March 7th, 2013 § § permalink
I am not writing this post to start a debate about where the best place to give birth is. Many people have amazing birthing center and hospital births. I’ve had the pleasure of attending many of these births as a doula. Please hire a doula. It makes a world of difference no matter what route you choose to take. I would have 10 doulas at my next birth if my husband would ever agree to another baby. Not Likely! I personally found the best place for ME to give birth was in my home. Looking at these two photos of my first and second set of twins really struck me the other day. The photos were both taken within the first hour of their births. The twin girls were born in the hospital and cried for the first hour of their life. They got poked and jostled right away after delivery. I did get to nurse them within the first hour so I found that part of my birthing experience successful. The girls were born at 35 weeks and they took them for observation in the nursery. That separation was hard on all of us. I wish I knew that I had more choices during that birth. However, I am so grateful for that experience because it is what inspired me to become a doula. I took a DONA training workshop when the twin girls were less than 6 months old. I look back to when my boys were born and I don’t remember much crying at all. They never left me for a second and they seemed so peaceful and content. I was also anxiety free though out the entire process. It helped me to have a very intense but pain-free birth. I delivered the twin boys in my bedroom and stayed in that room all day with my new babies and all my other kids splayed across the bed. It was magical. Home Sweet Homebirth.
January 31st, 2013 § Comments Off § permalink
My 18 month old twin boys are climbing everything! I can’t turn my head for a damn second. Luke has already had 6 stitches put in his lip for surfing a chair to the ground. We have NO chairs around our dining room table. You would think that would slow them down. WRONG. They are so different from my twin girls. I told the girls “NO” and they eventually got it. Not right away but I never had to remove the chairs from the dining room. Dinner time in our house has evolved to a new level of chaos. Where do we all sit you ask? I’m not really sure. Let’s just say it’s a bigger mess than you can ever imagine. Well, unless you have two sets of twins plus a few extra kids tacked on to insure utter mayhem. I started a series of photos documenting where I kept finding the twin boys. Usually it was Rocky so I titled it “Where’s Rocky?”. Occasionally his partner in crime Lucky Luke would join in on the daily climb. People wonder why I claim that the boys are not fit for public at this age. Here’s the proof. Enjoy the photos.
October 1st, 2012 § § permalink
Holy shit! I made it. I flew across the country with my 15 month old twin boys and back again. 4 flights in total. Layovers, delays, and seat changes oh my. You may be wondering WHY? My only sister gave birth a month early to a beautiful baby boy. I had to go see her and my new nephew. Nothing was going to stop me. I will write a separate post about my sweet nephew who carries my name (Lindsey) as a middle name. Lucky fucker! I called my mother and asked her if she was willing to take off work and help me wrangle the twins on a cross-country adventure. She didn’t even hesitate and agreed. Little did my mom know what was in store for us. I definitely could not have done it alone. I traveled on an airplane once before with my first set of twins 2 years ago for a funeral. My dear friend agreed to help me on the flight. I still feel horrible for what I put my friend through on that trip. It was a quick flight and we had no layovers. It was still awful and filled with screaming babies and hairy eyeballs from the other passengers. I vowed to never fly with twins again. And I did it again. My mother was an amazing help and I couldn’t have done it without her. We learned a lot about flying with 15 month olds. I will share a short list for y’all.
1) 12-18 months is the worst age to fly with a child/children. Avoid it all costs if possible.
2) Have a ton of snacks and drinks for you and your kids.
3) Bring balloons, keys, books, iPad, toys, wallet to open, straws, and anything that grabs their attention for longer than a minute.
4) Offer to buy alcoholic beverages for the surrounding passengers. A friend with twins handed out ear plugs when they took a flight recently. People warm up to you pretty quickly when they see that you are making an effort to keep your kid quiet and calm. Many parents don’t give a shit if their kids yell and kick seats and feel entitled to let their kids run amok because they paid for the seats. This may be okay for you but you are ruining it for the rest of us that take other passengers into consideration. When my mother and I sat at our seats with the twins we got the most horrific looks from our fellow travelers. By the end of the flight the woman seated next to my mom who rolled her eyes upon us getting on the plane was holding one of my twins and kissing his cheeks. I overheard the lady next to me saying to her husband “Ugh, I knew they were going to be seated next to us. Humph.” By the end of the flight she was singing me high praises and calling me her hero.
5) Make many trips to the bathroom. The babies love pulling the toilet paper and splashing in the water. Whatever keeps them busy.
6) Order a cocktail for yourself. It took the edge off of the whole experience. Smiling and laughter are good medicine as well. I was faking a grin the whole flight and it actually helped.
7) Always take direct flights. I will never try to cram all that traveling into one day with babies again. They were so over stimulated and crabby that I felt bad for them. Poor babies. Poor me. Poor Uma (my mother)
8) Know your seat assignments prior to boarding. You can only have one lap infant per row because of the amount of oxygen masks. Be prepared to seat separately if you are traveling with twin infants. Purchasing a seat will insure you are in the same row. I just didn’t have the cheddar to make that happen this flight.
9) Bring a stroller and check all bags except your diaper bag. It’s worth the extra cost. Lugging kids and suitcases suck bigtime.
10) Always keep in mind that you will reach your destination and can put all this traveling stress behind you. My husband had dinner, wine, and ice cream waiting for my mom and I upon arriving home. Thanks buddy.
I want to give a big super-duper shout out and thanks to my Mom, who I probably won’t see until next year. I don’t blame you Mom that was a crazy difficult journey. You will only ever understand the difficulty unless you go through it and we deserve fucking medals. My new nephew was worth all of it. xo
July 16th, 2012 § § permalink
1. Babies will eventually sleep. Really they will. Everyone is so quick to give you advice and/or tips on getting your baby to sleep. I had two sets of fucking twins trust me they will sleep. There is no magic trick or sleep training method that will work for every baby. Trust your gut and know that sleep deprivation is only just a phase of this new parenting journey.
2. NYC Playground Mommies can be judgemental catty bitches. It’s a drama filled highschool flashback. I enjoy making new friends and will often strike up a conversation and get the once over twice. Really? WTF? I just wanted to talk to another adult. I thought that by becoming a mommy I joined this sorority of sisterhood created by the bonds of motherhood. I was wrong. I’m a stupid hippie.
3. No one will ever understand having two sets of twins unless they have two sets of twins. Friends and family may get a glimpse of my beautiful madhouse but I’m alone with my husband to really understand the magnitude of this journey.
4. I will never need to buy a new pair of high heels again. EVER. I wear heels 2X a year if I’m lucky. Wearing fuck me pumps and pushing a double stroller looks dumb.
5. I really love being a parent. I was worried that I really got myself into a mess of ass-wiping and wrangling screaming snot nosed kids. Well I did and I’m so lucky and grateful for it. I love being a mom more and more each day. I have sunshine and rainbows shooting out of my ass. yay.
July 3rd, 2012 § § permalink
Holy SHIT!!!! I did it. I survived a year with two sets of twins, a 6-year-old, & a teenager. I can’t believe the hand in life that I was dealt sometimes. I waffle back and forth from feeling like the luckiest lady in the universe to saying “WHY ME????” Being a mom to all these kids has been the hardest most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life. I am utterly exhausted. Happy Birthday to my sweet sons who were born peacefully at home in my bed a year ago. I love snails and puppy dog tails.
June 18th, 2012 § § permalink
I don’t run a daycare. I’m not a nanny. I am not a member of FLDS Church. I didn’t have fertility treatments. I know what birth control is and how to properly use it. I’m not insane or mentally challenged. I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent woman. I like and enjoy my life with all of my kids. I might even want to have another baby at some point in the future. I’m not a circus freak show. I’m just a woman who loves being a mom. Rant over.
June 7th, 2012 § § permalink
When I got this belly script tattoo 8/9 years ago I had no idea that my tummy would be stretched and pulled beyond my wildest dreams. This photo hides my stretch marks pretty damn well. Nice! Let’s try not to focus on the fact that my belly button will not go back to being an innie ever again. It has been popped out way too many times. Gross. I got my Strength tattoo because at the time I was vulnerable and desperately searching for some strength. Little did I know at the time that all the strength that I would ever need was festering inside my magical uterus. I picked the perfect spot for the word Strength. It was like marking the treasure spot with a big huge X. The human body is absolutely fucking amazing. My uterus carried two sets of twins and a singleton. How’s that for some STRENGTH?! I’m really the luckiest woman alive.
May 29th, 2012 § § permalink
I just don’t think anyone other than my husband and my teenage step-daughter fully understand what our insane reality is really like. Many of our friends get a small taste but I just don’t think its possible for them to fully understand unless you do it 24/7 like myself. My life is so full and beautiful but very far from easy. I have finally come to terms with the fact that my life was not meant to be easy. If it was I would probably be bored to tears. A life well lived is full of struggle. This struggle has earned me lots of rewards. I just wanted to share with you all a typical day in the life at my house.
5:45-6:20 Normal wake up time for the entire clan. I usually hear the 10 month old twin boys yelling from their cribs ready to get their boob on. Bird, Haze, and Mia usually appear at the side of my bed asking me about the weather for the day. One of them usually jumps on my head and asks if they slept good last night. My teenage step-daughter says a quick goodbye and heads out the door to school.
6:20-7:00 Nursing the twin boys while lying in bed. This is turning into quite the circus show. They punch each other and try pulling on the cat’s tail all while trying to nurse. I often yelp in pain due to nipplelash(nipple still in mouth while yanking it like taffy). Twin A Mr. Luke likes to nuzzle with the cat every morning. It melts my heart every time he does this. The cat head butts him on the head and he laughs wildly.
7:00-8:30 My husband heads downstairs with the kids while I shower and brush my teeth. If I skip this step I regret it by the day’s end. Dan makes the coffee and starts breakfast with the kids. It’s like being a short order cook. Kids shout out orders from every direction. “I WANT A BANANA!!!” ”GIVE ME TOAST!!!” “SMOOTHIES!!!” My husband handles most of the requests while I feed the twin boys in their high chairs. They are so damn messy at this age that I usually wash them down head to toe after every meal. Let’s not even discuss the mess they leave on the floor. It’s like a slug trail. During all this I am shouting at our 18-year-old dachshund for scavenging for scraps like a deranged junkie. After mealtime I argue with my 6-year-old Mia about picking her outfit for school. She battles me about wearing underwear almost every god damn day. The kid HATES undies. There are usually a few time outs for at least one of the 3-year-old twins at this point. It’s usually because Birdie has whacked someone in the face. Nice. I brush Mia’s hair, load her backpack, pack her lunch, and kiss her and Dan goodbye. He drops her off and heads to work for the day.
9:00 Twin boys nap time. Nurse them to sleep. This is when I write for my blog, check FB, return emails… The twin girls are usually calmer once their big sister Mia leaves for school. They watch a TV show or play with their doll house for a bit. This is normally the calmest part of the day.
10:30/11:30 The twin boys wake up and tear up the house with their twin sisters. Two sets of twins can really wreck the joint. I try at this point to clean up the house, do the laundry, and wash the dishes. I get all the kids dressed for the day and try like hell to leave the house for a walk or play in the park. Sometimes I give up and stay inside because it’s quite the task loading all the kids up alone. I try to make a game out of it but some days I just throw in the towel. They cry, fight, hug, play, kiss, whine, laugh, and taunt me. hah.
12:00 LUNCHTIME Feed two sets of twins. Enough said.
1:30 Twin boys nap. Sometimes I can get the twin girls to crash out on the couch but it’s rare. I have them play in the yard so they don’t wake up their brothers. Some one usually steps in dog shit or scrapes their knee. We should buy stock in band-aid and Dr. Bronner’s soap.
2:45 Load up all the kids and pick up Mia at school. It’s a 30 minute drive. The boys really don’t like the car so they scream most of the ride. Bird & Haze usually pass out for the ride.
3:30 Mia gets in and we either drive home or bring her to an afterschool class depending on the day. She has Skateboarding class on Tuesdays and MMA on Mondays and Wednesday.
5:00 Feed twin boys dinner. Wrangle kids until my husband gets home. It’s like herding cats.
6:00/6:30 My husband gets home and makes dinner. I am the world’s most awful cook. I sometimes will order dinner if I’m in the mood for sushi. Dinnertime is chaos. We try very hard to make this an enjoyable time. The yelling and screaming coming from our little sunshine trolls is ear shattering. I pour myself a glass of wine. Maybe two. Depends on the day.
7:00 Bath time for the babies. Bath, PJ’s, sleep sacks, and a boobie session and the boys are usually down before 8pm.
7:45/8:00 I head out quite often at night to meet with doula clients. So the husband puts the 3 girls to bed while I’m off doing my doula hustle. The girls each require 1 book in each of their beds. Their beds are lined up in a row and it reminds me of a scene in Annie. “It’s a hard knock life for us…” My step-daughter is with us half the time so she usually retreats to her room to hide and get some quiet time once the little girls’ bedtime rolls around.
9:00 ALL KIDS ASLEEP.
10:00 Get home from meeting with doula clients. Hang with hubby for a bit.
This is a typical day. If I am off at a birth Dan wrangles all the little ones alone. Props to big Daddy for running the show when I’m gone. It’s very hard but rewarding work. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love my crazy life.
April 24th, 2012 § § permalink
Oh Birdie! I came across an article today in the New York Times blog about broken legs and going down the slide with a toddler on your lap. Well this genius mom thought it would be a good idea to put 13 month old twins on her lap and go down the slide. Duh. I was trying to prevent an injury and caused one instead. This photo is right after our ER visit with Birdie (twin A) before they put on the shorter pink cast and gave her a little blue walking bootie. I have to say it never once slowed her down. The most traumatic part for her was holding her still for the x-rays. Birdie has no memory of her injury. I however learned a valuable lesson. Don’t go down the slide with a kid on your lap. Definitely DO NOT go down the slide with twins on your lap. Lesson learned the hard way.
April 16th, 2012 § § permalink
My two oldest girls are the best big sisters in the world. It took a little time, extra love, and attention for them to want to be big sisters but here they are now amazing me with their big sister skills. I met my sixteen year old step-daughter Bella when she was 8 years old. She loved being an only child and was a huge daddy’s girl. She was a super sweet and smart little kid that was wise beyond her years. I am extremely lucky and grateful that she introduced me to being a step-parent before I gave birth to Mia. When Bella was 10 years old we told her she was going to have a little sister. She seemed thrilled at the idea of a sibling. I know the transition from being an only child for 10 years was going to be difficult one. I commend her for her ability to show her new baby sister Mia such love and affection despite her own difficulty with sharing the spotlight. A few short years later we planned another baby and it turned out to be twin girls. At the same time Bella had a new sister from her Mother and step-father. Now instead of one new sister she had 4!!! It was an adjustment for all of us. Miss Mia had some difficulty as well because she wasn’t the baby anymore and had to share EVERYTHING with her new sisters. The second set of twins shocked us all beyond words. There are times that I look in my living room amazed at what I’ve created. So my step-daughter Bella has 5 siblings at our house and 2 at her Mom’s house. From an only child to 1 of 8. That’s a lot of baby having in those few years that I’ve known Bella. The 3-year-old twins Bird & Haze and Mia worship the ground Bella walks on and can’t wait for her to come home. Bird especially nags me wondering where Bella is. I know the girls annoy her at times but she can’t hide the fact that she adores them right back. We will all be so sad when Bella turns 18 and wants to fly the coup. Mia has also stepped up her role as the big sister when the new babies were born. She gets me diapers and picks out outfits for them. She carries them around the house which scares the crap out of me. But it sure is sweet. I’m so lucky to have Bella and Mia as big sisters and role models to all the little ones. Big sisters definitely rule.