Thursday, March 31, 2011

I was going to post last night.
I was going to come on and rant  about how I am feeling suffocated by my kids.
How I am tired of breaking up fights, I am tired of their naps being staggered so I get absolutely no break during the day.
I am tired of the screaming. Tired of the tears. Tired of being a needed ALL the time.
I can't turn my back without one of them climbing a table or pushing a chair up to the counter to retrieve some type of item dangerous to toddlers.
I feel guilty for thinking it and feeling it. I know that it's normal, that most mom's, especially SAHMs can feel like this from time to time.
I logged on, and on my reading list of blogs that I follow was an update from a fellow mother to twins.
One of her little girls died yesterday.
They were born very early. She and her sister had spent all of their lives fighting to live. All 7 months of her little life had been lived in a hospital, with tubes in her arms, her nose, and in her chest. They never got to bring her home.

Now she is gone.

My heart aches for her parents. Her sister will not have memories, only pictures to look at, of her identical twin.
I felt horrible, stupid, and guilty. These little things that irritate me, are things that her mother and father long for, and can no longer have with their child. The everyday things that I take for granted are little moments that they will never have.
My heart is broken for them. I can only hope that everyone's prayers will uplift them and get them through this difficult time.
I'm starting today with a new perspective. Life is so short, and so precious to take it for granted. My kids could be taken from me tomorrow and I would kick myself for feeling so selfish today.
I'll be hugging them closer, cuddling with them more, and saying a prayer of thanks for having all the time that I have with them.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Trucks, Balls and Baby Dolls

I love watching my boys play.
I love seeing their interests develop.
I love noticing what intrigues them.
Every morning just around 7:15 the delivery trucks from across the road, at the distribution center, begin their daily routes.
Gabe and Nat have their cups of milk and snack holders filled with cereal. Mama has her cup of coffee. They stand perched at the window and watch as they drive by. We count them, note their color, decide if they will turn left and drive toward us, or turn right and drive away from us. It's how they begin their day.

After the trucks they move onto their other favorite activities. For Nat, it is usually playing with trucks, cars and tractors. Gabe loves balls- soccer, tennis, football, dog balls. It amused me that these two little boys, who have their pick of all sorts of toys naturally gravitated to the stereotypical "boy" toys.

Last week though, they began to mix it up. The stuffed animals began to get more hugs, kisses, and even cuddles.
The lone, naked Cabbage Patch kid became the favorite toy to play with. So much so, that I had to make a Target run to pick up another baby doll so they didn't scratch and bite one another while fighting over the solo baby.
So now my little boys are becoming pros at practicing their daddy skills. We've got the cuddling, hugs and kisses down pat. They bring me baby sized blankets and ask for help to wrap up their dolls. They share their nuks before their naps, and offer their babies a sip of their milk.

We're still climbing everything possible, filling up trucks with animals, building with blocks, throwing and kicking balls, catching bubbles, and eating crayons. Now we've just thrown "Playing Daddy" into the mix.

I have to say that I think it's one of the sweetest things I've seen. Baby boys perfecting their daddy snuggles.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rivals and Best Friends

I had to follow up the last post with what reality is for two young toddlers who share practically EVERYTHING.

For the most part, Gabe and Nat adore one another and get along really well.
They really don't know what life is like without the other being close by. In fact, if you would ask them, they are both named "Nat." Gabe is working really hard on his own name. It sounds like "Babe" at best.
I think I could count one hand the number of times that they have been separated from one another. Those were two emergency room visits and a scattering of Physical Therapy sessions when Gabe was dealing with Torticollis and Plagiocephaly. I'd like to start separating them more. For their own good, and for ours. It would be nice to be able to shower just one of them with attention and not feel guilty about it.

Last week we had a showdown. They seem to be happening a lot more lately. I think it's this whole independence stage. That, and the fact that they aren't able to verbalize their needs to one another.
Gabe walked up to Nat and, out of the blue, chucked the baby powder bottle that he had been holding at him. Nat was shocked and furious. Unfortunately for Gabe, Nat was holding a large toy truck and, in turn, bashed his brother in the head with it.
The screaming started. As did the hair pulling, scratching and attempted biting. I jumped in and tried to separate and calm them, one on each side of me.
Let's just say it wasn't a pretty sight.
Have you ever flipped past an episode of Jerry Springer? (I say "flipped past" because I'm pretty certain nobody would confess to actually watching that show.)
I would have to say we did a pretty good reenactment of a 'woman attacking woman with the big bouncer in between thing.' The fists were flying, lots of tears and screaming.
I had to laugh because there wasn't much else I could do at the moment. They were not listening to reason and they were both so upset with the other one.
The fighting died down withing a minute or so. I calmed their tears. Within 5 minutes they were playing as though nothing had happened.
It's little episodes like this that have me thinking. How do you encourage a strong relationship between siblings? Twins especially. There are a huge number of people who say that their twin sibling was their best friend. There is also a group of people who feel that their twin was/is their biggest rival.
My sisters and I were most definitely NOT best friends growing up. We got along as well as most sisters do. Drama and fights one week, great friends the next.
My sister, Ashley, is now one of my closest and best friends. We talk almost everyday. Our four year age difference was a huge factor when we were growing up. Now, it means nothing. I often forget that I am the older of the two of us.
I'd hope that Gabriel and Nathaniel remain close through the years. I can't imagine them without the other to lean on. The thought of them separating makes my heart hurt. Thankfully,we live in a state that offers the option of keeping them in the same classroom, if we decide to do that.

I'll just focus on the age that they are right now. Toddlers with attitudes and a ridiculous amount of energy. For real. Ridiculous amounts of energy.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Nathaniel started crying tonight. I recognized it right away as the cry he gets when he has an upset stomach and a sore tooshie.
I quickly ran through the menu of the day to determine what could be causing his problem. I'm sure it was too much fruit or some gluten or wheat that managed to work it's way in to his diet. Someday I am going to dedicate a post to how ridiculous it is that so many food items have gluten in them!
Once Nat starts this crying fit, it usually doesn't stop for a good 30 minutes or so after his diaper has been changed, he has a dose of acetaminophen, and an application of some heavy duty diaper rash cream on his butt.
I was trying my darnedest to calm him down, but nothing was working. Not silly songs, his favorite stuffed puppy,not even cuddles and kisses.
Along comes Gabe to try and save the day. Bless his adorable, little soul.
He was like a miniature magician trying to pull any trick out of his sleeve that he could think of, to calm his brother down.
At first, he came over and gave his brother a huge hug and kiss, but it didn't work.
Next he pulled out Nat's blankie and handed it to him, still nothing. He tried bringing him his OWN blanket, complete with a demonstration of how to wrap it around your shoulders and snuggle in. Nat still shrieked.
Then he brought out the train and blocks. He kept trying to get his attention saying "Nat, block, block." (except it sounded more like Nat, buck, buck) Still no luck.
Finally, Gabe walked over with the plastic link that he had been using as a teether to work his last molar through, and put it between his teeth. He leaned over and offered it to Nat with his mouth. A hand's free pass off. Nat took it with his teeth while giggling. Then Nat passed it to me and I caught it with my mouth. He burst into a fit of laughter, and with that, his sobs were quieted.
Gabe toddled away quite happy with himself while I sat there in awe of such a sweet show of compassion between a 16 month old and his twin brother.
It reminded me of the time when the boys were 3, maybe 4 months old. It was the "witching hour," and Nathaniel was crying inconsolably, as usual. Joel was at work and I was at my wits end. I was pacing our bedroom, swaying with a swaddled and nuk'd baby. Gabe, my chill kid, was propped on some pillows on our bed just watching the scene in front of him. I gave up and set Nat on the bed, next to Gabe, so I could take some deep breaths and "reset" my mind. Nathaniel rested his head on the pillow and gazed at his brother. Gabe turned his head to face Nat. Their noses were so close together that they almost touched. Instantly, Nathaniel stopped crying, his breathing slowed, and he closed his eyes to rest.
Usually, all a little one needs is their mama. When you've got a twin though, sometimes mama won't do. You need that person that knows you just as well,loves you just as much - your twin brother.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Week in Review

Small bins are very much the sought after item. They fight over them constantly. The toys are tossed across the room just so they can crawl inside.

The "ball toy", as we call it, it the second favorite. It has a small slide meant for light weight balls to roll down. The balls disappear into a hole and come popping out the top of the toy. The basic premise of the toy entertained them for all of a week. Now, Gabe and Nat love to plug it up with whatever they can find. Kix (our wheat-free alternative to Cheerios) go spewing all around the room. The legos, duplos and Nuks just tend to get stuck in the tube until mom fixes it. Their most recent idea is to ride it around like a car, complete with "vroom" sounds, of course.

Gotta love little helpers! Post-breakfast and post-lunch they are wonderful little cleaners.

We discovered the joy of songs from Yo Gabba Gabba. Gabe absolutely loves to attempt to say "Yo Gabba Gabba" but is sounds more like "Flablahshavfla." If you aren't familiar with the show, you have to check it out. I had heard a lot about it, but I had never seen it. It's quirky, educational, and oh-so fun and entertaining.

Daddy found that Gabe loves basketball on television. He'll actually watch it. These two don't sit still for more that 3 minutes in front of the tv, which I am very happy about. When a basketball game comes on he yells "ball!" and proceeds to bounce up and down (mimicking the dribbling of the ball, I assume) with his eyes glued to the set. It's hysterical.

Nat is obsessed with nipples, yes, nipples. He tries to find his own, grabs his brothers and attempts to pull everyone's shirt down to determine if they, like him, have nipples.
He has also started becoming more "independent." That's my nice way of saying that he has started throwing tantrums and screaming when he doesn't get his way, or isn't doing something that he would like to on his own. He has also entered the biting stage. Unfortunately, having a twin brother as a readily available target makes life a bit more difficult for mommy, but mostly Gabe.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lost Stork

Lost Stork is an amazing foundation started by a friend of mine, Meghan Swann. We were brought together almost 5 years ago when a large group of women, who happened to meet on line, all had the desire to become mothers. Many of them became pregnant shortly into our friendship, but others took longer. Meghan and her husband, Charles, also traveled the road of infertility. They learned first hand, as did Joel and I, how financially draining infertility can be.

Most people don't realize how much it truly costs to become parents when it doesn't happen "naturally." Whether you decide to pursue fertility treatments, or adopt a child or an all costs money.
The Swann's started the Lost Stork Foundation. Last year they kick-started their foundation by selling cookbooks as a way to raise money. Most recently, Meghan had to turn away 3 women because there was no money to give them. I ask you now to please support Lost Stork. The cookbooks are only $10.00. $13.95 with shipping. Any little bit helps.
Buy one for yourself, or buy a few to give away as gifts. Any little bit helps.
Follow her blog, use her button, spread the word.

Joel and I have our little boys. Meghan and Charles were blessed with their little miracle, Madelyn, this past October. There are many more couple out there, wanting and waiting to become parents.
Please help this foundation.

Friday, March 4, 2011

And it only took 16 months...

Joel's alarm went off this morning at 6am.
For the first time in 16 months I awoke to the sound of an alarm clock and not that of a screaming child.
For the first time in 16 months BOTH of my children slept through the night without crying out for me.
I knew that it would happen...someday.
I slept a solid 8 hours without needing to tend to a baby.

I went downstairs and poured myself a cup of coffee.
I sipped its deliciousness with the dark of the morning surrounding me, and the still of sleeping babes.
Then their daddy and I quietly cracked open the door to their room and woke them with a "Good Morning" song.
It was amazing.
Maybe this will be our new routine. One can wish, right?