Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Delicious Memory

Hey, where did you come from?

Haven't I seen you before?

Stop following me!

You remind me of something.

It's on the tip of my tongue...

Oh, ya, now I remember you.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Boonies

We live in the boonies. About 20 minutes from everything. Which I guess isn't exactly the boonies, but close enough.

For most of the time we have lived out here, I have loved it. The solitude. The privacy. The smell of cows. Ok, maybe not that part.

It has really been a great place to live. But ever since these girls have come, I have thought on more than a few occasions, couldn't we just live closer? When I first started back to work, I'm sure I trimmed that drive to at least 16 minutes (all legally, of course). I couldn't get home fast enough.

Every doctor's appointment, trip to the bank and formula run, we have to factor in a 20-minute drive. And when you're short on time and energy, 20 minutes can seem like an eternity.

But that mindset changed this weekend. As we went for a walk with the girls in the beautiful, albeit windy, weather, I saw this:

As I was looking at this picturesque country scene, I imagined two little girls riding their bikes up and down a gravel road, two little girls sitting under a tree reading books, two little girls catching fireflies with the stars shining above.

Maybe the boonies aren't so bad after all.

Monday, March 29, 2010

False Alarm




This is my alarm clock. I don't get to set the time and there is no snooze button. Believe me, I have looked for it every where. Surely these things come with a way to shut them off, right?


Accepting the fact that it is most likely time to get up, I roll over and check the timer. It's been four hours. Ok, it's time.


Ok, ok, I'm going!


Hurry into the kitchen to get the bottles. Hurry into the bedroom to put them in our warmer. Hurry over to the bed to get the girls.

You've got to be kidding me.

Apparently, they found the snooze button.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's As Easy as 1,2,3

Well, easy isn't exactly the word I would use to describe the past three months. More like fun, exhausting, surprising, nerve-racking, delightful, painful and just awesome.

Today our little lovies turn three months old. Before we know it, they'll be breaking hearts and skipping class.

This month they...

*Started sleeping eight-hour chunks
*Started smiling (like, really smiling)
*Finally moved into Size 1 diapers (Newborns can eat their dust!)
*Found their hands (and each other's.) And, oh boy, they are delicious!
*Also Claire found her tongue and has decided to discover the world with it. She licks everything! (including Grace)
*Had their nails clipped for the first time
*Packed away all of their newborn clothes
*Cheered on the Cats as they danced!! (And slept while they went into double overtime)

This month has been particularly fun as we have watched them become aware of us and the world around them. We can't wait to see what next month brings. Happy Birthday, cuties.

The Nile ain't just a river in Egypt

OK, so I was supposed to be "helping" with this thing from day one, and that hasn't really happened. But here I am, for better or for worse.

And I'm here to make a confession.

For those of you that know me, this might come as a surprise. The shock for some of you may be the content, but most of you will just be blown away that I've actually admitted it to myself.

So, without further adieu...

I drive a station wagon.

I like to call it a SportWagon, which is from the German schportvaggon, meaning "To lie to one's self about driving a station wagon." (NOTE: Since my college German teacher has been known to read and comment on this blog, I must confess this is not actually the correct spelling or translation. Call it creative license.)

Ya, whatever. I admit it. It's a station wagon.

Today, as I scrambled to take Claire to the doctor to get the goop looked at once again with only Grace to assist me (surprisingly, she was no help), I was reminded that it's OK to drive a sport....nay...station wagon.

I do like my car. It's not as fun as the two-doors that I've had for the overwhelming majority of my driving career, but today as I pulled my station wagon into the parking lot full of minivans at the pediatrician's, I made peace with the facts.

I drive a station wagon.

Weapons of Minor Destruction

How can someone so small and delicate leave your neck looking like a cat's scratching post?

This is how...

It's time. Time to get out the clippers and trim those talons. Ready. Set. STOP! Ok, I can do this. Just very carefully put these EXTREMELY SHARP blades near the very delicate fingers of my precious baby.

Breathe. Ready. Set. STOP! What if I cut them too far down? What if I make her bleed? What kind of Mom makes her child bleed!?!?

Ok, really. Ready. Set. Clip. Breathe. Clip. Breathe. Clip.

It sounds so easy. Just clip the nails, right?

It's the most nerve-racking experience I could ever imagine. Well, except letting Scott do it.

He tried. I stole the clippers from him before he got to the first nail.

This just requires more precision than he brings to the table.

Thankfully, the nail clippers come with a magnifying glass. Now if only they'd come with something to calm my irrational fears of mutilating my children.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Screamer

For most of Grace's life, she has been lovingly referred to as The Screamer. Here's a short list of the things that, in the past, would make Grace scream.

1. Being hungry (an obvious one)
2. Eating
3. Being full
4. Every time we changed her diaper
5. Every time we left her diaper on
6. Every time we changed her clothes
7. Every time we left her clothes on
8. Every time we took her temperature (which was every three hours in the NICU)
9. Every time she took a bath

And, oh, yeah, every time she was awake. And sometimes when she was asleep.


She was one ticked off little girl. But in the last week or so, something has changed. She doesn't scream quite as often and she has waking moments where she is content with life. She still cries when she's hungry, occasionally at bath time and when you put ANY piece of clothing over her head.

But other than that, she has really mellowed. She will look at you and just coo and move her eyebrows up and down. She's even started smiling. And not just the full belly kind of smile. You smile at her and most of the time, she'll smile back.

Except when she doesn't.

Home Alone: Lost in the City!!

So, we went to the grocery store to pick up, oh, ya know, just a few hundred things and while we were there, we saw the strangest thing.

There was a boy no older than 12 walking around as though he were a little lost. We were at the store for nearly an hour and kept bumping into him — and only him. No parents.

Toward the end of our visit, we saw him again. Still alone. Except this time, he had found a shopping cart and picked up the following necessities:

1. Two bottles of barbecue sauce
2. A box of Fruity Pebbles
3. Spaghetti Sauce
4. Two boxes of hamburger helper
5. Toilet paper

Sounds like quite the evening.

Monday, March 22, 2010


It's goopy. It's green. And it's leaking from Claire's eye. At least it was.

We had our first experience with baby illness last week. And it was gross. It started as an extra leaky eye. I say extra leaky because Claire has always been a little leaky. But I can say, with confidence, that this was extra leaky.

Then it turned green. Then it started gooping in the corner of her eye. Then it matted her eye shut. By this time, panic was setting in as I was imagining how much more of this mean, green goop Claire could handle.

I knew keeping preemies healthy (especially preemies who were born in the season of sick) was going to be a challenge. But thank goodness for these little ones, they were born to an overprotective mother. Someday, they'll thank me for it. And someday, they'll hate me for it. Probably the hating first.

The doc said it was nothing serious and prescribed some eye drops for her. Wait. Eye drops!?! You want me to put eye drops in my infant's eye? In her EYE?? How in the world could one be successful at this task?

But Claire, being Claire, has taken it like a trooper. And all I can think is, I'm glad it wasn't The Screamer.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lessons from my Mama

Today is my mom's birthday.

Nearly all of my good qualities I learned from her. She is the most courageous, loving woman I know, and I am so proud to be her daughter.

So, today, as we celebrate the moment she came into this world, I want to tell you a little about the woman who made me who I am.

She is a Mama first and foremost. Her children always come first — even at the expense of her own wants and needs. And even though we are mostly grown and all but one has left the nest, she is still teaching us.

She taught me how to care for others — especially those less fortunate.

She taught me how to drive. A manual. (Go, Mom!)

She taught me that money doesn't matter as long as you have love. Although money does help.

She taught me to appreciate the small things.

She taught me that family is the most important thing in the world. Even if they annoy you to death.

She taught me to forgive. Especially my brothers and sisters after the knock-down, drag-out fights we would have. (See above)

She taught me hope when I had none.

She taught me how to be an independent and confident woman.

She taught me to don't worry, be happy.

She taught me to stand toward the back of the batter's box.

She taught me how to be selfless. This is still a work in progress.

She taught me how to swear. (Sorry, Mom.)

She taught me how to heal when my heart was broken.

And every day, she teaches me how to be a better mother. I am so thankful for her wisdom and love. And so thankful that because of her, my girls will grow up learning how to be strong and loving women.

Happy Birthday, Mama.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Looking back

Two years ago today we found out that we miscarried our first baby. We were about two months along when it happened and it was devastating. A few months after that, we miscarried again and I just kept asking why. But I truly believe things happen for a reason, and as I sit here looking at Claire and Grace swinging their arms and kicking their feet, I now understand.

Here is something I wrote before the girls were born. If you have already read it, feel free to skip.


To all the parents whose babies have grown up, all the parents who are still raising their babies and to all of the future parents wishing for their babies:

It has been two years in the making. That's when Scott and I first decided we were ready to have a family -- of the non-four legged kind. We were pleasantly surprised when we had a positive pregnancy test the first of February 2008. Wow, that was really pretty easy! Until 8 weeks later, when I started spotting. The doctors wanted to get things checked out, so we went in for a sonogram. We were staring at the screen, not knowing what to look for and the tech wasn't forthcoming about what he saw. Afterwards they told us to wait in the office until the doctor called. When he did and I heard the words "you've miscarried," the hot tears just started rolling. We heard all of the things that are supposed to make it feel better:
"It happens to one in five women."
"Your body was just taking care of something that was wrong."
"It will come in due time."

Those words took the edge off, but they didn't heal the pain. But with time and the support of Scott and our families, I accepted that we were one in five. And why shouldn't we be? Why should we be exempt from that statistic? I felt like I was paying my dues, so someone else wouldn't have to lose their baby.

We started trying again a few months later, and not long after, we were seeing that positive test again. But this time, my excitement was guarded. I was terrified of it happening again. Each day that went by, I breathed a little easier -- wishing that we could just make it past that first trimester. When we started spotting again at five weeks, my spirits just dropped. But there was hope. We went in for a blood test to confirm miscarriage. The doctor said my hormone levels wouldn't rise if I wasn't pregnant. And after each test, they rose. In fact, they were skyrocketing. But I was still spotting. The nurses at the office would wait -- sometimes after the office closed -- to get the results of the blood tests. They would call right away to tell me my numbers were up.

We did that daily back-and-forth for three weeks, until at 8 weeks, they confirmed that I had miscarried. And for some reason, my numbers were rising even though I wasn't pregnant. That led to seeing a specialist, getting tests done and having another D&C. But the worst part -- we wouldn't be able to try again for 6 months to a year. It doesn't seem like long, but for me, it felt like an eternity. All I wanted was to hold our little baby and give it all the love we have to give. But by this point, I was starting to wonder if we were meant to have children. I fell into a depression that was hard to recover from. There were few things about this life I was sure of -- and being a mother was something I never questioned.

Fast forward about 9 months.

By this point, I was taking a pregnancy test (or three) every month, and each month, a devastatingly negative result. Until May 2009. We took the test and it came back positive. I was happier than I could ever imagine -- but a part of me was still scared. I knew it would be a long 8 weeks of worrying, until we made it past the first trimester. But this time, I was hopeful. What was the likelihood that it would happen a third time? At five weeks, when I started spotting again, I couldn't catch my breath between sobs. I knew it was happening again.

We went in for a sonogram, and to my astonishment, we saw a little, itty bitty heartbeat. I didn't believe the tech at first, but she said she was sure. I left the office feeling on top of the world. We had never seen a heartbeat before. And when I was still spotting a week later, we did another sonogram. Imagine our shock when, this time, they told us we had TWO heartbeats. TWO. Here I was crying in the doctor's office again -- but this time, the tears were pure joy.

And nearly 30 weeks later, here we are. This chapter of our story is coming to a close. In two days, we will be welcoming two little girls into this world and Scott and I are so ready to shower these babes with as much love as we have to offer.

After two years of waiting for them, we are getting two of the best Christmas gifts we could ever imagine.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

An Eight-Hour Eternity

Hold the freakin' presses.

My baby girls just slept for eight — COUNT 'EM...EIGHT — hours. We could drive to Dallas in that amount of time. Or ride a bike to Missouri. Or take a plane to Ireland.

Do you know what a person can do with that kind of time? Sleep. That's what I did. I technically got about seven hours of sleep, but who's counting!?

A few weeks ago we were waking every three hours, then we started sleeping four-hour chunks at night and then a couple of weeks ago, they stretched it to about five and a half hours during the middle of the night.

But eight hours?? Eight hours. I can't begin to tell you what it's like to sleep for such a continuous amount of time. I feel like I could climb Mt. Everest. Or swim the English Channel. Or make it through the day without needing a nap, which is just as remarkable.

To all of those who I told to bite me the other day, I'm sorry. I was just a little cranky. Ya know, with all the bottle making, baby feeding, bottle washing, bottle making, baby feeding, get the idea. That kind of repetition would leave even the nicest person a little on edge.

So, I take it back. Well, at least until tomorrow when they decide 3 a.m. is the perfect time to wake up and eat.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Picture of the week: 10 weeks

This week's picture of the week shows Grace doing what Grace does and Claire finally fitting into 0-3 sized clothes.

Oh and we are out of batteries for our camera, and considering it takes an act of Congress to make it to the store, you'll just have to settle for the quality of my phone. Deal with it. :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sleepless in the City

Close your eyes and picture this: it's 2 a.m., you're awake, bloodshot eyes, empty bottles laying around, people passed out nearby and puke on your shirt.

College party, right?


Not even close. It's what I like to call life. At least what my life looks like at 2 a.m.

I'm not complaining. Really, I'm not. I love these little girls. So much that I haven't slept for more than 5 hours straight since September. And never once regretted it.

But some days the exhaustion is so deep, I can feel it in my bones. It's something I fully expected. In fact, I spent the majority of my second trimester asleep trying to log as many hours as I could — knowing I would be sitting here in this chair, eyelids barely open, fondly remembering the luxury of just deciding it was time to sleep and sleeping.

(By the way, to all of you who go to sleep every night and wake up every morning feeling refreshed, bite me. )

Although I expected to be tired, there is one thing I never expected to happen. But it did. And I'm not even that ashamed of it.

During the early feeding this morning, Grace spit up on my shirt. And not just a little spittle. A pretty good area of my shirt was wet with her puke. But I had to finish the feeding. My shirt could wait.

Fast forward about 20 minutes when they finally finished up. I put them back to sleep, got a glass of water and collapsed on the bed. And that's when I remembered it — the puke. I laid there for a solid two minutes debating whether I should pull myself out of bed to change my shirt. It was a hard decision. Lay in puke for the next three hours or just get up? Stay or go. Go or stay.

And that's one more thing the drunk college kid and the worn-out mom have in common. We both wait until morning.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Perfect Husband

Doesn't exist. Nor does the perfect wife, for that matter. Although I'd say I come pretty close.

To be honest, Scott has several flaws. He doesn't usually notice when the house needs vacuumed. He is sometimes VERY loud when the babies have just nodded off. He doesn't always mow the grass when it needs mowed. He never thinks we need to dust.

But in my mind, he's as close to perfect as you can get. At least on the things that matter. Scott's always been a good husband, but it's the father in him that has really impressed me.

From day one, he has viewed this partnership in parenthood with rigid equality. If he's not working, he's changing diapers, feeding babies and soothing right along with me.

During our stay in the NICU, when they first asked us if we wanted to change Grace's diaper, he stepped right up to the plate. Which is where he has been ever since.

And at 10:30 last night, when I felt so tired I didn't think I could make it through the night, he told me to go to bed. That he would take care of that feeding. For someone who wakes up at 4 a.m. to go to work, that was no small feat.

So, he may not be perfect, but I'd say he comes pretty close.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Better Late Than Never

So, I rolled up to the bank drive-thru yesterday at 5:59 p.m.

I know. 5:59. That's pretty close to closing time. But hear me out. My car payment was due on the 19th. Of February. It's now March, and for 10 straight days I have forgotten to drop it off. But yesterday, I remembered.

Before I divulge what happened when I got there, let me give you some background. I pay most of our bills online, but ever since we got this car loan, I've dropped it at the bank. It's on my way to work, so it was never a problem. Enter babies here.

This would be the second consecutive month that I was late paying our car payment. It's not that I didn't have the money. Or the desire. (Well, maybe a little of that). It's that I have TWINS. I'm exhausted. Most days I live in a hazy version of this world. What day is it? What year? Who am I? MUST - FEED - BABIES. And dropping off that payment has been a casualty of the war these babes are waging against my sanity.

Until yesterday. So, I roll up, with a big ol' grin on my face. Looky what I brought you little bank people! They will be so pleased to finally be getting this check! But then I see the teller look at her teller friend and roll her eyes.

Oh. No. You. Just. Didn't.

Do you know what my brain had to go through to remember to drop this off?
It fought through formulababiesdiaperscryingworkscottbabiesdinnerlaundrydiapersfeedingbabiesscottpoopyfussybassinetdiaperssleepchoresworkbabiesformulababiesdiaperscryingworkscottbabiesdinnerlaundrydiapersfeedingbabiesscottpoopyfussybassinetdiaperssleepchoresworkbabiesformulababiesdiaperscryingworkscottbabiesdinnerlaundrydiapersfeedingbabiesscottpoopyfussybassinetdiaperssleepchoresworkbabies just to get this godforsaken check to you.

So, I wait at the window. She comes over and in just that voice says, "The night deposit is right behind you."

5:59!!! I still have 60 seconds! My anger is bubbling. Can't she see what it took to get this check here? I'm sacrificing precious moments with my babies to bring this to you, lady. Frustrated and furious, I do what any exhausted mother who spends her days worrying about poop does: I smile and say "Thanks, have a good day!"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

You decide!

Recently, there has been some discussion about who the babies look like. They definitely have qualities from both parents, but here's your chance to vote on who you think they look the most like. Below are pictures of Scott and I as babies, along with our beauties. Make sure to vote in the poll on the right side of the page!