Thursday, February 26, 2009

more milestones


So, I mentioned a few days ago that Shoghi got his first tooth? Well, it's really just barely broken the surface, so he's still in a good deal of discomfort, poor little muffin. Today, the tooth right next to it is also peeking through!

It's a huge day for little Shoghurt, because today he put a bunch of mental and physical pieces together and managed to propel, half creeping and half c r a w l i n g, himself across the living room. Yes, mama is now officially in a great deal of trouble. Six months? Couldn't they have waited just a little longer? Max is totally doing the army crawl, too, with nose to the ground and butt in the air. It's only a matter owf time before I'm using the word "crawl" in the same sentence as his name, as well. I feel both celebratory and a little freaked out! That's normal, right?

Finally here are some photos just because.... today I got my sister's photos from our trip back East and these are some of my favorites:


my dad, playing to the babies

shoghi with his great-grandfather

the boys with their sweet auntie

my mama and shoghi

max with his favorite book. i'm not kidding;
we read and recite this book at least 10 times a day.



ps: there was a story today on NPR about families who use donors to conceive seeking out their half siblings. hmmmm.... interesting.

Monday, February 23, 2009

accomplishments

Part of the joy of being in our own space, I am discovering, is doing the work associated with taking care of my family. I just wanted to share some of the other ways my/our life has changed, and managing a household is one of them. I didn't think it would be a joyful change, so the fact that it is seems like a brilliant gift.

For starters, over the past week I have been working very hard to create a schedule that works for the boys and for me. It's shaping up! This is key to getting anything at all accomplished. They nap at 10 and 2 now, with a third shorter nap at 5 or 6, then bedtime is btw 7:30 and 8. We have "scheduled" book and music time! I know it might sound weird, but the predictability helps me know what to do with them, and when I can go out with them, and when, on good days, I can get stuff done. In addition, this regular schedule seems to be helping poor little Maxy get some better rest. I got some good advice about his fussy predicament and took it to heart. Today he has slept for more than an hour at both naps!


naked and semi-naked times have taken hold in our daily schedule.
here are the boys in their brand new fuzzy bunz cloth diapers.

We've been making Korin's awesome beef/veggie lasagna, which only takes about 20 minutes to put together, and last night we tried this recipe for cream scones, replacing the milk for coconut milk like K does. They were beautiful, but a terrible failure because we thought we'd try adding baking soda in the place of the baking powder we didn't have. Ever wonder about that? Well, it tastes gross, so avoid our mistake.

yummy-looking but terrible-tasting scones.

Today I feel most accomplished, having made this delicious chicken crock pot dish and even fresh bread, which is rising as I type. I modified the chicken dish by adding carrots, garlic and some sweet potatoes right at the end... YUM! I also managed to swiffer the floor! All while my children napped!

the meal's a-cookin'

Can you even imagine what a relief it is, to have them sleep and be able to get some things done? I mean, this is not a small deal for me, as even before I had kids I would resort to the simplest of meals. Seeing Korin cook meals every day really inspired me, though, and made me see that it is possible, and only requires that you do some menu planning and get things done whenever you have a moment. I'm really proud of this, and also the fact that I'm cleaning up our living room every night, either before the boys sleep or after. It makes such a difference to come down to a room that's clear of toys and stuff, knowing we're starting a day fresh. Again, I didn't used to be much of a neat person, so this is real change for me! I like to clean it up as a part of the bedtime routine so they get used to seeing all their little things put away and can associate that with a calming down.

the living room at the height of the day.

And speaking of accomplishments, dear Shoghi got his first tooth today! It was a pretty intense process, especially in the 2 or 3 days prior to the big eruption, but we can just barely see it now, and I'm so relieved for him! Yay Shoghi! Max's gums don't seem at all swollen, so I'm guessing he's got a while to go.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

processing

It occurs to me, having had now a few hours of sleep, that as things change, I may always find them challenging. Last night, I read back to the days of my pregnancy and having the boys in the NICU, and thought that of course those times were pretty darned hard. I don't want to be the kind of person who is always talking about how hard it is... I mean, it sort of goes without saying, right? It's the nature of life, and all. People parent in all sorts of situations that challenge them to the core, and I'm just one of them. I'm dealing with lack of sleep, and some fussiness that is certainly within the realm of normal. Sure, that's hard to remain present to in the moment, but it's true, and I have to somehow honor people who are truly enduring hardship by rising to this task. Sisu, Tanja reminded me, is a quality to call upon: tenacity of purpose. Sisu helped me to persevere to become a mother, and it will help me also to be the kind of mother I want to be.

While I attend to my attitude, you can enjoy a couple of little videos I promised my parents I'd upload.

Max rolling over:


Shoghi & Max chatting it up:

Friday, February 20, 2009

6 months is harder than 6 weeks.


My sister Laurie is my constant supporter - here she is on a day we were
both so tired we couldn't even sit up, giving S his bottle.
Sorry her head is cut off. You can see the whole photo here.

Oh, friends. What can I say? I'm a mama on the edge!

What happened to my nights? Even though I was never sleeping a ton, at least nights used to be manageable. Now, suddenly, both of the boys are waking throughout the night, and I'm not getting any sleep. I've got so many books on sleep on order at the library, they're going to think I'm working on a PhD. I'm considering every perspective on infant sleep - I figure instead of basing my strategy on reputation, I'd better apply the principle of independent investigation of the truth, and find out for myself what tools are there and which ones I'm going to try. Simply responding to my babies is decidedly not working.

I'm just stretched so thin, I don't know what to do. Even if I go to bed right after they do, at 8 or 8:30, I'm so anxious about what's to come that I can't fall asleep. Starting at 11, it's one baby after another. Shoghi still nurses throughout the night, which I used to love. Now, he sucks so hard that it hurts. Is this teething? Is it developmental? By 4 in the morning, he's been nursing for hours, and then he's awake. Even if I resort to trying to fill him up with a bottle, he doesn't necessarily fall back to sleep, and then of course, Max is up, too, and I have both of them, either ready for the day or crying. Sometimes I put them back in their bassinets and listen to them cry, other times I bring them both into the bed, one tucked under each arm, and listen to them cry. I'm just out of energy, and it is so emotionally challenging to do this night after night, I can't even tell you. It's depressing that this is actually harder than when they were tiny, harder than when Shoghi had the terrible reflux/apnea.

Anyway, despite all of these problems, things are still fun sometimes. Max was just 2 days behind Shoghi with rolling to his stomach from his back, and he does it over and over, while Shoghi seems to have forgotten how. Max is scooting forward on his belly, too! Meanwhile, Shoghi has fallen in love with our new swing (thx, Eliz!), and now routinely falls asleep in there for daytime naps by himself. I'm desperate enough that I'm considering having him sleep in the darned thing all night.

Food introductions deserves its own post, but I've been at it for about a month now. I'm going to try to talk about this and my continuing adventure with nursing at another time.

So, although some of the problems from earlier this week are resolved (everything is fine with my credit union - they just hadn't received my change of address), more seems to be unraveling. Somehow I am going to survive this first year, I know. The boys are clearly thriving. I really could have never imagined just how much harder twins is compared to a singleton, but here I am, living it every day. I love these two amazing boys more than anything, so I know we'll get through it for the better. Please send me all of your encouragement and good thoughts, though... I really need them.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

scowl

some days, you just wish to be able to hit a reset button. i'll admit it - i'm having a tough week. so many thing have gone wrong, i've lost track. teething is here in full force, bringing with it ceaseless whining and crying. my bank account where i have all my savings has been frozen, presumably because they've had a security breach with their cards. i won't know what happened until tuesday, but it's leaving me fearful that all my money is somehow gone. sleep has been awful. i'm a grouchy, panicy mess.

good thing we firgured out that the boys both really like to roll around in the n*de. also good thing that these kids are so cute, and that they laugh once in a while. after playing like this for a half hour last night, sister and i stuck them both in the sink for a bath. the things we'll do for 10 minutes of peace, i tell you.



rolling around on the floor

so thankful for this swing from eliz!

a new napping spot is well appreciated.

exersaucer? yes, please.

max takes a spin in our new toy.


video
shoghi and his tricks.

Friday, February 13, 2009

and now for some photos

all from this week's shenanigans:


Shoghi adores his tongue, and will stick it out all day long. Here he is "eating" avocado.


He's become quite the little ham, and I'm not talking about his sense of humor! Look at the chunk on that babe! This is Shoghi's first sink bath.
Max, sweet boy. He was less sure about this bath, but it was infinitely better than his last bath in the bathtub, which totally freaked him out.
His favorite seems to be to sit in my mesh sling and come in the shower.


Max loves to stand and bounce, holding your fingers in his hands.


I love how both of them clasp their feet together. Here's Shoghi, in some beautiful longies from Devon, knit before they were even conceived.


Begin and end with that goofy tongue!

6 months


Dear boys,

Last Sunday, you turned 6 months old. Since you've been a part of my life, I have counted your time in hours, days, and weeks, and somewhere in the recent past, I have come to think of you as months old. In no time at all, we'll be counting your lives in years, and that is unbelievable to me. For so many years, you were just a wish, and now you are here, growing and becoming my beautiful, amazing sons. It takes my breath away.

In the past two months, you've had such adventures, it's hard to recall and count them all. You had your first air travel, going to and from Massachusetts. You spent time with family - you met and had such a great time with your great grandparents, your great aunts and uncles, cousins and lots of old friends who are as close as family. You learned to smile and laugh, roll your little bodies over, and imitate our facial expressions. You've gone from sleepy little babies to something totally different - what is the name for this stage of infancy? Every day is an unfolding of your abilities, your characters, your paths through life.

This new stage has brought along many challenges for me as your mama. Your sleep patterns have changed, bringing less down time for me to get things done, and making it so that I seem to be getting less sleep than when you were tiny babies. How can that be, though? I don't know, but something has changed, and it's left me exhausted! Part of it is that you're both teething - you've been showing signs of it for several weeks now. Poor Maxy, it is making you so miserable. It seems like, since your first hard days in the NICU, this has been your biggest test. I only hope I'm giving you the support you need to get through it. Sometimes it's hard to tell exactly what you need!

You now demand full attention while you are awake, wanting to interact and fussing when I'm not with you. It's hard on all three of us (and Auntie Laurie, too!) because it makes it hard for me to spend one on one time with either of you. I'm so thankful for my Kangaroo Korner pouch - now I can carry you around in it in a hip carry, leaving my hands free to get some things done. But we do have fun! You reward our work of keeping you entertained with playful expressions, silly faces, gorgeous, light-up-the-world smiles and brilliant laughter.

This month, you've started eating food. We had our first meal with your memere and popi - the rice cereal we chose to give you was a real hit! The next food was avocado, which Shoghi loved. After that was pears, which you both like, and last has been bananas, which Max gobbles up like there's no tomorrow. Your little tummies aren't quite used to the whole digestion thing yet, so we're taking it slow.

Finally, on your birthday, we moved into our new home. It's a really big deal - since you were born, we've been living with Korin, Ryan and Ruby, and now, you, Auntie Laurie and I are all living in our own place. It's got room for us to continue to grow as a family, with a nice big bedroom for the three of us, a bedroom for Laurie, a studio/office for her and I both to do our work from home, and a downstairs that has a great, roomy space for us to spend most of our time. It's funny, too, since this coincides with the end of the so-called "fourth trimester" had you been born on time... we all were held by our wonderful and gracious friends while we adjusted to life together, and now we get to spread our wings and do it ourselves.

In the next half a year, so much is going to change. You've got so much growing to do, and so much to discover. It's going to be such a miracle to watch. Meanwhile, mama has to start working again, so that's going to be another possibly big transision ahead of us. I know it's going to be hard work for us all, but full of fun, adventure, and joyful discovery at the same time. I'm so grateful to be your mama and to be here with you as you grow.

I love you, Shoghi; I love you, Maxwell!
your mama

Saturday, February 7, 2009

home sweet home


you've probably already gathered that we've arrived back at home. we shall not speak of the return trip. that is all i'll say about it.

this weekend, we're in the process of moving into our new home: me, shoghi, max, and auntie laurie. we're all very happy about it, and grateful beyond words to our friends who have given us so much more than shelter for the past many months.

there will be much blogging from our new residence! cheers, friends!
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