Thursday, August 31, 2006

Life's getting easier

We've hit a milestone with our babies! Two nights ago, Lillian slept all through the night. Last night, she slept from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. This gives me hope, knowing now that both girls are capable of sleeping through. It can't be too far into the future that we'll all sleep all night long!

Our new daycare situation is wonderful! Grandma Becky cuddles and rocks our girls pretty much all day long. She loves having them and it shows with how calm the babies are. Not only does GB cuddle them up, she bathes them every afternoon and then washes all their clothes for the week to return to me on Friday. Each Monday I simply bring 10 fresh outfits for the girls to change into after their baths. When I arrive to pick them up each afternoon, they're freshly bathed and fed and happy as can be.

Since starting with GB, the girls have been much more relaxed in the evenings, too. Yay! Although it takes me 45 minutes to drive to GB's and then to work in the morning, it's worth every second of drive time to know how good things are for Breanna and Lillian.

Another thing that's getting easier is my Bell's Palsy. My mouth is almost back to normal - when I smile, you can hardly tell. Mind you, I still can't get a good suction on a straw and can't purse up for a kiss quite right, at least my smile is on its way. My eye still hasn't changed, and I'm still in glasses (darn!), but my face is really sore right now, which has typically happened right before another big burst of nerve regeneration. Bring on the pain! Do I sound like a sicko or what?

DW is still out of town, and I am really lonesome for him. The friends he's staying with have two adorable little girls, and I know it makes him really lonesome for his family, too. Good. Maybe then he'll hurry up and get his tail back to town.

When my sister was over at my house last night, she made a comment that I've thought to myself many times but never said outloud. She said that DW must be the messy one, because the house is still in really good shape after several days without him home. Good point. Now let's see if it's a good enough point to keep it clean once he returns on Friday.

Several friends came over to visit and meet Breanna and Lillian last night, and they all brought adorable little outfits. It's so fun to get baby clothes! My sister-in-law-in-law (my sister's husband's sister) brought her new little girl, who's just a bit older than mine. Boy is she cute - it was fun to see what's to come with our girls. It was nice to compare notes, too. A while later, a long-time friend of mine from back in the high school days arrived with his family. They have two tow-headed boys and a month-old little girl. It was so nice to visit with them all, and fun to see Lillian be bigger than someone for a change. My sister's mother-in-law and father-in-law also stopped in, so we had a full house for a little while, and it really was nice. Although I just realized right now that I was a horrible host and didn't even offer anyone anything to eat or drink. Oops. I'm sure they've forgiven me.

I'm going to sign off now, and enjoy feeling more rested than I have in a long, long time.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Beautiful Baptism

I'll have to work backwards on this entry and see how it goes. First, we started with our new daycare today and I hope all's going well. It was a little hectic getting out of the house this morning, because for one thing, Breanna slept all night long. Yippee! But that means she's REALLY hungry as soon as she does wake up (when it's time to go in the carseat). DW left town last night - he's working in Central MN all week, so I'm flying solo.

I took Lillian with me to the grocery store for a really quick trip last night. Breanna stayed home with Daddy. I was absolutely shocked at how much easier it is to just take one child out. I still am shocked today.

We had a lovely baptism for Breanna and Lillian Sunday morning. Our priest was so kind as to perform a private service for us so we don't have to wait until much later when the girls' immune systems are sure to be strong. While they are both healthy and thriving, after their rocky entrance into the world, this first year of life is going to be a bit more touchy than regular babies. In the photo are DW's brother and his girlfriend, who are Breanna's godparents, as well as my dear sister and brother-in-law, who are Lillian's godparents.

My folks stayed home with the girls yesterday morning so that DW and I could go to mass together. We both really enjoyed that luxury. After the baptism, our immediate family and our priest joined us for a picnic at our house. Dan's family brought a ton of great sweets and we fired up the grill for our barbecue. We had a lovely afternoon.

On Thursday night, my Dad and Mom came up to my house for the weekend. They took care of the girls on Friday since we didn't have daycare yet. They also took the girls in to the clinic so Breanna could get a platelet check (they've still been kind of high) and so that both girls could be weighed and measured. Guess how big these good little eaters are? Breanna weighs 12#, 2.8 oz. and is 23 inches long. Lillian weighs 9#,8 oz. and is 21". Both are growing right along! In the midst of them playing Grandma and Grandpa, they helped me at the house with stuff all weekend. My dad has become the pro bottle washer. And my mom is little miss laundry. I think they both really enjoyed being able to help - and to help with baby stuff - not mowing the lawn or junk like that. Mind you, they also did a lot of housework with me to prepare for the baptism picnic, but I think the baby stuff is what was most fun for them. The babies sure seemed to enjoy all the attention and cuddling. And I really enjoyed the help and the company. Thank goodness for family!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Who has the greatest sister on Earth?

That would be me. Without an ounce of doubt, my little sis is the best! She’s a dear friend and confidante, and a sweet, loving auntie to my babies. Add in that she knows me better than I know myself and we’re golden.

For my birthday on Tuesday, it was a rather uneventful day if you look at it on paper, and yet, it was my favorite one so far. We had a little ice cream party at the office, complete with uncomfortable singing and a card that showcased dancing desserts with googley eyes on the front.

As I was driving home, my sister called to wish me a good day and said that she was on her way home, too. Then my mom called, and we visited until I pulled into my garage. I saw that DW’s dad’s truck was there, and I made a snotty comment about how if he’d just popped in without calling first, I hope he was a little embarrassed by the state of chaos in my house. I knew that I had a laundry load of skimpy underclothes folded in different piles all around the living room because I was too tired to put them away the night before.

When I stepped out of the car, I could smell cleaning products. I unbuckled the girls’ car seats and walked into the house to find a clean, sparkling, clutter-free home! The tears started rolling. When my sister said she was on her way home, I’d assumed she had just left work at the clinic. In fact, she’d been at my house cleaning from 10-5. The house hadn’t been that clean since just before I had the babies. She’d bought and put up a shoe rack in our front entrance, and left a vase full of fresh, vibrant flowers, as well as a couple of cute little baby onesies. Can we say best present ever on the face of the planet? She even cleaned the downstairs bathroom, which I haven’t set foot in since sometime in April!

DW’s dad was in the living room when I got upstairs, and DW was walking out of the bathroom looking dapper as ever. He explained that his dad was there to babysit so that we could go on a date. A real date. With nice clothes and a wine list. DW even wore cologne to make me swoon. It worked!

Oh my, could it get any better? Once we fed the girls and settled them in with grandpa, DW and I went to Littlefields. He had an elk steak and I had a fabulous stuffed pork tenderloin. And my first glass of wine in a year. It was wonderful. Truly wonderful. For those who have trouble turning 30, they obviously don’t have my loved ones in their lives.

After we returned home and DW’s dad left, I called my sister to thank her. I said she must have had to work hard and fast all day to get everything done. She simply said, “Yup, I sure did.” I told her that my first instinct was to be a little embarrassed, but then she pointed out that it wasn’t that my house was necessarily dirty and gross, just really disorganized. I think she got a good taste just how hectic it is to have two babies at home in the evenings by myself and then leave on the weekends. The 8 loads of clean laundry in varying degrees of folding that were piled in the living room, on the bed, in the dryer and on the dresser might have been a good tipoff.

The running joke between DW and me during the last couple of weeks had been that he’d come out of the shower and walk bare into the living room to get a pair of boxers from a laundry basket because his undies drawer had been empty for weeks. I guess as long as we both can laugh about it, who cares, right? We don’t have to worry about that again for a while, though, thanks to my incredible sister. I am so very blessed.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Catch me if you can

Still alive and kickin’ – just a little swamped. Well, more like a lot swamped. Let’s see, where did we leave off with this saga called life?

Last Tuesday, our daycare mom called me mid-afternoon and asked if I could come pick up the girls. It was just too much for her – both babies were particularly gassy that day. I had many days like that myself when I was alone with them. And I only had them - not other kids, to boot. Only, I never had a backup to call. In that case, I'm jealous. Anyway, I left the office early with a bad feeling. Sure enough, the daycare lady gave us her 2-week notice. She says she accepted a job as a para with a local school, something she’d applied for before she met us, but hadn't given a second thought to since it had been so long. And of course, it starts two weeks from the day she notified me. Great.

I’ve been scrambling to find another small daycare that will take two infants. We’re still stuck with not being able to take them someplace with lots of other kids for the first year – so there’s a chance we’ll have to have someone come into our house. That would be great for getting out of the house in the morning, but kind of invasive (and so expensive), too.

At the same time, we’ve gone out of town the last two weekends – first to Lake of the Woods, and then last weekend to my family’s cabin in Detroit Lakes. The babies traveled well, so that’s a relief. But it’s just not the same as being at home. On a milestone note, both babies went all through the night without eating on Saturday. Of course, when I had help on hand. Go figure. I’m not complaining. Lillian woke up once, but my mom soothed her back to sleep without having to use a bottle. Yay! There’s hope!

We’ve also been planning Breanna and Lillian’s baptisms. We’re having a private service this Sunday with just our immediate families there. I would have loved to invite some close family and friends, but if we opened it up to some, we’d have to invite DW’s million relatives, and soon we’d have a service/party for 75 people. No thanks. I don’t think his folks are too happy with that decision, but it’s just too much to think about hosting that many people right now. Just having DW’s sister and her family over will be exhausting enough – the kids are adorable but so very out of control. I just pray for no broken bones/furniture/dogs while they’re over after the service. We’ve asked my sis and her hubby to be Lillian’s godparents and DW’s brother and his girlfriend to be Breanna’s. We’re all looking forward to the service.

On a very happy note, it’s my 30th birthday tomorrow. And my parents gave me the nicest gift in the world. They hired a housekeeper to come into my home occasionally to scrub/vacuum floors and dust for the next few months. I almost cried when they told me. By the time she’s done, I figure the babies should be a little bit easier to handle and hopefully in bed earlier so I can have the time to keep up again.

So… I’m nearly out of breath just thinking about how hectic life is right now. Friends, sorry for not keeping in touch. Please bear with me – or else come visit me and rock a baby. Enjoy the week ahead, all!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Single Parenthood Stinks

I have a whole new perspective on single parenting - and a lot of pity for those who don't have the support of a spouse during the childrearing years.

DW is up at Lake of the Woods for a remodeling project, so I've been flying solo with the girls. If I complained about not getting much done around the house before, I was insane. This is the true definition of not getting ANYTHING done. My bags are still packed from the weekend and in the hallway. The refrigerator has a suspicious smell, but I haven't had time to go exploring yet. The new roll of toilet paper that's half gone already still hasn't made it onto the holder. And our lawn probably qualifies for some sort of natural wild grasslands designation. I'm wondering if I dare even send the dogs out in the lawn, for fear they'll be swallowed up and never find their way back to the deck.

There is a light at the end of this long tunnel, though. DW will be coming home - I'd guess either tonight or tomorrow. I see from the caller ID that he called close to 1a.m. today, but I was sleeping in the baby room and missed chatting with him. Not only do I look forward to having some help with baby care, but I also anticipate spending some time with my hubby. While we were technically together over the weekend, there were always a bajillion people around and we were constantly on the go, so we didn't have much private time - the time we enjoy the most - where we just get to "be."

I'm feeling remarkably alert considering the combined 8.5 hours of sleep I've had during the last two nights. Breanna and Lillian are getting more and more on the same schedule, so of course, they both wake up at the exact same moment - hungry and loud. Poor little honeys. Mom only has two hands - so she can't carry two babies, plus get milk from the fridge and get it warming in the bottle warmer, while changing diapers and propping girls up so they can both eat once the milk is warm. Whew! It even sounds hectic on paper. Like I said, I'm looking forward to DW's return. Until then, I'm going to enjoy a good day at work, hopefully a nap in the car at lunch time, and a short evening with quiet babies. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


I've read a lot about it, but I admit, I'm a bit of a skeptic. Twin talk. A special language between identicals. A secret code that no one else can crack.

Until Wednesday night. I was in the master bathroom, brushing my teeth before heading downstairs to bed. DW had taken the girls down already and had laid down. While I was brushing, I could hear a bunch of commotion downstairs. The girls sounded really fussy.

When I walked into the babies' room, I thought "Oh, great. Another long night ahead." I knew that Lillian was tired and had been fighting to stay awake for over an hour by that time. DW appeared to be asleep already, even though both girls were noisy as can be. Thinking I was once again the one who'd be dealing with sleeplessness, I mumbled, "Way to tune out your own kids, Dad."

He corrected me and said, "Shh. Just listen. They're not fussing." Sweet guy that he is, he didn't chew me out for my crabby comment.

Sure enough, they were going back and forth - making all kinds of noises and giggles and gurgles and such - and smiling like crazy. All the while, they were laying on their backs in their crib - feet meeting in the middle - not even able to see each other. I'm certain that this is what so many people have referred to as "twintalk."

As cool as it was to listen, my sense of reality kicked in. It was midnight and I had to be up in 6 hours, with probably an hour interruption of sleep somewhere in between. I walked over to Lillian and placed a hand on her chest and gently closed her eyes with my other hand. She instantly silenced and fell fast asleep. And Breanna stopped her noise right away.

I guiltily climbed into bed, wondering what they were talking about. Hopefully how happy they are.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sleep is for Sissies

Actually, I really shouldn't complain. Right before laying Lillian down to sleep last night, DW had a chat with her to explain that she needs to sleep until 5:30 a.m. And wouldn't you know it, she slept all the way until 6:30! I nearly fell out of bed when I realized how long she'd slept for. Now if only we could coordinate the nights when Lillian and Breanna both sleep, heck, I'd get rested every once in a while. This photo is from early Saturday morning. The bigger they get, the smilier they are. What honeys!

My wonderful parents came to our house on Sunday to give me some reprieve. I'd originally planned to drive out to the lake for the day, but man, it seems like my house goes further into the gutter each new day. If DW didn't work so much, I'd be able to have him tend to the girls so I could try to keep our house in order.

So, I recruited my folks to cuddle babies and take care of feeding/burping them so that I could get out to the grocery store and get some other housework done. DW decided to stick around and visit, too, instead of rushing off to work. He even vacuumed while I shopped. What a treat! My house finally feels livable again. We've all agreed that my parents will come for one weekend each month until Christmastime, just so I can have time to do my housework. Yay!

I think we should hurry and invite over all of those local friends who have been wanting to see the girls while the house is still in decent shape.

The only downfall of not going to the lake this past weekend is that the girls didn't get to spend time with their Great Auntie Jeanne. I know she was really looking forward to seeing them and they would have loved the cuddle time with her. Hopefully we can get together soon.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Aah, the glory of a daughter who sleeps all through the night. Now if we could only have both do it on the same night, imagine how wonderful that would be! It's been a tough past few days in terms of peace and sleep.

Our daycare lady calls me pretty much every day to say that she thinks one or both of the girls are sick. Both babies struggle with gas and in turn are fussy until that gas is worked out. And when they both get going at once, our sweet daycare mom gets a little freaked out. Who wouldn't though? She worries that they're in pain and that they're ill. So, I've taken the girls into the clinic twice now to get them checked over, and both times everything looks fine. Different doctors have recommended different things. After last night's visit, instead of using formula to supplement inbetween breastmilk feedings, we're going to use Pedialite. And cross our fingers. And toes.

I have a gut feeling that this daycare lady will call sometime during the next few weeks and say that it's just too much and we need to find someplace else. She's a really sweet lady and I really like her, but I think twinfants are just too much for her. Darn. I'm trying to find a few backups just in case.

Not much else is happening right now. Thankfully.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Smiles Abound

As my daughters grow larger and their personalities start to develop, their happy nature becomes more apparent each day. Often in the middle of the night, when they're hungrily gulping down their snacks, they end the meal with a gigantic gummy smile. Never fails. I'm always so sleepy that I don't ever remember to have the camera handy. Well, I finally learned and set the camera next to the rocking chair before I went to bed over the weekend. This is what I came up with. (Lillian has the flower print and Breanna has the puppies on her shirt.)

And the exhaustion suddenly becomes a little bit more bearable. We will survive. Hopefully our sanity will last the journey with us.

And yes, Mom, they are in clothes and not jammies. We sometimes forget to follow the rules.