close to.  
  • My left eye won't stop twitching.  
  • A co-worker's best friend's mother passed away yesterday.
  • A friend of mine was arrested for DWI 2 weeks ago.  (I know and she knows - a horrible choice made on her part.  I still feel sad that it happened.)
  • My toe still hurts from the battle with the bouncy seat. 
  • This weekend will be a very sad time for many bloggers out there.

I hate to be a downer and I know I have so many good things in my life.  I am truly grateful.  I'm just feeling a little sad today.  I hope some happy things start to happen for those around me soon.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Battle of the Bouncy

Bouncy Seat = 1, MeAndBaby = 0

I know, I know - Momma needs a pedicure.  And a toe splint!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Moms of Teethers - FDA Warning for Baby Orajel and Similar Products

There's a new warning from the FDA regarding an ingredient found in Baby Orajel and Ambesol.  You can read it here

Does anyone have any other teething recommendations? I just ordered Sophie the Giraffe.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Reconnecting - Dollars and $ense of Family Building

I started blogging when I started TTC.  After eight IUIs, I was lucky enough to have a pregnancy that lasted and resulted in the births of my twins.  Since then, I've blogged about our little family and used this space to get advice about raising my sons with topics like feeding, sleeping, childcare and surviving as a single mom of two.

While I've likely lost some old readers and gained some new ones with my blog transformations from TTC to pregnancy to parenting, I haven't felt like an active part of the ALI community lately.  It's the community no one wants to be a part of -until you are.  And then you can't imagine family building without it.  (Unless you're one of those fertile, clueless, lucky ones.)

Hooray for the blog carnival hosted by Write Mind, Open Heart and Baby Smiling in Back Seat.  I can contribute to the discussion on budgeting and financial family planning and feel like an active part of this community again.   (I have some other community related posts brewing which I hope keep me connected as well.)

When I decided to TTC, I didn't think it would take two years, an infertility diagnosis, a slew of fertility drugs, and three losses before I became a mother.  But it did.  And I'm one of the lucky ones.  Cycle after cycle, I kept waiting for them to say the letters, "IVF" and for the bottom to fall out financially but they never did.  In fact, I brought up in-vitro at my WTF meeting after loss number three.  The RE said it wouldn't necessarily help me since I was in fact getting pregnant.  It would just cost more.

My story started when my gynecologist gave me a referral for the fertility center and scheduled me for a FSH test and HSG without knowing if was fertile or not.  As a 39 year-old SMC wannabe, she said the fertility center would want the tests so I might as well do them while I waited for my consultation.  They were covered by insurance with a co-pay.  My insurance company also agreed to cover the fertility center consult and ultrasounds and lab work were partially covered as diagnostic testing.  The IUIs were out of pocket.  And of course the donor sperm was my cost.  My out-of-pocket cost for an IUI was $185.  Not a typo.  That was how much each of the first four IUIs cost me without insurance.  In fact, the cost of a single IUI was one of the least expensive of all the things I paid for. Donor sperm varied between $300 for local anonymous swimmers to $600 for semi-local open identity donors.  I started with the open identity variety and when the funds ran low, switched to the locals.

In six months, I did four cycles.  Clomid and ovidrel were the only meds I used during that time.    Fortunately for me, after six months of trying, and the REs interpretation of my lab results, I was diagnosed as infertile and was able to get up to six more IUIs now covered by insurance with only a co-pay.   This was a huge help as I was now moving onto injectible medications with varying insurance coverage.  I won't bore you with the cost specifics (if you want them, email me) but while I ended up paying out more than my original budget, I'm fairly certain my costs were much less than others.

I plan to be very open with my kids about how they came to be.  That has always been the plan even before I knew how long or how much money it would take to get them here. While I can't say for sure, I hope my openness will help them to accept that while they may not have been conceived the same way their friend who lives up the street was, they were created out of love and want.  And yes, it took some money.  And that's okay. 

Money has been a touchy subject in my family. My brother went through a messy divorce and his ex likes to talk about things like child support with their young children.  He struggles financially and his kids are very aware of that.  It's a burden I don't think their young minds should have.

If my children ask me how much they cost at age 7, (and I hope that they don't), I will try to answer in such a way that takes the focus off of money and more about us as a family.  They'll already know that they don't have a daddy and that many people worked hard to help Mommy have them.  I'll tell them getting pregnant cost a lot but it was worth every penny.  If they press me, I'll compare the cost to something they know we're paying for at the time like, "Lots and lots of soccer camps."  If they ask at age 18, I'll tell them that the process to get pregnant cost more than I had planned but not as much as many families pay.  Instead of a dollar amount, I'll tell them nearly all the money in my savings account at the time.  And remind them how important it is to save money for things you want.

When calculating how much they cost, I include every cycle, every donor sample, every loss, every procedure and every medication from the time I decided to start the process to graduation from the RE to my OB.  I even include the books I bought on becoming a SMC.

I took family building one day a time.  I knew that with each failed cycle or loss, I could be done based on cost but I was fortunate enough that I saved enough to do "one more cycle" -seven more times.  I also imagined I would only have one child and that money would be the reason. When it finally worked, I was sure I wouldn't have the money to go through the process again a few years later.  I feel very lucky (most of the time!) that I had twins and my boys will always have each other.

Visit Write Mind Open Heart for more perspectives on the Dollars and $ense of Family Building and to add your own link to the blog hop by May 1, should you want to contribute your thoughts.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

To My Babies: Volume 3

You're eight months old today!

Little Sweet Potato,

You are such a little flirt! You are especially happy now that your skin is mostly cleared up from the eczema. You smile all the time.  And you are such a chatterbox!!  Everyone loves to hear you "talk"!

Besides pulling off your socks which you've been doing for months, you pull off your bibs now too.  Mommy doesn't mind unless you're eating solid food - then she makes sure to put the bibs on that velcro in the back, not the side.

You just LOVE our kitty.  You get so excited when she comes in the room!  You reach out to pet her and can be a little rough but she tolerates it well.

Rolling over is still not your favorite thing but you'll do it if you need to.  You would much rather sit up on your own and do that pretty well!  Sometimes you tip over onto your side or back but not too often.

Now that the weather is warmer and we are able to get outside, you enjoy watching the cars drive down our street.   

Dearest Dynamo,

You are the one to watch for sure, always moving and rolling right off the playmat.  Mommy has been putting off really childproofing but you remind her often that she needs to do it very soon.

You love Puffs and can even put them in your mouth yourself!  Maybe not every time, but when you concentrate really hard, you manage to get one off the tray of your highchair and put it in your mouth.  Mommy let you try feeding yourself with the spoon once and you managed to get that in your mouth too but when you pulled it out, the food was still on it!  We'll try again soon though.

Waterbabies class is so much fun with you.  You still don't smile a lot while we're there but you're not unhappy.  You just take it all in and like to watch all the people.  You kick and move your arms with Mommy just like you're supposed to.  Next week we're going to try giving you an early dinner before class to see if that brings on the smiles.  

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Crap Week

I've had a crappy week.  To be fair, it started off last Saturday well.  The weather was nice and I was able to get the twins outside....

Then there was a systems issue at work and I had to go in.  The twins went with me.  They were less than thrilled....

Notice the kicking action going on in the back seat?

I spent about an hour in the office and then followed up with about five hours of work from home on Sunday.  Turns out it was all for nothing.  I had to work late Monday and had a mom-moment at work - I cried when I thought I wouldn't be able to put the twins to bed.  It would have been the first time I missed that.  Luckily, I made it by 15 minutes but crying at work?  Not fun.

Tuesday was swim day for me and the Dynamo.  He napped in the morning but not in the afternoon and the class is at 5:25 PM.  He managed okay, only a little fussing and he seemed to enjoy it but was visibly tired.  The worst part of the class was when another little one - I'm guessing about one year old - started crying.  She was not happy and her mother was not helping.  That kid just did not want to be there.  I nearly started crying myself (seriously).  Mom kept trying to get her to participate and I heard the word "naughty" come out of her mouth.  Not my business, I know, but she was unhappy and she's a baby!  Sit on the side for a minute and see if she calms down and if not, take her out of there.  Naughty?  Hardly.  Tired, hungry, scared?  More likely.  It was the first time I had seen them in the class.  They finally left.  That poor kid.

Wednesday may have been the only non-eventful day of the week.

Thursday I found out they created a new position at work and hired someone for it.  This person would be taking over part of my job - a part I enjoy but I do understand and am okay with.  The kicker - she will be working for my boss and WORKING FROM HOME.  She has an eight month-old baby girl. All that crap my boss fed me about company policy?  Apparently it was a line of BS.  And I really like my boss.  To catch you up, I wanted to work from home maybe two days per week.  I would have settled for one day and I would have been happy if he said I could only do it for X number of months.  Give me something.  Show me that you appreciate the 17 years I have put in and all the work from home I ALREADY do - most of which that is above and beyond my job requirements.  Nope.  His reasons included that he was worried about other employees asking to do it, there was no policy in place, and he wanted "his staff" in the office.  I heard about this Thursday right before I left work.  My boss doesn't know that I know.  Friday I called in sick - something I never do.  I have taken so few sick days in my years there that I was able to use three weeks of sick time when I was on maternity leave with more than a week to spare.  I spent Friday morning updating my resume and applied for job online.  It's time.  It's past time.

The twins had a better day than I did on Thursday....


Friday was the first day in a long time where I wasn't working and didn't have to take care of the babies.  I tried sleeping in then spent all morning on my resume and cover letter.  I have a long list of things to do that I can't ever do, that still didn't get done.  So much for that extra eight hours.   I did run a few errands but the laundry, spring cleaning, yard work and spring/winter clothes sorting are still on the agenda.

The babies didn't nap well on Friday - the Dynamo napped about for about a half-hour in the morning and that was it.  He was tired and miserable all day and was a bear to put down for the night.  He slept straight through - eleven hours without a peep - but Sweet Potato had one of those up every two-ish hours night.

Which brings us to today, Saturday.  May it be the end of the crap week.  Despite the awful weather, so far, so good.


Sweet Potato

the Dynamo

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ungrateful Indeed

And then Grandma sends me an email like this one:

"They both woke up a bit ago and both fussy, so I changed Sweet Potato's diaper upstairs and put him on the floor while I got the Dynamo.  I changed his diaper and put him on the floor next to Sweet Potato and finished dressing him.  Well the Dynamo was crying so Sweet Potato put his hand on the Dynamo's face as though to make him feel better.  He was talking and putting his hand on his brother's face.  And Sweet Potato has started placing his hand on his forehead as though he is contemplating the world's woes.  He was doing that at lunch and I said oh poor baby and he just looked at me.  He didn't cry, just was so serious that I started to laugh out loud.  The Dynamo laughed with me.  Sweet Potato just kept looking at me as though I was so uncaring. So cute."

Yeah, I likely wouldn't get play by plays from anyone else.  And I never use the twins' nicknames outside of this blog.  I edited the email message. 

Ungrateful Daughter?

My mom watches the twins at my house three days per week while I am at work.  Among other things, she will make my coffee, feed the cat, do the twins' laundry, make my bed, and wash baby bowls and bottles*.  Many nights she helps me put the twins down and will entertain one while I bathe the other.  She'll stay until I get the Dynamo down - he usually goes to bed about thirty minutes before Sweet Potato - and then she goes home.  I pay her one-third of what it would cost if I had them in daycare or had my other babysitter watching them instead.

She's a huge help.  I'm really lucky to have her.  I'm not sure I could afford childcare if I didn't have her.

That being said, she's starting to tick me off.

When I was pregnant and we discussed her babysitting the twins, I had a few concerns.  Mainly they stemmed from my lack of experience with babies and from their to-be-determined temperaments.  I wasn't sure how hard they would be to handle for one person both emotionally and physically.  She wanted to watch them five days per week.  She would quit her part-time job (she's 72 years-old, retired, and still working part-time at a supermarket) and work for me full-time.  I knew I didn't want that.  I wanted most of her time with the twins to be "Grandma time" - fun and not work.  I wanted this for them and for her.  I also feared she would undermine some of my decisions when it came to caring for them.  Don't get me wrong - she raised three kids on her own and I value her experience.  But Grandma has a strong personality.  And she's (how do I say this nicely?) -not always open to other opinions.  We discussed my concerns and settled on her babysitting a few days per week to start.  If it was too much, we would adjust the schedule.

Up until recently, it's been really good.  There have been some minor disagreements here and there but for the most part she has deferred to me when it came to baby decisions.  And lucky for me, the twins are pretty easy going.  With the exception of the Dynamo's witching hour phase during month three (note: earlier bedtime!), I think I've been pretty lucky.

The issues have been two biggies for infants: feeding and sleeping.

Feedings:  Gram has gone with me to every well-child visit except one.  At the last two visits, she's heard the pediatrician say, "Wait three to four days before introducing new foods."  While I know this may not be necessary, I'm doing it.  Especially with Sweet Potato's skin issues.  Not only did she hear the doc say it, I would remind her -at breakfast.  What would she do?  Give them something new -for breakfast! when they just had something new the day before.  When she would tell me what they ate and I would remind her of our chat, she would say she forgot.  Or she misunderstood.  I would repeat the conversation from the doctor and ask her if she understood (nicely, I swear) and she would get defensive (typical) and say something like, "Yes. I'm not an idiot."  I let it go.

This week on Tuesday and Wednesday, the twins had a first time food - a combo jar of pears and raspberries with their cereal.  Sweet Potato's eczema looked a little worse to me.  I wondered out loud if the berries had something to do with it.  Then I said we should wait to give them the apple-strawberry-banana mixed tub** for a few days because of the strawberries - they've never had them.  What did she do yesterday?  Take out the A-S-B mix for breakfast.  Grrrr.  I caught it before I left work and took out plain bananas.  When I asked her about it she said thought she picked up bananas.  I would have been okay with that until she added, "I didn't check." You didn't check?  YOU DIDN'T CHECK?  How can you not check?

Yesterday before breakfast Grandma was feeding Sweet Potato his morning bottle.  She started to tell me a story and as she told it, pulled the bottle out of his mouth, never looking at him as she spoke.  He began to move his arms and motion towards the bottle and squeak a little.  I interrupted and pointed this out.  She got pissed and stopped talking.  She gave him back the bottle, which in all honesty, he was nearly done with, and when I asked her to continue her story she said, "Nevermind.  It wasn't important."  To which I replied, "They are always going to come first.  I will interrupt you every time.  That's not going to change."  And it's not just story telling - it's the TV, the computer, the phone.  She focuses on those things when I think she should be focusing on them.  Does she neglect them?  Never.  Would Sweet Potato make it known if he was really hungry.  You bet.  I don't care.  Pay attention to them.

Onto sleeping:  The Dynamo is a great crib sleeper.  Naps, nighttime, he's a fan of the crib.  Momma is a fan of this!  Sweet Potato?  Not a fan of the crib.  Before this week, I was getting up with Sweet Potato usually three times at night.  Once before midnight and then twice before dawn.  After a really rough night where he was up about every two hours, I decided enough was enough.  Tuesday and Wednesday night I let him CIO***.  And it's been working.

Naps in the crib were coming along with Sweet Potato not lasting as long as the Dynamo, but getting there.  Naps in the cribs for both babies has been happening twice a day AT THE SAME TIME (Yay!) for a couple of weeks with a stray off day here and there.  Yesterday Sweet Potato fell asleep in the swing.  Grandma carried him upstairs, laid him in the crib where he woke up and began to fuss  -typical Sweet Potato behavior.  She thought he "looked pitiful" so she PICKED HIM UP and brought him back downstairs.  Ugh.  She told me this in an email.  It's a good thing there were computers and miles between us.  I wrote her back and told her if I have to let him cry at night (something she agrees with), she has to do it during the day.  And that she would have been better off leaving him in the swing than laying him in the crib only to pick him up when he cries.  I feel like she's undoing some of my hard work.  And if you've done any type of CIO, you know it's hard work!

Fortunately for me, no damage was done.  Sweet Potato fussed a little last night around 9 PM, I tried to give him a bottle which he refused (rare), he went back to sleep in the crib after a few cries and didn't make a peep until 5:15 this morning!  I left him with his occasion chatter for about an hour.  (Dynamo sleeps through Sweet Potato's cries every night.  I am soooo lucky.)

Am I over-reacting?  Probably.  Part of the reason for this blog is that I get to vent, irrational or not, and get feedback from those who have been there.  I know how lucky I am in so many ways but this could be just the tip of the iceberg as the twins grow up.  I sure hope not.

*These things are an enormous help to me and she does them without me asking.  That being said, it would be okay with me if she did fewer chores and played with the twins more.
** While I admit to purchasing the combo jar of pears and raspberries, the apple-strawberry-banana tubs came in a variety box of baby food.  I'm going to purchase individual flavors for awhile so I can pick and choose.

 ***My version of CIO is letting them fuss and yell but not really cry. When they sound like they are crying enough to make tears, I go get them. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

MeAndBaby Bits

  • I've decided to be a little more private and stop using the little ones' real names here.  It'll take me awhile to update old posts but from now on Baby A will be known as Sweet Potato and Baby B will be known as the Dynamo.  Sweet Potato and the Dynamo:  my little men.  :)
  • The Dynamo (okay not the easiest name to type) and I had our first swim class last week.  Class #2 is tonight.  I think he enjoyed it.  At the very least, he didn't hate it.  He looked around the whole time and was very interested in watching the lifeguard.  (Mommy was not as interested as the lifeguard looked to be about 12 years old.  Come on Universe: you couldn't give me some hot college-aged guy to look at?)  There were sing-a-longs in the class and I felt like a slacker being the only one who didn't know the lyrics.  I mean if they could only sing "The Wheels On The Bus", I'd be golden.
  • We finally had some warmer weather this past week.  I was able to get the twins outside!  They had a stroller ride around the neighborhood and enjoyed some tummy time on a blanket in the back yard.  They weren't as thrilled about these events as Mommy was.  But then this was their first winter and is their first spring.  They don't know any better.
  • Sweet Potato's eczema is getting harder to manage.  The steroid ointment worked for a few days and then stopped working and then we would take a break from it and then try it again and it would work for a few days and then stop working. The pediatrician wrote a script for an emollient foam that my usually pretty-good insurance company would not cover because the FDA has deemed it "ineffective."  Way to go, Doc.  It's a two and a-half week wait to get in with the dermatologist and my poor little man can't stop scratching his face and head -especially at night.  Loading up on Eucerin and Aquphor is helping a little.   And he remains a pretty happy guy.  I'm thankful for that.

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    Quit Your Bitchin'

    I thought of this post before last night.  I swear.  Because if I hadn't, after last night, I would have.  Thought of it.  Really.

    I need to quit my bitching about sleep issues.  I have it easy compared to so many.  I am lucky!  I need to shut it.

    Last night my 6 month-olds slept through the night.  Both of them.  THROUGH the night.  As in one slept nine hours and one slept ten.  Without waking up.  Once.

    I've been catching up on some old blogs and reading some new ones, and joined a mommies message board to educate myself. I have come across many new moms who have suffered sleepless nights much worse than I have.  I have not experienced the sleep troubles these families have.  I cannot imagine going through some of the sleep troubles these families have!  I know I would do it - I would have to - but I am so grateful I don't have to.  At least right now.

    I can't promise you'll never read another sleep issue post on this blog but hopefully if you do, it's a long time from now.  I plan to try to whine a little less.  I'm lucky!

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    To My Babies: Volume 2

    Thoughtful Sweet Potato,

    Not only do you pull off your socks and put your toes in your mouth, now you try to get the whole foot in there!  It's adorable to watch.

    You still haven't mastered the whole rolling over thing but are starting to arch your back and lay on your side more and more on the play mat.

    Our pediatrician has given the green light for whole Cheerios!  Mommy doesn't have to bite them in half and you like them as well as the banana flavored Puffs.  You'll eat Mum-Mums too but really, you could take them or leave them.  Rice cereal has been mixed in with the oatmeal and you're okay with that.  You're even okay now with the green veggies and will eat anything given to you without complaining although there is a not-so-happy face when you're fed a certain brand of pureed bananas.

    We've been struggling a little with the night time sleeping but just this week, you're sleeping longer and waking up less!  And you always wake up for the day with a big smile on your face. 

    Your latest cuteness trick is to kick your right leg over and over again wherever you are: in the high chair, in the crib, on the floor - "kick, kick, kick, kick!"   And the doorway jumper is getting a work out too - you bounce away in it with a look of sheer joy on your face!

    The Dynamo, my Little Lover,

    You have so much energy and affection.  You love kisses on your cheeks and open your mouth wide when you laugh - which is often.  There's no guessing how you feel about something be it happy or sad.

    You still sleep really well at night and don't mind your crib during the day for naps.  Mommy always puts you down to sleep on your back and you're still flipping over to your tummy but usually you're okay with that and Mommy is too.  Flipping you back over just wakes you up and ticks you off and you go back to your tummy anyway.

    You like Cheerios and although you can't pick them up from the tray on your high chair, if a Cheerio is in your little hand, you'll try to get it in your mouth.  Mum-Mums are a favorite and you have no problem holding them.

    You like when Mommy dances around the kitchen and sings even though she doesn't always know the words and can't carry a tune. :)