ooh baby baby, it’s a wild world

…I’ve seen a lot of what the world can do, and it’s breaking my heart in two. 

I’m finding it difficult not to carry the weight of the world lately. I almost can’t bear to turn on the tv or browse social media, for fear of what I’ll see.

Another senseless murder, another act of terrorism, another life taken too soon*, another racially charged tragedy.

And the worst part about it? None of this is shocking anymore. When I heard about the attack in Nice yesterday, I didn’t gasp like I did when these sorts of incidents first started happening more frequently. 

When was that even? 

When did this sort of thing become so regular? 

Did you know there have been nearly 12,00 people killed by Islamic terrorism this year alone? This list may not be completely accurate or up-to-date, but it’s devastating nonetheless.

As mothers we do everything in our power to protect our children. We desperately need a break from them at times, yet when we leave them we do nothing but worry. And now, we even worry when we’re with them. When we think they can’t possibly be harmed in our care. But we just never know. 


I’m trying my best to stay above it all. Soak up every single moment of happiness that is in my life. Kiss  the little cheeks (and lips, because THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS) of my babes as much as they’ll let me. Embrace middle of the night wakings with open arms because far too many mothers no longer get to snuggle their babies.


And I don’t know how I’ll begin to explain all of this to my children when they’re old enough to understand. I don’t know how I’ll begin to tell them the ways in which the world can be so cruel. How there can be so much hate when all anybody wants is to be loved, how people can be so evil when we were all born with the same innocence. 


So for now, I hold them as tightly as I can. I cherish each and every moment moment I have with them; the little and big, the good and bad, the happy and sad.

Someday I’ll teach them to be smart and aware. And I’ll hold out hope that by the time they’re old enough to understand, I won’t have to tell them there’s a lot of bad and beware.

I wish you all sunshine through the clouds, positivity when the negative drags you down. I hope that you can see through the evil, embrace the little things, I hope you can get by just upon a smile.


*The story of Beau Solomon has been weighing particularly heavy on my heart, as he was a resident of my hometown, attended my high school, and shared his love of life with many people I know. My 19 year-old Godson was his teammate, his classmate, his friend, and on Wednesday he was a pall bearer at his funeral.

five on friday

Siiiiike! I dislike the number five, but love alliteration, so you’re getting seven random facts, yet the title remains the same.

one. I’m in a coffee rut. I feel like I need coffee, yet none of it really tastes great to me. My go-to iced coffee has lost its luster. I get coffee envy when I see other good looking coffees, but just can’t seem to get mine to taste the way I want. Generally I think hot coffee is good for only booze and winter, but I did try it blended with coconut oil the other day and it was pretty tasty. It’s a fairly healthy option so I might stick with it. Really I think my body may just be telling me that I don’t need coffee at all, but who am I to listen to my body? And who does my body think it is, telling me I don’t need coffee anyway??
twin mom cup.jpg

I should probably get this cup, no?

two. The problem with blending coconut oil in my coffee is that my babies are afraid of the blender. This poses an additional problem because I’ve recently introduced them to crack smoothies, which are also blended (in case you didn’t know), and well, Theo starts to freak out at even the sight of the blender. Soooo, I do as any mom would do. I take the blender out to the garage and close the door while I whip up the goodness!

three. We’ve reached the battery stage. 97% of the gifts the boys were given for their first birthday require AA batteries. And you know what we don’t really have just lying around here? AA batteries. This morning I discovered that HyVee sells a 4-pack for 99 cents so I bought numerous 4-packs since I’m sure they’ll last super long at that price…

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four. I want you to know that I did thorough research to find out whether “sike” should be spelled “sike” or “psych”, since essentially it means “I psyched you out, man!” It bothers me a little that I went with the technically incorrect spelling, however it just feels more 90s, you know?

sike

five. My babies (I WILL CALL THEM BABIES FOREVER) have almost zero interest in TV. The only time they really care is when a song comes on. Then they stop whatever they’re doing, have a little five second dance party, and then go back to licking the floor, slamming the cupboard doors, or pulling all of the DVDs out of the basket. I digress.
I mention the TV thing for a few reasons:
a) Most days the TV remains off. All day. Is that weird?
b) When I do turn on the TV, it stays on PBS Kids even though mine are not watching it.
c) I have all of the PBS Kids show theme songs memorized. The Cat in the Hat is my fave.
d) I couldn’t even use the TV for entertainmentif I wanted to.
e) I could totally be binging on NetFlix goodness all day and they wouldn’t even know. They’d probably dig the Pretty Little Liars theme song!

six. I dropped a can of pears on Nolan’s head Wednesday. I did. If you ever want to feel like the worst mom ever, just drop a can of pears on your baby’s head. Bonus points if that same baby smacked his head on the dining room table a few days earlier because you were blinded by his cuteness and didn’t see the danger in the situation that caused him to hit his head. All this to say, we might all start wearing helmets around here. And mine is going to have the two little can holders with straws, a la Homer Simpson.

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Also, he’s fine. But I did take him to urgent care just to make sure and to take away a smidge of the mom guilt.

seven. I have been drooling over this recipe for like two weeks, and now, after three trips to the store for the ingredients, I am finally making it for dinner tonight. #mombrain

*Thanks to Amber for the blog title inspiration today. I always get the itch to share random information on Fridays but I’ve never stuck with a name for it. After reading her Friday five, I decided to go with it. Twin mom same brain.:)

Have a great weekend, friends!

How Do You Measure a Year?

*one thing you should know about me is that I will always take advantage of an opportunity to sing/share/relate to a RENT song.


In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.

So very many cups of coffee.


In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

Eight miles might as well be a million when that’s the distance that separates you and your newborn babies for the first three weeks of their precious lives.


In diapers, report cards, in smoked wheels, in speeding tickets.

We could buy a small island with the money we’ve spent on diapers this year. 


In  contracts, dollars, in funerals, in births.

The first birthday seems like an ideal time for them to sign a contract agreeing to love me forever and ever, more than anyone else, right?!

Or. How about love? 


Yes. Measure your life in love.

Year after year.

…and suddenly I get it.

I’ve always wondered about those parents. The parents who say their child is 26 months old instead of just saying that they’re freaking two. I realize that baby/toddler clothing is tagged in months up until 18-24ish, but honestly, is there any reason to count your child’s age in months??

Yes. Yes, there is. A very valid reason that, up until recently, I hadn’t understood at all.

It’s because after months, come YEARS. Once your child reaches the one year mark, they are no longer babies. You don’t count their age in weeks or months, you count it in years. Scary, wonderful, exciting, can’t-get-them-back YEARS.

One minute you have newborn baby boys and the next they’re hanging with girls that aren’t mom or grandma.


Then suddenly they’re driving.

And thriving.


And with each year, they inch further and further away from you. 


That independence they gain with each is year is utterly bittersweet. The more independent they become, the more you want them to need you. 

And so I’ve come to realize that those parents aren’t crazy or stupid. They know that there are 12 months in a year. They can probably even figure out that 18 months equals a year and a half. But when you say that your baby is a year old, it sounds so SO much more frightening than saying twelve months.

Once you start counting by years, you don’t get to go back to the months. And before you know it, the days of counting by weeks will sadly be but a distant memory.

All this to say, I have two babies that are about to turn ONE YEAR OLD.

I’m filled with fear. And excitement. And tears. And hope. And love. I have a lump in my throat the size of a boulder any time I think about the fact that we are actually going to be hitting this milestone so quickly. But one thing I know is that each day, each week, and each month of life with these boys has brought so much joy to our lives. And so I know that the years will too. They will bring happiness beyond my imagination, even if they do fly by faster than I can handle.

So excuse me now while I weep until June 9th. Or 10th. Or maybe 11th? At some point I’ll accept that my babies are toddlers, but I get a couple of extra days to deal with it, right? Isn’t that a part of the twin package?

Oh, and I promise I won’t be one of those parents with 32 month-old babies. Probably.

currently

I’m a sucker for these posts…

time & place | 7:31am, Wednesday. In bed. No, not because I have magical babies that sleep this late. On the contrary, they decided they were ready for the day at 4:30am, then changed their mind around 7:00. And as soon as I put them in their cribs? Playtime!! So here I lie, listening to them not sleep.

loving | My new work schedule. I now just work Mondays and Tuesdays at my office job, and work a couple of nights a week at my old restaurant job (no matter how many times I “quit” that job, I always end up going back for more.) This allows me so much more time with my babes, eliminates day care expenses, and still allows me some adult interaction by way of making money! Admittedly I miss the daily interaction with my coworkers and I’m feeling like I’m missing out on a lot, making it difficult to really feel like I know what’s going on when I am at work, but I know at home (or out and about!) with my babes is exactly where I need to be.

seeking | Plants & flowers. I’m hoping to get some serious planting done this Saturday. Now that we’ve been smacked in the face with summer I’m realizing how desolate our garden beds are! We knocked down this old planter and have been working on some patio updates so I’m hoping flowers will bring it all together this weekend!

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craving | I’ve really been craving a way to channel some creative energy lately, resulting in doodles and lots of ideas. I need to bake some elaborate cupcakes, get crafty, or plant aforementioned flowers. Food wise I’m all about cold vegetables, salads, and “picnic food”, which is perfect with Memorial Day so soon!

——>current time & place | 1:39pm, Thursday. I fell asleep while writing yesterday. Oops! Currently sitting on the couch while the boys nap.

destroying | I’m mostly the destruction supervisor around here. For instance, it takes approximately 45 seconds for our living room to go from “acceptably tidy” to “two almost-toddlers definitely live here”. I watch that happen quite frequently.

cherishing | The sweet scent of baby sunscreen lingering in the air from our earlier outdoor adventures.

cooking | Not too much cooking going on here the past few days. It’s hot and muggy so I’ve been throwing together salads for lunches. We did have zoodles with turkey meatballs the other night but I don’t really consider heating meatballs and sauce or spiralizing zucchini “cooking”. Planning to utilize the slow cooker for a Thursday night taco party. Not to worry- my babies aren’t starving- they’re eating zoodles and meatballs too. Plus waffles, yogurt, fruit, mac & cheese, avocado, cheese, plenty of stuff that doesn’t require heating the oven.:)

playing | Outside! Finally! I put some water in a shallow tote, along with some kitchen utensils and it provided entertainment for over an hour!

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eating | Just finished the last of the zoodles and meatballs!

hating | My cast. I’m over this broken wrist business and have my fingers crossed that when they remove my current cast tomorrow they’ll say, “This looks good, you don’t need another one!” But the chances of that happening are slim to none.

anticipating | The weekend! Always. Gardening Saturday, a cookout and photo session for the boys on Sunday, and just relaxing on Monday! I’m super excited for the cookout, as there will be six littles, all born within a year or so of one another, together for the first time since Labor Day. There are now two more babies on the way so this group just keeps getting better!

collecting | I’ve been a bit more into Pinterest lately. Pinning everything from recipes I want to try this summer, to clothes I should buy since I donated ALL of my clothes while pregnant last spring, to ideas for our next home. Also collecting photo memories for the first year books in putting together for the boys. ::cue tears::

celebrating | Memorial Day weekend! The unofficial start of summer, but more importantly, time to remember and honor those who’ve lost their lives defending our country.

Happy long weekend to you all!

the kindness of strangers 

Unless we’re at Costco with the awesome shopping carts just meant for twin littles, shopping sans another adult means I push a stroller and pull a cart. 

As you might imagine, this is a bit of a spectacle. If I’m planning ahead for eating/naps (and I’m usually not) I have to account for at least an extra 10-15 minutes of chatting during our regular shopping trip because people just can’t help but want to learn more about our little caravan.

“Are they twins?” Sure are.

“Identical?” Nope.

“Do you have a history of twins in your family?”  Also, no. 

“They sure are cute!” Thanks! I think so, too!

“You have your hands full!!” Yes, yes I do.

  

…and so on and so forth. This the conversation I have numerous times on each outing with my littles. I’m sure other twin parents get sick of it, but I’m not there yet.  I’m fascinated by the fascination with twins. It’s something that never was in me prior to finding out about my own but now I love encountering other parents of twins. Even moreso I love encountering other twins. The multiples really come out of the woodwork when you have your own set, that’s for sure.

But what really gets me every time I take my boys shopping, is how freaking helpful people are. Madison is notoriously pretty friendly. We wave when someone lets us go ahead in traffic. Heck, we let people go ahead in traffic- isn’t that friendly enough?? We smile when meeting strangers on the street. And apparently, we hold doors and offer grocery help when brave moms decide to do some serious grocery store/Target damage with two littles in tow.

Maybe it’s just because I’m still a rookie and my amateurish cart pulling/stroller pushing is evident, but DANG!! People are nice when you have twins! 

  
No automatic doors? Not to worry, someone will hold them for you.

Having trouble rounding the corner? Don’t sweat it, the people coming at you will get wayyyy out of the way for you. Then come back and chat for a bit.

One twins decides to have a bit of a meltdown? The sweet old lady in aisle seven knows just how to calm him down. 

Thought you could get out of the cheese aisle quickly, right? Nope. The woman stocking the coolers is a twin. The retired couple studying the feta thinks your twins just have to be the same age as their grandson, meaning they know exactly how to make them smile. Oh, and the lady buying the Pillsbury  crescent rolls swears they have the bluest eyes she’s ever seen!

You hear the store manager call an additional cashier to checkout lane five. You don’t want to be that girl so you wait patiently behind three other people when all you really want to do is dart over to lane five before the cashier even turns on the light. Oh, but don’t you worry because the kind man in front of you gently says, “why don’t you go ahead?”  and waves you along to checkout lane five. 

You later learn that his twins are now twenty-one, yet he remembers ten months like it was yesterday. You pretend not to hear the longing in his voice. You pretend that you didn’t hear his whole body scream, “It goes so fast! They grow so quickly! Don’t blink or you’ll miss it! You are so darn lucky!!” 

Mostly because he didn’t want you to hear that part. He wanted you to see the eye roll when you told him their age. He wanted you to hear, “Oh gosh, you’re in for it. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Hope you have a good hookup for covering grey hair!” (Btw. I do. She who gaveth the grey, covereth the grey.)

And lastly, while en route to your vehicle, pushing a stroller of chatty twins and pulling a cart filled to the brim with groceries, a white-haired gentleman calls, “You got it alright?”

Assuredly you call back, “I’m good, thanks!”

And I am. I am so good. Because people are kind. In a world full of so much hatred and news that makes you never want to turn on your tv again, people are kind. When politics and religion breed wars and loathing, people are kind. When really unfair things happen to really good humans, people are kind.

And if you’re lucky like me you don’t have to look far to find that kindness. And you damn sure don’t take it for granted.

golden monthday

It’s a thing I made up because I love the number nine and I love celebrating these babies, who turned nine months on the ninth!


It’s been a while since my last baby update and things are changing at lightning speed.

GROW.

I’ve recently come to realize that our boys have more than “caught up” in regards to their six week prematurity. In the last week we’ve been around three babies almost the exact same age and our boys are giants compared to the others. It’s easy for me to see photos of other babies their age and assume they are the same size but then in person it’s totally different.

Nolan remains the bigger twin, with the chunkiest thighs that I just want to eat up. He’s longer too, meaning he’s busting out the bottoms of most nine month footed pajamas so he’s most comfortable in twelve months. Theo is our mover and shaker but also a peanut. Still wearing some six month clothing but perfect in nine month.

I’m excited to find out official weights at their upcoming nine month well visit, but my super scientific method of weighing myself with and without a baby on my hip tells me Theo is about 18 pounds, while Nolan is clocking in around 20.

Teething in our house has been such a non-issue. I’m knocking on wood as I type this but other than a smidge of fussiness, a few middle of the night nursing sessions, and the constant desire to happily gnaw on  everything in sight, you wouldn’t even know they were teething. They are both about a half a tooth shy of all four top and bottom. Nolan keeps chewing on his finger, spoons, etc. wayyyy back in his mouth- almost as if he has molars coming in! I’m sure that’s not the case but he’s definitely getting some sort of relief with it.

MOVE.

Regarding that moving and shaking. Theo is officially crawling. Or at least his version of it, which is more of an army crawl but he has no problem getting exactly where he wants to go when he wants to go there. Which is always. I do believe Nolan is starting to get frustrated that he’s not able to travel everywhere like his brother but at this point he just does a rock back and forth on all fours and tries to “fly” with his arms and legs up while lying on his belly.

They are both finally sitting up unassisted and strongly enough to warrant their first big boy brothers  bath. Let me tell you, this makes bath time in our house SO much easier.

EAT.

Bottles of pumped breast milk mixed with formula continue to be their main food source, with comfort nursing or “boob snacks” (another thing I made up😉 as needed. Theo completely stopped nursing for a few weeks and suddenly one day started up again and I think our nursing relationship is better than ever! Nursing has never been their “main meal” so to speak, but I still am SO happy that I never gave up on nursing them! I say I’m going to stop pumping and just let things dry up at least once a week, but it’s those sweet nursing sessions that just keep me going back for more!

Around six months we also started incorporating solids. It’s been a somewhat slow process, as their interest has sort of waxed and waned but I think we’re finally seeing them get truly excited about food. We started with simple purées and have included some pieces of soft foods too. They love apples and bananas, sweet potatoes, pears, rice cereal (usually mixed with a fruit or veggie). They aren’t so fond of peas and make funny faces at a few other things I’m blanking on at the moment. Theo hates oatmeal but Nolan loves it. I’m not sure that they ever actually get any Cheerios into their mouths but I’ve been giving them a small handful from time to time and they really enjoy playing with them. They also love sitting in their high chairs and playing with kitchen utensils- a discovery made by grandma! This is especially helpful when I’m trying to do dishes or actually make food for the adults in our house to eat.


I steam/purée/freeze most of what they eat but we also have individual applesauce packages and some food pouches on hand for convenience. We generally just do one full-on high chair feeding each day, around dinner time. But when I’m home I also have been trying to incorporate a breakfast feeding and we have started giving them bites of whatever we’re eating. Theo, for instance, ate the black olives off of my pizza recently and I couldn’t be happier to have someone to eat them for me!

SLEEP.
Such a dynamic topic. I’d say the norm is for them to sleep 9-10 hours, wake to eat, sleep for another 2-3 hours, up for the day. We’ve been getting at least one good nap each day and are desperately trying to make the 2-3-4 method work but we’re not quite there yet. We’re finally getting crib naps out of both boys and sometimes they even nap IN their cribs. At the SAME time. This is a major victory, people.


Of course there are also times they fall asleep elsewhere and I just don’t have the heart to move them. You know, like the middle of the living room floor.


Theo is somewhat like the energizer bunny in that he just keeps going and going and going until he’s just completely DONE. He sleeps later in the morning, and usually takes longer naps. He fights sleep like no other though.

Nolan also fights it, but not as much. He takes shorter naps and is always up first thing in the morning. I swear he just loves having alone time with his momma and knows he gets it if he wakes up first.

P.S. We do as recommended and put them to sleep on their backs but both are belly sleepers and make their way to the preferred position very swiftly.

TALK. 

Nolan has been a little chatterbox for the past couple of months. He “tells stories” when he wakes up in the morning, and often “sings” himself to sleep. He likes to screech, and recently Theo has decided to give that a try too. Theo very suddenly started babbling just last week too. He talks about “dada” alllll day. But I don’t think he has any idea who dada is, just a sound. Somewhat related, Nolan loves to shake his head “no”.

LIKE.

These boys really love music. Theo is obsessed with our Bluetooth speaker, and Nolan loves to “dance”. They LOVE when grandma sings the Itsy Bitsy Spider and Nolan is particularly intrigued by the ABC Song that this guy sings. They still love their Exersaucer and Jumperoo but I’m finding they prefer to be on the floor, exploring. It’s no question that they are people people. They love to interact with us and are thankfully comfortable around just about everyone they meet. Nolan gets a little stranger danger from time to time but usually gets over it pretty quickly.


What else? I don’t know. These guys are such a joy! I can see that they bring sunshine to everyone they meet- even people who claim they aren’t “baby people”. And that makes this momma pretty happy. Then again, just about everything they do makes me happy!

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