Thursday, March 31, 2011

in memoriam

4 years ago today, two dear friends welcomed their twin boys into the world. at only 25 weeks, although those two little men fought for life far harder than i would have believed it possible for such tiny babies to fight, they left this world hours after their birth.

2 years ago this month, we welcomed our own twin boys. i am ashamed to admit it, but there are moments when i don't feel thrilled to be a twin mom. twins are hard. they push you to the limits of your patience & sanity even under the best circumstances. when i am at my worst, i try to keep in my mind the memory of two other boys & the knowledge of what their parents would give to have them here driving them nuts & pushing their limits.

those tiny little babies i never met have helped make me a better parent, time & again. although i wish my friends could have kept their angels here with them, i am grateful for their sons' brief lives, & for every sleepless night, every hard-fought tantrum, every tag-team puke fest & every exasperated sigh. happy birthday boys, & thank you.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2 months & counting

we're about 2 months out from when i'd like to officially wean em, & i have mixed feelings about it. i think the end of nursing for emma will be both sad & liberating. i am ready to have my body back, but i LOVE the quiet snuggle time with my girl. yeah, i know cuddles aren't exclusive to breastfeeding, but there's just something special about nursing that can't be replaced.
i would be more willing to continue if i hadn't recently developed perma-PMS (due i think to the pending return of you know what. yay me.) but the constant tired, crampy, bloated, backachey ickies are too much for me to handle for months on end. plus, em has recently gone distracted on me, & nursing now requires a totally quiet, dark atmosphere or she will pop on & off the boob constantly. i'm all for nursing as long as you're able, but for me i think i'm approaching maximum density. the prospect of nursing a rowdy toddler is beyond my abilities as mom. (i'm not knocking it, by any means. i think it's awesome if YOU can, i just know my limits.)

& speaking of rowdy toddlers.... sounds like naptime is over...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

labels & therapy

the guys got referred to a speech therapist today (their 2 yr appointment) & conrad got an extra referral for an occupational therapist to deal with his food aversions. apparently all the spitting out/hoarding food is indicative of an actual diagnosable condition, not just picky eating. the doc thinks it's a sensory aversion, which renders him physically unable to swallow certain textures or tastes.
i have to say, i was expecting the speech therapy (the twin talk has slowed them down, although i still think their comprehension is fine-- it's just the ability to articulate words in english.) i was NOT expecting the OT. i *knew* something was up beyond the usual toddler food-control issues, but i was thinking it was a return of the dreaded reflux. we are, of course, going to embrace the offered help & take advantage of our killer insurance to get them the best help i can find, but i'll admit-- i had a moment of "but my babies are PERFECT! they can't need therapy!"
& they ARE perfect-- each in their own imperfect way. i jsut have to remind myself that extra help is not a step backwards.

really, i think they're on the verge of turning the corner with their speech, so a little extra help is probably just what they need to break through. it's the OT that's throwing me for a loop. who ever thought picky eating was a medically treatable condition? part of me thinks that EVERYTHING is diagnosable in today's society, (cheating on your spouse? it's a sex addiction! a hyper kid? must be ADHD! overweight? clearly you had a traumatic childhood!), & if we left the kids alone, they'd work it out in their own time. but the larger part of me thinks that some extra training on how to feed a picky kid is a good thing, regardless of the label given to the behavior.
which suggestes the larger question-- why label at all? does it benefit us in some way to be able to say "he has a sensory aversion" instead of "he won't eat it" when explaining why the kid refuses baked chicken? what is behind the compulsive need to label things before treating them. does declaring yourself an alcoholic make it easier to refuse that next drink, or does it merely offer an excuse for WHY you can't put down the drink? does declaring that conrad has a sensory aversion give him carte blanche to eat only mac n' cheese? (as his mom, my answer to this is a resounding NO!)

as an aside-- i'm not saying that ADHD isn't real, or that having a traumatic childhood is not a legitimate reason to have weight issues, or that conrad doesn't have sensory aversions to certain things. for the record, i think the doc is right. i just question the wisdom of requiring a label to treat certain behaviors. i'd prefer to treat the behavior without stamping a big "XYZ disorder" sign on a person's head.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

if i were a princess....

is it just me, or is anyone else excited to see the royal wedding next month? i'm not usually a big follower of england's royals, but i am totally into this wedding. i've never thought william was all that dreamy, & although i think his wife-to-be is gorgeous, it's more the pomp & pagentry than the people that's got me hooked. it's real life (for them at least) so i'm sure it's no fairy-tale, but it FEELS like one to those of us watching & i think that's the allure. i was never a pink & pearls little girl; swords were more my style than tiaras, but deep down doesn't everyone sort of want to be a princess?
as a kid who was forced into skirts when i wanted sneakers, i always swore i'd never fuss over dressing my own daughter. as emma's first easter approaches however, i find myself ridiculously geeked about finding an easter dress for her. i've never been a girly girl. it's always been swords over stardust, & yet with my own daughter i find myself drawn more & more towards the pink stuff & all that goes with it. i promised myself before i had kids that i'd do my damnedest not to force my own preferences on them, but there's something about having a little girl that has turned loose my own long-supressed inner princess. i suppose i will have to let her make her own style choices as she gets older, but for now-- i plan to put the kid in an easter dress, strap a bonnet on her head, sip some tea & watch the royals!

(i must add as a postcript here, that em still wears her brothers' old jammies, & at almost 10 mos seems to prefer trucks & bugs to baby dolls! clearly, despite my best efforts, she is her mother's daughter.)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Yup, they're really 2!

i just spent way too much on photo books, bc i am incapable of editing pitures of my kids. sigh.
i've been trying to keep up to date with our photos so we actually have albums instead of thousands of pictures on the computer, & i've been doing a fairly decent job, but i tend to buy in bunches, & like i said, i cannot edit.

it was my boys' birthday today, & we had a little family party for them. the dudes loved it, & we kept everything very chill. the grandparents (at least my folks), their aunt, & my cousin were our only guests & they still managed to get plenty of gifts. (i may have an inability to edit when it comes to gifties as well...)
the only annoyance for me today was my dad's continual griping over the amount of presents they got. (let me insert here, that they really didn't get TONS of stuff-- but every book was wrapped individually, etc, & when toddlers open gifts it tends to be a loooong drawn out process involving a period of playtime with each new thing before they move on to the next present, as any parent with a toddler could attest to.) anyways-- i got fed up with his insistance that it would have made more sense to give them empty boxes & told him in no uncertain terms to shut up & leave if he wasn't enjoying himself.
he quit the complaining after that, & i know he actually did enjoy himself, he just had to b*tch about it bc that's his way. the thing is-- i do NOT enjoy the b*tching. i hated it as a kid, & i hate it even more as an adult. parties are parties & they are meant to be fun. toddlers cannot be rushed & birthdays involve gifts, it's just how it should be. it irks me that i have to give my 63 year old father lessons on how to behave at a birthday party for two 2 year olds.

aside from that little snag, it was really a nice day, & most importantly-- the guys had a great time & loved being the center of attention. i could go on here about how far they've come, & what it means to me to see them grow a little more independant each day, but if i start down that path i'll shortly be in tears. so instead i'll just close with a wish that as my boys grow they keep some of the sweetness & shy charm that is so a part of their toddler selves. it's been a wonderful 2 years, & i can't wait to see what comes next!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

a drive-by post

emmie's 9 mo. stats: 28 .5 inches long (77th percentile), 18lbs, 9oz. (44th percentile). she's shaping up to be long & skinny like her brothers!
conrad *may* have asthma, per his allergist & most recent appointment this week. we'll wait & see how things develop.

& this is just a random shot of val from today. springtime + running outside = pure joy. :)

i can't believe my boys turn 2 on saturday....

Sunday, March 13, 2011

i need a vacation

it hits me every year about this time, i feel smothered & blue & in desperate need of 2 days to myself. of course, i've never actually gotten 2 days to myself, but usually i can drum up a change of scene & flee the house (children in tow) for my folks' place up north for a week. not so this year however, as my parents already have plans to head north themselves.
i'm sick of cooking winter meals, i'm sick of snow & cold, i'm sick of the same 4 walls & unending routine of daily tasks & chores.

i would love to take a class of some sort at the local community college here. i think some sort of creative outlet away from home would be enough to give me back a bit of myself, but i'm having a hard time justifying the expense. i have to figure out something soon however, or i am going to crack & be unable to stop myself from picking unnecessary fights, just to break up the monotony.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Crafties (yup, again. but with pictures this time!)

a (not so great) picture of my first finished quilt-- every single stitch by hand.(you can see one of conrad's ratties in the background in the quilt photo. ah, rats!)our home-made crayons, which the guys love. i think it's the shape that appeals to them. a shot of the new (old) crayons in action with the boys, & little emmie finger painting with pudding paint-- she actually didn't eat that much, although she has blue lips here. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Emma's Lovey

Emmie has fallen in love with my pink flannel night gown. as soon as she sees it, she does the "linus" (thumb in mouth & everything) & snuggles up. it is the ONLY way she will sleep without me present.
Figures she falls for my favorite nightgown, despite the fact that we have scads of nice soft, fuzzy things she could have chosen. but noooooo. she wants a giant pink nightgown. sigh.
i'm debating letting her keep it as her lovey, or making an attempt to get her hooked on something else. I'm thinking that bc it's the nightgown she's grown up with mama wearing while she nurses & get cuddled to sleep, maybe if i pick a toy & have it present at all nursing sessions & then sleep with it for a while, she *might* consider making the switch. once she's made up her mind though, she's such a constant little thing, i'm not sure she'll consider anything else.

kids are so funny about their loveys... val is still attached to his "bun bun" (a grey bunny my mom bought at a gas station somewhere. we'll never be able to find another one, so i guard that thing like it's one of my children!) & conrad has adopted 2 stuffed rats we found at ikea. yup, i said rats. & we have to carry BOTH ratties, one alone just won't do. then there's em & her nightgown. :P

i guess i shouldn't complain. after all MY lovey when i was little was a purple 2 headed rubber dragon. it has vicious red eyes & is really pretty creepy looking. but i loved it, named her gloria & carried her everywhere for years. actually, gloria STILL lives us. i've taken her to every place i've lived, & she is currently residing on top of our fridge. so i suppose if em wants a nightgown, & conrad loves rats, who am i to complain, right?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

a boring crafty post

here's one of my recent projects. it's been lurking in my closet for weeks now, & i finally found an hour ot put it all together this week. it's a felt board for the dudes. i cut out a bunch of shapes in different colors, & we made some weather pieces as well (a sunshine, clouds, rain, etc.) i have plans to do letters next, but for now we're sticking with shapes, colors & weather. the guys LOVE it, which makes me ridiculously happy. i always worry when i spend time putting stuff like this together that they'll end up hating it, but this one was a hit. the hope is that it will help inspire some real words, instead of just twin-speak. (or at least help teach them shapes & stuff.)
next up-- finish the felt food in time for the boys' birthday in a couple weeks.

& in between times, i have to finish binding val's quilt.... i'm really *almost* done with it, & as boring as binding is, i'm also really excited to finish it & start conrad's.

yeah, i know, this was totally lame. my apologies to any one who bothered to read it. i promise to be less crafty next time. :)