Monday, February 28, 2011

A little more like me

Okay that did it.  I just saw Celine Dion on the red carpet.  Damn bitch looks the same as she always has.  What the hell?  She just had twins too, or so I am told?


Yes, I'm tough on myself, but boy, did these two little goobers (and the three prior miscarriages) take a toll on my previously toned body. I've been focused on breastfeeding, and trying to enjoy my girls. I've taken time to fit in housecleaning and laundry.  I've even fit in salsa babies and some snowshoeing.  But if I am honest?  I've been avoiding looking at myself or doing anything about myself.

I feel like crap.

Don't get me wrong - I'm happy as a clam.  The joy these two bring to my life is immeasurable, but I've been at the precipice of body reality awakening before. I know this feeling. I know what a huge battle I have ahead of me to tackle getting back to a level of fitness and diet/lifestyle that makes me happy. It's a LOT of work. And I feel defeated at the thought of trying to fit this into the new life I am now leading, you know?  Add to this that I think I may have issues with my stomach muscles (see my post under #4 about these issues), and I'm scared that if I don't act now, I won't ever get rid of this weird belly shape I am currently rocking.

I've done it before. I've been trained by the best. I've been a poster child for Greco Lean & Fit losing 29 pounds and 7.5% body fat in 10 weeks. I've worked under former Greco trainer Maryse, who is exceptional and now runs her own business (and, I might add, produces her own great videos and tips).

But it meant strict diet. It meant a heavy level of commitment. And it meant time, that I frankly don't have these days!  That said?  We head to the sunshine of the desert shortly for 2.5 weeks. I will have the opportunity to swim, hike the mountains, go for jogs if I decide to try, and just generally, I will be able to get active again.  Will that be enough?  Well, for the time I am there, yes, but when I am back here?  Nope.  I will have to do those ab exercises (blech) and I will have to turn down the chips, the chocolate, the fast food meals and then figure out how to work all the activity in between time with my baby girls.  Not easy.

But necessary. necessary.

I won't look like Celine, but then...I really don't want to.  I just want to look like me again.  Ya know?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Way back when...

Things are moving so fast.  I want to slow them down. I'm excited by the new developments and dream of all the cool things the twins will soon be able to do, but just indulge me for a moment as I go backwards.  I have a slight cold, thus my slight tip toward nostalgia.

The other day, I downloaded photos and videos from our very high-tech and lovely videocamera. I love this camera. So easy to use.  However...not so easy to figure out how to format, edit and reduce the size of the videos, so videos will not be posted today.  That said, the video camera takes photos.  The photos downloaded included many from the day the babies were born.

What do I remember from that day? Panicky fear, extreme jubilation, rising trepidation, fuzzy snapshots of activity, the feel of my baby in my arms and against my chest, the feeling of having my other baby held at arm's length and taken away, helpless to change that fact. I can't even begin to describe the kaleidoscope of emotions that day conjures up.

Here, a few snapshots from that day.

There's nothing more to say. This momentous day will forever be etched in my deepest places, and although these shots are all of my little Alex, both of my little girls are my heart and my soul. I am so very very blessed.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Insights for the New Mom Series - Primping

I was quickly brushing my teeth the other day and realized I hadn't done a good job of it lately.  Cleaning my teeth, that is.  And that got me to thinking; had I done a good job of my personal upkeep in general?  No.  I was always in such a rush, being alone with two babies, that it seemed like the last priority. 

But you know what?  It shouldn't be.  Taking a shower should not be about washing away the bare minimum in order not to smell bad!  'Wiping' down my teeth in a half-hearted attempt to get the obligation out of the way in order to crawl into bed 30 seconds sooner should not be standard practice. Skipping your daily shower and not washing your face should not be in the cards. And landscaping shouldn't be a term now exclusive to the backyard! 

Ladies.  The baby/babies can wait an extra 5 minutes.  If they are in their crib, or their bouncy chair, or their swing, then you can take a little time for YOU. You can allow yourself to take some nice, deep breaths in the shower.  Better yet, you can draw a bubble bath and let your husband care for the baby for 20 minutes in the evening. (But in my household we have a horrid bathtub. It's something I really, really miss. I love baths. I want a bath.  REALLY want a nice hot soak. Is there a bathtub fairy I can appeal to?) But I digress.  Really, you can! can certainly take the proper time it takes to avoid cavities by brushing those molars in rhythmic circular motion well - it's important!

Oh...and while you're at it?  Find some time to 'hug' your husband. (I leave it to you to interpret that how you wish to.) Intimacy, even just looking into each other's eyes and having a nice smooch brings you back from baby abyss and reminds you how your love created these amazing creatures. They need it. You need it. The marriage needs it. And the baby/babies will benefit.

That is all.  Take care of yourselves ladies!

Please note: The publishers of this blog post don't necessary endorse nor practice the recommendations included herein, but aspire to achieve this state of zen. In actual fact, most days removal of bad odours in indeed the function a quick shower provides, and hair, makeup, 'landscaping' etc. is the stuff of legendary and mythical supermoms.

Hitting my stride

As a new Mom you get totally sick of hearing the following phrase: "It gets so much easier when they hit 3 months old!".

Well, I'm here to tell you it is totally true!  My girls are so friggin' fun now - they are observant, grasping onto things, crying less, eating well, laughing and giggling aaaaaand......SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT.  Rare is the night when either of them wakes up to eat, and if they do, you can tell they are going through a growth spurt, and you may benefit from lots of extra sleep through the daytime as a result.

So...all you new Mamas out there?  Just hold on!  It gets better....

Unless, of course, you are some of the lesser group of poor Moms who have a colicky baby or one that just simply doesn't sleep well.  I know some of them, and I don't know how they do it.

But then, I hear women say those words directed at me, and I feel like I am really lucky and have great babies.  It's not even all that hard right now. And really?  I cannot WAIT until they can sit up and play with each other.

Some new things they do:
  • They smile IMMEDIATELY when you smile at them.
  • They grasp onto things easily and don't always let go.
  • They look at each other and smile or giggle; and
  • They laugh - especially, it seems, when they see each other or themselves in the mirror. (We got video of this yesterday with Hailey and love it.  Such an amazing memory to capture, even if we only caught the tail end of it on video - it took me so much by surprise, since it was her first full on laugh, and it lasted a good minute!  Too cute.)
Every day I see new developments - so fun.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Protecting my thoughts

CANNOT believe I never backed up my blogs before tonight.  Such a simple thing to do, I discovered, and how stupid was I to leave it this long?  I would be devastated if I ever lost all these thoughts, photos, memories, connections, comments etc.

This is the link that told me how to do it, but really?  Go to the dashboard, hit settings, click on 'export' and then export it to save it on your computer.  Easy peasy.

If you have a blogger blog, do this.  Do it now. And often.

That is all.

Oh, and have a good weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

New strategies, tough choices, mixed emotions

I have decided I have had enough of having my sweet and good-natured baby turn into a screaming mess at my breast. It's time to throw in this towel and have more and better feedings with calm connection and smiles. Thus, with a bit of a heavy heart, I have decided it's time to take my little Hailey off of breastfeeding and keep it to bottles only. Mommy is admittedly sad about this but it's just causing too many challenges and stressing us both out to continue. So with that said, I now am committed to another few months of nighttime pumping, sacrificing uninterrupted sleep so that she can have a mix of breastmilk and formula, since I just really want to try make it to 6 months breastfeeding and/or giving breastmilk to them.

Alex, however, is still a great feeder, so I am able to at least breastfeed her.

But you know what? I just love seeing my little sweetheart looking up at me, drinking heartily, and smiling while sucking her bottle. Surely that is still bonding, and is far better than pleading, manipulating, squirming and crying (by both parties) all in an effort to breastfeed?

I certainly think so.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Have babies, will travel

It's on, baby.  We will be heading down to Arizona to visit grandma and grandpa this spring.  Multiple planes with multiple babies. Hubby flying down with the three of us, then flying back home, then flying down again for a few days, then flying back again with the three of us.  Are we nuts? Am I crazy?  I think I may be, but I also think the trade-off (sunshine, swimming, hiking, seeing my parents) will ultimately be worth it.

Worth what?  Well, time will tell, but for starters, getting these two little goobers passports!  Not easy when your babies don't even sit up yet!  It was so funny dragging them to the mall after a recent outing to a friend's baby baptism. They were tired and getting hungry.  Not a great combo for plunking them into a bumbo, holding them in place and expecting them to look with rapt attention at the camera!  I only hope the shots won't be rejected, which, by some accounts, happens fairly often with infant photos???  Egad, I don't want to do that again, and frankly, we won't have time, so cross your fingers for us.  How did the shots turn out, you may wonder?  Hilarious!  So funny!  And yes, almost identical.  But ya know...Mommy can spot the difference!

Other issues we need to work out:
What to bring, and what Grandma and Grandpa can scrounge up for us. Things like: cribs/playpens, pump rentals (still on the fence about how much longer I want to get up throughout the night to pump and supply extra breastmilk...just how long do I want to do this, I keep asking myself?), strollers, bouncy chairs, etc.  I think they have scrounged a few items already, but more to work out.  Trying to avoid taking any large items save for the car seats.

What we can/can't take with us without another charge - i.e. how many bags will they allow, what extras will they charge for, should/can we check out car seats safely or bring them to the gate with us (and then, correspondingly, what the heck do we do with all the carry on luggage plus car seats when we have to change planes and get to another terminal etc. as well as carry both babes)

What I can/cannot take onto the plane in terms of bottles, formula, breastmilk, water and food for Mommy etc. We currently use concentrated liquid formula and I always mix it with breastmilk...what is going to be allowed without delaying us or causing all sorts of issues?  Can I take some icewater to stay properly hydrated (I hate warm water)? Can I bring proper snacks instead of being forced to buy fast food (although frankly?  I'm all over fast foods and sugery goodness at any time these days, but it's not the best choice, even if I AM burning more calories each day with breastfeeding).

Am I going to get grief from the flight attendants for breastfeeding or bottle feeding the babies on takeoff and landing to ease the pressure transition issues?  I heard there is a real contradiction in terms of the position you have to hold them in vs. how hard it is on their ears if they aren't swallowing something...

What to pack for the time of year down there (but then, that's the ongoing issue for Arizona) because it can be really warm during the day and cold at night, but also because we have to pack for the four of us now, and Mommy's body is insane right now, so clothes don't fit her...(yeah, I'm refering to myself in the third person. Doing that far too often these days, I've noticed.)

What did you other Mommies do?  What tips do you have for me? Any recent experience out there?

Luckily there are fantastic people on Twitter like @hvbabywilltrvl and their amazing site with great advice on traveling with babies and toddlers. So many great articles and travel lists to help us get organized.  It's a start, anyways!

Ah.....on a day that started with strong biting wind and ended with heavy snowfall, I think we're crazy not to go. Sunshine and tumbleweeds (and pools, tennis, golf and mountain hiking) here we come!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Stumbling toward normalcy

This is it, folks!  Tonight I suit up to play competitive volleyball with my women's team. Not sure they, or I, know what we've gotten ourselves into!  A few notes about my current status:

a) my feet grew, so I have exactly two pairs of shoes I can wear.  Thankfully, one of those pairs are cross-trainers, but they certainly aren't my former volleyball court shoes.  I'm very happy that I have two ankle braces, just in case I go over on them.

b) I found ONE pair of shorts that will work for tonight.  This is better than I anticipated. I was breaking out in cold sweats (pun not intended originally, but...) at the thought of what the heck I could wear on bottom to play in.

c) There are no jerseys that will cover this stomach right now. I still don't know what I will do, but worse case I will wear a jersey of my husbands and hope they don't charge my team their bond money due to the fact that I don't have a proper team jersey on.

d) I believe I may have an issue with this malformed/odd belly of mine. I think I have diastasis recti, and may even have a herniated belly button. I haven't had time to start to rebuild/rectify this issue.  Have no idea how it will impact my ability to play.

e) While I was able to swim during my pregnancy, I generally took it REALLY easy, not only due to my baby Hailey's condition, but because prior we had had three miscarriages, and I frankly didn't want a single reason to point to that may have impacted a fourth. This meant that:

f) It has litterally been a full year since I played volleyball.  This is gooonnnnna hurt!

That said?  SO EXCITED.