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 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 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.

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


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 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'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.