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Taking one day at a time...

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  • Monday, August 31, 2009

    Breastfeeding Factoids...

    There is a cloud formation called Mammatus and it looks like breasts hanging down from the sky. The word mammatus comes from the Latin word "mamma", which means "breast". If you see mammatus clouds in the sky, it usually means that there is a big storm coming. Read more here. (Is it any wonder why children call their mothers, "Mama?")

    Legend has it that the champagne glass is a mold of a French aristocrat’s breasts. The shape of the champagne glass (not the champagne flute) may be from the breasts of Marie Antoinette (wife of Louis XVI), Josephine de Beauharnais (wife of Napoleon Bonaparte), or Madame de Pompadour (mistress of King Louis XV).

    The word “galaxy” comes from the Greek word “gala” which means “milk”. In Greek mythology, the Milky Way was created when a spray of milk came out of Hera’s breast (wife of Zeus) as she was breastfeeding Hercules (one of Zeus’ many illegitimate sons).

    During ancient Roman times, it is said that a daughter (Pero) secretly breastfed her elderly father (Cimon) while he was in jail. He was imprisoned and sentenced to die by starvation but Pero's breast milk sustained him. Later, Cimon was released because of Pero's unconditional love & devotion towards her father. This act of "Roman Charity" has been represented in 16th and 17th century paintings, sculptures, and engravings.

    Probably the most often depicted breastfeeding-mother is the Virgin Mary breastfeeding baby Jesus. In fact, the oldest known image of the Virgin Mary is found in the Catacomb of Priscilla in Rome.

    In addition to breastfeeding baby Jesus, the Virgin Mary has been depicted in other paintings where she is squirting milk out of her breasts.

    In modern times, breast milk is used to sooth/cure sore and cracked nipples. However, in days of old, breast milk was used to cure various ailments including ear infections, eye infections, and minor cuts and scrapes. (Those cures also apply to modern times, as well. I, myself, used it on my son when he had a plugged tear duct as an infant, and it worked.)

    Breast milk has antibodies so it is very possible that the antibodies cure illnesses by preventing the growth of germs & bacteria. Some doctors are switching from antibiotic eye drops to Mother's Milk drops to treat infections.

    If breast milk can soothe/cure a cracked nipple, it is highly possible that it can facilitate the healing of minor cuts and scrapes too.

    There are a few references of the Virgin Mary squirting breast milk into people’s eyes to cure them of conjunctivitis (an eye infection commonly called "pink eye"). In some rural regions of Africa, breast milk is used to treat snake bites.

    Betcha didn't know this!

    Source

    Sunday, August 30, 2009

    How Much Dumber Do They Get?...

    A man was driving when a traffic camera flashed. He thought his pic was taken for speeding even though he knew he wasn't. To be sure, he went around the block and passed the same spot, driving more slowly.

    Again the camera flashed.

    He thought this was funny and slowed down even further and drove past again. The traffic camera flashed.

    He tried a fourth time with the same result. The fifth time he was laughing when the camera flashed as he rolled past at a snail's pace.

    Two weeks later, he got five traffic fine letters in the mail for driving without a seat belt. Men!

    Saturday, August 29, 2009

    It's Only Three Days...

    I know my doctor advised me not to go into work now. Howevah...I'm going to go in for the beginning of the school year meetings on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. I'm simply going to sit on my ass and not do much but listen, take notes, touch base. After that, I'll be officially on maternity leave until I go back on February 1st, the start of 3rd Quarter.

    I wanted to make sure I got the sick days I'm entitled to so I can use them on my maternity leave and be paid. I also wanted to secure my position so I can come back to it, just in case. I work for one of the largest school systems in the country and they aren't always the most efficient or the most organized, so I need to make sure I am. February 1st puts me at about 13 weeks of unpaid leave and 4 weeks of paid leave. I just want to be sure that I don't overlook any minor details that could throw a wrench in my plans.

    I can't believe I'll be at work next Wednesday. Summer went by awfully fast. Jack and Liv will be starting school on 9/8, which means I'll be able to take them and pick them up with Hubby for their entire first week! After that, it'll just be me doing it unless Hubby works a late day (then he can do it). I have a couple of babies to prepare for, so I need to do as little as possible until they arrive. Even though their delivery will be a C-section, I need to make sure I can keep them inside as long as possible to reduce the risks of complications.

    I don't think going back to work for three days is going to jumpstart labor. I knew I didn't want to be in front of students, though. I just can't do it and be nine months pregnant, waiting for something to happen. It would be too much stress.

    So, there ya go. With my luck, I'll have these babies on 9/13, which is Hubby's birthday. Wouldn't that be something? Heh.

    Friday, August 28, 2009

    Raising Liv...

    Raising my daughter Liv is no small task. She's very creative, determined, feisty, and extremely intuitive. She can be high-maintenance at times, but I think that's going to take her far in life. She has leadership skills that will help shape her lot in life. She's beautiful and smart and wise beyond her years. It's very easy to forget that she's only three years old. She's also an incredible speaker and negotiator.

    Think of all the powerful women you know in the world. Livie's going to be one of them someday. I can see it. And when people look at her gray-blue eyes staring right through them, they'll see that this is one person you just don't step on.

    It is an absolute joy to be her Mom. Knowing that I'm raising a strong and independent girl makes me very happy.

    Thursday, August 27, 2009

    Raising Jack...

    Raising my son Jack is quite an experience. He's fun, loving, quirky, and sensitive. He's also just downright brilliant and I'm not just saying that because he's my son. I see attributes in him that will take him great distances on his journey through life.

    Being Jack's Mom is a lot like being the mother of Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Andy Kaufman, all rolled into the tiny package that is Jack. Think about that for a moment. All those gentlemen I just mentioned were/are brilliant minds, experts at their craft. Put them all together and you have my son.

    I am so lucky to be his Mom. He will definitely keep me young and on my toes for many, many years to come.

    Wednesday, August 26, 2009

    Balls Out...

    Yesterday, I pretty much spent the day doing laundry. Yes, all day long. You see, my nesting instinct kicked into full gear and I just HAD to wash every piece of newborn clothing, every receiving blanket, every cloth diaper (for spit rags), every blanket, the crib's bumper pads, crib sheets, bassinet sheets, baby comforters, onesies, baby bath towels/wraps, etc. You name it; it got washed. In Dreft, of course. Just the smell of that detergent brings back wonderful memories of when Jack and Liv were teeny tiny. That smell also makes me nest even harder, if that's possible.

    I also put everything away where it would be easily accessible at a moment's notice (i.e. if I should deliver tomorrow or something). I'm almost done putting together my hospital bag. I remember when I was hemorrhaging with Livie, I knew we had to get to the hospital ASAP, but I hadn't packed a bag yet. So, in between stabbing pains that had me doubled over and gushing blood from my placental abruption, I actually gathered the items I needed for my hospital bag. I had her by emergency C-section just over an hour later. I certainly didn't want to be unprepared again, so I'm almost finished packing my hospital bag now, which sits on the floor of my front hall closet, ready to be grabbed at the blink of an eye. Throw some toiletries in there and an outfit for me to go home in and I'm all set.

    Nesting. Ya gotta love it. It's the last time I get to do this, so I'm going balls out, people. Balls out.

    Tuesday, August 25, 2009

    Walmart Has Everything...

    One day, in line at the company cafeteria, Joe says to Mike behind him, "My elbow hurts like hell. I guess I'd better see a doctor."

    "Listen, you don't have to spend that kind of money," Mike replies.

    "There's a diagnostic computer down at Wal-Mart. Just give it a urine sample and the computer will tell you what's wrong and what to do about it.

    It takes ten seconds and costs ten dollars . . . A lot cheaper than a doctor."

    So, Joe deposits a urine sample in a small jar and takes it to Wal-Mart.

    He deposits ten dollars and the computer lights up and asks for the urine sample. He pours the sample into the slot and waits.

    Ten seconds later, the computer ejects a printout:

    "You have tennis elbow. Soak your arm in warm water and avoid heavy activity. It will improve in two weeks. Thank you for shopping @ Wal-Mart."

    That evening, while thinking how amazing this new technology was, Joe began wondering if the computer could be fooled.

    He mixed some tap water, a stool sample from his dog, urine samples from his wife and daughter, and a sperm sample for good measure.

    Joe hurries back to Wal-Mart, eager to check the results. He deposits ten dollars, pours in his
    concoction, and awaits the results.

    The computer prints the following:

    1. Your tap water is too hard. Get a water softener. (Aisle 9)

    2. Your dog has ringworm. Bathe him with anti-fungal shampoo. (Aisle 7)

    3. Your daughter has a cocaine habit. Get her into rehab.

    4. Your wife is pregnant. Twins. They aren't yours. Get a lawyer.

    5. If you don't stop playing with yourself, your elbow will never get better!

    Thank you for shopping @ Wal-Mart

    Monday, August 24, 2009

    Anticipation...

    I can't help but imagine what my twin girls are going to look like. I know it won't be long before I see them, but I can't help but wonder what they look like. From comparing ultrasound pictures, they appear to look like Livie. We'll see. While Jack and Livie have many different features, they also look very similar sometimes, as they should. They are, after all, related. Duh.

    I just dream about my twin girls, wondering if they're identical or not, which I won't know until after they're born. And even then, examining the placenta is not a guarantee. Only a DNA test can tell us that.

    Twin girls. OMG. Me with twin girls. It still baffles me. Three girls in the house plus me. That's a lot of hormones for Jack and Hubby to deal with. Heh.

    Sunday, August 23, 2009

    So Fucked...

    My OB has advised me against going back to work. It's easy for him to say; he doesn't have to pay our bills. I'm not happy about this, even though I understand why he feels this way. I really can't afford to do that...to listen to him or to not listen to him. I'm stuck.

    I'm 30 weeks along and measuring at 36 weeks already. So, I guess that means that when I'm actually 36 weeks along, I'll measure somewhere around 42 weeks. Creepy, huh? I read somewhere that a woman 34 weeks pregnant with twins measures greater than someone full-term with a singleton. Ugh.

    I'm pretty conflicted right now and it's all about money. I don't know how we're going to be able to afford to do this. And if you tell me, "where there's a will, there's a way," you're full of shit and you already have plenty of money. I'VE DONE THE MATH. The numbers aren't lying.

    We are fucked, people. We are fucked.

    Saturday, August 22, 2009

    That's Why I Married Him...

    Hubby did something extremely thoughtful yesterday. He has made sure to tailor his work schedule around the kids for their very first week of school (ever). He will be able to drop them off and pick them up from school all four days of their first week of preschool, being the comforting figure they're going to need during this transition. I cried when he told me he was going to do this.

    I will go with them all on the first day to drop them off. However, I must also head to work late on the first day I see students. After all, your children only get one first day of school ever, right? I could care less if I'm late for work. I would never forgive myself if I didn't see them off on their very first day of school ever. And I'm so grateful that Hubby will be the one who they will see when their school day is done. They adore their Papa, so it's going to be quite an experience for all of them. That first week of school will be quite an adjustment, even if they only go for halfdays. It's still going to be a change that I'm sure Jack and Liv will embrace once they get used to the routine. And they've got their Papa to get them off on the right foot.

    The man takes care of his kids, ladies and gentlemen.

    Friday, August 21, 2009

    Scooby Doo Is So Great For Kids...

    Livie is now going through a Scooby Doo phase. We have six ninety-minute VHS tapes with Scooby Doo episodes that we got from my MIL a long time ago. I wanted to get her away from all the Princess videos and DVD's, just as a change of pace because the Princess phase was killing me. Let me tell you, she LOVES Scooby Doo. Would you like to know what she's learned from those tapes? Sure, you do.

    The other day, I caught her calling Jack an "idiot." I told her it wasn't nice to talk to him like that and asked her where she heard that word from. Everyone who knows me also knows I have a potty mouth. "Idiot" is not a word I normally use, so she obviously didn't hear it from me. Her response was, "Shaggy says that." And she proceeded to tell me what episode she saw it on. Oooooookay...that's just great. Well, it gets better.

    Later on that day, she walked into the room because Jack and I were playing and it was getting noisy. She proceeds to say, "What in the hell is going on here?" That stopped Jack and I in our tracks and we just looked at each other. I asked her, "Livie, where did you hear that phrase from?" She responded, "I heard it on Scooby Doo." And, of course, she proceeds to tell me what episode she got it from. I didn't think there were any phrases like that on Scooby Doo episodes, but I don't doubt it, since I don't recall anyone around here saying that anytime recently. I told her that she would not be able to talk like that at school because her teacher would not like it and she would get punished for it. She said, "Okay, I won't." And I believe her.

    Oh, it gets better, folks.

    After our little discussion on what she can and can't say at school, she tells me, "But I can say 'fucking' when I'm bigger, right? Just not at school, right?" I told her, "We'll talk about that later. Right now, you're only three years old, so just don't argue with me about it."

    She responded, "Okay, Mama. I'll ask you first before I swear. Does that sound like a good deal?"

    Livie...always the negotiator...

    I think I like Belle, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty (even though she taught Livie that it's okay to go off alone with a handsome stranger; we've had a discussion about this, too), Cinderella, and Jasmine much, much better now.

    Thursday, August 20, 2009

    Almost There...

    This Sunday, I will be 30 weeks pregnant with twins. Full-term for me, according to my doctor who knows my body and has delivered both of my babies before, is 36 weeks. I can't believe I have 6 more weeks left (if they don't decide to come sooner). I know that more than half of all twin pregnancies are delivered prematurely. Given the fact that Livie was born at 36 weeks due to placental abruption, the odds are stacked against me, especially since placental abruption is a possible complication in twin pregnancies already.

    I'm not freaking out, but let's just say I'm trying really hard not to at all.

    Twins...two babies...simultaneously needing me and my boobs...add two preschoolers into that mix, who also need me...and a dog who needs to get fed and let out...and you're going to get one crazy mutha. I guess it's in the cards for me, though.

    So, why do twins come prematurely? It's simple, really. The female body recognizes the progression of pregnancy. When a woman is pregnant with a singleton, the body knows how far along the pregnancy is. It just knows how big the uterus needs to get. However, with a multiple pregnancy, the female body gets bigger, faster and the body is tricked into thinking that the pregnancy is farther along than it actually is. This, of course, doesn't explain why some women carry 42 weeks, though. I guess the human body can be wrong sometimes. My MIL said that she had one of her kids at 44 weeks and had to cut his fingernails immediately. I don't know if I believe that; her dates could've been wrong...that would make sense to me.

    Right now, I measure four weeks farther along than I would with a singleton. So, my body believes that I'm almost 34 weeks pregnant, when in fact I am only almost 30 weeks along. Does that make sense? It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the twins were born anywhere between my 32nd week and my 36th week. This doesn't give me much more time to be pregnant, does it?

    In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy my itchy belly, my sleepless nights due to my overactive bladder, the cramped movements of these twin girls and how painful those movements can get, the lack of being able to bend at the waist, the inability to shave my legs in less than ten minutes because I can't maneuver around in the shower, the Braxton Hicks contractions that are stronger than Superman, and the multitude of things I'm going to miss when I'm not pregnant anymore. Why? Because this is it for me. This is all I get. I am done having children after these girls are born because I don't think my body could go through this again, nor can my wallet. That makes sense. And just think of the real chaos that's going to begin once my family of four turns into a family of six. Heh. I guess I'm built for this, right? That's how I'm trying to look at it.

    And, like a dumbass, I'm going to try to go back to work for two weeks as long as the twins aren't here yet. Then, I can "rest" for two weeks before they come, if they aren't here by then. I don't want to "waste" my maternity leave on time that doesn't include the twins in my actual arms, although I know I may have to. Mind you, I have to use all my sick days up, so most of my maternity leave will be unpaid. UNPAID. One income for five or six months (at the most), four children...you do the math. It ain't going to be easy. So, the two weeks I go back to work will be worth it, I guess. Why? Because the day I go on leave is probably the day I'm going to have these babies, with my luck!

    Almost there...I can't believe it's gone by so fast.

    Wednesday, August 19, 2009

    I Can Breathe Now...

    Okay, so after two days of my blog being "taken down" by Google/Blogger due to some malware that was downloaded onto here without my consent, I can finally breathe that it's back up and running. I'm going to need to clean up some of my links later, preferably when the kids go to bed. I believe there is no danger now, but my blog is still listed as "suspicious," so I'm going to have Google review it to let me know what's up. Luckily, last year, I had backed up my links to blogs I like, so I had them, just in case something were to go wrong.

    This blog contains several YEARS of daily posts about my life, my struggles and joys, my pregnancies, my births, my everything. To have seen it "gone" the other day nearly broke me. While my Mom has every post I've ever written printed out and in binders, it's not the same as being able to search for a particular post with just a click to find what I want. Nevertheless, I'm grateful that she's had the foresight to do this over the years.

    Does anyone out there know how to back up six years of posting onto my hard drive? I'd hate to lose any of this and I don't have the time to go back and print every single entry. It would take me years just to do that...and several hundred dollars in ink alone.

    So, later on today, I'm going to be cleaning up my links and making sure that everything is good. This is my life, even though it's only "just a blog" to some. It is my only outlet and that which keeps me sane.

    Can you hear that? Yep, that's the sound of me breathing again.

    Monday, August 17, 2009

    Old Fart Football...

    An old married couple no sooner hit the pillows when the old man passes gas and says, "Seven Points."

    His wife rolls over and says, "What in the world was that?"

    The old man replied, "It's fart football."

    A few minutes later his wife lets one go and says "Touchdown, tie score."

    After about five minutes the old man lets another one go and says, "Aha! I'm ahead 14 to 7."

    Not to be outdone the wife rips out another one and says, "Touchdown, tie score."

    Five seconds go by and she lets out a little squeaker and says, "Field goal, I lead 17 to 14." Now the pressure is on the old man.

    He refuses to get beaten by a woman, so he strains real hard.

    Since defeat is totally unacceptable, he gives it everything he's got, and accidentally shits in the bed.

    The wife says,"What the hell was that?"

    The old man says, "Half time, switch sides."

    Sunday, August 16, 2009

    Why I Love Fiber...

    Saturday, August 15, 2009

    Meet Our New Friends...

    These are cicada killer wasps and they are the size of your entire thumb. They have made an underground nest in my backyard. This link can explain a lot about them. I'm too freaked out to go into more details about them (hence the link, for your reading pleasure). I was terrified to let my dog out yesterday because she's dumb enough to disturb these guys. I even saw one swoop down from a tree with a cicada and go back underground to its nest with it. Ugh.
    All my years living in this house, I've never seen these before. Let's hope the wasp spray works. I don't want more of these. Somehow, though, I don't think we've seen the last of them.

    Friday, August 14, 2009

    You Gotta Love A Little Dave Barry...

    Colonoscopies are no joke, but these comments during the exam were quite humorous..... A physician claimed that the following are actual comments made by his patients (predominately male) while he was performing their Colonoscopies:

    1. "Take it easy, Doc. You're boldly going where no man has gone before!"

    2. "Find Amelia Earhart yet?"

    3. "Can you hear me NOW?"

    4. "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"

    5. "You know, in Arkansas, we're now legally married."

    6. "Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?"

    7. "You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out..."

    8. "Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!"

    9. "If your hand doesn't fit, you must acquit!"

    10. "Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity."

    11. "You used to be an executive at Enron, didn't you?"

    12."God, now I know why I am not gay."

    And the best one of all:

    13. "Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?"

    Originally written by Dave Barry

    Thursday, August 13, 2009

    Eviction...

    Seriously, seven more weeks like this? I think I'm going to die. Carrying twins is not easy...nope, not easy at all. I can't "evict" them yet, though. So, just put up with my bitching. I'm entitled to it.

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009

    How To Succeed In Nursing Multiples...

    This is an article I KNOW I will be referring to over and over again in the near future...

    How to Succeed in Nursing Multiples ...With Really Trying
    Early efforts bring lasting rewards
    by Sharon Withers

    There it was again–another look of disbelief. Melinda's confidence dipped a little lower with each look or thoughtless remark: "You're not going to nurse twins, are you?" or "You'll have your hands full enough without nursing." Already exhausted from a lack of sleep–it was hard to get comfortable at night–Melinda was especially vulnerable to negative remarks. Melinda's concerns–sleep and milk–are not unlike those of thousands of other mothers who eventually find nursing twins one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. In the beginning, however, the reality–sleep, milk production, emotions and a dramatic change in lifestyle–can be overwhelming.

    "When I was breastfeeding my twins, I felt like I had my shirt off 24 hours a day," recalled Jean Dosdos, a breastfeeding support volunteer through the West Palm Beach Mothers of Twins Club in West Palm Beach, Fla. "I know how frustrating it can be for new moms of twins, and that's why I volunteer. I know it's a tremendous help to have that support and encouragement. Otherwise, new moms would quit trying after two or three weeks."

    Find support
    The first steps to successfully nursing twins are to seek out supportive family, friends and an encouraging pediatrician; get accurate information; and turn a deaf ear to negative remarks. Talk to other mothers who are nursing twins a couple of months older than yours. Join a Mothers of Twins club and attend La Leche League meetings before your delivery. A lactation consultant can administer a healthy dose of facts and the wisdom of experience.

    Carol Huotari, accredited La Leche League leader and an international board certified lactation consultant, said that commitment is essential to successfully breastfeeding twins. "A migratory field worker pumped her milk three times a day in the bus and the other workers laughed at her, but her commitment was strong and her twins were the healthy ones who didn't have ear infections."

    Set goals
    Knowing your goals is part of commitment. "Are you going to nurse exclusively for six months? A working mother may supplement with bottles. Think it through and decide what will work in your life," Huotari advised. Success is defined differently for every mother.

    It takes time to learn
    While still in the hospital, talk to your lactation consultant about your goals, concerns and lifestyle. Ask that she be there when you first nurse and ask for a home visit if you have preemies. She will guide you through the first sessions; they are the learning times for you and your babies. Your newborns are trying to latch on and you are establishing your milk supply. "With twins in the football hold position, you can really watch what they are doing with their mouth," Huotari explained. As they grow you may find more comfortable positions.

    Preemies may take a little longer to latch on since their sucking instinct may not be fully developed. In that case, you may need to pump your breasts to get the milk flowing.

    You will have milk
    When your twins latch on well and nurse effectively, your milk supply will quickly build. It is a case of demand and supply. The greater the demand, the more milk you supply. Expect to nurse your newborn twins about 10 to 12 times in a 24-hour period.

    Until your twins learn to latch on, it may be a good idea to nurse them one at a time. "It really helps mothers to individualize their twins and see who's who. Each baby has a different nursing style," Huotari said.

    Know who nurses when and where
    Whether you continue to nurse them individually or simultaneously, you do it you need to be organized about it. Keeping track of who nursed first and at which breast helps you know how they are feeding.

    "I breastfed my 30-month-old triplets, Sammy, Hope and Emma. One of the three is still breastfeeding, one weaned at 13 months, the other at 24 months," said Sheri Ingalls of Port St. Lucie, Fla. "To keep my milk supply up, I nursed the babies on demand through the night. It also alleviated some of my concern over the babies getting enough to eat. During the day, the babies had to be on a schedule so that I could ensure that each one had the opportunity to be first–which was the easiest let-down–and last, which was the longest time on Mommy. If I allowed them to nurse on demand all the time, Hope would have nursed all day and left the smaller ones with nothing."

    Sleep when your twins sleep
    Allison Berryhill of Atlantic, Iowa, found nighttime nursing to be a way of life during her twin boys' most milk-dependent months. "With newborns, I reclined in a pillow-piled Lay-Z-Boy, each boy to a breast, attached for the night. I did not get long, uninterrupted hours of slumber, but I was no more sleep-deprived than during the final months of pregnancy when few positions were comfortable."

    Sleep becomes the top priority–after establishing your milk supply and feeding your twins. The rule for mothers of twins is sleep when your twins sleep.

    You'll get more rest if you can learn to nurse lying down in bed and if you set up a comfortable "nursing station" for the days. Whether it is a Lay-Z-Boy or a comfortable sofa, you need room to prop plenty of pillows and a footstool for your feet. On a table within easy reach have a telephone, diapers, a notepad for jotting down who nursed first and where, and a snack and a beverage. A well-arranged nursing station means you won't have to hop up once you're settled and you will be more rested.

    Nurture yourself
    If you become fatigued your ability to keep a positive outlook while coping with the ups and downs of nursing twins diminishes. You must take care of yourself. That means sleeping as much as possible, eating right and drinking quarts of fluids each day.

    The number one piece of advice new mothers of twins offer expectant mothers is to get help with the household chores and cooking.

    But housework may have to wait. Cooking is something others do for you. Only you can nurse your twins.

    Sleep deprivation and neglecting your basic care just opens the door to depression. About 10% of women have postpartum depression the first year, but with mothers of twins the figure jumps to 25%, according to Huotari. When you are home and alone with your babies, you can quickly feel isolated and overwhelmed. Be sure you have a friend to talk with, one who understands the special demands of multiples.

    Don't give up
    Regardless of how much support you have and how well you prepare mentally, the reality of your new job can be an emotional seesaw and the adjustment definitely takes time. Huotari offered some sage advice: If you feel like giving up, stick with what you're doing for three days and then see how you feel. Remember, tens of thousands of nursing mothers say joy does come out of the early chaos.

    Sheri summed up: "Don't listen to other people, not even doctors, when they tell you it can't be done. You can make enough milk. You can get some sleep. You can have a life! Don't give up if it's tough at first, because after your babies are bigger and getting more milk in a shorter period of time, it's a breeze."

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    Taking Nothing For Granted...

    I went for my 28-week ultrasound yesterday. Baby A, the one who comes out first, is 3lbs. Baby B is 2lbs., 13oz. This is great news! I guess I didn't expect to be carrying around 6lbs. of babies at this point. You see, Liv was born at 36 weeks and was 5lbs., 5oz. Jack was born two days past his due date at 6lbs., 5.7oz. This will wind up being more actual baby weight than I've ever carried before. Naturally, you expect that with twins. I guess I just didn't expect it to be like that so soon. This pregnancy really has gone by quickly.

    Two separate sacs and two separate placentas do not guarantee that the girls are fraternal twins. If their blood types are different, they are fraternal. If, however, their blood types are the same, we could have DNA testing done to find out. I found a place that can do it for a very reasonable price, if we need to. You see, if the girls are identical twins, they have the same exact genetic make-up and could wind up helping each other in the future, if needed. It would be something I'd want to know.

    So, their growth is great; their measurements are wonderful (slightly bigger than their gestational age); and Baby B looks exactly like Liv from what I remember of her ultrasound pictures. Baby A is still the calmer of the two and is lying across with her head on my left side. Baby B had started lying across with her head on my right side and then decided to go breech on us during the exam. She's a very, very active baby.

    All this is great news. You know me, though. I won't breathe again until I know they've come out safe, healthy, and without complications. I will, however, be enjoying this wonderful news because it reminds me of how fortunate we are right now. I don't take any of this for granted.

    Monday, August 10, 2009

    Whatever You Give A Woman...

    Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater.

    If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby.

    If you give her a house, she'll give you a home.

    If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal.

    If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart.

    She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit.

    Sunday, August 09, 2009

    Are YOU Getting Enough Sleep?...

    I know that I'M not getting enough sleep (although my score says otherwise), but do YOU know if you are? Try this. Heh. I was able to recognize that I'd seen all 24 photos and for 20 of them, I was able to remember which part of the test (Part One or Part Two) I'd seen them in. They throw in 24 random photos (48 total) in the third part of people you didn't see in the first two parts. Of those, I was able to remember all 24 that I had not seen at all. Not bad for someone who doesn't get more than two consecutive hours of sleep at any given time during the night. If it's not the kids waking me up, it's my bladder. All in all, I think I did pretty well on this test, considering I really am sleep-deprived. I must have a photographic memory or something. Try this test. Let me know how you did.

    This test will determine if you're getting enough sleep or if your mind has really lost it!

    The test consists of three parts:
    You'll be shown 12 photos in the first part,
    You'll be shown another 12 photos in the second part,

    You'll be shown 48 photos in the third part and asked if you saw them in the first part, the second part - or never saw them at all.
    When you have finished the third part, your results will be given to you.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sleep/tmt/instructions_1.shtml

    Saturday, August 08, 2009

    A Meme...

    1. What is your occupation right now?
    English teacher and mother

    2. What color are your socks right now?
    Not wearing any

    3. What are you listening to right now?
    The sound of my husband tapping away at his laptop keyboard

    4. What was the last thing that you ate?
    Homemade spaghetti and meatballs

    5. Can you drive a stick shift?
    No, nor would I ever entertain the idea of doing so in this big city traffic

    6. Last person you spoke to on the phone
    My husband while he was grocery shopping

    7. Do you like the person who sent this to you?
    Of course

    8. How old are you today?
    I am 37 years old.

    9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV?
    Baseball

    10. What is your favorite drink?
    Water

    11. Have you ever dyed your hair?
    Yes, many moons ago before I had children

    12. What is your favorite food?
    There are so many (duh, I'm pregnant) but I'd have to say Pad Thai. I don't get it often enough.

    13. What is the last movie you watched?
    Don't remember; can't sit through one, anyway.

    14. Favorite day of the year?
    Halloween

    15. How do you vent anger?
    I cry.

    6. What was your favorite toy as a child?
    Easy Bake Miniwave Oven

    17. What is your favorite season?
    Fall

    18. Cherries or Blueberries?
    Both

    19. Do you want others to do this meme?
    Sure

    20. Who is the most likely to respond?
    I don't know

    21. Who is least likely to respond?
    Same as #20

    22. Living arrangements?
    I live with my husband, my son, my daughter, my dog, and there are also twins inhabiting my uterus.

    23. When was the last time you cried?
    Today

    24. What is on the floor of your closet?
    I can't see the floor in my closet.

    25. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to?
    I sent this to Victoria.

    26. What did you do last night?
    I slept fitfully.

    27. What are you most afraid of?
    Someone hurting my children

    28. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers?
    Cheeseburgers

    29. What is your favorite kind of dog?
    Chocolate Labrador

    30. Favorite day of the week?
    Monday

    31. How many states have you lived in?
    Just one...Illinois

    32. Diamonds or pearls?
    Both

    33. What is your favorite flower?
    It's a tie...carnations and orchids

    Friday, August 07, 2009

    Nesting In High Gear...

    Boy, have I been nesting HARD lately. Cleaning, organizing, preparing in some way, shape, or form for the twins' arrival...it's all part of my days lately. I primarily do what I need to do only in the morning and save the afternoon and evening for chasing Jack and Liv around and...ahem, resting. Little by little, though, I'm accomplishing more than I thought I would be able to. It's nesting. That's exactly what it is.

    I made a mental list of everything that I need to do before the babies arrive, but I find that there's so much on that mental list that I need to actually start writing things down so I don't forget. Prioritize, Amy, prioritize.

    Every day I tackle something that needs to be done. And if that's the only thing I get done all day, I'm happy about it. I'm trying not to overdo it because I did that once and felt it for days. Now, I just take one thing at a time in the morning and do it well and make sure I devote the rest of the day to taking care of myself and the kids.

    Potty training is going remarkably well now and I hate to jinx it by saying so. However, we've come a loooooooong way since Day One and I'm pleased with what the kids have achieved, especially Jack, given his sensory processing disorder. Livie has been a champ the whole time and I couldn't be more grateful about both kids embracing this milestone.

    I have another ultrasound scheduled on Monday to track the twins' growth. I also want to be completely sure that there are two girls growing in there so I can pack up Jack's old clothes and give them to my niece's son. We won't be having anymore children after these babies are born, so I'll have no use for the shitload of boy clothing I have stored in my basement.

    So...off I go to do some more nesting. Slowly but surely, I'll have this house in order before the babies are born. The list may be long, but I'm great at time management. I know I can do this, as my nesting instinct is kicked into high gear lately.

    Didn't Ben Franklin say, "Fail to plan; plan to fail"?

    Thursday, August 06, 2009

    Five Secrets Restaurants Don’t Want You to Know...

    I found this article on Divine Caroline, written by Gwendolyn Fairfax. I thought it might be something worthy of passing along, especially if you like to dine out a lot. Ugh.

    Who doesn’t love eating out? It’s great not to have to cook for yourself, but it can also be anxiety-inducing to think about someone else cooking for you. Just what happened to the food before it arrived on our table? Was the meat handled correctly? Did the cook wash his hands? Frankly, some of the common practices of the food service industry might surprise the average customer. I talked to some seasoned industry professionals to discover what words of wisdom they had about the behind the scenes at their favorite spot. It’s helpful advice, but best not to read on a full stomach.

    1. Don’t Be the Last Table of the Night
    Most servers complain about the party who walks in at five minutes ’til closing time, but what makes late-night dining ill-advised isn’t the inconvenience. Besides being a pain, it’s doubtful that the food will be very good. By the end of the night, the kitchen is in full clean-up mode, so entrees are more likely to be haphazardly thrown together than carefully prepared. They’re using ingredients that were prepped hours ago, and cooking them in ovens or fryers that contain the accumulated buildup of an entire night’s service. Sometimes chefs cook and clean at the same time, increasing the likelihood of your steak being sprayed with drain cleaner or particulates from the bleach they’re using to mop the floor.

    2. Be Wary of Fish
    Although a restaurant might list a given fish on its menu, there’s no guarantee that the snapper listed on the menu isn’t a cheaper fish like tilapia. It’s not always the restaurant’s fault, as seafood distributors do most of the mislabeling. Unfortunately, restaurants themselves do engage in fishy business, like selling endangered or threatened species like bluefin tuna or Chilean sea bass under different names like “toro.” Most customers don’t even know the difference.

    Very rarely do restaurants get food deliveries on the weekend, so anything served on Sunday night has probably been in the cooler for a few days at least, and might not be at the peak of freshness. Ben*, the former manager of a restaurant in New York, says, “Be wary of anything that needs to be very fresh on a Sunday, especially fish. Probably best to stay away entirely from a Sunday fish special.” Putting things on special is how many restaurants clear out merchandise that would otherwise go bad. A weekend fish special is basically saying, “Please eat this today because we can’t sell it tomorrow.”

    3. Hygiene Isn’t Perfect
    Most restaurants have high cleanliness standards, but truthfully, sanitation isn’t always perfect. “The kitchen can be a gross place,” says Angie, a pastry chef in San Francisco. “I have seen servers and chefs come back from the bathroom or a cigarette break, not wash their hands, and go back to handling food.” Restaurants are busy places, and many times the workers just don’t take the time to be sanitary. Although state boards of health set strict rules for restaurants, some rules (like wearing gloves) are only followed on inspection day, because following them all the time would slow down production. The truth is that chefs handle food with their bare hands, bartenders touch your garnish after wiping down the bar, and servers are touching menus and utensils used by other patrons without washing their hands in between tables. Also, if it’s flu season, you can be sure that at least a few employees on duty will be sick. Since restaurant employees aren’t usually paid for sick time, they have no choice but to come to work when they’re ill, no matter how sniffly or sneezy they might be.

    Of course, not all restaurants are cesspools of filth. As a general rule, cleanliness depends on the standards set by the owner, and high-end or family-owned restaurants tend to have better hygiene than chain restaurants or diners, because the owners have more personal accountability and a reputation to preserve. To gauge a restaurant’s cleanliness, look around the dining room. If the ketchup bottles have crusted nozzles, the bathroom is foul, or the floor looks like it hasn’t been swept all week, chances are that the kitchen is a reflection of those same standards. Restaurants with high standards pay attention to small details.

    4. Don’t Look Behind the Scenes
    I once worked in a restaurant where the service stations were in view of the customers, and many people were shocked at some of the tasks we performed. We refilled the ketchup bottles from a giant plastic bladder, dirty buspans were stored next to fresh food, and the floor was covered in debris. What they witnessed wasn’t criminal or negligent; it was just part of the inner workings of a restaurant, which can be shocking for someone who’s never worked in one. Sometimes it’s better to stay in the dark, so if you have the chance to peek into the kitchen or the staff-only area, don’t.

    Once your food is in front of you, don’t let it out of your sight, because you never know what could happen to it. When entrees are boxed up to go or sent to the kitchen to be cooked further, sometimes the staff cuts corners. Kim, a former server and bartender from New York, advises, “Always wrap up your own food. I’ve seen too many pizzas picked out of the garbage and breadsticks roll under the counters.”

    5. Vermin Happen
    Any place where food is stored is going to attract pests, and in large cities with older infrastructure (like Boston or New York), vermin are simply an unpleasant fact. Most restaurants battle against it every day, but it’s inevitable that sometimes customers are going to see a roach or a rat. Rare is the restaurant where they’re not at least an occasional problem. Even clean restaurants can attract pests, so seeing one isn’t an indictment against the restaurant’s cleanliness. Usually, if it doesn’t seem like the kind of place that would have bug problems, it’s probably a more-or-less isolated incident. Sadly, though, there are indeed restaurants where the pests seem right at home. Ben, from New York, says, “Customers should try not to freak out if they see something, and if they can subtly point it out to a manager or server, they’ll probably get a freebie or two.”

    It’s easy to feel squeamish about restaurants because they prepare our food, and we feel like even the smallest infraction could potentially endanger our health. While some restaurant stories disgust or repulse, the uneventful truth is that most restaurants are highly professional establishments that just want to serve good food and make their customers happy. Outrageous displays of bad hygiene are the exception, not the rule, and customers should feel totally confident when eating out. Just be sure to check the ketchup and carpets first.

    *Names have been changed

    First published July 2009
    Find this article at:
    http://www.divinecaroline.com/22172/79738-five-secrets-restaurants-don-t-know

    Wednesday, August 05, 2009

    Science Fair Blunder...

    Um, yeah...this is NOT a science project you're ever going to see MY kids working on. Ugh.

    Tuesday, August 04, 2009

    A Mushy Blob...

    I'm drawing a blank...again. Writer's block is preventing me from...well,...writing. Duh. Both babies are taking all my brain cells away from me, so I'm left with a mushy blob inside my skull that used to be my brain.

    I have an OB appointment today, so I think I'm just going to save up my energy for that.

    The blog will have to wait. Sigh...

    Monday, August 03, 2009

    That Pretty Much Sums It Up...

    This is pretty much how I feel lately. I pee all the time and I'm constantly tired. If beds were made with built-in toilets, I'd buy one in a second. I never get adequate rest because I'm up several times a night just to go pee! Ugh.
    Growing babies is hard work.

    Sunday, August 02, 2009

    Finding My Zen...

    I have an appoinment with my OB on Tuesday. I go every two weeks for the month of August and every week for the month of September. I can't believe we're almost at the end. This pregnancy has gone by so much quicker than I ever thought it would.

    It's bittersweet for me, really. It's my last time down this road. I don't think my body could do it again, anyway. Three C-sections is a lot to ask of any woman's body. So, I'm just going to try to relax more in my last trimester (heh), hoping that'll put me in the Zen frame of mind I know I need to be in. Life is going to get pretty hectic (as if it's not already) in just a short amount of time and I need to make sure I have a "happy place" to retreat to when times get rough.

    This is the home stretch for me. Twins...whoever thought this could happen, especially after my miscarriage last year? This year and last year are like night and day for me. Last year, I felt cursed. This year, I feel doubly blessed. I don't get it, but I guess I'm not supposed to.

    Pretty soon my family of four will be a family of six. I'm still in shock, even though I've known this since I was seven weeks pregnant. Twins. Twins...

    Saturday, August 01, 2009

    Business As Usual...

    A man walked into a cafe, went to the bar and ordered a beer.

    "Certainly, Sir, that'll be one cent."

    "One Cent?" the man exclaimed.

    He glanced at the menu and asked, "How much for a nice juicy steak and a bottle of wine?"

    "A nickel," the barman replied.

    "A nickel?" exclaimed the man, "Where's the guy who owns this place?"

    The bartender replied, "Upstairs, with my wife."

    The man asked, "What's he doing upstairs with your wife?"

    The bartender replied, "The same thing I'm doing to his business down here."