Monday, March 31, 2008

My new camera is up and running!!!

I am super excited!!! These are my favorites so far. Well some of them. It's so hard for me to decide which ones to post, I take so many, but these are good for now.

I don't think he realized it was working, now he runs when he sees that camera.

I got them all!!! Hopefully the trend continues. If not I may have to start borrowing other people's children....

Thursday, March 27, 2008

On with the Tale

So we had been enjoying the week after finding out about having twins, waiting for our routine appointment for the high level ultrasound. I dreamt of being the super earth mom that delivered my twins naturally...We played the all the name games, I still was convinced the babies were both girls, and we decided on one name, Lily. I liked Kate, or Catharine for the other one, and Luke liked Isabel, or Izzy. The kids were lobbying to see who got the babies in their rooms. And planning showers, since I had gotten rid of all of our baby stuff after having Travis. My family was still processing the idea of twins, and Luke's was thrilled.

On March 27, 2007, the day of our appointment, I dropped Travis off at school, and went for coffee with some friends. I met Luke at home and we went to the perinatologist's excited to see the babies and know that they were girls.

With our other babies these appointments have been pretty jolly, we are excited, and the tech is chatty, but this time the tech was very quiet, and turned the screen so I couldn't see it. Luke was a little quiet as well. As the appointment went on I, of course was talking a lot and the tech warmed up. He mentioned that this was his third set of twins that day, and it was harder to take the babies measurements because the twins were mono-mono, and that made it harder to keep track of them. When we asked what mono-mono meant, he told us that they shared an amniotic sac, I thought,"don't all twins???" I never knew that much about them to be honest...and he said it wasn't really a problem till later in the pregnancy because they had a high risk of cord compression. Hmmmm. Doesn't sound so bad does it?

So we had a break...and I said, "So I'm right they have to both be girls, because if they share a sac they must be identical." And Luke says..."I was checking really carefully to see if they were conjoined." Ha, I thought. He is so dramatic...and La-di-da...we went back to finish the scan. I was right!!! They are both girls!!!

At the end, these two people come in and Ali, the tech, moves to the side. The man stars talking..."I'm Dr.Traynor, and this is my partner Dr. Won. I guess the first question we have to ask is that if one or both of these babies has down syndrome do you plan to terminate this pregnancy?". Who is this person and what the $%#@ is he talking about? He start drawing this picture showing me how twins develop, and how fraternal twins are different from identical twins, and how an embryo splits after the amniotic sac formed. So rare...only a day or two later and the babies would have been conjoined. This is a dangerous situation he tells us...there is a 50% chance I would lose one or both babies to a cord accident, and the best way to prevent this happening is to be admitted to the hospital for 24/7 monitoring by 27 weeks, and have the babies early, by 34 weeks, delivered via c-section. Because there are two things that could happen. One, the babies could catch each other up trying to be delivered and get stuck, and the biggie again. Cord compression. Practically all in one breath.
So I burst in to tears and he exclaims, "But look on the bright side!! You have two healthy babies in there!!!".....and I am bawling and wail..."I just found out I was having twins a week ago!!". At this point Dr.Won finally speaks and says, " This is a lot to process and I would be worried if you weren't upset." Love her. This calms me immediately. A little bit anyway. So it's decided we will be released by my OB, and I will be the patient of the high risk variety. A new experience for me.

What do I do now??? I go home and just sit there...I still don't remember where Travis was at time, or how he got home...and man did I dread that phone ringing. And holy CRAP!!! Now I have to call my mom again.

We now enter a world of many doctors appointments...glucose testing...arrangements making. I only have seven weeks until I go in the hospital, and there is soooo much to do.

She looks a little like the Terminator doesn't she?

And a little cute they are!

So annoying....

My new camera came yesterday...I got it all charged up, got Travis and the babies all posed and ready, had a great photo shoot...and went to check out the photos and got a message. "No CF card" JERKS! They don't include it with the camera...the instructions said it was "optional". I'm really couldn't just come with a cheapy one to get you started? NOOOOOO. Could the salesperson have told me to buy since I obviously had no idea what I needed? NOOOOOOO. Now that I have the camera at home I realized he knew about the same as me. He told me it wouldn't need a flash, and didn't come with one...and it did! And it DOES!!! Turkey....I am irritated...just think how much better these photos would have been.....I'm sure I'll get more chances...they were taken out of the window because the monkey won't let us take his photo without the babies right now...

getting ready...

and lift off!!!

I guess we have to invest in some body armor....

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter....

We had a lovely Easter...a little egg hunt in the morning, Jack and I made homemade cinnamon buns, they were SOOOO worth it. Yummy!!! We are both still dreaming of them...I, of course, forgot to take ANY photos of our day, so well...we just may have to make the buns again. I also made a super complicated cake, Lemon, Ginger and Pistachio, although I left out the pistachios, and the white chocolate shavings, that probably wasn't worth the time the recipe took, but the flavors were really lovely together, so may use them with an easier recipe again. Like a box. I really tried to do too much baking for the allotted time...of course allotted is the key word here...I could have started a few days earlier, but didn't. So we messed up the bun recipe by putting 3 times the butter than called for into the dough...From my perspective this was not a probably made them a lot yummier than they would have been originally...who is it that said you can never use too much butter...Paula Deen or The Barefoot Contessa....

We are having gorgeous weather here. The kids even braved Grandma's pool, yesterday and Saturday. It is FREEZING, but they couldn't resist. Better get that pool bag will be swim season before we know it!!!

A picnic on a sunny can see I got caught snapping the photo...

Shhhh! I bought a new camera!!! A Canon Rebel SLR...I am soooo excited, and scared. It is very complicated...and has more features than my car...why no fabulous photos you ask??? They didn't have it in stock!!!! Whah. I had to have it we wait.

And reading Shannon's blog I was reminded of something exciting!!! Husband and I became Auntie Connie and Uncle Luke for the first time on March 13!!!! Leo Alexander Bickley Manning was born to Luke's brother Ben and his partner Claire. Unfortunately we don't get to meet little Leo until October when we venture across the pond. We are really excited. For them of course, but we didn't realize how excited we'd be for us!!! We're kooks that way. I guess we just want everyone to know the joy that we know from being parents.

Tess has started sleeping on her side...

Miss Lily's rosy cheeks....

I know you wonder when I'll continue my tale of our twin will come! I am frantically trying to uncover some things I wanted to add to my post...they are somewhere in here.....

Or here...

The reason I am posting these absolutely FRIGHTENING and horribly EMBARRASSING photos of my, yes MY bedroom, is that I hope it will force me to do something about NEVER letting it get like this again. I blame it on the twins. Mostly because a lot of the stuff is their stuff I am supposed to be getting rid of, and because I never have time to sort through it all, but it's really my fault because I am a terrible procrastinator!!!

It doesn't help that I've spent several hours typing this post either.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Part of the reason I was so overwhelmed at telling my Mom, or the rest of my family, about the twins was that I hadn't told them I was pregnant yet...I was so sure there was something wrong. Plus, we've struggled a lot financially, and I know my mom especially feels a lot of concern for us. So not only did I have to tell them I was pregnant, I had to tell them I was 19 weeks pregnant and it was twins. Yikes!!! My dad said,"Oh." Long silence. "Congratulations!!!". My sister...pretty much the same. My mom? "Well you'd better get a job!!!" I knew it was a knee- jerk reaction, and now looking back it is a really funny way to respond, but at the time? Not so funny.

So I went merrily along. The news was out. And I was getting excited. The next Tuesday I was going to have my suspicions confirmed at our big ultrasound. I knew the babies were both girls. My maternal instinct has always been spot-on there.

The kids were thrilled. Husband was pleased, although since I had become a high-risk pregnancy, and was farther along than we thought, we had to cancel our trip to England to see his family. People began dropping off cribs, clothes, my living room began to fill with the things, I had gotten rid of years before when I was finished having babies. I had only known about the twins for a few days!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A year ago today....

I had my first doctor appointment after discovering I was pregnant at the end of January 2007... the weeks after this discovery were so strange...I was so exhausted, mad at myself because we aren't going to have anymore children, excited for our "surprise" , I have always loved being pregnant and being a mom. I was really, really nervous, because I had this strange feeling that something wasn't 'right', and I was tempting fate a little bit. I had already had three easy pregnancies and births, and this one was just different somehow. But I was excited to figure out my due date, and have an ultrasound.

So Husband came home early, and off I went to my appointment. All routine stuff, and then we started the ultrasound. The OB starts the measurements, and says, "How far along did you say you are?", and I say, "11 weeks...". I though he was going to give me a hard time about waiting to come in and he says"Girl you dropped the ball on this're measuring 18 weeks 5 days!!!" Oh well. Not the end of the world right?

On we go with the scan...and he goes to measure the head again, and strangely, I see a shape the looks suspiciously like exactly the same shape as the head right next to it, and I just held my breath. Then I heard..."Is that another head?" and "It IS!!!". and then I promptly burst into tears. Both heartbeats were strong and because of my AMA,advanced maternal age, carrying twins I am given a referral to the Perinatologist. In retrospect, I remember a note in the corner of the page stating "possible momo" . I, of course, completely ignored this, and in a weepy fog stumbled out to my car and sat there.

I was so thrown...I had been planning on going back to work, and getting us on track to buy a house. How could I do that with twins? FIVE KIDS?!?! Crap. I couldn't call Husband. How could I tell him? He was totally happy about the pregnancy. We were both positive it was a girl up to this point...

My cell phone rings and it's him...."Why haven't you called me?" He says.

"I just finished."

"It took along time. How did it go?"
"It was fine. I'm going to get something for dinner, and I'll get Jack."
He hesitates and says,"There's more than one isn't there."


I burst into tears. "How did you know?"
"I've just had a feeling for a while."
"And you couldn't TELL me????"

What is wrong with him?

So I call my cousin Katy and say, "I'm 18 weeks, 5 days."
She laughs.
"There's more, " I say. "It's twins."
She immediately says, " Can I name one?"

The next morning I see my friend Maureen.
"I'm 18 weeks 5 days.
She laughs.
"There's more. It's twins."
And she says, "Can I have one?"

She is 8 months pregnant at this point.

So I am relieved. All that is wrong with my pregnancy is that there is more than one baby. We tell the kids, and Alexa announces it to her class immediately the next morning. Most people are shocked and horrified that I am going to have so many kids...and now I have to tell my mother.

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Paddy's Day

A fun busy day...I co-oped at Travis' preschool, so Tess and Lily got to have a babysitter. They definitely kept her busy. Cheeky little things. Co-oping is neat. It is great to see the kids all change so much, and they have so much fun together. The school celebrated St. Patrick's Day on Friday, because Easter is so early this year we had to get on with grass planting and bunny bag making. Grandma and Bill came over for corned beef and cabbage and it was a good time!! The babies stayed happy all night...the first time they've really made it through an evening get-together without running us all ragged trying to keep them from crying.

My kids love to dress up for all holiday's...although the Leprechauns forgot(I can't believe it!!!) to visit our house. HOW RUDE!!!!
I may have to write them a note. They live in my neighbors garden.
Travis wouldn't let me take a photo of him...oh well. All of the kids have gone through this very annoying stage and I'm not sure why...unless perhaps they can sense my obsession with picture faces!!!
Jack just looks sooooo old in this photo. He's only 10! Well, almost 11. Lily is very close to sitting unassisted! And Tess has started rolling!!! So cute but I am frightened! I am off to get a cage(superyard) tomorrow!!! I am nervous of all of the 'twinadoes' stories I read! I have a super small house, so it is fairly easy to keep track of the little kids, but with two? We'll see.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I'm in a little funk this week...I have been thinking a lot about the twins and the last year. It is amazing what we've been this time last year I hadn't been to the doctor for my pregnancy because we had to sort out some maternity insurance. I was really worried about this pregnancy, it just didn't feel right and I was sure something was wrong. It was just a feeling.

There was a post on yesterday from a woman in England that lost her momo twins at 32 weeks. The day before she was to deliver them. In England hospitalization is not common pratice with momo twins. I can't stop thinking about her, and how different her outcome could have been. How fragile all of our situations are and were throughout this type of pregnancy. I am heartbroken for her, she is so devastated, and no one can ease her pain.

So I will post more about my momo journey another time.

Friday, March 7, 2008

My bad...

First, thank you for all of your nice comments about my grandmother, Gogo. She was a wonderful person, and I did learn so many things from her. I only hope I can be as positive a presence for future generations of our family as she was.

On that note. Today was a minimum of what seems like a million since we changed schools this year. I FORGOT. So I get this phone call at 12:40 from Jack, and thought," where does he want to go today?", and he says, "Mom, you were supposed to pick us up." HOLY CRAP!!!!!! Of course I have two naked babies in front of me, Travis has a friend over yada yada yada, and he says,"we'll just walk home", and I thought I was okay with it and then I wasn't. It's about a 20 minute walk, and they have to cross a freeway entrance, and a really busy intersection. So I went to go get them. I took the route that gave me the best opportunity to catch up with them, but didn't find them until I was a block away from home. Hmmmm. They were absolutely fine and so pleased . I had 3 messages when I got home from people that had seen them walking and wanted to make sure I knew, so I know they are being looked out for, but I'm not ready for them to be so independent. Husband isn't either, and doesn't want to let them do it again. Oh well. I was liking the idea, I usually have the wake sleeping babies to fetch the kids. Oh well...perhaps we'll practice a few more times and see if we can get him to change his mind.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Ursula Rountree Harris
3/5/1906 - 11/21/2007

Things I learned from my grandmother....

Never deprive yourself. Eat well. Drink well.
You do NOT need to exercise if you want to live to be 100.
Treasure people, not things.
Be generous, money does you no good when you're dead.
You can smoke cigarettes and still live to 100.
Let go of things, grudges don't help anything.
Stress is not worth the trouble it causes.
Love life and enjoy every minute of it.
Martinis are good for your soul.

I love you and miss you every day.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Our Miss Lily

We began callng her this because Alexa and I love the Angelina Ballerina stories, and Angelina's ballet teacher is named Miss Lilly. It just sort of stuck. She is such a Lillte Miss...when she and Tess shared a crib she would scoot over to be closer to her sister, and then later turn herself sideways and kick her in the face.

She can turn more red and completely out scream her sister. Have I mentioned we have a tendency towards intensity around here?

And she is so active that for the longest time all of her photos came out blurry.

But then she perfected her picture face...I'm beginning to feel obsessed by this....
All the while showing glimpses of her out going nature,
And the twinkle in her eye.
Our Little Miss.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Bribery Shot....

Gotta keep a few around. I should have saved it for my first Wordless Wednesday!!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

So we had a little photo shoot today...practicing Husband's 'picture face', I think we're making some progress...actually a lot of progress...with a lot of coaching from the peanut gallery. Obviously Travis has mastered his...

Alexa has as well...we had such beautiful weather this last week... it has cooled off today, but I had the house wide open on Thursday, and Husband was down to just two t-shirts, from the usual 3 or 4.
So we spent yesterday afternoon outside in the wagon, and taking photos...the monkey had to be tricked....
Then I had to fool around with the photos on Picasa. Soooo much fun, but Husband hates what I've done to the photos of Lily and Tess.
I though it was kind of neat, but he says they don't look natural, and I suppose they don't do the baby blues justice...but they'll have their eyes for their entire lives right??? Hopefully anyway.
So I may order prints both ways, and see how they turn out...I think they are definitely frame worthy...but I am a little prejudiced....anyway Jack was off at baseball practice, so he missed out...I KNOW he was heartbroken since he LOVES having his photo taken SOOOO much. I'll have to trick him.