Monday, November 21, 2011

Apples to Oranges

Pregnancy #2, Baby #3

Here it is 17 weeks in, and I have barely said anything about how this pregnancy is going.

I managed to survive the first trimester. Some women may take that mean surviving the constant nausea and fatigue. Others may take it to mean that I managed to make it to the other side and still remain pregnant.
I mean both.

It seems that if you have ever struggled to get pregnant, struggled to stay pregnant, or have personally known anyone close to you who has done one or the other, that you take to heart the miracle that pregnancy truly is.
I spotted throughout the first trimester, something that had not happened to me while I was pregnant with the boys. It scared me and even through I was reassured by my doctor and the heartbeat on the doppler, I still found myself constantly thinking "If we have this baby..." rather than "When we have this baby..."
My nerves are easing up as I move closer and closer to 24 weeks, the age of viability. I have started feeling the comforting kicks and hiccups, the constant little reminders that there is life inside me. My morning sickness is completely gone, and for the most part my energy is back.

This pregnancy is progressing rather quickly, and so far it's been much easier than my last. But how can you even compare being pregnant with one baby to being pregnant with two? At this point, with the boys, I was measuring 26 weeks and suffering from major back pain, heartburn, and insomnia. This go around I am gaining weight slower and my belly is probably measuring right where it should be for one baby. I can still fit into my regular pants and button them, although I am a bigger fan of the elastic wasted maternity pants. Heck, I would wear them when I wasn't pregnant. I am reminding myself to appreciate the ability to look at my feet, and bend over easily, because soon enough that won't be happening.

I would love to report that Gabe and Nat are embracing this "Mama is having a baby and we are going to be big brothers thing" but quite frankly they don't have a clue how much their world will be changing come May.

Pregnancy Stats Mostly for my own benefit, but also for those curious minds.

How far along: 17 weeks
Cravings: Fruit, fruit and more fruit. Also, the occasional crunchy salad (romaine, rather than spring greens) and last week was Breyer's Natural Vanilla ice cream with Reese's shell topping (I ate a bowl everyday)
Weight: +6 from pre-pregnancy
Best moments: Watching Charlie Brown's Christmas with the boys and feeling a full 3 minutes of hiccups from Baby
Belly button: Formerly an innie, but now an outie that has yet to pop. If that makes any sense
Aches and Pains: Round ligament pains, and Braxton Hicks a few times a day(early yet again!)
Gender Prediction: 80% of me thinks girl, 20% thinks boy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Shortly after returning home from the cabin I embarked on what was going to be my next "Big Adventure"- watching my dearest, closest friend's daughter while she went back to school to teach in the fall. It was a perfect idea. She gets the piece of mind of having her daughter cared for by her best friend, and her best friend gets a little extra income. Two kids under that age of 2 is a lot of work, and 3 kids under the age of 2 is even more. But, I was ready and excited to have an extra playmate for the boys. Lulu is a doll, a mere 4 1/2 months younger than the boys, and a true joy to have around. I love getting so spend time with her. It is a perfect fit
The first week went great, I was exhausted by the end of the day, but that's to be expected when you chase 3 kids around all day, right?

Wrong. Well, sort of.

You see, I wasn't just exhausted from chasing three kids around. There was another reason lurking behind the exhaustion, and I found out what it was the next week.
I went grocery shopping with the boys one night. I passed the meat section and got dry heaves. Two aisle later I was completely nauseated, and that's when the possibility of pregnancy struck me.

No, I thought at first. We're infertile. I know we were told that fertility could be restored after the pregnancy, but that was a small chance. Plus we were being cautious, and to be quite honest, I wasn't sure that there was even an opportunity for us to get pregnant the previous month.
I had started spotting, but my period was 4 days late, so I caved and bought a test.
The boys were taking a bath when I took the test. I set it on the counter and thought to myself "I can't believe I wasted 8 bucks on this thing, there is no way that I am pregnant."
As soon as I finished my thought I looked down at the test to see the moisture wash over the test strip.

Two very dark lines. A positive pregnancy test.
A four letter word might have escaped my lips. Gabe might have also repeated the four letter word in his adorable, little toddler voice.

That's right folks... I'm pregnant.
13 weeks pregnant.
We're still shocked.

This is our Next Big Adventure

For someone who struggled for 3 years to try and get pregnant, who ultimately required one of the most high tech ways to conceive, it still baffles me. Spontaneous conception is what my doctor wrote in my chart. When someone who previously required IVF to conceive, conceives on their own.

Natural Family Planning to the tee, with only one opportunity for conception that occurred way before I ever ovulate. The size of the baby shows that I managed to ovulate more than a week before I normally do, without any of my normal signs that accompany it.
Ultimately, this was not in our hands. The Lord wanted us to have this baby.

I wouldn't let myself believe it until I had my first Ob appointment at 8 weeks. She found the baby on the ultrasound right away, and I saw the little flicker of the heartbeat. The evening bloat is slowly turning into a morning baby bump.
Last week I had a 12 week appointment, and I got to hear the familiar whoosh-whoosh of the baby's heart. My doctor had the challenge of keeping it on doppler while it did gymnastics around my belly. I was told to be prepared for the kicks and flips this one will be doing, considering how active it was during that short time at my appointment.
I'm starting to get excited for our new arrival. I'm not nervous to have another baby. One newborn will be a piece of cake after caring for two at a time.
What I am nervous about is how I will care for a baby while running after my two little monkeys all day.
They are runners.
They are climbers, and they are good at getting into trouble.
They have also started arguing for my attention. "MY Mommy!!" is a frequent phrase often heard. Now they will feel the need to fight even more when the littlest one arrives.
It will all work out just like it is suppose to.

I suppose the most ironic thing in all of this is that I was just starting to resent the "fertile" population again. In fact, I have a post that I had recently written, but not posted, about how we were going to start saving for our next embryo transfer, so that in a year we could attempt a second pregnancy. Thousands of dollars, and a year of saving for an attempt.
Well, I suppose I'm not considered infertile anymore. It's nice to lose the title.

Yes, we still have our embryos.
Yes, we will still be giving them a chance at life sometime in the future.
The possibility of a huge family is a very scary thought.
But I think back to 4 years ago when we were in the midst of heartache and failed fertility treatments, and I remember how I ached to experience the love that a mother has for her babies.

That love is powerful and amazing. If I get to multiply it by 6 kids, then my world will be complete.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Cabin

We returned from your second ever cabin trip last night.

The Cabin is a sacred place for your father. His childhood summers were filled with memories of this place; little boy antics, fishing, boating, campfires, family and friends. This place is a treasure for your family. Now that most of us are married and even have kids of our own, we return there. 3 brothers and 1 sister, 2 sisters-in law, a brother-in law, and 3 little ones occupy the bedrooms, futon, and porch for a week of fun and family.

I was apprehensive to make the journey this year, being that last year our trip Up North left me feeling stressed and crabby.
It was virgin territory for us a year ago. 2 parents embarking on our first ever vacation with a set of 10 month old twins. Our trip, pre-kids, used to consist of mornings that dragged into afternoons while we sipped on hot cups of coffee, lazy pontoon rides, fishing, afternoon naps, campfires, and rousing late-night board games accompanied with cocktails. Last year proved difficult to relax while nursing one baby, and attempting to nurse another who was deciding to self wean at the time. Trying to get you both to nap during the day, and sleep well at night was by far the most stressful.
I resolved that this year would go much better, you were older, and better sleepers, and best of all you loved sand and water, both of which are abundant at a lake.
We set off to the cabin on Wednesday and after 2 hours in the car I was starting to regret our decision to go. You were both antsy to get out of your car seats and run around. Gabriel started to tell us "All done car ride, all done!" Then we had tears and screaming.
My two wild and busy boys don't normally sit still for more than 10 minutes at a time. Daddy and I started to unload our bag of tricks. We had large container of toys and activities packed to distract you. Flash cards, toy trains, trucks, and balls. 10 rounds of BINGO, Happy Birthday to each and every one our family members, Old MacDonald, and The Alphabet Song were a nice, but brief distraction.
I'm sure that I could have popped open the lap top and played a Mister Rogers episode to quiet you, or handed you some battery operated toy but I cherish the simplicity of a family car trip without the use of modern day electronics. Even if it means listening to you crab at me for the remaining 3 hours on the road. I'd rather that you grow up chatting and singing, and playing "I Spy", and the license plate game with your parents during road trips verses sitting in the back seat of a mini-van staring at some cartoon movie playing in an overhead DVD player. Some of my favorite memories of growing up are those that were created while we three girls were "trapped" with your grandparents in the car during road trips around the country.
You both fell asleep when the sky darkened and awoke just as we arrived at our destination. You were greeted by Aunties and Uncles, and cousin "No-no" with enthusiasm. I was impressed that you went to bed so easily that night, albeit much much later than usual.
This year seemed to go off without a hitch. We had returned to the lake with experience under our belts.
Yes, you were crabby at times.
Okay, okay, you were crabby most of the time .
You crashed for your afternoon rest and for bedtime. In general, you were good boys.
Except for attacking your poor cousin on a few occasions. While you two seem to have your own hierarchy built in to your relationship (Nat, in general, being the leader, and Gabe asserting himself occasionally to keep things balanced) your cousin isn't built into the structure. Nat continued to lead the way, and instead of Gabe following as usual, he decided to lash out at poor "No-No" with attempted bites and a kick to the face during a diaper change.
Time outs didn't mean much when you appeared happy to take a break in your pack-n-play for 2 minutes. Scoldings from your Mama do nothing more than solicit a giggle and an impersonation of the yelling.
Our days were spent playing on the beach, and wearing your Auntie Katie out by catching 3 boisterous little boys as they jumped off the dock. You explored indoors and entertained yourselves with a rusty old wagon that was too fun to share, and many toys that your daddy and uncles played with as little boys.
We spent an evening meeting your Great Aunt and Great Uncle and your daddy's cousin. You ate cheesy bread and spent a good part of an hour racing up and down the ramp built for your Great Uncle's electric wheelchair.
On our last night we had the traditional fish fry. Everyone contributed by either catching, filleting, or cooking up the Perch and Rock Bass. My contribution was the quinoa salad. You ate up the fried deliciousness dipped in homemade tarter sauce. All you touched from the salad I made was the olives.
Sunday was the perfect day to head home. You had been out of your routine just long enough for it to start to impact you. The big crabbies were setting in. We tried to keep you occupied with some Yo-Gabba-Gabba and Baby Einstein so we could pack up and clean. By 11:30 we were all smashed into our car again heading South.
You surprised us with how well you both did on the trip home, especially considering that the traffic congestion added on an extra hour to an already 5 hour trip. Hearing that we were traveling back to a familiar place where you knew Grandma, Grandpa and Oliver would be helped the journey. That and stopping at a Dairy Queen to spoil you with some bites of a Blizzard.
I cherish the time that we get to spend with our family.
The late night games, chats, and laugh fests.
Your Uncles behaving like young boys who are high on life.
The way that your Aunties smother you with love.
I will remember how your first words when you woke so early in the morning were "All done night-night, Outside? Lake? Sandbox? and No-No?" In that order almost every day we were there.

You won't remember the memories we created this year, but I hope that someday the cabin will be a significant part of your lives.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Big Boys

It still wows me how quickly you two are growing.
It will hit me when I go to pack up your outgrown clothes and I see the last size that you were in. They look so much smaller, and yet it was just a mere 6 months ago that you were in them.

Today you both told me that you needed to go potty, so you tore off your diapers and ran into the bathroom. You plopped your tooshies down and proceeded to pee on the potty chair.
I am shocked and amazed that you are beginning to understand that concept. The whole aiming into the toilet is something that we will have to work on. You don't seem to quite understand that you are suppose to "push it down". Instead, you just grab onto yourselves and wind up peeing all over your fingers. For now, this mama will get the fun task of directing your boy bits into the toilet.

Your cousin, Rodion Ames, was born last week. I kept drilling it into your heads that your cousin Harper, or Nano (as you like to call her), was going to have a new brother. He arrived, and we visited him in the hospital, but you didn't show him any attention. I was surprised since you are both very baby obsessed and will seek them out if you see any.
Once he came to your house for a visit, you seemed much more intrigued. He was met with kisses and caresses from the both of you. I saw you both loving him, and I remember that just a short time ago you were his size.

We look through books and you can identify most anything on the pages. You tell me every morning that Grandpa, and Grandma and Daddy are at work. Every motorcycle you see belongs to your Uncle Nate. When you see an airplane in the sky you always ask for it to come back. I don't have to hush the dogs any more for making noise. When Jack and Oliver bark, they hear you two yelling "No bark! No, no bark!"

Your favorite thing to do is follow me around in the garden and ask for vegetables. I'll pick a small cucumber, or some beans, or a cherry tomato, and dust it off on my shirt before giving it to you. You both gobble them up and beg for more. When I have presented these foods to you on a plate, at the dinner table, you usually refuse to swallow them. But being in nature and eating directly from the food source seems to make them more appealing to you. I have to agree with you both on this one. There is something so delicious about food pulled right from the earth.

I hear you both in the morning chatting to each other. You like to wake one another up, Nat especially. Gabe is willing to lay back down and rest quietly since he wakes at such ungodly hours sometimes. Nat, when you wake up, you practically hop up before your eyes are open. You throw yourself to the edge of your crib and yell to your brother "Dabey!" while jumping enthusiastically. I only wish I had your energy in the mornings. You're still talking more and more,and taking more risks by saying words you always had your brother say for you.

We caught a sneak peak of what's to come in your adolescent and teenage years two weekends ago. We visited Grandma NeNe and Grandpa Bob for the weekend in Wisconsin. Our second night was spent at a concert up on Rib Mountain. The music was great and the view was spectacular, but you two seemed much more interested in flirting with the little girl named Olivia.
She was a few months younger than you. She caught both of your eyes. You toddled over to her, said "Hi!" while flashing your dimpled smiles. Then the acrobatics started. First one of you hung from the handrail on the side of the stairs. The second one, not wanting to be outdone, followed suit. Olivia may have been impressed, but since there were two of you, you needed to amp up your game to win her over. One of you jumped down and flopped over into a downward dog. Again, to keep it going, the second one threw himself to the ground in a sort of dance move kind of way. Our flirt fest with dear little Olivia was finished up with some good old hugs. You were both still trying to win her affection and the poor little thing was practically assaulted by your bear hugs and slobbery kisses. We had to pry you off of her, and distract you with some other exciting thing to look at. I walked away wondering where in the world you learned these wooing techniques? Your father must be sneaking into your room at night and conducting a Flirting 101 class.

The end of July is here which means that in a mere 3 months you two will be turning 2. It is bittersweet to say goodbye to your baby and young toddler years. Everyday you are growing bigger and are learning more. Before you know it, another year will have passed. I have to continually remind myself to slow down and appreciate the ride- the smooth parts and the bumpy parts. These are the best years, the years that are mine. I cherish the moments that you want to spend with me. A day will come when friends and girls are more important. A day will come when you leave home for good.

You are ours for such a short time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Daddy Love

There's something about watching my husband love his children that makes me fall in love with him all over again.

Outdoor Fun

Gathering lavender


My ham

My other ham


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dear Snowbabies

Every three months I am reminded of my infertility when our statement from the cryopreservation clinic arrives in the mail.

We send off a check to keep you safely frozen in time.
I think about you daily.
Your brothers and I pray for you all every night before bed.

I wonder if you are boys or girls. Would you have Gabe's brown eyes, or Nat's wild hair?
Would you love reading as much as your daddy, your brothers, and me?
But mostly I wonder if I will ever be blessed enough carry you -in my womb and in my arms.

I know there is a chance that I will meet you one day.
But stories and unhappy endings from others leave me broken-hearted and worried. I am not guaranteed anything. I may never experience a pregnancy with you. I may never look into your eyes.

If I never meet you here on earth, I know that I will hold you in my arms in heaven.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It's Tough Staying Home

Being a stay-at- home mother is a difficult job.
It's not harder that being a working mother. I don't agree with those that argue that it is.
I cannot imagine having to leave my children in the care of others while I trudge off to work an 8 hour day, and then come home and attempt to complete household tasks and spend quality time with my kids and spouse during the evenings and weekends. It seems like a huge stretch of self for one person.
But being a stay-at-home mom has it's own challenges.
I love my kids. I adore them. They are my world.
It's the fact that I am with them 24/7. That's what gets me.
I hear all their fits, all their screams. If they have a crabby day, then I am stuck with it all day.

Today, I would sacrifice my glamorous "Stay-At-Home-Mom" title for something as simple as "Cashier." I actually loved being a cashier in my teens. Scanning and bagging items may seem monotonous, but I felt like I was living out my dreams from pre-school. I lived in that dramatic play area. I rocked at Grocery Store.
I'm always using the self check-out and I secretly hope that those around me notice how amazingly quick I am at finding the SKU.

My kids were up at 4:30 this morning. For the day. Happy as clams. Jumping in their cribs, requesting to see Daddy and have some milk. I tried to politely explain in my sleepy state that it was still night time and that Daddy was sleeping, and that I had been too, until they so abruptly woke me from it.
Well, surprise surprise, they refused to believe me.
Attempts were made to put them back to sleep. I even convinced myself that if I lay in the big bed with them, like I used to, that they would go back to sleep.
My eyes were continually pried open, fingers were stuck in my ears, and up my nose. My stomach was used as a bongo drum.
I gave in and gave up on more sleep. They played in the nursery, looking at books, and rocking themselves in the rocking chair until Daddy came in at 6:15 to wish them Good Morning.

Overnight diapers have a large capacity for urine, but there still is a maximum capacity which my kids both managed to challenge.
Gabe was sitting on my lap watching Sesame Street. It was the 6:30 am showing, which makes me feel slightly better knowing that there are other parents out there with kids up early enough to watch at this time.
Gabe and I were cuddling and I started to feel a warm wet running down my leg. Sweet.
Starting out the day with a kid peeing on my leg. It's gonna be a good day, I can just tell.
Changed the 3 pound diaper full of pee. Changed out of my pee pants
Now 5 minutes later and Nat is sitting on my lap. An all-to-familiar feeling. Nat is peeing through his diaper onto my leg. For real. 2 pee throughs in a matter of 5 minutes. Awesome.

Off to Library Time this morning. We were 10 minutes late due to my inability to find a parking space, and finally finding one a block and a half away. We finally arrived. It was packed, but the boys loved all the people. Just more folks to look at. 3 Finger plays, 2 stories and one poopy diaper change later we are off to meet Auntie and Harper for a doughnut and some milk at the Bakery.
We walk outside. Cue the downpour. I race with the stroller to the car- 1 1/2 blocks away. Load 2 boys and a stroller into the car. Hop in and drive to the bakery.
We have our treats and milk and are ready to get settled.
Gabe insisted on holding and squeezing the living daylights out of the milk. I refused to let him squish the carton all over, so he threw a pretty good-sized fit. I'm sure the elderly man in the corner, attempting to read his morning paper rather appreciated the background noise of a screaming 20 month old.

My little angels are now napping quietly in their beds.
I am pumping myself up for a better 2nd half of the day.

It will be good. It will be good. It will be good.

And if it's not- tomorrow is a new day.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

We are gliding through the days and before we know it the summer will be over.

The summer sun is exaggerating the differences between Gabe and Nat.
Nathaniel has always taken after me in skin tone, and when the sun comes out he is still no different. While he has taken on a little color in his skin, it's usually pink, and all the pink really does is highlight the pale complexion behind it. His normally strawberry blonde locks are looking a little more yellow.
Gabe is continuing to take after his daddy. On Day 1 of sunshine this kid had a killer tan, even with the spf 50 slathered all over him. He continues to grow darker and darker and his sandy brown hair turns more and more blonde.

We made an exciting discovery a few weeks back. Nat no longer seems to have any gluten/wheat issues.
A few instances in which I knew he had consumed wheat had me bracing for digestive reactions, but we never saw any.
Normally a tiny bite of a wheat cracker, or even a spoonful of soup lightly thickened with flour would send this kid into a fit of screams, followed by a diaper blow out and a bottom so red and sore that it would bleed for days.
He had a bite of of daddy's regular pasta. No reaction.
A bite of my sandwich on whole wheat bread. No reaction.
A spoonful of grandma's bran cereal. No reaction.
We decided to throw all caution to the wind and make "real" pancakes for breakfast, not the usual G-free version. NO REACTION!
Life is much easier not having to worry about food allergies. I used to pack back-up options whenever we would go someplace to eat. A few slices of wheat-free bread, a container of quinoa pasta, rice crispy treats if there would be a dessert he couldn't eat. I had to plan every meal far in advance.
Our checkbook likes the new change, as well. Gluten-free eating is not cheap.

Our garden is growing.

I had images in my mind of the boys helping me in the garden.
Simple things like pulling a weed, or helping me to gather vegetables.
I've learned the hard way that they can't distinguish between weeds and desirable plants.
They're quite proud of themselves when they can pull a big bean plant or winter squash sprout all by themselves without mommy even asking for help!
We have reassigned their duties. Instead of helping to weed, they collect the rocks that we find in the garden and bring them to the "rock bucket."

While I am watering and weeding I would love if I could find them riding on their lawn toys, or playing in the sandbox, but they are usually standing on their lawn toys, riding the child-sized table like a horse or throwing and eating sand in the sandbox. Honestly, how much sand can a child consume and it still be considered safe?!
I love that they have imaginations and are interested in using their toys in unconventional ways, but why does their safety always have to be the thing they sacrifice in order to have fun with a toy?
With two of them there is always a brother watching to get ideas from and to encourage new discoveries.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Craftiness has been keeping me busy and away from blogging lately.
While I don't have blog posts for folks to read, I do have 2 crocheted winter caps and sewn 2 sun-hats for the twins, a winter cap for our nephew, and one big mama-sized bag for me.
The sun keeps begging me to sit underneath it's warmth with a big glass of iced tea and my crochet needle during naptime.
Speaking of naptime... Can I start jumping up and down when I tell you that we have 2, 2+ hour nappers!?
It happened around the same time that Nat decided he was perfectly content and more comfortable in his crib by himself, for the whole night.
For real, it's pretty awesome to not a hear a peep from 8 pm until 6:30am. That nice, long nap is just the cherry on top of an already sweet sundae.

With yesterday being Memorial Day, the summer has begun, along with hubby's summertime hours. An extra hour Monday through Thursday, so that the weekends can begin at noon on Friday.
I was dreaming of these days all winter long and now that they are here- I love it!
Life is good, motherhood is great.

We did some grocery shopping this morning after playing at the park. The boys were sitting side by side, spinning the race car steering wheels in the obnoxiously large cart. We got the usual comments.
"How cute!"
"Looks like you've got your hands full!"
"Bet they keep you busy..."
"How do you do it?!"
It takes an extra 10 minutes to shop because of all the people that like to comment and chat with us.
Gabriel and Nathaniel were putting on quite the show. They would not stop hugging one another. Big, arms wrapped around one another's neck kind of hugs. Gabe would get mad at Nat if he didn't hug back. Then Nat would get mad if Gabe didn't hug him back.
Then they comment as the food is bagged. "Bye-bye bananas, bye-bye milk, bye-bye crackers."

Naptime is getting close to finishing and my fingers are itching to get started on a new project.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Back Again

Beautiful days have kept us busy. When the weather cooperates we pop in for lunch and a nap, then we venture out again.

Mother's Day came. A day to appreciate the women who raised us. A day to be appreciated as a mom for all the work you do, for all the love you give.
I was treated to a breakfast spread made lovingly by my hubby, just as he does every Sunday.
Nat and Gabe came marching into the bedroom, complete in pajamas and rain boots, dragging a large gift bag behind them. Nat spoiled the surprise, but created an even better memory, by announcing to me that the bag contained "Boots!" Garden boots for the large garden that will be planted by me and Grandma tomorrow, weather permitting.
Grandpa took us out to supper at a Thai restaurant.
Nat scarfed down Grandpa's meal ("3"out of "5" in the hot scale) and loved it. He would cry out "Hot, hot" after he took bites, but kept going back for more. Grandma couldn't handle her "2" She was out-spiced by an 18 month old. Daddy and I sat back and figured that we would be dealing with the backlash of letting him eat a meal not knowing if it contained gluten or not. We were surprised to find that he had no reaction whatsoever. Fingers crossed that he is outgrowing this intolerance!

We make a trek to the park almost daily. Nat is the adventurous one. He's a climber. You'll likely find him making his way up the equipment meant for kids over the age of 8. I'm right behind him, arms outstretched, ready to catch him when he falls. Gabriel takes the stairs meant for a child his age. He likes me to hold his hand or go down the slide with him for a couple of times until he feels confident enough to do it himself. The balance is perfect. I couldn't handle two wild ones at the park on my own.
Halfway through our walk back home I usually notice that the stroller passengers have become very quiet. This is usually the reason.

I scoop them up and lay them in bed where they nap extra soundly.

Last week brought a day of sweltering heat. It was a perfect excuse to head outside and turn on the hoses. They stripped down to their diapers and fought over who got to drink the water and doused themselves in ice cold wonderful.

Grandpa Doug had a few days off of work which meant a lot more of the boys staring out the window to his shop and yelling at him to come inside and play with them. Luckily for them Grandpa can make a mean over-sized paper hat.

*Note the pj shirt. While mama makes sure the twins share it equally, daddy thinks we should bribe them with it.

The 18 month well-child check told us what we already knew. We have kids who are geniuses. Okay, maybe their parents think they are geniuses, but the assessments and their doctor say that they are doing much more than is expected of them at their age. They excel in all areas of physical, social, and cognitive development.
They are perfectly healthy and are at the 75th percentile for both height and weight. Measurements are 33 and 33.5 inches, and 27 and 27.5 pounds. Gabe being slightly more tall and likely holding that extra 1/2 pound in his adorable Buddha belly.

I am feeling an overabundance of love towards them these days. They amaze me everyday with the things they do and say.
I look at them in awe and am amazed that they are mine. I can't believe that these two amazing, little beings grew in my tummy. I still can't believe that I get to be their mommy.

I found Gabe tucking in his sippie cup of milk this morning. He was playing quietly on the kitchen floor while I was preparing their breakfast. I looked up to find him carefully tucking a dishcloth around his cup, he gently brought it up to his chest, hugged it and said "Night night milk."

I've taken up crochet again. I dabbled at it before the boys were born. The only thing I had ever created was a scarf that I wore proudly for 2 winters until I lost it. The boys have seen me crocheting winter hats for them while they are eating their breakfast or lunch. I tell them I am making them hats. This morning while we were reading a book we came to a page about sheep. There was a picture of a ball of yarn to show what the sheep's wool is used for. Nat pointed to the yarn and said "Mama, hat."

Simply sweet. Simply amazing.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blogger is broken for me

For some reason my computer isn't allowing me on blogger for more than 2 minutes at a time.
Such fun things happening and I can't post about it.
I hope my computer won't be so wonky very soon.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Our Sleep Dance

It's a routine that goes something like this.

Kiddos are sleeping great for a couple of weeks. Nat starts waking and screaming for Mama in the middle of the night because of bothersome teeth or an incessant cough.

Mama realizes that all Nat wants is a cuddle, so she lays down with him in the big bed in the nursery and he promptly falls back to sleep. They remain until morning. Our smart, little Nat catches on and slowly starts increasing his wake-up frequency to about 3 or 4 times a week, then it's nightly. Mama has gotten used to getting a full night's rest, so she just goes along with what he wants: a cuddle and to finish the night sleeping next to his best gal. After all, she and her husband have decided that they dig the whole Attachment Parenting thing.
They aren't full blown APers. They dabble in it. Wore the boys as babies at home, nursed as long as they wanted, were attentive to their cries right away, and sleep with them as needed.

Whoa! That's were the whole sleeping things gets a little fuzzy. The definition of "as needed" is quite different between Nat, myself, and my husband.

Anyway, back to our dance. Sleeping is fine for Nat and his mama, but Gabe starts noticing that when he wakes in the morning his twin is snuggling up next to HIS mama. So earlier and earlier Gabe is joining his mom and brother in the big bed.
Major problem. It has been noted that both our sons have inherited the "bed hog" gene from their parents. It was inevitable.
Joel and I both kick and elbow our way to comfort at night, hoping that the other will fall asleep first so that we can carefully encourage them to roll further towards the edge. I'm usually the winner. Joel never fights back.
Back in the nursery, I find myself sleeping on my side with my arm tucked directly under my head. I have about 5 inches of space on the outer portion of the mattress. Gabe is spread eagle on his back with his arms flung to his sides. Nat is positioned perpendicular to the two of us with his little feet digging into my hips and his head on his brothers stomach. We begin to wake one another at night with kicks to the face (them to each other and me, not me kicking them), losing sleep, until I have had it and decide that something MUST be done.
We start the sleep training. Nat screams and we comfort him, but don't take him out of his crib. We rub his back, hug him, and eventually he calms back down, eventually he lays down, and after a while we are able to leave the room again. It only takes a few nights, with multiple night wakings and they understand that they must remain in their cribs for the evening.

After every round of this dance, I always wonder how I managed to get into it again?

Tonight I got my answer.

Nat fought going to bed hard this evening. He screamed and screamed. I caved, as usual, and took him out of his crib and I lay down with him in the big bed. The instant his head lay on my arm when we spread out on the bed, his breathing slowed. His eyes slowly blinked. Once, Twice, then they closed.

It's like a drug. The ability to calm the cries of your child, so easily, with just your touch, just your presence.
That is what makes me do our crazy, little sleep dance.

I've said it before. My kids won't love me like this forever. I won't always be the center of their world. A kiss and a hug won't always take their pain away.
There will come a day that their pain with be much more than a scraped knee, or hurt feelings because of a brother who won't take proper turns with a toy.
Right now, I treasure these moments. The ability to comfort them by just being near.
It's magical.
I'll do the little Sleep Dance with my boys until they don't need me there anymore, and in the meantime my husband will get the whole bed to himself for a good chunk of the night.

Monday, May 2, 2011


We had an amazing Easter celebration this year.
Mama and Daddy were given an unusual treat. Their little boys decided to finally let them sleep in until 7:30. Yahoo! It was wonderful, except for the fact that the Sunrise Service was at 7 am and no alarm was set. Why set an alarm clock when your children wake like clockwork at 6 am? Oops.

Getting all warmed up for our Egg Hunt

The sun was shining and the sky was bright.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Few of Our Favorite Things

These two could play dress up all day long if you gave them coats, hats, shoes, and boots.

They love, love, LOVE baths

Makes my heart swell when I see little acts like these: helping wash one another's hair.

No bubble bash is complete without daddy blowing bubbles into the tub

Grandpa and Grandma
The visits aren't as frequent and as long as we all would wish them to be, but they are oh-so-sweet!

There's no escaping without a chorus, or two, of "Twinkle, Twinkle" and the "Itsy Bitsy Spider"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I've got outdoors-men! Well, boys that love the outdoors. Watch out, I may end up with a wicked awesome farmers tan by the end of the summer!
I've remained sane with two wild boys thanks to a huge yard and not-so-cold, yet not not entirely warm, weather.
We've been filling our days with walks in the stroller and wagon, trips to the park, bubbles and sidewalk chalk, and trips down the toddler sized slide in the yard.
Thank goodness we've managed to FINALLY convert our 2 naps down into 1. It took a good month and a half to two months of transitioning, and we eventually got there. Now, if only Nat would learn to sleep as long as his brother. Gabe takes after his mama. I love naps and have been informed that my mother had to work very hard to wean me from my long afternoon siestas so that I could make it to Kindergarten. Joel, as we have been told, was never a good napper and was quite content with a quick 20 minute cat nap. We'll see what Nat winds up doing, but for right now an hour seems to suit him. Gabe is most happy with three, yet his brother tends to wake him up after one, which makes him a crabby, little man.

I am amazed at how these two seem more and more grown up everyday.
Gabe is our "talker." He always has been. He was the first one to babble, the first to utter a word. He repeats everything we say to him and learns at least one to two new words a day. I would have to guess that his vocabulary is somewhere near 100 words. This evening at dinner he attempted to tell Daddy about his day. It went something like this... "Mama, Nat, Gabey- bye bye", "Slide", "Night Night", "Park". Then there was a whole bunch of gibberish that I couldn't quite translate, but I know he was letting us in on some of his deep, dark secrets.
Nat is such a daddy's and grandpa's boy. If one of his "guys" is in the room, mama doesn't stand a chance at any attention. We are working hard on his words. He has quite a few, between 20 or 30. Right now he is much more interested in looking at books, riding on his toy trucks, and playing on his slide. His comprehension is there, he would just much rather his brother do all the talking for him.

I'll leave you now with a whole bunch of pictures. We've got more playing to do. Today looks like it's going to be a nice one and I've got two little boys due to wake from their naps soon.

Gabe showing off his very first cement burn on his first "official" day playing outside.

Nat and Daddy

 Impressing Uncle Nate with his knowledge of body parts. EYES!