Monday, December 17, 2007


I have it on good authority - mine - that if you’re looking for something high fiber, something that will go right through your kids, that brown rice is a good idea. If, on the other hand, you’re not....

Ah, the joys of cloth diapering.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Best of Intentions

Remember way back at the beginning of the month, when I said I was going to post more? Yeah. About that. I planned to post again, and then I missed a day. What the heck, I thought, it's not like I'm doing NaBloBlaBla. And then I missed another day. And before I knew it I'd missed most of the month. Ah, well.

I have some posts in the works, including highlights from our recent cross-country trip to see the in-laws (and a certain fabulous blogfriend and her family), musings on airplane karma, recent thoughts on (my) kids and tv, and an update on my recent visit to the Clinic that Couldn't. But we're still jetlagged, so this is all I can muster for now.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Good, The Bad, and yeah, that's Ugly

The Good: Both kiddos, but especially M, have started climbing into our laps to cuddle or read. It’s so cute it almost hurts.

The Bad: We all have a cold. And our sitter is out of town this week (on a cruise - the nerve!). And J’s had to work way more than usual - which is especially frustrating since we knew the sitter was going to be away, and so he was supposed to try to take some time off so I could get a break and, you know, do some actual work.

The Ugly: In the past few days, MissM has developed a new behavior. When she’s really upset, she cries until she’s coughing, then she sticks her fingers in her mouth, gags herself, and throws up. I don’t know about the first time, but at this point I’m pretty sure it’s intentional. It’s a hard thing to ignore - I don’t really want her to throw up, and once she does, I can’t really just leave her in her crib or wherever covered in vomit. It seems to happen most when she’s tired - she did it yesterday to protest being strapped into her carseat after a long morning visiting J at work (because I had a meeting I had to go to) and way past her nap. And not even five minutes later she was sound asleep. My quick googling found one source telling me it’s a developmental/behavioral thing and to ignore it, and another telling me it might be the sign of a serious medical problem. (Though that one seems to be more about vomiting after eating, and that’s not really what she’s doing.) Oh, what to think? And how long before I just call the pediatrician?

(I called a couple of days ago to get the ped’s advice about decongestants. Yes, I know they’ve been recalled, but so far as I can tell, it’s because people were misusing cold medicine - especially the multi-symptom kind - and misdosing. When the kiddos are super-stuffy at night, a dose of decongestant is sometimes the only thing that helps. I got a callback from a nurse instead, who gave me the official line about how they’re not recommending any cold medicine to kids under 2, and then helped me confirm the correct dosage. So there’s that.)

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Surveying the mess on the floor under the highchairs, which is getting worse as the kiddos try spoon feeding themselves. Tonight they had "popeye pasta" (pasta in a creamy spinach sauce - I'm trying to work in the veggies more) which left a sticky green mess.

Me: I wish I had a little hand mop. There must be such a thing.
Him: It’s called a sponge, dear.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Like a Light (Switch)

They go from awake and babbling (or, um, crying) to asleep instantly. It really is like flipping a switch.

Of course, they also go the other way - from peacefully sleeping to loud wails - just as fast. And more and more often, lately.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Much miscellany

Maybe I can finally manage a post if I just use bullet points:

  • These are not babies anymore - they’re toddlers. Walking, climbing, exploring. It’s great - and SO exhausting.
  • They can find their belly buttons all the time, and mine too. And ears, and noses. And tongues, which is super cute.
  • At 15 months I’m starting to buy 24mo clothes for B - mostly things like pajamas where they can be a bit long right now, but it’s not far off. And now I have to figure out where they’re going to sleep at Thanksgiving (at my in-laws), since I think he’ll have exceeded the weight limit on a pack and play by then!
  • They are firmly in the pull-everything-off-the-shelves stage. And every day they can reach things I thought were safe, so constant vigilance is necessary.
  • Our babysitter is back, and life on that front is so good. They love her. It’s a good thing I do too, or I’d be a bit jealous. She’s the star attraction.
  • I’m back to some aspect of my feelings of parental inadequacy. In the early days, I couldn’t comprehend managing both babies alone so when anyone else did it made me feel that much less competent. Now I have trouble feeling comfortable taking both babies outside, for example, but the babysitter is fine with it.
  • We’re taking a sort of mommy and me class at one of the local temples once a week. Not sure what I think of it so far - half the other moms in the class are moms from my playgroup, so I already know them and their idiosyncracies. But I guess it’s good to get out and do it.
  • Another of the playgroup moms is pregnant - and the first is due pretty soon. And we recently got three more “second-baby” announcements from other friends. I’m sure I have more to say about that, at some point.
  • I’m working part-time and trying to get my head back to my research so I can finish my degree. It’s been so long since I’ve worked that I might end up with an entirely new topic. Got any good ideas for a dissertation?
  • Our local Moms of Twins club Fall/Halloween party is this weekend. Which is nice since most everything else has been cancelled this week. Have I mentioned that I live in San Diego? The kiddos will be dressing as train engineers (stripey overalls, red bandanas, hats - if they’ll keep them on). They wore them to a pumpkin patch already and terrorized the chickens and bunnies in the petting zoo.
  • That was a longer list than I was expecting. I guess it’s been a while.

I’ve been working on this list for like a month now. I miss blogging. I read, and sometimes even comment, but it’s rather one sided. So I’m going to try. A bit. And hopefully more than just bullet points.I guess I just really needed to get caught up. I’ll try harder - less with the baby updates, maybe, since that gets out of date so quickly and then I just feel lame. I already can’t keep up with the baby books.

If I wait for perfection, I'll never post anything, ever.

Friday, September 07, 2007


Of course I think my kids are extraordinary, but in general I know they're pretty typical. Which is good - developmentally they're pretty much right on track. Both are walking (M more smoothly than B, but she also had a couple of week's head start) and into everything. And temperamental - they want what they want, when they want it (now - always now). And playful, both with the nice toys that we and their grandparents have provided -- the wooden play cube is a big hit, as is the somewhat annoying electronic play table (thank you craigslist) and various push wagons and blocks and puzzles and books -- and with whatever they can get their hands on. Tupperware drawer? Love it love it love it. Wooden spoons, metal bowls, paper slipped from a shelf that used to be out of reach? All fun. And today they came across a box of miscellaneous nursing and pumping supplies. Apparently, the "horns" for my old hospital-grade pump are excellent toys that have been in high demand ever since. Who knew?

Monday, August 27, 2007

The $10,000 Question* (Updated @ end)

Welcome, Akeeyu, to the world of stupid twin-parent questions. It’s lovely here. Really.

We just got back from a week’s vacation with the in-laws. They rented a house in a mellow mountain town, and we mostly just hung out and played with the kids. Midweek, I managed to pinch a nerve in my neck, or throw something out of alignment - whatever it was, it hurt. I couldn’t find a local chiropractor with availablility that day, so J booked a massage for me at the local “day spa.”

I was already a bit unsure about the massage therapist when I met her and she had a weak handshake. I don’t know about you, but I generally think of hand strength as a good thing in a massage. But my whole neck and upper back had tightened up around this spot, so I stripped down and settled myself on the table. She starts working, and making small talk - where are you visiting from? how did you hurt your back? I said I was playing with my one-year-old twins, and she said... “Oh, are they natural or did you use drugs?”

Yeah. Because that makes for a relaxing massage. I said, “We were lucky” though that answer totally feels like a cop out on a number of levels (although it’s true, we were - are - lucky). And then she said, “I lost a set of twins.” And what do you say to that? Especially when laying naked under a sheet in a room with a virtual stranger. “Um, I’m sorry.” **

But otherwise it was a lovely vacation, and my babysitter is back in town (halleluyah!) so maybe I’ll actually find a few minutes here and there to write. And shave my legs. And pee in peace. You know, the little things.

* As in, If I had a nickel for every time I’d been asked the question, I’d sure be richer now.

** UPDATE: Not that it lessens the pain any, but this woman's kids are in their late 20s or early 30s, so any loss was a long time ago. The vibe I got was that it was a miscarriage, though I don't know why I think that. I'm not saying that makes it less painful - god how we all know that - just that it wasn't quite as fresh as it might sound. And the massage was only mediocre, so I got more caught up in that than her potential loss. Sometimes I am incredibly selfish. Perhaps a conversation for another time - the balance between being a compassionate person, and being granted an hour of blissful and mindless relaxation.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Hooray for small victories

I successfully made wheat-free, egg-free cupcakes for the babies to try at their party tomorrow. Not that they'll know the effort, or the difference. But stil, yay!

(Longer post, ruminating on the passing of a whole year of their lives to come, but for now I have a party to make happen, and cupcakes to frost. My ruminating will have to happen later.)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Identity Crisis

M and B will turn 1 next week. But this isn’t a birthday post. At least, not really. Not yet.

M & B will turn one, and I will start the countdown to the end of my official leave of absence from my life as Grad Student. I don’t talk about that part of my life here much, partially because I can’t talk about my specific research without risk of outing myself, and partially because for a long time, I’ve been ambivalent about being in grad school. Since the first year, actually. And I’m now in my 6th year. (It’s a PhD program. In the social sciences. Normative time in my program is 7 years. It’s not unheard of for people to take longer.) For those of you that know something about the world, here’s where I am: I’m ABD. For those that don’t, that basically means that I’m done taking classes and jumping through hoops in terms of exams, and all I have left (all I have, as if it’s so little) is to write my dissertation. I defended my dissertation prospectus (and you don’t just present, you DEFEND) when I was 9 weeks pregnant and feeling queasy - physically and emotionally. And I’ve done virtually no work on the project since then. I kept busy for a while, and the time after the initial defense is always a bit of a downtime, and then I went on bedrest, and then I delivered, and, well, you sort of know what I’ve been up to since then. I’m entitled to 3 quarters of leave. Unpaid leave, mind you. This is not the cushy land of generous maternity leave plans and universal health care. (Actually, going on leave meant that I lost my university health care, so it’s a good thing that I’m also covered on J’s plan, even if it is with the EvilHMO.)

Anyway. I took a leave of absence and threw myself into parenthood. I didn’t see any other way. Initially, I thought I’d take just part of the year as a leave, then return to school somewhat part-time to get my head back in the game. Except the babies wouldn’t take bottles. And childcare is expensive, and it’s not like I make any money as a grad student. And I didn’t really want to leave. And I didn’t really want to be back in school. So I’ve been home.

I never really envisioned myself as a full-time SAHM. I planned to be home much of the time, but somehow I thought I’d also be working (or, for now, in school) part-time. It seemed so ideal to be in school, actually, because I have a flexible schedule and can do my work in the morning, at night, on weekends, at home, on campus, at a coffee shop, wherever. In theory. Only I can’t. I can’t get anything done at home. Even when we had a sitter coming a few times a week (she’s on summer vacation, sob), that precious time was spent showering, or going grocery shopping alone, or at a doctor’s appointment. I didn’t have enough time or focus to do MORE.

Here’s the thing. I don’t particularly miss my research. I’ve been ambivalent about this program, and my schooling in general, for a long time. I’m not one of those people that just LOVES the thinking and theorizing and jargoning. I’ve stuck with it for varying reasons: I couldn’t judge the program based on the structured first-year curriculum; I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do instead; we moved for me to go to school, so how could I stop; I don’t want people to think I’m a quitter; and now, because I’ve invested so much time in it that it seems silly/lame/pathetic to just quit.

Mostly it’s just that last one, now. Most days I’m sure I don’t want to go into academia, professionally, and this isn’t a field where there are lots of industry jobs just waiting for me. So the degree is somewhat unnecessary. (Though for the kinds of jobs I might someday want, it might lend me a touch of credibility.) I’m no longer excited about my research topic (if I ever really was). The worst part right now is the feeling of limbo, which translates into guilt. If I’m reading blogs, I’m not keeping up with the journals or other academic discussions. If I’m home with the babies, I’m not taking part in colloquia. If I’m keeping the kids happy and healthy and the house running as well as can be expected (if not smoothly, than at least functionally), I’m not doing much else. I can’t. There just isn’t enough of me.

And so it goes. My leave of absence is coming to a close and I have to make this decision, and then stick with it. Come September, will I throw at least a portion of my brain power back into the academic arena, buck up and get to work, or will I say “to hell with this” and move on? I just don’t know.

I’m not sure I’ve even laid out the problem here, but it’ll have to do for now, since I have laundry to move to the dryer and dishes to wash.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Advice, please

1. We have the possibility of buying a used Learning Tower. Obviously, the kids aren’t old enough yet, but it’s a good deal and I think we might want one. I know someone out there has one, and I’m hoping for advice - is this a good purchase? Will the kiddos fit up there together? Please advise.

2. While we’re gathering advice, I’m looking for recommendations for our next round of toys. We’re coming up on their birthday, so we’re trying to think ahead about what toys and activities we’d welcome at this point to get us through (or at least into) the toddler phase. Here’s what I’m thinking about so far:


Friday, June 08, 2007

in out open closed

I think we’re on the mend. I have a lingering cough, which always happens after a cold (gee, thanks, asthma!). The kids are definitely over the worst of it, with just an occasional bit of snot to wipe. Although MissM has replaced sickness fussiness with teething fussiness - as far as I can tell, she’s finally getting ready to cut her first tooth. It was a big relief to figure this out today, since her sleep has been getting worse and worse and I wasn’t sure what to blame. But now I can point my finger at her mouth and say “you - you are the culprit” and somehow that makes me feel better.

Plus she’s otherwise quite charming. M’s latest skill is IN and OUT - she loves to take things OUT of containers and put them IN other containers. It’s good that we got one of those toy storage units that’s just a bunch of bins - lots of places to take from and put in. But sometime recently she graduated to the next step - tonight I found a ball IN the laundry basket. Under some laundry. I guess it’s not just IN and OUT but UNDER, too.

Not to be outdone, B is exploring OPEN and CLOSED - playing with doors, drawers, and cabinets... and the kitchen trash can (which has one of those push latches - you press down on the little grey part and the lid pops up). He thinks it’s great fun to pull up on the cabinet and then pop the trash open. To thwart him, I turned the trash can around so the part he can reach doesn’t have the latch. He still presses, though, and looks up expectantly. The thing is, I did the same thing tonight. It takes a long time to retrain me, I guess. Probably more time than it will take for him to figure out how to get to the other side of the trash.

So yeah, things are okay around here. I started to write a post about feeling overwhelmed, and how having sick kids the first week I have no babysitter and no visiting grandmas really sucked and made me notice some, um, unpleasant things about our relationship, but I think I’ll save it. For now, things are okay. J is working tonight, so I did the whole bedtime routine alone for the first time since the babies got so mobile. Tiring, but I got them fed, bathed, dried, diapered, clothed, nursed, read to, and down to sleep. And started a load of laundry. And now I think I’ll go watch TV or something pathetically decadent like that. (Maybe with dessert, even.) Yay, me.

Next up, what we’re eating (and not) these days. And more on the crazy antics of my (almost-former) playgroup. And our nine ten month update. Yikes, I’m late on that one. I’d better get moving. Right after I have some ice cream.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What Goes Around

We are sick.

First B, who was hit hard with whatever cold/flu this is. Poor boy. I don’t think it’s a stomach bug, but he spent a couple of days throwing up. On me, only on me. He’d wait for me to pick him up. Sweet, in a disgusting way, right? I think his tummy was upset by the large quantities of snot that must have ended up there.

Then M, who was already having a tough time with sleep (after a week or so of decent nighttimes and good naps - just a tease, really) and is now congested such that lying down is a problem. She was up and down last night, and I have no reason to think that she’ll be much better tonight. And we can no longer bring her to bed with us, because while she’s fine in her sleep, when she’s awake in our bed she moves around so much she’s nearly fallen off the end of the bed. We’re just not awake enough to manage it. Which is a shame, because when she’s SLEEPING in our bed, she sleeps really well. This morning I slept with her in my lap on the chair in the nursery (not comfortable) and after B got up, I shifted to the floor (thinking it wouldn’t work) and she slept there a bit longer. So maybe that’s a possibility.

And now me. It’s no wonder, since they both love to chew on my water bottles. But ugh. Headache, achy body, coughing. I’m headed to bed right now, where I’ll drift off pondering how we managed to get so sick in the SPRING, when we don’t really go anywhere, aren't in daycare, and when the babies are breastfed. I’m just saying.

Snort, moan, sigh. Waaaaaa.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Firstly, many thanks for your collective wisdom. I called the Evil HMO and explained that I wasn't sure I needed to come in and could I get a call back from a nurse or doctor, but when the customer service person (neither a nurse nor a doctor) heard me say "possibly broken" she switched from taking a message to making an appointment. So I went in to Urgent Care last night after the babies were in bed, careful not to touch anyone or breathe the air of people there because they had the flu or somesuch. The doctor I saw told me, as we all suspected, that it didn't much matter if it was broken or sprained, the treatment was the same. (Treatment = tape to next toe for support and wear shoes for protection.) She offered to send me for an x-ray if I was interested in whether it was broken or not, but confirmed that the only difference would be length of time to full healing (~2 weeks for a sprain and ~6 weeks for a break). We concurred that it didn't make much difference, and off I went. I did get to read a few pages of a new book, so the outing wasn't a total wash. Lesson? You and I know what we're doing better than the customer service rep. Also? I liked the doctor. And? Because I'm so often with the babies, I don't carry their pictures, so I have nothing to show a semi-interested doctor. Must fix that one.

In other news, um, actually there isn't much going on. Our fabulous babysitter is going home for the summer, so we're doing the babysitter/nanny search again. Ugh. She's here right now, and the laundry has been folded and high chairs wiped down and now we're just tiptoeing around because the babies are Still Napping. I'm not going to tell you how long it's been for fear of jinxing anything, so I'll just keep tiptoeing around.

Solicitation of input: I'm getting tired of reading the same board books (they're getting boring - ha ha, I crack myself up) and looking for some new books to add to our repertoire. Any suggestions?

I'm sure I had something interesting to say, or ask, or recount, but now I can't remember what. So this will have to do for now.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Unfortunately, I'm not that popular

This is one of those moments where I wish I had one of those blogs with really high readership, so I could tell you all that I think I may have broken my toe, and someone would kindly tell me whether in fact it seems so and what I need to do about it - thereby saving myself from waiting hours for a return call from the doctor on call at the Evil HMO. But alas, I am not one of those bloggers and this is not one of those blogs.

(Though if anyone wants to weigh in: I stubbed my big toe yesterday and it hurt like the dickens, whatever that means, and was sore to walk on, but bearable. Today it's worse, with a black and blue spot - not the whole toe - and somewhat swollen. Currently I have it taped to the next toe - the index finger of toes, I guess - and that's helping a bit with the walking. Am already planning to skip the walking portion of playgroup, sadly as I could use the exercise, but trying to decide if I need to go in to get it looked at/x-rayed or if I'm already doing what needs doing.)

Friday, May 11, 2007


The babies babble at me, their language full of syllables and trills and rasperries. I sometimes echo their syllables and noises back to them, which makes them squeal with laughter, and then I wonder - what have I just said? Have I promised them ponies? Cars at their 16th birthday? Or more likely, all the cheerios they can eat and never having to take a nap when the world looks so interesting.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Yes, I know it’s not Friday anymore

The answer to the question “How good are your babies at self-entertainment?” is apparently - not good enough for me to sneak away to write a blog post.

They can play with each other without much intervention for a bit, but I can’t get too far away. When I do, it’s to the kitchen to get something to eat (which I haven’t done today) or to the computer to catch up on email or blogging. I have a laptop and wireless internet, but the babies often find my computer a particularly compelling toy, so I’ve had to stop bringing in to their play area.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Chocolate is not the enemy anymore

When MissM and B-Boy were about two weeks old, I accidentally ate some cabbage and it gave them really bad gas. And ever since, I've been concerned about how my diet affects them. For a long time, I had cut almost everything* out of my diet in an attempt to alleviate Miss M's reflux, though I've since added most things back to my diet. But still, when the kiddos have a particularly rough night, or a hard afternoon, or any trouble at all, I tend to pause for a minute to consider whether I've eaten something that was the cuplrit. It's a habit I'm trying to shake, since for the most part I don't really think what I eat has much effect on them anymore (though I do think it did to some degree, for a while). The other day, I had a bit of a splurge - a $tarbuck$ mocha. Milk, chocolate, sugar, coffee (okay, decaf, but still). And you know what? Nothing happened. Nothing. They were fine. I guess I can go have that chocolate cake and glass of milk now, right?**

* Among them: dairy, soy, most vegetables, anything acidic (tomatoes, citrus, coffee), and, sob, chocolate.

** I fear that now that most things are back in my diet, my body is going to feel the impact. Oh sure, I can eat veggies again, but I can also eat Ice Cream! With Chocolate Chips! Yeah, this is going to be good for me.

Friday, April 27, 2007


I miss blogging. I’m having a hard time channeling the brilliant miscellaneous thoughts I have when I can’t write them down (bathtime, driving, nursing) into actual, coherent posts, or even finding time to edit the things I have managed to jot down. And so I don’t post. And I miss it. The blogging community in various guises has been a community to me - the place where some friends meet and hang out and share advice and joys and sorrows and mundane nothings. So I’m trying to find my way back. If blogging is a conversation, I guess sometimes things aren’t going to come out the way I’d intended, or as smoothly, or whatever. But trying to get it just right seems to keep me from speaking up at all, and then I’m just sitting on the sidelines listening in. And that’s no fun.


A bit of housekeeping: I “upgraded” to the new blogger, but I haven’t had time to mess with it to get it back the way I’d like it. Case in point - I no longer have a blogroll. It was out of date anyway, but I’m not sure how best to get it back. I currently read blogs through Bloglines, and I figure there must be a way to export my bloglines and just use it as a blogroll. Anyone? And how hard is it to add things to the sidebars? I think I’d like to add one of those “what we’re reading/listening to” lists, but given how little time I can find to write a crappy post, I don’t know how I’m going to make that happen.

Monday, April 23, 2007

In the darkness

In the darkness, I am awakened. Again. It is one five ten minutes. A few hours. I am needed. My body is needed.

In the darkness, I dream mysterious dreams. I dream of being taken from my babies. I am terrified by what I read into the dream, and by the possibility that they would be okay without me.

In the darkness, my body is not my own. My fingers are chew toys. My breasts, spigots. My clothing a canvas for the neverending landscape of drool, spitup, leaks.

In the darkness, I am consumed by doubt. I ask,
what did we get ourselves into?
how am I going to do this?
what have we done?

In the darkness, I am consumed by darkness.

In the darkness, I wait for a moment of light.

It comes, in a chubby hand kneading at my breast. Grabbing, tugging. It comes in a gummy grin, a gleeful look, a face lighting up at my entry to the room. It comes, in babbles and coos, words of love in a language I don’t fully understand.

In the darkness, I wait for the light.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Measures of Success/The Road Not Taken

I went to high school with a girl (call her E) at a school known not so much for its academics as its artsy focus. She and I were the only two students taking a specific advanced class, and we were friendly, but not the kind of friends you keep in touch with after school. I’ve Googled her before, so I had a sense of what she’s been up to, but something triggered the search again the other day, and I scoped out her latest - after spending two years on the faculty of Well-Known Midcountry School, she’s now on the faculty at Very Prestigous New England University. She’s my age and she’s already been working as a tenure-track professor for three years. I’m on leave from a program I can only hope to finish in another two or three (or five) years.

It’s not the path I want to take anymore, nor was it ever really my path, but even so, it’s hard not to compare. She’s completed her graduate training at a top-notch school, married a colleague, and been hired into not one but two Name Brand Schools. She’s also a rocket scientist/brain surgeon, speaks 20 languages, and can recite the alphabet backwards

while dancing
in high heels
on a tightrope
over a pit of alligators
who are hungry.

Last week I was a human tissue. Today I was a jungle gym.

I’m not saying she has the better deal, not at all. I’m where I am because this is what I wanted, this is where I put my time, energy and resources, and this is my payoff. And it’s a big payoff. But still, it’s hard to avoid the moment of comparison, the brief imagined trip down another path. What would my life look like if I’d chosen a path sooner, focused on my research, published and presented?

Thursday, April 05, 2007


So the other day I had a bit of twinge-y pain/cramp on my left side.

Hmm, I said. I wonder if I might be ovulating? Hah. No way. It’s probably my stomach or something.

Last night I had a bit of pink spotting.* My first thought was “oh shit” until I remembered that when not pregnant, spotting is not a big thing. Today it’s gone.

I think I might need to renew my account on Fertility Friend and start charting again.**

Not because we’re trying or anything, but just because it looks like I might want to keep track of what’s going on in there. Because I have no effing clue what that might be.

* I'm not the only one who still checks the TP, right? It's a hard habit to break.

** Can you temp if you're not sleeping for multi-hour chunks? Because I was up at midnight, 2:30, 4ish, 5ish, and 6ish last night. I think. It's all a little fuzzy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

And how was your day?

Me: I’m hungry and I’m tired and I’ve been a human tissue all day.

J: Well, at least you’re the soft lotiony kind.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Midnight Dilemma

I am not getting enough sleep. The kids are each doing decent stretches (no sleeping-through-the-night or anything, but B was down to one night nursing, and M down to 2, on their best nights). But lately I’ve been up every couple of hours with one or the other.

When they were little (I can’t believe I just started a sentence that way! I have kids - that used to be little - can you believe it?) we used to wake the second for a feeding when the first woke. But at some point I thought we should let them set their own schedules - if one could sleep through, it would be silly to wake them (and might teach them to wake up when what I really want is for them to sleep). But now I’m up all the time, and I often have trouble falling asleep because I just know that the next waking is around the corner. (Now, for example. I went to bed and waited, and sure enough I was up in 20 minutes. And now I can’t sleep. Ugh.*)

What do I do?

(a) Keep letting them set their own schedules. They’re working on a developmental spurt, I think (when are they not?) - B is close to crawling. They might be teething. Once we get past this hurdle, we might be back to fewer night wakings, and I don’t want to have screwed that up.

(b) If it seems like a reasonable stretch since the last waking, wake baby #2 after baby #1 nurses. Which is good except that I acually dread the babies waking at the same time, since at night I can’t really tandem them (at least not without waking J, and that turns it into a whole big production and makes everyone more awake and harder to settle, plus he does have to get up for work these days). Plus, then I’m encouraging them to wake every 4 hours or whatever one of them is doing, rather than encouraging them to sleep through. Aren’t I?

(c) Night wean. Or at least work harder to cut back on night nursing. When we did our big sleep project, we spent a couple of nights following a set of rules around night wakings that meant soothing them sometimes, and allowing them to nurse at others (since I’m not so sure they can go 12 hours without nursing at all). I gave it up because it seemed so arbitrary for them - at 11 they wake up and get shushed but not nursed, but at 1 they get nursed right away? How do they know it’s 11 and not 1? It just didn’t work so well for me. But then I stopped trying to soothe them back to sleep at all (except for the early night wakings - anything before 10 or 11), and just nurse every time. And I know at least some of the times they’re not really hungry (2 hours after their last waking/nursing? I think not.)

Any advice/tips/warnings/encouragement? Please?

* And sure enough, after I wrote the initial draft here and started to go back to bed, baby #2 woke.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sad news

Sad news doesn’t even begin to cover it.

I’m sitting here, crying, waiting for my babies to wake from what I would have grumbled was a too-short nap, but now all I can think is how much I want to hug them tight and not let go.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wherein I use the word “sucks” a lot

This is a big ol’ woe-is-me post. Be warned.

I have a couple of great posts in the pipeline, just waiting for me to get it together to post them. So why am I not posting them now? Because during their morning nap, M and B granted me enough time to pee and change my pants (but not my shirt). Yeah, naps are sucking more and more. I think (partially channelling Moxie) that we’re at a developmental spurt (there’s one at 29 weeks, right?) plus they have a cold, plus maybe teething? All together and it sucks. Not that naps have been great, well, ever. But now even nighttimes suck. Talk about a sleep regression. I think I was up more than I was down last night - all with M. She’s sick. And won’t sleep except if I nurse her. Which is the one sleep habit we’ve been trying to break, at least for naps and such. (I still nurse her most times she wakes at night - or lately, every time since I have no energy for anything else.) Plus J is back to working like a normal person (instead of working part time from home) and yesterday worked from 8am to about 4, then had to cover for someone in the evening. So I did the dinner/bath/bedtime thing alone for the first time. And it took forever to get M to settle. And again a few hours later. And several times overnight. Did I mention this sucks?

So those other fabulous posts? They’ll have to wait until I have time to change my shirt. (I’m not even getting my hopes up for a shower, though J would probably appreciate a less-smelly wife.)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Getting it out of the way

Yes they’re twins. One boy and one girl. No, they’re not identical. Yes, he’s bigger than she is. No, she’s older. Yes we’re lucky. Yes, we’re tired.*

Linda’s post got me thinking about the various things people ask about twins.

Of course, we always get “Are they twins?” Which is reasonable, I suppose, especially since B is so much bigger than M, though the last person to ask looked dubious as if to say “Are you sure?” Well, yes, actually. I gestated them, I got GD with them, I sat in my recliner for months with them, and I was in the room when they were sliced out of my abdomen. I did, in fact, say “You’re really going to have to trust me on this one.”

One time, we got: “Are they twins or are they two separate babies?” Um, yes? How else do you answer that?

And really often we get comments about how lucky we are (yes, we are, thanks) to have a boy and a girl. “You got it all out of the way at once.” This puzzles me. I know that boy/girl twins are the holy grail for some infertiles, and that after going through hell to get to this point, many of us feel extremely blessed to get two babies (of any gender) out of one pregnancy (or out of one round of treatment, IVF or otherwise). But the random people who make these comments aren’t coming from this world. I think they’re coming from some version of Pleasantville - where the family ideal is one boy and one girl (and maybe a dog in a cute matching doghouse).

Every time I get one of these comments, I cringe a bit. Some of it is a desire for normalcy privacy (will I ever be able to take the kids out in public without being a spectacle?). Some of it is the discomfort when our admittedly good fortune crashes up against the moments I wish I’d had my kids one at a time. Some of it is the discomfort of brushing up against my inner debate about family size. See, I’m not sure we’re done. I love my babies to pieces, and I certainly don’t want any more right now, but I can’t say yet that we’re done. I can’t get rid of the baby things, even as we outgrow them. It helps (or doesn’t help, depending) to know that we have 9 fairly good embryos just waiting on ice. To know that it’s a possibility. And I think I might want that chance. To do this again. To feel a baby inside of me. To experience the full pregnancy, to take childbirth classes and think about delivery options. To keep holding the baby I have asleep in my lap, rather than handing her off so I can nurse another. In some ways I want a do-over.

Given what we went through to get here, I don’t want take my luck for granted, but I also don’t think family building is something to get out of the way. I don’t want to belittle the experience I already had. And in some ways I feel protective of my future potential children, that I not betray them now by agreeing that our family is perfect just as it is, even though, in this moment, it is.

Does that make any sense?

* I was going to post about how we’re working on the sleep situation again, but I don’t want to jinx it, plus I don’t actually think it’s all that interesting. We’re working on it. Period.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Playgroup Adventures

I took both babies to playgroup yesterday by myself. This is a first. Usually J comes with me. Or I don’t go. But the kiddos are starting to be okay playing on the floor or whatever and not starving all the time, so I could swing it.

Everyone seemed far more impressed by this feat than I thought was warranted.

One of the other moms held her own kid plus another kid for a minute and said something to the effect of “Oh, so this is what it’s like for you!” (To be fair, I know she didn’t mean that in the way it sounds.) And then I took one of the kids so she didn’t drop him. Apparently, carrying two 5-6 month old babies takes practice.

Topics for discussion included crawling (one of the other babies is working on it), swim lessons (whether 6 months is too young and what’s the point anyway), and the big one: how many kids everyone wants and when. Yeah. I had to sit through a whole lot of “I think we’ll start trying again when he’s one” or “We want them spaced three years apart, so we have some time” or “I just can’t imagine being pregnant again yet, but my sister-in-law’s coworker’s cousin had a baby the same time and is pregnant again...”

I’m becoming a bit disillusioned by this playgroup. It’s not the first time I’ve felt like the odd one out. And the twin thing is only part of it. For the most part, my priorities and values are divergent from the group. That may be because the current group is all the moms who have not returned to work. No, that’s not it. Because there are a couple of people I think are my kind of people. But it’s big, and chaotic, and it’s hard to explain our differing views and needs and expectations.

I did comment, gently, that while I hoped things went as planned, people shouldn’t just expect that they could so carefully plan things. I suppose for some of these women, that’ll mean they get pregnant a year sooner than they’d like, but whatever.

My mom got a holiday letter from a family we’ve known since I was tiny - the older daughter and I were in a playgroup together, actually. In the letter, the parents mentioned that the daughter and her husband were planning to add to their family this year. I don’t know if I’m more bothered by the notion that they think they can plan it, or by the fact that the parents announced it in the holiday letter. Eeesh.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Project Sleep Part 2: Sleep dreams

The other night, as I lay in bed contemplating how long it would take for my left boob to explode, I tried to draft an ode to my new best friend, the cr@ni0sacral therap1st.* We took MissM to a CST - we’ll call her Dr. Fingers - that day in the hopes of working on her reflux and gas and sleep issues, and Dr. Fingers spent much of the time working on M’s suck. And making her cry a lot. And we paid a lot of money for it and we’re going back in 2 weeks. So that night I nursed them to sleep as usual around 7, and then they each got placed in their cribs around 7:30 (B in a minicrib in our room, and M in a crib in the nursery) and then at 2ish B-Boy woke up to nurse (he’d been fussing earlier - he’s learning to roll over and it seems to wake him) and then I woke M up to nurse so I didn’t explode. How amazing is that? Of course the next night we were back to her fussing as soon as we put her down and me holding her for the next hour. But I’m hoping that’s due to the lousy naps they got so I can continue to compose love letters to Dr. Fingers.

So yeah, the naps still suck. If we catch his sleep window, we can put B in his crib awake and he’ll settle himself and sleep (we’re up to 40 minutes of sleep sometimes, though still often just 30). The other day M drifted off in a bouncy chair after about an hour of being clearly sleepy. Yesterday’s first nap was fine, if still too brief, for B, and nonexistent for M. The problem, I think, is that with her health stuff it’s been a long time since she’s gone down in a crib sleepy but awake. Or fussed and then settled. And we haven’t really pushed the issue, because it generally seems like her fussing is discomfort, not just fussiness. So I’m hoping as we get the last of her physical stuff under control that we’ll be able to help her learn to sleep in her crib. (Not quite sure HOW yet, but this is the hope.)

And in other news, I think we’re starting runny mushy goo solids this weekend.

*I’m afraid my mom is going to search on this topic, so unfortunately for people looking for info on CST and babies, I’m not going to pop up in their searches (unless they know to call it CST, hrmm). In general I try to leave in the searchable key words and phrases since that’s how I found some of the most useful help when going through fertility stuff, and how I found many of the bloggers I now consider friends. But this time I can’t risk it. Which is funny, because we’re at the point where it would mostly be okay for my mom to read. But then there are the archives, and I’m just not sure I want to go there. In fact, I may already have said too much.

Monday, January 01, 2007

One two, one two three

I was all set to write some sappy post about the New Year, and about resolutions (I’m still thinking about making some, maybe) and how incredible it is to be starting a new year as a family instead of as a duo. But instead I bring you the couple in the UK who are probably thinking about all of the ways to NOT get pregnant in 2007, since 2006 brought them twins AND triplets. Apparently without any fertility drugs. I never thought I would say this about anyone (other than maybe the mythical crack-whores and fertile SILs), but I think there might be such a thing as too much fertility. Way too much.

So, um, Happy New Year. May we all have just the right amount of fertility (and general happiness) this year.

And may MissM pass her gas easily and without discomfort. Poor thing.