Tuesday, October 25, 2011

treading water

My friends have been asking me--"When will you post new things to your blog?" It has been more a problem of...when will I be able to open my computer up again?

Right now, I am taking advantage of an absolutely unusual thing. Both babies are napping at the same time. To get to this place, we had a day of fussiness and then I took the babies on a long walk in the stroller. (While editing this post, one of the babies woke up. Oh well.)

Usually when this rare thing happens, it is a mad chance to:
go to the bathroom
take a shower
pump (I am still breastfeeding/pumping/bottle feeding with formula--all of it. Yes.)

I don't get to do any of these things very often, so blog posts seem like an impossible luxury right now! I promise I'll try to drop in when I can.

So, here is a brief update. In both of these photos, you can see Leo on the left and Sam on the right. The top photo features a multicolored blue baby surprise sweater knit by a friend. (hi Liz!)
The other two sweaters (cotton light blue and light green) are also versions of the same pattern, knit for the babies by my mom.

I am still working on the same knit toy that I started when I came home from the hospital 4.5 months ago...yes, the babies are nearly 5 months old now. I have knit this toy previously (before these babies) for one of my nephews. It took me two evenings.

Yup...there is NO TIME for anything at all. I can't even remember the last time I was able to go to my office on the third floor. It's getting dusty.

People have asked how one manages with twin infants. Some lifesaving things:
1) a baby carrier or sling. I wear a baby in a sling (and nurse using the sling, while feeding the other baby a bottle) for hours every day. Yes, my back hurts after a long while, so I use more than one kind of sling so that the weight is distributed differently using the two different slings. Wearing a baby allows me to do crazy two handed things like fold laundry, make dinner, or even change the other baby's diaper.

2) The stroller. Yes. I walk around the neighborhood a lot, and I am dreading winter. When real winter happens, I'm not sure what we'll do...hopefully by then the babies will be older and do better at napping on their own. We've had an outstandingly wonderful fall with lots of good weather so far, and I've walked miles while pushing a really big stroller.

3) A very involved spouse. Baby #2 just woke up, they are crying, and the professor is managing it for now.

4) Really helpful friends...the kind who come over, face two babies screaming with a calm aplomb, pick up a baby, and give me a chance to cook or eat dinner, shower, or well, have a strong drink. :)

5) Hired guns. We've got a variety of people helping us for about 16 hours a week, and they all have different strengths. It is expensive, and a financial stretch and I can't leave home most of the time anyway because there are TWO babies here, never mind the laundry, bottles, and other chores. It is a really good week when I can be out for 2-4 hours without babies. Not 4 hours all at once, mind you, but a few minutes here and there.

6) I hear that this phase of childrearing ends and I can't wait. I miss my friends, my work life (now on hold), and getting more than 2 to 3 hours of sleep at a time!

A lot of folks have asked me how things are and I hardly have time to email back. Forgive me if this post sounds blatantly honest...but things are sort of a blur at present. People stop me on the street, address me by name, talk about the babies--and I have no idea who they are! I hope someday to have enough sleep again to do better.

In the meanwhile, if I smile and nod at you, but look vacant? It's not you. It's me...and juggling two 4.5 month babies. Please keep the cheery emails, visits, and good vibes coming in our direction...I appreciate it all even if I can't manage good responses. Those communications mean the world to me.
Thanks so much.
PS: Yes, if you were curious, those U.S. passports are still lost in the mail. We have a couple of senators, a congressman, the U.S. Consul and some other folks working on it. It's kind of a bureaucratic mess. This problem on its own makes me need to take deep cleansing yoga breaths, never mind the baby stuff.

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Blogger AdrieneJ said...

For heaven's sake, you are doing an amazing job, never mind the blog! I'm amazed you took the time to look after us as well! I wish I could come over and help out as well, but it sounds like you've got a pretty good support system going there. Here's to an evening of rest for you in the near future!

October 25, 2011 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger Cloverleaf Art and Fibre said...

This is wonderful! Many coherent sentences in a row, and super cute baby boy pictures too. Well done.

October 25, 2011 at 10:49 PM  
Blogger Freyalyn said...

Your achievements are amazing - and yes, you'll come out the end with two fabulous grown-up sons - in about twenty years!

October 26, 2011 at 2:47 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

The boys are adorable! Hang in there. This is a season of life that will seemed to have passed all to quickly. But you never notice the speed while you are in it! Prayers for all of you and the passports!

October 26, 2011 at 4:38 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Cheery good wishes sent your way for you, the Professor, and the boys.

October 26, 2011 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

All the best in this new year for you and your amazing family. I remember those stroller days well! Those are two gorgeous boys!

October 26, 2011 at 1:35 PM  
Blogger PghCathy said...

Look at those adorable boys! I keep checking...just to see if you've had a single moment to post. Glad to see you've had at least 1.

This time will pass...but there's always another phase to enter into. Enjoy each one as it comes.

October 26, 2011 at 7:51 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Joanne - you are Awesome!

Thanks for the update, the photos, and I hope the boys sleep a little longer every day!

October 27, 2011 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Adele said...

It's good to hear from you again. I can't believe the boys are that old already. One baby takes a lot of time; I don't think I could have managed two at once. As a former boss of mine often said, "This (stage) too shall pass." The next stage will be different - not necessarily better or worse - just different. I hope it will give you more time for non-baby stuff.

October 27, 2011 at 1:35 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

So good to hear from you! Leo and Sam are adorable :)

No worries about anything except yourself and your family. It is such hard work but the memories you are creating will sustain you always! I miss my boys when they were small....time goes by so fast, especially when we are looking back :)

Blessings to you all and thank you for cathing up with with us.

October 29, 2011 at 6:46 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

They do grow up fast. Someday you will be caught up and not believe they were ever this small.

Adorable babies!!

November 13, 2011 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger Deborah Robson said...

Although they're growing fast, it looks like what I'm making for them will not be too small before I finish and ship. They DO grow and they DO begin to sleep more and it WILL get better (and I'm sure enough of that to be working on some things I don't think they'll have grown out of before I get them to you . . . but am still watching the pictures and knowing I need to keep at it to get the things finished before the boys outgrow the sizes I've chosen).

One day at a time. Before you know it, they'll be heading for school. It just doesn't seem like that right now.

November 19, 2011 at 7:17 PM  
Blogger Sebastian Clouth said...


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November 20, 2011 at 8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Joanne, hope you are hanging in there. Annmarie and I talked about you at Rhinebeck, hope your ears were humming pleasantly...

December 9, 2011 at 8:24 AM  

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