Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Isabella called Caitlin sissy today! It was sooo cute! She rolled over to the base of the chair I was sitting in. I was holding Caitlin at the time so I held Caitlin over Isabella to let Isabella play with Caitlin's feet. Isabella was looking at Caitlin's face and said sissy. I was shocked! Thinking it might have been my imagination, I repeated it a few times and each time she said it right back while looking at Caitlin. It just melted my heart. I really didn't think either one of them would say it for a few more months, but they do hear it all of the time so I really shouldn't be so surprised.

They are both talking quite a bit. They both say mama, dada and yeah. Isabella has said bye and we think she said hi a couple of times. Caitlin has said uh-oh and nite, nite - well that one came out more as ni, ni - and bob. Not sure where bob came from. For a couple of weeks Isabella was saying dada all day and night long. It was making her momma a bit crazy. Her first word was mama but after the first week of saying it she rarely does anymore. I am happy she says dada so much since I'm sure it makes Jeff happy, but at 3 am I would rather hear mama than dada, especially when daddy is sound asleep. :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cottage cheese = big mistake

The monkeys have been eating solid foods for some time now. We have been moving fairly slowly with it, but the girls have tried a large variety of meats, fruits and vegetables. So far, they have eaten everything we have given them without any problems, with the exception of some occasional weird expressions when the food has a lot of texture. Until today that is.

We have given them yogurt a few times and they really liked it. So today I thought we would branch out into cottage cheese. Um, yeah, that did not go so well. They both took a few bites with an expression that clearly said they didn't like it. I thought I would keep trying since they were eating it to see if they changed their opinion of it. We got a couple of more bites in before Isabella started trying to spit it out and then started choking. I went to get her out of the high chair to help her get it out. She beat me to it though and cleared it out on her own, along with all of the contents of her stomach. Yuck! I guess we will not be trying cottage cheese again for some time.

On another note, my brother finally decided to visit our blog today. He apparently is having some trouble telling the monkeys apart. In his honor, I am posting a picture of a time when it was really hard to tell them apart. In fact, if you look at their feet, you will see that we left the bands on them just in case we had any problems. (We didn't, but the bands were helpful to the home visit nurses.) This is Sean with the monkeys when they were 8 days old. Caitlin is on the left and Isabella is on the right.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Zoo

I took the monkeys to the zoo again yesterday. We met some friends and had a good afternoon. The weather was beautiful, which meant the zoo was really busy. Before the day was over the girls played with a panda, Isabella bit a zebra's ear and Caitlin threw a giraffe. I did manage to take a few pics of the monkeys in action.

Oops! This isn't the zoo! Our mommy was too distracted by the animals to take pictures of us at the real zoo, so we made her do it at our zoo.

Yummy! Zebra ear tastes like chicken.

Look mommy! I can swing a giraffe over my head!

Isabella wants you to know that she saved the giraffe.

Caitlin thinks the zoo is fun!

Bye zoo animals we can't wait to see you again! Bye everyone else - visit us again soon!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time I said I would never be a stay at home mom. I thought stay at home parents had an easy life that could not possibly be fulfilling or rewarding. I was so wrong in every respect. I am a stay at home mom. It is incredibly fulfilling and rewarding. It is also one of the hardest things I have ever done.

At this point in my life, I cannot imagine anything more fulfilling or rewarding than the monkeys' smiles and laughter. My heart bursts with joy every time they hold their arms out to me and smile with the anticipation of knowing that I am going to hold them. Each time they learn something new I know that our daily activities have played a significant role in their success. People are always commenting on what happy babies the monkeys are. What can be more rewarding than knowing that I have created the environment that makes them happy?

So how hard can it really be to be a SAHP? I don't think anyone who hasn't been one can truly understand the challenges SAHPs face. I certainly didn't have a clue until I started walking the proverbial mile in my own shoes. Sure working in the professional world is hard. I'm not saying it isn't. But for comparison purposes think about these: (1) at the end of a bad day at work you get to leave the environment and go somewhere fresh; (2) on the rare occasion that someone at work is screaming, it is short lived, it is generally only one person screaming and you can tell yourself what a jerk that person is or just walk away if you need to; and (3) if you fail at your job you can get assistance to improve your performance or, in a worst case scenario, you find a new job. SAHPs face all of these problems on a frequent basis, yet we do not necessarily have those resolutions available to us. We also have to face constant scrutiny from people who think our lives are no more difficult than a casual walk in the park.

A bad day for a SAHP doesn't end at 5:00. We can't walk out of the office and leave the problems behind. There is not a fresh environment for us to go home to. Some days the best we can do is drift off to sleep telling ourselves that at least tomorrow will be a new day. When children scream and cry there are times when we can't make it stop and we never get to walk away. Sure, a screaming baby can be left in a safe place for a few minutes while we take a breather, but, if the baby doesn't calm down during that time, the problem isn't solved and we still have to cope with it. If there is more than one child, there is often more than one screaming child at any given time. So can a SAHP fail? Of course we can. Obviously, we have some of the same correctional options as people in the workforce. The difference is that our failure directly impacts the life of a helpless child, sometimes with lasting effects. We always hope that if we are doing something wrong we will be able to fix it. We don't have a manual to tell us how to do our job though. What if we don't know we are doing something wrong until it is too late to fix it? There is not a greater failure in my mind than one that has a lasting impact on a child's life.

So what brings this on? Well today was an extremely hard day. It was the kind of day that makes me question whether I am cut out for being a SAHP and whether it is in everyone's best interests for me to be one. I haven't had a lot of those kind of days over the last 8+ months, but there have been a few. I've been feeling a great deal of pressure lately to try to be everything to everyone. The reality is that I can't. It just isn't possible. I know this, yet the transition from knowing it to accepting it isn't a quick one. So I'm stressed, not sleeping as much as I need to and just generally creating my own little vicious cycle of daily failure.

Last night I finished studying for the day and headed for bed about 1:30. I accidentally woke the girls up and they wouldn't go back to sleep without a 2 am feeding. I finally headed to bed at 3 am. At 6 am the girls were awake and calling for milk. No biggie, I get up, feed them and put them back down like I usually do. They don't always go to sleep, but they generally play quietly in the crib so I can get another hour or so of sleep. Not today. They fussed and cried until I got them back up. It was all downhill from there. The low point of the morning was hours of them screaming and a momma who couldn't refrain from crying her own tears of extreme fatigue and frustration. I am sure that any mom of multiples will tell you that the hardest part of having multiples is not being able to properly comfort more than one baby at a time. Sometimes we just have to let one cry while we take care of the other one. It is heartbreaking but it is reality. Today it was more reality than I had the strength to cope with. I know that their bad morning was the result of teething. We have been going through the teething phase for some time now and it is starting to wear all of us down. Thank God Isabella's teeth are getting ready to break through. I'm not sure I could survive many more days like today without medicinal help. I probably wouldn't have survived today without my mom's help. Thankfully she didn't have to work today and was able to provide some much needed relief.

What brings me to the conclusion that being a SAHP is the hardest thing I've ever done? Well it isn't just this rough patch. I've haven't met my own performance expectations in any way. I thought I would have a clean house, make excellent meals, do a killer job of sticking to our budget through bargain shopping and provide the monkeys with every possible developmental advantage. I couldn't have been more delusional. First of all, there are two more people in our house now. Two more people to take care of. Being at home during the day time doesn't necessarily provide tons of time to clean and cook. It means that instead of having people here a few hours out of the day to make messes and need meals, there are people here all of the time. That means more to clean and more meals to make. I barely even look at the grocery fliers. I save what money I can, when I can, but I know I could be doing so much more. While I know that I do everything I can for the girls, it never feels like enough. I always feel like I should be doing more physical activities, playing more learning oriented games and just plain hugging them more. Maybe if there was only one of them I would be accomplishing these things. Maybe not. I don't know. What I do know is that I never want to find out the answer to that. All of the stress and feelings of inadequacy could never outweigh the love I feel for our girls.

Do I really have a point in all of this? Yes. In spite of those days when I think it would be so much easier to go back to work full time, I will not do it unless it becomes financially necessary. Finding a way to master being a stay at home mom to our beautiful monkeys is a challenge that I am unbelievably grateful to face. Yes, in some respects it is a privilege. At the same time, it is the most difficult career choice that I ever could have made. I know at the end of the day that I am a great mom. I am not perfect and I never will be. There will be days when I say I really need a drink, even though I rarely have one. The most important thing, though, is that our daughters know that they are loved and that we are doing everything we are capable of doing for them. I know I excel at those two things without a doubt.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Uh-oh mobility is coming.

The monkeys have been making a lot of motor skills progress over the last couple of weeks.

Isabella is getting her knees up underneath her. She is so cute when she is sitting there on all fours with an expression on her face that says I know there is something more to this but I'm just not sure what it is. A few times she has maneuvered herself over to her super seat and pulled something off of the tray. She is mostly just reaching, but she is showing some signs of starting to pull herself up. She is also doing a great job of standing on the floor with some assistance and unassisted when she is in the exersaucer. She does a great job of sitting and is working on learning how to get back to the floor from a sitting position. She still hasn't figured out how to roll from her tummy to back. The little Houdini has figured out how to roll over within the confines of her sleep positioner. Now it's back to repeatedly going in and turning her over during nap time.

We are so thrilled with the major progress Caitlin is making! We bought a jumperoo to try to get her to put her legs down and start putting some weight on them. It has worked so much better than the exersaucer. We all work with her everyday on the floor too. She is finally starting to stand on her legs a little. She is also starting to roll all over the place on the floor. She is really good at rolling onto her stomach and is pretty good at rolling back over to her back. She does such a better job of staying on her stomach for awhile before she gets upset. She is also starting to put her knees underneath her. She has not really figured out the pushing up on her arms part yet though. It is so great to see her moving around instead of just laying in one spot!

They both reach for everything they can see, especially Isabella. She doesn't give up when she sees something she wants. It's really fascinating to watch the wheels in her head spin as she tries to find new ways to reach her goal. We are going to have to do some serious childproofing soon!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Moving on up.

I have been feeding the monkeys in their super
seats for the last couple of months. In the beginning it worked out very well and was easier than getting their highchairs out. The feedings over the last few weeks have been much more of a chore as they have been distracted by toys and bending all over the place. Yesterday they moved up to eating in their highchairs. It is so much easier to feed them now that they are strapped into place. The only downside to their cool new chairs is that the straps are made for bigger babies (even on the smallest setting) so they still have a lot of wiggle room.

Today was an eventful day. We are in the middle of a spring snow storm. Fortunately, the snow is mostly melting or we would be buried right now. The flakes were huge and really pretty for a good part of the afternoon.

Isabella's bangs were getting pretty long and straggly so I trimmed them today. If they are not straight, don't blame me. That little monkey will not be still for me! On the funny side, the girls were playing on the floor and Isabella worked her way into Caitlin's space. Caitlin wasn't too happy about Isabella's head being in her way so she gave her a few get-out-of-my-space kicks to the head. Don't worry, the kicks weren't hard enough to hurt - they were just enough to motivate Isabella to move.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Play time with Daddy!

The monkeys had fun playing with daddy today. First daddy flew Isabella over Caitlin.

Then Caitlin got to fly over Isabella. If you look closely you will see that Isabella apparently thought Caitlin needed some help getting a bat out of the cave.

Then daddy took a breather to admire Caitlin's peacock hair.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I can't believe I own a mini-van.

We bought a mini-van this week! I always said I would not be a stay at home mom and that there was no way I would ever own a mini-van. Now look at me. I feel like a suburban stereotype. Now I just need a cashmere sweater set and a pearl necklace to wear when I take the girls to soccer practice. :) Alright, so it is not really that bad. I loved my Accord. It was so fun to drive and it was such a sweet looking car. It just was not right for our family. Caitlin's car anxiety was a big motivator to finally give in and make the trade. There just was not much room between the car seats and it was only going to get worse when we made the transition to the convertible car seats. At least now we will be able to take one car when we have visitors. Road trips will be a lot easier too. It took a lot of creativity to pack the Accord for four people for a week, especially when two of them are infants. We will be able to take the kitchen sink with us now :) Seriously, the new van is really nice. It is a 2009 Honda Odyssey. It is a dark blue, although the paint is kind of iridescent so it looks like a Barneymobile in some light and kind of teal in other light. So far, Caitlin seems to be doing much better in it than she did in the car. We think she is able to see out of the windows more, which might be alleviating some of her anxiety.

Here is a picture of the girls from yesterday. The little monkeys are making their momma a bit crazy. I have been sure they are teething for about two and half months now, yet there are still no teeth. If those little buggars do not come through soon, I might have to take a long solo vacation. The monkeys have started drooling excessively the last couple of days so I am hopeful that we are finally getting really close. Please let me be right!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Busy, busy.

I know, I know, I am slacking on my posts. It has been a really busy week. Trying to balance time with the girls, taking care of the house, my broker classes, car shopping, a meager social life and some contract work is wearing me down. There are some fun things happening that I will have to start catching up on tomorrow. Right now, though, my comfy bed is calling my name.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

8 Months!

Our little monkeys are 8 months old today! I just cannot believe how fast time is passing by.



Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Long day.

I know that there are rough days for all moms of infants. For a mom of multiples those rough days can be extremely challenging. Today was one of those days. Another mom of multiples once told me that some days simply surviving the day is a success. We survived the day so it must have been a success. Thankfully, every single day the monkeys do something to make my heart burst with joy. Even on the hard days.

A thought about those mythical super wives of the 50's occurred to me today. They always had the perfect martini waiting when their husbands came home because they spent the whole day drinking themselves. If I really thought it would make my house clean, keep my monkeys happy, put dinner on the table and make my appearance polished at 5:00, I would take up the fine art of martini mixing myself :)