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?