29 October 2012

Talking with Lucy - this kid is bananas.

Lucy: Did you know that my favorite colors are red and blue? They're not purple and pink like I tell people.

Me: Oh really? Well, your favorite colors can be anything you want. You really don't have to tell people you like a color just because they do.

Lucy: I know, but Molly really loves purple and pink and I don't want to hurt her feelings.

Me: Oh, well, that's nice.

Lucy: Do you think maybe I should be honest with her and just tell her?

Me: Yeah, I think that would be fine. I'm sure she won't mind.

Lucy: Okay. I'm going to tell her.

Me: Great!

Lucy: When we're teenagers, probably.

Lucy: I wish I were an alligator. I would love to live under water.

Me: That would be neat.

Lucy: Yeah, but I would probably just eat fish and not people.

Me: Good idea. You could be a friendly alligator. But how would people know you were friendly?

Lucy: I'd try to get a spot at the zoo, probably. Those animals are all friendly. And then I'd just lay on the sand and wave at people.

Me: Fantastic idea.

Lucy: Or maybe I'll just work at the zoo and visit with alligators instead. I'd like to be a monkey trainer.

Me: That would be so cool - could I come visit you? I've always wanted to pet a monkey!

Lucy: There is no way I'm going to let you in. If I break the rules for you, I'll have to break the rules for everyone.

31 weeks - shield your eyes!

Mmmm-hmmm....drink it all in. Nary a stretch mark, y'all! Of course, I'm still 3 weeks out from "won't stop labor" and 7 weeks from a scheduled c-section. It's about to get real. 

24 October 2012

Holy hands and feet!

I am lying in bed at 11pm and the boys are just going bananas in there. I have been pregnant three times before but this movement is unlike anything I have ever felt. There are so many limbs feeling around in there I'd think it was a litter of puppies if I didn't know better. The strangest part is feeling kicking and tickling in absolutely every corner of my belly all at once. It's so, so, so crazy. I can feel Miles' hands by my right ribs, Max's feet kicking around with Miles' head by my left ribs, Miles' feet down by my hips, kicking straight down and Max's hands down low on the right, feeling around. Miles' head is pushing right up under my sternum and Max's toosh is right next to that head, wiggling all over. Every part of my belly is waving around, and I really have no chance of sleeping until everyone quiets down and goes to sleep.
I may be completely wiped out, but it's really too amazing to ignore for a little sleep. I have no idea how they still have the room to go crazy in there, but it's really cool feeling them kick off each other and know that I'm growing a pair of tiny best buddies.

Wednesday Was Today

A Cheerio with a heart in it!

Stone babysits Mo and Claire.

Molly - today she started saying, "There's only one Molly!" Girlfriend is RIGHT.

Claire's unfortunate walk through a fire ant mound ended with less-than-great consequences. What's weird is that we went outside and walked the whole yard and never did figure out where she found them. No tears or anything, just walked back into the house with a foot covered in bites. Brave girl!

I swear I don't have a favorite kid.

So we were at WalMart one morning last week. Our WalMart is brown rock on the outside, and the "multi-kid" carts are lined up outside the mechanical doors. Lucy was at school, so we just had Mo and Claire. We had a lot to buy so we put them both in the blue seats in the back of the "big cart." Molly jumped in first and scooted over to the wall.

As we were getting Claire buckled in, Molly squealed with delight, "Ooh, BROWNIES!" and leaned over and licked the rock on the outside of WalMart.

And I am still recovering.

23 October 2012

Happy things.

1) the drawing Andrew found in Lucy's bed tonight. He remarked, "Is this proof we're raising happy kids or what?! 36 teeth!"
2) a squirrel laying on his belly outside our bedroom window. So cute!

30 weeks, there's that wall again!

Well, we're back from another enthralling OB visit. The boys are now 3.4 and 3.6 pounds - I was worried until I was told by my multiples board that they're actually pretty big for their age and that it's normal for things to slow at this stage.

We talked with Dr. M about a few little concerns, but other than that it was just a regular visit. That makes it a relief AND a frustration, because at the size I'm at, normally something exciting would be happening, but at the week I'm at, the best thing is complete routine and a lack of "news." I just feel sort of nonplussed right now. Not really bummed out, but sort of "now what?" We have several "busy" weeks ahead of us, but I'm really too big and sore to DO a lot of it, so my view is more limited to "what sort of excitement is happening in the family room" and what we're having for dinner. I'm not really upset about any of it because it's certainly what's best for my boys, but I'm kind of staring at the walls and wondering what it's going to feel like to go insane. :-)

My mother-in-law (she really needs a superhero name) is here and I cannot find the words to express just how much we are loving and appreciating this. Most of the things I usually do leave me breathless and in lots of pain, and I'm 200% certain that if she were not here, this place would just not be functioning at this point. I do okay until about 11am and then I just need to crash. So she takes us out in the morning for some fresh air and an errand or two, and then brings us all back for lunch and naps. We're starting to get into a routine and things are sailing along pretty well, I think. One of the best parts is that Grandma does the mornings and helps get Lucy and her hapless Daddy out the door, which is REALLY helpful on those mornings after I haven't slept or I've been having bad nightmares or have just been "up." The insomnia is a major pain some nights, so when I've been up off and on until 4am, it's really nice not to have to jump up when Andrew's alarm goes off. I'm usually a very busy, "get-it-done" type of person, and it's really nice to be taken care of by a "get-it-done" type of Grandma. When I found out we were expecting twins I had no earthly idea how unlike a singleton pregnancy this is. I really wasn't expecting to be so down and out so early on! The girls are loving their Grandma time and I'm loving that they aren't just sitting in front of the TV all day while I just barely manage. Thank you God, for Grandma!

21 October 2012

Beautiful Sunday

Our Sundays are always wonderful, but today has been just peachy.

Football, pumpkin carving, angel food cake, surprise dinner from a neighbor, a nice nap and laughing girls all over the house. Peachy.

20 October 2012

Some random notes:

Claire is going to be Mother Teresa again this year. So cute I could die. It's too awesome a costume for me to sew something else. Lucy is going to be a ballerina. "Because that just seems easy and then you won't have to sew anything." My dream girl. Mo is undecided. She wanted to be Dorothy from "Wizards in Oz" but that seemed like too much to take on. So she's struggling. We keep feeding her ideas and nothing is good enough. Nothing!

EOS lip balm is where it's AT.

I started taking Nexium three days ago and haven't taken Tums since. I feel like a whole new cranky pregnant girl!

Stone is now one whole year old! Happy Birthday, sweet puppy! He is just the best and we love him dearly. Andrew took him to Molly's soccer game and was told by the owner of two older Danes that he is one of the best behaved Dane puppies he's ever met. Stone is just a treat and aside from the occasional food-stealing incident, he's really leveling out as far as his predictability. He's fantastic around the girls and I'd trust him around absolutely anyone. I mean, most people really don't know what to make of him, but once you get over his size, it's clear he's just a giant lap dog. His mouth is enormous, so I think people just assume that a mouth that big must eat babies and t-bone steaks, but I've found Claire's arm down his throat enough to know that he really doesn't care for baby meat. He is absolutely our heaven-sent boy and we couldn't be happier with the way he's growing up.

We had a little campfire tonight. Everyone had fun and Stone spent the evening chasing flying sparks. It turns out that as dumb and non-observant as he is, he never lets a spark get by. He's so tired he's actually sleeping in his crate, which is a minor miracle considering he refuses to sleep anywhere but the pregnancy pillow next to the bed.

That's really it for me tonight. I could totally go for a bowl of frosted flakes (seriously the best cereal ever) but I'm beached on my bed under the ceiling fan and there is no possible way I'm moving for at least an hour.

Sundresses and swinging with daddy

Oh boy is she cute. She has me wrapped around her chubby little fingers :-)


19 October 2012

The Love Boat: Loose Lips Sink Ships!

What a society of over-sharers we've become. Facebook, blogging, emailing, texting, the death of discretion...it all adds up to a pitiful crescendo of "let me tell you a secret that you can share with the world." What's sad is that our marriages and families have lost out so badly in this turn of societal events.

If marriage is the sacrament we Catholics insist it to be, it cannot remain sacramental without an element of mystery. Sacraments are all about transformation and the Holy Spirit and the mystery of Grace and God's love. We as Catholics (and people who want to help their marriages) have a duty to protect the innermost workings of the sacramental love of our vocation. That means...Buttoning. Your. Lip.

So how do you help your marriage remain a light to the world while protecting the important stuff, and what's really "important" anyway? Is it okay to complain to your girlfriends about your husband's laziness? Is it okay to mention how hot your wife is when you're out with your buddies? What about yakking with your mom over coffee and mentioning your husband's shortcomings? I mean, you tell her everything, right?

Andrew and I look at our home and family sort of like a special club. If you didn't create the people in it or drop out of a very select uterus, it's none of your business. There is such a delicate balance between letting the world know how much you love your spouse and over-sharing the tiny details of your marriage.

A big part of this is how much we share with our extended families and "best friends." The notion that a woman should have any "best" friend other than her husband is part of what gets us into this mess in the first place. I often come up short on husband drama when it comes time to talk about husbands just because my husband is my business and I prefer to keep him to myself. Girlfriends are such an important part of a woman's life - there are so many things that your husband just doesn't need to hear or really couldn't care less about, and girlfriends are there to fill in those gaps. The laughs I have and problems I solve with my girlfriends are wonderful and precious to me. But it feels to me that men are often so much more willing to keep their relationships more private than their female counterparts.

I was very fortunate to have married someone whose family cut him loose on his wedding day. At first I didn't know what to make of that. How was this poor kid going to survive with just ME? Didn't his family even love him? As the weeks started to move and the months passed on, I realized that I was being taught the NUMBER ONE lesson in marriage. If you're going to build that home, we're going to give you the tools to build a very high fence. A man's pride hangs in the balance as he finds his feet at the head of a family, and a woman has the distinct duty to allow him to take the reigns and let him get on with it. Andrew values discretion more than any person I know, and our marriage is strong because of that. Our house is in a private place, our photo albums are high on a shelf, the details of our intimate life are quiet and private. Quarrels? Maybe we do, maybe we don't. Money troubles? Maybe we do, maybe we don't. The things that could sway an opinion in an outsider's mind are always left in the house under lock and key.

But why? Because a person's reputation is what is there when they can't be. Damaging your spouse's reputation can have long-lasting effects on your friendships, your children, your spouse's well-being and your marriage. Complaining about your spouse to anyone but God and your spouse may paint him or her in a light that is really just a bad camera angle. So he's been working late for the past 5 nights and it's driving you up the WALL. Happens to the best of us. You tell your girlfriends over coffee, and one of your well-meaning pals thinks, "Gosh, he's pretty neglectful, isn't he?" She then takes it home and tells her husband about this sad situation, in front of her five-year-old daughter. The next day on the playground her five-year-old daughter says to your five-year-old daughter, "My mommy said that your daddy doesn't come home until bedtime anymore. Why not?"

And your daughter's mind races all night trying to figure out why Daddy hasn't been at dinner for a week.

Extreme? Not at all. Gossip races like wildfire and it always comes back to us. Sadly, much of the gossip starts in a place of friendship and turns into a demon that can hurt people later. All because you mentioned how much you hate it when he works late. Girl, give it to GOD. He never spreads gossip back, and never talks about you from a "place of caring."

In public, Andrew's negatives are silly. I mean, there has to be something, right? He always leaves the milk on top of the fridge when he gets the juice from the back of the top shelf. Who does that?! KILLER. He only washes the insides of dishes because he insists the outside is "just fine." I know. Major handful. I try to only share the things that we both laugh about and that he knows are "can't help but laugh about it" topics. He comes off as a shining husband who wouldn't do a thing to hurt my feelings or neglect perfect care.

In private, maybe his shortcomings are bigger than that, and maybe they aren't. Many people know that Andrew is the shining light in our family. He's just a really stand-up guy who was raised right. My duty to my children began long before they were born in the task of finding the man who would be their father, and I know that I made the right choice. But he is human, and yeah, once in awhile one of us wants to scream and yell and run out the door. (I'm pretty sure that I'm the one who causes most of the drama, but he suffers in silence.) But we keep that between us and the confessional. As my mom said yesterday, "When you get married you become one person, so the things you say are really representing yourself in reality."

So what about all the positives? Should we share those instead? I really have to say, moderation is key when you're talking about your spouse. Imagine this scenario. You're sitting at Starbucks listening to your friend complain about her husband, forming your opinions and listening attentively. She says, "Has Joe ever done that?" You respond with, "Oh, he'd never do that. He always comes home promptly at 5, (well, 5:15 on Wednesday because he brings roses on Wednesdays) does the dishes, bathes the kids, puts everyone to bed, walks the dog, vacuums the living room, massages my feet and joins me for some sweet lovin' right at 9pm."

And suddenly your friend is friends with your husband on Facebook. Weird, huh???? I wonder if they'd have become fast friends on Facebook if all you'd said was, "Oh, you know men..." and sipped your coffee sympathetically. The best way to paint your husband in a good light is to smile and reflect his love and attentiveness, rather than share all of those intimate details that belong to the two of your alone.

Marriage isn't a honeymoon all the time, that's for sure. But when I think back to my honeymoon, the best parts of it were the parts that we remember between the two of us. Not everything has to be shared and one of the best parts of belonging to the club is knowing the password. And really, why share your club with people who aren't paying dues?

Out cold.

Out cold.

Water Fountain. Old Skool.

Giant dog snuggles with Grandma.

So much love!

My Cuties.

All snuggled up. With a glow stick. Whaaaaatever.


Nanny Mo

Soccer pics fall 2012

The upside of being pregnant with multiples.

It is still incredibly surreal for me that there are two babies in there. Even with a sonogram every two weeks for months and months, I know that this won't really feel real until I'm holding two babies.
Even with the extreme fatigue and constant pain, being pregnant with twins is still super amazing.

The movement is 24/7. I love feeling my babies move inside me, and with twins I feel them all day long and then throughout the night. I remember how stressful it was being pregnant with Lucy, who was a very quiet, infrequent mover. Now that I know Lucy, it makes sense. But when you have more than one, there's always a kick to greet you. (Of course, they're out of room in there now so the movement is painful and cramped, but I'll take it.)
Last night at a meeting I put my palm on the side of my belly to move Miles over (very frequent - he's a sideways sleeper) and felt his heartbeat as I held his back. It was SO amazing, and not something you get to feel very often with singletons as they don't stretch things so far.

People get very excited about twins. When we mention that I'm still weeks away and we're having two boys, people jump right into the conversation. Grocery lines are good for this. We've had as many as four and five shopping carts back involved in the chatter. It's just fun, thinking of doubling the blessings. What's interesting is that we rarely get a "congratulations" from anyone, as this will be Babies 4 & 5, even with people being fascinated with twins. When they think the boys are our first pregnancy, they're thrilled for us. When they find out we're welcoming two more to our already "finished " family, we get a lot of nose wrinkles. I'm okay with that. I think it's very often a nose wrinkle from personal regret. Children are amazing, and the number of elderly people I meet who tell me that they regret not having more children is frequent. I think that the younger generation feels that pull and doesn't know what to do with it, other than criticizing people who "give in" to biology.

Giving our son an immediate brother and lifelong playmate is awesome. We would have really struggled about what to do about baby #5. What if we had three more and just kept getting sisters??? God has fixed that decision for us so easily! 

It's the best surprise ever. We agreed that just the shock of having twins was enough to let the "other suprises" fall to the wayside on this one. Spontaneous twins are rare, and most people have to pay a lot of money for fertility treatments or adopt to get two at once. About a year ago I very vividly pictured two little boys sitting at the dining room table, and then it just fell off the radar. I guess the Lord knows what He's doing, doesn't he? We opted to find out whether they were boys or girls, even though we had a pretty good idea that they were boys. We named them early, because the chances of spending time in the NICU are higher and we wanted to "know" them better. Max and Miles sort of became a reality for us over several years of "well, how about that?" experiences, and they were STILL a huge surprise when we saw them for the first time on that screen.

The challenge of the chaos ahead of us sounds super fun, somehow. Call me crazy, but more little feet around here can never be a bad thing.

17 October 2012

Family Room Evening.

I'm blogging from my phone. From the sectional. From the family room. From the other side of the hizzouse.

Sleeping with me is just not conducive to rest anymore, so the family vote resulted in "time to move the problem across the house." I'm having major issues rolling over, and when I do it successfully I have to catch my breath afterward. My heartburn has the Tums bottle rattling 4 to 5 times a night. My restless leg is constant. My snoring is catastrophic. I'm in the bathroom anywhere from 2 to 7 times in a night. Once I get back in bed, the babies have both woken up and take another 15 minutes to settle down again. Seriously. It's laughable. I usually get to this point around 37 or 38 weeks. I'm 29 weeks. So here I am, living in the family room until further notice. I have the good fortune of being able to nap at any given point during the day. My bed buddy Andrew doesn't have that same luxury. So he's got the bed and any night wakings with the girls, and I have the sectional and the ability to sleep more upright and do my own thing at night. It's pretty painful being across the house, because I like being the one to answer the girls at night and I like snuggling with Andrew at night. This just sucks. But I have to admit that having the freedom to keep my own awful nighttime hours does help quite a bit. And it's temporary. Soon we'll all be in one place again, with me dozing under nursing babies and begging Andrew for a king-sized bed.

I finished the letters for the boys' (2!) names above their cribs today, and they are SO cute!! We're going to start painting this weekend, and will probably have all the painting done within a couple of weeks. Once that's done we just need to order the furniture and do a tiny bit of rearranging. Pics will be posted as we make progress! So excited! 

Well, I need tums and a quick lap around the room to settle my legs and babies before I attempt the first sleeping shift of the night. Ah, the magic of multiples.

16 October 2012

Y'all, I am not the type of person who like to wander the house at night. I'm not a night owl, and I prefer to be asleep before everyone else.

And here I sit, in a dreadfully quiet house while the dog stares at me. I think he can tell that I'm incredibly out of sorts. I am SO tired, but everything hurts. My belly weighs about 12 pounds and is so big I can't pick things up without getting myself into an awkward position. And I still have at least 6 weeks to go. I will positively reserve the phrase, "maybe it's twins!" for people upon whom I wish to bestow the greatest gestational suffering.

Everyone is in bed, and I'm still roaming around because I can't get comfortable between the heartburn and the muscle aches. I am starting my "couch rotation," which is usually reserved for closer to 38 weeks, but since I'm measuring almost ten weeks ahead, I'll be doing a substantial bit more there this time around.

I'm not usually a whiner, but this is a little ridiculous. Two babies, two babies, two babies, two babies. A major bonus, right???

15 October 2012

Starting the Nursery!

All you're looking at right now is 8 yards of fabric and some paper cutouts, but it's going to be the cutest nursery EVER. We're going with a "tiny gentlemen" theme and you're going to flip your lid. Promise. 

Baby Stuff!

(Seriously, I'm not trying to bore anyone. It's a family blog, so it's mostly mundane details for the kids to read later. Tune in tonight for something a little less mind-numbing.)

Okay, everyone. I know you've just been clicking "refresh" over and over for the past week, so let's do this.

I don't have much to talk about...other than the enormous belly I'm sporting. Not because it's all I want to think about, but because it's really all I'm FORCED to think about. Since I'm really not doing a whole lot at this point, the belly sort of takes front seat to everything else.

I had my 29-week appt on Tuesday and the babies are looking great. I am now on iron supplements as well, but that's normal at this stage of the game. My gestational diabetes bloodwork came back great and the babies are 3.1 pounds each. They're gaining super fast, and are actually heavier than an average singleton at this point, which points to a great outlook for their birth weights. Getting them fat early on will make things much safer, should my water break or something crazy like that. My OB is still convinced I'll deliver sometime around Thanksgiving, which would be lovely. So much to be thankful for, right?

Monday and Tuesday I woke up with headaches, but nothing too bad. By Thursday I was still waking up with headaches and wasn't having much luck kicking it. On Friday it was a full-blown migraine and I spent most of the day moaning with ice packs on my head. I'm not a headache person, so it was a pretty rough day. I called my OB on Friday night and he told me to go in for monitoring and better painkillers.

We spent the evening in Labor and Delivery where Dr. N, whose bedside manner is infamous, refused to prescribe more than 1000mg on Tylenol, even though "your OB would like me to prescribe Fioricet." No joke. My friends and I have had more than a handful of experiences with him in the past and his name is like acid to most of them. Should my water break while he's on call, Andrew will be delivering the babies via c-section in the comfort of our kitchen with a steak knife and a Dremel. And 1000mg of Tylenol.

So I came home with a splitting headache and spent the night with ice on my head. Around 4am I remembered that Dr. M had prescribed "something" for me when I was pregnant with Claire and that I should try to dig it up. I found it, and it was FIORICET. Take that, Dr. N. I took a round of that first thing yesterday morning and then spent the entire morning in my cave, followed by another dose at noon and a nap. I emerged from the cave around 3 and was actually able to go out and take in a soccer game. It was blissful. Today has been kind of hit or miss, as my head has been feeling a little touchy but not really in a full-blown headache. I'm told by my multiples group that mirgraines in the last trimester can be very frequent due to the hormones. Fantastic.

I'm going to post this before I forget again. I'm going to post about the boys' nursery earlier. It's so cute you will actually drop dead and never come back. Promise.

08 October 2012

Meet "Baby B:" Hello, Miles Andrew!

Miles looked a whole lot more comfortable than his big brother, seeing as he was sitting nicely on Max's head! 

Yawning Boy.

Miles and his knee. :-)

Here he is opening his eyes and looking around. Cute!

We thought Miles looked a lot like Claire! His nose was rounder than Max's and his eyes really looked a lot like hers. 

Grow Miles, grow! We can't wait to get you out here to snuggle and kiss!

Meet "Baby A:" Hello, Max Aquinas!

It took awhile, but we were finally able to get Max to turn around and show us his sweet face! 

Our amazing tech got him to turn from a face-down tummy nap to a snooze on his back so we could get a better look. Here's the first picture of him, trying to hide under his brother!

If you ask us, he looks a whole lot like his big sister Molly! The only real difference we could see in the boys were their noses, seeing as the viewing was a tad limited! 

At this point, Max is the big brother, as he's slated to be born first. That's not really stopping his little brother from sitting on his head most of the time. Here's a foot kicking him in the face.

And a "thumbs-up" from Little Brother!

Sweet boy! You'd have a grumpy face too, if you had a bony brother in your eye! 

03 October 2012

Week 28

Now you see it...

...now you don't!

This would be where I admit that I've gained about 25 pounds and expect to gain another 15-20 or so. Of course, the consolation is that I can think, " Wow, I'd look awesome if I dropped 25 pounds!" and I know it's only around the corner. Be kind, third trimester!