Thursday, January 30, 2014

another reason parenting is hard...

The emotional attachment to these little creatures who are amazing, incredible, so loving and adoring, all the while knowing that they're growing & changing (so fast!) on the path toward being tweens, adolescents, teenagers, adults. Getting used to (and reveling in!) arriving home after work to little arms raised up, wanting nothing more than my attention, loves, hugs, kisses, dancing in my arms - but knowing that I won't have this at some point in the future.  I guess it just feels so different than any other relationship. For example, it would have been so strange to be falling in love with Jerry and knowing all the while that eventually we would no longer have the same sort of loving interactions.  Of course I hope that the boys will always want affection from their mom in a certain form, but I know these days of innocent, unedited expressions of love are finite. And there's grief in that knowledge.  I'll love the men they'll be some day, but I'm going to miss the toddlers they are today.

(The bottles are "pretty much done" at this point. The last 2 nights they've had a sippy cup with milk before bed instead of a bottle and they've gone to sleep just fine.  Yesterday they had no bottles at all.  This morning, I had time to put change the boys's diapers and get them into their chairs for breakfast before I left for work and G was having a meltdown about not having a bottle - I've yet to hear from Jerry as to whether or not he had to give in & give a bottle).

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

parenting is hard.

W continues to giggle when we say "no".  It's so frustrating, because I don't know how to teach him that we're the parents, we're in charge, and when we say "no" that means he has to stop doing what he just did and not do it again.  Maybe he's unable to really understand those concepts very well yet, since he's only 15 months old (that's Jerry's opinion).  Of course my anxiety ridden brain jumps to the possibility that W is going to be a rebellious child who has no regard for authority and nothing we can think of to do will change that. I'm really hoping to find other moms who have struggled with this and made it through to the other side.  One of my main goals is to raise two kind & respectful boys.  How to accomplish this?

Then we have G who this morning had a complete meltdown and wouldn't stop freaking out when we tried to sit him in his chair to have breakfast. Yesterday he'd done just fine with the sippy cup instead of his beloved bottle with breakfast and so I had high hopes that this transition away from bottles was going well. Not so much.  He wouldn't settle down until we poured the milk into a bottle and gave that to him instead. Augh. I guess he might be a "strong willed child".

I'm trying not think about the fact that these two scenarios will pale in comparison to the future problems we're certain to encounter, probably sooner than we realize.  Good thing that these sweet boys also provide the biggest joys we've ever experienced. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Sweet boys helped celebrate my birthday.  Love those toes!

a big difference between "100 and 5" and "100.5"

Just got a call from Jerry saying that W's temperature is now "100 and 5" after his nap.  I immediately said he should call the nurse line right away.  I asked more questions about how he was acting/feeling and as Jerry was talking, he referred to the fever not being as high as before the nap (which I knew had been 102).  Soooo, we got clarification.  W's fever was down to 100.5.  Much less scary and changed our whole conversation.  One little word.  And who's to know whether Jerry actually said the wrong word or if he said the right one and I miss-heard him because I'm worried about W?  I was just relieved to know we weren't dealing with an emergency type of situation and I felt I could breathe again.

This fever seems to be a strange one.  He'd been acting normally yesterday, with no signs of cold/congestion. Neither boys have been sick with colds or anything else in the last month, so when W was extremely clingy to me when I got home from work and just wanted to be cuddled I knew something was up, but didn't know what it could be.  Jerry thought for sure that it was just W being really attached to me & missing me.  But he's just not a super-cuddly guy.  Even G is more so and he's not even one who will sit in laps for long periods of time.  They're both so interested in being active that cuddling takes a back seat to climbing, walking, hiding, and throwing.  So I gave them dinner last night and W did eat & drink as normal, but afterwards he wouldn't stop crying and I noticed as I held him that he did seem warm.  Sure enough, when I checked his temp it was 102.3.  It just seems so strange, since he's had no recent colds and no other current symptoms.  He got Tylenol at 7 pm and G wanted some too (they both love the flavor of this medicine).  They went down at their regular 8 pm bedtime without a fuss and slept through the night.  I'm hoping that whatever is causing the fever is not some really bad thing and it just goes away as quickly as it came on.

Monday, January 20, 2014

kisses, popcorn buckets, and laughing at "no"

The affection was being handed out like candy this weekend.  And this time it was from boys to parents, boys to grandparents, boys to each other.  Suddenly they want to express their love through touching open mouth to cheek.  It's endearing, funny, adorable.  

Jerry and I got to go on a date yesterday, including a movie with popcorn in a bucket.  We brought said bucket home with us, because it was so huge that we didn't eat all of the popcorn.  W decided it is the best toy ever.  It will probably occupy that status for at least a week.  That is, if G doesn't do an intentional nose-dive onto it, smashing it flat.  These scenarios are equally plausible.  So W likes to wear this bucket on his head and then put it on our heads to see our reactions, "I can't see!!!".  This cracks him up.

Speaking of laughter - apparently we're so unfortunate as to have two toddlers who aren't phased by a stern, serious-sounding "NO".  In fact, rather than be reduced to tears, they laugh.  Yes, they somehow think it's a game.  So we're going to have to figure out whether time-outs can be effective this young (not-quite-15 months).  How do we teach them not to do something and that we're the parents-in-charge, if they laugh at "no"?  Any suggestions are welcomed!

Friday, January 17, 2014


Oh, what little gifts these boys are.  I feel so grateful to have the two of them.  Still, sometimes I really wish they would have arrived "one at a time".  And it's not because of the extra work involved with twins.  I don't have any way of knowing whether the work with two the same age is really that much more than two of different ages.  It's that I'm really a person who bonds well one-one-one.  I can participate in group conversations, but I'm always much more comfortable talking with one person at a time.  And last night I was playing sitting on the floor with W on my lap and G was playing in the same room and I realized once again how much my attention is divided.  I really crave time to just focus on my relationship with one little boy.  I end up being "half-there" with each of them.  In last night's instance, I had W on my lap and he was interested in the water bottle, playing with the attached cap and I wanted to interact with him, but I was aware of G pushing his rocket ship across the floor and wanted to participate in that with him too.  So it didn't feel like I was having a satisfying time with either of them.  I have a constant stream of thoughts in my head that I need to make sure G sees me and I need to give W attention, etc etc etc.

This is what people call a first world problem, I realize.  Or perhaps more specifically, a 21st century first world problem.  I can't imagine that a United States farm wife in the early 1900s had the luxury of worrying that she wasn't able to give enough adequate play time to all 5-10 of her children.  I think she likely had much more pressing concerns.  Sadly, it's likely that today's second & third worlds also require the need to bypass such trivial thoughts.

So, yes, I realize I'm privileged to have the kind of life where these worries even exist.  Still...I'd like to RELAX a bit and enjoy these days more than my worries currently let me.  I think I need to build "Mommy & W", "Mommy & G" outings into our calendar.  Actually I think something simple like taking just G out to Target even without (maybe especially without?) a shopping list would be really satisfying.  Because there's two of them, I've taken them shopping a total of twice.  I'd like to do it more, especially to fit these in before they're talking & demanding the toys and treats they see!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

olives & spinach & mushrooms, oh my!

W loves olives.  We found this out last night, as I was cooking a new recipe (Pioneer Woman's Turkey Tetrazzini) and had W in the kitchen watching me cook.  I was chopping olives and he looked interested so I gave him a slice, thinking he'd probably spit it out.  Nope - he loved it and had his hand out for another.  And another.  In fact, I figured he was probably hungry with dinnertime approaching, so I gave him a little cube of turkey.  Which he took and ate, but when offered a second cube, he rejected it and pointed to the pile of sliced olives.  So cute.  Of course olives have fat & sodium and so we obviously aren't going to make this a habit.  A little later, since dinner prep was taking longer than I thought and both boys were now in their chairs watching me & getting whiny, I decided to give them some canned spinach to see what they thought of that.  (I personally despise canned/frozen/cooked spinach by itself - will only eat it raw, like in salads & sandwiches or cooked in a sauce).  They gave it a try and neither of them seemed to mind it.  It was definitely a new texture experience for them. And then when we all sat down to have dinner together, they tried mushrooms for the first time, as this was a prominent ingredient in the recipe.  And once again - no problems there!

After dinner, W showed off his skills - throwing the ball and kicking it.  We actually said, "Throw the ball to Daddy!" and he did that.  Sometimes the ball would fall off his hands behind him and he'd be momentarily confused, but not deterred.  So cute.

G, meanwhile, somehow got a big red bump on the side of his head.  With all of the wrestling, tackling, climbing, falling, nose-diving that these two participate in throughout the day, this isn't shocking.  Boys will be boys?  Although I'm sure if we had girls we'd likely have the same sort of thing going on.  Ultimately, I loooove how active they are.  The entertainment component is reason enough!  They make me laugh daily.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

daily update

I'm guessing that between two toddlers I'll have new things report daily.  That's the case again today, at least.  W has learned how to kick the ball.  He walks/kicks the ball around the room and looks fascinated at how he can move it.  He also fell in love with my water bottle that I take to work.  I left it out within his reach on the couch when I came home from work last night and he grabbed it.  And he claimed ownership of it all evening (G tried a few times to take it, but was completely rebuffed).  On top of that, Grandma asked him at one point, "Is that your water bottle?" and he looked at her confused, like "This isn't a BOTTLE!".  Such a smart boy - he knows his bottle!

Which brings me to the conundrum of bottles.  How to help the boys say goodbye to them, at what pace?  Jerry says they were able to drink 3 of the 6 ounces of morning milk from the cup before they "demanded" a bottle yesterday.  (It was a morning that they weren't awake yet before I left for work, so I didn't get to participate in this).  I'm not sure what that looks like, especially if the bottles are out of sight.  Maybe an all-out refusal to drink what was left in their cups?  If so, maybe instead of giving the bottle option, we need to just take the cups away and when they want milk again, give them the cups.  But I'd think Jerry probably already thought of that, did that, and they refused the cups multiple times and he knew they needed milk.  Well, we'll see.  I guess they do typically drink milk from cups during their mid-day milk break from Grandma.  The evening bottle is supposed to be the last to go, so I'm still giving bottles.  Now, not that I can't have a similar experience with cups, but last night was precious: I snuggled with both boys in the rocking chair on my lap at the same time in the darkness of their room while they drank their bedtime bottles.  Such a sweet time.  Jerry even ran to get the camera, but it wasn't charged, so he missed documenting the moment.  Instead, I tried to be really mindful of what it felt like, smelled like, sounded like, looked like - to create a real memory of the moment.  That's a subject I'd like to expand on in a future post, actually: the way the boys' first year is such a blur in my memory.  I feel sad about not being able to exactly remember how they felt as babies.  But, I do have lots of video and watching it now & then helps with that.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

little snippets

W likes to stick his pointer finger out and put it into G's mouth, daring/teasing him to bite it.  Yesterday while I was at work, G actually did.  No lasting damage, but apparently W was very unhappy with this.

G likes to say, "Nyah! Nyah!" which usually seems to mean, "I want that!"  W just now started saying it too, and it seems like an illustration of one twin learning how to talk from the other twin who doesn't have good pronounciation.  Part of why twins are usually slower with learning to talk.  Oh well - whatchya gonna do?

Bathtub time last night.  G wants to drink bathwater which is not a good thing, so I say "no" - constantly, it seems.  He seems obsessed with it, but may also be obsessed with experimenting to see what my reaction is to his action.  Problem with doing this during the bath is that it's difficult/impossible(?) to redirect him to another activity.

Right now G really likes our story time.  He loves to bring me books when I'm sitting on the floor.  He comes over with the book and backs himself into my lap to sit down and rests his head on my chest while I read.  The problem is that while we're doing that, W also wants my attention - but usually not with the same activity and so I feel guilty.  Lots of feeling guilty about dividing my attention between the two of them.  Have to stop feeling that way, since I'm sure they're fine.

We brushed teeth before bed using a regular type toothbrush, but toddler sized, plus toddler tooth"paste" for the first time last night.  It went over really well.  Jerry had W and I had G, and we did it in front of the mirror in the bathroom with no protests at all.

G is slimming down incredibly.  It's amazing to see it, really.  They still seem to have way too big of an appetite for food than what I think is "normal" based on what I read online.  And that bothers me.  It makes me wonder if the majority of experts are wrong, that toddlers aren't going to overeat healthy nutritious food.  G (and W too) get nothing but vegetables, meat/fish/eggs, pasta/rice/toast/dry unsweetened cereal, and unsweetened fruits. Except they do get little wagonwheel "crunchies" that they like to teethe on and crunch.  But these are even not calorie-dense.  3 of them are 25 calories and they very rarely will eat more than 2 - usually are satisfied with 1.  Zero juice, ever.  Zero sweets, cookies, cakes, etc.  We've even taken cheese out of their diet and they get a max of 16 ounces of whole milk daily.  Still, they generally want to eat lots more than what is typically recommended for toddlers.  And they haven't yet had one of those days that the pediatrician warned us to expect where they'll maybe eat a cracker or a piece of toast throughout the day and that's it.  Maybe we've been blessed with boys who have a wide range of nutritious "likes" (they even inhale unsweetened canned beets!) and healthy appetites.  Or - and this of course is what I worry about all the time - they've inherited their parents' desire for food for reasons other than hunger.

G has joined W in the desire for me to play "Muuuuuusic!" and then dance.  So now I've got 50 pounds of toddler in my arms while I dance around the living room with them.  Thankfully they usually seem to be satisfied with 1 or 2 songs of this.  Thank you to short attention spans!

Curious about heights. They rarely stand still, much less stand still right next to each other, but it really seems like W may be actually taller than G.  If so, I have no idea if it's that W has been growing extra-fast lately or that G hasn't been, or a mix of some of that?  Basically, hoping that G hasn't stalled out on growing and it's just that W had a growth spurt.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Overall, a wonderful weekend

Friday night was icy & so we didn't go out for our traditional "Friday Fish Fry" with Grandma & Grandpa.  Instead we stayed home and had an uneventful evening.  The boys played well and had a good time with us.

Saturday morning I got started on all the house stuff that I put off during the week.  Ended up doing 4 loads of laundry & I scrubbed down the kitchen - it needed it!  Then it was off to a jewelry "party" at our friend Sherie's house here in Waukesha.  Jan came with me & niece Sarah got dropped off by her mom and we actually had a pretty good time.  You know at these parties you generally feel like you need to buy something - so I did buy a necklace.  I'm actually kinda excited about it, because it's a locket-style and mine will have the word "blessed" and 4 charms: a "W", a "G", and Jerry's birthstone & my birthstone.

When we got home, Joel & Grady were at the house with Jerry and the boys having fun.  They love chasing Grady around and jumping on Uncle Joel.

This morning we finally got to church after not being there for quite a few weeks.  It's so hard to concentrate on anything going on during the service, because the boys just have a really hard time staying still & quiet for longer than 15 minutes.  I think it's just part of being a 14 month old.  But it was still really good to be there - and we got to sit with Lisa, Jason, and Ethan so that was fun.  I love getting the chance to spend time with little E.

The boys fell asleep in the car on the way home and so I thought it would be easy to change their clothes & diapers, feed them an early lunch, and put them down for a nap.  Nope!  I don't know if they were overtired or just kinda wound up from the church experience, but they really struggled to go down.  Finally G did, but W was still awake when I left them with Jerry to go run errands.  Jerry smoked a turkey in his Traeger smoker and it was ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS.  I've never ever ever had such moist and flavorful turkey.  Even the breast, which in my experience typically ends up dry, was juicy.  YUMMO.  So Jack & Jan, Joel & Grady came over and we had dinner together.  One of the things I bought today was a plastic ball that's probably a bit smaller than a kickball.  I was thinking the boys might be at the point where they'd enjoy it.  And they do!  We were sitting in a triangle on the floor before dinner: Joel & G, Grady, and me & W, rolling the ball back and forth.  It was a good preview for the huge amount of fun we'll have in the future when the boys are actually capable of rolling the ball by themselves. :-)

I finished up my laundry and put it away before getting out the laptop to write up this post.  It feels good to start the week with everything clean and ready to go.  It doesn't last long!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Molars & Canines

So I came home from work yesterday and was greeted with the news that lo and behold, G has his first molar!  And it's obviously been there for awhile - it's his bottom right one.  I wasn't looking for molars yet, because he still doesn't have his bottom 4 front teeth yet - just his bottom 2.  So, just like with W where I wasn't looking for his molars because I thought the canines came in first, I missed the big appearance.  Oh well.  So far I only see the one molar, but apparently all 4 usually come in at about the same time.  Hopefully there's nothing wrong with the front incisors that haven't poked through yet.

W continues to be an early teether, with his top canines coming in just after Christmas as a 14 month old.
Not much other news, except that they were in giggly happy moods this morning when they woke up and I got to enjoy them for a few minutes before I had to head to work.  Excited that there's a whole weekend ahead of us!  Hopefully we'll get a chance to introduce them to snow for the first time, since there's plenty on the ground & the temps could reach 40 both days.  I'll try to get pictures if so - and then try to post them here!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bathtime = Happytime

So as of last night, it seems that suddenly W overcame his extreme fear of the bathtub.  I'd planned to do baths last night, given the fact that their last tub adventure was last Wednesday and they were due!  But I'd been dreading dealing with poor W's tears and refusal to sit in the tub.  Well, I did my usual, "Are we ready for the BATH?" and both of them started their giggling & heading to the bathroom.  (For some reason, W has been reacting with excitement about the prospect of a bath and yet still refusing to participate once it came time to go ahead with it, so this reaction last night wasn't anything different).  I planned to get G into the tub and wash him up while allowing W to play in the bathroom - so I babyproofed the room to allow for this.  But shockingly, W was watching G in the tub and looked for me to get him undressed so he could get in too.  So I went with it, and he LOVED it.  He did big BIG splashes and when Grandpa came in mid-bath to see what all the laughter was about, he ended up getting wet all the way from his perch on the toilet.  G followed W's lead with the splashing and my biggest problem ended up being removal of them from the tub!  This was such a fun experience that I briefly thought about asking Grandpa to go get the videocamera so I could document it, but decided to do it another time.  I'll hopefully be able to follow up with a fun bathtime video in a future post.

First Post (What a creative title!)

So I'm completely new to blogging and will attempt to keep my expectations of myself low.  Example: I have intentions to eventually password-protect this blog for the boys' privacy.  But, I have to actually look into how to do that and so I've decided to be OK with beginning before I've figured it out.

This is generally just a site that will allow me to easily keep a diary of sorts so that I can look back and remember things the boys have been up to, like their milestones and other fun things.  And it also lets me share these things with my Minnesota family & friends who don't get to see these things in person very often. So rather than emailing photos & messages about things, they'll be able to go to this website and see for themselves.

That's the idea anyway.  We'll see how things go!