Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My pride and joys!

 I might have off days...(like today, for instance, let's not even go there)...but I know the tough moments are all totally worth it.  These kids are the loves of my life!















Sunday, February 24, 2013

A happy Saturday night



I had a surprisingly really great night tonight.  I say ‘surprising’ because I’ve been so tired lately, and a little…blah shall we say.  Not all the time, but at certain points in the day – every day.  Knowing that James was going out tonight to play poker with a group of friends, I was a little worried about my state of mind throughout the evening.  I guess as it turns out it really wasn’t that much different than my usual night routine, since he goes to bed by 9 at the latest, and I’m on my own after that point anyway.  But I do tend to get a bit more time after dinner when he’s home.  I had a little over an hour to rest/write/take a short bath before he headed out, so I was able to feel somewhat rejuvenated for the night.

So off he went and at the time, Andrew was napping because he’d had such a big day (my Nana came over to visit from the island, and met the babies for the first time, and Andrew got some presents and ate way too much sugar, so inevitably he crashed!)  While Andrew slept, I tandem nursed the babies, and actually felt calm and happy while doing so.  Maybe I need to post about that at some point…I’ve been posting a lot more to my multiples group and not here, so I’m forgetting what I’ve said here and what I’ve said there.  But suffice it to say, it’s good news that I was tandem nursing and not feeling like I was going a bit crazy while doing so LOL.  (It’s really not that bad, but it’s challenging at times for sure…)  Anyway, so Andrew was napping, I fed the girls, and they both miraculously went to sleep.  I think there was some amount of formula top ups after the nursing but the exact details are a little hazy now!

I had the babies sleeping on opposite ends of the couch, positioned so I know they can’t fall off.  (Margaret rolls like crazy so I have to be careful with her; Emily is verrry close to rolling, she almost did it today so I’m thinking tomorrow she might be a roller too!)

While they slept, I was able to rearrange a few kitchen drawers that have been bugging me.  I also finally put together the new shoe rack for the hall closet, and got the last box in there unpacked.  (It wasn’t THE LAST BOX to unpack, just the last one in that closet!  There are only some left in James and my bedroom closets, though I still feel there is a TON TO DO to feel totally settled here – I think it will always be a work in progress!)  While I was getting stuff organized, Andrew woke up and asked, ‘Is it OK for me to come downstairs now?’  Often when he’s gone to bed for the night, he’ll wake up and ask if he can get up, and the answer is No because it’s late and he’s still supposed to be sleeping, one of us is just up because the babies are.  But at this point it was about 7:30pm and while that’s his usual bed time (ish) these days, he was out of whack waking up from a 3 hour nap!  I said Yes, that he could come downstairs, and I even went and got him a Yop.  He sat on the couch in between where his sisters were sleeping and I got him sorted with a show on Netflix.  Actually, he got himself sorted with a show on Netflix, because he likes to do such things himself (and only watches shows that are ‘appwopwiate’ for his age!)  I got a few more things done, got him a snack, I ate, and in the meantime Margaret had woken up after at least an hour’s sleep, nursed and bottle fed, and then was happy to just roll around on a blanket on the floor for a while.  When I roll her back over so she’s in the middle of the blanket again, she sometimes gets this look on her face like she’s about to cry, and then I’ll say something like, ‘Margaret!  Where were you going?!  Were you going to roll right out of here?!’  And she will give me the biggest grin.  She does this thing with her face and her shoulders when she grins sometimes that makes me feel as if we’re sharing some big secret, just the two of us, and I absolutely love it.  After some cuddles, more nursing and a bottle, she zonked out again.  I had got her changed into a sleeper but Emily was still in her dress from the day.  I took of her pantyhose at least (lol!) and changed her diaper, but it was a fleece dress so cozy enough to sleep in.  I didn’t want to risk waking her up fully by changing her outfit, because she’d been napping so long by that point…Once awake it would likely be several hours at least before she’d sleep again!  So luckily a bottle shoved into her mouth was all it took to keep her happy, and she didn’t wake up.  When I took her up to her crib (I have a routine where I take their fleece owl blankets (that go with the owl theme I’m doing for their room, though it’s such a work in progress at this point that the blankets are pretty much the only piece of the theme LOL) and first I take Emily up to bed so I put the blanket against me, pick her up, and wrap it around her, then take her up and put her in the crib, and then I do the same with Margaret and place her beside her sister.  We’re still keeping them in the same crib, although both are set up.  They really love to be close to each other, so as long as they can fit together we’ll keep them that way.

(This is likely boring stuff, but I’m recording it because it’s our routine and I want to remember these moments.  Even though they might seem ‘boring’, they’re important to me right now!)

Before the babies went to bed, while they continued to sleep on the couch, Andrew decided he was ‘soooo tired’ so we went up to read some stories and go back to sleep.  I read one story and then he wanted to be a Mr. Chatterbox.  He couldn’t stop talking about everything he wants to be and do when he grows up.  He’s so excited about it!  Apparently he wants to be a dentist on the 50th floor of a building that he is going to design and build himself.  He’s also going to be famous, on TV, and he’s going to construct a submarine that has a giant Dr. Doom sticker on the top of it.  He’s also going to fix computers, AND he’s going to be an exterminator.  The exterminator job went from him taking bugs, pouring glue on them, and then squashing them with a ‘crisp tube’ (chip container like Pringles, he got ‘crisp tube’ from watching Mr. Maker LOL) to him taking them outside, fixing them if they’re injured, and then taking them back to where they came from.  He has a vivid imagination!  I love listening to him talk excitedly about the future and all the possibilities, even if some of them sound totally insane!!  When he’s being ‘Good Andrew’ (as he calls it…he will actually say when I ask him to help me with something, ‘Yes, Mommy, I’ll help you, because I’m going to be Good Andrew right now!’) he is actually at a REALLY fun and endearing age.  We won’t talk about how I feel when he’s being ‘Bad Andrew’.  LOL

James got home while we were upstairs talking, so we chatted with him a bit, too.  I think James was pleased that everything had gone smoothly tonight, as he could have come home to me being totally frazzled and exhausted and needing help!  Instead, all was as well as it could be here, really.  I’m exhausted but not in a negative way!  It actually turned out to be a really positive night.

I think if I’d have let him, Andrew would still be gabbing on, into the wee hours of the morning.  But finally I convinced him that I had to go get the babies into bed, pump milk, and get some rest myself.  He has a Star Wars themed Lego alarm clock and I showed him that it was 11:30pm already and he knew that was late, so he agreed to think a little more in his own head about what he wants to do when he grows up, and we’re going to discuss it in the morning!

I was able to get the babies to bed without even having to do another feed, I pumped some milk (not as much as I’d have liked but I’m not allowing myself to get uptight about that anymore…I’m nursing the babies a lot and only pumping twice a day now, as of the past few days…Plus my period is just about to start and I know that it decreases supply for a few days so I’m not going to sweat it) and decided instead of going to bed right away, I’d write this because it’s somewhat rare lately that I get the chance to write, and when I do I’m often writing negative stuff about how overwhelmed I am.  It IS overwhelming, but it’s also wonderful, and I want to record the happy moments.

One funny thing Andrew said tonight, just out of the blue:  “Mommy, I’ve got lots of money, you know.”  I said, “Oh, you do?!”  He replied, “Yep!  It’s in a money bank somewhere, and I don’t know where that is, but it’s there, and it’s mine!”  LOL  Where does he come up with this stuff?!

I really should go to bed now since it’s almost 1 and the girls could get up any time (although technically James is on duty when that happens!) but I’m pleased to report that it was a good night in our house tonight, and that made a world of difference for my mood.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Preschool



I’ve enrolled Andrew in a preschool play group starting in a couple of months.  It’s just one day a week for 2 hours, but I think it will be really good for him.  I’m hoping he will meet some friends that we can have over for play dates once in a while.

Since he wouldn’t legally be allowed to start kindergarten this year had he been born 8 hours later than he was, we decided not to enroll him in kindergarten for this fall.  He will start when he’s actually 5, next year.  I don’t like the idea of him being 4 for nearly half of his first year of school, and as chaotic as it is having 3 little ones at home with me, I want to have him with me as long as possible.  Everyone says that once your kids start school, everything changes, and I just want my little boy to be MY little boy for as long as he can be!  Also, I think it will be good for him to bond more with his sisters as they get to be more fun ages along the way. 

So he will start off with this preschool play group, then in the summer/fall there might be a couple of one session little classes we can do with him, and then in the Spring of 2014 we’ll put him in pre-kindergarten, so he’ll get a taste for what will be coming in September.  He’s already so excited about it all.  I think he’s going to be amazing in school and will love to learn, as he already does.  I just like the idea of transitioning him slowly so he’s not just suddenly going to all day kindergarten after not doing anything of the sort leading up to it.  It will still be a huge adjustment because these classes are only one day a week for a few hours, but at least it’s something.  I have someone in my life (I won’t mention names, though if you frequent my blog, you can probably guess who tries to take control at times…) who keeps going on that Andrew NEEDS to be in daycare and should be going at least 3 days a week…I don’t agree.  While I don’t have a problem with people putting their kids in daycare, and I realize for a lot of people it’s an absolute necessity, I don’t see why I would put my child in daycare when I’m a stay at home mom to my other kids!  Also, we can’t afford daycare.  As it is we looked into him going to preschool just 2 days a week and the cheapest prices we were getting were INSANE.  We don’t want to spend that kind of money on it if we don’t have to.  I’m much happier to have found some smaller ‘classes’ for him, to get him more socialized with other kids and in a classroom setting, but without it taking up the majority of the week.

I just can’t believe how grown up my ‘baby’ boy is getting!  When I really think about it, the past 4 years have just flown by.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Working through the crazy...



 And as a follow up to the last post, this one was written on Feb 14...


I can’t say I really feel a whole lot better since I wrote my last post, but it has only been a day since I wrote it, so…

I am still quite involved with a multiples group online, and we are very open with each other in our discussions of things we’re going through, questions we have, etc.  I mentioned to them how I’ve been feeling and it would appear it is a VERY common occurrence as mothers of multiples, to feel overwhelmed and like things just aren’t going the way we had hoped/planned.  It makes sense, right?  It’s rare you meet someone who has ONE baby, and only that one baby, and no other children at all, and have them say it’s a breeze having that ONE.  So to have an older child who is still at a needy and dependent age, and then to throw twins into the mix, it’s a lot to take on.  I have to remind myself not to beat myself up when I catch myself in a bad moment or having a not so good day.  There are going to be ups and downs, and I have to just take this a day at a time.  It’s very easy for me right now to focus on the things that make me go to a very negative place in my head, because I’m tired, and it’s true that sleep deprivation is a wicked, wicked thing.  But there are good things to remind myself of, and I don’t want to get lost in the bad and lose sight of how wonderful certain moments can be, too.

Tonight I was sitting on the couch beside Margaret, and I leaned close to her face.  She reached up her hand and grabbed my hair and I gently tugged my head away and she did everything she could to let out a laugh.  She’s still working on mastering the laugh, but the grin on her face and the fact that she was trying.  I couldn’t help but feel happy in that moment!

Last night was exhausting because Margaret WOULD NOT settle.  Any time I finally thought I had her asleep, I would get up to go do something that had to be done, such as making James’ lunch for today (which I actually never was able to get to) she would sense that I was no longer beside her and she’d wail until I sat back down, and then she’d go back to sleep.  Then she just started crying with me sitting beside her so I picked her up, and as soon as I had her cuddled in my arms she was out like a light, so content to cuddle into Mommy.  It was heart-warming, and even though I was exhausted and I had things I ‘should’ have been getting done, there was nowhere I would rather be than there cuddling one of my baby girls!  One thing with twins I have found is that cuddling can be complicated.  I want to cuddle both, but realistically with how big and squirmy they are now, only one can be cuddled at a time.  So sometimes that means neither gets the cuddles I would give if I had a singleton, because there is just double the work of settling them in the first place, and by the time they are settled, I tend to not think about the cuddle factor as much.  It’s hard to explain, but I bet any mom of twins would know what I’m talking about!  So Margaret just needed some cuddle time (by the way, I am positive both babies are teething, and sometimes extra cuddles go along with the teething issues, too) and I was so happy to have that special time with her, just holding her and enjoying her breathing and her scent, and her warm little baby body cuddled against my chest.

I love the way Emily will wake up and sometimes be a tad grumpy in the process of getting me to go to her, but as soon as I look at her, she gives me the most adorable grin ever.  Margaret does this too, although she’s less grumpy and more just waits for me to come get her – but those smiles, I’m telling you!  They do make so much of the exhaustion seem more worthwhile.

I love how strong our girls are – they are already using their exersaucers and the Jolly Jumper, and they seem to be enjoying both more and more.  I love that they don’t cry a lot – sometimes I feel like they are crying a lot but really, when I think about it, they only cry when they need something 98% of the time.  It’s very, very rare they would cry just for the sake of crying, like a lot of babies do.  I’m very grateful for that.

I love how different their personalities are.  I love how Margaret is so James, and Emily is so me.  And my mom.  Emily actually looks identical to my mom as a baby, it’s kind of uncanny.

I want to write about how great Andrew is with his sisters, because most of the time he is, and I appreciate that so much.  I also appreciate how patient he CAN be, considering all he’s been put through in his short little life, considering the miscarriage I went through and how he had to deal with me being pregnant and sick, then not and depressed, then pregnant and extremely sick/immobile due to it being twins, now having twin sisters, AND moving shortly after their birth…it’s a lot for a little person to take on, and he has done amazing when you look at it that way.  But today he was horrid nearly all day so I feel like I can’t really talk about his greatness at the moment.  LOL  Love the little guy but today, wow.

I really need to keep using this as my outlet for the ways I’m feeling, both the good and the bad.  I will end it there for tonight because James has to go to bed and my computer’s about to conk out due to low battery, but…I will just keep reminding myself of what’s GOOD and hopefully the good will outweigh the bad.

Am I floundering?

Life is so chaotic that I thought I had posted this AND a post the day after, and obviously I hadn't.  Sigh!!  So this post was actually written on February 13th...



I tend to be a person who takes a situation and just plows through it.  I might not always be in my comfort zone, and I might sometimes wish things were working out differently, but I tend to have the mindset that ‘it needs to be done’ so rather than hum and haw and let it get the better of me, I take charge and get things done.  This is not to say that I haven’t had my share of challenges and that I don’t have difficulties with things, because I do – I’m just usually good at compartmentalizing things that need to be compartmentalized – or at the very least appear on the outside that I’ve been able to do that. 

Even though on the inside I have certain sensitivities, my family always called me ‘the strong one’, and still do.  I have family members (not just immediate family) who have called me ‘the glue that holds the family together’ and they talk about me as if they are in awe of what I do.  Particularly now, when they talk about how much I have on my plate between Andrew and his two baby sisters.  I often hear, ‘I don’t know how you do it!’ – not just from James, but from pretty much anyone who enters our home and doesn’t have experience with twins in particular.  I appear to take things in stride, and I’ve been told that I come across as very level-headed, not easily affected, and that I ‘don’t look tired at all’, despite that I am not getting much sleep to speak of.

I am definitely affected by things on the inside, but it’s true I am good at not showing it in most cases.  I share everything about how I’m feeling with James, but I rarely let on to others if something is upsetting me or if I’m having a difficult time with something.  I can’t explain why it makes me uneasy to share those things – I sometimes (well, often!) share them on my blog, since this is my journal, but I tend not to go on most of the time about my troubles with people in my life…Probably because I manage to put them in their place and keep moving.  Or, more than that, probably because I don’t have the time to NOT keep moving, I HAVE to keep moving, so I just do.

But right now, I feel as though I am floundering.  I have to be honest.  I feel overwhelmed, almost maxed-out overwhelmed.  So overwhelmed that I found myself crying at the dinner table tonight while I told James about my overwhelmedness.  (Andrew was at my parents’ and it was a rare dinner where neither of the babies was awake or fussing, so we actually got the chance to sit down together.  A very rare occurrence lately, and there I was crying!)

I LOVE our babies, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything, and knowing them both is to love them both so if I could go back in time and only have one and not twins, I would still have the twins, because I couldn’t imagine my life without them now.  I love Andrew, and I love Margaret, and I love Emily, and I love being their mom.  But I am overwhelmed.

I never imagined myself with 3 kids.  If we had ‘only’ had a second singleton, I never would have wanted a third child.  Ever.  I can guarantee I’d have never been bit by the baby bug again, I would have been fully content to have two children and be done with it.

But for whatever reason, I was meant to have 3 kids, and I was meant to have two of them at once!  I am so grateful for them and I love them SO SO SO SO SO SO much, you cannot imagine how much!  But…maybe it’s just because I’m so sleep-deprived (I do tend to feel worse later in the day, as I become more and more tired from the lack of sleep) or maybe it’s because I didn’t really sign up for this – I’m not sure, but I just feel lately like this is all a bit much for me.  Like there is no end in sight, like I am dying here and I have no one who can save me, other than James taking over every single night after dinner so I can have a teensy bit of freedom to bathe, or write, or sleep.  But how long can that go on, right, because as awesome as he is suggesting I take this time for myself and never complaining, I know he needs time, too.  I just honestly can’t give it to him right now because I feel at this point I would literally go insane if I didn’t get any break whatsoever. 

While obviously if I was extremely well rested every day (not going to happen) I would definitely see things differently, and certainly more positively - I do lean toward a big factor being the reality that ‘I did not sign up for this.’  I had always felt so grateful for only getting pregnant when I wanted to and not having an accidental baby, because I never had to fear the ‘what if’ of feeling resentment toward a child I didn’t want.  Now, don’t get me wrong here, there is no resentment whatsoever.  I couldn’t possibly resent any of my kids, and omg if you met my babies and looked into their eyes and saw their beautiful smiles, your heart would melt and you’d see exactly why it would be impossible for me to be upset with them for being here!  But it’s still true that I didn’t exactly sign up for the whole ‘having 3 kids’ thing.  It just happened.  It happened naturally and it does feel like it was meant to be.  The miscarriage I had changed me in a huge way and then suddenly I was blessed (without meaning to sound religious since I’m not) with 2 babies at once – it feels like it was truly meant to be this way for a reason.  A reason unbeknownst to me, but a reason nonetheless!  I just feel overwhelmed because I never imagined myself with 3 kids – also for a reason!  It’s a lot to handle, and particularly when two of them happen to be babies at the same stage of development.  At least when people have their kids spaced apart in age, they’re at different stages, but this is pretty intense to be going through, I’m finding.  And while on the outside I think I still tend to appear calm, cool, and collected, I am starting to get this feeling inside like I’m not actually any of those things.

I don’t know how to change the situation though.  This is what I’m living and I have to plug along, I know I do, and I will.  I just can’t lie and say it’s the least bit easy, because it’s not.

It’s harder to get help when you have 3 kids under 5 and 2 of them are babies.  Maybe it will always be harder because there will always be 2 the same age.  If we had Andrew and ONE baby, it wouldn’t be as complicated to people when it comes to babysitting, but one person doesn’t tend to want to take on all 3 kids at once, and understandably not.  But where most people say they can’t handle 3 at once, or would rather not, or would prefer someone else be there to help, too, or what have you…I have no choice, and I take it on day and night, on my own, every day and every night (with James’ help a few hours at night and on weekends, of course).  And while parts of it I love, and I truly do, and while I feel like it’s soooo special to be given TWINS, as well as such a loving and wonderful (most of the time) older child – I am soooo lucky – there are parts of it that make me feel overwhelmed, and I can’t deny that. 

Trying to make sure Andrew doesn’t feel neglected can at times be hard, or even downright impossible, because I have 2 small babies that need attention at the same time.  Sometimes they both want to be fed at the same time, sometimes they both want to be held but I can only hold one at a time (and while I DO tandem nurse them, I much prefer one on one, but sometimes I can’t do that because it takes double the amount of time, plus one would cry the entire time, which I can’t stand hearing when possible!)  They both need burped at the same time if they feed together, but I can’t burp two babies at the same time.  There are double the diaper changes, two babies to carry up to bed and two babies to soothe through the night.  At varying times.  They have taken lately – and I think this is quite possibly what’s doing my head in at the moment – to sleeping at opposite times.  I NEVER GET A BREAK during the day, till James gets home and takes over, because aside from the fact that Andrew doesn’t like me resting, one baby is pretty much ALWAYS awake.  One falls asleep, and the other wakes up within minutes or less ALL THE TIME.  It’s so hard to get ANYTHING done, I have completely had to relax my desire to keep things just so and instead ‘be ok with’ (though deep down I’m totally not) a messier house, dishes sometimes piling up, and still not feeling unpacked from our move.

…I could go on and on and on…and on and on.  And I will.  But it will have to be later, because ‘my time’ is up and babies need me now.


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