Tuesday, May 31, 2011

At the end of my rope - Bottles to Sippy Cups

I do not know what to do... Sammy will not eat. He is refusing almost all foods and his formula. There is only one bottle he will take but the nipple lets the formula just pour out so he spills more than he drinks. Today he wouldn't even take that nipple. He had a few bites of yogurt but it was a battle. He wouldn't even take a bite of mashed potatoes. I know he is cutting molars but...

Jason had almost a week where he had a low-grade fever and wouldn't eat - but he still took the bottle. He started the teething a couple days before Sam - so you would think that it would only be a couple days before Sam would eat - but NO !!! Sammy is only getting worse.

We have some Munchkin sippy cups from Wal-Mart (seen here on Amazon: Munchkin Sippy Cups) but he has chewed through the valve so that the liquid pours out when he tips the cup. He has also figured out that he can push the valve down into the cup. They do not sell replacement valves and even though they are inexpensive, I don't think it is worth buying more. He can chew through the valve in a day or two !

We also have these cups (seen here on Amazon Nuby Sippy with Straw). Jason is starting to get the hang of the straw but Sammy has no clue how to do it. I have even tried a trick that a speech therapist/occupational therapist told me about... You cut a wide straw into thirds and use it to suck up applesauce. The child gets instant gratification with the applesauce from the short straw and will eventually transition to a longer straw and milk/formula/juice. It isn't working ! (I have even tried sucking up smoothie and letting him suck it out of the bottom of my straw - he lets the smoothie drip in his mouth but he still won't suck through the straw on the cup.)

My neighbor bought some of these for her twins and gave me two to try yesterday (seen here on Amazon Take & Toss Spill Proof cups). Jason drank a little bit of juice from the cup but had more fun playing with it. Sammy just threw it on the ground and tried to take the lid off.

They got a set of these cups (seen on Amazon Munchkin Elmo Cups) for their birthday. They have a hard plastic top with a valve inside the lid. They can not suck hard enough to get anything out of these cups ! I actually tried it myself and it is hard to use. Especially after using a bottle where the nipple drips milk. They don't want to work that hard for their drink.

I am thinking about buying these :  (on Amazon (again) Nuby No Spill Sipper) or these (duh - Amazon Nuby No Spill Cup with Super Spout). I have a $5 credit on my Amazon account so with the Amazon Prime Mom program which gives me free shipping - it wouldn't cost a thing.

SIDE NOTE: Amazon Mom is amazing ! If you haven't heard about it yet - click this link if you don't click any other links in this entire post.  Amazon Mom  AND I earned that $5 Amazon gift card from using SwagBucks. I don't always use it but it is an easy way to redeem points from online searches (and surveys/polls/videos) for gift cards. It took me a while to earn the 450 SwagBucks for a $5 gift card but only because I didn't take the time to really use the site.  A referral link to SwagBucks: http://swagbucks.com/refer/CoCoMoraLudwig

OK - so I posted my problem all over facebook and I am already getting some suggestions. Thanks Moms ! I knew I could count on you !

Both boys are now crying - so that means I am done writing for tonight !

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Part of My Story and Why I Left

Somebody put this link on my facebook page this week. Article: Lazy Husbands, Hungry Kids and Hopeful Wives - No Greater Joy Ministries   In was in response to a question I asked on "The Official Group of National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, Inc." page that I belong to. 

My question and most of the responses can be found through this link: (I say most because I ended up blocking one person that I felt was being rude to the point of being harassment.)  http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_112761253575&id=10150201885413576

After reading the article, I started to write a reply to the person that sent me the link. It turned into a message which I then turned into this blog post. I apologize for bringing this all up again, but until I can fully process it - it consumes my thoughts. Life is overwhelming. When I do ask for help, I feel better. When I can't get the answers I need or at least be pointed in the right direction, I circle around in a holding pattern. That is what I feel like right now - like I am just going through the motions.

I feel I did part of what it said to do. He told me to find a way to pay the rent. I did. When he told me to find other places to tell a sob story and beg for assistance - I refused. I did not feel right making up stories to get a social service agency to pay our bills when he refused to even look for work. I prayed for him, me, our children, our marriage, our home, our situation. I took care of the kids, I did laundry, cleaned house, made meals, and I was still going to church once if not twice a week. I was working for his grandmother and his mother for cash to help cover expenses. They offered - I didn't ask. They would have paid him too but he wouldn't bother. I could deal with some of the drinking. I could deal with the arguments. I could deal with him not really wanting to change diapers and feed babies all day every day. What I could not deal with was being yelled at because me or the twins were interrupting his online tv show. I couldn't deal with being called a bitch because I wanted him to stop playing games online and go to school or look for work. I couldn't deal with being pushed and shoved. I couldn't deal with him spitting in my face. I couldn't deal with being covered in bruises. I packed up the twins and I left. I was gone for a few days when his family provided their living room as a "neutral" spot to talk. He made a bunch of false promises that I believed and I went back. It wasn't 10 days later that I was dealing with the same old shit. I had a full glass of kool-aid thrown on me and the twins and watched him storm out of the house. As I sat there cleaning red kool-aid off of my 6 mo old twins and giving them a bath - I decided to change the locks. We didn't have a permanent place to crash and since he, on his own, could sleep on a couch somewhere - I decided changing the locks was easy, fast and painless.  As my friend came to my house she saw him sitting in our car on the far side of the parking lot where he could not be seen from our windows. My friends watched him while talking to me on the phone. She told me to prop a chair under the door to hold him outside. I hadn't yet lost all the pregnancy weight and had over 100 lbs on him. He took the front door off the hinges while I sat on a chair stuck under the doorknob. At that point, my friends came in, grabbed the babies, their stuff and took us to their place. They put us up for the night and got me a contact to call at a shelter in another town. I was able to find space in a 24 hour facility a little over 2 hours away.

When he finally tracked me down and asked to set up a meeting to talk and see the twins - he served me with divorce papers. I had tossed the idea of divorce around - but it was out of anger. I hadn't even spoken to anyone about it - I was at that shelter to heal and have a safe place to stay while we tried to work out some problems. I have never claimed to be perfect. I know I can be one hell of a bitch - but I didn't choose to get divorced. I busted my butt every day to take care of my family. I still do bust my butt. There are plenty of side stories that I could tell you - and that is a whole new set of paragraphs that I don't want to deal with right now.

All I know is that I tried. I had the books, my bible, and my studies. I had a prayer group and supportive christian women in my life. Guess who drove me to the shelter when they knew my car wouldn't make it ? Two women from my marriage bible study class. Guess who helped pack up my house and rescue my things when he bailed on our home and the landlord was going to trash it ? My MOPS groups stepped up with a truck rental and men and ladies to pack and fill the truck.

I still question what I am supposed to do. I have talked to a few different pastors in town while trying to find my home church. One pastor told me that I need to work it out. One pastor said he had no answers and would pray. The third pastor said he wanted to help me move forward since he believed me when I said it was un-fixable. I have talked to women that have been in the same situation. The women that are still bitter, say "screw him". The ones that have had more therapy and are moving on - tell me to work on myself. The staff tell me to stay away, do only what the courts say I have to do for the divorce and custody, and talk to a counselor about the anxiety it causes me.

Do I sometimes have a bad day and wish I could have my family back together - of course. I have been on my own since I was 17. My parents divorced when I was little and both remarried. I had an idea of what I wanted - and being a poor single mom of twins with my oldest son living in another city was not it ! However, at this point, I think I am doing the best I can. There are plenty of side stories that I could tell you - and that is a whole new set of paragraphs that I don't want to deal with right now. I guess those will end up being their own blog posts...

And now I am done writing because one of my boys is up and crying for the 4th time tonight... Maybe I can add to this tomorrow. I can't believe it is after 4am and I am still not asleep.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Don't really know what to say...

I have been wanting to write for weeks but I have been tongue tied... The anxiety of dealing with the divorce is really getting to me. I had a few days where I wanted to hide from life. Thankfully I have a couple people in my life that would not allow me to do that. I used to deal with depression every day - for years. Thankfully that ended the day the twins were born. Don't get me wrong, I still get down every once in a while and the mood can be hard to shake - but I don't suffer like I used to. The main issue now is anxiety. I know I have written about it before but something that a friend said tonight clicked...

She said to not let my anxiety imprison me !

Every two weeks my anxiety starts to climb... higher and higher until I want to close the windows and blinds, lock the door and lay in bed. My divorce is still pending and it is at a standstill. More specifically - custody is at a standstill. I have been awarded temporary sole custody but that has not made their father happy. He is scheduled to see the twins every other weekend. After the choking incident that Sammy had, I wrongly believed that my ex wanted to try and work together for the best interest of the boys. The review hearing that was scheduled 4-19 ended up making visitation less specific. I had wanted to get more specific times and dates drawn up but... I did get lucky on two points - the orders still state that we have to mutually agree on the terms of visitation and it has to be worked out 48 hours in advance of the visit.

This week he told me he was going to take the boys for a 24 hour overnight visit. Didn't ask, no discussion, just told me to show up at 3pm. I didn't like the way his email sounded like a demand and I told him so. So then I got the most sarcastic email saying the exact same thing. As you can imagine, that didn't help. From one email to the next, he would change little things. The biggest issue I had was his not wanting to tell me where he would be taking the children. He said it was none of my concern and that is was not 150 miles outside of Flagstaff. For safety issues, and to follow the orders that state I must be given all contact information for visitation, I told him I would not feel comfortable with the twins going to an undisclosed location. He finally gave up on the demand of an overnight visit but his last email still did not include the location. I wrote him back and told him that the twins would not be meeting him.

I know this is going to cause problems, and I might be a little over protective (and hurt). However, I do not trust a man (and his family) that have told me that they deserve to keep the twins for 8 months without me having contact. That they deserve to take them from me like I supposedly took them from him. That I should accommodate them since they deserve better... They have followed me part of the way home (to a protected confidential address). They have harassed me through emails (him) and phone calls (his parents). They have told me over and over again that he can do no wrong and that everything is all my fault. The multiple written orders that have been drawn up by the judge contain many pieces of the parenting time/visitation. I am to be given all contact information, min of 8 hours Saturday and Sunday, work together and mutually agree, 48 hour prior notice to schedule, my address remains private, days and times can be switched for best interest of twins, etc., etc... If he won't follow through on something as big as the location of where the twins will be - then how would I know where to find them if he didn't return them on time ?

It causes major headaches every two weeks. He would not finalize plans with me two weeks ago either and instead wanted me to talk to his mother. That ended up turning into a shouting match where I was told to SHUT UP ! It really didn't surprise me that he chose to have his mother handle his issues, but I was surprised at her behavior. I have decided that I will no longer deal with anyone but the twins' father (and that is only because I have to) ! I do think that the boys need their father in life, even if I don't want him in my life anymore. I had children with this man and I will be dealing with him for the next 17 years, however I am already tired of the sarcasm, attitude, twisted words and problems.

I need to get a mediator to handle it from here on out. That way a neutral third party can help to coordinate all the pieces and schedule the visitation. I then hope to find somebody that can handle the exchanges as well. That way I can say good bye to the boys and a third party can meet their father and drop them off. This same person can then pick them up and bring them home. If there are still issues, the mediator can be contacted and there will not be 15 emails of arguing... Anybody know of a service in AZ that can do this for me ? PLEASE email me !!

I feel bad venting about all this and I am always worried that my words will come back to haunt me. I don't think I said anything that I wouldn't tell the judge - but I wonder how my words will get twisted...

Thanks for reading. Please keep us in your thoughts. Since you read so many paragraphs - here are some pictures of the boys at the park from earlier today. (Sorry about the quality but my camera broke and all I have is my phone.)