Monthly Archives: November 2011

First Day-Trip with the Twins

We went to the 4th annual Seagrove Pottery Festival this weekend. This was our first all-day trip out with the twins and I was scared to death. They are 7 months old and we’d never taken a day trip! It was a two-hour drive each way. We thought we’d drive out, spend a couple of hours there and then drive back. Instead, we left the house at 9:30 a.m. and didn’t return until 6:30 p.m. They boys did so much better than I thought they would, but I attribute that almost entirely to the fact that we wore them the entire time. No stroller whatsoever. After wearing them at the State Fair last month, I think OW realized what a good idea it really is.

This was at the Farmers Market a couple of months ago.

We took them off only a couple of times to change diapers and nurse. On every aisle we were stopped over and over by people expressing astonishment at the fact that we had twins and were wearing them. Ha! It is such a strange thing to me that it is strange. I pitied the folks trying to navigate a stroller through the maze of very expensive, very fragile pottery.

We ended up spending way more than we’d planned on, but isn’t that the way it is? These are pieces that will appreciate in value and things we love. We even won a gorgeous piece in a silent auction. There is a very well-known potter named Boyd Owens who was so friendly and kind to us. He gave us two Noah’s Ark themed mugs for the boys and it made my heart flutter!

Some of the pieces we bought.

The boys started crying when we were about 15 minutes from the house, which was difficult, but they were calm the rest of the evening. We were triumphant in our victory, but we celebrated too soon. Peanut Butter and Jelly did not sleep well at all that night, and we thought we’d lose our minds before sunrise. Was it a coincidence or punishment for our gall?

The success of this trip is making me think that maybe we’re starting to turn a corner. I’m finding a bit easier to have a predictable routine, I can plan little errands out of the house without it causing a meltdown for all of us, and the boys can play and entertain themselves for a little while at a time. I’m afraid to be too optimistic but I don’t want to have a negative attitude that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy either.

Now if we could just get this sleep thing worked out…

Funky piggy banks for the boys. Check out the teeth on the blue one and the tusks on the green one!

When did you attempt your first day trip out with your newborn? I’m especially interested in hearing from you if you have twins.

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

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Running Around in Circles

If I could add one thing to my daily routine, it would be exercise.

Ok, ok, pick yourself up off of the floor. It wasn’t that funny.

I do want/need to exercise. I’m a thin couch potato and it’s starting to catch up to me. My blood pressure seems to go up and down a good deal more than it ought to; I have ridiculous aches and pains for someone my age; I don’t have the stamina to keep up with twin toddlers; and I’m at my pre-pregnancy weight yet I’m a blob of jello.

Most of all, I want to be a good role model for the boys. Their dad has a big weight problem and I am just terrified of passing along bad habits to them. We eat well at home – I see to that – but neither of us exercises and Daddy doesn’t practice any sort of portion control whatsoever.

I’m already going to be one of the older moms in the carpool line at school. I don’t want to be the decrepit one too.

I started by say that if I could add one thing… but the truth is that it’s not a matter of can or can’t. It’s a matter of will I or won’t I. So far, I won’t. And I am not sure why.

My excuses:

  1. I am not a morning person, and the idea of getting up at the crack of dawn to exercise after having had little and often disrupted sleep just horrifies me.
  2. There isn’t a stretch of uninterrupted time during the day to do much. If I’m not directly dealing with the babies I’m generally doing laundry, vacuuming, folding clothes, washing dishes, preparing dinner and so forth.
  3. OW gets home from work between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m. every night. After we eat, clean up the kitchen, get everything ready for the next day and get the boys to sleep, it’s 11:00 p.m. and off to bed we go.

I keep picturing myself outside, running laps around my neighborhood, feeling strong and healthy. My wiggly jiggly baby fat begins to firm up, the muffin top over my jeans disappears. I can chase the babies, do laundry, cook a meal and still have enough energy to, ahem, help out my poor, long-suffering husband.

Am I living in la-la land? Is there some sort of tipping point that will give me the push I need to get started?

Do you exercise? How did you start? What motivates you to keep going? How are you able to make it a priority?

 

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

Thankful #1

It seems my blogs are frequently morose and whiny. Maybe whiny is too strong a word. I have things inside that need to come out and I guess it’s not surprising that the darker things tend to force their way to the front. And it’s true that I’m frequently overwhelmed and sometimes downright depressed. But there are also good times; sweet times; times I want to last forever.

It’s popular in November for United State-ians to talk about what they’re thankful for. I usually try to avoid doing what everyone else is doing (I’m still rebellious like that), but it occurs to me that being thankful is not trite. I think if I spent more time being thankful, I’d spend less time feeling sorry for myself.

Today has been a good day, so I feel more able to come up with a list of things I’m thankful for. I know that I really need to do this exercise on a day when I’m feeling crappy. Some of these might seem strange, but I include them because I have experienced the opposite of what I’ve listed.

  1. My pre-pregnancy jeans fit
  2. I am, on the whole, healthy
  3. I have four wonderful, healthy, gorgeous children
  4. My unexpected child turned out to be two, and they will always have each other
  5. I have, truly, the best husband any woman could ask for
  6. And he really loves me – he really does and it amazes me
  7. The sun shines into my living room every day
  8. I have a fairly large extended family living close by
  9. I live in a 1st world country
  10. I never worry about where my next meal will come from
  11. I not only have adequate shelter, I have a beautiful, safe, warm place to live
  12. Careful budgeting allows me to be at home with my precious babies
  13. I have a dishwasher
  14. I apparently don’t (yet) look like I was rode hard and put up wet
  15. My twins will grow up with cousins and friends and dogs and love
  16. I can relax enough to write, “What are you thankful for?” instead of “For what are you thankful?”

What is one big thing and one little thing you’re thankful for?

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

Just Write, #2

Linking up with Just Write

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The babies wake up happy, as usual. We nurse and smile and talk to Daddy and the dogs. Diapers are changed, laundry is started, the Today show keeps me company in the background. I’m hungry and cross my fingers, hoping they’ll stay happy long enough for me to scramble an egg.

They don’t, and I have to turn off the stove halfway through the process. Peanut Butter is extra hungry and Jelly isn’t far behind. I don’t want to start the day with formula. I won’t start the day with formula. We’ll nurse every 30 minutes if we need to. I’ll put off giving them formula until at least noon. I am determined.

But so are they. I give in and decide that 2 ounces will be enough to take off the edge and we will resume our nursing non-schedule. Jelly is happy enough and plays with his toes. Peanut Butter is not. He is still hungry, so I pick him up and nuzzle him into my breast. He screams and arches his back, over and over. I prop him on my shoulder and pat his back, trying to whisper calming and encouraging things to him. I try again, he screams louder. I am struggling to hold in my growing anger.

Maybe he’s not hungry. Maybe he needs to be distracted by a toy. This doesn’t work and he continues to scream. We try the breast again and the rejection is tearing at my heart. I sob and shout out and pound on the arm of the couch. There is milk there! Why won’t you take it! Why are you rejecting me?

This is the only thing I can give you that is truly unique. Anyone can bathe you. Anyone can hold you. Anyone and smile at you and play with you. Anyone can give you a bottle with that wretched liquid in it. Your rejection feels so personal and it fills me with an irrational rage. I’m angry with my body, and myself and even you. I’m angry at myself for being angry with you. You’re an infant, telling me what you need in the only way you know how.

But every drop you take from that bottle is a drop you don’t take from me. Every drop is a reminder of my failure to provide for you. If I can’t take care of you in this most basic way, how will I be able to be a good mother to you in the rest of your life? These thoughts are ridiculous, I know. But they are so big and so real and sometimes, often even, I want to just give up. I want to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head and leave the rearing of you both to someone who can do a better job.

I resign myself to giving you a 4 ounce bottle. Drink what you want of it. I’m obviously unable to give you what you need and want. Six ounces is more than half of my daily goal of keeping the supplementation at or below 10 ounces. I know that the more formula you drink, the less I will produce and I am filled with dread and sadness at the prospect of you weaning early, but I can’t leave you hungry.

All is quiet now. Your brother is having his morning nap and you, satiated, roll across the floor and giggle at the dog. I cry and wonder what sort of monster I am to project my own feelings of inadequacy on a helpless child.

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

On Blogging, Part 2

A while back I posted on the pressure I put on myself to blog three times a week. It was making me sort of sick to my stomach and causing me some stress, so I decided to just post as I wanted to, whether that be one time, three times, or even five times a week.

You can see the results of that. I haven’t posted in nearly two weeks. It’s not that I don’t have subjects in mind or even that I need to sit down and hash something out. I have many posts pre-written in my head. The problem is that now that I don’t have the pressure to perform, I simply don’t perform. I don’t make time for it and that bothers me.

I’d like to find a balance between putting some pressure on myself to post, and having a sense of forgiveness for myself as well. I’m a person of extremes, so I don’t know how to do that.

Right now time seems to be slipping away from me. The house is a mess, I often forget to start dinner until it’s almost too late to bother, My personal grooming habits have, uh, deteriorated somewhat and my kids sometimes wear the same footie pajamas 24 hours a day for two or three days in a row. What am I doing with my time? I never seem to stop moving so I don’t understand why nothing is getting done, including writing. I’m beginning to become really overwhelmed. I know I would feel better if I got the house under control and wrote several blog posts to have in the coffers but I just don’t know where or how I’ll find the time.

How do you find (make) time to write and take care of all of your other duties too?

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.