Friday, October 8, 2010

Just in case there's anyone still checking over here for updates, I'm pretty much set up and posting semi-regularly over at my WordPress blog (

And in case there was any confusion, the blog itself is not password-protected, just certain posts. See my last post over here for the email address to get the password for the latest password-protected post.

I hope you'll join me over there!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Digs

Ah. Okeedokey. After much baloney, I have made my move over to my new Wordpress blog:

Please update your feeds/Reader/sidebar links/blogrolls, etc.

In my inaugural post over there, I utilized the function for which I changed platforms, the password-protected post. If you'd like the password, email me at:
m c f a r l a n d (dot) kate (at) gmail (dot) com (um, take out the spaces there...)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Weekend Update

Firstly, thank you so much for the birthday wishes. I really appreciate it! The time around my birthday each year generally sucks, so I wasn't necessarily surprised that plans would be falling through left, right and upside-down. In the end, we went to the departmental event and each wore a baby in a carrier, as it turned out that the catering company had miraculously gotten it's crap together and actually staffed enough people at the event so that H didn't have to do any keg-pumping. And I got to have three beers, none of which I had to wait in line for, and I got to eat brats and kraut (which I also did not have to wait in line for) and got to chat with a few colleague-friends, which was also nice. We did end up with sitter #1 meeting us at the event, but ultimately decided since the boys were being extra clingy and fussy that we would rather just keep them with us, and put off the whole babysitting thing for another time.

There is an enormous Oktoberfest in our town next weekend which we have definitely enjoyed in the past (here would be a link to a post written about Oktoberfest two years ago, if I had managed to actually finish up the whole blog conversion/clean-up/privatizing baloney yet... just imagine a witty description of me drinking a little too much and saying dumb things while polka music swells in the background and German flags flutter in the breeze), so maybe we will attempt a sitter again then? Or maybe we'll just take the boys with us, and I'll once again make H be the designated driver so that I can get slightly buzzed and relax a little. As long as they aren't screaming in the carriers, I'm okay with keeping them out a little past their bedtime (especially since they generally sleep while being worn).

This weekend has been relaxing, mostly because we've been able to sleep in just a bit, and because whatever burr was up Henry's butt about not going to sleep without me has been excised and he will, once again, happily drift off with Papa. And Jack will still sleep in the bassinet mostly, which means that I can actually get some solid sleep without contorting myself around an infant and/or feeding an infant all night. FOR NOW.

I had a refreshing conversation today at Target with a set of young parents who were there with their 13-month-old twin girls. And they confirmed what I had hoped to be true, which is that there are degrees of hard and easy, and that what counts as hard for singleton moms is not the same as that for multiple moms. (Forgive me if any of you among my readership have said the following to me, but...) When I sob about the lack of sleep killing me, the most UN-helpful thing in the world is one of my singleton mom friends chirping about how it only gets harder. Really? Thanks for telling me that. When I'm literally in tears, with my eyes peeling, my brain a fuddled illogical mess incapable of even beginning to sort out sleep issues, I really need to hear that it gets worse. And see, the thing is that this statement is fundamentally unproveable. Because what's worse for you may very well be a walk through the park for me. Maybe the lack of sleep is the thing that is the most devastating to me, and maybe (just maybe) mine just might sort this sleep thing out, and maybe even sooner rather than later. Maybe it frustrates the crap out of me that they lay there like lumps, unable to do much to entertain themselves. Maybe it would be super-awesome to me to be able to hold a hand and have someone toddle around instead of me trying to figure out how to not break my back all day carrying around floppy babies.

Anyhow, my point is that it's a little silly to put the cart before the horse, especially knowing that things are just plain different for multiples. While things may suddenly become nightmarish for you when your has-been-easy-to-handle baby suddenly starts crawling rapidly toward certain danger, they may, in fact, suddenly become entertaining (FINALLY) for me. And frankly, in my informal survey of twin mamas, the consensus seems to be that while it never truly gets to be really, really easy, hard is just relative, and furthermore, most of the twin parents I speak to say that the worst is behind us, knowing that the complete insanity of two fresh-to-the-world babies/fresh-to-the-world parents is wearing off.

So. My point is that I don't need to be frightened by well-intentioned strangers, and found it quite refreshing today to speak in person with a stranger who confirmed what I hoped might be true, that the truly crazy hard part may, in fact, be waning.

Lastly, there's this:

Heiko And Boys

And a rare one of these:

Kate and Boys(Kate in FRONT of the camera, not behind! Crazy!)

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I had a pretty okay one myself.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Up and Down, Round Two

So babysitter #2 just cancelled on us. She didn't even bother to contact us herself, instead relying on sitter #1 to let us know that she was ill. Sitter #1 offered to get some random friend from her hall to come with her to help out, but that just doesn't seem like a good idea to me. Sitter #1 said she felt confident that she could handle the twins on her own because she used to sit for triplets back home, but considering that it takes every ounce of mental and physical strength/energy/dedication of two parents to take care of these two boys (especially during bedtime hours), I just don't believe that her prior experience taking care of pre-school triplets lends itself to the same skill required to comfort infants who can barely hold their heads up.

The "up" to this is that H is going to ask her if she might like to walk the boys around campus for an hour while we hang out at the departmental event. So I might actually get to go. We'll see. But, we are definitely cancelling for the evening dinner thing, 'cos it just doesn't feel right to me to leave the boys with one person (an 18 year old that I don't really know at all, that H barely knows...).

Another up?

JACK SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!!! He had a rough time going down-- he was up and down, up and down, over and over from 7:30 to 9:45 p.m. I finally gave him a pacifier (he never accepts a pacifier, but for some reason, he took one last night), and he konked out just after 9:45. When I woke up at 4:00 a.m., I was terrified that something had happened to him, but he snuffled a bit and kicked his leg a little and reassured me that he was still alive before settling back in until 6:30 a.m. Good stuff.


Henry has decided that it's Mama or NO ONE. He can be in a dead sleep, and as soon as he's in Papa's arms, he starts screaming. Fun! So even though Jack slept through the night, I got almost no sleep because my back hurt from contorting myself into crazy positions to accomodate Henry's desire to have his body squished right up against mine in the most incredibly awkward way...

I got Alexa's new book for my birthday, along with a John Denver CD, a Willie Nelson CD, and another book and a mix CD (the boys chose the songs, apparently...), and $100 cash. Oh, and some of those ice cream cupcake things from Colds.tone Creamery. And my Kindl.e will arrive sometime next week.

Um, no "down" associated with birthday presents, I don't think.


I got some incredible deals on diapers this past week, using this site:
Thrifty Couple

I'm probably the last person on the planet to know about this site, but I was able to get three jumbo packs of diapers for (essentially) free. (Well, $14 altogether, plus a $10 Rite Aid card rebate, and $6 in Rite Aid reward dollars, so actually, technically they were -$2) It's just nice to get a decent deal on things every now and then. We used to use about half cloth and half disposable, but I've gotten really lazy lately, and were down to about 10-20% cloth and the rest disposable. And DANG, disposables are expensive!


If I hadn't found good deals, I might have been more encouraged to use cloth more often. Oh, well.

So yeah. The ups and downs just keep coming...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ups and Downs

Yesterday was brilliant. I felt freakin' fantastic, because the boys actually slept on Tuesday night. And now, today, I'm back in peely-eyed tired land, because I couldn't get comfortable while they were in bed with us. Oh, and H was delerious himself and alerted me four separate times (each time as I was aaaaaaaalmost asleep) that Henry wanted to nurse, when in fact Henry was dead asleep. I asked him at one point if he wanted me to move over, because he was laying in an odd position, and he replied by saying, "Should I put him in the swing?" Huh? He swears that Henry was awake and trying to nurse on those times when H was trying to get my attention to feed him, but as I was mostly awake, I know that Henry wasn't even sort of crying, so I'm not sure what made H think he was hungry.

And then, around 5:45, both boys decided that they only wanted to sleep if they were being rocked/walked. H is pretty good with the boys on the whole, but there's something about the way that he handles them at night that keeps them from settling easily with him. So Henry will be fussy and H won't be able to console him, so I'll pass Jack to him, and Jack will wake up. And then, Jack will scream. And SCREAM, and SCREAM and SCREAM. And so, I'll have Henry settled and trade babies again, and within a few minutes, Henry is awake again and fussing. And this morning, that really made H upset. And then H wanted me to comfort him, in addition to keeping Jack content, and trying to rock Henry. And as much as I love him, I really just didn't know what to do. I don't know what it is that he and I do differently that sometimes makes the boys freak out (except that H doesn't have the boobs, which makes a difference when the boys want to be comforted, I suppose).

So. Good and bad, up and down. Better, then worse. I guess it's better than being all downs and all bads and all rough nights, right? I just wish I had any idea why nights are one way and then the other. Sigh.

Anyway, Jack had a lot to say yesterday:

These are his "words", usually used in complaint of some sort! I just can't stand how cute he is sometimes!

So tomorrow is the birthday... I did decide to go ahead and hire both girls to babysit with the boys, and emailed them to get everything set up, and it occurred to me-- What an 'old' thing to do. I really felt every bit of my to-be-34 years when giving instruction to these girls. I just remember getting instruction from the parents I sat for, and how grown up they were, how OLD... and now, I'm the one hiring the sitter. I feel like I should be the one getting the list of phone numbers and the bedtime instructions and the allowances to help myself to anything in the fridge or pantry.

In true Shit-Birthday fashion, our pre-dinner plans crashed and burned. H's department puts on a fun event every year around this time, with beer and sausages and a band, and I look forward to it every year. People wear "costumes", and H's dad sent us shirts for the boys that match the kind of shirt H wears for this event (a northern German sailor shirt). Anyhow, the plan all along was for the boys and I to meet H there when the event starts and then to leave early to get home to do the bedtime stuff before we go out. But then, H just dropped on me the other day that he had volunteered to be the one to pump the keg (sounds stupid, but due to campus rules, the keg has to be tapped by the catering company, who only has crappy hand-pump taps, so every year, the people from his department take turns being the Pump Bitch, pumping and pumping and pumping so that the beer keeps flowing). So this basically means that from the time the event starts until H leaves, he's going to be standing behind the beer table pumping the frickin' keg. There were 4 other things he could have volunteered to do, each of which was decidedly more baby-friendly, but instead, he's doing the one thing that he absolutely cannot do with a baby in hand, and the one thing that cannot be paused for any real length of time (lest the co-eds sober up long enough to revolt).

So. Instead of going there to meet him around 4:30 p.m., I will be showing up just before 6:30 to pick him up, because I cannot imagine trying to handle both boys on my own in a crowd of drunken college kids with loud music and with absolutely no way to get even a few minutes' help from Papa. And so, instead of getting a small break on my birthday, I will be alone with the boys from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Instead of going to this fun event and having a beer and brat on my birthday I will be alone with the boys through the meltdown hour, and trying to pack them up and leave the house to pick up H during the absolute worst of meltdown time. Instead of getting to attend this event that I look forward to every year, I will sit at home while H drinks beer and eats brats and hangs out with his colleagues and students. I'm not even entirely sure I want to try to go out to dinner after that-- how exhausting handling the screaming fuss time alone-- not to mention that H will already have eaten (and drank and drank and drank), so what's the point of going out to eat and drink alone?

Guh. Happy Effin' Birthday.

I did find out that I'm getting a Kind.le for my birthday from my mom, which is awesome.

So, you know. Ups and downs...

What about you? What ups or downs are going on in your life?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sleep (An Update)

So count this as a giant, sleep deprived DUUUUUUUH.

H and I both realized last night that our evenings have been going as such:
Both boys happily nurse to sleep on mama. Both boys transition happily to their bassinet, where both boys appear to sleep fine. At some later point, Henry wakes up fussing, but falls asleep almost immediately upon being picked up and rocked in our arms. He then transitions happily back to the bassinet where he appears to sleep fine... until half an hour later, when he wakes up fussing, but falls asleep almost immediately upon being picked up and rocked in our arms. In the odd moment when he doesn't immediately fall back asleep, after a few minutes in the rocker, he falls back to sleep in our arms. He transitions pretty easily back to the bassinet, but... wakes again 30 minutes later fussing, whereupon he falls asleep happily in our arms. Eventually, each night, he has ended up sleeping up in the big bed with either H or me, at which point he wakes periodically to nurse, but sleeps for much longer stretches.

Ask me how it took so long to figure out, but you think maybe Henry isn't the biggest fan of the bassinet? For a while there, he was okay in it. And for the most part, Jack is still okay with it. But yeah. Last night, we took both boys in bed with us from the time we went to sleep, and they slept so much better. Jack didn't give us his usual long stretch, but they did both give us a couple of three hour stretches before going to an every-hour-and-a-half early morning wake up routine. Progress? Maybe...

Of course, it makes it a lot easier to deal with the sleep deprivation when you get to wake up to these cuties:
Sleepy Cowboy

Anyhow, we're stumbling through. We'll make it, I think. I do totally appreciate all of the advice, and I will be trying some of those ideas to smooth the rough spots (and to entertain the boys during the day!). We'll see whether we can squeeze a bit from our budget to afford a mother's helper or something like it. Regardless, we will be going out this Friday for my birthday, and hoping that they at least sleep for part of the time we're gone! (It turns out that both girls who offered to babysit are both available now and happen to be roommates... I'm thinking with our latest sleep issues, I should maybe hire both of them to be here. It would be worth it for the peace of mind, knowing that I'm not leaving an 18 year old home alone at bedtime with two sleep-protesting infants.)

So. Thank you, thank you, thank you, as always, for all of the advice and all of the support and the commisseration. I really, truly, genuinely appreciate it.


It's been a long time since I signed up for ICLW, but I think it's time to stick my head out again and meet some new bloggers. I realized the other day, though, that with my blog in it's current transitional state, it's pretty difficult for those who come over from ICLW to get an idea of our story.

So, here's a summary, for those interested:

My name is Kate, and my husband is known here as H. We met in the summer of 2003 in my hometown back in Texas. We moved to NC for his job and got married shortly after in 2005.

I was diagnosed with PCOS in January 2006, and began treatment with met.formin at that point, though we weren't officially TTC at that point (though we weren't preventing, either). I lost 60-ish pounds that year, thanks in large part to the metf.ormin and diet/exercise.

We began purposefully trying in early 2007, buoyed by the declarations of my doctor that after a year of treatment with met.formin and great weight loss, there should no longer be any hurdles. I began blogging in September of that year when it became clear that there were definitely hurdles.

We took time off during fall 2008 and spring 2009 for me to finish my degree, and returned to TTC with gusto after graduation in May 2009. After a particularly heartbreaking negative (at the end of a month-long trip to Germany), we (ahem, I) made the decision to see an RE as soon as we were back stateside.

We were incredibly lucky to have infertility coverage through the hospital associated with my husband's university, and we had our first RE appointment in late July 2009. And weirdly, my other doctor was right-- treatment with metf.ormin and weight-loss had, in fact, "cured" my PCOS (in so much as there is a "cure") to the point that it was a complete non-issue. However, as we all know, it takes two to tango, and as it turns out, in August 2009, we discovered that we were dealing with male factor issues (low counts, low motility), and decided pretty immediately to pursue IVF with ICSI.

We started our first IVF cycle in September of 2009. We used a long-Lup.ron protocol (made even longer by a cyst that added an extra week of suppression while we waited to drain the cyst): 21 follicles, 18 mature eggs retrieved on Oct 7, 14 fertilized with ICSI, 10 grew normally, 8 still growing on day 3, 5 looking okay on day 5, transferred 2 day 5 blastocysts on Oct 12 and froze the other three. We saw our first positive pee-stick late in the day 5dp5dt. Betas confirmed. Early ultrasound showed one perfect spark and one maybe spark. Two weeks later, our seven week ultrasound showed two perfect sparks with two perfect heartbeats.

And now, after an uneventful 38 week pregnancy, Henry and Jack arrived on June 16th, and are currently asleep on the nursing pillow on my lap. This parenting business is a total trip!

New ToyJack (l) and Henry (r)

Me as a parent-type person:
I am a stay-at-home mama, I breast feed (though I also supplement with formula as necessary), I lean toward attachment-parenting ideas (again, modified as necessary to work with twins), I cloth diaper (but only when it's convenient), I'm politically and socially liberal, I'm a secular humanist-- but I campaign for NONE of these things. I count among my closest friends working, formula-feeding, Ferberizing, Bush-voting Methodists... Above everything, I believe it takes all kinds.

As an everything-else-person:
I cook, I spent 3 years as a music ed major (viola), I am a wine enthusiast, I garden, I'm an avid reader, I run, I'm the handyman in our house, I sew/knit/crochet/do other needlework, I write, I play darts, I'm a philosopher (by degree) and a programmer (by former career). I'm trying to figure out how to still be all these things while also being a twin parent. It's hard to say the least.

So. That's me. What about you?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sleep, sleep, sleep...

Sleep, sleep, sleep!! My kingdom for an uninterrupted hour of sleep!

What was I just writing earlier this week, that they had settled into a bedtime routine?

Yeah, well, it really seemed like they had. Surely the Monday and Tuesday bedtime rough spots with Jack were just a fluke, and the Wednesday and Thursday all-night nursing sessions with Henry were temporary...

SURELY, they aren't trying to torture me with sleep deprivation (you know, to get back at me for all the baby torture we perpetrate against them, with the nose suctioning and the taking them out of the bathtub and the medicine administration...). SURELY they won't both decide to have sleep issues at the same time!

Ah, Kate. You fool, you fool, you fool. Sleep is for those little wussy newborns-- three month olds are way too mature for sleep. Sigh.

So yes. I posted about it on Facebook, but we are going on four nights in a row of someone waking every half hour, with the last two nights having BOTH wake up every half-hour. And while earlier in the week, each took turns on different nights refusing to go down at a reasonable time, now, we add to our other issues that BOTH are engaged in not-so-peaceful protestation of bedtime. Neither baby wants to go to sleep in the first place, and if they do manage to fall asleep, neither wants to stay asleep.

My brain is mostly jello at this point. Or a very loose swiss cheese.

Anyhow, we've revamped the bedtime routine a little, and tried working on other ways to soothe to sleep (other than nursing, because I think that's part of the problem, that they have a nipple addiction and cannot sleep well without a nipple in their mouth, and pacifiers don't work...), and last night, they did actually go down pretty easily each time they woke up, but sleep interrupted every half hour is still worthless sleep, even if it's only interrupted by 3-5 minutes.

It doesn't help matters that I still have this effing cold, and that they boys are still a little snuffly,too, and that H and I have been bickering like crazy (in part related to this sleep baloney and in part exacerbated by the inability on both of our parts to be gentle with one another in our sleep deprived states...). So last night found me in complete meltdown mode when (after an hour working to get both down to sleep and an additional 1 1/2 hours working to get Henry down to sleep), just as Henry finally drifted off, Jack woke up and refused to be rocked or held or comforted in any way.

I have had my share of sobbing moments in the last three months, but last night was a doozie. I felt (and still pretty much feel) like a shitty mother and a shitty wife and a shitty friend. I actually was barely a few decibels lower than what I would call a yell when I harshly told my three-month-old son that he should quit spitting the nipple out of his mouth if he was going to scream when he discovered that the nipple wasn't in his mouth. You know, because infants are so capable of understanding language and cause-and-effect reasoning, right? It was a low moment, and my fuse has been really short lately and while I know a thousand times over that I would never, ever do anything to physically hurt my children, I'm beginning to worry about my ability to control the way I speak to them. It really freaks me out. It freaks me out just writing this and putting it out there in the world, like by admitting it, I'm somehow making that behavior seem okay.

Anyhow, I'm short with my husband, bossy, nagging, condescending at times, demanding, resentful-- in short, a real joy to be around. While I knew that I would have no problem handling twins physically, I neglected to consider the emotional strain of caring for two babies when I have virtually no support system in place around me. For obvious reasons, I don't have a church family to rely on, my neighbors are great but elderly, I know shockingly few people in my immediate area and I certainly don't know anyone well enough that I would feel comfortable with getting them to stop by and take the boys for an hour while I rested or did chores, etc. I am terribly far from my "tribe" and that fact is just another on the list of things I resent about my husband (that his job took us away from my hometown). I actually find myself wondering sometimes whether or not it would work for me to live back home for a while until the boys were old enough that their demands weren't so all-consuming, but that ultimately makes me feel even crappier for wanting to take the boys away from their father when I know how much he loves them and how much they love him (no, I don't mean taking them away permanently, as in divorce or separation-- I just mean that it starts to sound like a great idea to live close to abundant help for a while).

Anyhow, shocking, I know, but motherhood is hard and mothering twins is ridiculously difficult and this particular phase is sucking royally and I'm finding the lack of sleep incredibly hard to cope with (largely because... I'm sleep-deprived!). I know that (for better or worse) things will change, more quickly that I could imagine, but right now, it feels like the long days are winning out over the short years I keep hearing about.

I think I'm mostly ranting here, but as always, advice is totally welcome. Oh, and as long as I've opened the advice door, anyone have any input on what one does to entertain infant twins? They've finally stopped nursing every hour on the hour, which is great, but leaves us with great gaping holes in our schedule. It's still a little too warm to walk (and I would probably have to drive somewhere to find a safe place to do so-- no sidewalks in my area and people drive like batshit crazy maniacs), and Book Babies is great, but only once a week. Tummy time and/or bouncy seat time or swing time or book time or stare-at-Mama time are all quite brief entertainment around here. We're a little young for arts-and-crafts, huh?. Seriously, what did you/do you do with three-month-olds?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dear Jack, Dear Henry,

Three months. Today, you have been outside of me for THREE WHOLE MONTHS. That's one whole season! In trying to think about what to write about you this month, I keep coming back to the idea that you're just not all that different than you were last month, but I don't think that's really true. It's just that the changes have been so subtle and have come on so gradually that it's hsrd to say, "Ah, this is the moment when X started to happen!" But yes, you are different, so very different.

I try very hard to think of you as separate individuals, and that's not a terribly hard thing to do. The two of you are very different people! But forgive me here for a moment while I recount a few things that you both do:
You've started drooling in the last few weeks. Lakes, rivers, pools of drool everywhere. It's a little early for you to begin teething, but you are certainly both showing pre-teething behavior. You are both trying hard to put whatever you can reach into your mouth (though Jack moreso than Henry). You have both discovered toys, but as always, you'd much rather play with Mama. You also have both decided that you really like bath time. You both kick and splash and play (Henry, especially). You both continue to melt down around 4:30 or 5-- it's a difficult time of day for all of us--, but (and I hesitate to jinx us by saying so) you've begun to fall into a nighttime routine: nurse, bath, bottle, nurse again and to bed. You both still sigh in tune with each other while you nurse, but you've also started holding hands while you nurse, and I love that. But, probably my favorite milestone this month is that you have started to look at each other and trade smiles. I know it's still early, but I'm encouraged that the two of you might have that special friendship that non-twins just don't ever have. I predict with your differences in temperament that there will be plenty of bickering, but I'd like to think that you will always be close to one another in spite of those differences.

We Are Three Months!Jack (l) and Henry (r)

My Jack-ajack--
This month, you've started "talking" to me! It took me a while to figure it out why you were "talking" (because these noises are just adorable!), but you usually only bring them out to let us know that you aren't very happy about whatever situation you're in (you *hate* the drive-thru at Starbucks...). Your vocalizations are loud and clearly indicate your displeasure at something, usually the fact that we aren't holding you. You still goo and coo and smile, but you save the loudest "words" for when you're annoyed.

But luckily, you aren't annoyed all that often. In the last month, I've really noticed how much less you cry. That is probably both because you are getting older and because I'm learning how to better meet your needs. You are happy when you wake up in the morning, and happy in the middle of the night when you don't want to go back to bed. You enjoy your bouncy chair and like to kick to make the toys on the toy bar rattle. You're just generally a pretty contented guy. When you're upset, though, no one comforts you like I do. Papa is a close second, but I still remain Number One in your life right now.

You really are a sweet baby. When I hold you, you lean in to me, and sometimes hold me back. I'm generally not afraid of you launching yourself out of my arms (like I am with your brother!) because you seem to want to stay so close to me. Lately, you've settled in to sleeping in the bassinet next to our bed, and for several nights in a row, you've been waking only once at night! Sometimes you want to be in the big bed with me, but now, for the most part, you seem to prefer to sleep on your own.

For some reason lately, when people see you and your brother together, they call you the "big one", even though you are still slightly lighter than your brother. Your face has started to really fill out, and I think that's why people presume you're bigger. Not yet, though. For now, you're still my (slightly) little(r) guy! Oh, and your hair! My poor dear, your hair is falling out in the weirdest pattern on the side of your head! You are almost completely bald now on your right side, and your left side is going all patchy like the right side did a few weeks ago! The doctor assures us this is normal, but I can't help but feel a little bad for you that your hair looks so funky right now. It's a good thing you're just an all-around adorable sort of guy anyway, because most people get distracted by your mile-long eyelashes and never notice your patchy hair! (The doctor actually asked the other day if that was where you had a scalp IV, as is common in NICU babies, and I had no clue what she was talking about. I thought that scalpivy was some sort of rash or something... Yeah, Mama's a clever one... But no, I assured her that it was just your own personal style!)

You are so curious, always looking for something new to reach for (toes are still big around here...). This month's pictures of you show how very much you dislike sitting still for the camera:
On The Move

Tasty Bear, Month Three

Smash The Bear

But, as always, when I catch you at the right time, you smile like the world can do no wrong:
Jack Laughs

And, my sweet Jack, I hope the world never does any wrong to you. What more can I say, other than I love you so much, my Buddy-Boo, my Jackababy, Butternut-Squishy-Squash. I can't wait to see what the next three months hold for us!

My Henry-Hoo,

Ah, my little nugget. This month has found you being sososo clingy! You never, ever want to be put down! I sometimes feel badly about holding you more often than your brother, but the pediatrician assures me that in spite of disparities in attention, later in life, most twins are happy to have been born twins. So, I just try to enjoy this for what it is, which is a moment in time when you really, truly want to be close to me (or Papa, too, but mostly me!).

You really enjoy "standing", where I hold you up and let you put weight on your legs. You even "walk" sometimes. I always wonder where you're going... You like to throw yourself (unexpectedly) backwards or forwards or sideways, and sometimes, it's only through sheer luck that I manage to catch you. Like your movements, your emotions are just so mercurial at times- happy, sad, ANGRY!, woeful, gleeful- it's all a matter of the moment. Keeping up with you is tough at times, but I know that (like the weather in Texas), if we don't like your attitude, if we wait just a little while, it'll change!

Like your brother, you also are starting to cry less, and when you do cry, it's clearer why. You are still a sensitive little guy, and you really crave calm and quiet. It took us a while to figure that out, but you really are happiest when it's just the four of us sitting in bed together quietly. Your vocalizations have changed this month, too. You aren't so explosive in your "words" anymore. You quietly coo or giggle to get our attention. And when we turn to you and smile, you almost always smile back.

It's easy to make you laugh or smile. You are a fan of onomatopoea-- favorite words include: poop!, toot!, bonk!, achoo! and did I mention POOP!?
Henry LaughsTOOT, TOOT!

Oh, sleep. This sleeping thing remains a mystery to us. As we've been told to expect, just as we figure out one thing, something happens and everything is different. For the last month, we've been getting you and your brother into bed a little earlier, sticking with a firm 7:30 bedtime (which means beginning bed preparations around 6:30). And for a while there, you both went down without complaint. But oh, my Henry, for some reason, you've been protesting bedtime lately, and it makes it so hard to get things done!

And over the last week, we've found that you much prefer sleeping in the bed with us again. And since you've become such a pro at nursing while laying down, you (of course) want to nurse all the time. Sigh. Didn't we already go through this with your brother? However, it's hard to resist because you won't sleep in your bassinet anyway, and most of the time, you do a great job of conforming your body to mine (unlike your brother who wanted me to contort to him, which is way harder than it sounds). Anyhow, you now wake up repeatedly throughout the night when you realize that you are no longer nursing. I'm not even sure how the habit began, but at 3 a.m., when I know that all it will take to get you to fall asleep is to pop the boob back in your mouth, it's a HARD habit to break!

Someday, you're going to read that and be mortified that there was a time in your life where you couldn't sleep without Mama's nipple in your mouth. But, of course, that just serves to remind me how wonderful this time is, how brief it is, how you will grow up and become a whole, real person someday. I can take the lack of sleep, knowing that this is all so temporary.

Henry at Three Months

You are still my nugget-head, my Henny-hoo-hoo, my Butterbean. I just love you to pieces, my sugar-sweet boy! I cannot wait for the months to unfold with you!

With All The Love My Heart Can Hold,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

List-Style Works For Me

-I see the commercials for those "Your Baby Can READ!" things, and they make me laugh. Because when they would come on TV while I was pregnant, H and I would poke the belly and tell them to hurry up and get with the program and READ already. (well, it was funny to us...)

-Another funny thing I remember while pregnant:
I used to beg H to go up to the pharmacist at Target with me standing behind him in all my third-trimester-twin glory and ask for a recommendation of pregnancy test brands because he thought his wife might be pregnant. (um, again. Funny to us...)

-I *really* miss being pregnant. I'm one of those freakazoids who (except for the last couple of weeks or so) really liked being pregnant. It's really too bad that we don't want more kids.

-H brought home a cold this weekend. And I didn't kill him. He's lucky. (And not because he brought disease into our house-- that was to be expected. If my blog wasn't all hidden right now, I'd refer you to posts from late September for the last three years which all feature some illness or another, courtesy of Back To School time. It comes with the territory of working in a scholastic environment-- but rather because he came dangerously close to abusing his "get out of baby duty" card. Not cool. Not cool at all.)

-And now, after coursing through the boys yesterday and today, I've got the scratchy throat, and exhaustion and burny eyes and drippy nose. H has declared that if I absolutely need it, he will come home early to assist with baby care, but this is only because we had an Almost-Fight on Sunday due to the aforementioned possible abuse of baby-duty card, at which point he declared that if I get sick, that I *do* in fact get the chance to play my own "Get Out Of Baby Duty" card. Yeah, right.

-I keep wanting to write about different things and having to censor myself, because WHO KNOWS who might be reading this. Certain topics are completely off-limits (H's work environment being one of them...), which is too bad, because his job is not one of those jobs where you just work at it and it doesn't affect your life outside of work. It's a huge part of his identity, and thus has a huge impact on our lives (which means that it majorly impacts my life), but I cannot write about it, lest some FUCKFACE decide to try again to wreak havoc in our lives.

-We have our flight plans set for the Christmas holiday. I was serious before when I asked y'all to bring on the baby travel tips! Any "must-do"s or "must-not-do"s?

-The boys turn three months old tomorrow. That is pure insanity. Seriously.

-We have secured a sitter for my birthday at the end of this month (24th, 'cos I know someone's gonna ask...), and it will be the first time we have left the boys with a stranger. Back at the beginning of the semester, H sent an email to his advisees explaining why he wouldn't be attending one of the advising week events, and included a picture of the boys. Two different students replied to that email saying that they would love to babysit for us, one of whom was a regular sitter for triplets back in her hometown. According to H, the girl who agreed to sit for us that day is quite mature, despite the fact that she's a freshman. Is 18 too young to care for my three-month-olds? Our plan is to go out after the boys go down for the night, which is around 7:30 or 8:00, and to go to a restaurant close by. Good plan or bad? How much can we expect from a young sitter? Will she be able to get the boys back down to sleep if they wake up? They don't have stranger anxiety yet, but will they freak out if they wake up and Mama's not there to comfort them?

I just don't know and I'm a little concerned about it, but I also know that if it works out well, then it's something we can plan a bit more regularly so we can have a real date night. Fancy! (I don't know why I think 18 is so young. I recall babysitting for an infant when I was TEN... That's too young, I think!)

-I can't believe I'm going to be 34 this year. MAN, that just feels OLD! I know it's not old, but it feels so much older than 33. I'll be in my MID-thirties, not my early-thirties...

-H informed me the other day that he was planning to submit a paper to a conference in May. For anonymity's sake, I won't say which conference, but only that it's a HUGE one, and one that is almost completely unrelated to his field. Um, let's say that H studies apples, and specifically, varieties of apples that grow in a certain area, and how those different varieties of apples are perceived among the people who live where those apples are grown. He doesn't study how to cook with apples, or what makes his apples distinct genetically, or about the many uses of those apples-- just whether people like those apples enough that the rarer variety will continue to be farmed or not based on how much people like or dislike one apple variety over another.

And this conference is a bread making conference, that happens to have a couple of slots for people who want to present papers on tea breads made from an ancient heirloom variety of apples. And H, having studied many of the varieties of apples that make up the lineage of his apples, and a few of the related apple offshoots, decides that he could probably come up with a good enough paper for an ancient-apple-tea-bread recipe, even though he doesn't really study those kinds of apples, nor does he generally study apple recipes, and certainly doesn't study bread recipes.

But, it's a HUGE conference, and he claims it will look really good on his resume. He very quickly in passing mentioned that said conference is known to be one giant drunken hullabaloo (hey, that word almost rhymes with the city where the conference will take place...), trying hard to downplay that factor. BUT, I'm a clever wife, and while I know he will be *sort of* pursuing a career-related endeavor, I really get the feeling that he wants to attend this conference as a chance to "legally" (meaning work-related-so-wife-has-to-agree-to-let-me) get out of the house and cut loose.

And I know plenty of people who handle twins while their spouses travel often and work long hours, etc., but I'm guessing that in their case, work-related travel is actually more connected to their job than apples and bread are connected. Ultimately, he'll go anyway, but I'm wondering if I should mark that one under my "you got to do this, so I get to do that" category. If it were purely work, I wouldn't give it a second thought, but if he gets to go off to a massive party conference for a week, I think that should earn me a week-long trip elsewhere on my own at some point down the line...

Maybe I'm just being silly, but I'm freaked out about the prospect MONTHS from now of having to handle the twins on my own around the clock. Bedtimes, mealtimes, bathtimes, in-between-times... it makes my head spin thinking about it!

-The boys have started holding hands while they nurse. At first, I thought it was just random, but no. They actually reach out their hands for each other and squeeze each other's hands while nursing. And yes, it is one of the most heartmeltingly cute things I've ever seen...

And that is all, I think.

What is going on in your world? Any advice/response to anything on my list?

Friday, September 10, 2010

One-two, One-two, And A Third

Here would be where there is a great big announcement about those bloggy changes, but if you follow me on Facebook, you know that Wednesday night and Thursday morning came with almost no break between them, which means that I spent all day yesterday with my head in a hole. Jack refused to sleep. Just plainly refused. And Hen.ry wanted to wake up every hour or so, screaming, wanted to be put in the bassinet, no, not the bassinet, the bed, NO, NOT THE BED, you fools! Get me out of the bed! WAAAAAAAAAH!

Yeah. Bad, screamy sort of night.

I was really worried that Wednesday night was a harbinger of things to come as they are on the cusp of three months, and I hear this is the magical point when everything changes, hopefully for the better. However, sometimes the change is just change, not better, not worse, just different. As one of my Facebook friends reminded me yesterday, three months is when her kid quit sleeping for more than two hours at a time, and he kept this up for TWO YEARS. And I died a little, right there, when I read that. Because there's nothing worse than being bone tired and realizing that you're never NOT going to be bone tired for the forseeable future.

However, the boys must have sensed my desperation, because they gave us a break last night, and fell back into their usual routine of giving us at least one good, long stretch of sleep (too bad it happens between 7:30 p.m. and midnight, when I'm awake for a good portion of that time...). I feel like a different person today. It's amazing what a few hours of sleep can do.

ANYWAY, my point is that these impending changes require, as I previously mentioned, going over all my posts with a fine-toothed comb, attempting to hide anything that might be even the slightest bit incriminating, while ensuring that there aren't gaping holes in the narrative of the blog. Because otherwise, what's the point?

So, soon, but not yet. Of course, it's not as exciting as I'm making it out to be. Those of you with WordPress blogs on which I've commented in the last couple of days have probably figured out that beeinthebonnet is, in fact, Kate (Bee In The Bonnet). So yes. I've registered a new domain over at WordPress, where I can password-protect posts as I'd like to. I'm still torn between posting too many identifying details, even under a password, because to be honest, I'm still not sure who leaked my blog to H's colleagues, and what good is a password-protected post if the password is in the hands of someone malicious? It prevents people I know in real-life who I may not be aware have access to this blog from reading certain things and then inappropriately sharing those things, but it does not prevent the case of a random stranger being given access, only to put two-and-two together and sharing my personal information with people who I'd rather not share that information with.

There's the rub. How do you share your story as you'd most like to share it while still maintaining at least the pretense of anonymity? You just really can't.

However, whether I'm ready with my new-blog-celebration or not, my blogoversary happens anyway. So. Happy Three Years to me. It's paltry in comparison to the big blog switch that I had planned, but here is the post that started it all on this blog space:
Read as you'd like.

Funny, despite all the big changes in my day-to-day life, at my core, I don't think I'm all that different than I was three years ago...

And now, because I know why you all really stop by, here's a picture from our morning:
J.ack left, He.nry right.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I had something special planned for today, but sadly, things just take longer these days, so it'll be a while before I can get that post up. But, just know that much needed changes are (finally) coming to this space sometime soon (hopefully).

Anyhow, this whole summer has been frought with "remember where we were a year ago!" moments (graduation, Germany, meeting with the RE, brother's wedding, etc.), but today marks one year since we started the IVF cycle that lead to the sugarlumps currently asleep on my lap. While I'd hoped for something slightly more organized, instead I have just reposted that one post from a year ago chronicling my first experience with injectibles. Please feel free to read it if you'd like: Lupron, Day One

So as part of the changes to this blog, I have been going over my past posts with a fine-toothed comb, starting from the beginning ("The Beginning" being September 10, 2007, another important anniversary coming up). And whoa. What a different place I was in three years ago. Has it only been three years? It feels like a decade, at least. I knew that I felt a substantial shift in my sense of self sometime during the spring of 2008, but I'd really forgotten about what my life was like before that. I drank a lot. Good LORD, I wasted a lot of money, not just on going out, but on house projects and trips to Target and all kinds of random things. I don't know if that's a product of growing older, or of a totally changed economy or the fact that we're a single-income family now, but money is a wholly different thing to me now (in part, I think-- and sad that I think so-- due to the fact that I don't earn my own income and so I feel weaker in making decisions on how we spend). Anyhow, what a difference the passing of time can make. Convenient to have a blog to remind us of that fact.

So. Milestones... What was going on in your life one year ago today?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Easily Entertained

Easily Entertained
Originally uploaded by k8izgr8
I predict that this year's allergy season is going to be much more enjoyable...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

List-Style, Once Again

1. Let me preface this section by saying how very much I appreciate all the advice on my last post re. supply issues. I REALLY appreciate all of it, even if ultimately, I might (maybe) decide not to follow some of it... To those of you who referred me to Kellymom, I really appreciate it. I have used the information on that site before, and I find that MOST of what is written there is very helpful to the new breastfeeding mom.



With my latest concerns over supply, I found myself quite pissed at what Kellymom advised. See, as with most sites offering expert opinion, especially those that offer expert opinion that is sometimes counter to mainstream conventional wisdom, Kellymom suffers from being a bit heavy-handed in it's advice-- don't let those peds boss you around (let US boss you around!). Despite being told over and over again to "follow your instincts", to "feed the baby when he/she is hungry", the second that you actually "follow your instincts" in a direction other than where Kellymom thinks you should go, you are suddenly just a stupid, naive, inexperienced new mom who clearly:
1. didn't put the baby to the breast often enough
2. gave your infant a drop of formula (you wanton whore) and therefore caused a drop in supply
-- except that if you think your supply is dropping, you are WRONG. THERE IS NO WAY YOU ARE EXPERIENCING A DROP IN SUPPLY!
4. However, you probably did one of these eighteen things that can cause your supply to drop.
-- BUT, your supply isn't dropping.
6. Follow your instincts and feed your baby when he/she is hungry. Simply put them to the breast. There will be plenty of milk made to feed them.
-- If it's evening time, and there isn't enough milk to feed them, and your child is screaming in hunger, you are probably too dumb to realize that your child isn't hungry, it's just a case of the nighttime fussies!
7. If your supply has dropped (which it hasn't) and you think this might mean that your baby is hungry, your best bet is to put them to the breast over and over, even if this results in them screaming in hunger (because you will just magically make enough milk because your supply hasn't dropped. It just can't. It doesn't happen.).
8. Whatever you do, DON'T GIVE THEM FORMULA, because this will cause your supply to drop. Instead, watch your twins chew on their fists and scream and nurse and nurse and nurse until your nipples are raw, pausing every ten seconds to scream in hunger. We could see how this might make you think your supply has dropped.
-- (Except your supply hasn't dropped! Aren't you listening to us??? Do we need to repeat ourselves???)
9. If you think your supply is dropping, wait until your baby(babies) lose weight to address the problem, because (once again) YOUR SUPPLY IS JUST FINE. And if it isn't, I DARE YOU to PROVE US WRONG!!!

Um, yeah. I'm just a little peeved at their "advice" regarding issues with low supply. Women with PCOS notoriously have supply issues (sometimes under, sometimes over). And forgive me, but with twins, I am exceptionally protective of my supply, because with two of them, even a small dip means that there are two babies who are not able to eat to satisfaction and it's all that much easier to spiral downward into a place where I end up having to supplement more and more, and I don't want to go in that direction. But neither will I let my children starve, so YES, I will supplement with formula if it is the difference between my children happily nodding off to sleep in the evenings vs waking every 45 minutes screaming in hunger.

I think I'm just mostly pissed because the subtext is that the author(s) at Kellymom are the only ones you should trust, even over your own instincts. It seems that it's perfectly fine to rail against the Man, to tell moms to throw off the shackles of the patriarchical pediatric establishment, but what I'm reading at Kellymom (and plenty of other websites like it) is that we are to kowtow to a different set of "experts", who stand in stead for the establishment as the ones whose beliefs we should subscribe to.

Which is stupid.

2. So yeah. I appreciate the advice. After a week now of carefully monitoring my diet and watching my fluid intake, and a few days of adding an extra pumping session in the evening, and now also adding fenugreek, I think my supply is getting under control. The night before last, I actually got an ounce or two when I pumped. And my breasts are finally feeling ever-so-slightly full-- not full-to-bursting like they were early on, but just not-bone-dry-empty like they had been the last couple of weeks. And the most telling is that last night, they nursed, and then as usual, I offered them a bottle, and for the first time in forever, they took only 2.5 oz each, instead of finishing 4-5 oz and screaming for more. And when they nursed after the bottle (as they always do), it was comfort-nursing, instead of frantic sucking.

And then, they SLEPT. Like contented little rocks. It's hard to explain the joy at seeing your children so incredibly content after almost two months of tears and frustration and exhaustion. They went down without a peep at 7:30 p.m., and woke at 1:15 a.m., quietly ate, and then went back to sleep until 4. (We won't talk about after 4, though... He.nry has been incredibly fussy the last couple of days, and he was fussy from4-5, then woke up at 6:15 again, and then at 7-- but then went back down until 8:45... at which point, Ding-Dong Mama finally took his temperature and noticed that he was sitting right at 100 degrees. And after a little T.ylenol, all is now right in his world). Jack ate at 6:15 a.m. and then slept until 8:45 also.

And now, today, they are actually going more than 45 minutes to an hour between feedings, and they aren't screaming after nursing for the better part of that hour. They're even napping a bit.

Point is, my supply has clearly been waning over the last several weeks, and now, it seems to be turning around, and I am SO GLAD that I finally listened to myself and did something about it.

3. We have decided to fly to Austin for the holidays. Bring on the advice for air travel with infants!!

4. Jac.k discovered his voice yesterday. We were at the dermatologist for me to have my stitches removed, and the boys were in their stroller in the exam room with H and I, and apparently wasn't thrilled with sitting in the stroller, and so started to express his displeasue loudly and vocally. He started to sound like he might be ramping up for a cry, but stopped himself, so thrilled he was by his new vocal range. He practiced some more after we got home, yelling at the toys on the bouncer, and then, after his 1::15 feeding, he spent another 5 minutes practicing his new yells in the bassinet before he went back to sleep.

5. I forgot to mention that the boys officially discovered each other the other morning. H and I were sitting with them in bed, one on each lap, and they were smiling at each of us, and then, we turned them towards each other and they spent a good five or so minutes trading smiles with each other. So. frickin'. cute!

Um, okay. Now I have to go, because H is home, and I get to take a run this afternoon. Yay!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Another Quick Video: Jack Plays

Jack Plays
Originally uploaded by k8izgr8
Just a quick video here from today. They have both started noticing hanging toys recently, and particularly likes the toy bar on his bouncy seat.

Henry has a case of the grumps today. Just can't seem to get it right with him. I guess that's the good part about having two-- I'm pretty sure it's nothing I've done to make him unhappy, since his brother is more or less fine. Henr.y's just in a mood today.

Ah, well. Here it is. Jac.k bounces while He.nry watches, and I narrate in that irritating sing-songy parentese voice.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I've had posts rolling around in my head for days, but lately, I've just been feeling pretty 'meh' about writing anything. The fall semester has begun, and H has gone back to work full-time, and I am tired. (Everyone say it with me now...) It's just plain hard caring for two at the same time, and I'm starting to feel a little burnt out. I'm doing what I can to break up the monotony (boys: wake up, nurse, snooze, nurse, snooze, etc.), but I just can't get anything done.

Henr.y had a trip to the doctor this last week due to a morning of gagging epispodes after he vomited up mucous, over and over again. The triage nurse, when determining if we were worthy of an appointment, asked me how often they eat. And I said every two hours (but it's frequently much more often than that), and she snarkily informed me that it takes at least 2.5 hrs for their stomachs to empty, so no WONDER they "spit up" all the time. Um, it may take that long for their stomachs to empty, but they obviously don't know or don't care about that fact. I try to stretch them as long as possible, but when your kid is screaming in hunger, after a while, you should probably feed them. They don't have a watch. They don't know whether it's been 2, or 4, or 10 hours. They just know when they're hungry, and for these guys, it's anywhere from one hour to three hours after they last ate.

So feh. I'm not sure what to do about it (and I'm not necessarily asking for advice about it either, though if you've got something novel to add that doesn't involve telling me to let them scream until hoarse because "it hasn't been long enough!" or "babies just *have* to cry sometimes!", then feel free to share.). I know what makes sense for me as a parent, and that is to respond to their needs, but unfortunately, for me, right now this means that my needs are going largely unmet.

Except, of couse, on the night-sleep front. They are starting to go for slightly longer stretches at night. We've started a routine of sorts in the evenings, and we try to get them into bed, asleep, between 7:00 and 8:00. And this is great because it affords us a little time to get some things done or to have a half-hour to ourselves. They generally wake up again between 11 and 12, and again around 3 or 4 and again around 6 or 7. So, we get a few long-ish stretches of sleep most nights (which is better than the sometimes once-an-hour nonsense they get stuck on... luckily that's not too often that this happens) but it's certainly not the same as sleeping through the night. I'm headed onto a year since I last had a good night's sleep with any regularity, and I'm starting to feel downright stupid.

Anyhow, I don't mean to say that WAH, WAH, WAH, MY LIFE SUCKS, etc., just to say that I'm tired and I feel like complaining which is why I haven't posted much in the last week.

Because life doesn't suck. The boys spent a good five minutes this morning staring at each other, trading smiles and coos back and forth. It was ridiculously cute. They are getting slightly easier, bit by bit. It's still incredibly hard, but they're starting to cry a little less, or to at least cry with more focus. I got a 3 minute shower the other day by putting them in bouncy chairs and popping my head out from behind the curtain ever ten seconds to say something silly to the boys
(they find the word 'poop!' to be hilarious. I guess the affection for potty humor starts early...). It's weird what amounts to a notable achievement these days.

So, yes. The boys are adorable and amazing as always. I am fine, if a bit tired/grouchy lately. And I think that brings us up to speed on the status quo.

And now, a request for advice: Anyone have any tips to share on dipping milk supply? As mentioned earlier, they pretty much eat round the clock during the day. I've been trying to watch my hydration levels and to eat a little better and to pump as I have time, but by the end of the day, just when they're hungriest, I seem to have nothing left to give. Before bed, I nurse them, then I feed them a 4 oz bottle of formula, and they slurp it down and then ask for more. And I usually give them another ounce or two of formula and then breast feed them again after that. Anyway, I can't say for sure that my supply is going down, but the eating-all-day-never-satisfied thing and then gobbling down formula seems to indicate that they aren't getting enough to fill them up. They are still gaining weight, but I lack the mental acuity at this point to calculate whether it's the 1/2 to 1 oz a day they're supposed to be gaining-- point being, it's not dire, but I definitely want to keep breast feeding them as close to full-time as possible for as long as possible, and the lagging supply seems to be counter to that goal.

Yeah. And you? How was your week?

Oh, what? You aren't leaving without seeing pictures of the cuteness?

Well, okay:
Kate and Jack and Henry
The boys (and the deep, dark recesses of my cleavage... nice shot, honey)

Smooshy Cheeks
Henr.y Smooshy Cheeks

Jack At The Park
Jack is getting big!

Henry At The Park

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Quick Video

Henry Splashes
Originally uploaded by k8izgr8
Henry has figured out how to splash! And I, apparently, have gone stupid in my overuse of the word 'splash'...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New Zoo Review: Month Two

My Dear Jack, My Dear Henry:

Two months in, and we're all still breathing. It's a miracle, I think. I really wanted to start writing these sort of letters to the two of you much sooner, but someday, when you are parents (if you choose to become parents, that is), you will hopefully understand why it has taken this long to get around to it.

Let me go ahead and sum it up for you:
Month Zero:
You slept. You ate. You peed. You pooped. You cried. You were floppy.
We fell in love with you anyway.
Ten Minutes Old

Henry, you came out butt-first (someday you'll see that your first picture is not of your sweet face but of your little bottom being pulled out of my belly), and you didn't cry at all, for quite a while, but when you did cry, whoa, was it heart-rending.

Jack, you came out screeeeaming. And then you peed on the doctor. How prophetic.

Month one:
You slept a little less. You ate a little more. You peed and pooped more, too. You cried even more than that. And you were marginally less floppy.
Eat the bear!

There isn't much more I can remember about one month. Your grandmother was here, and I'm fairly certain that it is only because of her presence that we survived. Month one was hard. The crying, the screaming, the constant nursing... it is so very hard to figure out what you each wanted, which frustrated both of you to no end, since you were (are) both so very demanding about getting exactly what you want exactly when you want it (usually the "when" is sooner-than-now...).

But we loved you anyway.

So. I think that catches us up.

Month Two:
You still sleep a lot, though not yet in any sort of organized way. You still eat a lot, and poop and pee a lot, and cry a lot, too. And you're definitely less floppy than before!
We Are Two Months Old!

I'm trying hard these days to quit referring to you as "the babies" or "the boys". Yes, you are twins, but no, you are not the same! (though, oddly enough, the older you get, the more often I find myself noticing similarities)

Henry, these days, you don't cry so much as YELL. You have a voice and you aren't afraid to use it (you even yell in your sleep). You have so many different vocalizations that you employ for various circumstances-- I wish I could catch them on video, because I can't even begin to do justice to your "words" in print. You grunt-yell when we carry you in the car seat, you do this funky short punctuated 'EY! EY!' thing sometimes (sounds like the baby equivalent of an OY!). It cracks me up! You are almost never quiet, even when you sleep or eat. (Your grandmother called you and your brother 'pigs at the trough' when you nurse, because sometimes you both grunt, and smack and snort- it gets noisy sometimes!) You coo at us, lots of ohhhs and other vowel sounds. It's clear that you are trying to communicate something but most of the time, we're still pretty baffled about what it is. I really can't wait until you have real words to use.

But I'm kind of glad that you don't have words already at this point, because I get the idea that a fair amount of them might be, um, quite impolite! You do not hesitate to let us know when something displeases you. You just seem to feel injustices so keenly that I worry sometimes that this world will be too harsh for you. But, I also get the idea that this world doesn't know what it's in for-- your smiles are real heart melters! How could anyone resist such pure delight!?
Henry Sweetie

You wake up in the morning and you smile, smile, smile at me! You coo and half-giggle (you'll be laughing soon enough, I just know it) and mimic my facial expressions. It almost always makes up for the fact that you will spend the rest of the day refusing to be anywhere but in my (or Papa's) arms. And actually, by sheer chance, you've sort of become Papa's baby. You sleep in his arms, he tends to most of your needs, he carries you when we go out, etc. I think this initially started because you were so heavy at birth and it was easier for me to carry your brother. I sometimes worry that you might not be getting enough Mama-time, but then I think about the special relationship you and Papa have, and I know that's an important relationship, too.

In spite of some minor health issues (you have GERD, and you "spit-up" many, many times a day, you poor thing...), you are thriving. Your "two month" appointment came at six weeks, so your measurements at that time are nowhere near what they are now, I'm sure, but when I weigh you at home, you come in between 11.5 and 12 lbs! My little bruiser! And sorry to say so, Son, but you got your Papa's giant head! That's okay, though-- just more room to fill it up with amazing, wonderful thoughts! You recently learned how to kick your legs really hard, and when we gave you a bath last night, and you determined that kicking + water = BIG splash, I don't think you could have been happier! You actually looked a little disappointed this morning when you were in the bouncer seat kicking and there was no splash, but of course, you just kept kicking anyway, just for the joy of it. You are very handsy, too, batting at whatever happens to be nearest (usually me...), you "bear weightg" on your legs and you are already halfway to turning yourself over when you are on your tummy, pushing up and rocking side to side (in fairness, though, you *do* have that giant head to help you...).

Oh, and you do this thing with your fingers when you nurse, I can't quite describe it, like this patting/stroking/pinching thing, but however I'd describe it, it's so clear that you are comforted by being close to me, and that is such a wonderful feeling. My Henry, my nugget, my chunkachunk, my melon-head, my blue-eyed boy! My heart, it's just so full of love for you, Henry!

Oh, my Jack-Jack...
Much in the way that Henry has become a Papa's boy, YOU have become Mama's little one! No one can comfort you quite like I can. You cry in a way that breaks my heart, so pathetic and sad sometimes... until you get really angry, and then you SHREEEEEEEEIK! I want to record your cries sometimes so that I can play them back to you when you're older. My GOD, the lungs on you! Sometimes, you get going, and all I can do is laugh, because you sometimes (sorry to put it like this) sound like a squealing school girl.

In your "words", though, you are softer, and so much more precise than your brother. You are already showing the beginnings of some consonants ('na' and 'ba'), and sometimes when I talk to you, I swear you answer back! (Um, okay. Not really. Just that I will sometimes as if you want this or that, and you seem to so clearly say 'uhn-uh' or 'nooo'. It makes me laugh!) You tend to be very sensitive to your brother. When he makes noises, you almost always respond to him. Sometimes, it seems like you're telling him, 'BE QUIET!' and sometimes it seems that you're happily joining in with whatever noise he's making. And if he cries too long, you will almost always join in, even if you're otherwise content.

And really, generally, you *are* almost always otherwise content. Don't get me wrong-- you do your fair share of screaming because you also hate to be anywhere but in someone's arms (mine preferably), but you are a champion eater and a pretty good sleeper, too (in spite of the fact that you, also, have some issues with GERD... we go through the onesies like Kleenex around here!). Your likes and dislikes seem pretty clear most of the time. You like the swing. You love music, like the little player-things that come on the swings or clip on to the bassinet, though your favorite is when I make up stupid songs to entertain you. You really like looking at our headboard (you have a special smile just for the headboard, you weirdo). You take a little longer to wake up in the mornings, and usually you need a little snack before you're ready to take on the day, but once you're awake and alert, you smile, and bat your mile-long eyelashes at me (I swear if they get any longer, you're going to have trouble seeing through them!), and break your face into the hugest grin. I LOVE it. Those are my favorite moments of the day:
Jack Says Good Morning!

One of my favorite parts of motherhood has been sleeping with you and your brother snuggled up in our bed. Lately, in an effort to begin getting you both on a better schedule, we've been putting you to sleep in the bassinet next to our bed. And most of the time, you're content to stay there through the night (waking up to eat every couple of hours, of course!). But, your favorite way to fall asleep, though, is to nurse, and that means that when I try to lay you down with me in the bed, all you want to do is nurse! And that, in turn, means that we both sleep better with you in the bassinet, which breaks my heart a little, because I truly love having you next to me, seeing your sweet face, hearing you sigh in your sleep. Every now and then, you are content enough to sleep next to me for a while, and so now, those brief moments are even better because I know how special they are.

Much like your "words", your movements are so precise, too. You make these hand gestures that seem so grown up-- raising a finger when you want my attention, a stiff hand palm-out in front of you to let me know that you aren't ready to stop/start whatever. And your eyes are so expressive- I think you will be like me in that way, unable to hide your true thoughts because your eyes will always give you away. You are also on track with other milestones-- mini-pushups, rocking on your belly, bearing weight on your legs, but I think it might take you a little longer to fully do some movements because again, you are so precise that you seem to want to get it just right before you really give it a try.

You are my sunshine-boy, my peanut, my snort-snort Jacky-love. Mama loveslovesloves you always and always.

I can't wait to see what next month has in store for us, my sweet and special boys!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

This and That

-- I've been feeling increasingly pissy toward H lately and it is SO not-productive to feel this way. He shuts down the second he starts to feel criticized, which only serves to frustrate me further. I hate the "Pain Olympics" as you well know, but dammit! *I* have the harder job here, and I think that entitles me to ask for help as often as I need to. And when I don't get the help I need, I think it entitles me to DEMAND it as necessary. I know that he's sensitive, but I wouldn't need to be bossy if he would occasionally offer to help.

And now I feel shitty because he really, really, really, REALLY does a lot around the house and always has. He cleans, he irons, he does the dishes, he folds laundry, vacuums, etc. I don't do any of those things with any regularity (I occasionally do the dishes and I fold laundry about half the time), but then again, he's the compulsively tidy one in this relationship.

Anyhow, I guess I just feel that if I ask him to watch a baby, that means that he should, I don't know, INTERACT with the child. If I wanted to ignore whichever child, I could do that without his help, I think. It's pretty easy: Put baby in swing. Leave the room and go work on the computer.

So yeah. I do talk to him about it, but it gets so frustrating to ask for every single individual task, to have to be so specific when I ask him for help, and then to be told I'm being bossy or aggressive(!) by being so specific.

But enough about that. I have read your comments on the topic, and I know I'm not alone in this assessment of the state of things as a mother to young children. This too shall pass eventually (I hope).

-- I had a tiny, non-cancerous (we presume) tumor removed from my arm yesterday. It's been annoying the crap out of me for a couple of years, only because it's on the outside of my arm close to the elbow and it hurts like hell every time I bump it on something. It was inconvenient to have it done at this stage in the boys' lives when I really need to freely use both hands (and when my neck/back are seriously wonky and my wrists are still suffering from the Mother's Thumb thingy), but it really needed to be done, and I just couldn't squeeze it in last summer before the IVF cycle started.

It's weird to think about last summer. After we came back from Germany, I just happened to have my annual physical scheduled, and because of that, I ended up having several annual maintenance type appointments scheduled after that (optometry, dental stuff, dermatology, etc.), and all of those appointments were squeezed in before the start of my IVF cycle, so it's now a year later and time for the next round of annual exams (the thorough dental cleaning/exam, the eyes checked, the pap smeared, whatever). And so, with each office sending me the reminders to schedule appointments, I can't help but think what a completely different place I am in now as opposed to last year. Last year at this time, I didn't even know precisely why we weren't able to conceive, or whether or not the whole RE thing would work. And now? Instant 4-person family...

-- I've been thinking a lot lately about the whole woe-is-me, this-crap-is-hard schtick that I keep repeating (here and in my head and to anyone who asks). And the fact is, yes, it's hard, but it's going to be hard whether or not I'm sitting on my bed nursing for hours on end, or if I'm at the grocery store or if I'm in the kitchen with them, or in the play room, etc. My point being that I don't have to sit in this spot right here hating how hard things are-- I can hate how hard it is in many, many different locations! And somehow, that makes it less-hard, I think. This morning, I got up, got the boys dressed, plopped them in bouncy chairs in front of me in the playroom, and then described to them in detail the purpose of each piece of laundry as I folded it. And that lasted for about 30 minutes, during which time I only managed to fold half of the laundry because I had to keep stopping to bounce or tickle or peek-a-boo the babies to keep them from sobbing (though they eventually sobbed anyway...). But! I was NOT sitting on my bed with a nursing pillow on my lap! I was not cajoling a boy into non-sob status within a five-foot radius of my bed! I was in a whole different room, and that (somehow) helped. Yes, inevitably, we ended up back here nursing (what can I say? It's easier to nurse two of them in here, and then they fall asleep and who am I to wake them, so here we sit), but it somehow just occurred to me that if they are going to scream/cry/grouse anyway, we might as well all go do it in a place where *I* am comfortable and not-bored and able to get some things done, too.

-- Along with the whole Might-As-Well-Cry-In-The-Playroom idea, I decided I also need to quit complaining about not having local friends (though JJ, I am TOTALLY going to start hounding you for a meetup, as soon as we get just a bit more into a schedule so I know when during the day the boys are least-likely to melt down... And then the rest of you NC-ers better look out, too, because I'm going to demand another NC meetup very soon!) and start reaching out to some local groups. Book Babies is GREAT, but if you've ever been to a meetup, you know that there's lots of hand movement interaction and bouncing and baby-dancing, etc. and I cannot do that by myself with two babies (though I keep trying anyway-- this week, I'll try one in the Ergo, and one on my lap). So I need other kinds of interaction.

I thought I'd check out the local MoM group again, but featuring prominently on the About Us page of their website is the note saying that the motto of the national Mothers of Twins group is "Where God Chooses The Members". And if you know me and my situation, you know why that might rub me the wrong way.

I don't want to get too far down the religious debate path (especially where faith and ART science meet), but frankly, regardless of your personal beliefs, I'd argue that science has a fair bit more to do with a majority of multiple pregnancies these days (even if God moves the hand of the scientist, to say that God chooses who has multiples or not completely discounts the fact that the RE and the patient are the ones who create the circumstance by which the multiples occur). It makes me feel as though by promoting that motto so prominently, they are essentially showing some variation on that Asshole L&D Nurse's point of view of preferring "natural" twins. And that doesn't work for me.

And joining a group where members subscribe to the notion that God chose them to have multiples just doesn't work with my personal (lack of) religious beliefs anyway. I mean, even if I did subscribe to a particular faith, it couldn't be one of a puppet-maker god who had his or her hand touching all aspects all the time of every person's life. That aspect alone is philosophically divergent from my core beliefs, even if the belief in a god were part of those core beliefs.

So. It's not that I take issue with religion or belief in God, etc., just that I don't know that I want to be part of a group that attempts to appeal only to people who would agree that they were chosen by God to have a particular path in life when I feel very firmly that God did not have anything to do with finding myself on said path. Again, that's a perfectly valid belief for plenty of people, even those who pursue ARTs, but not for me.

-- I REALLY want to have Lasik done. I am so flippin' sick of wearing glasses. The boys are apparently sick of it too, if I correctly interpret the frequency with which they rip them from my face.

-- It's probably tacky to say so, but I find it hilarious that Henr.y has learned to lift his leg when he farts. Um, toots, that is. I was informed that babies don't fart, they toot. So yeah, he "toots" like a real boy. Frickin' hilarious.

-- Tara over at Turkey In My Oven always finds the coolest stuff on the internet. Like the fact that you can have the President send a birth greeting to your child. I totally did not know this! Even though I am not Obama's hugest fan, I think it would be cool to have the card for the section of their baby book where it asks you to write about what was going on in the world when they were born: Who was President when you were born? Um, THIS guy was and he sent me a card telling me how cool it is that I was born!

Um, I think that is enough for today. What's up in your world? (Oh, and I asked it over on Facebook, but if any of you have any tips for trimming baby fingernails, please chime in and let me know. I've already cut J.ack two times so that makes twice out of two times I have attempted to use the baby nail clippers so far...)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Well, now. That was an interesting few days...

(Pausing here to thank you all for your support and commiseration on my last post. Nice to know I'm not alone. And someday, I will actually use the offered phone numbers. I'm just atrocious on the phone, gripped by some horrid combination of shyness and stage-fright which seems to render me paralyzed and/or gripped with Tourettic outbursts... but yes. Thank you all for letting me know I'm not alone.)

Posting has been light here for the usual reasons (babies, two of them), but we have now added pulled shoulder muscle to the mix. Anyone want to wager how much fun it is to take care of two babies when it hurts to look up, down or too far to the left or right? Yeah. THAT MUCH FUN.

We had planned a brief overnight trip to Asheville for Sunday night, just a quick in and out to meet with two friends, but in light of the injury, we decided to cancel it. Which made me kind of sad but kind of relieved at the same time.

So. Anyone wanna guess what I was doing when I pulled the muscle? (No, not that, you gutter-minded freaks...) I was attempting to nurse J.ack while laying down. I was all angled and then I moved my body like this and my head like that and PRESTO. Screaming pain at 4:00 a.m.

Thus began day #2 of waking up at 4:00 a.m. and refusing to go back to sleep. See, when I actually managed to achieve the whole lying-down-nursing thing, Jac.k took this to mean HEY, LOOKIE THERE! We lay down, AND I get to eat?! Here this whole time I had been contentedly laying next to BOOOOBS and NOT eating, when I could, in fact, have been nursing non-stop. The half was not told unto me! We must make up for lost time!

And so that is how it has come to pass that has begun sleeping in his bassinet. He is literally driven to complete distraction by sleeping next to me. He will spend well over an hour, screaming, thrashing, crying, rooting, attempting to chew a hole in my shirt, until I relent and let him nurse. And he will then nurse all. night. long. Which wouldn't be a big deal, except that laying-down-nursing is still a contortionist act for me and I cannot sleep that way. And so, J.ack was moved to the bassinet. And along with him, Hen.ry was also ousted from the bed, but he usually comes back to our bed with H after the first feeding.

So, it's great that they are in their bassinet, because it means they go to bed earlier as was one of our goals (and as a bonus, I get to take the prescribed muscle relaxers without worrying about squashing a baby). There is no schedule, really, but we are beginning to move toward a nighttime routine, and that is good. But I miss having the little sugar-lump snuzzling next to me in bed. He's just so sweet and soft when he's asleep. He spends so much of the day wired with tension that it's enjoyable to see him so relaxed. I keep trying to bring him back to bed with us (after the muscle relaxer has worn off...), but only once or twice in the last week has he been sleepy enough to fall asleep without trying to chew a hole through the front of my shirt. Tenacious little guy.

Anyhow, they are officially two months old. I really have been intending to write a little something about each of them at these milestone ages, but you know-- it's hard and exhausting and when is there ever time for truly thoughtful prose? I will, I hope, but for now, they'll have to settle for the fact that I managed to take their picture on their two month "birthday":

We Are Two Months Old!
Precious Jac.k (l) and Wonderful Henr.y (r)

Oh, and as you can see from the picture below, H.enry has also discovered his toes. Unlike his brother, he has maintained his interest such that he gets very excited when I put his socks on or take them off (the toes! they disappeared! the toes! they reappeared!). I need to get some of those socks with the bells on the toes or the little rattle thingys. I think he'd really dig those...

And an extra of, just for good measure:
Jack at Two Months

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


So there was some good stuff and there was some bad stuff, but somehow, we find ourselves having survived to week 8, the age by which many people, from experts to my expert readers, agree that things should begin to get easier. And I suppose that is true. Some things have gotten somewhat easier. Some things seem largely the same ("Screeeeeeam. Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeam!!!" says Henry...). And some things seem harder. Or perhaps just more tedious (see above re. screeeeeeam), I don't know. I do know that the highs are really high:

Henry Smiles!
God, he melts my heart sometimes.

Cutie Pies
I know it's seen through a mother's eyes, but I just think Jac.k is so pretty!

but the lows are maddeningly low. I feel like a broken fucking record (and I wouldn't blame any of you for rolling your eyes and clicking away) but, it's hard. Really, really hard. H does so much to help out around the house and he's very responsive when I tell him exactly what I need, and delightfully accomodating, but at the same time, I find myself getting really steamed because I feel like he's not helping enough. But when I try to quantify exactly what ways I feel short changed, I find that I can't really make heads or tails of it. And that is incredibly unfair to seethe about behavior that you can't/haven't asked to be corrected.

I just know that I about bit his everlovin' head off yesterday as I sat with one baby nursing, while cradling the other (screaming) baby in my arms on the other side of the nursing pillow, with my tray of crappy fast food alternately getting cold/warm/watery (the baked potato, Frosty and salad, respectively...), and (dramatic pause) the mothereffer had the audacity to reach across the screaming baby as he was casually working his way through his salad to PICK AT MY FRICKIN' FOOD. I'm starving, as I have been nursing all day, and I'm forced to pause three bites into my meal to unlatch a (screaming) baby and balance him on one arm while keeping the other happily latched and feeding so that he doesn't start screaming, too, and waiting, waiting, waiting patiently for my molasses husband to eat his fucking salad already. I didn't mean to snap, but I really, really tersely said, "Excuse me? I'm not even CLOSE to being done. I CAN'T eat. I've got my hands and boobs and laps full of BABIES." And he looked genuinely stung. And I didn't apologize, either, even though I did feel badly for not just calmly telling him that I needed him to take the baby so I could eat.

I keep finding myself wanting to scream, "Come the fuck on, Bridget!", and though plenty of people would take that well and laugh at the movie reference, my molasses husband would not. But that is what I find myself thinking more often than not.

Shuh. Knowing that there's still that shithead lurking out there, probably looking for any reason to cause me grief by further outing my blog writings, I should probably delete all of that. But in truth, I would gladly say most of this to H's face. I love him. I cherish him. And I know and fully recognize how much he really does and how hard this is for him. But it's hard for me, too. It's no easier for me to pour myself a glass of water while holding a (screaming) baby than it is for him, but it seems like an insurmountable task for him. I need to really stress here that he is incredibly accomodating-- he gladly agreed to watch the boys while I soaked in the bathtub last night-- but that "soak" turned into ten minutes of "relaxation" while both boys screamed their fool heads off, followed by several hours of H acting shell-shocked and completely depressed/overwhelmed by the experience of dealing with two babies in full-meltdown mode which meant several hours of me feeling like shit, and trying my hardest to cajole H into a better mood (which made me feel like a failure because it totally didn't work).

It just seems unfair to me, but it's also completely unfair to feel resentful toward him when I haven't even let him in on what, exactly, needs to be different to make me feel more supported, and that is mostly because I just don't know what I need myself.

I have no business writing about any of this right now. Today is proving to be a little rough. I'd love to write about it in more detail, but as it involves H's workplace tangentally, I really can't say what I want (though it's got nothing to do with any person or one person's decisions or behavior or whatnot, but rather with administrative policies that I think are stuuuuuuupid). So, I'll just say that H had to leave quite early this morning, and I'm not expecting him back until 6:00 p.m.-ish and I got up with (screaming) Jack at 4:00 a.m. and never went back to sleep (after getting up with him at 3:00 a.m., 1:30 a.m., midnight, etc.). The boys are screamy* (surprise) and I am tired and my back hurts and my fuse is short and all I can manage to do is to shove a boob back in their mouth and hope that 6:00 comes soon. I love these boys, but my GOD, I'm exhausted.


Yeah, I need to draw a line under that and move on. Happy eight weeks, J.ack and He.nry.

I've been twice now to our local Book Babies meeting, and while the first time wasn't all that great, the boys did seem to get something out of it, and so we went again this past Friday. And this time, I met a few moms who I actually could see myself enjoying meeting up with from time to time.

I feel like I may have sort-of found my tribe (maybe) and here is why:

Let me preface by saying that boy names are hard. HARD. It's actually why I suspected that I would have two boys, because I could think of thousands of awesome distinct, unique-without-being-weird, traditional, culturally-appropriate girl names, and it seemed like that would be something the universe would find amusing, to leave me with two boys for whom I cannot even begin to find appropriate names.

I knew when I chose J.ack and Hen.ry that these names were quite popular among a certain progressive-ish socioeconomic subset..., but that they were not generally popular names. The fact that the older generation and/or friends that fall outside of that subset would reply with a pinched smile, and a "oh, that's nice." when told of their names, told me that I was spot-on in my assesment that these names were not broadly popular. And, for the most part, this community where I live is full of those pinched-smile-that's-nice replies when the boys are introduced. Others (here's an example) provide a pinched smile because these names are so common as to be completely passe (possibly even gauche) by now among whatever group they fly in.

So. Brief side trip over-- the point being that this past Friday, prior to the start of Book Babies while waiting outside the meeting room, I was introducing Jac.k and Henr.y to 12-week old Stella, and Stella's mom commented on how very common the name He.nry had become (she is the first person to have mentioned this to me in person). And a few moments later, another new baby and mom pair came along and I introduced the boys and was recieved with, "Oh, another J.ack!" as she sweetly patted her boy's head. And as we walked in the room and gathered on the rug in the circle, I asked a particularly precocious 14-month old's mother on my right what precocious 14-month-old's name was-- "Hank," she says.

Yeah. So clearly, I've found the group among which these names are common, and that likely means I've found the group whose members obviously think somewhat similarly to me. Maybe, maybe not, but it's worth another trip to the library again next Friday to find out.


*"Babies at this age enjoy being held. Simply hold them close if they do not want to be put down," I am so helpfully told by my infant development book. Ah, YES! Why had I not thought of that myself?! I'll just HOLD THEM 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I'll just pull out that extra set of arms and HOLD THEM both. And then, I'll pull out that other set so I can manage the occasional snack or bathroom visit (or blog post... this post brought to you courtesy of the nursing pillow and two babies with nipples jammed down their throat...).

Oh, and yes. I have Happiest Babies, and the 5 Ss do work, but only after 20-30 minutes of "Shh"-ing and swaddling and swaying, etc., etc., and once the baby is quiet, the peace lasts for all of 2-3 minutes before the screaming starts again. And of course, meanwhile, Baby B isn't sitting patiently with his hands folded waiting his turn, but is rather losing his flippin' mind wondering why I'm ignoring him for so long. That doesn't mean I've stopped trying to get it to work, but rather that it's an awful lot of screaming to listen to in the mean time and I just wonder what the fuck is wrong with me or these babies or whatever that I cannot seem to calm them. It's maddening.