Double Trouble

My cousin just sent me this link.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-hughes-parker/12-gifts-of-parenting-twins-wed-like-to-return_b_4605461.html

It’s written by parents of twins.  You know I love me the twins, but can totally relate to these comments! Not all of them since ours have only been around 7 months (SOMEhow) but even the ones specific to older kids I have found myself wondering about.  So the regular text is what the author actually wrote and my comments are in italics. Just in case you forgot what italics are. Or you’re a visual learner. 

1. The pitying looks from friends and neighbors, when we broke the news it was two buns in the oven and not one; the comments, tacit and explicit: “Better you than me” and “What the hell are you going to do now?” I got this ALL THE TIME.  But I chalked it up to the fact that people lose any sense of appropriateness when confronted with a pregnant person.  And a person pregnant with twins- even twice the inappropriateness. 

2. The epic morning sickness, the constant doctor appointments, the time lost to bed rest, the impossibly stretched skin. If pregnancy is a monster, a twin pregnancy is a double-headed hydra. “So you’re due really soon, right?” Um, no, I’m actually due in three and a half months. I was hospitalized because I was so sick. So I love when people say “well at least you only had one pregnancy and got two babies!” It was a rough pregnancy y’all. That’s not really a fair statement. 

3. The misguided aphorisms. Buy one get one free? Tell that to my bank book. Two birds, one stone? Not particularly apt when the twins are birds three and four. Or when the infant experience was so traumatic it made you want a do-over with a single bird. Preach.

4. The surgery and the C-section scar we most likely wouldn’t have had if there was only one baby. The two months spent beside incubators in the NICU, when one of our sets came too soon, a common risk with multiples. Two months would be terrible. We were only in the NICU for a week. But let me tell you, that was a long week. A lot of people have said “A week? That’s not bad!”  It’s a bad week.  No, not near as rough as parents whose kids are in there for a long time, but any time in the NICU is scary when its your baby. Babies. 

5. The obscene amount of milk it takes to feed two tiny mouths, whether it comes from breasts that are cartoonishly large or jumbo packs of formula hauled home from the store. The hospital-grade pump that became a constant companion; the freaky mechanical swooshing sound that became the background noise to our lives. Yepper.  Ready for things to go back to normal sized. My mom always said some girls get boobs and some get hair. I have made one man very happy with my blessing.  Wait, I’m talking about TJ, my hair stylist.  What were you thinking? Come on! My mother reads this!

6. The baby carriers we bought, perhaps deluded that there would be a way to do the whole attachment thing with two babies. The trendy mommy-and-me music class we couldn’t attend, because we didn’t have another set of hands. I am heartbroken that we won’t be able to do Water Babies next summer because all 3 kids would need a parent. 

7. The 3,267 answers we gave to well-meaning but misinformed questions. No, boy/girl twins cannot be identical. Yes, identical twins can look a little different. It is amazing how many people ask if they’re identical even after finding out one is a girl and one is a boy. 

8. The damaged lower back we both have from lifting the dead weight of a small child in and out of the crib, in and out of the stroller, in and out of the car seat, in and out of the high chair. TWICE. EVERY TIME. Amen! Ouch!

9. The scratches, the bite marks, the bruises, the stereo screaming that are part and parcel of toddler twins. With one toddler, life is insane. With two — at the same stage, at the same time — it is Lord of the Flies. Not here yet… but I can only imagine.  We’ll have 3 toddlers soon.  We might as well just clear the entire first level of all furniture and let them have it as an arena. 

10. The same class/different class issue at school, especially when you have no choice in the matter. Different classes: the separation anxiety, the jealousy when one of them gets the “easy” teacher, the curriculum night you have to miss because you can’t be in two places at once. Same class: the repeat homework, the fighting over friends, the constant comparison. So what’s the best thing to do here? I find myself thinking about this a lot! Also now we will have 3 different sporting events to attend most likely all at the same time. This is where we are very thankful for Grandmas!  But also sad to have to divide and conquer. 

11. Always having to share a birthday. Schlepping double the cupcakes to school (half of which have to be vanilla and the other half chocolate). Hosting the extra party, because not every pair of twins wants to share this rite of passage or can agree about its details. The garbled rendition of “Happy Birthday,” because nobody knows which kid’s name to sing first. This made me laugh. 

12. The fantastical and romantic notions outsiders have about twins, which bear little relationship to the reality of raising them. Not every set of twins will be soul mates. Not every set of twins has a magical connection inspired by their time in the womb together. We are pretty sure by the way our twins fight over sitting in our laps that they have no memory of ever sharing that space. It’s SO hard to not make them be little best friends.  We had to separate them early on because they woke each other up so much and really sleep better apart.  People gave me super judgmental looks when I tell them because they SHOULD be together because they SPENT time together in the womb and blah blah.  They’re two different people- just happened to be born at the same time. I’m not saying I’m giving up on special twin bonds or that I don’t think there is something there, but it’s not the adorable little love affair I’d imagined. And that people keep reminding me it should be.

OK it’s me again. I’m out of italics because that’s annoying to read.  I hope this didn’t come off too negative- I don’t mean to portray that things are rough or solicit pity or any of that- we honestly love our disastrous life. But it is a little…. um, annoying to hear some of these things so if you’re doing it stop! Just kidding. But really, maybe do. It’s one of those lived life experience things… I said things to pregnant women pre-babies that I look back at now and want to slap myself. I’ll continue to say things I regret as I gain more life experiences (read- get older). But this list was as familiar as it was funny (to me) so I wanted to share.

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What I’ve learned

I don’t lay around. I rarely sit down. I don’t watch TV, check FaceBook, or stay up on blogs. But the last few days have forced me to do all of these things. And I have learned a lot.

1. TV is junk. The Today Show is awful. They just had models in “shape wear” to show us how to put together outfits. Why did they have to start out in their unders? Showing us live time dressing doesn’t give us any more tips than just showing us outfits, and these girls just look disheveled because they had to get dressed on live TV quickly. And nobody needs to see models in “shape wear” in the morning. I thought this was news? It was during the 8:00 hour. I don’t want to know what happens by the 10:00 hour!

2. Hoda & Kathy. What on Earth…….

3. I shop online when there aren’t needy babies to attend to or a toddler begging for my iPad to watch “burritos.” I shop a lot.

4. The Sherwin Williams app is awesome. I have virtually painted my entire house.

5. Lindsay Lohan should be thankful for Miley Cyrus who should be thankful for Justin Bieber.

6. Do you guys remember United Colors of Benneton? They were neat.

7. You know how when you pick your baby up from the Bumbo and their bums stick in there and you have to pull the chair off their bodies? Pretty sure that’s what would happen if I tried to get off the couch.

8. We have some amazing friends and family. Thank you to folks who have brought food and flowers and sent prayers!

Betrayed by my bestie.

If you’ve been following along here you’ll know of my love affair with Starbucks. You’ll also know that I am trying to cut back on said Starbucks. Well I think I found the golden ticket to keep me away.

Yesterday, between hot yoga and a NAMI Executive Committee meeting, I made a quick trip through the line that has done me so good so many times. I unknowingly drove on to my meeting just about two blocks away, threw ‘er in park and grabbed my beloved cup. That’s where things get fuzzy. Turns out, the lid wasn’t on the cup properly and hot hot coffee went allllllll over. My lap. Holy frick I thought I was going to die. I jumped out of the truck and did a really embarrassing “get the devil out of my lap” dance in the middle of the street.

I ran upstairs to the restroom to check things out and my skin was starting to blister so I called First Nurse. She said to go the ER. I hung up thinking she was being silly, but then took another look at my legs and almost passed out. So I went to the ER for the first time in my life. Can I just tell you how embarrassed I was at this point? I looked like I wet my pants, had puffy eyes, and reeked of coffee. The woman who checked me in actually laughed (mind you, I was not really in joking mood at that point).

The doctor told me to take it easy for a few days, keep the medicine flowing, and only wear sweat pants. That sounds glorious, yes? Not for me. I am already going nuts. I went to work this morning and went with Seth to grab some groceries. And then popped a pain med on the way home and couldn’t hold my head up anymore.

So here I am. On my couch with a nice little nest built up around me. High as a kite on pain meds. In sweat pants.

And remember how I only record “my shows” in the treadmill room? I am regretting that now. I ended up buying Netflix so I could watch “Orange is the New Black.” Anyone watch it? I just finished the book and have heard its a great show.

Although I still really want my Starbucks, I am physically and mentally scarred by them. It might take a while to get over this one! I am feeling really betrayed. My sister likened it to when the tiger attacked Sigfried. She nailed it.

I revolve to eat more jelly beans.

Why are people so anti-resolutions? Or “revolutions” as the adorable kid in the new Verizon (?) commercial says. I used to be super cool and say I don’t dooooo resolutions. But I never knew why. I’m sure people have good reasons but I was just happy to jump on that bandwagon so I could keep eating and drinking and swearing away like I did the previous year! But why not make some resolutions? Why not use the New Year as a good excuse to improve ourselves? Seth & I haven’t set anything in stone, but we are both doing what we can just to be nicer to ourselves. This plays a bit on my post about the post-pregnancy body thing but also pushes me on the direction of taking care of my self as well. We have been living off cortisol and wine for the last 7 months and have been terrible to ourselves. Because of this, I still carry my baby belly and Seth has gotten really really skinny. Of course. But it’s not in the good way (he says). The only thing less healthy than our lifestyles since the twins were born is a Red Bull Vodka.
So now that we have somewhat of a schedule things should be a bit easier for us to take some priority. (OhMyGosh that is so something you never say out loud!! Please please pleaaaassseee Knock-On-Wood gods let that one go!) We got a treadmill and despite jokes about getting extra long handles so we can hang more clothes from it we have been using it a ton! I stopped recording my guilty pleasure shows (Desperate Housewives & Project Runway, holla!!) on the main TV and only record them on the DVR in the treadmill room. We have both worked out every day for the last 3 weeks except for Christmas Day and one day we were in Chicago. But our livers had a pretty good workout both those days so that counts, right?
I would love to hear how you all feel about New Years Resolutions! Are you a hard core goal setter? A cool non-conformist? Or are you perfectly happy where your life is it now and just want to keep things as-are?

Update: I meant to say Real Housewives. Not Desperate Housewives. RH is slightly more embarrassing I think.