Sunday, July 27, 2014

World Breastfeeding Week!!! (and the pump gets retired)


It has been a nice little rest without any blog posts since March, but I felt that I just had to come out of hiding for the World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) Blog Hop! And WBW is coincidentally beginning at the same time that Yours Truly is storing away her pump, so what better topic to talk about than milk sharing, which has to be one of the coolest things I've ever done.


The pump and I have had a good long run together. It relieved my discomfort to get me through my day (and some grueling workouts), and it helped me to donate thousands of ounces of milk to babies that live as far away as California. 

Every morning, for 619 mornings.

I began pumping when the twins were in the NICU after they were born 4 weeks early, and I quickly found that every morning I could easily pump between 10 and 20 ounces in one 15 minute session, even after the babies already nursed. This phenomenon never stopped. I kept waiting for the day that I could feed my guys and feel relatively relieved, but for me I always had to pump for at least a few minutes to be able to carry out my daily activities, or else I would look something like Dolly Parton and feel slightly like I couldn't breathe :/

My babies are hardly babies anymore. They have just turned 21 months old, and we are still nursing about 4 times per day. I have continued to pump once each morning every single day of their lives. Funny thing though, that milk never helped us at all. I have a high level of an enzyme called lipase in my milk, and once it has been refrigerated this enzyme gives the milk a different taste, nothing wrong with it, just different. Some babies don't mind and drink it anyway, but not mine. Unless the milk went straight into a bottle and right to them they weren't having it, and with me so close by anyway, bottle feeding just wasn't right for us.
play time and milk time....

So what did I do with the copious amounts of milk being stashed daily in my freezer? I donated it to other moms who couldn't supply the amount of milk that their baby was asking for. Through facebook, mom groups, and personal friendships I met close to 20 mothers that I was able to donate to during my days of pumping and freezing. It always felt nice knowing that I was able to give such a cool gift to someone, and I know that if I weren't able to provide enough milk for my guys I would certainly look for a local milk donor.

Tandem <3

There are plenty of mixed feelings that people get regarding milk sharing, but in my opinion it is such an awesome thing. If you are educated about breast milk and know the mother that is donating the milk (or if you are going through a milk bank which tests the milk), then I feel that it is an amazing route for anyone struggling to feed their child. If you know a nursing mom, see a nursing mom, and most importantly, are a nursing mom: be supportive. Be supportive to the mothers in your life who are feeding their children the best way that they are able to. Be supportive to the mothers that you see in public that have to stop what they are doing to feed their hungry babies. And be supportive to yourselves if you are currently nursing a child (or children!). Don't be awkward, don't think it's weird, don't make apologies, and don't beat yourself up if things don't go exactly how you planned. Life is a journey, and we're all on it together, so we might as well help each other out.

Happy nursing, happy World Breastfeeding Week, and I leave you with toddler milk comas :)

*For other blogs participating in the WBW Blog Hop please visit:
http://www.butterflybirth.com/
http://healthystartsarasota.org/blog/
http://knightpartyof4.tumblr.com/ 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Stroller Running vs Solo Running: Calories and Speed

I have a love hate thing going on with running, which is cool, but the hate part has increased a bit since I became a mom. Now when I run it's not as simple as "ipod, shoes, let's go." Now it requires all this extra "stuff."

-Babies (25 lbs each)
-Double stroller (33.5 lbs)
-Snacks
-Drinks
-Diapers and wipes
-Toys
-Cell phone
-Rain cover
-Baby carrier
-Change of clothes
-Etc. (all of which added to the stroller and kiddos puts me right around 100 lbs)

I got all "Ugh, running sucks" for a bit, but now I'm pretty stoked about it, and I have two pretty good reasons for my renewed enthusiasm.

1. My free running (running without the extra 100 lbs) has increased exponentially! I have gotten so strong at running with all of this stuff that when I get to shed it for a solo run I am so much faster than I used to be. Since my surgery in 2009 I have had a hard time running a sub 9 minute mile, but I recently ran a sub 8 minute mile!

2. Calorie burn!!! You can easily burn nearly50% more calories running with a jogging stroller with the right wind resistance and incline. To calculate an approximate (this isn't an exact science) calorie burn for your "stroller run" do a google search for a calorie burn calculator that determines calories burned pushing a stroller (here's one http://www.self.com/calculatorsprograms/calculators/caloriesburned/pushing_stroller).  Enter the duration of your workout and record that number. Then do a second search for calories burned based on running alone. Enter your weight, distance,  duration, etc. and record that number (here's one http://www.runnersworld.com/tools/calories-burned-calculator). Add your two numbers together and voila!

Think you want to skip the stroller and run alone? My most recent run was 284 calories more efficient because of my kiddos. Other women are jealous of you, trust me. And if you're nursing you've got those extra three to five hundred calories you can add on top of it! Basically you're a badass mother runner ;)





Monday, March 10, 2014

Babies Make People Awkward

I began drawing a lot of attention wherever I went once I became mom to my two fiery redheaded twins. People don't notice me at all. I could literally be on fire, and all they would see would be the babies, which is fine by me because I don't always remember to brush my hair.


What is worth noting is what some of these people say, or more accurately, yell across an awkward distance at me.  It usually goes like this:
a)they see the double stroller
b)they see it contains twins
c)they see the red hair on the twins
d)they blurt the first thing that comes to their mind
e)they shake their own head at themselves (at least I think they do. I'm usually 40 paces away by this point shaking my own head.)

I thought I'd compile a little list of some weird things that have been said to me in the last few weeks on my walks to the park at Bayfront. Remember, these have all been said in passing by complete strangers. These are not snippets from conversations. I never got a chance to respond, and many of these people were riding past on bicycles.

1. "Oh I always wanted twins! How did you make that happen?"-female jogger, one earphone out to yell out to me, mid 30s

2. "Red hair? On both? Harry look!"-older lady on bicycle

3. "Good thing it wasn't triplets."-older man on bicycle

4. "Bet you were surprised there was another one in there."-female dog walker, 40s

5. "That stroller is a bit big for this sidewalk don't you think?"-older man on bicycle

6. "Twins!!! My friend in Indianapolis is a twin."-female speed walker, 50s

7. "That must be a nightmare."-female jogger, 30s

8. "Oh my god! What would you do if you had that in your belly?"-female walker, 30s, said to her pregnant friend

9. "You poor thing. Just wait 5 to 10 years."-female on bicycle, 40s

10. "Your husband must be a big guy."-man on bicycle, 40s *hands down weirdest assumption/remark*



Even if I had been given the opportunity to respond to these, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have wanted to. Our life is a circus, but it's also pretty much the best things ever. :)

BookFace: I Can't Always Make You Smile. But I Will Try.

I was recently told that people enjoyed "following" me and my family on social media and that I should be careful to stick to motivating, validating, and esteem boosting, rather than use my facebook page for sharing anything else.

Well, you have to know that I don't ever sit quietly while getting told what I should and shouldn't be doing. Last I checked I was a 29 year old mother of two with a degree, a great career history, and a fabulous family. Basically, I'll do what I want, just as you should.

So I got to thinking...what is Facebook for? I joined way back when. When it was reserved for college students and you needed your school email to even sign up. My school email was about 43 random characters long, yet I still remember it because I'm still using it for Facebook today. Back then it was a social media outlet to connect with your new school friends, find your old school friends, and let people know what you were thinking at any given moment. That's pretty much all it was.

Then it opened up and allowed more and more and more people. Man I remember when my parents got Facebook accounts. Talk about a strange day! Anyway, I digress. Point is, Facebook, although it's changed, is still basically the same thing it was in the beginning. A place to connect with people, and share things. Nowhere is there a rule, not even an unwritten one, that says you can only share positive messages, fluffy puppies, and self esteem boosters for your "followers."

I agree that marketing on Facebook should be done carefully, and business pages do have a responsibility to their clients, but as far as personal pages, if you don't appreciate a "friend's" point of view, then as far as I'm concerned you have three options:

1. "Keep calm and scroll on." No one is compelling you to like, comment, or even think about any of the stuff you see your feed.

2. "Un-follow" the person. So simple. Click their profile and click "unfollow." You'll never see their stuff again unless you go directly to their page.

3. "Un-friend"/Block the person. Never worry about them bothering your brain again!

It's no one's job to make you smile, get you to the gym, or make you feel better about yourself except you. If you expect everything with my name attached to it that comes up on your feed to make you go:
then you are going to have a really tough life. I do my best to share fun pictures of my family's antics, promote our charity work, and joke from time to time, but I have always, and will always, use my personal pages to share anything I choose to.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Things People Without Children Would Never Say. Ever.

Things we have found ourselves saying as parents to our twins:


-Babe your boob is hanging out. (in public place)

-Babe come look at this diaper!

-No baby, please don’t eat your brother’s poo.

-Please don’t lick the diaper.

-Let’s pick up our clothes and not eat the cat food.

-Don’t look now moms got her boobs out, showing everyone in town! (dad being funny..Rodney Carrington)

-I am pretty sure your brother doesn’t want to taste your foot.

-Okay maybe he does. I stand corrected.

-You are going the right way for a nap till bedtime

-He pooped a single blueberry!

-Let me check your bum for poop.

-Oh man, one of you pooped. Never mind. Both of you.

-You have worn 34 shirts today. Seriously.

-Yes, strawberries are supposed to be thrown at mom and dad. Exactly right.

-Dad is going to trade you for a puppy….

-Oh you think you’re cute? Okay, you are. But I’m still upset.

-Yes, climb rocks up to the tallest slide and try to kill yourself. Stellar idea.

-What’s wrong? Oh, nothing? Nothing happened again? Dang. Nothing always happens to you.

-Why are you sad? We’re at the park playing. Oh, because we are at the park playing? Dang.

-I agree. Cottage cheese tastes amazing eaten off of the floor. Keep throwing handfuls.

-Don’t tell Dad’s friends he knows the Daniel Tiger Neighborhood’s theme song by heart. Please.

-Didn’t happen on my watch! (Dad to Mom)

-Yes. Slam your head into the floor because you are sad I didn’t let you play with scissors. Perfect response.

Please feel free to comment to add to this list for Volume 2!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Twins Will Be Twins

Parents will totally to relate to this list of things that are commonplace in a household with more than one child. The thing is though, many of these things began very early on for us parents of multiples. I mean, when you have one 4 month old, chances are they aren't swatting themselves in the face, one 11 month old probably isn't making himself cry by taking off all of his clothes, and one 14 month old probably isn't having all of his food stolen and thrown on the floor....

Not in the mood to have a brother.

1. Sharing. Or not sharing rather. From day one your children must share your attention, affection, and guidance. They must share food, clothes, toys, books, and virtually everything else in their lives.

2. Hitting. From the moment they learn how, they will. Hard to reason with a 6 month old about why it isn't alright to beat the crap out of their 6 month old sibling.

3. Hair Pulling. Another "This is awesome" discovery that is hard to stop. If it seems fun, chances are they are going to do it.

4. Weapons. Pretty much anything and everything is a weapon to a small child when there are other children (or anyone really) in close proximity.

5. Diapers. Taking off their sibling's diapers can be great fun. And a great big mess, usually ending in hysteria.

6. Biting. How often to first time parents of one deal with this one? Oh your kid bit you? Sorry, but totally not the same as watching them try to gnaw off their brother's finger in the back of the car when you're on the interstate.

7. Bath Time. Trying to dunk one another under water is apparently hilarious, and mom just doesn't understand.

8. Messes. The mess that one child can make is astounding. The mess that two or more can create is ridiculous. The mess that two or more of the same age with no reasoning skills whatsoever can make is catastrophic.

9. Shopping. How easy do you think it is to get from the car to the double carts (which are kept inside of most grocery stores) with more than one child that cannot walk? You're right, it isn't easy. And if you make the trip only to find that there are no more double carts because parents of ONE child are using them, and so now you have to go back to the car, and sometimes home to get the stroller, you will probably decide that the frozen peas that you have in your freezer will suffice as dinner.

10. Meltdowns. Yeah it sucks when a kid is having a meltdown. You have to pick them up and calm them down. Now do that with two. Or three kids. From the very moment you get discharged from the hospital and you are a brand new mom or dad. Yeah, didn't think so.

Sleepy angels who didn't want to nap separated on this day.

But here's the really good stuff:

11. Kisses. When your little people want to give hugs and kisses, you get them all multiplied!

12. Giggles. Times two!

13. Play Time. No real need for mom or dad to intervene. They want to play with each other :)

14. Firsts. Every "first" gets to happen more than once. From waving, to words, to crawling, to dancing, and beyond.

15. Dancing. It's a full on dance party whenever a "cool" song comes on. You know, like "The Wheels On The Bus."

16. Food. When one isn't feeling the meal you prepared, normally the other is. It's pretty rare anything gets wasted.

17. Cuddles. From the very beginning you get to watch your little people give each other hugs!

18. Love. It pours out of children almost continuously. And with more than one it is all multiplied from the very first day you became a parent.

Being a parent is hard no matter how many children you have. Us parents of multiples just had to learn how to multitask a little more quickly than most. Thanks for reading, carry on being the badass parent that you are!