Oh, Hey!

Claire and Jane ‘turned’ one month old yesterday. One month! That is completely insane. Sometimes I feel like they’re only hours old, other times it feels like they have been here for at least a dynasty, but ‘one month’ feels absurd, somehow.

Apparently I started living in the ‘in between’ when they were born and lost all sense of time. I live in between naps, in between driving Cole to school and taking Sadie to the park. In between diaper changes and baths, dog walks and bottles, laundry and… well, more laundry. And then at some point during the day I’ll catch my reflection in a mirror and think to myself ‘Oh, there I am!’

Almost like I accidentally bumped into myself while turning a corner. Sounds strange? Well, it feels strange. A good sort of weird, but I’ve never been in a position where I had to ‘catch’ myself, so to speak. Sometimes I wonder if this is one of those typical new mom things, but my circle of mom friends is still pretty nonexistent, so there’s no real way to check.

Unless one of you guys has the answer?

The Choking Incident

Sadie likes to talk while she eats. Which would be fine, if she talked in between bites, but girlfriend likes to talk with her mouth full. One of my biggest pet peeves, but today we’ve learned that it’s also a choking hazard.

Because Sadie choked on a piece of cooked carrot. It was seriously the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced, especially since she couldn’t breath or talk right from the get go. She choked so hard that we actually had to preform the Heimlich on her. Luckily the carrot shot out right away, but I’ve never been so glad that both Sam and I took an infant CPR course when I was pregnant.

Yes, the classes were extremely boring and no, they were not free, but I would like to encourage everyone strongly to take them. Because you never know when your child might need you to know this stuff.

Seriously, do it.

That will be all for today. I’m still trying to calm myself down with tea.

The Hunger Games

Cole had some issues with food when he and Sadie were newly living here. Unlike most six-year-olds I know, he had no problem eating his veggies and cleaning his plate – on the contrary. Cole would not stop eating until the food was Gone. He ate himself sick once or twice before we decided to no longer put the pans on the table, but to make sure everyone had enough on their plates and that was what they were going to get. I explained that what they had was enough and would easily keep them full until their next meal…

… Then the stealing began. Not to say that I view all food in this house as Mine and everyone who wants an apple needs to run it by me, but I had whole bushels of them disappearing from my kitchen. Then cartons of juice from the pantry. A whole pan of leftovers from the fridge. And I’d retrieve them from the strangest of places. The garage, behind the toilet, in his dresser… the list was endless.

I know where this behavior comes from, but explaining to him why this isn’t necessary anymore just resulted in him nodding but still hoarding food. Only now he would lie about it.

Finally, Sam and I googled the shit out of this behavior, decided we didn’t like the go-to method of putting locks on everything and improvised – coming up with the Food Safe.

Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a safe, Cole has the key, and he can keep some food in there. He’s the only one who can open it to take stuff out if he feels like he needs to. Once every week either me or Sam would go through it with him to make sure the food in there was still edible and not… well, Darwinism. Whatever he needed to throw out would be replaced. Controlled hoarding, if you will.

Yes, I realize this might sound insane, but knowing he had his own personal food stash  turned out to be a huge comfort to Cole. There was no more overeating, and no food stashed in random places. Up until today the Food Safe contained a few pieces of fruit, some granola bars, two bottles of water and a bottle of juice, a loaf of bread and some individually sized packs of butter and jam.

Until today, yes. Because Cole just walked up to me with all the stuff from his safe and said he didn’t need it anymore.

I’m so proud of him right now, I think I might burst.

So, It’s Been A While

I think it’s fair to say that my attempt at October’s NaBloPoMo officially went in the pooper. I’m starting to believe that putting that darn button up in the first place is like the blog equivalent of shooting myself in the foot. Not that I won’t give it another shot next month… I’m many things, but a quitter is not one of them. I will get this right, dang it. One of these months, I’m going to pull off blogging every day.

Mark my words. In orange. Because it’s so much more festive than yellow.

Anyhoodle.

I’m happy to report that both Claire and Jane were discharged from the hospital a good while ago. They are exactly three weeks old today and doing marvelous. I don’t know what I expected Life With Newborn Twins to be like, but it wasn’t this. Both of them have a pretty solid sleeping pattern and I’m not nearly as rundown as I thought I would be… Knock on wood.

Truthfully, the only thing I had to ‘deal’ with, so to speak, was random people cooing over them… Right before they ask me if I’m sure they are twins.

No, they had a two for one sale at the hospital. Come on, people.

They look nothing alike, I’ll give ‘em that. Claire looks exactly like I did as a wee little bébé – chubby and blond. Jane is the spitting image of Sam, and – according to my mother-in-law – ‘the most Native looking baby their family has seen since Sam was born’.

I’ve seen the pictures. The woman is not lying.

Needless to say, we’re able to tell them apart without much difficulty.

Nevertheless, yes, I am sure they are twins. I counted them while they came out of my whoohoo. I may have been a tad bit stoned at the time because of the epidural, but I’m sure this didn’t affect my ability to differentiate between one and two.

It was definitely two.

Which makes a grand total of four children currently residing under this roof. It can get a little crazy – and messy. I don’t think there has been a night where I didn’t hear Sam grumbling ‘effing Lego blocks’ while getting up at night to feed the girls… But it’s all great fun. Because schadenfreude. And also, because we’re all happy and healthy.

And just a wee bit tired.

Now tell me, what did I miss?

Too Tired To Function

My reaction:

I think that sums up my current mental state quite accurately. Dead tired.

 

Life On Pause

The night I was discharged from the hospital and arrived home with all my personal stuff, gifts, balloons and flowers but without my babies, I broke down a little. From the get-go, I knew this would most likely be the case. All the birth stories I read about women having twins seemed to ‘end’ this way – mom got to go home, but the babies didn’t… or at least not just yet. I knew this would be the case for me when I delivered my girls a day short of 32 weeks. They might be doing Awesome and Great (which they are), but the hospital isn’t going to let them go just yet. And I learned that knowing that something is going to happen a certain way doesn’t automatically mean that you prepared for it. Big, big difference there.

When I arrived home and sat down on my bed, I had a lot of mixed feelings. On the one hand, I was happy to be back in my safe place, with my own bed and shower with decent water pressure. I get to fall asleep next to my husband and tuck in my two other kids and kiss them goodnight before I do. On the other, my babies are now a 25 minutes away by car, instead of an elevator ride and a few steps.

I know they are where they need to be right now – in their safe place, with an amazing NICU staff who will be there to take care of them when we’re not. These nurses, these amazing women, have been able to answer all my questions in a language that I can understand, and I have no doubt that they will look after my girls and make sure they have everything they need. I trust them. But still…

… I want them home.

The next couple of days will probably feel like our lives are on hold, driving to and from the hospital and settling into a routine we’ll break out of the moment we do get to take our beautiful girls home.

Let’s hope I’ve stopped crying before that day comes.

Things I’ve Learned Today

  • Sea food is only for Dolphins.
  • I’m a liar, because sharks DO TO make a sound. They go DAH DUM, DAH DUM, DAH DUM (cue my husband spitting out his coffee back in his cup because he was laughing too hard to swallow it, which was malignant (magnificent))
  • At weddings, you eat toast.
  • Pregnant women can’t wear shoes with laces. It’s forbidden by law.
  • Chicken is made out of chicken.
  • In this house, we have Sam Meat and Rhye Meat. Sam meat is very delicious. Rhye meat is meat that you keep chewing, but will never go away (thanks, bud).
  • Sadie is two, and therefore the oldest she has been in her entire life. Can’t poke holes in that logic.
  • Men have to shave. Their foreheads, too. Because they look like Bert from Sesame street if they don’t.
  • When you’re all grown up, you only grow sideways. And fur.
  • ‘Yia Yia teaches bullies to behave themselves!’ (She fosters pitbulls)
  • Old and wrinkly people are old and wrinkly because they fall asleep in the tub and stay in too long.

… And it’s only 7am.

We Eat All Kinds Of Religions In This House

After Cash’s announcement that we were eating Muslim for dinner a few days back, Sadie announced that she would like to have Quakers for breakfast this morning. Well, Quakers and gator.

“I have Quakers and gator cheese. Peace.” Were her exact words.

“Sadie wants crackers with grated cheese. Please.” Cole translated.

It’s nice to have an interpreter in the house. I might have taken her seriously if there wasn’t.

After all, this is the girl who asked if she could eat the cat food our two cats Julian and Luna deemed inedible.

Firsts

‘Mommy,’ she chirps in that high-pitched toddler voice. ‘Mommy, I have a question.’

As is Sadie’s way. This girl always has questions. She even raised her hand in church a few weeks back, to ask what a certain word meant. It’s not the question that is new in this scenario. Her calling me mommy, however, is. My husband is not daddy, my husband is Sam. Only she pronounces it as Sham, much to the amusement of the rest of my family. And before today, before this moment, I was Rhye. Pronounced Why. And now I’m mommy.

It’s a difficult moment, for reasons I can’t pinpoint. Standing there with a soapy plate in my hand, I wonder if I should correct her… But then I ask myself why I should. I may not be her birth mother, but I am the one who will feed her, clothe her, make sure she does her homework and – when the time is there – question the guys she dates profusely. I will make sure she has a roof over her head until she’s ready to venture into the world. I will be the one who will help her with her college application. I will be there.

My mother always said that ‘mom’ is a title, one that you have to earn. You can be someone’s mother without being their mom. And I always agreed with her. Yet, I don’t want to take this title away from the woman who neglected her in more ways than one. There is no doubt that she has made mistakes, and that the mistakes she has made were harmful to her children. But it feels wrong to ‘invalidate’ her.

Because Sadie isn’t her only child we now have custody of. There’s Cole, too. Big brother Cole, who is 6 years old and thinks the world of his mother – and yet doesn’t. At the moment everything is very confusing to him, and I don’t want to pile onto that by suddenly becoming their ‘new mommy’.

It’s the little things that make caring for children that are ‘not yours’ very difficult at times. I’m not yet aware of the appropriate names, terms and language. I struggle with how much I should tell them, and what to shield them from. Sometimes I have to do some soul searching myself before I even come up with a decent answer to their sporadic questions.

But I’m learning. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say, and nobody can expect me to know exactly what to do in every scenario that might pop up. All I know for sure is that I love these kids, love them to pieces with the fire of a thousand suns, and I trust that we’ll work through all of it one step at a time.

This, and many other things, is what this blog will be about.