Sunday, July 20, 2014

Blog Tour: Hop On The Breaking Momma Train

Breaking The Momma Mold: Blog Tour
The day we welcomed our twin baby girls into the world I took a moment later in the day to play around on my phone (obviously) and scan my email. (No, giving birth doesn't take away the desire to play with your smart phone... Especially when you have so many new pictures to go through and admire!) Anyway, I was given a heads up that I was being featured on Just A Touch Of Crazy's Blog Tour and was pretty excited about it. Being able to do something about it at the moment was another story. However, 3 weeks late and all, here I am! Half asleep, red-eyed and rearing to go because I want to keep this tour going! (It's probably too late, but I'm not too worried about it.)

Leilani and Emily write over at Just A Touch of Crazy.  It is one of my favorite blogs to follow because they are both totally sweet, amazing mom's and they share some really great stories about both of their momhood experiences and kidventures.  Some stories, I literally laugh out loud at so I hope you take the time to visit them. 

So the question of the day is (drum roll please) what the heck is a Blog Tour!? Let me tell you...

I'll be answering 4 questions about the "behind the scenes" of Breaking The Momma Mold, then I will share with you some of my other favorite blogs for you to stop by and visit.  Hopefully you will treat yourself and check them out. :P

So let the tour begin...

1. What am I working on? Blogging wise, this. I have no post plans ever, they are off the cuff and I hope for the best... I have also been working on a group called Mom It Up! with 4 other really great momma bloggers. It's a Facebook group focused on raising healthy and happy kids and families. Our mission is have other moms, caregivers, mommy bloggers (everyone) join our conversation. Share your related posts, insights, tips, personal stories and more. Topics vary from pregnancy, raising children of all ages, healthy recipes and a variety of ways to maintain a healthy dose of mommy sanity. We happily discuss our successes and yes, failures. We hold no shame. That’s reality, right? So feel free to stop by and join the discussion.

Outside of blogging I have devoted all of my time to learning how to keep twins alive and a 2-year old happy while she undergoes all of this change. There is a very fine line of maintaining happiness in a person that just a few short weeks ago received ALL of the attention. It takes .3 seconds for her to switch from skipping and dancing to all out tantrum mode. It's pleasant. Really.

2. How does my work differ from others of it's genre? I am not totally sure how I differ from the other momma bloggers besides that they are probably more organized that I am... I have my own dynamics and experiences to share, (momma of one to three), I don't know how to cook but I enjoy good, healthy food and I love wine. My hubby is the cook and I can follow him around the kitchen with my glass of wine and three babies to trail and chop things here and there. I trial and error in terms of trying to successfully raise three kids and I try very hard to have fun with it. I don't stray far from who I am. I don't try to be super mom, I don't try to be something I'm not and I don't rely on books. (for good or for bad) If my college girlfriend or an old childhood friend came over and watched me do my mom thing she would recognize the approach. It's not out of my personal ordinary of how I would attempt to conquer something. I just approach motherhood as I would any other challenge in my life. And now I document it. Because it's fun to do that.

3. Why do I write / create what I do? I started to blog when some bigger life changes began to transpire. Typically, I am a person to keep to myself but I had a change of heart. I felt like I had something to share and wanted to share it. It felt scary at first but I found I enjoy writing, I enjoy writing about what is happening in my life right now and sharing it. I also enjoy the relationships with others that my writing brings on. I found blogging to be a fun world to explore and I quickly became addicted. There is so much more to it than just writing good content. (I mean, that's always number one and key but... beyond that their is so much more to do!!) It can really keep you consumed and busy. It has totally become a guilty pleasure that I try to sneak in as often as I can. These days there is not a lot of time to do so but I still somehow find it. I also love the connections that blogging creates between people all over the world. It doesn't matter who you are or where you live someone else has either experienced or is experiencing what you are doing and a connection can be made.

4. How does your writing / creating process work? I wish I had something really interesting and inspiring regarding "my process" but the truth is I have absolutely no process. I really depend on life in general to inspire what I write about and I really have to feel passionate about it to even be able to write about it. Occasionally I will have a panic week where I have been inspired by nothing. Usually, my last minute, procrastination brings something to mind... At least I always hope. To be honest, since the twins have been born, the lack of sleep has been followed by a lack of inspiration and motivation but I keep my mind open to ideas and once inspired I will jot it down and get it going again!

OK, the train is about to take off and send you to your next destination!  Thanks for letting me share some behind the scenes info at Breaking The Momma Mold. You may have noticed that their is no method behind this madness besides the actual madness. 

And next stops on the blog tour are:

Caroline Barnes @ Do It All Working Mom
I love Caroline. She seriously is the do it all working mom and she has some great advice, recipes, tips, reviews, stories on well, everything. She also enjoys wine and really good food, which makes Caroline a girl after my own heart.

Carrie Spence @ Sweet & Savory Spence
Carrie is amazing in the kitchen and an absolute inspiration. All of her recipes are recreated with a more healthful twist in mind. She always provides recipes that you would feel awesome about making for your whole fam.

Tiffany Hunter @ Shhh, I Have a Baby
Tiffany is a new mom that blogs about the realities of pregnancy and raising a baby.  Everything really that the books don't cover. So pretty much the really useful stuff new moms (and experienced) want to hear about.

Anna @ Fitfunner
Anna is on a mission to advocate health for kids. She provides food / health related children's app reviews that I find extremely helpful because I don't have to do the leg work and can find new games for my 2-year old to play that are enjoyable and educational. She also challenges existing health issues and it's really interesting (sometimes alarming) to follow. Anna has created a game that gives you the tools to help your kids live a healthier life. You can take a tour or sign up to play here.

Happy touring! Choo choo! (When in Rome...)





Sunday, July 13, 2014

What You Remember (and Forget) When Raising Infants


While the babies have been sleeping I opened the computer many times this week.  I go to write a post but end up just staring blankly at a word doc with absolutely nothing coming to mind. It's like my head is too full in order to organize my thoughts, or the complete opposite. It's absolutely empty. Tired and empty. In all likelihood it's probably the latter.

Things that pop into my head as I stare at this blank document is that, yes, I’m tired.  I’m hot.  I’m so hot.  I would use an exclamation point but it would be a lie.  Nothing comes out of my mouth with that much oomph these days. I have to pump a lot.  The twins need supplementation because they are so small and need to gain more weight.  Prepping food is like a ginormous production line. I want to tell you how cute they are and if I weren’t lacking so much motivation I would like to do multiple costume changes with them and admire their cuteness.  But that sounds like a lot of work.  So I don’t want to do that at all.  And did I mention that I’m hot? I love the couch. It’s my new best friend.  If I didn’t feel guilty I would stay in bed.  But that’s a bit much.  (I do really push it to the limit though...) I still have to take their hospital bracelets off their ankles because they are getting a bit fitted.  Oh, and I need to paint one of their nails so I make sure not to confuse them for life.  That would be traumatizing. 

I did forget about some of the more difficult memories of raising the twins big sister. I only really remember the more cute memories of her infancy. Being constantly over-tired, the brain-loss, the all nighters, the lack to be able to smile even though you feel fine were not the first memories that came to mind.  One memory that I always looked back on with big sister was rocking her as she lay on my chest during one of the middle of the night feedings.  It was so peaceful and we were both so content.  I loved that moment and when I thought back to infancy that is what came to mind.  There must be some law of infancy that only allows you to remember the amazing moments.  I mean let's be honest, if someone asked, "Who never wants to sleep again?" you wouldn't be jumping up and down yelling, "Me! Me! I never want to sleep again! I actually love no sleep and I'm really smart when I never sleep."  That just doesn't happen.  So I guess you forget and the great memories take over.  Not a bad thing.

But this really is what motherhood is all about. It only works because you created these little beings.  They are your own and you love them as soon as you lay eyes on them.  Even sooner.  When you find out you’re pregnant.  If that phenomenon didn’t occur this job wouldn’t work or even exist.  People would listen to the list of qualifications and run.  Far.  Away.  They would hop on the next plane and travel to an exotic, tropical island and enjoy a cocktail (or three) as they lay in the white sand, looking out at the perfect aqua marine water and say, “Phew, that was a close call.”

But being a mom doesn’t work like that. It is one of the few instances that you really don't care that you have become second, third, or fourth in line to worry about. You've got one job to do.  You gotta keep these little people alive, fed, clean, well rested... And as exhausted as I am to get up in the night and as my body fights against my eyes and says it cant do it, I scoop up the babies and begin to feed one. They knowingly look at me.  My touch and voice are familiar and comforting to them.  They feel soothed and content just to be with me.  And as simple as it sounds that makes it all worthwhile.

Ecard created by queenmelissa



Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Twins Have Arrived!


Breaking The Momma Mold: The Twins Have Arrived

 On June 27th, I delivered our two baby twin girls! My hubby and I had been awaiting this day excitedly and a tad fearfully.  After having been traumatized by our first (Big Sister) who made an appearance a half hour after arriving to the hospital, we constantly feared getting to the hospital, which was an hour away, in time.  I also refused to give natural childbirth times two this time around.  So getting admitted in time for an epidural was a non-negotiable requirement. 

Things seemed to go more smoothly than the first time.  Let me rephrase, I listened to my body a little better this time around.  I did the best I could to not enter the denial or the newby ‘is this labor, no it cant be… when clearly it is’ phase.

The night of the delivery it was straight to the point.  Water broke, we grabbed our bags, got in the car and off to the hospital we went.  Boom, hit major traffic due to a closed lane, called 911, drove through the breakdown lane with the Sargent on the phone (whom by the way is also a twin) and obstacle one was easily avoided. 

Next challenge, registration.  Ok, we were told several times its part of the process.  Contractions were coming quickly and I was only starting to mildly lose my tolerance for process but proceeded with what we were told to do.  Got through the registration with just a couple of contractions and off we went to what we hoped was Labor & Delivery. 

Nope.  The babies were getting hooked up to a heart monitor.  At that point I was thinking why bother?  They are just going to arrive on their own without doctor assistance at any moment now if we keep delaying getting the actual birthing of the babies process started.  This was the point at which hubby lost his cool.  I thought for a moment there was about to be a throw down between him and the nurse.  If that happened my plan was to hop out of the bed, rip off the heart monitors and go galloping down the hallway in my cute backless hospital gown in search for an anesthesiologist.  Or a drug lord.  Whomever I bumped into first. 

Thankfully, it didn’t come down to that.  After the awkward moment with the nurse, yeah, even through contractions I felt the heat, the nurse came back whistling a different tune.  Finally, there was urgency.  Off to labor and delivery we went.

Long story short we were met by the anesthesiologist (Whom if you ever got an epidural I am sure I am not alone in saying I would marry this person.  This person that works magic, I love you anesthesiologist person… ) Anyway, after my honeymoon with the anesthesiologist ended, the babies were on their way. We rolled into the surgical room, Twin A happened to be positioned face up and we were on the brink of having to undergo a c-section.  The specialist said she was good to go naturally, no c-section needed.  The doctor called Twin A’s position ‘Sunny Side Up,’ coming into the world wide eyed and optimistic.  I thought that was cute.  Twin A may have felt differently, she looked like she got in a bar fight when I first met her.  Still, bar fight and all, adorable as ever.

Twin B was born 10 minutes later.  Like I said, it was a pretty quick and efficient delivery that resulted with two beautiful teeny tiny 4lb babies. Hubby and I were beside ourselves.

We are all so wrapped around this idea of process.  I think for a lot of different reasons.  Maybe, traumatized from the results of an event that lacked process… but maybe taking a day off from process and going by personable cues such as communication, expression of concern, body language wouldn’t hurt every once in awhile.

Oh, yeah… that nurse that my hubby almost entered the boxing ring with, yes her…  After the babies arrived hugged it out big time.  I think I even saw a tear or two from the both of them.  It was really cute. 

Also, I want to thank all of you for sending your love and prayers! They were heard and we are a happy and healthy family of five now.  And the beautiful adventure continues... 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tips To Surviving The Last Few Weeks of Your Twin Pregnancy - 36-38 Weeks


If I could I would be jumping up and down and clapping about having made it to the last stretch of carrying two growing babies at once. But for those of you that are at this point of your pregnancy know that jumping up and down, let alone lifting one leg in front of the other has become the new obstacle during this wonderful time. 

I am 37 ½ weeks pregnant with mono di twin girls.  My OB’s office is my second home and I am quickly learning that you haven’t lived through a twin pregnancy until you have reached these last few weeks. 

If you have been pregnant before with a singleton you may have remembered the 'nauseating first trimester,' "it’s a beautiful life, glowing,’ second trimester and the 'OK, I’m ready to have these babies... NOW,' uncomfortable third trimester. 

When pregnant with twins, the third trimester seems to revert back to the first trimester while tacking on a few additional challenges that comes along with bearing twins.   Nausea comes back full-throttle, hunger has never been so strong and the ability to move has decreased immensely. Your stomach is sizing up to be an unrecognizable being projecting off of your body and aches and pains are sprouting from, well, everywhere.    

So, welcome to the third trimester with twins!  Hello, ligament burning and stretching in the worst way, carpel tunnel, acid reflux, hot flashes nausea and continual braxton hix.  Goodbye lower back functionality, the ability to bend down and rely on your knees to get up, moving in general, lifting things and pretty much a full nights sleep due to having to use the bathroom on the hour, every hour.

But this is all OK, because for twins to make it this far is awesome news.  They are thriving and learning the functions that will help them live outside of the womb healthy and happily.  They are practicing the motions of using their lungs and they have reached a size that if they were born they could better understand how to nurse for the first time.  For that, bring on the extra pain and bed rest. I’ll take it!

So I thought I would compile a little list of ideas to make this, yes, exciting time, a little more comfortable and tolerable!


Use pillows. Pillows, pillows, pillows!  Its ironic but the most uncomfortable I have been has been lying down at night.  It’s like once your already loose body relaxes, it just gets a tad more painful when you try to move again.  So steal your hubby’s pillows, hoard every single one that you have lying around in closets and guest bedrooms.  Just surround your body in a cocoon of large, fluffy pillows and fill them in every crevice of your body.  Under your feet, knees, behind you back, on your sides.  Rolling over and getting your legs from one side to the other is painful! You basically have to lift one leg with your hands and manually move it, so give yourself that extra relief with the extra height from the support of the pillow.  Limiting the amount you have to move them to roll them over.  And you will need to roll over because the ligaments on your sides have also entered burning and weakness. Oh, the joys.

Friday, June 20, 2014

TGI-Featured Friday: My Hubby on Expecting Twins





The day I was informed of the epic, tid bit of information that my hubby and I were expecting twins, I had gone to the doctor by myself.  The ultrasound tech was very non-nonchalant,  "Um, the egg split..." 

I remained very calm as I thought, "WHAT THE F DOES THAT MEAN!?" But I didn't want her to see my anxious side right away. I wanted to look chill, relaxed, casual... I mean, she seemed so calm about it. So it was more like, "Oh, um... what does that mean?" Voice cracking and tears streaming as I was expecting the inevitable answer.

When she saw my cool, calm and really relaxed tears streaming down my face, she asked me if I wasn't happy about this.  Hello. Can a girl register some insane news? I was able to manage stuttering, "No, really happy, just a little shocking..." If she could only hear what was actually reeling through my brain. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Father's Day Poem

Breaking The Momma Mold: A Father's Day Poem

  

Hey Dad,

If you haven’t heard, there is all this hype around Dads today.

I thought I would join in because I probably have some better things to say.

You’re a pretty awesome dad, not hard to beat, so lets get started, no time to delay!

Just to be nice I increased the font, I don't want you to have to get up to find your five pairs of glasses that you combine to attempt to get a clear shot.

I’m the third of your four and one would have thought, by the time you reached three knowing where I was would be a long shot.

However, you had no problems letting me hang all over you.  In a room full of open chairs I found the one right on top of you.
   
We had good times when you let me ride with you on your tractor.  I’m sorry I thought it would be a good idea to try to drive it off the road like they do in fear factor.

You were very creative on setting up family activities.  Building an ice skating rink in our backyard provided a lot of festivity.

Throughout the summer you took us to see the whales and go fishing.  You would put on our bait without even twitching.

Remember that huge fin floating right past your other daughter?  I remember to this day the smile on her face, as she wasn’t even bothered. 

Amazing days spent floating on the water, grillin’ lunch and enjoying the dog days and saltwater.

It really doesn’t get much better than that, mom chillin’ in the sun under her straw hat. 

How awesome was it the day she launched the boat off the dock while you steered away. Plop, she dropped in the water and I don't think she has forgiven you to this day.

I feel bad for laughing at you the day you ate a bite of a bad crab cake.  I should have been more sensitive and left the room to laugh at your sake. 

Next time you are in town we will pack the cooler with cold beer.  Head to our favorite clam shack to share our fried clam plate without any fear.

Always helpful and full of good advice. When I’m in a bind you seem to know how to make everything sound nice. 

You have taught us all the importance of perseverance.  Someday… that Model T that you’ve been working on will make an appearance. 

You’re the best dad around and I love you to the moon.  I would love to celebrate with you over a Corona at the nearest saloon.

Enjoy your special day and try not to let mom boss you around.  Tell her Jess gives you a day off and to take her list of things to do and go pipe down. 

Haha, just kidding mom your pretty cool too.  But give the man a break its Father’s Day, didn’t someone tell you?



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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Embracing The Sand


Breaking The Momma Mold: Embracing The Sand

Having lived out of suitcase for about two months between selling and buying a home, we are excited to have finally moved into our home and begin settling in.  I have become adjusted to living in what I would like to call ‘organized chaos,’ aka, a construction zone that seems to be improving everyday. It takes some getting used to in order to fully accept and move on, however, for those of us with kids and that have ever gone to the beach with their kids have learned to embrace the sand.  Once you have embraced the sand, you have conquered the world of feeling disheveled, unorganized and down right dirty.

Let’s reminisce for a quick second about the days of cleanliness past.  The days that the sun would come out and you would naturally open your eyes, fully rested, ready to embrace the day.  You pull your jogging clothes on; grab your iPod and go out for a nice long, peaceful run.  Come home to a hot shower…  dry your hair and style. Apply some wonderfully scented lotion from Victoria’s Secret or The Body Shop, put on clean, professional clothes and head out the door… Oh, and heels!  Pretty heels. It felt good.  It felt professional.  It felt… clean.

Enter infant.