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. :)

To My Babies: Volume 1

Written on March 3, 2011...

My Sweet Potato,

One of your favorite things to do is pull off your socks.  It's rare to see you with both socks on.  You've just started to put your toes in your mouth and love to have your legs free from pants or sleepers. 

You don't mind being on your tummy for a short time but you haven't rolled over from tummy to back in a few months.  I think you're just not interested - eh, what's the big deal?  And rolling from back to front?  Forgetaboutit.  You will "move" around the floor though on both your belly and your back a little bit.  If Mommy leaves the room and comes back, you're in a different spot!

You started solid foods at 4 1/2 months and while not a fan of rice cereal, you open your mouth wide for oatmeal.  Your favorite puree is squash and you like carrots and applesauce too.  And don't tell your pediatrician but you really like Cheerios even though Mommy only gives them to you in soft, tiny pieces.  Green veggies are still a challenge and bananas are not your favorite. 

You were a terrific sleeper at two and three months old but once the swaddle was abandoned because you were breaking free, your sleep patterns changed.  You wake up usually three, sometimes four times throughout the night but Mommy got a rare treat a few nights ago when you only woke up once.  While it doesn't happen every day, you make up for it with three hour naps usually in the swing; never napping that long in the crib. 

You just started to really giggle and it's one of Mommy's favorite sounds!  And you seem to always be "talking".  Grandma is sure you will be the talker in the family. 

My Dynamo

You are my mover and shaker.  Always straining your head, neck, body to see who's here, who's talking, what am I missing?, you never seem to sit still.  

You didn't sleep well in the beginning and broke out of your swaddle early but now you are a great night time sleeper usually only waking up once and sometimes not at all.  You went through a witching hour phase for a few weeks but once Mommy figured out you needed to go to bed earlier - the moment you start your evening fuss - the witching stopped. 

Just this week, you figured out how to roll from your back to your belly in your crib!  Once Mommy found you sleeping on your belly (and turned you back over) but the rest of the time you were awake and up on your elbows with no idea how to flip back (and not very happy about it!). 

Your favorite thing to play in is the doorway jumper and the musical walker will cause you to squeal with delight!  You love to hear your own voice and shake your arms and hands when you get really excited. 

While you prefer a bottle to solid foods, you'll eat oatmeal but rice cereal causes the worst face ever.  Mommy loves to watch you "chew" your mashed up Cheerio bites and you can hold your bottle all by yourself which is a huge help when you and your brother are hungry at the same time.  You smile and laugh with your mouth wide open and I think childproofing is in Mommy's near future as you are starting to move around the play mat. 

You are more aware of people around you and where you use to greet everyone with a big smile, now you study them for a minute first and make sure they are a worthy recipient of your toothless grin. 

You've started to watch Mommy leave for work in the morning with a perplexed look on your face and when the sitter and Grandma leave at the end of the day, you watch them too.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Doing Better

Thank you for the supportive comments.  Yesterday was rough and it capped off several days/nights of roughness.  Last night I was only up twice so today is a  much better day.  I also had a visit from Fabulous D and another friend last night for some much needed girlfriend time and that always helps my mood.  And they both love to hold the twins which gave me a chance to sit at the table and eat a meal and drink a glass of wine!

When I post about how great my little family and I are doing, that night the kids are super fussy.  When I post about a rough patch, THAT night they sleep.  Go figure.  Maybe I need to bombard my blog with downer posts to keep the pattern going?  (I think not.)

I try to be positive as much as I can - even if it's just to convince myself.  Like if I feel a cold coming on, I'll tell myself over and over again that I'm not getting sick and weirdly I don't get sick.  Granted that doesn't always work - like on birth day when I was sure I was fine and the babies weren't coming yet.  I figured a little monitoring, some pain meds and I'd be sent home.  Not so much.

But I digress.


I know how lucky I am.  I have healthy, happy babies!  And supportive friends and family.

I declare this pity party over! :)

In other news....
  • I have a few blog posts brewing in my head that are actually about the twins. They have very distinct little personalities and I rarely write about them.  
  • Their six month check up (at age 6 1/2 months) is next Friday.  After that I will update their "Watch Me Grow" pages. 
  • I've been researching swim classes.  I'm considering either taking one baby for an 8-week session and then the other baby for the next 8-week session or trying to get someone to go with me so I can take them both.  It may be easier to find a sitter for an hour or two than to get someone to get in the water with us.  I need to find out if the chlorinated water is okay for Sweet Potato's skin and do some research on swim diapers and/or swim pants first. (Anyone have any tips?  I'm considering these.) 
  • Not only have I added to the twins' wardrobe recently thanks to great online sales and free shipping, I've added to their book collection too.  In honor of Dr Seuss' birthday last week, I found a bunch of his books cheap.  I'm pretty excited about this even if we don't get to really "reading" them for awhile.
  • Even though it usually takes me a week to adjust to daylight savings time every spring, I'm looking forward to it this year!  It means more daylight hours with my babies and if I am able to keep their "schedule" the same, I can keep them awake a little bit later and maybe they'll sleep in a little bit later too.  That would be nicer for everyone.  

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    I love when people tell me how great I am doing.  It gives me a boost to get through the day.  Or through the current crisis.  Because as much as I blog relatively happy crap here, it's not all sunshine and roses.  But then you probably guessed that. 

    Truth is - I'm tired.  Sweet Potato has been waking up a lot at night.  He's got eczema and he scratches his face and head.  I'm not sure if he's waking up from the itching or from his tummy being upset or if he's teething.  Or all three.  Or something else.   

    I don't know and I hate not knowing.  And I'm tired.  And when he screams in my ear, it's hard.  And I cry sometimes along with him.  And then, you know, occassionally while this is going on, his twin brother will need something.  Like food.  And it becomes a double melt down.  Or, if you include me, a triple melt down.  Because, did I mention that I'm tired? 

    Before you think I wish I was not parenting single, while I wish I had help overnight, I'm not missing the dad-factor.  Yet.  Because if there was a dad-factor, I would likely have a whole different slew of issues.  Knowing me.  But maybe then I could afford to take a day off from work.  And sleep.  Or something. 

    But I digress. 

    I'm just tired.

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    The First Six Months

    So I have six month old babies. Me. I have babies. And they're six months old!! It's still weird for me to think that I have children. I had to pick up a prescription for Sweet Potato's eczema and the pharmacist asked if I had any questions about my son's prescription. Totally weird. (And by the way, his skin is so much better after only a few applications of the prescription.)

    The past six months have turned my life upside down -in a good way. My priorities have completely changed, my spending habits have changed, my free time has changed, my work schedule has changed, my emotional state has changed! I don't see any of these changes as bad things.

    In the past six months:
    • I haven't purchased an article of clothing, a shoe, a coat, a purse, even new lip gloss for myself. (I realize if I couldn't fit into my pre-pregnancy, pre-fertility treatment clothes and shoes, I wouldn't be able to say this.)
    • I spent more than half of the time not knowing what day of the week/month/season it was as it didn't really matter.
    • I learned how to bottle feed two newborns at the same time with one laying on my legs with my knees up and one cradled in my arms.  
    • My knees and left arm ache on a regular basis now.
    • I used to go days without showering and now occasionally skip a day.
    • I experienced anxiety the first few times I was away from my boys. 
    • I've found some great baby purchases on craigslist and sold my dusty treadmill.
    • I paid off my car loan.
    • I use a coupon organizer and BJs club membership.  Budgeting is beyond important for me now.
    • I added discount/savings/coupon blogs to my reader.
    • I have bought and sold at a second hand children's store (including the activity gym the Dynamo is using here).
    • I opened a Target credit card to save 5% on purchases including Target brand baby formula.  (Every little bit helps and I go through a lot of formula.)
    • I joined and save money on diapers.
    • I discovered new products like Oxiclean, Aquaphor and Mylicon.
    • I stopped using pacifiers, a wipes warmer, SwaddleMes and blanket sleepers. (They never really took to the pacis; the warmer doesn't fit on the changing table along with them anymore; they outgrew the sleepers!)
    • I watched my babies go from wearing preemie clothes to some size 12 months!
    • I have a land line telephone for the first time in ten years.
    • I haven't done any home improvement projects.  (This will be short lived as child-proofing is in my near future.)
    • In a neighborhood I've lived in for less than a year, I've met new neighbors and watched some move away.
    • I've seen generosity towards my children that I did not expect.
    • I've watched my cousin and his wife raising their two year-old twins and learned some things not to do.
    • I've watched my friends with their children and learned some things TO do.
    • I've made some new blogging friends!  And kept some old. :)
    • I've learned how to ask for help, even asking Fabulous D to bring me toilet paper. (She brought me wine and chocolate too.)
    • I haven't forgotten what it was like to be TTC.  It makes me ache for my still-trying, still-waiting friends.
    • I've become even more emotional especially with stories about children.
    • I've made one baby trip to the emergency room. (All is well.)
    • I've skipped dinner more often than I've had it.
    • I haven't used my oven. (Grandma has.)
    • I've rarely stayed up past 8:30 PM.
    • I've rarely slept in past 7 AM.
    • I've allowed my house to be dusty or cluttered with visitors!
    • I stopped recording a soap opera I watched for decades.  I hardly ever watch television.
    • I've changed my work schedule, forgoing a much needed pay increase.
    • I've raised six month-old twin boys with the help of family and friends!  (I have been solo for overnights since month one with the exception of two or three nights.) 

    And....  most importantly....  I have not regretted taking this path to motherhood for one second.

    It is by far the best thing I have ever done.