Archive | November, 2011

It’s 1 am ~ Do You Know Where Your Sanity Is?

22 Nov

As I type this, my beautiful, precious, but not so sweet (nor adorable at this moment) baby girl is hanging from my breast. She is not eating. I am not amused. To hell with the “cherish these moments” bullshit. I’m tired. Actually, “tired” doesn’t even begin to describe my pain and even “exhaustion” leaves something to be desired in it’s definition.

I am a human pacifier and, even playing it for 2 months, I have not come to terms with my new role. Our bedtime routine (and calling it a ‘routine’ is a stretch) goes like this most nights … I feed the girls on the couch for 20-30 minutes, then we head upstairs to put their gowns & swaddle blankets on. Once changed, we head to our room where I nurse them again for 20-30 minutes, at which point they’re sleeping & I lie them down in their bassinet for the night. How sweet, right? This actually worked for a couple nights, but the last several right after that “for the night” part, one or both wakes up screaming just after I’ve settled in next to Hubby and let my tired body begin relaxing my aching back. I give it a few seconds to realize that yes, indeed, this is going to turn into a full cry. I then drag myself out of bed & to the bassinet, try to soothe with pacifiers, rocking, hushing – and then I usually try another nursing session … ya know, because nursing for 60 of the last 70 minutes must not have been enough. After just a few minutes, they’re asleep again, so I try to gently lie them back down. Repeat steps 36 through 38 [bed, Hubby, crying] and eventually end up here … sitting on the couch or floor of the living room – soothing babies.

Right now, Sophie’s in the swing. She’s actually been there since we came downstairs. I put the pacifier in her mouth and she hasn’t peeped since. Miracles do happen. But Livie, *dith* protest too much. And she had been the more agreeable one upstairs! Go figure! We’ve tried the swing 3 times so far, each after I soothed her with the breast. And by “soothe”, I mean she latches on, sucks one good time, her eyes roll back in her head almost immediately and she falls asleep! WTF?!?! I give her a couple minutes, try the swing again and *surprise* Mommy’s still a fool – try again.

So here I sit, another sleepless night. If nipples could get all wrinkly like your skin does in the shower, mine would definitely look like rehydrated raisins. (Actually, I think they already do)

Some nights I give up & take the offending LoveOfMyLife to bed with me. Fine … you gotta have a boobie & I gotta have sleep … let’s make a deal. When both of them are fighting, while possible, it’s hard to actually sleep comfortably.

I do have to admit that the nights have gotten better, there’s no way I would have enough wits to even use this computer now if they hadn’t – it’s just GETTING to the “nights” that are so damn difficult.

Even the days are rough. That garbage they spew about “sleep when the baby sleeps” is impossible when one baby is always awake! I’ve had a couple twin moms try to hammer home with me this schedule BS – how important it is, how to get it going, how to stick with it, and how much of a difference in my life it will make. Oh yes ladies, you helped me plan it all out before the girls were even born! When one woke to eat, I would wake the other to eat as well – then I wouldn’t be spending, literally, all day nursing babies. Great plan! I DO do this … but no one seems to be able to tell me how to make them SLEEP at the same time. Just because I feed them at the same time, doesn’t mean the rest of their schedules are going to fall in line … and I either THOUGHT they would … or it never occurred to me that this could be a problem. During the days, I just beg for an hour of them both napping together – it would give me time to wash their laundry, or hang up mine, or PEE … I’m not even asking for it so I can take a NAP (which I need desperately).

My mother is coming up & will be here tomorrow afternoon for Thanksgiving, and I can’t wait to catch a break. Extra hands are ALWAYS welcome in this house – especially when Daddy’s hands are at work.

I’m sooooooo sleeeeeeeepy. Gonna give this ‘heading to bed’ thing one more shot before I go insane. 1 am actually isn’t too bad … if I could sleep in a little … or get naps during the day to recoup. Any tips on breaking the human pacifier habit will be used and then sold to the highest bidding sleep deprived mom. We may be able to afford that new SUV after all!

Snickers Can’t Satisfy From THERE

17 Nov

The other day Hubby & I were at the grocery store getting dinner, he, on an empty stomach. He picked up several things while were checking out, one of which was a Snickers candy bar. I didn’t even give him a hard time about buying candy when we still have 8.3 lbs left from Halloween at home. We came home, he munched on the other stuff he had gotten, but apparently got too full to eat the Snickers. So it sits. On the table beside the couch. Taunting me each time I walk past it. It’s been there for nearly a week now and he hasn’t eaten it. How long does he think he can leave a woman who never has time to make her own lunch alone with a full size candy bar? One whose only claim is that it can satisfy me? Is he testing me? If I eat it will he even realize? Or is he leaving it there just so he can come home & give me crap for eating the one thing in the house that he’s been saving for a week to reward himself … or something equally ridiculous? I think I’m going to move it, to a drawer somewhere. Then it can’t taunt me every time I walk by … but also … then if he accuses me of eating it I can say, “Oh no! I just put it away! That’s all! Way to accuse me, Ass!” And if he has forgotten about it, I’LL EAT THE DAMN THING.

No, just buying another one would not solve the problem. This thing knows my name, it needs me.

Breastfeeding Banned in … PRIVATE?

15 Nov

How private is private when you’re at home?

While I was pregnant with the twins, I mentioned to Hubby that I was not going to be retreating to the bedroom to nurse every time the girls were hungry.  Breasts have always been a very sexual organ in his mind, and I knew this was something I needed to announce.  I didn’t have a problem with either DD, MonkeyFace (13) or DS, PunkBoy (12) seeing me nurse.  I didn’t plan on flaunting my naked breasts or walking around topless, I’d still be discreet – but I wasn’t going to throw a blanket over their head every time they were eating either.  My concern was how my 12 year old stepson, BonkerHead, was going to react – and how Hubby would (or wouldn’t) address it.

Hubby wasn’t thrilled, he wanted to know why I couldn’t just go to the bedroom for feeding time – since that’s what I did when I was pumping for the surrobaby the year before.  In my mind, pumping is completely different.  Breasts HAVE to be hanging out, nipples are being contorted as this machine whirs uncomfortably next to me.  Hell, it’s uncomfortable for ME to watch myself while I’m pumping!  It’s not natural!  Feeding babies is more natural than most anything else we do daily – I refused to hide it as if it were dirty or I should be ashamed.

The first encounter happened in the hospital when the kids visited.  I set myself up to feed them, acting natural.  I could see Hubby a little uncomfortable that his brand new daughters were eating, but not the REAL uncomfortable feeling I was expecting from him.  MF & PB acted as if nothing were different, continuing with whatever activity they had been doing prior.  BH, however, was turned completely sideways on the couch and was staring out the window like there was a circus in the hospital parking lot.  I ignored it & continued nursing as if nothing were wrong.  I later asked Hubby if he had addressed it with him – he had confirmed he was uncomfortable, but didn’t address it further.  As a stepmom, I prefer to tread lightly where BH is concerned, even after 11 years of being in each other’s lives.  Talking about it, “addressing it” myself, seemed to be calling attention to  it – I decided that meeting it head on would make it seem like there was something wrong with it … I would just continue acting it was as natural as it was.

After coming home from the hospital, BH would disappear every time I nursed.  He became a recluse to his room. When he DID come upstairs to go to the kitchen or something, he would loop around the back of the house to avoid me – possibly nursing – in the living room.  Within a week or two, if he was watching a show with us in the living room & feeding time presented itself, he would stay – but slumped down in the couch & never glancing in our direction while speaking.

I don’t know when, exactly, we got over the hump – but the girls are now 8 weeks old & he’ll actually carry on a conversation, making eye contact, while I nurse.  I’m never topless when I feed the girls in front of him, but there is usually some breast exposed if someone were to look.  He doesn’t.

In other “Uncomfortable Breastfeeding Issues in my Own Home” topics … it’s also taken me 8 weeks of training to teach my unsocial butterfly, PunkBoy (an Aspie), that he can NOT kiss the babies on the head while I’m feeding them – and that him sitting beside me, or talking to the babies, or rubbing their heads while I nurse makes me uncomfortable.  That was a problem I never expected.  I must keep reminding myself that “personal space” is nonexistent to him.  I had read posts about woman claiming that they were teenage boys, of course they’d want to sneak of peek of boob if they could – and that thought had me worried about my own son.  Is that why he didn’t have any issues coming so close while I was nursing?  I had the 2 extremes, one who was staying too far away & another who was entirely too close.  This past week I realized, PunkBoy really has no idea when I am nursing and when I’m not.  Once he was talking to Sophie [in his super high pitched baby talk] & said, “Are you upset because you know your sister’s eating right now? Are you jealous?” (I wasn’t feeding Olivia) and another time he asked if I wanted him to bring me the other baby so she could eat too (also wasn’t nursing that time either).  Thank God.

MonkeyFace’s room is upstairs, while the boys are in the basement … I have found myself – first thing in the morning, or last thing at night, running back & forth between our room & the nursery TOPLESS.  Or leaving my bedroom door open while I breastfeed topless.  MonkeyFace never acted like it was any different than me wearing a shirt when she came out of her room one day, & so I’ve continued.  She’ll occasionally come into the nursery or the bedroom to help or tell me something.  It’s another one of those things that makes Hubby uncomfortable.  I’ve tried explaining to him that I have no issues with her seeing me like that.  I’d rather she see my normal body than to grow up with unrealistic expectations of what her own body should look like.  There’s some baby flab here, my boobs aren’t shaped perfectly – EVERYTHING from neck to waist is pretty unattractive these day … and ya know what … it’s all me, it’s all natural, and it’s a part of life … my life.

I am who I am …

11 Nov

Karma … Kismet, Serendipity, Fate, Destiny.

Karma Kissed Me. I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed every bit of it, but I’ve gotten what I’ve put in. I’ve made some horrible mistakes in my life, and I’ve suffered heartache for it. I’ve also done some wonderful things, and I am blessed with my family. I’ve been kissed by Karma … all my life … it wasn’t always a sweet kiss, but it was always deserved.

I am a proud & usually disheveled Mom. Mother to 3 girls & 2 boys. FIVE kids?!?! Wife to an incredibly caring & hard working man who drives me absolutely crazy some days and others I can’t figure out how I got so lucky. He’s stepdad to my 2 eldest, Daddy to my stepson and to my brand new twin girls. These days my entire world seems to revolve around the girls for the most part. It’s what consumes my entire day, & night for that matter, I guess it would be crazy if my world didn’t revolve around them.

I’m a proud mom, but I’m not June Cleaver or Clair Huxtable nor anything even close.  I don’t coach my kid’s soccer team & I’m not the team mom either … in fact, I talked my kids out of playing soccer anymore because the league had the “there are no losers – we don’t keep score – everybody wins – we don’t teach skills” attitude.  I’ve never been to a PTA meeting & I’ve never baked cookies for the bake sale.  I don’t call the school to complain when the band teacher sent my daughter outside to march in 35 degree weather without a coat … why?  I’m sure they got calls from half of the other parents – if it doesn’t fix itself, I’ll bitch next time.  I tried volunteering for the kids’ school and realized I just don’t fit in.  Even at sporting events or sleepovers, I’m the odd mom out.  All the other moms are older, more sophisticated, more educated, more rich, more fake.  If they greet me at all, it’s with a half ass smile as if to tell me, ‘I’m not sure why my child chooses to be friends with your child’.  They will then usually turn to talk about the last whatever-it-was meeting they went to together.  I am Mama Bear.  I don’t need the approval of other moms, I’ll continue raising my kids the way I have been and hope they eventually turn into productive additions to society.  Ones that don’t need me to wash their underwear on the weekends or live at home when they’re 30.

I never list anything as hobbies, religion or political affiliation … hobbies elude me (who has TIME for hobbies??), I’m 36 and still not sure where I stand on religion (Is there really a God?), and politics are usually too complicated for my feeble mind to care about – and I despise politicians (and pretty much ANYONE who only cares about me when it benefits themselves.)

I gawk & oogle at crafty things, but I don’t have the talent, the time to do them or the patience to learn them. This is why the God I’m not sure exists created Etsy. I adore handmade dresses, but the only useful thing I’ve ever sewn were basic flannel blankets for the kids. Oh, I did manage to make a bag/purse once by following a pattern … it turned out “ok”, but was completely useless because of it’s size. As I type this, I’m thinking I should see  if I still have it somewhere – it may make a decent diaper bag! Which also reminds me, I think I bought some dragonfly fabric & promised to make my mother one 4 years ago … hmmm.

I enjoy camping, but no longer tent/sleeping bag on the ground camping. We bought a pop-up camper a couple years ago & haven’t been able to use it nearly as much as I’d like … and now, with the addition of the twins, it’s going to be too small for our basketball team anyway.

I enjoy cooking, but no matter how long I keep at it, I’ll still pretty much fall in the ‘beginner’ category. Anything more than that is too complicated and time consuming. I enjoy baking more, but also hate the cleanup more – also a beginner. I discovered last night, while clearing a spot in the cabinet for bottles, that I own TWO – not one, but TWO – flour sifters. I’ve never used either one of them, I think one came from my grandmother & the other came with the husband. If the recipe requires me to sift flour, then it’s probably too time consuming for me. I have the palate of a 2nd grader, anything weird or out of the ordinary will surely be disgusting in my mouth. You’ll never catch me even in the parking lot of a restaurant that serves caviar or escargot.

My daughter, MonkeyFace, is 13 years old. She’s mature for her age, as well as immature for her age … she’s bitchy, bossy, a smart ass at times and extremely emotional MOST of the time. She’s also very funny, loving, grateful, caring, and responsible. She’s my first born, my eternal baby girl, the child who introduced me to motherhood … that feeling of loving someone more than life itself, even when you’re struggling to keep yourself from strangling them. She’s had a few nasty encounters with her dad’s girlfriend, which has led to her spending more time than usual here. She plays the trumpet, loves volleyball & dogs, hates the color pink and for the most part, is just a good kid. She doesn’t always make the best decisions, but she’s never close to making the worst and best of all, she usually learns from her mistakes.

My son, PunkBoy, is 12 years old. He has Asperger’s Syndrome & ADHD and coupled with my own lack of patience, I’m surprised we’ve survived to the ripe old age of 12. He’s extremely high functioning. Even though I’ve been trying to figure out how to help him since he was a toddler, his Asperger’s diagnosis didn’t come until he was 10 years old. I love him to death, I’d die for him in a heartbeat – but there are moments when I’m not sure how *I’ve* survived 12 years. He has it tough – he has the innate ability to aggravate his siblings – to the point of tears sometimes – without even trying. That being said, most times he DOES try. If he misses a dose of his medication, you know it within the first 15 minutes you spend with him. “Have you taken your medicine?” has become synonymous with “You’re driving me crazy!” He lacks self esteem & confidence and it worries me. I understand his issues, but I also know that he needs to function in society, and I’m hard on him as a result. I expect him to learn the social cues, I expect him to understand the lesson, and I expect him to do better the next time. My expectations are too high, but his father’s are too low … and as such, PB likes to spend more time at Daddy’s house than he does here. His therapist thinks it’s ok as long as it doesn’t become a habit … I think it IS becoming a habit, but I’m too spent to argue with him. Change is hard for him, less so since he started an anti-depressant … but he’s no stranger to tears. He doesn’t express emotions, but you don’t need to be told he’s feeling hurt or pain when the tears start.

My stepson, BonkerHead, is also 12. He’s 2 months older than PunkBoy. BonkerHead entered our lives when his daddy entered mine. The boys were just over a year old. The kids don’t remember a time that they weren’t a part of each others’ lives. That’s good – and bad. They treat each other like siblings do. PB used to idolize BH, it didn’t matter what BH was doing or interested in, PB was too. It was aggravating when I was trying to encourage PB to embrace is own self, his identity was really a mirror image of BH. Sometime in the last 2 years, the difference between the boys became insurmountable and there are few times they aren’t arguing about one thing or another. We aggravated the situation by forcing the boys to, once again, share a room when the twins were born. PB intentionally aggravates, it’s what he does, and BH has to deal with it more than the rest of us simply because they share space. BonkerHead came to live with us fulltime in 2006. Until then, his controlling mother had full custody and he only visited every other weekend … if she was feeling generous. After many, many, arguments between Hubby & I, I urged him to get a custody agreement in writing to curb BirthMom’s [BM – fittingly] power trips so he could see BH regularly. As they were leaving court, BM threatened to move so she wouldn’t have to hold up the order. Within the year, she did just that – 2 states away. Back to court, thousands and thousands of dollars we didn’t have later, we were able to get full custody and now SHE has visitation. Good job court system for finally working like you’re supposed to. Although BM has created a hellish world for 10+ years, in her defense, she’s turned into a reasonable woman over the last few months. I’m over questioning what her ulterior motive is because it’s lasted so long and into just relishing the peace & calm.

And most recently, the current family favorites and brand new loves of my life – O & So. Olivia & Sophia are 8 weeks old today. As I type this, I am LITERALLY surrounded by people who burp & fart at will and poop their pants whenever they feel the urge – my enormous nursing pillow is holding one on the left & one on the right. 20111111-174502.jpg  Their nicknames are so numerous that nothing has stuck for sure yet. Sweet Pea, Sugar Bear, Sugar Muffin, Sugar Pie, Punkin Head … the list goes on and on. I figure I’m always trying to calm one with my voice from across the room while I change the diaper of the other … so I’m not sure they’ll ever really know their names anyway. I don’t usually dress them alike, but have to admit, the one time I have in the last 8 weeks – it was completely adorable! Coordinating … matching … but usually not identical, just like them. Twins? Yes. Both girls? Yes. Do twins run in your family? They do now. How do you tell them apart? The same way I can tell you aren’t my husband or my mother, they look different. I have begun affectionately referring to them as “Egghead” & “Blockhead” to acquaintances who ask – they laugh, but now they can tell the difference! 🙂

We also share our home with 3 dogs, and even though they’ve taken quite a big backseat since the girls were born, I still can’t imagine our home without them. We’re all dog lovers, and at one time had 5 dogs! Currently we have a Rottweiler, Kismet – who I’m quite certain is mentally handicapped. She has Sub-Aortic Stenosis (SAS) and is so not what I was looking for when I decided to get another Rottweiler. The dog is actually afraid of her own shadow. The girls have been here for almost 2 months and she’ll still walk completely around the other side of the house as opposed to walking past them, they scare her. Hubby had to drag her by the collar out the back door the first week the girls were home because Kismet refused to walk past the bassinet. Scout is hubby’s Border Collie, my surprise gift to him. He grew up with Border Collies, but I soooo didn’t know what I was getting into – and I’m the QUEEN of doing research on breeds before placing them. This dog is thE most neurotic thing you could imagine, he’s gotten better as he’s gotten older – but he just never gives up. Charity is just that, a Charity. She’s a Pit Bull, an accidental father/daughter breeding, and was a swimmer puppy. She couldn’t walk, her legs were splayed out to the sides and her only movement was from “swimming’ across grass, floor, etc. My friend took her & her sister home to rehab them and she kept one while I took the other. She can walk completely now & while her muscles tire much quicker than other dogs, you wouldn’t be able to tell there was anything wrong with her. She can catch BIRDS – there’s no issues with speed there for sure!

That’s it, 7 people, 3 dogs (& a Sugar Glider) crammed into this modest 4 bedroom home. We all have our quirks, and without a doubt, someone will raise their voice to someone else each & every day, usually more than once. The only thing special about us is that we don’t pretend to BE special. I am who I am, many don’t like it – and as such, my circle of friends more closely resembles a dot. We. Are. Us.

 

 

 

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