Here we go!

Somehow, since my last post, things have come together. Life is taking on somewhat of a schedule and we may be emerging from this 12 month sleep/behavior regression relatively unscathed. Like I was told, “it’s just a stage”.

1) We cleaned our house. It took an entire weekend, and it’s not TOTALLY done, but we did a top-to-bottom clean of the majority of the rooms, especially those that the nanny, J, would be in. And since we cleaned, we’ve maintained some organization by dividing them each night and taking on a chore list. I never thought a chore list would be something we’d have to resort to, but my husband likes it because he knows exactly what he needs to get done, so he just cranks it out and then heads for the couch. Myself – I tend to take a quick break after the babies go to bed, and then I get cracking on my chores. We’re still spending at least 2 hours a night cleaning/cooking/prepping food, but until we get in the groove of things, I don’t see how to make these chores happen faster. At least our house is clean(er).

2) B is climbing out of his Wonder Week 55 fog. Like C’s 4th month sleep/behavior regression, B’s lasted about 5 long weeks. As suddenly as it came on, he changed again. He isn’t as easily irritated. He’s eating (a few) more foods. He throws fewer fits in a days time – and when he does, it is easier to manage and he recovers quickly. And most importantly – he’s sleeping through the night again. He’s back to taking 2 naps (I’m glad we didn’t keep pushing for the one nap – it was all part of the regression and he’s not quite ready for 1 nap yet). He is re-sleep trained and if he wakes up and cries (which is now becoming rare) he will get himself back to sleep. Ahhhh. It was a long 5 weeks. 

3) We made progress on the food. I had to just sort of make the decision – either the babies would eat what we eat and learn to like different kinds of foods, or they would eat extremely healthy, but only rotate between like 10 things. So we chose the first option – mostly for dinner. We have made friends again with the crock pot and use it every. single. day. (This is part of what takes so long for those nightly chores – making dinner!) When the babies eat dinner at 6:00, we eat with them. And now that we’re throwing all these new food combinations at them, I’m not expecting them to like or eat all of it – so I do have backup veggies and cheese and that sort of thing. But I’m at least getting them to try the dinner – and some they’ve loved, some they hate. It’s an interesting game for us as parents – figuring out what they hate. It’s not that I’ll never make it again, but I want to make sure they have something they like at least every other dinner. And so far, they really love anything with cheese or pasta. So whenever we have meat, if they won’t eat it by itself, I tuck some into a whole wheat wrap with cheddar cheese and make it a quesadilla. I’ve put ground turkey, ground beef, chicken, and pulled pork in there that way. For pasta – they absolutely gobbled up minestrone soup, whole wheat gnocchi…etc. And the soup was great because there were veggies and beans in there, and they didn’t even notice. They just dug in. Two meals they have hated were beef stew and shepherd’s pie. I assumed they would love shepherd’s pie, with the potatoes, cheese and veggies, but I’m coming to the conclusion that they do not like the flavor of beef. So the beef stock that was in both of those meals was a no go for them. It’s this daily challenge, but hopefully we’ll continue to expand their palates. I’m not giving them pasta more than a few times a week. We’ll just have to try new things.

4) Finally, and this is a big one, our nanny, J, started with us. After 13 months with these babies, I’m going back to work. I spent all last week setting up my classroom, and this week and next week we’re back for real. The first day was all adrenaline. The second day, I have to admit I was sad, but not devastatingly so. And that might be because J is awesome. She’s young, she has fresh ideas – she does a different sensory activity with them daily. She has found her groove quickly and the babies took to her right away. She’s even good with the dogs. She sends me pictures and doesn’t mind me asking questions. So I really can’t complain. The transition was as smooth as it could possibly be. 

So progress is being made!

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Changes.

We have been crazy busy lately. Nothing has been too different in terms of our schedule, but for whatever reason, I can’t carve out any time for myself. Now that it’s after 10, and the twins have been sleeping for 3.5 hours already, I’m finally sitting down. It’s not that I enjoy chores, but yet, I do enjoy the feeling after they are completed. The feeling of productivity – that I’m doing what is needed for my house and for my babies and I have something to show for it. After dinner clean-up, two batches of baby food, one load of cloth diapers, eight washed bottles, one nalgene bottle of formula made and a mini cleaning spree of every room on the ground floor later, and I’m done. My husband does this with me – he started the baby food and I finished, and we each took certain rooms in the house to work on. Of course, we’re going further than we normally might on a Thursday night but we have interviews this weekend. More on that in a few.

Anyway, things have been changing in my house, and that has caused me to lose my own time, and therefore blogging and sorting through pictures has taken a back seat. I love to take pictures – I do not love to sort through the hundreds that are waiting for me. That’s why I don’t like to get backed up with pictures – it’s a daunting task.

The babies had their 9 month check-up on Monday. B is just about 24 pounds, with his weight in the 90th percentile, height in the 50th, and head size – 100+. Off the charts. C had almost the exact same percentiles, except that she is 20.5 pounds. My babies apparently have big heads. The doctor was not concerned with their lack of physical development in terms of crawling and rolling around. They were born 5 weeks early after all, and she just sort of eased my worries about it. I can (and do) help them to make those strides with more tummy time, more coaxing them to shift their bodies around, but they will learn. B got his first tooth almost a month ago, and since then, 4 more have popped up. I’ve heard that when babies get their teeth late, many come at once, so that may be the case here. C still has no teeth and none to be seen under the gums either. In her own time. Luckily, B’s teeth haven’t seemed to cause him great concern – I was prepared for an insane amount of drool and to be honest, it’s not there. No bibs required.

However, naps – naps are BAD. B now takes two half hour naps a day and that’s it. C used to take two hour and 15 minute naps a day, but in the last few days, she’s been copying her brother. This is part of the reason I have no time. Luckily, they both sleep through the night. Thank goodness.

We’re hiring a nanny. Finally. We were going to hire a nanny back in February, but after doing a search last November, I basically came up empty. No one stood out to me and I wasn’t at all ready to go back to work. The mere thought of leaving my infants was the most devastating thing. I had the opportunity to stay home the rest of the school year and I decided to take it. It was the best decision I made, and I wouldn’t change it. However – now I do have to go back to work. And this time when I think about it, I don’t feel panicked. I feel – almost ready. I have no doubt I’ll be upset and more importantly, slightly paranoid, but it feels like something I’m prepared to do. I’m going to be a teacher again, and someone else is going to stay at home with my kids. I’m not currently cringing at that thought, and I always used to. This time when I did my nanny search, I wanted to make sure I found the right one. I just can’t settle.

This weekend, we have three interviews. And these three people already feel comfortable to me. They have the qualities I’m looking for – they seem like people I could trust. Granted, I haven’t met them in person yet. But at the end of the weekend, I’m hoping to have myself a nanny.

In other news, I’m thinking about making a change to my nutrition. I guess this doesn’t count as a change yet because I’m still thinking about it, but it’s there. I seem to be pretty healthy from the outside, but there are things that I wish I could change.

I’m already gluten free and that will stay – I’ve tried incorporating gluten back into my diet a few times and had terrible, painful results. I do not have Celiac’s Disease, but my stomach is clearly bothered by gluten. Interestingly enough, in college I had bouts of stomach illness almost every other day. It always occurred after dinner, and I thought stress might have caused it. A doctor called it IBS and psyllium husks helped. However, looking back I now wonder if it was related to gluten. Even though I’ve been gluten free for a while, I’ve simply replaced the gluten with other carbs. Gluten free bread, pasta, cookies – those products have added sugar to compensate for the lack of gluten. And sugar, I think, is my real enemy here.

I have chronic hives and have for years. I do know that I have flare ups when I consume sugar. Not every time, but most of the time. Yet, I eat it anyway. Why? Because it’s just too good to pass up. Even with the thought of hives that itch and cause my lips to swell – I still eat sugar. My infertility – PCOS was the main cause, but when combined with these autoimmune issues, I feel like I have a real hormonal imbalance. I have no scientific proof to this, but I wonder if sugar has something to do with it. I’m a big believer in diet changes affecting health, but I can’t seem to make the changes myself. I happened to see this on TV recently – a doctor said that you know you’re addicted to sugar if you can’t bear the thought of cutting it out of your diet. And that’s where I am.

I have cut out sugar before, and being sugar and gluten free was really challenging. What do you do for parties? For dinners out? No one wants to be the boring one, the one who can’t eat what everyone else is eating. So I tried it for a while and then I patted myself on the back for doing it for a short time and sort of relapsed, consuming all the sugar I could.

But I think for me, with my sensitive system and infertility and chronic hives – I think removing sugar from my diet would only help my body. And going sugar and gluten free wouldn’t mean that I would replace those ingredients with sugar substitutes and other types of flour – I think I really need a clean diet. Not quite Paleo necessarily, because that’s really, really hard. But eating fresh fruits, veggies, potatoes and brown rice (not giving those up) and healthy meats and fats – I just feel like I’d feel better. I haven’t made this change yet, see, because I ate all the candy today. All of it. And I’m sluggish, and tired, and gaining weight because I eat like a teenager. So in this regard, there are some changes that need to be made. I just haven’t decided if I’m going to make them or not. If I have the mental strength on tough, exhausting days NOT to reach in the cabinet and eat something junky. With sugar. Ugh.

And here are some pics from our week that I have already sorted through!

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