Monday, September 29, 2008

Hiatus

I feel like I've come a long way lately. I've read a lot of good inspirational stuff lately that seems to have helped my mindset. I'll share a few.

Many of lifes failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. - Thomas Alva Edison

Then at the summer commencement at BYU, (were you listening Brooke and Shawn?), Richard G. Scott said, "Radiate a positive attitude. Let your attitude be that of continuing happiness. The challenges you face, the growth experiences you encounter, should be like temporary scenes played out on the stage of continuing peace and hapiness. Challenges are not intended to be the substance of life."

It's been a good reminder for me. Sometimes I feel like I have to learn to be happy.

Anyhow, having said that, I'm going on a little blogging hiatus. I will say that I have never written for anyone. I write to journal, I write whatever comes into my head, and I write to amuse myself with those thoughts. I don't write for anyone else, and therefore I don't expect to please anyone else.

But I think I have to take a break for a while to remind myself of that. It's been extremely therapeutic over the last few months and has really been my social outlet - thanks to you guys who comment and keep up our friendships through blogging. But I find my self esteem starting to get wrapped up in this. No comments? Only a couple of comments? That must have been a dumb one. Is anyone even listening? I guess you make yourself pretty vulnerable when you put it all out there. So recently, when I've had my feelings hurt by catching some flack for my lack of mothering skills I've demonstrated on here and then an anonymous commenter made me want to cry (don't worry, I erased it), I realized I just need a break. I must be getting too into this, and that was never my intent. So anonymous commenter, go find another blogger in a fragile hormonal condition to harass (and own up to it, huh). I still refuse to go private. I'll come back, don't worry. Just taking a break. Probably a good time too. My little babysitter just quit (ok, not a big deal since she's only been able to come 2 or 3 hours a week anyway since school started). But maybe I can invest some time in some other important ventures. Like I could join a Stephenie Meyer fan club or something. Hand-make my own werewolf costume to wear to the "Twilight" premiere.

Oh well, probably will improve my neglectful mothering anyway. :)

Don't worry, I probably won't be able to stay away very long. I'm kind of an addict.

Problem solved

I will say I've gotten pretty creative over the last few months. Or at least gained some skills. You've seen pictures of my bottle propping. Well, it's also expanded so I can rig it up just about anywhere. It's especially handy at the park so I can run over to help Cash when needed. Since I'm getting so good at rigging up just about anything, I just realized - shoot, why didn't I try this earlier:


Just try crying all night now!!

I was sitting in the physical therapy office a few months back and saw they had some doctors masks sitting on the counter, probably for sick patients I assume. Well, the babies were young and had trouble keeping their pacifiers in and it got old going all the way downstairs just to pop a pacifier in. So I looked at the masks, thought of the babies, looked at the masks, and thought - hmmmmm..... So I took one home. And forgot about it until just the other day when I came across it. Perfect! They can even smile and laugh and still keep the thing in! Think I can patent them?

Ok, ok. I'm sure it's a hazard of some sort. But it's still kind of a good idea.

More good things

I have never been a big one for sunrises. I remember some friends and I making a big deal of getting up to have breakfast and watch the sunrise while I was in high school. It was pretty disappointing. With the big Utah mountains, it was already fully light outside and a regular blue sky when the sun finally just showed up. I wasn't too impressed.

Well, remember our awesome view of the parking lot in our new apartment? I have discovered that if you stand in just the right 1 square foot of space (on the elliptical, facing backwards on your tippytoes), this is actually what the sunrise looks like here in Miami:

Yes, right out our apartment window, looking out over South Beach. We really are in a great location. From one corner of our building you can see downtown Miami. From another you see this - and all those trees are in the great park that's at the bottom of our building.

Yes, sunrises on the east coast are way better.

The pit

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine commented that I sounded really good on my blog - that maybe I was even getting a hang of this three kid thing. Well, I've been wondering that too. My disposition has been much better. I've felt much less depressed about my situation, have felt like swearing at my kids less (only in my head, of course) and have actually been having a good time with the kids.

Then it hit me. Oh no. This has nothing to do with me. I am totally getting a false sense of security. Ryan is currently on a night-float system. That means he works three nights and three days a week. Yes, he is totally out of whack. But yes - it's great for me. I've realized that my sanity has come from actually having another adult presence (albeit unconscious most of the time) for at least a couple days during the week. Since nap times continue to be the bain of my association with the twins, I tell Ryan that if he's going to be asleep, he can at least make himself useful and tuck a baby under his arm to sleep with. That seems to be where all my angst stems from - constantly battling naps with these two. It's like playing whack-a-mole - one's up, one's down, the other one's up, then down again...

So anyway, there's this pit in the bottom of my stomach reminding me that next week the night shifts are over. Then it's back to no husband. All day alone with the kids and maybe if we're lucky he'll get here to say goodnight as they're going to bed.

So I'm bracing myself. And preparing to bid farewell again to my sanity.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Another nursing-related post

So finally, after just over a month of pumping, I attempted nursing again yesterday. Yes, it took me that long to heal - and it isn't actually even healed, just enough that I felt brave enough. Let me say that things sure change in a month. Nursing used to be very chill. The babies relax, hold hands, hang out there as long as I'll let them, and I get to sort of mentally check out for a while. Not so anymore. I was constantly busy and there wasn't a dull moment anymore! Now it's more like - Hey, look how close that other guy is! Bet I could poke his eyes out! What's that in his mouth? Think I could pull it out? Yep. Funny joke. Look at those hands moving all over. I'll challenge you to a thumb wrestle if I can ever control these things enough to get a grip on you. Whip of the head - is that The Office I hear? Where's the tv? Whip, whip, whip some more. What's going on over here? Over there? And then there's just milk getting everywhere because they keep making each other laugh. It's really pretty funny, but certainly not the calm moment it once was. Not that anyone cares, but I think I'm going to nurse them about 3 times a day now and give them bottles the rest of the time. Well, I'll work up to that again once I've tested the waters a little more.

I have gotten pretty creative with all the things I can do while pumping in the last month though. Let me just say a word here: if it's weird seeing your mom breastfeeding all day, it's even weirder watching her pump all the time. Poor Cash is probably scarred for life. In fact, I almost feel bad even putting this picture up as it will probably contribute to that fact:

But yes, that is exactly what I caught him doing in this picture - standing absentmindedly in front of the tv with a breastshield from my pump held to his chest. Not only that, but anything similar has taken on the same purpose to him. Like my poor hair diffuser. See the resemblance?


Unfortunately, so did Cash. Up went the shirt and on went the diffuser. Where was that manny I was asking for?

Where else?

For those of you who wonder why I complain about this place rather than just leaving, let me just say I had very little say in the matter. Ryan will be the first to admit it. How could he pass up the chance to go to the number one ophthalmology program in the nation? Don't think I haven't tried to tell him he's gone so much that I don't think he would really notice if the kids and I went to Utah for at least this first year. There's a reason he's the only one in his year who's even married. People with families just don't come to Miami on purpose.

Anyhow. The Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. There are many reasons it's the top ophtho program. But I will tell you about one. Location, location, location. More specifically, Miami, Miami, Miami. Lots of old people, lots of poor people, and lots of, uh, interesting people. After only a couple weeks here and seeing numerous cases of the sort, one day Ryan comes home and muses, "Yeah, where else would you ever see so many patients who've been beaten with a baseball bat?"

Our next-door neighbor also happens to be an ophthalmology resident, 2 years ahead of Ryan. She told me the first year she lived here, she was the only one working Christmas day. Every single person that came in that day had been beaten, mugged, robbed, jumped in their cars, getting Christmas presents stolen, whatever. She finally called home to her parents and was like,"WHAT KIND OF INHUMANE SOCIETY DOES THIS TO PEOPLE??!?!? ON CHRISTMAS!!!!

Well, Saturday night Ryan and I were driving (alone! Our first movie this YEAR!), and he was telling me about a patient. I could not stop cracking up when I hear him saying, "Yeah, this guy came in who got hit in the eye with a brick. He said, 'I was just minding my own business...'"(apparently the residents are always making fun of that phrase because that's what they all say), "I was just minding my own business, when someone just came up and hit me in the eye with a brick." Then Ryan says, "But I'm not sure I believe him because he didn't even have a shirt on." All night I just kept busting up thinking about that: I'm not sure I believe him because he didn't even have a shirt on.

And by no means are these isolated events. Another resident had a patient with a retinal hemorrhage. He asked the patient, "Were you doing any heavy lifting or anything strenuous when it occurred?" The guy's response: "I was lifting a flat screen tv and jumping over a fence."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Not quite how I pictured it

Do you ever have those times where you think, "Hmm, I'm not sure I'm quite the mom I envisioned I would be"? Yeah, I've had a few of those lately. Like last week when the twins were napping, I turned on the tv for Cash, and I went to sleep on the couch while he was eating macaroni and cheese for breakfast. (Well, it was his idea. And I did happen to have leftovers.)

So the next day I was trying to reform. We hadn't had the tv on all day, but Cash was just being a little naughty bugger. "Stop taking out the babies bottles. Ok, no more blankets over their faces, Cash. See? They don't like daddy's shoes on their heads. Yeah, the baby doesn't need nuts in his mouth. Hey, don't throw that at them... oh, too late. Ok, can you stop crying now?" Amidst all this, I have no idea how he climbed up on the dresser, unscrewed the big jar of diaper cream, and managed to put a huge glob in my hair all without me knowing. I only discovered it later when my unsuspecting fingers made contact.

After that, the tv went back on. And he probably had mac and cheese for dinner again.

I guess I think things would be different if I had more time. I would love to be able to slow down and enjoy it. I need a nanny. But not for the kids. I just want someone to do all the stupid stuff so I can have time to play with my kids and feel like I was successfully stimulating their little minds and having time to goof around and just laugh. My friend left some magazines the other day and when I asked later if she wanted them back, she said, "No, you guys can keep them for your next art project." To which I was sheepishly mumbling, "Uh, yeah, all those art projects we do...."

Yeah, sometimes I thought I'd be a little more on top of things than I am. If we get out of the house to get the mail, I consider it a successful day.

Friday, September 19, 2008

When I grow up

There are a few things in my house that I love. This is one of them:



Three little bath towels, all in a row. It's a sight that makes me happy. And it's all compliments of Tania, a super-talented friend from our years in New York. She made one for Cash when he was born. Imagine how happy I was to discover that two more towels would find their way to us in Wisconsin after the twins were born. Nice and cozy and thick and made of full-size towels. So cuddly.


And Cash is just the size where it barely touches the floor so he loves to streak through the house in it after his bath like he's wearing a cape (although he wouldn't pose for a picture).


Tania is one of those people I want to be like when I grow up. She is amazing. I constantly read her blog wondering how she has time to do all these cool, creative things with her kids, spend time with each of them individually, hand-make so many great things, and still be environmentally friendly. Check out some of my favorite posts from her: the one about using worms in her garden, boy dress-ups, and making heart-shaped crayons.

Tania, you're the coolest.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stink

We have issues with smells. Like us. I think we're a stinky family. Put us in a hot and humid climate and the problem is drastically exacerbated. I was washing my face the other day and accidentally grabbed Ryan's towel when I went to dry it and immediately went aawwwww, armpit. I stuck my face directly in a whiff of leftover armpit. I can't blame him. If I was running around all day in a long sleeved shirt and a long sleeved white coat in downtown Miami, having to run between hospital buildings, I'd stink too. And, in fact, I do, and that's only sitting in my air-conditioned house in shorts and a t-shirt. In fact, I often laugh that when I comment on how tan people are here, they say it's because they live in Miami. I believe I have, in fact, gotten even pastier since I've lived here. It's still in the 90s. I don't ever go outside during daytime hours. I really should. Heaven knows brown fat is always better than white fat.

Anyhow, back to stink. Ryan's complained about the numerous stinky patients he encounters here too. And then there's also something about homeless breath that he says could darn near kill you. I'm sure tons of people in Miami stink. But then you add the fact that our house constantly reeks of poopy diapers and sour milk, and we just don't stand a chance. I just don't know what to do. I attempt air fresheners, but then it just smells like poopy gardenia. How to get the stink out? How do I not raise stinky boys?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Kid update

We got fat.


So I guess I'm new at doing lots of this formula feeding. (I'm still pumping, but having to do a lot more formula now.) Maybe I'm giving them a little too much. In the last month, Ashton (the already chubbier one, the one on the left) gained 2 and a half pounds! Phoenix gained almost two pounds. Ok, maybe I need to slow down a little. Granted, that acutally only makes them about 50th percentile now, Ashton at 17lb 8oz, and Phoenix at 16lb 12oz at 6 months old, but that was a lot of weight to gain in a month! (We were late for our 4 month appointment.) And of course, they're in the 90th percentile for height. Cash was almost off the charts for height. And Ashton was just the first one to cut a tooth.

I mentioned that Cash has become a little more comfortable around the babies. Or a lot. I really didn't mind when he didn't pay attention to them. The other day I found Ashton with a handful of cashews. Nice. Then we found Cash doing this yesterday:


video

We did get a little video of him imitating the Count from Sesame Street.

video


Cash also gets the best bed head I've ever seen. When it was time to cut his hair like I'd planned earlier, it was still so dang cute I could only bring myself to trim the back.


A few other pictures:





We all love the extra counter space here for different reasons:



Ryan was worried that Cash was stagnating after knowing all the letters and their sounds at 20 months, but luckily we've made some advancements lately. (Ok, seriously, we don't really push this, he's just obsessed with the alphabet still).

video


Sorry, my voice is totally obnoxious, but it really is fun around here with these two.

video

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Living in a neck-breather

The other day I was watching the weather forecast on the local news. Apparently an actual, written-on-the-screen, quantifiable weather element here in Miami is Extra Steamy. My first thought was, "I'm living in a freaking neck-breather." (You know, trashy romance novel. At least that's what one of my mission companions from Zimbabwe called them.) Only, I wish it were so romantic. Even all the wind didn't seem to help cool you down. It really just made it feel like there was a large sweaty man standing in front of a fan and you were just unfortunate enough to walk past and catch the spray.

I know, if you live here, you probably didn't even notice. I did. I noticed that when they had to open the outside doors in our building because they had painted, even the walls, the floors and our doorway were sweating. And when I've been reading about friends around the country starting to experience fall, I really was shocked, like I'd never heard of the season. I've already forgotten about everything but being constantly moist. Yep. I said it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hotties in Miami

See. I told you:
Msnbc.com: Survey: Miami residents named most attractive

Probably the only time I'll claim being a Miamian.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Run for our lives?

Well, Comcast screwed up our internet so we have to wait a week for them to come back and hook it up, so probably no posts for a week. Besides, who knows if we'll be running for our lives by then. Of course, the hurricane is projected to be here Monday night - in the middle of the night when Ryan is on call. Luckily it looks like it will hit further south now, but we're still in the margin of error, and even then we'll still probably get at least tropical storm-like here. Why did I move to Florida in the last days??? Have you seen these hurricanes all just lined up? I think they're just trying to knock out scandalous Miami. :)

In other news, Cash and I did get to witness our first neighborhood robbery bust today. Super exciting. Probably more where that came from.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Love that baby skin

My friend Laurie took some pictures of the twins before we left Utah this summer. So stinking cute!


Phoenix


Ashton, Phoenix


I think Phoenix.


Ashton

Ashton, Phoenix

I think Phoenix again.

Ashton. I love this face!


Cash was obviously not in the mood for pictures that day.

Thanks Laurie! I know we were not easy subjects!

The good

So I know. From reading my blog it sounds like I have the worst life. Well, A. This really is the hardest time I've ever been through in my life. And, B. Who wants to hear about the boring stuff? I mean, isn't that how the news is? Nobody wants to hear, "Well, people got up today, got in their cars, and went to work." I think we just tend to talk about what's out of the normal.

But really, aside from all the craziness, I do get twice as much baby skin to caress, twice as many smiles and giggles, and twice as much cuteness, as you can see from the pictures above. (But about 7 times the work. I haven't figured that one out yet.) I really do make sure I take the time to enjoy it. I just wish I had more time to enjoy it, and wasn't so busy just trying to keep everyone fed, changed, napped and alive, because I know they'll only be this age once. And I really do like the 6 month stage. I think 6-8 months is really fun when they don't move much, they just smile and play, and they're systems seem to be functioning better and they're generally happier. And they really are pretty good right now, just finicky nappers. But even then, if I didn't have to worry about it and could just focus on being with one, I would really love just sleeping with them tucked under my arm.

Even more cute is that now I get to watch them discover each other. It's so precious. These babies find every excuse to hold hands. Anytime they're in some sort of proximity, I come back to find them holding hands.

Even Cash has finally turned the corner. I find him giggling with them all the time. For some reason he does it more when I'm out of the room, so I'm always trying to catch him d0ing it. But I love tipping the rear-view mirror in the car and seeing him pretend to have conversations with the babies. He even will sit and hold their hands in the car. I love it.

And Cash honestly continues to be my saving grace. I could not have handled having twins if I didn't have such a mellow well-behaved child. Not to say he doesn't throw tantrums and have his moments, but he's just so sweet. He continues to be alphabetically inclined, and I love that he sings anything and everything and seems to remember tunes he's only heard once or twice.

I love listening over the monitor at nights when he's falling asleep. Ryan and I get the biggest kick out of hearing him in bed imitating the Count from Sesame Street. Only it's his sweet little voice and it sounds more like, "One, ha ha ha. Two, ha ha ha."

Now we've just got to get a new camera so we can document all this. Our camera is on it's death bed and it breaks my heart when I try to get one of these great moments and it doesn't work!

So really, it is miraculous I even have all these incredibly healthy boys. I know. I'm very blessed.

A whole different world

So the other day Hermanie, our little babysitter asked, "Did you have lots of peer pressure when you were in high school?" I was like, "Yeah, some. I think everyone has some. Why, what's yours about?" Basically she said there are 20 girls on their cheerleading squad, and only 2 of them are virgins.

She's 14.

She said they all make fun of her for it and there was one particular time during a class that it was really getting to her. I asked how old the girl was that was bugging her the most about it. 15. And she already has a baby. I said, "What? She already has a baby? And she's a cheerleader?" She said that yes, she did, and so as not to discourage kids from dropping out of school, her high school has a daycare.

WOW.

Ok, I definitely did not have the same kind of peer pressure growing up in Bountiful Utah. But good grief, what kind of message does that send to your students to have a daycare to make it easier to care for all their illegitimate children?!? She goes to the "have a safe summer" school I mentioned before that's in our neighborhood. Sheesh, maybe I misinterpreted that. I was thinking "have a safe summer - don't get shot." But maybe they're really trying to say, "Have safe sex this summer" or "Have a safe summer, don't get syphilis."