Diaper discoveries

As you may guess, we change a lot of diapers around here.  Most of the time the changes are pretty non-noteworthy.  But occasionally you get something a little more exciting, like a blowout.

Luckily, Lou is beyond that stage, but there are still exciting times when changing her diaper.

While Tom was changing her diaper yesterday, he informed me that Morty and Ferdie's diapers don't fit her.  In case I was wondering.

Thanks for that.

This morning while I was changing her, we had the following conversation.  {It should be noted that Lou loves to sit on the potty, but has yet to have any success.  I'm in no rush to have her potty trained, but I figure as long as she's interested, I might as well attempt to explain/encourage the concept.  Hence the conversation.}

L: Oh, yucca dinky!
M: Yes, yucky stinky.
L: Yucca yucca poo-pyoos!
M: Where should we go stinky, Lou?
L: Will.
M: On Will?  Where should we go stinky?
L: Will head.  Gamma head.

Apparently now the appropriate place to go stinky is on Will and Grandma's head.  Um, sorry about that, guys.  I'll work on it before we see you again!



It had been a little too long since I had washed the kids' sheets, but with a bunk bed it's just a little too much effort.  Especially that top bunk.  So last Saturday, Tom pulled the sheets off, we got them washed and put back on.  (We could have just put on the back-up set, but those are plain, and Rico wanted Mickey.) I figured we'd be good to go for a good while.

Enter Tuesday night.

Tom got home from work early and for once we didn't have anything going on in the evening.  He's been wanting to watch A Muppet Christmas Carol for awhile now, and this seemed the perfect opportunity.  Since both Ella and Rico got immense amounts of sour cream on their shirts during dinner, we had them change into jammies before the movie.  I didn't put a diaper on Rico (he still wears one overnight) since it was a couple hours until bed time.

That was a mistake.

Naturally we forgot to put one on him before he got in bed.  And naturally, this wasn't one of his dry nights (of which he has many).  So the sheets lasted all of three nights.  One of which was spent at Grandma's.

Luckily he's on the bottom bunk, or I might have complained a whole lot more.


If I only had a brain!

Once upon a time my dad gave me a new (used) printer.  As in, he bought himself a new one and gave me his old one.  With it, he gave me a new (new) cartridge, as the toner that was in it was having problems.  I promptly switched them out and tried to print something.  (Actually, I lie.  It was not so prompt.  I don't print much around here.)

The first couple of times it worked fine, but pretty soon it was printing like this:

Which is not so helpful.

I tried shaking the cartridge which helped for, like, one print, and then it was worse than ever.

I called Dad up.  It sounded to him like maybe he had packaged up an empty cartridge to send back and mistaken it for a new one.   He said that he would take a look at it and try to refill it from the old one that had issues, but plenty of toner.

I brought it up over Thanksgiving.  He took one look at it and laughed at me.

He was surprised it ever printed anything at all.

When all else fails, read the directions.


Arbre de Noël

Saturday we made our third annual trip to Wilson Hill Tree Farm, and found ourselves the perfect tree.  We bundled Morty and Ferdie in some adorable bear outfits that kept them warm and snuggly in the stroller while we braved the rain on our tree hunt.  They slept the whole time, which was, of course, just what I hoped.

Louie insisted on being carried.

This a new thing which is just not going to work out for me.  If you set her down and try to hold her hand, she squats and will not move until you offer to carry her.  Um, not working with two babies; but I digress.  Back to our regularly scheduled post about Christmas trees.

Ella and Rico were good sports most of the time.  Ella, in particular, got a little moody at then end, but then we posed for pictures and got cookies and everything was all better.

I put lights on after the kids were in bed, and we decorated it Sunday night.  We still may put on some candy canes, but that won't happen until after the next trip to the store.  Which, as you may guess, won't happen with all four (or five) kids in tow.  I'm still a little intimidated at that prospect.

How I love having a Christmas tree!  (Even if I have to remind Louie {And Rico. And Ella} forty-five times an hour not to touch it.)


I'm dreaming of a white...


But that's what we got.  Snow started coming down Sunday, school let out early Monday and was closed Tuesday and Wednesday.  That made for one family-filled week.  I was glad that Tom was home, and I got to be the stay-inside-with-the-babies parent, instead of the play-in-the-snow-with-the-big-kids parent.  It's much warmer that way.

Most of the snow came down Monday and Tuesday, and we got way more than our usual (and expected) dusting.

Monday, the kids made a snowman with dad in the back yard.  I came out to deliver a carrot nose and take some pictures.  Louie wasn't a huge fan of the cold, and at this point was just ready to be held.  Or go inside, which is exactly what we did after this picture was taken.

Wednesday we drove up to my parents.  It hadn't actually snowed in a while, but the temp had stayed low enough that the snow was still around, though the roads were fairly decent (once you got out of the neighborhood).  We didn't bring snow boots and snow coats, as it was supposed to warm up and rain on Thursday.

That was a mistake.

We woke up Thursday to snow coming down, so of course the kids wanted to go out in it.  I rummaged through Sarah's winter things (not much use for them in Japan, I guess, so she left them at my parents') and found 2 pairs of snow pants.  Ella and Rico put those on over their pjs, topped them with jackets and shoes and called it good.  Grandpa even came out in his pajamas!  Once again, I got dragged out to deliver accessories and take pictures.

In my pajamas, like everyone else. 

And then, it did warm up and even rained a bit, so that by Friday, most all of the snow was gone, and life was back to normal.  (Not to mention temps in the 40's.  So much better than the teens and 20's.) Which is just how I like it.


I'm not buying it

The votes are in.

All five of them.  As it was nearly unanimous in favor of Morty and Ferdie, that's what we'll go with.  Sorry Grant.  {And knowing that he likes to be all confrontational and oppositional makes it that much more fun to reject his assumed authority.}

But I digress.

If you may recall, I was told early on that we were expecting identical boys.  And so I worried about how I would ever manage to tell them apart.  I decided that unless there was an easily identifiable difference, I would resort to painting one of their big toenails.  Red for Morty and Blue for Ferdie, or something like that.

Luckily, it did not come down to that since I have been able to easily tell them apart from day one.  So much so that I wonder about that identical diagnosis.  {We could pay lots of good money to have their DNA checked, but I'm cheap, broke, and quite frankly don't care that much, so it's not likely.} 

It has already been established that Tom and I make one kind of baby: cute with chubby cheeks, (initially) dark hair, and blue eyes.  So it's no surprise that Morty and Ferdie share these family traits. But in my opinion, Ferdie looks more like Ella as a baby, and Morty looks much more like Rico.  It's hard to point to exact differences (any more than you could tell me just how any two babies differ) other than to say they just look slightly different.  They have differently shaped heads; Morty has a more pinky complexion; Ferdie's hair seems darker and slightly longer, Morty's almost has a reddish tint (but that could just be due to his aforementioned complexion); Ferdie has (or had, at their three-week check-up) half a pound on Morty, despite Morty's slightly larger size at birth.  But the obvious, give-away difference is something anyone can see: Morty's right ear.
It is so nice to have such a distinguishable difference, so that regardless of their potential future identical-ness I will always be able to tell them apart.

Unless they take to wearing ear-muffs.

PS: Happy one month birthday, Morty and Ferdie!  I can't believe it's been a whole month, but I can't imagine life without you.  Cheesy, but true.



I've had several posts that I've wanted to write in the last few weeks, but I have failed.

One reason I have failed is that I can't decide what to call these two little men on the blog.  Sticking with Morty and Ferdie makes sense, but I studiously avoided matchy-matchy twin names in real life, so why would I use them here?  Plus, in my head, Morty and Ferdie are the squirmy aliens that took over my body, not the cute little bundles of joy I get to hold.  But the other option I like is Leo and Rocky, and then I realized that that might get confusing with Leo and Lou and Rocky and Rico.

So I need a vote.  Right here in the comments.

You can vote for either of the two options, or suggest new ones altogether.  But until I get them named I'm going to have a hard time blogging.

{Also: Happy Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa; I hope you still celebrate in heaven!  And good luck, Parker!  You will be an awesome missionary! (Not that either of the parties mentioned will read this, but, whatever.)}


I love pancakes

I haven't cooked much in the past, um, three months.  Like I could probably count all the times on one hand.  I've been super blessed by a wonderful husband, awesome mother and mother-in-law, and thoughtful friends, who have kept my family fed.

But I digress.

The point of this post is that yesterday I made pancakes for breakfast, and man, I love me some good pancakes.  So here is the recipe for all of you.  It comes from the "Joy of Cooking" cookbook, and is my absolute favorite pancake recipe.

Mix together:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 (or 2) tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp sugar

In a separate bowl combine:
3 Tbsp melted margarine (or butter)
1-2 eggs (I used to use 1, but I think I like 2 better, it makes them more puffy)
1-1 1/4 cups milk (depending on how thick you like your pancakes)

Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir till fully incorporated.  Cook as usual, and enjoy!


Can I just say

that having a cup size in the upper reaches of the alphabet is not all that it's cracked up to be?

I know that some people pay good money for enhancement in this area, but I will never be one of them.  In fact, if it weren't for their very necessary purpose currently, and the knowledge that they will again return to some semblance of normal, I would be very seriously be considering reduction.  Because seriously, I'm up a band size and four, count them, FOUR cup sizes from where I was before I got pregnant, and I'm not a fan!  And I wasn't particularly small to start with.

Have you ever tried to find shirts that fit over that?  Let me tell you, it's not easy.  And if they do, they stop mid-tummy.  Even the long ones.  Okay, maybe not the looong ones, but all the normal longish ones.  And I'm not really into the cropped-top look.  You really don't want to see my tummy these days.  Or any day.  But particularly these days, until my skin decides it no longer needs to accommodate 14 pounds of baby. 

Okay.  I'll be done ranting now.


Picture overload

Because I can.

As you can see, they are not loved at all.


Nope, not one bit.


The Birth Center: Part IV (c)

Thanks to an excellent epidural, I was still feeling NOTHING when it came to contractions.  In fact, without looking at the monitor, I wouldn't really have known I was having any.  But pretty soon, I was beginning to feel pressure down there, if you know what I mean.

I was progressing much faster, and was at a 8-9 within an hour or so.  Sometime between 6 and 6:45 (times are a little fuzzy) the pressure was getting so intense it was painful, and I was having to breathe through each contraction.  I had Tom step out to grab the nurse, but she wasn't at her post.  Within a few minutes another nurse popped in, because Morty had escaped his monitor, again.  When she saw me during a contraction, she checked me, but instead of giving a measurement, she said something to the effect of, "baby's head is right here, let's move you to the OR."

If you weren't aware, twins are always delivered in the OR because of the (much) higher chance of needing an emergency c-section for one or both.  We knew that Ferdie would be fine, but Morty was still transverse so would need to be turned, or delivered breech.  If anything went wrong, it would be a c-section for him, and I would get to recover from both.  Sounds fun, no?

They quickly got everything ready, paged the doctor and rushed me to the operating room.  There, I had to be slid (no feeling in the legs, remember?) onto the operating table where I was flat on my back for the first time in months.  I was astounded by the size of the mountain that was my belly.  I knew the doctor was standing at the foot of the table, but I couldn't even see her.

They got everything prepped and told me to push.  Three pushes later and Ferdie was born.  I had four women standing around me, pushing on my (much smaller) belly to get baby B into position.  Soon enough, Morty was determined to be head down and ready to go.  I wasn't feeling the contractions at all, so pushing was a little more difficult, but it wasn't more than a minute or two and Morty followed his brother out into the world. They were born at 7:05 and 7:13.

Both babies were determined to be perfect, and smiles and congratulations were spread all around.  My doctor was heard to say "That was FUN!"  and I finally got to hold those sweet little bundles in my arms.  And even better, someone else could hold them!

Eventually I made it back to my room, where my dad met us with pizza. (Hooray!  Food!) The nurses weighed and measured the babies and they clocked in at just under 7 lbs each (Ferdie at 6 lbs 14.2 and Morty at 6 lbs 15) and measured 19.25" and 19.5", respectively.  Pretty good sized for 37 weeks, if you ask me.  (And the hospital agreed with me, I was exactly 37 weeks on Wednesday, the 20th.)

While this pregnancy was definitely the hardest, this delivery was the easiest.  Unlike the last three, I didn't need any stitches, which makes an amazing difference in the recovery, let me tell you. 

I cannot even begin to tell how incredibly blessed and lucky I am to having these sweet little boys.  They are now 12 days old and are angels.  Last night I got not one but TWO four-hour stretches of sleep.  And a nap today (but that's thanks to Grandma!).  And I promise to get more pictures up eventually.

On a side note: I intended to call them Morty and Ferdie on the blog until I got around to giving them real nick-names, but then Tom suggested we could call them Leo and Rocky (very very loosely name-based) and I kind of like that, too.  What's your vote?  Morty and Ferdie, or Leo and Rocky?


The Birth Center: Part IV (b)

And what happened was.... nothing.

The contractions were still stronger than earlier in the week, almost painful, even, but not progressing.  Since I was already at a 4, I was told I could have an epidural whenever I wanted.  I was planning on having one, so I figured I might as well get it in before the pain really started.  The anesthesiologist came and got me all set up (though it took a couple of tries; it's amazing how much easier it is to hold still when you're not in severe pain) and they hooked me up to the pitocin.

Contractions started increasing and I progressed to a five.  They had to stop the pit for an hour or so, because Morty's heart rate showed he wasn't a huge fan, but when they restarted it around 7:30 am, he was fine. 

As long as I was on my left side, that is.  As soon as I turned over to my back or right side, his heart rate would drop, or whatever it does to alarm the nurses, and back to left I would go.

Ice chips began getting old by about 11 am, but I was still at a 5, despite consistent, frequent, and apparently strong contractions.  And I stayed at a 5 for much longer than I would have liked.  Had I been in pain I would have cared a lot more, but as it was, it was mostly just an annoyance.

By 5 (or was it 5:30?) pm my doctor came in to break my water (finally!  I'm sure that's all my body was waiting for) and I was all of a 6.  Ten hours, and 1 centimeter was all I had to show for it.

That didn't last long, however.


The Birth Center: Part IV (a)

In the next few posts, I will be detailing the birth of my sweet little boys.  I share this for my own records, and because I enjoy hearing/reading the birth stories of others.  Be aware that this may include references to female anatomy involved in the birth process.  Read at your own risk.

During this whole pregnancy, I was counting each new week as starting on Wednesday, meaning that I would have hit 36 weeks on Wednesday, October 13th.  So I was a little confused when my doc told me I would hit 36 on the 12th, and could be up and around, and stop taking my meds.  But confused or not, I was happy to oblige.  That also meant that according to her, I hit 37 weeks on Tuesday, the 19th, when we could test for lung maturity and induce if I was still pregnant.

Naturally, being off bed rest didn't bring on labor.  So Tuesday morning, nice and early, Tom and I went to the hospital for an amniocentesis, hoping not to leave until we had babies in our arms (Tom took the day off to be my moral support, and in case we got to induce right away).  The amnio went well, (although Morty {baby B} was transverse again, he'd been head down the week before).  Then I got to be hooked up to the monitors in the birth center for an hour, before I was sent home to await the results.  I could have just hung out there, but with nothing to do and cute kids at home, home we went.

The results came with good news and bad news.

The good news: their lungs looked great.

The bad news: everyone and their mother was in labor, so there was no room for an elective induction, but they would give me a call when there was an opening.

So we waited for the phone call.

And waited.

And waited.

And wished Tom hadn't bothered taking the day off work.

Finally around 7 pm I tried calling the birth center to see what the chances were of getting a call that night, and finally around 10 I was told by the nurse that she couldn't promise anything, either overnight or in the morning, but was I willing to come in in the wee hours of the morning if there was room?

I said yes.

About 2:10 am, the phone rang.

We packed our bags and took off.  (After some blessed soul came to sleep on our couch, until my mother-in-law got there.)

I noticed in the car that I was having regular contractions, which was not that odd (I'd been having regular contractions all week long, they just weren't progressing) except that they seemed a bit stronger than those I'd had earlier in the week.

When we arrived and got all checked in, the nurse (or maybe it was the doctor) checked me and I was already at a 4.  They were fairly pleased with the regularity of contractions I was having and decided to just wait and see what developed naturally before "inducing."


Such a difference a week makes

After church last week:

During church this week:

Better out than in, I always say.

More details to come.


I traded it for a beach ball

36 weeks today, people!  

I'm off meds and bed rest, and Morty and Ferdie are welcome to come anytime.  If I make it a whole nother week, we'll check their lungs and (provided the lungs pass the test) induce next Tuesday.  I can't wait to hold these little guys in my arms. 

And get them out of my belly.


Quarter 3 Review

Book reading inexplicably went up starting mid-August... I can't imagine why.  Oh, right, because I've been spending an inordinate amount of time on the couch.   But still 18 books in three months isn't all that much.  But part of that is because I don't have access to the library from my couch, so I'm limited to what I have at home, which isn't much.  If you got some good books lying around, feel free to drop them off! :)

Scoring system review: The first number is my totally subjective preference rating, the higher, the better (out of 5). Next is the cleanliness rating, including language, violence, sensuality, etc. 0=squeaky clean, 5=PG13. The last number is recommended age level in my opinion: 2=elementary 3=Jr. High, 4=High school, 5=adult.


Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry: 4.2.2
I haven't read this one in years.  It was shorter and simpler than I remember, but I loved it.


Abandoned, by Jennie Hansen: 4.3.4
Don't judge a book by it's prologue.  Cute LDS romance/actionish novel
Freefall, by Traci Hunter Abrahamson: 4.3.4
Same category as above.  Cute and some suspense as well.
No Longer Strangers, by Rachel Ann Nunes: 4.3.4
Not as action-y but cute LDS romance.  And by romance I mean clean love story, not steamy adult content.
Freshman for President, by Ally Condie: 3.1.3
I wasn't sure I would love it, based solely on the title/premise, but it was fun.
It's Bliss, by Alene Roberts: 4.1.4
Cover promises a "modern, old-fashioned romance" and it delivered.
Darcy's Story, by Janet Aylmer: 4.0.4
Interesting premise that was done pretty well.  I still prefer the original.
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen: 5.0.4
Which is why I promptly had to read it again.  And loved it.  Of course.
Persuasion, by Jane Austen: 5.0.4
I hadn't read this Austen yet, but I loved it.


Lady Susan, by Jane Austen: 3.1.4
I wasn't the hugest fan of the epistolary style of this novel, but it got the job done.
Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins: 3.4.4
Anti-climactic ending to a great series.  But decent.
Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen: 5.0.4
Loved it, just like last time.
Emma, by Jane Austen: 5.0.4
 Don't you just love Mr. Knightly?  And want to punch Mrs. Elliot in the face?
Anthem, by Ayn Rand: 2.2.3
It had been years since I read this distopian novella, and it was just as bizarre as I remember, but a lot shorter.
Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen: 4.0.4
If you hadn't guessed yet, I own "The Complete Works of Jane Austen" and plowed my way through it.
Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen: 4.1.4
And thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnette: 4.0.3
Another repeat read, but that's what happens when you're limited to stock on hand.
The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan: 5.3.3
Loved this as much as the first time!

And as for New Year's resolutions:

To continue being more healthy: 8

When I made this resolution, I had little intention of being 8 months pregnant at this point of the year, much less with twins.  Given the current situation, I definitely feel like I'm doing great, but based on my intentions when I made this goal, I'm failing.

To better study my scriptures: 5
This is one of the hardest things for me to be consistent with; I don't know why.  I'll be doing great for days, weeks, months, and then I fall back into old habits.  Especially after last weekend's inspiring General Conference, I'm re-committed to improving in this area.

To be more patient with my children: 7

I don't get to see my children nearly as often as I would like.  With Ella at school all day, and the other two being cared for by one generous, wonderful person or another, I mostly only see them in the evenings.  This results in more patience when they are home At the same time, however, Rico has figured out that I can't enforce rules/requests anymore, which apparently means he no longer needs to follow them, which makes my patience level drop significantly.


The Birth Center: Part III

This is getting a little redundant.  But, once again, I spent a couple of hours yesterday evening at the birth center.  It was pretty much a repeat of last Sunday, except that this time when the doctor checked me she said I wasn't dilated at all.  So I'm somehow regressing, which is just fine by me.  (And this same doc checked me last Friday and said I was between a 1 and 2.)  I was only there about two hours so it wasn't too bad, but not really a pattern I'd like to keep up.  The good news is that pretty soon they won't bother trying to stop the contractions at all, which means I wouldn't have to go in.  But we haven't quite reached that point. 

Thank you to everyone who is keeping me in their thoughts and prayers.  I know that is helping to keep these little boys in the incubator a little longer!


The Birth Center: Part II

I went to the hospital again yesterday evening. 

The good news: they let me go home that night.

The bad news: since they didn't admit me, my insurance apparently classifies it as an "emergency room" visit, and it is subject to the $150 ER copay.  Lame.

This visit went much like I hoped the first one would.  I got there, got monitored, got drugged, and the contractions slowed way down.  My doctor is in Italy right now (good timing, right?) and the on-call doc from the partner practice was out of the hospital, so I was checked by a hospitalist (who really knows all the different kinds of doctors?) but I really liked her, so that worked out for me.  (Especially since I'd heard less than good things about the on-call doc.)

The only other notable thing that happened was that she checked my cervix (sorry guys, you might want to skip this paragraph) and not only is it way softer and shorter than last time I was checked (which, granted, was a while ago), it's also dilated to a 3.5.

My body is definitely ready to kick these boys out.  But it will be so much better for them to stay in another 2.5 to 4 weeks.  (Not to mention better for my wallet.) 

I was sent home with strict instructions to stay horizontal in bed (or on the couch) and not do ANYTHING other than get up to use the restroom until I had seen my doctor.  But I'm guessing that's exactly what I'll be told at the doctor tomorrow. Especially since I'm still contracting.

That means at least two more weeks of Not. Doing. Any. Thing.  No getting the kids breakfast (or lunch, or dinner).  No changing diapers. No cooking. No cleaning. No laundry. No baby prep. No nothing.  And while that sounds nice, it's really not.  Something about not being able to do stuff makes it so much more desirable. 

And laying down all the time makes for some seriously sore muscles. 


You may have noticed

I decided to change the kids' names.  Ella is staying for now since it's not her given name anyway, and I can't come up with something that fits.  The names for the other two are things I call them daily, but really don't have any connection to their real names.  When commenting, please refrain from using their real names.

Near heart attack

I lost Louie yesterday.

Couldn't find her anywhere.

I was talking on the phone to my sister, and stepped into my bedroom for a moment to relate a funny story about one of the kids that I didn't necessarily want them overhearing.  (I do laugh at my kids, but I try not to do it to their faces!)  When I came out a couple of minutes later (less than 5), Ella and Rico were happily sitting at the table coloring, just as I'd left them, but Lou was nowhere to be seen.  I glanced in her room, and the kids' room, and even checked the bathroom and the laundry room (which was gated off--no way could she have gotten in there!) but she was no where.

At this point I was getting a little nervous.

Now, my house is only 1150 (or so) square feet, so there are not really a lot of places she could go.  I checked all the rooms again, but with no luck.  Maybe she had followed me into my room unnoticed, so I checked in there as well, but to no avail.

She's much too short to open doors, and the kids would have noticed something as suspicious as someone coming in and taking her, so I knew she had to be around, but where?

Rico suggested I look in the closet, so I checked the hall closet (which she can't open), and naturally she wasn't there.  Next I peeked into the closet in the kids room, where she was very happily, and very quietly, playing with my cell phone.

Apparently, if I can hide and talk on the phone, so can she.


To name, or not to name? That is the question.

When I first started blogging, my URL was my first and last name.  But I decided that I didn't want to be quite that public with my identity, so I changed it.  Then I went through and edited every mention of my last name from existing posts.  Then I got myself a more generic email address. 

I'm still fine using my first name, but in the last few weeks I've been thinking long and hard about using pseudonyms for my children.  I don't know if it's the upcoming arrival of Morty and Ferdie that has me contemplating the switch or something else, but I want your opinions. 

Why do you (or don't you) use pseudonyms on your public blog? 

Do you ever wish you did? (or didn't?)

If you've got a private blog, what is your reasoning for having it private?

I don't think I'll ever go private, but I may just spend some of my down time in the next couple of weeks editing any mention of my children. 

We'll see.

(And no, I will not be naming my babies "Morty" and "Ferdie," but that's what we're calling them for now.  Two points if you know where the names come from.)


Comments from the peanut gallery

First, I should thank you all for your kind words.  It's amazing what can happen when you actually shower and do your hair and make-up.  (Or is it make up?)  

I had an appointment today (32 weeks, 5 days) and I'm measuring at 41 weeks.  This is no little belly.  I'm now apparently big enough that the world at large has decided that it's acceptable for random passers-by to comment on my apparently imminent date with the birth center. 

I've had people asking when I was due for several months now (and they always look a me strange when I say November) but now the comments have become "Any day now, huh?" and "Good L**d woman!  You're due in what? two days?"  I responded to that one with a civil "Nope, more like two months," and went on my merry way, leaving him to wonder why in the world I was so huge. 

But really? I don't think the picture I posted does full justice to the huge-ness that is my belly.  Because not only does it stick out there, but it's pretty wide as well.  I mean, I've got two babies in there that were measuring 5+ lbs last week.  That's over 11 lbs of baby, people.  I felt huge with Caroline (pictured here) and she was under 10 lbs.  And it's only going to get bigger. 

But that's a good thing, so I'm not going to complain.  About the size at least. 

The unsolicited comments from complete strangers are another matter.


It's just a basketball

I swear.

Or not.
32 weeks, 4 days.


Lest we forget

So I'm not good at milestone posts.  I'm much better and random, rambling posts about nothing of import.  But I would feel like a bad mom if I didn't at least mention the fact that my baby girl started kindergarten yesterday. 

She was thrilled, of course.

And likes to show off the gap in her mouth. (She lost her first tooth last week.)

I took her to her classroom and she sat down and got right to work coloring a picture.  She was in her element.

I don't know how they planned it, but she was at a table with two kids from church, so she even felt like she was with friends. (There are 8 kids from our ward in kindergarten at her school, spread between three classes.)

It was odd having her gone all day, but I was busy much of the morning with a doctor's appointment, dropping by the library to pick up Mockingjay (loving it!) and getting gas to miss her too much.  Today the house has been strangely quiet with only two little monkeys. 

She had a great day, and though she did admit that "it wasn't as fun as I thought it would be," she was still excited to go again today, so it can't have been too bad!

I still can't believe I'm old enough to have a kindergartner.



When I left the hospital last Thursday, my doctor told me to "get as much rest as possible."  Then she went to prepare my discharge papers.  In my mind, that phrase could mean one of two things.

First, it could mean: get as much rest as possible; live your life, play with your kids, make them breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc., but take it easy and put your feet up every chance you get.

Or it could mean: get as much rest as possible; do not do anything more than absolutely necessary.  Confine yourself to your bed, get up only to use the restroom; no laughing, sneezing, coughing, or even thinking about doing anything fun.

Naturally I hoped she meant the first, but then the nurse came in with the discharge papers which clearly stated "bed rest," followed by an extensive list of prohibited activities. 

So home to bed (or the couch) I went.  And there I stayed.  Tom did  e v e r y t h i n g : he made breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks; changed diapers; cleaned up accidents; did the laundry, the dishes; swept, vacuumed, and in short did anything and everything that needed doing, and did it all with a smile on his face. 

All while I sat on the couch and watched.

And felt useless.

Tuesday I had an appointment with Maternal Fetal Medicine.  After the ultrasound I chatted with the doctor (like normal) and he reassured me that as long as my contraction were under control, I could go with the first definition.  While I should still be spending a significant part of the day resting in a horizontal position, there was nothing wrong with being up and about and doing things.

Housework is still Tom's territory, and will be until these babies are born, and he's still been making dinner most nights, which I'm so grateful for, but it's nice to know I CAN.  So in a week here when Tom actually has to go back to work, my kids won't die of neglect.

That's a reassuring thought.


The Birth Center: part I

The hospital plays a little chime, a couple bars of Brahms's Lullaby, throughout the hospital every time a baby is born.  I've heard that chime at least a dozen or more times this past week, but thankfully, it has yet to play for our two little ones.  They are still safely inside.

I drove myself to the hospital Monday night around 10.  I had been having frequent, though painless, contractions that had crossed the 6/hour threshold.  That's the magical number that means you need professional help, or something.  I figured they would give me some drugs, the contractions would stop, and I'd be on my way before morning.

Not so.

As expected, they did shoot me up with some drugs, but they didn't do anything.  So they gave me more.

Still nothing.

Then they tried the next option (some other drug) that didn't do anything either, and so, shortly after midnight, they admitted me.  I got to change into one of those attractive and highly modest hospital gowns, move from the uncomfortable triage bed onto a slightly more comfortable labor and delivery bed, and  be hooked up to an IV or two along with my favorite, a catheter.  I also got some steroids for the babies' lungs, just in case.

The magnesium sulfate which they were pouring into me made thirstier than I've ever been in my life, despite the IV fluids I was receiving simultaneously.  It's a muscle relaxant (makes sense, since they were trying to relax my uterus) which meant I was super unsteady on my feet (not that I could go anywhere anyway) and my intestines kinda forgot what they were supposed to be doing.

The hope was that I'd be on the magnesium for 24 hours which would stop the contractions, they'd switch me to oral meds, observe me for another 24 hours to make sure they were getting the job done and let me go Thursday morning.

Unfortunately it didn't quite work that way. 

After 24 hours, they upped the dose of the magnesium, and it finally started working.  24 hours later, they switched me to Procardia, which continued to control the contractions, and disconnected me from the IV and the catheter (hallelujah!).  I was still being monitored for contractions (naturally) as well a monitor on each baby a couple times per day, but it felt so good to not be hooked to quite so many tubes and machines.

Thursday night around 9:30 the doctor came in to talk with me.  She said that the Procardia was doing its job, and since I had no cervical changes, I could go home the next morning.  Or even right then, if I wanted to.  I chose the second option.  I would much rather be at home, thankyouverymuch.  

So, almost exactly 72 hours later, I finally got to come home.  I'm still on drugs and bedrest until further notice (which I sincerely hope is not the next 9-10 weeks), but I'm so glad to be home!

Hopefully we won't have a part II of this post until October!


Here's the dilemma

Several months ago I ordered some shirts from Shade.

Now, let me be clear: I love Shade.

So they were having a sale, or something, and I perused their clearance items, chose a few, chose a few more, and checked out.  Included in the sale were some maternity tops that I can only guess they were phasing out select colors, so, though I was not currently pregnant, I grabbed a few.  When they arrived, I tried a couple on, and they thankfully didn't fit.  So I stuck them all, packaging included, in the back of my closet for future use.

And completely forgot about them.

Luckily, as I was looking for my skirt on Sunday that had somehow fallen off it's hanger, (or, heaven forbid, had never gotten hung up) I stumbled upon them and joyously wore one to church. 

But today, when I went to put on another one, I noticed it has a dime-sized hole in the side/back.

Now, their return policy for defective items is a fairly standard 30 days.  But it has been much longer than that.  I called the customer service number and she said that I could probably exchange it, if I paid return shipping, but they no longer have my size in that color/style, and everything else I might want costs twice as much.

So, do I return it and buy something else?

Do I attempt to patch it?

Do I just call it a loss and find another use for the fabric?

What would YOU do?


{Key} lime pie

On the most sweltering day last week (high of 93, I think), we had a Relief Society activity that included a potluck.  There was no way in, well, anywhere, that I was going to turn on my oven, so I puttered around in my kitchen wondering what in the world I could make that would not require a trip to the store or use of the oven, and would still taste good. 

I had an abundance of limes that needed to be used (that's what happens when you buy them at Costco and then go out of town), so I began looking for a recipe to use them in.  Naturally, Key lime pie came to mind, but these weren't Key limes.  However, after being reassured by one cooking blog that I could indeed use normal (Persian) limes as substitute, I began looking for the right recipe.  In the end I used a mish-mash of several, using a filling that required only two ingredients and no cooking in a graham cracker crust.  I topped it with lightly sweetened whipped cream, a lovely lime garnish, and away I went. 

As I got several requests for the recipe, here it is:

Key Lime Pie

1 1/4 c (125 g) crushed graham cracker crumbs
6 T butter or margarine, melted
2 T granulated sugar

Combine ingredients and press into a 9" pie dish and chill. {You can bake this and it might hold together better, but I was all about avoiding that, and it worked out just fine.}

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup  F R E S H  lime juice (about 3-4 Persian limes)

Mix in a bowl and pour into the crust and chill.  {You can add some food coloring if you want the green look, otherwise it will be yellow.  I used one drop green and two drops yellow and was pleased with the look, but I don't know that I'll bother next time.}  Also, I was going to add 1 t of lime zest, but then I realized I don't have a zester, or any convenient way to zest a lime.  Any ideas for next time?

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 T sugar

Whip the cream till it gets to the soft peak stage, add the sugar and continue whipping until you have stiff peaks.  Pipe or spread over the filling and garnish as desired.  Store in the refrigerator.  Obviously.


Splish Splash!

We have had some amazing weather recently.  If you like sunshine, I mean.  And I do, in moderation.  We even busted out the sprinkler and the wading pool in the back yard last week.

Until the wading pool developed a huge crack in the bottom.  Which is not shocking if you could have seen the exuberant jumping that was going on.

Ella and Rico loved running through (and standing in) the sprinkler.

Louie on the other hand preferred to hang out with me in the shade.

She did not like getting wet.
Nope, not one bit.


Holy Pictures, Batman!: A recap

While I hate to be one of those a bloggers who feel the need to detail all of the minutea of their lives (not that it's bad, it's just not me), I don't want to let the past few months escape without some mention, however brief, of their awesomeness.

I mentioned that my sister and her family were in town for a short week-and-a-half visit from Okinawa.  Well, as it came time to leave, they realized that Zach was only going to be home with them for two weeks before flying to DC for three weeks.  So they decided that instead of all going home, Sarah and the kids would stay here for the five weeks until Zach was flying home from DC, when he could stop here and fly back with them.  It was perfect. 

Before he and Jon left, however, we snagged some family photos (done by the fabulous Morgan Bennett).

We loved having them here so long.  Sarah and I are less than two years apart, and we have always been close.  Our kids are all similarly aged and had a blast playing together, so we spent at least one day a week up there.  It is so fun watching our kids bond and play.  Ella and Aly are "best friends" and Ella is already planning that they will be roommates at BYU.

We hung out at home, visited the troll, and a gorgeous park on Queen Anne, went to a children's museum, the library, and the zoo, honed our thrifting skills, hosted sleepovers and a birthday party, and had an all around great time.  We even made time for a girls night out with my mom and sister.  And I harassed her (my sister, not my mom!) into taking a pregnancy test.  You can see for yourself how that turned out.
At the end of June, I escaped for a long weekend to Utah.  It was quite novel flying alone, but I ended up the same flight (both ways!) with a good friend and we happily chatted throughout the two hour flight.  The purpose for my trip was for a reunion with my freshman (and half of sophomore year) roommates.  We lived in apartment 2010 our freshman year, and early on planned a reunion for the corresponding year.  Being the naive younguns we were, we believed that by that far distant time we would all be independently wealthy and would reunite in Paris, but somehow that didn't exactly work out.  So Kamas, Utah was our next best option.
Only four of our original six were able to make it, but we did include one pseudo-roommate from downstairs and the five of us (plus one baby) had a blast reminiscing and creating new memories.  In Alicia's words, it's "kinda weird how a 48-hour period with a disproportionate fraction of sleep could be so rejuvenating," but it really was.  While in Utah I was also able to visit with some family that I don't get to see nearly as often as I would like. (And I may or may not have stolen all of these pictures from Lisa's blog because I was too lame to take pictures.)

Then I came home, had enough time to unpack, go to the doctor (again!), do laundry, and repack before we left the next day for the Kitsap Peninsula.  I have a hard time calling what we did camping, because we stayed in a cute little cabin, but that's basically what it was.  We had a roof, beds, a microwave, mini fridge, and flushing toilets--though the bathrooms were down the path a bit.  We stayed out there three nights (coming back one morning so Tom could interview for a job), and had a great time.  It was a good thing we decided to go the cabin route, because although Wednesday and Friday morning were beautiful, Thursday was rainy and gray; a perfect day for cozying up on the couch and watching a movie on our laptop.  The park had a rocky beach, perfect for throwing rocks into the water, a big playtoy, and lots of open space to run and play. 

Somehow, between all that, I've had 1-2 doctor's appointments nearly every week.  While we had a slight scare that nutrients were not being shared properly (one baby was 11% larger at one appointment), the boys worked it out on their own and everything is looking great.  Even their hearts look perfect (which was a concern due to sweet Lou's VSD {which, if you're wondering is continuing to shrink and heal on its own}).  I'm getting huge and have already gained as much as I did with Lou, but I'm not worried about that in the least. 

And now it's July, and I'm going to attempt to do a much better job at blogging regularly so you don't have to slog through another post of this magnitude.