Friday, February 27, 2009

Stories From The City

When I had to restore my factory settings on my laptop a month or so ago, I lost a lot of music. I need to be better about backing it up. I realized I was missing a PJ Harvey album that I used to love. It fit how I was feeling earlier this week.

When I went to Manhattan on Monday to visit my friend and her baby, I really felt homesick. I missed Brooklyn. I missed being close to my friends. I also missed the excitement of the city (not that twins aren't exciting ... you know what I mean). I was driving down the FDR drive and passed under the hospital where the babies were born. I passed my old apartment on 34th street. I saw the Brooklyn Bridge running over the East River.

I pulled onto my friend's street and my mom helped me get the babies out of the car. She had a dentist appointment so she helped me get all my stuff up to my friend's place and then rode back with me to CT as well. I couldn't have done it without her. I had 4 bags of things (diaper bag, toys, handbag, door jumper, etc.) so I could feed the babies, care for them and keep them entertained. We unloaded everyone and since they were sleeping I put them in the Snap N Go instead of the side-by-side. As I left my mom I went to park in the garage right by her house and the parking attendant waved me away.

Suddenly I was cursing out the city I was missing 5 minutes earlier. This is exactly what I didn't miss about the city. I drive a Sequoia. It's basically a bus. It's the biggest thing you can get without getting a Suburban or a minivan. I had to drive everywhere when I was pregnant as I wasn't allowed to walk up stairs and the F train stop by our house in Brooklyn was under sea level so there were 4 flights of stairs and a long ramp to get down. There was another train I could take but the escalator hardly ever worked so I could have been stranded.

Anyway, long story short I had to park 3 blocks away, got charged $10 extra for having a big ass car, and then had to walk super fast in the freezing cold & wind with all my bags of baby stuff.

I know that being in CT is the best thing for the girls and for me. I was trying to imagine what it would have been like if we had stayed in Brooklyn, although it wasn't a possibility. First of all, we just didn't have the space. We had one bedroom and a home office, which would have been the babies' room. The "home office" didn't have any windows. One time a couple we are close friends with stayed in there overnight and she walked into the closet trying to get into the hallway to the bathroom. She suddenly realized she was stuck and had to yell to her husband to come find her (totally funny now, but probably scary and confusing at the time). Imagine trying to go put a pacifier back inside a tiny mouth in the pitch black? I stayed in their once when we had first gotten a new kitten and I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. So yeah, probably not the best choice for twins.

And how would I have gotten around? The only way out without a car was the F train and we have already discussed the issues there. Our "charming" streets were all cobblestone. The babies would have hated the bumps. My double snap n go stroller would have hated the bumps! I would have run out of things to do really fast and would have been stuck in our apartment 24/7.

I think it's just the winter blahs. I know when the flowers start to poke through and the green begins to come around that I will be so happy to walk outside with the babies and enjoy the fresh air without having to sidestep dog poop and garbage bags.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Easy Button?

Today was a great day. I got to be with my family, out in the fresh air and sunshine, and shop. Couldn't be better. We went to Greenwich Avenue, strolled around, ate lunch -- just the four of us.

Our goal is to get them more comfortable going out for food so we can eventually take on the diner. Sherwood Diner in Westport is probably the best diner I have ever been to aside from The Breakfast Club in Boston. But it's crazy busy there and I think it would overwhelm them at this stage. In any case, we sat next to another family of four. The funniest part is they have a section for Jewish food on the menu. I wonder if anyone has ever talked to them about that ...

The two kids looked very close in age. The mom turned to me and said, "Ah the easy years." I think I almost choked. The "easy" years? My husband and I exchanged a look. First of all, it's been the hardest eight months of my life (not counting the first and last three months of my twin pregnancy). I thought it was supposed to get easier at some point? I asked if her kids were twins (boy/girl) and she told me they were 15 months apart, aka Irish Twins.

She said it gets much harder and her advice was to "drink ... a lot." Yikes. Seriously? We both ordered a second beer ...

Friday, February 20, 2009

No Photos, Please

If you have twins, you know what I am talking about. Why is a stroller with two babies such a spectacle? I mean lots of people have two kids and they have double strollers. I guess it's more when I use the double snap n go because it is so long. People stop and stare like I have a litter of ten babies I am pushing around.

Not to mention the questions I get: one of each? two boys? Look lady, the car seats are exploding with pink flowers, they have pink pacifiers and pink blankets. Come on people! Then there are the people who like to take a peek. Like my babies are there on display for their enjoyment. I mean I know they are absolutely adorable and beautiful, and of course I don't mind people complimenting the girls, but it's when people feel like the have the right to reach in and almost touch the babies. Aside from the fact they are often sleeping in the stroller, I don't want your germie hands on them! Someone on my street reached in one day to re-plug my daughter's pacifier. That is just such a no-no.

I couldn't imagine having sextuplets or octupulets, let alone triplets. What on earth would that be like? You get your own TV show and lots of freebies I guess.

The best is when I go out with my friend who has twins as well. People just stop and stare at the six of us. Trust me, I am not complaining about having two babies. I wouldn't have it any other way. It's just other people seem so amazed, when in reality, it's so common. Special, but not as rare as one would think. According to Wikipedia, "only about three pairs of twins per 1,000 deliveries occur as a result of natural conception, while for IVF deliveries, there are nearly 21 pairs of twins for every 1,000." And in case you're wondering, ours were spontaneous (aka natural).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Diaper Count

I wish I had thought to create some sort of ticker that tracked the number of diapers we have changed since the girls were born. We change the girls' diapers at least at every feeding -- but there are several more in between diaper changes.

In the beginning, the girls ate every 3 hours. That would make 8 feedings and 8 diapers x 2 = 16 diapers a day. That schedule lasted about 4 months. So that's 16 diapers x 30 (days in a month) x 4 = 1,920 diapers (conservatively) in the first 4 months. That doesn't count all the times you would change them and then they would pee all over the diaper you were about to put on and now have to remove.

At about 4 months, they had dropped 2 of those bottles. So for month 4, let's say they had 6 feedings so that's 6 diapers each a day x 2 = 12 x 30 (days in a month) = 360 diapers.

Then at 5 months they dropped another. They were down to 5 bottles a day and now they still have 5 bottles a day, but we have increased the solids. So as they say in Physics, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. They are almost 8 months. So for 3 months, we were changing at least 10 diapers a day. Let me tell you, it's way more than that every day. Sometimes by 8 am I have changed 6. But for this exercise, let's say 10 diapers a day x 30 x 3 = 900.

Add it all up: 1,920 + 360 + 900 = 2,580 diapers. You can only imagine what our garbage people must think of us ...

Lunch Break

I actually already had some lunch at 11 am, but I've been up since 5 am so I guess it works out perfectly. Why is it that babies don't like to nap? I would kill for a nap right now. I need to figure out an adventure for today ... still have 7 hours until bed time and it's looking like my little friends want to spend most of it awake.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sales, Steals and Deals

Just put the kiddies to bed. Now it's time to catch up on my Internet time. I am all about getting a deal. In this economy, you're a fool to pay full price. There are deals everywhere.

Today, I came across a new site called Baby Steals that seems pretty cool. My friend also got me into a Web site called The Mini Social where they have really good deals on baby stuff. I do really well at Old Navy with their clearance racks and I am in love with Baby Gap and Janie & Jack. The key with those places is to wait until they go on sale -- because it always does -- and shop often so you can watch the sales. My all time favorite is Marshall's. The one in Fairfield CT on the Post Road has really good brands and great prices. I picked up some Splendid Baby clothes the other day.

I just bought new Puma sneakers online last night and while I was doing comparison shopping online there was an ad for 25% off all Puma online orders with CAT25 as the discount code. I got the pink/gray Speeder Mesh II to replace a pair that didn't fit after I gave birth. I guess it was nice that my feet grew a half size considering everything else grew several sizes. Maybe it's nature's way of preventing me from toppling over?

Anyway, I also recently got a great deal on a diaper bag. I know it's just a diaper bag but I saw this one in a store and it is actually designed in a way that makes a lot of sense. It's by a designer called Reese Li and retails for $160. I know that is a lot for a bag you put diapers in (my husband doesn't get it but I know lots of ladies out there do) but even a good looking bag has to be functional. This one has straps that have clips on them so you can clip them around your stroller handle or wear it over your shoulder. They also have matching clutch diaper bags you can buy as well for when you don't want to schlep the whole bag. I set out to find a good deal on one of her bags and visited the Web site where I found out they sell "factory seconds" at 50% off. Mine came with a smudge that isn't even noticeable. Definitely check it out.

My girls have reflux. I never knew that babies could have acid reflux. I have a terrible case of it. Mine is so bad I don't really feel it anymore except I have a cough at night when I am trying to sleep because the acid is creeping up my esophagus. Gross huh? So now the three of us all take prevacid. Sometimes I have to take something on top of it. Let's not even discuss the issues during a twin pregnancy as it regards reflux.

Anyway, the girls take the prevacid and they also have to drink a special formula. Of course it costs about $9 a jug. They go through two jugs a day, sometimes more. It costs slightly less per case at BJs but let's just say it's not a steal.

But through my local Mothers of Multiples club I found someone who was selling 12 cases of it and we made a good deal, or rather a steal, at $3 a bottle. She had a surplus and had gotten a bunch through her insurance.

All-in-all, I am feeling pretty good about my shopping karma right now. I think I will be doing a little surfing ...

Another One Bites The Dust ...

It's 1:45 PM. I'm cooking up some bottles and defrosting some squash all while gobbling a weight watchers brownie in the kitchen. If I eat in front of the girls they start crying and reaching for my food and with only 2 bottom teeth, I don't think they'd get very far with what I have for lunch. I mean I know their formula tastes horrible, but Lean Cuisine ain't exactly fine dining. I guess it is to them. They're watching Miffy, which will hold us all over until lunch is ready.

So yesterday we fired our nanny. She was our second nanny. I know, you're probably thinking it's gotta be something we're doing but I promise you it's not. You'd think with the economy there would be loads of overqualified nannies out there willing to work. I'm a stay at home mom, which I have found is a huge turn-off for nannies. Why? Because they don't want you to be watching them care for your babies. Now is that a big red flag or what? Basically I wanted someone part-time to help me care for the babies, give them equal attention and be trustworthy enough to watch the babies at home so I didn't have to drag them around on errands. It's also nice to have an hour or so of me time a day since I'm basically on duty from 6AM to 10PM, not counting if there are wake-ups at night, which thankfully have decreased dramatically.

Well the short story is that we were desperate for someone after we fired our first nanny. The first one was super sweet, had glowing recommendations, but was completely careless. She fed my one baby a screaming hot bottle not once, but twice, AND in front of me. So I wonder how many other times she did that to her. She would also leave the baby on the changing table, couch and countless other dangerous places and then walk away to do something. Seriously, for someone with such great recommendations and asking for $20 an hour, she should know basic safety. That's like Baby 101.

The second nanny was actually our night nurse. She wasn't getting calls for other jobs so we asked her to stay on days. She was pricey but we figured it was worth it considering we trusted her, she knew what she was doing and was really easy to be with. She has a child so we knew we would have to be flexible but then here I was in mid-February and I realized she hadn't worked a full week since before Christmas. Last week she asks me, "So what about Monday, President's Day?" So I told her my husband would be home but she could still work we would go out and enjoy some alone time. She says, "Oh, wouldn't it just be a paid holiday?" Seriously I almost flipped out. She makes more than I did out of college and has better benefits. Plus she works less than 6 hours a day. I told her she could not come but she wouldn't get paid and with that she said she would definitely be in on Monday.

Fast forward to Monday ... it's 9:15 AM (she comes at 9, but usually 9:15) and I am like no she didn't. I look at my phone and there is a text message from 11 PM the night before saying she wouldn't be coming in. Then there was another text at 8:30 AM asking if I got her other text???!?!? Obviously I didn't. So I texted her back and said next time she should call to make sure I get the message. I was furious. I mean I know it's not corporate but still wouldn't you call your employer to say you weren't coming in? My husband and I tallied all the money we had paid her for doing nothing. We just felt it wasn't worth it and let her go. So it's back to the 3 of us. Okay I hear the closing theme song of Miffy and the natives are getting restless.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Miffy & Friends

I watch channel 131... like, a lot. The three of us like a show called Miffy & Friends, which is about a little white bunny named Miffy and his various adventures. There is a token brown bunny called Melanie (I guess to be PC). I am making this assumption because on one episode Miffy goes to Africa to meet Melanie's cousins. Miffy also has friends who are pigs and then there is a little dog named snuffy.

As you can imagine, the plot line is rather thin. There are rarely new episodes, just repeats, and I feel like I have seen every episode. I was actually quite excited about the Africa episode previously mentioned. In any case, the entire show is done in bright primary colors. It's like baby crack. My babies will crane their neck around and stop whatever they are doing when the opening song comes on.

One day I wanted to see if I could get the girls a Miffy doll. You can order them online. But what is hilarious is the amount of commentary out there online about Miffy. This one guy wrote all about how he thinks Miffy is a communist. I mean, it's hilarious, but I really hadn't given it that much thought.

Boarding A Plane Near You: Countdown to Florida

I'll admit it: I'm that person who gave families the evil eye for bringing their loud, germ-infested, screaming children on planes. While waiting in line to board, I would scope out the crowd hoping that the little rugrats wouldn't end up next to me. Well now I'm on the flip side. Our in-laws live in Florida and I told everyone I wouldn't bring them down there until they could remember building a sandcastle. But here I am in February, praying for the snow to melt and for Spring to come. Every year around this time we would go down there and it was gorgeous. Even if it wasn't super warm, just the change of scene was so positive for our mental well-being.

So I made the decision and we're going in early March. My MIL is one of the kindest, most patient people on the planet. And I'm not just saying that in case she reads my blog. It's totally true. This summer they were both screaming their heads off and she just turned to me, smiled and laughed and I was instantly calm amid the storm. She is going to fly up to CT, help us get our acts together and then we'll go back down together. My husband is meeting us there from a business trip in New Orleans. After a few days, he'll come back with me and the girls.

When I first became pregnant I saw this t-shirt online and thought it was hilarious. I think I may get two for the girls so they can wear them on the plane. I mean, how perfect?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Here we go again ...

On June 25, 2008, I abruptly gave up my first blog brooklyn enthusiast. My water broke in our apartment. I grabbed my hospital bag and jumped into a cab to NY Presbyterian-Weill Cornell (side note: how could the largest hospital in NYC be "out of network" for our insurance? We're still getting bills, but I digress ...). Five days later, we put our tiny twin girls into our new jumbo-sized car (no, not a minivan) and headed up the FDR to I95. This would be my second time leaving Manhattan for Fairfield County.

I guess it was at the 12 week ultrasound. I was lying down on the table and Dr. C was doing the sonogram. He was pointing out the various parts of the baby blob on his old school 6x6" monitor when my husband leaned over his shoulder and pointed to the screen.

"What's that other blob?" he asked, all the while knowing exactly what is was. "Oh I was just about to get to that ... it looks like you're having twins!" said Dr. C.

I grew up in Manhattan, which I guess makes me a "real" New Yorker. My parents moved our family to CT just before I was set to enter eighth grade. After living in Boston for several years, we moved back to Manhattan into a an apartment on 34th street, surrounded by the amazing Empire State Building, the obnoxious traffic from Queens/Midtown tunnel and New York University Hospital, which coincidentially I was born at in the late 70s. My husband is from CT so we always knew we would probably end up back here someday -- we just never realized how soon.

My identical girl twins are almost 8 months now. It's true what they say about time flying. I miss Brooklyn, but moving here was the right thing to do for our family. I also miss blogging. Writing has always been my passion. So, here we go again ... introducing Twinthusiast!

This blog is not intended to be an advertisement for baby stuff, but I will definitely go into the things my girls like, dislike and things I love and hate. There will of course be the occasional food tangent and rant. I hope people will enjoy my sense of humor, likely sarcastic at times, and join in on commenting about raising children. Enjoy!