Tuesday, August 28, 2007

How do you do it?!

I think the question that I am asked most these days (hands down!) is "How do you do it?!" The "it," of course, refers to my current life situation. I have newborn twins. I have a needy but adorable little guy that just turned two. I have an almost 4 year old and a 5 year old. I have a house to care for, food to prepare and a husband who probably feels horribly and woefully neglected most of the time. Sigh. But, let me tell you the "it" is everything to me and I love it! How do you do it? You just do! It's all I know...and "it" is enough for me. There....does that answer your question? :)

Here are some answers to a few more of the burning questions that I get asked all the time as a busy, new mother of twins:

Were you on fertility? Absolutely not. I guess we learned I am a double ovulator! :)

Do you nurse them both? At the same time? How? Yes, so far I have nursed them both and yes, at the same time. It is quite an interesting thing to behold, to say the least, but thankfully quite easy and convenient. Thanks to the EZ 2 Nurse twin nursing pillow I learned about online, I can nurse both babies in the "football hold" simultaneously and it is a completely "hands free" operation. You just have to bolt the door and hope that no little neighbor friends wander into the living room while you're nursing. All that full frontal nudity can be shocking! :) And the one big con: it's a show you DEFINITELY can't take on the road.

How do you go anywhere? The short answer is: we don't. Or at least we rarely do. It really is quite an ordeal to load and unload five little people into carseats so I rarely take everyone out without another adult to help out. Grocery shopping with this whole crew? Forget it. I run errands when someone can watch the kiddos at home. Now that school, soccer, dance, etc. are about to start, my homebound bubble is about to burst and we'll have to get out and about more I guess. I'll let you know how that goes....I'm nervous about it.

What do you do when both babies are crying? This actually doesn't happen as often as you would think. During those rare moments when both Jake and Emmy are really wailing...you just pick one! It's that simple. Then try to pick the other one first the next time. It's not rocket science folks. :) Thankfully these little twins are good, good babies. I can see how it could get ugly in a hurry if you had two very needy bambinos.

Do twins run in your family? Spencer and I both have some cousins that are twins and my great-grandmother is a fraternal twin. Whether or not that pre-disposed us to bear twins, I'm not sure. Either way, if they didn't run in our family before, they do now! :)

Are they identical? Honestly, this one kills me. Having boy/girl twins you'd think you wouldn't get asked this but I assure you you do. And more than once. Nope. Jake & Emmy are not identical. But they both are darn cute.

Do they sleep at the same time? For the most part, yes. They are falling into a good little routine and they tend to stick together. Sometimes one will take a great nap and the other will refuse to sleep longer than 45 minutes, but for the most part they sleep simultaneously During those first few sleepless months, when one woke up (usually Jake) I would just wake the other (Emmy) and feed them both at the same time to avoid getting up a million times a night. It worked for us!

How are you doing? WONDERFUL!! I feel so, so blessed every day. The babies are beautiful, healthy and content. I have a wonderful husband and great kids. I am surrounded by incredible friends and family and I feel supported in every way by the people around me. We are doing so, so well and are grateful for all that we have.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Some recent photos...

The top picture is of Cort, his cousin Peter, and little Caleb--playing baseball in the backyard!
My sister Amy brought back these darling bibs for the twins from her vacation to Disney World in Orlando--thanks Amy!
Macy "reading scriptures" to the twins. She's even got them all tucked in. There's nothing Macy loves more than a captive audience!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Lake Mead

This past weekend my sweet husband Spencer stayed at home with the twins while I went to Lake Mead (outside Las Vegas) with the older three kids for some boating fun with the Mason family. We stayed on a houseboat and boated our guts out for three days, which was a total blast for the kids and a good break from the routine for me. But...any mother of newborns can relate to how hard it was for me to be away from my babies! Cort, Macy and Caleb did surprisingly well on the drive down there (6 1/2 hours) considering it was their first real road trip. All I can say is: Three cheers for the new DVD player we had installed in the car 2 weeks ago! What an awesome little invention! :) Once we got there, the kids had a great time riding the wave runners, riding on the tube behind the boat, jumping off the top of the houseboat and swimming nonstop 24/7 in the lake with their cousins (the water was incredibly warm!). I got to try wakeboarding for the first time, skiied a bit, and took some awesome rides on the tube with my sister Jocee. All in all, it was a great trip. Thanks to my Mom for all of her hard work in organizing and planning everything for us! I did, however, learn something about myself and that is this: I am no longer a houseboating kind of gal. Bummer. I'm not sure when I crossed over from a carefree child to a stick-in-the-mud adult who painfully longs for her pillowtop mattress when forced to sleep on a bench cushion that is about as comfortable as "sleeping on an airport floor," as my sister so aptly put it. But, nonetheless, it happened. This is a painful realization for me because I pride myself on being relatively "low maintenance" but I realized on this trip that the whole port-a-potty deal, flies everywhere, 115 degree heat with no A/C deal doesn't really bring out the best in me! If I'm going to pay roughly $1500/day for accomodations, I'd prefer they have a few more amenities. :) Sigh. But, the boating, on the other hand, was the BEST! No complaints at all, just longing for more! It had been way too long since we'd been out boating (this was our first time on the water since before we were pregnant with Cort--six years ago almost!) and I loved every second of it. Anyone with a boat can feel free to extend the Richards clan an invitation to hit the water (hint hint)! I just want to be able to go home to a hot shower and a good night's sleep at the end of the day...

On another note, althougth I missed Spencer and the twins terribly, it was nice to be able to have Caleb be the "baby" again for the weekend and to dote on his every whim and whimper. Which, for those of you who know Caleb well know, can be a full-time job! :) It was also nice to come home to a new, fresh coat of paint in a FABULOUS color in our great room and kitchen area. Props to Spencer who did the work himself while we were gone. What a husband! I'm a lucky gal.

Now, it's back to the routine. The twins are falling into a more predictable routine and Caleb is napping like a dream (again, thanks to the gypsies threat!). We are happy and well and ready for school to start. Kindergarten, here we come!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

"The gypsies are coming!"

I just finished reading my good friend Amanda's blog which, incidentally, is hilarious and a must-read for basically everyone. Anyway, in this most recent post she talks about how we inadvertently "damage" our children as we raise them and the repercussions of that. She admits threatening her children, on occasion, with putting them in a basket on the front porch for the gypsies to come and collect. Now...there is something I can relate to! :) Let me explain...

For the past few months, getting our two-year-old Caleb to take a nap has become more difficult. His little body still desperately needs the daytime rest but, for whatever reason, he has gotten infinitely harder to put down and often he will come up the stairs bawling hysterically only 45 minutes to an hour after I've put him to sleep. Any mother knows this is one of the most frustrating aspects of parenting---sleepy, grouchy children that won't sleep when you offer them a warm, cozy, darkened room and an open invitation to nap! Are they completely nuts?! I fantasize about opportunities like that. I digress. So anyway, I've tried a number of tricks to get him to sleep all of which have worked but for limited lengths of time. Our most recent tactic is a throwback technique used by my parents in the early '80's--oh yes, the threatened visit of the terribly scary, always mysterious gypsies (in our house pronounced "jippie-ohs"--who in the world knows why). Speaking of permanantly damaging little children through our parenting styles, I'd like to know if anyone can quantify the damage done to little Caleb as we tuck him into bed saying "Hurry hide! The gypsies are coming! I can hear the bells on their wagons. They'll take you far, far away and make you do all their work and teach you to be a pickpocket if they find you! Quick! Hide! Don't get out of your bed or they'll take you away." This technique is multi-functional. It not only puts Caleb down for a nap but it also gets him to bed faster than a speeding bullet at night, coaxes him to eat his food when nothing else will, and basically solicits obedience in any number of situations. If I reach for my cell phone when he's being a turkey and tell him I'm going to call the "jippie-ohs" to come get him, I can get him to do whatever I want. I like to think that deep down he knows that we aren't really serious and that he is always perfectly safe in our home and under our care. Maybe I'm wrong and the repurcussions of all this will come out in one of Caleb's counseling sessions years down the road. But either way, for now, where the rubber meets the road I have no other choice but to endorse on occasion: THE SCARE TACTIC. Hopefully harmless....definitely effective. Anyone else have any true confessions?? :)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

rebuttal to 'Call for Shopping Help' post

It's Spencer again--Please, please no one reply to my dear wife's post from earlier today. The last thing we need is porcelain blue bedding. What she meant to say is we want COUGAR blue bedding with beautiful little 'Y's tastefully splashed across it.

On a more serious note, I'm sitting in the Layton Instacare right now working (typing a few words in between seeing patients) and I want to get a few thoughts out there to the general public. First of all, if your nose is runny, it's not an emergency. Wipe gingerly from left-to-right, take an aspirin, and call your regular doctor in the morning. Or better yet, suffer through your cold like the rest of us and guess what? Within a week or so you'll feel all better.

Second, if you find your infant child face down in the bathtub and you have to resuscitate him with mouth-to-mouth, don't come to the Instacare several hours later. Go to the ER immediately. Don't even wait around to kick your own hinie for being the idiot that left that infant long enough to get in that predicament. The hinie kicking will come later, after the child is found to be OK, by a loving spouse or friend from the child protection agency.

Third, if you're hooked on narcotics and need a fix, don't come in to the same Instacare you've already been three times in the last week. Chances are, we'll have a record of those visits and know you've already gotten more than your fair share of fix.

Finally, if you're dealing with a medical issue that has been going on for SEVERAL MONTHS and is NOT getting acutely worse TONIGHT, don't come to an Instacare. Chances are if you've waited this long, you can wait a little longer to get in to your regular doctor who knows and loves you and can better deal with your long-standing problem.

Wow, wasn't that an upbeat post? Of course the above is filled with a little sarcasm, but truthfully, I really do love what I do, and I'm happy to help, even if you just have a little cold. I have been very blessed with a profession in which I can serve others. I love it!

And don't forget not to reply to Molly's post.

Call for shopping help!

So...I am dreaming of a new bedroom set. Better said, I'm dreaming of dousing the entire contents of our master bedroom in kerosene, tossing a match, and glowing with delight as all of that junkie furniture goes up in flames! I doubt that my red-hot fantasy (get it? haha) will come to fruition anytime soon, but I am starting the worldwide search for some new bedding. I want to do our bedroom in a porcelain blue and brown color scheme (trendy, I know, but also super cute). Anyone have any places they've seen cute bedding or accent pillows recently? I'm woefully out of touch with the retail world! Thanks! Hope to get some comments back on this post. Without some help/feedback, I may never get the show on the road! :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Highly Anticipated Triathlon Photos!

We participated in the Cache Valley Classic Triathlon last Saturday with our good friends from our neighborhood, Matt & Amy Johnson. These pictures are pretty hot stuff! Enjoy!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

My 2 cents...

Hey all, it's Spencer. Molly informs me I must be a contributor on this whole blog thing, so the way I see it, if I throw in a line or two once a quarter, I'll be good to go. It's hard for me to imagine anyone out there would want to sit down and read what I have to say, but I've learned that there is a sick, twisted subculture of 30-something stay-at-home Moms and other sorts of folks who will read just about anything if it's written in a blog. My own dear sweet 30-something stay-at-home wife and her friend recently admitted to reading several blogs from people they didn't even know--just for the fun of it!

Not to leave the guys out of this: I'm sure there are quite a few blog-addicts among the men-folk ranks. I'm not sure they're reading random people's blogs, but they probably waste some amount of productive work-time writing, reading, or surfing blogs. Right now I feel like I'm wasting time just writing a blog, but since I'm doing it, I guess I'll just blog away.

Molly probably had a more eventful (and definitely more entertaining to you readers) experience in our weekend triathlon. My experience started out well . . . that is until I bumped into some other swimmer whom I couldn't see through the pea-green murky water (I should probably say "pee-green"). I came up for a look to see where he was and got a mouthful of water that ended up sliding right on past my food pipe into my air pipe. A few panic-stricken seconds later, I was doing the upside-down breast stroke on my back trying to catch my breath and feeling like the wetsuit I was wearing was slowly but surely shrinking around my ribcage effectively limiting the ability to expand my chest and draw air in. It seemed like it took my quite a while to settle down and get back to swimming.

Eventually I made it out of the water and onto my bike where I felt much more at home. I even chased down and cruised past my first two victims right out of the chute. I didn't feel so cool when I realized they were both riding mountain bikes. Pretty soon I settled into a nice cadance and thought I was doing fine until I got passed by like fifteen or twenty riders doing Mach 10 in full time trial gear and high-tech, multi thousands of dollar bikes. It was amazing to me that even though we were riding on the same road, I was going uphill and they were going downhill.

I was dreading the run, but right from the get go I fell into a good rhythm and actually felt like the run was my strongest leg. It was fun to watch for Molly (who'd started a couple heats after me) and see her cruising along. I was very proud of her!

Overall, I had a great experience. I wasn't fast, but I wasn't dying either. The best part was how hot I looked with my race-number-tattooed, ripling arms glistening in the morning sun as I crossed the finish line amidst throngs of admirers and cheering fans. And that doesn't even mention the looks I got as I ripped the moistened wetsuit off my bronzed body as I came off the first stage swim. No wonder Molly wanted me to do this race with her!

So now life is back to normal. Babies, work, babies, work, babies, work. Sometime this winter I'll have to do another memorable event or something so I have a reason to blog again. Otherwise, life will sound very monotonous. I do hope everyone enjoys reading Molly's updates on our life and family. We sure are happy and blessed.

Saturday, August 4, 2007


SWIM! BIKE! RUN! That's right, Spencer and I just participated in our very first triathlon this morning in Hyrum, Utah--the Cache Valley Classic! Now, before you start being really impressed, I have to confess that the race was a sprint, not an Olympic, distance. But...we found that a 1/2 mile swim, a 12.4 mile bike ride and a 5K run all in one morning was challenging enough for us this year! We had a great time participating together and were happy to have finished in respectable times. I must admit that there were several times during the race that I was wondering why in the world I would chose to venture into triathlons 10 weeks after giving birth to twins. That question remains unanswered. I am not exactly in what I consider to be tip-top shape and I'm sure I would've done better had I trained more diligently. But, I SURVIVED! And I had a great time. Spencer will have to report on his own experience but I can share two highlights/lowlights (depending on your perspective) from the morning:

1. I survived the swim in the Hyrum Resorvoir (swimming that distance in open water with people all around you--kicking and scrambling--was quite an experience) and made my way to the transition area where I quickly switched my gear. I was feeling pretty good until as I was exiting the transition area a spectator yelled from the sidelines laughing "Hey! Your helmet's on backwards!" I lost major cool points at this point in the race as I stopped and turned it around before heading off on the bike. How humiliating! :) Everyone must've known I am a major amateur at that point!

2. I borrowed my Mom's 10-speed bike for the race because it was better than riding my cheap-o Costco mountain bike with the child seat mounted on the back. Her bike, however, proved to be a major liability during the race. For starters it has a kickstand and that is another loss of cool points and a red flag for beginning bikers (that's right, I said "biker." I don't think you're even allowed to call yourself a "cyclist" if you ride a bike with a kickstand). The gears never really engaged the whole time I was riding it and it rattled like it was going to fall apart into 75 pieces the entire 12.4 miles. At one point early in the ride, the chain popped off the gears and got wedged between the gears and the bike frame. I spent 5-10 minutes on the side of the road trying to jimmy it free and eventually resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't going to be able to finish. I was so annoyed! Then, one final pull and it miraculously came loose and I was back on the road! Wahoo!!! Unfortunately, I lost major time and my hopes and dreams of a medal and spot on the winner's podium were dashed (haha). When my mom loaned me the bike, she failed to mention that the rear brakes completely don't work. That would've been a helpful piece of information to have when I got to the huge sign on the course that read "Sharp Turn Ahead." Needless to say, I didn't quite make the aforementioned "sharp turn" and ended off the road onto the shoulder and into the beginnings of some farmer's pasture. How I didn't lay the bike down is still a mystery. Ahhh--what an experience. I was happy to hop off the bike and start running!

Anyway, that's probably more detail than anyone wanted or cared to read. But it was quite a morning! This afternoon my legs have been complete Jell-O and I wonder if I will be able to crawl out of bed in the morning. Man, the things I sign myself up for! But we can't wait for the next tri! We'll post pictures when we get digital copies from our friends who snapped pictures for us...seeing us decked out in wetsuits and swim caps will make it worth the wait!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Here goes nothing...

Okay, anyone with any kids at all has to have seen Disney's "Finding Nemo" right? Well, I think Dory is pretty much hilarious in that movie. Probably in large part because I think Ellen Degeneres is one of the funniest people on TV, but also because there are just so many classic one-liners! I couldn't resist choosing "Just Keep Swimming!" for the title of our blog because it captures so perfectly our life philosophy these days. With the recent addition of the twins, Jake & Emmy, and the three other little rugrats we're trying to keep alive, things seem pretty crazy most of the time. At times I feel like we are hanging on by a thread...but at least we're hanging on! So, as Dory says with her sing-songy mantra we "just keep swimming! just keep swimming!" and doing the best we can. That said, what better time to attempt to maintain and update a blog?!? Wish me luck!

What better way to start things off than with a cute picture of the kiddos? This photo was taken when the twins were 3 weeks old (they will be 3 months old next week). I look at each one of these sweet faces and feel so lucky to be a mother...
We hope this blog is a good way to stay connected with friends and family and keep you updated on our lives! Please feel free to comment...we'd love to hear from all of you! Oh, and JUST KEEP SWIMMING!