Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pets


I have a dog (Lucy)


And 2 cats (Jasmine and Pepper)



They are, let's say...challenging.

The cats are 12 years old and I got them when they were tiny kittens. I adopted them together but they are from different litters. They get along for the most part, but like all sisters, they sometimes fight. Jasmine is definitely the bully and weighs nearly twice as much as Pepper. Over the years they have become more and more stressed. It's mostly because we leave town so much. Most of the time only one of us is gone, but sometimes we're both gone and we have friends and pet sitters check in on them everyday. The cats don't like this and show their displeasure by pooping everywhere. They do not like these disruptions to their lives. When we got the dog a few years ago they started peeing on things. We thought they would eventually adjust, but they haven't. Pepper growls and hisses at Lucy anytime she gets too close. So, we are constantly playing referee to keep all the animals away from each other and making sure stuff is put away so it doesn't get peed on. Now they are peeing on baby stuff. Any of you who have cats know that you cannot get rid of cat pee smell. So, we have had to throw out some things and having twins is expensive enough without having to replace stuff that the cats pee on. Now we have to keep the swings and car seats in the nursery with the door closed anytime we aren't home to supervise. It adds an extra layer of work to an already chaotic time with twins. It doesn't help that we don't know which cat is doing it or if it's both. I take responsibility for the cats being unhappy. They didn't used to be like this. We haven't been paying as much attention to them as we should and I don't see how that is going to change anytime soon. 

Lucy is a rescue. We got her a few years ago when she was 7 months old. She has been difficult, to say the least. She had massive separation anxiety when we first got her. She barked and whined loudly and incessantly the entire time we were out of the house. We seriously felt trapped in the house by our dog. We live in an apartment so we couldn't just leave her to bark. We either had to take her to doggy day care or go places that we could take her with us. It took a long time, but finally with some Prozac and tedious training ( leaving the house for 1 minute, then 5, then 10, gradually increasing until she didnt bark anymore) we are able to leave her at home alone. She still is anxious about us leaving, but she doesn't bark anymore. She has a ton of other anxieties, as well. The biggest problem we now have is that she is terrified of kids. She barks and puts her tail between her legs if she sees a kid down the block when we are walking her. She hasn't been aggressive, she generally wants to get far away from the kids, but she has a scary bark and it can be scary for kids. We didn't know this when we got her. We actually went up to families at the dog adoption to see how she was around kids. She was shy, but seemed fine. We now know she was too scared to even bark at that adoption. Our hope is that she will be fine with our kids because she will be living with them and be used to them, but I feel like that is naive. I'm not sure I could ever really trust her with them. And what happens when they want to have friends over? 

So now we are debating whether we should find new homes for the cats, the dog, or all of them. I feel like an asshole for even thinking of this. I would love for Paige and Riley to grow up with pets and if I get rid of these pets I feel like I am disqualified from getting other pets later on. The fact is, the cats are unhappy and would probably thrive in a different environment. Lucy isn't the right dog for our family no matter how much I want her to be. We have come a long way with helping Lucy and I'm not sure what else we can do. I can't get her past her fear of kids or her distrust of strangers. It breaks my heart to give them up, but the more I think about it, the more it seems like the best solution for everyone. I want the animals to be happy and we can't give them what they need. We aren't the right home for them anymore.

Anyone have any advice? I'm not sure what else to do. 


Monday, March 24, 2014

6 months

I'd like to clarify something from my last post. I don't want to look like Angelina Jolie. It's not realistic. I don't have an army of assistants and nannies to give me the time, nor do I have the proper DNA. Plus, to be honest, I think she is too skinny. I sort of want to feed her a sandwich. I guess my point was that she reminded me that you can physically get to your pre-twin body again - whatever that may be. I needed to be reminded of that.  So, I have the motivation, now I just need to find the time. I already get up at 5:30am to pump, shower and dress before we get the babies up. I'm not sure how much earlier I can drag myself out of bed.

Anyway....

Paige and Riley are 6 months old! Holy crap! How are we half way through the first year already?

The dresses were a very thoughtful gift from a fellow blogger. Adorable, no?


I don't know where to start and I have tried to write this post so many times, that I think I am going to resort to bullet points just to get it all out.

  • They are sleeping in their cribs in their room. It is glorious. It was a surprisingly smooth transition, too.  We even stopped swaddling them with no fuss. Getting them to stop using their pacifiers to get to sleep was a much harder process, but I think we may have actually gotten through it. They still get their pacifiers during the day if they are cranky, but not in the crib anymore. It's a no paci zone.
  • They are sleeping through the night. Well, mostly. They sleep from about 8:30/9 until 7:30. Sometimes they wake up during the night and other nights we don't hear a peep from them. Even when they do wake up they are getting better at self soothing so we don't usually have to get up. We did have some rough nights when they started rolling over. Apparently, it's normal to have sleep regressions for a couple weeks whenever they hit new milestones.
  • Speaking of milestones, they are rolling all over the place. They have decided they prefer to sleep on their tummies so that's how they sleep now. Complete with butt up in the air. It's super adorable. It made me nervous at first, but I'm over it. They are fine and we have the Angel Care monitors with movement sensors which help me sleep.
  • Riley is up on her hands and knees and rocking back and forth. She is so close to crawling and I am not ready! I was prepared for all of their milestones to be late. We were told by all doctors and the internet to expect them to hit milestones based on their due date, not their birthdate. But this seems really early for Riley to be so close to crawling. She manages to scoot herself backwards but hasn't figured out the forward movement yet. 
Seriously. I am not ready and the house is not baby proofed.

  • They laugh all the time and it's the greatest sound in the world. It makes all the hard parts worth it. Paige loves to get her clothes changed and laughs as soon as I put her on the changing table. Last night they were laying on their tummies facing each other and just making each other laugh. We weren't doing anything. Again, super adorable. I love that they are so aware of each other now and interact and just get huge grins when they see each other.
  • They are finally playing with toys. They reach for them and grab them and shake them and stick them in their mouth. Seriously, it is so great that they are interacting with us and everything around them now. I think that's one of the hardest parts about those first few months - the lack of interaction. Then they just sort of become these tiny little people and not blobs that only eat, sleep and poop. It's so fun to watch them change everyday.
  • Food! We started giving them food a few days ago. I was all gung ho to do baby led weaning for awhile but that's not going to happen. The pediatrician doesn't want them to have actual solid food until at least 7 or 8 months because of them being preemie but did want us to start them off with some purees to see how they do. So far they have had oatmeal and peas. Paige is actually swallowing most of what I put in her mouth while Riley usually spits most of it out. She hasn't quite gotten it yet. It's only been a few days so I'm not too worried. I am sort of obsessed with not having picky eaters. For some reason, that has become a huge fear. I don't want the kid who will only eat mac n' cheese and chicken nuggets. I am not going to be a short order cook. They have to eat what we eat. I'm reading "French Kids Eat Everything" since apparently, as the title says, french kids will eat anything and it's because their parents teach them that. They have four course meals in their state run daycares that sound better than anything I have eaten for lunch recently. So, yeah. I am now obsessed with having my kids eat like the french. haha.
  • I'm still pumping. Mostly because I haven't had any time to research the best way to stop to avoid getting more clogged ducts. Plus, the little I did manage to read said that I could get really emotional because of the hormone fluctuations as the milk supply dries up. Now I am thinking I should wait until the end of April when I am done working on my current project so I am not an emotional mess at work. The upside is I get to catch up on my blog reading while I am pumping at work.
  • We still can't go anywhere without people stopping to ask us about twins. I'm getting used to it and, generally, it doesn't bother me anymore. I have found that if they are wearing anything other than pink, it's assumed they are boys. I guess there is no gender neutral. When I tell strangers their names, they assume Riley is a boy. People just really, really, really want twins to be boy/girl. One of the first questions people ask is "Is it a boy and a girl?"The other day a woman was looking at them (more like creepily studying them, actually) and since Paige had pink socks on said "Oh, is that the girl?" Um, actually they are both the girls. They also want to know who was born first. I'm not sure why that matters. I've never once wondered which one of my twin friends was born first. I think I was with SH for many years before I ever knew whether he was Twin A or Twin B. It's just interesting the things people ask and how many people ask the same questions. I'm sure one of these days I'll write a whole post on the things we get asked.
I think I have done enough rambling. Here are a few more pictures:

Eating some oatmeal in our new booster seats

She's not very modest, is she?

Whenever Riley gets really upset or really happy she just kicks and kicks her right leg so we have taken to calling her Thumper. This is her meeting her namesake.






Friday, March 7, 2014

Damn you, Angelina Jolie!

I go back and forth with how I feel about my post-pregnancy body. Some days I feel pretty good that I am only a few pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight. Other days I feel like this pudgy muffin top has taken up permanent residence and I should just resign myself to a life of loose, flowy tops.

A little over a month ago, I finally started exercising again and I was getting into a good routine. I was feeling good and thought I was starting to see some improvement. Then I went back to work and it's all gone to hell. It's hard to find the time or energy to workout during the week (and I am fully aware that if I exercised I would have more energy).  I managed to get up once to exercise before work. I even bought  a Jullian Michaels DVD because the workouts are only 24 minutes. It's hard to make excuses when it's only 24 minutes and yet I still make them.  I am managing to go to  Stroller Strides on Saturdays at least.  I get to take the babies and they usually sleep so I do actually get a workout.

Today was one of those days where I don't really care about the pudge or even  think its possible to get back in shape.  Then when I was walking back to my office from lunch I saw Angelina Jolie.  For some reason, it hit me right as I saw her that she had twins.

Fuck.

It is possible.

I'm back to being motivated. 40 is just a few months away and I would like to go into it feeling good about myself.  I would like to fit into all of my old clothes again. I can do this!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Stupid Boobs

I guess I never really followed up on my  breastfeeding post. After a couple of half-assed attempts to make it work, I gave up breastfeeding months ago. Correction - I gave up nursing months ago. I am still breast feeding. They just get it in a bottle. I pump. A lot. All together I spend about 2 1/2 - 3 hours a day hooked up to the pump and I still don't produce enough milk for both of them. I hate it. It's not comfortable and my nipples are constantly sore. I only continue to do it because I feel like I don't have a valid reason not to. Or at least all my reasons feel incredibly selfish. It's not that I have a problem with formula because they now get 2 bottles of formula a day. I just feel like since I can, I should give them as much breastilk as possible. SH has been home this entire time which allows me to pump while he tends to the babies. 
My goal was to make it to 6 months and then I would reasses and decide if I wanted to continue. I will hit the 6 month mark in 2 weeks and I have no idea what I want to do. I was thinking I could probably manage this a little longer. I went back to work a couple weeks ago (yes, despite all my talk of wanting to stay home. I got an offer I couldn't pass up. That needs it's own post, for sure) and I am working on a very family friendly studio lot so they have "wellness rooms" for nursing mothers. It's awkward to excuse myself to pump since I am working with guys and I don't really want them thinking about my boobs, but I am able to comfortably do it twice while at work. I also pump once before work and once before bed. That seems to be enough to give them a majority of breast milk. It's all seems very doable for another few months. Not enjoyable, but doable. I was ready to extend the rental on my hospital pump.
Then yesterday I got a clogged milk duct. This is the third time I have had this and the second time it's caused a fever of 101 degrees and awful body aches. I actually had to leave work at lunch today because I felt so bad. It is ridiculously painful and the way to treat it is to massage it out which is, of course, excruciating. Thankfully, it hasn't turned into mastitis and it seems to clear up without antibiotics. I also think I still have a mild case of thrush I have never been able to completely get rid of. Seriously, boobs? Why do you have to be such assholes?
Now I don't know what to do. I can't deal with this again. I will hit my 6 month goal and I am happy about that because there have been days (weeks?) where I thought I wouldn't make it. I am ready to completely have my body back. Breast feeding has not been a good experience for me and I think I am ready to be done. I need to be done wearing a bra 24 hours a day because my boobs are so heavy. I need it not to hurt when the seatbelt brushes across my boob. I need my boobs to not be a topic of conversation with strangers because they want to know if I am breast feeding (FYI, random person I have never met, that is none of your business). I want to exercise without having to hold my boobs down.
Hmmm, maybe I do know what I want to do and I just need to stop feeling guilty about it.

*i typed this on my phone so there are probably a ridiculous amount of typos. Sorry.