Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Letter To Someone I Love

Someone I love dearly just moved back in with her boyfriend for the 5 time in 4 years. I will go as far as to say that it is an abusive relationship. Maybe not physically abusive, but disturbingly manipulative and demeaning.

Here is the letter I sent her. I'm sure it will have no bearings on her choices as she does what she wants. She listens to no one except for her feelings of the moment. She blows with the wind and it is so sad to sit back and watch knowing you can't do anything to stop the wind from blowing.

She needs our prayers. She needs your prayers.

I am writing you this letter because I am concerned for you. I believe you are in an abusive relationship. He took advantage of you when you were a very young of 11 or 12. You were vulnerable and he has had control over you ever since.  

I love you and care for you dearly. I always prayed for you before you were born and when I was ten you came into my life! I was so proud to know you! We went everywhere together and I always wanted to play with you like you. I loved being with you and being around you. That never changed. Even when I went off to college I wanted you there. Mom left you at my house one summer and we had a great time horseback riding. From day one I loved you. That has not changed. You are so loving, fun-spirited and full of life. You make people feel comfortable and your silliness attracts people to want to be around you. You are free-spirited and kind to all. The love I have for you will never change.

I know you have been through some very hard times; times that are not fair for anyone to have to go through. I know you have struggled with your identity and trying to figure out where you belong and who you are. Everyone goes through this but I know it was extra hard for you. Unfortunately, you found your identity with this man, ten years older than you while you were at a young age. You're emotionally bonded and invested to him so that now in your adult age you have chosen your identity with him as his wife; his muslim wife, even though you are not legally married.   

When you break up with him you have shared with the family that he is controlling over what you wear and where you go. He does not allow you to look at other men, let alone hug another man or kiss another man on the cheek. You are to give up yourself and be there for his needs, take care of him and his household. You have stated that you feel alone and miserable every time you go back to him. How is this time going to be any different.

As soon as you break up with him, he miraculously changes (so he says and so you believe). He hunts you down calling you insesantly and says you can be and have whatever it is you want and he will be whoever you want him to be. He tells you whatever you need to hear to come back to him. The last two break ups he has told you he became a Christian and left his Muslim religion for you so that you will invite him back into your life and sadly you have done just that. You have fallen for his tricks and lies again, making you very gullible. Of course, once you are back with him, there is a honeymoon phase of being back in love before reality sets in and the same patterns start again.

There is an old Chinese proverb that says, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”. Shame on you for believing him not once but all four times you’ve left him! Everyone around you can see how abusive your relationship is except for you!

Whenever you go back to him, I lose my sister. I lose my baby sister, my pride and joy. My fun loving, full of life side kick. Every time you go back my heart aches not because you are with a Muslim nor because you are disobeying God. That is between you and God only and not for me to judge. But my heart aches because I lose YOU. You become someone else that I don't know. You lose your youth, your family and your friends and you become attached to him and no one else. You usually stop going to school and stop dreaming and making goals for your future. He controls you and takes over your identity to be who he wants you to be…his wife. And we all lose you and you lose yourself. You have so much potential and you lose it all when you are with him.

He manipulates you to come back to him by telling you that he is “all alone” but the truth is when you go back to him YOU become “all alone”. He keeps you to himself and you lose your family and your friends, your dreams and your future. You lose yourself. And those around you lose who they knew you to be.

I have several text messages from you from different times when you’ve broken up with him that say you’re done doing things your way because that never works and now you are staying strong and doing what God wants. Well, here you are once again doing what you want...your words.  It is so hard to watch again and so sad to see you throwing everything you have going for you away again.

I don’t care if Sumon has become a Christian or not. That’s not the point for me. He took advantage of you when you were young. He has manipulated you and controlled you for years making you feel guilty for leaving him, guilty for doing anything with your family, guilty for not doing things “right” for him. Christian or not, he changes you and lowers your self esteem every time.

You told me that you have invested so much in him that you can’t just walk away. People have invested a lot more years in a bad relationships than you and that is no justification to stay with something that is wrong. People who continue in bad relationships are very sorry and very miserable, trapped and stuck! Should our brother continue to invest in drugs just because he has invested in them for so many years? Of course not, because they control him and turn him into something God did not intend for him. It is no different with you. Sumon is your drug; he controls you and turns you into something that God did not intend for you. I wish you could understand this, but I'm pretty sure it won't even sink in until something terrible happens again.

I understand you think you are just talking to him as a friend right now and you're "not going to date him again", but BE WARNED!!! This is his way to get you back in his life and before you can even blink you will be back in a relationship with him. These are your words from less than a week ago:
It is just annoying that I know he is not far from me, and that is what I am working through.I guess its like an addiction... i mean honestly I really dont want to be with him in a relationship, i really do not! but its hard for me to be without romance”.
“When i feel my heart aching, i apologize to God, shake it off, ask Him for help, then think of my awesome future husband and how I'll be saying," oh my gosh! I am so thankful I let Sumon go! That relationship was NOTHING and ridiculous compared to this!"

Take him off your facebook page, off your phone and move on with your life This cycle has continued too long.  You are once again going to lose yourself in him, lose your identity in Christ, your identity and trust with your family and your friends. You have to cut this crap out. You are a victim who keeps running to the arms of an abuser. It is so hard and painful to watch you do this (not once but 4 or 5 times now) as someone who loves you and always will.

You can’t say you love God and then intentionally take matters into your own hands against God’s will. I don’t know God’s will, but I can promise you God has better plans than for you then to be with someone who has proven to be controlling, demeaning, and manipulative towards you and your family. “And to the man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom! And to turn from evil is understanding.” Job 28:28 Think through your choices and weigh the consequences. You know what you have to do. So just freaking do it already. Stop these games you are playing and focus on what is important in your life. The hard thing is usually the right thing. The easy way is usually the wrong way. You are obviously taking the easy path by continuing to talk to him even though you say it doesn't mean anything else.

With all my care and concern,
Your sister

Monday, August 29, 2011

Wonder Woman and Sleep Training

A friend of mine sent me a text the other morning that said:

"I think you are like a young version of Lynda Carter. Wonder Woman. She is on the today show today and I thought of you."

All I could think was man, I wish I had Wonder Woman's powers these days. Then I started to wonder what were her powers? It seems as though she gave up all her powers to stay on planet earth and what she was left with was superhuman strength. And well, maybe, just maybe I have this superhuman strength these days, otherwise, I wouldn't have made it this far with a 2 year old and 5 month old twins.

So, the other night I decided to turn into Wonder Woman.
The babies started to sleep very poorly a week ago and I was at my limit. After 4 nights of no sleep...seriously, no sleep I lost it. That night I put the babies down to bed at 9:00pm. My head must have hit  my pillow 8 times by 2:00am and I had nothing but maybe 10 minutes of sleep. I was so mad. When a baby started to cry at 2am, I just let them cry...actually scream over the monitor. After an uncomfortable amount of time my husband turned over in the bed and said, "are you just going to let him cry" and I said "YES". So my husband said, then why do you have the monitor on. That's when I lost it. I said something like "So I can hear when they stop crying. If it's bothering you so much why don't you just get up and help. I've been doing this for 5 months and you never get up with them. Never never never. I jumped out of bed turned the monitor off, slammed our door. Opened the microwave put a bottle inside, slammed the microwave closed, opened it, got the bottle slammed it back closed, marched myself back into the babies room for the umpteenth time, slammed their door closed behind me, picked up the culprit and stuck a bottle in his mouth.

AHH, yes, I felt much better by slamming all the things I possibly could, secretly in hopes that I would wake my 2 year old up since she is my husbands responsibility at night then he'd be forced to get up with someone! But of course she slept and of course my dear husband walked into the babies room and said, here, let me take him. At this point I was boiling. And I said, "You've had 5 months to help - GET OUT!"

Of course I wanted his help. I had been wanting it for the past few days that led up to this. But I didn't want to have to ask for it. I wanted him to recognize I needed help. I said things like, I don't know how much longer I can do this. They've been sleeping terrible the last few night. Maybe when my dad comes to visit I can have him take turns getting up...of course, my husband never offered. What was I thinking? He could read my mind? I guess so. Don't we women just want that?

So at 3:30 when the next baby started crying and I was back in bed, I leaned over and said, "can you go get her". He said sure, but then asked a million questions, does she want a bottle, should I bring her back to bed, should I change her diaper. My response, "I don't care what you do, just get her back to sleep". Because of that I got about 2 hours of sleep that night.

In the morning, my poor husband who I beat up the night before with my angry words said, "I'm willing to help and do whatever you need me to, you know that, you just need to ask. I'm not like you and I don't just know what to do". By this time I had already decided it was time to Sleep Train.

After 4 nights of no sleep I decided the 5th night was time for sleep training, or else someone was going to really loose it. I mean really lose it. So sleep training it was. Babies went down at 9:00. The first baby who woke was around 11:30. I grabbed my night robe, as I always do because I freeze at night. When I get out of the covers I am super cold so I put on a little light weight white and pink robe with a hood and go get a baby. Well tonight my night robe turned into my superhero cape. As I put it on I envisioned myself as Wonder Woman and even put on the hoody. Well I know she doesn't ware a cape, but it amused me nonetheless. I turned the monitor off and sat on the couch. I timed 5 minutes and then went into the nursery, picked up the culprit and rocked and nursed him back to sleep. Then I went back to bed. When the next cries came over the monitor, I turned it off, put on my superhero cape and sat on the couch. I waited 10 minutes. Then went in and soothed my child back to sleep. This continued on all night with the increments on the couch getting longer and longer. I clung to my cape tighter and tighter telling myself, "don't give in. you have supernatural powers and you can do this."

By the 3rd night both babies slept from 9pm - 5am. Took a bottle and went back to sleep until 8:30.

Somehow my friend giving me a little boost that I reminded her of Wonder Woman did wonders. It got me in the mood to say "I can do this!"

Wonder Woman, ahh, how I love thee.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Help! My Two Year Old is a Teenager!

Today was Lucia's first day of school in the Two's class. I could've sworn she is a teenager and not a 2 year old today.

Lately I've been thinking my 2 year old reminds me of a teenager. I have these flashforwards with things that she does. I stare at her small face that fits her 25 lb two year old little body perfectly and as I stare into her soft brown almond shaped eyes I suddenly find myself looking into the eyes of a 15 year old little girl. I have to immediately snap myself out of it! I'm not ready for this teenage stuff yet. I take a deep breath, blink and look at her again to see my sweet young little two year old. I eagerly try to forget my flashforward and tell myeslf not to go there again...not yet anyway.

It's her first day of school and she love to oversleep. This morning was no different. I turn her noise maker off and her lights on and I softly tickle her arm and say, "wake up baby". She just barely opens her eyes. She looks at me with her eyes opened just enough to give me the stink eye! She's got one hell of a stink eye. It's enough to make anyone take offense to her. I'm sort of used to it by now. I walk out of the room and she rolls over and goes back to sleep.

I leave her room, start getting her breakfast ready and her lunch box packed. Do I dare go back in ther and risk getting the stink eye again from my two year old? Of course I do! I tickle her arm a little bit and I say, "sweetie, you need to get up and get ready for school. Do you want some milk? I have some grapes and pancakes waiting for you. Come on babe, it's time to get up and go to school." Again, I get the stink eye and she rolls over and this time puts the covers over her head.

She finally rolls herself out of bed and slowly comes into the playroom where I am with the babies. She is covered in sweat and her hair is crazy messy. Her eyes are just barely open and she is in a rotten mood. She drinks milk and asks for cookies. I offer her her breakfast on the table. "Momma I want cookies, please." I'll say no cookies honey we need to eat breakfast so you can grow big and healthy. "Momma, I want M&M's." No M&M's. "I want chocolate, please". I decide I will offer her two cookies on her breakfast plate. Of course they are peanut butter crackers, but she doesn't know the difference. To her they are cookies. She may seem like a teenager as I try to get her out of bed and ready for school, but she still thinks peanut butter crackers are cookies she can only have as treats. I'll try to keep this one for a while. 
She finally sits down to eat, but won't eat until I leave the room to get the babies dressed. When she saw me looking at her she immediately stopped eating. I got her dressed and her hair in pink tails. Her lunch box packed and her backpack ready. She kept trying to open her lunch box, probably to check and make sure I put M&M's in it, which of course I didn't.  She got a peanut butter sandwhich, some slivced avacado and string cheese. This means the whole lunch box will probably come home full.

I tried to take her picture before sending her off on her first day of school. She refused. She kept turning her head, running away and saying, "Momma, I don't want to go to school!" She was telling me she just wants to play. As I reminded her that she was going to play at school and see all her friends there she responded by saying she just wanted to play at home.   
We eventually made it to the car drove to school, all the while she reminded me that she didn't want to go. I pulled through the drop off lane and one of the lovely teacher's came to get her out of the car. My daughter stared at me with this aweful blank was like the evil eye times ten! I handed the nice teacher her backpack and lunchbox. The car door shut. I smiled and waved to her as the teacher carried her into the building. The whole time she stared at me, never taking her eyes off me. I continued to smile and wave. I amsot felt her eyes telling me to "go to hell; how could I be so rude dropping her off at school like that when all she wants is to stay home and play, dammit!" I know...that's a harsh when describing my two year old. I admit it. But it was one of those flashforward moments where she's 15 and I won't let her go to the movies with her friends and instead I make her go to dinner with her family and she sits at the table with the same look on her face. It's a powerful look! I've never known a 2 year old to be able to have this kind of influence in her eyes, but I'm warning you, it's deadly and it will send you into a flashforward of teenagehood. I stared right back at her and smiled bigger and and bigger and waved faster and faster and finally sped off!

I know she'll have a great day at school and as we get back in the swing of things, she'll beg me to go to school just as she did last year when she was in the 1's class.

My little two year old teenager.

Is your two year old a teenager check list:
Won't eat anything I make for dinner - check!
Only wants junk food - check!
Does the opposite of what I say - check!
Sleeps late - check!
Wants to stay up all night - check!
Gives the stink eye - check!
Tells me to go away - check!
Tells me she doesn't want to talk to me - check! 
Argues the opposite of what I say - check!


Paul: (in reference to my Lucia going poop in her pull-up) "Peanut, are you making peanut butter?"
Lucia: "No daddy, I not making Peeing-Butt-Better"

Later there were some noises outside and Lucia asked me:

"Momma, who's at the door"
Me: "Nobody"
Lucia: "Yes buddy."
Me: (not really understanding what she said), "No baby, nobody is at the door, it's just a noise outside"
Lucia: "Yes momma, yes-buddy's at the door."

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Peanuts and Spoons

Our 2 year old has many nicknames. The first thing we really started to call her, other than her name, was Baby Girl. We still call her this today. We also call her BG which is short for Baby Girl. We usually use BG when we are texting about her. For example, "Is BG still sleeping?" Something like that. We call her Monkey, Little Monkey and LM which is short for Little Monkey and is also her initials; Lucia Marcella. We call her Pumpkin, Pumpkin Pie, Munchkin and the list goes on and on. The most common nickname we have for her is Peanut. This might be because she is small. While she is in the 60th percentile for height, she is in the 20 percentile for weight, making her a petite little 2 year old or also known as a peanut. However, it might be that when she was in utero we referred to her as a peanut before we knew is she was male or female and it just continued to stick. I'm not completely sure where this nickname came from but both my husband and I call her Peanut and she answers to it.

Lately she has been having terrible pooping issues. I blame it on her molars coming in. Although, it may also be that her diet consists of M&M's, whole milk, ice cream, hot dogs and blueberries. However, since I am responsible for what she eats, to an extent of course, I'd rather blame this on her molars coming in. I suppose I could blame it on her daddy though. The entire side of his family has intestinal/poop issues. This may be too  much information here, but they all poop - all the time and talk about how they all poop all the time. In any case, more so lately than ever my toddler has had some very messy diapers.  And although she is potty training she has yet to poop in the potty. As soon as she has to go #2, she begs me to put a diaper on her. For now I appease her.

Lucia said to her daddy, "I have to poop".
and Paul says back to her, "Peanut, are you making peanut butter?" And we all laughed.

And this is when a new saying was born in our family. Now when someone is using the bathroom they are making peanut butter.

We all laughed! But later that day I wasn't laughing. Paul was laying diagonally on the couch and all the babies were asleep. Finally a moment of rest for I thought.

I asked Paul if he would move over so I could lay on the couch too. He said I should just lay in front of him so he could "spoon" me. How romantic, I thought and was eager to lay down and spend a little cuddle time with my dear husband...until I finally did lay down in front of him and he giggled and said, "Man! That's a big spoon!". Sometimes he thinks he is so funny and I usually do to. But this time he lost his cuddling priviledges. I went and sat in his recliner and had a nice 15 minutes to myself before someone woke up.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Diarrhea, Algae, Reflux and Blueberries

We had a great typical enjoyable Saturday...until we got home...diarrhea, algae, reflux and blueberries, oh what a night.

The day started normal. My husband got up at 5:30 to meet a guy for a 60 mile bike ride. All the while, I was awake with babies and watched the sun come up, as I do most mornings now. The coffee pot can't make the coffee fast enough and I usually chug down the first cup burning hot and then sip the remaining cups as I cuddle my children. At 7:00 my 2 year old woke and at 8:00 the twins. All four of us; me, her and the twins, cuddled on the couch, which means everyone is sitting on me, and we watched as many Dora episodes as humanly possible before one gags, or until my 2 year old turns into Dora herself (is that possible?)

Then an hour later it was time to put the two bambino's down for their nap. At which point, I got dressed to go to the YMCA, got my toddler ready and packed everyone's diaper bags. My husband got home and we waited for the babies to wake up so we could leave. I had asked my husband if he would go to the Y with me and show me the workouts he used to do with a friend of his when we lived in Nashville. Both of them got super ripped and well, since I recently gave birth to twins, I will do anything to try to get "super ripped" myself right now. I feel like it has been 3 years since I've really been able to work out. I got pregnant in 2008, gave birth in 2009, breastfed for 9 months and while I ran then and worked out some then, it was hard to find the time. I was working full time and so when I wasn't working I didn't want to stick my child in daycare so I could work out. I mostly ran with her in the jogger. Then I ended up pregnant again and the cycle continues...

I never ask my husband to teach or show me anything, so this shocked him. He is my husband, not my coach, not my instructor, not my teacher and not my mentor. When he tries to "show" me something we end up in a fight. We call our canoe the "divorce boat" because we are stuck in it together and I always do it my way, which is the wrong way according to him and then we end up in a fight. The best thing we can do for our marriage is tip the thing over and swim. But that's a lesson for another time. Yes, he was shocked, but agreed to "show" me his workout. He reminded me that the only time I've listened to him was when I was giving birth to our first child naturally and the pain was getting out of control and I was about to lose it. He grabbed my face and said, "get it together, now". Suddenly that was all it took for me to calm down and in fact, I did get it together. He said that might just be the only time I didn't try to argue with him and tell him I was right and he was wrong, so he'd be happy to show me his workout, but wasn't sure why because I wouldn't listen to him anyway.

The babies woke up and off to the YMCA we went. I can't believe we were able to work out a full 45 minutes without the nursery workers coming to get one of us. Every time I leave the babies in the nursery at the Y, which has been most week days for the past 3 weeks, they have to come and get me because someone is crying and they can't get them to stop. It really puts a damper on working out and I can't say I haven't hid from the nursery worker before when I see her walking into the fitness room. It may look like I am tying my shoe, but I am just trying to duck as she walks by looking for me. The other mothers in the fitness room can rest assured she's not coming for them.

It was a success. No babies cried, I learned a new work out routine and everyone was hungry so we headed to chick fil a, so we could eat and our little one could play. Then we were ready to go home and take a nap. That too was a success. As every napped, I prepared our grocery list and organized our coupon book. Everyone woke up and off we headed, all 5 of us to the grocery store. Our trip to the store is a story for another time too because that in itself is full of lots of rights and wrongs.

We took 15 minutes after the grocery store to go to the bookstore to let my little girl play with the trains as this is one of her favorite things to do and off we went to head home. It was now 7:00 and time for everyone to eat quick, get a bath and go to bed. Oh, if only that went as smoothly as the rest of the day.

We came home and before we could even walk into the house we could smell the stench of diarrhea! Where was it? Where did it come from? It covered the whole house. We knew it was there but hadn't found it, until we walked into my daughters room and covered on her beautiful floral pink rug was a very large pile of doggy diarrhea. It didn't stop there, it trailed off her beautiful floral pink run onto the carpet. It appeared we had a sick dog and a big mess to clean up. I put the babies down and went to unload groceries, which my husband had already beat me to it. So I decided I'd feed the babies and then clean the poop. They didn't want to eat and I couldn't stand the smell. I got the gloves and started to clean. I dragged the rug outside and sprayed down her carpet, scrubbed and vacuumed.  The mister had put all the groceries away and started to cook dinner, babies seemed happy enough and everything seemed fine so I headed outside to clean the rug. I got the hose and scrubbed it with cleaner and used the hose as a pressure washer.

As I was outside I noticed my daughters kiddie pool was filled with green water because it had been sitting out there for days unused and algae was growing covering the entire bottom of the plastic blow up pool. So I thought, while I have the hose out I'll clean this out too. I started picking up the toys in the yard, dumped the water out and came inside for the bleach. I noticed my husband was still cooking dinner and now he was holding one of the twins while he did it. My two year old looked happy as she ate some turkey and cheese and fruit and the other twin seemed content, so I headed back outside with the bleach for the kiddie pool and said, "I'll be just another minute." I sprayed the pool out, poured the bleach in and realized I needed a sponge. I had already finished cleaning the rug and it was hanging to dry. I came in for the sponge and noticed that the mister was still cooking dinner, but this time he was carrying two babies who didn't look so happy and my toddler was sitting at the table complaining about her food. I was just about to say, "I'll be just another minute", when I got that look from my husband that said, "if you go back out that door, I will..." not sure what came after that but the look was bad so what followed would've been bad too.

I decided not to finish what I was doing. I took one baby, offered to take both, but he just gave me one. Went outside to turn the hose off, and came back in. Dinner was on the table. Oops. I don't think anyone was happy. All my husband said was "I'm not you and you're are not me". I took this to mean that he can't cook a meal while watching three babies and I can't clean dog poop as well as him without getting distracted. I was really hoping he didn't now I was doing 10 other things outside, but guess he did. So we sat and ate dinner.

And this is where the blueberry comes in. As we sat and ate dinner, my 2 year old swallowed a blueberry whole and yes, it got stuck. We panicked, I almost dropped a baby as I stood up to figure out what to do. She stuck her own hands down her throat and coughed up a whole blueberry. The poop, the algae, the roll-reversal, the crying babies, the gym, the bookstore, nothing, nothing mattered at that moment. We were all scared.

At this time my stress level had risen. No one would know it, not even me because when I am stressed I appear extra calm. I went to feed the babies to put them to bed and forgot to give my son his reflux medicine until after I fed him. This doesn't happen much, but when it does it's a bad beginning to the night. He can't settle, he cries more and longer and can't get comfortable. Not only were we up all night with sad babies, hungry babies, but also with a dog who was constantly pacing and whimpering to go outside. If we had a fenced yard he would've stayed outside, but each time we had to get up and take him out, get up and feed a baby, get up and rock a baby. But you know what, I'd do it all again. I was just happy by little girl didn't choke on a blueberry.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Panties On The Head, Panties On The Head, Looking Like a Fool With Panties On Your Head

There was a knock on the door.  I was comfortably sitting on the couch laughing with my two year old while I fed one baby a bottle and nursed the other. But I quickly layed one baby on the couch and rushed to the door to get the dog. When someone knocks on our front door, our 90 lb Rhodesian Ridgeback charges to the glass panes barking and growling so obnoxiously you think he is going to jump right through the glass and bite you right in the throat taking your life from you forever. So, in an effort to keep the dog somewhat quiet so he didn't startle the babies too badly, ok, and so he didn't freak out the person at the door, I rushed towards the door to get him. Holding a baby in one arm I dragged the dog by the callar to the bathroom and shut the door. Fearing I left the person at the door too long, I quickly checked to make sure I had pinned my bra back on and that I was wearing a shirt. All seemed good so I rushed back to the door to open it.

There stood a man with a letter in his hand. He was...THE Turf Doctor. He said he just wanted me to know that they turfed the yard and give me their latest newsletter. I was sort of thinking to myself, "why do I want your newsletter?" "Why are you telling me you turfed the yard?","You turf the yard every month and you've never knocked on the door before." "You just put that sign in the yard letting us know." "If you have a newsletter you usually leave it rubberbanned to the doorknob." "And duh, don't you think I can see the seed all over the sidewalk?" "I know when you are here." "I don't care about your newsletter." It was as if he knocked on the door becuase he knew I was juggling two newborn babies with a bottle and a boob while entertaining a 2 year old and wanted to watch me jump up out of my comfortable couch and grab my loud abnoxious dog all the while not dropping a baby or exposing a boob. The other guy with him probably saw me through the window and dared him to do it.

But nevertheless, I thanked him, gave him my "thank you so much, I don't really give a crap" smile and as i was about to close the door I made eye contact with him. He didn't appear to be looking at me before that, but more like he was looking through me. As my eyes met his, one half of his lip on the right side went up as if he was smirking at me. His eye brows raised just a tad as if he was trying to control them to stay down, but couldn't help it. I almost thought he was going to start laughing at me. But honestly I really wasn't sure because quite frankly it's been days since I've slept. I'm overtired and I don't really pay attention to people anymore these days like I used to so I feel out of practice in reading peoples expressions. He could've been about ready to cry for all I really knew. But I knew something was going on and I really couldn't place it and in a matter of milliseconds I realized I didn't really care and I closed the door. I watched him through the glass panes turn towards his truck where the other "Turf Doctor's" were and he seemed to be shaking his head.

I was holding a baby in the crescent of my arm. My other baby was asleep on the couch. The dog was in the bathroom. Then it hit me. Where is my 2 year old? My 2 year old was standing right next to me holding my leg the whole time. My 2 year old was wearing only a pair of panties. The panties, however, were on her head.

What was that turf doctor thinking? Standing there while my butt naked two year old stood next to me with her panties on her head?

My 2 year old is potty training and she is doing excellent! She had just peed in the potty but did not want to put her panties back on. I didn't really push the issue, as I was a little busy putting babies into a booby milk induced coma.

I just about died laughing later when I saw her running around the house with her bare bottom and her panties on her head. Of course, she found it hilarious too as she twirled in cirlces saying, "dizzy, dizzy, dizzy." She kept pulling the panties over her eyes so she couldn't see where she was going, she fall down and just cracked up laughing.

I just didn't expect to forget about it and then have someone come to the door, open the door, and have my two year olds bare bottom hanging out and her panties on her head.

Looking like a fool with your panties on your head.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Boob Jobs and "other" Jobs

We were eating dinner (which means I was nursing a baby, feeding another baby a bottle, threatening my two year old if she didn't sit down I was going to put her back in her high chair, and trying to eat my dinner at the same time) and the news was on. I heard something on the news about breast implants. They were saying, if you have had one then these are the signs you should look for...and they listed about 10 things. I noticed my husband was intently watching the news and since my attention wasn't totally on the TV, as I was a little preoccupied, I asked him what were they talking about. And he told me that they are saying how great breast implants were and that every woman who has had them is happier and healthier than ever before, "They are encouraging women to get them," he said.

Man, men are dumb sometimes! And sometimes we have to tell them. So I did.

And his response was so convincing as he said, "well, I'm just telling you what they said, if you don't believe me you should have listened for yourself."

Haha! yeah right because I have so much time these days to watch TV! Paul likes to rent moves OnDemand and I love that he does and thinks of me, "Babe, I got this one for you, it's a chic flic". I'm flattered. But I never get to watch them. :( It's just that season in our lives right now. Where most of my day is spent in a dark nursery with a sound machine on rocking and feeding babies. I wouldn't change it for the world, but it does have it trying moments. When I told Paul I was a little busy doing other things he said, "yep, you are busy doing YOUR JOB." and of course, he gave a little sarcastic smile with it. But he's right. It is my job and it's a job that I love...for now! I couldn't do it for the next 30 years, but I can do it for the next year...and then they will be one year older and my job description will change and I'll do that job for however long I need to.

You Don't Even Know How Good You Have It

My neighbor, and friend, called me the other morning to ask a question. She wanted to know how I got my older daughter into a big girl bed. My daughter has been in a big girl bed since 15 months. When I found out I was pregnant again, I thought to myself that she'd only have a short period in the crib before we had to move her out...then we found out it was twins...and for some reason this really stressed me out. Not only would we need her crib, but we'd need another one too and for some reason that put more pressure on me to get her out of her crib. So at 15 months I converted her crib into a toddler bed and at 19 months, I moved her into a queen sized bed because it is what we already had. I wasn't going to buy her a new bed when I needed to buy another crib and quite frankly another of a lot of things we already had, ie: a stroller, car seat, etc...So my 2 year old sleeps in a queen sized bed!

Well, lately she has been sleeping on her floor. I can't quite figure it out. When my friend called to ask about converting her 2 year old into a toddler bed, I told her what I did. I read and rocked my daughter until she was just sleepy enough I could lay her down without her getting up. If she woke in the middle of the night, she still called for me to come and get her as if she couldn't get out of the bed! Then I started laying her down awake and sat in her room in her rocking chair until she was pretty much out. Then I started to lay her awake and stand by the door and yell at her if I saw her lift her head from the pillow. If she ever got out of her bed in the night, she couldn't open the door so she would stand by it and knock until someone came to get her and put her back in bed. In any case it didn't take her very long and she transitioned into her queen bed very easily.

I told my friend the problem I have now is that she wakes up in the middle of the night and turns on her light and starts playing. Well she plays so quietly that we don't hear her on the monitor and have no idea she is up. She falls asleep on the floor and does the same thing in the morning; she wakes and stays in her room playing! This is when my friend exclaimed, "You don't even know how good you have it do you?"

"Really?" I thought, I have it good? She said that it must be so nice she doesn't wake me at night or early in the morning. Well, yes, I guess you could look at it that way...or if she did wake me, at least I'd be able to put her back to bed. Since she doesn't wake us, we have no idea how long she's been awake at night or in the morning. And I am up all night with two other little ones who still like to wake every 3 hours to eat...and different hours at that!

When I start to see the sun rise in the morning and I've been up most the night with my twin 3 month olds I start to feel the anxiety coming. Another day with no sleep. My 2 year old comes out of her room around 8am and since she has been up for who knows how long she is an absolute pill. She is needy and repeatedly says, "momma, hold me". Well, I'm holding two other babies. So it's not beyond me to tell her she needs to go to bed at 8:00 and let her take a nap until 10:00am. This is why I don't have it so good just because she plays in her room by herself!

I took the light bulbs out of her room thinking if she couldn't turn her light on she wouldn't play. Well, I was wrong. Actually, what she started doing was getting out of her bed, opening her door, walking across the house - in the dark - and coming into our room, climbing into our unusually high bed and getting in between me and my husband. It would be too late before we noticed she was there! What two year old has enough guts to walk through a dark house by themselves in the middle of the night? Either my husband or I would go and put her back in her bed. Now I keep a latch on her door so she can't open it more than 3".

Yes, I lock her in her room at night. I've gotten in the habit of checking on her when the babies wake up. I go in her room and if she is asleep on the floor, I scoop her up and put her back in bed. If she's awake, I threaten to "spank" her if she gets out of bed again. So, she doesn't want a spankin so she stays in bed and can reach all her books if she leans over the side. Then I threaten to spank her if I catch her reading again. Who spanks there kid for reading? Well, I do! If she's reading in the middle of the night!

She's a cutie pie. She is so sweet. I just wish she'd stop getting up and playing at night. My friend doesn't even know how hard I've got it!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A typical night

Not every night is like this but typically this is how it goes:

6:30/7pm -  babies get a bath. get jammies on and lotion with a little baby massage.
7:30 pm - if babies are being playful they may play for a while and I will try to bath my 2  year old. Otherwise my husband baths her.
8:00 pm - feed babies together and rock them to sleep. My husband puts my 2 year old to sleep.
9:00pm - usually one baby has fallen asleep.
9:30 pm - second baby has fallen asleep. Both are asleep for about 30 minutes
10:00pm - first baby who fell asleep has now woken up and wants to eat more. So I feed one.
10:15pm - second baby who fell asleep is now awake and wants to eat more. So I feed two.
10:30pm - both babies finally asleep and I take a shower.
11:00pm - I'm in bed with a chit-chatty husband who I yell at 3 or 4 times that I just need to go to sleep but I love him. This never works. He always falls asleep before me as I am restless, but so tired. I get mad because he is snoring and I am the tired one.
11:30/12 - I've hopefully fallen asleep
1:30am - First baby wakes up, usually my little boy who is smaller and still likes to eat every 3 hours. I nurse him if I have milk, but get self conscious that I don't have enough milk so after nursing I offer a bottle. Then I burp him forever because he has reflux and if I lay him down too early he is right back up.
2:30am - Baby is back asleep and I go to bed
3:30am - Next baby is awake. She is a fast eater and by 4:00 am she is back asleep and so am I.
4:30/5am - First baby is now back awake and wants to eat again. If I have milk, I will bring him in our bed and nurse him while I sleep. If he doesn't settle I will fix him a bottle and then once he is finished, next baby is up.
5:30am - Second baby is up. I put first baby back in his crib and bring her in my bed to nurse her while I sleep.
7:00am - my two year old wakes up
8:00am - first baby wakes up for the day and I always wake the second baby with him so they can stay on the same schedule throughout the day.

the rest of the day: tired momma

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mr. Hoho spotted in June

We were shopping at Costco and my two year old saw a man in a red shirt with a white beard. As we passed by him she pointed and said, "Momma, there is Mr. Hoho". It's June and she is thinking about Christmas.

Still in Costco as we walked around we saw a man in a white shirt with a big brown beard. My daughter pointed at him and said, "Momma, there's 'nother Mr. Hoho."

Apparently neither a white beard nor a red shirt will make you Santa, just a beard in general and you could be "Mr. HoHo".

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to my dad, who taught me how to stone crab, took me fishing , let me climb trees with him and taught me how to drive stick in the 914 porshe he let me drive senior year. He also gave me my dry sense of humor and my sarcasm!

And to my humble husband who is a SuperDad to our 3 children 2 years old and under! He takes ALL of us running and biking, changes diapers, feeds bottles, gives baths, washes dishes and does laundry...he even irons. And while I pay the bills, I use his hard earned money to do it! And he likes my sarcasm and dry humor. Thank you dear husband for being a great dad! I should probably also thank your mom for raising you right.

A happy father's day to all the other fathers out there as well. My brother, who is the father of my super cool godson and nephew! And to my father-in-law who has 4 children and 10 grandchildren. And of course, I think of my grandfather's who have passed, but fathered my parents and taught them how to parent us. My maternal grandfather is the namesake of my son, so I always keep him close.

Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Being a MoM means I'm ready to join the circus

The twins have made me many things. Becoming a mom of multiples is just one of them. I think they have prepared me to join the circus. I could really do a number of jobs required in a circus. Call me a lion tamer, a professional juggler, a tight rope walker. Actually, I think they may have prepared me enough to go to the olypics as a ping pong pro.

As a professional juggler I can juggle two infant babies and a toddler just barely two years old. I can hold a baby in one arm while I manage to still use both hands and change the other babies diaper. I can feed a baby a bottle while burping the other and the whole time playing horsey with my two year old on my leg. I can nurse one while bouncing the other while I stand and spin in circles with my 2 year old on my back.

The twins have prepared me to be an amazing ping pong player. I pass them back and forth between their cribs, my shoulders, my hips, their bouncy chairs, their swings, my boobs, their boppys and their play mats, never dropping a single one. As soon as I put one down, I pick the other up.

And let me not forget to tell you that I have also evolved into Elasta Girl since they've been born. If I have left a burp cloth or a blanket out of reach for the average person, I have learned to extend my rib cage out, twist my arm a way I never knew it went, stick out my leg further than ever before to reach it with the tip of my pinky finger or toe.  Somehow I stretch just to where I need to without having to get up with all 3 kids on my lap.

I also feel like a clown many times I leave the house and I get so many stares and questions. "Are all those children yours?" Usually it is a "bless your heart" or a "you've got your hands full". I should say, "yes I do. Would you like to watch me throw them in the air and juggle them for you?" Since at this point I probably could without ever dropping one. Life is good.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Jesus Rice and More Cake and the Easter Bunny

Me: Lucia, do you want some more cheesey rice?
Lucia: no mom, no Jesus rice.

Me: Do you want Emma Kate to come over and play?
Lucia: Yes momma, I want to play with More Cake!!

Lucia: momma, call Isa.
Me: who's Isa?
Lucia: Isa and Benny
Me: oh Isa and Benny from Dora.

days later....
Me: (handing Lucia her play phone) Lucia, call Isa and Benny
Lucia: No Momma, I don't want to, you call the Easter Bunny.

Guilt and Money

I asked Paul to kiss me before he left and he said he refused to "guilt kiss me". So of course I asked him what he was guilty of or was he trying to tell me I was guilty of something? He wasn't really sure which was the right answer and was just really trying to be funny. So he said he really didn't know. I was probably guilty of being too expensive. So, of course I said it was fine for him to just get rid of me if I was too expensive for him and as he thought about it for a minute he decided that I would me more expensive if he got rid of me. Of course he is just kidding, but he has a good point. Me and three kids cost a lot of money! YIKES. It was so much easier when we both worked and made lots of money and didn't have any kids to spend it on...just us. Those were good years and honestly, I'm so glad we had them together to fall back on. It may be a long, long, long time before we can spend any money on oureslves again. We now have 3 college funds to save for, 3 additional mouths to feed, sports to pay for and who knows if they end up in private schools. A house big enough, clothes...and it is endless. It's a good thing we have enough love in our house to pick up where the money ends.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


To spank or not to spank, that is the question. Well, not really a question for me. I always assumed I would spank. I got spanked as kid, my husband, bless his soul got beat. We will not be beating our children, but spanking when deserved is a fair punishment, of course, with a conversation to follow as to why you got spanked.

Up until now we have been using time out with our 2 year old. This has seemed to work just fine, until suddenly she doesn't seem to be bothered anymore. "L, do you want to go into time out?" "Yes, mommy, I do." Oh great. When your kid is asking to go into time out maybe it is time for a new punishment!

Regardless I really had not given it much thought. I still put her in time out even though she sat there with a smile on her face and when I told her she could get off the chair (or often times we put her on the prayer bench) she would decide she wanted to stay in time out longer. Ha! Tricks on you kid, you can stay there as long as you want. Gives momma a little longer of a break from you.

I've been trying to make an extra effort to spend time with my 2 year old and play hands on with her while the babies are sleeping. Since the babies have been born she spends a lot of time sitting on the couch with me watching me feed babies, burp babies, change babies diapers and rock babies. She behaves well and usually plays with my i-phone (gotta love the i-phone) or finds something to keep herself entertained. In my efforts to try and do activities with her I thought it would be fun to make Easter cards for her grandparents. We got out the paint and the paper and went to town. She giggled and laughed and it was great...until she was done.

I could tell she was finished because she started painting her hands and her face and that's usually a sign that she has lost her concentration and is now bored. So I let her get down while I finished cutting out some bunnies from her paintings. I was very focused on what I was doing and understand, trying to get this all finished up before the babies woke. Every time I looked up from what I was doing L was pulling on the blinds to the window and shaking them listening to them make a loud voice every time the wood blinds hit the windows. Of course she got a kick out of this. So I said, "please don't do that," and went back to what I was doing. Again it happened. "L, please stop that it is bothering me." Again it happened. Without even thinking I jumped up, grabbed her arm away from the blinds and smacked her butt.

Yikes. Her poor little face looked right at me and got all crinkled up and tears started to come, but no noise...then a long soft little cry came out of her. Ooops. This is the first time I spanked my child and I didn't even warn her. I completely spanked her out of reaction without giving it any thought and I felt guilty immediately .I grabbed her in my arms and sat down in the rocking chair. "L, I am so sorry I smacked you, but you were not listening to me and I got angry." I explained to her that I should have warned her I was going to spank her and I apologized for that and she needed to apologize to me for not listening. I hugged her until she was done sobbing.

Needless to say, I am now spanking my child. Well, rarely because the warning of it is usually enough to get her to stop her behavior. "L, I am going to give you a spanking if you don't do, x, y, z". That is all it takes to get x, y, and z done. She is a good girl anyway and listens well. But the terrible two's are here and the jealousy of the twins is another distraction from her good behavior.

We still use time out, of course, and usually on the prayer bench. But I am happy now to have a new method of discipline that so far is proving to work.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

So many children...she didn't know what to do

"There was an old woman who lived in a shoe, she had so many children she didn't know what to do." This nursery rhyme came to me the other day and has been stuck in my head since. Obviously "old" is relative. I am 32 years old which to a 20 year old might sound really old! Also, I don't live in a shoe. I live in a lovely home in a lovely neighborhood with a large community pool and playgrounds all around filled with children. Three of those children are mine. My oldest just turned 2 years old and then of course, there are my 6 week old twins.

I've been in survival mode and I'm not sure I realized it until just recently. On April 27, 2011 several tornado's blew through down. Fortunately for us, they hit all around and our house, nor our neighborhood had any damage. Unfortunately, those around us were hit very hard by a category 5 tornado and many lost loved ones and many lost their homes and possessions. It is very sad.

For me, however, it was a blessing in disguise. The tornado's knocked over large power towers and knocked out the electricity all over our city leaving hundred of thousands of people without power. We stuck it out for a few days before we decided to pack up our RV with some belongings a two year old, two 6 week olds and our 11 year old 80 lb Rhodesian Ridgeback and head to my in-laws house. They were also hit by the storms and had a foot of hail piled up at their doorstep...but they had electricity: hot showers, refrigerator and lights. Lights are really nice to have when you are up all hours of the night feeding babies and changing diapers. So, to grandmothers house we went.

Of course they were thrilled because they had not seen the babies since their birthday. We walked in their front door and my mother in law took one baby and my father in law took the other baby. I handed them each a bottled of breast milk I had pumped in the RV while driving and they fed the babies. I almost didn't know what to do with myself. For 6 weeks I have fed two babies 8 times a day (16 feedings) and tried to entertain my 2 year old while doing this.

We stayed at my in laws for 3 nights and 4 days. And I had no idea that I needed such a break. It was rejuvenating for me. It allowed me to play with my older daughter more. It allowed me to sit and rest and when a baby cried I didn't have to jump up because my mother in law already had them in her arms rocking and singing to them. Also, my husband did not have to work during these days so he was there to help as well.

There were four adults and three children! Adults outnumbered the children for the first time in 6 weeks. Amazing. I really did not know that I needed that break. But I am so glad the storms blew threw and gave me the opportunity to rest some. We are all back home now, safe and sound and with power. We are back on our schedule, which of course we did not stick to at grandma's house, and we are all doing fine.

I didn't even know I needed the help. Now I know what do...when I feel grandma.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Twin Birth Story: Cruise Control and epidurals

Having a baby without an epidural is sort of like not using cruise control in my car. I simply like to be in control. I'm not against epidurals (or cruise control for that matter). I think if you use either one you are probably very normal. I personally never use cruise control, because, well frankly, I'm afraid if I'm not "controlling" the situation, I might just fall asleep, get lazy, or forget what I'm doing. I chose with both my births to try and not use an epidural, for the same reasons I don’t use cruise control: I wanted to feel in control. I understand there are lots and lots and lots of things that can be out of a momma's control when giving birth...LOTS of things. However, if there was anything that I might be able to try to control, then I wanted to. I wasn't dead set on it. I knew I was going to try to have a natural twin birth, but I had no expectations as to what that would look like. I knew I wouldn't feel like a failure if I got an epidural or if I had a c-section. I knew as long as babies and I were happy and healthy...ok, as long as we were just healthy I'd be fine with whatever the outcome of their birth story would be.

I was 37 weeks and 4 days and Dr. C was ready to break my water and get things moving (yes, it was his weekend off and he doesn't work on Fridays) so his orders to have me come in Thursday morning may have had something to do with his personal agenda and I was ok with that! I was ready to get these babies out. My doula on the other hand was not excited about the idea and tried everything she could to talk me into waiting for the babies to come on their own terms. I listened, I heard, I understood what she was saying, but in the end, I had to make my own decision. I had made a final trip to the aacupuncturist to loosen up, I was dilated 3 cm, babies were both measuring over 6 lbs and I was beyond ready as my belly was probably close 4 feet around!

I arrived at the hospital at 7:00am per my doctor's orders the previous day. My nurse that morning started to go through some mundane questions that she asked as she stared at the computer screen and typed in the answers very routinely. "Will you be using an epidural?" As I answered her question, she stopped in her tracks and turned around and looked at me. "No?", she asked with a question mark. "No." I answered again and I went back to checking my facebook updates. “So then”, as she continued to dumbfoundly stare at me, "You are having twins, right?",  "Do you plan to use the Bradley Method?",  "Have you done all your research?"  I could hear her chuckle and saw her look at the other nurse. It was as if her eyes said to the other nurse, "yeah right, we know how this is going to end".

I didn't study the Bradley Method. I did buy the book 2 years ago since my Doula suggested it before my daughter was born. I giggled as I skimmed through it looking at 1970's sketches of a naked hippie chic with her naked hippie husband behind her birthing a naked hippie baby on their bed. Although I didn't have the right to laugh since that was the way I came into the world 32 years ago. The chapters I did read scared me. Birth is terrifying and awful enough I didn't like reading about it. I wanted to enjoy my ignorance. I believe sometimes that ignorance is bliss. When I told the nurse I didn't really "study" it, but I did skim through the book she said, "So, you're just gonna wing it"?  I couldn't find a witty way to respond, so I just answered, "yep".

I believe I gained some credibility with her later when she learned that it was not in fact my first birth, but I had given birth less than two years ago to my daughter with no epidural while being induced with pitocin. And really the only way I got through that birth naturally was because of my Doula Wendy and my fabulous male nurse Dan'L who spoke so calmly and elegantly in the most intense time I think I would've done anything he said. My husband said Dan'L missed his calling. He would've had 100% success rate had he been a negotiator who talked suicide victims off ledges.  My current nurse said in her opinion pitocin and no epidural is the hardest and most painful combinations. So it was with that information that I believe she maybe thought that I might could possibly have twins vaginally with no pain medication. And secretly I think I had as much faith in myself as she had in me that I could actually, maybe, possibly do that.

Dr. C arrived at 8:00 and sat down at the edge of the hospital bed and broke Baby A's water. The water kept coming and coming and I saw Dr C jump up so fast from the bed as the water began to get all over his nice clothes. He gave me a look as if I had just thrown a bucket of water on his head and he jokingly said he was just glad he hadn't taken a shower yet.  Baby A had a large bag of water. And what a relief it was when it all came out. It was if I had been drinking for weeks and hadn't had the chance to pee yet. Awe, that relief you feel when you finally get to a bathroom. This sensation was no different. It was a huge relief. As Dr. C left, he said he would be back in a few hours to check on me. I jokingly said not to take too long because the babies were coming fast. I was being sarcastic, of course, as I had very little hope that would actually be the case.  I may have appeared calm and been flippant about birthing twins, however, that was just my coping method. I knew I was in for it; I just didn’t want to think about it. Sarcasm usually becomes my friend in these situations.

When I asked the nurse about other scenarios when doctors break the patient’s water vs. letting it break on its own, she told me I would probably be there well into the night and she explained to me what time her shift ended and what I would expect during the shift change as she was prepared to not be my nurse when the babies were born.

My Doula Wendy  arrived soon after the Dr. left and we decided to begin walking around the birthing ward. Since she coached me through my first birth we already knew what to do. Before I even got up out of the bed contractions had already started. Not just any contractions…hard contractions.  I labored very intensely for a few hours. I walked some, squatted some, and laid in the bed some. I rarely opened my eyes and when I did, all I could see was the next contraction. There was a time where I must have looked at someone funny. It didn't phase me, but she said, "you're probably wondering who I am?" I thought to myself that no, I was not really interested, but go ahead. She said that my nurse had stepped out and asked another nurse to fill in. She laughed and said, "So, we all came in because we wanted to see what was going on." I looked around and sure enough there were about 7 or 8 nurses in my room. My doula said that they all wanted to see a "med free twin birth in action and I had been the talk around the maternity ward". My husband said it was as if I was unicorn and everyone in the hospital wanted to come and get a look for themselves.

During these hard hours of labor I remember my husband holding my hands telling me I can do this, rubbing my shoulders, and constantly asking me if I needed anything, or wanted to do anything different. When I’d start to breath out of control or start to break down, he’d simply tell me to “get it together” and I’d begin to focus again. He would hold one arm while my Doula, Wendy, held my other arm and I would squat or try to walk through a contraction. Wendy would smooth out the wrinkles on my forehead and rub her thumb between my eyes reminding me…ok, more like telling me to relax. She kept telling me not to work so hard through the contractions, to just let them do the work. It was when she told me that even lame women who cannot walk or feel have babies because the body does all the work, that I began to feel myself relax and truly let my body work.

It’s a little tricky when you are trying to walk around and labor on your own vs laying up in a hospital bed through the contractions. In a hospital bed they can keep a monitor on you and on the babies, but when you get up to walk around they have to unhook you from the monitors and this makes the nurses very nervous as they are responsible for you and the baby (ies) if something goes wrong. The nurse allowed me to be off the monitor for 15 minutes at a time and then would make me get hooked back up. After a while she had a hard time finding Baby A’s heart rate and it seemed that his heart rate would take a dip or just completely stop for a few seconds. This did not sit well with the nurse. My doula was convinced that it was because Baby A was so low pushing into my pelvic bone that the nurse could not get a good reading and assured me the baby was fine. My instincts, whatever they were worth at this time, also told me he was fine. The nurse wanted to put a monitor on the tip of the babies head. This meant she had to reach inside and stick a small needle like monitor into his head. I was told it was harmless to the baby and the doula advised me to let her do it so that it would help put her fears to rest. Sure enough, as soon as she got the monitor into the babies head his heart rate seemed fine. It never dipped, it never stopped.

I was stuck at 7 cm and knew if I didn't do something drastic I'd be there for a very long time not to mention with a large uncomfortable monitor dangling between my legs. I had flash backs of laboring with my older daughter. I was stuck at 5 cm with her for h-o-u-r-s. I decided at that point that I would give it all I had for the next 3 contractions. I would squat through them as low as I could go and wouldn’t give up. I had to think like the little engine that could and began to tell myself, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can”. Two contractions later I was ready to give up and get back in the bed. I didn’t think I could do it. I told my doula, I need to take the next one lying down. However, the contraction beat me to the bed! As I was trying to get back into the bed the contraction was too strong so I went ahead and squatted at the edge of the bed as low as I could go. I felt something pop.

I wasn’t sure what happened, blood rushed out of me and I was pretty sure I just had a bowl movement all over the floor and the only explanation for the blood could be a ruptured hemorrhoid I never knew I had.  I flashed back to my first daughter’s birth where the nurse informed me that having a baby felt like you were pooping and she needed me to push with my bottom and not with my feet. She was right. And with that memory I looked at the nurses faces and realized that there was no poop and there was no hemorrhoid and as I reached between my legs it was confirmed that there was a babies head…right there…ready to fall out onto the floor.

They immediately made me lay down in the bed and made an emergency call to my Dr. to get over here. My doctor had called a few times throughout the last few hours to check on me and the nurses informed him of my quick progress every time. He told the nurse not to wait until I was 10 cm to call him, but to call him when I was 9 so that he wouldn't miss the delivery. Well, I was certainly passed the 10 mark when they called. Originally my doctor told me I could deliver the twins in the delivery room, however, when Baby A’s heart rate was dipping the staff felt I needed to go to the operating room as a precaution when it was time to deliver. So right away they wheeled me into the OR where the surgical team introduced themselves to me and each person looked me in the eyes and told me their name and what they did in case of an emergency Cesarean. The anesthesiologist stood behind me with a table full of needles and gas masks. I suppose ready to inject me at any time and there was a surgeon in front of me with a table on wheels full of lots of sharp objects.

It was the weirdest thing, as they wheeled me into the OR and everyone introduced themselves, (really just stalling and killing time until my doctor showed up), I didn’t have one single contraction. It was like Baby A was waiting, after being pushed back in, for the doctor to arrive.

Dr. C suited up and I watched him put his skin tight gloves on one hand at a time. He asked how I was doing and told me as soon as I felt another contraction coming on to start pushing. One push at 11:29am and baby A with no surprises was born. Dr. C handed him to me. He was blue and gray and bloody. I held him tight, kissed his lips over and over. I wiped his eyes and just stared into them as he stared back. And I was just in love. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen from this point on. Would I go back to the delivery room and start all over laboring through more contractions for baby B to be born? Would I remain here holding sweet Baby A until I felt the urge to push again? Would they take Baby A while I pushed Baby B out?
My husband by my side got to cut Baby A’s cord while I snuggled him. My doula told me it looked like my doctor was breaking Baby B’s water. I kept taking my oxygen mask off to kiss Baby A and the anesthesiologist, who continued to stand right behind me kept putting it back on and said something like the next baby needs you to wear this so she gets some extra oxygen right now. This is when things began to get very, very intense.. My Dr. looked at me and very sternly said, "Jenny I need you to listen to me right now.” I looked at him and saw the fear in his eyes and I began to panic just a little. Remember, to me, ignorance is bliss and at this point I knew deep down in my heart something was wrong. I was not prepped for an epidural and the anesthesiologist did explain this to me when I first arrived to the OR. I didn’t really listen, but now I began to hear his words, “You are not prepped for an epidural so if anything should go wrong I will have to put you completely under”. It was then that I pictured myself closing my eyes and waking up hours later with two babies. 
My doctor continued to talk to me in the most stern voice of authority I may have ever heard, “I don't care if you don’t feel like you need to push, I need for you to push now as hard…as hard…as you possibly can. I mean hard and I mean right now! We have got to get this baby out!" I saw the surgeon lady behind the doctor getting closer and closer with her sharp tools in hand and this is when I closed my eyes as tight as I could.

People were all over me pushing my knees to my ears and my chin to my neck and I kept my eyes closed tight as I pushed and pushed as hard as I knew how. The anesthesiologist told me to push my chin to my neck and apparently I didn't do it fast enough and his large hand grabbed the back of my head and pushed it to my neck for me. The nurses were telling me to grab my legs and pull them towards my ears, but wait; did everyone forget I was still holding Baby A? I had to make a very conscious effort not to squeeze the life out of him while I pushed Baby B out with all my might. In such a state of emergency I believe everyone forgot I was STILL HOLDING Baby A!

I shut my eyes so tight and pushed with my toes, my fingers, my eyelids, everything in me was pushing. And just like that at 11:34, only 5 minutes after Baby A was born, baby B came out. The doctor cut her cord and directly handed her to a nurse. The nurse showed her to me and told me they were going to take her to the NICU. The doctor held up her unusually long umbilical cord and showed me a knot and apologized that they could not pick those types of things up on the ultrasounds. However, the knot was not the problem in and of itself. It was the fact that her placenta was being born before she was and as the placenta kept trying to come out she was losing all of her oxygen. My doctor was trying to push her placenta back in and was reaching for her to come first.

To my surprise, the nurse that showed her to me and told me she would take her to NICU turned right around and handed her to me. I had Baby A on my left arm and now Baby B on my right. The nurse said she pinked right up and didn't need to go to NICU after all.

This was the most amazing, most rewarding, most beautiful experience of my life. I was and still am overwhelmed with it all.

At 11:40 they wheeled me and my two babies back into the delivery room. My in-laws came in and saw the babies and I quickly had to ask them both to leave because the babies were puckering their lips and it was time to try to feed them. They both latched on immediately and sucked for an hour or so before they got their vitals done. I got to shower at that point which was within just a few hours after delivering. The nurse couldn’t believe I felt like getting up and taking a shower. She kept reminding me that I just gave birth an hour earlier and I needed to be careful. 

I feel so blessed.

Baby A, Lochman Thomas is 6 lbs and 17 inches
Baby B, Olivia Grace is 6 lbs 4 oz and is 19 inches

My older daughter was able to meet the babies’ just hours after they arrived. She seemed overwhelmed. However she couldn’t take her eyes off them and she took to them right away playing "this little piggy" with their toes and tickling them and kissing them. It was priceless to watch. She giggled every time they moved. She had never seen "live baby dolls" this tiny before. And from that moment on I don't think she remembers a day without them.

Later that evening my husband and I were quizzing my doctor about what happened when he came to check on me. He told us that I had about 30 more seconds to get Olivia out before they were going to put me under and cut me open. The nurse caring for me told me she had been a labor and delivery nurse for 17 years and had never seen a vaginal twin birth without and pain medication. She also told me how lucky I was that it was spring break for all the nursing students, otherwise the OR would have been full of everyone wanting to see something that happens so rarely.  

God is so good and we truly feel blessed by Him. We know so many things can happen during birth, especially births of multiples. May God have all the glory.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Last Night....

Last night as a family of 3
Last night L is my Baby Girl
Last night I will be pregnant with twins
Last night I might ever be pregnant again
Last night to feel L and O kicking inside
Last night for our house to be quiet at 10:00pm
Last night for sanity
Last night
Last night
Last night
Last night

I go in tomorrow morning at 6:30am to have my water broken. Praying and hoping all goes well. Can't wait to meet my new bundles of baby joys. Can't wait. Sad to be letting them detach from me, sad my baby girl has to become the big girl at 22 months. But so happy for her to be a big sister! Definitely more happy than sad.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sex at 37 weeks pregnant with twins

Here is how our conversation went this time:

Husband: are you ready for those babies to be born yet?

Me: yes

Friday, March 18, 2011

Yes, I can still tie my shoes...No, my baby was not due yesterday

I am certain at this point in my twin pregnancy I make people very uncomfortable. I am huge. And no one likes to look at a huge woman try to do things. It makes people stare wide-eyed. Plus everyone knows people say stupid things when they see someone pregnant. Here are a few recent things I've heard.

The most common conversation I've had lately has occurred over a dozen times. Someone asks me if I am having a boy or a girl. It is hard to ignore the conversation of twins when that question is asked. If I was having two girls, I might answer "girl" and move on or if I were having two boys, I might answer "boy" and move on. But...since I am having one boy and one girl, I find myself caught every time the question is asked. So I answer truthfully and say, "actually, I am having one of each". Immediately, the person turns to someone next to them and with full enthusiasm as if they just won the lottery they exclaim, "I told you she was having twins!". They are so proud of themselves for calling it before they asked. I guess I should be grateful they had enough tact to not flat out ask me if I was carrying twins...

Which brings me to the second most common conversation I've had lately. "Wow, you must be due any day." Sometimes I'll throw out there that my due date is a month away and yes, then they say, "well you must be carrying twins." Sometimes I tell them that I am due any day and they respond with, "well, it looks like you have two in there so you must be ready to drop. Or some people flat out ask, "are you pregnant with twins?" A woman today at lunch asked me if I was ready to drop and I said, actually, I am and I'm carrying twins. I volunteered the information for some reason because I know how big I am. The woman stared right at my stomach and said, "So that is what twins looks like, I have always wondered!" I've had other people say, "you are having twins, I thought you were supposed to get really fat with twins."

Just yesterday the mailman asked me if my baby was due yesterday. I told him, "yes, it was".

A few days ago I was at the bank ordering checks. I got to chit chatting with the women about my 2 year old and my husband and how everyone was and what it's like being pregnant with twins, etc, etc. I sat down to tie my shoe and when I looked up four women's jaws had dropped. One woman exclaimed, "oh my gosh! you can tie your shoes!!!" Yes, I can tie my shoes. "you must be really flexible" another woman said, "I could never tie my shoes once I hit 6 months pregnant with just one baby".

I've had complete strangers ask me for pregnancy advice, which I find odd, because I don't think I look that approachable. I'm starting to believe the "bigger" you are the more of an expert people think you are on pregnancy. One woman approached me in the grocery store and said, "I just found out I am three months pregnant. Do you think it is okay for me to drink caffeine?" Really? Really? I don't know. I told her she needed to ask her doctor. Another woman asked me if I had registered for a baby sling and what kind...and another asked where I bought my maternity clothes and what kind of shoes were the most comfortable. All strangers...

There are lots and lots of other funny and silly things that people have said. One lady in a parking said she just wanted to let me know that she did not know how to deliver a baby just in case I had my baby walking to the car.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nanny = Confident, Independent and Structured Mother

Today is my daughter's nanny's last day.  

I am so looking forward to being home with my daughter and my twins once they arrive. The last few years since we moved, I never really "found" my place at work. Although I have to admit, I've had a good run of it working from home since we moved and since my daughter has been born.

We first went through a few weeks of day care at the beginning - which were terrible weeks for us. It just didn't work for us. My daughter cried the entire day every day. I determined she was not the "daycare" type.  Then we went through 2 different nanny's before we found our beloved Emily.

I have this theory that having a nanny has made me a better mother and not for the reasons you've probably heard before: "I enjoy my children more because I'm not with them all day." That's not it for me.  It may sound completely ridiculous, granted it is a completely ridiculous theory, but it is my theory.  I've learned from watching others with my child, in my home, things that I like and things that I don't like which otherwise, I may have never noticed in myself. It's like looking in a mirror sometimes when you watch someone else with your children.

Here is a little background on our past nanny experiences and what I learned.

Lesson 1: Just becuase they look perfect on paper does not mean they are perfect. Our first nanny was a mother of three grown children. A missionary for 20 years, mentored young ladies in our church and a registered nurse. She was a lovely lady who just knew a little better than I did sometimes on how to raise my newborn.  She was also not flexible since she had her own children and responsibilities to care for. She did however always kept my house clean, did laundry and ironed! Swept, mopped, vacuumed, all of which I would probably die for now! But I never asked her to do these things so I found myself a little offended. And, as a new mom, I was worried my house was being more taken care of then my child. I would describe her as having the "grandmother" syndrom. She felt she had rights over my child because she was older and wiser than I was. I determined that my child is much more of a priority than clean clothes and clean floors and even though I was a new mom, no one knew better than me even if they had three grown children. I am in charge of what I want for my children.

Lesson 2: don't trust references; trust your instincts. Our second nanny was 26 and had been married for 7 years with no children of her own. She was sweet and very quiet. Had early childhood education background, knew baby sign language, was cpr certified and spoke a second language. I liked the way she interacted with my child. Needless to say, she never picked up a broom and I was happy about it because it made me feel like all the attention was on my child. This was until I started to notice that she was always typing and texting on her phone. When I walked into the room she looked "caught off guard" trying to put her phone down quickly. Really? Who is she emailing all day I wondered? It seemed strange. I found myself rushing to get home on days I had appointments or needed to travel for work. I started looking for things...I noticed that the babies Benadryl was disappearing in large portions. She said she was taking it for back surgery and was not allowed to swallow pills. That very day I got on the internet only to find photos of her wearing my clothes. She was a short lived nanny we had for maybe 3 months. I wanted to call all her references that all gave great reports and let them know what happen, but the  folder I kept that in no longer contained her reference sheet! Odd. This lesson we all know too well: never trust anyone with your children even when they come with good references.

I almost gave up then. As I have always had the "choice" to work. My husband was addiment that I stay home and take care of our daughter myself. And if I had a 8-5 job in an office I probably would have. But I've had the luxury of working from home and felt that I wanted the best of both. I wanted to  keep my identity as a working woman. I love the glamour of putting on an expensive business suite and taking designers and architects to lunch. I love the confidence it gives me, the independence and the structure. Three things I want for my children as well: confidence, independence and structure. I truly believe that working is not all selfish on my part, but is providing a role model for my children.  And at the same time I love being with my child. I've had all the flexibility in the world to spend as much time with her as I wanted and still work. Actually at first, even though I worked full time, I only had our nanny come Tuesday - Thurday and on Mondays and Fridays I got my work done during her naps and just made no appointments those days.

So...I gave it one more shot. This is when we found our third nanny who has been with us a little over a year.

E came to us as a friend of a friends. I liked her from the beginning becuase she is a lot like me - a LOT different than me - but a lot like me. Same morals and strong Christian background. Loves athletics and taking care of herself and most important loves children. She has a natural gift for children. E has been with us over a year and after just a few months, the bond she formed with my daughter was priceless. I would come home and tell my child it was time for E to go home. My daughter would cling on to E so tightly and start to cry. She wanted nothing to do with me. For some mothers this might be very upsetting. For me, however, it was awesome. I loved that my daughter could bond with somoene else rather than me. I loved that she could trust someone else. I loved that E was her perfect playmate. E had no other responsibilities other than my daughter from 9-5 which meant she gave all her focus to her. Something that I, even as her mother, could never provide her.

My daughter today is quite two years old and she loves people. She believes anyone who comes over to the house is a new playmate for her. She has a high vocabulary and can tell you all about her day. She can count, knows her colors and loves to read. She listens well, minds well, and is the biggest helper when asked to do something. All of these attributes make up her personality and it is how God has created her. But I also believe that having one on one attention all day from someone that had no other destractions has helped my child develop this way.

Now, why all of this has made me a better mother. Since I'm home while someone else is in my house, I have had to get my shit together. Knowing someone would be here at 8:30 Monday through Friday I knew I would have to be out of bed by 7:30, dressed, my child dressed, beds made and house "reletively" put together. All of these things I would have never done if I took my child to daycare or if I didn't work. It has made me accountable as a housewife. Also, as I've sat in my office and listened to things going on between nanny and daughter, I've noticed things that made me uncomfortable, but things that I easily as a "all-day" stay at home mom would probably do myself. For example, leave the TV on all day even if not watching it. I've had to ask E not to do this. And I've had to make an effort on days when I am home not to do this remember how much I didn't like it when somoene else did it. Watching my nanny say things like, "what do you want to do now? Play with playdough? Play with your babies? Play kitchen?" This started to bother me. So, I wrote out a schedule of activities where my daughter doesn't always have a choice, but instead has more structure: "now it is time to practice our ABC's with coloring or painting".

I have realized in watching others with my child how intentional I want to me as a parent. Every day is a new day. Every day counts. Every minute, every second is important. Yes, our children learn from us just by watching us, just by seeing what we do and how we react. But to be intentional with our children is priceless and this is why having a nanny in my home and viewing the lack of "intention" on some accounts has made me realize as a mother I need to be extremely proactive and extremely intentional.

Over the last 10 years I have worked on large furntirue and design projects for fortune 500 companies. I have gone through the logistics of moving thousands of employees from one location to another and having everything set up for them, staging projects, working with deadlines and juggling multiple tasks at one time. If I can put so much time and effort into these projects than I can put more time and effort into my children. I will be more passionate about my babies than I ever have been for work and this is something I will need to remember.

I am throwing in the business suites for a while and the glamorous lunches. The confidence, independence and structure that working has given me the last two years since my first daughter made me a mother are three characteristics I will continue to persue and provide for my children as a stay at home mom.