Sunday, November 29, 2009

Five seconds of terror

It was my brilliant idea to arrive at the mall when it opened this morning for a quick sit on Santa's lap. In keeping with tradition, DH grumbled Is it really necessary that Bean sees Santa every year? yet insisted that he come with us when I informed him ever-so-politely that YES, according to the "Appearances are Everything: How to Look Like a Good Parent" manual, it is absolutely necessary -- which means busy weekends are our only option to see the jolly fellow, and I figured that early in the day, early in the season would yield the shortest wait.

Sadly, I neglected to look up what time Santa arrives at our mall, which happens to be a full hour after the stores open. I obviously failed to allow the extra time needed for him to check his list (twice) and pop a handful of Imitrex. We managed to keep Bean busy during that wait, with help from the play area and countless kiosks scattered between the stores, waiting to suck away your hard-earned dollars for 45 seconds of your child's happiness. (You want your child to be happy, don't you? DON'T YOU?) We are fortunate that Bean has not yet figured out that the little merry-go-round toys actually move when you put money in them, as for now he is content to turn the steering wheel and provide his own sound effects. Beep beep.

After surviving the first hour of chasing Bean around the mall and protecting our wallets from the siren call of those crane grab-a-toy games, we got in line. After a 15-minute delay by the big man (which earned us a free print), they finally allowed the first kid to sit down. After another excruciating 45 minutes of waiting, during which my Bean's nap time grew dangerously closer, it was finally our turn. We warned the attendant (who I believe works at the local Circle K during the elf off-season) that we have a screamer. He responded that we would do a "drop and snap," which is apparently a highly technical term in the business of Santa photography.

We plopped Bean in Santa's lap and bolted out of the scene, without so much as adjusting the poor kid's pantlegs. They took the picture immediately and we scooped him back up. It's truly inspiring how quickly toddlers can escalate from mild apprehension to horrified wailing. That being the case, DH and I were actually shocked at how (relatively) calm Bean looks in the picture, as had the photographer pushed the button even one second later, we would have captured trauma level at least equal to the Easter Bunny Incident of earlier this year.

DH may question how subjecting my child to his darkest fears (Mommy, where are you going? And why are you running?) constitutes good parenting.

It. Just. Does.

I'm pretty sure one day, Bean is going to thank me. Or something like that. Right?

Anyway, fortunately the rest of the Thanksgiving weekend wasn't nearly as traumatizing for any of us. In fact, it was downright lovely. It didn't escape me how much we have to be thankful for this year. It also didn't escape me that next year, we will have a two-and-a-half-year-old Bean and seven-month-old Twinklets. I will likely not have slept more than 2 hours at a time in least eight months; I will look absolutely haggard (as my optometrist put it) with a tenuous grasp on sanity. If any grasp at all.

Although I know I will have even more to be grateful for in 2010... I think I'll hang on to this Thanksgiving just a liiiiittle bit longer, if you don't mind.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Does this mean I've gestated one child?

Today marks 19 weeks... I am officially half way to welcoming these two babies into the world. And for my poor friend Allison, whom I torture endlessly by not taking regular belly pics, this is what the beast looks like today.

For reference, here is what my belly looked like when I was 18 1/2 weeks with Bean.

And 24 weeks with Bean.

I am feeling lots of kicks, which even the second time around is incredibly awesome and super freaky-deaky at the same time. There are two people growing UNDER MY SKIN who are squirming and poking at my insides. I can watch my belly jump and shift as those people growing UNDER MY SKIN make themselves right at home.

And this isn't supposed to feel like Alien?


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I had my 18-week appointment with my OB this morning. It's a lot like going to Jiffy Lube at this point, except without the stale coffee and greasy dudes in jumpsuits. Unfortunately.

Weight check: gained 3 lbs in two weeks (for a whopping 6 lb total)
Cervix check: 3.7 mm (holding strong!)
Heartbeat check: music to my ears
Blood pressure check: I never understand the numbers but was told it was "excellent"
Urine check: passed
Belly check: measuring 24 weeks

The old bod seems to be gestating reasonably well at this point! But before I talk more about the babies, I have to give a shout-out to my sweet Bean. What was supposed to be a quick appointment dragged into two hours because the doc was off doing a C-section. HE WAS AN ANGEL. THE ENTIRE TIME. I don't know what I did to deserve this child -- I worry that I'll have to pay it back with two hellions come April. But in the meantime, I am so grateful that I can count on him to be a good boy when I really need him to be. (The occasional bribe with a sucker aside.) (Hey, I said occasional.) (The sucker today wasn't even really a bribe because it was a "mystery" wrapper one that turned out to be root beer flavored, which Bean and I both agree is totally gross.)

Because of the cervical check, I got another peak at the boys. I wasn't planning on posting another ultrasound picture, because I know they all look the same if it's not your uterus, but this one was kinda cute. The tech described it as laying bunk-bed style in my tummy. Which was nicer than my interpretation, that Twin A finally has Twin B right where he wants him and is now kicking the crap out of him. Did I mention I'm pretty sure they are hellions?

I am now smack in the middle of my second trimester, which one book referred to as the "honeymoon" period of pregnancy. And so far, it has been. I am generally feeling pretty good. The food aversions remain to some extent, but I'm not feeling sick and I'm managing it okay. My belly is nice and round without being out of control -- yet. I do get tired easily, but it's not as bad as the constant exhaustion of early pregnancy. I get weepy at least once a day, but usually in a happy way. (So what if I was really touched by the rescue of a beached baby whale in this morning's episode of Dive Olly Dive? It was a BEACHED BABY WHALE, people.) I do often let out an "oof" or "ugh" when I sit down, stand up, or roll over in bed. But for the second tri so far, two enthusiastic thumbs up.

I've also had more time to digest and accept the fact that I am going to have two babies at the same time. Someone wise told me (was it Kristi perhaps?) that the first trimester and third trimester of a twin pregnancy would both be rife with fear and stress, with the second full of enthusiasm about the prospect of twice the adorable. She was certainly right, because I'm feeling a whole lot better emotionally these days as well.

It's not to say I don't have worries anymore -- on the contrary, they pop into my head constantly. Some are specific to having twins, some are general to any mother who is expanding her brood beyond the only child she can ever imagine loving more than life itself. I'm sure there's a "worry" post somewhere in the near future. But every time I see those little guys on the ultrasound screen, I fall deeper in love. The thought of being a family of five the spring... it makes my heart squeeze in anticipation. I absolutely love being a mother; the past year staying home with Bean has been the best of my life, without compare. The challenges are incredibly difficult, but the rewards surpass them a million fold. The first few months will be brutal, and I am already digging deep to find my inner badass that will help me parent three young boys. But I am also planning the fun things we will do as a family -- me, my beloved DH, and the munchkins that we have been blessed with the task of raising into men.

My heart, my house, my life will be full.

Life check: Not what I expected, but I wouldn't be anywhere else.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009



1. The pharmacy assistant at Bartell Drugs. First of all, she gave Bean a sucker when I went in to get my H1N1 vaccine yesterday, which never fails to keep him quiet, still, and occupied for decent periods of time. But the clincher was when she asked when number two was due.

"Number two and number three are due in April," I replied.

She gave a big, genuine smile and exclaimed, "Oh my goodness! You are going to have..."

(I started nodding, finishing for her in my head: my hands full. This is the response from 99% of strangers.)

" much fun!" she finished.

Love her.

2. My college roommate of three years and the Maid of Honor in my wedding, Kristin. She turns 30 today!! Not that that is the reason I like her, but any friend who is older than me (even if it's only by three months) is a special friend indeed. Happy birthday, K! Wish I could pop over to D.C. to help you celebrate.

3. My friend (of almost 25 years) Sarah. I just love getting mail, who doesn't? I'm so twisted that I even find pleasure in the cable bill showing up with my name on it. But even better is fun mail. The other day she sent me this super cute little person to start my obligatory "family decal" collection for the back window of Big Bertha.

The best part is that she added a belly! I thought, "Wow, how realistic, she even included stretch marks." But no, I looked closer and saw that she drew in two little babies baking away in there. It was a great laugh, and it meant a lot to know she was thinking of me.

4. My Mom. Because Bean grew out of some pants and I have no time to go shopping to replace them, my Mom did me the favor of buying some new clothes for him and sending them out to us. In fact, when I called her cell phone to ask her if she had a trip to the mall planned anytime soon because I was in need, she immediately detoured to the nearest mall, even though she had just left a different one a few minutes ago and was on her way home. Her dedication to me, Bean, and commercialism is always appreciated.

5. My friends at preschool. Wow, that makes me sound mature, huh? But last week DH was out of town on business, and I mentioned this in class on Wednesday. Within an hour, Bean and I had an invitation for dinner on Wednesday and one for Thursday as well. ROCK ON! While I hate when DH travels, I also hate making dinner, and getting out of two of them in a row was a special treat. Not quite worth having him gone, but it did go a long way...

6. And last, but definitely not least, my friend Kate. We also go way back to the days of wearing corduroy jumpers and singing along with The Letter People. She has her own blog, as you can see, where she dishes about everything food. (Ha ha, get it? Dishes about food? *sigh* I crack myself up.) Anyway, after hearing of my lack-of-weight-gain plight, she promised to help with some recipes. The two meals that she came up with are perfect for my picky tummy! So far we have only tried the Grilled Chicken and Avocado Sandwich -- the quesadillas are on tomorrow's menu. But GOOD GOD were those sandwiches delicious last night, a combo of Kate's amazing recipe and DH's flawless execution. You know how when you are at a restaurant, and the chicken sandwich sounds really good, but when you order it, it's actually pretty dry and flavorless, and then you get upset and think, "I really just paid $8.50 for a sandwich this boring and unappetizing?" Well, this is totally not that sandwich. In fact, as we both continued to exclaim over its yumminess as we chowed, I asked DH several times, "Are you sorry you are married to me instead of Kate?" (Luckily he knew the right answer.) Such a question surely speaks to insecurity over my lack of dedication and ability to provide creative, tasty, and healthy meals for my family. But on a deeper level, I think I was kinda wishing that I was married to Kate.


1. DH.* Last night as were going to bed, I unleashed the belly so we could hear those sweet little heartbeats on the doppler. "Woah!" DH exclaimed, eyes wide. "You are getting huge." Yep.

After we listened to the calming, rhythmic whoosh-whoosh-whooshing, I turned to DH. "Do you want to hear something scary? In a week and a half, I will be 19 weeks, which is already halfway through this pregnancy**."

DH: "That actually makes me really happy to be so far along..." (Awww, how sweet, he is excited to meet the babies!)

He continues: "... because your belly is so big, it looks like you could go into labor at any minute."


*I'm just kidding sweetie. You still rock my world! But tasty presents never HURT...

**God willing, we'll get to 38 weeks!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

News from the belly

Today I went to see my lovely OB again, and I got another peek at the boys.

(Yep, STILL boys. And this time, I have the money shots to prove it. But I won't post those pics, because although I will no doubt embarrass these two little men in countless ways over the course of their lifetimes -- often intentionally -- showing their weenies on a public blog will not be one of them. I hope their future therapists appreciate this.)

The ultrasound was awesome, I never get tired of watching the two of them wiggle and flip on the screen. Even when I'm being basically impaled by the ultrasound wand for 45 minutes while all the measurements are taken. The good news is that they are measuring prefectly, across the board. Yippee! The best part (okay, so that last bit was the best part -- but at least the second best part) was catching one baby nail the other one with an elbow. Seeing a six-ounce avocado-sized little baby jacking the other in the face, right there in my tummy... well, it was not only the funniest thing I have ever seen (other than this movie) but also surely a glimpse into my future. *sigh*

I think we have finally settled on a due date. It's been a moving target, anywhere from April 22 to April 16, but now it's April 18. Which is also my MIL's birthday. Which makes no difference because we will get them out early anyway. But still, hopefully easier for DH to remember because he always tells people the wrong date. Which makes no difference because we will get them out early anyway. But still.

Speaking of getting them out early, we I also seem to have made a decision on the VBAC versus C-section. Before seeing the doc today, I was about 66% leaning towards a C-section, 33% for a VBAC. And 1% lingering hope for that magician. During our appointment, she told me that she had consulted with MFM (maternal fetal medicine). They said that there weren't many statistics on VBACs with twins specifically, as it's obviously much less common than a VBAC with singleton. But they estimated the risk of uterine rupture at 2%, which is four times as high as the singleton VBAC risk. Hmmmm... yeah, not really liking those odds. They advised my OB not to attempt a VBAC unless I was really passionate about giving it a shot.

That risk is scary enough, plus it is unlikely that I will go into labor when my own OB is on call and the other docs in the practice aren't on board with the double VBAC, plus the twins are breech right now anyway so there is a chance I won't even have the option...

So it's looking like we will be scheduling a C-section in early April. God willing, I will make it that far and not go into labor first.

It feels a bit like I am making excuses not to try a VBAC (I keep hearing my Dad's voice from childhood saying, "Sunny, there is an excuse not to do anything."), and I can't say my emotions are entirely stable on this yet. But we'll see what happens.

Moving on, we also discussed my weight gain. Which is a measly 3 pounds, according to their baseline weight for me. UGH!!! Not even close to 25 pounds by 20 weeks, as recommended by my pregnancy book. I do maintain that the OB office's baseline weight for me is higher than it should be (I definitely gained a few pounds in the weeks before my first OB appointment -- no really, I did, I swear!), but still. Like you all did, she encouraged me to eat as best I could and not worry. The boys are growing well, as evidenced by the ultrasound and my enormous belly. Speaking of the belly, it is measuring 21 weeks along, and I am currently 16 weeks. Which is entirely normal and healthy for twins, but it's the trend that worries me. I remember last time reading some study about why pregnant women don't tip over despite their huge bellies (tax dollars hard at work) but I expect to be testing the limits of that particular research.

And finally, my boys would like to say hello.

Two heads are better than one.

The head shot of Twin A that does not look like Skeletor and thus will not keep you up with nightmares.

A foot shot of Twin B. Because baby feet are cute.

In unrelated late-but-at-least-I'm-remembering-it-at-all news, April finished my "Sunny in Seattle" bloggy button, over there on the right column. Look at how cute I am, go ahead and grab me for your blog!


Monday, November 2, 2009


It's time for the obligatory Halloween recap post! And as your "treat" for the holiday -- it's mainly in pictures. Now get off my porch.

Is there a doctor in the house? On Wednesday, Dr. Bean shared his medical expertise with his preschool class at the Halloween party. Because it's never too early to saddle your child with rigid (and lucrative) parental expectations.

On Thursday we went with MOMS Club to check out the local fire station. This technically isn't Halloween related, but the firemen were dressed up as... wait for it... firemen, so let's just roll with it.

He absolutely loves the plastic hat they gave him, he walks around the house wearing it backwards (so it's more like a baseball cap). Until we try to take a picture, then it's all frowns and eye daggers. Pretty sure he gets that look from his Dad.

On Friday evening we took Bean to his first high school football game. He LOVED it -- his eyes were wide with excitement the entire time. He walked along the wire fence surrounding the field to be close to the action; he was absolutely captivated by every sight and sound. Even the cheer team earned applause from our stoic little Bean, despite the routine being rather questionable in taste and skill. Sports (and babes) are in this boy's blood, obviously.

Saturday afternoon, Bean set to the serious task of drawing with pen on his pumpkin in preparation for Halloween. He was generally unimpressed with the guts from Daddy's pumpkin, other than the hilarity of occasionally flipping them out of the bowl with a spoon.

A family of three pumpkins. Or make that two pumpkins and one Jack O'Melon. (Wait, WHAT? You don't know what a Jack O'Melon is? Click HERE to read the story so you aren't embarassed in front of your friends.)

This is the only picture we have of Bean in his full costume... the cap and stethoscope were soon out the window, along with our dreams of having a doctor in the family. (Would have come in handy when our health care system officially goes to pot. Instead, we will just plan to never get sick. Ever.)

We weren't sure how Trick or Treating would go, considering his overall dislike for most people. But he absolutely loved putting candy in his bag himself -- he would take it out of the person's hand if they tried to put it in. Couldn't get him to say please, thanks, or trick-or-treat, but he did exclaim, "Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!" after each house (even when I was back home and his Dad was taking him around).

After he got home, Bean spent another hour-and-a-half enjoying a sucker. Other than that, though, he has shown no interest in his sweet spoils. I taught him well, to leave the good stuff for mom eat healthy.

Every time the doorbell rang, Bean would rush out to hand out candy. (Yeah, it does seem like DH is always wearing that t-shirt, doesn't it?)

Despite all the activity of the weekend, Bean did find a few minutes to squeeze in some work he needed to get done for preschool.

As well as cuddle with the dog while watching the Lions game.

Happy November everyone!