Monday, January 31, 2011

A little closer now

Haven't blogged much lately - spending a lot of time during the days playing/interacting with my now smiling and gurgling little miracles.  What fun they are!  The winter may be forcing us to stay indoors (a fact that only SOMETIMES drives me batty), but there's lots of book reading, rattling, dancing, and bicycle legs happening instead.

As the girls approach the big three month mark (this Wednesday!), I snapped a few lovely shots of my little ladies - and got nice n close. 

Here is a sampling, alternating shots of each girl...know who is who? (hint: the first baby is Alex...)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bin 790 - A Mommy Review

So let's talk about something other than the babies. Well, kinda.  Because the only reason I even tasted Bin 790 food is because we had babysitters for the night - our first night out without the babies - and we wanted a nearby restaurant to hit, which in fact was plan B, since I am still dying to see Harry Potter, but the damn thing isn't playing on the weekends anymore. Boo.

But I digress. Bin 790, from a Mommy's perspective?  Great get away night restaurant. Fabulous ambiance. Small intimate tables (not great for large groups - in fact, impossible with so few tables). Okay, well, this Mommy had a tough time finding room on her table for the requisite iPhone display area!

Some cool things about the restaurant are that it is a Spanish Tapas restaurant, it has a good wine list and even a selection of wine flights (although no Spanish flights - I would have liked to see that).  They had an excellent Spanish Tempranillo/Cab Sauv blend that I ordered by the glass, and they accomodated that even though it wasn't offered by the glass. And, they even had one of my fave desserts - sticky toffee pudding - on offer!

The service was excellent, the prices tolerable (not cheap or overly expensive) and this particular Mom managed to occasional talk about something other than her babies. 

However she did NOT succeed in keeping her photos of the babies to herself...the waiter we had has now seen quite a few of them...

So.  I give this restaurant 4.5 out of 5 soothers. They lost points only on the slightly uncomfortable seats, a bit of a draft from the door where we sat, and because their Spanish wine list was a little lacking.

For the record, we had the following dishes:
Zambuca shrimp - yummy, creamy, sweet. 5 large shrimp
Bacon wrapped beef tenderloin - sooo good. 4 little bites with a bit of salad on the side
Green curry mussels - good portion size, very buttery and garlicy sauce, but in my books, that's great
Pulled pork areta - one of the best items on the menu; excellent
Ham croquetas - two of them, and delish!
And of course, the 790 antipasto platter.  Very frustrated that I forgot to get the names of the cheeses and one of the meats they served us.  Wanted to be able to look for them for our own presentation some day. May still ask...

In writing this post, I found this blog...looks to be an awesome source of recipes and info about tapas...

Although we loved our meal, and even had dessert, we were home within 2 hours, and when I took my daughter Alex into my arms, she promptly fell alseep, all cuddly-like. Tapa-what?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Trippy Dippy Times

Day trips, date nights, and even intercontinental travel - it's all beginning to happen!

Aside from the fact that I try, as much as possible, to get the three of us out of the house regularly, it has to be said that it's an energy draining exercise!  Take today's expedition, for example.  A first trip out to the office. So proud to introduce my girls to my coworkers and that of my husband.  Such a proud poppa.  Such a proud momma. Such a peaceful, sedate and special time...

Yah, it was special alright!  Let's see.  Poop bombs, monumental spit-ups, leaky boobs (yes, really, I forgot the breast pads, and ended up with a very dark, wet circle over my right boob) and a special - there's that word again - trip to the store by my coworkers to buy (yes, buy) a new outfit for the second twin, since the first had soiled her original outfit so bad that she already took the backup clothes and left nothing for the Spitup Queen. And that was just at MY former office...

What have I learned?  That my diaper bag, although great, will not house all the supplies I need for a day trip.  Also...I need to take a look at myself before I leave the house and make sure, you know, that I won't have obvious and strange side-effects visibly prevalent to all around me at awkward times. Aaand...perhaps it was ambitious to try hit two offices on the same day when I still have issues with breastfeeding and satisfying my little sweethearts.

I also infered - quite correctly I'm sure - that travel of a more elaborate nature will require some HEAVY planning.  Such as the trip down to Arizona to visit Grandma and Grandpa this spring.  I'm going to start thinking about how to coordinate and plan for it all now! Got tips?  Know of websites that help? I know they exist...

Also of note...and speaking of getting out...tomorrow night is the first night I will be without either or both of my babies for any time - it's DATE NIGHT and we have a friend and her daughter coming over to babysit. A big moment.  Wonder what that will feel like? What did it feel like the first time you left your baby home with a sitter/family member?

Trippy, I bet!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Slaphappy quiches and more breastfeeding woes

I want breakfast options...savoury breakfast options, and so this morning I quickly slapped together what I think are quiches.  No, folks, I have never made a quiche before - it's not my first choice - and I didn't have time to be painstaking.  Thus, I looked up 'quick quiche crust' online, slapped that together.  I doubled the recipe, ripped it in half, dumped it into a pan, and instead of rolling, pressed it into the pans.  I don't think I have enough dough (barely went up the sides) and it looked awful, but whatever, right?  Babies were fussing already in the playpen and I wanted to get it done!  Then, I 'guessed' at what the egg mixture should be, what the milk ratio oughtta be, and dumped a bunch of other ingredients in it.  Ham, asparagus, cheese, onion, mushroom and red pepper.  A real mashup. 

They are in the oven. I have no idea if they will work out.  Should be interesting.

Also interesting (or not, if you are sick of hearing about it) is the ongoing breastfeeding struggles.  Some days I wish I was just bottle feeding them.  Some days I hate breastfeeding. Some days I wish my baby hadn't been stuck in CHEO, stuck with so many tubes in her mouth, stuck until released to try learn to breastfeed after almost a month. And then other days I love breastfeeding.  As I've said before, it's the hardest job I have ever done.

Yes, I continue to struggle in two big areas.  One, I continue to have flow issues.  I don't have enough milk to satisfy my very voracious Alex, and certainly don't have enough left over for Hailey, whose suck is very light, very ineffectual, and who delatches if the letdown is too heavy, leaving Mommy to scramble and sop up the flowing milk pouring all over my clothes, the couch, the babies.  It's good times, I tell you.

And now, as you know from my last post, I have a baby who loves to hate breastfeeding. There's no telling if she will latch and when and for how long, and if she will instead freak out, crying that wailing "I'm so angry" way and beating her little fists against my breast.  It's NOT COOL when your baby is that upset. 

But still I persevere. And eat quiche. And ask for, and get, help.  Thank god for the help.  You are all fantastic resources and cheerleaders.

This morning, we had lovely skin-to-skin time in the ongoing effort to make this not only work, but make it enjoyable for all. It was lovely...pix to come.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Starting over - Another round of breastfeeding training

So this morning I took my daughters to an appointment at the hospital with an ear, nose, throat doctor who specializes in frenectomies. That is, she snips the little band of skin under the tongues of certain babies who have what they have nicknamed 'tongue-tie'.

First, can I just say that getting them fed, cleaned up, MOMMY cleaned up, packed up and out the door in time for a morning appointment is suicide with one person?  I got er' done, but we were a few minutes late, needless to say...

Back to the procedure.  A teeny bit traumatizing.  Blood coming out of your babies' mouths is never fun to see.  They were upset. I could only hold one baby to breastfeed/soothe at a time. Thankfully I had Daddy with me (good call Mommy!) and eventually we got them settled down.

Now the fun really begins...again.

By again, I mean that I feel like we have a clean slate again and it's time to give it one last college try to get my milk in at the level I need, get my two little girls feeding on the breast almost exclusively (I will never eliminate the bottle completely - are you crazy?  A little potential freedom is necessary my friends!!!), and see if we can get to the point where I can tandem feed.  This little last point is a biggie. 

Why?  Well, because when you are by yourself at home, there are inevitably many times during the day when both girls are fussy and hungry at the same time. It is not fun to know that you are picking and choosing which babies to make happy first, and leaving the other to cry.  Not fun at all.  I'd understandably like to eliminate this from my daily diet.

Now, a few hours after the procedure, I have an inconsolable baby on my hand.  Both, actually, have been highly fussy, but I'm being rejected by poor little Hailey, and in fact, she won't take a bottle either.  Nothing in her mouth at all, actually.  She's angry, she's upset, she's red and blotchy and has tears streaming down her face - she's fed up.  Just totally over being poked, prodded and cut. Mommy feels rejected, helpless and unable to help her baby. It's been a long afternoon...

Thank god for Daddy who came home, calmly rocked her, soothed her and has, after a good chunk of quiet time (and a little bit of baby Tylenol), succeeded in getting her to take the bottle I had prepared a good hour ago...She's taking it now, and I can feel the tension seeping out of my shoulders. Man, I am emotional these days...

This breastfeeding stuff, I have already said, is the hardest job I have ever taken on in my life.

I hope tomorrow is better, and every day after that is better and better. I really want this to work...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Connectivity and cool people

So a few weeks ago I caught a tweet from a twitter contact that said something to the effect of "I'm in the Christmas spirit.  I will give a free photo shoot to the first person who replies."

To which I, of course, replied..."am I too late?"

This woman, @cornPuppies on Twitter, agreed to come to our home (house call !) and take family shots of the four of us using natural light.  All I can say is WOW.  She took some incredible shots, and even one or two flattering shots of my husband and/or I - a feat that not many people can claim they have managed!!! What's really incredible is that she just loves photography as a hobby and doesn't want to move into any sort of paying gig, so this is sheerly for her fun - and our very appreciative benefit!

I have added some of the shots to the photo slideshow on this blog, but here are a couple faves:

More to come, as she is willing to come again and again to snap some photos as desired.  I will surely take her up on this. 

I cannot understate how beneficial it has been, for a variety of reasons, to be connected to wonderful people on social networks. It amazes me that anyone would NOT be on here, meeting great brains, lovely comedians, local artisans and personalities, and friends. It's truly a rewarding experience.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Insights for the New Mom Series - Anxiety

So, although not overtly intended to be advice, a lot of my recent posts could easily serve to help new expectant mothers (and especially mothers of multiples) prepare for what is to come.  I thought that here and there I would expressly write posts that detail experiences that I imagine can be universal, or unexpected, or issues that can crop up that would have been good to know beforehand.

Such as...anxiety.

I just never really gave much thought to how I would feel after the babies arrived in terms of stress or facing the challenges.  I DID worry about post-partum depression, but other than that, you just think "It'll be hard but so wonderful to finally be a Mom!".  But here's the thing.  I bet even the most experienced former babysitters who thought they would be 'naturals' at child-rearing have experienced anxiety in the early days. 

What do I mean by anxiety? I mean a full-on panicky feeling onset by a lack of sleep, fear of what lies ahead (like a long sleepless night when you are already exhausted, for instance), or feeling overwhelmed and knowing that there will be NO MORE relaxing, long sleeps or freedom from having a baby to worry about.  Yes, you are ecstatic to have successfully given birth to a (hopefully) healthy baby, but you have to face the emotions that you will feel when deprived of sleep, overwhelmed at the tasks ahead, and feeling like it won't end anytime soon. 

And, I have to say, that these feelings come in full partnership with guilt for even thinking this way, and cause a LOT of stress that both you and your baby will affect your breast milk production.  A vicious circle.

But it gets better. Don't think about the distant future. Just think about the hour to come and how the babies are happy and healthy and doing fine, and so are you.  Try to relax and know you are doing a good job.  Try to get help so that you can take a bath, or catch a nap, or go for a walk to get some fresh air.


And if you can't relax that night, then know that it gets easier, you get more accustomed to being a Mom, and yes, you will actually start to enjoy the demands placed on you and feel more than competent to handle them.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cat got your tongue, or just tied it up?

The challenges, trials and learning continue re: breastfeeding my little girls.  The latest challenge now is tongue-tie.  Yup...we think little Hailey may also (on top of her crazy first month of life and her ongoing struggles with reflux or aspiration or whatever is going on inside her little body) have an issue with her latch/sucking ability.

This means that all my efforts to bring in my milk enough for two, put them both on the breast and satisfy them is not truly working.  And the worst part is that not only is there an issue with Hailey not getting enough milk when she sucks, but also with her ability to help Mommy cultivate more milk.

So.  More strategy.  We are heading to another La Leche League free multiples breastfeeding group meeting tomorrow, hosted by my excellent lactation consultant, Beth, to have her have another look-see.  Then we have a meeting with our family doctor on Thursday. (OK, correction, we have our 2 month appointment for the girls, and all parents know what this's vaccine day.  NOT looking forward to this.  Two upset babies.  Ugh.  Not to mention sticking my precious littles.  But it has to be done, and compared to what we saw Hailey go through...) With our family doctor, we will further determine how to proceed, but likely we will want to fix this issue asap, or else have to continue with the status quo.  On top of this, my birth doula will be stopping in on Friday and she can also have a look.  That's three professional opinions.  I should have figured out by then what we are going to do.

What is the status quo? Well, it is an effort each morning until about 1 or 2pm to feed both girls exclusively on the breast.  This deteriorates throughout the morning into crankiness on the parts of both girls, but particularly Hailey, who doesn't feed well, delatches when there is good letdown, and gives up when the milk slows down. Breastfeeding Moms know that this means she gets mostly foremilk.  ALSO not good. 

Round about 1:30pm or so, I generally prepare a bottle of 1/2 breastmilk (pumped the night before, throughout the night, instead of sleeping through with the girls) 1/2 formula to tide her over.  I also have to give Alex a supplement of formula to make her happy.  It works, but it is certainly not ideal.

Yes, people, the whole breastfeeding thing is a challenge.  A massive one with twins.  I am on more medication (various pillls like domperidone, and herb capsule of fenugreek etc. plus pregnancy vitamins, iron supplements...) than I have ever been at any point in time in my life, to bring in milk. I have an elaborate system I have had to work out for breastfeeding, supplementing, sterilizing bottles, etc. and as mentioned, sacrifice sleep regularly in order to fulfill the goal.

And I have come to terms with this.  My girls have gotten a LOT of breastmilk.  They continue to get MOSTLY breastmilk. I may have been disappointed with this - heavy hearted even - before, but now? I'm mostly proud, actually.  I'm doing pretty darn well, given the background story we've been living. And what I have learned about breastfeeding could fill a damn book at this point.  It's nutso.

I'll keep you posted as to whether or not Hailey has to once again have a medical procedure done. She's an old hand at it...what's another small operation, right? (a really small one).

Any of you deal with tongue-tie? What was your experience?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Enough with the photos, right?

So I finally had a few minutes to finally figure out how to create a Flickr feed onto the blog, set up a page exclusively for the slideshow, and upload photos to my Flickr page.  This will mean that I don't have to post a million photos to my main page posts, but you can see all the latest shots on the latest photos tab on the top right of this blog.

It's still not fancy coding or design - one of these days I will take some training and do a much better job of this - but it's still cool and new and a better way to showcase my new and beautiful little family...

Do you have tips for me?  I know there are ways to upload photos from my mobile phone to Flickr? How does one do that? One day I hope to have time to figure that out too...

In the meantime, hope you like it!