Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 40 - Tough Going

My blog drought of late is due to a combination of busyness and, frankly, exasperation. These babes are exhausting. Little spirit-sapping resource sponges, the lot of 'em. I love them mercilessly; don't doubt that for a second. I decided, though, to post this less-than-peaches-and-cream report because it is reality.

There are a variety of (generally unsolicited) opinions regarding the level of difficulty to expect of twin rearing. One is that this moment in time, with infants, is by far the most difficult time we'll experience. Another is that this is the best of times; we will never again have it so easy. It's a different kind of difficult, right? A different kind of easy? I mean, it's doubtless that when the teen years roll in I'll experience a little nostalgia for these days.

I guess it's all about us. I don't mean that in a narcissistic way. I simply mean that it's all about our personal experience and how we handle the issues that arise to meet us along the way. At least, that's what I'm telling myself. Ok, it's about them.

The babes are growing and healthy. I'm thrilled about that. They're now smiling fairly regularly and seem to be experiencing more of their environment. I'm not yet convinced that they know me from the garbage man, but I'm sure that's on the horizon.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 33 - Cousinfest

Wifey's sister, her husband and their three kids are visiting for a week. The kids (9, 7, and 5) were, at first, a little nervous around the babes--hesitant to hold them. That was yesterday. Today is a different story. They're all but fighting over holding, carrying, and feeding them. Though I suspect this contention won't spill over into diaper changing, it's great to see the enthusiasm. How wonderful to have so many willing and extra hands to hold babies!

I have to say, these babies are pretty good restaurant patrons--and so far, travelers in general. Yes, I know that may well change as they get older, louder, and harder to appease. But it's nice at the moment; they just sleep.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 29 - Lashing Out

It seems a commonly held belief, amongst many women, that males are frequently and aggravatingly blessed with long, beautiful eyelashes--and that it's just not fair. I've never heard this from a man, but it seems to be a point upon which women love to commiserate socially. My boy does indeed have long, dark, thick eyelashes. (That I'm sure he'll be thrilled to display some day in Boy Scouts.) The amusing part, to me, is that whenever a woman says something like this, it's said in a way that sounds as if it's the first time they've ever said it.

Aha! But Girlie is getting quite the set of Maybellinesque lashes herself! Counter point and ammo for next time.

Went to the mall today for a little out & about time. They did SO well. They slept most of the time and I was able to stroll around a bit like a regular dude. With twins. By himself. 

When we got home, both diapers were totally clear. Weird, as we were gone for about 2-3 hours total. And scary, cause the dam was no doubt about to burst. Fortunately they waited until I was feeding them and completely immobilized. Only a small area on my pants leg was compromised. I've had worse.

Apparently, shopping is exhausting even when you're eleven weeks old. Pooped, but not too to poop.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 27 - Pooped Cupids

Happy Valentines Day!

I wanted to talk about a couple of things today. Firstly, we've started sleep training. (Which, when we say it aloud to anyone, is invariably followed by, "You, or the babies?" The world is a stage. Anyhow, Wifey bought this book upon recommendation:
Twelve Hours' Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old: A Step-by-Step Plan for Baby Sleep Success

Sounds like voodoo, given that our babes are in their 10th week and we've held a rather consistent 3-4 hour sleep interval up to this point. Granted, they're a little off schedule being preemies, but they've also been "learning" sleep for longer than they otherwise would have. So this is day three. It's hard to say I've seen progress--Girlie has become almost reliably fussy at bedtime. The past several nights she's cried for an inconsolable hour before settling down--and then only briefly before finally sleeping a stretch. Boy has been remarkable--almost TwinPop-like in his thirst for sleep. Frankly, the prospect of 8+ hours of sleep is not only unfathomable, but it also makes me salivate just a little. (Insert Homer Simpson drooling sound: gahwahghahwa).

I've also been meaning to talk a bit about our first (and now first few) restaurant outings with the babes. Our first was with some visiting family to a local pizza joint. But I should back up if I'm to properly explain why this is such a big deal to me. Have you ever been to a movie at which somebody has decided to bring a screaming infant--or a noisy, wandering toddler? I just don't get it. Wifey and I are a little geeky in our love for loud action adventures--something we're sadly putting on hold for a while. Shortly before the babes' arrival, we went to see some alien invasion flick, rated R I might add, and we were shocked to see a family in attendance with both of the examples I've just mentioned. It was shocking not only due to their obliviousness towards their own brood, but also because of the apparent selfishness that says, "We can't wait for a babysitter, or for a DVD release--we have to go tonight!" The content of the film no doubt went over the kids' heads--so I guess that's a plus. But the volume of the action sequences certainly did not go over, but instead through and consequently out of their heads.

As a long time non-parent--by choice--I have developed perhaps an overly thin skin when it comes to this type of parental behavior. The aggressive arm-jerking of exasperated parents on their screaming children in supermarkets across the country has left me hypersensitive towards intolerant and apathetic parenting. That being said, I know it's impossible to judge until I've walked in the shoes of those I criticize. Still, it encourages me that I have so far retained this hypersensitivity. I refuse to let my children cry and fuss at levels that disturb fellow patrons. I will pick them up and escape to the car or at the very least (weather permitting) to the parking lot. Why is this so mystifying for some?

So, back to our first outings. They went very well--it is so nice to get out. It's felt a little like being in a zoo. To take nothing away from those who have blessed us with their presence and assistance, it feels like being viewed and fed without the ability to venture out into the plains, the jungle, or--in our case of late--the frozen tundra.

Our second one was interesting in that there was a long line in the restaurant's entryway. The babes in their car seats were somewhat paraded about as people in the queue ogled. Again, more with the baffled twin-questions and declarations:
"My sister has twins." I was informed.
"Cool," I wanted to say, "I used to have a grandmother."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 25 - Relative Quiet

We've had a fairly steady stream of guests lately. It's been extraordinarily great--very helpful. In addition to the babes and the challenges they hold, Wifey's health has really benefited from the help. Sometimes it's just nice to have another set of hands. I really value my family--old and new. Wait, I mean existing and newer. Never mind. 

Today the babes are out and about with Wifey and Wifey Mom & Pop. That leaves me here at home. ALONE. (Slaps hands to cheeks and screams in the mirror.) This is great. I'm gonna [try to] sleep! Not sure I've been alone in a while. I hope I remember how to get along with myself.

The babes continue to smile more and have begun to grow out of their first clothes. I was hoping they'd stay in the same clothes at least until they started school. Nobody told me I'd have to keep buying new clothes. Sheesh.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 23 - Tag Team, Round 1 of 7,450

Not much to say today other than that the babes sure seemed to be on the same page today. In other words, one screamed while the other slept. Reverse and repeat. All day long.

I had a brief fantasy that I might sneak a nap in this afternoon. Hehe. Haha. Bwahahahahh. Ehem. Hehe.

I remembered a thought today that I had during the babes' two-week stay in the NICU. I Remember feeling just a hint of sadness that their cries were so soft and squeaky--a little anemic sounding, really. Any trace of that sadness has been obliterated, my friends. Yessiree.

It's SO stinking cold out this week--negative double digits overnight and no positive doubles during the day. Not that I'm a weather wimp--I just wish I could take the babes outside. REALLY looking forward to spring.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 20 - Coming Up for Air

Friends, I'd like to give you my perspective on sleep deprivation. At first, it seems just like typical fatigue--as in a long weekend partying, etc. It's frustrating in that, if you're accustomed to it, sleep seems so elusive but so desirable. Then the fatigue mutates. I place hallucinations (mind you I'm referring only to fatigue-induced hallucinations) squarely between stages one and two on the deprivation scale. (Oh how I've longed for a return to stage two.) At this point you lose all track of time. For example, in addition to never knowing what day it is, I also generally have no idea how much was consumed or at what time the previous feeding took place.

There's something about the start-and-stop nature of sleeping--like perpetual power naps--that is especially draining over the course of several weeks. Although I choose not to go into greater detail here, Wifey has had some health issues of late that have added some more stress--and a good deal more sleep deprivation to the family dynamic. I mention this because it further illustrates my perspective here. I've felt rather zombiesque lately. With some family generously offering their time and assistance over the past few weeks I've started to notice what I can only describe as a light at the end of a tunnel (<---notice the indefinite article). 

Problem is that it's been just out of reach. To me, it's totally analogous to being asthmatic and struggling to catch my breath. Wifey rules, friends. Last night I caught my breath. I slept 8 hours straight. It was the longest stretch of sleep I've had since November 29th. 

I also want to mention that although the great blizzard of '11 has come and gone, the accompanying stress of that certainly had a hand in keeping the household a little more off balance. It continues to be unexpected the unexpected things that arise. Wasn't that deep?

As this is supposed to be a blog about the babes, let me come back full circle to them. I know that my level of fatigue has impacted them. I'm grumpier, have less tolerance and am probably less adept at comforting any fussiness that comes up. I'll just proceed as though this realized respite will indeed make an improvement in this regard.

They are doing beautifully. We think that Boy's diaper rash is finally starting to turn the corner. (That reads oddly now that I look at it. Oh well.) They're both gaining weight appropriately and are thriving. I feel so recharged at the moment--really hoping the charge lasts for another couple of months. :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day ??? - I hardly know my name

The babes are just fine--but I'm not feeling particularly verbose today. Some of you know what's going on--but if you don't, it's nothing personal. I simply don't feel compelled at this time to blog (or facebook) about junk that's less-than-positive. I'm sure everything will work out--at least I'm optimistic about it. Loving wifey extra today. And extremely thankful for family.

Still, very, very drained.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 14 - Twins? Snow Pain, Snow Gain

Today was the babes' second Synagis vaccine. Still a little leery of vaccines in general, but the evidence is mounting against the nay-sayers. This week, anyhow. This particular vaccine is over $2,000 per baby--once per month for three months. Fortunately our deductible will be fulfilled rather quickly. Yay--I think. :\

In venturing out to the clinic, the babes and I were out in the earliest stages of this [promised] storm o' the century. It's amazing how much heavier two infant seats feel when snowflakes are stinging your face. I was pleased to have more than one door opened for me. Thank you, people.

As the kids were getting shot, I pondered the possibility of keeping the doctors' office as pleasant an experience as possible--as they grow. I don't recall ever hating the doctor, but I can imagine getting soured on the notion pretty quickly when all you get are shots. I doubt that suckers and stickers are enough bribery for the average kid. Am I wrong?

What we're really happy about is that the babes are much more equipped now for public excursions. We'll be braving....ulp....restaurants fairly soon. I've forgotten what those things look like from the inside. Chuck E. Cheese, anyone? Gack. They might as well serve petri dish pizzas. Maybe with hazmat onesies.