Thursday, December 19, 2013

Aesthetically Pleasing...Yeah Okay...

Dear Moms,

Do you remember spending amazing amounts of time getting ready to go out? Doing your hair, your makeup, nails, the whole bit?

My original Mypace picture! (2004...oi...)

Thanksgiving 2011

Ah the distant memories of tanning, and dying, and acrylic, and wax. Long past are the days of stress free "primping" and taking all the time in the world to decide what to wear before leaving the house...for the grocery store, or some other ridiculous, who cares, trip.

Makeup...to go nowhere....

These days I'm lucky if I am out of sweatpants or spandex for such excursions, and I usually have my 2 hot new accessories with me when I go: The Twins. And thank goodness, because no one sees me or has any idea that I haven't brushed my hair all day when they are distracted by cuteness in a pair.

I used to think that there was some necessity to all of it, looking a certain way. Now it's pretty much whatever. My days are full, I mean FULL, and the last thing that I am going to worry about is what my hair looks like. I have two little people who want to play, and throw balls under the couch (where the cat hair is) and have me retrieve them....over....and over....and over.... And when they get tired they usually like to have a snack, and wipe most of it on my pants and in my hair.

Now...literally...right now

Jeanette from the Chipmunks...what my hair looks like 99% of the time...minus the cute bow (sigh)


see?

Yes there are date nights and special occasions that I give myself a once over with mascara or what not, but other than that, it's seriously not a focus at the moment. Aesthetics and image are really pretty stupid if you ask me, I mean, who honestly cares? I'm not promoting giving up on yourself in any way, my health and fitness are very important to me, but as far as the Pretty Pretty Princess shit goes, why? Last I remember, no one cared when I did all that crap anyway. I never changed the world with my tan or helped any one with my blonde highlights, and I sure as hell didn't get anything out of my nails other than injured nail beds.

Now listen, if you can pull of managing a household, wrangling one year old twins, and helping with your husband's fitness business in heels with perfectly manicured hair, you go with your bad self and I am impressed. But if you are like me, and I'm guessing the lot of us, then lay off yourself and stop stressing over the bullshit, because that's what it is. You don't need to look like Miss America to be doing the absolute best job that anyone could be doing for your family. Stop shaming yourselves in the mirror and think about all of the really important and amazing things that are happening around you right at this moment.
My favorite picture of myself, because it includes my greatest accomplishments.

xoxoxo
Jeanette.... I mean, Claire

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I'm Sick. My Baby Is Sick. Now What?

Coincidentally I have been asked by three different moms today if they should continue to breastfeed their children while either a) mom is sick or b) baby is sick. The reason they came to me about it is because their children's pediatricians/nurses told them to a) stop breastfeeding altogether b) stop breastfeeding during the illness or c) pump and offer bottles of breast milk. These women didn't feel that they were being given correct information. They asked what I would do if it were me or the twins.
This picture is a riot. (apronstringsattached.com)

Well, what I would do, and what I have done, is NURSE ON. What these doctors and nurses told these moms is the most asinine thing I have ever heard. Breast milk is like medicine, it is full of antibodies from the mother's body, and it is the absolute best thing that can be given to your baby if it is available, ESPECIALLY if you or your baby is sick. If mom is sick, then baby is getting all of those wonderful antibodies for that illness, on top of all of the other ones they were already getting. This means your baby likely won't catch what you have, and if they do it will be very short lived. If baby is sick, then they need all of mom's antibodies so much more than they normally do. The rare exceptions to this include if mom has HIV, HTLV-1, or is on medications that can pass through the milk and pose harm to the baby.

  • The best thing you can do for your baby when you’re sick is to continue to breastfeed. When you have a contagious illness such as a cold, flu, or other mild virus, your baby was exposed to the illness before you even knew you were sick. Your milk will not transmit your illness to baby, but it does have antibodies in it that are specific to your illness (plus anything else you or baby have been exposed to) – they’ll help prevent baby from getting sick, or if he does get sick, he’ll probably not be as sick as you.        
  • During any “ordinary” illness such as a cold, sore throat, flu, tummy bug, fever, mastitis, etc. you should continue to breastfeed. Just remind your doctor you are nursing so that if medications are needed he can prescribe something that is compatible with breastfeeding. Most medications are safe to take while breastfeeding, and for those that are not recommended there is almost always an alternative medication that is safe. -http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/illness-surgery/mom-illness/

Thursday, December 12, 2013

I. Hate. Running.

Really. I do.

Running sucks. It's hard. It can be boring. It can be painful. It can be a lot of things.

I run just about every single day. Sometimes 1 mile. Sometimes 10 miles. Hating every second of it.

But I have a really good reason for hating to run. I was born with a club foot. Symtoms? "The appearance is unmistakable: the foot is turned to the side and it may even appear that the top of the foot is where the bottom should be. The involved foot, calf, and leg are smaller and shorter than the normal side. It is not a painful condition. But if it is not treated, clubfoot will lead to significant discomfort and disability by the teenage years." http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00255

left foot before surgery, you can no longer see the bone separation near the ankle
So basically I had the severe case. The top of my foot was where the bottom should have been. The leg itself was turned inwards. My mom was told I would never walk. I was casted as an infant, but this non surgical treatment did little to correct the problem. I had surgery to release some of the tendons in the leg when I was 3. This allowed my leg to grow at a similar rate to the other. I spent all of my "growing" years sleeping in a leg brace. All I can say about this is OUCH! To this day I remember how painful it was, and awkward! Who can sleep in metal leg braces?

I did ballet when I was 4 and apparently complained of leg pain, so after that I was never allowed to do sports, ballet, dance, run, etc. Too much stress on the leg and ankle was risky. I ran around with kids and played, but that was about it.

Then I went away to college. And I decided to take up running. Yeah....

I realized that the pain that I feel all day, everyday, sitting, standing, walking, etc. is somewhat lessened when I am running. Not by much, but somehow running helps alleviate swelling, pain, and general discomfort in the leg.

In 2009 I was in so much pain everyday that I couldn't take it. The bones in my foot felt like they were grinding against each other no matter what I was doing, and I decided to see a surgeon about my options. He told me that no matter what I had been doing, running or not, I would have gotten to that point. Basically, because I don't have most of the muscle most people do from the calf down in the leg, and only about 40% of the intact tendons and ligaments, the foot is having to do extra work to support my body. He told me my option was to have the bones in the top and sides of my foot surgically fused, which would provide more support. Not a permanent fix, but if I didn't do it, he gave me 6 years before my ankle gave out on me. So, we did it.
1st Turkey Trot 5K just after Steve and I began dating :)

3rd Disney 1/2 2012
Prior to the surgery I ran less than 8 minute miles for close to 10 miles a day, everyday. I was wrecked when he told me I may never run again, and if I did it wouldn't be at that pace. I had the surgery June 29, 2009. I spent 8 weeks in casts, 3 weeks in a walking cast, and 5 weeks in a walking boot. I took my first steps on the foot in late October, and I ran my first half marathon on January 9, 2010 with a finish time of 2 hours 14 minutes. It snowed in Florida that day. I was in pain for days after. But I wouldn't change having done it for anything. I ran 3 more half marathons in the 4 months following. To this day I have run 8 halfs and way to many 5K/10K races to count.
Twilight 5K when the babies were 5 months old
Running sucks. I hate training. I hate sprints. I hate bridges and hills. But I run. I train. I sprint. I run bridges and hills every chance I get. Because I wasn't supposed to walk. And I can. I can run. And I am so grateful for those facts, and my ridiculous legs that I can't stand, they look horrible, but they are my greatest feature. They are strong and capable of anything. I can run again, and I just recently ran the fastest mile, sub 7:30, I ever have in my life. Proving surgeons wrong, one run at a time :)

One day my foot and ankle will eventually take a dive, and at that point I will need an ankle replacement and possible subsequent fusions. When that day comes, unless technology improves drastically by then, I won't be able to run and jump anymore. So you better believe I will run every mile, do every burpee, do every squat jump, and take every physical opportunity that comes my way.

Don't take your body for granted. If you have the ability, use it, that's what it's there for!

right leg in foreground, defined calf, left leg in background, no calf muscle

interior scars

exterior scars, no defined ankle, misshapen toes

left vs right

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

This May Be War

I wasn't going to, but I've decided to weigh in on this issue. There's this new mom Caroline Berg Erikson, she is a wife to pro soccer player Lars-Kristian Eriksen. She's beautiful, she's a fitness blogger, and she recently gave birth to a daughter. Then, four days later, she decided to take and tweet a selfie of her postpartum body. I hate selfies, but I get it, document the after birth stuff. Document your progress. I did that. She wrote the caption "I feel so empty...4 days after birth." Then I saw the picture. And I was wondering if there was a webpage malfunction. I literally wondered if it was a real picture. Oh, it was.

The picture? Well here it is:
Erikson http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/mom-under-fire-post-baby-body-selfie-215700858.html

At first I was like "Hey cool! Go you!" But then I read some of the comments about the picture, and I thought about what she was really striving for by posting it. I mean look at her posture. Her expression. Her choice of clothing. Is anything about the picture saying "I feel so empty"? What is her point? It looks a little more like she's saying "Look how awesome I look! I just had a baby and I bet I look better than you!" which would be sort of alright, kind of (not really, but I'm trying hard to see this from her point of view...postpartum hormones make women nuts). Unfortunately I also know that she spoke openly about a very minimal raw/vegan diet while pregnant that caused her followers to wonder if she was providing enough nutrients to her then unborn baby. Based on this information I can't respect her or her picture. By all accounts she limited herself to the bare minimum during her pregnancy so as not to put on any weight, and she lucked out on the swelling and/or placement of her uterus. Posting this picture makes other women, moms or not, feel like failures. It's unrealistic, it's unhelpful, it's selfish. Where is the baby? I'm sure her followers would have rather seen a picture of her newborn daughter than her cleavage in a push up. Some of her critics are claiming she declared war with other moms by posting the picture. I'm sure she didn't mean to, but I think she may have.

Kang http://www.mariakang.com/
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=685144034849888&set=pb.284697751561187.-2207520000.1386117372.&type=3&theater

I have publicly stood behind Maria Kang, the fitness dedicated mom of three who was recently banned from Facebook for standing by her comments that glamorizing obesity is a bad idea for our society. But honestly, who disagrees with that? Obesity is a problem of titanic proportions in our country, we shouldn't try to dress it in heels and make it look sexy, I'm sorry if that offends, but I would like to think that my children and theirs have a brighter future than the human race in the movie Wall-E. Maria has also been honest about the work it takes to be fit and raise a family. So have I. It's damn hard. That's the point I'm trying to make. It doesn't happen instantaneously, and if you are going to be a "fitness blogger" then maybe try being helpful. Share what you are doing, what is working for you, but for God sakes don't portray it as easy and effortless. Erikson was doing nothing more than being a narcissist. Nice abs Honey, maybe you should go enjoy and hold your daughter, who I'm sure will have a very healthy body image growing up....

Here's mine (my whole fitness journey can be found in previous posts, namely the "WTF Happened To My Body" ones):

last pregnancy picture

2 days postpartum in NICU

2 weeks postpartum

7 weeks postpartum
my behind...one year later

My journey with fitness is about being healthy and fit for my kids. If that means I am comfortable in a bikini at the beach, sweet, but it will never be about "looking great in my underwear." I want to be able to run and jump and chase my guys all over the place for as long as I can. That is all. Please don't buy into the glamorization of narcissism, whether it's to make obesity sexy or make new moms feel like they aren't good enough. It's societal crap. Just be healthy, be comfortable, be you.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thankful


With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, and the Facebook trend of saying what you are thankful for each day in November, I thought I'd write a post about what I am thankful for. I am not with it enough to keep up with that Facebook stuff, I know myself well enough to know I would maybe get up to day 4 and say to hell with it. So here it is.

1. I am thankful for my husband. He is the hardest working, most dedicated man I have ever met. He does everything in his power to make our life fun and worry free. He is the best father to our twins. He's funny, compassionate, and ridiculously handsome. I have no idea what I would do without him.
could totally look at him all day

2. I am thankful for my children. They are the cutest things I have ever seen, and they are so sweet. Watching them experience the world is the absolute best thing. They give hugs and kisses all day everyday. It totally doesn't hurt that they sleep from 6pm to 8am nearly every night...

3. I am thankful for my friends. I don't know how many people would be willing to break plans to hang out with a mom who doesn't want to drink wine alone, but my friends do it all the time, and thank goodness, because I don't have to feel like an alcoholic!

4. I am thankful for my dad and my stepmom. They are the most supportive parents anyone could hope for. They are always available to spread a little positivity when it's needed, play with the twins, and have weekly family dinners. They are such wonderful people, and I am very lucky to have them as parents.

5. I am thankful for my body. It is this amazing machine that allows me to do the things I want. It created 2 babies, at once! It got stronger than it's ever been after they were born. It takes the beating I give it on a daily basis and hardly ever complains. It has been feeding my babies since before they were born, and it's still up for the task. I used to want to change it, but now I just want to take care of it.

6. I am thankful for cloth diapers. Without them I would have spent close to $2,500 on diapers in the first year of the twins' life.

7. I am thankful for The Stomping Ground. This gym is our second home. The relationships we have built there are worth more than anything. The blood, sweat, and tears I left there has given me the strong body that I have. It's more than a gym, it's kind of like therapy.

8. I am thankful for Strap Perfect bra strap clips. Seriously. They have made my nursing bras look sexy. Basically makes it a miracle product.
9. I am thankful for music. It is so important in my life for so many reasons.

10. I am thankful for this blog. It allows me to reach out to people that I otherwise would never know. It has created relationships, spread information, and even changed a few lives.

11. I am thankful for my mom friends! Thank you for reminding me that I am not crazy, that whatever is going on is normal, and that we can all get through this parenting thing as long as we stick together (especially when our kids become teenagers and conspire against us...)

12. I am thankful for my many years teaching elementary school. You've made parenting twins seem like a lunch break.

13. I am thankful for the house and neighborhood I live in. There's no way I could ask for anything more suited to my personality, and there can't possibly be a better street to live on. I mean, we all have twins!

14. I am thankful for coconut water. And veggie burgers. And almond butter. You three are delicious and I love you.

15. I am thankful for the fact I don't have cable television. Instead, I have a life.

16. I am thankful for my ability to stay home with my children. I know so many people who want that opportunity, and I am truly grateful that I have it. It is the best job in the whole world.

17. I am thankful for 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioners. I have no shame saying I use one, and I love it. Cuts my shower time in half (which is important when you have one year olds are screaming on the other side of the shower curtain).

18. I am thankful for Gorilla Glue. It fixes everything.


19. I am thankful for the birth of the twins. It was a horrible experience, but it taught me so much, and I know any future children I have will not be born under those conditions. My husband and I have so much education regarding the topic now that we wouldn't have without things being the way they were.

20. I am thankful for our military and the freedoms that I have because of them. No one truly knows what those men and women go through to protect us, and not a day goes by that I don't remember that.

21. I am thankful for my work ethic. I have never been lazy, and thank goodness, because I can't be!

22. I am thankful for the wonderful photographers in my life! Because of you I have fantastic photos of my babies and our first year together. Maggie Dillon, Corrine Fuller, Arielle Monaghan, Peter Acker. You guys are all fabulous and ridiculously talented.

23. I am thankful for my breast pump. Thanks to you I have just donated my 3,000th ounce of milk!

24. I am thankful for prenatal vitamins. If I had known your super power was super hair and nail growth I would have been taking you my whole life!

25. I am thankful for my education. I plan to home school my kids, and I can do so knowing I am fully qualified and trained to do so.

26. I am thankful for my mom. We don't talk, but she taught me what not to do when it comes to raising my children.

27. I am thankful for our amazing babysitter. She allows us to go out occasionally with complete confidence that our babies are sleeping soundly and are well looked after.

28. Last, but certainly not least, I am thankful for wine. I know everyone has their vice, and wine is mine. Without it, I would be a hot mess, strung out, losing my mind, crazy woman mom.


I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!




Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Being Frustrated Is Like Being Clean. And I Still Haven't Learned To Pick My Battles.

I FIXED THE WINDOW! face

Before I had my twins I would get frustrated over the tiniest things. I think I have realized that the feeling of frustration is very similar to the feeling of being clean. Both take on significantly different meanings after you have children. For example, I used to feel frustrated if:

I was 2 minutes late for something
I spilled something on my shirt (ha)
I had to wait in line
I caught all the red lights
Etc, etc, etc

I used to feel dirty if I didn't get a shower at the exact moment I felt I wanted one. I don't think I ever get a shower at that moment anymore. I think I have stopped wanting them actually! 

For some reason, unknown to me, it takes so much now to get me hot. Fired up. Angry! If it doesn't directly involve the well being of my family, I'm pretty laid back.

But tonight. OOOOOOHHHH TONIGHT!

We started with one twin trying to skydive out of the cart at Target, a simultaneous ear splitting meltdown for no reason after eating dinner at home, and then we ended with a totally broken interior window shutter. Lately, well for the past 13 months or so, none of these things would have made me bat an eye.

But then I realized that interior shutters are the devil's work. These things are a nightmare to deal with. Our house was built in 1920, and I'm pretty sure the shutters were too. There is nothing convenient about them, and I think normally if they break, you buy new. I called bullshit (I am a moron). I was going to fix this thing if it killed me (it came so close). I tried 43 times with one piece still attached to the wall. I ripped it off (don't worry, I put the boys to bed after a bath and 3 bedtime stories first). Then I tried another 60 times with all of the pieces on the ground. I was about to set them on fire in my backyard and redecorate the bedroom. Then, by some window treatment miracle, I won. I fixed this stupid shutter, and did one hell of a happy dance (no, there is no video). I even had to semi sand and then paint the wall. It only took one hour and 38 minutes of meticulous maneuvers...

frustrated (grrrrrrrrrrrr)
but I did it!!!

After tonight's events I am wondering 2 things:
1. How in the heck did I defeat that thing? No seriously. I don't think they are supposed to be fixable.
2. Why did I get so frustrated?! I haven't felt impatient, hurried, or really angry about trivial things in so long. It's so odd. I hadn't even realized it until this stupid thing broke!

Maybe I should just go take a shower.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My Babies, My Boobies, My Business


The twins turned 1 two weeks ago. We are now way past pregnancy and definitely into the realm of insanity. Every time I leave the house it's an endless barrage of questions, a few compliments, and also the many tactless remarks.

There is also now a new question I am getting quite often: "When are you going to stop breastfeeding the twins?" The consensus seems to be that because they celebrated their birthday, they should be cut off, or at least limited until it can be eliminated, and soon.

I do this a lot, so you shouldn't be surprised, but I'm calling bullshit again. The World Health Organization recommends "exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond", and the American Association of Pediatrics advises mothers to "continue breastfeeding beyond the age of one for as long as mutually desired by mother and child."

Breastfeeding a toddler can look very different than nursing a newborn. The twins nurse between 3 and 15 minutes now, whereas it used to take a half an hour. They eat table food with us, pretty much everything they can get their hands on they'll eat, so the total of their nutritional needs do not have to be met by me.

According to kellymom.com:

In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
  • 29% of energy requirements
  • 43% of protein requirements
  • 36% of calcium requirements
  • 75% of vitamin A requirements
  • 76% of folate requirements
  • 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
  • 60% of vitamin C requirements (– Dewey 2001)
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that children weaned before two years of age are at increased risk of illness (AAFP 2008).
  • Breastfeeding toddlers between the ages of one and three have been found to have fewer illnesses, illnesses of shorter duration, and lower mortality rates  (Mølbak 1994, van den Bogaard  1991, Gulick 1986).
  • “Antibodies are abundant in human milk throughout lactation” (Nutrition During Lactation 1991; p. 134). In fact, some of the immune factors in breastmilk increase in concentration during the second year and also during the weaning process. (Lawrence & Lawrence 2011, Goldman 1983, Goldman & Goldblum 1983, Institute of Medicine 1991).
  • Per the World Health Organization, “a modest increase in breastfeeding rates could prevent up to 10% of all deaths of children under five: Breastfeeding plays an essential and sometimes underestimated role in the treatment and prevention of childhood illness.” [emphasis added]
I look at breastfeeding as the best medicine I can give my children. They are rarely sick, and when they are it lasts a matter of hours. Nursing soothes their aches, calms their tantrums, cures moodiness, hydrates, and supplements all they are eating with added vitamins and antibodies.

My twins will nurse for as long as it is mutually desired by the parties involved, not for as long as it is accepted in the minds of others. I am not sure where the cutoff of one year came from, but it seems a little odd to discontinue something that is working for everyone because of a birthday.

My favorite lactation consultant in the whole world has said that she told people (to make a point) that nursing her twins may keep them closer when they go on to college, and that is exactly what I may start saying if I keep getting asked. Basically, my babies, my boobies, my business. Different things work for different families. This is what is working for us.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Yeah Duh, Your Husband Is A Personal Trainer.....

Aside from "Double Trouble", the next most annoying thing I hear from people is about my fitness coming so easy to me because my husband is a personal trainer, and he works and teaches classes at a local gym.

Let's put this whole shtick to bed right now then.

#1. Yes. My husband is a trainer. So am I. Those two facts alone do not give me any extra time to work out in my day of insanity than any other mom. In fact, it can often take away from it, as he is with clients much of the time, and I am alone with the babies.

#2. Yes. My husband teaches classes at a local gym. However, being that I am responsible for the babies, and he is responsible for teaching, I can only attend 4 out of his 10, and usually only get 3 of the 4 workouts (babies are not known for being highly cooperative). I do try to make it to one other trainer's class each week as well, but like I said, I very often do not get the whole workout.

#3. No. What I don't do is come home and eat crap. What I don't do is watch TV. Ever. We have never had TV in our house, and you would be amazed at how much time you would have without it. (Yes, we have NetFlix and DVDs for moments of necessity, but I guarantee you the amount of television the average person watches has nothing to do with necessity).

#4. Yes. What I do is come home and eat a pretty clean diet. We don't eat chicken, red meat, or pork at home (but we do if we are at someone elses' home). We eat fish, veggie burgers, salads, pasta, quiche, soup, veggie burritos, etc. Do we ever have a cheat day and order pizza or chinese, sure, who doesn't? But they are pretty few and far between.

#5. No. If I didn't get my workout at the gym, I do not sit on my ass for the rest of the day. I take the babies on a walk. These usually range from 4-7 miles, depending on their tolerance. I also try to squeeze in at least a 10 minute high intensity living room/kitchen workout into everyday, gym workout or not.

#6. Yes. I remember one very important FACT when the babies are whining at home and I am trying for the second time to workout that day: A one hour workout is 4% of your day. Guess what. That means it's 4% of their day as well. Everyone will be alright. Finish your set.

#7. No. One day of inactivity and lousy food will not set me back. I simply pick up where I was and move on. You can't change what you did yesterday, neither can I, but you can change what you do from here on out.

#8. Yes. I have always been focused on fitness and health, didn't always do the right thing, but it was always my focus. Having babies does not make me a different person, but it can make someone who was never health focused take a closer look at their life.

#9. No. I never step on a scale. My clothes fit, why would I? And if they didn't, why would I? It's pretty simple: Eat better + Move more = better fitting clothes and a healthier feeling you. A scale is something processed meat companies need, not something people need.

#10. Yes. I eat. I eat all day. I eat at least every 2 hours, tons of protien (about 120g give or take, but that's based on my size and activity level), lots of fresh veggies and fruit, limited salt, tons of water. Cottage cheese, edamame, and veggie burgers are my go to lunch bowls. Point is, eat. You need energy to keep up with your life, and your muscles need all the power they can get to get through your workouts and playtime with your kids.

Everyone has their fitness struggles. It doesn't come easy to anyone. I mean hell, look at my husband, if he is teaching classes and training clients, when does he work out? Trust me when I say it is at very odd times.... Let's all get a little more sweaty and a lot less judgey :)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Twins vs. Halloween

I once was a thrown together southern whatever for Halloween back in 2011 with some friends. We went out, I drank soda (I didn't drink before I had twins...) and I think I was home before midnight. Steve and I hadn't quite gotten it together yet. That was about 2 weeks away from Halloween 2011... For fun I tried to recreate it 5 weeks before the twins were born in 2012 (I was 30+ weeks pregnant with them). By the grace of some unknown I don't know I squeezed into the same getup, shorts and all...although they didn't button or zip, but hey, that's what the belly was for! And tonight, just for fun, here you have it. Moral of this story is: Babies can do some crazy things to your holiday outfits.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Skinny

So a bit off topic, this one won't be real baby centered, but I keep hearing about losing weight. Being skinny. How being healthy somehow equals being skinny. That's absolute crap. Being skinny isn't fun, it isn't sexy, it isn't healthy.

It's true, I have been working very hard to get in shape after the babies. I think most women begin feeling the urge to fit into their regular clothes soon after they have a baby. I didn't have a focus of losing weight, but I needed to tone up and get the muscles I hadn't used in almost a year strong again. I worked (as I have written about) and I am back to me, actually a better me than I was before. But this has nothing to do with the word "skinny." It had to do with being a healthy mom who could run and play with her babies, her children, and one day, her grandchildren.

It also has nothing to do with weight. I don't do scales. Scales are, in my opinion, one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to getting fit. If your clothes fit you well, or are getting looser, what does a number matter? In many cases, scales will do one of two things: discourage you, or push you too far.

I never battled with my weight until I was in college. I had a job as a restaurant manager, and I ate stuff I never would have at home. I never exercised. I was born with club foot and always believed I couldn't. One word from my mother, "fat", and I took up running and cleaned out my kitchen. I used a scale then. And I weighed myself constantly. I wasn't fat like she said to begin with, she was just cruel, but somehow that changed what I saw in the mirror. I lost 10 pounds. I was back to my usual size 4. I figured, hey that was easy enough, maybe I should keep this up and see what happens. Here is what happened:

My brother and I, 2003

2004

2005
2008
I was about 90 pounds in those pictures. Clothes fit only if I bought them from the children section of stores. I lost my period for over 3 years. Nothing I am sharing is meant to shock, it's simply meant to inform. I got "skinny" confused with "healthy." I was tired, strung out, and hungry all the time. It was exhausting. I wouldn't go out to eat, I weighed my food, I hated mirrors and photos. Doctor checkups were full of me making excuses when they told me to gain weight. I have hidden those pictures away for a long time. I didn't want anyone to see them, honestly I didn't want to see them, but I've got very thin women asking me how to lose weight right now and I am concerned.

Being healthy is different for everyone. If you eat a decent diet of fresh vegetables, fruit, protein, etc and you are reasonably active, then you should be pretty healthy. Moderation is always best. Listen to your body, and make decisions that best suit you and your family, but do not mistake skinny for healthy. Skinny isn't something you should be striving for unless you're being paid millions for cover photos, and even in that case I would trade long term health and my future for money any day.

Monday, October 21, 2013

One Year....

Man have I been dreading this post.

While Steve and I were going from this:
Daiquiri Deck

To this:
NICU seeing the babies for the first time
To this:

   Our twins have gone from this:
10 days old

To this:
6 months

To this:

Most recent together picture, 2 weeks shy of 1 year



In the damn blink of an eye (or maybe it was a nap, but I swear I'm not THAT negligent!), my tiny people grew into one year old's. Like in Space Balls, it went so fast that we went plaid!



My little Kingston and Langston were born at 5 pounds 15 ounces 19.5 inches and 5 pounds 9 ounces 18.1 inches, respectively. They were teeny tiny, pink, squeeky worms.

They are now crawling, walking (along stuff), standing (Langston on his own), destroyers of the house. If it's dangerous they want it. If it can hurt them, it's their favorite toy ever. They are at least 21 pounds each, and well beyond 10 inches more than their birth "heights." I am having a hard time squeezing their fat feet in size 4 baby shoes (I blame dad and his size 13 feet...).

In the past 12 months I have learned the following:

1. Newborns become babies VERY fast.
2. Babies have attitudes. They are the most egocentric people on the planet. And it's adorable.
3. Double babies try to kill each other.
4. Double babies try to kill you. And they fill everyday with so much love and laughter you can hardly stand it.
5. Double babies make going anywhere require a well thought out thesis (for STRANGERS that will triple your shopping trip allotted time).
6. Double redheaded babies require that you travel with birth certificates of ownership if you are not, in fact, a redhead.
7. Double redhead same sex babies (or maybe not same sex) must always be identical. If they are not, a parent must play along, otherwise their day will be hijacked by anyone and everyone trying to PROVE they are.
8. If you do not fit someone's mom mold, you are a nanny. Period. It is much easier to play along. Trust me on this one.
9. You will want to kick yourself for ever thinking you were busy before your had babies. (What the heck did I even do all day?!)
10. You will want to kick yourself harder for any time in your life that you didn't nap when you had the chance. You will also be willing to pay up to $100 or more per hour for someone to allow you to have one.
11. Slobber, pee, spit up, and many other bodily fluids will not seem nearly as weird or gross as you used to think they were. You might even learn how to accessorize with them.
12. You will wish you could slap yourself for ever saying something like "Okay, seriously, someone needs to shut that kid up" when you heard one crying in the grocery store before your had some of your own. That kid is now your kid. And you're totally comfortable letting them have an emotional breakdown while you meticulously scan nutrition information. In fact, you hardly even hear them. And you have total solidarity with other moms whose kids are losing their minds in the aisle with you. Or 4 over.
13. If you are breastfeeding with a cover, give it away or burn it. It's worthless, especially once your kiddos realize a world outside of their own, and nothing gets normalized by being hidden anyway mommas.
14. Going to a neighbor's house for one drink can absolutely take a week's worth of planning.
15. If you cloth diaper, within 20 seconds of putting your favorite one on your baby, they will have the most horrible potty experience known to man.
16. Nothing you did all day will ever seem like it was enough. Ever.
17. As soon as you wake up in the morning, it's all of a sudden bath time. (There MUST be a link here between why time seems to be on super fast forward).
18. You will attend more parties in the first year of your baby's life than you ever went to in your entire life. And they will all be for babies.
19. If you run, your normal pace will improve at an exponential rate from training with a stroller. The last non baby run I took I had shaved a good 2 minutes PER MILE off my time. I wish I knew this trick when running was all I did!
20. The pregnancy you wished to be over so that you could meet this little one (or little ones) will be followed by a blink, a first birthday, and consecutive years of trying to rewind time. Time that will be gone and not found on any DVR or TV, no matter how many videos you recorded. Your little person, or persons, are now bigger people, and they change and grow every. single. day.

I can only imagine that I will be blinking, and then crying incredulously, as I am now, in 17 years as they graduate from high school (please!) and go on to do ridiculously (they're redheads...) awesome things afterwards. I want them to be their own people, as they are so obviously now, and make mistakes and call us when they need help and prove us wrong when we make sweeping statements, and prove us even more wrong if we ever say anything like what the world seems to say to every kid: you can't.

In every generation it's said "why would you bring children into this world?" and it's always the same answer, no matter what, it's love. Love for the past, love for the present, and/or love for the future. That's what makes babies.

In one week my itty bitties will be one. And this momma can't seem to wrap her head around any part of it.