Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Question And Answer Style

I am a lazy, preoccupied lady, and thus, I haven't responded to several questions that have been asked of me in the comment section. Of course, it's also the fact that I've been forgetful lately, too. I mean to write an email, but forget about 2 minutes after the thought crosses my mind. So if the opportunity doesn't instantly present itself to complete a task, it may be hours or days (or never) before it gets done.


--Are the boys identical?

Highly doubtful. They look very different-- He.nry is fair-skinned and fair-haired, with wide-set eyes that grow increasingly blue by the day. He is also our little chunk-chunk, dense and round, with a head not unlike his father's (giant, because of the giant brain, right?). Jac.k is a little darker in skin tone (still fair but with an olive undertone) with dark brown hair. His eyes are getting greyer by the day, but it's uncertain where they will end up, color-wise. He is long and thin-- a little longer than his brother, but weighs a pound less--, though his face is finally filling out a little.

Personality-wise (in so much as there is personality at this point), seems to be a fretter, constantly in a state of readiness to get upset about the slightest thing, but only getting truly hysterical when he is ignored (bad Mama peeing in the toilet in the next room instead of wearing adult diapers so she NEVER LEAVES MY SIDE...). Henr.y, on the other hand, is fairly calm, occasionally having screaming fits prompted, one can only guess, by a change in the music of the spheres. Seriously, kid is smiling, then SCREAAAAAAAAMS, and then goes right back to smiling.

So yeah. Probably not identical.

--What is the awesome swing you have?

This is it. I got it because it is supposed to have a great battery life. In retrospect, I would have instead registered for two small travel swings, I think, but this is nice to have none the less. It's very soft and squishy-comfy, which probably appeals to me more than the boys, but maybe they like it, too. Who knows? It honestly doesn't get much use now because it's huge and the only place there's room for it is in the playroom, and our life right now is spent mostly camped in our bed, or out and about.

--What is the breastfeeding pillow you mentioned?

The EZ 2 Nurse Twins nursing pillow (um, this one...). It's a giant, firm, horseshoe-shaped cushion that holds the babies at boob-level when rested on your lap. The fabrics in which the pillow is currently available appear to have been chosen by Michelle Duggar (which is fine... nothing wrong with Mrs. Duggar, but her taste in fabrics is probably different than mine...), but since this is a nursing pillow, it's not like you're going to be wearing it on the streets of Milan, being judged by the world's fashionistas. More likely (if your experience is like mine) it will quickly be covered by breast milk (both straight from the boob AND in various stages of digestion from the babies' mouths), pee, sweat (MAN, it's been so frickin' hot and humid lately...), possibly some poo, and drips and drops of whatever food or drink you have time to cram into your mouth in those precious moments when they're both occupied and not wailing. Thank goodness the covers are washable...

But yes. Indispensable in my efforts to tandem breast feed the boys.

Just a break here to ask why, if NC's state lottery is (like many other state lotteries) set up to benefit the education system, WHY is there any sort of financial crisis in the school system? I mean, I know it's a total joke that lotteries ever actually benefit schools as they say they will when they are set up (great way to get voter support for what amounts to a tax on the mathmatically-challenged), but during a time when the economy is in such a state that we can't afford to keep the teachers we have, why aren't the lottery proceeds making up that difference?

--Why don't you use formula to supplement?

Um, here is where I have to sheepishly admit a few things:
1. I kinda do use formula already. Right now, that has only been in situations where I cannot nurse both at the same time, like when we're out at a restaurant, and they both get suddenly, screamingly hungry. I am a rock star at times, but I cannot tandem nurse twins in public yet.

And on occasion (maybe 2-3 times so far) when I am at my wits end, and have been nursing the babies non-stop for hours on end with only occasional 10-15 minute breaks, I pass off whichever is the most starving baby to H so that he can feed him a bottle of formula.

See, I don't really subscribe to the idea that formula is tantamount to poison, nor do I think that formula is some slippery slope that leads to instantaneous weaning from lack of supply. I also don't think that formula is particularly convenient (I hate washing dishes, and bottles, with all their annoying little parts, are particularly irritating). But I do still think that breast milk is best, and if I can give it to them, I prefer to choose breast milk over formula. BUT when I don't have enough expressed breast milk to give in whatever circumstance, I see nothing wrong with giving formula. And I may pick a feeding to be done by H (with whatever expressed milk we have on hand OR formula, though with the feeding schedule we're on, there won't be much more expressed breast milk because there is simply no time to pump, nor any milk left after so rigorous a schedule) so that my nipples can have some time off to heal a little.

2. Here is where I also admit that the only time of day when they don't eat once an hour is overnight. They (blessedly) will usually go two hours between feedings with the occasional three hour stretch (and once, the other night, we had a FOUR hour stretch, though we paid for it the rest of the night with those once-an-hour feedings...). So, despite being torn apart during the day, I do, actually, get some rest overnight. I'm no Sleeping Beauty, but I cumulatively get about 6-7 hours a night, which is enough to keep me going through the crazy days.

Speaking of, how does one go about getting babies to sleep someplace besides on my lap? Night time is good-- we've got the co-sleeping situation figured out--, but during the day, they fall asleep being held (or against me on the nursing pillow), and will sleep for a few minutes once put down, but inevitably wake up screaming until they are held and/or fed again.

The every-hour thing has made it incredibly difficult to leave the house, but regardless, we will be all leaving the house tomorrow morning so that I can go to my six-week follow up OB appointment, at which point I will hopefully be cleared to return to normal activities. I know my libido's supposed to be in the toilet these days, but that is not the case. I'm supposed to be all pissy with my husband ((and at points, I am, as as he with me), but I'm really not. I have been really craving physical affection from him, and those moments are, sadly, few and far between. I don't just mean the chance to get jiggy with it, but more just the chance to hug, or kiss, or just hold each other's hand, etc. But yes, being given clearance to recommence the deed (doesn't Dooce have a post about that?) will be nice. And I also really can't wait to be given the clearance to run again. I'll be basically starting almost from scratch again, I know (hello, Couch To 5k Program! It's been a while, no?), but I'm ready to start again. Who knows when I'll find the time, but since it's my main form of stress relief, it is SO needed right now.

We will also all leave the house again on Friday morning to go to Book Babies at our local library (thanks, Serah, for the suggestion. Brilliant idea.). I don't think the boys will get much out of it, but it will be nice to have some sort of activity beyond sucking on my boobs for them to try.

Um, does anyone have advice on how to care for cloth diapers? I've looked at plenty of websites, and they have conflicting advice on how to wash, etc. I don't know if I'm using the right detergent, or whether I'm drying them wrong, or whatever, but the boys are finally getting big enough to use cloth on a regular basis, and so we are almost completely switched off of disposables, and I'd like to get in the habit of caring for the diapers in the right way.

Last, since I know this is the real reason you all stop by:

My Boys
My men, Henr.y hides in the Ergo, while hangs on Papa's lap.

Happy Henry
He.nry. Kiss, kiss, kiss. I love those cheeks!

Karate-Hand Jack will cut a bitch if he needs to... That's his typical hand pose, karate-hand. Man, he cracks me up!

Good Morning!
The Squash Duo. Love, love, love.

More can be seen in the Flickr set, J.ack and H.enry.

Um, okay. I think that's all they'll give me time for today. Apparently even the boob can get boring eventually...


Marie said...

I love the milk duds in one of the pics. My nightstand looked like that(read:still does)so that I always had snacks handy. BF makes you super hungry huh?

I am dying to do some sort of work out for myself, alone but I can't seem to get time.

No advice on cloth diapers. I am WAY to lazy for that.

Anonymous said...

Gah, so smushy and adorable! I love the rocker pics.

I'm still holding out for identical ;-) I'm amazed that you're going out and about at all. Every hour?!? Yikes! said...

Love it! They're getting so squishy and lovely!! awwwww

Kait said...

Oh cloth diapers - I too am trying to figure that out but I have things a little different as I can only wash mine in a coin machine where I have no control over soaks and extra rinses. What I have been doing is putting the soiled diapers in a wet pail with a pre-wash from Thirsties. I put the wet diapers in a dry pail. Then I put all of them together into the wash and do a hot load with Thirsties Diaper Wash (not the real name but I'm blanking right now). Then I dry them on hot. Again, I don't have my own in-unit washer so I can't do what most people recommend, but I've found the wet pail system to work pretty nicely. I've been using gdiapers and am now also using grobaby diapers (but haven't started them yet - I'm actually doing the 6 consecutive washes without detergent thing today). Anyway, I hope the helps some. I don't know if my way is right but it's working for now.

I don't know how you do it with twins. You really are a rock star.

Anonymous said...

cloth diapers- go to the Bummis website- they have the best instructions I've found for caring for cloth diapers. They also have a HUGE list of diaper-safe detergents and bleach alternatives!! :P

Love love love the pics of the boys too!! They are just so cute!! :P

Alexicographer said...

Great to "see" you -- the boys are charmers! Sorry not to be posting much, broke arm, have trouble typing. But I will tell you I used cloth and did, um, nothing special. I put wet diapers straight in the machine with no pre-rinse, rinsed the poopy ones in the toilet and then the sink and then threw them in with the rest, and then, oh the horror, just washed them with whatever laundry needed doing in our regular detergent (generally a cheap store brand, often with fragrance). And usually but not always line-dried them.

Shocking, huh? Worked fine for us. We had FuzzyBunz + nurtured family inserts, love both, no problems.

ps my verification word is mandust. wonder how that relates to babydust.

Ellen K. said...

The boys look great. What a difference 2 more weeks in utero and normal birth weight can make! I & N look so scrawny in their pictures until around 3 months, when suddenly their wrists ballooned out like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.

I sometimes think I should have done cloth diapers. It would have saved a lot of money and, honestly, it's not like twin moms get out of the house too often. : )

Sue said...

The boys are adorable, and they look so alert too!

I don't think you have to do anything special for washing cloth diapers that aren't microfiber, and definitely nothing special if you're just dealing with pee and breast milk poop.

No advice on how to put a sleeping baby down. I seem to remember this was a particular problem for us from week 6 to week 12 for some reason. If you don't find a magic solution, at least you can rest assured they'll outgrow it eventually. Hang in there!

Ashley said...

Ah, seeing your boys reminds me of my wee ones nine months ago. You are amazing to breastfeed the way you have. I could rarely get my latched at the same time, nor could I produce enough. You are truly amazing, and despite the lack of sleep, you sound amazingly happy! Way to go!

Star said...

Okay, cloth diapers is a topic I definitely know about. First question is, do you have hard water? If so, do you use pocket diapers or AIOs? If you answer yes to both of those questions, then you might want to look for Calgon water softener and use a capful with each wash.

Otherwise, here is what I do: store the dirties in a dry pail with a liner. On wash day (probably at least every other day with two), I do a cold rinse to get the poop off, then a hot wash with Tide Free to the lower line (plus Calgon bc we have hardish water), then a second hot wash with no detergent. If I had the option to do warm or hot rinses, I would not do the additional wash cycle, just one additional warm or hot rinse. And even that I might not do if we didn't have hard water (which can leave detergent buildup if it doesn't all get rinsed out). If I was using all prefolds and covers rather than pockets, I wouldn't bother with an extra rinse at all bc prefolds are indestructible, lol. Of course I'm sure you know that BF poop is water soluble and doesn't need to be rinsed off, it can just go straight into the pail. When the baby started solids, I started using flushable liners and I love them. They make the whole process so much easier.

On detergent -- I started with Tide, then tried Country Save to be more green, and found that (probably again because of our hard water) it didn't get the diapers clean enough, so I went to Tide Free (hated the smell of the scented stuff) and have been happy with it. A lot of people swear by Rockin' Green or planet or some of the other green detergents, but another huge chunk of CD users swear by Tide.

All of this is with a top loader. if you have a front loader, there are some additional tricks that people use to get the diapers clean -- because FL use so much less water, it is harder to get cloth diapers clean in a FL machine. I have found the forum helpful when I had specific questions and wanted to see what others' experience was with various things.