Friday, August 27, 2010

Blissful Moments

This morning was "date morning". Phil and I have decided to make every Saturday morning from 8 am-noon couple time. I'll admit that 8am- noon is a bit strange, but it happens to be the only space in the week when our nanny and ayi work at the same times while Phil is home. It is therefore, our opportunity to spend some time together while they watch the boys. 

Despite the fact that my brain was fogged by the remnants of a migraine that rendered me useless the day before, that I had only slept 1-2 hours since 2:30 in the morning and that Phil had taken the night shift; we dragged our tired bodies out of bed, showered and made for a little German restaurant in the French Concession for breakfast. We tucked into our traditional European breakfast-assorted breads, meats, and cheeses; along with jam, fruit, and really yummy coffee- and it occurred to me how truly fortunate we are. As the parents of 5 month old twins, I think the fact that we are able to get out at all and spend time together is a fairly remarkable thing. Not everyone is fortunate enough to live in a country like China where you can have 2 full time staff members who love your children and take great care of them...for such a small amount of money.

After our lovely and leisurely breakfast, we returned home to sleeping babies and crawled back into bed for a much needed nap. For the first time in a really long time I just laid in bed looking at one of my sleeping angels swinging back and forth and was able to savor the moment...

Monday, August 23, 2010

One Down...Three to Go

We survived the night, and I would daresay we did fairly well. This was the first of 4 nights that I will be without Phil as he travels for business. My girlfriend Lisa came over in the afternoon to lend a little moral support, and I had my nanny stay overnight in case both babies woke up at the same time. Amazingly, I didn't even need her until 6am! I say amazing because Phil and I spent the night before on the floor; him with Isaac and me with Naaman, from 2am until 4am while they played. Needless to say, I was a bit worried we would have a repeat of that last night. We did not however; and by 7am I managed to get 7 hours of sleep (albeit in small chunks over a 10 hour time period), eat breakfast, and even take a shower!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


It's truly amazing what you can get away with eating while breast feeding twins. Never in a million years would I have imagined being able to eat the stuff I've been eating without gaining an extra 30-40 pounds. Seriously; I polish off a sleeve of Marks & Spencer chocolate chip cookies during my daily reads. (For those curious types, I am currently enjoying the company of Monsieur Hercule Poirot on his many mysterious adventures). I have to admit that even as I sit here blogging, I am contemplating the best method of disposal for the cookie crumbs that have gathered beneath me on the desk.

Due to the sensitive nature of my preemie babies little tummies (that and their reflux)- I have a very limited diet. No dairy; nothing spicy; no caffeine, coffees or teas of any stripe; no chicken; nothing acidic (ruling out most fruits); and let's not forget nothing gassy (ruling out most veggies and beans). What is a girl left to eat you ask? This is a simpler list for me to share by far. Drum roll please... I can eat: oatmeal, avocados, pears, and said cookies. That's about it. Technically, I probably shouldn't even these little treats from Marks & Spencer, but they don't seem to bother the babies bellies too much- so they have become my one sweet indulgence.

I will say that while I haven't gained weight, I haven't worked too hard at regaining my former shape either. With trying to maintain enough milk for two growing and rather hungry babes- I've been a bit nervous about working out or trying to lose weight. With the introduction of solids in the boys near future however, I think it best that I try to break some very bad habits before I lose the fat and calorie burning machine that is known as my breast feeding self.

First step: think about it (done). Second step: write about it (done). Third step: enjoy my avocado and mayonnaise sandwiches (off to make one now). Fourth step: cut back on the cookies (the when and how of this step will be decided at a later date).

Off to make my super fatty sandwich...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sleep: Part 2

I am going to preface this with a warning- I am taking on the often controversial subject of sleep and parenting and while I have no intention of offending anyone out there, I am certain I will. We all do what we think is best for our families and I am just sharing my honest personal thoughts...)

So back to what I was saying in the last post: sleep, parenting, having twins, etc, etc...

I guess I really have to start with the fact that I gave birth to my children very early and rather unexpectedly. Seven weeks prior to most mothers due dates- we are reading up on childbirth, what to pack in our bags for the hospital and last minute name ideas. When I went into labor (6.5 weeks early- I hadn't really made it to the part about what to do once the baby arrived. So once the babies arrived- I didn't have a whole lot more than vague ideas about what parenting would look like once we got home with our little bundles.

I am currently 5 months into this crazy thing called twin parenting and I can tell you with all honesty that my life looks nothing like I had envisioned. No surprise really. We new parents have all of these unrealistic romanticized versions of what it's like to have a baby floating around in our subconscious minds. They magically fit into our lives, going wherever we go- the absolute picture of a contented, docile, cooing little mound of flesh that drifts off into dreamland all on their own. So wrong! While some parents are blessed with a reality not too far off from what I have just described, the vast majority of us are left scratching our heads when our well meaning (childless) friends ask us if our baby sleeps through the night yet.

By the way- this whole sleeps through the night thing is a myth. Aside from the occasional angelic baby or the parent who has decided to do the cry it out method and has successfully managed to "sleep train" their child- most babies do not actually sleep through the night. A baby is actually considered sleeping through the night if they have a stretch of 5 hours or more. That means that we parents are still waking up at ungodly hours of the night; and I do mean ungodly. Waking up at 2 or 3 am has a tendency to reveal the not- so- nice sides of a person.

So here I am- 5 months in and I have 2 babies (not 1) who are in need of constant attention when it come to sleeping and they are waking every 2 hours to feed all night long (I think I mentioned this before, but it is worth noting again to elicit your sympathies). In an effort to regain sanity, I have obtained all major sleep books and started reading about methods that span the styles- super attachment parenting methods (no surprise these folks don't have twins with reflux), the cry it out crowd, the Ferber method, and so on. While I have gleaned helpful bits of information from each book- I would have to say that none have left me feeling all that comfortable or excited to take on the task of "sleep training".

Then I came across this book by Tracy Hogg called Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. She has a unique middle of the road perspective that I appreciate. So far, this book has resonated with me the most. It teaches you how to help your child learn to sleep on their own without employing any extreme tactics. No crying it out alone, no schedules mapped out to the second, no sleeping in the parents bed until the age of 3 with demand feeding at all hours, no allowing children to set the tone in the home, etc. I realize in reading this book that we have a lot of bad habits to undo, but I finally feel good about how we can undo them and what we can put in place of them.

Of course, what looks good in a book may look entirely different in practice- but I'll keep you posted...

Oh, and the next time you are invited to a baby shower- give the parents to be, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer as a gift. (author is in no way shape or form- paid by Tracy Hogg or any of her affiliates ;)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sleep: Part 1

It's a little before 7 pm and both of my children are bathed, fed and asleep. There was little protest or crying on their part, and I am feeling unusually at ease after putting them to sleep. Sadly, the trend toward bedtime has gotten worse over the last month or so. With increasing difficulty- we do everything short of a head stand to get them to go to bed; and to make matters worse- they have started waking every two hours to eat all night long. I am exhausted, they are exhausted, and I am ready to ship them back from wherever it is they came from. On this unusual evening I have decided to write a bit about my observations and frustrations regarding sleep and parenting twins...more to come- I am going to bed now.