Sunday, November 13, 2011

Family picture!

Pile up!

Helping Grampy fill the bird feeder

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Poop on a Porch

It's days later and the drama that played out on my porch with that little dove is a memory, and all I have to show for it is one downey feather in the flower bed, and teeny, tiny piles of birdy doo on my steps. Fortunately, the spiritual lessons of my natural encounter linger, long after the birds have flown.

I wonder if there were any sophisticated thoughts in that little birdie's head when he was waiting on the porch steps, waiting for his mother. I tend to personify and have to assume there was emotion; fear, anxiety maybe. Perhaps nothing. I, as a woman, tend to attribute emotions and see intent in my husbands words, or silence that, admittedly misses the mark, entirely.

Sometimes I even miss by a mile or two. We're talking the arrow missing the target completely, and skewering the guy in charge of the archery range, bad. I know, I KNOW! It's hard to believe. ME, misinterpreting my husband's thoughts, words and actions.

Take this little scenario, which actually happened. I had the girls, at the end of a very long day, and they were fussing in their respective jumperoo and exersaucer while I was trying to make dinner. At this time of day, I tend to do a juggling act worthy of a circus performer. I try and keep the kids from totally melting down, and also attempt to put something healthy and delicious in the oven that we can eat later at night after the girls are in bed.

I see through the living room window that my husband has pulled up to the curb in front of the house. He is chatting on his hands-free device, I assume with a friend or somebody from work, for work purposes. I tell the girls "Yay!!!! Daddy's home!" I think to myself. "Thank you Lord! Relief." He'll be right in, he'll entertain the girls and stop them from crying, while I finish preparing dinner. The girls had been whining and fussing, and now crying for about an hour. It's too close to bedtime to let them nap. I clench my jaw and keep working on dinner, with greater fervor. Jeff does not appear.

It's approaching 6:25 pm. And that's when I start living in the flesh. I am stewing in my own juices. Where IS he? I look through the window and he's still chatting in the car. He's smiling...while I slave away in the kitchen, making HIS dinner, to the song of the twin sirens. I go out on the porch and attempt to catch his eye with my glare that says, "Come ON! What are you DOING?" It's been a half-hour! How can that call possibly more important than your family? More important than getting in here and doing your JOB (aka meeting your wife's expectations). He waves briefly, dismissively, and keeps on talking. I go back inside to steam.

Long story short. We had "loud fellowship" over him being late and coming in at the last possible minute before bedtime. He was talking to a friend and business associate about a sales opportunity in said friend's business, and a potential side job for my husband. Jeff was concentrating on providing for his family, so was I, just in different ways.  We were seeing the situation from two different ways, but striving towards the same goal: being there for our children, just like that mama bird.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Baby Dove

God spoke to me today, via the inaugural flight lesson of a baby dove. I was coming back from a playdate, a carseat in each hand, approaching the porch and there she was, so small and helpless, a baby dove, sitting on a step. She looked so forlorn and out of place. She had pooped a couple of times in fear, and was trying to make herself very small as I stopped and stared.

I have learned that parents don't ever let their babies stray far from their watchful eyes, so I looked up, hoping to find her mother, and there she was, strained neck and wide-eyed, looking down at me. She must have been wondering how her baby was doing, knowing that I was walking towards her position, and wondering if I had seen her and what I would do when I saw her there. The front porch roof was obscurring her view. I decided to walk around to the back door and see if mommy would join her baby on the step.

I came back out and mommy had moved down to the second floor, but she was still keeping her distance. I looked at her baby, and she was just sitting there, waiting for help to come. She didn't know what else to do, so she hunkered down and was waiting for her mother to come, because that's what moms do. That's what her mother had done as long as this little bird had been alive. Mommy would come.

I started to doubt that this was a baby, and imagined it was the other bird's injured mate. I approached the bird on the step, hoping to see it move around to know it wasn't injured and it got up and walked a few nervous steps. Backing away, I relied on past nature lessons and left the baby alone, because this WAS a baby, knowing that was the only chance it had for the parent to return to it. If I intervened, it would only end badly.

I called my husband and asked him to come in the back door this evening, informing him about the wildlife drama unfolding on our front steps. He chuckled quietly and agreed to duck in the back door. He was the sole witness to the exciting conclusion.

When Jeff got home, he saw the mother bird and her baby on the step. The baby was pecking at the mother around the face, looking for some food or affection. 

Later on, before I knew he had seen them reunited, I checked to see if our front step was still occupied and mother and baby had gone. Nature had taken it's course, without any help from me.

Looking for some spiritual signficance in these moments of time between a mother and her baby, and a human and nature, I contemplated God's omnicient care of his creation. Why is it that we assume we know better than the God of the universe, or that we may dare to tell him what's best for our lives? Our job is wait and to marvel at what unfolds before our marvelling eyes.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

For Their Future

I was holding my daughter Shannon this morning and wondering what she will do when she grows up. I'm hoping that she and her sister Rory will do better than their mom and dad. I pray they aren't saddled with debt, that they have successful jobs and that they have Christlike hearts. I want my girls to walk with the Lord, and know that he holds them in his hands.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Optimism v. Pessimism

Optimism (O): Only one twin has a cold.
Pessimism (P): So far! It's only a matter of time before the other one gets it too.

O: One twin is napping peacefully.
P: Emphasis on ONE. The other one is still awake which means no nap for Mommy. You KNOW we'll have to go up there at least once after they're both finally up there.

P: I can't remember the last time I went #2. I probably can't remember because I'm so sleep deprived.
5 minutes later
O: You just went to the bathroom, and as an added bonus, you weren't even constipated.
P: Shut up.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bumbo Seat

Here we go! The Bumbo baby seat. They each sat in it for a few brief minutes before their necks tired and they wanted to do something else, but it's a start. My bobble-headed babies are getting control of their necks!

I have several friends and family members whose kids have enjoyed their Bumbos. I read up on them and it seems that the biggest complaint/worry, other than having them tip over with active babies in them, is that the leg openings are too small for chubby-legged babies. I'm borrowing a friend's Bumbo. I don't think I would pay for one myself. Perhaps it's because I haven't had time to enjoy or respect it's full value. Only time will tell! What's your experience with the Bumbo?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Girlie Milestones and Cloth Diapering

The girls are growing up! We knew they would. That's what babies do. They're already smiling! Last week they found their voices and have been squealing in delight and even taking a few short laughs, putting their hands together. This week they have both become more adept at reaching for objects including my hair (ouch!), eachothers hands, my ear plugs, and their binkies. They are also enjoying playing with the toys on their playmats.

Alongside the twins, I have been becoming more comfortable with cloth diapering. With my BumGenious 4.0s, my Fuzzibunz and my generic dipes (that I can't remember the name of but I got as a present at my baby shower) from my girl Kallie B., (the dame who got me into cloth diapering in the first place), I am now on my way to a greener existence as a mom. I have a system! I forget how big my stash is, I expect it's around 60 diapers.

In case you non-cloth diaper moms are wondering, I do a rinse in cold water in my machine, then do a hot/cold wash with Rockin Green detergent with a double rinse. Then I throw everything into my dryer and tumble dry on low. I'm going to bring my drying rack upstairs so I can put my cleaned poopy dipes in the sun to bleach them (I understand from different blogs that this works quite handily). Oh, and just in case you were wondering...I put disposable liners in my dipes so I can remove the majority of a poop and throw it away, preventing massive poopage in the girls' dipes. Let me tell yah, I can't wait until they are large enough to have formed stools instead of liquid poo.

Let's talk diaper pails. I have three diaper pails downstairs, and one upstairs in the nursery for overnight changes. The first downstairs pail (in my dining room turned baby central) is my older model, Diaper Champ for disposable things like wipes or dirty liners or the occasional (shhhhh, don't tell......) disposable diaper. (This is an exact replica of the pail I keep upstairs for overnight changes. It holds all things disposable.) The second baby central pail is my cloth diaper pail by Diaper Decor, and it holds pee-pee diapers. I purchased two, reusable/washable liners from Kissaluvs that have this cute little cloth tab inside that you can douse with essential oil so that it helps keep odors away.

I know what you're thinking. If we have a place for number one, there must be a place for number two. When I change a poopy dipe, it goes into my third pail, which is an old bucket from a discount store with a handle on it. It's portable so I can take it down to the utility sink to thoroughly rinse poopy dipes in cold water. Then I wring them out and hang them over the side until after the girls are in bed, when I throw a load of dipes in the washing machine. I have just started researching cloth wipes and home-made spray so that I can do away with disposable wipes.

Now with my snap pliers via from my SIL Ru, I can snap the inserts to the cloth diapers and wash them together, keeping them together so that I don't have to pair them up everytime I do laundry. Now all I have to do is stuff the diapers. Yay! Timesaver. I just LOVE timesaving devices, don't you? Note: I haven't acutally attempted to use the snapper device yet. I plan on watching the YouTube video to try and figure it out.

And now duty calls...the twins are crying for their supper.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Nap When Ye May

One of the greatest bits of advice I've been given post-partum is to nap when the babies nap. It's very difficult to retrain your sleep habits around the ever changing sleep habits of your twin, infant girls, and they seldom nap at the same time. If I can get one asleep in her crib and the other in her swing, I'm doing well. But when I do get both to nap at the same time, all I can think about is what I want to get done that day or I want to check Facebook, or my blog.

There are always bottles to wash and sterilize, or another load of laundry to be thrown into the washer, but there isn't always another time to nap. Carpe napum if you will. Seize the nap. Don't mind if I do.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Postpartum Funk

I don't have anything to be sad about really. Compared to other people, I have it good. My babies are good. Then why do I feel so bad? Everything is relative.

I'm tempted to lose perspective when my whole world is babies, diapers, bottles, laundry and dishes, crying babies, RINSE, REPEAT. If I didn't have friends on the outside and a husband that loves me, I'd be off my rocker.

Why do we get the "baby blues"? I'll tell you why...

Because your body misses sleeping
Because you miss having time to yourself
Because you don't leave the house or see the light of day except through a window
Because you just spent a half hour trying to get your baby to sleep and with one little noise, she woke up again and you have to do a "reset" on her and start from square one and she's too young to sleep train, and you need to hold her even though you really want to sleep...remember sleep?
Because you just changed your baby and got her buttoned back up in her sleeper (matching the right buttons in the dark) and she fills her diaper AGAIN.
Because you get pooped/peed on before you got the third diaper on. Yup, it's a three dipe change, and a clothes change for you.
Because you miss being clean.
Because you're tired of wearing spit up for fragrance and using Desitin as a hand cream.
Did I mention, because you miss sleep?
Because your breast milk is drying up because you are too tired to adequately produce or eat properly, and all your baby wants is breast fact, she scoffs at the bottle with disdain...
Because you miss caffeine and eating things that make the baby gassy if they get into your breastmilk.
Because you miss wearing your old clothes and feeling thin and peppy because you were 40 lbs thinner and had more energy.
Because of hemroids.
Because you look in the mirror at your new post partum body and dislike your swollen saggy boobs, stretch marks, and sagging belly. You still have cellulite, you just have more of it, oh, and you can't forget the back rolls. They're yummy.
Because the last thing on your mind is sex and your poor spouse is starved for it.
Because you miss the old you and are having trouble embracing the new you and don't know what to do.
Because trial and error as a new mommy is at times, heartbreaking and rough. (I didn't mean to gag you with that nipple, or bounce your head off the door window because you have a giant bobble head.)

It's a huge life change. If you have a friend that just had a baby and you remember how rough it was...give them a break.

Offer to babysitt
Call them
Send them flowers or a card
Bring them chocolate or something from Dairy Queen
Offer to come over and sit with them and then do it
Pray with them
Let them comiserate with you

Thursday, April 14, 2011

In the Twin Trenches, Live from the Kingdom of New Mommidom

I'm back from obscurity, on a mini-hiatus. I've found some time to blog. I'll have to add details at a later date, but I survived my csection and minor, following complications, and the girls are three weeks old today. My husband is back at work this morning, for the first time and I survived my first feeding alone, when both girls were crying for diaper changes and food. Twins are going to make me one tough mother...just think of all the things at a teaching interview as a result of being a twin mommy.

Time management
Classroom management
Lesson planning

You name it! Babies and experiential learning...the best teachers ever! ;)

Do youself a favor...if you ever find yourself pregnant with twins, line up help, early and often! Get your church family hospitality meal coordinator to bring you meals. Tell that person what you would like to eat and if you have any diet restrictions for yourself, your mate, or your colliky baby (ies).  Write it on your calendar when people are bringing you things.

Freeze meals in advance, if you can. It helps to have backup meals on hand, in case you don't have meal coverage for a night. We have been fortunate, and almost EVERY SINGLE NIGHT we have had a meal and leftovers to hold us over for the next day. Yay Kallie B.!

Take people up on it when they:
1. volunteer to shop for you or pick up something from the grocery store. (Katya, Kallie, Greg!)
2. offer to come hold your baby (ies) while you rest, take a shower, do other chores. (Jen K.)
3. want to clean, or do laundry for you. (Cari, Mama)
4. are experienced nannies/awesome friends who will spend the night and take the night shift so you and your hubby can SLEEP for more than 2 or three hours at a time. (Yay Christi A.!)
Rest when the babies are sleeping. It's a temptation to clean when they are resting...and sometimes, you just need to wash those bottles, wolf that meal down, or throw in that load of laundry, but try and rest too. It feels heavenly to get off your swollen feet and prop up your cankles (or your thankles, depending on how bad the swelling is). You need your rest, especially if you are breastfeeding.

Drink plenty of water and make time to pump. I'm still working on this bit of advice myself. "Hydrate or die" my dad still says. He's right! I get lightheaded when I forget to drink enough. The twins are boobie monsters. Little milk vampires, which translates into water hogs :) You must drink, so you can be the mommy milk bar. Even if you're not breastfeeding, you'll need the water to keep up with them.

Being a new momma is rough. I'm not gonna lie and say I've got it all under control, because I don't. We're pretty much like Comcast..On Demand. A schedule will come with time, at least, that's what I'm told.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A "George Stanley Banks" Moment

Perhaps I just needed a nap. Perhaps it's just the third trimester angst or the "nesting instinct" kicking into overdrive... whatever the reason, I had an interal Hot Dog/Hot Dog Buns George Stanley Banks moment this evening. Fortunately, it was after my dear husband escaped to play Magic cards again with his friends until the wee hours of the morning. I get the distinct feeling I am being purposefully avoided...

Some friends say...let him have fun! I say, if there is stuff that isn't done around the house that needs to be done, things I cannot or should not be doing by myself, then he needs to take care of business BEFORE going out to do fun things: i.e. cat litter boxes and mounds of garbage in my kitchen. Why the freak out, you ask? First, I'm finding that if I want ANYTHING to get done around here on my schedule, I just have to do it myself. And second, I'm tired of asking and getting other people's opinions about things. I have definite ideas of what I want in the nursery, but again, I'm settling because we don't have any money. I'm saving our gift cards for necessities instead of wants and it's killing me. I'm so tired of having to be practical. Unfortunately, that is where we are in life. Everything is not matching in my nursery. I like matching, or at least coordinating. We don't have everything we need yet. I plan on taking care of that myself tomorrow.

I don't know how to wash/use the cloth diapers I was given at my shower.

I haven't had a haircut/highlight in forever and my hair is long and shapeless.

And I have a RASH all over my body.

Normally I can quell this me-centric attitude with a mini-sermon about being thankful and content with what I have, or about patience, or something said to the effect that it's not all about me, but right freaking IS. There I said it. :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Under Pressure....

I thought this link to the Queen/Bowie song Under Pressure is only appropriate to post when I think about the sensation of a bowling ball getting ready to drop from between my legs....seriously. I've got at least 9 lbs. of baby in there. I am thankful for a competent cervix. I shiver to imagine if mine was stupid.

I've made a discovery... the twins like David Bowie. Lot's of activity with Bowie, oh, and Billy Idol...they enjoy White Wedding. Good old YouTube.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cankles of Unusual Size DO Exist...

When I find my camera, which is probably buried in the pile of baby shower paraphenalia in the dining room, I will have to take you a picture...a picture of my cankles of unusual size. Yes...they DO exist, much like those giant rodents in the Fire Swamp from The Princess Bride.

Pricking mine canckles (or thankles depending on the severity of the swelling) with a sword has done nothing for their unsightly appearance. Elevating my feet, watching my salt intake, and drinking plenty of water does help, but I am predicting that soon, not much short of delivery will alleviate the swollen voluptuousness of my lower appendages.

Pregnancy can do funny things to a woman's body.It can stretch mark you, shrink some body parts, make others grow to unusual size, and even turn your day into night. It does this to prepare you for the demands the little package you will labor to bring into this world will make on you. You can look at that baby and say, "Child, you have worn me OUT! But I would do it all again, just to hold you in my arms and call you mine."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's Been Far Too Long...

In my hiatus as a pregnant blogger, I've been away getting ultrasounds and getting fatter, getting baby showered, and getting more and more bloated. That about sums it up.... Oh, and I've been on message boards on a popular baby website run by Johnson and Johnson.My giant baby shower was this past weekend and it was amazing. I'm not just using that word, and I do know what it truly means. I have some awesome friends and family and they know how put on a party, complete with decor, delicious food, fun games, a gorgeous cake and of course, lovely gifts and thoughtful cards. We're gonna be good to go for awhile as the girls arrive.

My most hopeful thoughts (after those of a safe delivery) are that I will be able to rely on these same women for helpful advice and listening ears not to mention aide and relief when I find myself at my wits end as a new mommy...especially if I have a c-section delivery. Girls...give me your shout outs now and I will start signing you up for assistance and the occasional meal.

I do want to stock that freezer, wash all those cute clothes, and finish cleaning, all in time for the wee folk to arrive. I say that tongue and cheek, but they COULD be born on March 17th. There are apparently several different days in March when it would be fortuitous for the girls to make their debut: Dad, MIL, friends and family members have March birthdays. I hope the girls bake as long as they need to in my oven before the timer goes off.

Wednesday, tomorrow in fact, is our next ultrasound. We'll get to see how big they are getting and what position they are in. Thursday will be my next OBGYN appt. I'll get to ask them about support stockings for my legs. Dang. The last two days, I have had RIDICULOUS swelling in my ankles. I had to tell my principal yesterday that I was giving two weeks instead of the 5 weeks notice I had previously offered. It's getting to be time to get off my feet and focus on being healthy and wise.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Odd Tidbits of 411 and Other Nonsense

Today is the day when I can no longer zip up the front of my coat while wearing a sweater, even if I do try and suck in my stomach. No, "can do." On the plus side (no pun intended), I now have a nice shelf-like ledge on which to rest my plate of cheese and Triscuits during my afternoon snack. Every cloud has it's silver lining.

Last night I got my Rhogam shot last night at 6pm. Gave me a little bit of a headache...listed as a temporary side effect. I had it for the evening.

Labor and delivery classes start Thursday the 13th. I have to call the hospital to schedule a tour of their labor and delivery ward. That should be fun!