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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Operation: Lose the Twin Weight (and then some)

We had a few friends over on Thanksgiving day. One of the guys was standing by a cork board in the kitchen where we have a few random pictures tacked up. He commented on how we had random people on the board and I proceeded to explain the photos -- Brian's friend Cory's senior picture (because it bugs him), a picture of 3 year old Brian climbing a barn (because my boys are just like their daddy), a baby picture of me (so that I can remind myself that some of my children do have my traits), and this picture:

When we got to this picture I said, "Do you know who this girl is?", pointing to the girl on the left. "No," he said jokingly, "but I wish I did." Yep, that's me. Everyone commented on how "young" I look in the picture. The reality of it? I'm about 60 pounds thinner in that photo. Yes, SIXTY.

It's more than just feeling "fat". I'm tired and have no energy and avoid going places where I have to get dressed in something other than yoga pants because nothing fits. Lack of sleep is certainly a factor, but I can't but feel that if I exercise, I'll feel more energized. At least that's what the experts say, right?

Last year for Christmas, I gave Brian 100 miles on the treadmill. In doing so (and not watching what I ate AT ALL), I lost 20 pounds. I felt more energized, was comfortable in my own skin, and dare I say it, felt relatively attractive. Then the twins happened, along with the expected weight gain. I've so far lost 30 pounds since having the boys, but have been at a plateau for the last few weeks. I have another 20 pounds to lose til I'm back at my pre-twin weight, which means that right now I weigh EXACTLY what I weighed at this time last year. I'm not going to go crazy about the weight loss, but I am committing to 100 miles on the treadmill (or outside since I'm in FL now). I don't need to look like I did in that photo, I just want to have more energy for my boys and my hubby. And I want to feel good about myself.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


You know how newborns "smile" in their sleep? And how it's very often accompanied by some passing of gas? Yeah, I don't count those as "first smiles". Don't get me wrong, I'm a firm believer in the fact that you can write down whatever you want in the baby book, because really, it's your kid and what does it matter? But my definition of a "first smile" is when your baby looks you in the eye while wide awake and purposely gives you a big grin.

Today, while enjoying some one-on-one time with Beckett, he took a deep breath, coo-ed, and gave me a big grin. It melted my heart to a big blob of mommy love. Then, a few hours later, Kiernan was sitting on his Daddy's lap and while I stooped down to say hi to him, he gave me a great big smile too. It's moments like this that make it all worthwhile.


Now that I've joined the ranks of MoMs (Mothers of Multiples -- yeah, I have an acronym now. Be jealous. Or not.), I've discovered that there are lot more sets of multiples in this world than I originally thought. I met a fellow twin mom through a friend, and she suggested I join her at a meeting of the local Mothers of Multiples club. I figured what better place to find advice on surviving twin motherhood than in a group full of people who've done it?

So, I managed to make it out of the house for a few hours -- childless. The women had twins of varying ages, along with other children. One reoccuring theme I noticed was that very few had other children if the twins were their first. And if they had older children, they didn't have any more kids after their twins. Funny observation, and maybe a glimpse into my reproductive future. While I'm not sure that I would be friends with most of these women if I met them in the street, it was nice to be in a group of people who've been through what I'm going through now and have lived to tell the tale. They were warm and welcoming. Advice and support was free-flowing. All in all, I'll definitely return for the next meeting. If nothing else, it's an evening out of the house!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

2 year olds are LOUD.

The twins are growing out of that super sleepy newborn phase and (especially lately) are getting to be a bit high maintenance when it comes to sleep. I spend so.much.time. rocking, bouncing, shushing, and soothing them to sleep during the day that I get a bit neurotic about protecting that sleep. Which would be fine ... if I didn't have a 2 year old too. Is it just my child, or are all toddlers unable to control their volume? I'm guessing it's probably the norm. And if it's not, let's just pretend that it is, for my sanity's sake OK?

Today both babies fell asleep on the family room floor while propped in their Boppies. After I picked up my jaw off of the floor, I spent the following 30 minutes trying to keep big brother "quiet". We played the "shhhhhhh" game for awhile, where I put my finger to my lips, tell him to shhhh, and tip toe obnoxiously around the house. He thinks it's really fun for about 5 minutes. Then I tried to get him to go on the back porch to play in the sand and water table, which is usually a HUGE hit. Um, no dice. Then I suggested we go out front and ride his trike. NO WAY MOM. He wanted to "fix" things, which means walk around the house and bang his hammer on everything. And apparently we really let things go around this house lately because everything needed fixed, especially things that were within 5 feet of the twins. So while I was trying to get him to do something else, he started to throw a huge tantrum. Needless to say, their naptime was very rudely interrupted by big brother's workmanship and mommy had to make a huge effort not to reach into the fridge and grab a beer at 11am.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Same stuff, different day.

I've been chomping at the bit to get back to writing, but every time I have a few seconds to sit down, I can't seem to decide what to write about. My life is literally consumed by caring for my family. I eat sleep breathe them. It takes every ounce of energy within me to keep going, and by the time I have a spare moment to myself, I don't have the mental ability to decide what to do with it. So, here's a very rough "day in the life" post from a SAHM with a 2 year old and 9 week old twins. Get ready, it's a bumpy ride!

(All times are a pretty rough estimate...)

  • 5:30am - One baby gets up to eat, then goes back to bed.

  • 6:00am - I get the next baby up to eat, then goes back to bed.

  • 6:30am - I pump. Then I get in the shower and get started with my day. Occasionally, if I went to bed really late and I'm extremely exhausted, I'll go back to bed. But if I do this, my whole day is thrown off, so I try to avoid it.

  • 7:00am - Maybe a shower, then make the bed, empty the dishwasher, wash bottles and pump parts from the night time. Vacuum the family room and try to squeeze in some kind of cleaning, but usually all I get to do is laundry.

  • 8:00am - All 3 boys begin to wake up. I get Brennan his milk, change his diaper, and put on a TV show for him. If one baby wakes up before the other, I'll put him to breast until the other one wakes up. In order to feed them, I prop them each in a Boppy on the floor, prop a bottle in each of their mouths, and pump while sitting on the floor in front of them. This way, I can burp and change their diapers while I pump. Then it's playtime for everyone.

  • 9:30am - I start to try to put the babies down for a morning nap. This process is sometimes long, sometimes short, sometimes works, sometimes doesn't. Lately, Beckett fights sleep and Kiernan drifts fairly peacefully. In between trying to get them to sleep, I feed Brennan breakfast.

  • 11:00am - Diaper change and snack time for Brennan (I have to make it a point to change his diaper when I feed him, otherwise I forget to do it. Poor kid). Hopefully the babies are sleeping. But they probably are not, so I'm usually trying to soothe the one that isn't sleeping. I try to pump at this point too.

  • 12:00pm - Time to feed the babies again. Hopefully, it's a tandem feed while pumping again. If not, then one and a time.

  • 12:30pm - Lunch time for Brennan. I try to pump if the babies are happy.

  • 1:30pm - Diaper change and naptime for Brennan. Time to start soothing babies to sleep again too. This is always the toughest part of the day to get them to sleep for some reason. And lately, Beckett is very fussy in the afternoons. Putting him to breast sometimes helps calm him and sometimes just frustrates him. He also is so tired that he won't take a full feeding, even from the bottle, and falls asleep. Then, he wakes up hungry in 20 minutes. I'm lucky if I can get him to sleep on me, but even then I can't move or make any noise or he'll wake up. If Kiernan is having a fussy day too, you can imagine how bad it is. I also try to wash bottles at this point.

  • 4:00pm - In a perfect world, the babies would be waking up from their naps and eating now. We'll see if that will ever happen. But Kiernan is usually awake by now and ready to eat. I feed whoever needs to be fed and attempt to pump.

  • 4:30pm - Brennan wakes up and is ready for milk, a snack, and a diaper change. (Yes, he takes 3 hour naps. It's my saving grace).

  • 5:00pm - I start to think about dinner (in a perfect world). Playtime for all the boys.

  • 5:30pm - Attempt to put babies down for naps. This usually doesn't work and by now their both insanely cranky and overtired. The swing sometimes helps at this point. Then attempt to cook something.

  • 6:30pm - Brian gets home, changes Brennan's diaper, picks up any baby slack I need him to, and we eat dinner. Then I attempt to pump.

  • 7:00pm - Start cleaning the kitchen. Start baths and bottles for babies and a bath for Brennan. This is pretty chaotic and is an insanely long process.

  • 8:30pm - Bedtime for Brennan. Babies may or may not be in bed; if not, we keep trying. Clean up the family room, finish cleaning kitchen, and continue laundry. Brian and I either spend time together, do work around the house, or he does work and I go to bed early.

  • 11:00pm-4:30am - The babies usually wake up once or twice during this time to eat. I feed one, then the other, then pump. The process takes at least 1.5 hrs. If they wake up at the same time, Brian will feed one.

  • Whenever they wake up in the morning (usually around 5:30), I start the process all over again!

So that's life. I'm probably forgetting something (or several things). And these times are all INCREDIBLY estimated. Most days, there is no rhyme or reason to what happens, no matter how hard I try.

Right now, it's chaotic, and made more chaotic by my/their inability to exclusively breastfeed and therefore the necessity of fitting in pumping sessions. This is a very sensitive topic for me and someday I'll write about it, but I'm not ready to yet as I feel like the story is not complete. And it's also very difficult for me to get them to sleep during the day. Unlike Brennan, who as a baby liked to be cuddled a bit, then laid in his crib to sleep, they need to be swaddled, rocked, shushed, bounced, soothed to sleep. It's time consuming and the 2nd one usually gets fussy and starts crying before the first one is ready to sleep. The swing sometimes helps, but not all the time. To get out of the house is difficult. It takes an insane amount of time to get them ready, even for just a walk, and by the time we're ready to leave, they need to eat again. So, we don't get out much. Just the occasional walk around the block.

I keep telling myself that they're only 9 weeks old (7 weeks adjusted age) and that babies this age cannot be expected to be on a schedule yet. I know this, but at the same time, I YEARN for some kind of reguarity, just a taste of a routine. I want to be able to devote time to Brennan again. I want to be able to feel like my house is clean. I want to be able to exercise and feel like I'm making an effort to lose this twin weight. I want to be able to do crafts and cute memory things for the boys. I want to be able to go grocery shopping, or meet up with friends, or just to go SOMEWHERE. But, I keep reminding myself that it's only been 2 months. I just need to be patient, which is very frustrating. But I do it because I love my boys. All 4 of them. And I'll continue to run on this treadmill called life in order to make their lives better.