Life with Twins

Posts tagged ‘NICU’

2 (3) in Progress

NOW:

I’ve been playing;

  • Chase – run run run run run run run – all around the circle of our house.  I don’t know why the dogs bark as we do this, but it adds to the mayhem fun.
  • Tickle Monster – usually after the running….someone climbs into the chair and says “get me!” and the tickle monster does.
  • Hide ‘n Seek – “Mommy, we gonna hide under the table, come and find us!”

– “oh where could those kids be?  In the kitchen?  In the tent?  In the dining room?  Under the table!!!!  What a surprise!”

We also made Jell-O.  Later they told Daddy they added hot water and cold water and stirred it up and made it cold in the fridge.  They had some for dessert, topped with fruit!

I’ve also been cleaning;

Upstairs I dusted and vacuumed every where.  I also cleaned up my bedroom by putting some things down in the basement and stuffing some clothes in Tim’s closet.

In the basement I took all of the pieces of drywall out, broke it up, threw out what would fit in the garbage cans and moved the rest to the garage.  Why have pieces of drywall been laying in my basement for 7 years?  I don’t know.  I just don’t know.

Once the drywall was gone I was able to use that space for garage sale stuff – mostly baby related.  The cleared up a LARGE spot in the middle of the floor.  Then I also organized all the baby clothes.  I had packed them away by size, but not boy/girl, so I just rearranged and reorganized.  Then I started getting rid of some boxes of products we had been saving in case we had to take anything back like from the cookware we bought two years ago and the charcoal grill.

I swept too.  And didn’t see any mice in the two days I was down there.  Hooray!

The kids helped me sweep and mop the kitchen/hallway/bathroom also.  I should have taken pictures.   I’m terrible.  It was cute, take my word for it.  They helped me moved everything out.  They used their little broom and dustpan as well as helping with my big dustpan.  Then they used their little mop but also helped go back and forth with mine too.  Then they helped me put everything back in.  It was fun!  And a good learning experience for the day they can do it by themselves!

I started organizing some toys too.  As in, I took some toys from baby-hood that they don’t really play with anymore and put them in the basement.  Garage Sale Pile.  Shhhh….don’t tell them!

Digging for Gold

Mopping the Kitchen Floor

And now I’m blogging, so that’s a start for goal #3!  This is now.

THEN:  One day a nurse asked me if I wanted to change Will’s diaper for the first time.  A million thoughts went through my head in a split second.

If they were at home I would have changed plenty of diapers by now…..

I’ve never changed a diaper before in my life…….

I have to learn some time……..

There are so many wires and needles attached to him…….

What if I hurt him……..

I said no, but that I would watch and do it next time one of them needed a diaper change.  Having such little experience and having such a small baby with all of those needles and wires was just too much.  I didn’t feel guilty, I just watched and listened as she explained how to get around the wires as easily as possible.  It was important to do it fast so that he didn’t get cold.  Or pee on himself.  She was very reassuring.  That’s what I remember most from my experience in the NICU.  Everyone was so calm.  That made me calm.  And everyone was so efficient.  Like they weren’t fooling around…..even though these babies seemed so small and fragile they got the job done.

Usually when Tim and I would go up we would bring snacks and water and books to read.  We’d walk in and find comfy chairs and drag them over to our babies.  We’d say hi and talk to them and softly touch them through the holes in the incubator.  We’d either look at their charts or wait until a nurse came over to update us – which they always did as soon as they could.  We were mostly concerned about them gaining weight.  The nurses would also tell us if anything important or interesting that had happened overnight or when the doctor did his rounds.  Then we would just sit and read.  Spend time with each other and time with them.  If they needed to be fed, we’d hold them while they “ate” through their feeding tube.  After that first time we would change their diapers if they needed to be changed.  When I needed to pump I would leave and go to a different room to pump.  They had provided me with a whole second set of equipment so that I didn’t have to bring my own shields and tubes and bottles every time – I just left a set there and used the pump in the room.

See the feeding tubes taped to our shoulders?

It was like that for a while.  Just waiting for a change indicating that they were closer to going home.  In the meantime, we relaxed.  As much as we could considering the circumstances.  That was then.

Ariel-feeding tube in her nose now....

Will -no CPAP, with nose feeding tube

6 Days Until My Birthday!! (plus some news!)

No-Twin Thursday (yeah, I know, I know)

NOW: Guess what I did (ok, I haven’t done it yet, but I’m going to do it, really)!!!  I signed up (will be) for the Buffalo Half-Marathon!!!  Whoo-hoo!!!!

Ok, I haven’t signed up yet.  But I am serious about it.  I even had a couple of meetings regarding the topic.  First with Tim, then with my friend/running buddy, Kate. 

Kate and I talked about signing up for this months ago.  Then, we kind of casually talked about it a couple of weeks ago (as in; how’s your running going….not so good…..me neither…..).  But I had a training plan that a colleague had shared with me that didn’t start until February 12.  That seemed like a million miles away, so no big deal.  

Luckily, Kate is more on the ball than me.  I want to do it, I have plans to do it, I got her involved in the first place, but then sometimes I just don’t follow through.  Or I put things off until it’s too late.  Kate texted me Wednesday implying that we needed to get our shit together and figure out what the hell we’re going to do about this training plan that starts in two weeks.  Especially since neither of us has been running since our last 5K in the end of September.

I was lazy calm about it.  I said I’d talk to Tim about a good day for her and I to get together and have a little dinner and discussion.  I was thinking like next week…two weeks….

But then I said to myself; “self, get your ass in gear”.  So I did.  We met at Panera last night and planned out a calendar.  I’m a little less flexible than her as far as time because of the twins and Tim not wanting to stay home with the twins.  We decided running in the morning, 3 times a week would work for our shorter runs and then a weekend day (usually Sunday) for the longer ones.  And any day we can’t run together outside for some reason, we have to check in with each other that we got our running in alone that day.

I talked to Tim first.  He’s my workout buddy and I’m going to be abandoning him 3 times a week!  He basically said that was fine as long as I got him out of bed first so that he’ll get up and do the Wii Fit without me.  The other two days I’ll do the Wii Fit with him.  Until the sun starts coming up in the morning and then he’ll go running by himself those two days so that he can do some 5K runs this summer.

Kate and I are also going to run an 8K Shamrock Run in between.  It works out that it’s the same weekend as we are supposed to do a 5 mile run anyway and it will be good motivation.

Normally, we don’t sign up for races ahead of time.  But that’s mostly because the 5K races don’t have a big difference in price even if you wait until the last minute.  But this is a little different.  Not so much for the Shamrock Run, but the Half especially.  So, we’ll save some money (always nice, especially when she has a wedding to pay for in 6 months!) and again, more motivation.  If we’re already out the money we won’t use the rain or something silly as an excuse, right?

I feel so motivated after this little plan!  I ordered a healthier option while at Panera (garden vegetable soup as opposed to broccoli cheddar) and did not get that 420 calorie Caramel latte I wanted so much. 

Perhaps this is just the motivation I needed.  Hopefully it will stand up to Birthday Week dinners!!!  (6 days until my Birthday! Yay!)  This is now.

THEN: It was SO hard that I couldn’t drive after my C-section for 6 weeks.  I needed to get to the hospital!  Luckily, my parents took me every day that Tim was working.  He had decided he would use his time off for when the twins actually came home, rather than now.  I had to rely on my parents’ schedule but usually it was ok.  My mornings were spent at home alone sleeping, pumping, watching tv, pumping, doing some light chores, pumping, eating, and pumping.  Mostly pumping.  And waiting.  Waiting for the time when my mom and dad would come get me and take me to the babies.  It was stressful, but relaxing.  Does that make sense?

I’m not a worrier.  Whatever will be, will be.  And some things are out of my control so worrying isn’t going to solve the problem.  Was I worried about the twins?  Yes, of course.  But they were healthy.  It had been ME that was the problem, not them.  So was I worried, yes, because they were in the hospital and I had all the what if questions…..what if they didn’t gain enough weight, what if their bodies wouldn’t regulate their temperature, what if they didn’t learn how to eat, what if their oxygen levels dropped, what if a crazed nurse stole them from the hospital like a Lifetime movie?

These thoughts were in my mind, yes.  But they were always in the absolute back of my mind.  They didn’t stop me from enjoying and appreciating everything else I was given.  Especially my sleep and freedom.  I had two newborns and I was sleeping through the night and had loads of freetime.  I try to look on the bright side.  🙂  That was then.

I Guess I Didn’t Knock That Wood Hard Enough

Then (as in a week ago): Oh la la la, Ariel stays in her bed until we get in the room.  Oh happy day, what a lovely child.  Oh girls are so much easier than boys.  Oh I wouldn’t even mind if she did get out of bed because she would probably just quietly read books.  Unlike her brother, who wreaks havoc if you don’t come get him within a few seconds upon waking.  Including, but not limited to, smearing poop everywhere.  (Ok, that hasn’t happened in a while, but just typing that is tempting fate).  What a lovely daughter….a week ago…..when I should have been knocking wood every time I said these things to someone……

NOW: Fast-forward to present day.  This past weekend in fact.  The lovely daughter decides, oh wait, I CAN get out of bed without a grown-up in the room.  And I can run around my room wreaking havoc.  Why didn’t I think of this before?

Thursday night.  We watched a movie (The Little Mermaid!!!) after dinner, so twins are up to bed a little after 8.  Ariel gives a hard time about laying down and getting covered up, but relents because I threaten to leave the room.  Will settles right down, Daddy covers him, Mommy kisses him goodnight.  He tells us he loves us both.  Awww.  (The “I love you’s” sometimes still have to be prompted, so it’s THE BEST when he does it on his own).

The grown-ups go back downstairs to make some tea, have a snack, watch TV, and (for me) do some laundry, etc.

We hear, through the ceiling, the pitter-patter of little feet.  First, we’re amazed it’s not The Boy.  So, up I go.  Sure enough, she’s running around, but got scared when she heard my footsteps so tried quickly to return to bed.  I cover her again and tell her to stay in bed and go to sleep.  She mentions Princess Ariel and I ask if she liked the movie.  She informs me that “my no watch movie yet, my eat dinner first!  Watch movie later.”  This is somewhat concerning because she’s obviously got some time-traveling going on that I don’t know about.  But, I figure that’s good…..she must be SO tired that she’s getting confused.  Good.

I return to my melty ice cream and soggy cone.  Yum.  Then……little feet.  Tim makes the tea while I go up again.  Now, let me tell you, I probably wouldn’t normally go up and keep checking on either of them, but it’s just so weird that she’s actually out of bed. 

She’s naked. 

She informs me that her diaper was wet and she threw it in the garbage and she needs a new one.  Although that’s somewhat annoying, I guess that’s a good sign in some ways (related to potty training).  OK, so I get a new diaper on her, tell her not to take it off again, get her jammies back on, get her back in bed, get her covered up.  Ok, done.

Back downstairs.  Little feet.  I don’t want to run the risk of her being naked again and then peeing all over the place.  So I go up again. 

I tell her that I am getting mad.  She says, incredulously, “Mad??  NO MOMMY, you not mad, you a nice mommy.  You nice to Mil-Yum, you nice to me.”  I am laughing so hard.  But I try to explain to her that even though I’m nice, I can still be angry and she better not get out of bed again.

Back downstairs again.  Little feet.  Now I really am mad.  I go upstairs again, sternly tell her this, and she crawls back up into bed.  That’s the end of that.  For real this time.

Friday night: Little feet, little feet, little feet, naked girl, new diaper, little feet, little feet.  I go up for the third time and find that her pillow and a blanket are on the floor. 

She informs me that she’s sleeping on the floor.  I ask her why.  She tells me, “my no like my big girl bed, my want to sleep on floor….it’s safer.”  WHAT??!!  Um, ok, whatever. 

It’s not a big deal, but I still try to convince her to sleep in her bed. 

I ask; what about all your stuffed animals?

Ariel responds; I’ll just bring them down here, mommy.  (She does.  I help.)

M: what about your pretty star sheets?

A: my don’t like them, my don’t like black.

M: Those aren’t black, they’re purple

A: My don’t like them.  My sleeping on floor.

M: What about your music box?

A: My just bring it down here.  Take it off!

M: No, I can’t take it off, it has to stay up there, I guess you better go back to bed.

A: No mommy, I need to figure this out.  Hmmmm (while tapping her chin)

**Pause**

A: I know, I be right back.  (goes up on her bed, presses music box, climbs back down.) There!  My figured it out.  And if it turns off, my climb back up and turn it on and come back down and sleep on floor.

So, I’m out of ideas.  She tells me again she wants to sleep on the floor, her bed is not cozy.  Ok, fine.  I convince her to lay a blanket down to sleep on and cover her up.

She’s running around again so Tim goes back up around 10. He also unsuccessfully tries to get her to sleep in her bed, so covers her up on the floor again.

I go up to bed around 11 and check on her.  She’s sleeping.  Naked.  Scrunched up on her stomach.  So I somehow get her diaper and jammies back on without waking her too much.  The diaper may or may not be taped to her stomach but that’s  a problem for the morning.  There’s a pee spot on the blanket but she’s not laying on the spot so that’s a problem for the morning also.

Saturday – no nap.  Naked twice.  Little feet for 2 and a half hours.  Closet opening and closing.  Pairs of socks separated, but still in her drawer.  Books everywhere.  She has a whole new outfit on – inside-out shorts and a tank top.  She’s not to happy she can’t wear that downstairs.

Saturday night – Tim’s dad babysat.  She did sleep on the floor but there were no little feet noises and when I checked on her before I went to bed she was clothed.

Sunday – no nap.  Naked twice.  Little feet for 2 and a half hours.  Naked again – pee on the rug.  Clothes out of the closet.  Diaper pack out of the closet – I put it out of her reach.

Sunday night – she asks me to read her a book upstairs (we always read one downstairs together before coming up), so I tell her if she lays down (still insists on the floor) and I cover her up and THEN I will read the book.  She does, I do, she stays and there’s no little feet.

No nap Monday.  Falls asleep quickly at night again. 

I’m assuming this is just a phase.  But after saying that, I better knock wood.  Hard.  This is now.

THEN:  My parents took me home after my visit at the NICU.  I was drained.  Physically and emotionally.  I didn’t want to leave, but I was ready to be home.  My mom was going to drop my dad off at home and then come to my house for a little bit and help me get settled and take care of the dogs.  But then Tim called.  He was leaving work.  Again.  I was so thrilled and so in love with this man who would constantly just put his new family over his job.  I was so amazed at his devotion.

Plus, we needed groceries. 

So my mom stayed until Tim got home.  I was just going to stay home while he ran for groceries, but decided I didn’t feel like being alone.  Plus, I wanted to talk to the pharmacist about my prescriptions.  So, off we went.  After I pumped – which was so much better on my own couch with my own pump and no worries about people wandering in and out of my room.  Still didn’t get a lot, but that was ok for now.

At Wegmans, I had to get one of those motorized carts and just follow Tim around, but that was fine.  I had used them a couple times even while pregnant because I wasn’t supposed to be on my feet for that long (because when Tim goes grocery shopping it’s no less than an hours’ worth of walking).  I putted around behind him as he meandered up and down the aisles.  I was wearing the new shirt my mom had made for me – I’m a New Mom of Twins, with a picture she had drawn of a boy and girl in a baby buggy.  So I was getting lots of attention with my little motorized cart and my shirt advertising my accomplishment.  At least people didn’t have to wonder why I was using the motorized cart. 

After our trip I wanted to sleep.  But I wanted to go to the NICU.  This was probably the beginning of realizing how selfless I could be if I really wanted to.  I could have easily taken a nap, gone to the hospital later, and not been judged about that.  But I didn’t want to.  I needed to see the babies.  And Tim did too.  We packed up some snacks, my pump supplies, and a couple of books to read while we visited.  Soon, we were on our way back to our children.  That was then.

I have a Confession…..

NOW: I love Christmas.  There, I said it.

Prior to Thanksgiving I was pretending to be one of those people that dislikes the Christmas decorations being up in the stores already.

So, when Thanksgiving was over, I could finally give in to my true nature.  Phew, what a relief.

Then, I started reading/hearing all kinds of people complaining about Christmas in general…..especially in regards to Santa Claus.  So, I’ve been debating about this post for a while, but I suppose it’s my right to give the other side of the debate.  I don’t think anyone is “wrong” in their beliefs, just like to give my opinion too!

I love Santa.  I believe in Santa.  I truly do, at 30 years old.  Does Santa magically drop presents down the chimney for Tim and I?  No, not technically.  But I believe in him as the spirit of Christmas.  The idea that my twins will wake up on Sunday morning and be in awe of the fact that not only are there presents under the tree……but the milk, cookies, and carrots are mysteriously gone.

I know it’s a lie.  But I suppose I lie to my kids all the time.  Not big lies.  But……when there’s blackberries going bad in the fridge and there’s new bananas on the counter and they ask for bananas and I tell them they’re not ready to eat yet so they’ll just have to make do with blackberries.  Could they eat the bananas, yes.  But I want them to eat the blackberries first.  But they won’t go along with that line of thinking.  So, I tell them the bananas aren’t ready yet and they suddenly become perfectly happy with blackberries.  Just an example.  But I digress.

I try to explain as much to my kids as possible.  Even if anyone else would think they’re too young to understand.  And I tell the truth; I don’t blow them off with a simple answer.  It gives me credibility for when I do stretch the truth.  Plus, I’m a firm believer in asking questions in order to learn.  Even when I have a group of 22 children in front of me all day….each with their own set of questions.  That’s my job; to answer them.

Back to Santa.  Early in November, Will and Ariel saw a commercial featuring the man in the red suit and inquired about it.  I, being the over-explainer, immediately went into a detailed description of Santa, with his sleigh, reindeer, and sack of toys coming down chimneys on Christmas Eve.  I was excited.  Even back in November.  As a result, we they have been talking about Santa for almost two months now.  Not incessently.  But occasionally.  And more so now that the big night is almost here.

<It’s hard to put joy into words.  I think it’s much easier to express negative emotions, so this post might get rambly.  I apologize in advance.>

Santa is magic.  End of story.  Obviously I’m excited because this is the first year where the twins really get what’s going on for Christmas.  If nothing else, they know what presents are for and they are looking forward to recieving some, I’m sure.  But they are also excited about the tree, the ornaments, the decorating, the driving around looking at Christmas lights, the snow (what snow?), the shopping (yay, my kids like to shop!) the making cookies, the holiday movies.  I could go on and on.  

They are just full to the brim of excitement and positive emotion.  Same way my 2nd graders at school feel.  And I like to think that it’s coming partially from me.  They are excited because I am excited.  And I allow myself and them to give in to the excitement.  I don’t pretend Christmas isn’t coming, I embrace it.  And every year I get the same question from my 7-year-olds at school…..is there a Santa Claus?  They are at the brink of not believing.  Others have told them it isn’t true.  But they trust their teacher.  Maybe more than they trust their parents.  Because their parents might tell them the truth if they ask.  Plus, when they’re being egged on by 20 other kids, this seems like the perfect time to inquire.  School is for learning, right? 

And I don’t lie.  I tell them yes.  There is a Santa and I believe in him.  Let me make this clear; I am not lying.  And that’s part of the magic.  They know I’m not lying.  And so do my twins.

When I was little Santa filled my living room with presents.  And my sister and I always made sure to say “Thank you Santa, wherever you are!” while we looked up at the ceiling (because North is up), after we were done opening our gifts.  We were grateful.  Were we grateful to the wrong person?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Because even though it was technically my parents’ money, and technically my parents (mom) who went out and did the shopping, and technically my parents (mom) who stayed up late into the night wrapping……it was Santa who brought those gifts.  And my parents heard the thank you and took it as their own.

I don’t even remember finding out that mom and dad were buying the gifts all along.  I guess it wasn’t that big of a deal.  I vaguely remember mom telling me not to tell Melissa, 5 years younger than me, and still going strong in her Santa-belief.  I think I kind of felt like I was just in on a secret, not a lie.  How fun it was to keep this secret going year after year…..until eventually most of  the presents were just labeled “from mom and dad”.  But never all.  There were always a couple from Santa.  Even though we “didn’t believe” anymore.  And the pile?  Didn’t get any smaller.  Don’t get me wrong.  My parents were not rich.  My dad worked two jobs so that my mom could stay home with us, and then later when my mom developed back problems and “couldn’t” work (that’s another post for another day).  They were probably living paycheck to paycheck.  But I never would have known it come Christmas morning.  Was I spoiled, yes.  But was I taught how to be rich in Christmas Spirit and thankfulness, yes.

I guess I’m lucky too because there are a lot of factors that don’t make me see “playing Santa” as a chore.  I love shopping, and shopping for the perfect gifts that I know will make my kids’ eyes light up is so rewarding.  It’s not work.  And I loved wrapping this year.  I picked out two different sets of paper and made sure Will and Ariel each had the same amount and wrapped and wrapped.  And the “leftover” gifts that didn’t have a “match”?  They are from mommy and daddy.  And in a third type of wrapping paper.  It was like a puzzle!  Making sure that they each had the same amount of gifts wrapped up.  (That reminds me, I have to figure out somethings to unwrap and rewrap so they each have a gift for each other). 

I guess it just boils down to this; I have fond memories of Christmas and of Santa.  I want my children to have fond memories of Christmas and Santa.  I want them to share in the Christmas Spirit and be merry and cheerful.  Everything Tim and I do with them is an experience that will shape their whole world as they grow up and I guess I just want them to have this wonderful, joyful Christmas/Santa experience.  Even if it is a lot of work.  And technically a lie.

I’m lucky too, in that I have the means to be able to do all of this work to build up the lie.  It’s worth it to me.  Because I love Christmas.   And because I believe in Santa Claus.

Happy Holidays Everyone!  Enjoy your time with yourself, your friends, your family, your joy. 

And your presents…..I know I’m looking forward to opening up my one-piece footie Cookie Monster pajamas from Tim!  (They just better be waiting under the tree and not being saved for my upcoming Birthday!)  This is now.

THEN: (A short one): The twins were born on a Sunday.  I was allowed to stay at the hospital until Thursday morning.  You might think that’s strange….whoever wants to stay in the hospital, right?  But I was glad because that was where my babies were. 

On Wednesday night, before Tim left to go home, I was sobbing.  I thought my heart would break.  He even climbed into the tiny hospital bed and held me.  I had been holding in all of my negative emotions for almost a week….even before they were born.  But now, on the eve of my homecoming, I broke down.

I didn’t want to go home the next morning.  I couldn’t leave them.  It was “bad enough” that they were being taken care of by “other people” but now I got to go home and they didn’t.  It wasn’t fair.  All of my other fears came out….basically…..what if they never came home?  I cried and cried and cried.  And he held me.  And he cried a little too.

A nurse came in.  I stopped right away.  I couldn’t be weak in front of her, she’d think something was wrong.  I told her I was just afraid to leave the twins.  But, she was trained to deal with crying, new moms.  She was afraid it was something worse; I could see it in her eyes.  She left and I knew that she would be sending people to check on me up until I left the next morning.  And maybe even watch me when I came back to visit the twins.  It might be post-partum depression.

I got angry.  Did I not have the right to get a little sad?  After all we had been through?  I was keeping it together and upbeat for a long time!  Didn’t I have the right to cry a little when I didn’t know what I was facing and how long I would have to face it and didn’t know what was going to become of my babies, but just knowing I wasn’t able to be in the same building with them 24/7 anymore?  I just wanted to cry a little.  I just wanted to be held by my husband who was the only one who even came close to understanding.  Was that so wrong?  That was then.

NICU

I just found out about this and wanted to share.  It really only applies to people in the Buffalo area…….but I thought maybe there would be something similar you could do at your local NICU/hospital.  Check out this link to the story:

After Spending Christmas in the NICU, Moms Deliver Cookies | Video | wgrz.com

As you all know, my twins were 31-week preemies and spent some time (about a month) in the NICU at Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, NY.  I am forever grateful to the people who work there and although it was the worst time in my life it was also the best outcome because of these wonderful people.

I know many of you out in the blogging world have had experiences of your own in the NICU, or know someone who has.

I know it’s last-minute, I know times are tough, and I know not all of you are from this area.  But consider making an extra dozen cookies as you bake and make a simple donation/delivery.  It’s a small thing that so many hurting families would be so grateful for. 

Luckily, I myself was not in the NICU at Christmas.  Luckily, I didn’t have other small children at home waiting for their mom to make cookies with them.  Luckily, my children were not critically ill – just little.  Luckily I have a strong network of friends and family who supported me.

Some people aren’t so lucky.  Or maybe they are.  Either way, a little bit of holiday cheer in the form of cookies might be just enough to brighten their holiday season a little bit.

I am so eternally grateful that I could spend last weekend making cookies with my little ones…..who are so healthy and happy because of my NICU family.

Christmas Specials!!! It Begins Again…..

NOW: One of my favorite things to do with Tim during the holidays is watch Christmas movies.  So we own a LOT of them.  This year, we decided that we should share this tradition with the twins!  So, almost every night, we have been watching a Christmas movie with them.  This is slightly against my better judgement because during the week, the only time I really spend with the kids is after dinner.  And now I’m taking that time to watch a movie.  But, it’s the holidays.  And I’m watching it with them, so we’re still spending family time together.  I just feel guilty sometimes I guess.  Same feeling most working moms probably get.

Anyway, here’s what we’ve watched so far.  We have so many, that if we hadn’t started early, we might not get through all of them.  Plus, we like to watch our favorites more than once if possible.

On Thanksgiving, we brought Santa Claus is Coming to Town with us to Mema and Papa’s house.  We had a sneaking suspicion that the next day while we were shopping, Mema would encourage the twins to go see Santa at the mall.  So, it would probably be best if they knew a little about who he is.  Here’s the link to some information about the movie, if you’ve never seen it.  It’s cute!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066327/

It’s one of those that used to be on TV every year, and probably still is on ABC Family or something.  But that just wasn’t good enough for us, we had to own the DVD.

But…….we’re going to have to re-watch it.  When we’re at home, the kids sit with us and watch nicely, asking a million questions, but that’s ok.  Well, it was a different story when there was so much exploring to do in a different house with different people, especially when Great-Grandma and Uncle Larry showed up.  So they weren’t really paying attention.

Then, last Saturday, we watched one of my favorites.  It’s VERY hard to find on DVD now…..in fact, my mom just bought it on Amazon for $30!!!!  For a DVD!!!!!  And now it’s up to almost double that.  (from independant sellers because it’s no longer produced).  We got it a while ago, so we didn’t spend nearly that much at the time.

Muppet Family Christmas!!!!!  If you have never seen this you are really missing out.  And it has everyone…..all of the Muppets; Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, etc.  Plus, Sesame Street characters and an appearance by the Fraggles!!!   And OMG did the twins love it!  They have been asking for it nightly now……Puppets, with all the Friends??  So, I guess we’ll have to re-watch this one at some point too.  Which we usually do anyway. 

No matter what I have done as a mom so far.  No matter what mistakes I’ve made.  No matter what way(s) I’ve already messed my kids up for life.  One thing is for certain:

I have done right by my kids because they like the Muppets.  That’s enough.

On Sunday afternoon, we watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  And held our little stuffed Rudolph and Clarice while we watched.  Ever since then, they’ve also pulled down two more stuffed Rudolphs I have…..that were supposed to be used as decorations (yeah, right).  One of them is from Build-a-Bear I think….and we put in the sound chip in that has Rudolph’s voice. 

However, they keep calling them kangaroos.  For the past 4 days they’ve been inseperable…..especially Will……but they keep calling them kangaroos.  No matter how much we correct them.  They’ll say reindeer after you remind them.  Like once.  Then it’s back to “want to see how I go pee-pee, kangaroo?” or , “watch me eat carrots kangaroo”.  It’s hilarious.

Sunday night was a bit of a VERY surprising flop.  Christmas Eve on Sesame Street.  We thought this would be a big hit, considering their love of SS.    They did like it, but didn’t LOVE it.  Maybe it was the lack of Elmo?  Or because it was an actual storyline?  They did love the Ernie/Bert Gift of the Magi segment though.  And they really loved seeing Snuffy because they have the stuffed version of him, but he’s not on Sesame Street much anymore.

They insisted on Puppets again Monday, so we chose The Muppet Christmas Carol.  My second-favorite version of the Charles Dickens story.  They loved this too, but were a little disappointed with the lack of Miss Piggy (I think Ariel is Miss Piggy, just not a pig).  Gonzo Charles Dickens and Rizzo made up for it though.  A little.

Then, Tuesday; “MORE MUPPETS!!  Watch a Movie, Mommy?  Watch a Movie, Daddy?  More Muppets????  All the friends?”  This is what I heard all day(I had to take a day off of work because my dad had been with my mom at the hospital all night….she’s having a little issue with her eye.  She’s fine though).  Anyway.  I told them they had to wait until Daddy got home, and as soon as he did they started again.

Thank goodness we have more Muppet Christmas specials.  🙂

The Very, Merry Muppet Christmas Movie was on tap for us next.  It’s actually the only version of It’s a Wonderful Life that I’ve ever seen.  And Tim too.  No joke.  It’s a relatively new Muppet movie, and was on TV a  few years ago, but it’s still good.  And there is plentiful Kermit and Miss Piggy, so twins were pretty happy.  🙂  They obviously didn’t get the whole “What if I had never been born?” idea, but they enjoyed it anyway. 

Wednesday we went to the mall and didn’t watch a movie.  Boo.

Thursday we actually had to wait to for Daddy to get home to make dinner.  Usually I start dinner, but he was making risotto and that’s WAY too complicated for me to get started on.  I took out all of his prepped ingredients and that was about it. 

Anyway, that meant we didn’t have as much time after dinner for a full-length movie so we decided on How The Grinch Stole Christmas.  Cartoon version, not live-action.

Of course, Mommy has a stuffed Grinch and Max that the twins could hold during the movie.   Again…..they’re supposed to be decorations.  Stuffed decorations?  Not with 2-year-olds.  They really enjoyed this one too, especially all of the cool toys the Whos have.  And they literally squealed with delight when they realized the Grinch was “Giving back presents!  Giving back food!”   “Grinch nice now!” 

More to come throughout the holiday season!  Including some that Daddy and Mommy will watch by themselves.  Not because they’re naughty, just more over-their-heads, or possibly boring from a 2-year-olds perspective (Christmas Carol with Alastair Sim for example).  That’s good though, because as much as I am enjoying sharing this tradition with the twins, it’s definitely different than just watching them alone!  Ha!  This is now.

THEN:  One of the good things that came out of my inability to go see my newborn children was how excited Tim was every time he came back from the NICU.  He was bubbling over with excitement to tell me about them. 

Especially when he realized that Ariel was turning her head towards the sound of his voice.  I know that “studies show” that babies know their father’s voice by the age of 6 weeks.  Ariel knew her daddy’s voice at the age of 16 hours.  🙂  I know it sounds ridiculous, but I witnessed it later that day.  Every time he would talk, she would try to turn her head to the sound.  It was the sweetest thing I had ever heard or seen.

I had delivered the twins Sunday evening.  By Monday evening, I could go see them.  I had to wait to have my catheder removed (oh so much fun!).  Then the nurses had to move me to a different room on a different floor – the  maternity recovery ward.  I couldn’t walk yet, so they had to push me in a wheelchair.  Tim helped move my stuff.  And our friend Jay had come up to visit, so he helped too.  I was just so impatient but trying to be patient.  Like, I didn’t snap at the nurses to move faster…..but I was thinking it!  Ha ha.

I was finally settled up in my new room.  NOW can I go see the babies?????  So, Tim took me down.  I was in awe.  The NICU was like nothing I had ever experienced before.  First, Tim had to confirm who I was so that I could get my bracelet allowing me inside the unit.  It matched Tim’s, and the babies had matching ones on their little incubators.  I was told that I had to show my bracelet every time I came to visit them so that I could be let in by the nurse at the front desk.  The door were locked at all times.  We were allowed to bring in two other people per baby.  Each baby was only allowed 3 visitors at a time.  And, if it was too crowded in their room (the rooms each held 6-7 babies), everyone but the parents would be asked to leave.

We were also allowed to designate up to 4 people that could come in without Tim or I.  Anyone else who wanted to visit had to be escorted in by one of us.  So, we designated each of our parents.  They could come visit whenever they wanted, but they could not bring in other people like we could.

It was all very complicated and secure.  I was grateful and amazed by the efficiency of it all.  But I was still very impatient.  I didn’t care.  I just wanted to get in the room and see where my babies would be living for the next few…..days?  Weeks?  Months?   And I wanted to see them again!  They didn’t seem real.  More like a dream. 

Tim had done a lot of the paperwork/procedure stuff the last 24 hours, but it still needed to be explained to me.  *sigh*

FINALLY it was time to go inside.  Tim wheeled me down the MILES LONG hallway.  Not really, just felt that way.  I wished he would RUN.  We passed room after room after room, all filled with little teeny tiny babies that couldn’t go home yet for various reasons.  I had been warned by Tim that the privacy was VERY important here.  I shouldn’t linger by cribs that weren’t mine, or look too long at information tags that were hanging near the babies.  But I couldn’t stop looking around.  Waiting waiting waiting to get to the very end of the hallway where DogWood room was.  Where my babies were.

When we finally got to their door we were buzzed in by the nurses and I held my breath as we went down to the two little incubators at the middle-left and far-left.  I can picture it as if I’m walking it again right now.  That was then.