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'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
and Wilton's White Melting Chocolate

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


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!


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

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 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 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 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'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 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.

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 close. I'm still doing my protein drinks a few times a 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.

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