Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mama Bear

I am very much mama bear. I am protective of my chidren. I kind of take offense to the term over-protective. Like, it's my responsibility to love, feed and clothe them and keep them safe and comforted. How could I overdo that? Whatever.


So my rage comes out when I feel like someone has hurt my baby or is getting ready to hurt my baby. Unfortunately, that someone is usually the other baby. Go look at yesterday's post to see what they do, but these children could seriously injure each other if I left them too close together and turned my head.

And they move. They're not crawling yet, but they roll and scoot. So I could put them on opposite sides of the room and they'll still end up head to foot, kicking the crap out of each other. So I hear one baby wail out in anguish and I scoop her up, comfort her and then look at the other baby like "WHY would you do that to your sister?"

And then an hour later, it flip flops.

And my boyfriends like "she didn't mean it." And I'm like, I don't care, she hurt my baby. And it sucks to be mad at a 7 month old, but I'm a real person with real feelings and when you see a scratch on your baby's face and you know she didn't do it to herself, it's like witnessing child abuse. Wouldn't you be mad at a child abuser?

Twins will take you to another place. I just want to put Michelin Man suits on both of them to stop them from beating each other up.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Family Time

Building off of yesterday, I'm not going home for Christmas. I can't afford it financially and I can't deal with the stress of having two infants on a plane. I'm also concerned about their health comfort. Babies have schedules. My kids don't go to church. They don't go to daycare. They're not around a lot of folks all day. It's me, their dad, the nanny, Paris and anyone who flies in to see them (and if you live in Brooklyn, you may as well have flown in, LOL!)

So I know I am making the right decision to manage my anxiety and stress, but I am sad to be missing my first Christmas at home. Mostly, I'm concerned about the peer pressure. It's only a matter of time before people start asking my holiday plans. And I will have to fake smile and say "oh, we're just keeping it lowkey at home this year." OR...

I will be honest and say I can't handle the stress or financial burden of going home for the holidays, so we're making due with what we have.

Both answers give me hives. I don't want to be fake, but then I don't want people to feel sorry for me.

This is a big part of why I hate small talk. What does it matter what I'm doing for the holidays or how my weekend was (it was pretty boring btw, I went nowhere and did nothing, but at least I didn't have to work.) It's like, can we just talk about work and keep going.

When I was in Pittsburgh though, I did enjoy getting to know my coworkers better. They were SO friendly and things moved so slow. It was inevitable.

Anywho, I'm not coming home. I don't want to talk to everybody about it. I'm very sad about it and I'm going to try to choose to be happy about it, by making my baby's first Christmas special. (But then go back to yesterday's post and you'll know I don't know exactly HOW I'll make their first Christmas special and that too, stresses me out.)

I think it's clear that I need a break (that I'm not getting).

I don't have any days off work thanks to maternity leave. BUT, my mom is coming to visit, so that we can relieve our nanny during the holiday, so I definitely have something to look forward to.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Holiday Anxiety...

Someone in a Facebook group asked if we had anxiety about the holidays and this was my response. She then said she meant about spending time with family. Man, that's a whole nother blog posts. I quickly erased my long comment and decided to blog about it here instead. 

Thanksgiving really used to stress me out until I decided I don't have to play these reindeer games and just stopped going home for Thanksgiving. 

As an adult, Christmas has always stressed me out (This is well documented on the blog and you all have given me lots of tips to get over this stress). Before I had the girls, I was the rich, single daughter/auntie/cousin, so I put a lot of pressure on myself to give good gifts. Some years those were financed. So over the years as I paying down debt became more important to me, I started ONLY buying what was in my cash budget OR not buying anything at all. 

Last year, I was up to my ears in twin pregnancy medical bills, so I didn't buy anything, not even wrapping paper. I'd kept a bag of things throughout the year to re-gift. This year, I didn't get any gifts throughout the year (because I have kids so they got all the stuff), so I'm not buying anyone in my family anything (and that's not expected anymore, of course.) 

BUT, I haven't decided what I want my daughters' first Christmas to be like. I don't want to be scrooge, but at the same time, they won't remember it. I could 
  • wrap a whole lot of empty boxes and tell them we were ballin' on their first Christmas. 
  • Or wrap a whole lot of stuff they already have that I just haven't taken out of the packaging yet and let them open it. 
  • OR, I could go into debt making sure their first Christmas is picture perfect. They only get one "first" everything and I don't want to look back and think "mommy was so broke, she made you skip Christmas." 
I definitely am sick of the consumerism, but I'm only sick of it because I don't have the money. I think if I had ample funds, I'd be all about it. 

When I talk to family members they still ask "what did you get for Christmas?" and I'm in my thirties. I feel this pressure to come up with a long list of stuff although I don't get anything anymore because I'm an adult and I DAMN SURE won't get anything now that I have kids. 

If we could have all the peace and joy and cheer of the season and skip the gifts, I'd be all about it.

Anything stressing you out about the holidays? 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

I'm Sleeping Again

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for SLEEP! 

On the night of November 18, 2016, Lahna and Joy slept from 9:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. and they've continued to do it every nigh since. MY LIFE IS ABOUT TO GET BETTER! I had SO much more energy after sleeping through the night and NOT having to pump or nurse in the middle of the night. I wasn't dead dog tired when they took their daily naps. I washed and folded laundry in the same day. I washed and twisted my hair and washed bottles and was NOT a zombie doing it all.

Moreover, I was able to give them a better version of myself while they were awake.

They are also taking two long naps every day, so when I'm home on the weekends with them, I can get things done (that's how I'm writing this blog) for about 2 hours during the day. It feels great.

We had to sleep train them to get this to work. The hardest part was convincing my boyfriend that they will not starve or die if we let them cry in the middle of the night. After we got over that hump and a couple of torturous nights listen to them cry when they would have been getting a feeding and BOOM: babies sleep all night.

It SUCKS to hear your baby cry and not go get them. This is like the beginning of tough love. So many things that are good for the kids seem to hurt them, shots, getting their ears pierced, sleep training.

We probably won't spank them, but I can still use the black mama proverbs "This hurts me more than it hurts you" when it comes to all these other things.

Parenting requires some serious mental, physical and emotional muscle flexing.

I'm very proud to have hit this milestone with the twins!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Things Done Changed...

Disclaimer: After writing this post, it sort of a drag. I didn't mean it to be, but I try to speak my real and true experiences on this blog. If you want to be in good spirits before the holiday, maybe read this later. 

I never knew who I would be as a parent. You can't predict these things, but there are some serious surprises. A big part of it for me, is being a twin parent, and living in New York City. There are some real challenges with both of those things. Here are some things that surprised me about who I've become as a person, now that I'm also a mom.
  • I don't watch football anymore. The Bears are not on local TV. They SUCK! AND, the games are like 3 hours long. If I have three hours free, I'm going to probably sleep or do laundry. And having it on in the background while the twins holler and play with their loud music toys is not my idea of a fun Sunday. I thought I would become a Jets fan since I can see those games on NYC TV, but just gave up on football.  
  • I'm not interested in night life. Now, to be fair, I wasn't exactly hitting up the club every weekend before I got pregnant, especially not in New York. But, I did used to love a good happy hour and that sometimes turned into late night. I can't afford a night or weekend babysitter and if I did, I wouldn't want to use that time hanging out. I really thought I would have been a hang out type of mom. Nah.  
  • I'm not interested in drinking. I haven't drank since July of 2015. Drinking is a depressant and my life is hard. Not to mention, the idea of being drowsy and/or having a hangover with twins, make me want to pull my fingernails out. 
  • I don't travel outside of NYC. I see folks on planes with babies all the time, but I never got on a plane until I was 15. The idea of air travel with two infants gives me heart palpitations. If you want to see my kids in person, you need to come to New York. 
  • I don't go anywhere "in" NYC. I have friends who bundle their singletons (that's what multiple moms call it when you have one baby at a time)... they bundle their singletons up and go to brunch, shopping, other people's houses, long strolls in the park. There are so many reasons this isn't a good idea for me. My double stroller doesn't fit anywhere in NYC. I HATE taking the train with the double stroller. People act like you are the devil for having the NERVE to take up that much space on a crowded train. If we travel by cab, I can't take the double stroller because their car seats only fit into the Snap & Go and the snap and go does not handle well. I don't have any friends with kids near me. I know one couple in Brooklyn, not going all the way out there for a playdate. I know one girl with a baby my age. I've seen her out and about, traveling with her baby, etc. I'd feel weird having my two to her one in any place we go, so I just stay home. 
  • I've become low maintenance. I really thought I would have kept up brows, waxing, mani/pedis, hell, shopping to be a cute mom. I don't have any money for any of that stuff. I can barely afford diapers. Actually, honestly, I cannot afford diapers in my current budget with New York rent and a nanny. I put diapers and other essentials on a credit card. It is what it is. So yeah, no money for maintenance and no time. And when it comes to clothes, I have to have shirts where I can get to my boobs 3x a day to pump. So I just wear the same five button down shirts or cardigans in rotation with the same three pairs of jeans I own. (Seriously, where do jeans go? I'm guessing I threw a lot out because they were worn in the thighs or too small.) I'm kicking myself for throwing away too small clothes because nursing twins has me back down to high school weight. I vividly remember a pair of black pencil pants and camo skinny pants that gave me a muffin top when I threw them away, but that would be PERFECT now with my skinny, but loose mom body. 
  • I'm timid. If someone does something I don't like to my baby (touches their face, kisses them, tickles them), I don't say anything. I just remove my baby from the situation. (Welp, this visit is over). I think I've written about this before, but it's difficult for me to find a voice as a mom. This is probably a big contributing factor to why we don't go anywhere. I have a bit of control (and a list of rules posted) in my own home. Once we venture out, I don't know how to tell someone to stop without being a complete bitch about it, and I don't want to be labeled a bitch. It's something I'm working on because right now these things are just pet peeves, but imagine if my kids were in real danger. I'd like to say *hands on hips* hell naw, not me, but that spirit hasn't come up in real life. I'm just trying to survive. 
  • I'm bored as hell and I'm boring as hell. When I get pockets of time, I call people and they always freak out like "is everything ok?" because they know I don't have time to just shoot the shit. OR, they don't have free time, so I spend my little pockets of time catching up on reading about being a mom... If I had a night away from my kids, I wouldn't even know what to do. Probably go shopping for them in the store instead of online. I don't know what the new music is, or when it dropped. I don't know where the latest, hottest vacation spots are, I choose not to talk about politics. I can tell you about baby milestones (which I know are boring as hell to anyone who isn't the kids' mother). I can tell you about poop size, texture and color and eczema treatments. I could tell you the vaccination schedule for kids under 1. I'm just lame as hell now and I'm not sure that I care. "They say" if I don't get up and start doing things for myself, I may resent it... But I think twin mom exhaustion supercedes all "put yourself first rhetoric." I'll get out when I feel like getting out, but right now I'm posted. (I also think being in NYC contributes to this. I have a gang of girlfriends with kids 2 and under, but none of them live here, so yeah, this is me, in the house.) 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What I'm Reading These Days

So, if you send me something to fill out a sweepstakes to win free baby stuff, I'm DEFINITELY doing it. Maybe in the middle of the night while nursing the twins, maybe while I'm in the pump room at work, maybe when I should be in the bed sleeping, but I can use all the free stuff I can get, so I fill those things out. To get extra sweeps entries, you usually have to sign up for the newsletter of whoever is sponsoring the contest.

Now, my unsubscribe game is tight, but every once in a while there's a newsletter that I just can't unsubscribe from because the content is too good. Even if I only read the headlines because I don't have time to read the articles, I like to know what's hot in the streets, so I stay tuned. Here's a list of things that I'm reading right now.

General 

PureWow  - It was raining in NYC one day and they hit me with the "Best places to get a cozy coffee on a rainy NYC day." AND, AND 10 different types of cornbread. Listen. I'm hooked.

DNA Info Harlem - They really localize the news, which is great in a big city of neighborhoods like NYC.

Parenting Sites
Scary Mommy - A mom site that keeps it real
Red Tricycle NYC - Fun stuff to do in NYC. My babies aren't old enough to do anything yet, but keeping this for when they are.
Mommy Poppins - More fun stuff, but also lots of casting calls. Everyone always wants identical twins, which sucks. I don't have time to be taking babies to casting calls, but hey, if we can get some more streams of income, I'm all about this baby modeling life.

PopSugar Moms - All the goodness of PopSugar (urban life hacks and content), but for moms.

Fairygodboss - This site is dope.com. It's tips for working moms and again, serving it up to you, straight, no chaser. They also have job listings for places that are good for moms to work. LOVE! THIS! SITE!
Motherly - More mom stuff. Not stuffy at all.

Fatherly - I must've signed up for this when entering a contest. I stayed on the listserv because it's very interesting to see how parenting topics are marketing differently to women and men. I'm literally interested in every article on Fatherly, but no one would send a mom a note about Monster Trucks.

Stroller Traffic - They do a Friday round-up and it always has a giveaway. I feel like that is the perfect way to get my news. Don't be in my inbox every day with crap. Let me pick from all your stories when I'm ready to indulge. 

Branded Sites 

Pampers - Lots of good info here, although it's too branded, if you ask me. Sometimes you get diaper points for reading their articles, so I read them.

Tommee Tippy - I LOVE their parent profiles. This is how brands should be doing content.
WebMD Baby - I go to them through the app. Usually AFTER I've done something in the pampers app. Again, if it's not coming directly to my inbox or timelines, I'm not really into it.

I'm reading Bustle too, but surprisingly, I don't get any of their newsletters. I link to them through Facebook mostly.


And a shout out to Sassy Plum. It was recently started by a group of moms I know online (and some I know in real life) and I want to check it out, and maybe become a contributor. JUST signed up for email updates. That's the only way I'm going to read anything.

What are you reading these days? 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Oh No!

I was all excited for a three-day work week, then I realized that I will be at home with the twins for four straight days. That's not much better.

Ooh wee, they require ALL of my attention. 

Maybe we'll go somewhere on Friday to break up the monotony. Probably not. 

I'm going to be the happiest person coming back from a Thanksgiving break, ever.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Twin Referee

As a new mom, I follow LOTS of new sites about parenting, and specifically. Maybe I'll do a roundup of them. On Facebook and Instagram. I see lots of the twin sites putting up memes about how being a twin parents makes you a twin referee. Sometimes you see things and don't know or understand them until they happen to you. I was really hoping my daughters would be loving, sweet, best friends. And there's still hope for that.

When they were first born, they didn't KNOW the other baby existed. It was a big milestone when they started to see each other. Now, they don't CARE that the other baby exists. I'd like to think they're just very active babies, but they may also be trying to destroy each other. We'll see.

, but here are the things I find myself saying EVERY DAY... and they are only 7 months.

10. Do not slob on her. 
9. Do not scratch her eyeballs.
8. Stop eating her head. That is not a boob. 
7. Don't you see your sister sitting right there. Do not roll over her.
6. Give her her toy back. Pick up your own toy.
5. There is only one toy like this. Please share.
4. Do not throw toys at her.
3. Do not spit on her.
2. Stop kicking her in the face.
1. Stop pulling her hair. 

Do your kids bicker? Will this ever end?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Slow Down Mommy

The girls got up for their middle of the night nursing session at about 1 a.m. We finished near 1:30 and I stayed up to wash bottles and pump parts, balance my checkbook and pay bills.

The girl got up again at 4 a.m. and I wasn't finished balancing my checkbook and paying bills BECAUSE...

I found out balancing my checkbook that last month, I sat down and wrote out my rent check... and sent it to the hospital.

These asshats didn't call and say, Hey T., your bills is one amount and the amount of money you sent is SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS more than that. They just cashed it.

Thankfully, I pay my rent electronically, so when I saw two rent amounts on my bank statements, I was like wait a minute... Did my property management company get two checks last month and just not tell me?

This is why sleep deprivation is dangerous. The babies are fine, but my bank account is hurting over stupid mistakes.

I know you're probably thinking, can't you just pay bills at work or on the weekends. And the answer is no because billable hours, laundry and crying babies.

Pray for me. I feel like I'm coming undone.