Monday, September 15, 2014

Twin Pregnancy: 18 Weeks!

I am now 18 weeks along with our twinbies . . . very likely could be half-way through this pregnancy! That's kind of crazy to think about!

Here is how the belly is looking these days:

I must be showing a whole lot more than before because I've gotten several comments about how I look pregnant. I don't mind them at all! I'm glad that I don't just look chubby :-). Speaking of chubby, I gained 2 pounds this week! I knew that once I started gaining it would come quickly as that's exactly how my pregnancies with Brianna and Brenson were. So, that puts me at a total weight gain of 3 pounds.

I'm still having some days where I just don't feel good. I had one gagging episode this past week, but lots of moments of my tummy feeling unsettled. However, I also have days where I feel great, so I'm certainly thankful for those! As far as my energy goes, I just take what I can get. Tonight, I felt really good so I cooked dinner and cleaned the kitchen really well (as in mopped the floors and everything). I'm hoping for a productive day tomorrow, but we'll just have to wait and see. How I feel is really unpredictable right now. Obviously, my appetite is healthy :-).

I meant to mention this a couple of weeks ago, but I forgot. I have been loving McAlister's Deli lately! Now, I generally like McAlister's okay, but I certainly don't crave it. However, in about the past month, we've eaten there at least once (sometimes twice) a week! We don't have one in the town where we live (thankfully), but there is one about 20 minutes from our house in a nearby town. And every single time we've eaten there, I have ordered the broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl. Again, this is something I've ordered before and like okay, but lately it has been SO yummy. Last night, it was the ONLY thing that sounded good to me, so we went! Luckily, the family all likes it, too! This is not something I've ever craved before with pregnancy.

My back and hip pain is much, much better than it was a week ago, but I did have a headache about four times last week. I took Tylenol on two days - which I hate doing - but I needed something to take the edge off enough for me to sleep. I am sleeping really well still, and very thankful for that! Also, no swelling in my hands or feet yet, but as I've mentioned before, I am careful to drink lots of water every day.

Chris felt Baby B kicking for the first time a few nights ago. That was an exciting moment for sure! I am starting to feel stronger movement, and I love it! Brianna CAN'T WAIT to feel the babies move, although she's not very patient about it. 

I've been doing my daily blood thinning injections since the day I was 4 weeks along, so as of Wednesday I will have done 100 injections. I'm not even going to calculate or think about how many that means I have left to take. As my tummy gets bigger and tighter, I've noticed that my bruises are much more sensitive than they were before. I am very grateful for modern medicine and treatments options to help our babies, but the injections do get a little overwhelming at times. I just get so tired of doing them and especially of my tummy constantly having huge bruises all over it. We are just praying it will all be worth it in the end!

We had an appointment with Dr. N this past Thursday when I was 17 weeks and 3 days along. My blood pressure was 110 over 80 this time, so still looking good. I should not have written about our great luck with appointments because it ended this time! My appointment was at 10:20am, so Chris was able to meet me there from work and I brought the kids. They love seeing the babies! We were called back to an exam room fairly quickly (after about 15 minutes), but ended up waiting in the exam room until 11:45 to see Dr. N! It's one thing for adults to wait and hour and a half, but a two year old and four year old? That's a much bigger deal! They actually did really well for the most part, but they were over the whole thing after about an hour. 

Being super silly waiting for Dr. N:

They had exhausted the few things I had in my purse for them to do, so they resorted to being ridiculous :-).

To show just how silly they were being, this is a funny video that we took! 

After waiting so long, our appointment was pretty short and sweet! Dr. N did apologize for the wait . . . he said that he had to spend about 45 minutes with a patient, then he said, "If you think the wait was bad, you should be thankful you weren't the patient I had to talk to." I'm not sure what exactly that meant - and of course he couldn't say too much - but it made me think someone didn't get very good news :-(. I truly don't mind the wait too much as I know that he's a good doctor that spends the necessary time with his patients when they need it. I want him to do that with me (and he has before), so I know that sometimes I'll be the one waiting while he does that with others. 

He did an ultrasound (which is getting much more painful due to the bruises on my tummy), and both babies looked great! We heard both heartbeats and saw lots of wiggling and squiggling. We didn't get pictures this time, but I'm sure we will when he does the anatomy scan. During the entire ultrasound, he kept calling Baby A "Brole". At first I didn't get it, but he explained that it is his first name (Cole) with a Br. Ha! Sorry Dr. N, we probably won't be naming a baby Brole! 

As frustrating as it was to wait so long for such a short appointment, I was very thankful that there were no concerns! I was expecting a cervical check, but he didn't do one this time. Maybe next time? Our next appointment is in two weeks. 

I just love that I'm feeling more legit movement now and that my belly is really starting to grow. This is my favorite time in pregnancy!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Twin Pregnancy: 17 Weeks!

We have now completed our 17th week of pregnancy with our twinbies. Although it's a bit scary to think about, I could be half way through the pregnancy at this point. However, we're praying that I don't hit the halfway point until at least next week!

My belly is definitely growing! This is typically the time in my pregnancies that I experience some rapid growth, and this time is no exception. Here's proof (not sure what happened with the photo . . . all the belly shots were blurry this time):

Our family took a little four day trip to St. Louis this past week. Chris worked part of the time while the kiddos and I hung out at the hotel, swam, and relaxed. Chris took this photo of me when I was 16 weeks and 4 days along:

I realized that when I was exactly this far along in my pregnancy with Brenson, we were also out of town. We had traveled to California for Chris to attend a training in Lake Tahoe. We tend to stay at The Embassy Suites when we travel, so both belly shots are taken right outside our room at an Embassy (the first one in Cali, the second in St. Louis). I think my belly looks about the same, but thankfully my face looks so much less puffy this time around!

My weight is up another pound this week, putting my total weight gain at plus one pound. My appetite was good this week, and my nausea was minimal. I also didn't have any headaches, and my energy has been up! Yay for a good pregnancy week! I'll definitely take it! I am still having a lot of back pain (mainly lower back and hips), but I have an appointment with my chiropractor today so I'm hopeful that I'll get some relief. I have noticed that I do better if I keep moving and do less sitting or lying around. It helps to feel better because then I stay motivated to be on the move. 

I don't feel like my belly is looking huge yet, but my dear 4 year old knows how to keep me humble. Yesterday morning before church she said, "Whoa Momma, the babies must really be growing. Your belly is biiiiiig!" Haha, she has no idea what's in store! A man at church also make a comment that I'm starting to look big, then he said, "Just let me know when you need me to take out the pew in front of you to give you some extra room." Ummm, what?!? He, of course, was just teasing, but I can't believe I'm getting these comments already!

We started to really think about and pursue getting organized to welcome two more babies into our home. It started the week before last when my BFF Kendall (who has almost two year old twin girls) gave us some of her baby things that she thought we could use. We started really organizing to make room for the stuff she gave us, and we haven't really stopped. We pulled some of our baby things down from the attic to assess what we have and what we need, made several lists, added a new shelf to one of our closets, cleaned out said closet to free up some room, and went through a bunch of stuff in the garage. It feels good to make some progress, even if it's just little stuff!

How awesome is it that Kendall gave us their infant car seats?!? They are in perfect condition (seriously, like new), and I know they've never been in a wreck or anything since they are from my BFF. Seeing these in the house made things really start to feel real! I mean, are we really going to have TWO babies?!?

Last Sunday, Brenson came out of Bible class carrying a paper covered in stickers. I asked him about it, and he said that God made families and God made the animals. When I looked at the family on his paper, I thought it was SO cute that it was a family of 6. I asked him who all the people were, and he said, "Momma, Daddy, B-Anna, Brenson, Peacock, and Penguin" Haha . . . it seriously made me laugh!

Brianna still calls the babies Peacock and Penguin, but this week she said that maybe we should name them Matilda and Glilda. I have no idea where she got these names, but she also told me that she thinks Matilda is THE most beautiful name for a baby. Lol.

When I'm pregnant, Chris tends to have a lot of sympathy symptoms and pains. In fact, he has often even had sympathy symptoms when I've been on fertility drugs. It's kind of hilarious to me, although sometimes I do get a little bit annoyed about it. I tease him about his pregnancy symptoms and cravings (which honestly are sometimes even worse than mine), and he's a good sport about it. His weight gain has already exceeded mine this time around, and just last week he was complaining about back and hip pain. Like I said, he even has cravings (which probably has contributed to his weight gain!) Well, when I was about 30ish weeks pregnant with Brianna, he had a severe episode with kidney stones. I ended up having to take him to Urgent Care where he had to have an ultrasound on his kidneys and everything. It was pretty entertaining that I was sitting there all big and pregnant, and he was lying on the bed getting an ultrasound! He made some diet changes and has been able to manage his kidney stone issues really well, although he did have a bit of a flare up when I was about 30ish weeks pregnant with Brenson. Well, guess what? Yep, he's having kidney stone issues again! Of course, they are quite painful so I do feel for him, but at the same time I'm like seriously?!? In the past, his issues have been on his right side, but this time, he's having severe pain on both sides. We were telling my parents about this, and my dad said, "Well, of course you are . . . you're having twins!" Hahaha! I hate to make light of his pain, but it is kind of funny. I think pregnancy is harder on him than it is on me :-).

We have an appointment with Dr. N on Thursday, so I can't wait to see my little twinbies again! I already feel like I'm at his office all the time, but I'm also so thankful for such close monitoring. I'll update about the appointment when I do my 18 week post.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Twin Pregnancy: 16 Weeks!

Yesterday marked 16 weeks along in my pregnancy with the twinbies. Now that we're past much of the "morning" sickness, time is really moving quickly!

As you can see, my belly is continuing to round out. It feels like it's growing daily now.

I am {finally} back up to my pre-pregnancy weight! Whoo-hoo! My net weight gain is 0 pounds, but I have a feeling that will be changing very soon. I had some really good days this past week and some not-so good days. I'm trying to enjoy every day of this pregnancy, but I am really ready to feel good all the time! I had about two days that I was really sick feeling most of the day and had problems with gagging episodes. However, I have had a good appetite this week, so I am thankful for that.

Lower back and hip pain has plagued me a bit this week. I see a chiropractor regularly, but I even squeezed in an extra appointment this week to get my lower back adjusted. The adjustment helped, but I'm still having pain. My lower back and hips pop nearly every time I roll over in bed, stand up after I've been sitting a while, or bend over. Chris can even hear them most of the time. I'm not good about doing stretches, but I've started being better about it again this week, and that has helped as well. I can just tell that things are expanding and shifting and it's just part of being pregnant!

On Thursday, we had an appointment with Dr. N. I was 15 weeks and 3 days along at this appointment. Chris and the older Bs were able to come with me again. I can't believe our luck that we had virtually no wait AGAIN. I was thinking about switching my appointment days to Monday, but I think I'll stick with Thursdays since I'm having such good luck with them.

My blood pressure was 112 over 70, so we were happy with that. When Dr. N came in, he immediately began the ultrasound. I LOVE having an ultrasound at every appointment, but my stomach is SO bruised due to the daily blood thinning injections I take that they are really uncomfortable for me. I thought about taking a photo of my {very} bruised belly, but it is really so gross that I decided the world did NOT need to see it.

We immediately saw this great photo of Baby B. Both babies were very active and performing for us. Dr. N really took his time with the ultrasound, let our kids enjoy watching the babies and hearing the heartbeats, and talking to us about the babies. He even kept changing the color of the ultrasound because the kids liked it!

Okay, these next photos are a little creepy. Dr. N was pretty proud to capture them, but I just kept thinking that we're ready for Halloween! Because babies at this age don't have any fat yet, they just look like skeletons with skin.

Baby B (left) and Baby A (right) with their heads together

See what I mean? Baby B is smiling, but it's totally creepy to me! Dr. N did tell us that the dark spot on Baby B's head is the soft spot. Isn't that neat?

This is Baby A. It's not the best photo, but it is neat to see ribs and fingers! Dr. N was kind of cracking up at me being less than impressed with my scary looking children, but I know that they'll look less scary once they put some fat on!

After the ultrasounds, Chris took the kids out so I could ask Dr. N a few questions. I keep reading things about weight gain and how you have to be careful about things like pedicures and intimacy when pregnant with multiples. I really just needed some reassurance that everything is okay. So, regarding the weight gain (or lack of), Dr. N is not worried about it at all. He said that in his experience, women who gain less than 8 pounds before 20 weeks actually do better with multiples than women who gain a lot more. That made me feel so relieved. He said to just keep doing what we're doing and the weight gain will come as needed. He also said not to worry about pedicures or intimacy and to STOP reading articles online, haha!

Our next appointment is in two weeks, and Dr. N said that he'll do a cervical check at that appointment. I was shocked! I didn't expect a check so soon, but he explained that if complications are going to arise, they often begin around 18 weeks. He's a very proactive doctor, so he starts checking then to make sure everything is good. And, if not, hopefully we'll catch problems soon enough to be able to combat them.

We're still working on names, but I think we're going to take a break for a while. It's exhausting!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sibling Love

All too often they argue.

Sometimes, they even fight.

Lots of bickering can be heard.

And, occasionally a push or shove will cause a scream.

I wonder if I'm getting through,

If I'm teaching them to love.

I wonder if they'll ever get along.

And learn to share and cooperate.

But then, I look over,

And see this:

And I think, hey, it's going to be ok.

Precious moments

Etched in my memory.

Forever to be cherished.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Day in the Life 2014

For the past several years, I've documented what a typical day looks like for us. I love looking back and seeing how much life has transformed in just one or two short years. I know it will continue to change rapidly, so I want to keep up with these posts every year.

Here are the posts from 2012 and 2013

The day that I chose to document was Friday, April 25th. Fridays are a little different than the other days of the week for us, but all of our Fridays look about the same. And really, any day that we do an activity or an outing looks pretty much like this. 

Brenson typically wakes first in the morning sometime between 7:00 - 7:30am. If I haven't gotten up and started getting ready yet, I will go get him and bring him to my bed. He is generally a happy little guy in the morning, smiling and ready to go for the day.

If I still have to take a shower or finish getting ready, he will lay in my bed while I do what I need to do. On this morning, I took a shower while he hung out in my bed. After I got out of the shower and got dressed, we cuddled in bed for a while before starting our day.

Brianna and Brenson generally go to bed at the same time, but Brianna will lay in bed and play/sing/talk for up to an hour before falling asleep whereas Brenson will fall asleep immediately. Because of this, Brianna is usually more tired in the mornings. I had to wake her on this morning, and she wasn't ready to get up!

She hates bright lights in the mornings (and was wondering what I was doing with my camera in her face so early).

Before I woke Brianna, Brenson and I whipped up some blueberry muffins for breakfast and put them in the oven to bake. We make muffins about once a week.

Bren loves blueberry muffins and will typically eat 2 or 3 muffins!

I try to serve them something with their muffins such as applesauce, other fruit, or yogurt. They are hearty eaters, albeit slow in the mornings. Breakfast can drag out a long time if I let it!

After breakfast, Brianna will get herself dressed, brush her hair (I will pull it up or fix it later, but she brushes it), and brush her teeth while I help get Brenson dressed and ready. After he gets dressed, it's his job to take his clothes and Brianna's clothes to the dirty clothes hamper.

Depending on how smoothly the morning is going, the kids may have to wait 10 or 15 minutes on me to finish getting ready. During this time, they just play or read or sometimes watch Sesame Street. Brianna was reading this day.

She loves books!

When we're ready to go, I'll tell them, "Grab whatever you want to take in the car and line up at the door." They don't actually line up, but they will wait by the door for me. Notice Brenson grabbed his shades :-).

On Fridays, we go to our Mommy and Me Preschool Class, Fridays with Miss Shelly. We've attended this class for almost two years and my kids love it!

They learn all kinds of great things in this class. Each week has a specific theme around which all the activities are centered.

They always do some sort of movement activity. I'm not sure what they were doing here, but apparently it was fun :-).

Maybe running in place?

Miss Shelly's is over at 11:30am, and is in a town about 15 minutes from our house. Most of the time, we will stop and get something for lunch before heading home. Sometimes, we will even do a lunch date with other classmates, but this day we went through the Chik-Fil-A drive thru and picked up lunch.

The kids always get so excited when we pick up lunch to take home!

They love eating outside, and since the weather was beautiful it was a no-brainer. Chicken bites, fruit, and milk make a yummy lunch! And Mommy loves not having to worry about fixing something or much clean up!

After eating our lunch (I sit outside with them and eat while they do), I let the kids play on their swingset for just about 30 minutes.

They could/would play outside all day if I let them!

This is their favorite thing to do on their swingset, and they will get it going so high it scares me a bit. They generally get along great, and for that I am thankful!

While they play, I will often go inside and clean up the kitchen from breakfast and lunch. Our kitchen window faces our fenced backyard, so I can watch them closely while working at the sink.

After clean-up this day (which wasn't much since we picked up food for lunch), I sat down to make out a menu for the next two weeks. We do grocery shopping every two weeks, so I needed to make a menu and a list.

At about 1:15pm, we came inside, washed up a bit, and sat down to read books. I let the kids choose a couple of books apiece, then I choose two or three as well. We don't always make it through the whole stack, but we generally do.

We all love our reading time!

I try to have them down by 2:00pm for their naps. Brenson still needs his nap for sure, but Brianna is starting to sleep less and less. However, she is required to have quiet time in her bed whether she sleeps or not. She will usually sleep for at least an hour, though. While the kids are resting, I do a few chores, put on or prep dinner, pay bills, read, relax, get on social media, etc.

After they got up from nap (at around 4:00pm), I took photos of them with their projects they made at Miss Shelly's.

This day was a transportation theme.

I'll get them a small snack, and then they will play until Daddy gets home around 6:00pm. Sometimes I will play with them for a while, but around 4:45-5:00pm, I will start doing chores and cooking dinner.

There is ALWAYS laundry to be done! Always.

About a year ago, Chris put a clothes line in our backyard for me. I LOVE it! The kids always follow me outside to help me hang clothes on the line.

The time between 5:00 and 6:00pm is often a harder time of day. The kids are sometimes a bit cranky, and of course I'm trying to cook dinner and get it on the table. They will help some with cooking/setting the table or once in a while I will put a movie on for them, but there is often more fussing and fighting than usual. You would think that at 2 and 4 years old, they would have outgrown "witching hour", but not so much in our house. It has definitely gotten better, so there IS hope!

We try to eat fairly quickly after Chris gets home from work, so I try to have it mostly prepared when he walks in.

After dinner, Chris will usually play with the kids while I clean the kitchen. Sometimes, we'll go on a walk together as a family, and other times (although not often) we will run errands. This night, we had to run to Lowe's to get some things for a weekend project.

By the time we got home this night, it was pushing 8:00pm, so time to start our bedtime routine. We give the kids baths on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday unless they got dirty/stinky for some reason. Sometimes, we will read a few books before bed.

At about 8:15pm, we do our family devo and say prayers. Then, the kids get a drink, go potty, and we tuck them in bed. They are both GREAT sleepers, and unless they are sick, we don't get up with them in the night.

After the kids are in bed, Chris and I generally relax and wind down from the day. Our days are busy, but we are loving this season of life! As much as we love our kids, we do cherish our downtime in the evenings. Our recharge time is important so we can do it all again the next day :-).