Monthly Archives

March 2011

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The Children Have Ears

Today, while the munchkins tottered and crawled around me, I put Grandma on speaker phone and tried to have more than a 5 minute conversation. We are making the trip to Middle America in May and I want them to at least recognize the grandparents voices. Maybe?


Anyway, my mom was talking about her grandchild who is a couple of months older than the twins. Apparently her favorite word is ‘bite’ and she says it all the time. I asked if she was a biter? Well, yes, she is in fact but what she means is a ‘bite of food’ as in “Do you want a bite?”
Ahhh.

We don’t use that term because we sign and say ‘more’ not ‘bite’. (Maybe it’s also a Midwestern thing??) The only time I use the word bite is when breastfeeding.
Then, my mom asks if the kids are biters because you know “most kids at that age are”. Um..no. We don’t have a biting problem at…..MotherF*cking OUCH…..all. (I did not swear out loud, but clenched my teeth in pain).

At this point, Whoop Whoop, having heard the word “bite” over and over and over again, wandered over and BIT MY NIPPLE THROUGH MY TANK TOP and then toddled off again.

We were, after all, saying “Bite” not “No Biting”!
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Bad Cop

After music class today, I was called the “bad cop” by another mom. She didn’t mean it in a bad way. You see, we’d been talking about temper tantrums. We’ve had a little preview here and there…but I wouldn’t say we’ve dealt with any true tantrums.

Then again, when they start up, I walk away/look away/ignore the behavior. I’ve been know to say “go on with your bad self”.
The other moms looked at me in disbelief. “And it works?” “Yes..so far.”
I am a pretty strict disciplinarian. I do believe that at this age they need to know boundaries and they ARE out to test those boundaries, no doubt. I am here to set the boundaries and make sure that I follow through with what I say.

One thing that is working very well with me is 1-2-3. I don’t know if this is the traditional 1-2-3, but it’s what I do. I tell the boys in advance what is expected of them and I let them know that I’ll only count to 3 and that’s the end of the story.

I’ll give you an example of the first time I used this:
We started toothbrushing time with real toothbrushes. It was a HUGE fight to get them to give the toothbrushes back afterwards. They just wanted to play and many tears and much screaming ensued. One night, I thought, “I’m going to tell them that when it’s time to give the toothbrushes back, I’m going to count to 3 and then they have to give them to mommy.”
Effing Magic, I tell you. It was brilliant. We do it every night and there’s never been a single protest.

Another example: There’s no standing in the bathtub. None. You don’t sit down and you’re out of the tub. We started counting in the tub, but it wasn’t working. Then, one night I decided to tell them right before we got in the tub what was expected of them and that I would count to 3 if they were standing up and if they didn’t sit down, they had to get out.
Magic Stuff–for the most part. Doesn’t always work, but it has made it 98% better.

If you start throwing food off your highchair tray, I take that tray away and tell you we don’t throw food. You bonk your brother in the head with a toy I take the toy away and tell you why.
No, you cannot touch my computer/iPhone/stereo/etc. Those are mommy’s. Period. I try to have those things put away when I’m with them, but it’s hard and not always possible and I do want them to know they are not ‘toys’.
In short, I don’t put up with much bullshit and try to run a pretty tight ship. Chicken is a little more lenient than me…so I suppose she could be the ‘good cop’, but we are both on the same page when it comes to discipline.
I don’t think I’m a bad cop, I just think now is the time to set standards.

Are you a bad cop or a good cop? Do you think I’m too strict?
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Friendships. The Casualty of Kids (and PPD)

I know some of you have hinted at this in your own blogs and I’ve been thinking about it for quite some time myself.

When you are pregnant people tell you things like how much your life is going to change and people who you thought were your friends will disappear.
Chicken and I took a good look around and thought…”who will it be?”

We thought we had a pretty good idea, but we were wrong. There are lesbians who’ve been tight with us for years who have pretty much dropped off the face of the earth for close to a year now. Too busy, they say…but FB is a demon. We know they are in our neighborhood, out and about.
When the boys were itty bitty, they wanted to stop by and could find the time to come over and hold a baby. But when the babies started getting more active and coming over involved more ‘twin wrangling work’ rather than sitting around and eating/talking/relaxing while a baby slept in your arms….they stopped coming over.

It’s hard to just ‘visit’ with people when you are trying to raise twins. There is always something that I need to be doing or a kid to be watching or….the list goes on and on. It’s hard to meet other moms at playgrounds and groups because I’m going in two different directions and can’t stand there and talk. And mostly, it’s hard in this city. Because as much as I really do love my neighborhood and love this city, there aren’t ANY gay/lesbian families near us. We’ve got friends in Jersey and upstate and Brooklyn, but it is very difficult for us to get to these places cheaply and easily…
The last time we ventured to Jersey for an afternoon birthday party we spent over $100 on a Zipcar and then got it back late and incurred a $50 fine (which was later reversed because I argued it…) PLUS the cost of the birthday gift! It’s just not something we can do every weekend no matter how much we miss our friends and want to see them.

We’ve been lucky to make some ‘mommy’ friends here in our ‘hood, but we know that they…like us…might not stick around. It’s easy to have a baby in Manhattan. It’s much harder to have children. There comes a point that most people make a run to the burbs (or Brooklyn!) or a smaller city or pack it all up and head to the country.
We don’t know where we’ll end up and most of my friends here in the city are also unsure.

I grew up in a life of uncertainty. I had a different address every year for most of life. We have lived in this apartment for 6 years which is the longest time I’ve ever remained in one place. I have never lived in a house my entire life. Owning a house is a completely foreign concept to me.
As much as I accept my gypsy soul, I also want some level of stability for my boys.
I’d like for them to have a home and grow up with the same friends. I’d like to make friends, really GOOD friends–other parents and raise our kids together, going to the same schools, babysitting for each other, hanging out at different houses.
This could still happen, even here in NYC. It doesn’t have to be ‘somewhere else’. But I feel like everyone I meet is only here for a limited amount of time before finding greener (and bigger and cheaper) grass somewhere else.

And the friends I used to have? The childless ones have slowly faded away, seen only once or twice a year. Others have moved away for good. Some have disappeared completely–even though they may live very close by. Those with children are understanding, but have busy lives themselves and don’t live close enough to just get together at random.

When I moved to NYC 13 years ago, I formed a fast, tight knit group of friends. We spent almost every weekend together. Then one by one…the 3 year window* hit and most of them were victims. Our circle was broken.
A new circle was formed when Chicken and I met. This time my social circle looked like a cross between Sex and the City and The L Word. Many, many, many parties and all of the debauchery that goes with crazy parties. I outgrew the debauchery and lost my circle of friends who were still going strong. It was fun while it lasted.
And then came my solo travels and the MBA and the baby plans and Chicken traveling 5 days a week for work. Friends were lost. Friends moved. Friends were outgrown.

I know I haven’t been the best friend this past year and I’m thankful so many people have stuck by me even when I couldn’t have been very pleasant to support.
I haven’t been myself and haven’t had the energy to do much other than focus on my kids and get through the day. There have been phone calls ignored and emails unanswered and plans cancelled because all I wanted to do was sleep. Just being a friend and exerting that kind of energy sounded too challenging and fatiguing.
But it’s a new year and a new reality for me now. I’m ready to get myself back and that means either getting my friends back or making some new ones.
Either way–I need more of a support group than I currently have. I used to have a very strong circle of female and male friends. I miss it terribly. I ache for it. My best friends are scattered all over the world now. I can’t get them all back in one place. But, I can be a better friend to them and try my best to make new ones now.

*Three years is a changing point for people who live in NYC. Most leave by the 3 year mark. If you stay past 3 years, chances are you are either staying for good or at least for a VERY long time.
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So Fast

I love my neighborhood, I really do. Everyday I see someone who will stop and ask me how I’m doing, how the boys are doing. Everyone thinks that NYC is so huge and impersonal, but when you live here it’s simply a lot of little neighborhoods stacked next door to each other. I see the same people over and over again because I don’t leave my neighborhood that often. Everything I need is pretty much here and it’s all walkable. I love it.

Lately, what strikes me the most is when I tell people how old the boys are (almost 14 months, gasp!) they usually say something like how fast it all goes. My, doesn’t it though?

Three days ago on March 14, Grunter took his first steps!
Not to be outdone, the next night, March 15, Whoop Whoop decided Grunter was getting too much attention and took his first steps!
I’m so happy to have been there for all of it and Chicken was able to race out of the office/bedroom/nursery in time to catch Grunter in the act.
While I wouldn’t say they are ‘walking’, they do like to practice quite a bit these days shakily standing up and maybe taking a step here or there before going back to speed crawling or knee walking.

Whoop Whoop’s favorite thing is to act like he’s going to walk and then crash with a big smile in my arms and give me a wide-open mouthed kiss and a hug. He has become quite the lover boy and is all Mommy’s boy. I never thought my screaming, colicy baby would turn into the charmer who flirts with everyone and is quick to smile.
Grunter has a sly little smile and already likes to play tricks–like pretending he’s going to give you something and then yanking his hand back and flashing a sly smile. Oh, he knows! But you have to work for a smile from him as he’s more reserved and dubious of strangers.

When I take them on an outing or music class, it’s almost always Grunter who will hang by my side while W2 crawls away to do his thing. I’m hoping once they start walking/running, this works in my favor as Grunter likes to keep me in his sight while W2 never even looks back most of the time. It could cut down on trying to run in two different directions!

Baby sign language seems to finally be working. We’ve been signing to them since 10 months…I think. Every now and then I thought someone might be signing ‘more’, but these last couple of weeks they are signing for ‘more’ ‘all done’ ‘milk’ and saddest of all…’eat’. Yes, I found that one out the hard way as the other day I didn’t prepare their snack ahead of schedule and by the time I put Grunter in the high chair he was frantically signing “eat”! On one hand, so sad he was that hungry he had to tell me to feed him, but on the other hand–hey, it’s working!
We’re working on a lot of other signs, so we’ll see how it goes.

They are both speaking a few words each, but nothing with frequency. They both say “mama” or “mommee” “hi” “bye” “hiya” and “head”. Yes, “head” was their first word! I like to put things on their head and it’s been a game for so long that it was the first body part to be identified (@11 months) and spoken. Funny.
Grunter also says “car” but only if he see it in a book, not a toy car or an actual car. W2 has said “ball”.
They both say “cat” but one says “dat” and the other “gat”.
Both boys ‘moo’ when they see pictures of a cow and Grunter says ‘whoo’ when he sees an owl.
Elephants are very popular and can be picked out on any page and also toys.

Their receptive language has been blowing my mind for quite some time now–starting around 11 months. I swear at the end of every day, we are in awe of their awesomeness and what they did that day to blow our minds all over again.
I can’t believe how much they understand what we are saying. I say ‘raise your arms’ and they do it, I ask them to bring me something and they usually do.
They know “head”, “ears”, “feet”, “toes”, “belly”, “hands”, “tongue” and “face”. They might know “eyes”, not sure…
I often call them “noggin boppers” as they are always bumping each other and other things with their heads. Today, when I called Grunter a noggin bopper, he reached up and touched his head. Whoa. He knows his head is also his noggin. I’m telling you, kids are crazy smart. I had no idea how much fun they could be.

They are both big fans of books. We read to them throughout the day and always 3 bedtime stories. They are finally wanted to sit in my lap and pay more attention while we read, but even so, we rarely make it through the whole book before they are off into something else.

These days are full of ‘oh oh oh’ and pointing and wobbly steps. I remember someone blogging that 14 months was one of their best. As we approach this month…I can honestly say the same!
It’s so much fun, but it IS going so fast!
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Identity Theft

I’m not referring to my photos being stolen on posted on FB…I’ve since learned that the girl probably wasn’t even pregnant, let alone with twins…so that just makes her crazy and makes me a little sad for her. Sure, it’s weird. But, in the end no harm was done.


What I want to talk about is how I’m scared to get dressed these days. That might be a little dramatic. But I feel like I’m becoming a good candidate for “Not What to Wear”.
I decided this while walking to Union Square the last two days and realizing that I don’t make eye contact with many people these days because I don’t like how I look/what I’m wearing.

My life has become a uniform of comfortable-quick-to-put-on (which usually means no laces or buckles) shoes/boots, yoga pants (though I’ve done exactly 2 yoga classes in the past 23 months) and a baggy shirt of some sort that looks even more attractive paired with a nursing tank underneath. The lovely, over-grown out, needs-new-highlights, thinning mop of hair is almost always in a clip or pony tail. There are STILL dark circles under my eyes every single day. I fear they may never go away at this point. I try my best to simply look presentable when I go out, but it’s usually such a mad dash to:

  • Feed the twins
  • Clean it and them all up
  • Diaper Changes
  • Gimme that diaper
  • Bring the wipes back
  • Don’t touch your penis it has poop on it
  • Do you have to toss every single wipe out of the container?
  • Let’s put the wipes back in
  • OMG, you took off your socks again?
  • I’m sorry he poked you in the eye, that must’ve hurt. Come here.
  • Hugs and Cuddles.
  • Let’s find those socks
  • Jackets on

While all of this is going on, it gets HOT and I’ve found that I can’t do much of the above with many clothes on or else I end up an overheated, sweaty mess. So, I lay out my clothes that I’m going to wear next to their stroller, strap the boys in and then put my clothes/shoes/coat on as fast as possible before they also get hot and cranky.

My point is: there’s not a lot of time to put an effort into how I “Look”.
But the bigger question is: Who AM I? I don’t know how this mommy person is supposed to look. I’ve lost all of the baby weight so all of my old clothes fit me–that’s not the problem. But, I’d hung on to all of those clothes for so long–determined to get pregnant and not wanting to spend any extra money, so much to the extent that I’d started shopping at Goodwill!–that I am BEYOND sick of them. So, I’ve packed up at least half of my closet and donated it to Goodwill.

I’ve done a bit of shopping here (I really hate shopping) and there but I just can’t figure out my “style” anymore. Plus, while I’ve lost the weight, I’ve also lost the muscle. My size is an ‘issue’ to find (Chicken: no one wants to hear that). I have a lot of “flabbaloge” around my middle (Chicken: Shut Up.) that I need to do something about…but haven’t. Thus, I try to hide under a baggy shirt and fitted jeans/leggings. It’s not the best look. And Chicken tells me I have nothing to hide so clearly I also have body dysmorphia. Yeah me!

I’m a mother. I’m of a certain age (ahem, over 40). I’m struggling with this new identity and how it looks on me.
I guess I thought when I became a mother, I would ease into it and look put together like so many mothers I see out there. I would finally look like a grown up. Yeah, that’s it.
I don’t and I don’t even know what “that” looks like on me.
The Z is helping with all of this, but I’m still not sure what motherhood should look like.

Are any other new (ish) mothers struggling with this as well??

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I Get By with a Little Help From My Friends

I’m less stressed.

I’m nicer.
I’m more patient.
I’m not an anxious.
I’m laughing and smiling a lot more.
I’m productive.
I’m energetic.
I’m not as angry.
I’m not sad.
I’m not overwhelmed.
I’m enjoying my life and my twins and my partner.

I’m seeing a therapist and a shrink and my new best friend–Zoloft.

You were right. I fought it and denied it and railed against it. But yes, I am the face of PPD.

I hit a wall on Jan. 21, 2010. The twins one year birthday. I cried in the shower. I drank wine for lunch. I don’t do these things–EVER.
There was a bottle of Zoloft with my name on it that I’d had since 2003 and never taken. I know, who keeps things like that? Me, apparently. I called the shrink and made an appointment, but in the meantime started self-medicating with who-knows-if-it’s-even-effective Z.

I’m pretty sure it was still good because by the time I told her about it the next week (her: “Oh, that’s nothing, most people self-medicate with drugs or alcohol”), I was already feeling better. We upped the dose a bit and life changed.
A few weeks ago Chicken said, “Don’t take this the wrong way but…you are so much better now.” And I am.

That’s why I couldn’t fathom the idea of going to Miami, but welcomed the challenge of going to SF. That’s why I’ve cut the nanny’s hours.
That’s why I’ve been getting up every morning and getting the boys out the door and getting things DONE.
And loving it.
And feeling so empowered and proud of myself.
And enjoying these amazing boys so much more.

That’s why I never saw myself in so many of your blogs–both twin and singleton. I was not myself. I was small and sad and angry and most of all, tired and overwhelmed.
Life is good and I know it’s just going to keep getting better.
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Shut ‘Er Down?

I was notified recently of a really freaky thing. Someone on FB had stolen my weekly belly shots from my blog and posted them on their FB page as their own belly shots.

A ‘friend’ of this girl had seen them and thought…hmmm, those don’t look quite like her. So, she started poking around the internets and it brought her back to my blog–she was not a reader.
Then, out of decency and outrage towards her friend, the ‘thief’, she contacted me.
I then filed a report with FB and bam! She was shut down.
End of story, right? Maybe, I mean…it could be.

I love the internet. Love it, love it, love it.
Everyday I can learn something new and travel far. I probably think of something to google at least once a day. Me loves me some internets something fierce.

But the thought of someone stealing photos of me-or my babies-and pretending this is their life is creepy (thought I am strangely and egotistically flattered she liked my pregnant belly more than her own).
There’s always the option of going to WordPress and doing password protected blog. I know a lot of people have done so.

I’m conflicted. My stats consistently show 400-500 readers per post on this blog. Again, I’m flattered. I do nothing to advertise, hell, I don’t even have a nice, fancy template! But people find me–and apparently keep on reading once they get here. I have readers from around the world and all walks of life.
I’ve ‘met’ a great (straight) South African, god-worshipping, Jesus-loving, craft-making, mother of twins through this blog. We ‘get’ each other even though in ‘real life’, I’m sure we would’ve never met. I have a large number of military wives reading this blog (???!!!). I’ve had people ask me in the comments to please keep blogging, they look forward to it and read it in the middle of the night as they are nursing.
I know through the search words that there are a lot of people who come here looking for answers on one topic or another and I LOVE that I can help people. I try to keep my posts as helpful and detail oriented as possible, because that’s what I find useful when I’m searching for information.

I am a research queen and the blogosphere has been invaluable in my quest to TTC, raise twins, travel, etc. etc. If I were to go to a password protected blog, I would lose a majority of my readers PLUS I wouldn’t be able to help out through my blogging.

There’s always the option of removing all (identifying) photos and simply blogging. I really don’t know. I’m not a private person by any means and I enjoy sharing, but this incident was/is upsetting.

To be continued….
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Grinding Halt

Three amazing things happening by taking this trip to SF and we never could have predicted them in advance.

  1. No more pumping! I had been cutting down on my pumping but keeping the last pump of the night sloooowly moving it back. In truth, as much as I hated that pump there was a sick thing I like about seeing the milk in that bottle. Proof that I am making milk. However, I vowed that I would never travel with the pump and all that crap again. So, 2 nights before we left I pumped for the last time. I ended up nursing a sleepy baby around 11pm just to make sure my boobs would make it both nights…but they were fine. By the time we woke up in SF, me and my boobies were sleeping through the night. No more pumping! I’m sure if we hadn’t gone on the trip, I’d still be ‘holding on’ to that last pump, silly as it was.
  2. No more bottles! We had talked about dropping the boy’s night time bottle once we were confident they were getting enough moo milk throughout the day. We had a strategy of making the bottles smaller and smaller…etc. But, we’d only talked about it. The night we arrived in SF, the boys were exhausted, we were out of milk and hadn’t made it to the grocery to stock up. I decided to BF them and see what happened. The worst that could happen is they would wake up hungry and I would BF them again. They slept just fine (except for that NYC internal alarm clock waking time!) and just like that, we’ve stopped the bottles. Granted we only did one bottle a day, but still…I’m so happy to nurse them at night and be done with it and also KNOW that they are still getting enough milk from me to sleep 12 hours through the night.
  3. Two mommies are better than one! I took W2 on the flight since he’s more into nursing and Chicken flew with Grunter on her lap. By the time we arrived in SF, Grunter had formed an attachment with Chicken neither of us had ever experienced. He wanted her and reached out to her. I will admit that while I was pleased he bonded with her so tightly, I was….a little jealous. There I said it. And she knows and she wasn’t surprised. But they have been such ‘mommy’ boys for over a year despite the fact that ‘mama’ is here as well. As Chicken says, “You’ve got what they want (boobies).” It was really sweet to see how she could comfort him and how tightly he clung to her, but strange to know that he didn’t want me. Right now, he wanted her. Anyone else deal with this? It sounds selfish, I know. I want the boys to have a strong bond with both of us and I know that when I stop BFing it will probably be a lot easier.
In other surprising news…we thought the inflight entertainment systems would mesmerize the boys and buy us some time on the flight. Not at all. The boys don’t watch any TV at home and it turns out they don’t care for it on a plane either. A few people had strongly suggested we go out and splurge on some portable DVD players for each of them to take on the plane. I’m so glad we didn’t!!
The boys also don’t eat any sugar. We were the mean mommies who didn’t even give them cupcakes on their first birthday. I know…heartless and mean. So, we figured while packing snacks for the plane we would be irrational and crazy and get some of those fruit (and some sugar) filled toddler cereal bars. Hated them. I also got them some instant blueberry oatmeal to make in the hotel room for them. At home they have slow cooked Irish steel cut oatmeal with lots of milk and some cinnamon. I thought the blueberry kind would be a nice surprise. They hated it. Spit it out. Too sweet.

Can I say they were both pleasant surprises?
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Would You Even Believe Me?

If I told you how well the trip to SF went?

It was amazing! I’m so glad we bit the bullet and did it. The boys turned out to be amazing little travelers and it was such an empowering experience for me as well.

We were delayed on the outbound as it decided to snow in NYC that morning, so a 6.5 hour trip turned into 7.5. Urgh! However, I would say we had a total of 10 minutes crying from each baby for the ENTIRE trip. No joke! They were awesome and charmed everyone around them (well, almost everyone–some people are simply baby haters).
The flight was fully booked, but we were lucky to each sit by a nice lady who didn’t mind being touched by a baby (other people’s seatbelts are so much fun!).

Snacks were eaten, milk* was drank, magazines were destroyed and thrown about, toys were played with, books were read, buttons were pushed, naps were taken in Ergos, diapers were changed on the back of a dirty toilet (with a blanket spread over) as there were no changing tables in ANY of the airline bathrooms, aisles were paced and we were all just fine.

They didn’t lose it until we had to install the car seats in the rental mini van and figure out how to arrange all the luggage and the monster double stroller.
Tired, hungry and spent–plus it was bedtime on the East Coast–there was much crying. But once we popped them in the seats and drove out, they fell asleep and had a nice nap.

One thing we did NOT anticipate was the fear of the hotel room. They’ve been to other people’s houses and many different places, but they were so scared. I felt like the worst mother as the door kept opening and closing while Chicken unloaded the car and at that moment thought, “we should never leave home again”. It was short lived and they did get over it, but the combo aircon/heater freaked them out as well. Every time the fan would go on, they would shriek and cling to me. So sad. Again, short lived, but at the moment….
These are the things you don’t think about as ‘problems’!

I managed to re-arrange the living room (we booked a Jr. suite here) so that it fit 2 pack-n-play cribs (brand new and hotel provided for free), the double stroller and had them remove a table with a glass top.
Then, I got out my Lysol wipes and cleaned things and after that my duct tape (Gorilla tape) and taped down cords, outlets, drawers that opened, etc.
We had a couch that I could comfortably breast feed them on, a fridge and when I requested use of their microwave, they simply brought one to my room for free! The only thing I didn’t have were high chairs. I had bought these travel high chairs, but they didn’t fit the chairs in the room so I was SOL. Feeding the boys turned out to be my BIGGEST challenge of the entire week. Chasing around two crawddlers in a hotel room offering morsels of food or spoonfuls of yogurt is chaotic and MESSY!

We managed to put them to bed on California time…and in theory they should wake up on California time, right? Three hour time difference problem solved! Um…NO. They woke up on NYC time every single stinking morning! Every night they went to bed on CA time…didn’t matter. So, we simply had to adjust our sleeping time as well. We were in bed by 8:30 or 9:30pm every night as the boys (or at least one of them) were up anywhere between 4:30-5:30.
It made for a long day, but I simply doubled up on caffeine and kept on going! At home the boys only take one nap now, but in SF they were back on their old nap schedule.
We did one nap in the morning and then a stroller nap in the afternoon. It all worked out very well.
They slept great in the pack n plays both at night and for naps. We would do a bit more soothing than at home and then leave the room (and go to the bedroom) just like we do at home.
I loved the neighborhood we stayed in: Cow Hollow/The Marina. It was pretty residential and had nice sidewalks, stores, cafes, grocery and 2 wonderful toddler friendly parks. This one was my fave. The parks were one of the reasons I picked the hotel/neighborhood. I wanted to make sure we had something close by to do every day and it was perfect.
The hills! Wow, it was tough pushing a double stroller with two 20 lb boys and a 10 lb diaper bag up those hills. Damn. If you’ve got a baby in SF, there is no reason to ever go to the gym! My hands and wrists even hurt from gripping the stroller so hard!

The flight back was a bit shorter (5 hours) and more eventful. Grunter had a hard time falling asleep and there was about an hour combined total of fussing /crying on the plane. But, luck was on our side. The flight attendants were super nice and kid-friendly, I ended up with the whole row (3 seats to myself and Whoop Whoop) and Chicken had 2 seats for herself and Grunter. The other passenger was a guy with a one year old who was traveling to India soon so he was nice and taking notes! Whoop Whoop was a rock star and I was able to happily nurse him with ease on this flight much to his liking. He only fell asleep one hour before we landed.

We managed to transfer them both sleeping from the Ergo to the stroller and then while waiting for the luggage W2 woke up but happily sat in the stroller taking in the midnight airport crowd while Grunter slept. Grunter was again transferred from stroller to car seat–still asleep!– and we were on our way home. We had a car service with a van pick us up both ways and they waited while Chicken installed car seats, etc.
The boys got a little second wind when they got home at 1am and saw all their toys, slept until almost 8am the next morning, went to bed on NY time that night and one day later…were back on schedule!

All in all, a LOT of work, but we had a great time, did loads of fun things and it was an amazing travel experience. We are super charged now knowing that it’s just going to get easier each time we do it!

I will post later with ‘what we did’ and some photos. But I know a lot of you were wondering about specific logistics, etc.
If you have any more questions that I didn’t cover–ask away and I’ll address them.

*Only breast milk is allowed through security. So….fill up those sippy/straw cups and/or bottles and tell security it’s breast milk. Or, not. But if you don’t you’ll have a lot of milk to find and buy in the terminal and it won’t be organic whole milk that’s for sure. Do NOT count on the airline to give you milk!