Tuesday, December 6, 2011

So clearly, I had my twins so there's been absolutely no time to update my blog. Simon also had his tonsils out. Day of surgery and Day 1 post were easy. Let's not discuss the past 3 days though. At some point I may attempt to update the blog, but I wouldn't count on it including anything useful. My brain hasn't absorbed any of the information it's been given in the past week. Today, they did a follow up ultrasound on Carter's heart...I remember being told about the initial one in a 1am phone call. However, I'm positive no one ever told me the results. Turns out they are doing a follow up to check for ....for....crap I really need to start recording every NICU conversation. Narcotics + NICU jargen + 2 hour chunks of sleep = no memory.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

T-13 hours

I just folded a big load of clothes for the boys that have been donated by family and friends. Thank you so much for ensuring that my twins will not go naked the first few months of life. Joye surprised me with a super soft and cozy robe and slippers set. I never thought I'd meet a robe softer than the one Chris bought me when I had Ava...but this one just may be. I'm excited to sport it in the hospital. Surely, I will have the prettiest blue coziest robe in the world.

Simon has been anti-bed time. Real shocker for all moms of 2 year olds I'm sure. Ava was excited about the babies coming tomorrow and went to bed at 7. Simon, however, woke her up about 10 in his efforts to avoid bed time. He eventually fell asleep by the door. I'm proud of myself for not giving in. I'm a sucker big time for his sad sad cries and super curly hair and snuggles.

Ava tried for an hour to go back to sleep, but is now up and watching Santa Clause 2. I have until 3am to eat or drink to my hearts content. I'm thinking I should down a gallon of water in an effort to keep my veins from disappearing. We'll see if my efforts will work. Or if I get past the first 8 oz. heh.

Ok I'm slightly more than anxious about the next 4 days. I will miss my Si-guy and Jayners like crazy. Ava has promised to come visit often. Please pray that my kids will be good for my family that is kind enough to cover my absence. Here's to seeing my boys in 13 hours.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mommy Daughter Dates



I used to take Ava for dates all the time, but we haven't had an "Ava/Mom" date in a long time. Tonight, we went out for a bit. We went to return somethings to JCP, and then headed to the mall for pretzel bites, soda and playtime. She always begs to do the photobooth, but since it's $5, we've never done it before. Tonight, we splurged. It was worth it, and way fun! It may become a part of the date tradition. We also went into Bliss-the formal dress store for little girls. They had high heels for little girls. I'm talking honest to goodness heels. They were ADORABLE. Ava tried on many pairs, and some fancy dresses. She may be getting a pair for her 5th birthday. She wanted them SO badly, but I just wasn't ready to see my little girl walking around in heels. I may request a grandparent get them, since as a mom...I just feel weird buying my 5 year old heels.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dear Santa

I can't think of anything to put on my Christmas list. Honestly. Usually, I love to stop for Christmas, but this year I am blank. For over a month I've been trying to compile lists for myself, Chris and the kids, and I finally came up with about 8 things the kids mention over and over ...and am still at a loss for me and the hus. So here's the deal...just skip Chris and I.

Thanks for online shopping, I got Simon his angry birds. He's going to be so freaking excited. Now to figure out what it is that Ava really wants. I don't even think SHE knows.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Don't mind me...I'm just whining.


I try really hard at times like this to be grateful. I mean, so many women don't make it to 36 weeks in single pregnancies, let alone identical ones that have been through TTTS. The past 3 hours have been excruciating...and the "buck up and be grateful you're this far" is losing in my mind. I just want to scream GET OUT SO THAT IT WILL STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP!!!! My brother informed me that my boys have officially stayed in utero 8 weeks longer than his Joseph did. That's incredible isn't' it? And yet, as I sit here, struggling to breathe, belching minty gas-x burps, I can't help but wince at the idea of another week. I didn't think I'd get here to be honest. Not to 36 weeks, but to the "I'm so done!!!" phase. I read post after post on the multiples forum of people whining and complaining. All the while thinking, this really isn't that bad. My pregnancy with Simon was SO.MUCH.WORSE. (this is still true) But today, ...today has been a day where if the contractions started and were the REAL deal, not just the cruel BH fakes....that I'd be a little more relieved than worried. Seven days isn't that long. And since it's 1am, I can officially say 7 days. Today is technically Monday, and by Saturday-I'll be to "full term." I'd prefer, however, if these boys are going to stay put, that they do so through the Thanksgiving holiday so that we have a Lactation Specialist on hand when they arrive. I have no idea how to go about nursing two babies and shudder at the though of some poor 17 year old CNA trying to teach me. None of this "holiday" birth stuff ok boys? Either come out by this Tuesday, or you're staying put until the 28th deal? great! Now, kindly pull your foot out of my ribs, and your head out of my hip and we'll be grand!

Friday, November 18, 2011

FIFO

When I worked at Panda Express many years ago, I learned about the concept of FIFO. *First in, First out.* This is the rule that when you change food, cups, anything really...you first remove the current stash, put in the new stuff, and put the original stash on top, so that you don't end up serving 4 hour old food to someone. Somehow, FIFO seems to also apply to pay day as an adult. I swear payday used to be a really fun day. Now, I log in and immediately set up our income to fly out all different places. Before my MC last fall, I was really great at budgeting. It came naturally to me, and I got a weird thrill out of it. Then, when I lost that baby---something broke inside of me. I keep a spreadsheet now, and even though it's fairly basic, sometimes I just want to slam my head off of the wall...because it seems.so.complicated. I wonder, will my ability--let alone love--for making the numbers zero balance ever return? I'm thinking when the medical bills end, I'll feel a little less overwhelmed. Right now there's like 6 different areas they are coming from--so it feels worse than it really is. Also, having 2 traffic citations and 2 car repairs in one month was pretty rough--nothing like $200 in citations and $500 in repairs to really throw a wrench in things.
Remember when I was 15 and my entire paycheck could go to rolls of film, disposable cameras, and developing said film? Or when I was 17 and it went to Mudd Jeans, gas to travel to Youth activities and seeing my Ohio folk, and getting my nails done with Val and Ash. I'm really just whining. Chris and I still get to go out a couple times a month and have really nice dates. He is a mini-mart addict. We have enough to fill our needs and some of our wants. This is mainly the ramblings of a women who has been staring at acolor coded spreadsheet one too many times this morning.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mikey-blue eyes

Yes, I dressed this way on purpose. Why? Who knows.

Mikey had this ex that was cr-A-zy. We took fake engagement pictures at 15 and mailed them to her. Again why? hahaha who knows.

My very bestest guy friend from my youth is getting hitched. I still remember the day that we met, and how incredibly rude he was! It was youth conference--we were in DC working on the temple grounds as a service project. We were placed in a 15 passenger van together. I was between him and Bobby Marion--a kid allergic to E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. A group of them were discussing Monty Python and quoting it. I had never seen it and asked what they were talking about...to which this boy looks at me and says "What do you live in a CAVE?!" I glared at him and had nothing witty to respond with. After all-how could I be armed with wit when I'd never seen Monty Python, let alone heard of it.

Later that day, as I walked by during lunch, he was sitting on the stairs with my little brother and a bunch of other people and suddenly I hear "Little Debbie you're the one--you make YC so much fun. Little Debbie I'm awfully fond of you." I stopped dead in my tracks. He smiled and you could feel and breathe the pride and cleverness he was emitting. I blushed. Again, nothing to respond with. How did this guy know my name--and how did I go from the cave girl to him writing a jingle with my nick-name? We spend the 6 hour bus ride back to the burg laughing and the next 4 years creating massive phone bills. HOURS of listing to him strumming his guitar, writing songs for the girl of the week (day) (hour). He would mock any and every guy I dated, and rightly so. He helped me learn to piece together my own heart when some idiot had broken it. We played horrible pranks on one another--and he only once ever remembered my birthday on his own. He and a handful of other incredible people, shaped me and gave me the skills to survive the hell that is being an awkward teen--and hello reference above pictures, I was awkward. And although it's been years since we've spent any amount of time together, and he was by far the worst prom date in the history of prom dates-- I still regard him as one of my dearest friends. To my little Mikey-congrats on your upcoming wedding and I hope to find some sucker to take on my 4 kids so that I can come celebrate this day with you and your new wifey! I have to admit, your real engagements are far better than our fake ones. Horray for pro photographers ;)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

First Snow






Our first real snow this year was pretty intense now that we live on the mountain. Here are some photos. I took them as a "thank you" for my Grandma Simon-who bought my kids their ultra warm winter coats. They are from "Herbergers." THE place to shop. Oh how I wish we had one--but my husband and bank account are equally grateful that we don't. The kids were pretty sad that the snow has melted, but I assured them there will be plenty to go around soon. Simon is requesting Cheerios, so off I go.

Kissing Tonsils

Well, we have an answer as to why my little Simon turns into a complete terror about 2am. He has what is known as "kissing tonsils." I was going to add an illustration here, but they are all pretty nasty ...so I'll let your curiosity guide you to finding your own. Most kids tonsils will shrink, and even disappear, however..in Si-guys case, his are so large, that they are touching. He can't breathe when we lay him down. This is why he passes out so easily in the car, and why at 2am he wakes from snoring and is so completely pissed at the world. The last week has been especially awful since he has nasal congestion. He can't breathe from his nose or his throat. I hadn't taken him into the doc, because he hasn't had a fever...and so I figured there was nothing they could do. But after the past 2 especially horrendous nights...and having an incredibly awful 2am fight with my husband, I realized I needed answers.
We were fortunate that they ENT that did his tubes had an opening about 15 minutes following his prelim appt where the doc said "Wow. Those are huge. and Gross. Let's get them out." Their first opening for surgery, however, is December 2nd. Four days after my scheduled c-section. I could choose between that date and January 6th. I took December 2nd. I recognize that I'll be leaving the hospital on the 1st or 2nd if I happen to deliver on the 28th, as we are currently scheduled. But how could I condemn my son to an additional month of not being able to breathe? I called my MFM doc to see if we can push back my c-section 1 more week. Usually, in the case of mono/di twins *(where they share a placenta, but different sacks) they don't like to go beyond 37 weeks, because the placenta begins to deteriorate. So, coming out becomes safer than staying in. I'm hoping, however, that if I can keep them in....that they'll let me delay at least a few days. If there's any time to have him in, I guess it'll be nice that we won't be sleeping anyway right? I am at a bit of a loss here. But, as Becky will tell you, wallowing in my guilt for not figuring out this was the issue sooner is pointless. Instead, I made the call and if they say "no" at least I've done my part...and heaven help Chris and any family member that comes to help us. We'll have twin infants and a 2 1/2 year old recovering from surgery. ROCK ON.
I'm hoping and praying that this procedure will help him to sleep and feel better. He's such a good kid during the day-although he's only operating on 2-3 hours of sleep at a time. I think he's such a trooper.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cutest Shower EVER






If only I could be in charge of photographing my own shower. Things got crazy, and I didn't get all the photos I wanted to, and am sad that a lot of the cuteness isn't captured. But, here's what we managed to photograph before the camera was sat down. I am really sad that the gift table wasn't photographed. They made these adorable decorations and so I'll be using them to decorate the boys nursery---should we ever set one up. ;)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Elephant Gestation Juice

On with an update, since it has been a while. I live by my google calendar. Especially since my brain is over run with twin pregnancy hormones. I don't expect my once awesome memory to ever return, and so I have handed my life to google. As I was adding special things to remember about Ava's kindergarten class --I realized I have 18 days until my scheduled c-section. UHHHHH my denial has been fairly deep that this pregnancy will end. I'm probably the only pregnant woman--or only mulitple twin pregnant woman who would be perfectly content with an elephant gestation time frame. In case you didn't know, Elephants are pregnant for 22 months. While I'm sure I wouldn't want to continue expanding for an additional year, the extra 12 months to prepare and get my life "together" would be nice.
I thank Gilmore Girls for this bit of trivia


My baby shower is this Saturday. Also...our listing expired. The big question...now what? Well...uhhhhh....I'm keeping that for the next post because i have no idea.

Ech bin ein Liebster

So, I received an incredible award today from Becky at Cinderelladuty.blogspot.com It's the Liebster award. My little brother would be super impressed that I would be honored with a German title I'm sure ;) I'll admit, I feel slightly pressured to update my blog more than ...oh 3 times a month with random rantings of a woman with crazy but cute kids. The idea that her readers, are being encouraged to come read the rantings of my mind are a bit ...humbling and terrifying. So, Hi, um...welcome and please feel free to utter "wow, this chick is nuts" at any time.

Now I am to award my favorite blogs with this awesomeness.
The rules for the Liebster Award are:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Choose 5 up and coming blogs with less than 200 followers who really stand out.
3. Reveal your top five picks (& why you picked them) and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
4. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
5. Have faith that your followers will spread the love too!

*drum roll please*

Understanding Prematurity-Amanda Knickerbocker -We grew up traveling the greater Pittsburgh area at insanely early hours of Sunday mornings with our fathers in order to meet more LDS boys. She grew up to marry my Peter Ford and became a mom to 2 remarkable children. Her daughter was born 23 weeks 6 days into her pregnancy, and this blog began as a way for Amanda to first grieve and process. Now, she uses it to educate, encourage, and inspire other moms. She has a gift for expression and continues to amaze me every day with her courage and ability to do so much.

I'll probably be killed for this, but my next suggestion would be my sister-in-law, Becca Her posts are down to earth and funny. She inspires me to remember to embrace the woman inside, and give the jammies a rest. Also, her son was recently diagnosed with aspergers and she has begun to chronicle their journey through this. He is an amazing boy and I adore him. He and Simon are only 2 months apart, and Ava can't get enough of him when they are together. She has such strength!

and my third choice goes to Photogrpahy by Lee Ann I have no idea if she falls in the "under 200 followers" rule. I'm going to guess "no," but since there's no way to prove it, she is getting the award. I am a lover of photography and pretend now and then that I have a clue about what I'm doing. My favorite thing is that I can tell you what is WRONG about a photo, or its editing. This does not by any means infer that I can do it correctly, but I'll be the first to say "ew overly saturated...too much exposure....they needed a smaller focal length etc." One photographer that I adore every photo she creates is Lee. I met her through a forum of LDS mothers that I was once a part of. She inspires me. She's a sweetheart. Sometimes when I'm sad, I go to her blog and view her recent photo sessions. Unlike a lot of pro photographers, she is editing the night of her sessions and I love that. I can never wait more than an hour to check out our photos and start making something with them, and it's nice to see that excitement doesn't have to die once you're a pro. I hope to get to her level one day.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Why am I even Awake?

The past week...maybe 10 days even have been HARD. I don't mean that every part of every day was all the awful, but all together...it's been a reality check. Simon was breaking in a molar, and I discovered 2 ulcers in his mouth a few days ago. Thanks preschool for HF&M. We are really very fortunate, that if that's what the ulcers are from, that he contracted such a slight case. Every night, and most of the day is full of a screaming, ornery little man. Simon can be very stubborn, but this past week or so has been a whole new level. Chris and I managed to get 2-3 hours of sleep at a time each night. By Friday, I couldn't even get out of bed until 10:30. I spent most of the day in a fog. It's the first time in my pregnancy that my mind was unable to convince my body that we were up to the challenge. Saturday was not much better. I had so much that I wanted to do with my kids...including a fun carnival in our old neighborhood, but I could not get my body to cooperate. I just felt sick. weak. We managed to make it to a friend's birthday party-which was really fun, and pointed out once again, that it's time for me to step up as a mom, because Ava's 5th birthday is coming up and it should probably have a theme at the very least.
I can tell that the little guy is slowly getting better, but I'm a bit terrified that this new behavior of all out tantrums will need breaking...and I'm a little concerned that maybe I'll break first. As most moms, I hate seeing my kid in pain. I can tell the difference between an angry cry and a "I'm not feeling good and am hurt" cry. Simon has crafted the way to mix the two. It tears my heart apart to hear him cry out for me. I know giving in at every turn isn't doing either of us any favors, and so I've been praying and pleading for discernment. I can only hope that I have him back to his loving, happy self by the time the babies come.
Ava has been doing very well, considering we're 2 days to November and she's only needed a handful of breathing treatments. I don't care what you want to thank for this--essential oils I've been using, her new inhaler that we've used maybe 10 times, the warmer fall, my endless prayers, maybe it's one maybe it's all...I just love that so far, other than a yucky cough at night, and a cold that caused missing 3 days of school, she's been doing really really well. I hope this continues.
My moment of .......breaking(??) comes when the idea of Ava getting really sick, Simon having nightmares and pain, and the twins needing me all at once. Ava and Simon LOVE and ADORE their daddy...don't get me wrong, but Ava is so dependent and used to me being her comforter. It's always been my internal feeling that Chris has work and school and the pressures and anxiety of leading the family, that I get up with the kids. I wake him when I feel I can't handle it on my own, or when Simon is really angry with me and decides he wants to scream at daddy too. Usually, he's awake but not really there, and has no memory of ever being up. He has been really stepping up lately, trying to train himself to be ready to be alert at any odd hour, and I will say he's coming along nicely, but honestly, he's been trained not to have to be awake. This will clearly be just another massive adjustment for our family.
We've had zero activity on our house in the past month. We cut the price. We found a program that Clearfield City will pay $5000 in a down payment assistance program, but still nothing.

All these things keep me up at night. And when they don't, the heartburn and gas do. As much as I see the works of my Father in Heaven throughout the day--especially with my kids--I feel so disconnected lately. So without direction. Day to day I have His help. This is indisputable, but where to go from here? That step into the darkness....the "will" I have to put forward terrifies me so often. I pray that whatever direction we go, that people know we are only doing what we feel to be best for our little family. We want so much to make the right choices for our family. We want so much to have peace. Don't we all?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Another blog stealing post

I am making these tonight with my kids. Be jealous. The recipe comes from Jade at theletter4

I wanted to share with you how to make some chocolate covered bones!
Get some:
Stick Pretzels
M&M's
and Wilton's White Melting Chocolate

Steps:
Microwave a bowl full of white chocolates for 1 minute. Stir. Then microwave in 30 second intervals stirring in between each one just until the chocolate is completely smooth.
Stick both ends of the pretzel stick into white chocolate.
Then, lay the stick on some wax paper.
Next, stick two M&M's on the tip of each stick, making sure that they have a significant amount of chocolate around them.
Let harden.
After they dry, they should come off the wax paper easily. Dip each bone into a bowl of melted white chocolate until it's completely covered. Scoop out with a fork, lightly tapping off excess chocolate into the bowl before setting back down on the wax paper.
Let dry and harden.
SERIOUSLY...SO GOOD...betcha can't each just one!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

TTTS

Before this pregnancy, I had never heard of TTTS. Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. Even after I was warned that I may have this condition, I couldn't even remember the name of it to google what the Fetal Medicine people had been talking about.

It's rare. Identical twin pregnancies have a birth rate of 3 in every 1000 deliveries. Of those pregnancies, they say only 10% of Identical pregnancies contract TTTS.

That being said, since my diagnosis, I have come to realize I knew 3 families who also have had a battle with TTTS. In my current circle of friends and family. Three. My Maternal Fetal doctor has seen SIX cases this year in his office. Think of that. TTTS kills twice as many babies each year than SIDS. Suddenly the odds aren't so great that it'll pass over the one you love.

Take time to learn about TTTS. Not all physicians are skilled to treat this condition-in fact only a handful are trained and of those only one has a 94% success rate of saving one baby and 73% success rate of saving both. Dr Ramen Chmait. None of the other institutions track their progress as individuals. Do your homework to know the best team for your loved ones! Fight for multiple ultrasounds for pregnancies of multiple babies. Without constant monitoring, this condition can go unnoticed-and untreated, resulting in the death of one, but most likely both babies. December 7 is TTTS Awareness Day. Become AWARE! It could save the life of people you love!

Shower


A couple of weeks ago, my mother-in-law asked me if I wanted to have a baby shower. Something about that question caused me to hyperventilate. Baby showers=babies. Meaning, that this pregnancy is real. and at the conclusion I will have babies. This is, of course, common sense, but the idea of a party made it all to real for my incredibly disillusioned mind to absorb. I grabbed a paper back and started blowing into it vigorously. Last Saturday, my other ginger love, Pam, asked the same thing. She then told me that I was being ridiculous, no matter what objection I arose, and said we are having one. She would do the invites and it would be perfect.

So, here is the invite. Isn't it adorable? Pam is so very skilled. It is inspired by some sleepers that my mom bought for the boys in yellow and grey and the elephants are ....... the CUTEST. I still feel sort of awkward about showers. Something about being the center of attention. Thank you to Pam and Sandi and my mom for talking me into having a shower. I know the babies will be better equipped because of it.

I made a registry at Target and Diapers.com

http://www.diapers.com/baby-registry/109223/DEBORAH-COPE

http://www.target.com/baby/registry/FG-jtd_PQ5mGY4YJZer0qA

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

the girl i mean to be

So perhaps at 27, "girl" is the wrong word, but Secret Garden anyone?

One day, when I get out of my own way I'm going to be that awesome mom. You know, the one that is prepared. The one that plans awesome birthday parties and holiday activities. Did you check out the Halloween party that theletter4.blogspot.com hosted? I have serious creativity envy. And time management and skill envy. Pretty much, I'm green all over. Who has time, energy, ability, and the cleaning crew to not only come up with all those awesome ideas, but then to actually DO them? This is one reason why I can't get into pintrist or be a hard core blog stalker. I end up really feeling inadequate, and that my kids are seriously deprived by not having a mother that is effortlessly fashionable and loving to craft 24 hours a day. My skills don't really extend beyond foam sticker sets that are pre-designed, pre-cut, and take a total of 10 minutes to assemble. Until then, let's keep Ava out of the know that people like this actually exist? Thanks

Monday, October 24, 2011

seek to be understood

I hate when people say things like...

Oh...he/she is just 2. It's what they do at this age

Just let them have the tantrum. they don't even know why they are mad anymore

No one will EVER know what THAT was about.

I am convinced that when we, children and adult alike, have our tantrums, our cup runneth over emotional break downs, that there is a root cause. We may not know exactly what is at the core. Most of the time, the straw that breaks the camels back is not even close to what is really the culprit. As a mom, friend, sister, human being...I really try to understand people. Understand myself. And mostly, understand my children. Now, I am not yet perfect at this. I've had many occasion, where I give up and join the emotional calamity, becoming even more upset than my child. Usually this results in my child stopping, and trying to comfort me, and I hope that means that .......that they've learned that from me? That they've learned when others are upset to put your own pain aside and focus on others. Maybe it's the shock of "mommy is crying." more than anything.
I mostly have a difficult time with dismissing screaming, crying, etc when my kids are sick. I know when I am sick with a headache, fever, cough, stuffy nose, tummy troubles, that I want to be left alone and taken care of all at once. Luckily, over the years, I've learned to communicate this with less screaming than a 2 year old, but not that much more effectively. It's a very confusing way to feel. Plus, I just want to be better and I'm pretty pissed that no one has figured out how to make that happen. I am sure that all the things I feel are only intensified by one so small, who is experiencing these things for their first or second time. Why is no one fixing this? Why can't I just BREATHE? Why does my throat sting every time I swallow? You are my parents. FIX THIS! And so, I pray for extra strength when I notice my kids are beginning to get sick. The past 2 days, legions of angels have been at our side. Tonight, Simon, completely exhausted, and unable to breathe through his nose (which thoroughly irritates the little man) threw a MASSIVE fit. He wanted to lay down with daddy. But he didn't want daddy anywhere on the bed. In fact, he doesn't want on the bed. He just wants to scream. Does it have anything to do with the bed, his diaper, or the number of lights on/off? No. It has to do with the fact that this little man is too tired to sleep and really just wants to be comforted but can't, because his body hurts. He can't quite pin point where the owie is coming from, just that it's there.

While Simon has made great progress in his verbal skills, he struggles to be understood by most people. It's not that they don't try...well ok ...I don't really believe that...I truly think most people just don't try. They nod, smile, laugh, and guess. But they don't really try. Maybe it's because I spent so much of my childhood not hearing anyone well, and thus people decided I was "lazy" or not living up to my potenital, when really I just couldn't understand most of what you're saying dear teacher, especially since you sat me next to the BOILER. But, this is a difficult area for me. Simon really tries with pointing, and repeating himself and attempting to enunciate, to fully communicate and most people just shrug and look to me for translation. So, until he comes fully into his own, and is able to clearly express himself, I am going to sit with him. I'll sit through the screaming. I'll sit through the crying. I'll sit through the throwing, sometimes hitting, and wait for him to express his frustration that no one seems to be able to understand him, because when I do...when I am able to remain calm through his storm and show him that I really am doing all I can to understand him....that we have a break through. We may not find the real original reason for what began this all, but we find something I can fix. Something I can do to help him find a way to be somewhat comforted. For this, I have my husband to thank. He has sat through many of MY storms, calm. He has held me through my crying, screaming, throwing fits and waited for me to find something, anything that I could convey to him. He has helped me to be understood. And so, it is my prayer, that I'll never give up on seeking to understand my children's needs. No matter how often I may fail...I never want to shrug at their pain and frustration and say "you'll out grow it." "it's a phase" "drama!" and leave it at that.

non-stress test

Today was the start of my non-stress tests. I'll have 2 a week for the remainder of my pregnancy. I had no idea what a "non-stress" test was, only that getting there this morning....caused immense stress. When I set up my first appointment, I thought...9:30 what a perfect time~ Ava's school begins at 9 and is only about a mile or two from the hospital. I could drop her off, go to the appointment, and be done in time to go pick her up. Perfection. I did not factor in the scenario of Simon being up every 2 hours last night--once with nightmares "scary lions" and the others with molar pains. I also did not factor in that Ava would be a zombie this morning and decide she had no desire to go to school and is still having a bit of an asthma issue. I also should not have balanced my budget this morning. That's always a massive stress trigger these days. Dang spreadsheets.
However, it turns out...the non-stress test is all about the stress the babies are under. So, my nearly having a total panic attack this morning and wanting to lock myself in the closet for the remainder of the day didn't cause me to fail. The babies did well. They had to zap one of them to get the heart rate to do what they wanted...which was WEIRD! Simon came with me and was actually very well behaved. Probably the best he has been all day. My amniotic levels are equal for each baby, and they both have a deep pocket, but the levels are lower than normal, so they are watching that. I have another appointment Thursday and as long as they aren't lower, we're still doing great. If it does lower, then they monitor even more closely and perhaps decide to take them. Sometimes there are circumstances where the NICU is safer than the womb I guess. Let's cross our fingers that since they are smaller than average babies, that their levels are just smaller as well, but not dangerous.
Simon, thankfully, took a nap after the hospital, and I started my day of scanning. Scanning. Scanning. Scanning. I'm trying so hard to get 30 hours a week...and so far max out about 18. Listening to conference has helped. It helps when the kids start fighting. It helps when I realize most of what I'm freaking out about internally are insignificant. I never missed a conference growing up. It wasn't even an option. We drove to our ward building on Saturday and Sunday, and had to take notes. Not until I moved to Utah, did I begin the online late viewing or listening. As a mother-I'm eternally grateful for the online recap and ability to listen whenever. Because, let's face it...even if it gets turned on during the actual conference...I won't hear more than 10 minutes. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't have a mystical magical perfect mother creating power, but I have noticed a difference in my reactions to life and my children from taking a few talks a day. I still don't get 100% of what is being said...but it's better than the random choices Netflix offers these days.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The weekend of General Conference, we were up at the family cabin. Conference played in the background, but I'm not sure I heard more than 10 minutes of it. Today, while scanning, I started playing it to help pass the time. I love the sense of humor from the speakers. President Monson, President Packer, and Elder Uchtdorf were among my favorites---no surprise there I'm sure. I found it has helped me to fight off much of the anxiety that I have been struggling with the past couple of weeks.
We currently have 2 queen size beds in our bedroom. The past few months, I have slept in one and Chris the other. I take up so much space these days, that it just became easier and much more comfortable this way. It also helps me to keep in line with certain doctor orders ;) I decided that it might be fun to have a family sleep over in our room. The kids in one bed and Chris and I in the other. It turned out to be Ava and I in one bed, and the boys in another for the first hour or so. I awoke, thanks to my ever bullied bladder, and now am struggling to get back to bed. I moved Simon and Ava into one bed, and decided they can kick each other into oblivion. Those kids move so much in their sleep that it is incomprehensible.
I looked up photos from Simon's birth. That kid was one really funky looking baby. I can say this openly for many reasons. The top 2 being...1. He is in no doubt now the most ADORABLE little boy I've ever known. and 2. You all already knew this. I mean....I remember that we nick named him Benjamin Button, but he REALLY did look like an old man. I'm grateful for his wildly curly hair, and that he is steadily growing into his beautiful massive head. Also, I had forgotten how tiny Ava was when he was born. I'm amazed by it all. She's always been such a great big sister, that I never realized how small and young she really was when he came along. Just 2 years and 3 months old. I'm grateful that Simon has had a few more months to prepare to be a big brother. He will be 2 years and 8 months old when they are born. Slowly, the past two or three months, he and Ava have become friends. In the car today, they were sharing hugs, laughing, teasing. Sure 70% of the time, he's driving her absolutely crazy, or scheming her out of whatever she has. But that 30% of the time that they are buddies, they are adorable. And i love it. It makes the hard times so much easier to endure. I am anxious to see how their relationship grows when the twins arrive. Ava has already stipulated that Carter will be her baby and Austen will be for Simon. I'm not sure which baby to feel worse for ;)
Well, I suppose I shall refill the vaporizer. The entire purpose of turning on the computer was to remind myself how to properly clean the filter thing....and it's been an hour and I had almost totally forgotten about it. So, research the cleaning process. clean. refill. and attempt to sleep. I've had 4 hours a night for 3 days now...so not a good way to spend the last month of life with 2 kids instead of 4

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blog Stealing

If you look to the left of my ranting blog, you'll see my blog list. My favorite to follow is Understanding Prematurity. A website/blog created by my very dear friend, Amanda. I encourage you to check out her blog and follow it closely. You'll learn how to be a better person, and educate yourself on the lives of premie parents. Her most recent blog is amazing, and I encourage you all to PLEASE help her in OPERATION: NICU Holiday Support.

Yes, folks, it’s that time of year. We’re planning on putting together packages for families in the NICU again this year, hoping to lift a little of the sadness that inevitably comes from spending your holidays in the hospital with your child.

Last year, the cards you all made and sent were so well received that we really, really want to do it again. I’m going to put together the packages for the NICU at the Naval Medical Center San Diego (the hospital at which Peter works), and if we can swing it, I’d like to send cards to the NICU at Chester County Hospital (the Hospital where Charlotte was born).

So here’s what we need:

-Cards: These cards can be hand made, store bought or blank paper with children’s drawings on them (these were some of my favorites last year).

*These cards should say things like: “We’re thinking of you” or “We hope you know that you are in our thoughts during the holiday season” or “May you find the joys of the holidays no matter where you spend them.” While I found myself relying on my faith during Charlotte’s NICU stay, not everyone shares that faith, and we should be understanding of their beliefs. Thanks :)

*Please don’t say anything like: “Your baby will be home before you know it!” because, believe you me, those parents know every.single.moment they are in the NICU. And making promises you can’t keep isn’t a present, its, uhh, torture. So don’t. :)

-Blankets: I LOVE the blankets we got while in the NICU. They just mean so much to us. Blankets should be free from decorative threading, since it can irritate the babies’ fragile skin. Flannel blankets or muslin blankets are fantastic, as are Swaddle blankets.

-Gift cards: Gift cards for Starbucks, Target, Walmart, Gas, etc are fantastic. These don’t have to be in large denominations, $5 or $10 is fine. (More is obviously acceptable, but not necessary).

-Developmental Toys: Taggie blankets, rattles, teethers, soft stuffed animals, etc. We’d like to include a small toy for each child.

-Monetary: If you would just like to make a monetary donations, we will ensure that the funds go to the families in the NICU.

The NICU at NMCSD is approximately a 25 bed NICU, and the one in Chester County is 12 beds. So about 40 packages total. We’d like to include 4-5 cards per packages, so 200 cards total. We’d also LOVE to be able to donate a gift card to the family who travels the most to see their child. Last year we were able to give a $100 gift card, and I’d love to be able to do the same this year.

So that’s what we need. Please share this with others. Last year we had Girl Scout troups and youth groups and entire families who made donations. If we can do the same this year, we can definitely meet our goals.

Thanks so much for all your help. I know together we can make a difference for these families.

Please email me at cak.micropreemie {at} gmail {dot} com for information about where to send the items, or leave your email in the comment section and I will contact you!

I know that winter in Utah is necessary. It comes every year, and yet...as it approaches year after year I am still mystified by how incredibly dark it is at 7am. And this week is still in the mid 60s for high temps. I don't really think it should be ok for the world to be so very dark at 7am. It throws me every time. every morning, I'm sure it must be 4am, and sure enough it's not. I would not survive Alaska or any other region that spends most of the day as night. I need the sun to function. Northern Cali anyone? Mostly I'm bugged, because it's getting cold and I own zero winter maternity clothes. "But deb", you say, "your other kids were born in the winter months." Oh yes, this is true. But let's Rewind to April, when I was so confident we were done having kids that I donated all of my maternity tubs to the DI during one of our "clean the garage" escapades. I'm sure the twins and Heaven were having a good laugh at that decision. So I say, rock on warm fall. I'm good with the delay of temps below 65.......forever really...but at least until mid-November.

Last night, I started the Aqua Moms water aerobics that Melissa has been talking up for months. Let me tell you--it was a lot of fun, and felt great...until about 2am when my right arm began to cramp. SON OF A! It's still in pain. and it's 7:30am.

Yes, this entire post is meant to be a whine-fest. So, if that's what you're thinking...you're on the right track 100% and should probably bow out now.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Where was i?

The last week or so, I have begun to let myself feel the weight of our current situation. 31 weeks. House still on the market---no offers as of yet. We just lowered the price to 160. Each day I realize...that I'm not sure what the "right" move is next. I feel no direction. I am grateful for the help we have had from family over the past 3 months. I know that my being able to reach this far into my pregnancy, is largely thanks to this help. However, I feel that it's time to move on. But where? Do we become landlords? Do we just move back into our home? Should the "selling the house" just become a running gag? We felt so surely, again, that putting it up for sale, and vacating was what we were supposed to do. But it hasn't sold. The listing expires in a few weeks. From what Dr Chmait said, I'll only be permitted to 37 weeks, which is 6 weeks away people. That's not too far off now.
This morning was stressful. As a result, I had a massive panic attack. I have to say that I'm forever grateful for a husband who understands anxiety struggles. When we were first married, I can tell you that I had no idea or understanding of "anxiety." Over the years, pregnancies etc, I've become very intimate with anxiety. I've come to understand the real, tangible, horrific feeling that it is. He helped me to find my way back to calm. The incredibly lovely day also helped me to put aside the stress and anxiety and pure panic that was overwhelming my body and mind. I'm forever grateful for the past few days of sun. The sun is so healing to my soul. I mean that in a completely sincere manner. The gray days can be equally beautiful, but I struggle with my chaos on those days. I want so much to do the "right" thing and to make the wise choices for our family. I don't ever want to be in the situation again, where we seem to have no options. Things have changed so much since June. Dramatically. Chris's graduation schedule, our pregnancy, the kids....my view on so many things. I have been told to "seek to be wise, for wisdom is better than knowledge of facts and things." This is a challenge for me, because wisdom requires so much more faith than I have most days.
I need to have faith in so many areas of life. Faith that my babies will survive the pregnancy. Faith that my body will carry them to a safe term. Faith that my mind will survive the hormones that are raging now and after the pregnancy. Faith that our finances will cover our obligations. Faith that I can really do what the Lord has chosen me to do--be a mother to 4 children under the age of 5. That's the kicker right there. Especially when I've been told point blank, that I don't' know how to be a good parent. I'm not sure I've ever been given such an incredibly hurtful comment as that. I have tried to fight it off, and rid it from my memory, but it clings there. Isn't that every mother's fear? That we aren't good enough? I only have 2 and am already failing at such an obvious level that this person felt compelled to inform me-quite bluntly-that I am a bad mother. How will I ever possibly be a good mom to 4?
I need direction. I need guidance from my Father. I know He's with me. I see the small miracles everyday. Ava and Simon playing well together. The sun shining after days of endless grey. My babies flipping around as if they are in the circus--letting me know they are there. I need to stop waiting for my "Golden Ticket" as President Uchtdorf cautioned in the RS conference.
"So many people today are waiting for their own golden ticket—the ticket that they believe holds the key to the happiness they have always dreamed about....if we spend our days waiting for fabulous roses, we could miss the beauty and wonder of the tiny forget-me-nots that are all around us.

This is not to say that we should abandon hope or temper our goals. Never stop striving for the best that is within you. Never stop hoping for all of the righteous desires of your heart. But don’t close your eyes and hearts to the simple and elegant beauties of each day’s ordinary moments that make up a rich, well-lived life.

The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy."



My golden tickets:
  • The house selling...and lately just the idea of us being back in a home that is "ours"
  • Chris graduating college
  • Chris landing a new job that replaces my income, and I can just be "mom."

I loved this talk. It was and is a talk that speaks to my heart. "It's ok that you're not quite there yet. Keep working on it. But STOP punishing yourself....please remember also, to be compassionate and patient with yourself."

31 weeks and still going strong! :)

I always love when I find a new blog to read. I'm not an avid blog stalker. But, now and then I happen upon one that makes me laugh, inspires me and helps me to give myself a break. Two new blogs lately have done this for me.

Theletter4.blogspot.com

cinderelladuty.blogspot.com

The letter 4 is created by Chris's cousins. I've known these ladies for almost 6 years, but never really knew much about them until they started this blog. I had no idea how much creativity and humor they possessed. Love it! They feature fashion, organization, crafts, photography, recipes...a little bit of everything.

Cinderelladuty is by a great gal in my old ward in Clearfield. She told me about it yesterday, and I checked it out this morning. GREAT BLOG! Honest. Funny. Inspiring. It's all about bringing our expectiations of ourselves as moms and wives to a reasonable, livable level.

I encourage you to check them both out. They are sure to be added to your daily blog-stalk schedule.

Today is 31 weeks for our pregnancy. I'm excited we've made it this far. My new obsession, outside of blogs ;) is back to Burger King. I know...great way to be ending my pregnancy. I cannot get through a week without a strawberry shake and burger. Also, mint chocolate chip ice cream. mmmmmmmmmm After being so careful with my nutrition the past 6 months, I've not quite given up but ....am close. I'm still doing my protein drinks a few times a week...so I say the burger, shake and occassional cones are well deserved!

Chris just turned on the adjustment bureau. LOVE EMILY BLUNT. can no longer focus on writing a blog. LATER.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Break out the elmers, glitter and gingerbread???

Since when did September usher in Christmas Decorations? Has this been happening for a while, and I've just been oblivious? Two weeks ago, Joye came home and ranted about Macys having their Christmas stuff up. Then, today, I realized Costco and Michaels website do too. I was trying to get some Halloween themed things, crafts etc to work with Ava while I'm on bed rest and it's all CHRISTMAS. I didn't realize I should have been planning October crafts in AUGUST. Someone please clue me in.

Each day, we've started having craft time. I do a craft with Ava while Simon is napping, and then we do Simons later in the day. I love the Creatology foam projects. They are super cute, and mostly made of foam stickers...so there's very little glue involved, and the kids can do 98% of the project on their own and have a really adorable end product. They are both so proud of the Frankenstiens they made yesterday. Today, we are making Jack-0-Lantern wreaths. This is from stuff I bought last year on clearance and had packed away. I'm extra thankful that I had the foresight to do that last year, since I'm not sure what will be in stock at the craft stores. *sigh* I'll head out today with coupon in hand, just in case. Maybe I should get the Thanksgiving stuff now too? I just figure it's so much more fun than watching a movie. It gets them engaged in learning, and it creates better memories, and lets me feel not so guilty about needing more mommy sitting time.

Tomorrow is 28 weeks. I'm starting to feel tired so much faster these days. I spend most of the day pushing the "sit down" urge out of my mind and trying to keep up with my kids, but by the end of the night, I am usually aching. I'm not sure how much longer my "mind over matter" will last, but I'm still trucking. I am so relieved and excited to have made it this far--and a little anxious and nervous about how massive I'll be should I make it another 9 weeks. Most of my maternity shirts are no longer long enough. I have 2 that are still working, but the rest are starting to show the underside of my belly--oh so not a cute look for me. I don't want to buy more stuff though, because if I do go early then I'll have paid for something I wore twice. I am too cheap for my own good. Plus, who cares if I wear the same 2 shirts and 4 dresses over and over.

Last night, we did a family photo session for Rachel. It was fun. I was exhausted from pushing myself all day (cough-week) and we didn't get started right when I wanted to...but we did get some really nice shots with the 30 minutes of golden hour we had left. Nate and Annie were real troopers--and I have to say so were my kids. They had to tag along, and I really think the fact that neither fell in the duck pond, were kidnapped, or ate duck poop really says something. You can check them out on the ever so neglected Rezzen Photography Facebook page. I need some serious photoshop instruction for swapping heads. Getting 2 kids under the age of 5 to look up (or, ok any combination of 4 people) to look in the same direction with a happy expression is just....next to impossible. Also, I am not a fan of the way the page is working these days for adding albums. I couldn't figure out how to add new photos. It's very round about and not at all easy to remember and all together a pain in the uterus. But, eventually, I got 8 up. That might be all I do, because seriously, I don't have the energy to figure it out again. Also, this may have been the event I needed to get serious about getting my butt, or more importantly, eyes to the doctor. I lost my last left contact about 2 months ago. I've been going around with right eye sight only since. I kept thinking--I'll go when the house sells. It's always like a minimum $200 to go get new eye prescriptions and contacts and glasses. I just wasn't ready to part with that cash, since most of the day I see totally fine. However, I naturally want shoot photos with my left eye. And having no sight means having to shoot with my right. I'm not a fan of this--at all. Dear house, please be sold in the next month so that I don't miss photographing Autumn. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

To Wish, To Do. To Hope

I'm not sure about you, but it seems my TO DO lists, never EVER has an end. As soon as I mark off a few items, suddenly, as if by some mathematical formula, new items exponentially are added to the bottom, left, right, top corner...anywhere there is space. So, perhaps it should be called a Wish List, a list of things I hope to accomplish before I fall down (dead) tired.
My gorgeous friend, Amanda, wishes me 10 short weeks of successful pregnancy. Here are the things I hope will be accomplished in that time period.

These are in no particular order, and I'm certain this list, like so many before it, is in no way exempt to that tricky rule that continuously adds crap to my lists.
  1. Each baby to gain 4 pounds-my sonographer says this is a "lofty" goal. This would hopefully put each boy about 6 pounds.
  2. A GREAT offer on the house, which we accept.
  3. CLOSING ON THE HOUSE. This would be great to happen in the first 1/2 of the next 10 weeks. Just saying.
  4. Maternity photos in fall colors. Wheeler Canyon anyone? So so excited.
  5. Picking up my camera at least once a week. It's insane that I've gone months at a time during this year without even remembering I have such awesome equipment.
  6. Getting my hair to successfully curl with my Chi. 2 failed attempts today. But I will not be thwarted.
  7. Figuring out which grade I'll be registering Ava for Charter schools in January. Because, by the time January comes, my brain will likely be runnier than apple sauce and not at all focused on her next academic year. She's technically in kindergarten, but do I make her repeat, or just place her into 1st grade for her first year of "traditional" school. It would be great if any of the 10 schools I emailed for input on this exact subject would email me back.
  8. A spa day would rock. This would be totally contingent on the house selling, as it's totally a frivolous expense. But seriously, this face needs some love. Having 2 eyebrows would be fabulous, and I'm pretty sure my toes are still sporting the polish I put on back in April. Week one. Gross.
  9. Have Sarah-Jo come up for dinner at least 3 times. Once for sushi--well she and Chris will eat the sushi, I will drool and eat my green tea ice cream. Once for absolutely anything she feels inclined to cook at the time ;) and Once for nothing but shenanigans.
  10. Love my family every moment. Ahhh sentiment.

Monday, September 12, 2011

26 Weeks

I had a terrifying realization on Saturday. Saturdays are my "victory days", because it means that I am able to say I'm in a new week of my pregnancy. And as all mommies know, every day--every week that you continue to stay pregnant, exponentially increase our odds for healthy babies. I've seen two amazing children born micro-preemie that have blown their doctors out of the water, and those babies give me hope. Hope, that if my body isn't able to make it another 10 weeks, that we will all survive and thrive.
Saturday, as I hit my TWENTY SIX WEEKS mark, and thought *phew* only two more weeks and then I'm in that "so much safer" zone. I mean, delivering at 28 weeks would still be so incredibly early and scary, but according to the Docs, it's a heck of a lot less scary than 25-26 weeks. It's mind blowing to me the difference that each week on its own can make to a baby's development. I was speaking with my sister-in-law who finally put into perspective how close I really am getting. She said, "Wow, in two months you'll be done." I laughed at that for a micro-second, and then realized...10 weeks...that's 5 MFM appointments. 2, maybe 3 more measurements...OH MY GOSH THAT'S TOO SOON. Because I have monochorionic twins, (sharing a placenta) it is not advised to go beyond 37 weeks, because the placenta just begins to die off. So, technically...after today I may only have 4 more appointments with my fabulous Maternal Fetal Sonographer, who I have come to adore. She's so sweet and makes me laugh. She is super fast and accurate at the same time. It also means that I have only 10 weeks of growth for the babies. I'm not that huge at the moment. I mean, I would have imagined myself so much bigger--not that I'm at all complaining, but the thought that two 6 pound babies will need to be in me at the same time...I have this feeling I'm going to wake up one day and not be able to get out of bed. As if it will just happen one day. I'll admit, the past 2 days I've felt the growing and can see it. Exponential. AH!

So, am I ready? Am I really ready for two new babies? I have a car that fits 3 children...and 1 infant seat...and absolutely no baby clothes, because I was so certain we were done having children that I gave them all away. And to be honest, I'm too terrified that going and buying anything before they are both here, would be jinxing them. I know this sounds crazy. I'm not a superstitious person by any means, but I cannot bring myself to buy anything for these boys. I just want them here first. I want to hold them. It's almost like I cannot fully grasp what is coming my way. It was only 8 weeks ago that I was treated for Twin Twin Transfusion Syndrome. Seeing my babies were in danger. It scared me. It numbed me. And then, like THAT it was over. A bad dream. A practical joke. And by the end of the week, I was just like any other twin pregnancy mom. I try to think through it, and still cannot put my experience into comprehensible words. I'm reading this book--Toughest Teeniest Twin Soldiers-Living and Dying through TTTS. It's difficult for me to read. This woman lost one of her babies. He only had a 2 vessel chord, and then her babies contracted TTTS, so it was all too much for them. It's difficult to read because I feel the chaos all over. But, I owe it to her, to myself, and to all TTTS warriors to read this book. To honor the memory of her son. To honor the erratic experience that is TTTS. They have an Ebook version for $9.99-which is what Chris got me. It's been cathartic to see that I'm not the only one who struggles to express in print what going in for a regular check up and receiving devastating news does to you. My twins and I are fortunate that, as of my last appointment, all signs of complications due to TTTS had been reversed, corrected, healed. I have an appointment today at 1:30 to measure the babies. And even though every ultrasound since my surgery has only shown amazing and miraculous news, I'm always just the tiniest bit tempted to not go. I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach that I'll get bad news all over again. But then I think of my heros, Amanda and Johannah. These amazing women and their husbands, Peter and Ben. These parents whose babies were born at just shy of 24 and 26 weeks. These parents who prayed, and cried, and dedicated their lives and sanity to the survival of the sweet spirits that many doctors may have given up on. These parents who met with, and continue to meet with countless doctors, hoping for the best of news, but ever ready for the bad. These parents who now hear everyday how "normal" their child appears. How "perfect" and how "smart, well, beautiful, healthy..." and live through the anguish of knowing how far their child has come in the fight of their lives, while others see only a happy child. I'm sure it's a double edged sword--the desire to shout back YA WELL YOU HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA WHAT IT'S TAKEN TO GET HERE while at the same time relieved that not everyone will HAVE to know, or will see right away the dangerous path they've trodden.

Charlotte-approaching 18 months-born at 23 weeks 6 days. You can read about her amazing and inspiring life at Understanding Prematurity.

Joseph-now 3 years old.

At 26 weeks, the only "set" of anything I may have is a set of adorable, snuggly, loving kids and the good ol' mother nature given feed bags. But I also have the wisdom of those who have gone before me. The help of a loving husband and his Nana, who in no doubt will be there to make sure I don't get lost in PPD. A mother and father who take my 2 older children regularly, to make sure they feel loved, and are getting the attention and adventures that 4 and 2 year olds crave. In-laws that adore my children and shower them in love, tiny treasures, laughter, tickles, and who my kids know beyond everything else loves them. My family-near and far-have proven to love me and my children, and I have no doubt that should things go "normal" or everything go horribly wrong that they will continue to be there. The other things will come as we have a need.

So when the countdown beings to give me shortness of breath, hopefully I'll remember...I have everything I need--and so much more.

***edit***
So it was Joseph and not Joshua--the correction has been made. That's what happens when you name your kids so similarly and then move them to Chile and not have FB until recently, so that I can never see them. Just saying***

Thursday, September 8, 2011

giggles

tonight, for about an hour, we played with flashlights. Hide and seek in the dark with flashlights. the kids laughed SO hard. and so did we. it was awesome. after about 45 minutes, we all said goodnight and the kids settled right down. a great way to get the last of the wiggles and giggles of the day out.
So, I randomly woke an hour ago and have been lying in my bed since unable to stop thinking about this--so i'm putting it out there in hopes that i will then be able to go back to sleep. It seems like my OB could really care less about me or my babies. I was transferred from a midwife to this OB at 20 weeks due to TTTS. However, despite seeing him 3 times now, he has never once looked at my babies, and spends a total of about 10 minutes in the room with me. He's been performing the Fibronectin test to establish if I'm going to be delivering in the next 2 weeks. He told me outright at my last appt 2 days ago that seeing him is completely unnecessary as I'm in Maternal Fetal Medicine every other week, and that I should bully them into checking my urine and PB so that I don't have to bother with him. I'm going to be 26 weeks on Saturday.

I realize that people deliver babies to doctors that don't know them every.single.day. Even if Dr Hartman did look at my twins every time, he could be sick or on vacation or stuck in surgery when it's time for my boys to come, but at the same time, the lack of his direct knowledge to my boys worries me. I love delivering at McKay Dee...but I think I've come to the conclusion that I don't trust this guy to by my OB. I don't want someone who is going to be fussing over me don't get me wrong. I just want my midwife back. Someone who took time to focus on me and my babies. I was never in my midwife's office for more than 15 minutes, but in those 15 minutes he was focused on me, the babies, asking questions, making sure to let me know that having questions of my own to ask was not only OK, but encouraged. Are there OBs out there like this?

Monday, September 5, 2011

25 weeks down *hopefully* 11 to go

Well, we are at 25 weeks and 2 days. I'm so excited. Fetal Medicine keeps telling me, if we can just make it to 28 weeks without any events, that the babies will have SUCH a better chance of survival and fewer complications. Every Saturday morning I have a little celebration in my mind that we all managed to make it one more week together. I'm aiming for 11 more. It seems the twins that can hang on until 36 weeks don't have to have any nicu time. I know that there is so very little I can actually control about when they come. That's the scary part. I can follow all of the rules and make it without any issue. Or, I could follow all of the rules and BAM! deliver very preemie babies. It happens so many times, every day. All I can do is continue to hope and pray that they continue to grow and develop until it's "safe."

Things seem to be going well with the house. We've had a lot of showings. So far, no offers...but people are at least checking it out. I'm excited that cooler weather is here. The mums will come into full bloom and the grass will suffer less heat exhaustion and be able to actually retain the water before it evaporates. Our yard is always prettiest in September/early October. Chris, Steve and Pam went out this past weekend and moved the sprinklers that had ended up behind the fence line when the fence was put up. It was so much easier to do with their help. The quote I got to redo the line almost caused me to faint. Nothing will make you sick of the phrase ending in "at least $500" like fixing up a house to sell. I can tell you...if you need anything fixed and don't have the skills or the time...it'll be at least "$500." I owe Steve and Pam big time. They probably shaved off 2 hours of time being there to help. Pam kept me from over doing things in the yard. She put me on Victoria duty while she helped Chris do lawn stuff. We fired our lawn company, because the 6" tree sprouts and weeds in the backyard screamed NEGLECT. Clearly, they weren't really coming every week.
Begin Rant--WHAT IS WITH THESE COMPANIES ANYWAY?! I have heard my mother-in-law talk about her previous pool and lawn companies before and just figured she had bad luck. But it seems crappy customer service and an inability to communicate effectively is universal with so many of these service companies.
  1. Answer your dang messages. I understand that you're on the job, and thus leaving a voice mail may be necessary...BUT YOU SHOULD CALL YOUR CLIENT BACK. Making me follow up with a text 3 days later, and then having me contact your BNI referee to let them know you're MIA before any kind of response is ridiculous.
  2. INVOICE YOUR CLIENTS. I can't pay you if I don't know when/if you've been at my house. When we agree on a weekly service, because the home has been VACATED, then please show up and do your job and then email, text, or SNAIL MAIL me to let me know you've been there and what I owe you for the services rendered.
  3. Happy customers = repeat business and additional referrals. You create happy customers by following the two SIMPLE rules above. Unsatisfied customers = me blogging about how awful of an experience I had and no referrals, just warning others to stay far far away. Seriously, I would have been better off with a 12 year old mowing my lawn. END RANT
Well, it's time to go eat, before I rampage on other random things. We are partying it up today at my parents for KK and Daniel. W00t! Happy Labor (and non-labor wooo hooo) day folks

Thursday, September 1, 2011

the words i long to hear...

I know you're weary
I know you've had all you can bear
And now you ask of me on bended knee
I promise I'll be there

I've watched you struggle
Yet I can see how much you've grown
Child, could you feel my power in your darkest hour?
You were not alone

Be still and know that I am God
I'm by your side
Whom shall you fear
I'll give you strength my child
I am here
Be still and know that I am God
And there's no prayer
That I don't hear
Lift up your head
My child
I am here

--my daughter has seen far too many tears run down my face the past few months. Too often she is the one being a comforter. I pray and plead for peace. I pray and plead for refuge. Stress.Anxiety.Uncertainty. I feel it. I breathe it in daily.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

it's the perfect blendship


I can't believe how fast time is going. The other day, my dear friend Peter Ford asked me how it is even possible we've gotten to be at the stage of life, where we are having kids grow up on us. Simon started preschool at Bravo with his cousin Melyn last week. He LOVES it. We are lying down last night...and he's trying so hard to fall asleep and suddenly he points at the ceiling and counts to TWELVE, and then perfectly sang the ABC song. Now, for some kids this would not be anything huge for almost 2 1/2. However, for my Si-guy, this was a first. He's been trying to get his ABCs down for a few months, but kept skipping a few. He was so proud and just LAUGHED each time he could do it. His new favorite phrase is "What's this?" and he fully expects an honest and correct answer. Even when he knows the answer, he will ask. If you get it wrong, he will correct you. If you say, "I don't know hun." that just doesn't cut it. He asks again and again until you tell him. His curiosity is just exploding. He has had some major 2 year old moments this past month, but I'd say he's adjusting really well to all the change that has come into his little world this year. He broke from the bottle, moved, and I lost the permission to carry him all in a 4 week period. Who wouldn't have issues with that? Through it all though, he's really growing into a little guy quite well. Most nights he settles down easily and is very lovey when he can tell I've run out of strength. He is very ready to let you see and mourn any and every "owie" imagined or real. He milks the attention. No chance of this kid getting lost in the mix, that's for sure.


Ava has abso-lutely loved her first week of kindergarten at Bravo. She has made a best friend, which is a true answer to a prayer of mine. She has been so very lonely since we moved up here. She went to her friend, Kimmy's, house today. I hope that Kimmy's mom and I get to know each other well, and maybe I'll make a new friend too? Dare I hope? She seems really sweet. She was nice enough to host the first play date when the girls BEGGED to play right after she and I met. Ava seemed to really have a blast. I hope they stay good friends throughout the year. She is only a month older than Ava.

Speaking of besties, Rachel and I met up this afternoon. I am loving our weekly outings. It gives me something to bribe my kids with, and really gives me something to look forward to. Rach really has been an answer to my prayers as well. I feel like being friends with her is zero effort and very much kindergarten easy. You meet, laugh, and bam...instant friends. I wish it was this easy with everyone, but then...it wouldn't really mean anything to me I guess. This week we ventured to Kangaroo Zoo-it just opened in Ogden. It's a warehouse full of bouncy houses. It was about 80 degrees and 200% humidity, but the kids had the time of their lives, and for 2 hours bounced, climbed, slid, and came begging to leave all sweaty, tired and stinky. Ah, the way a play date should end. It ensures no fight for a bath or dinner. They actually asked for extras, and Ava needed a night snack as well. I'm not sure what we'll be up to next week, but I'm already looking forward to those couple hours of stress free socializing, and side aching laughter. And her adorable Annie. Man I love that chunky smiley baby.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hilary Weeks

AT one time in my life, I considered myself quite good with words. Along with so many things about myself, I no longer find this to be all that true. I have moments where I can be spontaneously clever, or say something randomly profound, but no real lasting word smithing.
The last few months, I find myself internally frustrated with this. I feel so many conflicting emotions and have been unable to express it even to my own soul.
My mother-in-law showed up the other night with a gift for me.
This cute book comes with a 7 track CD. 5 of the tracks are parodies of songs, bringing humor to frustrations mothers face daily. Track 6, starts off quite humorous, just as the previous 5, but then naturally, and unassumingly becomes a strengthening moment for every.single.mom out there, followed by an amazing song that perfectly expresses everything I've been trying to figure out in my own heart and mind for most of this year. It's called "Who you are." The night she gave this to me, Chris had offered to take the kids home in his car, and I had the first "alone" time in over a week. I found myself pulling into the garage with tears streaming down my face. Feeling the love of my Heavenly Father stronger than I have felt in ages.
Last night, once again I found myself drained at the end of a long day. The living room was a disaster. The dishes were still waiting to be done, along with laundry...and the endless list of things that we, as mothers, seem to find vital tasks before we allow ourselves a moment of peace. I feel so unequal to the task so many times in a day. And when I consider that our lives are about to be added upon with these precious little boys...I literally cower. How can I possibly find the patience, love, energy for two more souls at once? Instantly doubling our kids....I finally understand somewhat of how the apostles may have felt the day of the 5,000...with 5 loaves and fishes. How to provide for so many with so very little. And yet, as Hilary explains on her CD, the Lord thanks Heavenly Father for what they've been given, despite how it is so painfully obvious insignificant vs. the need. And yet...again, by the end there are 12 baskets full...and all have been fed. Our Father in Heaven gave not only what they needed, but more than enough. Can he really make me...give me...more than enough to provide the love, kindness, patience, strength and energy that my family will require? I found this when I was struggling with this ....



Again, the sobs...Something about a good,hard, body shaking cry is the only way to relieve the pain and stress. The only way that I can find myself able to pray. Pleading. Begging. Questioning. I used to have so many answers, and when I listen to these songs, and take the time to find the silence...and feel the inspiration of the lyrics and musicality, something in my heart is strengthened, and screams out...The answers are still here. You know that the Lord is aware and with you. With the babies. Do not lose your way. So for now, I am once again seeing my life...walking the path to the Tree...the rod so close. Some moments I know I am clinging to it with my whole soul, but most...I feel that I am blindly reaching forward...hoping to find it again. I'm grateful for those out there that light the path with their testimonies...so that I can find my way back through all the chaos of life.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Back on the market

When I think about our home...sometimes I can't breathe. At the beginning of this year, my job was asking me to come back into the office a few times a week, and we knew from the last two years, to expect Ava to be in the doctors quite a bit between Jan-April. Yeay asthma and allergies. So, we set up an FSA fund, where they take money out pre-tax and set it aside for reimbursement. This really is a great way to pay for medical and childcare. We set aside the max for childcare, which is$5,000(hello 2 kids in day care is KILLER) and about $3,000 in medical. This resulted in Chris's take home pay being significantly smaller. At the time, it didn't really matter, because I was working too.
Fast forward to my first ultrasound, and the word TWINS. We realized that we'd need to sell the house. We were on schedule to list the house August 1st, but then jump ahead to TTTS bedrest of 6 hours a day...and my work hours are SLASHED and our mls date was pushed back to August 16. My company is incredible, in that they say when I can come in, to come in and they find me some scanning to do. The trouble is, new neighborhood with zero babysitters, and so last week I made it in 6 hours. six.
Our home looks amazing. We've replaced just about everything in the home, and added a new fence. Plug here for Rocky Mountain Fence in Hooper. $2,000 cheaper than other quotes, and had us installed within 4 days of our quote. Amazing.
I'm needing SO much faith here. We NEED a good family to buy our home and right about where we listed it, so that we can make it through this one income, full time school, 4 kids under 5 time of our lives. So, if you can please pass along our url...
http://www.utahrealestate.com/1049956

and spread the word, I'd really appreciate it. When we listed it 2 years ago, we had like 4 showings. It was so disappointing. This time, the home is vacant. This time, the home has a fully fenced yard. This time, staying isn't an option financially. Please, if you can, lend a prayer for the sale of our home.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oh dear neglected blog. no one posts on you, and no one really reads when I do. *sigh* but so much has happened, maybe it should be chronicled. Just not sure where to begin.

Two weeks ago, I was diagnosed with twin twin transfusion syndrome on Tuesday about 10am. I didn't go back to work that day, so my poor replacement took over the job after only one day of training. (which consisted mostly of laughing) About 3pm, I got a call from Hollywood Presby in LA and was told to be there the next day at 9am. We booked a flight, hotel, rental car, and at 4am, headed to the airport. The tuition Chris had set aside for fall covered our expenses. I've got 3 weeks to figure out how to replace $2500...so not thinking about that at the moment...ok well clearly I am, but as of now, no longer thinking about it.

We met with Dr Chmait's team-
Ashley the sonographer--brilliant southern gal, with a slight noticeable dialect. Brilliant. Kind. Hilarious. I almost threw up on her a few times, then she stopped believing me that I was "ok" during the 3 hour sonogram and just started insisting it was time for a break.

Terry the nurse--this sounds odd, but seriously, it felt like I've always known this woman, and grew up with her as a 2nd mom. She was hilarious, kind, and insisting we text updates. She reminded me so much of Monica Ciotti. I instantly loved her.

Ramen Chmait, MD--brilliant, kind, all around human doctor. He took so much time to talk to us about the disease, and our options. Again, I feel like he wasn't just some doctor a few states away I had to come to, but someone that had known me forever, and was really concerned and determined to make this overwhelming and frightening disease a distant memory. A "remember when..." Ten years ago, twin twin transfusion was a death sentence...now thanks to his diligence, and desire to eradicate this awful condition, it's just another pregnancy road bump.

They operated Thursday, and the entire team was fabulous. They all told me that while I was under for a few moments that I ranted about chips and snoring, but I'm pretty sure they concocted that story pre-surgery and that the whole thing never happened ;) I am a light weight though, so it's highly likely that I would rant about chips. Hello, I'd not eaten in like 15 hours. FOOD people. FOOD.

The entire staff of Hollywood presby was amazing. There were a few communication struggles with varying ethnicities, dialects etc, but nothing we couldn't smooth over with gestures, smiles, thumbs up etc. They were the nicest rounds of nurses I've never had the pleasure of receiving care from to be honest. They ordered Chris meals as well, and gave us a private room, so that he could have a bed, and not just a foldout chair.

Friday, thanks to having no contractions, and my cervix still being in a "normal" range, we were discharged with modified bed rest instructions, two healthier babies, and cured of TTTS. We drove down Sunset Boulevard....all the while, Hugh Jackman singing in my mind. We got to Santa Monica beach, and spent a whole 5 minutes searching for shells for Ava. Then we spent a good 45 minutes going 6 miles down the 405. 30 of those I'm pretty sure were spent on the on-ramp of the 405....at 3pm. Let's just say dear 405, that you cured Chris of any desire he had gotten from wanting to live in CA.

The Bob Hope airport was very nice, and had someone wheel us to our gate. We got home about 1am Saturday, due to a layover in Vegas. I was exhausted. My mom has been taking the kids a few days every week to help give us time to rest. In the middle of all this madness, we've been moving and attempting to get our house ready to sell. What can I say, I live for a challange.

Due to my new bedrest restrictions, we've had to hire out the yard and house cleaning. Ok well kids are now climbing on me...later

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