Tuesday, June 30, 2009
One of the guys was telling us how a co-worker of his takes turns with his wife on the weekends over caring for their baby - she will do Saturday and he will do Sunday while the other has the day off. He was saying how crazy that seemed because that way, they never get to spend time with each other! I agreed and said, "No offense, but is it really so diffiuclt taking care of a baby??" This did not go over well. It sounded like I meant it's not hard to take care of one baby as opposed to more than one baby, like I do. Not what I meant at all. I meant that I don't believe parenting, in general, is so overwhelmingly difficult that it requires a whole day off from it every week, especially if that means spending it alone. I'd like to think that most people agree with me and, had they understood my intended meaning, I think our friends would have. I know that they enjoy being parents, even through the tougher times, just like I do.
But instead, they all thought I was just being that twin mom with the chip on her shoulder, thinking people with one baby should realize how easy they have it. And the reality is, I spend a lot of time watching what I say just so people won't think that about me. Sigh.
So, two questions: Do other MoMs out there bite their tongues but inevitably slip a foot in their mouths when it comes to discussing the difficulties of parenting? And do singleton moms think that mothers of multiples are always rubbing it in that we have it harder?
Monday, June 29, 2009
They have now officially taken over. For such small people, they certainly take up a lot of space. And although my dreams of maintaining a baby-free area in my home have been dashed, it is so much easier to get things done when you don't have to shuttle two infants up and down stairs all day - and that is Making my Monday!
Also, check me out over here today to read about our day as "locavores."
Friday, June 26, 2009
And proceeded to completely meltdown in the time it took to snap two pictures.
Oh well. I'll have to call J. Crew and tell them that we are no longer available for that family photo shoot.
Check out some other Friday Fotos at Carrie's!
PS - Michael Jackson died of a heart attack yesterday. I don't really have a comment. Just wanted to include it here for posterity.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Lucky for us, though, some things lend themselves very easily to duets. Here are the Soto Twins, using my beloved pregnancy body pillow to "catch" them when they tip during some sitting play-time.
And here they are with Ned and Penny (in the back) of Mommy Esq. fame, taking their first ever swing ride! (The one hour the sun was out in the past 2 weeks was the one day I didn't have sun hats...) You can't see his face in this shot but Sebastian REALLY loved it - we need to find a swing like this close to our house.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Fine motor development is going well, too. They can put their binkies in their mouth and are much more deliberate in their grabbing. They both love to scratch and grab faces - I have evidence of it on my upper lip. And when sitting, they can easily pick up small toys and put them in - you guessed it! - their mouths. They also notice each other and will each for the other's face, scalp, arm, etc.
Needless to say, this is one great Monday! What's making your Monday? Let us know at Twinfatuation. All the cool kids are doing it.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
This week's challenge is to go 7 days without using any (new) plastic bags. As a bonus challenge, you can write about plastic bags environmental impact on your blog. So far, I have been able to avoid plastic bags at the grocery store and elsewhere, although I had to put the wet carrots in my reusable bag and that was kinda weird. But a little water never killed anyone.
As for their environmental impact, I could do a bunch of research about bags, decomposition, recycling, yadda, yadda, yadda. But I figured I would give the consultant in me a chance to flex her atrophied muscles and do some back-of-the-envelope estimating.
- On average, I would estimate that the typical U.S. household goes the grocery once per week. Because that's what I do.
- At the grocery store, the average consumer buys enough stuff to "fill" approximately 10 plastic bags. Baggers tend to put very few things in each bag so this estimate might even by low.
- In addition to grocery stores, I estimate that the average American consumer goes to non-grocery stores three times per week.
- These non-grocery store trips result in an average of 5 bags, total.
- So, in a week, I estimate the average American household uses 15 NEW plastic bags.
- There are approximately 120 million households in America.
- 120,000,000 x 15 = 1,800,000,000 or 1.8 billion plastic bags per week.
- 1.8b x 52 weeks = 93 billion bags per year! Yowza.
OK, so that's just my quickie analysis of US household consumption of plastic bags. This doesn't include other uses/users or other countries. And I had to look it up for real and apparently the global annual consumption of these bags is 500 billion. So my estimate seems to be in the ball park since the US is probably one of the bigger offenders.
What this means is that if you, as the buyer-of-all-stuff-for-your-family, can make a serious impact. This is one of those things where households make up the majority of consumption, not some random businesses and industries. So, we are also the ones who have to curb that consumption if we hope to see a difference. And let's be honest. Giving up plastic bags is not like giving up long, hot showers or hours upon hours of TV. Do you really love plastic bags? I didn't think so. And that makes it pretty easy to just let them go. Give it a try this week and maybe it will become a regular habit for you, too.
A few months ago, my emotions got the better of me. I was still upset about not breastfeeding that I figured I would try, just one last time, to make it work. I had been stressing about it for so long, pretty much since the day the twins came home from the hospital. They had been in the Special Care Nursery for nearly 2 weeks, but it seemed like an eternity. And the only thing keeping them there was eating. Well, not eating, really.
Their prematurity (34 weekers) didn't have any huge "health" impacts on them when they were born but they were small and tired and didn't really know how to suck and eat. My C-section kept me in the hospital for 4 days but then I had to go home. I had been "nursing" them at almost every feeding and some days we had a bit of success and other times we didn't. But when I went home, I could only go to the hospital once a day for a few hours because my blood pressure was still quite high and I was basically on bed rest. That left very little opportunity to breastfeed - at most, 2 feedings per day. And usually we just tried once because we didn't want to wear them out.
The last few days they were in the hospital, we had a lot of success with the breastfeeding. But still, the lactation consultant said in the first week at home we should still just do it once a day, since that is what they were used to. And then work our way up from there. I think that was the beginning of the end for us. When your babies have only been alive for 11 days, a week seems like an eternity! I had no idea what to make of that advice. Do I do it twice a day for the second week? Or do I just do it all the time after that? There was no road map for transitioning to all breastfeeding.
The second blow came when we had our first visit with the pediatrician. The babies had been eating pumped breast milk with high calorie formula powder added to bulk them up. Now, it doesn't take a genius to realize that if they need these extra calories, then breastfeeding isn't really an option. It's not like I can inject my breasts with formula powder. So, I was hoping that she would say we could stop the extra calories or at least cut back. No such luck. I was crushed. How would I ever do this if I had to keep giving them these extra calories??
And that's how we ended up here. I'm pumping exclusively for my twins. A while back, I tried to get them back on the breast. And I did, sort of. I bought the nipple shields which make real nipples more like bottle nipples. The babies sometimes accepted it, other times not so much. But I was a day late and a dollar short, so to speak. They were already 4 months old. I was on my own with them for the better part of the week. I had already established a very smooth routine around pumping and feeding and, with the exception of my lingering guilt/sadness/longing, everyone was happy. And when you are outnumbered by infants, changing your routine (especially one that is working!) is beyond difficult.
It's obvious to me why I tried to make my life so much more difficult. I felt like a failure. Scratch that: I feel like a failure. And for those of you who know me, you know I don't fail. I ace tests, I get into the best schools, I get job offers. Heck, I even get boy/girl twins! But I can't breastfeed. I fail.
And the guilt and disappointment in myself is what propelled me to try and recapture my goal, even though everything was going so well. And that was stupid. It's not like me to make my life harder than it needs to be. But I simply could not reconcile those feelings. I have since given up on that goal and realized the error of my ways. That certainly doesn't mean I am over all these emotions - it just means I have decided to not let them interfere with our daily life as I had been. Our life is good, the twins are so happy and healthy - there is no reason to screw around with a good thing. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! I can put this in the "lessons learned the hard way" column.
Whew. I feel better now. Thanks.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
When: May 2001
Where: Bon Jovi Concert, MCI Center, Washington DC
Ok, so I'm a huge Bon Jovi fan. Not the biggest fan, but I get butterflies just at the thought of seeing them live. They have been my favorite band since my best friend, Kristin, got me hooked back in middle school. Kristin's older sister, Kim, was a teenager in the band's prime and got her hooked first so we all shared the obsession together.
Now Kim, she really is their biggest fan. She is in the fan club and follows them around the country. She knows all the guys in the band and some of their family members - no joke. I've seen her pictures on Facebook. She's a total groupie, like out of Almost Famous, or something. As their #1 fan, she gets awesome seats to concerts. And as a fringe benefit of being the best friend to the sister of Bon Jovi's biggest fan, I got one of those tickets for a show they did in DC.Kim, one of her Bon Jovi groupie friends, and I drove down the night before the concert to crash at Kristin's place - her Georgetown dorm "suite." Of course, in the end it was totally worth the 8-hour drive and crappy sleeping arrangements because from our second row seats, I managed to score us 4 passes to get on the side stage for a 20-minute set! It was there that Jon, during a Richie guitar solo, jumped into our little crowd. I found myself in charge of his left shoulder. And then didn't wash my hands for a few days. He was rather sweaty but damn, does he look even better close up!
Monday, June 15, 2009
The asparagus was DELICIOUS and the strawberries could not have been juicier. Not sure yet what we will do with the potatoes but I want to do something more than just mashed. And I will have to get my creative cooking juices flowing because tomorrow we pick up our first CSA share!! We will get some more strawberries, some asparagus, herbs, lettuce, mixed greens and some other veggies that I don't know how to cook. What A Card gave me some good tips on what to do with extras or stuff that I don't like. I'm sure I will be asking her, and anyone else out there, for some ideas on what to do with everything I get. For example, I will get chard at some point and I don't know what it is, what it looks like or how to cook it. It'll be a great learning experience this summer!!
All those fresh fruits and veggies are making my Monday - what about you?? Check out Twinfatuation for more Monday makers.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
A couple months ago, I posted a little video of Sebastian's mad rolling skills. Well, he is at it again but now he has become a master at rolling from his back to his belly. Each morning when I wake up, I peek at the monitor to see him on his belly, either still sleeping or doing the baby version of push-ups.
Meanwhile, Collette has decided that rolling is for lesser babies. She would much rather work on her abs by grabbing her feet and trying to sit up from a laying position. Hmmm. Maybe I should join her...
Here they are, in their preferred positions. Sebastian just flipped onto his belly and Collette is reaching for her little feet.
Again, this is one of those things that I like about having twins. In most respects, Collette is developmentally "ahead" of Sebastian. She slept through the night long before he did, she is bigger than him, she has much better head, neck and core control than he does. But the rolling thing, its all Sebastian. He can do both with no problem and she does neither! It's just a nice reminder that the range of normal is BIG and most things are no cause for concern. Both babies are alive - and healthy, happy and loved, to boot! I've heard those are the important things so I've got that going for me.
Check out some other two-fers at Who Says 8 is Enough - and its not just for twins!!
Monday, June 8, 2009
On Saturday, we loaded up the babies and went to my niece's birthday bash. It was pretty low-key. We had some hot dogs and other grilled meats while we watched the big kids try to catch fish with their little nets in the pond. The weather was perfect and, except for the spider that tried to lay eggs in my skin on the way home, it was a wonderful day! PS - Thanks, Billy, for saving me from aforementioned spider.
And on Sunday, we picked up our fourth double stroller. It was a steal at $50 and will replace the snap'n'go as our stroller of choice for running errands. Its a Mclaren and retails for $200 so I was pretty psyched to find one in good condition for cheap. The fabric could use a washing but its works perfectly and that's all I really cared about.
Friday, June 5, 2009
I was talking to Billy this morning about how I don't feel different. I'm just two short years away from 30 and I was thinking how I should feel like a grown-up. I've done all the grown-up things: got married, worked full-time, bought a house, got a dog, and had two kids. Really, what else is there to make me feel like an adult? But when I think of myself as an 18 year old, I see the same person. It's still the same voice in my head. I still have a shirt that I got as a junior in high school (see left). Maybe its because I always thought of adults as tall, with my mom being nearly 6 feet. Of course, I knew I would never be tall no matter how old I got (probably I'll shrink...) but I still thought I would feel different. More sophisticated. Wiser. I don't know. I like my "adult" life and I'm happy so this isn't some kind of complaint. More of a surprise, I guess.
So, am I the only one who is surprised how ageing doesn't really feel like ageing?
Anyway, today will be good but good in the new meaning of good. I can't play hookie from work like I used to (see what a responsible grown up I have been!!) or go party all weekend. My mom and dad will watch the babies (sleep) tonight so Billy and I can go see a movie. And my dad will be steaming lobster for us before we head out. He always gets me lobster for my b-day. Apparently, it has been my favorite food since I was 3. Not sure when I first tried it but the story goes that we were at some kind of fair and my mom asked me what I wanted to eat, like a hot dog or something, but instead I demanded lobster. Ya, I'm no cheap date!
Today is also my niece's birthday and she turns 2!! This is the best part of my birthday because I really think I'm too old to celebrate and now we can just celebrate her instead. And she is such a sweet girl - I wish I got to spend more time with her but my own nuggets keep me pretty tied up. Here is Moe (short for Morgan), looking ever so cute in her Uggs:
AND I got my first blog award from Rocio at You and Me Plus Three! Thank you so much for selecting me as one of your "awardees" - and you didn't even realize that it would be my first birthday gift of the day! So cool. I'm supposed to pass this on to 15 other bloggers - that's a lot...I will get crackin' on that soon. Promise.
Lastly, Billy had a birthday surprise for me. Usually he works from home on Fridays but today is their company "Give Back" day where they do some volunteer work in Boston. He secretly took the day off, pretended to leave for work after we put the twins down for their nap and came back home with flowers, breakfast and my present - a brand new HP Scanjet photo/document scanner!! Needless to say, plan on seeing a lot of old pictures of me. A photo scanner in the hands of a blogger with no shame is a dangerous combination. Friends and family: Beware.
And now I expect lots of comments. I can ask because its my birthday and I can do whatever I want. Biatch!
PS - Best Birthday Wish: "Wow! 28. Almost 100." ~ my dad Thanks, Dad.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Now, before you get all, "oh, she thinks she so awesome and green and she should just get off her stupid high horse," hear me out. (probably you weren't thinking that but I have an undiagnosed problem with paranoia...just ask Billy) I do this for a variety of reasons and they don't all have to with being high and mighty. But I will say this: I do think its healthier. But only marginally so. I don't think that jarred baby food is bad for babies or that Gerber is evil - I have plenty of their onesies. I just think "homemade" is a tad better.
Another reason I do this is because I like cooking. I enjoy being in the kitchen and smelling the smells and mixing the concoctions. It's a like a little hobby for me. And since having the babies, I haven't cooked grown-up food as much as I would like so this is one way of getting me back into the swing of things. It's also nice to know that I don't have to buy baby food separate from grown-up food. We eat bananas, so do the babies. We eat avocados, so do the babies. We eat brown rice, so do the babies. And eventually, I will be cooking real meals for them anyway so I figure, why not start now!
Also, I have a sneaking suspicion that homemade food tastes better. Again, maybe only marginally so. But still, I like that I can select the freshest fruits and veggies and know that they will taste their best. I can select the variety of apples that they like best and have them try different kinds. I can even make fruits and veggies that they don't sell in baby food jars. Mango-avocado is a delicious combo! I know, because I finished Collette's when she got full. I might try that spread on my next burrito.
So, ya - those are my main reasons. Oh ya, and I can't stand the thought of all those baby food jars going in the trash. But then again, they can probably be recycled...whatevs.
And to be honest, it doesn't take up a lot of time or effort. If you have the time (and some people flat out don't) and you decide this is what you'd like to do with it, great! If you'd rather have a social life, that's probably better. But for the anti-social, blender-weilding:
- Buy enough of any one fruit or veggie to fill at least one ice cube tray. My trays hold about 20-25oz.
- Go to http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/ to get the preparation instructions. This website is my baby food bible. Has all the nutrient info, too, as well as fun *recipes* for all different ages/stages.
- After food is cooked/peeled/whatever, put it in your blender or food processor. (I use a regular old blender that I had in hopes of making adult frozen beverages. Oh well.) I use my Puree setting for most foods but sometimes need a higher one (Liquefy!) to get the job done.
- If you like, save some puree in the fridge for the next 2 days. Otherwise, pour everything in the ice cube tray, put some plastic wrap over the top and lay it flat in the freezer.
- In the morning, grab a freezer bag, label it with the date and the food, and pop the cubes in. If they stick, just run some warm water over the bottom - that should do the trick.
To date, the twins have tried apples, avocados, bananas, green beans, peaches, prunes, pears, mango, oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potato, butternut squash, and peas. We have done all sorts of combos and the only thing they really dislike is green beans all alone. Mix it with some sweet potato and down the hatch it goes. Papaya is next - I'm just waiting for the one I bought to ripen!
(The fruits of my labor - so cute and colorful! See, I told you it's fun. They eat about 2.5 cubes each at a meal, although I think we can bump it up to 3 - these babies LOVE their food!)
Our only issue with feeding is that the babies kinda hate their high chairs. I have no idea why. They are adjustable and soft but they just don't like them. I think once they can sit on their own, they will like the idea of sitting in a chair like that for "extended" periods. Right now, I pretty much have to put food in their mouths immediately after plopping them in. And they don't last long in their chairs after the meal has ended which makes clean up a challenge. But as with all things baby related, this too shall pass.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Anyway, it was a typical visit - all good news so I'm a happy momma. The doc took one look at them and was pleased. She could tell that they are growing and developing just fine. Although they aren't sitting unassisted yet (for longer than 3-6 seconds, that is) she said not to worry, that it will happen soon, within a month probably. They weighed 17 and 16 lbs - Collette the chunkier one. Surprisingly, Sebastian is taller (longer?) than Collette at 26.5" vs. her 26.25". Also, the doctor said we could start adding *lunch* to their daily to routine to get them up to three meals per day.
Our next appointment isn't until August 31st - the twins will 9 months old. I simply can't fathom that. 9 months seems so...old! Billy always jokes that they haven't changed since they were born. I see his point - we still have hold the bottles for them, put diapers on them, dress them. They don't sit up or crawl or walk or talk or feed themselves. But I think we'll get some of those by their next appointment. I hope. Then I can at least say they do something. Gosh, babies. get with the program already.
And, I should have included this in this post but Mommy Brain got the better of me, here is what a day in the life of the Soto Twins looks like at 6 months of age:
6:30am (or 7, if I'm lucky) - Get twins out of bed. They might already be awake but this is the earliest I do. Then, we have a bottle, then some breakfast downstairs followed by playtime upstairs.
8:30am - Nap #1. Lasts about 1 - 1.5 hours for Sebastian; 1.5 - 2 hours for Collette.
10-10:30am - Bottle, some playtime.
12:30pm - Nap #2. Same deal as Nap #1.
2-2:30pm - Bottle then either a walk or inside playtime if the weather isn't nice.
4:00pm - Nap #3 OR and errand. Depends on how good the other 2 naps were.
5-5:30pm - Dinner, then bottle in their nursery.
6:30pm - Bedtime! Lights out.
If I'm not alone, we'll do a bath after dinner but before their bottle. Otherwise, this is pretty much what a typical day in the Soto house looks like. Well, a typical good day. They're not all good days. Just enough to keep me off medication.