Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Retrograde Amnesia

I have two old friends who were both bridesmaids in my wedding; for descriptive purposes one is a Carrie and one is a Charlotte. Well over 10 years ago they went shopping and then decided it would be a good idea to go rollerblading down the giant hill at Eldridge Park in Elmhurst. Long story short, the Charlotte went head over heels (or ass over tits if you're feeling kind of British like I am) down the hill and had to be driven to the hospital by the Carrie.

Now, in the car the Carrie realized there was a problem as the Charlotte kept directing her to her gynecologist's office instead of the local emergency room but she stayed calm. When they reached the emergency room the Carrie had to do all of the talking and was answering all of the questions the triage nurse asked to the best of her ability. Today the Charlotte's husband (of course we'll call him Harry) is a wonderful, gainfully employed husband. Back then he was recently employed but usually unemployed and perhaps a bit of a slacker boyfriend. While the Carrie was answering questions the nurse's questions the Charlotte kept up a steady barrage of alarming questions to the Carrie, over and over again. The conversation went something like this; "Where's Harry?" "He's at work" "HARRY HAS A JOB?" two minutes of silence. Repeat. "Where's Harry?" "He's at work" "HARRY HAS A JOB?" Over and over again. The Charlotte, as it turns out, had retrograde amnesia! It lasted a while; there were TONS of things she just couldn't remember at all. The most amusing one of course was that Harry had a job. A couple of weeks later she opened her trunk to get something and there were the shopping bags from amnesia day. Suddenly it all came back; she remembered everything right then and there. Done. No more amnesia.

So you're probably wondering where I'm going with this? Well, I think I've had retrograde amnesia for two years. Cathi's friend Jessica is pregnant with twins and asked me a couple of months ago what things I couldn't live without when I had infant twins, I couldn't really remember too much. This morning I opened a One Step Ahead catalog and it all came flooding back. Done. No more amnesia. I think it’s because they are four and I’m certain I’ll make it out of parenting twins alive but there it was, all of those crazy baby things that I used or needed everyday for a really long time. I’m compiling a list of things that helped me, if you know someone who is having twins, pass it on, you don’t really hear of these things until you have twins too old to use them! I’m not getting any sort of payment for these opinions; they’re just things I really loved.

Double Blessings Nursing Pillow  You can nurse both babies at the same time or you, Dad or any caregiver can feed both babies a bottle at the same time.  I spent most of my day with this pillow literally attached to my body and recommend getting the nice cover.  To me it was so important for someone else to be able to feed the girls occasionally.

Podee Bottles  They are hands free.  Do NOT let anyone tell you shouldn't feed your babies that way unless they will be paying for your stay at the local mental hospital (which you may want to take them up on considering you will really want to get away from your life).  These things are fabulous, the only thing I would suggest is buying a giant bag of pipe cleaners from a craft store because it was much easier to clean them that way and throw the pipe cleaner out then to use the brush that comes with the bottles.

Baby Jail  You might call it a play yard.  This might be hands down the most important item you can own when you have two moving babies at one time.  You don't use it right away but register for it at your shower and register for one or two extension kits.  That way you will have it when you need it.  This thing went everywhere with us.  In my living room, in the yard, we took it camping and even to the park.  Not all twins move early or move fast but mine were walking before 11 months and running by 12.  I used it until they were two and a half when I needed to get something done, you know, like peeing or blinking.  There is a taller one available at One Step Ahead that would have been nice because both of my girls were climbers.  I actually cried when I sold baby jail at a garage sale.

A Baby Safe Feeder  These are those little net covered pacifier looking things, I never used them with Aidan because I thought they seemed silly and a little useless.  It's very tricky to watch two kids at one time so they don't choke, especially if you have your head down while you nap in your cheerios.  These were great for pieces of fruit.  When they were teething I'd put frozen fruit in there and they LOVED that.

LilyPadz  These are silicone breast pads; you just wash them and use them over and over.  There were not enough breast pads on the planet for all the nursing and leaking I was doing and these don't slip and you can't see them through your clothes.  They pay for themselves very quickly.

A portable potty seat  This thing folds up and slides right into your diaper bag and it fits up to 40 pounds which is a kindergartener.  It's so useful, some of those toilets in public places are huge and you will no longer have the back strength to dangle them over the toilet by the time they are potty training as you will have ruined your back by the time they started walking.

Bath Seat  The one I had was discontinued (not having anything to do with me) and this one looks like it would do the trick.  I have a giant bathtub and it would have been way too easy for one to slide one way while the other went the opposite way so bath chairs were great for keeping everyone's head above water.  It also frees up both hands for washing hair and getting all of those wrinkles clean.

MaxiMom Baby Carrier  I'll tell you upfront this thing is difficult to figure out, difficult, but totally worth it.  I actually am putting mine on Craig's List if you know someone interested; new they're a little pricey.  I had a hard time with baby carriers because of the size of my chest.  Most of them are not very comfortable if you're already top heavy, they're usually a little stiff and pretty bulky.  The MaxiMom carrier is different.  First of all, it's not bulky and it's soft.  Second of all, it does amazing things; you can wear both on front, one front, one back or you can divide the babies among two people.  It worked for my husband who I can assure you is flat chested.  Once you have it mastered, I could get everyone in under five minutes and get all kinds of things done that I would NOT have been able to without it.

Double Stroller  This is the updated version of my Saftey 1st Stroller/Travel System.  I'm also selling my stroller and car seats on Craig's List.  One of the main reasons we picked it is it was pretty versatile.  It fits two car seats; WHICH ALL DOUBLE STROLLERS DO NOT.  The other nice thing was that it was stadium seating and the front seat could face towards the back seat or away once we were done using the car seats.  That was key when the girls got a little bigger, they would entertain each other.  When they got older still I could use it as blackmail depending on the day; be nice to your sister or I will a) turn you away from her b) turn you towards her.  Helpful hint, blackmail is an important weapon in your arsenal. 

So, that's all I can think of right now but now that the retrograde amnesia has cleared up, who knows????? Remember, multiples aren't for the faint of heart!  You might want to try one first and see how you do with that!


debi9kids said...

Oh amen sister! Those Podee bottles saved my life! I would've NEVER made it through the first 9 months without them.

ps Hopping over from Multiples and More

cat said...

Oh I need to add Bumbo seats - and I am so going to find a portable potty.

Kristyn Harper-Kaminski said...

Oh yes, the Bumbo seat, I don't know why I didn't have one of those; that would be on the list of things I wish I'd had! Welcome to all of my new Multiples and More friends!

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