.:10:. “mama”: an identity crisis

imageWaking up to my babies is something I am still getting used to. Arggh, I would love just 5 more min of deep sleep. Then I listen to them in awe as they babble and talk to each other. More sleep is not going to happen, maybe if I just put the cover over my face. Then I hear that word, “mama, mama, mama?”  Do they even know what it means?  They use it an awful lot.  I’m not complaining.  I’ve definitely had those “oh she’s saying my name” or “oh she wants me” precious moments.  But, they seem to use it for everything and I’m really starting to wonder what it actually means to them?

I change them, yes.  I feed them, yes. I play with them, yes. I comfort them, yes. I teach them, yes. I guide them, encourage them, help them, yes. I watch their every move, yes – – – well, when I’m not going to the bathroom or doing things moms do when babies sleep… like watch them on the monitor (ha) – or eat/sleep/drink coffee/shower/clean/food prep/relax (kind of).

Who was I before children and who is this person that has taken over my body and changed all the rules on me? My social skills are now limited to words that end in y. Dolly, baby, puppy, yummy, yucky, ouchy, silly… or phrases that contain the word little. “Let’s read this little book”, “how’s my little munchkin?”, “is that a little ducky?”, “how much is this little shirt, ma’am?”.  Honestly, I don’t even think about it, it just falls out of my mouth. However, I’m now realizing that I need to be careful around my tiny mimes, or they will end up sounding like their “little mommy”!

It is cute though. Hearing any words come out of your child’s mouth is cute. Isn’t it? So cute, it’s worth a series of videos with invisible parents loudly whispering “that new word” in the background while actually only capturing sweet shy smiles and giggles, until take ten when they whisper the word back and you realize much later you can barely hear them.

But lately, “mama, mama, mama…” has caused me to raise some questions that I may never know the answers to. Are they asking for me? Telling me something? Requesting my attention? Expressing to the world that they know me?! Or is it just a word that equals EVERYTHING.  I’ve never felt so wanted.  Yet, I’m noticing it’s more than that.  MAMA has become more than a name.  It’s a desire, a demand, an expression of excitement and an exclamation of anger.  It’s the words to a song or a story.  It’s whatever they want it to be and I go with it!

Oh, I gotta run. I have two girls yelling “mama” over and over again… or maybe they’re just chatting about me.  Cute, how sweet of them!!

…don’t get me started on “dada”. 😉

 

.:9:. 415 days later. quite a maze

girls on grass

I was hoping to post something when my girls turned 1.  However, I was a bit busy with birthday planning – you know the ‘event of the year’ that your kids will never remember.  Still, you put your all into it so you can justify all those wasted hours on Pinterest creating a ‘Birthday Board’ with 113 grand ideas.  I mean c’mon, when they’re 18 I’d feel terrible if they look through pictures and wonder why I didn’t hand make everything. So I guess the late nights filled with sewing, glueing, painting and fancy chalk writing is all worth it!?… Lucky for me, I actually enjoy this kind of stuff.  For some women I know this isn’t the case and society has put way too much pressure on Moms to create this “homemade life” for their kids.

SO, 415 days later (almost 14 months old now) and what a year we’ve had… A whirlwind, a roller coaster, whatever you may call it. Now, I look back at the months past and imagine the years ahead and I would consider it quite a MAZE! An unpredictable experience filled with excitement and uncertainty, you know you will eventually get through.  A labyrinth of smiles, drool, bite marks, bumps, bruises, tears, giggles, and children’s songs you could sing in your sleep… on repeat.  Nothing expected, but everything imagined.

Favorite quote of the year, from my husband Jason (while changing diapers)…”It’s like wrestling gators!”.  Thank god for this man who had never changed a diaper prior to having two babies of his own.  He dove in so fast, you’d think he was a professional gator wrestler.

*Note: I now believe that if we were ever stuck in the everglades amongst gators, we would be well prepared.

Since this is our first summer with all feet on the ground (stair climbers+walkers), no more army crawl or tummy time, we’ve had a little more excitement in the house. Two walkers going in two different directions is equally comical/nerve wrecking/and slightly stressful.  They walk as if in a drunken stooper and just when you think your entire house is baby proofed, they find a way to injure themselves. Along with walking comes a whole new level of independence! They no longer want their nails clipped.  I can hear the gawkers now – “ewe, there’s those world record babies with the longest nails”.  Don’t worry, I clip their nails but (again), this is one of those gator wrestling moments and these are angry thrashing gators.  Another fun sign of independence: they can now touch the top of their heads – like little ballerinas (can you picture it?).  Although when they decide that their sweet smelling baby soft hair needs to be touched, their dainty little twirly fingers are usually full of mango, peas, pasta, applesauce, you name it.  I don’t want to brag or anything, but we may have invented a new fancy hair pomade… (patent pending).  The ending result is usually a nice glistening crust that seems to hold even the most obscure styles.

A year of watching two babies grow has been interesting.  They are so different.  I love it so much, I can hardly handle it.  Seriously, It becomes hard to handle and keep everything straight (who did what and when) – this is why I write.  I keep separate journals for both, but this is just another way to remember this experience.

To all you soon-to-be moms, new moms, or moms continuing to grow their families: keep your heads up, cry as much as you want, sing those silly songs as loud as you can, do those crazy dances that make your little ones giggle so much they hiccup, hug those babies even when they are squirmy and screaming, and love love love this life you are given. As hard as it may be at times, it is a beautiful maze of never ending moments to relish in.

.:8:. motherhood

With the recent celebration of Mother’s Day (my first), I found my self lost in thought for the past couple days about this crazy ‘club’ I recently joined and what it means to me…

motherhood:

Not defined with words. It’s an experience, an emotion, a look, a feel, a smell, a smile, a giggle, a snuggle that you wish could be just a little longer. Long nights, short showers, tall lattes and small hands and feet that you are constantly amazed by.  No more staying out and sleeping in. The days are long but also too fast. Exhaustion is acceptable because you have years to catch up on sleep but not enough years to do everything you want with your curious little sponges.

As a mother I find it hard to get a break but when I do, my mind is consumed with my babes. They are my life. It’s an indescribable feeling being a mom. It’s that moment when you look into your children’s eyes and see purity and honest love and think, wow. Just wow – no other words.  It’s the moment (or many moments) when nothing in the world matters… not your hair, your clothes, your home, that pile of dishes or laundry, or even the smell of diaper in the air (and you swear one is hiding somewhere).  But why care when your little ones are happy and the mutual love you share has no judgement and is bigger than anything in the world.

I am relieved and self-impressed on a daily basis that I actually got through the day. It can be hard. It’s hard keeping up with change. It’s hard being brave enough to admit that it’s hard.  I smile through tears on rough days or find myself quietly laughing during an extremely loud dual scream/cry session because I’ve come to the understanding that it’s normal but ridiculous and slightly comical… and so loud at times that the dog howls along with them.  I’ll find myself thinking, “well, why not make it a family thing?  I’ll just cry too…”.  In the midst of chaos (life), it can be really hard to stop and think, “I am doing this and I am so lucky.”  It’s easy to discredit what we do until we sit down and reflect, until we step away and peak in from the outside, until we hear those little sounds of need and see those arms reach up for us.

I know most of what I write is cliche, gushy, maybe a bit over the top but this is nothing compared to that gut wrenching (in a good way), heavy hearted feeling I get when I think of these two little people that are in this world because of me and my main man ;).  From the day I found out I was pregnant until today, I am a completely changed woman and I would never go back.

Ahh, this thing called Motherhood.  Amazing, breathtaking, overwhelming, crazy (I still have to pinch myself) experience called Motherhood.

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.:7:. what a gift

Even in the darkest hour when clothes are full of spit up, a shower seems like a dream, coffee is only on the grocery list, emotions run high, and diapers overflow… what a gift it is to be a mom.  This may not enter the mind while in that dark hour, but after the fact, when we have time to reflect while sweet babies sleep and a warm cup of coffee sits in our hands- IT IS ALL WORTH IT!

I don’t wear many nice clothes lately – so, should I really care that I’ve been spit up on?  A shower – definitely overrated.  Coffee… hmm well, I’m beginning to think that the smell of a stinky diaper is somehow laced with caffeine.  Yep, that smell will wake up the entire neighborhood…  A gift – I am giving my babies what they are giving me.  A reciprocal relationship of love, laughter and the innate need for each other.  I understand that not every new mom feels this way, but I believe it is something deep within us.  Some of us find it much sooner than others.

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.:6:. a bib for mama

AHHH, my sweet little gals.  So giggly, cuddly, and lovable.  So much, that it’s expressed through all the spit-up, slobber and miscellaneous gunk I wear all day…sometimes multiple days in a row.  YOU KNOW (you’ve done it too), those days when you shower (maybe) and put the same clothes back on because you thought they were clean and then you just keep them on through the next day until you look into the mirror backwards while making faces with your baby and see a huge blotch of dried spit up on your shoulder going down your back.  You take a quick whiff and you can smell the spit-up, not exactly sure why you couldn’t smell it before.  Oh, the glory of motherhood.  So, you change your shirt only to later discover that the new shirt you’re wearing is also covered in dried spit up.  Finally, you carefully look over a ‘clean’ shirt and feel you’ve made a great choice. You proudly pick up a babe for some snuggle time and she welcomes you with an open mouth full of spit-up and this time it goes down the front of your shirt and into your bra.  Three strikes you’re out?!  Well, I thought so until a 4th change of clothes ended up immediately in the washer after picking up my other babe who ‘exploded’ with happiness all over my hip – and this was not spit up.

I often wonder why their isn’t a bib for mamas.  I would even consider wearing a hazmat suit, but I’m sure that would terrify my innocent little munchkins. Why do they even make bibs for babies?  Even when they have bibs on, their food ends up all over the rest of their clothes and mine.  I would like a very large bib, maybe even in the form of a dress or or jumpsuit.  Really.  Lately, I don’t leave the house much anyway.  And when I do, I would just like to take off my bib and confidently present my clean self to the world.  I promise, the world would never know what sticky/gooey/slobbery place I came from.  Yes, I’m proud of where I came from but I would prefer to leave dried spit up, chunks of food and the other toxic baby substances (that find their way out of a diaper), at home.

At the end of the day, we love our messy little ones.  I would probably roll around in their spit-up if it meant making them happy, hearing them giggle, cuddling with them just a little longer.

It would just be a little nicer to do it while protected… in a bib for mama.

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.:5:. a few requests, please!

Wouldn’t it be amazing if life could be as easy as you imagine it in your own head?  We’ve all had those thoughts that would make OUR life easier – maybe not our neighbor’s or our friend’s or even our husband’s but OURs because we only understand what we need!  It’s really not much, just a few requests.

Like…

Starbucks – delivery!:  why doesn’t Starbucks have a delivery service?  Especially for those new moms that are home alone with kiddos during the day and you just haven’t dreamt of tackling the double car seat outing by yourself.  Coffee = gone.  Ugghghhhh, that is just not a great realization at 6am :(.

Target – a drive thru?:  Why not?  I would order the #3: my ‘must have grocery items’, a few things from the dollar section, a couple pairs of leggings in different colors, some mascara, a few sale items from the baby section, and a bag of chips (only from the check out area).  Well, maybe not a bag of chips… actually yes to the chips… nah no chips… agh who cares I’ll take the chips.  I don’t want to hesitate in front of people – why not have someone else do it for me!?

My kind of multi-vitamin: Better yet – a magic pill that I could take and 2 min later I am showered, teeth are brushed, makeup and hair done, and I’ve had a great breakfast… and maybe a nap (that could be a booster).  Jamba Juice blend?  This just (somedays/most days) doesn’t happen.  But, does it really have to happen if I’m not going anywhere and nobody is going to see me?  Ok, the short answer is no.  The long answer is YES, it makes me feel normal.  What if someone were to stop by unexpectedly?  Oh, the horror!

In all reality, we make the best of what we can control.  It’s ok to slip into dreamland on occasion and envision an imaginary land where all of our requests are granted and life is perfect.  What would your crazy request be?  I’d love to hear it – and it would make me feel a little less crazy ;).

.:4:. always time

As a new parent, my life has truly changed.  I can hardly remember what life was like when it was just me and my husband. I often look back and wonder how we were ever busy, messy, late…  Ha.  times and priorities change so quickly!  It really feels like a distant memory when we slept in and made a big breakfast, went to a movie and decided to get dessert afterwards… because we had no place to be. Or, when we agreed to last minute plans because we knew we could get ready in an hour and there was no need to get home at any certain time.

Something I’ve heard a lot about and I promised myself I would never let happen is, losing that connection with my husband…  Yes, we’ve had some rough times together with late night feedings, inconsolable babies, him having to deal with three crying ladies at times (I’ve never cried so much – thank you hormones).

BUT…There is always time.  Even if it’s just a 10 min cuddle session before we both fall into a deep sleep at night, then before we’re awaken a couple hours later by a baby or two (letting us know that something is ‘terribly wrong’ and we must fix it NOW)!  Or a quick little peck as we pass each other in the midst of preparing bottles, changing diapers, searching for nooks, packing diaper bags, entertaining ‘entertainment hungry’ babies.  Hugs too!  Can’t forget to hug.  Something I really look forward to is a nice hug when my hubby comes home from work.  Not sure if my husband ‘needs’ it as much as me, but he goes with it (which is all I could ask for)…  Hugs from him are like a form a therapy for me.  It’s a moment (even just 10 seconds) to take a break, take a long breath and, thank god he is on this journey with me.

We are always busy now, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have time for each other.   It’s important to remember that making time doesn’t have to take much time… a look, a quick holding of hands, a brief hug.  Even changing diapers and doing dishes together is ‘time together’.  And of course, snuggling with our two little bugs is the best time together.  This new life has opened up a new door to my husband.  I love the man and dad he is becoming.  It is so cool to watch – through joy, tears, sometimes frustration, but mostly love.  Not to be cheesy but (I’m a cheesy person) it really is like falling in love all over again, but in a very different way.  Making time is so important and I have to keep reminding myself that it’s the small things that keep us connected!

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.:3:. where are my other arms?

Evolution:  the change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations (Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 2014).

Ok, please tell me where my other arms are!  What happened over the successive generations of mothers with more than one child that are both in diapers and need to be carried?  We should at least have one more set of arms.  I’m envisioning that this second set of arms would grow in correlation with pregnancy. Couldn’t that surge of hormones be put towards something more productive and functional than crazy emotions? Yes, four arms to help you effectively and efficiently care for more than one baby. Strange vision, I know – but of course it would be a totally normal evolutionary trait.   How is that too much to ask for? After all, we do grow humans.

I have a nice little schedule with my babes, but it is ever changing. It can be a lot of work keeping up with these little growing people! I’m not complaining, simply stating a fact that it can be challenging feeding two babies, carrying two babies, bathing, rocking, changing, and spending quality time with two babies.  It’s not impossible (I’m surviving) but another set of arms would really make life easier.  I think any mother would agree (whether you have one child or you’re another mama with multiples).

Aside from all the wonderful baby products out there that can make life easier, there is just nothing that compares to a mothers arms.  I’ve put one babe in a carrier while the other is in a swing, or both in bouncy seats, both on the floor, in Boppys, in Bumbos…  but once I pick them up and they nestle into the crevice of my elbow – all.is.well.  …Until the other one squawks and demands to be cuddled just the same (and this is where my second set of arms would swiftly swoop up baby #2).

SWIFTLY SWOOP up.  I have to emphasize this because I wish it were that easy. Picture this… Reality: babies playing nicely, one cries, crying baby gets comforted, whilst comforting crying baby other baby cries, continue to rock cryer #1 while shushing both babies and dangling toy over cryer #2, switch babies so #2 gets similar attention, check diapers, message bellies and do bicycle with legs (could be gassy), both babies burb…..  ahhh, all is well.  20 min later it starts again.
Note: I make every effort to ‘swiftly swoop’ while juggling between squirmy, cranky, wiggly babes.

And again I ask, where are my other arms!!!??

I remind myself everyday that it all works out and I get a great workout in!

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.:2:. twenty questions

Are you ok?  Are you tired?  Are you wet?  Cold? Hot? Hungry? Bored?  And the list goes on…  All babies have their own way of communicating how they’re feeling and it can be challenging trying to learn their language.  I find myself running through this list of questions (on a fairly regular basis) as I learn my babies needs, wants, desires, hopes, dreams…  Ok, I’m not really worrying about those last few with 6 month olds but I’m anticipating that this game of 20 questions really never ends.  It just changes with each stage…

I’ve come to learn and accept (over the past 6 months), that I may not be able to understand what they need at times.  As a new mom that has been a nanny, a babysitter for practically the entire neighborhood, and an aunt times 6… I felt like I would have it “all under control”.  Although, when I couldn’t solve my own babies problems, I was confused, oddly out of my element and I felt like I was failing.  I often thought… I grew this child – shouldn’t I be able to solve her problems, easily comfort her, make her tears and pain go away?!  Ha, if only it was so easy!  Now, as a mom of twins, this game of Q&A is much more complex as I thought it would be.  Not only am I trying to understand one, I’m trying to understand two and let me tell you – they are not speaking the same language!

As a new parent we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to “know” our children, to be able to quickly find answers to all our questions…to speak their language and understand what they are trying to tell us.  However, at times we can easily disappoint ourselves with lack of knowledge, but isn’t that what parenting is all about?   Not disappointment, but learning as we go and as they grow.  So, bring it on 20 questions I will continue to “ask away” with confidence and a smile – even if I don’t find the answer :)!

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.:1:. this is a first

I am a first time blogger and a first time mom of twin girls.  I have to say, I never really thought I would be a blogger.  However,  I love to journal.  Unfortunately, sitting down and writing – you know, with that thing called a pen and paper – is just not at the top of my ‘to-do’ list lately.  Opening up my laptop and blabbing about life through a keyboard seems much more manageable.  Bonus: when I go back to read a late night groggy posting, it will be legible!

I plan to post as time allows.  I look forward to sharing my life as a mama of two. I am solely using this blog as a tool to escape from reality for a moment… to talk about ‘my reality’.  Hmm, makes sense.  Hopefully others can relate, laugh, cry and even cheer with me while accomplishing the multitude of tasks needed to be done daily in order to survive and happily thrive as a mama with two little ones.

Speaking of little ones… My two littlest loves, Alaina Joy and Hannah Jean are 6 months old (6 weeks adjusted) and are truly my world.  Their nicknames inspired the name of the blog – Lainy bug and Hannah bean.  They are curious, wiggly little smiley girls and I have to say, it fits them perfectly.

So, follow along if you’d like… as I learn how to comfortably fit into this new, expensive, and oversized outfit called MOTHERHOOD :). Enjoy.

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