Thursday, October 31, 2013

Post Partum Depression is a bitch.

Yesterday, it hit me like a train. My babies are going to be one in a week. ONE! Where did time go? We went and ordered their birthday cake yesterday at Publix and picked up some Halloween cupcakes. We opted to not take them trick or treating this year, simply because we don't really know anyone in our neighborhood too well and I feel like we'd be going to the door saying "Trick or Treat - the candy is clearly for us" So we are going to sit in the yard and play with the boys and pass out candy. And then they will get a cupcake, Lesson1 in Cake 101.
So as I am watching them play in the kitchen yesterday, waiting for dinner to finish cooking - or baking rather. I sit down and can't really help but cry. And to make the tears fall even harder, H came over and hugged me and patted me and walked away. Yes, I did say walk.

I'm at a loss of words, I have no idea where there first year of life has simmered away to. It's literally like I have blinked and they're almost one. I can't even say '1' without tearing up. I'm so, so very happy that they've over come so much this year, and fought and persevered and grown and are healthy and happy. I feel like I have been in "survival mode" for this past year. Last year by this time I had made about 4 trips to Labor and Delivery. I would make another two before the end of the week only to be admitted and to have an emergency C-Section. I can't help but think about how things went downhill so, so very fast.

I feel like having to face the bitch of postpartum depression, and raise two babies at once has put me into this survival type mode. Where every day it's a focus on what I need to do, what needs to be accomplished, and what the boys needs are. I was doing really, really well with working out in the mornings but the boys have gotten really active so now its again a struggle. I'm debating on starting to go running. But it's more or less finding time to go. It'll come with time, I'm hoping to get back into working out after they go to bed 3 nights a week. I felt a lot better when I was working out, and I'm hoping to start weaning off of the Zoloft after the holidays when things aren't so stressful. There is no specific reason for the wean, just that I want to move on and move past this chapter. So in order to do this, I really need to start getting back into working out. Because I know it will help with it. I really hate what PPD has taken away from me. I hate that she said, 'Ha! That first year of snuggles and milestones and joy that mom's get - nope you wont!' or 'HA! You think you're a good mom think again!' PPD is a bitch. A big bitch and I hate what she has taken from me. I hate that. I hate it more than I can say, and I hate that I won't ever get this year back. All I can do, is continue the daily struggle against her. Where I look her in the face and say 'F Off!'. The bad days aren't as frequent as they once were, but they do come now with a bit more severity. It takes all the strength I have to take a shower, cry, pick myself up, get dressed and look in the mirror and tell myself this is how your day is going to go, you just have to make it to bed time. If you make it to bed time and get them down, you freaking rock. It seems to help, and if it gets too unbearable there is always a trip to Target to help with it. I never imagined, something like PPD would affect me, nor could I of ever imagined the stress it can cause on both myself and my family. I never realized how much of a horrible nightmare it could be until I reached out for help. I also never realized just how much it could overshadow my babies first year of life. Now granted, it wasn't all dark and scary and sad, but good days, great days were often overshadowed with too much fear, too much sadness, and too much of an overwhelming desire to run away. But not any longer, I may of fallen down and I may of allowed PPD to overshadow a great first year of H&L's life, but it won't happen during their second year. I will overcome this and I will tell her to shove it where the sun doesn't shine. This - is my goal for H&L's second year. To enjoy it, to breathe it all in, to let the little things go. To play in the rain, to laugh at messes, to cry from laughing so hard, to snuggle on rainy days, to go on adventures, to enjoy their life. Regardless of what it brings along with it. I will not let postpartum depression take it away from me, or from them.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Meal Planning - My new found friend

So, I've made new friends with meal planning. Seriously, I don't know why I ever gave this up, or let it go or whatever it was that happened. But this idea, concept, way of cooking is amazing to say the least.
I've been working really hard with our budget and our time to eat real foods. This doesn't neccessarly mean the completely organic, gmo free craze just that I try to incorporate real food into all of our meals. For example: breakfast I can make anything from scrambled eggs for the boys, or blueberry pancakes and I can pair it with fresh fruit that was on sale or I can do regular pancakes with crock pot applesauce. Which by the way is amazing, and beyond easy. I'll post a recipe I found on the bottom of this post. Lunch normally tends to be left overs. And dinner depends on what meat is on sale, paired with veggies etc. The Green Giant steamable veggies have been on sale lately at Publix and I've been a huge, huge fan of those because they make things easy and anything that makes life a bit easier is always appreciated.
The big goal behind the excitement of BLW (baby lead weaning) was to eat healthier and as a family. I absolutely love what this has done for us, the boys and our family. I cook pretty much daily, which can get frustrating at times but that's where the meal planning comes in. I sit down one night a week and see whats on sale at Publix and Target (we tend to get most of our meat from the commissary since its cheaper there) and pair it up with what meat we have in the freezer. Apples have been on sale a lot lately so I've been doing applesauce on homemade zucchini bread, or applesauce just as a side. I love applesauce and from watching the boys eat it - they really do too.

The wonderful thing I've found about meal planning is that it helps me, and it helps me know just what we are having for dinner but yet its flexible enough to mix up or around if I'm just not feeling like having chicken or pork that day. I also found that I enjoy cooking again, I used to love cooking before getting pregnant with H&L and lost that when it became hard to cook with the smells and bedrest and then once they arrived, its just been about survival. Things are finally settling down and with that it offers new opportunity to try new recipes and try new foods. If you haven't tried meal planning, don't be intimated by the pinterest pins either. It's much easier than anyone ever leads to believe. Here is a guide to how I do think out my meals:
  1. What meat do I have in the freezer? What veggies/ingrediants do I have on hand? Example: I have two things of ground beef, 3 packages of chicken, a pork tenderloin, and steaks. I have a bag of potatoes, I have blueberries, a bag of apples, I have some biscuits in a can etc
  2. What can I make? What sounds easy/appealing? What haven't we had in a while?
  3. I write down ideas, search pinterest for ideas etc
  4. I plan, here are some examples
  • Taco Pie - Canned biscuits/crescent rolls and ground beef
  • Mini Chicken Pot Pies
  • Spagetti and garlic bread
  • Grilled Chicken and steamed veggies
  • Pork Tenderlion and mashed potatoes
  • Chicken and Pasta with steamed veggies
  • Steaks, sweet potatoes and applesauce
See - pretty easy and I'm all about easy. I've also noticed that by getting whatever I am making ready at the very, very start of the boys' afternoon nap all I have to do is pop it in the oven/warm it right before dinner time (5:30) and I'm good as golden. It helps keep additional clean up and dishes at bay, and gives me more time to devote to them. I really am hoping to find a good sale soon and get some freezer meals ready too. I made a meal earlier in the week and split it in half and froze the other half, so that's always an option too. Just isn't a good idea to do it with an experimental dish, try it first, then give it a shot!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Real, straight mom talk.

Lately, I find myself thinking more and more about mom things. Maybe, its because I'm a mom, or maybe its because my Facebook news feed is flooded by 'mom' things. But - regardless of how my brain was flooded with these thoughts, they're there.
Almost as instantly as that home pregnancy test turns positive, the mom guilt arrives. You know, that little voice in your head that suddenly is googling what not to eat, what to eat for a smart baby, what music will keep you calm so the baby grows better, stronger. You question how much caffine you drink, how much wine you chose to indulge on, what birth plan is right for you. Then comes motherhood and you question the medicine you're taking (if your nursing), you question your thoughts, you question your actions - 'should I not be washing dishes while the babies are content playing in the living room?' 'is it wrong to try to workout while they are playing in their jumpers?' 'am I sending the wrong message that I'm picking up while they are exploring around?'. Everything suddenly is followed by a question.

The questions are nice at moments, you like twice about doing something. You evaluate whether or not that trip to Target is worth throwing off a nap if they happen to fall asleep, but other times it just plain sucks. Mom guilt is so real, and its so annoying. The most important thing to remember is that you are a wonderful mom, you are your childs mother. As long as their is food on the table, clothes on their backs, your not living in a bug infested house, and they are safe and sound at the end of the night in bed - you've done a great job, given the benefit of the doubt that you aren't smoking crack after words.

What annoys me lately are the 'excuse' posts I see everywhere. (Not the one about the fit mom who others are accusing of 'fat shaming') the 'excuse' posts, the 'sympathy' posts, the 'be grateful because others can't have children' posts. They all annoy me to no end lately. Please, do NOT tell me to love my stretch marks that are here, there, and everywhere that pregnancy left me with simply because someone else can not conceive a child and carry a child to term. THAT is frustrating. It makes me feel like women are being made to be against each other, rather than supportive of one another. I feel for those who can't have a baby, it breaks my heart when there are wonderful people who deserve nothing more than a child of their own can not have one. But please, please don't make me feel like a terrible person for not loving my stretch marks, or the extra 15 pounds that I can't freaking lose because I had babies. I love my babies, I love them more than life itself and I would never in a million years, trade them for the body I had before them. But with that said, it doesn't mean I have to love this body right now, maybe next year, maybe when I get back into better shape. But right now? I don't love it and I can't be guilted into loving it.

This ties into the 'I make milk, what's your super power' posts - I get that breastfeeding is hard. But my super power - is that I feed my children and it doesn't matter how. Why am I not back into prepregnancy shape? Its called twins, that's my excuse. Twins and work, and a never ending chore list. Life. Life happens - and we shouldn't be guilted into doing something, or making something, or being something we aren't because someone else wishes they could be. Should the rich feel guilty because I'm not rich? Should the heavy weight people feel guilty because there are underweight people or starving people in other counties? Should the religious and God loving people feel bad because they love Him and others don't? No. It's absurd to think that we should all be so happy with ourselves, our flaws and our shortcomings simply because others can't have or don't have what we have.

I'm sure this isn't a well constructed post, and for that I apologize, I'm just letting off some steam so I can better focus that energy into cleaning out the house before family arrives for the boys' first birthday in two weeks.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Twin Rules 1-4

Lets talk about some twin rules, shall we? They aren't real rules but some unwritten laws in the H household.

Twin rule #1: One up, both up!
This one should be self explanatory. It seems mean, and at times you really, REALLY don't want to follow it but if one baby is up, the other one needs to be up. If H is still sleeping when L wakes up, or the other way around, which does happen frequently, I tend to give them ten minutes to wake up on their own or I wake them up. Nicely of course, I'm not super mean mommy. The reason for this is to keep them on the same schedule, you do want to sleep and you do need 'mommy' time at some point. You don't want them getting on opposite schedules or else you will lose your mind. Promise.

Twin rule #2: If one eats, they both eat.
This goes along with rule number one. If one is taking a bottle, the other needs to be taking a bottle. If not your constantly feeding someone, and the other one is off fending for him/herself. The best way I found to do this is by placing a boppy on either side of you, either on the couch - or on the floor once they start kicking off the pillows/using it for leverage, they will kick themselves into a back flip and land on the floor - trust me on this. So get comfy, put a boppy on your right side and one of the left, and grab the babes and set them in their spots and BAM! you pop the bottle in their mouths and enjoy the quietness.

Twin rule #3: Lots, and lots of floor/activity play!
The thing that has helped me beyond belief is the fact that we allowed the boys to be on the floor/on their mats playing 90% of awake time. Meaning - no hold me babies. Yes, it does have its drawbacks, but its better to get little cuddle time than having to hold two babies all.the.freaking.time. The boys come to me when they want cuddle time or when they want a book read to them and then go right back to playing when they're done. I prefer it this way, it gives me the ability to go potty, clean, make lunch, etc etc. And they are so independent and have the best personalities this mom could ask for.

Twin rule #4: If someone can't understand your schedule - then tell them to kick rocks.
Seriously. Unless this person has had twins, triplets or quads - tell them to kick rocks. And no - having two babies 13 months apart does not count. If your twins eat at 6:30am, 10:30am, 2:30pm, and 6:30pm and nap at 9:00-10:30 and 3:00-5:00 and your friend wants to go to Starbucks at 3:00 with you and the babies and will not accommodate you - tell her to kick rocks. She is not your friend. A friend would understand that you have time constraints and that its rather limited. So it is perfectly okay to stick to your guns. I'd rather skip out on Starbucks than have two overly tired babies who will only sleep on mommy after fighting sleep for an hour and then you have to painful hold your bladder until you are absolutely, positively sure they are asleep enough for you to put them in their cribs.

So that's Twin Rules #1-4. I'll have to post some more when I have my time. Hopefully this might possibly help someone, or if anything give someone else a chuckle. And to whomever wants to leave a nasty remark about scheduling babies, do yourself a favor and don't. You, my friend, can in fact kick rocks. :)