Friday, February 26, 2010

Two Months

QUOTE OF THE DAY:
Mamaw G: Whew...those pants are tight on that woman.
Papaw G: That's like fitting two tons of lard in a one ton sack.


Well, the munchkins turned two months old on Wednesday. Two months old. What the mess. Where has the time gone? They told me this would happen. I'm okay with it, though, because I hate this time of winter and really, the time with the girls hasn't passed by that quickly...so I don't feel like they're growing up too fast. I feel like they're getting fatter by the second, but they're still sweet little babies and I can remember every single second with them. Every single second...at 3:oo a.m...sometimes 2:00 a.m. Sometimes both 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m...sometimes all night long...usually all. night. long. But that's okay, because it's worth it and I wouldn't trade that time for anything. Weeeeell...................................nah, I wouldn't trade it.

Our time in the Deep South has come to an end. We'll be heading to the slightly Norther (Norther?...more North?) Deep South in the morning (Saturday), along with Mamaw G, who will be staying with us and helping us this next week. Woo hooooooo for help! I'm sad to be leaving, but I'm so excited to get home and see my sweet baby Hugsy Bear! This is the longest we've been apart since we've been married. He came to see us over the weekend, but still... I miss his cuddly wuddlyness at night. He's a good snuggler. And at night, my parents' house is the SCARIEST PLACE ON EARTH. They live in the middle of the woods...far away from any neighbors (except my grandparents, but they're pretty scary at night, too). And it's really dark here. And so when it was my turn to sleep in the play room near the girls during the night shift...it's not really all that fun. You know how I feel about monsters...especially werewolves. And I mean, this log cabin in the middle of the woods is the perfect place to spawn images of faces appearing in windows and shadows of something tall and hairy skulking behind the couch...(like, right now, I feel like something is touching my legs under the desk...). So, I would slowly migrate towards the love seat closer to the girls' travel crib. Because, as we all know, two month old twins are ninja fighters and could protect me, so I needed to be near them. Yes, I'm 27 and still afraid of monsters. Shut up.

Since we've been down here, we've had a lot of visitors. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, great-grandparents, friends, random strangers, the likes. What's funny is that all of those people thought they were coming of their own accord to visit the twins. But in reality, we lured them here with stories of cuteness and cudliness and promises of baby smiles and songs and dances so we could dump the girls in their arms and take naps. Mwaaaah MUUWAAH HA HAAA ha ha haaaaaaaaa...I love it when my evil plans come to fruition...unfolding before me like a present on Christmas day...or any day of the year, because I love presents. Especially chocolate.

So...totally over breastfeeding. I'm done. I've decided. The time has come...the other set of twins has decided. What's sad is that I've been nursing a lot more lately and hey, it doesn't hurt any more. Yay! I made it! Ha, and now I'm finished with it. Here's the dealio...while I do enjoy the actual nursing part, the pumping part is incredibly time consuming...and time is a luxury that I don't have. Two babies, a full-time job, a sculpted new fanny that just won't quit...who's got the time to pump for 20 minutes 6 times a day? Even with the marvelous help I have, it's a lot. I just feel like all of the life is drained out of me...even if I do get some rest during the day, I'm just exhausted. I can't hug people and people need a proper hug. I hate the dead fish handshakes. I hate the dead fish hugs. I'm just constantly in a state of misery as far as the chestal area goes. Also, I'm constantly having to scrutinize every single thing I eat. I know that sounds selfish, but it's not really for me (maybe a little). Mainly it's because whenever they're extra fussy, I think...was it something I ate? And then I have to think about everything I ate that day and gosh, I don't know my own name sometimes, much less what I ate two minutes ago. All in all, I'm really proud of myself. I'm officially quitting next weekend...MAYBE the weekend after that. I'm not going cold turkey...doing it slowly. So, I will have made it two and a half months. BUT, I have enough stored milk to last another 2-3 weeks, so I'll make it to my three month goal of giving them breastmilk. And when you multiply by that times two...two babies...it's really six months. And REALLY, I'm very tired because of it, so when you think about it...it's been a year. Really...when you think about it. But like I said, I'm glad I did it and I'm looking forward to not doing it. And I'm looking forward to feeling 100% and being able to hold my girls without saying, "Mother of pearl, that hurts." We've been adding formula to their meals and they seem to be doing fine with it...whooooooweeeeee, their diapers have become toxic radioactive garbage, but I knew that was coming. I'm fine with it. EDIT: So, I've been writing this post over several days and as of Saturday, I'm trying to end the two month reign of misery known as breastfeeding/pumping. I read to "take it slowly" but we all know about the patience level of Ruth. So, I could do it fairly painlessly over several weeks or I could just bite the bullet and get it over with in a few days. So...I've basically been swallowing bullets whole. It's fabulous. I rewrite my Threshold of Pain chart every few years...this is my 2010 update:

Most Painful Things I've Ever Experienced

1. Surgery gas. This was the worst ever. I've never cried from pain before...well, except the time I was putting Seumas in his crate and stood up fast and nailed my head on the corner of the bar and then felt blood dripping down my forehead. Like in the movies. That was a bad morning. But, it didn't hurt so much as I was just fuming mad and my hair looked really cute that morning and I had to wear a hat the rest of the day. Surgery gas was awful. Don't get it.

2. Breastfeeding. Two little cuddly wuddly babies gnawing on you for what seems like an eternity. You can't do anything but sit there and take it because ohhhhh they need to eat. You love them, but you want to yell obscenities at them for what they're doing to you. But you love them, so you sit there and lovingly stroke their heads and whisper sweet nothings in their precious ears...tears of overwhelming pain sliding down your cheeks.

3. Getting bitten by a cow ant. Imagine having lighting striking you directly in the foot and feeling it slowly course up your leg...and then the pain dissipates and STRIKES AGAIN. LIGHTNING!!

4. Getting a tattoo. A lot of people say it's not that bad. I've said it's not that bad. It's really not that bad. That's only because you don't remember it. It's pretty bad.

5. Stopping breastfeeding. I couldn't find an appropriate picture for this one. I Googled "someone shooting multiple arrows through my chest" but nothing came up. Odd. Hopefully (please, God, please), this phase won't last long. I don't like having to cringe every time I pick one of the girls up to hold them. And also, this will free up some time for me. I barely have time to do my work and take care of the girls, much less eat or do anything else to keep myself alive...so, I need all the time I can get. So, if I see you over the next few days, I probably won't hug you. Just a high five.

So, there you have it. I've never been shot in the face...I've never broken a bone (except my tail bone...thanks, Sara)...but I feel pretty tough because of the pain I've experienced.


You probably wonder, with all the complaining I do about not having any time, why I don't put the girls in a day care...even for a few days a week. Well, I'll tell you. I had planned on doing that. But since the cheapest day care within a 10 miles radius of me is $550 a month...for ONE child...I thought, "Huh, I'll manage on my own, thank you very much." You wouldn't think taking care of kids would cost that much, but ohhhhh yes it does. Why is it that the smaller an item, the more expensive it is. Jewelry, small cars, truffles, children...so pricey.


The girls have become more and more active every day. They stay alert longer and nap less. Their eyes are HUGE. Their favorite thing is for Poppadoc to take them on what we like to call Light Walks. It's where you hold them upright over your shoulder...they'll push off and lean their heads waaaaaay back and look up at the lights as you walk. Apparently, the lights in my parents' house are the most beautiful lights ever created. They also love their Stim Mobile. It's these neato mobiles that have these geometric, bold-colored, weird cards that you can change out...supposed to stimulate their brain. I bought them because they were $20. Mom calls them their Pysch Mobiles, because it's the same kind of cards they use in the psych ward at the hospital. They've started talking. My grandmother calls it "gooing" even though we've repeatedly told her it was called "cooing." She won't accept that. They smile a lot when you talk to them, which is THE. SWEETEST. THING. EVER. They laugh in their sleep. They cause minor earthquakes when they poop. They're just a lot of fun. I gotta say, I have the cutest kids in the world. I really do. It's not a biased opinion...I know you think it is...but it's scientific fact. They also have block heads...like Charlie Brown. It's the only shaped head that would fit their gargantuan eyeballs. I could stare into their eyes forever. Oh so sweet. Also, we've determined they're mirror image identical twins. The whorls on their heads are on the opposite sides. Piper Lee's stork bite is on her right eye...Harper's is on her left. They sleep in a mirror image to each other. One talks forwards, the other talks backwards.

It's really sad when my two month old children have more of a tan than I do. Not that I'm a sun worshipper, but I usually have a LITTLE bit of color. I'm basically see-through now.

Just a quick, random bit of advertising...pumping is super duper boring, so while I was at my parents' house, I grabbed one of my mom's books, Same Kind of Different As Me, and started reading. FABULOUS. If you've never read this, you HAVE to. I couldn't put it down. I actually started looking forward to pumping. Not enough to keep doing it, but still. Good book. There's a sequel...once I finished Same Kind, I started on the second one, What Difference Do It Make. Seriously, read them.

A little shout-out to David's co-workers. Yay for numbers and money! You guys should ask him about the hyenas that call his name...they live outside the house...calling to him...haunting him.

Speaking of co-workers, I work with an amazing group of people and one day soon I'm going to introduce them to you guys.

My mom and sister recently let me know that the only thing I was good for was writing captions for the girls' pictures and they had enough of my rambling and wanted more pictures. Well, fine...so, next post I'll just put up pictures. Good thing Ruth was born or we wouldn't have captions, heaven forbid.


Prepare to hear the sweetest sound ever at 1:52. Also, please forgive the atrociousness that is my hair. I haven't fixed my hair in about two months, so...yeah.
video



Sunday, February 21, 2010

Baby Faces

QUOTE OF THE DAY:
Mom, to my adopted brother Peter: You know, Stir, you're a good boy. Dad and I got to pick you out...we didn't have a choice with the other three.


Babies make the funniest faces...especially when they're half asleep. The girls laugh out loud when they're halfway in between sleep and awakeness (is that a word?). They don't know they're doing it, it's just a reflex, but it's the. funniest. thing. And oh, so cute. The biggest toothless grins and a sweet little ha haaaa. It's an endeavor of mine to catch it on film...er, digital-ness. I'll write a longer post soon, but here's little Harps being upset about something and Piper Lee expressing her disapproval over...well, everything.


video

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fuss Budgets

QUOTE OF THE DAY:
Megan - the 2.5 year old daughter of Audry, on the toilet, hand on Audry's face, speaking ever so softly: Mother. Listen to me...listen.....to......me.....Do you know....the muffin man?



My two little fuss budgets will be 7 weeks old this Wednesday. What is a "fuss budget" you might ask?

Well, this is a fuss budget.

And this is a fuss budget.
And we finally figured out why their budgets fuss so much. They take after their mother and whine about everything.

So, it's been awhile, huh. Well, we've been a tad busy. David and I were alone for the first time with them last weekend. Mom left to go back home to visit Dad and when she walked out the door, we just kind of stood in the middle of the living room and looked at them in their thrones
...sleeping so peacefully...asking each other, "What do we do when they wake up? Do you think we could leave without them noticing? Would it be wrong to put make-up on them? Do you think they want to watch TV?" Amazingly, we all survived the weekend and Mom came back Sunday evening.

I gotta say, I was surprised...no, SHOCKED...with the lack of support for women who formula-fed their kids as opposed to breastfed on the internet. Not that your source of support should be from the internet in any way, but I was just researching and looking up some answers to questions and there are some mean people out there. I'm still breastfeeding...mainly because it's become a challenge for me...just to see how long I can go. I'm 90% pumping and feeding from a bottle and 10% nursing, just because it's fun and I love doing that part of it...pumping, not so much. But, I've realized that I can't keep it up for forever. It's incredibly exhausting and takes so much time and every few days, I get really weak and achey from it. It's not mastitis, but it's just sheer being tired and it just doesn't feel great. So, my goal is still three months. I've a little over halfway there. But, just researching questions I had...and hearing how negative people were towards those who decided to formula feed. I'm telling you, I have the utmost respect for women who breastfeed for anytime at all. I also have the utmost respect for women who formula-feed for any time at all. I also have the utmost respect for women who have had children and who care for them and who are the best moms to them...whether they breastfeed or not. How about there are a GAZILLION kids out there who are formula-fed and how about, they're just fine. Nothing wrong with breastfeeding, nothing wrong with formula-feeding. It's each mother's decision and not a soul can say anything to them. It's nobody else's business. I tell you what, I've gotten really worked up about that. Just to clarify, nobody has said anything to me and people who have commented or sent me emails have been nothing but supportive. I am so blessed and thankful to have family and friends who are so encouraging about whatever decision I make regarding my children. Things work differently for some people and it just kills me that there's not more support among women out there. Once again, nobody's said anything to me, I'd punch 'em in the face, but still. It's not easy and I just assumed women would support each other more. Some women are dumb. Thank goodness I don't know any of them.

On Tuesday, we got the girls all dolled up and headed to see Dr. Mac for my 6-week check-up.
There was some birthing emergency...somebody just HAD to have a BABY right during my appointment and Dr. Mac was running late. Some people are just soooo selfish. Everybody knows you have babies in the middle of the night. So, after a forever wait in the lobby, they put me in a room in which I was told to don a sheet for my lower half and this ridiculous "vest" the size of a napkin for my upper half. For someone who is breastfeeding, that's not the most convenient choice of apparel...I mean, things happen. But, whatever...I just sat there and waited. Finally, I could hear him yelling down the hall that he was coming. He said everything looked great and I was fine to resume my normal activities. I don't even remember what my normal activities used to be. He asked if I had any questions and my first and only question was, of course, "When can I get back on birth control?" Apparently, there's only one type that's safe to use when breastfeeding and the practice doesn't prescribe it and I'm not super cool with it anyways, so it worked out. So...it's just good ole fashion regular birth con...well...it's...well, no pills. Dr. Mac also said I was his favorite patient ever. I'm everybody's favorite everything, so I get that a lot, but it still meant a lot. He said I had a good attitude about everything......ha. haha. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...oh yeah, me and my good attitude. He gave the girls their first New Testaments and wrote a verse on the inside for them. And I got a picture of them with him for their baby books. I know he didn't deliver them, but he was their doctor the whole time, so I wanted them to get to see him.

On the way out of the office, look what we found in the hallway.
(Calm down, calm down...I was like three inches from her while Sara took the picture.)

On Friday, the girls had their doctor's appointment...in the snow. We totally got a ton of snow! I was about forever years old before the first time I saw snow and these gals are only 6 weeks and they got to see snow already. And it was big snow. Big furry flakes. They made you squint when you walked outside because it was like cottonballs hitting you in the face. Cold, wet cottonballs. I sound like I'm from the Serengeti, but it's just that we don't get a lot of snow here. And it's slightly exciting. So, we put them in their polar bear outfits and headed out.

We're going WHERE?!?

Well, the girls are definitely eating okay...Piper Lee weighs 9 pounds and 12 ounces. Harper weighs 10 pounds and 2 ounces. They've gained almost the exact same weight...off by an ounce...in one month. He said they looked great. He checked their eyes, ears, mouths, bellies...let me tell you how much he squished their bellies around. I thought, "If you smush my daughter's belly one more time, I will take that stethoscope and hang you up by your ankles." I know he was checking to make sure all their pieces were there, but still. The girls didn't mind it, but I did.

And then...sad...they had to get their first set of shots. Oh, it was awful. I knew it was coming, but I thought maybe if I ignored it, it wouldn't have to happen...but it did.

What's going on, Mom? Why do you look so sad? Nah, I'm cool...but you don't look happy. Why? Wait...why ARE you so sad.........waaaaaaaait....

Seriously...why do guys have such worried looks on your faces? Do you know something I don't know, Mommajoe?

I'm pretty chill about the whole situation. I was in the NICU for a week...I'm a pro. Needles shmeedles...no pain, no gain.

Since I'm such a strong and brave person, I headed to the lobby while the girls got their shots...FOUR shots each. It was pitiful. Sara and Mom said the girls did great, though. Of course they did...they have my stoicism. The nurse put four bandaids on them...two on each leg. When we got home, we changed Harper's diaper and saw her bandaids, so cute. We changed Piper Lee's diaper...bandaids nowhere to be found. Still to this day have no idea where they went. Apparently, on the car ride home, she undressed herself, took the bandaids off, and threw them away.

The girls' first snow!! And David, my sweet Valumtime, got a snow day!!
(If you recognize this location, it's probably because you know where it is). Yes, I stopped by to grab some deliciousness from Tris...that sounds weird...supper, she made us a delicious supper. And to drop off Brandi's dish and Tris' pants. That also sounds weird. I have good friends...they let me borrow stuff. Like a dish...and pants.)

The twins inSISted on making snow angels when we got home.

They loved it, as you can see. Piper Lee performs her evil, maniacal Phantom of the Opera monologue while Harper blesses us with her autobiographical monologue entitled "Get Me Out of the Stupid Snow and Feed Me."

Well, for the next two weeks, I'm down south with my parents. My mom's been with us for almost 6 weeks straight and she obviously needed some time at home and I can't work and handle the girls by myself yet (until they're like, 18), so I came here for awhile. This will give my whole extended family time to see the girls and me time to work and Mom time to sleep and David time to study for the rest of the CPA and catch up on sleep as well. So, works out for everybody. Little Hugs will be visiting us on the weekends! But, it's been really nice. The girls seem to like it, too.

Hmmm...who's that a-singin' on Momma's phone...why, it's a little Bebo Norman for our nap. Which, we did NOT take.
Sara found this little snow beast in the yard and Mom let her keep it.

Simba. It's time.
(It's the circle of liiiiiiife...and it moves us alll.....)

I got a pear on my head and a cat on my shirt. What's it to you?
Ha...you make funny jokes, I see. Funny guy...you're a funny, funny guy. You think I'm weak because I'm a girl...with a pear on my head and a cat on my shirt.
Joey...show our guest to the door. Make sure he receives our special goodbye. And bring me some fried catfish.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Crazies, Sweet Hugs, One Month Pictures

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

Ruth's Facebook status: What the mess is Farmville? And why is the world enslaved by it?

CJ Sparky (name slightly altered to protect the innocent - A brilliant musician and one of my professors in college): I got on because my son said, "Mom, join Farmville! I need help!" So...I did...now I just want to get the mansion and I'm done!!!

CRAZIES
Due to lack of sleep, my mom, David and I have turned into...well, crazy people. We were already a little off in the head, but now it's a permanent mental state. Here are a few examples of what we've been doing...

Mom called David the other day to get him to pick up some stuff from Target for us on his way home from work...her list included: Salad, Diet Dr. Peppers, and Red Delicious Diapers

Mom was writing the shopping list and I asked her to put "yoga pants" on there for me because I wanted to get some. Reading the list later in the store, I pondered for awhile what "yogurt pants" were.

David was feeding Harper the other day and had finished burping her halfway through the bottle, set her back down and put the pacifier in her mouth and just watched her. I asked, "Is she finished with her bottle?" He answered, "No, she's still drinking." I responded with, "Well, she's going to be disappointed with the supply of milk the pacifier provides." He sighed and replaced the pacifier with the bottle.

I sit down to pump earlier today...hmmm, 'bout 10 minutes in, I look down to see how much I had and realized I hadn't attached bottles to the pumps. Yeah, I was pumping directly onto my pants. I, of course, had to change clothes.

We don't call the girls by their names anymore...it's "this one" and "that one" now.

Mom was fixing herself some of the Starbucks instant coffee the other morning and put her mug filled with water into the microwave. Later in the morning, she was looking all over for her heated mug of water in which to pour the mix. She found her mug of water in the cabinet where the mugs are stored.

The other day, I tried in vain for several minutes to take out my contacts. I had just woken up and had opened my contact case to put them IN and sat there wondering where my contacts were and why had my eyeballs eaten them.

All three of us have woken up repeatedly searching the bed for the babies. Mom and I always dream that the babies are in the beds with us and we search the sheets trying to find them. Last night, I kept feeling David's legs because I thought one of the girls was laying on his legs. Even when my mom went home one weekend, she woke my dad up trying to find the baby's head.

At night, when I take my shower, I wash my hair about 73 times because I can't remember if I've washed it yet or not.

These are just a few of the less embarrassing things we've done.


SWEET HUGS
I just have to brag on my sweet Hugs for a second. When we were in the hospital, he ever so sneakily laid a velvet box on my bed and I said, "Well, what is THIS?" I opened it and looooooook!

It's a diamond and topaz eternity band. (Topaz is December's birthstone.) Such a sweetheart! I asked how he knew they'd be born in December because he had ordered it weeks before. He said he just knew they would be. Awwwww...I also think he prayed HARD for the tax deductions.


ONE MONTH PICTURES
I'm gonna try to get pictures of them every month to see how chunky they get. They did pretty well during this shoot.

The photo shoot ended shortly after these were taken.