Life with Twins

Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Recharging, Unwinding and…..5 Days Until my Birthday

NOW:  Just a now.  Sorry.

I played hooky today!!!  YAY!!!  And I only told Tim (and now you guys….shhh!).  I ran a couple errands this morning.  Very simple – pick up dog perscription and get money from the bank.  Then I hung out at Panera for a few hours.  I had a Cinnamon Crunch bagel with Maple Walnut Cream cheese (only half the container, thank you very much), with a Cafe Mocha made with skim milk.  That was for breakfast.  Later, for a snack, a yummy orange scone and some coffee.  While there I enjoyed my Nook…..it came pre-loaded with Dracula and I had never read it and so I’ve been hooked, but haven’t had much time to read.

Then, I used the spa gift certificate Tim had given me LAST Christmas.  My massage was heavenly.  The worst thing about it was that it was too short (the shortest hour of my life).  But I feel like a new person.  I move and don’t hurt or feel stiff……I forgot that was possible!  I wish I could do this more often.  I’d be a lot less stressed….I don’t think I realized how much stress I actually had in my muscles until now.  I am so torn between not wanting to go home and have the stress return as soon as I’m back “on”…..and wanting to go home because I think I could be more patient than normal with the twins right now.

Now, I’m back at Panera and just wanted to type a few words.  I had a You Pick Two – with a steak and blue salad and a cup of Garden Vegetable with Pesto soup.  And more coffee.  🙂

I’m going back to the vampire world now!  Real vampires.  Not ones with souls who fall in love and drink animal blood because they have a conscience.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!  This is now.

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Winter Rut

NOW:  I’m really in a bad winter rut.  Not emotionally.  Physically.  And it’s discouraging because I feel like in the last 5 weeks or so, I’ve undone everything I worked for.  Between January 2011 through Mid-December, I was really really good about exercising.  Over the summer I even started running and ran a few 5K’s.  I felt great.  And along with the exercising I was watching what I ate….not obsessively, but just paying attention to my hunger cues and adding more veggies and healthier options.

I knew things would go downhill at the holidays.  With going out shopping came going out to dinner.  We still were sort of trying to find better options but we were still busy enough that we weren’t cooking at home as often and maybe not paying as much attention.  Now, I’m not talking about going to a fast-food place and getting fatty or fried foods!  Even if we ran to Applebee’s we didn’t get a big cheeseburger with fries along with an appetizer or something.  We didn’t pick off of the Weight Watchers menu either, but we tried to get grilled chicken or steak with veggies.   And we almost always cut our meal in half and take half home. 

Things really fell apart the week AFTER Christmas.  I was off and had no intention of getting up at 5:30 in the morning to exercise.  That was my first mistake I guess.  It was more important for me to get that sleep.  Which actually ended up working out ok because with Will being SO sick (broncialitis/pneumonia), he was waking me up VERY often in the night and I felt exhausted anyway.

Ok, so the New Year came and my first day back was January 3rd, but I still felt honestly just exhausted.  I didn’t catch up on sleep at all the week before and I was definitely feeling run down.  So, again, I chose sleep over exercise.  All week.  Again.  I felt refreshed.  And not guilty.  Not good.  Because justifying it can be a big mistake.  I know that from past experiences.

The week of the 9th was better.  We got up Monday, Tuesday, took a break Wednesday, got up Thursday.  Friday…..not so much…..Will had been waking me up like every half-hour during the night and then the dog woke me up once because he threw up.  When my alarm went off, I cried.  Tim said this was an extenuating circumstance and I should get the extra hour of sleep.  So I did.

Starting Sunday, Tim was sick.  Like puking sick.  So…..I was very busy.  I was on my own with the kids and then I also needed to take care of him. He didn’t need much, just an occasional glass of water or some crackers.  I did have to make dinner, which he had been planning on doing, and then he didn’t eat even though he requested Lipton soup.  The kids loved it though!  I wasn’t sure how that would work out…..they’ve had it before but only by taking little sips off of our spoons.  But I gave them more noodles/less broth and they did VERY well!  I was impressed.  So that was good.

Monday I had off, Tim was still sick, I didn’t even consider exercising.  Again, setting a bad precedent for the week.  Tuesday morning, my alarm was all set.  But my resolve wasn’t.  And this is where my problem lies.  I haven’t exercised all week.  Tim had an excuse, he’s still pretty weak.  He finally ate just yesterday.  Here’s my main problem – my motivation seems to be gone.  And it feels like it’s been gone for a while.  I love(d) exercising.  I love feeling great.  I love getting up in the morning and feeling like I accomplished something.  I love when my pants don’t feel tight (which they do right now).  So what is MY PROBLEM!!!!!   I’m so mad at myself, but apparently not mad enough to do something about it.  Even today, I said to myself, meh, it’s already Thursday, why bother getting up to exercise now.  WHAT!?  Ridiculous.  And I know it’s ridiculous.  But I’m still not doing anything about it.

I also have a terrible terrible habit of eating if I can get away with it.  For some reason, when I get home from work and I’m starting to make dinner, I almost always get very shaky.  Like low-blood-sugar or something.  What I should do, is have a nice, high-protein snack as soon as I get home and that will hold me off until dinner.  But I don’t.  I wait until I’m shaky, light-headed, hot/cold, and irritable.  Then I have 3 handfuls of cashews (probably 3 servings right there), a couple pieces of chocolate, and maybe even some tomatoes or something if I’m making salads.  So not only am I ingesting all of these calories after eating good all day, plus I didn’t exercise, plus it’s only like an hour before dinner. 

I just don’t understand how I know it’s bad and wrong  and I feel physically awful especially in the area of pants being tight.  And yet I don’t feel guilty enough to fix it.  Maybe writing down these confessions will help.  Maybe you guys should all comment (yay, please comment!) about how I need to get my lazy self back to exercising and not gorging on cashews every evening before Tim gets home.

Not only that, but I know part of my decrease in motivation comes from the fact that I worked so hard for 11 months and now it’s all undone so what’s even the point?  Why work hard again for another 11 months when I can just buy bigger pants?  Laziness is so much easier. 

Every once in a while, I do get that fleeting thought in the back of my mind…..maybe if I tried even harder it wouldn’t take 11 months?  Maybe.  This is now.

THEN: Did I mention the breast-feeding?  No?  I’ve got to work it in someplace.  So, I had planned on breastfeeding the twins.  Can’t do that when they’re on feeding tubes in the NICU.  No, not so much.  But that’s ok.  I can just pump and they can put whatever I get into their feeding tubes.  Although getting less than an ounce after almost a half-hour of pumping is rather discouraging.  Especially when there’s two mouths to feed.  Luckily for me, I was able to stay in the hospital those few extra days.  The lactation nurses came to see me whenever I needed.  I just had to get used to the idea of 2-3 women playing with my boobs every time I needed a little assistance.  I felt it was worth it.  And I suppose an ounce is really not that bad when your kids are only eating a couple ounces at a time anyway.  But it was always on my mind that obviously, eventually, soon, they would need to eat more.  In the meantime they were being supplemented with formula.  I was told multiple times not to feel guilty and that every little teensy tiny bit helped.  And that pumping was bound to get you less milk anyway.  And that having a C-section was bound to get you less.  And that having a delivery at 31 weeks was bound to get you less because your body wasn’t supposed to be ready to give milk for another 7-9 weeks.  And all of these things made sense logically so it’s good that I’m normally a very logical person.

 But I still felt guilty.  And I still felt like since I was just sitting in my hospital room anyway maybe I should just leave the pump attached all day long or something.

 They also said don’t worry about getting up in the night; I needed my rest.  Screw that, my babies needed to eat!  They weren’t sleeping through the night without having to eat, so I couldn’t sleep through the night without making them some food.  They were eating every two hours.  I was pumping every two hours.  Sometimes by the time I got it all set up, pumped for a half-hour or so, and then cleaned up the machine so it would be ready for next time I felt that it probably would be easier just to leave everything attached all day.  Like a cow.  It was not easy.  Emotionally or physically.  I felt drained.  I felt like a failure.  I knew that eventually I would make more but it was hard to convince myself of that when all I had were mere drops to feed my children.  Like really, drops, like when they would pour it from the tube I pumped it into to and try to get it into the feeding tube, there probably was nothing left because it all just got stuck on the side of the container.  I was told to take a picture of them and look at it while I was pumping to stir up some emotion.  That actually did help a lot, especially when I was first home.  They told me to massage my breasts a little before pumping.  That helped too.  A little.  My determination got me through I think.  It is not easy to breastfeed, pump, whatever – I tell everyone that.  But in my opinion, it’s worth it for the vitamins and antibodies that I believe I was providing to my babies.  And since this experience, I have had A LOT of new-mom friends come to me for advice.  I’m no lactation consultant (those people crazy (in a good way)), but I do think that if you can do it, (because not everyone can), you should do it.  Or at least try for a little while because every little teensy tiny bit helps.  That was then.

Crazy Planning a.k.a. 180 days til Disney!

NOW:  We are in the midst of planning our trip.  This is probably the most-planned trip we’ve done….although not by much to be honest!

We are DVC members so we are staying in a suite, using our “points”.  For more information on how DVC works, leave me a comment or send me an email!  It’s the most awesome thing we’ve ever done…..and it’s not just for traveling to Disney places either.

Anyway.  Our “home resort” is Animal Kingdom Lodge so we can book a vacation there up to 11 months in advance.  So we called back in August and booked.  But we didn’t really want to stay there.  We love it there, don’t get me wrong, and we have stayed there before and it’s beautiful and wonderful!

But for the purposes of this trip, we really wanted to stay at the “new” Bay Lake Towers.  It’s a new DVC resort that’s connected by a walking bridge to the Contemporary Resort.  So, it’s EXTREMELY close to Magic Kingdom.  We usually spend the majority of our trip in MK anyway and with the twins we figured that would definitely be the case this time more than ever.  Plus, the Contemporary is on the Monorail so it’s convenient to get to some other resorts where we wanted to go for dinner (Polynesian and Grand Floridian) as well as easy to get to EPCOT.

We can’t book at different DVC resorts until 7 months in advance.  But we didn’t want to end up with NOTHING, so we booked at AK Lodge just to be safe because we had the 11 month advantage there.

In December, I was able to call and transfer our reservation to Bay Lake~YAY!  It was kind of a pain because you can only move 7 days at a time, and then our other 3 days I had to call the next day and the next day and the next day.  During work.  Oh well.  It was nerve-wracking but I got the job done.

Then, you can make Dining Reservations 180 days in advance.  You used to have to call day after day after day, but now they let you make your first 10 days of reservations all at once starting 180 days from the day you check in.  So that was good news.  This is an advantage of staying at a Disney Resort.  Also, they have a new online reservation process that starts at 6 am.

So I had called and they calculated 180 days for me and I could go online or call January 11th.  Tim and I skipped exercising and set the alarm so that we could go online starting right at 6 AM.  Well.  The first reservation we got just fine.  The rest?  Nope.  Wouldn’t recognize our Resort Reservation number.  I had to rush to get ready for work so that I could call the reservation phone number at 7.  I wanted to be all ready in case I got stuck on the phone for a while.

Good thing.  I was mostly ready by 7, and called.  I was on hold for a short amount of time, but then the time it took to make all of our reservations, give her all my information, and get all of the confirmation numbers took almost a half-hour!  By then, the twins were up and calling for me, my dad was showing up, my hair still wasn’t done, my coffee wasn’t poured.  These kinds of little things stress me out a little.  And I was already worked up because I was stressed I wouldn’t be able to get a reservation at the places we wanted.  I don’t know why; we’ve NEVER had an issue.

Plus, I still had to call Victoria and Alberts.  But there’s is a separate line and it didn’t open until 9 AM.  And I still had to stress that I wouldn’t get THAT reservation!

You all may be thinking we are crazy.  And we are.  But, it’s who we are and it helps us keep our sanity.  In some ways.  Once, we planned a trip a mere 2 months ahead of time.  Boy, that was stressful to the millionth degree!

I get all the reservations, complete with confirmation numbers and I double-check them all online.  My dad helps me get the twins ready so that I can do my hair.  Plus, I had to go to the bathroom……why is it that nature calls at the MOST inconvenient times?

At 9 I called V&A…..the most faniciest restaurant in WDW.  At first I couldn’t get through so I left a message, but kept calling and calling anyway.  See, we really wanted to sit at the Chef’s Table.  And there’s only one seating for the table a night.  And we really wanted it on that certain night because all the other dining reservations were already in place and I didn’t really want to have to change everything around again.  But, I got through, and got what we wanted.  YAY!!!

Plane tickets are bought, room (2-bedroom suite for us, kids, and my dad) is reserved, dining reservations are made.  Now, the packing lists will begin!  You think I’m kidding?

Wanna know where we’re eating?

Chef Mickeys – Contemporary resort – buffet dinner with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto!

Tuttoo Italia – Italy pavillion in EPCOT

California Grill – very top floor of Contemporary resort

Mama Melrose – Hollywood Studios – Italian food

The Wave – Contemporary resort

Crystal Palace   – in Magic Kingdom – lunch buffet with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet!

Victoria and Alberts – fancy schmancy!

Ohana – in the Polynesian resort – they serve food off of GIANT skewers

Chefs de France – France pavillion in EPCOT – best escargot I’ve ever had!

 Chef mickeys breakfast – Again.  This time for breakfast

Raglan Road – Irish-style pub in Downtown Disney

Le Cellier – Canada pavillion in EPCOT.  Home of yummy Beer-Cheese Soup

Tony’s Town Square – Magic Kingdom – Italian

OK…….so maybe it’s less of the Type A personality…..and more just super-duper excited!!!!!  Either way……it’s planned!  All we do now is wait.  And save money.  And pack (No, not yet.)

Speaking of beer-cheese soup – check out my husband’s venture into the Blog World!  The first recipe he’s going to blog about is the very one from the Canadian Pavillion in EPCOT – yummy beer-cheese soup!  This is now.

THEN: I prepared myself to go home on Thursday morning.  The first thing I wanted to do was take a shower.  I hadn’t had one since the previous Thursday.  I had asked…..but before the delivery none of the nurses were “sure” if I was allowed to take a shower or not.  After the delivery it wasn’t an option at first because of the surgery.  I had gotten permission to take one Thursday before I left.  First I had to walk all around the floor of the hospital trying to find the darn place.  I either hadn’t gotten good directions or I wasn’t really listening.  I finally got to the room, set my things down and turned the water on.  As difficult as it was to manuver myself; it was probably the best shower I’d ever had in my life.  I felt a million times better and cleaner and happier and even a little less sore.  By the time I was done and back in my room though, I was exhausted!  Luckily I had about an hour before my discharge time when my parents would come get me.

They forgot to order me breakfast.  I thought it would be in my room when I got back, but no such luck.  I called a nurse and she wasn’t sure what happened but arranged to get some food up to me as soon as possible.  I was starving!  It wasn’t exactly what I would have wanted, but it was fine.  The hospital food wasn’t as bad as sitcoms would have had me believe.  I watched some TV and I was ready to go.  I was nervous though and anxious.  First thing I wanted to do when my parents showed up was go down to the NICU.  I would have gone earlier but I really really needed that shower and my late breakfast.

I forced myself to be patient and finally it was 11:00.  My dad came up to get me and my mom was waiting down in the NICU already.  I didn’t have to take a wheelchair out because I wasn’t leaving the hospital yet.

I walked (shuffled) down to the NICU.  I went to see my beautiful babies.  I suddenly really wanted my parents gone, but of course I didn’t want to upset or offend them by asking them to leave.  I went to Will first.  He reflexively grabbed my finger with his hand as all babies will do.  He sighed in his sleep and listened to me talking to him about what had happened that morning.  He still had his CPAP machine on and because of the mask, he couldn’t open his eyes very well.  I didn’t even know what color they were.  I listened to the steady beep of the machines and listened to the nurse update me on his status.

I walked over to Ariel after tearing myself away from my son.

“Do you want to hold her?”  Shock.  “yes” I breathed, so quietly because I wasn’t sure I had heard the nurse correctly.  But I had.  She carefully set me up in a comfy rocking chair right next to Ariel’s heated bed.  First, she had to clip Ariel’s feeding tube to my shirt because it was time for her to “eat”.  She maneuvered the cords and wires so that they didn’t get pulled out while she was in my arms.  Then, she handed me my daughter.  I couldn’t breathe.  I was afraid to breathe.  She was finally feeling like mine.  I could actually hold her.  She had to be VERY VERY VERY wrapped up in blankets because she was no longer on her heated pad, which was helping her regulate her temperature.  But I could see her hand.  Her hand couldn’t be covered because of the IV needle in it.  So I stroked her hand.  And her head, which had to have a hat on it.  Again, to help keep her warm.

It was surreal.  The nurse had to help put her back right after she was done “eating” because the very act of digestion was making her very tired which meant her body was maintaining it’s own temperature even less.  She needed to get back to her heat.  And sleep.

The best thing for them was sleep.  Their fragile little bodies used up too much energy doing anything else.  The nurse told me not to be surprised tomorrow if I came in and was told Ariel had lost a little weight…..just from me holding her.  When they slept, they grew.  So sleep was the best thing for them.  And frequent family visits of course.  Talking to them.  Letting them know they were loved.

I felt so guilty after holding Ariel.  Because I couldn’t hold Will.  It’s not like it was my fault or my choice.  I guess I just felt bad for him.  And a little for myself too.  But I was also on cloud 9 after finally getting to hold Ariel.  Like she was real.  Like she was really mine.  Like she was a real baby.  It’s a little dramatic, but true.  And it made me feel a hell of a lot better about going home later that morning.  That was then.

William

Ariel

Being Thankful

NOW:  I’m sitting here trying to think of what I’m thankful for.  In a creative way.  I’m thankful for so much, but it’s all kind of cliche and boring.  Family, friends, health, job.  That about sums it up.  But, expressing what you’re thankful for seems the thing to do these days, so here goes nothing……

I am thankful first and foremost for my husband, Tim.  He is my everything.  Sometimes I get so caught up in living life I forget to think about how I got here in the first place, but it’s mostly to do with him.  I am thankful for his sense of humor, his love, his daddy-skills, his cooking skills (Thankful mostly because then I don’t have to cook!), and for making me want to be a better person…..but still putting up with the parts I’ll never change.  He is my best friend and my soulmate. 

I am thankful for my twins.  It’s hard to believe there was a time in my life when I thought I didn’t want kids.  Now, sometimes I believe I was put on this earth to be their mommy.  It’s a full-time job….and it’s definitely WORK, but it’s also the best job in the world.  Even if I forget that sometimes….like when Will’s walls, crib bars, sheets, and stuffed animals are all painted with poop when I go to get him in the morning.  But when I think back….especially when I’m doing a “THEN” post…..well, it just helps me remember how much I need them.

My friends….they are just always there for me, or just there to be with me, or just there to talk to me.  I am so lucky to have each and every one of them.  Even when they are so drunk they spill gluten-free beer all over my husband’s white Sabres jersey.  Oh yeah, I’m also thankful for Stain Stick.

I think in this economy, most people are thankful for their jobs.  I am. 

My family.  And Tim’s family.  They are just so great and helpful.

But I am more thankful that I love my job.  I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing.  I would hate to be stuck in a job just because I had to make money, and I know that’s how a lot of people’s lives are.  I am blessed to be working in a good school, with good people, a good principal, and pretty good kids. 

Can I take a minute to be thankful for ridiculous things?  I am thankful for the yummy risotto my hubby made for dinner last night.  I can still taste it, and that’s a good thing.  I am thankful for my new salad spinner.  My old one broke after a good 8 year run, and I don’t think I could have lived without one.  If you don’t have one, you need one.  It’s the only thing I like to do in the kitchen!  I am thankful that International Delights already started selling their Pumpkin creamer so that I can stop spending $4.50 for pumpkin lattes.  And thankful for the coupon in the paper last week so that I could get an extra bottle.

There are lots of other little things I’m thankful for too; Disneyworld, Disney characters, and Disney movies, books, TV, baby wipes, my hair straightener, pizza, crayons, play-doh, my Fraggle Rock snuggie.  The list could go on and on. 

I guess I just am thankful for a lot.  And I know, even when I’m feeling not-so-thankful, I can use one of the many things in my life that make me happy to remind myself how lucky I truly am.  This is now.

THEN:

I am thankful to the nurses and doctors who took care of me and my children when I couldn’t.

I am thankful to my breast pump. 

I am thankful to my support group, made up of family and friends who love me.

I am thankful that I got heartburn that ended me up in the hospital, because without it, the outcome might have been a lot worse.

I am thankful that my children were relatively healthy and that, with the help of modern medicine and science, they could become stronger and healthier.

I am thankful for my husband taking extra time off of work while I was in the hospital, while the twins were in the hospital, and once the twins came home.  I don’t know what I’d do without him.

That was then.

Morning Routine (no-twin-Tuesday)

I’ve done it.  I’ve accomplished something marvelous.  It might only be temporary, due to any unforeseen circumstances but the fact that it is currently happening is nothing short of miraculous.

Tim is getting up early with me and exercising.  And likes it.

I have been trying to do this for a long time.  Even when we would have an event planned in the evening and we would know we weren’t going to exercise he would refuse to get up early. 

But we’ve been slacking off as of late and I decided it was time to try something new.  Not only were we skipping days, but we were so tired by the end of the day that we weren’t putting a lot of effort in when we did exercise.

So, last weekend I broached the subject again.  I said we’d have more time at night to just relax.  One of the reasons I didn’t like exercising after the kids were in bed was because that only left about 2 hours before we went to bed.  So, we’d get ready, we’d exercise, we’d shower, and we’d have maybe a half-hour before I was falling asleep on the couch.  Plus, I was just plain exhausted after working all day, dealing with twins while trying to start dinner, and then playing after dinner. 

So he agreed to try.  YAY YAY YAY!!!  Last week we got up every morning.  Well, he was on death’s door Thursday and Friday so he skipped, but whatever.  And this week we are still going strong!  We even got up Saturday morning before swim class. 

I feel like I have more energy in the morning, both as I’m exercising and then after.  I feel like it adds more time to our day….which it really does because we’re getting up an hour earlier.  Plus, I don’t feel so guilty making evening plans because I still get my workout in.  I also think it is helping me control my eating again because I can’t tell myself that I’ll just work it off later.  Nope, too late, you already exercised for the day.  I also read an article about morning workouts that said you need to give yourself at least 3 weeks to readjust to your new schedule.  So as of right now, that’s the plan.

Last week I don’t feel like I was any more tired than usual because of this new routine, but this week I’m feeling it a little more.  But that’s more due to our busy weekend. 

We stayed up late Saturday because we went out to dinner and then spontaneously decided to catch a showing at 11 PM of The Rocky Horror Picture Show……complete with props!!!!   I was so excited!  It was a lot of fun, but it has sure taken it’s toll on me as far as being tired.  Friends of ours and Tim and I decided to visit a restaurant called Tantalus.  AMAZING!!  The only bad thing was that the menu was enormous….and everything sounded so good!  It was hard to decide.  We started with a seafood appetizer and I had a glass of red wine.  Then, I tried a cup of their Apple Pumpkin Goat Cheese Soup.  I wished I had ordered the bowl instead because it was SO yummy!  Then, another glass of wine.  For dinner, I had a pasta dish called The Tuxedo.  It was linguini, and linguini infused with squid ink.  Then it was mixed with a spicy red tomato sauce, chunks of tomatoes, kalamata olives, pine nuts, and anchovies.  I’m not normally an anchovy person, but I sure was with this dish!  To end the meal, I tried their hot apple cider “kicked up” with a shot of Van Gogh Caramel Vodka.  It was heavenly. 

After dinner we were walking across the brick street to a small bar to finish watching the Sabres Game.  On the way we passed by the local Theater…..which was showing Rocky Horror that night.  We went in and inquired about props, found out they were allowed, and left the boys at the bar while we ran to Tops for supplies!  When we got back we rounded them up (not too hard to do because the Sabres game was done) and invaded the theater.  I have ALWAYS wanted to do this movie in the theater with the props and my experience was not disappointing.  It was SO SO SO much fun.  And as my friend said……it was one of those spontaneous things we used to do more often before I had kids.  Which was not meant in a bad way at all, and was very true! 

I spoke to Tim about it afterwards.  We don’t get a lot of nights out where we can be spontaneous.  Usually we get a babysitter for a specific event, we go to the event, we go home.  This was such a nice night because aside from dinner, we had no agenda.  We could have done basically whatever we wanted.  And we did.  What a treat!

Then Sunday we carved pumpkins, and yesterday we went out trick-or-treating. 

So, as I’m writing this, I am exhausted.  The last few days were exhausting.  Work was exhausting.  Kids are exhausting.  I’m ready to get a good night’s sleep (and it’s only 4:00) and start fresh…….with my morning workout!!!!!!!

Shower and Bar-be-Que and More Showers

NOW:  On Sunday, I went to my friend, Melanie’s, bridal shower.  She is one of my best friends; we’ve been friends since elementary school!  So I am her Matron of Honor.  Does anyone have a better term for that?  I don’t know – matron just sounds…..old.  I don’t want to be the Maid of Honor obviously, but there’s gotta be something better than MATRON.  Let me know.

Anyway, I got there pretty early to help her and her mom set up and get organized.  We had a fabulous lunch and then it was time for the presents!  I helped by writing down the gifts everyone gave.

That’s her, behind the big purple bag.  🙂  She was moving so quickly, she was like a blur in most of the pictures.  She’s like a little pixie or something.

See?  Blurry.  You get the idea.  I am so glad to be a part of her (finally) wedding!  She has been with Brad for almost 12 years – longer than I’ve been with Tim!  (And I’ve been married for 7 of those).  So it’s so  nice that it’s finally her turn, the day when everything is all about her!  Love ya Mel!

After the shower I rushed home to get changed – we were going to Steve and Mariah’s house for dinner.  Tim had fed the twins lunch a little early, so they’d nap earlier, so we could get there a little earlier so that the kids could all play.  We knew Steve had set up the kiddie pool, but it was pouring rain outside.  I brought their swimsuits just in case.

Good thing!  The rain cleared up and we all went outside.  It wasn’t exactly sunny, but it was warm and the kids (Ariel, Will, and Eliza) all enjoyed playing in the pool, on the slide, and just running around their massive yard.  It is amazing how much Eliza has grown in the short time that we haven’t seen her.  She talks!  She’s much more steady walking.  She’s still afraid of the grass though.  🙂  They were getting a little restless just before dinner so I decided to take them for a “walk” around the yard to pick flowers.  They picked some of Aunt Mariah’s lillies.  Oh well.  Just then, I felt drops.  Lots of them.  I thought maybe it was just the water being knocked off the trees.  But no.  We hurried and got the kids inside, as well as all of the food, plates, highchairs, everything.

Mariah, with a bum-foot, tried to keep all 3 kids in the living room while I started cutting up their food for dinner.  It was actually quite amusing because she’d no sooner gete all three of them to stay, and one, or more, would wander away again.  It was like a comedy routine.  Tim was bringing in all the stuff from outside, and Steve was finishing up cooking.  He was soaked by the time he got in with the last of the chicken.  We ended up just eating inside, but it was fun anyway.  It’s always nice to just go and relax with them.  The food was delicious and it was just great to get together and hang out.  I love that we have such wonderful friends.  We are just so lucky.  This is now.

THEN: I was admitted into the hospital.  I figured now I had to probably call my parents and tell them what was going on.  I was not looking forward to that.  I didn’t want them to worry, but I knew they would.  I wasn’t worried really, more annoyed.  They had found high levels of protein in my urine, and that, combined with the high blood pressure, was making them concerned about pre-eclampsia.  Which I’m sure I had heard of, but never really looked into.  Throughout my pregnancy, I tried to read a lot about it.  But I glossed over most of the bad stuff because I didn’t want to make myself paranoid.  Plus, being an optimist, I felt sure it wasn’t going to happen to me anyway.  I knew some signs to watch out for, but anything I had mentioned to my doctor had gotten a “you’re fine” response.  I didn’t worry much.

I called my family and they were worried and said they’d come down soon to see me.  In the meantime, Tim and I settled in, tried to find something on TV and discussed our plans for the evening.  He was supposed to go to a Fantasy Football draft.  I told him to just go.  Don’t worry, and don’t worry about coming back tonight.  Sleep at home, take care of the dogs, come back in the morning.  So that’s what he was going to do.  Before coming down, my mom asked what was going on and how long I would have to stay and if Tim was going to stay.  When she found out that he couldn’t stay the night (we didn’t tell her exactly why because we knew she’d think it was silly), she offered to stay. 

In the meantime, the nurses had put a urine catcher on the toilet in my bathroom.  This was because they needed to keep testing the proteins.  They also put an IV in my arm, and came and took my blood pressure every few hours.  Most of the nurses were really great.  Some were better than others.  One of them decided late Friday night that the needle in my arm was wrong.  I told her it was fine.  I didn’t want to be poked again.  She insisted.  It was so annoying.  She had to un-tape the whole thing, which hurt like hell, took the needle out, then had to wiggle around to find another vein, and then re-taped it.  I was so angry.  Was that absolutely necessary?  I didn’t really think so.

Even all through the night, they kept coming in to test my blood pressure and take my temperature.  They had also hooked up a monitor to my belly.  They were measuring my contractions.  Now, I wasn’t feeling those contractions AT ALL, which they assured me was a good thing.  They weren’t very strong.  But they wanted to monitor them anyway to make sure I didn’t end up going into pre-term labor.

Shortly after being in the room, they also did a sonogram, mostly to figure out the weights of the babies. 

I didn’t sleep much.  I was uncomfortable.  I was hot.  My mom was in the room.  Nurses kept coming in and out.  The monitors were beeping. 

I like things to be told to me straight.  So I asked; what was going to happen in 24 hours if mhy protein levels and blood pressure hadn’t gone down? 

Three possible scenarios:

1. – levels weren’t as high as initially tested and I’d be sent home on bedrest.

2. – levels were still high and I’d stay in the hospital for a couple of weeks on bedrest.

3. – levels were still high and I’d have to deliver.

The nurses had the opinion that it would probably be option 2.  I was only 31 weeks, so delivering now might not be the best action.  But going home was probably not an option. 

I just kept making myself try to stay super-calm whenever they took my blood pressure.  I figured; mind over matter, right?  That was then.

Bounce-O-Rama

NOW:  Sunday Tim wanted to cook a brisket.  He needs to do a practice for the twins’ birthday party/Labor Day Party.  We invited a few friends over to share it because it was humungous.  We started out the afternoon by setting up the new Bounce House!

Tim’s mom wanted to get the twins a bounce house last year for their birthday but it was so late in the season they were all sold out.  So, this year she decided to buy it at the beginning of summer and gave it to them early.   We hadn’t set it up yet, but since our friends Brian and Leslie were bringing their son Matt, we figured it was the perfect time to try it out with the kids.

Will went right for it.  Ariel was a little more timid, so I had to go in with her at first.  Which I wanted to do anyway!  🙂 

After a little  while, I got out and They tried out the slide.  It was amazing how quickly they figured out how to get back in by themselves. 

Of course, they soon figured out it was a lot easier going up the slide than in the “right” way.  Oh well.  Tim’s brisket turned out really well.  A little too “smokey” flavored, but now he knows.  That was the point of the practice.  It’s something that needs to be cooked ALL DAY LONG, but that actually makes it easier because he can prep and cook other things while it’s on the grill.  So, he figures it’s a good idea for the parties.

YUM!  He’s going to use different wood chips next time so that it’s not quite so smokey-tasting.  I thought it was good, but what do I know? 

While we ate, the little boys played a little bit of hockey at the table with the sippy cups.  They went on the slide and swings after dinner and then it was bedtime.

It was so much fun being able to spend some relaxing time with our friends.  Summers just seem to get away from us sometimes.  And Tim and I are so busy on the weekends (and so is everyone else!), that it was great to have a day “off” where we didn’t have family parties or other obligations and we could just have a random day with our friends.  It’s great when we can let the kids play together too!!!  This is now.

THEN:  I felt as big as a house.  I know most women probably feel that way, especially towards the end of their pregnancies, but I was only 6 months and carrying the equivilent weight of a full-term singleton pregnancy. 

This picture was taken August 3, 2009.  I can see how swollen and full my face and wrists are, even in the picture!  I was still feeling pretty good though.  I was relatively cheerful about the whole thing.  I was on modified bedrest, but still being able to do what I wanted to, thanks to my glorious husband.

Let’s make this flashback about Tim.

I don’t know how most men react to infertility treatments and a crazy hormonal pregnant bed-resting wife, but my husband could not have been more supportive.  When we were trying to get pregnant he put up with all my self-diagnosis, came to as many fertility appointments as he could, and didn’t think twice about getting that sample in that little plastic cup every month.  He wanted a kid just as badly as I did….and he wanted me to be happy more than anything. 

Once I was pregnant it wasn’t long before I couldn’t do anything around the house.  He dutifully took over lawn-mowing, laundry, general cleaning, and setting up the babies rooms.  He didn’t do anything as quickly as I wanted him to, but he patiently kept explaining to me that not everything needed to be done within a month of my pregnancy.  In other words, he put up with my nagging and didn’t get annoyed by it.

He took me places in a wheelchair.  Now, I don’t know, but I think maybe other people would be embarrassed by this.  There was nothing “wrong” with me.  He pushed me all over and even put up with me in the motorized cart at the grocery store without saying a word. 

Maybe this seems uneventful or not extraordinary in the least.  But I was grateful for it. 

Everything was going along fine.  Tim did manage to get the rooms painted, the dressers upstairs, the cribs put together and the sheets on the mattresses.  He helped me wash all the clothes.  He put the toys together…..even the ones they wouldn’t be able to use for months…..and stored them in the family room. 

Everything was going along fine.  The bag was packed.  Way early.  Because I’m a planner and because what if I went in early?  I was going to the doctor at the end of August for a check-up and I’d be scheduling my C-Section for 38 weeks.  I was excited by that.  It’s not often you get to pick your babies’ birthday! 

Everything was going along fine.  But then the heartburn started.  That was then.