Monday, July 30, 2007

Spit or Swallow?

I gave the twins their first feeding of cereal by spoon today. Here's how it went; judge for yourself.

Getting the Twins to Sleep

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions!
There was too much here to put in the comments, so I made a blog of it.
Amy/Tracerhawk - I SOOOOO appreciate ALL the info. It was really sweet of you to put it ALL down for me. I haven't been as vigilant as I should be with the Pepcid b/c they were not in pain from the reflux anymore - so I thought. Maybe they are and since I can't know, I went back to our regimen with it yesterday and will continue until whenever.
Tammy - You better get that kid some sleeping pills!
I have tried everything that everyone told me - either the last few days or before that. I even tried the dreamfeeding last night - thanks Stef, but no go.
So, last night I put my foot down. After their last feeding at 10 PM, which included cereal in their bottles, I put them down. At 11:30, when I was about to pass out, I went in and let each suck on a bottle to their hearts content. Emma ate about 3 oz (I guess b/c she didn't each much at 10)and Jake ate just 1 1/2.
I thought I was in for a good night's sleep. NOT!
Jake woke screaming at 2:50. I went in, quieted him and went back to bed. I was determined. I guess his passie fell out and he started screaming again in 2 minutes. I shut off the monitor for a few minutes and turned it back on to see if he stopped. Nope. Shut it off. Turned it on. Shut it off. Turned it on. And so it went until 4:15. They took turns screaming, mostly Jake, though. Then it stopped. It was quiet, until 5:15, a which point I got up and fed them. I was lucky Olivia never woke from the noise. They slept til 8:45 this morning, which is unheard of. They usually get up at 5:30, after eating at 2-2:30 and don't go back to sleep until around 8.
I put them down for a nap at 11 and they woke and cried a couple times, but I didn't get them out of their cribs until 1. I think they got a decent nap and I will put them down again later this afternoon.
I think I'm just going to have to force the issue and hope they adjust. We need a schedule and if I have to be a mean mommy to get one, then so be it. I spent a good part of last night crying - for them and for me and I felt really bad this morning for doing it. I just don't think I am useful at all to them if I am exhausted all day long because I'm not sleeping because they're not sleeping.
Everyone PLEASE keep your fingers crossed for me tonight. I need all the help and luck I can get.

Friday, July 27, 2007

4 Month Stats and a Midnight Bike Ride

My babies are 4 months and 8 days old and here's how they're doing.

Weight - 12 pounds, 1 oz, 10th-25th percentile
Length - 24 1/8 inches, 25th-50th percentile
Head - 15 3/4 inches (her head is definitely top heavy), 25th percentile

Weight - 13 pounds, 10 oz, 25th percentile
Length - 25 3/4 inches, 75th-90th percentile
Head - 15 3/4 inches, 5th-10th percentile

Even though they are on Pepcid, they both still spit up like crazy, so I have no idea how much they actually keep down. They are eating 5-6 1/2 ounces at a time, depending on the time of day. We were on regular formula, then AR, now on Soy for the last 2 weeks. The doctor said that the Pepcid helps the reflux pain, but will not prevent the spitting up.

Neither one sleeps through the night, so tonight we start on cereal at the last feeding. God, I hope this helps. I am sleep and shower deprived. Any other suggestions from experienced moms? I used Ferber with Olivia and she slept through at 8 weeks. The problem here is that 1 wakes the other, and then Olivia, if it goes on too long. I CANNOT have 3 children up at 2 AM! Ideas for keeping twins sleeping?

They are both laughing and cooing like crazy and love standing upright. Jake is trying so very hard to sit up.
They are getting to be so much fun.

A quick funny story about Olivia.
We went to play with my niece and her 2 kids yesterday. We went to the boardwalk and Olivia and Alex ran on the boardwalk, playing "red means stop and green means go". It's a great way to keep them close to you and not run off while they have lots of fun. We ate pizza, hung out, then drove home. OG went to bed around 8 last night. She was tired because she only took a 20 minute nap in the car on the way home.
At 10 o'clock, I heard her jumping on her bed and singing. As I moved closer, I could make out the words -"I have to go potty, I have to go potty". She has this thing about telling me when she has to go and waiting for my permission. So I called Cin to listen to a few bars. We cracked up, then sent her to the bathroom.
Back to bed.
Midnight. We wake to Olivia opening our bedroom door. We look up to see her in her pajamas and well-matched socks and sneakers. "I wanna ride my bike".
Now, I gotta give it to her. The rule is socks and sneakers when we ride the bike - no sandals, no flip-flops. Good girl, however delirious at the moment.
I was laughing my ass off. Cin got up to put her back down and I told her to check for a fever because this was surely delirium. No fever.
Back to bed.
She woke twice more. Once she was lying on the bathroom floor screaming she peed herself. I think she went in to go potty and fell asleep on the floor before she got on the bowl and woke to wet pants. I don't remember the last time she woke because I took a Tylenol with codeine after the babies' 2 AM feeding because my tooth was killing me. Long story for another post.

What the hell got into her last night? She NEVER wakes in the middle of the night. I think she was overtired from not napping or possessed by some evil force. Whichever it is, I hope it never comes back!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Hamburglar Can Swim

Thanks, K - this sucks. I can barely remember to brush my teeth in the morning and you want me to think of 8 things to reveal about myself. Which reminds me...

1. I am a floss freak. I whip it out (the dental floss, you pigs) about 6 or 7 times a day - every time I put something in my mouth. I have a thing about it my teeth in general, I guess. They must feel like glass. So if I can't brush, I rub off any "stuff" that's on them with a napkin or paper towel, or my shirt if there aren't any paper products handy. Ever try those little things that go over your finger that you use to "brush" your teeth - awesome. It's addictive.

Be right back...................................
OK, I'm back - had to floss.

2. My pits are a swamp. My armpits are always wet. It can be 30 degrees out and I sweat under my arms, even if I'm freezing. When I sweat hard, my pits can get really funky, no matter how many sticks of deodorant I use. If I wear a white shirt, it turns yellow under the arms due to whatever toxic substance is in my pits. I tried everything - even the stupid crystal that you wet and rub on - nothing works.
Before we got married, I had Botox injections under my arms so I wouldn't sweat and ruin my dress. It was the greatest thing ever - I didn't sweat under my arms for 6 months. Then back to reality - damn!

3. This is rated R, so go to #4 if you are a prude. I shave myself clean - like a baby's bottom in the summer. Ahhhhh, feels nice, except when it starts growing back - itchy!

4. I love black men. There's just something about them. Before I met Cindy, and prior to the guy I lived with before that, I dated black men almost exclusively.

5. I am a grammar freak/snob. I find it very difficult to talk to people who use bad grammar. It makes me cringe and I get a tic from listening to it.

6. I am a fanatic about my floors. I clean my tile and hardwood on my hands and knees with old, soft rags. If it were possible to do it daily, I would. I shampoo my carpet often (used to be 2x/month - less now). I vacuum every day. I ask people to remove their shoes when they come in my house. I sends me into an anxiety frenzy when people forget to take them off.

7. I wipe my dog's butt with baby wipes after he poops. Nuff said.

8. I have a recurring nightmare that began when I was very young. I am in front of my house, then suddenly - a flood. Then the Hamburglar starts chasing me and I start swimming as fast as I can down my block, but he is a better swimmer than me and he is catching up fast. I feel the terror and then he is right behind me and just about to grab me - then I wake up. Analyze that!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My 1st Little Angel

Today my Olivia turns 3. She saved my life.

It was October 2003. I was 33, desperately in love with my wife, living in a beautiful home and making great money doing a job I loved. Something big was missing. A burning need unfulfilled. It was time.
"I need to have children, Cin".
"OK, let's start".
Cin had never considered having children prior to meeting me, but when we talked about it, she was open to the idea. As our lives became one and our love grew exponentially, she found herself wanting children, too. At first, maybe just for me, but she was sure. Let's have kids.
So we whittled down the donor possibilities, settled on Mr. Right and off we went to the clinic.
My cycle started in late October and in early November we went for our 1st insemination. It worked. We were pregnant!
9 months later, July 24, 2004, our first miracle came - Olivia Grace.
She was 6 lbs, 11 oz and 19 1/2 inches. She was a peanut and looked like a little bird. And she was ours. Ours to love and care for. Ours to worry about and to teach. Strange thing is, she has given me so much more than I have given her.

Olivia is kind and compassionate.
She is slow to warm, but when she does, people can't help but fall in love with her.
She is smart and funny and so very clever.
She is intuitive and wise.
Her smile is bright and her laugh is infectious.
My soul is nourished every time she looks in my eyes or throws her arms around me or places a soft kiss on my cheek or lips.
My heart aches to see her cry.
She has taught me how to love, for love's sake, and without expectation.
She has taught me what it means to be afraid. Afraid of losing her, or not knowing how to ease her pain.
I can't hold back the tears now as I write, just to know that I am blessed with this child.
I am blessed to know her and watch her learn.
I am blessed to have her love and warmth.
I am blessed that she is in my life and in my care.
I pray that I will never let her down; that I will always show her the love she deserves and provide her with everything she needs to be the beautiful, powerful woman she is supposed to be.
And I thank her - for everything I am now, for making me a kinder, stronger woman; for making me a mother.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Week In Review

I guess I've been MIA for a while, but I haven't had anything really exciting to say. OK, that's a lie. Maybe nothing that's happened may be exciting for you, but I had one thrill after another last week.

Rides, Rides and More Rides
It all started last Tuesday when the 3 kids, my 12-year old mother's helper and I hopped in the car and went down to Point Pleasant Boardwalk to meet a friend of mine and her son. We bought wristbands for $15 and the kids were able to ride all day. Olivia had never been there and the only rides she was ever on are the carousel and the firetruck that rocks back and forth at the mall, so I wasn't sure how she would like it. It was 90 degrees with 93% humidity, so I wasn't sure how the babies and I would hold up, but we did just fine and Olivia didn't care. She had a blast. I realized something funny, which I didn't notice it at the time. All the rides are EXACTLY the same. As I showed Cin the videos I shot, she started laughing and pointed out that they all do the same thing - go around in a circle. The kids don't seem to mind and I guess if I were 3, I wouldn't care either.

Our Newest Arrival
My search for the perfect stroller was finally over. Olivia usually walks, but there are times I would like her to be in the stroller, like when we are in a crazy crowd or when she gets tired. I researched for weeks and looked at every make and model that was suitable for 2 babies and a toddler. I made my mind up - I wanted the Trimode Runabout Twin. It is a double jogger with 2 swiveling front tires and a toddler seat that attaches in a flash, among other amazing features. It drives like a dream!

However, I was NOT going to pay $659 for any stroller, plus $100 for the toddler seat, not unless it had a motor and I could hop on, too. So I needed to find a used one.I looked high and low and on E.bay and Crai.gslist. I missed out on 4 or 5 strollers by a day or 2 because I found it impossible to log on 5 times a day to check on new postings. Oh well. Finally I saw an auction for a used one, so I waited it out and bid right before I went to bed on Saturday because the auction was ending at 10:15 Sunday morning. After a long and torturous 12 hours, it happened. I won! I was elated and emailed the seller. To my shock, she emailed me back and let me know that she made a mistake and meant to put a "reserve" price on the auction, which was $45 more than my winning bid. I was PISSED! If she could afford to buy this thing new and sell it after 4 months because she wanted a different stroller, why did she need my stinking $45?????? I wasn't gonna pay it! While I was figuring out what to do, she emailed me twice and applied the pressure. I was out of my mind. I didn't know what to do, but I knew I didn't want to be extorted, which is what she was doing, telling me she had another buyer who was willing to pay $500, bla, bla, bla. So I did it. I gave in and paid the extra $45, cuz I wanted it soooooooooo bad. I had to have it. So on our way down to the boardwalk on Tuesday, I picked up our new stroller. I am so in love.
Diamonds Are NOT A Girl's Best Friend
A rug shampooer is...
I got this baby for my birthday last year. I have used it at least 10 times since, even on my furniture. On Wednesday, I took Olivia to school, dropped Max off at play group, came home and went to work.

Mall Walker
On Thursday, it was not very nice out, so I decided to get my exercise in the mall. So I packed up all 3 kids and headed off to the mall (with my new stroller, of course) to power walk. 4 hours later I came home with 3 little trinkets made with shells that Olivia helped me pick out at a kiosk. She is modeling her favorite.

I was stopped by every woman (and 1 man) with more than 1 child so she could ask about my baby, I mean stroller. A mother couldn't be more proud!

Ahhhh, Sweet Air
Vanity is setting in and I have decided to get my teeth "fixed". There's nothing really wrong with them, but I wanted to have my silver fillings replaced with tooth-colored fillings. I had my 1st 2 done 2 Fridays ago and had 3 done last Friday. I have 3 left and can't even wait. They should be done within the month. I'll spare you the pictures. My dentist gave me sweet air and I'll never have work done without it again. The drilling drives me crazy. Without the sweet air, I get so anxious and my whole body clenches. Speaking of clenching, he said I clench and grind pretty badly, so he ground down my back molars and it has helped so much. Now if only he could prescribe the pretty pink pills.

Another Family Reunion
On Saturday we went to a family reunion for Cin's dad's side of the family. Nothing to report here. Just a gorgeous day of swimming and fun. Here are my 2 fave pix from the day - Olivia in the ladybug and Cin's cousin wearing Jake's hat.

Just One More Thing
Cindy HAD to do it. She had to get a pool for Olivia. So on Sunday, she "ran out" to pick up a few things and came back with a 12' x 16' piece of turf to lay down next to the play area so we could put a pool on it. There was no room left in the minivan for the pool, so I had to "run out" and get one later that day. I did. It's adorable, so much fun. Pix to come.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mommies on a Mission

Saturday Morning.
The scene: everyone sitting around in the den. Olivia playing with her dolls. Jake and Emma hangin' out in their car seats. Cin and me drinking coffee.
Me: What do you want to do today?
Cin: I dunno. Ummmm. Let's do Olivia's play yard.
Me: What?
Cin: I wanna make it bigger and move the swings so she has more room to run around and play. Then we'll be ready when we get a bigger swingset.
Me: Uh, OK.
So it began. We called to order and schedule delivery of more rubber mulch for later that afternoon, then got the family together and headed out to get the wood for the frame. When we got home with the lumber, the work began.
This is the before shot
I had to disassemble the old frame while Cindy got out the saw to cut the wood for the new frame. And, of course, OG was nearby with her trusty hammer just in case.

The mulch came. It was the Supersack - and was it ever. It was ginormous.

Then I started putting together the new frame. Once it was up, we began to spread the mulch - what a freakin' (translation for the Utah-ites - flippin') huge job that was.

Then it was getting dark, so we called it quits for the night and had some dinner.

A special thanks to Gale (aka BM - birthmother) for coming over and entertaining our 3 little helpers and grilling up a feast for dinner. XXXOOO.
We woke up this morning and got right to work. Well, not really. We sat around, had some coffee. Gale came and picked up OG and they went to the pool. Then we went out to put on the final touches, moved OG's playhouse back into the new play area and cleaned up. Then BM and OG came home, we had lunch, Olivia went for a nap, Gale left, we put the babies to sleep and my girl crashed. Game OVER!

Our next project is to build a tree house on that beautiful tree in the play area. J - we may need some help! K - you too - homemade lemonade and no bake peanut butter cookies?

Monday, July 9, 2007

Birthday Weekend

The Best Friends a Girl Could Ever Have
On Friday night, I got one of the best presents there is. A few of my friends came over and brought all the food, cooked it, cleaned up and held, fed and occupied the babies the whole time they were there - about 5 hours. As you can see in the picture, there are 3 children and no Mommies. There is also an empty martini glass on the table and yes, my cosmo used to be in it. It was awesome. I got a few nice gifts, including a gift card to TJ Maxx and a really nice bottle of vodka for my cosmos. My friends really do know me so well.

Cindy got me my favorite cake - cake batter ice cream with a center of smashed Oreos. Olivia helped me blow out the candles. Now remember, I am on a diet, so I only had a very small piece, I swear!

Cin couldn't wait until Sunday to give me my present, so she whipped it out on Friday night. WOW! It was a huge surprise. We stopped doing the jewelry thing when the kids started coming. It is a stunning piece and this picture does NOT do it justice. The 3 stones are a ruby and 2 aquamarines, the birthstones of our children. Each is a 1 karat stone in a different shape representing their different personalities. Cin designed it herself. I LOVE IT! Thanks, Baby!

Princess Dresses and Scratchoffs
On Saturday we went down to Cin's brother's house to celebrate the July birthdays - mine, Olivia's and Cin's brother, J. J and I got funny cards and scratchoffs as usual and Olivia got awesome gifts, including a hippity hop, a dollhouse and a few princess dresses and all the necessary accessories. She was out of her mind with excitement and didn't take one of the dresses for the rest of the day and then put it back on as soon as she woke on Sunday morning.

That night we stayed at Cin's eldest brother's and his wife offered to watch all the kids while we went out. So we showered, dressed and I even put on a little makeup. We went to a nice dinner at a restaurant right on the beach and I had my annual Lobster and filet mignon birthday dinner. Another of Cin's brothers is a partner in a bar right on the boardwalk, so we headed over there for a few drinks and to see the fireworks that had been cancelled on the 4th. When we got home, all the kids were fed and asleep for the night. Perfect!
Premature Evacuation
Cin did the middle of the night feeding and let me sleep in on Sunday morning. Olivia came up and woke me at 8:30. I couldn't believe what time it was. We hung out with Cin's brother and sister-in-law for the rest of the morning, then we went to Cin's 25th high school reunion. As anticipated, Cin was miserable and we left early. In a moment of craziness a few weeks ago, she decided we should go. It was a family picnic setting, so we thought it would be fun. However, she didn't know or talk to most of these people in high school and was quickly reminded of why. The few people who were there that she was friends with are women we see anyway, so it was a huge waste of time. It was hot and sticky and Olivia hadn't napped and it had been a long weekend, so we just wanted to get home and relax. We bailed after 2 hours, drove home, fed Olivia, put her to bed, fed the babies, ordered a movie and had sushi for dinner and just relaxed. It turned out to be the perfect birthday evening.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

A Day At The Zoo

I called my friend, T, first thing in the morning to see if her 3 kids were feeling better and if they wanted to get together to play. She said they were going to the zoo and asked if we'd like to go. Sure, why not? So I started getting us together. She called me back to tell me her friend was coming with her 2 kids. Great! The more, the merrier.
And we were off.

We got to the zoo about 11 am and started on or way around to see all the animals. It's a small zoo, so I planned on walking around for a couple hours, eating lunch, riding the train and then going home so Olivia could take her nap (which never happened by the way).

We were - 8 kids under 6, 3 moms and 2 double strollers having one hell of a good time. The kids were excited, the weather was hot, but not humid and everyone had their happy faces on. And that's the way it stayed for he next 3 hours. No crying, no whining, no screaming or fighting. It was glorious and I have to give it up for the kids and the moms. Everyone was very well-behaved and it made for a fabulous day.

Here are some pictures I got before my camera went dead because I forgot to charge it. Of course! They are self explanatory.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Lazy Day Post

This was a really lazy day. The air is cool and damp, the sky is grey and nobody is having a party for the 4th. Olivia and the babies got me up early this morning, so I pulled out the camera and started taking pictures.

Jake was happy - hanging out in the vibrator seat while Emma took a catnap in the swing. He was amazed by the fishes.

Then he got bored and started yawning and I told him to entertain himself. He pretended to be Popeye and he found his thumb. Finally! I am so sick of the passie!

Then Emma woke up because Olivia started yelling about a big bird in the backyard. She really wanted Emma to see it, so she climbed up on the couch next to Olivia and they spent a few minutes looking out the window.

Then I thought it would be cute to take a picture of all the kids' feet. No, I don't know why. I just love their feet.

When Cindy got up, we took a walk around the park this morning, which turned out to be 4 miles long. When we came home, a bunch of kids were playing next door. It's the house in the neighborhood where all the kids congregate.

This is Nicholas. He LOVES Olivia and wanted her to come play. So she did.

They have great toys and stuff, like the big bouncy house. So they climbed in and started jumping around. But then, one of the big kids thought it would be fun to turn off the compressor. Not funny! The dad next door was mad. Thank God it wasn't Olivia who did it.

Then Olivia came home because Mimere (one of her Grandmas) came over. OG has started discovering her body and spent a few minutes lifting her shirt and checking out the reflection of her belly and her butt in the door window. No, I have absolutely no idea where she gets this behavior from.