30 September 2012

Feeling Sew, Sew...

Andrew was such a peach this am. I suggested he take the kids to the zoo, and he actually said, "Sounds good!" I was all, "Wha!?!??! Huh?!?!" And then I kicked them out before he changed his mind. 

I finished up ten more burp cloths since I gave away all the ones I made for the boys...

...put the finishing touches on a nursing cover...

...finished up some bibs...

...wrapped up the last of the shoe-sewing...

...and finished a few more pacifier straps. The only thing left is putting snaps on everything. Ick. 

 Do you want to know the best part of my day? 
I started working on Spiderman clips to match their bibs, which turned out suuuuuper cute. 
The only problem is that if I put "Spiderman" on the front, the fabric is folded so that...

Spiderman's crotch is on the back. Fantastic. I'm such a winning seamstress. 

29 September 2012

Claire Loves Marshmallows.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Be careful what books you leave in your back seat... Dale Carnegie.

We meet again, 3rd trimester...

Well, here we are at 27 weeks! Boy have we been waiting anxiously for this!

We had our 27w appointment yesterday, and it went really good. The boys are weighing in at 2lbs, 2oz each, so I'm carrying about 4.5 pounds of baby, 3lbs of placenta and 4lbs of fluid right now. Yowza. Their heartbeats were 145bpm each. My MFM says it's pretty rare that their weights and heart rates would be the same for more than one visit - clearly they're twins!

My MFM (Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist) said that the babies look VERY good and that my cervix is locked up like Fort Knox. (As if THAT was ever a concern? Sheesh if the last three weren't able to get out, I highly doubt a team of two will make much difference.) Now that's not to say that my water won't break on it's own anyway sometime in "the 30's." With everything being as stretched as it is, there will come a point where my body says, "Okay, go time!" We will schedule a c-section for the first couple of weeks in December, but will deliver the babies whenever my water breaks after 35 weeks. The cervical measurements are just a good way to see that preterm labor isn't an issue at this point and that the contractions I've been having, although they've definitely been "working" contractions, aren't making a change in my cervix at this point. She's assuming that my contractions have just been from not drinking enough water or from routine activity.

I also saw my cardiologist, and it sounds like my heart issues have been doing a little resolving over the past few years and that my regular OB will be getting a great report in the next couple of days. Wahoo! I also did my glucose test a couple of weeks ago and passed that, so it looks like I'm out of the woods where gestational diabetes are concerned. Whew.

The babies are moving like crazy, and Baby B is now breech. We felt him turning the other night, so we weren't too shocked to hear that he made a complete 180. They are both very, very strong and spend most of each evening going nuts in there. I'm taking Zofran again, as the movement can just get to be too much around 8 or 9pm!

Andrew's dad was here for two weeks and left today. I can't even describe how helpful he was during the past two weeks, or how ROUGH today was after he left! He basically spent two weeks picking things up, changing Claire, carrying Claire, extracting Claire from situations, bathing Claire, getting Claire in and out of her crib and letting me rest. It seems like each day gets a little tougher, and having someone here to relieve me and let me sleep when my eyes closed involuntarily at 9am was so, so, so nice.

That's not to say we didn't have a little fun, of course! We went out for lunch, took the girls to their soccer games, went to a birthday party, went shopping, etc. I can generally set aside about three or four good hours in the morning to run two (and only two - any more than that and my day's shot!) errands, and then about two hours in the late afternoon to help with dinner, go outside, play with the girls, etc. We got into a pretty good routine just in time for him to leave!

I asked my MFM about potential limits to my activity and she said that with everything looking as good as it does, it's just a matter of listening to my body and dropping onto the couch at the first sign of fatigue. Some days I feel awesome, but I'd say that 5/7 of the week I feel POOOOOOPED. And let me tell you - if I don't get at least two hours of sleep midday, the entire house comes crashing down by 2pm. It's ugly. It's like being 40 weeks pregnant for 4 months, so think on that for a bit. The hardest part of the day is the 4pm to 8pm hours, when I'm just sore and crabby. I really love planning dinners and preparing them, but sitting down to eat them is when the muscles in my belly just start screaming. Something about sitting upright at a table kills me. I've had that problem with every single baby. Going out to eat is just as bad - ouch! So for the past couple weeks I'd prepare dinners and eat quickly, and then crash on the couch while the guys cleaned up and got the girls into bed.

My activities are very quickly coming to an end - just too much energy to put out there! The good news is that most of the stuff we were involved in was planned to end about now as we knew that with a twin pregnancy, things would need to be dropped or cut short. So I'm really not trying to do too much anymore. I still have a morning meeting once a week to meet with my mom's group and socialize, and next week ENDOW starts one evening a week. It looks like I'll probably wrap up the Mom's group in November some time and spend more time on the couch, but I'm hoping to save my energy for ENDOW and make it to most of the meetings before the boys arrive. It's REALLY important for my mental health to get out just one night a week to get a break from the house and family and just do Laura things. Andrew is being super nice about it and since my OB says that driving is peachy keen, he's biting the bullet and loosening up on me. ;-)

 Other than that there really isn't much more that I do, save for doctor's appointments. Those will increase a lot in the coming weeks, so I guess I'll be trading socializing for ultrasounds. Whee. Andrew does soccer practice in the evenings, which is super nice. I like going to the games, but soccer practice is a little "eh" for me. That's a Daddy thing! I'm still making it to games on Saturdays, but that's an easy one, as I just sit there and yell. Heck, I do that on the couch!

Andrew's mom will be here in one week for the "second shift," which will consist of fighting random acts of Clairorrism for three months of active duty in a war zone. She's so brave. She'll take over all the "Grandpa duties" of the past few weeks, with my couch time increasing as the days (hours) go by. Her stay will involve a LOT of doctor's appointments, soccer practices, bus-stop waiting, lunch-making, kid-bathing, Claire chasing, laundry-moving, blood-pressure checks, swing-pushing and Play-Doh. Talk about a working vacation! I anticipate that I have about another 3 weeks of feeling "okay," and will probably be VERY horizontal by Halloween. The thought of having ten more weeks to go REALLY gets me down, but as much as I'm mourning the loss of the entire season to rest, my body tells me that I won't want to do anything else anyway! Needless to say, I'm filling my DVR with all sorts of mind-numbing TV!

24 September 2012

Mondays are for Dumptrucks.

I haven't written about anything but the babies in several months. Sheesh. Really, there are other things happening around here.

We're landscaping the top of our driveway, which is a huge thrill for the entire neighborhood. (No, really. Our neighbors seem to be making eye contact with us again!) I need to get some good pictures - I'll do that tomorrow. We're (I say that like I'm doing a thing...) removing all of the huge, rotting railroad ties and replacing them with a rock edge, and then moving forward with the most lovely top-o-the-hill scene you ever did see.

Let me say something here about railroad ties and lava rock. They are not okay. They are old, dated and sad. If you are, indeed, harboring lava rock, it's time. Take that shovel by the handle and start the project. I beg you. This world would be such nice place without lava rock. 

So what are we doing with our lava rock? Ha. It turns out it's REALLY hard to get rid of 3 tons of lava rock. I'm not the only one who feels it should be banished from the face of the earth, apparently. You can't give this stuff away. So I had the brilliant idea to hide it under a bush. No joke. We're just shoving it all under our hideous juniper. The best part is that our neighbor C actually admitted to inspiring our previous homeowner to put the lava rock in 30 years ago. Don't admit that, girlfriend! Sheesh, that's like saying, "I totally invented Tamagotchis!"  

Oh, okay, let's DO talk about that hideous juniper. I am of the opinion that juniper is the ugliest foliage ever. I realize that it's a tree that has been around since biblical times. Admirable, but not convincing enough for me. But while I'm all about curb appeal and doing away with the ugly, Hot Stuff is all about privacy and keeping the view of the street at bay. Insert groan here. So we compromised. Sort of a "keep your ugly juniper as long as it's hiding the ugly lava rock." The juniper is actually big enough to hide that much rock. It's really something. 

So the lava rock is just being pushed straight back and we're planting bushes in front of what you'll be able to see. Genius. Hot Stuff and the Deacon Supreme have been shoveling all week and moving rock, and finally decided that they were done with that mess a few days ago, so I called and ordered 7 yards of "sandy soil" from a nice place in Fort Worth. They were out bright and early this am (see pic below) and dumped it on the top of the hill. Claire just about lost her ever-loving mind when she saw that dump truck. The driver got out to give me the receipt and she was in his arms in an instant, trying to convince him to put her in the truck. He was nearly convinced, but professional enough to peel her off his shirt and hand her back to me screaming and yelling. She screamed right through the entire dumping process and was on that hill of sand faster Stone jumps on a pancake. (Also, make sure you read those last few lines carefully. I skimmed it and totally read that the dump truck driver took off his shirt. Not what happened.)

Okay, so we cut out the juniper in front (one less juniper in the world - hallelujah!) and took out all the railroad ties. All the rock is out and the the ugly metal edging is gone. In it's place is a huge pile of sand. 

So the sand has been spread and the next step is putting in the weed mat and edging stones.  Eventually we'll have them going down the entire driveway, but we're taking it a step at a time, clearly.  H.S. and D.S. are at Lowe's right now taking advantage of the last day of the "paving stone sale."  Gotta save that 20%, you know...

Well, now you know what's going on here. Other than the litter in my belly, landscaping is king! 

Dirt!! Wahoo!

23 September 2012

A hat for C-Fizzle!

A hat for a boy.

So many sweet girls!

Signs of a life well-spent.

Face-down in her pillow, too tired to even move her big toddler head, filthy feet from running outside until she collapsed in bed. Love this kid.

The closet

Ready for another season of playing hard!

My baby.

That moment when you think, "She's half me and half him. And that's wholly perfect."

I like the pensive, thoughtful gaze she's got going on. 

21 September 2012

A Kid Update

So, it's been awhile since I updated on the little folk around here. They're all so different from one another that I like to document how they're changing from time to time. As everyone is coming up on "and a half," I thought I'd put into words just how things are going.

LUCY - At almost 5 and a half, Lucy is such a little mama. She is incredibly dutiful and loves to feel as useful as possible. The more praise from Mama and Daddy, the better! Lucy is a very gentle girl who loves to care for her sisters and is often quicker than Mama at pulling a crying child into her lap for a backrub and some shushing.

Lucy is loving kindergarten and has almost a full month of Smiley faces on her calendar. She came home in tears yesterday because her class lost a privilege and she couldn't stop them. After a bit of crying and a "sometimes being part of a group means group consequences" talk from Mama, she perked up. When Daddy got home and asked how her day had been, she said dolefully, "We can talk about it later. I don't need tears running down my face while I'm trying to eat." Takes everything to heart, that one!

Lucy loves Stone and is doing really well with his training.  It's a lot of work for all of us, and she makes sure he gets plenty of scratching and love. She feeds him in the mornings and though he's bigger than she is he wouldn't dare push her around.

Lucy is really into bugs and creepy-crawlies. She's forever bringing little animals into the house and making homes for them. Most of my containers have holes poked in them and lizards living inside. She's not afraid of a thing and is always the first to get her hands dirty and do what needs doing!

Lucy is such a funny girl. She has her mama's timing and her daddy's hang-loose attitude, which makes for quite a few off-the-cuff comments. She loves to be in on any secret that sets her apart from "the little ones" and works hard to maintain her "I was here first" status.

We are having so much fun watching Lucy learn about life. Most days she teaches us more than we teach her, but never fails to remind us that she'll always be our peaches-and-cream first baby girl!

MOLLY - What can I really say about Molly? She's sort of this magical little fairy who just happens to sleep in the bottom bunk.

Molly is just past 3 and a half. She loves princesses, chocolate milk, baby animals and pretty things. She is a very typical 3.5 year old, minus the willfulness and tantrums. She expects her cereal on time every morning, but that's as far as her demands go. She's just like her daddy. Good-natured, steady and amiable.

Molly lives in her head most of the time, coming out only for strawberries and Popsicles. I often lose track of how long she's been in her room daydreaming and chatting with her toys.

Molly prefers to wear pink and purple and accents of pink and purple. Sparkles are a bonus. She wears pink Disney princess crocs every day and would rather just go barefoot if she can't find them. She has a wild head of fuzzy reddish-brown hair and although her hair is very red, she refers to herself as a "brown head."

Molly is very excited about the "baby twins" and asks about them several times a day. "Are the baby twins crying? Sleeping? Happy? When are they coming?" The other day Molly and I were in the tub and she was squashing my leg with her bony back and I yelped, "MO! MOVE!" She looked at me for a second and asked, "Are the baby twins trying to get down your leg?" Uhhh....no.

Molly is having a pretty good time doing her own things while Lucy is in school. I think she's really enjoying just having quiet days to play with Claire and disappear into her room. She loves to get together with her best friend Reesie; they could spend hours chatting and swinging on the tire swing.

Molly is learning to count, and can make it to twelve before she just jumbles them together and shouts out any old number. We're pretty sure she's somewhat colorblind. It appears to be a red-green issue, so we're not pushing the colors much right now. Her alphabet is solid, and she tells us she can write her name now! It looks something like this: "OoooOooOooOooooOOOO." I know, right? My little genius.

All in all, it's Molly's stage and the rest of us are just supporting cast.

CLAIRE - Claire is...well....let me tell you what she isn't.

She isn't timid. She isn't taking prisoners or pulling punches. She isn't limited in her climbing abilities. She isn't quiet or meek. She isn't at a loss for words. She isn't afraid of anything. She isn't afraid to beat the dog. She isn't what I pictured when we named her "Claire Faustina." I thought that was the name of a sweet and shy little baby. Claire is sort of like a tiny warrior. We've started singing, "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Faustina?" when she's really on fire. Her bright red hair and "don't you dare challenge my tiny authority" eyebrows make her this crazy little short-legged Napoleon who will do anything to get her way.

Yes, it's partly the age. And partly our purgatory here in earth. Claire is cuter than the Dickens, so she just sort of runs the show and gives us the stink-eye when we fail to obey. At 15 months, what else can you do?

BABY A - We'll call him Ace. Ace is a big fan of his sisters' voices and really only gets going when he hears the chaos of the house getting really ramped up. Maybe he's trying to run in the other direction? He's especially sensitive to Lucy and will bounce all over the place in the afternoon while she chats about her day. Otherwise he just lets his brother represent the womb while he hangs back and enjoys the squishy happiness.

BABY B - His real name may be low-key, but Scooter is anything but. Scooter is on the right side and spends most of his day reminding me that he's here. He's got a very promising left jab and I'm willing to place money that he'll be a lefty like his big sister Lucy. Scooter is a very steady and consistent guy who seems to be hanging on my every word. If I stop talking, he's right there with a quick kick to remind me that he's listening. 

I'm not sure to what degree the boys interact in there. My doctors seem to think that they're very in tune with one another from very early on and that they're aware of one another. Super interesting. Can't wait to see if they're fraternal or identical! I'll be really excited to see if the personalities I feel this early on will stay as they are once they're out of the water. I'm pretty sure that at this point I'd be able to tell if they switch places in there, though it seems pretty unlikely at this point. They've been in the exact same position since our very first ultrasound.

Well, that's the rundown. Lucy, Molly, Claire, Ace and Scooter. I'd mention Stone, but my eyes are closing involuntarily.  More about the hound later. <37

26 Weeks, Y'all!

Friday night - kids are in bed, I'm watching Criminal Minds re-runs (because who's not all about serial killers?) and eating chocolate-covered strawberries. Fantastic. We have a pretty quiet weekend ahead of us and I may or may not have overdone it a little bit tonight with a bit too much bending, so I'm just taking it easy and spending the evening on the couch.

We're 26 weeks in and these babies are incredibly BUSY.

Okay, all of the kids WERE in bed, but Molly is suddenly out of bed and has Andrew making hot dogs for her. Ummmm...what?

Anyway, back to the babies. I saw my cardiologist a couple of days ago for a checkup and he told me absolutely nothing. More of a, "Okay, come back next week and we'll do a longer test." Thanks, pal. $35 copay, down the drain.

I am measuring about 42cm and have gained about 25 pounds, which is pretty much ideal at this stage. The babies weigh about 2 pounds each right now, as they're in a period of "super growth" right about now. We have another checkup with our Perinatologist next Friday and will get more exact weights. I'm guessing they'll make a pretty good jump between now and then.

Andrew's dad is here and BOY is that nice! Lifting and bending is really getting tough, and at this point I can pick about two things to do each day, and he's helping to take up the rest of the slack. Things like walking up the hill to meet Lucy's bus, bending to change diapers over and over, picking Claire up for this and that, doing dishes in one spot at the sink, chopping and stirring and cooking, etc. Those things wear me out faster than anything else. I can go grocery shopping and enjoy the walking through the store, but carrying the groceries in and getting the kids in and out of the car is the tough part. I can go for car rides and do all my "drive-thru" errands myself, but getting the kids in and out more than twice is a killer. It's just one of those "too pregnant for my own good" type things. We're still doing playdates at friends' houses and things like that, where I have someone to meet me and grab the baby, etc.

I am very, very, very excited at the prospect of meeting these two little guys. I'd say the early bonding with them is on par with our early bonding with Molly. We were ready for her before she was even a twinkle in her Daddy's eye. I've sort of had these two in mind for well over a year, not really knowing why, and I really feel like I know them much much better than I've known the others. I mean, can you imagine having this weird vision of two more children at the table and then finding out you were having twins just months later? I feel like even though I know I'm not prepared for the reality of having twins, I've known for quite awhile that our family would expand drastically. I'm really glad we found out the sex of the babies, because it gives us so much time ahead of time to use their names and really get excited. (Yes, they have names, and no, we're not making them public until they're born.) It feels like they're already very much a part of the family and we're just sort of waiting around to get our hands on them! With Claire it was much, much different, not knowing if she was a girl or a boy. My pregnancy was exciting, but a little removed, as I didn't know who was on the way. With Lucy, we really didn't know much about how you learn to love a baby. Those two things kind of leave you in the dark as far as bonding goes. With the twins, we're really ready to get them out and have some fun!

So, things are going well. I'll try to blog more later, but I need to get horizontal and "rest my babies," as Mo says!

15 September 2012

YMCA Soccer Opening Day 2012!

It's that time of year again! Folding chairs, tired parents, smooshy grass and crying kids - must be soccer time! 

Today was an excellent day - overcast and the perfect temperature. This is Molly's first year of soccer, so we had a little bit of shopping to do this morning before we rushed over to the fields. Daddy took Lucy and Claire with him while Molly and I bought a couple of new chairs and some donuts for breakfast. 

Last year I Claire was 3-month-old snip of a thing, and this year she's got her own chair! 

Lucy's game was at 9, but she played goalie for the entire game, so we really didn't see much action. Lucky for Lucy, she LOVES playing goalie! 

Molly found a fedder! 

Claire's a one-bite sort of gal.

I was rubbing Mo's back, and Claire just had to get in on it. 

Causing trouble.

Our star goalie! 

Treats for our player! 

Molly's game was an hour after Lucy finished, so we killed some time in the car and had all sorts of fun playing while we waited! Molly was very excited to start her soccer career. 

She wasn't too keen on actually playing the game, but she did run when we yelled "RUN!" 

The cutest part of the game was when Molly got to throw the ball in. The referee showed her just what to do...



Not really...

...aaaaaand we'll just kick it. 

Molly is a full head shorter than all of her team mates, so watching her try to keep up was just too cute!

But keep up she did - she's a woman of action! 

Mama and Lucy watching the game.

Once Molly found out how fun her shorts were, she lost all interest in the game. 

Molly was very excited to FINALLY get the chance to run through her own Parent Tunnel! 

How cute is that man? Whew! Love him!