Tuesday, November 29, 2011

the first cold

Our sweet little twins officially have their first cold. They are grumpy, not sleeping great, and don't understand why they feel less than stellar. I want so badly to make them feel better, but there is little I can do.

Although an eventual cold was inevitable, it still breaks my heart a little. Hearing their labored breathing brings back all too recent memories of a time when they couldn't breathe on their own. The rattling I hear when they try to sleep or eat is too reminiscent of the respirator and cannula they required after their birth.

As with any baby, all they want when they feel poopy is to be cuddled and comforted. Unfortunately, it's difficult to properly cuddle more than one of the them at a time. I feel like I am constantly choosing a baby to cater too, yet not giving my full attention to either. Juggling sick multiples is a challenge, and we are working to find our footing in this new territory.

Seeing my precious ones so unhappy has totally reinforced my germ-phobia. Up until this past weekend, I have been a germ drill sargent. I have strictly enforced rules regarding hand washing and kid visitors, and I have accordingly encountered more than a few snide remarks. Now I can see that protecting my little ones is totally worth any ire directed my way. So we're breaking out the hand sanitizer and reinstating the "please don't let your kids touch the babies" rule (per our pulmonologist's recommendation), and hoping for healthy babies soon.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

giving thanks

This has been such a joyful weekend in our home that it will require two posts to cover it all. First, Thanksgiving...

I've never been short on things for which to give thanks, but this year my cup truly runneth over. My two little turkeys have filled my heart and my arms with a new love. I am so grateful to borrow these precious blessings from God, to have the privilege of being their mommy here on earth. Equally, I am grateful to share this amazing adventure with Andrew. When it comes to spouses, I won the lottery. Watching Andrew be a dad to our twins makes my love for him grow daily.

Life with twins is difficult. Between the adorable snapshots in matching turkey onesies are double meltdowns, spit up stains, and sleep deprived parents. I have never, however, been more thankful for the path my life has taken. God is so good, and He has blessed our family in ways we could have never imagined! We are so thankful this Thanksgiving, and we look forward to celebrating many more with Barnes and Frances.

Our first Thanksgiving as a family of four (well, really six).

Our whole family (minus Sister Gloria Christi) at the Christmas Market on the day after Thanksgiving. We were so lucky to have everyone together!

Monday, November 21, 2011

measures of success

I'm a bit of a freak...I love grades, test scores, items checked off a to-do list. I love tangible measures of success. I have always thrived on being rewarded for a job well done. You don't get a report card, however, for being a mom. No one puts a gold star by your name. So how do you measure success? In the years to come, how will I know if I've done an okay job at this most important role?

For me, my success (or failure) as a parent will be determined by how Barnes and Frances treat others. My great hope is that my children treat each person they encounter well. I pray that they respect others, including those who act or believe differently from them, and that they stand firm for equality. I hope they find joy in serving others and that they are always generous with their time, talent and treasure. I hope they radiate kindness, and that their lives cultivate kindness in others.

Do not misunderstand me...first and foremost I hope that Barnes and Frances grow to know the love of Jesus. But is there really a difference? If my little ones love the Lord, will they not also love others?

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:40

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I am trying to catch up on B & F's baby books, and I need a little assistance. I am not cool. Any delusion I had that I was still cool has gone out the window in the last 12 weeks. So rather than just write my own lame answers on the "the world around me" page, I thought I would ask my dear bloggie friends for some advice. Here are the categories:

  • hit movies and popular actors

  • favorite tv shows

  • popular songs and musicians (other than DH&N, of course)

  • best-selling books

  • fashion trends (Mollie, I'm counting on you here)

  • famous sports figures

  • technological advances

All input is greatly appreciated!

Monday, November 14, 2011


Do you ever hear parents use a nickname for their child and wonder how in the heck they came up with that? Well, I'm not sure if it's the sleep deprived connections his brain is currently making, but Andrew has started calling Barnes "Bumble." Yes, bumble, like a bee. And maybe it's because of my equally limited sanity, but I think it's adorable.

Andrew and I both felt strongly that we wanted to name our children what they would be called. Barnes and Frances will always be Barnes and Frances to us. But nicknames have inevitably started to creep in. Frances gets a "Frannie" or a "Frannie-kins" every once in a while, and we very often refer to Barnes as "B." From B, Andrew began using Bumble Bee, and he has now shortened it to just Bumble. Bumble is an appropriate nickname for a few reasons...first because it's adorable, just like our little B. Second, B tends to "bumble" around a bit more than his sister.

So today my little B is dressed in his yellow onesie, ready to bumble around on this dreary Monday. I just hope his buzzing takes sleep breaks today!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


My heart is literally singing...my sweet baby girl has been smiling at me all morning! We have gotten a few smiles out of her brother, but she is our serious baby. She always seems to be pondering the meaning of life or concentrating on how best to fix our economy. This morning, though, she warmed my soul with smile after smile. And these were not just reflex smiles--they were full out, mouth open, responsive grins. Nothing is more beautiful than a happy baby!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

an ugly little monster

Mommy guilt is not a myth. It's real, and it plagues conscientious mothers everywhere. This week it has reared its ugly head in our home.

As I've mentioned before, my children will not nurse, so I pump several times a day to ensure that they get the best nutrition possible. Over the past few weeks, the twins' consumption has caught up to and sometimes surpassed my production. I found myself dipping into our frozen supply occassionally and feared that the end of exclusive breast milk was near.

On Tuesday we had our two-month check-up, and I discussed this situation with their pediatrician. Her recommendation? Begin supplementing with formula once a day now so that 1) their eventual transition to formula will be gradual and 2) we can stretch my breast milk out as long as possible so that the babies are still receiving primarily breast milk for many more weeks/months. So on Wednesday, their 10 week birthday, I prepared my first formula. For their goodnight bottle, each twin received 2 ounces of formula mixed with their milk. As I poured the powder in, I stood in my kitchen and cried. I had failed.

The crazy thing is that I have never been that obsessed with breastfeeding. Yes, I believe that breast milk is best, but I also know that children thrive on formula as well. Before the twins were born, I had taken it as a given that we would supplement their diet with formula. So why all the tears this week? Why the agony over beginning to replace approximately 1/12th of their diet with formula? Mommy guilt. An ugly, unwelcome visitor.

What I find ugliest about mommy guilt is that, too often, it is brought about and perpetuated by other mommies. Women have a natural tendency to compete, and nowhere is this more apparent than in child-rearing. Moms who chose natural labor scoff at moms who opted for pain medication. Moms who breastfed well past the recommended one-year are quick to tell their story, while moms for whom nursing didn't work out shyly linger in the corner. Moms whose children sat/walked/talked early boast of their little one's accomplishments, while moms who are worried that their sweet child might be a bit behind stay quiet. Moms who stay at home make working moms feel guilty; working moms make stay-at-home moms feel like they must prove their worth. Our best support network is unfortunately too often the source of our anxiety.

For the immediate future I will continue to pump as often as possible, but also continue to give the twins some formula each day. I will work through my formula guilt, supported by the women who have sweetly and honestly shared their own formula stories with me.