Life with Twins

Archive for June, 2011

We’re goin’ to the zoo, zoo, zoo!

NOW:  Yesterday we played outside on a very windy day!  Just for a little while because it was actually chilly.  But after hanging out inside all morning, the twins were ready to go “OUT”.  Ariel picked flowers and gave them to Mommy.

Then, we all drew with chalk.  We have a concrete slab in our backyard that our shed used to be on.  We are building a new shed this summer, but until then it’s the perfect place for chalk!  This was like an epiphany for me.  Going in the front is kinda nerve-racking, especially since Will doesn’t really want to sit still and do chalk for as long as Ariel.  So keeping him happy in the front is harder because there’s the “street factor”.  In the back, he would wander away when he got a little bored and then come back.

I was on my own again for dinner, so I re-heated some beans and rice in the microwave for myself with a couple pieces of bread and a tall glass of pink lemonade Kool-Aid (made with Splenda so I don’t feel guilty about the calories/sugar). 

I also used a little bit of spray butter on my bread.  The twins had peanut butter and jelly strips and Ariel actually ATE THEM!!!  Yay for Mommy’s persistance.  Will ate the jelly off the bread – an accomplishment for him. 

 

They also had carrots and peas and some of Mommy’s beans and rice (mostly the beans – toot toot!!!)

This morning we had plans to go to the zoo with Papa B.  He had mentioned it a couple of weeks ago because he had off for an extended holiday weekend.  I dressed them in coordinating outfits for our trip.  Ariel in a lovely zebra print, and Will in a lion-themed ensemble.

They were watching me as I loaded up the car.  Stoller, diaper bag, food bag, drink bag, Mommy’s purse, and a blanket to sit on while we ate lunch.  They were VERY excited!  Don’t let anyone tell you that kids don’t remember things.  They do.  They haven’t been to the zoo in probably a month (I have a membership to our Buffalo Zoo).  But yesterday, when Mema stopped by she asked them what they were going to see at the zoo.  They responded “animals”.  I think she was shocked.  I know I was. 

Looking at the Kodiak Bear.  The bears and any water, are their favorite things at the zoo.  They kept asking to come back to the bears.   We got there pretty early so it wasn’t too crowded at first.  I love, love, love my stoller by the way.  I could write a whole blog post just on that.  And I get TONS of compliments on it!

Kodiak Bear

             

The highlight of the trip for me, anyway) was the Gorillas.  There’s a new baby, and the whole family, Daddy, Mommy and Baby, were all walking around and laying near the glass.  The baby was even playing peek-a-boo, which the twins thought was hilarious!  They kept yelling “MOMMY, BABY, DADDY” and pointing to the different gorillas.

Awwww…..look at the baby!  So cute!  The lion was also pretty active.  He kept pacing back and forth.  The twins were roaring at him.

We also saw some Golden Lion Tamarins that were jumping all around and swinging from branches.

Polar bears again:

And a Sea Lion that kept swimming around.

We had a nice picnic lunch.  The seagulls were trying to be very friendly, which the twins enjoyed. 

Then we let the twins walk around a bit.  They were getting tired of sitting in the stroller.  So Papa pushed the empty stroller while I held hands.  There were a few things we had skipped because the twins would need to walk into them anyway, so it was easier than getting them in and out and in and out.

First we stopped by the Rainforest exhibit.  We saw scarlet Ibis.  And the twins LOVE touching the waterfall.   We’re going to have to take them to Niagara Falls soon. 

  

Then we went to the duck pond, where they also had some swans.  There was a mesh “cage”, but the ducks got really close, so the twins loved that.

Then we went to the petting zoo part, which used to be really cool when I was a kid, but I guess someone decided it was too dangerous to just have kids and animals running around in a pen together.  So, it’s a little more controlled.  And we only got to pet the sheep.  I always tell the twins “pet it nice”, so now whenever they want to pet something they ask “nice?”. 

On the way out, they asked to see the bears again, so we made a detour to see the polar bears for the third time.  But hey, we’re here for the kids right?  Who cares if they wanted to see them again!

Them kept yelling “swim” “wa-wa” “bears”.  But apparently the bears were not interested in swimming at that time.  Our last stop was the elephant because he wasn’t there when we came in.  By then, the twins were TIRED OUT!  They fell asleep in the car before we left the parking lot.

So, therefore, it must have been a good day!  Good thing Mommy got a membership.  We’ll go back next week!  A lot of people don’t like our Buffalo Zoo, and I have to admit, I have been to bigger ones (Toronto), better ones (Washington D.C.), but for the twins, this was is JUST RIGHT.  This is now.

THEN:  One of the nice things about being at a fertility clinic is all of the sonograms you get.  One of the nice thing about having multiples is all the sonograms you get.

They look like little marshmellow people!!!!  Baby A and Baby B.  It was so much fun being able to see them grow every few weeks. 

When I first was pregnant, there were just a few food aversions that I had.  And I made sure to eat like every 2 hours because otherwise I felt a little nauseus.  So I kept crackers in my desk at school, in my purse, and next to my bed.  Just in case.  I didn’t feel like drinking coffee.  Which was good.  I wasn’t going to drink coffee my first trimester anyway, but I had insisted that I would drink it later because I didn’t want to give it up.  It was my only vice.  But I drank much less, especially because I was pregnant through a summer. 

The other thing that made me feel sick?  Water.  Not good.  How could I not drink water?  I didn’t want to drink sugary things, or artificial sweetners.  Luckily, putting lemon in it helped a lot.  I didn’t used to like lemon in my water, but a friend suggested I try it.  It worked miracles.  So that was another thing I started carrying around with me.  Crackers – not so crazy.  But lemons in your purse?  A little weird.  Oh well.

I told Tim we were going to take pictures of my growing belly every week.  Yeah right.  We got quite a few at the beginning, then we forgot, then we got more at the end. Here’s one of the first when I was showing.

  This was taken March  26, 2009.  So, about 2 months preggo.  At about 12 weeks I was released from the fertility clinic to my regular OB doctor.  That was then.

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Free at Last!

NOW: It’s my first real day of summer vacation!  YAY!!  Monday and Tuesday I had staff development, so I wasn’t really ‘off’ until today.  And it’s kinda cool outside 😦  But that’s ok.  Yesterday my friend Katie baby sat the twins while I was at my school-stuff.  They must have had a ball!  After she left, they kept asking for her.  I told them we’d see Katie Sunday at Uncle Steve’s party.  Then, like 3 hours later, at bathtime, I asked if they had fun with Katie today (because they were SO DIRTY from playing outside!)  They said, “Katie….Sunday…..Steve’s”.  They remembered!!  Wow. 

They picked some flowers for me while I was gone.

They were being very silly last night at dinner. 

 

When I asked Will what he was doing with his strawberry, he told me “mustache”.  What a word for a 22-month old kid.  I was laughing so hard, Tim yelled from upstairs to ask what I was laughing at.  I recently read an article that quoted a study.  The study had found that people who had kids did not say their kids made them happier on a daily basis.  I wish I could have been a part of this study – I would have skewed their numbers.  These little ones make me laugh SO much, and make me so happy to be their mommy. 

After dinner Will and Daddy were kicking the ball around the living room.  Ariel was making soup using a bucket and a shovel and feeding it to everyone – Mommy, Daddy, Will, Biscuit, Griffin, and various stuffed animals.

It was delicious!  I ate way too much!  A great chef, like her daddy.  🙂 

This morning they asked for toast for breakfast.  Will’s got a little mangled when he decided he’d rather have Cheerios.

Oh well.  I had frozen waffles with peanut butter, and a nice, big cup of coffee in my Tigger mug.

  I really have to start being more creative with my breakfasts this summer.  I see so many great ideas on other blogs.  I need to just write down what to buy and just buy it!  And just make it!  Especially because Tim leaves for work before I get up, so he doesn’t have to eat what I eat.  (Heaven forbid that boy eat extra fruit!)  Plus, I just have more time.  I’m not rushing to get the kids and myself ready to leave for Papa’s and work.  So, that will be my goal for myself next week; different breakfasts.

After breakfast, we played.  First the twins played with Dance Star Mickey and their boppy penguin.

Then, they spread out a couple of towels and blankets and we had a pretend picnic.  They invited Mommy, the doggies, the Sesame Street guys, the Princesses, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Rex, and various other animals.  They served water, tea, strawberries, blueberries, and cupcakes.  They thought of all of these things themselves, I just provided some plastic bowls and plates. 

   

I also helped peel the wrappers off of their cupcakes.  I had one myself, too, of course. 

  When the bowls were empty – *this is how you know apparently* – all of the guys went home.  The twins and I had a “real” snack at the kitchen table – goldfish crackers and stars (Gerber puffs – the only “baby” snack they still request) and juice.  I usually use Apple Juice or White Grapefruit Juice mixed half with water.  We’re going to experiment with other juices soon.  Then, we watched Sesame Street.  Their favorite part is Elmo’s World.  I was singing along with the theme song “Elmo loves his goldfish, his crayon too”, and paused.  Ariel, my little songbird, sings “That’s Elmo’s World”.  I was shocked.  🙂   Then, they turned into zombies for about 10 minutes, which is why we don’t watch too much TV.

They were celebrating Dorothy’s birthday on the episode, which was funny because it’s Biscuit’s Birthday too!  (Did ya read the **bad** poem I wrote to her earlier, did ya, did ya??).  Then, we went for a cool, windy walk with their stuffed puppies in the wagon.  This is now.

Questions:  If your kid decides he/she doesn’t want what’s served, do you give them something else?  Always?

What would you suggest for my breakfasts next week?

THEN:  When I first got pregnant I found out through a blood test at the fertility doctor’s office.  Then, they had me come back a couple of days later to recheck my numbers.  They had pretty much quadrupled.  They should have just doubled.  What did this mean?  I started self-diagnosing, as pretty much anyone with Internet access does, and I called my friend, Leslie the Nurse.  I found out, and she thought too, that it COULD mean multiples.  Yippee!!!  But I had to wait for my sonogram appointment to find out for sure.

I went back to the fertility clinic about a week later for the internal sonogram.  They weren’t even sure that they would be able to see anything by that point because it was still so early, but they were going to try.  Two.  Two fertilized eggs.  I figured myself to be just about the luckiest person in the world!!  How exciting!  I was having twins!!!!!!!!!!!!!  They were each smaller than a grain of rice at that point.  That was then.

Happy Birthday Biscuity!

  

   An ode to my 6-year-old:

  You were our first pet together,

  Thunder is not your favorite weather.

  You’re a great sister to Griffin

  But your preference for eating poo will never be forgiven

I love when you sit with me

I love when you cuddle

I love when you let the twins get you into a huddle

You’re the nicest pup ever

You’ve made me love Goldens Forever

Today you turn six

And you still love chasing sticks

How time has gone by

And I want you to try

To contine being the best dog you can be

I know I don’t have to plead

We love you so much

You’ll get extra pats, hugs, treats, and such

Have a wonderful day

Now….you wanna go play? 

WE LOVE YOU BISCUIT ROSE!  (any girl I have will have the same middle name as me).

 

Because 2 Goldens are Better than 1

NOW:  These are my first babies:

Biscuit (aka The Queenie)

 

Griffin

Biscuit is 6 years old tomorrow!  Happy almost-birthday!  She really is a little queenie – in her dog world, Tim is the alpha, then she ranks second, then me, then the twins, then Griffin.  Griffin is just a sweetie – I call him my cuddle-bug. 

   Biscuit’s Likes:

Destroying toys so Griffin can’t have any. 

Chewing rawhides and making Mommy fish them out of her throat.

Chasing after Griffin and wrestling/humping him (yes, she is a girl, and she is spayed, it’s a dominance thing)

Chasing balls and barking at them.

Chasing rabbits/bird/people that walk past HER yard. 

People that love her.

Biscuit’s Dislikes:

            Fireworks

            Thunder

             Not being petted if you’re within arm’s reach. 

              The vacuum (I tell her if she wouldn’t groom Griffin and leave his fur all over the rug I wouldn’t have to vacuum as much!)

Awwww......Griffin used to be a puppy!

Griffin’s Likes:

Playing with Biscuit

Following Biscuit

Cuddling with Biscuit

People that love him

Griffin’s Dislikes:

Nothing, he’s pretty easy-going

They don’t sleep on our bed – just on the floor in our room.  Luckily, our bed is too high for them to get up on by themselves.  And (I know it’s No-Twin Tuesday, but I have to mention this) they are both so super good with the twins!  They get poked, prodded, crawled on, fed fake food, fed real food (they like that part), and get their dog food taken out of their bowls as they eat….and they do nothing.  Best. Dogs. Ever.  This is now.

THEN:  We did a lot of research when picking a dog breed.  We knew we wanted kids someday and Goldens are one of the highest-rated temperments for if you have the dog first and the kid after.  We got Our Biscuit in October 2005.  It was a little over a year after getting married, we had bought our house that April, and we were originally going to wait to get a dog.  But, Tim got a new job, working Second Shift and I said there was NO WAY I was going to be alone in the house every night.  We needed a dog.  Now.  So, we got her.  She was one of three puppies that were left from a litter of seven.  We went to meet her and took her home that night.  After running to Wal-Mart to get some necessary supplies.  She was already 12 weeks old, and not really puppy-small anymore.  She jumped on my lap in the car like she was meant to be there.  She smiled the whole way home.

She was a terror at first, only because she could not be contained.  We weren’t going to crate her, so we were going to block her into the kitchen at first.  She had other ideas.  So, we ended up borrowing a dog house from my parents to use as a temporary crate just at night or when we weren’t home. 

We got Griffin in December of 2007.  It was a little earlier than planned (although we knew we wanted a second Golden at some point), but a breeder I had heard about from a Golden-lover at work was expecting another litter and if we wanted in on it, we had to put down a deposit.  We got first choice of the boys.  We got to see the puppies when they were only a couple of days old.

Then, a few weeks later, we went to play with them and meet them.  We even brought a blanket with us to bring home to Biscuit so she could get used to her new brother’s smell before he came home at 8 weeks old.  He shivered the entire time on my lap in the car, but immediately loved Biscuit when he came home. 

She was more unsure.  She was actually scared of him for a while.  But, eventually her won her over. 

I love love love having two dogs.  And I will always have two dogs.  I get too attached to have it any other way.  It sounds morbid, but once one of them “goes”, I will get a puppy.  Otherwise, I’ll be the person that claims she’ll never get a dog again.  I’d rather just always have dogs in my house.  So the puppy won’t replace my faithful dog, but instead will be another faithful dog to add to my heart. 

My dogs definitely helped during my struggles with infertility.  They were my shoulder to cry on.  They took my mind off of my troubles just by petting them.  They were always in my way my companions while I exercised and ate dinner by myself.  They jumped all around and were super excited as I told Tim I was actually pregnant.  They are, and always will be, my first “children”.  That was then.

Hello? Are you there? We’re Looking for Bugs!

NOW:

Hello? Hello?

 They love the phone.  Probably all kids do, I don’t know.  I’m so enthralled by my own kids, but some people probably are all like, “been there, done that, all kids are the same”.  Oh well.

We teased Will yesterday.  He had Daddy’s cell phone (he stole it), and I kept calling it.

He was very confused.  But then every time it would stop ringing he would ask for more.  I love playing pranks on my unsuspecting children.  They are just so naive!  It’s TOO easy! 

We had gone outside Friday night.  I made the mistake one day of showing the kids how to look for bugs.  They kept seeing ants on the deck, but then they’d go down the cracks.  So I, being the smart mom that I am (ha), decided to show them how we could pick up rocks and look for bugs. 

We don’t really find many, which surprises me.  But I just tell the kids they must be sleeping.  This does not discourage them much; they just keep picking up the same rock and checking.  They are so easily entertained.  🙂

Once, I picked up a bug, well, a worm, to show them more closely.  They looked at it, but then Will said, “home, bug, home” and pointed to the ground.  So I put him back.  Now, all weekend they kept pointing outside and asking for bugs.  It was a little too chilly and rainy though. 

We went out to dinner with Mema and Papa.  The twins are actually pretty well behaved at restaurants (knock on wood) but that’s probably because we do our best to keep them entertained while they’re sitting.  Ariel was contented knowing there were french fries coming.  Will was contented eating ALL of the ONIONS out of Daddy’s French Onion Soup.  Now, I know Vidalias are sweet onions, but still, come on, what kid eats all these onions?

They were piled on this plate when he first started eating, no lie.  Anyway, we had a pretty good dinner.  It wasn’t our “cheat” day, so we tried to be good.  I had a Steak and Blue salad, and Tim had a BBQ chicken sandwich.  We split the fries that came with his. 

A couple with a kid a little older than Will and Ariel were sitting near us.  They pulled out their portable DVD player almost as soon as they sat down and put cartoons on for the kid!  I was shocked!  We overheard their explanation to the waitress – he just won’t leave home without it!  Really?  The kid is going to drive back home and get the DVD player if you don’t bring it?  Puh-leeze!  It’s not like it was a quiet-type restaurant where you really had to keep your kid super quiet.  Can’t you just spend some time talking to him/interacting with him/bringing toys and playing with him?  We played hide-and-seek with napkins for goodness sake!  I just can’t believe what lengths some parents will go to in order to avoid their children.

After the kids were in bed, Tim and I exercised on the Wii Fit again.  It was kind of cool today (only around 60 degrees), so by evening there was a nice breeze coming in through the window, which helps a lot when you’re exercising indoors.  And I lost 0.7 lbs!  YAY! 

After we showered we watched Pirates of the Caribbean.  We want to have a Disney marathon, but some of the movies we know the kids might enjoy.  Besides, we have to start training them on the characters for when we go to Disney World next year.  I would like to go in alphabetical order; that’s how they’re organized, but we knew the “new” Alice in Wonderland, and the Pirates movies would not be so interesting for the twins, so we started with those.  Plus, we hadn’t seen Alice before….good thing we watched it without them…..totally inappropriate/scary!

I made myself an iced coffee to help keep me awake. 

  Last summer, in an effort to save money and calories, I bought myself a Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker – only because it can be used as an Iced Coffee maker.  Now, I know that I could technically make iced coffee in my regular coffee pot, but I had tried that and it was not turning out right.  So, for 20 bucks from Target, this was a good investment. 

I used to (and sometimes still do) use Coffee Mate non-fat French Vanilla creamer for it.  But I recently discoverd this syrup – it’s sugar free Vanilla – and it has a much stronger taste.  Not as creamy, but I don’t need to use as much.  Plus, I can pretend I’m putting alcohol in.  

Here’s my special iced coffee cup – I found if I was just pouring into into a plain glass it didn’t feel as special and I was more tempted to go out and buy one rather than make it.  (Those Tim Hortons cups are laced with “something special”; I’m convinced.)

It’s the cup I got when we went to see The Little Mermaid on Broadway back in 2009.  My drink also helped curb my appetite.  I had had Doritos for a snack but was still craving something sweet.  This wasn’t the same as having a dish of ice cream, but the iced coffee + watching Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow was enough to keep my mind off my stomach.  *sigh*  This is now.

THEN: I was thinking back the other day to the long ago, in the before time (South Park, anyone?).  In 2000, I met my future husband.  We were both 19.  I didn’t necessarily know he was “the one” on our first date, but I knew he was special.  Soon, we started “Going Out”, and not long after, we said our I Love You’s.  Then we went from saying “IF we ever get married” to “WHEN we get married” and “IF we ever have kids” to “WHEN we have kids”.  It was funny too because my last serious boyfriend and I discussed having a family and I was totally against it.  Now, I was only 17/18 years old, but I think too, I knew he wouldn’t have been a good daddy.  Once I realized that Tim would be, all my feelings towards children changed. 

But even when we did get married in 2004, we still had the fear of getting pregnant.  I would hold my breath hoping I got my period that month.  We discussed when we would start trying but we wanted to me just married a couple of years first.  I wanted to get tenured at school first.  We wanted to just be selfish and on our own.  We had both come from living at home and I especially, hadn’t really experienced the freedom of being out on my own.  So we waited, which was fine, we probably weren’t ready.  I mean, if something had happened, and we ended up pregnant too early it would have been ok, we were married, we wanted kids, we would have been fine.

Then we had a scare.  It was December 2006.  My period was very, very late.  I didn’t even want to tell him.  Was I happy?  Upset?  How would he feel?  I finally told him and we talked.  We decided to wait until I was a week and a half late and take a pregnancy test.  It came back negative.  I got my period the next day.  But this scare made us realize – we were disappointed by that negative.  We were ready.  We would have been happier being pregnant than not.  I was getting tenured in May.  We were ready.  We were going to start trying to have a baby.  It was so great that we were both on the same page at the same time.  I still wasn’t going to go off the pill until I talked to my doctor, but I had an appointment in April, so that was fine.  We could wait a little longer.  But we were ready.  That was then.

Baby Food

NOW: I mentioned in a previous post about veggies steaming on the stove.  I wanted to share a little about what we feed the kids.  I really buy in to the motto that Gerber has going right now: Start Healthy, Stay Healthy.  I am not the most healthiest person in the world.  I don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, I eat too many snacks.  I’m trying to be better.  I want my kids to be better.  So far, it’s working out pretty well.  For them, anyway.  A lot of moms I know or have seen on blogs or message boards feed their kids what they eat.  It’s simpler.  And if you’re a healthy-eating mom, it works out well.

According to statistics, kids are not getting anywhere near enough fruits and vegetables.  Like 80% of kids under 2.  I think you’ve got to get ’em when they’re young!  They don’t know any better.  And they have to eat what you give them!  Of the kids that do get vegetables daily – the number 1 veggie consumed?  French Fries.  Vegetables already not that high in vitamins, dunked in oil and made crispy.  Now, I happen to absolutely love french fries.  So do the twins.  There’s nothing wrong with french fries.  Unless it’s the child’s main/only vegetable. 

 It’s true what they say too; you have to keep trying.  When the twins were really little, just trying out solid foods, we tried many different things.  Mushrooms were one thing that did not go over too well.  We kept making them, like every other week, and we kept offering them (along with other veggies we knew they already liked).  We tried them a lot and still no takers.  However, when they got a little older, around a year and a half, I had mushroom pizza.  They wanted to try it.  Lo and behold!  They liked the mushrooms and will usually eat them now.  Or pancakes.  For the longest time they would not eat pancakes.  Or Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches.  Or grilled cheese sandwiches.  But I kept making these things week after week.  I tried putting them into different shapes – like strips instead of little bites, or triangles instead of rectangles.  It took a lot of patience.  Now, they will usually eat these things also.  Especially pancakes.  Especially with just a tiny bit of “dip! dip!” (maple syrup).  And if they didn’t eat the main dish I was offering, they still had their vegetables and fruit to eat.  I threw out a lot, or saved it for another day, another try.  But it’s worth it (so far). 

At my house, I still make the kids “baby food”.  We never bought jarred baby food.  Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but making our own insured that we knew what went into it, what portions we wanted, and saved us a TON of money.   We would steam the vegetables once a week and them puree them to the consistency we wanted, either using the food processor or the stick blender. (That one is just an example of what I’m talking about.)  This is basically what we still do today.  But without the puree-ing.  Once a week, I take 4-6 different kinds of vegetables, chop them up (if necessary), and steam them.

(Organic) Sweet Potatoes

 
 
 
 

Frozen Peas

 
I put them into plastic containers to cool before covering and putting in the refrigerator.  Then, for lunch and dinner I portion out 2 different vegetables, microwave them, and serve them to the kids.  They eat 4 servings of vegetables this way.  Sometimes more, because they will often ask for more veggies.  Then, whatever vegetable Tim and I have for dinner that night, they get some also.  (Ariel is a HUGE fan of asparagus).  They will also get a side salad if we have one; lettuce and tomatoes with a little bit of salad dressing.  Even when we go to restaurants or someone else’s house, I usually bring their veggies just in case they won’t like/eat whatever there is available.

Baby Carrots and Frozen Corn - steamed and in containers

 
For lunch, they also get a meat – and again, I only make this once a week and then refrigerate it.  I try to rotate between Organic Chicken thighs, Grass-fed ground Lamb, and Turkey. 
 
For dinner, their “main dish” is whatever Tim and I are eating.  Or, if it’s something that we don’t have enough of because we bought it already portioned, or if it’s something the twins don’t like, they get something else.  But we always make them try whatever we’re having.  There’s an Elmo’s World episode that helps with this – Elmo says you always have to try everything twice to see if you like it!  Some alternative dinners are waffles, blueberry waffles, strawberry waffles, pancakes, or pasta.  
Dessert is fruit.  Now, again, I don’t abide by this myself usually, so my kids are healthier than I.  But they need it more than me.  In the winter I bought frozen fruit and defrosted a few different kinds once a week.  For now, I buy fresh and just pull out and wash what they want.  They usually ask for blueberries (they say it “babies”, so we joke with them about being cannibals).  They also really like pineapple, strawberries, banana, cherries, watermelon, kiwi; anything really.  The one thing they won’t eat is raspberries and blackberries.  I think it’s the texture more than the taste.  They get “treats” sometimes too.  They love freezie pops, popsicles.  I found these really yummy fruit popsicles.  Del Monte Fruit Chillers Freeze and Eat – they’re not in the freezer section though, they’re in with the canned fruit/veggies and you freeze them yourself.  We love them and so do the twins.  And they contain real fruit!  Cherry, grape or strawberry.  Perfect on a hot summer day.  This is now.
 
THEN:  On February 19, 2009 I went for a bloodtest.  I hadn’t gotten my period yet (yay?), but I hadn’t taken an at-home pregnancy test either.  Tim was getting pretty good at keeping track of my monthly cycle by now.  I was going to just go for the blood test without telling him.  Negatively, because if I wasn’t pregnant again I wanted to deal by myself for a while.  Positively, because if I was pregnant I thought I could surprise him.  He knew, however, when I was supposed to go.  We both went.  We took the day off again.  It was nerve-wracking waiting for the phone call from the nurse.  We got breakfast sandwiches from Tim Hortons and brought them home.  We waited.  We watched some TV.  We waited.  We did some light housework.  We waited.  We ate lunch.  We waited.  We watched more TV.  We waited.  We did some mild step aerobics on the Wii Fit (I was still taking it easy so my enlarged follicles didn’t burst or twist).  The phone rang.  I ran upstairs to answer it by myself.  I knew who it was (thank goodness for/curse; caller ID).  I was shaking.  I barely made it up the stairs. 
 
I’m shaking even now, typing this and remembering.
 
I was pregnant.  The bloodtest was positive.  A lot positive.  Like high numbers.  No chance of not being pregnant (I asked several times).  Congratulations!  Come back in for bloodwork in two days to recheck the levels.  For real?  For real. 
 
I took a deep breath and grabbed Tim’s You’re-Going-To-Be-A-Daddy gift.  I already had it in a gift bag (I KNEW IT I KNEW IT I KNEW IT). 
I ran back downstairs still shaking.  He knew.  Before I even said anything, of course he knew.  He hugged me and we both cried.  I never saw him cry before and I never have since.  We hugged and hugged and cried and cried.  I was supposed to go out to dinner with friends in a few hours, but we needed to go shopping first.
 
We went and found each of our parents a “grandparent” frame.  We made a Build-A-Frog for my sister, and a Build-A-Monkey for his.  They were each holding a toy bottle and rattle.  We went to his parents’ house and had his mom open the gift.  They were so (obviously) excited.  She didn’t ‘get’ it right away.  His sister came home.  We gave her the monkey.  She screamed.  Tim’s mom ran upstairs to get ME a gift.  A Valentine’s Day bib.  The psychic had said by Valentine’s Day.  Only a little late.
We went on to my parents’ house.  My mom and dad were crying.  My sister was at work so we went there next.  She was excited. 
 
None of our family had really known what we had gone through.  We didn’t want criticism.  We didn’t want them to worry.  We didn’t want questions or comments.  They knew we were trying.  They knew we were going to a doctor.  They knew I was on some sort of medication.  They weren’t sure what they thought about that.  So, it was better not to give them too many details.  Besides, who really wants to talk about your sex life with your parents?  That was then.

On His Farm He Had Some Guys, and Princesses; E-I-E-I-O

NOW:  I love this game I made up.  I’m so clever.  The twins have a Fisher-Price farm that you can crawl through.  It makes noises, there’s vegetables (a triangle orange carrot, a circle red radish, and a purple square…?), eggs, a little radio.  It’s cute.  Especially when you’re stuck inside on a rainy day.  Especially when the song starts “Old MacDonald Had a Farm”…..and cuts off…..but your 22-month old daughter chimes in with “e-i-e-i-o” right on cue.

Anyway, the Farm Game.  It gets requests now.  (although farm comes out sounding like arm, so I have to actually be paying attention).

Ariel and Will bring Mommy all the “guys”.  Their word.  All the Sesame Street Characters, plus a few other little stuffed animals that have worked their way into this particular toy box.  Will dumps them in a pile and puts the box back behind the farm.

They now also have included the Disney Princess dolls that they have.  Then, we take turns having the guys and the princesses come to the door of the farm and asking if they can please come in (it teaches manners, too).  One of the twins opens the door, and the guy says thank you, and jumps inside.  They like eating the veggies and eggs.  Whole eggs, I know, it’s weird.

  In fact, here’s Grover now, ready to munch on a nice, tasty egg.  Complete with sound effects; YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM!  After the guy gets put into the farm and eats his (or her) fill, they get put back in their respective toy box.  Great system.  I especially love when it’s Ariel the Little Mermaid’s turn – Will calls her “dister” (sister) because of her name.  Insert AWWWW, here.  And yes, my daughter is named after the Little Mermaid. 

After the farm game they quietly played with the stacking cups and the rings on the stick. 

William will just continuously lift and drop the cups inside each other trying to figure out how to nestle them correctly.  But doesn’t get frustrated. 

Ariel grabbed the rings first.  I layed them all out on the carpet and told her which color to grab first.  She did EVERY ONE!  SHE RECOGNIZES COLORS!!!!!  Blue, green, yellow, orange, red.  Then she started putting them on incorrectly on purpose, and saying “no no no”, removing it, and putting the right one on.  My little buggers amaze me sometimes.  This is now.

THEN:  My second insemination using the injectable drugs was scheduled for  February 6, 2009 ( I remember because it was two days before my birthday).  I had 6 large follicles again.  The nurses questioned whether I wanted to proceed with this many.  It was risky.  I could end up with multiples.  Multiple multiples!  But I had to.  I had to take the chance.  They reminded me again about the possibility of sextuplets, or the chance that if the eggs became fertilized we had the option to do selective reduction.  I understood.  I couldn’t let a whole ‘nother month go by without even doing anything.  Plus, I had already used up my 2 months of injectables recommended by the doctor, so what would happen to me if I didn’t try this time? 

Tim and I took the day off, as usual, for my insemination.  He went with me, as usual.  I don’t know if it was the nurse, or my weirdly curved cervix, or what, but it was the most painful one yet.  She tried and tried and tried to get that little tube in.  She tried a different tube, a stiffer one.  She got another nurse to come help.  By now, I was sweating bullets, trying not to cry, trying to remember to breathe, trying not to say “no, stop, nevermind, I don’t wannna do it anymore”.  Because I had to do it.  I had to have a baby.  Tim stood by my head the entire time, pain on his face because I was in pain.  He asked if I wanted them to stop.  I shook my head violently.  NO.  The stiffer tube finally worked.  It was a little more uncomfortable than normal, but not unbearable.  I laid on the table for my 15 minutes before getting up.  Tim said, maybe it’s like a sign or something, because you had to suffer so much this time.  Maybe.

The nurse told me I shouldn’t exercise or have sex for the next few days.  What?  They didn’t tell us that last time.  She said because the follicles grow SO big with the injectables, there was a chance of them twisting or popping if I did activities that were too vigorous.  She said take it easy for the next couple of weeks if I wanted.  Just to be safe.  And if I didn’t get my period by February 19th, call for bloodwork. 

Tim and I left and went to Panera for breakfast.  We had Asiago cheese bagels with Sun-Dried Tomato spread.  Then we went across the parking lot to The Hallmark Store because I had seen a cute lion on a commercial and Tim wanted to buy it for me.  (I collect lions).  He was pink and red and had a heart-shaped mane for Valentine’s Day.  When you pulled his tail he Yowled and shook.  I think this might be the only Valentine’s Day gift Tim had ever given me.  We don’t usually celebrate Valentine’s Day because it’s so close to my birthday.  (Although, if he’s reading, flowers are always nice!!!). 

Two days later, my parents and sister came over for pizza and cake to celebrate my birthday.  I remember wondering if I was pregnant.  I remember getting my picture taken as they sang “happy birthday” and thinking, maybe I’m pregnant in this picture.  My first picture of my pregnancy.  Maybe.  I thought about it constantly, as usual.  That was then.