Friday, February 17, 2012

This, That, and Cute Kids.

Ok, here's an update on happier things than yesterday....
Last night I made three pans of beef enchiladas--one for dinner (but by the time I finished it was too late for last night's dinner, so we'll have it tonight), and two for the freezer.  I have leftover meat filling, so I think I'll mix it with beans and cheese and freeze some burritos too.
I just tried a new muffin recipe (Cinnamon Raisin) that is really good.  It has a sugar glaze on it, but I think they'll be fine with just some butter....maybe cinnamon butter?  The recipe only made a dozen, so I'll have to multiply it and make more for freezing.  I did half wheat flour.
Today I scheduled the ultrasound for next week, and I can't wait.  I'm a worry wart, so I'm looking forward to seeing the babies and making sure things are good.  We had what we THINK was two good heartbeats at my appt on Monday, but they were very close together so it's hard to be sure that they were different babies.  I've also started having contractions...I hear it's common to get them earlier with each subsequent baby, and especially with twins, so I'm trying to just ignore it...but I'll feel better to be checked out.  In most of the stories that I've heard the problems don't really start this early anyhow...and my previous pregnancies really have been wonderful.....
I've done two hats on the knifty knitter.  Two isn't so great considering how quickly the knitter goes, but I was trying new things.  On one I did a coordinating band of purl stitches, and on the other I did a knit-purl alternating pattern and had it come to two points with two pom-poms. The pom-poms didn't turn out so well, so I think I'll be redoing them.  Anyhow, it's been fun : )
(Both hats are for the Relief Society service project at church, but I'm planning to do some for my kids soon)

This is a picture of the new bunk bed.  The girls seem to be alternating who sleeps where.

My sister, Laura, gave us this awesome congrats gift.  It was so clever and fun that I had to share:

Nametags, for when we are so sleep deprived we need some extra help remembering who we are.  Matching flash cards.  Juggling balls.  Doublemint gum.  He or she, what will they be.  D&E candles...which set will we need?  There was also a box of Mike & Ike's-- to help us start thinking of names (This present was given to us a couple of weeks ago and has been sitting on the counter waiting for me to take the picture...I can't blame HH for eating the Mike & Ike's in that time!)
I can't believe what a good helper she is these days.  I think if I let her she'd bring me breakfast in bed each morning.  She is looking forward to helping with the babies, but in the meantime she's great with Monkey and Moose.
Dance class is going well, as is preschool.  She did a great job reading me a book last night-- the contractions threw her for a loop since she'd never seen them before in her reading, but she took it all in stride.
She's set a good example of imaginative play for her siblings.  There's a recurring theme of wars and people "firing" other people (which is catching them on fire)...I think it's because several American girl stories are set during war times.  We just finished reading the entire Addy collection, and it was a good way to discuss civil rights, etc.  I don't think I made it through a single chapter without getting choked up, but I did a good job of hiding it.
Speaking of American Girls:  I've mentioned before that my girls love the Molly movie.  The other night Monkey must have asked Chick something, and Chick's response was, "The food which is on my plate is..."  I smiled and said, "Did you just quote the Molly movie?"  "No, Mom.  She says 'THAT' not which.  'The vegetable that you are lucky enough to have on your plate is...'"  HH and I had to laugh: no, she hadn't quoted the movie, but evidently she could quote the whole thing if  need be!

My goodness this girl can really crack us up.
Whenever she sees a pregnant woman she asks if the woman has "two twin babies in her tummy"...I'm trying to help her understand that USUALLY babies come one at a time.
Monkey likes to pretend to have "two twin babies" in her tummy too, and I love hearing their names.  "Faltelana" and "Christiana" are common ones...anything ending in "ana" is popular with her.  She's a good little Mama with her baby doll, too.  She feeds her the bottle, and then walked around holding and bouncing her carefully and saying, "shhh, shhh, shhh, shhh" softly and lovingly.  It melts my heart every time.
The other night the girls learned the phrase "female" and "male." Monkey said "Mama and Chick and Me are female."  "Moose and Daddy are mailboxes."
Monkey outgrew calling the "hospital" a "hopsital" but she still has funny little ways of saying things.  One of my favorites is getting "she" and "her" mixed.  As in: "She's going to she's house."

Playing with an awesome new toy from her birthday party.

Ah, dear little stinker Moose.  He throws more tantrums than any child ever, it seems, but he's also very loving and sweet, and plays well with his sisters.
He sometimes goes potty in the potty seat, and I think we'll ramp up the effort in the summer when he can be outside more.  (he'd probably do really well if we consistenly gave him the opportunity...I'm just not up for the effort and possible mess right now!)
He says a lot of words now...pretty much anything you ask him to, if he's in the right mood.  My favorite is "BaLaLa" for Banana.

He's obsessed with "truck!" and "woof" and "neigh!"  (the animal sounds are always instead of the animal name, but paradoxically it's always "kikky" and not "meow")

A less positive thing: he never goes voluntarily to timeouts.  Any suggestions?  I'm trying to not pick him up (the kid is a TANK, and I can REALLY FEEL IT when I do pick him up, which can't be good), but I have to be consistent in disciplining him...he already seems to think he can get away with anything.

Oh, another funny thing: he was looking at a picture of himself from before he cut his forehead, and he touched the picture on the forehead and acted concerned (obviously wanting to say something).  My guess is that the cut is part of his definition of himself right now, so it was weird for him to see a picture without the cut.  He points the cut out to people a lot....
sorry about the red-eye.  It matches his sweater, at least....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What I think of Twins (a venting, journal post)

(This post is me venting my feelings and thoughts.  It's really more of a journal entry, so read if you want.  It's maybe a little negative, but it's how I feel, so if you read it, then don't lecture me on my attitude.)

I can't find any pictures of it (so maybe I dreampt it) but there was a Wonder Woman episode where she fights evil twins in a warehouse (they both had long blond hair, and might have been robots?  I can't remember). 

I think that show has influenced my opinion of twins.  I think they're a little creepy.

And I think they've hijacked my life.

And it's like I'm expecting my second child-- you know, where you can't imaging loving the new one as much as your one and only child?  I feel like that: how can I love TWO babies?

Maybe that's rediculous, but I'm just documenting how it is.

And to the person who said that this pregnancy will be just like any other once the  idea has settled down: I disagree. 

I already have some of the "symptoms" of the third trimester-- hobbly walk because my ligaments are all crazy, not being able to sleep on my back (actually that NEVER happened with my others, but has already happened this time).  And Moose can't sit on my lap (already) without hurting my belly.  So I don't think I'll be able to just "forget" sometimes that I'm pregnant like I did with the others. 

Plus this time is much more of a strain in all aspects of my life.  Buying a new car isn't in the budget, but now it has to be.  I'll need some new baby gear (though I'm going with the bare minimum & getting second hand as much as possible).  Twice the diapers (I do feel like I NEED to buckle down and do cloth more than I have with Monkey & Moose, but even with the money saved, that's twice as much WORK).  And my Mom suggested that I might need to pay someone to come help out, which seems incredibly impossible--especially if combined with an interruption of my design work.

And I do try to not stress about things-- most of it is out of my control and I recognize that and do my best to put it out of my mind-- but this is a drastic life change, and it's hard to even come to grips with how I feel about things.  And OF COURSE I want to be as prepared as possible...seriously, what mother-to-be DOESN'T?
So I try to fill in the blanks as much as possible. 

I don't know when the babies will come, so I need to get the hospital bag packed early. 
I don't know if I'll be put on bedrest, so I want to know who to call when it happens...and have things ready here to help life continue as normal also.
I don't know if I'll have a c-section or if the babies will have a NICU stay, so I want to have the freezer well stocked with meals.

Gone are my old "pregnancy is a time to get lots of projects done" philosophy.  I keep paring down my to-do list.  I went from "move the girls to a different bedroom and decorate it and make them both new quilts" to buy a bunk bed for them to stay in the same room that they're in.  The downstairs bathroom won't get redecorated, and the downstairs spare room MIGHT get cleaned, but maybe not.

To summarize, I think it's fair to say that I feel like the pregnancy and birth are a major thing to get through...maybe like a marathon (but I've never run one).  And then rather than feeling like I'll get to rest after that, I feel like I'll have a second marathon to run immediately after.  And that's daunting.  I don't know when life will feel normal.  I don't know when I'll be able to go out in public with all of my kids.  I won't be able to pick Chick's school like I'd planned because seriously, like I'll be able to drive her to and from school each day!  Can you imagine me getting there on time when I'm sleep deprived and loading up FIVE kids in the car?!  So she'll just go to the crappy school that she's assigned to (but hopefully just for this year).

There are positives, of course.  I LOVE my kids, and I try to remember that these new ones will be MINE, and I will love them as well.  And it will all work out.  And I do really love babies...with each baby I've had I've loved the baby stage more...having two might just cause my Motherhood joy to completely overflow.

But I think my concerns are valid also.

{Stats: I'm measuring big, but I'll know more about how they're developing next week when I go for an ultrasound.  I haven't gained any weight.  Aside from the health complaints listed above & the recent addition of heartburn, I'm feeling pretty good.  I'm starting to not have fatigue every day. 

I got two new pairs of maternity pants from the thrift store earlier this week, as well as a backpack to use as a diaper bag for when I need both hands free, and a cute maternity cardigan...I should be set on clothes until the weather gets hot...I've never been largely pregnant in the summertime, so I don't have any shorts}

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Party for Chick

Chick's birthday party was this weekend, and look how awesome I am: posting already!!  (of course, my house is in shambles, etc etc etc.  Sometimes you have to have priorities.)
This picture makes me happy inside.  LOVE LOVE LOVE those girls!

Anyhow, Chick wanted a "Rainbow and Butterfly" party, and after doing a little snooping through pinterest, I was more than happy to oblige!

Rainbow colored goody bags with rainbow ribbon wands and "butterfly" snack baggies (Chick helped me put on the pipe cleaners, and I love the added personality of them!).  That was it, but then they got more candy and little toys from the games, so they got to add to their bags later.

 The food table: netting rainbow backdrop, with some plastic butterflies hanging in it.
Skewered fruit rainbow, rainbow jello (I don't suggest doing the jello unless you like eating jello for the next week...we don't normally eat jello.), and of course the cake.

 As the kids started to arrive I worked on the butterfly face painting, while my awesome friend Kendra directed some parachute playtime, duck duck goose, London bridge, and Simon Says (and helped with some face painting).

Wings for Chick provided by our friend, Jon.

Once they all had their butterflies on, we played Roll-a-Rainbow (download from here).  The kids got to fill in their rainbows with M&M's and then got to keep the candy to take home.  My girls had spent quite a bit of time sorting the M&M's by color the day before the party...yay for helpers!

Next we popped the balloon rainbow.  The rainbow didn't turn out looking as I'd intended, but it didn't matter--popping balloons is popping balloons.  Each one had a toy or candy inside.

After all of the balloons were popped, we made Fruit Loop necklaces/bracelets.

Then they were thirsty, so they drank milk.  From sprinkle-rimmed glasses.  Someone came up with the idea of blowing bubbles, which would rise up to the sprinkles, and then pop back down into the milk again...which colored the milk and provided ample entertainment for several minutes : )

And then the snacks and cake and rainbow sherbet.  I made a rainbow cake (like one that is floating around on Pinterest (where I got pretty much all of my ideas for this party), and I was quite pleased with how it turned out.  It did take some time to get it baked, but decorating it was quick and easy.  I bought edible butterflies on etsy--that was my one big "frivolous" expense for the party, but Chick has loved eating them and looking at them, and so in the end it was ok to get them.

Last was present opening.  Chick got great presents, and was very excited about all of them.  I will admit that I confiscated the Barbie...I'm just not ready for her to go down that road.  I had barbies at her age, I think, so I shouldn't be such a hypocrite.  She wasn't very excited that I took it away, but I don't know that it will be for too long anyhow.....

And then they all went home.  Except for my three, of course.  I cleaned up, ate lunch, and took a nap.  The girls played with all of the new toys for the rest of the afternoon.

A special thanks to Kendra and Maggie.  I COULD NOT have gotten through it without them.  I had been naive to think "it's just a couple more than for preschool, so I can handle it" but it was a lot.  Kendra also took most of the pictures.  Thanks, gals!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Miss Priss Boutique: 2nd giveaway is this......

My Miss Priss Boutique: 2nd giveaway is this......: Aqua lace romper ! NB-4T

Miss Priss has some cute prissy things...I'm just getting ahead of myself thinking about fun photo ops with FOUR little girls! ...maybe I shouldn't count my chickens before they hatch.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Prego Update

Here are some things I've learned in the past week or so (or things that lots of people are asking):
Are the babies Identical or Fraternal Twins?
Identical.  There seems to be only one placenta, which is the indicator that they are identical.  They have a thin dividing line between them, so they do have their own amniotic sacs.  (so I think the tech term is that they are Mono/Di twins).

Identical twins are more risky than fraternal-- just because they are sharing more.   I'm trying to not borrow trouble by thinking too much about it.

Only 1/3 of all twins are identical.

Do Twins Run in your Family?
Well, sort of, but it's back a ways, and I think it's on my Dad's side (I've heard that twins really only transfer through the maternal line, but I haven't looked into it much).

BUT Identical twins are not thought to have anything to do with genetics.  Or Fertility treatments (which I wasn't doing anyhow), or maternal age (so it is NOT because I'm getting OLD).  It's just a fluke.  A totally random case of the egg deciding to split.

I had planned to stop at four, so maybe Heavenly Father wanted to sneak in that extra one.  I'll take that as a vote of confidence that he thinks I can handle it : )

Why was I bleeding?
 I have a low-lying placenta.  So right now I'm on "pelvic rest" until we know more.

A low-lying placenta could become problematic later in the pregnancy.  HOWEVER seeing it at this stage is not a big deal.  In fact, there's a 99% chance that as the uterus gets bigger the placenta will rise higher.

I haven't bled since the day of the ultrasound, and it's another hypothesis of mine that Heavenly Father wanted to give me an early heads up that there were two...since I don't usually get ultrasounds and I had no reason to believe that there were twins.  We might not have known for a while.

How am I doing?
I'm exhausted, but I always am for the first trimester.  Hopefully it'll pass in the next week or two.  I get insomnia during pregnancy, so that doesn't help.  But I try to take a nap each day.

I've also been having a lot of cramping--most likely due to the low placenta.  But my midwife suggested taking magnesium, which has helped tremendously.

I am a little bit of a worry-wart, so I'm trying to focus on the positive aspects. 
The ultrasound showed two active, equally sized peanuts. 
At my midwife appt we heard two healthy heartbeats. 
I haven't gained any weight yet....

I think I'm still in shock a lot of the time.  I keep expecting someone to say, "nevermind, we made a mistake...there's just one baby after all."

Will we find out the gender?
Yes!  We never have before, because we like the surprise, and also because we don't do ultrasounds unless medically necessary (which was only once at 6 weeks to find out a duedate).  This time there is more preparation, less freetime after they arrive, and already plenty of surprise!  The more that I can know for sure, the better.  And besides, we'll be getting a lot of ultrasounds, so it'll probably be obvious at some point.

The next midwife appt is in two weeks, and the next ultrasound will be in three 15 wks, too early to find out yet probably.......

Will we have a home birth?
No.  My midwife doesn't deliver twins,  to begin with.  We'll see her for most of our routine checkups.  She's suggested a very twin-savvy Certified Nurse Midwife for the hospital birth.  I hope that the births can still be vaginal, but I'm not really going into this with preconceived expectations...whatever it takes to have everyone make it out healthy.  I know that things will already be drastically different in a hospital, and I'm a little sad to not get to have another wonderful birth at home...but at least I got three of them.  I could find another midwife who would deliver twins at home, but I'm not comfortable with that.  (and if the placenta doesn't move, then it's an automatic c-section anyhow).

Am I excited?
Sort of.  I was excited to be pregnant, and since this is my last time I was excited to go through this last one appreciating it (I actually like to be pregnant for the most part).  Then this happened, and it's suddenly not a "last time" experience but a "first time" one.  I feel like a total newbie, and I have extra I hope to enjoy it, but I mostly am hoping that I will be healthy and have two healthy babies at the end of it all.

I can't even get far enough ahead to think a lot about having two babies!  It'll be total chaos and I'll likely never leave the house : )  But I do love babies, so when I can wrap my head around the idea, then I like it.

It's been easiest to focus on the concrete details: names are in the process of being picked, dinners are starting to be stashed in the freezer, and I've found some fun things on pinterest etc.  Some of my favorites are:

funny onesies--
 Pinned Image  Pinned Image
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and baby cocoons!  (and I know how to Knifty Knit now!)
Pinned Image  Pinned Image

Guess that's all that I have to say about that.