Monday, December 12, 2011


Time and sleep are these two rare commodities in my life these days, so I will keep this brief. Motherhood has been so full of awe and wonder for me. Tiny lives that you want to protect with everything you have are also reliant on you taking good care of yourself. Feelings surface that you didn't know were planted deep in your soul, and unlike younger counterparts, you fail to see the struggles along this journey as negative and purposeless. You feel like the education-deprived child who longed for years to attend school, and because of the lack of opportunity, willingly and without complaint accepts the challenges along with the joys.

That being said, some may say that it's only a honeymoon period right now, but then it is easy to judge when one does not see the big picture. We struggle, we strive, and we accept it all because the tiny lives we created need us to do this, to be there for them.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

New Beginnings

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This is Your Brain On Pregnancy

You've probably heard of the term "half-wit." I always thought it was some derogatory term that was used for one born with limited mental faculties, but now I would better define it as the diminished brain capacity of one who is pregnant. As a prior high-velocity performer, I now suffer from the very real, very painful reality that my brain is operating at a very different level while growing fetuses.

Today was supposed to be my last day of work. I finished an employee eval at 8:00 PM because it just took that long (and my day was packed full of meetings). I decided to squeeze in two more days of work just so I can wrap up some loose ends, but I'm not telling my employees that fact. Alas, perhaps I will feel finished to some extent come Friday.

Last night was a fun ride, full of crazy contractions, complete with nausea and sleeplessness. I started to wonder if these babies were going to attempt an escape in November after all! Fortunately, I think we can safely call them Snowbabies at this point. I love that work is keeping me so distracted from thinking about the birth. Despite my brain on babies and 5 hours of sleep, I was rather impressed with what I knocked out today.

Just two more weeks, and the wait will finally be over.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dear EBay,

It's been a long time since we rubbed shoulders. Some things have changed, and overall, I have to say I am not dissatisfied with most of them. I like the new settings to control who bids on my product to help me have a successful auction. That's cool. I like the reserve feature. but not that I have to pay extra for it.

Somewhere along the way I forgot how thrilling it is to see bids come in and watch as the competitors dive in those last few minutes to pay a couple hundred dollars for something I managed to get for a killer deal under thirty! It's an adrenaline rush for a poor prego lady with very little excitement in her world!  Thanks for giving me something to do during these last couple of weeks of pregnancy. I now peruse the house thinking, "What can I sell next?" just so I can watch the bids come in. It's even better than posting something on Facebook and getting lots of comments and likes.

Anyway, I guess that's all I wanted to say.

Yours truly,

Monday, November 28, 2011

My Man Does Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was rather unique. C, whose many talents do not normally include cooking handled the meal for the first time ever.

Dinner consisted of yam casserole, turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, rolls, salad, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and more. He cooked, he served, and he cleaned while I kept my puffy feet up. As shown here, the normal puffy state of my feet and legs. It's kind of cool because you can push on my legs and they stay dented. The Cabbage Patch puffy state would really freak you out.

My dad and brother joined us for dinner, which was delightful. They left shortly after we ate so I could take a nap and watch a movie. It was the best day ever.
Black Yesterday was a perfectly golden day. We didn't race off to fist-fights and cat-fights over inexpensive electronics or camp out to purchase game consoles at 4:00 AM. We didn't drive angrily around treating other people like obstacles instead of human beings. We just took it easy and enjoyed the brisk, but sunny day.

For C's birthday I surprised him in bed with a Petit Four topped with a candle, presents, and his two biggest fans, Penny and Kawi. They really TRIED to get along, but wound up competing for his attention, Penny with kisses and snuggles, and Kawi with copycat yawns. Oh, and yes, that squawk at the beginning is Kawi telling Penny that he isn't happy she's snuggled up to HIS C.

Birdie Contraband

We have certain limitations around our house. There are some items that are simply forbidden because they create trauma for our little birds. One item is brightly colored gloves. Penny nearly had a heart attack when the man delivering our jetted tub showed up with orange gloves.

Balloons are spheres of terror. At both of my baby showers I had to leave this paraphernalia behind, much to the delight of young attendees. Despite my filtering efforts, the birds STILL got freaked out by the gift bags.

Finally, I can't tell you how many kind friends have brought over plants as gifts. Poinsettias are especially poisonous to our very curious little crew, and there are a few others that fall in that category as well. Silk plants are a favorite of Kawi's, but fortunately they do no harm.

On another note, Penny has finally adapted to her new corner stand (after several modifications), and I have finally been able to look at her without disdain lately because the stand catches most of her mess. We have decided to be friends after all.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What I'll Miss About Being Pregnant

  1. Feeling two little babies move around inside of me.
  2. The progesterone-Valium effect. Very little ruffles my feathers these days. God gave us progesterone so we could have healthy babies and then the happy hormones go away leaving a basketcase/sleep deprived individual? I am still hoping to get through part II safely. Time will tell.
  3. Knowing my babies are safe and secure, and knowing right where they are every minute of every day.
  4. Auto-pilot feedings via this nifty placenta-umbilical contraption.
  5. Feeling completely productive doing nothing because gestation takes so much energy and effort!

What I Won't Miss About Being Pregnant
  1. Dysfunctional Extremities (numb, swollen hands, swollen feet, legs that move like I am 99 years old)
  2. The inability to care for my own physical needs with normal length arms. I'll just leave it at that.
  3. Blurry vision. Sure, I'd love to work until the day I deliver if I could read my computer screen.
  4. Limited physical movement and energy. I can't wait to be able to bend at the waist again!
  5. Constant congestion and the need to wear Breathe Right Strips at night (the cheap ones don't work, trust me on this).
  6. Limitations on serious snuggle time with my best guy.
  7. People constantly asking me how I am doing or just looking at me and saying, "I'm SO sorry!" It's been a good ride overall, and while I may look tired on the outside, I am very happy on the inside. I'm not sorry, or unhappy.

I am so incredibly grateful for it all because it means wee little ones, tiny fingers and footed pajamas that kick-kick-kick, and the rustle of a plastic diaper on a dimpled bum, and the need to change both of our clothes many times a day because we have spit-up or something worse on us. It means tired, long nights of tiny lungs trying to communicate that something isn't quite right, and knowing that those newborn cries won't last very long, and that someday I'll wish desperately that I could hear them again and again. It means fingernails and tiny toes that are so little and perfect that I can't stop looking at them, and pink padded lips dreaming of their next meal while perfect little eyelashes rest on chubby cheeks.

I guess what I am saying is that while I'll miss a few things about being pregnant, I can't wait for the next step, or rather leap into motherhood, all of it times two.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Epistles of the Rotund

Epistle 1: The fate of the non-superstitious

Nuf said?

Epistle 2: 49 and growing
Yesterday was a busy day. I had several returns and visits to make, so C offered his running compression socks to keep my feet from swelling. Alas, if only you could see the circus act it takes for him to put them on me, you'd be rolling on the floor with laughter.

My urgent errands included purchasing a stand for Penny so I didn't lose it when she makes messes. She is our mess-making training for babies, but I am eager to contain her enthusiastic eating style where she flips and tosses food across the kitchen. Who brought her home in the first place? Aye, that'd be me. SIGH.

I measured in at 49" this morning, which for some reason means I can no longer shave my legs. It is a sad day indeed, but trade that for sliding into week 35 with two 5 1/2 lb babies? I'm sold.

Epistle 3: When Labor and Delivery becomes my private getaway

I now visit my OBGYN every week, get an ultrasound every week, AND visit labor and delivery at the hospital every week. Friday evening C was working on a talk for church, so I wandered down to L&D and enjoyed a lovely chat with a young nurse while listening to my babies' heartbeats and watching my contractions on the monitor. I then sipped some apple juice and watched a favorite TV show while texting C. It was really quite enjoyable.

After my appointment C texted that if I felt up to it, a late-night snack might be in order, so I ran down to Zupas for the first time and came home with a healthy collection of eats, just as a gentle snow storm was settling in.

Epistle 4: To my Peanut and Cricket
Dear little ones,

I want you to know that I found you the best daddy ever. He's going to love you even more than he can imagine right now. I looked long and hard for him, but at last I found him, and then we just had to wait for the two of you!

I am sure I'll make many mistakes as I try to be the best mother I can be, but I will always know that I did one thing right, and that was finding your daddy. It won't be hard to guess that he will be your favorite, and that's okay with me because if I wanted it to be any other way, I would have picked someone who isn't a real live superhero, or funny, or FUN! or exciting! He will protect you and care for you even if it means giving his own life for you. He wouldn't give it a second thought, because that's just who he is.

I just thought you'd like to know,

Your mom

Thursday, November 10, 2011

One More Week

Tomorrow is a big day. It marks week 33. One more week to 34. Week 34 is the day that I can stay in the hospital with my babies, the day they won't be whisked away from me. Week 34 is also the day that marks a significant drop in the average amount of time my babies will spend in the ICU, and the day that marks an almost certain survival rate for twins.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Swammp Thing meets Prince Charming

Yesterday morning I woke up before C. I brought him his favorite little bird, Penny, who nibbled on his ear in order to wake him up. Once she accomplished her objective, he rolled over and groped around for his phone. He pushed a few buttons and then held his phone toward me. A strange sound came from the phone, gurgling and growling, growing louder and angrier. It sounded like a badger, and then an angry bear, and then a combination of the Swamp Thing and an angry bear. Suddenly I laughed, "That's me, isn't it?" My snoring was so bad that C couldn't sleep. 100% more blood + 32 weeks prego = snoring monster.

Saturday was my second baby shower. It was a nice casual open house and mom made lovely soups and had a fabulous salad bar. Before I left, C was measuring the back of the baby mobile, and when I came home he had built a platform that fit in the back of the baby mobile. The double stroller slides beneath so that items may be easily loaded on top without losing storage space! Thanks, my handy inventor!

This morning C woke and without saying a word started diapering the stuffed animals in the baby's room where I was relaxing in the lazy boy. I had a good laugh as he put on quite the show, pretending to apply gobs of diaper rash cream and handing me newly diapered toys. How did I get so lucky!

Daylight savings meant I got to sleep more today. That was a happy thing for me, but someone forgot to tell our tiny birds that bedtime is now an hour later. Kawi was acting funny and preening C's socks of fuzz balls before I realized that he was exhausted and ready to go to bed despite what the clock said. Poor little guy! He seems to operate best on about 13 hours of sleep per night.

 At church I bore my testimony (an expression of my beliefs) since it could be several months before I get around to it again, depending on when the girls arrive. When I turned sideways to walk to the pulpit I heard a few gasps at my impressive side profile, somewhere between sympathy and alarm. Gotta love it. Still, everyone is extremely impressed that I have managed to stay off of bed rest, and I am just eager to keep it that way!

Friday, November 4, 2011

There's a Hole in the Bathroom, Dear Liza, Dear Liza...

My resident detective discovered a receipt for a small vanilla cone in the back of the new baby-mobile (vehicle, that is). "Huh, the previous owners must have left this in here." He thought. He walked up the stairs to the kitchen and shouted, "Egad! You did have an ice cream cone!" Crumbling under the pressure of being discovered I asked how he knew. "The corn dog coupon for Sonic on the counter." Alas, my forensic husband knows me well.
I just sent my brother to bed for a nap. I picked him up early to pick up a Christmas Tree tag, and we drove up the canyon, enjoying a beautiful golden morning only to find that they were sold out. Returning home we ate and after playing a computer game together, he grew very grumpy. He resisted the nap, but only momentarily.
I, too am attempting a nap in the baby room because there is too much action happening in my bedroom. The sound of a 16 penny framing nailgun echoes through my bedroom and a few bees have started exploring my bathroom as potential winter quarters. I hate to tell them of their imminent doom. Despite the large hole in the side of my house where the new window will go, I am delighted to have this final bathroom under construction. The 6' jetted tub is shrink-wrapped and waiting to settle into its permanent home once the window is complete. Photobucket

This week we also installed a dimmer switch in the nursery. This also means I need to stock up on soon-to-be-illegal incandescent light bulbs since those stupid florescent bulbs don't dim and make a horrible buzzing sound. What a rude awakening the U.S. will have when that sneaky law discontinues production of incandescents in favor of the ozone. You'd think they would have at least attempted to find a suitable solution first, but thinking things through isn't everyone's strong suit.

Our candy-free Halloween was once again a success. Despite the fact that adults may think it's lame to hand out playdough, kids card games, plastic wands, vampire teeth and other trinkets, kids dig it. "You guys are the coolest!" I think they just like the idea that it's different... or something. Can't really say, but we didn't get a single kid who acted even remotely disappointed.
The worst comment we got was, "Argh. Why do you have to make it so hard to CHOOSE!" This as the child mulled over the mini jacks set, the little parachute dude, and the mini slinky. Mario and Luigi came back for a second round of "prizes," but we didn't mind. They were so darn cute. Photobucket

And last but not least, Cricket and Peanut were delightful this week. They seem to get more and more active every day, despite their shrinking environment. Cricket had the ultrasound tech scrambing to take pics as she put on quite the show, and when we left, she said, "You have to know these are the CUTEST pictures. Really!" Cricket opened her eyes, sucked her thumb, stuck her foot in her mouth, yawned and more during her US this week. She has been stretched horizontally across my torso with her head on my left and her bum on my right side, and kicks like Thumper in Bambi.


The photo below shows her snuggled up next to Peanut's head, despite being separated by the placenta, sucking her little thumb. Photobucket

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I Asked For It.

Life is a dream. I know you think I am only saying that because I am so sleep deprived that I walk around in a sleepless stupor every day, but truly, it is. Even when I went shopping yesterday (one of my last guilty pleasures, since C will be the doing shopping now), and the woman checking me out looked at my uncomfortable 46 inch circumference and said, "I'm sorry," I thought, I wanted this. I asked for it. It's my dream come true to be expecting A BABY, let along TWO!
This morning after a sleepless night during which I tearfully read the NICU chapter in my multiples baby book, I stumbled out of bed at 10 AM into the loving arms of my husband who told me how beautiful I looked. I finally made it into the shower and looked down to find a pristine bathtub scrubbed pumice stone to porcelain by my prince charming and that terrible ring around the drain that I firmly believed was permanent was GONE. I almost cried with joy and couldn't thank him enough for my clean tub AND my clean toilets! Alas, with the water softener, we won't have hard-water battles ahead of us, but six years of mineral water damage takes a little time to resolve.
I sat in church next to my hubby who gently rubbed my belly where little Cricket's head and bum are located. They respond to gentle touches and seem to like music also. Peanut kicked excitedly during some of the music. No, not making this up. Studies show that at this stage babies do respond to music and to light changes from natural light to artificial light.

This is my happily ever after, sure to be filled with tears and aches and pains and even heartache, but what fairy tale is free from those things? The wait has been worthwhile. The discomfort is priceless. Even the scars from giving birth will be tokens of the miracles with which we have been blessed. Every moment of this journey is splendid and magnificent, stretching my foggy pregnant mind in ways that I never thought possible. Here's to gratitude for the journey, no matter the outcome, no matter the struggles that lie ahead. Here's to my personal glorious storybook tale with prince charming and two wonderful little maidens on the way.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Penny likes to bully Kawi. It's a conure thing, I'm pretty sure. She is very sweet, cuddly, and very bossy and territorial. One day I found Kawi in the garbage can because Penny wanted his stand. Despite his attempts to ward her off, she continues to win the battle for Kawi's bathroom stand unless we intervene. Here is a video of her getting caught in the act of invasion:

Thursday, October 27, 2011


At Walmart while picking up taco shells for dinner tonight:

Woman in line behind me, cold turkey: Do you mind if I ask you when you are expecting?

Me to myself: If I say December, she may drop over dead.
Me to woman in line: Uh, I have twins, so, not until December.

Woman in line: Oooohhhh... I was going to say, either she's buying her last meal before she delivers or...

Me: Yeah, people used to look at my cute little belly, but now they just look worried when they see me.

Woman in line and cashier and others in line, laughing. As I walk off they all talk about how huge I am. Really, but it's nothing to get your feelings hurt over, it's just the truth.

Tonight, while getting ready for bed:

Me: So, help me understand what happened last night with the toilet paper...

C: Well, I meant to replace it, but then I just got busy and forgot. I didn't mean to...

Me: I know, that's why I thought I'd ask when I was calm and didn't feel like killing anyone.

Flashback to last night: Me, making my usual nightly bathroom run. No TP. Not even a square. Not even a cardboard roll. Me, marching through the bedroom, exclaiming to my very asleep husband at 3AM, "When the TP is OUT, you REPLACE it!" 

Bear in mind that this is after four very sleepless nights and much sleep deprivation. C puts dates on the air filters, oil filters, and water filters in the house and changes them right on time. This is a very considerate man who does not leave something undone because he's being lazy, but logic like that doesn't kick in for a paperless pregnant woman at 3AM.

C is running a 5K this weekend. Not running IN a 5K, but he's in charge of it. Organizing it. I helped out a wee bit and purchased a couple of items for him on my Walmart shuffle. It's fun to see him getting the route and supplies ready and I think he's enjoying it as well.

Well, it looks like we are getting our baby-friendly car tomorrow. One more item out of the way. Our bathroom remodel has been delayed due to a window mix-up. It won't arrive until next week, which sets us back a bit, but C will have time to tear out part of our fence to make room for the new shed, so it should work out okay. Everything seems to be moving so quickly around me these days, and I just move slower and slower.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Little Kicker

I just might have one of these inside of me:

Remember Cricket? If you don't, this is her latest portrait, in which she was rather wiggley, so it didn't come out especially clean:

It was better than her sister Peanut, who we couldn't get a shot of at all. She was cuddled up behind Cricket, and right after the photo, Cricket turned around to cuddle Peanut as well.

If there is one thing I have learned about Cricket, it's that she loves to kick. Every time we visit a nurse I warn them, "As soon as you put monitors on her, she'll kick them." They smile and nod, and then for the next five minutes all you can hear is Cricket kicking the monitor.

"You weren't kidding!" They say. That's my little kicker. Sometimes if I get my laptop too close to her while working, she kicks it too. I guess when you have limited space, you are willing to fight for what you have. No wonder Peanut is curled up at the very bottom of my uterus - I am not sure she had an option. At least they are in separate placentas, or who knows what we'd have.

For those interested in the latest belly shot, measuring 45" in circumference, here she is, although C claims that it doesn't do justice to just how big my belly is:

Finally, I think our newest hobby is spending money, only not on anything fun. We have most of the baby items, but now we are buying exciting items like new door handles, a water softener, a shed to make more space inside of the house, and remodeling supplies for the bathroom. Two days ago C sold his little Jetta, and we are getting close to nailing down our new-to-us baby vehicle. We found a car that is two years old, but only has 18K miles and is still under warranty. C's requirement is AWD for safety, and mine is V6 for gumption. The previous owner drove it just to work and back, so we feel lucky to have found something with minimal wear. While it isn't much for bling, it should be a reliable vehicle for years to come.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

No Sugar for Cain

Dear Mr. Cain,

I appreciate your enthusiastic approach to solving financial problems for the nation, however, let me say that it seems troubling that part of your solution involves tacking almost 10% tax on food. It seems unwise in my opinion to exacerbate the issue of poverty (an issue you should understand, given your childhood circumstances) by adding malnutrition to the mix. We already have enough people struggling to buy food for their families without inflating food taxes.

On that note, may I recommend a different financial adviser than a small-town Ohio banker to help solve the nation's debt problems? Were he a bit more experienced on these matters, he might have pointed out that low-income families would experience a tax increase of almost 85%, while most of us would see a 10% increase in taxes on average...except for the wealthy, that is. They'd be getting a pretty good deal with this plan. You are a mathematician, sir. Certainly you have to take these things into account.

While it doesn't take a rocket scientist to run this nation (which I respectfully recognize you have been), it does take a bit more thought than what seems to have been invested in your pre-presidential fiscal plans.

Best Regards,

Monday, October 24, 2011

Once Upon a Spoonful of Brewer's Yeast

This video hit disturbingly close to home.

Grandma was a nurse. When we visited her, she felt it was her sworn duty to detox us from the white bread and sugar we often ate at home. Do you know what happens when you feed a kid whole wheat when they are used to white? One word: fiber.

She had a glass blender on her counter in which she tossed ingredients like dandelion greens to make green smoothies. I remember her admiring a huge dandelion on a neighbor's lawn and asking for an instrument to dig it out of the ground so she could take it home.

Whenever we were grumpy or tired, she offered us applesauce, but it always tasted funny (due to the vitamin C tablets she crushed up in each dish). Her soybean (the primary ingredient in tofu) cheesecake often went untouched at family events, and candy or sugar of any kind was forbidden inside of the walls of her home.

Brewer's yeast was called "happy juice" in my home, because it made kids happy, er, at least those who would drink it. Yep, I was the kid who ate all of the healthy food and liked it. For those who don't know, Brewer's yeast is the primary ingredient in B Vitamin complex. I don't know about it removing warts like this video claims, but it often made you break out when you started taking it, and if you kept taking it, it kept your complexion clear.

Some of that healthy-stuff rubbed off on my dad. We had a capsule maker at home, and these were often filled with Barley Green, Bee Pollen, Golden Seal, or some other cure-all of the week. The handful of pills plunked down on the table in the video above was not an unlikely site, although we always maintained our own will on the matter.

I personally never got into the pill-ordeal, as exciting as it might seem, except to help fill capsules for my dad, and nobody in my family got into the bubble mushroom tea, although a woman I lived with did. That was just weird.  These days it's essential oils, which I still don't subscribe to, but to each their own. That's what makes this a free country, with liberty to follow health fads for all!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Of Diaper Cakes and Dimpled Feet

You know how after a long, hard day at work, you can't wait to take off some uncomfortable clothing item like shoes, or nylons, or other three-letter unmentionables? Yesterday I had the odd sensation of, "Whew! My workday is done. I can finally take off this enormous belly!" Only then I realized that I couldn't, see?

We have been the recipients of four lovely diaper cakes. As I have mentioned before, diapers are about to become as essential to us as lifeblood, so receiving diapers is a reasonably important event. The key is knowing how long a baby will be in a particular size of diaper, and since diaper cakes aren't something you can return to the store if you get too many of a particular size, one is always grateful to receive larger sizes of diapers.

Newborn size usually only lasts for about a week, and we have that one covered so far with several packages of newborn diapers and a newborn diaper cake. With twins they could be in that size a bit longer, but you get the point. Ah, but it's so much fun to buy the newborn items. I have been there, only now I "get" why newborn shower gifts, while popular, are not always the most helpful. Keep the tags on, because you might want to swap those clothes for a bigger size later.

Finally, while serving a mission I met a young couple who were expecting. The man was dashingly handsome and the wife was, well... big and somewhat puffy. I remember the woman sitting with her feet up when we came to visit, and showing us how when you pushed on her skin, it remained dimpled - er, dented. It just stayed like that. I left that area for a while and when I returned, there was their new little baby girl and a very skinny little wife. Water retention is a bear.

These days I find myself in the same boat as this young mother, big (as in people stare when I walk past them) and puffy. I have some very helpful individuals who seem to think that my puffy feet require some great advice about exercise during pregnancy. To these I gently and kindly mention that I was rather actively engaged in exercise until
A. I realized that it was causing contractions,
B. My feet and hands started to swell during the activities they have suggested, and
C. My doc told me not to.

I have thus far managed to suppress my inside voice that wants to say, "Dude, I'm not fat, I'm pregnant with twins!" Alas, those who have actually had twins often comment on how small and mobile I still am, and are impressed I haven't yet been confined to bed rest.
The secret to my success? I have an awesome husband who has voluntarily and willingly taken on (along with remodeling the master bath, yard care, and a list of other tasks) dishes, laundry, cleaning up after the birds, sweeping, vacuuming, shopping and more WHILE fighting a cold. He is often heard to tell me not to do anything that he can do for me, and to go put my feet up and relax. I tried to sweep the kitchen yesterday and was firmly chastised. What a nice guy. Can we say whoop? WHOOP! Whoop? WHOOP!!! Yep, I landed a winner. He's my hero.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Let's Face it...

Mom is planning another shower for me. She texted me and asked if 4:00 PM was okay. I thought about the expectations of a meal around 4:00, and suggested 2:00. Her response? She wanted to hold an elegant dinner for me. Well, so much for making her life easier. I have a feeling it will be full-blown antique crystal. I love the ancestral crystal. It's beautiful and elegant, but always makes me worry when we use it. Once we had one of the Lost Boys from Sudan over for Thanksgiving at her home, and he looked even more nervous at the paper-thin stemware.

It's a funny thing. With a mother who spares no effort at elaborate celebrations, you'd think that some of that would have rubbed off on me. My sparse household and holiday decorations say otherwise.

Today mom texted me: Are you on bedrest? People are asking.

Me: Not on bedrest. Babies and I are fine.

Why would people ask this, I thought. Then I went to church and heard about this person and that person who are already on bedrest, and are not as far along as I am. I guess me being almost 30 weeks along gives cause for concern.

The people at church are very caring. I am trying to learn how to cope with very caring. I once told my mom that I am no good at giving or receiving "there-theres." Some people love all of the attention, and want the world checking in on them and fussing over them. I am not of that species. I am not above asking for help when I really need it, but I am also not going to ask for help if I don't need it. I'll just leave it at that.

I finished Baby Wise this morning. I had it on Kindle on my iPhone, so it has been my sleepless night reading for the past couple of months. One bit of advice I really appreciated was this: don't have family come to visit (as in stay with you) until babies are 2 weeks old. That way, you have an established routine and you are confident with what you are doing, and you can counteract their well meaning advice. A friend shared a perfect example of this with me, so I am a believer.

Finally, you should know that my waist has grown almost 20 inches. 20 inches, and still two months to go! C is a bit astounded that a human body is able to stretch like this, supportive and kind as he is. I just hope I don't have to buy more maternity clothes. This is getting expensive.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Past Week Prep:

I picked up the stroller yesterday, and the changing pad. Did I mention that my box of 84 diapers will last a week? Times 52.

I bought jersey sheets for the crib. Six of them.

A friend gave me a bag of used clothes and I sorted them by age, and then thought about buying bins to keep them organized.

I had the car seat inspected. The inspector was very pleased that we bought the big seat rather than the infant carrier because they grow out of those tiny things so fast, and they are supposed to be rear facing for two years! Did not know!

I scheduled an appointment to meet a pediatrician. Did you know you are supposed to have a pede before the babies are born? I did not know these things...

I ordered a mobile online at 5 AM this morning. It's a Tiny Love Developmental mobile, but much cheaper on Amazon. Brain stimuli = good for babies.

I also found my baby monitor:

I know, I am such a nerd for loving a baby monitor that let's my Skype my girls.

I really need to do something besides prep for babies... okay, my next entry is going to spotlight our bathroom remodel.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Of Caesar and Stretch Armstrong

"The Caesarean section operation did not derive its name from the fact that Julius Caesar was supposedly born in this manner. It was called Caesarean because the Roman, or Caesarean, law demanded that when a pregnant woman died, her body could not be buried until the child had been removed. The law also stipulated that a Caesarean section could not be performed on a living pregnant woman until the tenth month of gestation. Ancient physicians were unable to save the life of the mother in such cases, thus the procedure was rarely performed. We know from ancient sources that Julius Caesar could not have been born by Caesarean section, because his mother lived to be an adviser to her grown son."

Two things that a pregnant woman should not do while her husband is out of town:
1. Read about C-sections in her pregnancy books and
2. Discover that she has acquired stretch marks.

As it turns out, my odds for a C-section are reasonably good. 50% good, in fact. I am starting to stare that fact in the face, knife and all. There are some positives here. First, women are often disappointed because they can't tell when the actual birth happens. By talking about it with your doc ahead of time, you can request a narrated surgery so you know the moment each child is born. Second, you can request that the drape be dropped for a moment enough to see your little one after it is removed from the womb, and then ask that the little one be handed to your husband (who is allowed to sit behind the drape with you) so you can at least see him holding the baby/babies even though you won't be allowed to hold them until after the surgery is complete.

There are some other considerations as well, but I am trying to look on the bright side. I have been slated for a vaginal delivery, but my little Peanut has six weeks to rotate, and has been in the same position for the past six weeks. While I am hopeful, I am not an idiot. SIGH. The last part of the chapter encourages one to focus on all of the beautiful happy times and years ahead rather than the mode of delivery, so that's good advice. Envision the beyond moments. I have a pretty awesome imagination, so that will come in handy.

It's been a few weeks since people have seen me, so at my shower there were plenty of big eyes looking at my expanding belly. I'll have to put some pics up soon. Did I mention that I had to get more maternity clothes because I outgrew the ones I had? I am no longer the "cute" prego lady, although everyone still tells me how great I look, I am now the ever-expanding prego lady. People just look at me and say, "Twins, right?" Thankfully I can confirm that.

With all of this expansion, I have been very diligent with my collagen/elastin/vitamin E lotion regimen for stretch marks, only I somehow forgot my underbelly. Wise to look in the mirror as you lather up with lotion, friends, because my underbelly got missed and it shows. I wonder if women in the bible ever worried about stretch marks. I just have to remember: that section of my body may look a lot worse when it's over, scar and all, so I just need to let it go. I have better things to worry about.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Penny Encounters a Penny

Shower Power

C's grandparents added this new piece of artwork in their bathroom. I think I love it.

The ward shower was great today. I think one of my favorite parts was the words of wisdom shared. They were very touching, It was so nice to hear and read the kind words from so many sisters. Tonight I finished half of the thank you notes for the many kind and generous gifts. I hope to get through the rest tomorrow. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

This n' That

I listened to Kawi as he spent 5-10 minutes making nose-blowing sounds in his cage this week. I think my pregnancy sinus issues are getting to him. Also, when we are outside on the hammock and a scary butterfly floats by, Kawi uses my huge belly as a barrier to hide behind. See what I've been reduced to?

I am beginning to understand what a bowling ball feels like, both when eating and sleeping. Today I knocked a container of pineapple tartar sauce onto the floor when getting up from a restaurant table, and it splashed onto my pants. I just kept walking, and cleaned up when I got to the car. Also, I totally get what a hamster ball feels like. Rolling is the best (and often only) way to get out of bed these days, and sometimes I think those kicks and wiggles sabotage my efforts to move in the right direction.

I have a rational fear of getting stuck on the floor and being unable to get back up. This week while buying paint for the fence, C called my cell phone. I explained that I should be able to help with some of the painting, and he suggested I spend time in my garden instead. "Er, bending over is a little difficult for me these days..." I explained while a crowd of people at the paint counter looked on. At the grocery store this week, the clerk smiled at my bulging belly and said, "Anytime now?" I smiled back and told her I still had more than two months to go.

Today I had the safety department show me how to install our car seats, and I came to the conclusion that they are NOT going to fit in our car.

Unless we both want to kiss the dashboard, that is...

We have been looking at Crossovers for options already, but this conclusion moves the priority up a bit on the backlog of projects to be completed in pre-baby time including a shed, a bath remodel, a water softener, fence painting, and {I wish} a deck??? Okay, so the deck just isn't going to make it this iterative release. Somehow a garbage can enclosure made it onto the list, due to additional space needed in the garage. So be it, but C, you are not off the hook with that deck forever. You say it's my project, but as project manager, I hire you as lead contractor. So there.

Tomorrow is my baby shower and I'm not sure what to expect. Sure, I have attended showers before, but of course, never for me. They can be lots of fun, but since I am the primary president of almost 100 children, the children have also been invited to the shower/celebration of our baby girls. I can honestly say that I have never attended a shower with children in attendance, so it will be a new experience. There will be no juicy breastfeeding or child-birthing stories shared at this shower, I assure you. Also, I am usually the one planning events for other people, so oddly, I feel a little uncomfortable just showing up to something being held on my behalf without any effort on my part. These are very kind people, and I am sure it will be a wonderful experience.

Well, that's all my mushy brain can contribute for now folks. May all good things come your way!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Late Night Rendezvous with Technology

3 AM: I wake. I reach for my iPhone to play a few rounds of glass blocks to help lull me back to sleep, but this waking is fatal. I am up for the count. I Skype my friend who just moved to the Philippines on my iPhone, and she decides to Skype call, which is great, minus the sleeping man in bed with me. I get up, throw on a polar fleece for decency, and can't figure out how my phone can Skype call out, so I ask her to call again. There on my phone is her bright, beautiful face lit by daylight. I hunker down in the living room for a savory chat, catching up on her new accommodations and even getting a tour of the view from their high-rise apartment by her husband. Nobody afraid of heights should live in that building! I showed her the crib C put together the night before, and then she got off to make dinner. It's just really cool to have a friend to talk to at 3 AM!

I decided to eat a swatch of breakfast, and settled down to do some work. I worked on some rather tedious but critical verification, and then decided to post a job on Facebook. Since the majority of my time on FB is used to connect and network with others in my industry (yes, I do LinkedIn as well), I had several responses to my job offer even in those wee hours. No doubt those in my industry are saying, "It's just like her to post a job on Facebook." What can I say, I network with some real A-Players, and what better way to gauge interest in a position than reach out to those you know are competent and capable? The results exceeded my expectations.

I finally wandered back to bed around 6 AM, just in time to hear C's alarm go off as I snuggled in next to his warm sleepy self. The next thing I knew he was dressed for the day and leaning close for a prayer and a goodbye. As he left the room I excitedly told him about how Bruce showed me the golf course and sunset in the Philippines, and how Becca told me all about how things were going. "Go back to sleep," he said softly, and I did.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Baby Ethics

Crib Craze
It's amazing how many people suddenly weigh in with opinions when you are about to have your first child. With twins, one of those ethical dilemmas is the crib. I can't tell you how many people have adopted a stern and serious look when I mentioned that the "cribs" were arriving (we pick them up today - YEAH!). They proceed to ask if we are going to keep the twins in separate cribs. Sigh. These cribs convert into beds, and since twins can't sleep together forever, we purchased two of the same, with plans to use one for as long as we can. Why people feel the right to know this, or have some opinion on how our babies sleep is beyond me. The naughty me wants to say, "Crib? They are going to sleep in our dresser drawers for the first few months."

Bottles and Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is another issue. Indeed, I never considered NOT breastfeeding, and would be devastated if I couldn't, but with twins, it's completely logical to me to pump into bottles in addition to skin-to-skin. I really don't care what anyone else thinks about that. They will still get tender loving care and the best nutrition possible (and others will get to help feed them), but the minute you mention the word "bottle," the reaction can be rather interesting.

With a mother who was a pioneer in La Leche League at a time when breastfeeding was considered taboo, one would think that she would be the one turning up the heat, but not so. Thanks, ma, for helping change the world for the improved health of infants at a time when health professionals didn't get it. Now they really get it, and all of that hard work has changed the landscape of infant nutrition! Also, thanks for committing to never judge someone's feeding choice. That's just commendable for one who was on the receiving end of so much criticism for breastfeeding and laying the foundation for women to breastfeed in public without being charged for indecent exposure!

Alcohol vs. Drugs
We attended our last prenatal class last night. I am sure C asked over and over in his mind why I wanted him to come to that class with me, but there he was, tending to one of our two baby dolls as if it were the real thing. Later he explained, "I just wanted to prove to you that if I can hold and take care of a fake baby for 2.5 hours, I can take care of a real one for at least 10-15 minutes!"

He leaned over after the first two hours and said, "I am bored out of my mind, and the answer to every single question is, 'it depends!'" I laughed because he was right.

When he later mentioned that he never heard the answer to how augmentation impacted breastfeeding, I said, "You were sending an e-mail when she gave the answer. It was, 'It depends.'"

When discussing the ability for Rx drugs to cross into breastmilk, the lactation specialist comforted everyone by explaining that very few drugs do cross over. C, who appreciates a good controversy asked, "What about alcohol?" Everyone in the room stared, including the lactation specialist. She sternly mumbled something about all of it crossing over. My public self wanted to deflect the searing stares by explaining that neither of us drink alcohol, but I just absorbed it all with a sigh. C wasn't impressed with the "alcohol-bad, drugs-good" message conveyed in the meeting, since prescription drugs are abused rather prevalently in our culture.

Parenthood sure opens up a can of rainbow colored worms, and while we are huge advocates for privacy, we are also learning how to adapt to the varying opinions floating around about what's right. A good friend put it like this, "They are your responsibility, so while everyone else will have an opinion, it's up to you to make sure your babies get what they need."

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Forever Preparing


Imagine spending twelve years preparing for something that never happens, and when it is finally about to happen, you feel so incredibly unprepared that preparation becomes an obsession. With only months between today and the day that your whole life will change, you find yourself running through the veritable checklist that will inevitably not include some essential item.

To make things worse, it will be wintertime, you will have two babies susceptible to RSV season, and you likely won't be very mobile for the first two or three months. Talk about life changes. You don't only want to prepare for the first few days, but rather the first few months.

You have in your arsenal two huge boxes of wipes, but diapers? You aren't sure how big they'll arrive or how fast they'll grow, so you aren't sure how long they'll be in newborn diapers, and how many should you have? A box of 84 diapers won't go very far with twins at 16 diapers a day. That's only like a week's worth of diapers! We are talking about $25/week for diapers; that's $1300/year! Holy Guacamole! Don't tell C, though. That's just frightening. I am already celebrating the day we are potty trained.

Oh, and did you know that the average time for twins to deliver is 35 weeks? That's Thanksgiving. That's a little over seven weeks away. Oh my. So here's to happy swooning over our lives drastically changing in just a matter of weeks.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Cool, Calm, Collected Killer

Last night I wandered into the garage to find that I had left a light on in the car. I must have bumped it while running errands earlier. I had several items to carry into the house, and had left the door propped open while carrying items up and down the stairs, a mistake that came with consequences.

After turning off the car light, I wandered into a downstairs guest bedroom and was surprised to discover... a guest! We have had one such guest before, beckoned inside by that same door propped open. My surprise did not rattle me, however. You see, I know how to kill.


I gently placed the bait and then stood very still while my little guest ate piece after piece of the tiny green morsels. I heard that a bit of water will speed up the internal bleeding, so I even left a bottle cap of water near the bait. Cruel? Inhumane? Heartless? It had to be done.

Crossing Over

I have thought about this post for quite some time, and the easy thing to do would be not to say anything. While I may invite some criticism and verbal fire, I have to say this. There is a difference between how you are treated being childless vs. having (or expecting) children.

There really IS a magical line you cross, some rite of passage, some special unwritten club membership you receive upon getting pregnant. When you are childless, you sense that line is there, but you can't quite put your finger on it. It doesn't exist with everyone. There are those who manage to make it less apparent or invisible entirely, but as one who has recently crossed the line from a long barren drought, I say, it really does exist.

The reasons it exists could be greatly varied. I am sure it isn't an intentional exclusion. It isn't a conspiracy. It isn't that women who have babies are intentionally trying to shut out those who don't. It isn't some evil ploy, rather an unintentional clique. I suspect it has something to do with feeling like others can relate to them, and they have something in common. There are women in this world whose entire existence is consumed by child-rearing, and when they try to relate to someone who isn't experiencing or pursuing child-rearing (for whatever reason, intentional or unintentional), they are at a loss for words. They just can't connect. Unfortunately this can come off as being judgmental or aloof.

There are also those, I am sure, who find themselves unhappy in their parenting circumstances, and may be experiencing some self-loathing. When you aren't loving yourself, you sure aren't going to be able to share the love with anyone else! This is likely the exception, and not the rule, but maybe there are those who envy the childless, strange as it may seem. I know I personally have experienced firsthand the comments of close friends who literally, and rather vindictively said, "I can't wait to see YOU suffer." I wanted to reply, "I'd love to, if it would mean having children!"

Maybe they felt that I was judging them in their parenting (which I wasn't), or perhaps they just felt insecure about what they were doing. I can't really explain why someone would say something like that. Of course parenting isn't easy, but nobody should wish ill tidings upon a friend. Children are a blessing, despite the struggle they may inflict at times. Also, it's unfair to assume that one has not suffered simply because they have not had children. Indeed, not having children is a blistering fire of its own that a woman with children may never come close to experiencing.

Well, there. I have said it. There are those who will deny, or argue the point, but I feel I have genuinely been fair to both parties, childless and with child. It just had to be said. I just hope that I may be one of those friends that will never alienate a friend, no matter their status, parent or no.

It Happens Every Year

We have a pear tree. Just one. It's older than both of us put together, and when our arborist examined it, he was amazed it was still alive. The funny part is that it bears the most beautiful and delicious large pears in huge quantities. It's my favorite fruit tree on our property.

Each week C mows the lawn without fail. Before mowing, the fallen apples and pears must be picked up. The apples are often rather wormy, and inevitably several are lost before they are ripe, but the pears are a different story. They drop just before they are ready, so in a day or two, they reach the peak of perfection. It's a race to see if I can beat C to the punch and stow the pears in the garage long enough for them to ripen, but before the fruitflies take flight. Once the fruitflies appear, C wants to throw the pears away.

Here is the funny part. If I can manage to beat the odds, ripen those pears and dry them, C eats them like candy. You can't buy dried pears like this in the store, no sulphur, no sugar, just perfectly sweet dried pears dipped in lemon juice.

This year something different happened. After the first batch of dried pears (picked up with my robot arm because I can't bend over), C was suddenly motivated to save the pears in the garage for me! I guess along with all of that daddy growing up, some things are bound to change. Oh, and my yield of dried pears this year? At least thrice what it was in years past, and we aren't even done yet.

Oh, one more thing you should know, this was a great movie:

Thanks for playing! :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Twenty Happy Toes

Today I received the following text:

C: Please set up an appointment for tonight (or right now) to get a foot massage and pedi! No buts.
Me: For you?
C: Ha! For YOU! If I have to sit next to you I will, but you must get one!

I found a nearby spa that does Reflexology, and we were off for a couple's massage. We soaked in grapefruit oil, had our feet scrubbed, and then went to a candle-lit couple's retreat where we rested on massage beds while our feet received the royal treatment. Ah, my puffy cabbage-patch feet were happy, and C's? If falling asleep is any indicator of how relaxed he was, I'd say he enjoyed it quite a bit.

Peanut and Cricket have been very active lately. One of my favorite activities is watching my stomach jump around on its own. I never tire of feeling my little kickboxing babies. It never gets old. I just smile, even late at night.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Somehow he knows...

C recently had an "incident." If there is anyone who despises attention and drama, it is C, but there it was. After a long week of late nights, early mornings, driving for several hours, and then running a strenuous race with his nephew (having arranged for a special push bar for his nephew's wheelchair), C almost passed out while giving a talk at church. He quickly and abruptly sat down, and I sat there in the congregation perplexed as to what to do. Do I rush up to see if he's okay? Everyone is watching to see what I'll do, and if I rush up there, it will draw even more attention to him.

Instead I rushed to the primary room to gather chairs for the last primary program practice, and then spent the next two hours stuck on the stage running the primary program. I was a bit over-eager to see him that evening when finally he arrived home. I fed him scratch chicken noodle and put him to bed. After sleeping from about 6 PM til the next morning, he seemed to be refreshed and revived again. "You tried to be me last week." I later said to him, me being famous for over-doing it.

"And I couldn't handle it!" He said. We both had a good laugh over it. It has been nice to shift attention off of me for a while. Everyone I see now asks about him instead of me.

Today C texted me, "Want to do something fun tonight?" I had my last VT appointment around 5:30, but was eager to get out and do something. Later he texted and said that he knew just what we could do: go clothes shopping! I almost cried. That morning I had tried to put on a reasonably new pair of jeans. They were fine until I sat down. My belly has grown so big, that even though my pants fit fine everywhere else, the place where the belly band ends cuts like a knife into me. Most of my maternity shirts no longer cover my belly, and I have months left to grow!

That evening C was the best friend ever, picking out comfy and cute clothes, helping me try them on and take them off, holding my purse and waiting while I ran to the bathroom, and saying all of the right things when I exclaimed that I looked like unto an elephant in the mirror. I couldn't be more lucky to have a best friend like that, and to top it off, he is my husband too!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We Named Them...

Okay, you've had enough pictures for a little while. This one is just boring old text. Maybe some pics, we'll see.

I went to the doc - I should say WE... WE went to the doc, although the doc was late, so WE got the ultrasound and saw the nurse and then I waited and waited and waited and finally sent C off to work. Alas, the doc arrived (a loaner doc, since mine just had a baby) and told me that my babies were the absolute perfect weight. "Whatever you're doing, keep doing it! It's hard to keep twins at the right weight!"

They are one ounce apart in size, which is rare, and not too big, not too small, just perfect! "Well, I do eat Ben and Jerry's sometimes..." That didn't go over quite so well. For some reason, doctors feel it is morally wrong to endorse Ben and Jerry's, but I am sure they are thinking about someone other than me when images of icecream indulging pregnant women flash through their mind. That isn't, nor ever has been THIS woman. We are talking, 1/2 cup maybe twice a week. Reasonable fatty caloric intake to make up for the spinach salad, lean meat, whole grains, and fruit I ate for dinner. So C tells me that what I didn't tell the doc was all of the healthy food I am eating, and that's what really is getting these girls to where they need to be, but that's no fun.

We have had some fun with the twins lately. I read in a baby book that we should name them to help them seem more real. They are, after all, real. We aren't ready for real names, however, but Baby A and Baby B are a little too generic. Introducing our affectionately nicknamed baby girls, Cricket:


and Peanut:

Aren't those little lips so precious, and their little squishy noses with no cartilage in them yet? Chalk it up to 3-D imaging to make those hands look all funky, though. We are pretty excited. This morning, after a real live night of sleep (something I haven't experienced for weeks), C came over to me and started talking. As soon as she heard his voice, little Cricket started kicking. She is going to be very active for sure, and probably a Daddy's girl.

I had a dream last night that I gave birth. We have been attending child birth classes and much to the dismay of my better half, we have also had the pleasure of viewing birthing videos, including a rather detailed C-section. It is my deepest desire to have these babies without having major abdominal surgery, and in my dream last night I was able to give birth without complications. May it be so, oh, may it be so!

If you have ever met one of those Apocalypse fanatics that have a bomb shelter in their backyard and stockpile supplies like mad, that is now me. I don't just cook one pot roast, I cook 2, and then I stick one in the freezer. I make a pot of scratch chicken noodle soup, and stick half in the freezer. See, once upon a time someone promised to bring me a meal. I was tempted to make my own, but resisted. They never showed up. How silly to get upset about something like that, so I have a back-up plan. I am cooking for myself for later, when I am a total wreck and wish I had me to cook for me.

Well, Sleep is calling, that elusive pimpernel. I better push publish or yet another post will fail to see the light of day (I have a graveyard of unpublished posts). Adieu!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Blackberry Festival: Of the Edible Kind

From Seattle you may hop the ferry to Bainbridge, Bremerton,or even Victoria. Because I wanted to visit Yang's Botanical, we opted for Bremerton and landed ourselves smack dab in the middle of the blackberry Festival.
You must know that blackberries grow like weeds throughout Washington state, along almost every road. This makes it rather inexpensive to whip up a batch of soft blackberry brew, but I still wasn't convinced there were any blackberries in it.
We resisted the urge for a fried Twinkie,
and instead opted for something we knew had blackberries in it.
In addition to delectable fare, there was plenty of eye-candy, like this spidey halter top, a must have for every wardrobe.
The offerings were colorful and varied, appealing to every age group of the feminine kind.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Going Botanical

Welcome to my first late-night feeding of the twins. I have made it this far without needing to eat outside of the normal grazing hours. Hopefully this isn't a pattern.

Last night we watched Thor. I must confess, we both enjoyed the film and the fact that it was a clean movie. Clean movies are hard to find these days. The actor playing Thor had his shirt off for a minute and I told C that he was my ripped Thor. Nay, he is even better than Thor. He not only practiced kissing my hand to make me melt, but he also spent much of our vacation doing exciting "guy" activities like visiting botanical gardens. He also paints my toenails, buys me beautiful, bright flowers, and kindly tugs his lumpy lady out of the car wherever we go.


You may also want to read:

Related Posts with Thumbnails