Thursday, May 24, 2007

Breathing Room

D: I have officially broken my golden rule of raising twins… Don't freak out.

This morning, as I sit with my plastic funnel attached to my boob in my left hand, my right hand is wiping away my tears of defeat. There is a measly 1 oz. pumped when I was expecting at least 4. This race to keep up with the Deuce’s daily requirements has taken a hold of me and, as Walker so poignantly put it this morning, is messing with my mind.

It’s a catch 22, really. The more they need, the more I pump. The more I pump, the more stressed I get about not pumping enough. The more I stress, the less I produce…resulting in a morning filled with tears and only 1 oz of milk.

Today I am forced to accept my own advice that I've given so many times on this blog… Be flexible. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

I have decided to remove the 10-ton burden off my shoulders and allow some room to breathe. Breathe in motherhood, my children, and all that I love about caring for them. (Including breastfeeding!) I’ve sent them to daycare today with a few oz. of formula to supplement their breast milk supply. Already I feel more relaxed about my expectations for myself today. My hope is that as I ease the pressure off, my body with thank me with an over abundance of milk for the Deuce for the future. Cross your fingers!!

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 10:48 AM :: (8) comments

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Fair Warning

W: It's been a little while since I've jotted down any thoughts or observations on being the newly minted Sheriff of Twin Town. A quick check on the old calendar shows that the Deuce arrived exactly four months ago yesterday. They're doing great, and we're having a blast with the little guys.

We're in a constant state of flux here in Twin Town, which is good because it keeps us on our toes. Flexibility is the key, let me tell you. But every now and then, just when I think it is safe, I slowly move off my toes, and I let my guard down a little. That's exactly what happened when D, the Deuce, and I were at a large dinner reception two weeks ago - I let my guard down.

Here's what happened. We were at the reception, and of course, the Deuce was garnering all the attention being the cute little cuddle-monkeys that they are. People are attracted to twins like moths to a porch light, I swear, and our porch light is especially bright. Then, from across the courtyard, an older woman and her friend strolled up, greeted us, and asked to see the twins. That was nice. Well, it was nice until the woman started talking.

After a few pleasantries, ("Are they identical?" "How big where they when they were born?" "Gosh, you must have been big!") the next thing I know, this older woman looked straight to D and asked, "Are you a stay-at-home mom?" I glanced at D - we'd just talked about how difficult going back to work was for her on the ride to the reception. "No," D said, "I'm going back to work next week."

The woman, now looking faux-concerned said, "Oh, no! But who is going to look after these babies?" D, now with an icy glare said in an equally chilly voice, "We're taking them to a absolutely wonderful day care." The woman curled her lip and had the audacity to say, "Well, that's too bad." And she and her friend walked off.

I was floored. My mouth was wide open. I turned to D and asked if she was OK before the full extent of the conversation had even registered in my brain. It happened so fast. I turned back around to see if the woman was there, but she was gone.

In hindsight, it was one of those situations where it was probably best that I wasn't remotely prepared for a face-to-face verbal attack on my wife and our parenting. I mean, it was the last thing you'd expect, right? But damn, if that happens again, the Deuce is going into "earmuffs" mode, and I'm going to make a few pointed suggestions for such a person because this Sheriff ain't happy if momma ain't happy.

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 8:38 PM :: (6) comments

Monday, May 21, 2007

Changes

D: This past week I returned to work, after a month and half on disability leave (bed rest) and 4 months maternity leave. My feelings about going back are all over the board. Of course I knew that the time would come when I'd go back, but I don't think there is anything that I could've done differently to truly prepare myself and the kids for it. Change just happens, and then you adjust.

The boys have been doing great in daycare, and the folks there love them to pieces (should I be concerned when they tell me they want to take my children home with them?). Of course, the transition is much harder on me. The concept of "time" just keeps changing on me. As I've said in past posts, time with the boys just flies by. An entire day can just escape me in an instant. But, since I've been back to work every hour seems like 3. It's not a bad thing necessarily...I am able to get a lot done! (One bonus skill learned while juggling the twins at home!)

Now the challenge is in keeping my milk supply up, while pumping at work. My goal is to continue to keep them on only breast milk at least until they reach 6 months. I need to pump 3 times a day for 20 minutes each time producing at least 34 oz. of milk to meet the Deuce's daily needs, while I'm away. Each day I am just barely reaching my goal. If anyone knows of any tips to increase my supply, please let me know.

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 8:17 AM :: (4) comments

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

World Class Travelers

D: Recently I traveled with a good friend of mine and the Deuce to my brother's wedding in Colorado. Because the wedding corresponded with W's finals, my friend stepped in and helped me travel with the Deuce. There was intense anxiety leading up to the trip, but of course the boys did great. I'd like to say it is in part to my awesome planning skills, but I am learning that I've just got some pretty amazingly resilient babies. Non the less, I will share with you the planning that went into the trip, in case you are attempting to fly with two little bambinos any time soon.


• Because we had a god awful early flight, I made sure that everything was packed the day before hand and then traveled with the kiddoes in their PJ's that morning. I also sat in the back between the car seats to feed the kids each a bottle of breast milk on the way to the airport. This worked out well because their usual feeding is at 6am but we were mid-airport/security hell at that point and didn't want to worry about two hungry kids.

• Upon arrival at the airport we checked our bags, but kept the stroller with the car seats attached with us. (like a snap-n-go.) We took the car seat bases and put them under the stroller, and attached the bases to them once we checked the car seats at the gate.

• Each of us had a diaper bag with us that had a baby carrier in it. My traveling companion had enough bottled breast milk for the take off, landing x2 (Seattle - Denver and Denver to Co. Springs) so the baby's ears didn't bother him. I was able to breast-feed my baby on my lap during these times.

• We had to take the babies out of their car seats while going through security, so remember to leave a lot of time to go through security. We didn't, and got so hurried along that I left my breast pump at the Seattle security station. I wish I had a picture of O getting patted down!

• Once we got to the gate we checked the stroller and the car seats and carried the babies on. I've heard that if there are any extra seats on the plane you can try to see if they will let you keep one of the babies with you, in his own seat (sitting in his car seat) between you.



Some important things I learned:

• Breast milk or formula is considered an exception to the "no liquid" rule while flying, as long as you have a baby traveling with you.

• Because there are limited airbags for each row, you can not have more than one lap child sitting in the same row. What works the best is to make sure you've got two aisles seats, across from each other. This gives you a lot of room to move around and get up easily to walk the aisles.

• It really does help the babies to feed, or have them suck on something while taking off and landing. It helps with the pressure on their ears.

• Strollers count as a checked piece of luggage, even if you check it at the gate. If you have two pieces already checked you will have to pay more. Car seats are not counted toward this number.

On our return flight we lucked out and they gave us an empty seat in between us, where the babies snuggled up with each other and slept the whole time.

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Some highlights from the wedding weekend...

Time spent with the Deuce's Grandparents:

Meeting their Great Grandmother:


Catching the classic shot, "O asleep on the Best Man"


And swimming at the hotel pool!



They turned out to be quite good swimmers. Check out O's first
DUNK!

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 3:03 PM :: (3) comments

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mothers Day!

D: I have never been happier. I have a wonderful husband, great dogs, a fantastic house in a fun community and the best kids anyone could ask for. These are the first thoughts I had this morning when I woke up on Mother's Day. That, and "man, do I ever deserve this holiday!"
Don't get me wrong; I love being a mom more than I could ever have known I would. My heart swells with the thought of how much I love my children.

But being a mom is also harder than I ever thought it would be, for that very same reason. It is because of that intense love that I find myself questioning every decision I make, pulling my 'guilt card' out every other day for some reason or another, and always putting their needs way before mine.

I now realize that it is only natural for new moms to feel so neurotic about their children, for it is these intense emotions that help us to bond with our kids and help us to respond to their needs. Some evenings I look back on the day and recall the perfect symphony that my babies and I have conducted; while other times it sounds more like an adolescent school band, stumbling through each measure, completely out of tune.

Everyday I am learning how to be a good mother to my children. Today I reflect on my instincts and where they originated. My mother taught me to love unconditionally, for that is how she loved her children. Already, I am learning this is the most important aspect of motherhood.

And then there is the unexplainable natural bond that forms way before your children are born. It’s as if you've just grown another limb and are learning how to use it for the first time. This natural bond can feel so unnatural and clumsy and at the same time so right. (More about this in a later post as I explain my over dramatic attempt to semi-wean the boys off the breast, to get them ready for day care.)

This Mother's Day I pay tribute and respect to all mothers in a way I never have before. We’ve got one hell of a job to do, and have so much to learn from our children along the way. W has been very sweet today, honoring this holiday with flowers and gifts (“from the boys”) and treating me with yummy eats and champagne.

This could very well be my new favorite day of the year!

(I will write soon about my travel tips, from last week’s trip to Colorado with the boys…complete with pictures of course!)

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 2:13 PM :: (2) comments

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Seeing the world in a different light

W: I know this isn't a photography blog, but I love the results I'm getting from my 35mm f/2 AF Nikkor, so I thought I'd share. Super sharp, super bright, awesome depth of field. More to come, but here's F, mom and O, and Chili Bean.


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Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 10:59 AM :: (5) comments