Friday, September 13, 2013

Quick Takes - Mmm. Milk.

I lamented on IG this week about investigation work necessary to eliminate whatever toxic substance in my milk is making the boys, at random moments and typically right as I've gone to work at a task, writhe in pain.  

In reality this simpleton's research, since I'm not the most disciplined person and would more so be defined as easily distracted, looks a lot like this: Me proclaiming to my husband "It's soda. I know it's soda. I can go off soda. That's easy. I hardly even like soda!" but the next day "It's dairy. It's always been dairy. It's that ice cream I've been eating. Why was I eating ice cream again?" and the next day "No! You know what it is?! It's those lemon bars. Totally the lemons bars. I don't know why I didn't think of the lemon bars"

Everything in my pantry has now taken on the feel of a foreign invader out to destroy all peace in my home.  Because do you know what it's like to take care of TWO gas-fighting bebes? If you guessed Hades on Earth---ding, ding, ding---ba-ingo!

In between being able to sleep decently through the night and feeling guilt for consuming pretty much any of the food available in my home, I predict shriveling into a prune of a woman in no time. But with post-pregnancy pudge clinging to my front side. So like a prune kangaroo thingy. Hot mama!

I don't know why I'm writing this as quick takes because, really, this is just a story.  As long as I've established this and you're fine with it, let's move on.

Yesterday, I decided to make good use of the milk that I was not about to drink.  I made some into buttermilk, whipped them into some impromptu halfway whole wheat pancake mix (dude, there's whole wheat flour in my pantry that's going to go bad in 3 months. Sister's on a budget so I figured, it's pancakes! who cares!) and made some Pinerest-y bacon pancake log things as text pic suggested from my workingroundtheclock husband.  Of course, 3 boys constantly crying/calling/goo-ing for my attention, I decided to skip reading any instructions beyond the process of eye-ing the picture which was enough to send me into lingering bouts of laughter and my son asking "what's wrong now, mama?".  Plus, I kind of have a hate-hate relationship with Pinterest. So there's that.
I bet it takes you one guess to figure out which one was my 1st try.

If any of you were wondering if I was smart enough to utilize the milk for pancakes but dumb enough to end up eating those pancakes, maybe because of the eternal allure of bacon or the violent appetite of a mom nursing twins... you would be on the money... again.  But hey, I didn't drink milk with the buttermilk pancakes so my brain was still working a little.

Earlier that day I tried to have Thomas drink the milk but he said no, thank you to my subtle nudge for him to operate as our human garbage disposal before the two days from now expiration date.  See, he is what some might call a strong-willed child (even though that label makes me cringe and I 99% of the time buck using, saying, or claiming it).  Regardless--The kid will come up with the most elaborate excuses for anything. Caught throwing rocks at day care? He told the director he was showing the other kids what not to do? Caught hitting a baby? The baby needed burping.  So when he claimed yesterday that the milk was "no good", I chuckled to myself that I heard 1001 of interesting excuses and maybe I should just go write myself a book titled Toddler Excuses & The Good Rebuttals You Shouldn't Use.  I held my ground and firmly told him it was that or nothing. And of course, Stubborn had nothing to do with it.

And I also made the 5th mental note of the day that was just vaguely: more parenting failure, Ash

I ambled into the kitchen this morning and to my sheer delight found a bacon pancake log waiting for me. After questioning the crew, yes, yes, it was left for me! There were golden rays beaming from where it rested on the counter.  I felt as if I had awoken to an explosive rainbow of confetti thrown into the air celebrating Friday, Friday, Good morning, it's Friday! And I thought, what the heck, I'll just drink a gulp of milk with this... you can't have pancakes without milk...that's basically a sin. 

My guilt for voluntarily, probably maybe, poisoning my babies had me pouring that milk so quick and putting it back in the fridge so quick and throwing it back like a shot so quick....

Isn't milk just the best?

But no! Because my brain went on red alert--vomit now, Ashey! Vinegar. Death. Milk. Water. More death. What is this stufffffff? 

Because I don't know what in the world of all things natural happened, but that milk is bad with a capital B. Well, was bad, before I spewed it out and sent the rest down the actual garbage disposal.

And there at the counter was my son looking at me with eyebrows raised.

"See. I told you it was no good. Member. Member, I said that. It's bad. It turned into juice!"

"Right, juice. Something like that. Eat your pancakes." 

We're waiting to see how long it takes her to realize it's the peanut butter. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


It's obvious why I've blogged infrequently this summer. With the new babies and nursing and diapering and such this is how things go, staring at toes and echoing back "goo, gaa, yes, yes, I love you!".  That, and many of you have heard me all but beg for sleep. Any sleep. And you can't really complain about not sleeping and then be blogging about the intricacies of homemade soup.

But when I used to daydream about the possibility of staying at home rather than teaching I, without question, assumed an increase in blogging would be natural.  However, my inclination to share with the world has found a lull lately and it has little to do with losing sleep to hangry babies.  

Leaving the classroom and putting down my work roots at home has catapulted me into an experience just as intense, challenging, and exhausting I had ever known as a teacher. And before you start with well, duh! you just had babies--two babies, Ash!, that's not exactly what I mean.  Taking care of the twins has been its own beautiful and unique experience but it has not swallowed whole all the other facets of my life. Needs are surfacing which were waiting for some attention all along. Needs like how to negotiate medical bills or curb a toddler's whining or how to connect, un-distracted, with my husband after dinner and tucking children into bed and finally catching our breaths from our separate but equally craptastic days. I have lots to learn and knowing I have lots to learn leaves me feeling like I have not much to say.

Being at home means a lot of quiet time to think.  Even when the dishwasher's running, a baby is crying, and my son's singing "He's got the whooooole word in his hands. He's got the itty bitty babies in his hands"--even then, the home takes on a different kind of quiet I wasn't accustomed to for as long as I had been a mother.  And that space and isolation and hum of the computer when littles are asleep, there's a lot of opportunity there. It's all a door to anxiety and grief and depression. Or a door to questioning, learning, humbling myself to consider a lot of new things.  

Being here amid the laundry and the chipped wine cabinet and the spider web under the t.v. console I just eyed a minute ago when nursing has my mind expanding in new directions, directions that need some water and sun and nudging before they blossom here on my blog.  

But above all else, my heart is crying out for me to show up and be present. I want carefree time with my husband to laugh and listen and work through some things that maybe we weren't allowing ourselves time or energy for before. I want time to read with a lingering spirit to Thomas and let his questions do the leading as he learns how letters make words. I want time to smile at Alistair & Emerick and babble with them "goo, gaa, yes, yes, I love you!"

And while I say all this and mean it about blogging, it doesn't change how I feel about writing and that is this: Writing helps me make sense of things, it cleans up my brain.  It fills my cup and is always worth the work.  Even though I don't feel I have much time or much to say, I'll still be drooling out my words here because I need to hear that other mothers were also embarrassed when they figured out they were doing ___________ ALL WRONG!! or at least to laugh at/with me when I reveal I have.

Plus, the hum of the computer can make me feel I'm going a little ca-razy some days.  If all this blahg turns out to be is a humble scroll of my cliche and totally ordinary mommy-ness (so I can connect with other mommies saving themselves from isolation the same way), I'm totally cool with that. 

Those of you who do read---which I guess would be you right now--thanks for stopping by, saying hello, and reminding me I've got a few people to share with when I've yet again managed to get baby poop on my cami. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Alistair & Emerick - 3 Months

Um, hello 3 months!! We are so happy to see you.

I always anticipated relief at the three month mark because 90% of the tales of twin-rearing woe I read while pregnant concerned the gauntlet that is (as of today!) the rode behind us. Anticipation affirmed. I feel huge relief.

You know that whole idea about rock bottom and hitting it? Yeah, well, that totally happened this month.  Smarter women than me who are aren't so bent on being independent and avoiding help bypass rock bottom and say hello to sunshiny days earlier in this journey. Humility and vulnerability have never been my strengths, so I can't blame anyone but myself for going weeks on end so fatigued I functioned like a zombie overdosing on testosterone.

But my zombie days are over, friends, as you'll read in a sec, and I'm feeling alive! and happy! and myself! and let me say it one more time... alive!

Let's get on with this month's tid-bits shall we:

Nursing: I stopped feeling sorry for myself (in wanting to nurse one sweet baby at a time so badly) and returned to tandem nursing full time. First during the day and then at night.  I'm in love with caring for twins, but it has been difficult to shift to a different nursing relationship than what I experienced with my first. But how can I say no to nursing babies who grab each others' hands and stroke each others' faces?! So sweet. Also, they are big enough now that I can nurse hands free and therefore bulk up babies and encourage my reading addiction simultaneously. I feel very grateful that I've afforded the opportunity to nurse twins full time. It has its own set of challenges but is wonderful and beautiful.
* For my own amusement I would also like to note interesting places I tandem nursed this month including but not limited to: a funeral parlor, my parents' van and a rocking chair in an empty church nursery  (where I had to contort the babies legs in awkward positions...sorry bebes)--all with no props save some gumption and a prayer no one would walk in. 

Sleep Baby Wise: Having twins has converted me into a big believer in the method found in On Becoming Baby Wise.  I was late to implement one super important factor--babies always sleeping in the same place and that being their crib/s--but otherwise found enormous success in following the eat, wake, sleep method and even read On Becoming Preschool Wise this month which has proved a very beneficial resource for improving my relationship with Thomas. The boys are now sleeping 12 hours at night with one feeding in the middle (and Emerick skipped that feeding last night). This would have been possible much sooner had I not let myself get so freaked out about their reflux and therefore avoid the crib at all costs (all costs = sanity). Oh well. Live, learn, move on.

Tripped Out: Paul left for two business trips this month. Or three. I honestly can't remember. We also drove to my parents' house two different times and to my sister-in-law's place to check out our brand new nephew, Everette. 36 hours ago we were thinking Paul was headed, by possible last minute plans, from CT to Chicago and straight to China... and I would have handled it okay. But he's here! So reprieve for me.

The Situation: (a note to twin mommy-to-be's) I would like to say for the record that taking care of twins is not particularly difficult. And it's a lot of fun! However, each person has his/her unique situation, as is life, so DO NOT feel bad if either you find yourself thinking a.) Hey, this is so much easier than I thought it would be...What's all the fuss about? or b.) Woah. What the what?! I'm drowning here. Suriously! I'm dying! Okay, maybe that last one was a bit dramatic but you get the point.  At the moment my situation's difficulty is served up by way of the following factors: 1. transitioning to SAHM 2. attention starved three year old due to tandem nursing, no older/talking siblings to play with, and 3 years of flying the kid ship solo 3. a husband who works a lot.  So, when people want to know how difficult it is to have twins, I feel like scratching my head. There's no good way to answer that question. I think we're all trying our best and also feel maxed out in a lot of ways most the time. One kid. Ten kids. Three jobs. Whatever it is. I would like to think other mothers of multiples would agree with me when I say this: You will rise to what your situation needs. You will do your best! And you'll see a ton or fruit from your labor. But you may also find that you are not enough (are we ever?) and will find ways to cut back, slow down, welcome help, work smarter, lower expectations, and at the end of the day know that with a little work and a lot of love all is okay and that is good enough. Speech over. Like I should be giving speeches. Dude. Blind leading the blind here.

Nicknames: I'm so sorry guys. I don't know what has possessed me to call you my "cutie wooties" but I can't un-say it now. I'll work up something much cooler, but you can't have the one I bestowed on Thomas: Little Foot. That's his. We'll think of something else for you guys.

Joyful, Joyful: Alistair & Emerick are very easy, happy babies. They are quickly becoming tons of fun. They "talk" to us a lot, especially right after I nurse them, and they go crazy when Thomas passes by. Considering Thomas's track record of excessive kissing and experimental prodding, they have every right to be terrified of him, maybe play 'possum as some innate survival instinct but no, they do whatever they can to get his attention.  Their faces light up instantly at the sight of him. Daddy can get them to smile the most and he talks to them one on one and they love it. Oh, and today Alistair squeed at me. Like a happy shriek/squeel thing. It took me by surprise. Very happy babies.

Hey, You There: Dare I say they're starting to interact with each other. They'll stare at each other and break into smiles, goo and gaa in this really cute swapping manner as if they're taking turns, and two nights ago as I was giving Emerick a bath he was overtaken by Alistair's crying and his lips started quivering even though I know he was perfectly pleased with his bath.  I had a talking to with the boys this month. I told them that it's really cool that they have each other, that that's called having a twin, and that most of us don't get a twin and that I'm pretty stoked about this enterprise they've got going.  They seemed to think I was being silly.

I probably had a lot more to say about this month but I can't remember at the moment. My stolen time has been made possible by Thomas staring at the t.v. Mommy guilt is setting in...

It's Friday baby and the Andersons are raising our glasses tonight to a packed to the brim, overflowing with joy journey with these cute dudes.

Thank you once again to family and friends that have helped us out!! We are ever and always grateful of all your love and support!