Monday, December 24, 2007

Eighth Month

Here we are at another marking point in your lives, the eighth month that has held such wonder but started with such trials. I must admit I was teetering at the edge when this month began, a mama that had existed without sleep that really counted for quite a few weeks. You two babies were going through your own trials as this month began, things that kept us busy and so very exhausted and unable to really function.

I was praying for help at the start of this month, prayers of pleading for mercy, for change, for anything that could help us. We were spending more time awake with you than asleep in those weeks and things were unraveling. And then the day came when I tuned into the answers we were receiving and that day marked change in our experiences.
You see, a month earlier I happened to meet another mama of twins in the store, she approached and asked how we were doing. It was such a strange thing, the immediate questioning of our state. But she just knew, she knew things were rough. And she suggested I call her and talk about where we were at in the raising of our twins. We had a long discussion about their approach and current needs of their children, only one month older than you two. And they suggested we try the modified version of CIO (I know, such a controversial term, not to mention subject). At the time I rejected the idea. Although it sounded as if it had helped them solve a lot of sleep issues, I just could not stomach the idea.

Our nights proceeded to deteriorate from that point on and we found ourselves feeding and co-sleeping and changing beds and constantly on edge waiting, just waiting for it to get worse. The morning I woke up and told my mom that I just wanted to leave, to be done, to be away was the worst….I literally could not feel anymore, sleep deprivation had taken it’s worst toll.

Then that day three things happened. I read a blog post from another twin mama detailing their approach to sleep with twins, I spoke with my friend again and her amazing articulate husband, and I received permission, actually instruction to let them cry from my TCM practitioner, Dr. Chen. The universe came together on that day to give me what I needed, the courage to try something different and to let it happen. It was so very scary, anticipating disaster that first night, but it went unbelievably well and the night morning dawned and I felt hope and joy for the first time in weeks.

Since that day we have been experiencing progress with sleep, both for you and for me and for Daddy. It has it’s own challenges, letting you cry, letting you explore what it is you need in order to settle, but it has rewards too. You both now go down successfully each night around 7 and most nights make it until 5 a.m. This happens without too much intervention from us, sometimes a little pat, sometimes a little cuddle, but no feeding, no taking you out of the room, usually not even out of the crib. Yes, 5 is still early, but I will take it over waking ten times a night any day.

The month was not just about sleep, so many significant developments occurred. Owen, you cut your first teeth, right here on the bottom, found by cousin Erinn while she held you at Grandpa’s 80th birthday celebration. It was so great to have a family member find your little sharpie (man, those teeth are lethal. Kinda’ makes me grateful I do not breastfeed, can‘t imagine that latched on my nipple)…and our extended family just loves you both so much. This month of holiday celebrations re-introduced you to many new family members that we do not often see. All of them were so delighted to get to know you a bit more and they commented on your handsomeness (Owen) and cuteness (Mason) (a prevailing theme, I might add)
. A bit of stranger anxiety is starting to set in and you are not always as willing to go to new folks, but you are curious about all of them and all the new settings you experience.

The physical front just keeps moving along, no pun intended. Mason, you are the expert pull to stand boy, determined to get there and willing to stay at your play table for 30 minutes or more, partly because you have yet to really figure out how to sit down. Unlike Owen, you are an impulsive mover, willing to try anything even if your little limbs are not yet steady or sturdy enough to take it. Owen, you discovered that rooms have exits and now no threshold can hold you. For some reason you stop at the door to check out the doorknob, but once you assess that it is still out of your reach, onward ho, until the hinges catch your attention, and then you are out. Hallways do seem to confuse you as does the speed with which your Mama can move. But both of you are truly mobile now and it opens your world and allows you a new view of everything around. I love the way your bodies are changing because of this mobility, but it is slowly taking away your baby-ness and in it’s place I see a boyness. It makes me feel a bit wistful, and those sayings that the time passes so quickly for parents holds more true each day.

Daddy and I marvel at you daily, when you fall asleep we are happy for the quiet moments, but more often than not find ourselves discussing our days, your ways and how we cannot wait to see you again. And then we joke that we are not talking about seeing you between the hours of 11 and 4 because that is just not a fun time for anyone. But we are seeing you establish independence, learn about your world, and discover your voices and your selves. The babbles of Mama and Dada are not truly directed at us yet, but it is exciting to know they will be and we will become those names to you.

I will hold this month and all the previous close, close to my heart. How can it be that my babies are marking their eighth month, their first holiday season is almost at a close, their first teeth in? How will I remember this time? Will I look back and read these entries and remember, truly remember? I wonder at times.
Each month passes swiftly, faster than the last and I wonder. I think forward to the experiences ahead, of all the adventures to come, then reflect back. Eight months seems like so little time and an eternity. There is little room in my mind for the life before you both were here. And so I anticipate it all, try to cherish all the moments, even the hard ones, and remind myself to nuzzle your softest cheeks and hold your growing feet in my hand because I know, I know a bit better that time is moving along and it will not happen again, those stolen moments.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Welcome to the world of Holidays and family and love, love, love. And remember Mama loves you so very much.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Seasonal Silliness

I do not know if this link will work for ya'll, but we found a hilarious site that allows you to make a movie with your choice of 'heads'. Click on the link to see it at JibJab. Hope you can see it and hope it makes you laugh.

In case it does not work, here is a little shot of our boys during our attempt at Christmas pictures. I love how mischievious Mason looks in the photo. God, I love those babies.

Happy Holidays all!

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Little Quickie

The white elephant party was a wonderful success with fun and friends had all around. It was a great night out for this Mama, I realized that September was my last outing with our friends and I realized that is waaay too long. Anyway, I did get a little nervous during the gift exchange as I thought of my gift and the reception it would have. Of course, a guy pulled the bag out and as I turned bright red, he opened it, turned it around a few times, realized what it was and laughed his ass off.
He promised me it was going to hang off the rear view mirror of his car. Sweet.
The womb garnered a bit of attention.

There was a weird theme prevailing that night as evidenced by the next photo.
I will not show what Tim's best friend made out of scrap wood at the shop, sufficed to say it completes my gift. Ahem. The booze shots are included because I love those boys, their smiles always make my night.

All I can say is Thank God for good friends, great food and Guinness. These things redeem me from dismally difficult days of teething babies and low grade fevers...they actually make me feel as if those days are really not that bad.

I included a few shots of my ladies.
The ones I do not see nearly enough, but somehow are always there when needed. We have all promised ourselves a day out at a winery, sooner than later. A really important reminder to me that I need these times, even if they are just for a few hours, to reconnect and recharge.

Here is hoping your holiday celebrations do just that for you. Smiles to all.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Well, it has been too long since I posted. I have not been prolific in this spot of late due to the usual; babies, holidays, reading other people's writing...all those things. Thanks to any who come by to check out the site, I want to be regular in my posting and I do regularly think of things I would like to write and show, but life has a way of sidetracking me away from the actualization of these posts.

I did not give up on the Christmas knitting and feel as if I have accomplished a great feat by churning out a plethora of hand knit handwarmers,

Handwarmers with patterns from LMKG and Weekend Knits.

a few beanies and one very cute felted purse.

Pattern: Booga Bag, thanks Sereknitty for the suggestion.

All from stash yarn. That felt good. The handwarmers are all going to my family of wonderful in-laws...people that I do not get to see enough of. We did have a great visit from the family where cousins met cousins for the first time (our boys and my husband's awesome nephews). Kyle with Mason in the Baby Bjorn.

Seeing them together and watching how my baby boys went to their Aunt Libby without blinking an eye, and more importantly, stayed with their Aunt Libby, well, it made me wish the distance between La Verne and Portland could be eliminated, or at least reduced.

So, the knitting has been keeping me from posting, the babies, and sometimes, the not really feeling like I have anything to report. This holiday, the first of many to come with children, well, I am finding it the hardest. Not in a bad, oh-I-wish-it-were-not-Xmas way...more a wish-I-had-more-time way. I am glad on their first Christmas they do not really get it because there is little time to put towards establishing the holiday. The tree is up, but undecorated. The stockings are piled somewhere. The lights are strung and I love to see them but rarely do as we slump exhausted in bed most nights, a bit dulled eyed from fatigue and feeling like we should do more, but cannot.

Life with twins is such a challenge and such a blessing. As time is moving forward, I am seeing more of the picture of my days, it alternately delights and frightens me. Both boys are mobile, both are standing...they have the bruises to show for it too. I feel like padding every inch of our house to prevent injury, but I know something else would come up. Their accomplishments are awesome, they are so inquistive and determined in their own ways. But they are definitely boys and turning out to be a bit ornery too. Like during nap time, or at least, what we try to make nap time. They are full of life and the desire to explore it, it keeps us running from sun up to sun down....and even a little more than that, of course.

I can say I am so very happy to have little bits of time to do the knitting I have, although it never feels enough. There are so many other pieces and projects I would love to cast on, but for now I will end with a cute little number I have wanted to knot since I saw it featured on Knitty. We are attending a white elephant gift exchange tonight and it was the perfect excuse to get this little knit going. I know someone is going to be really surprised (and a little disgusted maybe if of the male gender) to get this. I love it and I think I might have to make another for my pregnant is simple and took two hours tops. Nice.

Now, back to the drawing board to see what else can be whipped out in the next 10 days. 10 days? Where did 2007 go? I'll leave you with the Beans' first visit with Santa. I was pleased that there was one smile, and Owen is excused from smling dur to teething/first cold. And yep, I knit their sweaters and made their elf shoes. Ah, the life of a Craft obsessed Mama of twins.