Saturday, January 19, 2013

Things I've learned in the last 6 months

Wow - time really flies by! Can you believe the twins are 6 months old?!?!?

In those 6 months, I have a learned a lot about myself, hubby, parenting, life and of course the babies - and most of what I learned can't be expressed into words or its already forgotten as we've moved on to the next stage.   But there is still a lot that I have learned that I want to share.  

- Write things down as soon as possible!   Especially if you want to look back on them in 20 years, because in 20 days (or maybe even 20 minutes), you will forget it.  (Moment Garden is a great tool to do this quickly - you can do it from your phone or your computer and share with whoever you want - or no one at all)
- No matter how much you hate lunges and/or them before the baby/babies come, because once you have a baby (or maybe it's just when you have two?) you will be doing them all the time when picking up the babies.   So why not get an advance start on it!
- Breastfeeding can be a beautiful journey, but it most likely will not be easy or painless - especially in the beginning.
- If you are dead-set on breastfeeding, just try and prepare yourself for difficulties such as latching issues, low supply, etc.   You might have to supplement, and it really is okay.    It is better for you to be there emotionally and physically for your child(ren) than it is for you to put all your energies into nursing/pumping and them not have YOU there.
- Along similar lines, if you are dead-set on delivering naturally/vaginally, try to mentally prepare yourself for a c-section.    Once I found out it was twins, I started to prepare myself for a c-section and Im glad I did, because in the end there was absolutely no way they were going to let me go naturally (2 breech babies plus a baby in distress before I even had a contraction).  
- It really does get easier :)   Every baby is different, for some it might be easy in the beginning and then start to get more difficult, others might be difficult from the start.   Some babies might get easier at 2 months, others at 6 months, so there is no set timeline, but it will eventually come.
- They will eventually sleep more/longer at night.   For some babies it comes naturally (my son) and others you have to work on sleep training (my daughter) - and that doesn't specifically mean cry it out.
- If your baby is small in utero - specifically IUGR, eating more (protein, fat, or just food) won't do anything except add more fat to your body and give you more of an obstacle after delivery.   Some babies just won't grow any bigger inside of you.
- Every delivery, c-section and recovery is completely different! I was prepared for a lot of pain and difficult recovery and I was very lucky in that I just took Motrin for 3 days because of cramping and was up and moving as soon as I was allowed.  The motivation to go see my daughter in the NICU might have had a little to do with that as well.
- Remember all babies are different and advance on different schedules, so try not to compare to their siblings or other babies of family/friends.
- Aquaphor is a baby, miracle "drug". That shit works on everything!!!
- Stand your ground if you feel strongly enough about something!   This goes for a lot of things in life, but especially in parenting.
- Don't worry about your house and cleaning, it will all work out (I still haven't really accepted this, but that probably has something to do with my OCD)
- Babies cost a lot of money!   Obviously we all know this - but no matter how much you budget, money will just be leaving your accounts left and right and you won't know where it all went.
- Try to put the electronics down for a bit and just enjoy this time with your little one!   Its especially hard when your cell phone is your camera, but just let it go.
- Give yourself time to get back to your pre-pregnancy self.   It took 9 months to create the baby(ies), give yourself the same amount of time to get your body back.    And remember, you might get back to your pre-pregnancy weight, but your body will have changed, so it may require some additional toning.
- Don't push yourself too hard.   You need to be there 100% for your child(ren)
- The newest trick I found to cutting finger nails is to do it in the bathtub.   They are too busy to worry about it, and the water makes it easier.    I also found that I could get away with it while they were nursing.

But most importantly, just remember to enjoy every moment with your child(ren) - they are all precious!  

Friday, January 18, 2013

a shot of (your own) breast-milk?

The other day a read a post from a breastfeeding group I follow on Facebook     They were talking about the flu epidemic and said that the poster and her husband were gonna take a shot of her breast-milk and sneak some into the older kids drinks to help keep the flu at bay and posed the question to others on whether they have or would do the same.

I know my breast-milk is natural and I have always been semi-curious to know what the babies are tasting, but I can't imagine ever drinking my own breast-milk or having hubby or anyone other than my babies drink my breast-milk.     I know that breast-milk has lots of great antibodies, and that's why "breast is best" for the babies, but I also think that once your children can verbally ask for the boob, that you are past the point of when you should be breastfeeding.    To each their own, and if someone really wants to nurse a 2 year old or a 6 year old than that's their (families) choice, it's just not for me.    But alas, that is a very touchy subject and I don't want to get into that.    I'm more curious about everyone's thoughts on a) drinking your own breast-milk and b) drinking your wife's breast-milk.

What do you all think?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Am I hypocritical when I say that family is important?

It might not seem it from some of the posts I make about my ILs, but family is very important to me.   If it weren't so important to me, we probably would have just accepted the ILs "offer" to be kicked out of the family a year ago, because it would have made life so much easier.

But we all know easier is not always the answer.   This all got me thinking recently, am I being contradictory?   I say that family is really important, and I have a great relationship with my family and most of hubby's family, but no matter how hard I try, it just doesn't work with the ILs.   

With my family, we have a few cousins that we don't talk to/don't talk to as much, but for the most part we all talk, we make the efforts, and we all get along.   Some people have fallen out of touch at different times, but recently, we all reconnected.

When I became a part of hubby's family, the same was not true. Once we were married, we decided to change this and started to have a relationship with MILs side of the family. We have a great time with them and are very thankful to be able to have those aunts, cousins and grandfather. Unfortunately, the choice to have those relationships has caused additional strain on an already strained relationship with the ILs.

This past weekend we started the process of getting to know FILs cousins better and had a great time doing so. The good news is we didn't get in trouble for this! The bad news is the ILs were definitely annoyed with us.

They happened to call when the cousins were over and hubby said they were there and he would call them back. Not two minutes after the cousins left, his phone rang...guess who! Hubby answered it on speaker, which ended up being a super smart decision. MIL asked if they could come over and hubby asked when..."well we would leave now, and could be there in 30 minutes". We had a pretty low key day ahead, so he said sure, but by the time you get here, you will only have about 20 minutes with the kids before they start to fall asleep, how about you come at 5 o clock?


"Oh, we'll that's dinner time." NO JOKE! MIL then went on to say that maybe they could come and see the babies another time "because you know WE are their grandparents"  Since they were on speaker, I jumped in and said, we know that, and you are more than welcome to come now, we just think you will get more out of your visit if you come at 5pm.   "Oh, well, ummm, let me talk to dad and call you back."

FIL called back and asked what time the kids go to sleep.   Well we took that literally to be what time do the kids go in their cribs, so we answered with 8pm.   

FIL: Okay, what if we come at 6pm then
Hubby: Well that's fine, but we feed them at that time, so you won't be able to interact with them (as much as one interacts with an infant)
FIL: Well how about next weekend
Hubby: I work Saturday and we have plans on Sunday.   I don't see whats wrong with coming over at 5pm
FIL: Well thats dinnertime
Hubby:  You can bring your dinner with you and heat it up in the microwave or oven if you need
FIL: No, we aren't gonna do that.   How about you do this, you email me with a list of Saturdays and Sundays that you don't have plans, or when XYZ (cousins) or ABC (his brother) will be there - we like them and wouldn't mind seeing them too.
Hubby: I don't understand why you can't come tonight if you want to see the babies
FIL: Well we want to spend more than an hour with them before they go to sleep

We just left it at that - we decided to stop pushing for them to rearrange their dinnertime to spend time with their grandchildren and not explain to them that the babies usually start to get cranky about an hour after the bottle and crash within the next 30-45 minutes and their longest stretch of time is the time that we offered them.    So we don't have a weekend available for another 3 weeks and this is why they see them once a month, IF THAT!

What it comes down to is that it is inconvenient for them to see their grandkids if it doesn't require us to drive to them at a time that is convenient for them and their eating schedule.   So yes, I might be a hypocrite for saying that family is important and working towards a good relationship with everyone BUT my ILs, but there is only so much one can take.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

What a great weekend!

I am having such a great weekend, I'm not quite ready for it to end.  

Yesterday I got a day to myself with the babies while hubby worked (he works every other Saturday).   I was able to be productive in the morning - even before they got a nap in!   It's the little things that before kids don't feel like as big an accomplishment, that just make you feel like you just solved world peace.   Okay - maybe they don't make you feel that good, but they do make you feel damn good and accomplishing.   For instance, my big accomplishments were that I moved the load from the wash into the dryer and got another load in the wash!    And while the babies played in their exersaucer and jumper - and the dogs went outside - I got a quick vacuuming done in the living room.  After that, I wasn't able to get anything accomplished - the vacuum sat in the middle of the hallway until later that night and the laundry situation didn't change much until this morning.

I also learned a very good lesson on Saturday, and that's to trust my motherly instinct.    My babies have been leading a very scheduled life.   I change their schedule fairly often based on cues and instincts and usually Im right, but yesterday I decided to give them the chance to set their own schedule, since most parents I know don't schedule their kids meals and naps.   Man was that a BAD idea!   They were incredibly fussy at dinnertime and then slept horribly at night - Nathaniel even needed a little snack in the middle of the night for the first time in like 2 months!   So today, we went back on schedule!   We still had some residual effects from the previous 24 hours, but for the most part they were their normal selves.

And then today was just awesome.   Not even the ILs craziness (because there is never a week without something) could put a dent in my day!

I finished up some laundry and finally finished the "holiday" cards (now to just place them in the mail) and then we had some of hubby's family over, that we haven't seen since - I think - the wedding, to meet the twins, and I had a great few hours just hanging out with them and getting to know them, sharing stories and playing Jewish geography.   Apparently I'm (distantly) related to a few of my friends!

After hanging out with them, we hung out as a family of 4 (plus 2 dogs) for a while, and when the twins went down for their next nap, I decided to finally get back to baking and cooking.   I knocked out a batch of cookies from a recipe I adapted off of pinterest (instead of pumpkin pudding, I used butterscotch pudding and instead of choc chips, I used 2/3 butterscotch chips 1/3 choc chips), baked a blueberry bread from a box I had hanging around the house and cooked a full healthy dinner - also adapted from a pinterest recipe (I just did the chicken and used chipotle hummus and served with couscous and steamed broccoli)!

And it all felt nice and good!   Now if I could just have more weekends like this! 

Friday, January 11, 2013

A year ago (yesterday)

I meant to write this post yesterday, and then the day got away from me, so a day late - but not a buck short :)

One year and one week ago hubby and I went to my OB for my very first pregnancy appt - getting everything done to confirm that I really was pregnant.   At that point the only people that knew we were pregnant were my parents - well technically my younger sister and her husband knew because when I told my parents via a hanukkah card that said "your present will be arriving in approximately 7 months" outside of the movie theater where we had all just seen our Christmas movie, my mom screamed at the top of her lungs, and they heard it across the parking lot - but we never spoke of it :)

Anyways...between the time we told my parents we were expecting A baby and the time of this appointment, I spilled the beans to my mom and hubby that I had a dream that we were having twins - and that I was probably being paranoid, but I just had this weird feeling and although I had NO symptoms of a pregnancy, let alone a twin pregnancy, I figured it all out and now I felt okay sharing the dream with them.   So we went to the doc, and I didn't quite tell him my feelings, but when he confirmed that I was "definitely 8 weeks along", I asked "and there is just 1? right?".   He said, he wouldn't know until I went for an ultrasound to fully confirm the pregnancy and that everything is alright.    And I had to have that ultrasound within the next 2 weeks.

Well, that was a Friday, and I was leaving "bright" and EARLY Wednesday morning for a 10-day business trip to Hawaii (where for the first time I couldn't indulge in all the alcohol and yummy, fresh fish that Hawaii provides).   So I called the ultrasound place right after and told them I had to have the appt on Monday or Tuesday because I was going to be out of town for the following 2 weeks, so they squeezed me in on Tuesday afternoon.  

On Sunday, we announced to my sisters that I was pregnant, and during the conversation the topic came up again that I had a dream there was two, but at this point, I let everyone convince me I was crazy, and was probably just being OCD and "paranoid".

On that Monday, I told my boss and the coworkers that were going with me to Hawaii that I was pregnant - because if I didn't tell them, it would be pretty obvious when I didn't drink for 2 weeks in their presence.

And then Tuesday came, and I left work early to go get the ultrasound.   Hubby left work for a few hours to be there so we could see the first picture of our baby together.    And I remember the afternoon perfectly!

I was told to drink 8 ounces of water, and stop drinking an hour before the ultrasound.   Well I drink a lot of water normally, and therefore pee pretty often, so I was so paranoid that I wasn't gonna have the appropriate amount of water needed, and I ended up drinking more than I needed.   And the ultrasound tech  made a comment about it, and said that there was too much water to do what she needed to do, so I needed to go empty my bladder, BUT there are TWO babies!  

WOWZERS!   Although it was completely unexpected, it wasn't a total surprise, and we both just stared at each other with BIG, HUGE grins across our face!   We ended up having to stay to do a few extra things, and just couldn't stop smiling - it was such an awesome day!

My mom was working nearby that day, so I told her beforehand I would stop by her office to drop off a pic of the ultrasound - my mind was just running circles, how do I tell her?   I got there, and folded up all the pics we got and asked her if she wanted a picture of Baby A and showed her that picture (no reaction), Baby B and showed her that picture (no reaction) or both of them and showed her that picture?   She looked at it, thought about what I said and then IT CLICKED.   I'm pretty sure the ONLY thing that came out of her mouth for the next 5-10 minutes was "Oh My G-D!"

I left there and called my sisters to tell them never to doubt a pregnant woman's intuition, or at least mine and they knew exactly what I was telling them.    Then I needed to tell someone else, so I called my boss (because she knew I was pregnant) and she was dumbfounded and couldn't believe it.

And then I realized I had just a few hours to really comprehend this, because I was going to be catching an 11-hour flight the next morning and would be gone for pretty much 2 weeks.   So I ran off to the library to renew my library card and get books out, but their system was down and they couldn't renew my card - so I went to my parents, got my mom's card, took the books out and then went home and covered them old-school-style in brown paper bags so no one knew what I was reading (cause the brown paper bag cover wasn't suspicious or anything - LOL)

And before I knew it, the day was ending, I had to finish packing, I went to Hawaii, came back, had lots of doctors appts, had the babies, and here I am 1 year and 1 day after I found out I was having twins with two amazing little babies taking up every second of my life (and every dime of my paycheck).

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

When to drop your friends?

When do you finally give up on friendships?   Im not talking about your facebook "friends", Im talking about real friendships.

I had a friend who was really bad about returning calls.   For a while I let her get away with it, until it became me calling her and never getting a returned call.   I'm actually shocked she came to my wedding - but that was the last time I have seen or heard from her since.   It took quite a few years for me to accept that I needed to just let that friendship die.    I don't know why, but its very hard for me to accept the end of friendships when there is no good reason, except lack of communication.

Hubby has (had?) a lifelong friend.   When I came into the picture, they weren't great about keeping in touch, but they were both on the same page, and could just pick up a phone and be right where they left off.    Such good friends that hubby was one of his groomsmen.   As a matter of fact, hubby had to postpone our first date because his best friends dad passed away.  

When we started dating, we got together with his friend and friends wife a few times, and everything was good - we all got along well and had fun.    When we were engaged, they got pregnant with their first child.  We got together another time or two, but only when I would reach out to the wife.   I was invited to her baby shower and got her a nice gift.   When they had their son, hubby got a call, and we met him at our rehearsal dinner..  

Just as hubby was a groomsman in his friends wedding, the same was true of his friend for our wedding.   But they decided that only the friend would come (presumably he only came because he was part of the wedding) and that the wife and child would stay at home.  I can understand if you don't want to bring your child, but you have family in the area, you couldn't find someone to watch your child so you could both come?   He was about 3 months old.   That kinda bothered me.   By the time my twins were 3 months, we went to 2 weddings, leaving them behind with parents.   By the time they will be 6 months, that will increase to 4 weddings.  Further, friend left about 10 minutes into the reception (and we had an afternoon wedding, so the lateness of the wedding wouldn't work).   Oh - and we had no clue who was coming until after RSVPs were due and we had to call them to ask.  

After the wedding, we have seen them 2 times.   Once we went to an event in Doylestown and it was like pulling teeth to get this planned with the wife, but we finally settled on plans and all she did was bitch about what we were doing.    The second time we saw them was when the son was about 14 months old, and it was a bit easier to plan, but it took about an hour for wife to warm up and be friendly.   In between those two times, we joined facebook and requested to be friends with the both of them, but they never accepted.  At that point, I decided that I wasn't going to push things anymore, and just let their friendship evolve however it would.

When we got pregnant, hubby was so excited to share the news with his friend, but didn't get much more than a congrats.    When I was putting together the lists of people to contact once the babies came, I decided to put him on the email list, not the call list, because he clearly wasn't best buds with hubby anymore.   In the end, hubby decided to call him, but didn't get anything other than the response of congrats.    I knew they wouldn't come, but decided to invite them to the baby naming/bris - no response.    Since the initial call, we have not heard a single peep from them.   Not a "congrats on your new babies", Not a "when can we meet the babies", and of course not a gift - just a whole lotta nothing!

We recently put together a list for our holiday cards (which as of 1/1/13 are still not in the mail - I guess the cards will be for presidents day or mlk day :P) and I debated whether to include them on the list.   When I thought about it, I realized they NEVER included us on their holiday card list - and now that I think even more about it, I don't think I ever received a thank you card for our gifts to them.   In the end, I decided that I would include them just to see if it sparks anything - although I'm sure it won't.

I know we should have given up on this friendship way long ago, and Adam I think did (albeit only within the last couple months), but even though they weren't my friends from the start, I'm still having a hard time accepting that the relationship is gone - and I always do when a friendship is ending...