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.



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Normalizing What Is Normal

Google Image breastfeeding. Right now. Seriously. Do it.

Alright. Thank you for obliging. And what did you find? As far as you could scroll? Did you see anything that looked like this:

No. You didn't. That is a picture of a woman smiling at something wearing an apron with something under it. Is she nursing? I don't know. I don't think so. Maybe she's got an oversensitive puppy at a barbeque and wants to avoid a leash. Prove me wrong. Go ahead. How do you know?!

What you found was this:


Pictures that show breastfeeding for what it is. Feeding a child when they are hungry. Period. Whether you're home watching American Horror Story or out having lunch, if your baby is hungry, you feed them. If that is a problem for you, I ask why. What is it that bothers you about a baby eating? Is it boobs? Because you see them as sexual? Alright. Why?

Let me guess. Breasts are for sex? Says.....?

They have also somehow managed to keep the human race alive for thousands of years, way before Uddercovers was handing out free covers (just pay $12 shipping) to all pregnant women. Formula is fantastic, and I won't downplay that at all. If you need it, it is a wonderful food for babies. But if you don't need it, and if you are breastfeeding, our mothers and grandmothers need to see it. Our future daughter in laws, our nieces, our daughters, our friends, need to see it. Our husbands and sons and everyone else needs to as well. Nothing gets normalized by being hidden. Our society has begun to think that artificial is better. That breast milk lacks nutrients. That mothers can't supply the demand. That babies need more. That there is a PROBLEM with it. And that if you are going to do it (gasp), then please cover up or go somewhere else. As I've done before on other topics, again, I call bullshit. Feed your babies whenever, wherever, however you like. It is quite literally a basic human right. Your body grew your baby for 40ish weeks, it certainly has the capability to continue the task.

I have written before about breast milk and nursing, and if you would like information on it and it's benefits, please see http://www.llli.org/ or http://kellymom.com/category/bf/ or seek the advice of a local lactation consultant in your area. The purpose of this post is NORMALIZING what is normal. None of us should be fighting or hiding or covering to feed our children. We shouldn't be explaining why we are nursing our babies at 9 days or 9 months or 19 months or 29 months. That is for our children and us to decide. I'm just saying.