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It’s Been Awhile…

Wow, it has been six months since my last post. Time has definitely gotten away from me, as it does when you’re a busy mom. I am currently 34 weeks pregnant with baby number 3. Izzy and Cole are now 16 months, they are walking, going up and down the slide at the park, and starting to want to feed themselves. They are trying to talk and I believe Cole says “dada” and maybe even an occasional “mama” when he’s trying to throw me a bone. I believe Izzy’s first word was “cheese.”

Coley knows when he gets into trouble and is doing something he’s not supposed to because he will turn around and wag his finger, shake his head, and say “dah!”

I can’t explain the joy and love that they both give me. Mike and I were talking last night about how much our lives have changed. Most of our every waking hour is devoted to making sure these two are fed and taken care of…yet this is one of the most happy periods in our lives. Interesting all that time I spent thinking about myself and what might make me happy next- when the happiest I’ve been in my life is when I often forget myself.

I am working tuesdays/thursdays and with the kids mon/wed/fri’s. It is getting more and more difficult to keep up with them, the larger I grow. Yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel. After our first successful experience with an au pair- we have decided to get another one, and she is coming May 15th!

For me, having live in help is the difference between surviving and thriving. I know some may roll their eyes and think “well of course if everyone could afford it- they would to,” but actually the costs of an au pair are much cheaper than a nanny or even pre-school. It works out to be around $8/hour for 45 hours of care for three kids. You can’t beat that anywhere.

We ended up going through an agency this time- Cultural Care Au Pair (message me for a promo code if you decide to try) and so far are really happy with our decision. They thoroughly vet, train, and interview these girls. They also send them to a training school in NYC before they arrive at our house. If we aren’t happy with the one we’ve chosen- we can easily transition to a new au pair.

Overall, I feel like I’ve gotten the hang of things with them. There are still those days, where I feel completely overwhelmed and the phrase “stop this train, I want to get off,” cycles in repeat in my head. However, I have grown in that I learn to ask for help when I need it, I have let go of the need for things to be perfect, and I sneak in time for myself to let the steam out.

At the moment, I am really anxious for baby c to get here. I am really large and it is hard to move. I am tired of feeling fat and not having any clothes to wear. My skin is a wreck and there is nothing I can really do about it until I’m done breastfeeding because everything that can make a difference, can also come through to hurt the baby. I want to feel sexy again, I want to go on a date with my husband and have a few cocktails. I want to run unencumbered. I want to get my ass and abs back. I want to have energy again, and know what its like to not wake up four times a night to go pee. I want to not worry if I need more than one cup of coffee, or eat a turkey sandwich, or have a hankering for sushi.

Oh yeah- and I can’t wait to meet little Mr. or Ms. who decided to surprise us and make us a family of six (boodah the dog included)!

Here we are at the moment:

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This Week it Took ISIS to Keep Me Sane

October 21, 2014

I am so overwhelmed. Apparently, Mercury has been in retrograde or something for the last three weeks and everything has gone haywire. Mcgee (our nanny) told us she is leaving for Florida bc her boyfriend’s contract was released from the Galaxy, Brysun (our dog walker that keeps our new parent guilt at bay three times a week) is moving in December, I just found out I’m pregnant again, Mike had two job offers fall through, we mistakenly missed a rent payment (first time in three years) and our landlord began talking like he was going to evict us.

Just tonight, I found out our nanny has a breakout of shingles on her eye (which apparently is a Herpes virus) and so the kids have both been exposed. They can’t get the chicken pox vaccine until twelve months, so we are out a nanny TONIGHT- with not another one in sight, thus far…oh yeah and NOW MY KIDS MIGHT HAVE HERPES??!!

I have interviewed probably ten different nannies and none seem right. I threw my back out on sunday and so now I can’t even stand up straight. Blue Cross is starting to not reimburse my interns, which means my business is likely to go tits up. Both of my kids can’t go to a public place, without losing their minds.

Yesterday at my gym, I had to keep reminding myself that somewhere in the earth, ISIS was probably cutting someone’s head off to put my day in perspective. I was literally fighting back tears, heat on my face, and a ball in my throat- as other parents looked on at my two babies whaling their heads off, while their little apples angelically just played harmoniously together.

Because my back was hurting, I think I subconsciously forgot to pack the stroller, so the first words on my first day of taking the kids to “my gym,” were “here can you hold him?” while I rushed out to get twin b in hopes no one had yet reported me as the latest hot car mom.

I feel like we are running on a constant hamster wheel, trying to keep up with the kids, trying to keep the house straight, trying to sneak in 20 minutes here and there of “catch up” sleep, trying to manage a date night here and there, trying to connect just enough with friends so they don’t think we’re completely awful/lame people, trying to skype/text/phone family to make sure they feel connected enough, trying to just do “enough,” while at the same time feeling like I’m not doing anything really great at the moment. How are we going to do this with ANOTHER baby?!

It is kind of like I’m just existing. I forgot to send a rent payment??! Today, I caught a reflection of myself pumping gas with a tag still hanging out of my shirt. I have eaten captain crunch for the last four days for breakfast, because I still haven’t found time to go to the store. Balls of pet fur sit on our stairs as a reminder of just how loose and fast I’m playing it with life.

I used to armor-all my car. I used to have a “look book,” for outfits to wear. I used to color code events in my calendar according to “fun,” “personal,” “work,” etc. I used to organize my bathroom drawers on the weekends. I used to know where all my shoes were and have more than 6% battery life on any given device at any given time. What happened to that person? Where is she? Will she ever come back?

PS- kids’ stats: Izzy is taking 6-10 steps at a time now, coley is finally crawling!!

This picture about sums it up...

This picture about sums it up…

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8.5 months

Just a quick update today…Izzy is now crawling everywhere and pulling herself up with everything, including my hair. Coley is still not even attempting or feigning to care about the idea of crawling. They are BOTH teething (probably the reason for an abbreviated post). They are both getting the upper two front teeth, and Cole has been waking up every 2-3 hours throughout the night.

 

It is remarkable what lack of sleep can do to a person. The military experiments are all true. I would give every secret of our country up in two seconds for the promise of a good solid five hours at the moment.

I am short with my husband, have not looked in a mirror (nor want to ) in weeks, am getting “through” the days, wondering how I ever thought it might be “cute” to have a third child at some point, have developed some sort of peptic ulcer that feels like a burning hole in my stomach, and am considering anti-anxiety meds to help me cope.. Aaaahhh this post has taken a turn for the worst.

But afterall, the idea is to give you the real nitty gritty. Not the “haha, I got poop on me, oh well I’m lovin’ it!” schpeel. I actually caught myself yelling at my husband over the phone, when he was out of town for work for the second night and attempting to dissuade me from using benadryl with our teething baby (we did not end up using by the way) “I am at WAR, and I am in the Fu&*ing trenches right now. You’re either with me or against me!”

Not very psychologically sound or adept, but when a patient comes in next time and tells me that their baby is teething- that is all they will have to say.

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Coley and Izzy at a playdate

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Izzy with her Papa Phil

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How are an Older Model iPhone and a New Mom of Twins Alike?

Both are always on their last leg with no hope of ever being fully recharged..

As I watched myself tell my husband that he pauses too long between words, I realized I have become a bad person. I work with couples and have witnessed one tell the other that they hate how he breathes. I never thought I would get there- and I actually told him that the time he takes between words was annoying.

How did this happen? How does one devolve into a sniping, bitter, irritable shell of a human? Just a little sampler from my day the other day: woke up, stepped on a plug to the monitor we had not been able to find because it was embedded deep under a pile of laundry I had yet to put up from weeks ago.

I tried to watch the fifth installment of a movie we rented on itunes because I can’t ever see any program the whole way through anymore. If it is not a kid that is needing something, it is me that is unable to keep my eyes open longer than the opening credits.

My husband and I fought for the seventeenth time over the whereabouts of the iphone charger. My new thing is that I sign him up for a different iyanla vanzant or oprah newsletter each time he removes the charger from its designated spot. So far he is set to receive “soul food,” and “inner visions.”

pigpenjpgWe have an infestation of fruit flies that never seem to disappear no matter what we try, which gives me a likeness to Pigpen as I try to clean up one pile of “stuff” in the house, while another one forms.

We constantly have dog hair in our bed and as I toss and turn throughout the night (because it has been an exceptionally hot summer here by the beach of course and we have no a/c). I wake up tired. My body is heavy as though I just finished the workout of my life, which by the way I never get to work out because there is never a moment of time that one child is not awake.

Our living room can only be paralleled by Chuck E. Cheese in it’s brightly colored plasticity.

So there you have it.. The makings of a mad woman.

Ok here is the paradox. I have never been more full of joy, gratitude, and love

I wonder if he is telling him about his pregnant pausing problem?

I wonder if he is telling him about his pregnant pausing problem?

at any point in my life than I am now.

Little Izzy and Cole are about the cutest things I have ever laid eyes on. When they reveal their little two-teeth grins, I just melt. Izzy has a smile so big that it almost closes her eyes. Cole’s smile just lights up a room.

Izzy is now on the move. Not really crawling, more like catapulting herself forward, repeatedly from point a to b. She is curious about EVERYTHING, especially remotes and iphones. Coley is just now starting to roll over and is becoming more aware of his surroundings.

ok he's a pretty great dad

ok he’s a pretty great dad

He is making so many sounds and just started the “d” sounds, so unfortunately I have a hunch that “daddy” will be his first word. No hard feelings kid- I just carried your 7.5 lb body in mine for nine months and brought you into this world 😉

Izzy definitely knows who mommy is and reaches out for you to pick her up. She is only happy when she is being held and loves being in the center of everything or on the go.

Both are starting to be awake for longer periods of time and gone are the days where I could just leave them to play on the mat while I did a round of bottles.

I am definitely stretched thin, over-worked, and under-paid. But the job has never been more rewarding.

the beaner and I at concerts in the park last night

the beaner and I at concerts in the park last night

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almost 7 months!

Cole & Izzy will be 7 months this weekend and I can’t believe how time is flying. They are growing so much. The days are so long, but the weeks seem to fly by. I find myself trying to make it past the finish line at 7 o’clock each day, and at the same time- trying to hold on to every little moment so I won’t forget. Some days it is all I can do to just get by. Yet, when I remember- I try to relish whatever moment I am in, even if it involves spit up and yelling for the 73rd time “no barks” to my dog as he almost wakes the babies up again from their naps.

Izzy is fully rolling to get from point a to point b and can now get on all fours and do this rocking motion. She can fully sit up now and that means she can take big girl baths. She is sooooo close to crawling- and we have done NADA to baby proof yet! Slow down!!! Coley is still content to eat his feet and lay on the ground and make pig noises. Cole got his first two bottom teeth last month, and now Izzy has her first two coming in. Cole is starting to become very aware of his environment and actually interacts with the little toys on his exersaucer. Izzy LOVES Boodah and laughs and screams at him whenever he is close by. He is weary of her, and should be- because she grabs a nice tuft full of hair whenever he is in range.

On another note- I have noticed something interesting about what children have done to me- mentally. The only way I can explain it is that it feels like they have unlocked another level of my heart. As a result- I am able to love more deeply, feel more joy, and get that misty eyed, ball your throat, feeling everytime I look at my kids. The downside is that I also feel more deeply in both directions. When I hear about a child being abducted, called a name, bullied, or abused- it sticks with me. It doesn’t quite evaporate like it once used to. I now look at the world as a conglomeration of someone else’s “Izzy” and “Coles.”

I just stopped breastfeeding/pumping, and was unaware of the hormone swing that brings. Holy Sybil! The good news is that I can start exercising without worrying about my supply. I am finally finding some sort of rhythm- which usually looks like jumping on the elliptical during that magical 20 minutes when they both are fast asleep, grabbing the one that is crying so they don’t wake the other up, and running them up to the swing, so I can finish the rest of my work out while one screams until I pick them back up. I came to the conclusion that if I constantly try to keep them both cry-free and satisfied 24 hours a day- I will be a plump and unsatisfied mom, stuck in my maternity clothes forever.

 

Here are the latest pics of the babes…couldn’t you just eat them up??!!

 

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I used to be a real live person

The following entry is from a journal to my kids that I started a while back. My vision is that it will eventually be a book that they will read as adults. My fingerprint in print, that I was here. A legacy that I can leave behind to my children when they are curious about who I was, who they are, and what makes us tick…without verbally unloading on them while they are still in their formative years. My hope is for them to create their own opinions of our family and the world around them without me creating a skewed narrative for them. I imagine, from time to time, I will post on here though as it ties into how I’m feeling at the moment. Today’s post seemed to be one of them:

 

Sometimes thoughts go off in my head and there becomes a rumbling. Almost like when you hear the continuous pop and crackle on 4th of July and need to rush out to see the fireworks. Writing is sort of like that. You have to sit down when the moment strikes. Once it’s gone, it’s gone and your mind draws the curtains shut.

Before you guys came into the world, your mom use to be a person. I mean a real live person with energy, ambition, and clothes that matched. Like an old flame, those thoughts come to me every so often. They taunt me, usually starting off something like “you should try this…” or “you should be doing more of this..” Where I once used to act on them, now I do another load of laundry, another cycle of bottle sterilizing, etc etc and just forget to should all over myself. Which I have to admit- is kind of nice.

I am finding myself lacking ambition and I am at peace with it at the moment. I wonder if this is what happens to all of us? Do we all come into the world with big dreams for ourselves, making it only as far in the marathon of life until we have children to put us on the bench?

Tom Ford put it more eloquently in WWD this morning, saying  “It has really changed me; I’m not sure how to articulate it.” “A lot of things I cared about before I don’t care as much about anymore.” (he also goes on to talk about how he has finally taken the ultimate sacrifice and not gotten his monthly botox injection…so yeah we are still a bit different).

 

Husband and I BK (before kids)

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“It has damaged – no, damaged is the wrong word. It has minimized my ambition a little bit, my ambition in business, my ambition in having a beautiful house. It has become the most important thing in my life,” he adds. “Everything else has had to recede, including my appearance. I don’t care about it. I care about being successful. I just don’t care about any of it as much. You can’t.”
There is something so rewarding and gratifying in taking care of you two. To some it just looks like I am on a hamster wheel of rinse, wash, repeat- but to me it feels like I’m doing God’s work. Not in a religious sense, but in a real “this-is-what-i-was-created-for” type of feeling. There is an underlying voice, thought, feeling that says “just keep doing this and all will be well.”

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As I approach that six month mark…and the dreaded “walk”

This is an excerpt from a rant I posted on the twins support forum last Saturday after my husband was incapacitated from some sort of stomach plague…with no break in sight. You don’t have to be a mother of twins, just a mother, to find some shared (comic) relief, I think. Bare with me:

 

Saturday afternoon therapy for my twin mommas (warning super long post that goes nowhere): As I write this during a magical moment where both my twins are asleep, it is coming from both a place of frustration, as well as a place of sharing/caring in hopes that it might strike a common chord among my twin momma “sisterhood.” I would love to hear your all’s thoughts, difference or shared opinions, musings, etc. Also, writing for me is therapeutic- and that’s exactly what I need today- this Saturday where I thought there would be light at the end of the tunnel, but suddenly my husband comes down with a stomach virus that has him relegated to the guest room for the entirety of the weekend, leaving me no respite in sight- therapy.

I had a thought today, as I was trying to complete what had become a four hour attempt to put away one load of laundry..”This is crazyment.” This life of taking care of twins, trying to keep a household together and clean or at least looking like most people living in it are not diagnosable with some form of severe mental illness, trying to exercise so you can sleep at night, trying to sleep at night so you can exercise the next day, trying to maintain whatever semblance of your former self you might have- whether that be career life, social life, as a partner/wife, or sister/daughter.

With twin babies, there is no break. There is no coveted nap time where you can finally clean the bottles, do the laundry, exercise, bathe, or just change your underwear, spray on some perfume and deodorant and make it seem like you had a shower. There is no schedule like “well he goes down at 9, 12, and 3, so let’s plan our playdate accordingly.” They are two different human beings, and as such- sleep on their own schedule. I never know from day to day what their schedule is going to be.

As I find myself approaching that 6 month mark, I nervously watch my breastmilk supply going down- and so I shove as many fenugreek capsules, lactation cookies, and “power pumping” sessions as I can into a day that is already packed with being tied to a breastpump or a baby’s mouth, an employee who needs assistance, a client who needs help, a husband who needs attention/dinner, a dog that seems to stare into my soul every time he drops a tennis ball in front of me, and a to-do list that never ever gets fully crossed off now.

As I find myself approaching that 6 month mark- suddenly the supportive response of “relax you just had twins,” has morphed into “are you back at work yet? what are you doing to get back into shape? are you doing any mommy and me stuff? have your kids reached the next milestone? you have to schedule just time for you and your husband you know, etc. etc..”

As I find myself approaching that 6 month mark- I feel a sense of urgency to start eating better so that I feel better. Yet that requires time to plan, grocery shop, cook, and yes- eat. So what happens in actuality is I stuff another starbucks latte and breakfast sandwich down my throat to keep me functioning for a few more hours until I can make it to lunch. For lunch, I have visions of going to Subway to grab something relatively healthy to my normal fare- but when the time rolls around, I have lost all motivation to put both babies in the car, in and out of the snap and go, slap myself together into something that resembles a functioning human, or at least something that others wouldn’t stare at in disbelief as I stood in line in a public place- and so I end up in the taco bell/pizza hut drive through yet again. FAIL

As I find myself approaching that 6 month mark, I feel a sense of obligation to breastfeed my kids for another six months until I hit that magical one year mark, combined with an undertone of fear that my supply is now dwindling, next to an overwhelming urge to exercise (even though the catch 22 is that I know it will decrease my supply) to feel better and get back to feeling like the self I once was- energetic, vibrant (most days), and healthy. Yet, when I have that ever anticipated gap in time where both babies are sleeping- all I want to do is sleep and try to recover from the night before. As I “should” all over myself, I also hear the cries of many who have gone before me saying “you shouldn’t put so much pressure on yourself.” Another “should” in disguise. I then get down on myself for trying to do too much in a situation that is already busting at the seams.

Just when I think I’ve got a rhythm, one baby learns to roll over and suddenly – game over. The end of an era where I could just lay them down to play quietly with a toy. Just when I think I might have this all figured out- a friend asks me if I want to go for a walk and its as if she asked me to elaborate on the theory of relativity.

Pardon the tangent for just a moment- but “do I want to go for a walk?” Hmmm…let me think. My twins have me on a non-stop change, feed, clean, sleep schedule all day and I haven’t even had time to write the log I am supposed to be keeping their daily schedule on, much less fax over a claim to an insurance company, call my mom back, respond to a client that needs to reschedule, send my grandmother another picture of the exact picture I sent her before via text but she can’t figure out how to scroll down, reheat- for the 3rd time, my half eaten breakfast sandwich that I suspect might now be carrying salmonella but I’m willing to take the risk. But yes- let me wake at least one of my babies up, strap them both in the stroller, so that I can swindle that precious moment in the day when all the stars align and they are both sleeping, to walk. No thanks. Not today.

Doing therapy for a living, one would think I might have this stress/time management stuff down. Yet despite all those many years of training- there is nothing in a book or a classroom that quite prepares you for this. It is a schizophreniform, emotionally labile world we live in as mothers. We are constantly tired, stretched too thin, cranky, irritable juxtaposed against an underbelly of overwhelming joy, laughter, fun, happiness, excitement, and gratitude to have these little gifts/miracles from heaven. We can be mired in the muck of the day and with one giggle or grin, we get another plug of energy to get us through the next moment, until eventually we come out on the other side relatively unscathed parents of toddler and tween twins….I am still in disbelief that these mythical creatures actually exist, however.

Well that’s all I got for now. I hope, for those of you, that found time to even read this- you found some commonality and know that today you are not alone. Keep on keeping on ladies. You’re the closest thing to superheroes there is