Yesterday

Yesterday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

We didn’t sleep the night before because H was running a fever.  I called the doctor in the morning and made an appointment.  We stopped for gas on the way there, but when I got in the car after filling up, it wouldn’t start.

Of course the car couldn’t have broken down at home.  Of course my in-laws were out of town and of course the twins (and I) were extra grumpy from illness/lack of sleep.  Of course!

At first I couldn’t get ahold of anyone nearby who could possibly help me.  Also, no one at the gas station was willing to help.  I know people busy and everything but it still sucked.  I didn’t want to abandon my car in front of a pump and I wasn’t sure the cheap stroller I brought would make it all the way home.  I really thought H needed to see a doctor and I hate being late (or a no-show).  It was a lot.

Another helpful thing is that I cry when I’m super stressed.  The twins quickly lost patience, so if you’re counting, that’s three of us crying.  I wonder why no one wanted to help us? 😉

Luckily, a couple of guardian angels came to our rescue and I eventually got ahold of my husband who left work to come help.

Things started to look like they were turning around.  We are lucky to have friends in town and I was lucky to catch my husband at work when I did.  He left his car with me so I could take H to the doctor.  The twins took a nap and I rescheduled the doctor visit.

But there’s that thing that people always say – about bad stuff happening in threes?  I don’t want to believe it, but I kind of do.  That probably makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy….

The day seemed to be getting better, though.  The car issue turned out to be a pretty minor fix and we confirmed at the doctor that H didn’t have a UTI or anything else serious.  We just hung out at home the rest of the afternoon.

After we fed the twins dinner, the third thing in the bad-day-trifecta happened.  M (the healthy twin) walked up to me with something on her face.  I looked at her and thought, “where did she get avocad – IS THAT THROW UP?  DID YOU THROW UP?!”  Sure enough, there was green throw up on her face and hands.  My husband put her into the bath while I searched the house for a pile of barf.  I found it and cleaned it up.

After we put the twins to bed, we started making dinner for ourselves.  Also, a stiff drink.  I barely even flinched when the big clock hanging high on on fireplace crashed down and shattered all over the living room.

But then I started to wonder – was that the third thing?  The throw up incident wasn’t that bad, she somehow managed to get all the throw up on our waterproof floor, and she doesn’t seem sick.   So is the sliver of glass in my foot the third thing?  I feel certain that the first two things were H’s fever and the car breaking down.  I thought the throw up was the third, but maybe it wasn’t.

Or maybe the shattered clock is the first thing in another series of three?

Nah, I’m sure that’s not it….

 

 

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Diaper Wrestling

Turns out you have to be pretty strong to be a parent. Like, physically strong. My twins have entered the diaper-change-resistance phase. They’re super busy these days, doing baby stuff, cruising around, climbing on stuff, and playing, so I guess they just really don’t appreciate my interrupting all of that for a fresh diaper. And, what the heck, have they been doing Crossfit or something? They are shockingly good at wrestling out of diaper changes. They twist and kick and – my personal favorite – push off the wall behind their changing table. I try to pin them down, but usually I end up just waiting until they tire out before taking off the dirty diaper.

The one thing they hate more than diaper changes is getting their boogers wiped off their faces. H will be standing across the room, make eye contact with me, and then go, “Mmmm nom nom yum yum,” while licking and smearing snot on her face. I laugh/shudder and secretly grab a Kleenex. Then I have to play it cool, hiding the tissue while I casually walk over to her and, at the last second, whip out the tissue and try to clean up the mess. She grabs at it and cries and whips her head around. Sometimes I end up making it all worse.

Kids are gross.

The other day I caught Millie dipping her binky in the toilet. That girl is like a honey badger – she does whatever and doesn’t care. [The toilet lid is now locked].

Kids are so, so gross.

But they’re also so, so cute. They have been super cuddly lately (when I’m not trying to wipe their butt or their face). I think they know it makes me melt when they lay their heads on my chest or walk up and give me a smack on the lips. In those moments, I would seriously give them anything they wanted. I don’t even care that I’m being manipulated because their cuddles are that awesome. Even when they get boogers on me or kick me in the face during diaper changes, I can’t think of anything better than a hug from my little twins.

Twin Language?

A few months ago, the twins started giving each other stuff. H, in particular, has discovered that if she gives M a toy, then M is much less likely to steal H’s toy. I can also give one baby 2 sippy cups and tell her to give one to her sister, and she does it (usually). Of course they grab stuff from each other a lot, but when they share, my heart explodes a little (in a good way).

My very favorite thing they do is find the other’s binky and then bring it to her. I think it is so cute, but just this morning, I realized how amazing it is. One of them makes her distinct binky whining noise, and her sister will find her pacifier and deliver it. I think this is the closest thing to a twin language that I’ve observed with my girls so far. At least in this specific instance, they are able to discern what the other needs and can meet that need.

They have always instinctively known how to bother the other, but I don’t have any of those awesome videos of them babbling to each other as 3-month olds that you see on YouTube. They have been able to make each other laugh hysterically since about 8 or 9 months, but I’ve never observed the unique baby noises that people refer to as twin language. For now, their twin language seems to be more unspoken, I guess. I often wonder what their relationship will be like as they get older. I imagine they’ll probably fight pretty passionately (they already have some pretty considerable wrestling matches) but that’s okay with me as long as they love each other more intensely. The twin bond really is so cool, one that I can never fully understand, but it’ll be pretty cool to watch it develop as they grow up.

Confessions of a Helicopter Mom

There are so many things I swore I’d never do once I became a mom. I never pictured myself as the mom who makes visitors wash their hands before touching her baby. I am that mom. Although I’ve never identified as a “germaphobe,” I used Purel so often during the newborn months that I developed eczema on my hands. I literally killed the skin on my hands for fear of germs. My perceived threat of RSV or the Flu was almost paralyzing.

As it turns out, I’m a helicopter mom. My natural instinct is to hover constantly to [try to] prevent every possible bad thing that could befall my girls. I can walk into any room and spot 9 different ways my kids could seriously injure themselves. Is that dresser bolted to the wall? What if they jump headfirst off the back of the couch? Did I cut this hot dog small enough? Can they reach that knife on the counter?  I’ll stop there, you get it.

Last summer, when the twins were about 9 months old, my husband and I were sitting on our front step with them. Faster than lightning, one of the girls put a rock in her mouth. I noticed it immediately, being the hoverer that I am, and took it out of her mouth. “I think we should let them eat a couple rocks. They’ll learn,” my husband said (obviously, he keeps this chopper grounded sometimes). We sat there a couple more minutes before it hit me – didn’t we recently spray weed killer all around our house? What if there was weed killer on that rock? I could barely sleep that night for fear that she had been poisoned. She was fine, of course.

It’s hard for me to describe the compulsion I feel to protect my kids, but that’s really what it is for me. It’s like an overactive instinct that is not helpful in reality. The good new is, I’ve identified this unhealthy tendency of mine and I’m working on it. I completely understand why being an overprotective parent is not healthy for anyone involved. I really do. My kids need to learn their own lessons and I’m finally realizing that those lessons will probably bring bruises or casts or illnesses with them. I also know that it is not even possible for me to prevent e-v-e-r-y-thing from harming them. The act of trying to absolutely protect them is likely very harmful in itself. And so, I’m doing my best to stay grounded because what a good helicopter mom would do is…not be a helicopter mom.

Belly Buttons

Recently, H noticed M’s belly button.  Usually when I’m giving them a bath, H will poke her little finger into M’s belly button and they’ll both giggle.  She never remembers her own belly button until I remind her.  The whole thing is ridiculously cute.

Sometimes I explain to them why they have belly buttons: that’s how I fed them while they were in my tummy (an oversimplification, I know, but they can’t even say “belly button” so….).  I go on to tell them that I have a belly button because that’s where I was attached to GaGa (that’s what they call my mom).  It got me thinking how crazy/awesome belly buttons are.  I have probably thought about my belly button (or anyone else’s) for a grand total of a minute in my whole life.  But then I had the twins and now I’m fascinated.

I worried a lot (A LOT) when I was pregnant.  Eventually, I had one realization that eased my anxiety the most: my babies would never be safer than when they were in my belly.  Floating around in there, sleeping, growing, and physically attached to me by a leash.  I accepted that there were plenty of things that could go wrong in utero, but there were more things that could go right.

I am always amazed at how the twins are their own people with their own personalities.  They never let me forget that they make their own decisions and that I have very little control over them.  Their little belly buttons are a reminder that I once did have some sort of control (they ate more Pop-Tarts during that time than I would ever allow now that they’re on the outside).  I don’t know why, but for some reason it’s incredible to me that we were once attached to each other.

Moral of the story is, you wouldn’t be alive if you didn’t have a belly button.  Thanks, Mom, for my belly button.

The Work Decision

I decided to start working again.  I started to miss it and I don’t want to get out of practice. I start next Wednesday!

[Sidenote: my twins are licking the floor right now.]

Even though I missed working, it was still a tough decision to make.  I went back and forth many times about it.  These past 16 months being at home have been the best time of my life.  Plus, I don’t have to go back to work right now.  We really have a good routine, and I’m a little nervous to throw off the balance by adding work to the schedule.

I’m fortunate to work for a small business (that I previously worked for) whose owner is basically the nicest guy I’ve ever met.   He understands that I have little kids and he doesn’t want me to feel like I’m missing out on them (and I actually believe him when he says that).

I’m only working part-time and I get to work from home (which is awesome).  That way I can listen to Bubble Guppies in the background while I calculate clients’ tax liability.  This could be the worst good idea I’ve ever had….

The Santa Lie

Christmas is my favorite time of year.  I have loved it for as long as I can remember.  I’m excited to see my kids’ excitement when they’re old enough to understand.

I just have one major problem: Santa.

I can’t understand the Santa lie.  I hadn’t given much thought to it until last year, which was the twins’ first Christmas.  We got them a couple of things and as I was writing their names on the packages, it suddenly hit me.  Is this gift from ‘Mom and Dad’ or ‘Santa’?  Right at that moment (and again this year) I started plotting how we could not do Santa in the future.  Sorry kids, those presents are from Mom and Dad; we shopped for them; we paid for them or made them for you; we wrapped them.  I want our kids to understand how those gifts really got there and, yes, I want them to say thank you to us – not an imaginary guy.

The one benefit I can see to perpetuating the Santa lie is that you can threaten your kids to behave at all times or poof! no presents at Christmas.  It still doesn’t quite get me there, though, because I feel like I could threaten them myself….  I’m probably naive to think that my kids will ever listen to me, but I’m a first-time parent, so I’m totally clueless.

Pretty much the only thing holding me back from going full-out truthful parent is that I don’t want my kids to ruin Santa for other kids.  I guess I have a couple years to figure that one out, but if anyone reading this has any ideas for me, or any reasons why Santa is a good idea, please send me a message!

Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas!

What the Hell is a Hatchimal?

A couple days ago, I saw a “Hatchimal” (apparently this year’s must-have toy) posted for sale on my local online yardsale site.  A small bidding war ensued.  ‘Tis the season.

When I first saw a Hatchimal on the Today show, I was like, “why are they talking about Furbies?”  Look it up – Hatchimals are a carbon copy of 1998’s must-have toy.  These Furby ripoffs are currently selling for over $200 on Amazon.  TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS?!  All I know is that if I spend $200 on a toy for my kid, they aren’t going to be allowed to play with it.  If they still want it after they understand they can’t touch it, maybe we can think about it.

I tried to think back to when I was a kid and what toy I would have paid a zillion dollars (of my parents’ money) to have.  I can’t really remember anything specific, which means I either: received it, played with it for a month, and then forgot about it OR it means that I didn’t receive it and I was not scarred for life because of it.  I choose to believe the latter.  [Tomagotchi’s were badass, though – I for sure had a couple of those.]

Let me be clear that I am not judging parents who are buying Furbies – I mean Hatchimals – for their kids.  It’s more of a glimpse into my not-so-distant future.  I am not looking forward to the day that my kids can make their own Christmas lists (is that bad?).  I hope, I hope, I hope I can talk my girls out of the latest Furby iteration in 6 or 7 years.  If not, I hope someone is auctioning off two of them (BOGO?).  Because twins.

A Blog About Blogging

Recently, an acquaintance told me that he’d read a few of my blogs and he thought it was “just alright.” I was taken aback at first, but also thought it was pretty funny. Then it made me think about why exactly I write a blog. Annnnnnd then I wrote a blog about it….

I think the main reason I share what I write is because I personally found blogs to be helpful during my pregnancy and during the first year raising twins. The firsthand experiences I find in blogs are reassuring, inspiring, informative, and sometimes funny. It’s so incredibly cliché, but I hope to be one of those blogs for someone else.

Another major reason I write is to make sure I don’t forget the difference between your/you’re or there/their/they’re or two/to/too, etc. A big part of my job for the past three years was corresponding with state and federal tax agencies. Since I no longer write official letters every day, I feel the need to practice writing. I’ve loved to write ever since I was a little girl and I’ve found this blog to be a good place for me to “stay sharp” and junk. 😉

This blog is like a journal of sorts, and lots of people told me they wish they’d kept a journal when their kids were little. I guess journals aren’t usually shared with the world and, believe it or not, not everything I write makes it to the Internet. My experiences as a twin mom are both unique and common to most parents, which makes me feel like I can share them without [too much] judgment. It’s never my goal to be “just alright” at anything I do. So if you’re reading this I hope you like it, or find it to be useful in some way, and know that if you give me negative feedback to my face, I’ll write about you faster than Taylor Swift sings about her ex-boyfriends. Boom.

“You’ve Got Your Hands Full!”

One year ago today, our girls were discharged from the NICU and came home with us. It was a super exciting and surreal day; I can still barely believe I have twins. There is a lot to love about having two babies and for me personally, it’s still fun (and sometimes amusing) to see people’s reactions to stumbling across twins.

By far, probably a factor of 10, the most common comment I hear is, “You’ve got your hands full!” Almost every person I pass in the grocery store says this. The next most common is “Double trouble!” Just yesterday someone yelled this to me from like 50 feet away. And a close third is some variation of, “My neighbor’s daughter is best friends with twin girls…no wait, I guess it was my neighbor’s daughter had twin girl nieces…that’s what it was….” I almost never know how to reply.

I can always tell when someone has a close relationship to kids when they go out of their way to open a door for me. After a year, I still am not that great at navigating my gigantic stroller through doors. I mean, most people hold the door for the person behind them, but when someone drops their magazine and crosses the doctor’s office to open the door for me, I know they must have been there before. I thank these people profusely and then vow in my head to always do this for other people for the rest of my life.

However, I know that in a couple of years when I see four matching feet hanging in a stroller, I am going to speed walk over and say, “I’ve got twins!” I don’t even know why I’ll do it, but I know I won’t be able to resist. I also know that when my girls are older and start to diverge in size and personality, I’m going to miss the excited look on strangers’ faces when they realize they’re looking at real life twins. I hope when I inevitably approach a stranger with a double stroller, she will humor me as I stare at her kids and reminisce about my girls, and then hopefully she’ll forgive me because I will absolutely hold the door for her.  After all, she does have her hands full!