Life with Twins

Posts tagged ‘sleep’

To Milestone or Not to Milestone? That is the Question

NOW:  I feel that every little thing the twins do are milestones.  Little things, that they can do now, but they couldn’t do yesterday or the day before.  Or even events, like this particular Christmas, is a milestone.  It’s not their first obviously, but it’s the first where they kinda really know what’s going on.  Every day is different than the day before and I try to listen and watch and appreciate every little thing they learn and do. 

BUT.  There are some big milestones.  Developmental milestones, rite-of-passage type milestones.  Like the Potty for example.  Big change, right?  I got “yelled at” more than once for starting that one too early.  I get chastised for trying to make them grow up too quickly.  I don’t want them to grow up any faster than they have to, believe me.  It’s a Catch-22…..I know this time is going by so fast and I certainly don’t want it to be faster, but at the same time it’s SO exciting to see what they’ll do next.

Anyway, I do have a point here.  My point is: BIG-KID BEDS!!  DUN DUN DUN!!!!!!!!!

I am having a mild internal struggle right now.  I’ve talked about it with multiple people and most of them, including Tim, agree that once a child is climbing out (especially those as smart as my twins), they need to be a big kid bed. 

I am agreeing with this and pushing it forward for several reasons:

I am terrified that now that Ariel knows she can get out, she will.  She might be too scared to do it for several days….weeks…..months……but why wait until she does it again and gets seriously hurt this time?  Right?

We were going to change them into beds in February anyway.  I have a week off for mid-winter break and we figured that was a good time….they’d be 2 and a half.  So now we’re just moving it up a couple of months.  I have a week off for Christmas, so that will work out well too.

We bought guardrails so they won’t fall out, so that will help with the transition. 

Now…….there are a few people who are against this whole plan.  And who question a lot of my decisions as a parent.  And who accuse me of making the twins grow up too fast.  And whose job it is to question my decisions because they care.  (right?)

Let me just say; yes, we were going to change them over in February, and yes, it’s only a couple months early…..but are we thrilled about it?  No.  We didn’t really want this thrust upon us at this time.  But again, the getting-out of the crib factor weighs in heavily.

Three guesses who is against this plan and vocalizes the concern.  My mom and dad.  More mom, but that’s because dad is not as vocal about his opinion.

Now, when you grow up with a set of people who help influence your every decision in life and then the time comes where you break out on your own and have your own opinions and decisions about marriage, houses, kids…..it’s hard!  I haven’t lived at home in 8 years.  And I am comfortable in my own opinions, especially because I do have a husband that I can bounce my ideas off, and who is a little more level-headed than me about big decisions like this so I know, deep down, that if he agrees with me it’s the right decision and we need to do what our gut tells us.  But it’s still hard not to take my parents’ opinions into consideration in my own mind.  And then I start to doubt myself.  And then I start to question if I am making them grow up too fast because I certainly don’t want that.

Phew.  That’s a lot of rambling.  And a lot I have to remember when the twins are grown up and I’m trying to give my opinions.

Bottom line is; our decision has been made.  And it’s what’s best for us.  And I’ve consulted multiple co-workers, friends, the internet, and other family members and it’s not like changing them into beds at this point is completely crazy.  They are over 2 and if we are concerned about them getting out, we need to do this. 

The twins even agree with us.  🙂  I’ve brought it up a couple of times since we made this decision.  I like to get them used to the idea of big changes before they happen.  I wouldn’t want to just spring this on them.  And that’s worked so far; we haven’t had any major drama when it comes to change in the past.

One night, we were in my bed because we always hide under the covers before we brush their teeth and put them in their cribs.  I asked them if they wanted a big-kid bed like mommy and daddy’s bed.  They were a little hesitant, but said yes.

Yesterday, we were playing and I brought it up again.  I asked if they wanted big-kid beds.  This time, it was a resounding YES!  NOW!  I said, you’ll have to say bye bye to the crib and get a big-kid bed in your own room……

Ariel said, “yes, mommy.  Big kid bed NOW.  BYE BYE CRIB NOW!  Need big kid bed in room.  2 blankets.  Bring all the guys and music?” (She’s referencing the 8 stuffed animals in her crib, plus her musical seahorse). 

I tell her, yes, of course you can have blankets and the guys and the music. 

She’s reassured.  “Ok Mommy.  Now!  Bye bye crib!”  (she waves to the ceiling).

I am laughing so hard, but I manage to tell her that she at least has to wait until we buy it.  🙂  So, that’s good.  For now they’re happy about it at least. 

I’ve also convinced Tim that we should let them pick out their own sheets.  We’re just going to use the fitted sheet for now I think, and then their loose blankets from their crib.  They move around a lot right now while they sleep, and I think having to try and make them face in just one direction with a tucked-in sheet and blanket wouldn’t really work. 

I found this suggestion on the internet about letting them pick out the sheets and I think that would be nice.  I want to get them each 3 sets because even now sometimes their diapers leak, or Will takes his diaper right off.  And when we start nighttime potty training we will definitely be changing sheets often.  Originally we were thinking just get 6 unisex ones, because we change Will’s sheets more often, but I like the idea of letting them pick.  I said, even if we use all of Will’s sheets up before I do laundry I’ll just stick some of Ariel’s on, who really cares?  She might not pick “girlie” ones anyway.  (Her favorite color seems to be blue right now….followed by green).

So we’re going to scope out the mattress situation tonight by ourselves.  We have convertible cribs but we need bedrails and mattresses.  Then tomorrow we will probably go sheet-shopping with the twins. 

I think my uncertainty…..brought to light by my parents……all comes down to that Catch-22.  I am SO excited to move them into new beds and take them shopping to buy new sheets and have Tim switch them over just after Christmas.  It’s so exciting to think about how much they’ve grown and changed in such a short amount of time.

But…….I am so saddened by the fact that my little, once literally teeny-tiny, babies are growing up.  I feel like crying, but I don’t know if they are tears of joy or sadness.  That’s the definition of Bittersweet I guess.  And the definition of Mommyhood/Childhood.  This is now.

THEN:  Things are kind of blurry when it comes to the time spent in the NICU.  The first few days, while I was in the hospital, I went downstairs as much as possible.  Actually, even the very first day, after I was “done” visiting (physically, not emotionally) we went back up to my room.  Our friends, Leslie and Brian were there.  So…back down to the NICU.  YAY!  I even walked.  Behind the wheelchair.  At 1 mile/hour. 

I just felt like I couldn’t get enough of them.  But I knew they needed their rest and so did I.  After Brian and Leslie left, Sarah showed up.  With Dinner!  From Chef’s!  Good thing too, because in the process of changing over my room the hospital staff forgot about my dinner.  I didn’t even mind that my spaghetti parm was kinda cold.  It was the best dinner ever.  My sister-in-law is so thoughtful.  🙂

And then of course Sarah wanted to visit the twins.  So, down we went again.  Each  time we would check and see what had happened in the last couple hours while we weren’t there.  They wrote down everything.  It was really very reassuring because they were obviously keeping very careful watch over my babies. 

It was really very calm in the NICU.  There was the steady beeping of the monitors, which in itself was reassuring.  The lights were dim.  There were multiple rocking chairs so you could sit and relax.  The nurses were nice and sweet and gentle and so good at explaining everything.  They each worked 12-hour shifts, 3 days on and 4 days off.  that way they were with the same babies for a 12 hour stretch, which was nice because then they knew what to watch for. 

I was feeling much better about this whole situation now that I got to see it for myself.  Plus, I was in the hospital for 2 more days.  I could just take a little walk down whenever I wanted.  Or stay there all day and night if I wanted.  They even told me that.  And a nurse would take me down if Tim wasn’t there.  They didn’t want me to walk by myself yet, but they would get me whenever I wanted and then take me back up.  It was nice to be taken care of.  That was then.

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Rainy Day

NOW: We haven’t had any rainy days this summer.  Finally, one hit.  What the F am I supposed to do when I can’t even go outside with these 2? 

We went out for a little while in the morning, before the rain hit.  But it was dark.  And thundering.  I figured we better come inside.

We were sitting at the kitchen table, eating a snack, and I was in panic mode.  What will we do all day?  My first thought is turn on the TV.  Ok, last resort.  I was feeling pretty desperate.  I don’t know why…..what did we do all winter?  And it’s not like we don’t have millions of toys (not an exaggeration – friends whose kids are in daycare say we have more toys than the daycare).

OK, so what would we do?  COLOR!  That will hold for a little while.  🙂

It wasn’t too long ago that Will was more interested in eating crayons than coloring with them.  Ariel had caught on a little faster that they taste disgusting.  Now, it’s much better because I don’t have to watch him like a hawk; making sure he doesn’t end up with green teeth again.  It’s hard for me to remember that this is an ok activity now. 

They colored for longer than I thought.  Whew!  They really ended up having a good time, and even asked again to color later!  My little babies are growing up so fast. 

However, later on, they were not so agreeable.  Well, Will was not so agreeable.  I don’t know what was going on with him but he was being a bit of a monster.  I am happy to report that I did not raise my voice once.  He just kept whining and moaning and making this super annoying groaning sound.  I had no idea what was wrong with him.  I kept asking him over and over and over.  He’d play for like 5 minutes, and all the sudden be sitting and moaning again.  My kids have a lot of language skills – if something was wrong he should be able to kinda tell me. 

Finally, around 4:00, I took him very gently by the shoulders so he would look right at me.  I went through every body part, asking if it hurt.  He kept saying no.  I asked if he was tired.  I asked if he was hungry – YES!  And he ran to his highchair.  Well for goodness sake kid all you had to do was TELL MOMMY!  It was so frustrating.  Probably the most frustrated I’ve been with either of them all summer.

I gave him some blueberries as a little snack because it was only about an hour and half until dinner.  I know that at this age, if they say they’re hungry they really are.  I figured at least I was giving him a healthy option and if it meant he ate a little less at dinner, oh well, it was fruit!  Ariel had some cantelope. 

When Tim came home he asked if I was going to try and get a job next summer.  Ha Ha.

After they were in bed, I got on the Wii Fit to weigh-in.  Gained 0.7 lbs.  This was in addition to the 2 lbs. I had supposedly gained this weekend.   

I went running. 

I ran. 

And it helped all of my frustration from the day just melt away.  I did my normal route in 28 minutes – usually it takes me at least 30.  I don’t know why I just discovered this whole running thing.  I wish I had figured out sooner how much I like it!  HA!

When I came back the boy was still crying in his crib.  Tim and I finished our strength training and yoga together and then I finally I went in to check on him.  He was instantaneously quiet when I walked in.  Hm, very suspicious.  Obviously there was nothing “wrong”.  He just wanted company.  Which I guess is ok every once in a while.  I calmed him down and then went to take a shower.  When I got out…..crying again.  I stayed a little longer this time, rubbing his back, waiting until he fell asleep.  I was glad I got to go for that run because it helped me keep my sanity for this.

Sometimes I feel so guilty when I’m frustrated.  Sometimes I feel so guilty when I’m favoring one over the other.  All day, Ariel was fine.  Happy, playing, cute.  And at times, I wished it was just her and I for a couple hours and that I didn’t have to deal with the other one.  I feel like I didnt even get to spend time with her because I was trying to figure out what in the hell was wrong with Will. 

Patience helps me get over my guilt I guess.  If I was snapping at them or showing my frustration, I would feel more guilty.  He wasn’t meaning to be frustrating and I just kept that perspective in mind all day.  I counted to 10 in my head.  A lot.  I used my patient-mommy voice.  Because if they know I’m frustrated, they get even more frustrated….which is even worse. 

I guess I’m just venting.  And bragging.  Because I kept my cool.  All Day Long.  And by the end of the day I don’t know how I did it.  And by the end of the day I was ready to get a part-time job not only for next summer, but maybe even the rest of this one.  🙂   This is now.

THEN:  Oh, the heartburn.  I didn’t have any all pregnancy.  I know it’s a symptom, so I wasn’t concerned.  At first.  It was a Thursday night.  I woke up with a pain in my chest.  Heartburn.  I tried sitting up a little in bed to ease the feeling.  It was not comfortable for my stomach.  I laid down again.  I sat up again.  I laid down again.  Finally, Tim woke up.  Kinda what I was aiming for, without having to actually wake him.  The feeling was becoming unbearable.  He got up and looked in the medicine cabinet to see if I could take anything.  I didn’t want to risk it.  Not yet.

So, he did what any normal person does in “this day in age”.  Looked on the internet.  Milk.  Crackers.  Sit up. 

I was so tired.  I just wanted to lay down in my bed.  I did not want to be drinking milk.  I did not want to be eating crackers.  I did not want to be sitting up.  I wanted to be sleeping. 

He went and got me some milk and crackers.

I ate and drank while sitting up in bed.  He laid back down.  What else was he supposed to do, right?  He fell asleep.  I tried laying down again.  Way worse.

I decided to go hang out in the rocking chair in one of the baby rooms.  It was the room we were going to put them both in at first when they came home.  I rocked and ate more crackers and thought about my little ones in my belly.  They were probably sleeping.  Just like my husband.  I kinda tried to rest my eyes.  I fell asleep a little bit, here and there, only a light sleep.  The pain was not really subsiding, even with milk and crackers and sitting up.  Oh well, it was just one night.  I could nap tomorrow. 

I tried not to worry about it.  Lots of people get heartburn while pregnant.  The internet said so. 

When Tim got up the next morning, early, I was still in the rocking chair.  Still awake.  The pain was still there.  What if something was wrong?  I hadn’t had heartburn this whole 7 months, why suddenly now?  We went downstairs and he asked if I wanted breakfast but I wasn’t hungry, I couldn’t eat.  It would hurt.  He suggested I call the doctor.  He never suggests I call the doctor.  I never call the doctor.  Doctors just tell you you’re fine and send you on your way and you feel stupid for even asking.  Just because I had heartburn all night and this morning was no reason to call the doctor.  He wasn’t even there yet, it was only 7 in the morning.  I was fine.  That was then.

5K Fever (No-Twin Tuesdays)

NOW: Ok, I am now definitely addicted to running.  Ran another 5K on Saturday morning.  2 hours before I was supposed to be leaving for a wedding.  It was a casual wedding….it’s not like I had to spend a ton of time doing hair and make up.  I’m not one to care what people think about me anyway.

So, my second 5K.  It. Was. Hot.  It was nice because the route was basically around my neighborhood.  There were 2 water stations this time…..but they gave little bottles of water which were kind of annoying to open.  Beggers can’t be choosers I guess. 

I am disappointed to say I walked like 4 times.  I blame Tim though.  🙂  He and the twins were waiting for me at one of the corners near our house.  I was really wanting to walk at that point but I knew he’d see me, so I kept pushing myself.  Well then, he’s flagging me over.  What?  What do you want?  How do you wash the stuffed animals?  In the (F***ing) washing machine!!!!  I understood why he did it.  The stuffed animals absolutely NEED to be washed and dried before naptime or Will freaks out.  Well, we weren’t going to be home!  So, they needed to be washed and dried before we left.  But still, come on, stopping to ask me that?  I’m gonna put instructions for everything taped to the washer and dryer from now on.  He didn’t want to be the one to destroy Mr. Bear by putting him on the wrong setting in the washer.  I explained later that it’s really only the dryer that matters – no heat, just air dry. 

I didn’t even get to say hi to the twins as I ran by.  Tim said he’s never coming to watch me again anyway because as soon as I kept going and didn’t stop, the twins were screaming MA MA MA MA MA MA MA MOMMY MOMMY!  So, at least until they’re old enough.

Then, because I had already slowed down once to talk to him, I figured it couldn’t hurt to walk a little bit.  To the red truck.  Only a few driveways.  So I did.  Then there was a downhill, so no more walking.  Then uphill…..OK a little more walking.  Downhill – no.  Uphill – a little.  Downhill – no.  Then there was a BIG uphill.  I thought about letting myself walk it but then I would be going twice as slow.  Obviously.  So I sprinted up the hill.   Then walked a little more.  The finish line was in sight but not the timer yet.  I was pretty bummed already and figured I wasn’t going to beat my time.  I think that’s one reason I allowed myself to walk so much.  When I saw the clock, it was at 33 minutes.  Wow!  I wasn’t that far off.  I sprinted a little more to try and beat my time anyway, but got there at 33 minutes, 30 seconds.  About 7 seconds slower than last time.  And I had walked a LOT more!  That must mean when I did run, I ran faster, right?  Right.  I was still mad at myself though.  Even if I had walked 1 less time, I would have beaten my previous time. 

We’re going to run another one mid-August.  We’ve been recruiting more people.  Suckers.  Tim’s one of them.  He vows that he’s going to try the next one.  It’s at the Erie County Fairgrounds, during the fair, so that’s AWESOME!!!!    Our friend, Kate, came to this one and says she definitely wants to run more too.  She and I are going to go running tonight.  She’s a little slower than me, but she has never really run before.  I figure even if I keep at her pace I’ll run the whole time without stopping to walk, so that would be a great way to build up my stamina. 

I love that a bunch of us are doing this together.  I had been running by myself anyway, just needed a catalyst to get me to sign up for “actual” runs.  And now that so many of our friends are joining in, it’s a lot of fun.  I’m not a competitive person usually, but this is something I am becoming competitive about.  Plus, Kate says she’ll run the Disney Marathon with me in 5 years, so it’s something else to plan/train for.  If we start planning now, we’re more likely to actually do it.  🙂 

And it’s something I’m doing for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love living for my kids (and Tim).  I would do anything for any of them.  I feel like I was born to be their mother and I feel like I’m doing a Damn good job of it.  As I was running my first 5K, I said to myself “do it for them”.  But then, I realized…..No, I’m not doing it for them…..I’m doing it for me.  And if this is the way I can be selfish and do something that’s just for me, than at least it’s a healthy outlet.  I’m getting in shape.  I feel good.  And it’s a stress reliever.  And I’m doing it just for me.  Just to run.  Just because I like it.  It takes up time – it means sometimes Tim has to stay home a little more with the kids, or if he runs with me it will mean getting a babysitter for a couple hours.  But it’s my one way to be a little selfish.  This is now.

THEN:  I had quite a bit of trouble sleeping when I was pregnant too.  Probably everyone does.  The swelling in my ankles and feet and wrists and hands didn’t help.  I would try to prop my belly up on one pillow, and my feet up on another.  It wasn’t very comfortable.  Plus, my carpel tunnel would be extremely painful at night for some reason and I couldn’t really elevate my wrists. 

I tried many different pillows for my belly.  I tried regular pillows but they were too bulky.  A body pillow worked for a short time, but it was too bulky too.  I wanted something small enough to go under my belly for support, but not push me over.  I went back to regular pillows because I hated the body pillow.  Then I tried throw pillows from the couch because they were a little thinner, but they weren’t the right shape. 

I was very picky.  But I really wanted to get a good night’s sleep.  Once they were born it would probably be a long time before I slept through the night.  Plus, I had to rest.

I started taking naps in the afternoon too.  On the couch.  I think the way the cushions were just helped a little better with my belly.  And my ankles and wrists weren’t so swollen in the middle of the day.

But at night I wanted to be in my bed.  I didn’t want to sleep alone on the couch.  So I kept trying different pillows.  Finally, in July, we were at Babies R Us and I found a triangular pillow, meant to help with my problem.  I convinced Tim to buy it – it was a worthwhile investment even though no other pillows were working and he had little faith in this one.  But it was only like $12. 

It was like a miracle-worker.  This little ramp-shaped piece of foam was just what I needed.  I felt like Goldilocks – finally finding the one that was JUST RIGHT.  What a relief.  It was such a big help and even though I was still slightly uncomfortable and not totally sleeping through the night it definitely helped with the belly situation.  Now, if only there was some way to help the getting-up-to-pee-every-hour-situation.  That was then.

No Sleep + Little Nap = Day 2

NOW:  After getting the kids and ourselves ready on Thursday morning, after getting very little sleep the night before, we headed down to the free continental breakfast.  First issue:  No highchairs available at the moment.  There were only 3 to be seen and all were taken.

Mommy’s lap it is.

We did eventually get a highchair for Ariel, but then she was all mad because Will was still on my lap.  Another highchair for him opened up soon after.   So that was good, at least I could eat.  Because they sure didn’t.  There was a pretty good selection; waffles, sausage, egg with cheese, bagels, toast, cereals, hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, apples, juice, milk, coffee. 

We took them back up to the room to grab our stuff and I tried to get them to eat some Cheerios (which I brought with us…..gotta be prepared).  They kept dumping them on the floor, so I guess they were just too excited to eat.  Tim ran back downstairs to get ice for our water bottles and in the meantime Will went over to the pack-n-play and asked “nap? nap?”.  Um, no.  Not quite yet.

Then we were on our way!  We decided to put them in swimsuits (and us) because we figured we’d hit the water stuff first.  I suntan-lotioned them up before leaving the hotel to make it easier.  They were equipped with swim diapers and water shoes (which I bought especially for this trip because I had read somewhere that it was a good idea – it wasn’t – it was THE BEST IDEA EVER!) 

We drove about 20 minutes to get to Sesame Place from our hotel.  It would have been shorter, but mapquest apparently didn’t know that you can’t make left turns or U-turns ANYWHERE.  We chose preferred parking ($18) over regular ($15) because it was a little closer and worth the 3 extra bucks.  We got there a little after 10 am – it’s kinda weird that it doesn’t open until 10 because it caters to little kids and little kids are always up early. 

This was our first “Disney Does It Better” moment because most of the parks at Disney are open at 8 or 9 am – at least at the time of year when we usually go.

Our second “Disney Does It Better” moment was entering the park.  At Disney you put your ticket in a machine, it slides through, you scan your fingerprint, you’re done.  Here…..you gave your ticket to the attendant…..they scanned it in the machine…….you put your finger in for the print…….they gave you back your ticket……it seemed to take forever.

But oh well.

After renting a locker ($20, but you got $5 back after you turned in the key at the end) for the new camera and my purse, we headed over to Twiddlebug Land.  There were two larger waterslides, one with a double-inner tube and one with a large float for up to 6 people.  The twins were pretty interested, but we decided to take it a little slower first.  We headed over the the teeny tiny wave pool.  There were spouts of water coming up, and other splashy things. 

We all had a lot of fun.  Ariel fell once, face down, in the water, and got a little scared for a while.  So I had to carry her for a bit, but then she calmed down and kept telling me “deep deep” because she wanted to go back in the deep water (2 feet).

We decided to take a break from the water for a little bit and try out the slides.  They were pretty big.  Will climbed way up, and went down once:

Then he came back around and Ariel was still trying to get up.

By this time, some bigger kids were running and trying to push their way up.  Each of the twins got a little jostled and decided they didn’t want to do it anymore, so I had to help them back down.  Another mother and I said something to those bigger kids – like hello, you should wait in line, and not bump into little kids.  But my kids still didn’t want to go back up. 

Then we headed over to Big Bird’s Lazy River.  The kids needed life jackets and then I put Will on my lap and Ariel was on Tim’s.  They kinda liked this.  Except when they got splashed by any water that was squirting out or spraying down.  So we had to work to avoid these.  Because of this, we decided against going on the other raft/tube rides.  They like to splash, but don’t really like being splashed, if that makes any sense.

By then, it was past noon!  We didn’t realize we had been in the water over two hours!  On the way to the bathrooms we spotted…….ZOE!  The twins usually call her Abby though.  They call all the girl-monsters Abby for some reason.  I held their hands very tightly while we waited in line for our turn.  Then, I just let go and they ran right for her!  I also had her sign the autograph books I had made for them.

After our little chance-meeting, we got the twins dried off and dressed.  It was so great that there were changing stations in EVERY bathroom – even the men’s!  So Tim took one kid and I took the other.  Saved us so much time. 

 We headed over to Captain Ernie’s Bistro for lunch.  I wanted a Chicken Ceasar Wrap and Tim settled on the same.  It was really good!  We opted for a side of fruit, and also got a cup of blueberries and strawberries for the kids.  Tim and I had previously decided that we had to try and eat relatively well on this trip.  We weren’t “exercising” except for pushing the stoller around and walking and we didn’t want to come back having gained a ton of weight just because we had burgers instead of chicken.  We had brought the kids’ leftover pasta from dinner the night before for their lunch.  The twins were getting mighty crabby at this point.  They were way tired.  So we figured we’d just walk around a bit after lunch to see if they’d take a little nap in the stroller.  We also stopped at Mister Hooper’s Emporium to buy them each their first souvenier – a stuffed Telly for Will and a Bert for Ariel.  We thought maybe if they held onto them, they’d be more likely to snuggle up and fall asleep.

We also refilled their juice cups.  I had given them water first but they basically refused to drink it.  I always try to mix their juice half with water, and I figured it was so hot I didn’t really care what they drank as long as they were hydrated.  They just kept insisiting on juice. 

We walked around a bit and then got settled into a spot for the afternoon parade (2pm). 

Here we are, all waiting for the parade.  We had to try our best to keep Will entertained so that he wouldn’t kick his sleeping sister, who was in front of him in the stoller.  But he did pretty well – it was hot – he was sitting still – he had no idea why we were waiting.  But once he found out….I don’t think I’ve ever seen him SO FRIKKIN’ EXCITED!!!  My eyes were welling up with tears.  THIS is why we had come here.  For THIS reaction and this experience.

He kept yelling out the character’s names as he saw them, and screaming “coming coming!”  He was dancing and partying like crazy.  Ariel was still sleeping but that was ok, she woke up near the end. 

And this is our third “Disney Does It Better” moment.  If you’ve ever seen a Disney parade, you realize it repeats as it goes along.  This is for the sake of everyone along the parade route – no matter where you are you see virtually the same “show”.  At Sesame the parade stopped towards the beginning and the show went on and by the time it got to us the show was pretty much over.  The characters were still dancing and singing and stuff, but we decided we had to be up front if we watched the parade again.

We left the parade pretty happy though.  Except for Ariel.  Even with her little nap she was still kinda miserable.  Earlier she had been rubbing her eyes on her arms and got suntan lotion in them.  Her eyes were still all red and puffy even after I rinsed them out with water multiple times and washed her hands.  I thought her nap would have helped, but she kept complaining her eyes were still bothering her. 

Elmo’s World Live!  was starting in a half-hour, so we headed over to get in line.  Ariel was still whiny through basically the whole show, but she did seem to enjoy it.  We figured if anything could help, it would be seeing Elmo.  Will loved it!  He was dancing and laughing and calling to Elmo and Mr. Noodle. 

We were walking back up the main area and spotted Grover! 

Then Count von Count

Bert and Ernie

And Cookie Monster

And this was all with Will still not having a nap,and  Ariel moaning and groaning while in the stroller because she was still so tired.  But every time she got out to hug a character, we could tell she really was enjoying herself, despite her red-rimmed eyes. 

We asked the twins if they wanted to go have dinner, or find more guys.  “GUYS GUYS!” they both shouted.  Tim and I weren’t too sure – it was already almost 6, but we decided to go with what they wanted.  We headed to the back of the park where 1-2-3 Smile With Me was located.  Here, you can see Abby or Big Bird, and Elmo pretty much any time of the day. 

By this time, Will had caught on to the autograph book and was pointing excitedly back and forth to the book and the guy.  He was also saying “thank you” as the guy signed.  What nice manners! 

There was really nobody back there at this time of day, so they got a lot of one-on-one time with these characters.  We went through the “line” twice – once to see Abby and Elmo, and when Abby and Big Bird switched, so we went through to see Big Bird and Elmo. 

We piled into the car at this point to drive a short way to T.G.I. Fridays for dinner.  Before we even left the Sesame parking lot, the twins were asleep.  We decided to just get our food to-go and eat in the car.  Depending on what kind of mood they woke up in, maybe we’d go back to Sesame Place and they could just eat dinner there. 

They slept while we ordered and waited.  Then, just as we started eating, they woke up.  Will was screaming.  Ariel was fine because she realized we had french fries (The Count’s French Fry Count; that’s 2, 2 meals with french fries, ah, ah, ah).

We figured Will must still be tired so we headed back to the hotel.  Well, that was apparently the wrong move.  They were wired from their 45-minute nap.  We should have just gone back to the park.  They ran around the hotel room while Tim and I took showers and got stuff ready for the next day.  We gave them baths and then put them in the pack-n-plays.  Not wanting to make the same mistake as last night, we left one light on so they could see we were still there, but got into bed ourselves, too. 

We had to turn the light off after about 15 minutes of them throwing their toys out of the crib, giggling like maniacs, and asking us to pick them up again.  Better than the screaming from last night.  Even after the light was out they continued to play.  They finally laid down and fell asleep around 10pm.  This is when Tim said we should have just gone back to the park.  But oh well……..they probably would have been acting like that until midnight then. 

They slept all the way through until 7:30 without incident.  Better than the night before.  🙂  This is now.

A 7-hour Drive is Actually More Like 11 (Day 1)

Disclaimer #1: For the recap of our trip, I will probably not be doing my normal Now and Then format.  I am already behind on my updates and want to concentrate on telling you about our vacation.

Disclaimer #2 – Tomorrow is supposed to be No-Twin Tuesday.  For same reason as above, it will not be….but the No-Twin Tuesday will return next week.

Thanks for reading!  And for understanding!

NOW: Oh boy.  Ok, it could have been worse.  A lot worse.  There were no major meltdowns from either 2-year-old stuck in the car for the 7-hour drive to Sesame Place.  Well, not even Sesame Place, just the hotel.  However, they were just whiny enough to add approximately 4 hours onto the trip.  Not too bad, really!  Mommy made sure to start her day with an iced coffee.

The first of many.  Although I do feel very sorry for people living past Syracuse.  No Tim Hortons!  The agony of it all!  I had to make-do with Starbucks.  *sigh*

Around the hour-and-a-half mark, Will started whining. 

This was obviously expected.  Luckily, on the 90 through NY there are several pull-off service stations.  Mommy got another iced coffee from Tim Hortons, and twins got Timbits.  As a mini-snack and a bribe (for later).  We let them walk around the service station for a bit to stretch their legs, and then got back in the car.  Another hour later, we stopped again and had a snack at another service station.  I guess sitting in a booth is somehow vastly different from sitting in the car.

And looking at the cars out of this window was so much better than looking at the ones out the car window.  🙂  We led them out, barely able to contain them.  They were so so so excited already.  What an adventure!

Daddy did a great job of keeping them entertained when necessary from the passenger seat.  From propping up bears to look out the front window……..

…….or understanding that when Will yelled “ARE YOU??”, he was wanting to play hide-and-seek.

It really worked out well that Tim was the passenger because I often get carsick if I have to turn around.  The twins both fell asleep about 45 minutes before Syracuse.  Luckily, they woke up just as we spotted an Applebee’s off the highway……there weren’t too many more restaurants after that.

We knew right away what to order for Ariel….shrimp and french fries off of the kids menu.  We got chicken tenders and fries for Will.  They don’t often have french fries, but are obsessed with them.  Unfortunately we didn’t realize the shrimp was fried.  Ariel didn’t touch it.  She and Will did share the chicken and the french fries though.  (The Count’s French Fry Count: That’s 1, 1 meal with french fries, ah, ah, ah). 

We got back on the road and only stopped at one more rest station.  There were none in the rest of NY, although it wasn’t a toll road anymore.  The toll to go across NY? 6 bucks.  The toll down to Philly through PA?  80 cents…….another 80 cents…….then 11 dollars more.  What the heck!  And there were only 2 rest stations (the kind where you don’t have to exit and then get back on).  So, Mommy got Starbucks, babies got diapers changed (we were not dealing with potties on the car ride), and we got back in the car.

As we were approaching Philadelphia, babies started whining again.  Rightly so; it was way past dinner time by now.  Almost 7:00, when we usually eat at 5:30.  Daddy tried to calm them down with the stash of Timbits but they weren’t really interested.  We didn’t really know a good place to exit in Philly and there were no restaurant signs, and trees blocking the neighborhoods, so we didn’t want to risk it.  We decided to keep going until we got to our exit and then if we saw something before the hotel, we’d stop there first. 

We ended up getting to the hotel, getting our stuff inside (thank you Daddy), and asking the front desk for suggestions.  The twins were so excited to be out of the car and someplace new that they almost kinda forgot about being hungry and were just running around the hotel room like maniacs.

They figured out right away where the bathroom was.  And knew the pack-n-plays were their cribs.  I put their stuffed animals from their cribs at home inside right away so they were familiar.  When Tim was done bringing up the luggage we left again to drive to dinner.  We decided on Olive Garden.  It was all about familiarity for the kids at that point because we knew they were “starving”.  So pasta and pizza seemed like a good choice.  It was another 15 minute ride….made all the much longer because you could not make a left turn to save your life in the town.  How ANNOYING!  All the way there Will kept saying “almost almost almost dinner almost almost”.  But not in a whiny way, just a reassuring way.  What a trooper. 

We ate and headed back to the hotel.  They ran around for a bit (don’t know how they had the energy 3 hours past bedtime) while I got things ready for our first day at Sesame Place so that I wouldn’t have to waste time in the morning.  Tim and I decided we’d put them to bed, then take showers while they fell asleep and then we’d go on the computer or read by flashlight for a little bit before going to sleep ourselves.

Ariel started screaming bloody murder as soon as she was in the pack-n-play and the lights were off.  We had obviously expected SOME sort of reaction to sleeping in a strange place, but this was a little much.  Tim tried to calm her down while I ran into the shower.  When I got out, he went in, and I tried to soothe her.  I sang “Twinkle Twinkle” and the Sesame Street Theme Song over and over and over and over and over and over again until she finally laid down and I could hear her even breathing.  By then, Tim was pretty much asleep.  I laid down also…..but was kept awake another hour or so by Will constantly shifting to become comfortable.  He finally settled down around midnight.  Around 5:30 AM Ariel woke up screaming and I reassured her that we were all still there.  Prior to that, I had been woken up half a dozen times by her whimpering.  That, and the fact that I had to go to the bathroom but didn’t dare get up and risk making any kind of noise.  Later, I found out that Tim had had the same issure during the night.  At 7, Will woke up and started saying “dister, dister” to Ariel, which of course, set her off again.  That was the end of that.  We had hoped to sleep until 8, but oh well.  This is now.

Do you AC?

NOW: So, I haven’t been running.  I liked running in the morning, but then Tim wasn’t doing anything for exercise but the walk with the twins and it’s not really enough.  So, we decided to give up the walks, unless we have extra time, and go back to the Wii Fit.  Which means I gave up the running because I was not going to do two strenuous workouts a day, especially when one involved getting my butt out of bed at 4:30. 

So far though, it’s much better as far as weight loss.  I have lost weight each day that I’ve got on the scale.  So that’s good. 

Plus, we eat our dessert/snack earlier, which is good also.  Mentally, I’d rather have my snack after exercising and showering while I’m relaxing on the couch.  But then we go to bed only about an hour later.  I figure it’s probably not good to eat that soon before bed.  So, we eat our snack right after dinner.  Just a little extra something, a little treat.  However, my ice cream intake has been severely limited.  Tim had originally decreed every other day at the most (he has to help me control myself).  Then, he relented because it’s hot out and we can have ice cream every night.  Now, he’s back to his original thought; much to my dismay.  This past week though, I’ve only had ice cream once!  Go me!  Maybe that’s why the number on the scale has been going down.  I’m not going to admit that to him though.  Let him come to his own conclusions.  I still usually have something cold though – sorbet, or a fudgsicle, or a frozen fruit pop.  But, it’s summer, right?

Plus, we still haven’t turned on the air conditioning.  By now, if we haven’t caved, we won’t.  I had promised I wouldn’t unless the twins were having trouble sleeping, but they’re not.  We did buy fans for their rooms though.  I am SO glad for this.  We usually get a nice breeze going through the house so in the morning the first thing I do is throw open all of the windows and doors downstairs.  The windows upstairs are usually open all night, unless I think it’s a little too chilly for the twins’ rooms and then I sneak in and close theirs.  I would so much rather have the fresh air after being cooped up all fall, winter, and spring.  I think it’s probably healthier too – not the same ol’ stale air we’ve been breathing for nine months.  Plus, I love the heat.  I would so much rather be hot than cold.  I can always turn a fan on.  I would take a 90 degree day over a 30 degree anytime.  That’s why we like to go to Florida in the summer…..even though everyone thinks we’re crazy.  This is now.

QUESTION: A/C vs. Open Windows?  Which do you prefer?  Which do you do?

THEN:  We have only turned the air conditioner on in our house 3 times. 

Once was the first year we had the house.  We had planned a trip to Washington D.C. but we were going to drive all night.  So, the night before we stayed up as late as possible, and then woke up early the next day, intending to sleep in the afternoon.  It was so unbearably hot and sticky in our room that we decided to go try and nap downstairs.  It was too sunny.  We decided to just turn on the air so we could sleep and then turn it off before we left that night.  Then, when we got back there were a couple of nights that were ridiculously hot, so we turned the air on a few nights and turned it back off in the mornings.  Bad idea.  It took so much energy to get the house cooled down to the right temperature so many times, that our electric bill that month was ENORMOUS!  We vowed never again.

The year I was pregnant.  Everyone kept telling me “aren’t you lucky, it’s such a mild summer.”  Well then, I would have been REALLY uncomfortable in a hot summer!  The temps were a little lower than normal, and it was a pretty rainy summer.  But I was a sweat-box.  Especially at school (no, schools around Buffalo do not have Air Conditioning – at least not my district!)  Most of the time, from April – August, I had to sit to teach because I was so out of breath and uncomfortably warm.  I teach summer school too, which is only like 3 hours in the morning.  By the end, I’d go right home and take a cool shower.  So, around May, I decided I needed the A/C on at home.  After that, it was much better.  I would take a nap after school and be very comfortable – as long as I had a fan blowing on me also.  I would wear the same 2 maternity skirts and a handful of maternity tank tops over and over.  I know most people do this, but I couldn’t stand to wear my shorts, or a sleeve longer than a tank.  I was also having major swelling in my ankles and wrists by the end of the day, so I relaxed in the A/C a lot.  But, I was supposed to be relaxing anyway.

The first summer we had the twins was the only other time that we decided to put the A/C on.  They were sleeping through the night by then (finally, Will) and we didn’t want to mess with that by having it be too hot and uncomfortable.  Plus, we kept their doors closed at night (otherwise they wake each other up), so it gets even warmer without the A/C.  We didn’t want to give up our sleep because of being uncomfortable either.  So, we had it on. 

When I was in my early teens my parents had Central Air installed.  My sister and I would be walking around in sweatshirts and pants and socks, not even realizing how warm it really was outside.  Even then, we would also be covered in a blanket watching TV or whatever.  Our mom would get on our cases about not using the pool.  Well, why would you feel the need to go cool off when you were already cold enough?  Plus, if you’re cold inside you figure it must be cool outside.  When we would leave the house, we would have to run back in and change into summer clothes – like, oh, it IS warm out here, huh?  So, that’s why I have promised myself not to use the air conditioning at my house unless it would become an absolute necessity.  That was then.

Superpowers

NOW:  Did you ever wish you had superpowers?  Mine would be the ability to go without sleep.  Sure, there’s more glamorous things out there.  Time travel.  Teleporting.  Laser eyes (although I already have those, but I only use them for good).  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love sleeping.  It’s like my third favorite activity (behind eating, and playing with the kids).  But sleeping just wastes SO MUCH TIME.  And, I’m always tired anyway. 

The 5 cups of coffee a day are not helping anymore…I need to up my intake.  So not only do I waste 7 hours a day sleeping, but it’s still not enough!  It would be so great if I could just constantly feel refreshed and awake and gain those 7 hours back.  I’d get so much accomplished.

Coffee....You Can Sleep When You're Dead!

Especially if Tim and the twins still had to sleep. 

We have a lot of explorations going on in our house lately.  We explore with hats.  Anything and everything can BE a hat. 

Anything and everything can WEAR a hat.

I suppose it doesn’t matter to SOME people that it’s 80 degrees out.  Hats are in style, Mama.  This is now.

THEN:  I know the term “empty nest” usually applies to older people whose children have grown up and moved out of the house.  Before I had my children, my house felt like an empty nest already.  I couldn’t help but wonder if I would ever get to have that real empty nest feeling 20 or 30 years down the road.  Would I ever have kids that would grow up and move out?  Would I ever be able to complain about sleepless nights with my baby?  Would I ever be stuck eating hospital food for 2 days because I had given birth?  Would I ever be fat-in-a-good-way?  Would I ever be so busy that I felt like my head was spinning because my life was so full?  And the biggest, most obvious one; What if I can’t have children?   Everything would remind me.  Obviously people with babies/children, pregnant women.  But even not so obvious things; weddings – would I ever have my little daughter dance with her daddy?  Dusting – I really hate dusting – would I ever be able to train my little boy/girl to help with the chores?  Disney – would I ever be going to Disney World, or the Disney Cruise, or be able to share all things Disney with a little one?

All of these thoughts and more swam around in my head continuously.  I don’t think I was ever busy enough that they weren’t there.  They would be pushed to the side occasionally, but never to the back of my head.  The other thought that plagued me was “relax.”  I’ve mentioned this before.  This is everyone’s reaction when you tell them you’re having a little trouble getting pregnant.  They mean well (keep telling yourself that).  They really do.  They don’t know what else to say.  Unless they’ve gone through it before, but in my case I didn’t have anyone like that.  Even when we tried to relax – booked our Disney Cruise, ok, we’re going to relax.  It was also another reminder of; am I ever going to have a child to send off to play in the Oceaneers Lab while I go sit by the pool with Tim?

Going through Unexplained Infertility was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  I think the reason is because it was COMPLETELY out of my control.  In the past other things that were difficult suddenly seemed easy because I could control my good grades, or how I looked (to a certain extent), or how to deal with my family/friends and issues that arose.  The only way I could control my infertility issues was to **try** different methods – drugs, tests, procedures.  But it was still just trying, no guarantees anything would work.  That’s why relaxing doesn’t seem like a viable option.  And that’s why those questions keep coming back to haunt you all day, all night.  And that’s why you can’t relax.  And there’s those questions.  Relax.  But…..what if I can’t?  It was a vicious cycle.  One of my mantras became the first 2 lines of the Kanye West song “Stronger” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsO6ZnUZI0g.  “That, that, that, that, that don’t kill me, can only make me stronger.  I need you to hurry up now, cuz I can’t wait much longer.”  I often sang it to my (empty) belly.  That was then.

Question: What super power would you want?  Why?