Monday, May 26, 2008

Monday afternoons

Different day, different baby. It really is pretty sweet. I have to keep reminding myself that because I usually think it would be even sweeter if they were sleeping that soundly in their own little cribs and I didn't have to keep doing this to get them to sleep!

Friday, May 23, 2008

3 month status

Phoenix (left), Ashton (right) (same below)

The twins are three months old tomorrow. Here are some of their milestones:

Number of diapers used: We estimate around 1200.

Number of times they've slept 8 hours straight. Once - right after they had their first shots.

Number of round trip cross-country flights: 2. One more next month.

Number of colds: 2 each.

Number of times a baby has rolled off the nursing pillow: Twice. Once was only onto the couch. Once I caught him as he was plummeting head first off the couch. Sorry Phoenix, I think it was you both times.

Number of weeks I actually haven't been sore from nursing: About 2. Not consecutive. Hence the mastitis.

Number of times Cash has voluntarily had contact with the babies: 0
So I have no idea how my mom bribed him into these pictures:

There also could be other stats, like how many times I've gotten spit-up in my hair, how many times I've been up at night, how many tantrums Cash has thrown while I nurse the babies, or how many times I tell Ryan not to get his dress shirt on before he burps the babies. I also wonder if there's a way to quantify the amount of crying that goes on in this house because holy cow it's a lot, and quite often all three at the same time.

It sure is hard to get a picture of the two of them smiling together though!

Good job babies! Keep growing up. Until you sleep until 10am like your brother. (Ok, that's only sometimes, but quite frequently lately. Sure don't mind it though.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I know that after that post about Cash, you all think he's a brilliant child. Well,

lest I lead you all astray and to be a little more humble, I should warn you that the kid isn't really the charmer of social skills. Should you ever meet him, you will most likely be met with these:

The suspicious and skeptical sideways glance. Ryan's family got a good laugh last week when we were home that he could give such a good stare down and such funny looks(and the pictures don't even do it justice). He won't say a word to you and he'll stare you down like nobody's business. In fact, people here who saw the videos of him were like, "Cash can talk?" Yeah, smart and anti-social, that's how we train 'em.

Mastitis. Woah.

Ok, this has completely knocked me on my butt this week. I got the works - fever, chills, achy, weak, headaches like you can't believe, and of course unimaginable boob pain. Seriously, after three months of this I'm still getting sore and having open wounds, I'm not even a great milk producer to begin with so we've started giving them a little formula a couple times a day after I nurse them anyway, and now mastitis? Why am I doing this? As I got out of the shower this morning and was shaking my head as I looked down at the sad condition of my boobs I had to laugh as the first thing that came into my mind was the song "Why can't we be friends? Why can't we be friends..."

Also, today I suddenly have some viscious diarrhea in addition. Not sure if it's from the medication or what. I knew a girl in New York who used to say, "I'm one flu away from my ideal weight." So true - I only lost the final 5 pounds after having Cash when I got a nasty bout of food poisoning. Well, I'm about 5 flus (flues? floosies?) away from my ideal weight, but here's hoping we can get that down to like, three.

Unfortunately Ryan was away on overnight call again. And don't worry - I know you all wish you were here to help. I wish you were too. :)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Things I should appreciate but don't:

* Birds chirping. I know, it sounds terrible, but let me explain. Every morning I seem to be feeding the babies around 3:30am or so. During that time, probably around 4am, birds start chirping outside our window. I HATE it. It sends me into a frenzied panic. I freak out because they're trying to imply that it's morning and that the night is slipping away from me while I'm desperately trying to cling to it. I always want to open the front door and start throwing rocks at them and tell them to shut up! It's not morning yet! I've hardly even slept! As I sit there, I envision that scene from Steel Magnolias where he gets out his shotgun right before the wedding and starts shooting into the trees to get rid of the birds. Everything gets covered in turd, but it is so worth it....

* When people say, "You had twins? You look great." Because I know they're not saying, "You look normal," or "You look just like you used to!" or "You look like you're not wearing fat pants anymore!" I know I look like I had twins. I'm not being self-depricating, just honest. I don't lose the weight easily while I'm nursing. I know most people are otherwise. I know what they really mean is, "You look great compared to the gigantic-ness that must have been you a few months ago." Which, I guess is true. I probably should have posted this before I went home and saw people because some of them will probably say that I did look fine. Yeah, well thank you Waistnipper, and thank you Laura for posting about it.

Things I just don't really appreciate, period:

*I just have to say how bad I hate postpartum hormones. As Ryan puts it, I'm either hot, There is nothing worse than those dang night sweats. Ugh. SO gross. Luckily they're dying down, a little. But the hair in unwanted places has returned and so have the break-outs.

*Whenever some baby is crying in the middle of the night I let them cry for a while, then finally drag my behind downstairs just to find two little peacefully sleeping angels. Not even a red-faced baby to let me know who to be mad at. Ok, I guess I appreciate it a little bit. But then when it happens 10 minutes later, and 10 minutes after that, it gets a little less cute. Man, they sure haven't been the easy little babies they used to be anymore!

*Twin comments. Some of them are cute and of course everyone knows someone with twins, has twins, is a twin, heard something one time about twins... but the one that gets me is when people ask, "Are they twins?" I mean seriously. Don't you think it's a pretty safe assumption that these two babies in my double stroller that are remarkably close in size weren't conceived by me at least nine months apart?

Monday, May 12, 2008


Ryan's mother, Patricia, passed away yesterday. She suffered from MS for many many years and recently came down with pneumonia. Friday night we found out it that she was not doing very well and that all of Ryan's siblings were flying in to see her. Ryan was able to leave early Saturday morning with Cash to get to Utah to see her. Thanks to my sister flying to Chicago to come get me and probably some serious miracles to make everything work out, I arrived with the twins that evening and Pat was able to meet her twin grandchildren shortly before they removed her oxygen. Apparently she had had a picture of them next to her bedside there in the hospital, and it was very special to us to have her be able to meet them before she passed on.
It was a hard thing to watch, but all 9 of her children were surrounding her and all felt very peaceful about her passing. It's sort of bittersweet that Ryan's mother passed away on Mother's day, and I found out my father had passed away on Father's day. When we all said our goodbyes to Pat though I felt strangely that this would be the closest I would ever be to the other side and I really did feel like I could pass on a message, so I asked her to say hello to my dad if she sees him.
Her funeral will be tomorrow. She will be missed, but we are happy for her.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Ok, so I guess the only thing worse than finding out you're moving into a two-bedroom apartment in Miami is finding out that you're not moving in because the landlord changed his mind about renting out the apartment. So after dragging the whole family plus my mom down to Miami to spend an arduous week house hunting, we are now actually empty handed. Seriously. Can this day get any worse?

And really, I'm sorry for all these negative posts! There really are good things that happen around here (just can't think of any right now). And I was thinking that I should clarify that I don't think my life is necessarily worse than any of the rest of you. I just depict mine more. :) And it's not worse than anyone with three kids in general. At least we can hole ourselves up in the house and not have to go anywhere. I can only imagine having twins and have to run older kids to school and other activities. Yuck.

Lots of firsts today

Wow. I've never really had to discipline Cash before, but the hysterical toddler is currently back in his crib with a water, a power bar, and no immediate hope of release.

I gave him some ibuprofen in case there's some unknown ailment that is causing this behavior, but I probably should have given him some Benadryl to just knock him out.

Let the diet Coke begin.

A first time for everything

I actually bought a six-pack of diet Coke yesterday at the grocery store. I've never done that before. I don't even like the stuff. But desperate times....

Monday, May 5, 2008

Even worse than expected

Yesterday was the first time Ryan was on overnight call at the hospital and I was all by myself. As the title implies, yes, it was even far worse than I expected. It was also the first time we were going to take all the kids to church - and I was by myself. Plus I knew that some kids at playgroup that week had been exposed to rotavirus so I decided to just keep Cash with me (since I'm a paranoid germ freak). Yeah, my Sunday school class got a video. (Oh, and in my neglect Cash managed to find a yellow crayon and draw all over three purple upholstered chairs.)

Around 6pm Ryan made a surprise stop home for a few minutes. I cried when I saw him I was so happy.

I cried again later that night (I mean morning) when I was getting out of bed for the 17th time and I realized I had only slept from 12am-3am.

I really hope the next call is better. Too bad it's every 4 days for the whole month.

In other news, Ashton is now 11lbs and Phoenix is 10lbs 8oz. And Cash has Fifth's disease. So much for my germ paranoia.

Oh, and yes, I did take the baby pictures.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Trying to sort out my emotions

We just got back from the house-hunting trip to Miami. First of all, let me say there really wasn't anything enjoyable about the trip. Yes, we took the whole family of 5. I guess it was warm and sunny. But it sure wasn't fun.

The plane ride there was actually better than expected. A hassle, yes. But it wasn't actually horrible. It's pretty funny having twins though. Everybody has to get in their two cents. Nobody can just walk by without commenting. I guess you sort of realize you're making a spectacle of yourself and kind of asking for it though when you walk on the plane cradling two infants in your arms while your husband gets the other child and all your carry-ons.

Anyway, the first day of house-hunting involved dragging everyone around to look at properties, Cash falling asleep in the car - so one of us sitting in the car while the other one looked at a place then switching (which wasn't that easy since we were looking downtown at condos, not like we were just parked right out in front of a place and could run in), pumping in the car, feeding in the car, getting spit-up all over the car....

Let's just say by the end of our first day, my mom was on her way to Miami.

As for finding a place to live, I guess I can say we did. Can I say I'm excited about it? Maybe not, but it's fine. I did feel fine when we decided on the place. Then later that night when I summarized our trip and it's success, I cried.

I went down to Miami with one real goal - to come away with a three-bedroom place to live. Did I succeed? No. We will be still living in two bedrooms with 5 people. Did I even get a really big two bedroom place? Nope, pretty standard, actually even smaller than the two-bedroom we're in now.

I also felt sad for what I felt like was maybe a dumb girl reason, and I didn't realize that it would bother me - I had been making plans all along for how I would decorate our three bedrooms. I guess I really thought there was no way we would come away without three bedrooms. I was excited. I wanted to finally have a baby's room and have it look cute. I was imagining that somehow I would move beyond this dorm-style living we have with completely mismatched furniture that we got off the sides of the road. I was imagining a place where the living room didn't serve as a living room, a baby's room, a salon, a gym and an office all in one. I was imagining that there would actually be space in our house, that there would be empty space, that those mismatched dressers wouldn't be covering every inch of wall in our bedroom. I was imagining that somehow I would have a place that actually looked like all my friends' places - cute rooms, matching furniture, a yard with toys for the kids, etc.

So it's a hard thing. I was thinking it was because we're on this medical route. But we came back and went to dinner with Ryan's work last night. And it was so painful to hear all those residents talk about how they just went and found houses and were all so excited about them. People buying 4 bedroom houses for $150,000 in Minnesota, Iowa, Texas. Just not Miami.

So it's not just because we're doing residency. It's not that everyone in our situation is the same. It's us. It's the choices we've made and the places we've lived I guess that keep us in this situation. We've done New York and now we're going to Miami. But we're going for the best ophthalmology training in the nation. You can't really beat that. And you can't really pass up that opportunity.

But I'm torn. I want all these things. I want to be comfortable. I don't want to sleep with my kids in my room. I want to be able to walk in my bedroom and turn on the lights whenever I want.


I want to stay home with my kids.

And I really think this is the price we're paying to be a one income family. And I know that's what I want more than having three bedrooms. (Although, seriously, I don't think that's a ridiculous request! I can do without nice stuff, but three rooms is too much to ask???) But I know that everyone else in Miami is living on a dual income. And we're just not willing to do that.

I wanted this one three-bedroom condo in the same building so bad. It was beautiful. This is the view from the kitchen window:

And we could have done it. We could have gotten this three-bedroom place - for $2300 a month. In rent. Not even buying. And that was a really good deal.

But now we're in a two-bedroom in the same complex. Overlooking the parking lot.

There were options I guess. We could have had a three bedroom far away and had a long commute for Ryan. Nope, not willing. I'm sure my sanity will be on the brink enough without waiting an extra hour for him to get home at nights. There were also some other places that were either grubby or in not great neighborhoods. But I realized I actually will feel safer in a condo with Ryan on call once a week. And there's a pool and a gym, and a really nice park right outside our condo, which is hard to find in Miami. I was seriously on a hunt for grass while we were looking too. They've put up tons of condos, but they haven't really developed the areas well. There's hardly grass anywhere. There aren't many parks or walkways or anything like you would expect. Even the houses we looked at had maybe 4 feet of grass in a cubbyhole of a backyard. Weird. But this place has the park right outside without having to cross any busy streets and there's a really nice walkway on the water there. And it's a nice place, don't get me wrong. This is a picture of the kitchen:

We opted for nice, small and safe, rather than a bigger place farther away or in a bad area. And farther away would also have meant getting a second car.

I'm sure it will be good. Ryan's commute will be less than 10 minutes. He can take the train when I need the car. And he'll get great training there.

Now it's just time to start hawking our posessions.


It was a crazy trip though, especially with all the kids. And as always, the humor continues - at one point I was in the airport bathroom - pumping, peeing, and talking on my cell phone all at the same time. And by the end of the trip, we were pretty much like this:

Desperate and cranky.

And driving home from the airport we even felt like we'd been kind of homesick and just felt relief to be back here. Yeah, Wisconsin doesn't seem too bad afterall.