Kids either love or hate the petting zoo. Some kids flee and hide while others, like Frankie & Aubrey Hoffman think that feeding goats at nearby Happy Hollow is neat, so long as it's their dad whose hand gets all the slobber.
Cross-posted with permission from Tricia Stream's blog, Stream Double Trouble. Tricia is a Gemini Crickets member.
Tricia recently spoke on the topic of NICU stays at one of our club's New and Expectant Parent meetings. You might already know that Tricia has *many* opinions on this topic.
Most new parents expect to leave the hospital with their newborn days after giving birth, dazed and confused about what to do once they get home. But what about the parents who return home while their newborn remains behind in the NICU? There are numerous articles deciphering the medical technology NICU parents can expect to encounter, but many of those parents then wonder what they can do to help nurture and bond with their child.
I asked our NICU nurses for their thoughts and advice. You’ve heard my perspective ad nauseam – but I thought answers from the other side would be equally beneficial.
Walking into the unit will overwhelm you. It will slowly become routine – but it will not get easier. Even going back to visit with two healthy jumbo tots still elicits a visceral reaction.
Our nurses assured us that their team do not expect the newly frazzled parents to remember all of the information being thrown at them. That little tiny person covered with wires is going to be taking up the vast majority of your attention. And the stress of giving birth at any time during the gestational period leaves little span left for attention.
Our nurses suggest that parents write down all of their questions. Bring them back later, your nurses will be happy to answer all of your questions to the best of their abilities. And don’t worry about asking the same questions repeatedly. Aside from the fact that they answer those questions for a living, you won’t remember what you’ve asked anyway. Nor will you remember the answers for several weeks – there is a lot to process. A lot.
The machines, blinking numbers, beeps, alarms – they will scare you. They will create a Pavlovian response that causes you to frantically turn looking to see breaths whenever you hear a similar tone. But the nurses know those suckers backwards and forwards. Your job is to focus on your new child. As the days, weeks, months drag on into what seems like eternity, those beeps and alarms will become nothing more than background noise. (Background noise that will forever scare the bejeezus out of you.)
Do you remember the first time you had to leave your kids? Did your heart break into a million pieces? When Gemini Crickets member Elizabeth K. went away on a weeklong business trip, leaving her husband to care for their then 2-year-old boys, he sent her a video to let her know that all was ok.
We love hearing dad's voice in this clip. Can you hear the love? Happy Father's Day!
Andrew and Allison LOVE visiting Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville, though we always wonder if the owners should weigh the kids before AND after picking strawberries! Not sure how many actually make it into the basket! Strawberry season officially opened there on May 7, 2011.
When I was pregnant, I spent my days waiting for the babies to be born. Little did I know that I’d just started the waiting. When my twins were born, I waited for them to get out of NICU, and then I waited for them to learn to breastfeed, to sit up, to roll over. Every milestone was a triumph – we all had made it this far.
Everyone told me that the first year was the worst, so I worked through each day, knowing that every day that we got through was one day closer to that magical one-year mark. There was another magical mark that we reached shortly after their first birthday – sleeping through the night. I had told myself that everything would get better then. It did, somewhat. I had more energy, but life remained at its basic - every day the twins were fed, clothed, cleaned and maybe even a little ‘enriched’. Their two year birthday was another big milestone, but it just ushered in another stretch of waiting – for them to get mature enough to understand ‘no’, for them to sleep instead of fighting, for them to be good enough on the stairs that I don’t have to trail right behind them. Right now the big step I’m waiting on is for the twins to start talking.
Every day I feed them, clothe them, play with them, do a little cleaning, read to them, feed them some more. But I can never seem to get above the level of minimum survival. We go out to parks or to play dates and we all get home grumpier than before. Sometimes it seems like we’d all be happier staying home and watching TV or playing with their cars. Yeah, yeah, I know all the reasons why going out and doing things is so much better than another episode of Thomas & Friends, but if I use whining level as the measurement of enjoyment, they’d prefer to stay home. Going to a music class or a ‘play place’ is one of those things that I know we should be doing more, but it’s kind of like cauliflower – no one much likes it and everyone is glad when it’s done. When will we be able to go out and have fun together?
I hear it over and over – “They grow up so fast” and “Enjoy them now”. Sometimes I want to hand my twins to those well-meaning people and say, “Here, ‘enjoy’ them for a day yourselves. Don’t forget your ear plugs.”
My twins are two of the sweetest, most adorable kids on the planet. But they’re still toddlers. They are whiny, clingy, volatile. They fight, hit, throw food. They get upset if I’m more than a few feet away from them or not giving them my full attention. They make messes, destroy things, scream at diaper-changes and beg for more Blue’s Clues.
Yeah, you might say, sounds like normal two-year-olds. Just like they were normal one-year-olds or normal preemies. I really have nothing to complain about, though I obviously do. My twins are also little angels when anyone but Mommy is around, so everyone thinks I have it made, even my husband.
I try to take joy in little things, like I know they’ll never be as snuggly as they are now. I try to appreciate their every triumph and new insight into the world. I do cheer every time they use a new word/sign or when they solve a problem or play with their toys in a new way. I try to compliment more than criticize when I interact with them and praise more than whine when I talk to someone else about them. I get down on the floor and play with them or read to them for long stretches of time. But I don’t enjoy them like it seems like I should. I am glad when they go to bed at night and don’t particularly look forward to them getting up in the morning. When I play with them, it seems like I’m just passing the time for myself, not really playing with them. Am I just expecting too much, too soon?
After a hot day of exploring the Mayan ruins in Tikal National Park, Guatemala, 7-year-old twins, Songwriter (left) and Storyteller (right), checked out the pond next to the Tourist Center at the entrance. The danger sign for crocodiles discouraged them from lingering for long near the water and they couldn't wait to get back to the hotel pool to cool off.
Trifecta (dictionary's definition) - a bet in which the person betting forecasts the first three finishers in a race in the correct order.
Trifecta (my definition) - a bed in which the parent buying hopes the hyper three children will fall asleep in any order.
Our older daughter used to sleep in her own room. One year ago exactly, when I was away for a couple of days, she decided to move into her sisters' room. No problem! Why? Because her bed is a futon. When she outgrew her toddler bed, we never got around to purchasing a bed. She was quite content with a futon. It's easy to make your bed when you have a futon - just roll it up. No fear of hearing a loud *thump* in the night because she rolled off the bed. The song "No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" is a moot point.
But every once in a while she would ask for a real bed. Not complaining, just kind of wanting one. However, there was no way we could replace the futon with a twin bed and keep them in the same room.
What's a mom of three to do?
Never fear, Berg Furniture is here! They recently came out with a really nice triple bunk bed. We have a solution! (An added bonus - the middle bed can be turned into a stand-alone twin bed.) In the Bay Area, Berg Furniture is only sold at Kiddie World (search for Trifecta bed). My oldest daughter's interpretation of "Kiddie World" is to put a kitten in a basket with some play items. Ba dum bum! Tonight's the first night with the new triple bunk. It's taken toooooo long for them to settle down and snuggle up with their new sheets, comforters, and plenty of leg room.
Good night, sleep tight, don't wake us up in the middle of the night...or at dawn's first light!
This is an original post to Mad About Multiples.
This is NOT a sponsored post but mom Daphne hopes that Kiddie World will give her commission on any new business generated by this post! But she warns that making these three beds is quite a workout!
Thursday January 10 General Meeting: Get Set for Kindergarten Join us at 7 PM in the Cambrian Library Community Room
1780 Hillsdale Ave, San Jose, CA 95124 for a panel discussion on kindergarten options.
Believe it or not, most school districts start kinder enrollment in early January and February. That means, it's time to figure out when our children should go and what the options are. Come for an informative night to hear from both teachers and parents of public, private and charter schools.
Amazon.com Gemini Crickets will receive a percentage of all sales made through the link above. Fundraising was never so easy.
Barefoot Books Explore. Imagine. Create. Connect. Give Back. That's what Barefoot Books is all about. Shop the link above and Gemini Crickets will earn 15% on all purchases.
Escrip Sign up today for escrip, Gemini Crickets easiest fundraiser. A portion of purchases you make in your everyday life can go to the club. Gemini Crickets' group number is 10272361.
Juice in the City Local moms go out & find great deals & pass the savings on to you! Buy a deal through our link above & our club earns 10% of the proceeds.
Muddy Prints Studio Muddyprints Studio captures your child's handprints and footprints to create a lasting memory of your little one. Contact owner Jeanette today & Gemini Crickets will receive 20% of all sales - just mention you're with our group.
Savvy Source Use the link above to find fun, family-friendly activities and products every week & Savvy Source will donate 2% back to our club as well as 5% to a preschool of your choice.