Thursday, October 29, 2009

Big Bertha

There are two kinds of people in the world:

Those who swear they will never get a mini-van, and those who swear they will never get a mini-van but eventually fall victim to the wormy charms of obscene spaciousness and tank-like safety features.

Reluctantly, I have joined the ranks of the latter group.

Big Bertha and I did not get started on the right foot. First, you may remember my post about beginning a search for a new vehicle to replace my beloved Milan *sniff sniff* when the lease was up. "I ONLY BUY AMERICAN CARS!" I announced proudly, the good ole Stars and Stripes waving in the background, from the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans, white with foam. And specifically we wanted to go with Ford, because as DH puts it, it's the only American car company that isn't state run. (We are small government people, if you haven't guessed.)

Of course our first stop was our friendly Ford dealership. We chose one with a "no dicker sticker" because seriously, who wants to dicker? We met with a wonderful salesman with three kids of his own. Who better to help us match with our next Ford vehicle? Perfect!

We explained our needs and our budget. He looked at us grimly -- I think it was clear to him early on that he would be delivering a devastating blow to a young, innocent family. We looked at every model of sedan and SUV that he had on the lot, from the Focus to the Flex, and one thing was becoming obvious.

The yellow brick road was leading us right to... a mini-van. He knew it all along, and he let us gently come to this conclusion on our own. And when the shock of realization hit, our faces twisted in horror and defeat, he was supportive and kind. He explained that his wife drives a mini-van with their three kids, and it just. simply. works. best. Many people have argued that three car seats do fit in an SUV. Certainly they do. And if you have three small children and want to do all the reaching and stretching to navigate the small doorway and inflexible seating EVERY TIME YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE, then by all means, hook yourself up with an SUV. But I have a feeling I'm going to be dreading leaving the house with all the kids anyway, and I'll take the maximum level of convenience when I do so, thank you.

Then the salesman showed us the only used mini-van he had on the lot, which was a fully loaded 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan. (Ford and GM have pulled out of the mini-van market, for those of you keeping score at home.) I liked the look of the Grand Caravan -- I mean, if you're going in the direction of a gigantic boat mobile -- and DH was salivating at the affordable price. But we were still too shell-shocked to go for a test-drive, so we went home to mull over this new direction and do some research on *groan* mini-vans.

From reading our Consumer Reports guide and countless reviews from everyone from experts to regular moms, one thing became clear. The best two mini-vans on the market are the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna.

Trust me, we searched and searched for a reason to get the Grand Caravan. It's a good vehicle, don't get me wrong. I like the whole "ram" image that Dodge has going, I imagine it kicking some major butt in a cage match. The Town & Country is a bit of a step-up from the Grand Caravan, but that front grill always screams "I'm old and I have no fun" to me. (Which is a bit unfair, because my grandma is in her 80s and has way more fun than I do. And probably more than you, too.)

Anyway, when it came down to spending our hard-earned money on a vehicle that needed to be 1) convenient, 2) well made, and 3) safe, it was obvious that we were going to have to cross into the Dark Side and own a foreign car. Or more specifically, a foreign MINI-VAN.

We went back-and-forth between two dealerships, checking out late model Odysseys and Siennas. Fortunately, my dislike of both vehicles meant DH could employ some stiff negotiation tactics. Walk away from the deal? HA! Just watch us! I can extend the lease on the Milan... for up to two months... sniff sniff.

In the end, we did settle on one: the Toyota Sienna. Mainly because it was red. Really, at that point, I might as well have been driving the Wiener Mobile. Which I guess I kinda will be. (Heh. Sorry, couldn't resist.)

We've had it for a few weeks now. DH is really happy with it. I think it's... fine. Maybe I'm being ungrateful, I don't know. It's a nice vehicle, roomy, very safe. Bean is farther away from me so when he cries in the car (not tremendously often, but still) it's much less annoying. I guess I am still coming to terms with the fact that after 13 years of driving, my car is no longer an extension of my personality.

Or is it?


It does fit in the garage, which was a potential concern. Even if I pee my pants a little every time I open the door to the garage because I think I'm about to get run over.


Big Bertha in all her glory. Try not to be jealous.

Well, at least Bean seems to be comfortable.

I just hope we don't meet a Grand Caravan in a dark alley some day. Because Bertha and I will totally get creamed.


Monday, October 26, 2009

File under: life is cruel

Ahhh, irony loves me.

Just a mere hours after posting about my fabulous weight loss at my last OB appointment, I sat down to (finally) dive into the nutrition section of the twin/multiple pregnancy book that Carrie recommended to me.

I was nervous for two reasons. First, Carrie warned me that that section was the most difficult one in the book for her to digest. (heh) Second, the nutrition section of "What to Expect When You're Expecting" that I read 2+ years ago made me run for the hills. The guidelines and recipes were so unrealistic (like I'm going to give up Lucky Charms for bran muffins!) -- the camel's back was finally broken and that evil book promptly ended up in the fireplace. Which kept me nice and toasty while I devoured pizza and breadsticks (with lots of grease).

So I had similar fears with this book, as I'm sure you can understand.


Anyway, imagine my initial delight to learn from this new book that I should be indulging in a bowl of premium ice cream or a milkshake every night before bed. She explains why in the book, but I was stuck on the fact that I was being commanded to EAT A BOWL OF ICE CREAM EVERY NIGHT BEFORE BED.

(Is that angels singing that I hear?)

Yes indeed! After scolding me for losing weight during a twin pregnancy -- I'm pretty sure she was talking directly to me -- the author went on to stress the importance of gaining weight, and a whole crap load of it, when carrying more than one baby. And not only that, but the first 28 weeks of pregnancy is the most crucial time for weight gain, to help give those babies what they need to help ward off premature labor. She goes into details about why this early gain is most important, but I'll let you read the book if you are interested.

So I started feeling guilty about my weight loss -- and my subsequent celebration by doing a few "running man" dance moves -- and decided to make a new plan based on what the author recommends based on her impressive experience and expertise.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Plan to gain 40-56 lbs during the pregnancy. (No prob, I gained over 40 with Bean.)
  • Plan to gain 25 lbs by 20 weeks. (Gulp, this seems like a problem. I'm not sure how much I'm up now at 14/15 weeks, but it's close to a paltry 5 lbs I believe.)
  • My pregnancy is the result of infertility treatment, so I should aim to gain an additional 4 to 6 pounds before week 20. (Double gulp.)
  • Must eat every two to three hours to keep blood sugar balanced for the babies. Watch the clock and don't wait to feel hungry.
  • Consume 3,500 calories per day. (Good LORD!)
  • Eat lots of meat, seafood, poultry, diary, bread, cereal, more dairy, pasta, fruit, nuts, oils, and finally, even more dairy. Diet should be 20% protein, 40% carbs (more angels singing?), and 40% fat (yep, those are angels).
There is actually a section entitled "Fats and Oils: Heroes, not Villains, During Pregnancy."

I want to marry this woman.

So what's the problem, you are wondering? Are you considering running out to the nearest fertility clinic to get yourself knocked up with twins?

Not so fast, my gluttonous friend.

Because here's the rub. I woke up the next morning (last Wednesday) determined to follow the guidelines. BUT! Even though the constant nausea that accompanied my first trimester has finally passed, my stomach is nowhere near back to it's normal functioning. First of all, I have major food aversions. And by food aversions, I mean aversions to all food. Nothing sounds good to eat, it's more a matter of what is tolerable. Because just the thought of eating the teriyaki beef at my favorite restaurant can bring the nausea back with a vengeance.

Yep, there it is.

Right now I am munching on those cinnamon imperial things you put on top of cupcakes. Which are really good, but not helpful for the babies or my weight gain goals.

Second, even when something manages to be mildly appetizing -- let's take DH's famous Burrito Night for example -- my stomach seems to have shrunk to about 1/6th it's former size. On Burrito Nights of the past, I would have one plain tortilla for an appetizer, then have two burritos. Now I skip the plain tortilla and I still end up handing the last portion of my FIRST burrito to DH to finish. So he's been packing on a couple of extra pounds, but also not helpful for the babies or my weight gain goals.

And eating every two to three hours? Ugh. I think not.

The author encourages me to do it for the babies, even when I don't feel like it. As Aunt Becky would plead, "Won't somebody think of the children?"

Trust me, I don't need the guilt of my babies' health to motivate me to down a chocolate milkshake.

But seriously, I WILL BARF IT UP.

I'm guessing that negates any good the milkshake will do any of us.

Although the author discourages it, I do find comfort in the fact that I was carrying some extra poundage before getting pregnant with these twins. I still had nearly 15 lbs of baby weight (breastfeeding makes you lose weight faster... cha!), and I was just a mere 1-2 pounds from being in the "overweight" category on those lovely charts that were surely developed by skinny people to make the rest of us feel fat.

And dude, I'm HUGE. In fact, at an indoor playground this morning, the other moms were admiring my large baby bump and joking about how much bigger I am than my friend who is due almost the exact same day with a singleton. At last measurement, the babies were a week ahead of their gestational age.

So far, I think the weight has just shifted a bit from my arms/legs/butt into my stomach. I'd probably be right on track if I had started at the same pre-pregnancy weight that I did with Bean.

But I'm still concerned about the direction this is going. I am very, very worried about keeping these babies healthy so they bake for 38 weeks. I bought some protein shakes, because I can drink a lot easier than I can eat.

This is ridiculous! I finally have permission -- no, orders -- to go on the diet of my dreams, and my stomach revolts at the idea.


Irony, this is not amusing whatsoever.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bonding with my home-girl (aka, the OB)

Today I had a check-up with my OB. I haven't looked at my appointment schedule print-out yet, but I believe I'll be going to the doc every two weeks now. It's either because I am pregnant with twins, or because she wants to be my new BFF. She seems pretty cool, I'd consider it.

The first surprise was that I've lost 3 pounds since my appointment last month. And this time I was even wearing my gold-plated Nikes. The nurse told me not to worry, that I would gain it back very quickly. I was thinking, WORRIED? WHO'S WORRIED? I haven't lost weight since June 2008, I'm frickin' ECSTATIC!! I've seen that the babies are huge, there's no issue with them getting nourishment. I'm just enjoying that my arms look a little less like hambones.

Blood pressure was perfect. We discussed my due date, which is still a bit up-in-the-air. If it was a singleton, it wouldn't matter so much, because I'd just wait until he let me know he was done baking by causing excruciating pain in my abdomen. But with two, our timing is a little more critical for several reasons. One being that my doc wants the kiddos out around 38 weeks, and I am on board with this. (The placentas of twins tend to age faster, so there can be an increased risk of stillbirth if you go past 38 weeks gestation. Some women can still go to 40 weeks without a problem, but we are going to evict them sooner if it comes to that. Since 60% of twins are born before 38 weeks anyway, it may not even matter what our plans are. HA! Haven't been in that situation before.)

Immediately after seeing two pink lines on a stick, the first due date that I was given was April 22, based on last menstrual period. But my cycle was accelerated a fair bit because of the hormones I was taking, and at that first early ultrasound with the RE, the kiddos were measuring 2-3 days ahead. The OB would like to change my due date to whatever was indicated by that original ultrasound, because those are usually the most reliable as far as gestational age (which was certainly true for Bean -- our previous RE gave us a due date of March 5 based on our initial peak at him, and that's the exact day we became a family of three). But I've been having trouble getting the records sent from this RE. *grrrr* Looking at the second ultrasound, which was taken by the OB, the due date would be April 16. However we are both hesitant to really commit to that date out of fear that we would evict the babies too early. To make a long story short (say it with me: TOO LATE!), we decided to revert to the first due date of April 22. We'll plan delivery at 38 weeks around that, barring any additional information from that first u/s, or the whims of two little boys.

So for those of you keeping track at home, that means I am 13 weeks 5 days pregnant today. The boys are measuring 5-6 days ahead, and my uterus is measuring 18-19 weeks along (compared to a singleton pregnancy).

I brought up the VBAC topic again. I haven't done any research yet -- I find simply fretting about the decision to be much more satisfying -- but I wanted to talk with her more anyway. Apparently she brought up my potential VBAC to her partners at a consultation meeting. Many of them said they would not even consider it in a multiple pregnancy, due to the danger of uterine rupture. However, my doc then did some research on her own and found that risk to be no higher for VBACs with twins versus VBACs with singletons. She said she would still be on board if I was interested, but warned me that if certain partners in the practice were on duty when I went into labor, they may outright refuse to let me try. Our next steps: She is going to put in a call to MFM (maternal fetal medicine) and see what they advise. And I am going to continue fretting.

My next appointment is in two weeks -- we'll be getting another ultrasound, having more fascinating discussions about due dates and VBACS, and I'll be getting the H1N1 vaccine. Those details to come on November 5, in case you really care about the minutiea of this pregnancy (i.e. you are my parents) or you need something to boring read to help you fall asleep.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Speaking of boys

Let's talk about the one who isn't currently the size of a lemon and kicking my butt from the inside. Bean is 19 months old, and just like I've said about almost every other month before it, this is definitely my FAVORITE AGE. Living with Bean is absolutely hilarious, it's like having a pint-sized Mel Brooks running around. (And of course I mean the "Blazing Saddles" and "Young Frankenstein" Mel Brooks, and not the "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" Mel Brooks.) He seems to appreciate both the finer points of physical comedy as well as the delicate timing of a one-liner -- or in his case, more like a one-worder. It seems that 85% of the conversation between me and DH is "Remember when Bean did ..." and "Isn't it hysterical when Bean ..." Unfortunately, at this age, it's hard to translate all this toddler humor into amusing blog posts, because describing how he runs around the house with a bouncing high-step and swings his arms with his elbows bent so much that he almost punches himself in the face with every step -- well, it really isn't the same. I suppose I could upload some video, but... yeah, that's too much effort right now.

So I'll compromise and be completely unamusing in my update of what our little munchkin is up to these days, then I have a full stock of cute pictures. Feel free to skip down, I'll never know. Anyway, Bean is an absolutely precious, sweet little boy -- pure sugar with goofy spiked blond hair. One of the reasons we picked his name (his real name, not Bean) is because I have a positive association with it from a boy I used to babysit for many years growing up. I prayed that Bean would be as good hearted as this other boy, and he certains seems to be so far. He is gentle and kind to everyone, even to the other little kids who grab toys from him at playdates, and to the pooch, whom he likes to softly pet and kiss while she eyes him cautiously. He loves to help cook and clean. Sometimes he will pour his sippy cup on the floor just to go get a towel to wipe it up. He helps with laundry and loves to throw things in the garbage can when we ask him to. We'll see how long this lasts!

I hate to jinx myself with the Terrible Twos on the horizon, but so far he's fairly decent at listening to us when we say no, and his tantrums are relatively short-lived and infrequent. And although he will wake up occasionally at night if he has a bad dream or a tooth emerging, he always goes right back to sleep when Mom or Dad come to comfort him. He's been going to bed a bit later these days (7:30ish) and he's been starting to sleep in until 8 am. Praise the Lord! Also, I love how Bean is so careful, he's a thinker. While he frequently comes to different conclusions than I do about, say, the appropriateness of writing with pen on his pantleg -- I appreciate the fact that it's a well-considered decision. I imagine it's easier to teach him better ways to think as opposed to how to think at all in the first place. Let's just hope this is a permanent quality for him.

Deserving it's own paragraph is mention of Bean's new obsession: football, or "buh-baw." How it began, DH and I are totally clueless. While DH loves the sport (especially Big 10 college football), he almost never gets to watch it. First, it's rare to see a game that interests Midwesterners out here on the west coast, and poor DH has been so busy in the past, oh, 19 months that he hasn't had the opportunity to spend a lazy weekend on the couch watching large men fall into piles. And certainly it's not *my* influence. Otherwise his newest obsession would be home remodeling. But no matter where the love began, Bean expresses his manliness by changing the channel to ESPN (I have no idea how he manages this), pointing at the screen and saying "buh-baw," and then yelling "go! go! go! go! go!" in great earnest. Now to be fair, sometimes he yells this at the referees or coaches or sportscasters in between the action. And maybe *ahem* the occasional commercial. But still, it's quite amazing how this all developed seemingly from nowhere. As follows, his favorite toy is the small Seahawks "buh-baw" that his Grandpa B. bought him when he was just weeks old. Hmmm... maybe getting an idea where this football obsession came from.

On to the pics!

Sometimes he seems to get the general idea of the potty...

... but other times, not so much.

I have absolutely no idea.

I swear I did not put him in there. Tempting as it may be at times.

We have been transitioning Bean out of his high chair and into a booster seat. I would have done it earlier, but they fly off the shelves like hot cakes at our BRU. When I got my greedy little hands on this one (last one in stock) and was headed to pay, another shopper came up to me asked me where I found it. I growled "MINE!" in my best Excorist voice, shoved her into a stroller display, and bolted for the cash register. They've asked me not to come back, but it was totally worth it. Look how much Bean enjoys his booster!

All those toys, and still the storage bins are much more fun.

Does this remind anyone else of the famous scene where Jennifer Beals gets doused with water while performing in the movie Flashdance? Do they show stuff like that on Sprout?

Yes, I know he's not in the beloved booster seat for this one, but look at the kid use a fork. His coordination is unparalleled. Also? He caught a football today. With his hands. I'm pretty sure he'll be a surgeon.

One of the moms in MOMS Club sent an email that she was getting rid of a playset that her daughter outgrew, and the first person to respond who would pick it up could have it for FREE. Since I neglect household duties to continuously check my email happened to be online just then, I snagged it. I think Bean enjoyed the preparations more than the playset itself. First he very seriously mowed the lawn with his Daddy.

Then he spent at least an hour soaping up and washing the various components (DH pitched in here and there).

Finally, time to play! It is slightly too big for him to climb on without a hand from Mom or Dad, but he can always throw tennis balls and rocks on the slide.


The person in the family who loves it the most so far is Evey.

But it still gets a smile from sweet Bean.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The goods

First I have to make a disclaimer. During the first trimester, girl parts and boy parts are identical. They start to differentiate as the second trimester begins, which is right where I am this week. The particular center who did our NT scan on Monday said they no longer give guesses on the sex of the baby at this early ultrasound because they were getting complaints from parents when they were wrong. So here's your grain of salt.

When I laid down on the table and the ultrasound technician began to look around my tummy with her magic wand, one of the first things I said was, "If you see any boy parts, let us know." (Because of course identifying boys are a lot easier at these ultrasounds. And if you don't know why... well, go ask your mother.)

She smiled and shook her head. "Oh no, we aren't supposed to do that. It's too early."

Whatever, I thought. I have eyes. I'll look for myself.

She was a very nice woman despite denying my initial request, and she quickly got to work examining Twin A. This baby was going nuts in there, which made it difficult for her to do the measurements, but we got lots of awesome views.

Including the baby's legs. From underneath.

"Oh!" she exclaimed. "I'm not supposed to say anything, but look at this..."

And she pointed too...

Our boy.

Hooray! Now I don't have to worry about "bedazzling" the crap out of Bean's clothes to save money, which was my plan if they were both girls. The jeans would have transitioned decently, but monster trucks shirts with pink and purple sequins would have looked a bit off. Or not, what do I know about fashion these days?

Anyway, I love being a boy's mama, and I was praying there'd be at least one wee wee in there. About the second baby, I was ambivalent. The Y chromosome runs strong in DH's family -- his grandma had five sons, and his parents had three boys before having one girl. I have never imagined myself having a daughter, going way back to when we were first married and still several years away from TTC. And perhaps because I was humbled by infertility and just grateful to be a mother at all, honestly I would be completely happy either way. Life is good, my family is full, and I am grateful beyond belief.

So on to Twin B. This baby was active, too, but not quite as much as the first one. Also showing no modesty whatsoever, we got another money shot from underneath the baby's feet.


My three sons.

The thought of them all playing together, growing into men together... it brings tears to my eyes.

DH admitted he was a little bit sad not to have a daughter, but then he high-fived me and celebrated, "No weddings to pay for!" And the way I see it, as the head male in the family, the boys will mainly be DH's responsibility to raise once they hit first grade. So my plate is looking a lot less full come 2016.

My Mom is still holding onto the hope that there is some doubt with Twin A and she may get the granddaughter she's always wanted. She's been lobbying for that outcome. Well, there's nothing I can do about it at this point. In fact, there really was nothing I could ever do about it. To my brother: It's all up to you now.

No pressure or anything.



Monday, October 12, 2009

I learned three things today

Today was my first trimester screening test, where the babies are checked for indicators of Down Syndrome. I'm a little late getting it done, because for some reason when the doc asked me last month if I wanted to do the test, I said no. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY BABIES, I WILL LOVE THEM AND CARE FOR THEM ALWAYS! I was feeling... protective? A little "Earth Mother" insane? I really have no idea. What the doc should have said was, Would you like a free ultrasound to fawn over your beanlets? And your husband will leave work to be there with you, I know you love that. I would have been like: Sign me up, lady! Why didn't you say that in the first place?

Anyway, when I became jealous of everyone else's first trimester screening test ultrasound pictures realized what I had declined, I called the office and scheduled the appointment. DH came with me to wrangle Bean and try to get some good looks at the screen while I laid on the table to be poked and prodded. My heart did melt, though, when I looked over and saw that Bean had lifted his shirt and was rubbing his travel Magna Doodle pen slowly over his belly, just like the tech was rubbing the wand on mine. Could he be any more adorable? Surely not.

Anyway, the first thing I learned today was that I GROW FREAKING HUGE BABIES. We did realize this when Bean came out at a scale-tipping 9 lbs 14 oz, but surely that could just have been a fluke? It wasn't. The twins were measuring almost exactly equal (yippee!) at 13 weeks 6 days. If you go by my earliest due date, I am 13 weeks 3 days along. And since I plan to lobby for a due date that is 4 days later than that (based on my very first u/s with the RE), that would make me 12 weeks 6 days. Ummm, yeah. I'm trying to take this as a sign that I will have very healthy twins when I am full term, and not that I'm about to get a call from the doc's office that my one-hour glucose tolerance test from last week came back positive. Because me and gestational diabetes? Not gonna be friends. The only two food groups I eat these days are carbs and sugar -- surviving without them is not a future I am prepared to deal with. (UPDATE: I passed my test and do not have gestational diabetes! Yet! Anyone up for doughnuts?)

Here are the twins, in alphabetical order:

Looking pretty awesome, no? It's hard to remember that they are only about 3 inches long right now. They seem so big! It is always so amazing to see their spines, their brains, their arm and leg bones. And these two were WIGGLY today, holy cow. Twin A especially. I told DH that's his baby -- let him deal with the hyperactive one. It took the tech forever to get the nuchal fold measurements. Which brings me to the second thing I learned today. The measurements on both babies look fantastic. Coupled with my age, the doc gave us low odds of Down Syndrome. WOO HOO! With twins, they don't do the bloodwork portion of the test, because the results are less reliable. But he recommended I come back at 15-16 weeks for another test, and they will revise the odds based on what they see. We left smiling, of course.

And finally, the third thing I learned today....

Actually, you're going to have to wait for the next post. What we think we saw (or not) regarding the sex of the babies, coming soon!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

This is why he has nightmares

Bean is at the age where sometimes he will wake up in the middle of the night crying, most likely scared from a nightmare. I was talking about this with a couple other moms going through the same thing, and they were wondering what toddlers could possibly have nightmares about.

Me, I don't wonder at all.

Without question, Bean must be having nightmares about the most terrifying place on earth: preschool.

Remember this is the same co-op preschool that he and I attend TOGETHER every Wednesday morning for two hours. We have been with the SAME moms and kiddos for over a year now, or since he was six months old.

Yet I'll be darned if it's not traumatizing for him.

Every week.

He just doesn't like crowds. Or more accurately, other people.

Which, I don't really blame him. Other people can be highly overrated. But I happen to really like our preschool class, and I wish he would show a little more enthusiasm for all the awesome stuff we do.

For example, this morning we went on a field trip to Thomasson Family Farm. It was incredible! They had so many fun things for the munchkins to do. I guess I started us off on the wrong foot... right after we walked up to join our group, I realized I left my camera in the car. I snuck back to grab it while the teacher kept an eye on Bean, playing in the sand pit that was filled with toy John Deere tractors. Of course by the time I hustled back, he was crying for his mama.

I snapped pictures throughout our visit, but they seem more to be evidence of my bad parenting, forcing the poor kid to *gulp* actually try to have fun, rather than documenting an enjoyable trip to the pumpkin patch.

I didn't even get any shots of the corn pit. Even though I went in with him, the little guy was practically shaking while gripping me in deep fear. Fortunately a couple of the others weren't fans of it either, so we wandered to less threatening activities.

There's a huge contrast between these pictures and the ones I take at home (I'll post more of those soon). In our house, there is a constant soundtrack of babbling, a few actual words, giggling at his own jokes, and lots of motor noises. He's running all over the place, throwing balls, pushing cars, and cooking on the Fisher Price stove. But when we go out and see friends, he doesn't utter a sound unless he's wanting me to pick him up, and it's rare to see him crack a smile. Oddly enough, he seems more at ease when we are surrounded by many strangers (like at the mall) then when we are around people we actually know. A commentary on my choice of friends, perhaps? Someone may be a bit too judgemental for his own good.

Well, I keep trying, anyway.

Happy fall, everyone! Hope you are enjoying the season more than Bean seems to be.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My blog is Over The Top!

Little old me has been generously given a blog award by my awesome friend Allison. (As well as a bunch of her maternity clothes. Woot woot!) Ooh! And also now by Michelle and Alana. Thanks to all three lovely ladies.


1. You Can Only Use One Word!

2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers!

3. Alert them that you have given them this award!

4. Have Fun!

Here we go...

1. Where is your cell phone? Counter

2. Your hair? Dark

3. Your mother? Compassionate/Generous*

4. Your father? Sensible/Generous

5. Your favorite food? Mexican

6. Your dream last night? Sexy (pregnancy hormones, what can I say?)

7. Your favorite drink? Milkshake

8. Your dream/goal? PhD

9. What room are you in? Family

10. Your hobby? Ha!

11. Your fear? Loss

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Settled

13. Where were you last night? Friend's

14. Something that you aren’t? Bilingual

15. Muffins? Cupcakes

16. Wish list item? Energy

17. Where did you grow up? Michigan

18. Last thing you did? Walk

19. What are you wearing? Maternity

20. Your TV? Noggin

21. Your pet? Unreasonable

22. Friends? Kick-ass

23. Your life? Busy

24. Your mood? Stressed

25. Missing someone? Yes

26. Vehicle? Embarassing

27. Something you’re not wearing? Fur

28. Your favorite store? Target

29. Your favorite color? Blue

30. When was the last time you laughed? Now

31. Last time you cried? Yesterday

32. Your best friend? Hubby

33. One place that I go to over and over? Bathroom

34. One person who emails me regularly? Mom

35. Favorite place to eat? Out

Now I get to pass this award onto 6 of my favorite bloggers:

Stephanie at Steph in the City

MissMVK at Piglet: Our Adventures in Parenthood

Lisa at A Seattle Couple's Story

Kate at Maybe Baby?

Kristi at Interrupted Wanderlust

MK at An Infertile Blog

*So I broke the first rule. What are you going to do, take the award away?

Coming soon: Meet Big Bertha and Yes, I Still Have A Toddler (Even Though I Never Blog About Him)


Saturday, October 3, 2009

The best $21.90 per month I've ever spent

I know I talk a pretty confident talk on this blog... debating how to deliver my twins, shopping for a minivan, planning construction on our loft to make two bedrooms for the babies. But really, every day I worry -- are they still okay in there? I'm able to think abstractly about two lives that will be joining our family in the spring, but I'm so terrified of losing one or both of them that I can't buy a single baby item. Even the super cute peanut-butter-and-jelly matching twin onesies I saw online.

Well, it's the fear and the knowledge that I'd never get this song out of my head again:

Finally, my salvation has arrived, contained in one small white box sent from BabyBeat. My rental at-home doppler showed up on Thursday. Happy happy joy joy!

I used one while pregnant with Bean, and it calmed my nerves more than I can even say. This time I ordered a cheaper version, it doesn't have a recording feature like the last one. Already, these twins are getting the shaft. But DH suggested we just copy the file of Bean's heartbeat two times and call it a day. Sounds good to me.

On Thursday night, I was nervous to try it for the first time. The guidelines say you can usually hear the heartbeat starting at 10-12 weeks, and I was about 11 1/2. I made myself promise not to freak out if I couldn't find one. (Yeah, right.)

Thank goodness, it was relatively easy to find one of the heartbeats. We didn't calculate the rate because we were too lazy to count and multiply, but it sounded beautiful anyway. Both the manual and my RE advised me not to be concerned about finding the second heartbeat, as it's hard to do with twins, even for experienced doctors. I gave a quick search, came up with nothing, and decided to take one as a good sign and just go to bed. The half Unisom I took with my B6 vitamin (to help with nausea) rendered that not a problem whatsoever.

Last night, I easily found the first heartbeat, just where it had been the day before. And then I searched a little more carefully for the second one. Experienced doctors can eat it, because lo and behold, on the other side of my belly was another heartbeat with a distinctly different rate.

So as of Friday night at 9:30 pm, I am still pregnant with twins. AWWWW YEAH.

I highly recommend to anyone who is a paranoid neurotic concerned preggo like I am, consider renting a doppler when you near the end of your first trimester. Not everyone likes them, but those people are completely wrong. With Bean, I signed up for three months with BabyBeat. No tax, no shipping. If you keep it longer, they just bill your credit card for at the same monthly rate until you send it back (again in the same box, no shipping). And this time, I got a 5% discount for being a repeat customer. Can I get another AWWWW YEAH?

I actually enjoy listening to their heartbeats more than I like ultrasounds. Maybe it's because I don't have some random ultrasound tech all up in my lady business, watching the kiddos on a TV screen halfway across the room. I feel more connected to them, just the four of us (me, DH, and the twinklets) laying in our bed, hearing the whooshing of their tiny hearts before turning off the light and falling asleep.



Thursday, October 1, 2009

The belly: revealed

On Tuesday, Bean and I took a fun-filled field trip to the grocery store. The check-out girl is one we see there often; she's in her early twenties, cute and friendly. As she scanned all the processed, packaged crap I was helpless to resist our organic fruits and veggies, she asked the obligatory question, "Would you like help out with your groceries?"

"No thanks, we can handle it," I smiled back at her and ruffled Bean's hair.

A moment later, she looked up at me again and asked, "So how far do you have to go?"

I was puzzled. "To our car?"

She immediately made an oops face. "I'm sorry... are you not..." and she glanced down at my tummy.

Realization dawned on me. "OH! Oh, yes, I am pregnant. You are the first person who has noticed. I am not due until April. But it's twins, so...."

She congratulated me excitedly and we chatted about the craziness of having three small children at home. (As a side note, she did NOT ask me if twins run in my family, so she is officially my new BFF.)

Then today, as the hair stylist at the kids cuts place was trying in vain to hide Bean's horrific cowlick situation, she asked when I was due.

So I guess it's official: I look pregnant.

Which is good news, because 1) I am pregnant and 2) I thought I just looked fat.

So in response to hints from my mom and outright requests from my friend Al, here is the unveiling of my preggo belly. (I apologize that it's blury. DH was out of town and it took me 20 damn minutes to get a picture that looked even this good.)

Remember that I am about 11 1/2 weeks. Which means I SHOULDN'T REALLY BE SHOWING AT ALL. Yes, there are two bebes in there, and yes it is my second pregnancy. But dude, seriously that's ridiculous.

I didn't take weekly belly pics when I was pregnant with Bean, but I looked through my old files to try to match up bump sizes. I think I'm somewhere between 15 wk 2 d...

...and 18 wk 3 d.

And then of course I couldn't resist looking ahead to my 38 week pics.

This is with ONE BABY.