Tuesday, March 31, 2015

We're not babies anymore, Eight Months!

The girls are eight months old!  How is that possible?! I feel like I can quite literally see them growing overnight. They are squarely kids now: no longer infants anymore, they fall far more into the spectrum of wiggly,  strong willed baby girls instead. Every day feels like ten packed into one, sometimes I have to just stop and take a moment to take all the snapshots of life and file them away for safe keeping in my memory. I know I am bound to forget the details about what their little faces look like when they feel the bathwater splash their cheeks or when they laugh hysterically when I sneeze. These past days have been a constant reminder that this time with them is so fleeting, that it really does pass in a blink of an eye. Everyone says it, and you blow it off, because you're in the trenches, the under-slept, overwhelmed, holy-shit-this-is-hard trenches... when you're in that mode it's difficult to think about how incredible and unique the infant stage really is, until suddenly you're walking around and you see a brand new fresh little squishy baby and it dawns on you that your babies aren't that little at all anymore. They are growing up, and fast.

This month I have to say has been pretty fun, the girls are playing with each other! They make each other laugh, they steal toys, they are starting to have conversations with one another, they swipe each others food from across the high chair tray even though they have the same thing on their own, they seem to be completely undisturbed when one of them (namely Summer) decides to sit on top of the other one, they sympathy cry for the other when they are truly upset, creating a fantastic symphony of screaming! And they both are so in love with Dahlia...quite possibly their favorite thing on the planet!

The days are crazy busy and I find it amazing so much fits jammed into the 12 hours they are awake. We are fine-tuned scheduled machines and, while it doesn't leave much for the spontaneous outing, it has made life infinitely more manageable and has made for some much happier girls. Jon has started taking the girls out for a father-daughter day a few times a month and I have several hours at home ALONE....silence... no babies! [To all the babe-less people out there who read this blog: this is the quite possibly the most amazing gift you could ever give someone with children: silent time, alone, in their own home. Don't just offer to watch the baby... TAKE the baby out of the house! Let them be a couch potato with a mimosa, finish a task from start to end, do anything at all they want to... alone.] Those few hours for me have felt like they've changed my outlook on the entire week. It's a much needed break from motherhood and it's amazing what that time does to refresh my attitude, leaving me longing for baby cuddles by the time they get home.

What can I say? It's been a fantastic month. Everyday is filled with challenges but it's filled with such happiness too. I'm continually reminding myself to shrug off the unimportant stuff and soak up all of joy I can from everyday. It's really a good mindset to have about life in general, but for some reason in parenthood it seems like we spend so much time just trying to get through.. so my goal for this past month has been driven by the final words in "a short guide to a happy life" by Anna Quindlen
"And he just stared out at the ocean and said, "Look at the view, young lady. Look at the view." And every day, in some little way, I try to do what he said. I try to look at the view.....Look at the view. You'll never be disappointed."  
So here I am.. the girls a month older, and I can say, I've done a better job at taking in the daily view.. capturing the still pictures with my eyes, filing them away forever, and reminding myself to just enjoy it. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Seven Months Old

Seven months old. I know February is a short month, but seriously, how in the world has a month already gone by since I last wrote an update? I had lofty ideas of keeping everyone up to date with the comings and goings this month and not waiting a month to write another update, but this month was decidedly the busiest, most mucus filled month of them all. The girls started off February with a nasty cold, which Samantha got first, then Summer, then mommy and then daddy... Fun stuff, so much fun that I don't care if we ever have another cold again!

The last twenty eight days have been insane actually: we survived the colds, we traveled to Arizona to visit family and celebrate my brother's new bike shop opening, we sold a house, and we bought a new house! The girls are right on the edge of crawling, and I have a feeling our days of a baby gate free house are coming quickly to a close and my life is going to be significantly more interesting as I figure out how much harder it is  going to be to chase two babies around. Pray for me.

About a week ago I officially stopped pumping for the girls,  I am proud to say that I made it almost seven months exclusively pumping breastmilk for them. If there was ever a time in my life I feel like I should get some kind of medal it's for doing this. Exclusively pumping is no freaking joke, it requires at least three hours out of your day and night, cause pumping happens all day and all night long. That pump is your second baby, or in my case, my third baby. I can't really even articulate how challenging it was at times, how hard it is to play with twins while pumping, and pettign a puppy in your lap, how much getting clogged ducts hurt, how much additional time you still have to devote to feeding when pumping is only one part of the feeding equation....and omg the dishes! Pump parts and bottles, ALL the freaking time.. so many things to wash your hands literally crack open from dryness.

I've been thinking a lot about how insane this part of the last six months of my life has been, how incredibly lucky I am to have been able to provide nourishment for both of the girls for the first six months of their lives. I say lucky, cause in my time as a new mom, I know of almost no one who had everything just work in this department. While my girls didn't latch, I was able to make enough milk to feed them, and many people just aren't that lucky.

Speaking of supplying milk, you might wonder how much milk does it take to feed twin girls? The answer, a freaking lot. I have some pretty serious geeky detail about this, but I keep it simple for the sake of the blog, over the last seven months or so I pumped about an average of 60-70 ounces of milk a day, that's about a half gallon of milk, in 6-7 months that adds up to just over 11000 ounces, or about  86 gallons of milk and at around 20 calories per ounce that means I pumped 222,000 calories, you read that right, two hundred and twenty two thousand calories.

This probably seems like a ridiculously large part of this months post, but the completion of this piece, making it this long, has felt so monumental. The journey has been emotional. I'm proud of my commitment to this piece of raising our girls, I feel blessed that we made it work and I that I made enough, and now after almost two weeks of not pumping... I am glad it's over and I'm happy to have possession of my body again. I've enjoyed multiple glasses of wine, was able to take cold medicine, an allergy pill, and I can leave the house for more than two hours!  A week ago I was sad and cried when I pumped out the last few ounces, but now I'm focusing my energy on other things and just enjoying the hours of additional time I have back in my day. The freedom practically makes me giddy. The girls are happy, healthy, and thriving, what more could I ask for?

I don't have a lot more to share, but I will say again: God I love these two munchkins. They are beautiful, I am awe as I watch them grow and change every day. My hear melts with Summer's gut shaking laughter, and Samantha's huge cheeky smile that make her eyes squint till you can't see them anymore. I cherish these days that they are talking to each other, making each other laugh, and the coo, goo, aaahhh sounds they make all day. Now that everyone is healthy again, I just have to say.. They are just so much fun! I mean it's hard, really hard, but it's really fun too, maybe even more fun BECAUSE we have two. Love you girls, you make my heart practically burst with love.