Monday, March 28, 2011


Hiya, there! I just noticed that there are still seventy-eight of you readers out there who still subscribe to this old blog link (in Google Reader).

Far be it from me to tell anyone what to do, but since I don't really blog here anymore, I might recommend that you highlight this web address:

and then copy it (ctrl+c / cmd+c)

and then go to your Google Reader and click on "Add Subscription"

and then paste (ctrl+v / cmd+v) the link in there

and click "Add".

And if you're feeling extra-spunky, you can also unsubscribe from this old link by clicking on this blog title in your Google Reader sidebar, and then clicking the little arrow next to it and choosing "unsubscribe" from the pop-up menu.

But, you know, totally your call.

I fully understand if you'd rather just keep coming over here periodically and clicking on this link: Bee In The Bonnet and following my story that way. I also fully understand if you just want to unsubscribe from me, period, and call it a day. No pressure. Just thought I'd let you remaining people know that I'd love to have you all follow me at my new wordpress blog and that there will very likely not be any more updates to this blog...

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!!