hiring: night shift personnel

Bath time came a little earlier tonight with the intention of having the girls in bed by 8:00-8:15. They were cranky.

Erik left to go to a friend’s house as I was giving the girls a bath. Bath time looks a little something like this: each girl in the tub at the same time with about an inch and a half of water. Sometimes there are bubbles, sometimes there aren’t. I bathe each girl individually, let them splash around for a few seconds, and then let the water drain before getting them out, that way I can get them out one by one safely.


I put some Aquaphor on them as a barrier before their diapers, then socks, and then their sleepers. I put them in their boppy loungers that surprisingly still come in handy after all of this time, and I made their bottles. I withdrew .06 mL out of their gas drops and divided the dose between the two of them, and did the same thing with Tylenol. They’re teething. It sucks.

Olivia ate her bottle like a champ; Violet was refusing. I was getting aggravated. I picked her up to burp her. She burped twice. I tried feeding her again. She still didn’t want it. She was sucking on the bottle but she wasn’t actually working to get any milk out. I took the bottle away from her and went in the kitchen and cried. I picked Olivia up and burped her because at this point she was done eating. I put her in her crib and went back into the living room to tend to Violet. I sat down on the couch with her and attempted to nurse her. She surrendered so sweetly that it made me cry again. She just wanted me, not the bottle of formula. Anytime, Violet, anytime. She nursed herself to sleep.

8:40 p.m.- start washing dishes because girls went down peacefully.

10:40 p.m.- have cleaned kitchen, seperated laundry, washed bottles and pump parts, unloaded dishwasher, reloaded dishwasher, and am two glasses of wine deep. “Wahhhh!” My heart sank.

11:15 p.m.- text Erik and tell him Olivia had already woken up and gone back to sleep. I was going to go to bed. Told him to put the clothes in the dryer once he got home.

11:32 p.m.- I just turned the tv off to go to sleep. “Wahhhh!” You have got to be kidding me. I go back to get Olivia… Again. Nurse her, again. Put her back down, again. Get back in bed… Again.

12:11 a.m.- “Wahhhh!” I got her out and gave her a bottle. I know, it was weak of me. I need sleep. Put her back down. She stays quiet.

12:15 a.m.- I go check on Olivia to make sure she’s down, ready to fall back to sleep. She isn’t. She is playing with her giraffe. Whatever. She’s quiet.

12:30 or so- Check on Olivia one more time to see if she’s still awake. She isn’t.

I published that up there ^ last night before I finally got to go to sleep, but decided that it would be fun to include what happened from then on because it wasn’t happily-ever-after-everybody-sleeps-until-8:00 a.m. No, no, no… 

5:08 a.m.- I wake up in a panic because Erik isn’t in bed yet. “Oh god, is he even home?” I get up and to my relief, see him asleep on the couch. “Wake up, come to bed.” I tell him. He wakes up, tells me he was waiting on Olivia to wake up again, and follows me into the room.

5:12 a.m.- “Wahhhh!” I laugh and say to Erik, “Of course she waits until you get back in bed.” I get up and get her because 1. I needed to pump anyway and 2. Erik is working a double today.

5:47 a.m.- Get Olivia back to bed after nursing her, again… for what, the fourth time? Fifth? I am pretty freaking annoyed at this point. I sit up in bed. My motion was enough to wake Erik up. “What’s wrong?” He asked me. “I am wide awake. I am aggravated. I am hungry, but I don’t want to get up.” “Close your eyes.” He suggested. “No, I think I’m up for the day.” Erik convinced me to lie back down. We both heard Olivia screech, but she didn’t ever cry.

8:22 a.m.- Violet wakes up.

The only positive thing I have to say about my morning so far is that I have managed to keep them entertained until 10:45 a.m. or so when they got tired enough to take a nap. Erik reminded me to look at today as a fresh start, and to not dwell on my night. “Don’t worry about Violet not eating her bottle last night and don’t worry about Olivia not sleeping well. I’ll be home and take over tonight when I get home.” He even went as far as asking me if he wanted to see if he could find someone to take over his shift tonight so he could come home earlier. I told him no.

It is now 11:16 a.m. and I completely forgot that I made toast before editing and finishing this post. So while I have the time, I’m going to eat that and watch The Office.

*disclaimer: I would never, ever hire a night nanny. Cool if you want to or did, but that’s not my style.

 

 

 

 

 

communication is key

relationship

I don’t know if I am ready to write something like this and I really don’t know if I am ready for you guys to read something like this, but the more I saw it the more it bothered me and I want to address it. So, for my sixth post on my blog, I am going to go there. Like really GO there. Okay? Okay.

I was following a certain mom-themed Facebook page that is geared toward supporting breastfeeding mothers and normalizing breastfeeding in general. I am all about that. What I am NOT all about, are the various posts that were shared on that page justifying why it’s okay not to have sex after you have a child. Okay, wait, this post isn’t just about sex. Hear me out. The writers behind these posts would list ten, if not more, reasons why you might not want to have sex and for the most part, they are understandable reasons, but one that just made me go, “wait, no…” was that if you are a breastfeeding mother, by the time your significant other gets home, you may feel ‘touched out’ by your child and not want to be touched by somebody else. If that is something you deal with, I apologize, but I don’t agree. I don’t think your child needing you and your spouse showing you affection are in the same category. Honestly, after a day with the girls, as soon as Erik comes through that door I am like, “Yes! HUG ME. LOVE ME.”

After reading the articles, of course I read the comments. SO MANY WOMEN said they dealt with this problem and would go to say things like, “You want to turn me on? Take the baby and let me sleep.” Or, “After doing this this and this all day, the last thing I want to do is have sex.” One woman even said, “I haven’t had sex since I was seven months pregnant, and my daughter is over a year old now.” Hold on. Rewind. You mean to tell me that you and your husband haven’t had sex in a year and a half, give or take a month or two? I just don’t understand. These women make it sound like sex is an all night affair and I’m sorry, but put yourself in his shoes. Based on what I read: these men go to work during the day, come home at night to what sounds like defeated women who want absolutely nothing to do with them emotionally, yet they expect them to willingly take over the kids and household so they can have a break. I get it, I have days where I am in tears by the time Erik comes home. Honey, if you haven’t had sex in such an elapsed amount of time, it’s not going to take more than five minutes for you to finish. Put the kids in their crib with a toy they can’t choke on, and by God go in your room and get it on.

Those same women seemed to be the ones who would go on to complain that their significant others wouldn’t do this or didn’t do that, and they wished they would ____ and all I could think was, “then why don’t you tell them that instead of putting it on the internet for complete strangers (who are evidently in the same boat) to read and reply to?” It coincides with my post from yesterday. TALK TO THEM. COMMUNICATE. I always exit out of my browser thinking, “damn, how did I get so lucky?” You know how? Do you really want to know? Erik and I talk to each other. We are supportive of one another. If we get upset with one another, we address it like adults instead of bottling it up and exploding on each other like Mentos and soda. Erik and I get into little tiffs here and there, but we never ever get into screaming matches with each other. The result? A functional household.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I am lucky, because I know that there are men and woman equally out there who just don’t understand how to put someone else’s needs before their own. Erik is a great man and an excellent father. Our relationship didn’t just happen like this over night, though. We definitely worked on it, and it took time to get here, and the girls definitely add stress to it sometimes, but that’s what this is about, and this is why I brought up the responses from the women on those articles. You, as the other half in a relationship, have to equally put forth effort for things to work, whether that be your husband cleaning up after dinner because you cooked, or taking the time to be intimate with one another, because if you both aren’t in it, you’re going to fall victim to resentment and nothing good comes from that.

*photo credit Merriam-Webster

 

 

 

get off the phone

Last night at work, I had a man sit down and ask for three menus. He ordered a Corona and then went to the restroom. When I got back to the table with his beer, his two young boys were at the table. I asked them what they wanted to drink. The first kid asked for a Dr. Pepper. The second boy didn’t say anything so I asked him again. “Same thing as him.” “A Dr. Pepper?” Just to clarify, you know. “Yes sir.” Neither of the boys had looked up from their phone during this conversation. Are you kidding me? I said, “Whoa, whoa, whoa…” They looked up and laughed and said sorry, and I wanted to suggest they get off their phones long enough for a drink order, but I refrained. Not my monkeys, not my circus.

I despise people that live on their phones. When I am driving to work on I-45, I see people on their phone. At red lights that turn green, I see cars at the front of the line holding up traffic because the drivers are on their phone. In public places like Walmart or Target, people text and walk without ever looking up to see what’s in front of them. I have been tempted to stop in front of them to see if they hit the stroller or not, but I don’t want to chance them falling onto the girls so I go around them. The one that really irks me though is when I am at work and I see families sitting at tables in silence because they’re all on the phone. I will never forget the look on this man’s face when he was with his daughter at a table of mine one night. During the entire dinner, she hardly looked up from her phone to talk to him. It broke my heart, and it looked like it broke his, too.

I feel like the internet has become this realm that people cross over into when they are on their phones. Liking, hash-tagging, retweeting, posting, pinning, or whatever else because at this point there are too many social media accounts to keep track of. More times than not, I see children under three years of age with an iPad or phone in front of them while they’re out to eat with their parents. You know what happens when their dinner is delivered? They throw fucking tantrums because they don’t want to stop watching whatever they are watching long enough to eat their dinner. I can’t stand it. That is not how I want Violet or Olivia growing up. If other children their age are already consumed with electronics and their parents aren’t limiting their time on them and stimulating them in other ways, it is going to be hard for them to make friends because the other children will have a harder time doing so. They won’t know how. The internet has replaced human interaction and it scares me.

I try to limit my time on the internet and there are days that I am more successful than others. However, I make sure I take the time to read to the girls at least once if not twice a day. Books. With spines and paper pages. Erik and I take them outside and let them watch Rose and Roman run around, or we load them up in the stroller and hit the block once or twice just to get out of the house. On the now very rare occasions that we go out to dinner, we stay off of our phones and we talk to one another, and when I cook dinner, we eat at the kitchen table. Oh, and we sure as hell don’t get on our phones under any circumstance when the girls are in the car with us.

We can’t prevent technology from advancing, but we can absolutely limit how much it affects our relationships and daily lives, and we certainly can control how our children spend their most important years of growth. So please, put down the phone, go outside, and get yourself a breath of fresh air. Any day spent living is a beautiful day.

your baby, your way.

In this day and age, I feel like moms and dads alike get scrutinized for their parenting choices whether it comes from friends or close family members. “You shouldn’t _____ because _____.”

Some days I wake up ready to take on the day with the girls in my loving arms, and other days I want them at an arm’s length because I barely slept and they won’t stop whining. I know babies whine and cry, but sometimes it’s too much. I’m allowed to be annoyed. If your kid is annoying you, don’t feel bad. It’s normal.

I breastfeed as much as I possibly can, but that doesn’t stop me from making them a bottle of formula throughout the day if I need to or gasp, WANT to. As long as they are eating well I don’t care where the nutrition comes from. I will NEVER shame a mother for how she chooses to feed her baby. Unless it is your baby’s nutrition, it’s none of your business. Period.

If the girls are visibly tired and I put them down in their crib, I let them fuss for a few minutes because I know they’ll fall asleep. I refuse to pick them up at every little noise they make because if I do, they won’t nap or go to bed, and they will be one thousand times crankier as the day or night progresses, and it’s harder to get them to sleep if they’re overly tired. I also know the difference between fussing and full-fledged crying. If you are one of the parents who refuses to ever let your baby cry, that’s cool. That’s what works for you.

I LOVE cloth diapering. I think it’s great for the environment and great on the bank account. If you don’t have the patience or simply don’t want to, that’s totally cool. I am not secretly judging you for using disposable diapers.

Last thing, I also really believe in baby wearing. If you don’t like it, haven’t tried it, or are simply uninterested in the subject, by all means, carry your baby around in your arms, their car seat, or stroller. Whatever you want, dude!

All of the things I mentioned above are things I constantly see being debated over, yet what works for one family might not work for another, and that’s what you need to understand. Unless a child is in physical danger, opinions on other parenting choices are absolutely NONE of your concern and should be kept to yourself. Society is bad enough, we don’t need any extra mom/dad tyrants calling other parents out for not doing x,y, or z like they think they should be.

 

 

 

it’s not that bad

When I first started this about two weeks ago, I said that I wanted to try to post something every day. I am trying to hold back my laughter because who was I kidding? With two babies and a short temper, that’s pretty fucking impossible. I have these activity seats from Summer Infant that the girls LOVE, so when I think I have a solid post, I’ll put them in them in front of me on the table and attempt to type something up. Don’t worry, they’re buckled in. *insert mom bashing here* I get a solid ten minutes of contentment before they’re crying to get out of them and do something else.

Speaking of crying, I cried when I found out I was pregnant because I wasn’t ready to commit to being a mother 24/7 for the rest of my life. I wasn’t ready to carry a baby, give birth to a baby, or nurture a baby. None of that. Yet here I am sitting at my kitchen table, drinking my second cup of lukewarm coffee (with heavy whipping cream because I forgot Erik and I killed the hazelnut creamer before he left for work, damn it), and listening to the gentle crashing of the waves coming from the sound machine in the nursery while Violet and Olivia take their afternoon nap.

My living room floor is covered in random toys and a big alphabet puzzle mat. On my love seat there are two Boppy loungers, against the wall adjacent to me there are two swings and a jumper, on the floor there is a big bin of cloth diapers and accessories, and next to that is a play pen filled with more toys. I have to pick everything up off of the floor to vacuum at least two times a day because we have two dogs. Dishes are constantly being rotated from the cabinets to the sink to the dishwasher, and at any given hour you can hear one of three things: the dogs barking/whining, a baby crying, or the washing machine washing what seems to be like an endless amount of laundry.

I think people have the perception that once you have a baby, your life is screwed. Sure, I can’t up and leave whenever I want to, I can’t drink half a bottle of wine and sleep it off anymore, hell, I can’t even sleep a solid six hours without needing to wake up and pump, but I don’t consider myself to be screwed at all. I love it. I love watching them learn and with each milestone they conquer, I re-evaluate my life. “What really matters here?” Material things? No. Friends? Only a very few. My girls? Absolutely. So before you consider being a mother a shitty situation, let me assure you that in all of my twenty-four years, it is by far the best thing to ever happen to me. I don’t think for two seconds that I am missing out on anything.

 

it’s hard to always be nice

As a new parent, you are bound to get boatloads of unsolicited advice from relatives, friends, caretakers, and I’m not even kidding, random strangers in passing. We were at Walmart, Erik was holding Violet, and I was wearing Olivia. Some guy told him, “you should get one of those carrier things. It would make things easier,” as we passed by. Does that man really think that he was the first person to suggest that to Erik? We just giggled and agreed.

Almost every time we take the girls somewhere, or someone comes over to the house to visit, they will question something we say or do. I say pace feed the bottle, they say, “Why? It looks like they are sucking in air.” Do you seriously think I am telling you to purposely gas my children up like helium balloons? I put socks on their feet and someone pulls them off because they think it’s too hot to wear socks. I literally just put Vicks on their feet, and they LOVE putting their feet in their mouths. Or mine and Erik’s favorite: when Violet is really gassy resulting in hysterical cries and arching her back. “Maybe you should try gas drops.” Are you kidding? We keep Mylicon and gripe water on deck. I cannot express to you how crazy this makes me. I am unsure if it is because we have twins, our age, or a combination of both, but it’s mind blowing sometimes how out of control people think things are here at home.

Violet and Olivia will be eight months on the thirteenth of this month, and I can honestly tell you that no, they aren’t both sleeping through the night. Olivia wakes up once or twice a night for a snack and a diaper change. No, I am not giving her a bottle of rice cereal so I can sleep longer. One night she will sleep from dusk until dawn, but until then, and throughout her milestones and teething pains, I will wake up and nurse her as long as she needs me. She is my child, not my burden.

It’s hard to always be nice, especially when these things happen with close friends and family. I know they mean well, but Erik and I really do know what we are doing when it comes to parenting the girls. I carried them for eight months, and they are equal parts us. We can decipher the hungry cries from the gassy ones, we know when they are tired, we know when they are bored, and let’s be honest here, breastfeeding fixes all of the above. So please, the next time you want to suggest something to a new set of parents, stop to think that maybe, just maybe, they know what they’re doing.

 

 

mom guilt

It’s 10:37 a.m. and I already have a bout of that pesky mom guilt. Erik woke me up and told me he was going to run to the store to get dog food and coffee creamer. “The girls are fine, they already ate, so try to keep sleeping,” he said. I bet he wasn’t even to the stop sign at the end of our street before they were fussing. I walk out in the living room to see them both in their swings. Olivia about knocked the bucket seat of her’s to the floor from flailing her arms and legs once she noticed me, and although Violet didn’t get as excited, I got a happy reaction from her, too. I walked in to the kitchen where the Keurig is just out of their eyesight, and before you know it, they’re both crying. I rolled my eyes and took a deep breath.

A little over a month ago, Violet started refusing the breast little by little, to the point where she wasn’t gaining or losing any weight. We hired an IBCLC to come out to our house and do an evaluation on her. She diagnosed a lip and tongue tie, but said that it didn’t affect her latch any, and gave us a feeding plan to follow. She told us that if we had a referral to an E.N.T. we could get the ties revised, but for now, bottle feed her and focus on continuing to try to get her to latch. This morning, I wanted to pump because I had slept from 4:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and knew that I had enough milk in there for her lunch bottle. Once I start interacting with the girls, it’s go, go, go until their mid-morning nap.

I figured I would pump for a few minutes rather than twenty, get enough milk out for the bottle, and then nurse Olivia and maybe Violet if I was lucky. I did just that, and as Olivia fell asleep nursing, a wave of Oxytocin rushed over me. I was able to unlatch her once I realized she was comfort suckling and no longer swallowing, and laid her down peacefully in her crib. I took Violet, who was now crying, out of the playpen and sat down with her in the rocking chair in the nursery. I attempted to latch her, and sure enough, she took right to it and started nursing herself to sleep, too.

Once she was fully asleep in her crib, I came to the kitchen table to type this, thinking about how all they wanted was my attention (and milk… let’s be honest here) and how all I wanted was to drink a hot cup of coffee while I pumped milk so Violet had one less bottle of Neosure today since I am working tonight. As a mother, one of the hardest things for me is making sure that both of them get equal, or close to equal time with me, while still providing structure through the day by making sure they eat enough, play enough, and nap enough. The absolute hardest thing, though? Remembering that they are only this little once, and to embrace these moments whether they are happy memories, or mistakes to learn from, and to remind ourselves that although we may feel guilty because we could have done x,y, or z better, they don’t care as long as we love them.