A Few You Might Have Missed

If you were wondering, at the end of last week, whether I would learn my lesson about procrastinating posts until the last minute, clearly the answer is no, I learned nothing. Here I am again, late on Sunday night, and I'm short one post. Since the Oscars are on, and since I've been nursing a headache since I woke up this morning, I don't see myself coming up with something new for you {my wonderful, sweet readers}. SO, here are some posts from the past that I am a little bit proud of, in case you haven't read them before:

Goodness. I keep meaning to post more often, and I keep getting sidetracked by other activities. Mainly things like feeding babies, feeding myself, and squeezing in my bi-weekly shower. There are even days when I think to myself, "I'm going to tweet today," and I can't even get that done. True story.

I Never Want to Hear...
Being a mother of twins has opened me up to a world of strained conversation with well-intentioned strangers and, often, the same questions over and over and over. There are some things I never get tired of hearing; for example, whenever someone introduces themselves and says that they also have twins, I always reply, "I've heard that it gets easier." I love the encouragement that unfailingly follows. However, not being a great conversationalist, and not being someone who particularly enjoys small talk, I do get frustrated from time to time.

As we rocked, I tried to remember the last time she had allowed herself to sleep on me. I wondered when she might again. And the word that kept coming to my mind was "goodbye." So before I put her back in bed, where she slept peacefully the rest of the night, I talked to her in my mind.

Days Like This
It must be said: yesterday was a terrible day. A horrible, no good, very bad day. No one was sick or injured or teething {I think}, but nonetheless it was a day filled with whining and frustration and crying {hey, everyone, tears all around! On me!}. Also, it was a day filled with Max's shoes not fitting onto his huge feet when we were trying to get ready to go to Target, even though I could have sworn they were the right size.

Needing Time & Being Grateful
I started working on our messy kitchen, and I enjoyed having that quiet time to clean so much. I wondered if, at that moment, there was any chore that I wouldn't have volunteered to do as an alternative to watching children. Wash a sinkful of greasy dishes by hand? Clean all the toilets? Scrub out the garbage can? Check, check, and check -- I would have been up for any of those.

A Few Thoughts
Have you ever loved something so much, and been so grateful to have it in your life, that it made your heart hurt just to think about it? It's 5:30 in the morning, and I'm awake. I'm sitting in Lucy's room and staring at her crib. At how the sheet is all bunched up on the side. And I'm grateful. Grateful the sheet isn't perfectly smooth, because it means a real baby lives and sleeps in there.

On Breastfeeding & Closeness
But now I know for myself. I have breastfed a child and I have bottle-fed children and I can tell you because Iknow, I know that how you choose to feed your baby does not determine your relationship with them. I know because I look at Max and Maggie, my wonderful darling one-year-olds, and the love that I feel for them is unrestrained. After what the three of us have been through together, nothing could diminish our relationship.

P.S. I love the image I included at the beginning of this post {obviously}, but couldn't find the original image source. No, not even with Google's reverse image search. If you know the source of this image, I'd appreciate it if you let me know. Thanks!



D o i n g : Slicing blueberries for Lucy's afternoon snack. Max and Maggie spend every Friday at Christian's parents' house, so it's just me and my Lovey for a few more hours. Since my twins were born and it was always two {and then three!} babies all the time, it's a treat to get one-on-one time with them. I get to love on them a little bit more, and that's so fun.

L o v i n g : I took the above pictures of Max and Maggie yesterday. I was trying to get a good shot of both of them, to send in a card that they "helped" make for my mom, but Max didn't want to sit still {when I asked him to say "cheese" he would stand up and and put his arms in the air - why, I don't know}, and Maggie only wanted to be the one taking pictures. Even though I didn't get the exact picture I was looking for, the ones I did get show off their toddler-sized personalities so perfectly. Geez, I love this two little hoodlums.

R e a d i n g : You guys already know that I'm reading and loving The Corrections this month, so how about a glimpse into my online reading? Here are a few blogs that have recently become favorites: Sometimes Sweet, Camp Patton, Dear Friend, the Homebook, You Are My Fave, Motley Mama, and Emmadime.

W a t c h i n g : I turned on Toy Story 3 today after Lucy woke up from her nap. I was sobbing through the opening credits. The home video of Andy playing with his toys was breaking my heart because oh-my-gosh-my-kids-are-going-to-grow-up. Which brings me to...

S t r e s s i n g  a b o u t : Max and Maggie turn two whole years old in less than a month. I think for readers, it's one of those things where if your oldest child around is younger than two, you're like, "Nooo!! Too soon!! Notreadynotreadynotready!!" and if your oldest child is older than two, you're like, "What is her deal? Two is NOT that old." So sorry if you think I'm making an issue out of nothing, but two seems so old to me right now. I keep thinking, where did my babies go? And do I have to call them toddlers now? And please will everyone stop asking me about potty training?

T h i n k i n g  a b o u t : I forgot to mention in my Walking Dead post, but I guess it's a thing that everyone loves Daryl Dixon? Or that women find him attractive? And when I realized that fact, I was like, "whaaaaaaat??" Because to me, Daryl's usefulness and resourcefulness in fighting off zombies barely {so much barely!} outweighs his incredibly obnoxious personality. In other words, not at all attractive. In fact, very unattractive, but also very helpful if you need someone to quietly kill zombies for you. Does anyone else want to chime in? Am I missing something?

L o o k i n g  f o r w a r d  t o : CHIPOTLE TONIGHT!! Eating at Chipotle is something that I think about almost every day, because it is just so good. I try not to allow myself to eat there every day, because that would add up to something like $300 each month {yikes}. However, Fridays are when Christian and I go out to eat, and my suggestion is always Chipotle! With an exclamation point! Before he's even finished asking the question! And even if that's not where we end up tonight, that's okay, because I'm excited about the possibility. {Seriously, I think they put something in those soft tacos of theirs, because this paragraph sounds like it was written by a crazy person.}

M a k i n g  m e  h a p p y : Christian and I have been discussing when we want to start trying for another baby. {Which would be our fourth, if you can believe. That number kind of blows my mind, just how quickly our family has grown already.} A newnewbaby. I know the idea is crazy, especially since Lucy just turned nine months old, but every time I think of growing another baby in my belly, I feel a burst of excitement in my heart.

P.S. I know I'm publishing this post at 8:45 in the evening, but I wrote most of it this afternoon, just to orient you. And yes, in case you were wondering, we did end up going to Chipotle.

P.P.S. Idea for this post came from here.


This Is My First Post This Week Because...

... of The Walking Dead. I'm not kidding.

Christian and I started watching the first season earlier this week {and we just started Season 2 yesterday, so NO SPOILERS in the comments, please!}, and I think it's safe to say that both of us are obsessed. After we watched the pilot on Tuesday night, we went to bed and I had nightmares. I woke up the next morning and told Christian that I was fine if he kept watching it, as long as I never had to see it again. By the time he got home from work on Wednesday, however, I was ready for another episode.

As afraid of the dark and nightmare-prone as I am, I can't stop watching. I get freaked out almost every night, but I'm hoping that will go away after a while. When I nurse Lucy to sleep at night, I rock her and think things like, "What if a zombie came in here right now? How would I defend us?" {answer: beat it in the head with the tank of Lucy's humidifier} and "If I got bitten and infected, what would I do then? Spend as much time as possible with my kids, or leave and donate my body to science?" {there is no good answer to this question}.

I know I need to be better about budgeting my time, but it's hard with TV this good. Are you a Walking Dead fan? {Be advised, if you don't watch it yet but you're interested: Christian and I both agree it's grosser than Breaking Bad.}

P.S. Here's a video of Andrew Lincoln {who plays Rick Grimes} on Jimmy Fallon if you want to hear his British accent. And here's a clip of him being adorable in Love Actually.


A Happy List for Your Sunday

{ image via }

I thought about starting out this post by saying "today was one of those days." But actually, today was fine. Not great {Max has had a fever for the past few days, Maggie started having one today, Lucy has gummy eyes and I think I bruised one of her eyelids trying to put drops in and I feel terrible, and all three of them have noses that are running like snot faucets}, but Christian and I have been spared whatever our kids have, at least for now, and I only ever felt frustrated right before nap time, which was extraordinarily convenient.

It was this evening that really did me in.

As I was changing Max's diaper right before I put on his Buzz Lightyear jams, I noticed something not quite right, and I think Max has a double inguinal hernia. Which is just really incredibly frustrating timing, because he JUST had surgery earlier this week. He JUST did, and now I think we're looking at another surgery as soon as we can get it scheduled. And even after I got over my initial "why us??" feelings and gave myself a "you can do this" pep-talk, I've felt emotionally drained. Max in surgery again? Each of my twins having surgery twice before they turn two? WHY? {Okay, so maybe I'm not entirely over my "why us" feelings yet. Give me a few more hours.}

The thing is, I know our family is very blessed, and in order to help me remember that fact, I thought I'd write down a happy list. Right now, in the middle of the night, because I'm certainly not going to fall asleep any time soon. Here are ten things that should be are making me happy:

  1. A husband who give me bear hugs because he knows how to help me feel better when I'm stressed.
  2. Maggie has started letting me fix her hair on a daily basis. She wants an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba and a packet of fruit snacks in return, but that's okay by me.
  3. Mail from friends.
  4. A new can of Febreeze air freshener in my bathroom.
  5. The Corrections {the book I set a goal to read in February} is so good. Jonathon Franzen is brilliant.
  6. This method of soft-boiling eggs is perfect, and I tried some on toast with avocado; it's amazing.
  7. Lucy is learning to give kisses. Sometimes, if I ask her about ten times in a row and point to my mouth and purse my lips, she'll lean forward and let her mouth touch mine. I think it's the sweetest.
  8. Max has a favorite book, and it's Where the Wild Things Are.
  9. These shoes. Christian gave me a pair for Christmas and I love them. {They're so comfortable!}
  10. Somehow I got three votes for the Best Family & Kids Blog over on Apartment Therapy's The Homies. It makes me happy because we all know I'm not going to win {I'm not even close to being close to the people who are saying they're not even close}, but a few special people thought it was worth their time to put me up there, anyway. Thanks, friends.
What's making you happy right now?


So Far

{ image via }

Max is doing great after his surgery, you guys. Thank you for thinking of us, thank you for asking about him, thank you again for your kindness. It's fills up my heart to know that we have so many friends out there. I love you all!!

If you're interested, here's how everything went down:

I woke up at 5:15 on Tuesday morning and got ready. I had packed our bag the night before {diapers, slippers, books, crayons, stickers, and Christian's iPad}, so at 6:00 I scooped Max out of bed, put his coat on over his jams, and put him in the car. It was still dark when we arrived at the surgery center, but Max was happy to be awake and didn't seem to notice being hungry. There was a fish tank in the waiting room {did I take that as a sign, again, that we were in the right place? Yes I did, of course I did} and my phone to keep him entertained before we got checked in.

Once paperwork was signed, a nursed called us back and gave me a tiny hospital gown {not as tiny as Maggie's, though, thank goodness} and three Cars stickers. I made a big deal of showing Max how cool the stickers were, got him to say "car" for each one, stuck them on the front of his gown and patted them down, then quickly distracted him with crayons. Because Max is the kind of kid who likes to rip stickers off his clothes and then play with them in his hands until all the sticky is gone, and then he ends up sad and confused. I signed more paperwork while Max dumped all the crayons in his lap.

Soon after we were bored of playing with all the things in my bag and Max was working hard on rearranging the apps on Christian's iPad, they were ready for him. The nurse had said to me earlier, "If you don't mind, when they take him back please just stay standing right there until he can't see you anymore, so he doesn't think you've left. That'll help him feel better." To which my heart said both duh! and sob. But then the second he was through the doors, she was all, "alright, back to the waiting room with you!" And I didn't have the emotional capacity to be annoyed with her because I was concentrated on the fact that I could still see Max every few seconds as the doors kept swinging open, clutching his Foofa and looking forward.

Here's the thing: it doesn't get easier, handing your child over to the doctor and watching them walk away with your baby. Even for a surgery as simple and routine as Max's. I know there are mothers out there who have been through much more with their children because of medical conditions. I know how blessed I am to have three healthy kids. But it doesn't get easier, and it's still scary.

The good thing is that literally ten minutes after I sat down in the waiting room, the doctor came to find me to tell me that he was done. Everything went well, and they found a lot of fluid behind his ears. Soon a nurse came to take me back to Max in the recovery room. Unlike the times that Maggie has woken up from anesthesia, and has been a little upset but mostly groggy and tired and clingy, Max was upset and in pain and MAD. He was red-faced and inconsolable, with Tylenol dripping out of his open mouth. I soon gave up on calming him down and just got him dressed so we could leave.

He started to feel better in the car, and once we got home he was doing well. Throughout the morning he would sometimes start crying and tug on one of his ears, but by the afternoon he was totally back to normal. That boy, he's a tough one.

Every time someone asks me how Max is doing, I hear this subtext {whether they mean for it to be there or not} of "AND CAN HE HEAR NOW??" And I'm hesitant to respond. His doctor said that it could take a while for there to be a noticeable difference, which is why his follow-up visit and hearing test at the ENT aren't scheduled for another couple of weeks.

I don't want to say that I can't tell a difference as much as I was expecting, even though it's the truth, because I feel like that's resigning myself to disappointment. I don't want to say that I think I've definitely noticed some difference, even though that's also the truth, because I don't want to turn out wrong. I'm holding off on making any definite conclusions for now. I'm trying to be patient until we know for sure.


The Heavy Stuff

You may remember that almost three weeks ago I published this post, which was completely normal and ordinary {and maybe a little boring, as is often the case with Instagram dumps} except that I mentioned that we were going through "some heavy stuff" and I wasn't ready to talk about it yet. I thought I would be ready to talk about it later in the week, and I wasn't, and I apologize for not mentioning it again until now. But I'm ready to talk about it now.

In this post I talked about how Max might need speech therapy. After a couple months and a few evaluations, we've decided that yes, we are pursuing that option for him. While he seems more interested {much more!} in communicating now that he did then, his speech and comprehension are still very limited.

Part of the process involved with getting him qualified for speech therapy was doing a hearing test, to make sure that his slow speech development wasn't connected to any kind of hearing loss. And at first I didn't pay much attention to the possibility. But then in the days leading up to Max's hearing test, I started to feel a terrible sense of dread in my heart. It's like nothing I've ever felt before, this ongoing heaviness that weighed on me and stressed me out {and caused me to be extremely grumpy with everyone around me, as I'm sure Christian will attest}. I became suspicious, and then almost positive that his hearing wasn't perfect. The way he was often so focused on whatever he was playing with, the way he had trouble pronouncing the few words he knew {saying "gah!" for "car"}, and the way he sometimes just mouthed sounds instead of vocalizing them added to my conviction. I was worried about what hearing loss would mean for him, in his life.

When we did have his hearing tested, the results weren't surprising. He isn't deaf {of course; that's something we would have noticed before now}, but he did exhibit minor to moderate hearing loss. The audiologist explained that she also couldn't detect his eardrum vibrating at all. She suspected a problem with the middle ear, and not permanent hearing loss. While he can hear loud sounds, most vocal sounds are indistinct, so it sounds like he's underwater. While that was all good news, I left the audiologist that morning feeling frustrated. I had braced myself for a difficult diagnosis, and instead had been told that the results were inconclusive, that we should have his ears checked {she kept saying that she wasn't a doctor, so she couldn't say for sure, but that he probably had fluid in his ears from his most recent cold, three weeks earlier, and recommended scheduling a visit with our pediatrician, who might then pass us along to an ENT}, and that we could have his hearing tested again in four weeks.

I wanted this hearing problem of Max's to be fixed as soon as possible. I wanted to communicate with my son, and I wanted to do it yesterday. Instead it just felt like I was stuck in a web of red tape.

I ranted about the audiologist a little to my friends and family, and then made an appointment with an ENT for as soon as possible. I didn't want to go to the pediatrician and have someone tell me AGAIN that they weren't sure for sure what was going on. We were able to get in to see the ENT sooner than I had anticipated, for which I was grateful. When we went, the waiting room had a big tank of fish, which felt like a sign that we were in a place that could help us {for no other reason than Max loves fish, and I was feeling very emotional}.

The doctor came in quickly, examined Max quickly, and quickly explained that Max had fluid behind his eardrum, and we could either give him antibiotics and hope it went away, or put tubes in his ears. Since Max had been on antibiotics recently, I said yes, please, let's put tubes in his ears. The doctor agreed with me that the fluid has almost certainly been there for longer than three weeks, and has probably been there long enough to inhibit his speech development {a year or more}. He was confident that tubes would drain the fluid and restore Max's hearing completely.

And that's where we are now. Max is scheduled for surgery to put tubes in his ears on Tuesday. The main emotion I'm feeling is excitement for him; I can't wait for my boy to be able to hear perfectly. {Although part of me is just remembering the two times Maggie has had surgery, and how hard it was to hand her over to the doctor.}

I had a dream last night that took place a couple months from now. Max was sitting on the couch just a few feet away from me. When I spoke softly to him, he heard me. When I asked him "where's Max?" he patted his chest and repeated, "Max." It was everything I'm hoping for us in the coming months; that Max will hear, that his speech and comprehension will skyrocket with the help of therapy, that the world of sound will bring him incredible joy and understanding.