Life with Twins

Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Newborns vs. 2-year-olds

NOW (and kind of THEN too):  I’m sitting here typing this feeling like I was run over by several trucks.  I’m always tired, always, but this is just ridiculous.  And it’s because of a 2-year-old.  Not her fault, but I’ll get to that.

I remember when everyone told me, “sleep while you can”.  And that newborns wake up every 2-3 hours all night long for a while.  And that I was going to be more tired than I ever was in my life.

Boy, were people wrong.

Newborns DO wake up often.  But…..lucky me…..I was off work for 12 weeks, and Tim took 8.  So when the baby-feeding-alarm went off we just got up, warmed up bottles, got babies, set up the pump.  We sat and watched tv on our bed with our babies for about a half-hour while they ate and fell back asleep and I finished pumping.  Returned them to their cribs.  Returned to our bed.  Yes, we were doing it every 3 hours.  But that was during the day too.  So if we had wanted to, we could have slept while they slept.  Or at least relaxed and zoned out in front of the tv until they woke up again.  We look back on those days with fondness.  Was it hard?  Yes.  Was I tired?  Yes.

But I really don’t think it’s anything compared to how I’m feeling right now after being woken up twice by my sweet daughter.  My sweet daughter who had never thrown up in her life.  Until last night.

Now, they often wake me in the middle of the night.  It’s usually to retrieve a stuffed animal that fell or to fix the blankets.  So I do it and I trudge back to bed.  Although I don’t usually fall back asleep right away.  And if I do, it’s usually not the GOOD sleep I was into before being awakened.

But throw-up is different.  I obviously could not give her a hug and send her on her way and put myself back to bed.

The first time it happened she was very confused.  I walked into her darkened room with no glasses and she was sitting up in bed, holding something.  I asked what she was doing.  She explained, “I have this.”  First glance, in the dark with no glasses on, I thought it was poop.  “Aw man, what did you do Ariel?”  Then, looking closer, I realized it was red.  I became alarmed.  Red is blood.  I turned on the light.  No…..red is thrown-up raspberries.  Which she had dripping down her jammies, all over her hands, on her blankets and sheets.

I couldn’t do anything in this state.  I needed my glasses.  After retrieving them I started cleaning up her hands with baby wipes for the time being and got her out of her jammies.  Then I stood her on the floor as I started stripping the bed.  After a couple seconds I looked over at her and realized she was shivering.  Duh, should probably take care of the kid first.  But it was 2 in the morning, and our first throw-up incident.

So I brought her to wash her hands and face more properly in the sink and got her redressed.  I covered her with some blankets as she sat on the floor watching me take apart and put her bedding back together.

I turned the light back off, got her tucked back in, read her a quick story and took the dirty comforter, sheets, mattress pad and jammies downstairs to the top of the basement steps.

Ok, maybe 20 minutes later, back to bed.  Not back to sleep, but back to bed.  My mind was racing, as was usual when I try to go back to bed in the middle of the night.  I’m great at falling asleep initially, bordering on narcolepsy, but to re-fall asleep is hard.  I was kinda dozing off around 4 when I heard her crying.  This time I didn’t hestitate.  I rushed back to her room, grabbing my glasses on the way.  When I got there she was still laying down, on her side, in a puddle of puke.  Poor baby had it all over her pillow, in her hair, even in her ear, and obviously on her face.

I didn’t have to strip the whole bed this time, just got the pillow away and the jammies again.  However, the sink wouldn’t do the job on the girl.  I took her in the bathroom and she started crying again.  I soothed her, quickly so as not to wake Will, and knew she was mostly just scared because this had never happened to her before and at first she was shocked and confused, but calm.  This time she was upset.  And extra tired.  And so was her mommy.

I got her washed up and she seemed her happy self.  She crawled into bed with her book again and was pleased that I had brought her a new pillow with a star pillowcase that matched her sheets.  I asked her how her belly felt and she said sick.  I thought a cracker or something might help and she agreed when I asked her.  I went downstairs and decided I better just throw everything in the washer now, just in case.  Then I my way back up I grabbed a Club cracker for her.  She ate half, sitting up in bed, leaning against me.  Then she said she felt better and she’d go to sleep.  So she did.  But I didn’t.  Every time a dog would make a noise or Tim or the baby monitor, I would be wide-awake again.  So when I looked at the clock and realized I was supposed to get up in 10 minutes to exercise, I decided to reset my alarm for another hour.  No exercising.  Besides, my tummy wasn’t feeling the best either.

I never did get back to sleep so I probably should have just gotten up and exercised, especially since I signed up for an 8K this Saturday.  But once I did get up….my stomach troubles really hit me.  I felt so sick.  I got myself ready and ate some oatmeal and felt better.  But I was dragging myself.  By the time I got to work I couldn’t even stand up without feeling like I was going to puke.  Not good.  I chalked it up to lack of sleep.  I never like to admit I’m sick….that’s always a last resort.

I made it through most of the day, but finally had to call another teacher to take my class because I felt like I was going to pass out and/or throw up.  I went home a little early and let my parents take care of the kids until Tim got home.  Upon coming in the house I was informed that Will had also thrown up that morning….all over the carpet…..in my sickened state I could still smell it.  There wasn’t really anything I could do about it so I just sprayed a little Febreeze and figured I’ll vacuum tomorrow and re-spray.

After dinner we did our usual movie routine.  The kids sat on either side of me and we all curled up under a blanket while we watched The Little Mermaid.  Tim picked my favorite because I’m sick.  🙂   We even got them to drink some grape Pedialyte.  A year or so ago, whenever the last time was that they were sick, I had bought little individual packets of powdered Pedialyte.  It’s more expensive than buying the liquid, but the liquid expires like a week after you open it.  So spending more money and actually using the packets is way better than just throwing out the less expensive liquid.  And it’s good to have on hand at times like these because the kids had barely eaten or drank anything all day.  They sucked it right down, which I was surprised about because last time Will wouldn’t touch the stuff.  🙂  So we had a laid-back night, which was good.  I was still feeling pretty sick and tired and I didn’t know how often I’d be woken up by the kids in the night, so I took a sick day just to be safe.

So…..would you rather have the sleepy feeling of a mom of a newborn?  Or go to work after a night of being a mom to a 2-year old?  

Just for fun….here’s a picture of the twins and the snowman we made last week, when there was actually snow one day.  🙂

2 (3) in Progress

NOW:

I’ve been playing;

  • Chase – run run run run run run run – all around the circle of our house.  I don’t know why the dogs bark as we do this, but it adds to the mayhem fun.
  • Tickle Monster – usually after the running….someone climbs into the chair and says “get me!” and the tickle monster does.
  • Hide ‘n Seek – “Mommy, we gonna hide under the table, come and find us!”

– “oh where could those kids be?  In the kitchen?  In the tent?  In the dining room?  Under the table!!!!  What a surprise!”

We also made Jell-O.  Later they told Daddy they added hot water and cold water and stirred it up and made it cold in the fridge.  They had some for dessert, topped with fruit!

I’ve also been cleaning;

Upstairs I dusted and vacuumed every where.  I also cleaned up my bedroom by putting some things down in the basement and stuffing some clothes in Tim’s closet.

In the basement I took all of the pieces of drywall out, broke it up, threw out what would fit in the garbage cans and moved the rest to the garage.  Why have pieces of drywall been laying in my basement for 7 years?  I don’t know.  I just don’t know.

Once the drywall was gone I was able to use that space for garage sale stuff – mostly baby related.  The cleared up a LARGE spot in the middle of the floor.  Then I also organized all the baby clothes.  I had packed them away by size, but not boy/girl, so I just rearranged and reorganized.  Then I started getting rid of some boxes of products we had been saving in case we had to take anything back like from the cookware we bought two years ago and the charcoal grill.

I swept too.  And didn’t see any mice in the two days I was down there.  Hooray!

The kids helped me sweep and mop the kitchen/hallway/bathroom also.  I should have taken pictures.   I’m terrible.  It was cute, take my word for it.  They helped me moved everything out.  They used their little broom and dustpan as well as helping with my big dustpan.  Then they used their little mop but also helped go back and forth with mine too.  Then they helped me put everything back in.  It was fun!  And a good learning experience for the day they can do it by themselves!

I started organizing some toys too.  As in, I took some toys from baby-hood that they don’t really play with anymore and put them in the basement.  Garage Sale Pile.  Shhhh….don’t tell them!

Digging for Gold

Mopping the Kitchen Floor

And now I’m blogging, so that’s a start for goal #3!  This is now.

THEN:  One day a nurse asked me if I wanted to change Will’s diaper for the first time.  A million thoughts went through my head in a split second.

If they were at home I would have changed plenty of diapers by now…..

I’ve never changed a diaper before in my life…….

I have to learn some time……..

There are so many wires and needles attached to him…….

What if I hurt him……..

I said no, but that I would watch and do it next time one of them needed a diaper change.  Having such little experience and having such a small baby with all of those needles and wires was just too much.  I didn’t feel guilty, I just watched and listened as she explained how to get around the wires as easily as possible.  It was important to do it fast so that he didn’t get cold.  Or pee on himself.  She was very reassuring.  That’s what I remember most from my experience in the NICU.  Everyone was so calm.  That made me calm.  And everyone was so efficient.  Like they weren’t fooling around…..even though these babies seemed so small and fragile they got the job done.

Usually when Tim and I would go up we would bring snacks and water and books to read.  We’d walk in and find comfy chairs and drag them over to our babies.  We’d say hi and talk to them and softly touch them through the holes in the incubator.  We’d either look at their charts or wait until a nurse came over to update us – which they always did as soon as they could.  We were mostly concerned about them gaining weight.  The nurses would also tell us if anything important or interesting that had happened overnight or when the doctor did his rounds.  Then we would just sit and read.  Spend time with each other and time with them.  If they needed to be fed, we’d hold them while they “ate” through their feeding tube.  After that first time we would change their diapers if they needed to be changed.  When I needed to pump I would leave and go to a different room to pump.  They had provided me with a whole second set of equipment so that I didn’t have to bring my own shields and tubes and bottles every time – I just left a set there and used the pump in the room.

See the feeding tubes taped to our shoulders?

It was like that for a while.  Just waiting for a change indicating that they were closer to going home.  In the meantime, we relaxed.  As much as we could considering the circumstances.  That was then.

Ariel-feeding tube in her nose now....

Will -no CPAP, with nose feeding tube

Cleaning, Playing, Blogging

What do these three things have in common?

Hopefully I will be doing them all this week since I have off for Mid-Winter break!

There’s a couple of lunch and dinner dates in the mix too.  My main goal is to clean out my basement which I already started today by getting the drywall pieces out of there and out for the garbage.  That’ll be while the kids are napping (fingers crossed).

While they’re awake there will be lots of playing!  Including having them play sweep and mop along with me while I really sweep and mop.  🙂  Maybe dusting too.

I’m also hoping to post a couple of times to kind of catch up on stuff and get back into the swing of things.

I’m back to running too, so I’ll update about that as well.  🙂

So…..see you soon!!!

6 Days Until My Birthday!! (plus some news!)

No-Twin Thursday (yeah, I know, I know)

NOW: Guess what I did (ok, I haven’t done it yet, but I’m going to do it, really)!!!  I signed up (will be) for the Buffalo Half-Marathon!!!  Whoo-hoo!!!!

Ok, I haven’t signed up yet.  But I am serious about it.  I even had a couple of meetings regarding the topic.  First with Tim, then with my friend/running buddy, Kate. 

Kate and I talked about signing up for this months ago.  Then, we kind of casually talked about it a couple of weeks ago (as in; how’s your running going….not so good…..me neither…..).  But I had a training plan that a colleague had shared with me that didn’t start until February 12.  That seemed like a million miles away, so no big deal.  

Luckily, Kate is more on the ball than me.  I want to do it, I have plans to do it, I got her involved in the first place, but then sometimes I just don’t follow through.  Or I put things off until it’s too late.  Kate texted me Wednesday implying that we needed to get our shit together and figure out what the hell we’re going to do about this training plan that starts in two weeks.  Especially since neither of us has been running since our last 5K in the end of September.

I was lazy calm about it.  I said I’d talk to Tim about a good day for her and I to get together and have a little dinner and discussion.  I was thinking like next week…two weeks….

But then I said to myself; “self, get your ass in gear”.  So I did.  We met at Panera last night and planned out a calendar.  I’m a little less flexible than her as far as time because of the twins and Tim not wanting to stay home with the twins.  We decided running in the morning, 3 times a week would work for our shorter runs and then a weekend day (usually Sunday) for the longer ones.  And any day we can’t run together outside for some reason, we have to check in with each other that we got our running in alone that day.

I talked to Tim first.  He’s my workout buddy and I’m going to be abandoning him 3 times a week!  He basically said that was fine as long as I got him out of bed first so that he’ll get up and do the Wii Fit without me.  The other two days I’ll do the Wii Fit with him.  Until the sun starts coming up in the morning and then he’ll go running by himself those two days so that he can do some 5K runs this summer.

Kate and I are also going to run an 8K Shamrock Run in between.  It works out that it’s the same weekend as we are supposed to do a 5 mile run anyway and it will be good motivation.

Normally, we don’t sign up for races ahead of time.  But that’s mostly because the 5K races don’t have a big difference in price even if you wait until the last minute.  But this is a little different.  Not so much for the Shamrock Run, but the Half especially.  So, we’ll save some money (always nice, especially when she has a wedding to pay for in 6 months!) and again, more motivation.  If we’re already out the money we won’t use the rain or something silly as an excuse, right?

I feel so motivated after this little plan!  I ordered a healthier option while at Panera (garden vegetable soup as opposed to broccoli cheddar) and did not get that 420 calorie Caramel latte I wanted so much. 

Perhaps this is just the motivation I needed.  Hopefully it will stand up to Birthday Week dinners!!!  (6 days until my Birthday! Yay!)  This is now.

THEN: It was SO hard that I couldn’t drive after my C-section for 6 weeks.  I needed to get to the hospital!  Luckily, my parents took me every day that Tim was working.  He had decided he would use his time off for when the twins actually came home, rather than now.  I had to rely on my parents’ schedule but usually it was ok.  My mornings were spent at home alone sleeping, pumping, watching tv, pumping, doing some light chores, pumping, eating, and pumping.  Mostly pumping.  And waiting.  Waiting for the time when my mom and dad would come get me and take me to the babies.  It was stressful, but relaxing.  Does that make sense?

I’m not a worrier.  Whatever will be, will be.  And some things are out of my control so worrying isn’t going to solve the problem.  Was I worried about the twins?  Yes, of course.  But they were healthy.  It had been ME that was the problem, not them.  So was I worried, yes, because they were in the hospital and I had all the what if questions…..what if they didn’t gain enough weight, what if their bodies wouldn’t regulate their temperature, what if they didn’t learn how to eat, what if their oxygen levels dropped, what if a crazed nurse stole them from the hospital like a Lifetime movie?

These thoughts were in my mind, yes.  But they were always in the absolute back of my mind.  They didn’t stop me from enjoying and appreciating everything else I was given.  Especially my sleep and freedom.  I had two newborns and I was sleeping through the night and had loads of freetime.  I try to look on the bright side.  🙂  That was then.

I Guess I Didn’t Knock That Wood Hard Enough

Then (as in a week ago): Oh la la la, Ariel stays in her bed until we get in the room.  Oh happy day, what a lovely child.  Oh girls are so much easier than boys.  Oh I wouldn’t even mind if she did get out of bed because she would probably just quietly read books.  Unlike her brother, who wreaks havoc if you don’t come get him within a few seconds upon waking.  Including, but not limited to, smearing poop everywhere.  (Ok, that hasn’t happened in a while, but just typing that is tempting fate).  What a lovely daughter….a week ago…..when I should have been knocking wood every time I said these things to someone……

NOW: Fast-forward to present day.  This past weekend in fact.  The lovely daughter decides, oh wait, I CAN get out of bed without a grown-up in the room.  And I can run around my room wreaking havoc.  Why didn’t I think of this before?

Thursday night.  We watched a movie (The Little Mermaid!!!) after dinner, so twins are up to bed a little after 8.  Ariel gives a hard time about laying down and getting covered up, but relents because I threaten to leave the room.  Will settles right down, Daddy covers him, Mommy kisses him goodnight.  He tells us he loves us both.  Awww.  (The “I love you’s” sometimes still have to be prompted, so it’s THE BEST when he does it on his own).

The grown-ups go back downstairs to make some tea, have a snack, watch TV, and (for me) do some laundry, etc.

We hear, through the ceiling, the pitter-patter of little feet.  First, we’re amazed it’s not The Boy.  So, up I go.  Sure enough, she’s running around, but got scared when she heard my footsteps so tried quickly to return to bed.  I cover her again and tell her to stay in bed and go to sleep.  She mentions Princess Ariel and I ask if she liked the movie.  She informs me that “my no watch movie yet, my eat dinner first!  Watch movie later.”  This is somewhat concerning because she’s obviously got some time-traveling going on that I don’t know about.  But, I figure that’s good…..she must be SO tired that she’s getting confused.  Good.

I return to my melty ice cream and soggy cone.  Yum.  Then……little feet.  Tim makes the tea while I go up again.  Now, let me tell you, I probably wouldn’t normally go up and keep checking on either of them, but it’s just so weird that she’s actually out of bed. 

She’s naked. 

She informs me that her diaper was wet and she threw it in the garbage and she needs a new one.  Although that’s somewhat annoying, I guess that’s a good sign in some ways (related to potty training).  OK, so I get a new diaper on her, tell her not to take it off again, get her jammies back on, get her back in bed, get her covered up.  Ok, done.

Back downstairs.  Little feet.  I don’t want to run the risk of her being naked again and then peeing all over the place.  So I go up again. 

I tell her that I am getting mad.  She says, incredulously, “Mad??  NO MOMMY, you not mad, you a nice mommy.  You nice to Mil-Yum, you nice to me.”  I am laughing so hard.  But I try to explain to her that even though I’m nice, I can still be angry and she better not get out of bed again.

Back downstairs again.  Little feet.  Now I really am mad.  I go upstairs again, sternly tell her this, and she crawls back up into bed.  That’s the end of that.  For real this time.

Friday night: Little feet, little feet, little feet, naked girl, new diaper, little feet, little feet.  I go up for the third time and find that her pillow and a blanket are on the floor. 

She informs me that she’s sleeping on the floor.  I ask her why.  She tells me, “my no like my big girl bed, my want to sleep on floor….it’s safer.”  WHAT??!!  Um, ok, whatever. 

It’s not a big deal, but I still try to convince her to sleep in her bed. 

I ask; what about all your stuffed animals?

Ariel responds; I’ll just bring them down here, mommy.  (She does.  I help.)

M: what about your pretty star sheets?

A: my don’t like them, my don’t like black.

M: Those aren’t black, they’re purple

A: My don’t like them.  My sleeping on floor.

M: What about your music box?

A: My just bring it down here.  Take it off!

M: No, I can’t take it off, it has to stay up there, I guess you better go back to bed.

A: No mommy, I need to figure this out.  Hmmmm (while tapping her chin)

**Pause**

A: I know, I be right back.  (goes up on her bed, presses music box, climbs back down.) There!  My figured it out.  And if it turns off, my climb back up and turn it on and come back down and sleep on floor.

So, I’m out of ideas.  She tells me again she wants to sleep on the floor, her bed is not cozy.  Ok, fine.  I convince her to lay a blanket down to sleep on and cover her up.

She’s running around again so Tim goes back up around 10. He also unsuccessfully tries to get her to sleep in her bed, so covers her up on the floor again.

I go up to bed around 11 and check on her.  She’s sleeping.  Naked.  Scrunched up on her stomach.  So I somehow get her diaper and jammies back on without waking her too much.  The diaper may or may not be taped to her stomach but that’s  a problem for the morning.  There’s a pee spot on the blanket but she’s not laying on the spot so that’s a problem for the morning also.

Saturday – no nap.  Naked twice.  Little feet for 2 and a half hours.  Closet opening and closing.  Pairs of socks separated, but still in her drawer.  Books everywhere.  She has a whole new outfit on – inside-out shorts and a tank top.  She’s not to happy she can’t wear that downstairs.

Saturday night – Tim’s dad babysat.  She did sleep on the floor but there were no little feet noises and when I checked on her before I went to bed she was clothed.

Sunday – no nap.  Naked twice.  Little feet for 2 and a half hours.  Naked again – pee on the rug.  Clothes out of the closet.  Diaper pack out of the closet – I put it out of her reach.

Sunday night – she asks me to read her a book upstairs (we always read one downstairs together before coming up), so I tell her if she lays down (still insists on the floor) and I cover her up and THEN I will read the book.  She does, I do, she stays and there’s no little feet.

No nap Monday.  Falls asleep quickly at night again. 

I’m assuming this is just a phase.  But after saying that, I better knock wood.  Hard.  This is now.

THEN:  My parents took me home after my visit at the NICU.  I was drained.  Physically and emotionally.  I didn’t want to leave, but I was ready to be home.  My mom was going to drop my dad off at home and then come to my house for a little bit and help me get settled and take care of the dogs.  But then Tim called.  He was leaving work.  Again.  I was so thrilled and so in love with this man who would constantly just put his new family over his job.  I was so amazed at his devotion.

Plus, we needed groceries. 

So my mom stayed until Tim got home.  I was just going to stay home while he ran for groceries, but decided I didn’t feel like being alone.  Plus, I wanted to talk to the pharmacist about my prescriptions.  So, off we went.  After I pumped – which was so much better on my own couch with my own pump and no worries about people wandering in and out of my room.  Still didn’t get a lot, but that was ok for now.

At Wegmans, I had to get one of those motorized carts and just follow Tim around, but that was fine.  I had used them a couple times even while pregnant because I wasn’t supposed to be on my feet for that long (because when Tim goes grocery shopping it’s no less than an hours’ worth of walking).  I putted around behind him as he meandered up and down the aisles.  I was wearing the new shirt my mom had made for me – I’m a New Mom of Twins, with a picture she had drawn of a boy and girl in a baby buggy.  So I was getting lots of attention with my little motorized cart and my shirt advertising my accomplishment.  At least people didn’t have to wonder why I was using the motorized cart. 

After our trip I wanted to sleep.  But I wanted to go to the NICU.  This was probably the beginning of realizing how selfless I could be if I really wanted to.  I could have easily taken a nap, gone to the hospital later, and not been judged about that.  But I didn’t want to.  I needed to see the babies.  And Tim did too.  We packed up some snacks, my pump supplies, and a couple of books to read while we visited.  Soon, we were on our way back to our children.  That was then.

Winter Rut

NOW:  I’m really in a bad winter rut.  Not emotionally.  Physically.  And it’s discouraging because I feel like in the last 5 weeks or so, I’ve undone everything I worked for.  Between January 2011 through Mid-December, I was really really good about exercising.  Over the summer I even started running and ran a few 5K’s.  I felt great.  And along with the exercising I was watching what I ate….not obsessively, but just paying attention to my hunger cues and adding more veggies and healthier options.

I knew things would go downhill at the holidays.  With going out shopping came going out to dinner.  We still were sort of trying to find better options but we were still busy enough that we weren’t cooking at home as often and maybe not paying as much attention.  Now, I’m not talking about going to a fast-food place and getting fatty or fried foods!  Even if we ran to Applebee’s we didn’t get a big cheeseburger with fries along with an appetizer or something.  We didn’t pick off of the Weight Watchers menu either, but we tried to get grilled chicken or steak with veggies.   And we almost always cut our meal in half and take half home. 

Things really fell apart the week AFTER Christmas.  I was off and had no intention of getting up at 5:30 in the morning to exercise.  That was my first mistake I guess.  It was more important for me to get that sleep.  Which actually ended up working out ok because with Will being SO sick (broncialitis/pneumonia), he was waking me up VERY often in the night and I felt exhausted anyway.

Ok, so the New Year came and my first day back was January 3rd, but I still felt honestly just exhausted.  I didn’t catch up on sleep at all the week before and I was definitely feeling run down.  So, again, I chose sleep over exercise.  All week.  Again.  I felt refreshed.  And not guilty.  Not good.  Because justifying it can be a big mistake.  I know that from past experiences.

The week of the 9th was better.  We got up Monday, Tuesday, took a break Wednesday, got up Thursday.  Friday…..not so much…..Will had been waking me up like every half-hour during the night and then the dog woke me up once because he threw up.  When my alarm went off, I cried.  Tim said this was an extenuating circumstance and I should get the extra hour of sleep.  So I did.

Starting Sunday, Tim was sick.  Like puking sick.  So…..I was very busy.  I was on my own with the kids and then I also needed to take care of him. He didn’t need much, just an occasional glass of water or some crackers.  I did have to make dinner, which he had been planning on doing, and then he didn’t eat even though he requested Lipton soup.  The kids loved it though!  I wasn’t sure how that would work out…..they’ve had it before but only by taking little sips off of our spoons.  But I gave them more noodles/less broth and they did VERY well!  I was impressed.  So that was good.

Monday I had off, Tim was still sick, I didn’t even consider exercising.  Again, setting a bad precedent for the week.  Tuesday morning, my alarm was all set.  But my resolve wasn’t.  And this is where my problem lies.  I haven’t exercised all week.  Tim had an excuse, he’s still pretty weak.  He finally ate just yesterday.  Here’s my main problem – my motivation seems to be gone.  And it feels like it’s been gone for a while.  I love(d) exercising.  I love feeling great.  I love getting up in the morning and feeling like I accomplished something.  I love when my pants don’t feel tight (which they do right now).  So what is MY PROBLEM!!!!!   I’m so mad at myself, but apparently not mad enough to do something about it.  Even today, I said to myself, meh, it’s already Thursday, why bother getting up to exercise now.  WHAT!?  Ridiculous.  And I know it’s ridiculous.  But I’m still not doing anything about it.

I also have a terrible terrible habit of eating if I can get away with it.  For some reason, when I get home from work and I’m starting to make dinner, I almost always get very shaky.  Like low-blood-sugar or something.  What I should do, is have a nice, high-protein snack as soon as I get home and that will hold me off until dinner.  But I don’t.  I wait until I’m shaky, light-headed, hot/cold, and irritable.  Then I have 3 handfuls of cashews (probably 3 servings right there), a couple pieces of chocolate, and maybe even some tomatoes or something if I’m making salads.  So not only am I ingesting all of these calories after eating good all day, plus I didn’t exercise, plus it’s only like an hour before dinner. 

I just don’t understand how I know it’s bad and wrong  and I feel physically awful especially in the area of pants being tight.  And yet I don’t feel guilty enough to fix it.  Maybe writing down these confessions will help.  Maybe you guys should all comment (yay, please comment!) about how I need to get my lazy self back to exercising and not gorging on cashews every evening before Tim gets home.

Not only that, but I know part of my decrease in motivation comes from the fact that I worked so hard for 11 months and now it’s all undone so what’s even the point?  Why work hard again for another 11 months when I can just buy bigger pants?  Laziness is so much easier. 

Every once in a while, I do get that fleeting thought in the back of my mind…..maybe if I tried even harder it wouldn’t take 11 months?  Maybe.  This is now.

THEN: Did I mention the breast-feeding?  No?  I’ve got to work it in someplace.  So, I had planned on breastfeeding the twins.  Can’t do that when they’re on feeding tubes in the NICU.  No, not so much.  But that’s ok.  I can just pump and they can put whatever I get into their feeding tubes.  Although getting less than an ounce after almost a half-hour of pumping is rather discouraging.  Especially when there’s two mouths to feed.  Luckily for me, I was able to stay in the hospital those few extra days.  The lactation nurses came to see me whenever I needed.  I just had to get used to the idea of 2-3 women playing with my boobs every time I needed a little assistance.  I felt it was worth it.  And I suppose an ounce is really not that bad when your kids are only eating a couple ounces at a time anyway.  But it was always on my mind that obviously, eventually, soon, they would need to eat more.  In the meantime they were being supplemented with formula.  I was told multiple times not to feel guilty and that every little teensy tiny bit helped.  And that pumping was bound to get you less milk anyway.  And that having a C-section was bound to get you less.  And that having a delivery at 31 weeks was bound to get you less because your body wasn’t supposed to be ready to give milk for another 7-9 weeks.  And all of these things made sense logically so it’s good that I’m normally a very logical person.

 But I still felt guilty.  And I still felt like since I was just sitting in my hospital room anyway maybe I should just leave the pump attached all day long or something.

 They also said don’t worry about getting up in the night; I needed my rest.  Screw that, my babies needed to eat!  They weren’t sleeping through the night without having to eat, so I couldn’t sleep through the night without making them some food.  They were eating every two hours.  I was pumping every two hours.  Sometimes by the time I got it all set up, pumped for a half-hour or so, and then cleaned up the machine so it would be ready for next time I felt that it probably would be easier just to leave everything attached all day.  Like a cow.  It was not easy.  Emotionally or physically.  I felt drained.  I felt like a failure.  I knew that eventually I would make more but it was hard to convince myself of that when all I had were mere drops to feed my children.  Like really, drops, like when they would pour it from the tube I pumped it into to and try to get it into the feeding tube, there probably was nothing left because it all just got stuck on the side of the container.  I was told to take a picture of them and look at it while I was pumping to stir up some emotion.  That actually did help a lot, especially when I was first home.  They told me to massage my breasts a little before pumping.  That helped too.  A little.  My determination got me through I think.  It is not easy to breastfeed, pump, whatever – I tell everyone that.  But in my opinion, it’s worth it for the vitamins and antibodies that I believe I was providing to my babies.  And since this experience, I have had A LOT of new-mom friends come to me for advice.  I’m no lactation consultant (those people crazy (in a good way)), but I do think that if you can do it, (because not everyone can), you should do it.  Or at least try for a little while because every little teensy tiny bit helps.  That was then.

Crazy Planning a.k.a. 180 days til Disney!

NOW:  We are in the midst of planning our trip.  This is probably the most-planned trip we’ve done….although not by much to be honest!

We are DVC members so we are staying in a suite, using our “points”.  For more information on how DVC works, leave me a comment or send me an email!  It’s the most awesome thing we’ve ever done…..and it’s not just for traveling to Disney places either.

Anyway.  Our “home resort” is Animal Kingdom Lodge so we can book a vacation there up to 11 months in advance.  So we called back in August and booked.  But we didn’t really want to stay there.  We love it there, don’t get me wrong, and we have stayed there before and it’s beautiful and wonderful!

But for the purposes of this trip, we really wanted to stay at the “new” Bay Lake Towers.  It’s a new DVC resort that’s connected by a walking bridge to the Contemporary Resort.  So, it’s EXTREMELY close to Magic Kingdom.  We usually spend the majority of our trip in MK anyway and with the twins we figured that would definitely be the case this time more than ever.  Plus, the Contemporary is on the Monorail so it’s convenient to get to some other resorts where we wanted to go for dinner (Polynesian and Grand Floridian) as well as easy to get to EPCOT.

We can’t book at different DVC resorts until 7 months in advance.  But we didn’t want to end up with NOTHING, so we booked at AK Lodge just to be safe because we had the 11 month advantage there.

In December, I was able to call and transfer our reservation to Bay Lake~YAY!  It was kind of a pain because you can only move 7 days at a time, and then our other 3 days I had to call the next day and the next day and the next day.  During work.  Oh well.  It was nerve-wracking but I got the job done.

Then, you can make Dining Reservations 180 days in advance.  You used to have to call day after day after day, but now they let you make your first 10 days of reservations all at once starting 180 days from the day you check in.  So that was good news.  This is an advantage of staying at a Disney Resort.  Also, they have a new online reservation process that starts at 6 am.

So I had called and they calculated 180 days for me and I could go online or call January 11th.  Tim and I skipped exercising and set the alarm so that we could go online starting right at 6 AM.  Well.  The first reservation we got just fine.  The rest?  Nope.  Wouldn’t recognize our Resort Reservation number.  I had to rush to get ready for work so that I could call the reservation phone number at 7.  I wanted to be all ready in case I got stuck on the phone for a while.

Good thing.  I was mostly ready by 7, and called.  I was on hold for a short amount of time, but then the time it took to make all of our reservations, give her all my information, and get all of the confirmation numbers took almost a half-hour!  By then, the twins were up and calling for me, my dad was showing up, my hair still wasn’t done, my coffee wasn’t poured.  These kinds of little things stress me out a little.  And I was already worked up because I was stressed I wouldn’t be able to get a reservation at the places we wanted.  I don’t know why; we’ve NEVER had an issue.

Plus, I still had to call Victoria and Alberts.  But there’s is a separate line and it didn’t open until 9 AM.  And I still had to stress that I wouldn’t get THAT reservation!

You all may be thinking we are crazy.  And we are.  But, it’s who we are and it helps us keep our sanity.  In some ways.  Once, we planned a trip a mere 2 months ahead of time.  Boy, that was stressful to the millionth degree!

I get all the reservations, complete with confirmation numbers and I double-check them all online.  My dad helps me get the twins ready so that I can do my hair.  Plus, I had to go to the bathroom……why is it that nature calls at the MOST inconvenient times?

At 9 I called V&A…..the most faniciest restaurant in WDW.  At first I couldn’t get through so I left a message, but kept calling and calling anyway.  See, we really wanted to sit at the Chef’s Table.  And there’s only one seating for the table a night.  And we really wanted it on that certain night because all the other dining reservations were already in place and I didn’t really want to have to change everything around again.  But, I got through, and got what we wanted.  YAY!!!

Plane tickets are bought, room (2-bedroom suite for us, kids, and my dad) is reserved, dining reservations are made.  Now, the packing lists will begin!  You think I’m kidding?

Wanna know where we’re eating?

Chef Mickeys – Contemporary resort – buffet dinner with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto!

Tuttoo Italia – Italy pavillion in EPCOT

California Grill – very top floor of Contemporary resort

Mama Melrose – Hollywood Studios – Italian food

The Wave – Contemporary resort

Crystal Palace   – in Magic Kingdom – lunch buffet with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet!

Victoria and Alberts – fancy schmancy!

Ohana – in the Polynesian resort – they serve food off of GIANT skewers

Chefs de France – France pavillion in EPCOT – best escargot I’ve ever had!

 Chef mickeys breakfast – Again.  This time for breakfast

Raglan Road – Irish-style pub in Downtown Disney

Le Cellier – Canada pavillion in EPCOT.  Home of yummy Beer-Cheese Soup

Tony’s Town Square – Magic Kingdom – Italian

OK…….so maybe it’s less of the Type A personality…..and more just super-duper excited!!!!!  Either way……it’s planned!  All we do now is wait.  And save money.  And pack (No, not yet.)

Speaking of beer-cheese soup – check out my husband’s venture into the Blog World!  The first recipe he’s going to blog about is the very one from the Canadian Pavillion in EPCOT – yummy beer-cheese soup!  This is now.

THEN: I prepared myself to go home on Thursday morning.  The first thing I wanted to do was take a shower.  I hadn’t had one since the previous Thursday.  I had asked…..but before the delivery none of the nurses were “sure” if I was allowed to take a shower or not.  After the delivery it wasn’t an option at first because of the surgery.  I had gotten permission to take one Thursday before I left.  First I had to walk all around the floor of the hospital trying to find the darn place.  I either hadn’t gotten good directions or I wasn’t really listening.  I finally got to the room, set my things down and turned the water on.  As difficult as it was to manuver myself; it was probably the best shower I’d ever had in my life.  I felt a million times better and cleaner and happier and even a little less sore.  By the time I was done and back in my room though, I was exhausted!  Luckily I had about an hour before my discharge time when my parents would come get me.

They forgot to order me breakfast.  I thought it would be in my room when I got back, but no such luck.  I called a nurse and she wasn’t sure what happened but arranged to get some food up to me as soon as possible.  I was starving!  It wasn’t exactly what I would have wanted, but it was fine.  The hospital food wasn’t as bad as sitcoms would have had me believe.  I watched some TV and I was ready to go.  I was nervous though and anxious.  First thing I wanted to do when my parents showed up was go down to the NICU.  I would have gone earlier but I really really needed that shower and my late breakfast.

I forced myself to be patient and finally it was 11:00.  My dad came up to get me and my mom was waiting down in the NICU already.  I didn’t have to take a wheelchair out because I wasn’t leaving the hospital yet.

I walked (shuffled) down to the NICU.  I went to see my beautiful babies.  I suddenly really wanted my parents gone, but of course I didn’t want to upset or offend them by asking them to leave.  I went to Will first.  He reflexively grabbed my finger with his hand as all babies will do.  He sighed in his sleep and listened to me talking to him about what had happened that morning.  He still had his CPAP machine on and because of the mask, he couldn’t open his eyes very well.  I didn’t even know what color they were.  I listened to the steady beep of the machines and listened to the nurse update me on his status.

I walked over to Ariel after tearing myself away from my son.

“Do you want to hold her?”  Shock.  “yes” I breathed, so quietly because I wasn’t sure I had heard the nurse correctly.  But I had.  She carefully set me up in a comfy rocking chair right next to Ariel’s heated bed.  First, she had to clip Ariel’s feeding tube to my shirt because it was time for her to “eat”.  She maneuvered the cords and wires so that they didn’t get pulled out while she was in my arms.  Then, she handed me my daughter.  I couldn’t breathe.  I was afraid to breathe.  She was finally feeling like mine.  I could actually hold her.  She had to be VERY VERY VERY wrapped up in blankets because she was no longer on her heated pad, which was helping her regulate her temperature.  But I could see her hand.  Her hand couldn’t be covered because of the IV needle in it.  So I stroked her hand.  And her head, which had to have a hat on it.  Again, to help keep her warm.

It was surreal.  The nurse had to help put her back right after she was done “eating” because the very act of digestion was making her very tired which meant her body was maintaining it’s own temperature even less.  She needed to get back to her heat.  And sleep.

The best thing for them was sleep.  Their fragile little bodies used up too much energy doing anything else.  The nurse told me not to be surprised tomorrow if I came in and was told Ariel had lost a little weight…..just from me holding her.  When they slept, they grew.  So sleep was the best thing for them.  And frequent family visits of course.  Talking to them.  Letting them know they were loved.

I felt so guilty after holding Ariel.  Because I couldn’t hold Will.  It’s not like it was my fault or my choice.  I guess I just felt bad for him.  And a little for myself too.  But I was also on cloud 9 after finally getting to hold Ariel.  Like she was real.  Like she was really mine.  Like she was a real baby.  It’s a little dramatic, but true.  And it made me feel a hell of a lot better about going home later that morning.  That was then.

William

Ariel