Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

This space intentionally left blank.

There will be pictures here later.

Nothing to see here. Move along!

Whaaaat? Did you think I was that organized that I'm on top of the photographing, editing and posting? It's Twinsville, Nursing Nation around here.

Updated muuuuch later to add:
This was a seriously low budget, low effort year for us. Not that anyone should be surprised by this.

They had a party at Caitlin's school and a costume parade where we got to see plenty of witches, warlocks and hippies. Caitlin is a fairy princess missing her wings. The bit that holds the wings on has gone missing. I offered to make her into a grape cluster with balloons instead, but she didn't want to do that.

After Eric had blown up all the balloons, of course.
For reasons I can't explain, Caitlin no longer knows how to smile for photographs anymore. This saddens me to no end.
After school, she went to a Halloween party at M's house, picked up and dropped off by M's mom while we stayed home and watch Hot Fuzz! with Scott & Sierra. Yay! The kids went trick or treating together as a massive group and brought in a serious haul. Caitlin got tired of getting so much candy at one point and stopped going door to door. Her final haul? Seventy pieces. We offered to trade the candy for toys and she looked mildly interested.

Then we offered to trade them for books and she got excited, her eyes sparkling. Yes, this is my child: she prefers books to toys. Wheee!

The twins, not to be left out, wanted to be involved in the costume craziness, but I couldn't bring myself to a) go shopping, b) spend money on a pair of costumes that no one would ever wear again and c) couldn't find newborn costumes anyway. Instead, they came up with a brilliant idea.

They went as identical twins.

Identical twin girls.
Check out those feet! So cute!
Emma says she'll be glad to wear the outfits long past Halloween.

Logan insists that he looks good in pink and that he likes kitties, so what's the problem?! Besides, everyone currently assumes they're both boys. These outfits will confuse a strangers further. Bwahahaaaaa!

So! What did you do for Halloween? Did you dress up? If you have kids, what do you do with all of their candy? Do you decorate the house? What would you recommend we do to lure more trick or treaters to our door? Every year we get a pretty poor showing and I'm wondering what we can do differently next year.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Thrush update

Logan is fine, while Emma has the lovely ick covered tongue, so she's the one we're working on medicating. Oh and me, of course. Thrush, apparently, doesn't pass from baby to baby, but instead from mother to baby and vice versa, so unless Logan starts showing signs, we aren't dosing him with Nystantin.

Once again the admonition to Follow Your Instincts went right over my head. A few days ago I started thinking that Emma's tongue looked funny but convinced myself it was probably just milk. Then she started pulling away from me and fretting while nursing and that was weird as well as painful. Emma has not yet received the notice that nipples are not made of chewing gum. The fretting turned to hollering while nursing, but I thought it was gas or frustration with a lack of milk production. How I could blame myself while she's clearly putting on lots of weight? Normal milk producing fears. Couple this with the fact that when I started researching thrush there were other things that were also like thrush that it might have been.

Add all ingredients together and stir briskly. This resulted in my waffling until the weekend over whether it was or wasn't thrush until I got the final sign: shooting pains in my breasts. Not the sometimes painful tingle of milk let down, but a sharp "someone's poking me in the breast with a sharp metal poker" shooting pain. No fun at all.

Of course by this time on Saturday it was too late to call or see a doctor until Monday. It was also impossible to justify thrush as an "urgent" call to the pediatrician. That's when the frantic research began, while Emma screamed at me that her mouth was hurting.

Bad mommy!

A not-so-quick trip to the store (all of us going shopping is no longer "quick") with children in tow and I returned with acidophilus, odorless garlic, chewable vitamin C, and B complex to start my War on Yeast. Add to that a vinegar rinse for my breasts and Emma's tushie and that's what we started with to hold us over until Monday.

Now I have an ointment for me and the Nystantin for Emma and my plethora of pills. Emma is already doing better and I noticed the shooting pains didn't come back after I started downing pills on the weekend. Now I just need to find time in between nursings to apply my drugs. I have to keep wiping it off when someone wants to nurse - which is apparently every damned minute. We apply Emma's drugs 4x per day - we have to apply it to our fingers and wipe it around her mouth since she won't swish it around like the directions suggest. Emma is such a slacker!

Well, she's hollering for me, so I've gotta go. Le sigh!

Updated to add:
To avoid cross-contamination, each baby now has their assigned breast until this little side adventure is over. I'm hoping to avoid spreading around the yeasty badness. If possible.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Dyeing to know more

You know how reading one thing on the internet often leads to something else, then another thing and on and on until your head is filled with information (useful or otherwise) and suddenly hours have blown by?

Yeah, well, that's me while nursing these days. You can't do a whole lot while nursing. I can't really hold a book since I often have to stop everything and readjust someone's latch or burp them or wipe up spit up. Surfing the web, however, is just a lackadaisical click here and there to get to gobs and gobs of new info or fun blogs.

While I was looking for info on thrush, I went to the Crunchy Domestic Goddess because I knew she'd have all kinds of links on lactation issues. While there I noticed her article on Halloween candy and the horror that is artificial coloring in food. Petroleum products and coal tar, anyone? That got me wondering about my migraines and the chocolate covered cherries I'd been eating in mass quantities and I wondered if the Red Lake #40 was affecting me instead of the chocolate itself which brought me to an article on food colors. I'm not certain if I've found the cause of my migraines, but it doesn't look good.

The fact that we continually allow chemicals in our food, clothing, homes, makeup and toys and into the bodies of our children, chemicals that are banned in Europe, does not bode well for the American society. Why do we continue to let this happen? Is there anything we can do?

As usual, it comes down to voting with your wallet and voting at the polls. Agitate for change. Make changes in your own home for your family's health.

Do you really want to eat those blue M&Ms now?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Family photos

Mom wanted me to shoot some pictures for her Xmas card this year that would include her and dad and all of their grandchildren. I gave it the old college try, but I was thwarted by crying. I think she ought to create a title on this card that says "Don't cry! It's almost Christmas!"
Note the only one not crying is Caitlin. What's her problem? Didn't she get the memo? And yes, this was the best shot out of the full grandkid bunch.

Along the way to Xmas 2007 Mishap, I got a few other pictures in. Or Eric did.
Caitlin and bunny puppet.
Cindy and Daniel.

Dad and Emma.
Emma, wondering what all the noise is about.
The family, missing one Eldest Sister. She had to hightail it outta there the day before to get back to that "work" thing.
Dad and Emma, extreme close up. This is where having a digital SLR and Photoshop rocks! I went from this picture:

To this:
They look like they're having a little conversation. Emma is regaling dad with stories about Milk or is gasping in surprise at his stories about how big the fish he last caught was. It's a keeper and will go in her baby book, just like the one with Logan and dad will be going in Logan's book.

No, I haven't created the books yet, but I've got lots of thoughts going on about what all will be going in them.
Mom, Eric and the twins.
Mom and Emma. Mom kept threatening to take either Emma or Logan home with her and I kept telling her she'd be hard up without breastmilk, since Logan won't drink anything else. Now I bet she's glad she didn't choose Emma since she's the one that has thrush the worst of the two. I'm beginning to get the feeling that Emma's immune system is a bit weaker than Logan's.

Different set of pics, different day. Clearly I should have broken the big flash out sooner.

Rare evidence of dad washing dishes. I never saw him wash a single dish while I was growing up. He cleaned fish, not dishes!
Mom, Dawn and I, with the twins.
Rare photo of dad and I together. Usually I'm taking the pictures, which is why I'm never in them. It's safer that way. I shoot a better picture than I take, if you know what I mean.

Best shot of Daniel.

Roll over, Rover!

Logan is rolling over. From his belly to his back.

Yes, he is only one month old. What exactly do you think he's thinking about?! Argh! According to the What to Expect series 75% of children can roll over one way by the end of two months.

I've seen him roll over before (while mom was here, so even younger than 1 month!), but I kept blaming it on him being on an incline. This time he was on the floor - perfectly flat. No excuses.

We are so in trouble!

Updated to add: Almost forgot! Logan smiled at Eric for the first time today. Eric is now appeased.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Now we have THRUSH?!

What the HELL?!


Any advice? I don't think the doctor's office is open tomorrow. What treatment can I start for thrush right now?

Bloody hell.

Yeah, breastfeeding is a frickin' riot.

This whole thing started with a milk blister, so I thought I "just" had a plugged duct. Now it's possible that was my initial thrush warning sign.

Updated in the cool light of morning to add: Now that I'm not currently faced with a screaming, pulling-off-the-breast desperate child, I've come up with a few plans. I'm going to pick up acidophilus capsules, Kyolic (garlic) pills, and start downing large amounts of vitamin C. We'll use vinegar rinses on the twins, me and our clothing and buy a whacking lot of new breastpads.

It's very hard to maintain your cool in the face of a screaming pain-filled baby.

You know you're in a bad way when...

Going to the post office by yourself feels like freedom.

Don't think that the sadness of that fact didn't stop me from squealing in my head as I peeled out of my driveway.

On the bright side, birth announcements are on their way. I'll post them here after I get a good feel for how many folks received them. Don't want to reveal it online first. Heh.

One month

The twins are one month old today. Whoo hoo!

We survived!

OK, so there's not much difference between today and Thursday, when they turned 4 weeks old, so instead, here are a few photographs.

Logan: exhausted after having a bath. He smiled at me again! Eric is terribly jealous.
Emma: also exhausted after having a bath. Those cheeks are ultimately squeezable!
In other news, I wanted to show you the plethora of blankets we've been given that people have made for us, with their very own talented hands.

  • From left to right, the first blanket with the brightly colored cat print is the underside and the topside is the red/white/black penguins. This was made by Eric's Aunt Shelly. There is a second one on the way for Logan. Big enough for toddler beds! Caitlin still loves hers that Shelly made 6 years ago.
  • The second (purple/green/multi-color) and and third (pastel multi-color) blankets were crocheted by my mom. Originally the pastel was supposed to be Logan's, but Caitlin vetoed it in favor of Emma getting the pastel. Mom had another she was working on in lavender, but it turns out that design was identical to the design she'd crocheted for Caitlin. So we rolled over to Hobby Lobby and picked up colors for a custom designed blanket, just for Logan. Mom worked on that the entire time she was in Colorado and finished it just a couple of days before she left. It's beautiful and nice and warm.
  • The fourth blanket (orange/pink/purple flowered top-side, orange flannel reverse) and fifth blanket (bright blue space wizards with green reverse) are quilts made for me by Ellen. When I said "no pastels" she jumped all over it! They're gorgeous! Eye-popping, too.
Thanks everyone! You're so talented!
Here is Domino. Originally, he was guarding the twins when I went to go get my camera to photograph the three of them. Domino takes his baby guarding duties very seriously. Unfortunately, Eric took the twins while I was gone and deposited them into their car seats for a snooze. I don't know why, but they really like snoozing in their car seats, as opposed to laying flat in a crib and anything that gives me hands-free time I'm all over!

The blanket Domino is laying on was also crocheted by my mom for Caitlin as a carriage blanket. It is heavy, I suspect to keep it from flying off in a wind.

So there you have it: cuteness, talented friends and family and a kitty shot.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Four Weeks Postpartum

In case you were wondering what 4 weeks postpartum looks like, here it is. Don't look if you're easily frightened by deflated tummies.

Before - 38 weeks pregnant.

After - 4 weeks, 40 lbs, and a pair of twins later.
A little tired? Perhaps! Although my months of no more than 1.5 hours of sleep really was good training for only 2-3 hours of sleep each night. Cool new necklace from Grammy Linda from Africa: made from water buffalo bone.
Ready? Don't be scared!
Eek! Deflated belly! But, as I was told by Misty (and Lee), do not disparage the belly! It was a hard working belly and due all honors. I still look pregnant, but not too bad, although I can't fit in my regular jeans and will be stuck wearing maternity clothes or very loose pants until more of the remaining 25 lbs comes off. Fortunately, the twins are helping with that: ~1000 calories per day in breastfeeding.


Well, time to go nurse some more - Logan is looking for me. Ciao!


It was only a matter of time before Lolcats (I can has cheezburger) collided with Post Secret. Now it's here.



Thursday, October 25, 2007

Four weeks

So here's the question: do I talk about 4 weeks when their one month anniversary is coming up Saturday or do I just talk about them on Saturday?

Or do both?

Well, considering I have a wide awake Logan on my chest, I'll talk a little now and maybe do pictures on Saturday. It's not easy to get a lot of anything done when they're awake and so little time when they're asleep that things like running errands or paying bills often take precedence. Pesky bills!

  1. Is very good at holding his head up right up until he stops and then crashes into my collar bone or falls over onto my arm from the sheer weight of his huuuuge noggin!
  2. Says he still hates formula and would rather fall asleep and wait for a refill than drink it.
  3. Seems to be developing a sense of humor, since he smiles sometimes when I beep his tiny nose or nibble on his cheeks.
  4. Puts weight on his feet and "stands" when you hold him up.
  5. Likes "tummy time" for a few minutes at a stretch and holds his head way up while on his tummy. He's very strong.
  6. Has flipped over while on his tummy when on a slight incline. I don't think he's that advanced, it's just that he managed to shove hard enough to flip over.
  7. Likes looking at light and contrasts way more than Emma.
  8. Is more willing to hang out alone in a vibrating chair or car seat, awake, than Emma is.
  9. Has smiled at me 4 times in response to me smiling at him. Yay baby smiles!
  10. Is still the reigning spit up champion.
  1. Still won't open her mouth wide enough.
  2. Likes being swung around in her car seat.
  3. Is hungry an awful lot.
  4. Likes looking at me but won't often look Eric in the eye.
  5. Gets hiccups a lot.
  6. Makes a funny little noise after she's done sneezing, as if she was about to sneeze, but then got distracted and sighed instead.
  7. Does not appreciate tummy time.
  8. Holds her head up for awhile and then lets it fall limply to one side, as if to say "Phew! That's one heavy noggin!"
  9. Is not interested in smiling yet, but says she'll think about it.
  10. Is still smaller that Caitlin was at 1 month. Caitlin weighed 10.5 lbs, while Emma is still "only" 8 lbs 11 oz (+/- 4 oz or so, now that it's 4 days later). Who's the Chunky Monkey now?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Logan's First Smile


Not that this was a big surprise since I am the provider of all things good and milky.

It also figures that it occurs the day after the family leaves, ensuring that they wouldn't be here for this first. Sorry mom! You got to call dibs on first baths, though, so that was cool.

One day I may even be able to capture it on film. Assuming I'm not nursing Emma at the time. Le sigh!

Eric and Caitlin are desperately trying to eke another smile out of Logan, but he's being cagey.

Time for photos

The twins are sleeping - at the same time! I'm stealing a few minutes to edit photos. They'll probably show up in some of the previous posts. Like the one about my dad.

Then, suddenly, they will be everywhere!

Hey, funny thing I figured out regarding my two migraines on Monday! They were directly related to the sheer amount of chocolate I'd been imbibing. AND as a bonus, they were what was keeping one or the other twin awake and fussy at 1 am for 3 nights running. Bad me! Eating chocolate (or other caffeine sources) late at night = fussy babies. Last night, they slept after the 1 am feeding until 3:20 am and then until 6:45 am. Much nicer than waking every hour or 1.5 hours.

Color me foolish!

Links to photos: 2 weeks. Three weeks.

Sending Hope to the Tadpoles

Remember how I mentioned the kindness of strangers the other day? Well, here's an opportunity for you to be the strangers who can send love and strength to another stranger.

Awhile back, Hava dropped me a line about how she and her husband are having twins and how their reaction was much the same as ours: shock, tears, surprise and disbelief. It quickly turned to joy and anticipation. Just recently Hava has run into complications. Bad ones. She needs your strength, her twins need your strength and hopes and cheering on and prayers for safe delivery.

I hope it all turns out well. I hope she and her family are given the strength to make it through this part of their adventure and that the twins will be just fine when they make it out of the NICU. Her twins are 24 weeks old and need all the help they can get.

God speed, Tadpoles.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

In case I haven't told you lately...

I'm happy.

No, really! I am.

I'm not happy every single second of every single day, but then again - no one is. However, I am not miserable for the same length of time. I am, on balance, quite happy.

Right now, Emma is sleeping in her car seat after a few rounds of nursing and sleeping after our return from the doctor's office. Logan is currently sleeping on my chest from his latest round of nursing and sleeping. He's hanging out with me while I snack and read. He's very warm and is much nicer than a scarf on my very exposed chest. I'm wearing a lot of shirts with some serious cleavage action, taking advantage of my Nursing Rack and my constant, urgent need to access said rack for actual Nursing Purposes. He's very sweet and warm and is sleeping with one hand curled under his chin, breathing quickly in that newborn way.

I pet the top of his head with my chin and cheek and drop kisses on his forehead occasionally, waiting to see if he'll smile at me in his sleep. I do the same with Emma, only I aim for her chubby cheeks. I keep wishing I had cameras installed in my eyes since my actual camera is never close at hand at these moments and I don't have long enough arms to hold my SLR far enough away to capture these shots anyway.

I'm still working on getting the hang of tandem nursing, it's something that is really only a viable option during the day, when I'm awake and sitting fully upright. At night, when my eyes are crossed with exhaustion, no dice. However, during the day, I'm not overly worried about how long it takes to nurse them both when they are staggered. Besides, when I try to tandem nurse, one keeps popping off or falling asleep and then I'm still left holding two babies awkwardly, but only one is actually nursing while the other is sleeping with their cheek pressed against my breast.

The other day (and other times more recently), I was holding both twins in my arms at the same time and both were asleep. I looked up at Eric and announced, "I'm happy." and smiled a contented smile.

While twins were a Big Damn Surprise, the reality of them is finally here and you know what? It's not so bad after all! I still feel that funny sense of "How can this be happening? Do we really have twins?!" from time to time. It's still tough, but at times like these I am reassured that we'll survive their infancy and that we're going to have a lot of fun with them as they get older.

In the meantime, I sure would like some more sleep, but I guess I'll just have to wait on that one and instead store up all of the sweet little moments like this one. This is, after all, the last time we'll pass this way again as parents.

Now where did I leave my camera?

Talking with my dad

As I mentioned long ago, my father has Alzheimer's. He is on medication, which keeps him calm but it's clear that the disease is progressing. I only see him once a year (if I'm lucky), so I haven't seen him since last November.

It's very hard to see him like this.

As hard as it is for me, I know that it's infinitely harder for my mother to live with on a regular basis and for my younger sister who has been taking care of him for the 5 weeks my mom has been here taking care of me. I understand that people with Alz have a hard time coping with small children, probably because small kids are so busy and it jangles your nerves. Hell, when kids are really busy and/or I'm tired it jangles my nerves, so I can imagine just how much worse it is for people like my dad. The problem is how he is responding to the normal actions of my 2 year old nephew: not well. It's breaking my sister's heart. I ache for her and for all of us. He's not the man my mother married, he's not the father I loved as a young child who was very silly and playful (and from whom I inherited my share of the Silly Gene). He's not the grandfather that he might have been.

Dad raked my yard for me (Yay!) to give himself something to do that would be away from the rest of the family, 2 infants and 2 small kids. Easy work that would be quiet and useful. I went out to talk to him during a nursing break. I wanted to chat with him for a bit without a lamprey attached to my chest, so I snuck out the door after depositing a baby on a willing relative. We talked about my garden, which he admired even in its current unkempt state. We talked about the twins, whom he admired in their tiny, newborn state. We talked about Caitlin, whom he also admired in her bright, funny 6 year old state. He mentioned that he had good looking kids and grandkids, all thanks to Mom. He said she was a beautiful girl (and he meant currently, not just referring to her youth) and that he was lucky (as were all of us recipients of said looks) to have married her and had children with her.

I pointed out my crab apple tree and we started talking about his apple trees. He planted them with his own hands into the Cadillac of Holes, filled with OCD-lovingingly sifted compost. He asked if I liked...and then couldn't remember the term for what he wanted to ask me about. Rhubarb? Sauce? Apple sauce, I inquired? Yes, that was it. He sad down on the edge of the wheelbarrow, his shoulders slumped. He laughed deprecatingly.

"I wish I was joking," he said to me.
"I wish you were too, Dad." I responded. "I know you're not. I know it's hard."

He's fading away and he knows it. He gets so frustrated with himself, with his brain for failing him, with his failure to remember so simple a thing as apple sauce when we were talking about apple trees and the load of apples that he'd gotten off his own trees back in Canada. Mom says he no longer remembers how to make whipped cream, which he used to make all the time for strawberry shortcake. That was one of his specialties. He forgot that my brother was his 3rd child - not for long, but it happened. I gave him a box of chocolates when he first arrived and by the second day he'd forgotten that he'd received them. How much longer will he remember that he even has new grandchildren? Or even the pre-existing grandchildren? Or his own children?

I don't think he'll forget mom. As it is, she's so much a part of his life that he's inserted her into memories she doesn't belong in. He's 12 years older than her and didn't even meet her until he was 33. His altered memories have her starring in roles when she wasn't even alive yet or before they'd met. In many ways that's ridiculously sweet and strangely romantic. I sometimes feel like I've always been with Eric, even though that's not possible (And only sometimes in the negative time dilation, OMG! I've known you forever kind of way.), so I understand where he's coming from that way.

My throat closes up on tears whenever I talk to him and he has a weird little episode like the apple sauce issue. He reminisces more than normal these days but they are broken accounts now. He loses track of what he was talking about within the time span of a single sentence. I wanted him to get to know my children, but that won't really happen now. Will he be in a continual state of surprise when he sees them or is told about them? Will it be like meeting them for the first time over and over again? Mom will have to remember for both of them. I just have to accept that he won't have a relationship with my children, that he probably won't remember them for much longer and that he won't be able to deal with how busy they can be.

Acceptance sucks.

I'd like my father back, please.
Dad with Logan. He was nervous about holding him, but taking a page from my sister's book, I didn't give him any choice and plopped Logan down into his arms. A paparazzi moment ensued.

Doctor! Doctor!

We took the twins in for their "two week" check up. Only they're 3.5 weeks old. It was because they were doing so well at their 4 days post hospital visit that they decided we didn't need to bring them in for the actual 2 week visit. So they asked us to push it out farther. So we did.

What did we learn today? That Emma is a monster!


  • Height: 20.5" (25th-50th%)
  • Weight 8 lb 11 oz (~50th%)
  • Head circumference: 14.5" (~50%)
  • Height: 20.5" (10-25%)
  • Weight 8 lb .03 oz (10-25%)
  • Head circumference: 14.5" (~25%)
Many kudos from the RN about the babies - strength, awareness, weights, growth, looks. A balm to my weary soul. It's always nice to have your babies admired by professionals.

Grandparental units do not worry about the difference in their weights! They are just different. A weight gain of 1 oz per day is average; Emma just happens to be way above average while Logan is right on track. Just thought I'd pre-emptively ward off any concerns there.

Now if only they'd sleep more....

Oh and Hello! I have a migraine today and all of my migraine meds are expired, since I haven't had one in a long time. Instead I'm making do with a bunch of Ibuprofen and caffeine pills. Whee!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Kindness of Strangers

We went out to dinner in a restaurant last night, the entire Hatchet Clan plus the members of Chez Hatchet (How do we refer to our biological family and then the family we created when we got married and had 3 kids? That's who I'm talkin' about here.), to celebrate Eldest Sister's BS degree in Nursing. She's schmart, that one. Schmart.

I had hoped that the twins would remain asleep while we were there as they did in the restaurant in Breckenridge, however, it was not to be. So I whisked off to the restroom with Logan to change and nurse him. I'm not ready yet to whip out my breasts in public in front of my dad, so I took myself off. We were in there for a bit and had many nice comments from many different women as they came in and out. Since Emma was snoozing elsewhere, it was just like having a singleton. Whee! Then, when I was getting ready to burp him and leave, he spit up over my shoulder. The latest set of women in the room were changing the diaper of their baby (mother and daughter pair with infant) and pointed out that he'd just urped up down my back. I laughed and did the best I could to clean up. The new mom came over and helped clean off my back and we chatted a bit while commiserating on the shared state of mom-hood.

While the general public can often be cold and uncaring, it's funny how something as simple as wiping up spit up off the back of a perfect stranger can change your perspective. Thanks Caring Mom!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

How to Piss Me Off

In two easy steps.

Don't tell me to "Calm down" when all I'm doing is disagreeing with you. Especially after I've previously told you that I don't like it.

Don't tell me that I'm "Making a scene" when I'm neither raising my voice, gesticulating wildly or even standing up. If you would like, I can show you just what I would look like making a scene. I'm fairly certain that you wouldn't like it, but you would By God know the fucking difference once I was done.

Instead, let us agree to treat one another like business associates: polite and formal. Let us not pretend to unwarranted familiarity. You don't actually know me anymore and I do not know, nor do I wish to know you. Notice how I do not presume to tell you what you like or do not like based on data twenty years out of date.

Failing that, let's just avoid one another because if I have to keep being nice to you for the sake of mutual relatives I'm going to blow a fucking gasket.


Growth spurt. Need I say more?





Thursday, October 18, 2007

Three weeks

It's been three weeks.

Three looong sleepless weeks.

Three long sleepless weeks filled with nursing, pee, poo, spit-up, vomit, crying, funny little noises, lots of facial expressions, milk smiles, biting, snoozing and more.

I can't tell you how much they currently weigh, but we have an appointment on Monday where they will gasp in awe over just how much weight they've gained.

  1. Is filling out, especially in the cheeks. She is my Cheeky Monkey. She definitely out weighs her brother - her head even looks bigger. So much for being the "little" sister.
  2. I've decided Emma's eyes are in the brown category, they're definitely not blue.
  3. Still gets frustrated easier than her brother.
  4. Won't open her mouth very big unless she's trying to shove her fists in it.
  5. She has dimples on either side of her mouth! They only show up when she smiles to herself. I'm looking forward to those smiles being directed at me.
  6. Makes little pig and pony noises.
  7. Is still sick and hates the nose sucker.
  8. Is still very hard to burp. Any advice?
  9. Sounds like a pissed off cat when she's mad and crying.
  10. Doesn't like to get naked for bathing.
  11. Has thrown up all over my neck and chest, while we were sleeping. Bleah.
  12. Sleeps best on our chests at night, but will also sleep in between us. Very important to ensure she's burped first or else expect #11. : )
  13. We finally broke down and bought some girly clothes for her when we realized that when Caitlin was a newborn it was high summer and she work nothing but onesies. Emma needs something a little warmer, so we picked up a few things that are more obviously "girl" than the piles of boy clothes we have. I retain the right to change my mind about clothing issues at will.

  1. Is very aware and spends a fair amount of time awake and looking around calmly.
  2. Also doesn't like being naked, but takes longer to reach the Pissed Off Cat stage of crying.
  3. Is more patient waiting his turn for milk and more willing to be distracted by Eric.
  4. Has developed Infant Acne. Very sad. He now has a tiny Pizza Face. Le sigh.
    There may be fewer pictures of him until he's over it, I think. Caitlin went through the same thing at 2 months - it looked terrible.
  5. Makes tiny goat noises while he's falling asleep. Ehh-h-h-h! Ehh-h-h-h!
  6. Still clamps down like he's got a vice grip in his mouth while nursing.
  7. Smiled at me twice in a row, but it might have just been a fluke. Hasn't repeated it yet, although he's more willing to look into my eyes than Eric's at the moment.
  8. Fights me off with both hands when trying to nurse. You'd think he'd just get them out of the way, but he wants to nurse so badly that he opens really wide for both fists and then after I fend them both off closes his mouth down for me. Le sigh!

I'm certain there's more, but the rest of Clan Hatchet, except for Eldest, has arrived, with my 2 year old nephew in tow. Two years olds are busy! I'd forgotten. And now Logan is playing my song.

The twins do this thing where they trade off at night who gets to be The Fussy One. One or the other of them wakes around 1 or 2 am and won't go back to sleep regardless of feeding status. It's very frustrating. Also frustrating? We had to supplement last night and this morning because they drain me dry and then scream for more. Ain't no more in there, so they have to drink formula. Ridiculous. According to books, there's a growth spurt anywhere in the 10-21 day range.

Great. Just freakin' great.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hatchet says...

After having been reduced from a book reading, power gardening, new business startin', photographer and all 'round well-rounded person, I am reduced to this:


Something seems to happen around 7-8 pm at night. I seem to run really low on milk and the twins are not happy about this. The nursing will not stop until the milk comes back.

Or until I get desperate enough to have Eric make formula.

Someone send the Milk Fairy.

Happy Birthday, Misty!

Thirty-two. That's a nice age.

Let's see...when I was your age...I was having my first child. You're such an over achiever you've already got your first and second done! Of course, my first child greatly appreciates your first child, so I'd say that worked out well for all involved.

Hmm. Whatever will you be doing when you reach my ripe old age? I recommend against twins. Just so you know.

I miss you! Come back! There will be no more German Chocolate Cake action until you return to get it in person, you know. Cakes don't ship well. And right now, unfortunately, neither do I (and the gang).


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hatchet says...

At dinner tonight, surrounded on one side by mom with Logan and on the other side by Eric with Emma, I hunched over my chicken soup, inhaling it as quickly as I could.

"I feel like I'm surrounded by vultures!" I grumped into my unphotographed soup.

My mother and husband cackled. The babies remained grumpy, their restlessness entirely due to their hunger.

"If I don't eat, you don't eat!" I snarled at them between bites.

These babies have no patience whatsoever. Phooey.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Today is Blog Action Day

Here I am, acting.

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Our topic: the environment.

What can I tell you? I'm a sucker for clean air, clean water and a good life. Unfortunately, the previous three things are affected by all manner of factors over which you and I have no control. It's absolutely true that I, by myself, cannot have as massive an impact on the environment as the entire government or giant businesses can.

However I, as just one person and a member of just one family (Of five!) am in the same position now as I am when it comes to voting. While it's true that just my one single vote may not make or break an entire election, it is the cumulative effect of my voting and getting others that I know to vote that does make a huge difference. The same logic applies to environmental causes. My simple little actions and my effect on others has a cumulative effect for the better.

Here are some small changes that we've made around here.

In the garden.
  • Years back, a friend of mine was composting and asked if I was as well, since I was a rabid gardener. I wasn't at that time, and my friend showed me how. Now, years and years later, we compost constantly. It's not hard and it doesn't take too long, since we're lackadaisical composters here at Chez Hatchet and don't turn or water the pile as often as we "should" for faster finished compost. We have two trash cans in the house: one for trash trash and the other for compost. Once a week we (meaning Eric) take it out to the bin out back, add it in and stir it around. By doing so, we keep about a third of our trash out of the landfill and I have a "free" soil amendment for my garden. When I'm not hugely pregnant, I even make use of it.
  • We (meaning me) don't use pesticides or herbicides in the garden, which keeps all manner of chemicals out of our house and out of the ground water. It also means that I have a greater diversity of insect and wildlife as each works to keep the other in check. So while I may have mice invading my home, I also get to have owls and snakes living close by to work on the mice that remain outdoors. Additionally, it means I never have to worry about what is on the tomato Caitlin is putting into her mouth, straight from the plant.
  • I xeriscape. No, not zeroscape. Xeriscape. The right plant in the right place that uses less water means I have a more colorful front yard that uses a lot less water and fertilizer than a monoculture of grass does. It also gives me great pride and joy in a job well done and gives the neighbors something beautiful to look at as they drive, walk or bike past. People stop, stare, compliment and admire it far more than they would a lawn. Another bonus? Hummingbirds. And many other critters as well.
Inside the house.
  • We replaced as many bulbs as we could with compact fluorescent bulbs. The rest are on dimmers or enclosed, so until the come out with those replacements, we're good to go.
  • We use cloth napkins. My friend Christine made me a set a few years back and we used them all the time, only using paper when we ran out of cloth and hadn't yet done laundry. To reduce our usage even more, I made a set in red so that I'd have at least one set available should the black set be in the wash or vice versa.
  • We make Caitlin's lunches and send them to school in a Laptop Lunchbox. This keeps pounds and pounds of single use lunch items out of the waste stream.
  • We recycle everything our trash service will take.
  • We buy local and organic food and products (ex. hair gel) when available and affordable.
  • We buy as little processed food as we can which generally means less trash and more compost.
  • We generally just drive one car now that we're all at home.
  • We pay to use wind source power as part of our power consumption.
  • We try to minimize our water use as much as we can. Next up is the purchase of a high efficiency washer.
  • Finally, I breastfeed. While there is often a mess, there's no waste to dispose of (unless someone throws up), no bottles to wash and no driving to the store to pick up more of it. If only it were that easy and painless! It's also a fabulous dieting aid: I'm down 40 lbs this week.
  • One more thing: since we often throw parties around here (for ourselves, our kid(s!) and friends) we never have enough regular dishes to go around and used to buy paper plates and plastic cups. I used to buy the compostable paper plates, but it still bugged me to throw out the forks and cups. Last year I finally found inexpensive, reusable, dishwasher safe plastic cups, plates, bowls, and utensils and bought service for 25. Now we have plenty for the piles of folks we regularly invite over and it can all be washed and reused over and over again. Also great to take to school picnics. Add in our cloth napkins and our parties are paper free! Well...except for the presents!
While I know a lot of this may not be possible for everyone reading, keep in mind that every little bit you do helps. The personal is the political. From where you shop, to where you eat, what you wear, where you live and what you do for a living. You do vote with your dollars every day.

Make sure your choices are good ones for your family, your neighborhood and your environment. It's the only one we have. Let's share it responsibly.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Day Trippers

On Saturday we had yet another first around here. Our first day trip with the twins.

We went up to Breckenridge to hang out with Aunt Jenni Fast-Hands, have lunch with Pop-Pop and Nana-Sue and deliver Caitlin to cousin Max for a sleepover. We also got to see their addition under construction at long last. It looks fabulous!

We learned many things on that simple trip.
  1. When planning arrival times, for ever two hours of drive time you need to include one hour of nursing time. So a "simple" 2 hour drive becomes 3, a five hour drive (to, say, Grammy's house) will now take about seven hours.
  2. We may also have to add in extra time for 6 year old shenanigans.
  3. It would be most helpful to nurse like mad and then immediately get into the car. Eating on the road would have gotten us closer to our final destination sooner.
  4. Bring slings. While the restaurant (Another first! Eating out in a restaurant with twins.) was very accommodating of our long stroller, it probably wouldn't have worked out in a different venue.
  5. There ain't no way in hell we can actually leave the house before 11 am or 12 pm due to the multiple rounds of feeding, changing, burping and becoming conscious after a night of same.
So, bleary eyed and fuzzy headed we arrived in Breckenridge and had a nice time. I was glad to finally get up and out of the house, but I think it's pretty safe to say we won't be doing another such trip for several more weeks or months. We need more time between nursing.

Then there was the Adventure in Fear: Snow Edition that took place when we went to leave.

You see, here at home it's fall. Cool, sometimes rainy, but in the 50s or 70s. In Breck, it started off over cast and then started snowing as the evening wore on. When we left, it was dark with a couple inches of snow on the ground. Not a problem, ordinarily except that:
  1. We don't have snow tires on yet
  2. We were driving on unpaved roads for the first bit
  3. We were driving on steep, curvy, switchback mountain roads for the next bit after the unpaved part
  4. Snow was falling pretty heavily and visibility was getting poor
The 30-45 minutes it took to get us from Breck to the paved highway down the mountain immediately hit my Top Ten list of scariest life experiences.

Did I mention that I have New Infant Driving Paranoia*? Oh yeaaaaah! My highly developed imagination? Of absolutely no help in these sorts of situations because, really, who needs to envision their immediate death scene with husband and twins in tow? With sound, even?

So there we were, Eric driving while I was quietly putting away bottles of juice, books and assorted other items to reduce the number of "missiles" that we'd have to contend with should the car flip over as we sailed off the edge of the road. This is not to say that I have no confidence in Eric's driving, I totally do. He's been driving longer than I have and in far worse weather conditions. I just have no confidence in anyone else on the road or the car's ability to stick to said road.

Fortunately, we were just fine. Although scared. That slip-sliding-away feeling and hydroplaning? So not fun.

Another first: death defying driving in a snowstorm. Whee!

* New Infant Driving Paranoia: The absolute certainty that everyone else driving on the road near you is a complete lunatic and is about to crash into your car killing you and your newborn infants. Or maybe just your infants - which ever concept is worse for you.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Emma says...

Technically, Eric says for Emma...

Emma was grumping about wanting milk while I was grumping about wanting to take a shower.

Eric spoke for Emma saying, "I have a grump/milk tank. It's entirely up to you what you fill it with but the less milk I have, the more grump I have room for and the more milk, the less grump. So. You gonna feed me now or what?"

With an explanation like that, how can I refuse?

Postponed that shower yet again. And then her brother woke up...


My breasts have finally learned to count to two.

We haven't had to supplement during the day for a week, but last night was the first night we didn't need to supplement as well.

Things are looking up!

The pain is also lessening, now I just do the Hissing Intake of Breath with Toes Curled Tightly in Pain While Hunched over a Nursing Child dance.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Two Weeks

Observations thus far.

  1. Looks like Caitlin did when she was an infant. It was fun to pull out Caitlin's album and totally recognize her baby brother.
  2. Has dark blue eyes. Who knows if they will stay that way? Caitlin's went to a dark blue grey and change to green when she's upset.
  3. Really likes breast milk and only tolerates formula if nothing else is available and he's really hungry.
  4. Has three "stork bites" - one on each eyelid and one in between his brows. Hopefully those will fade in time, otherwise his career in professional poker playing will die aborning!
  5. Upon waking, goes through a few minutes of lip smacking, anticipating milk to come.
  6. Cries if it takes you too long to change his diaper.
  7. Has thrown up on Eric at least 2-3 times, peed on all of us and my sofa and goes through diapers like the King of Poop and Pee. Caitlin was our last reining Queen of Poop and Pee, I think he's at least in the running.
  8. Nurses hard. Like those 4 ounces are a challenge.
  9. Bites me harder than Emma does.
  10. Has seriously long and elegant fingers and teeny tiny elegant little fingernails.
  11. Started holding his head up inside the first week.
  12. Is very awake and aware - he likes to observe the world quietly. He was looking around within the first week as well.
  13. Likes to be bounced around by Eric while waiting in the queue for milk.
  14. Smiles in his sleep and while nursing in a ridiculously endearing manner. Haven't caught it on film yet.
Quilt by Ellen. Super cute! The detail is on the flip side, but I shot it on the reverse.
Close up.
Big sister.
  1. Mom says she looks just like I did as an infant. If that's the case, I had edible cheeks. Ooh, I wanna snack on them!
  2. When she smiles in her sleep, I feel like I recognize her. Is that me I see?
  3. Really likes breast milk but has no problem with formula. This would be why she has +4 oz on Logan and refuses to be referred to as his "little" sister.
  4. Had no interest in opening her eyes the first week, is doing so now and is checking out the world. The parts that have milk in it are fascinating!
  5. Her eyes are a funny color that is hard for my brain to translate: charcoal grey brown blue. What does that mean? She may possibly have brown eyes.
  6. When she first wakes up she starts crying and turns bright red almost immediately. She has no patience, this one!
  7. Makes funny little noises like a pig or a horse while sleeping.
  8. Also has really long and elegant fingers. Maybe they'll play duets on the piano when they're older?
  9. Is very hard to burp. You may call it "lady-like" I call it "Wakes up 30 minutes after nursing because of gas."
  10. Smiles in her sleep and while nursing in a ridiculously endearing manner. Haven't caught it on film yet.
  11. Got a cold from Eric, who got it from Caitlin, who brought home from school. She has been at the mercy of the nose sucker for days. Poor thing!
  12. Doesn't bite as hard as her brother, but doesn't open her mouth up enough. She does look very cute with her lips pursed, though.
  13. Has been holding her head up for the last week as well. Until it becomes too heavy and then she flops over again like a ragdoll.
  14. Likes to sleep on your chest with her hands folded under her head. Ahhn!
Note how her outfit nicely matches the quilt. Serendipity!
Check out that quilt! Thanks Ellen!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Would you like some pictures?

You weren't expecting a mouse post, were you?

Let me make it up to you.

September 28th: Emma and Logan have their first bath.
Emma - so skinny! Check out those elephant-skin knees!
Logan - uncertain he approves of baths.

September 29th: All five of Grammy's grandkids.

Caitlin, Logan, Max, Emma, Axl.
Cups - not just for drinking any more!

September 30th: At the hospital.Harry the Hippo guards the twins.

October 2nd: Time at home.Caitlin is not totally ignored.

Logan supplemented with breastmilk.

October 4th: Bath time!Emma's first bath at home. Emma says: "Do not want!" Eric missed getting Logan's bath pictures as well. Fortunately, we're likely to wash him at least once more.

October 5th: First walk.

Caitlin with the twins in the stroller Dawn sent. Thanks, Dawn!
Crashed out after our walk.

October 5th: A little Logan cuteness. Ahhhn!

Little tiny fingers.
Face = not swollen. See? This is swollen.
Sitting on the motorcycle with Dad.

October 9th: Emma cuteness. Ahhhn!
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