Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Not for you.

This post is not for you. It is for me.

The past few weeks have been pretty rough. I have met my match.

Earlier this month, I had composed a blog post in my head telling you how my children appeared to be at the “perfect” stage. They were playing well together and giving me some uninterrupted chunks of time. They were kind to each other and sweet to me. And they were cute as a button.

Then something happened. I'm still not quite sure what it was. Maybe that Supermoon??

But lately my kids have been kicking my mental butt (sorry, mom).

Eveley has no concept of patience. Or, at least she does not have the correct concept of patience. When asking for a puzzle from the top shelf, a cup of juice, or help in the bathroom, she expects immediate action. So I spent a good portion of the week explaining patience to her, telling her that she may just have a wait a few minutes while her very pregnant mom tries to get out of the chair, finishes changing Caleb's diaper, or huffs and puffs up the stairs with an armful of laundry. I hoped we were making some progress.

The next day, we were heading out the door for MOPS and running late. I loaded the car and buckled Caleb into his car seat. Eveley had run into the driveway to collect rocks. After asking her to come to the car several times in my sweet mom voice, I yelled at her to obey me NOW.

“Mom,” she said calmly, “you just need to be patient.”


Then there's darling Caleb. What can I say about him...

He is definitely our most cuddly child. He loves to squeeze and hug and smooch his mama. He is always saying the most adorable things and constantly says, “I yuv you, mommy!” He melts my heart.

Then there's the other 22 hours of the day. Caleb is unbelievably stubborn. My mom says he is not strong willed, just stubborn. The verdict is still out on that one. He gets terribly frustrated when things don't go his way – like when he can't have waffles at 2 in the afternoon, or when his sister comes within a 2-mile radius, or when his iPhone request is denied.

This past week was especially rough because both monkeys were sick. They had terrible coughs and colds and were running high fevers. This meant we were stuck in the house all week, I had to physically restrain Caleb every 4 hours to administer his meds, and we were all cranky. There was not much mommy love going around.

Case in point: Eveley was in the middle of a tantrum. I made her sit in a chair in the living room until she calmed down. This brought about more screaming and crying, which led to a hacking cough. You know what comes next. She threw up all over the chair and floor. As I was on my knees cleaning up puke, Caleb came around and bit me in the rear end.

Seriously?? I think that pretty much sums it up.

So this post is to remind me of my precious monkeys...

To remind me how much I love their energy, fiery spirits, and spunk.

To remind me that you can't be a toddler forever.

To remind me of the sparkle in their eyes, their plump cheeks and sweet smiles.

Aren't they so sweet??


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Change of {Birth} Plans

I have never had a tough and strict "birth plan" upon entering the hospital. My only plan was to labor away. If I ever felt like I was going to die, then I would gladly motion for the nurse and politely request that she call the magic man for the epidural.

That's just how I roll. I never wanted to pressure myself or subscribe to the "hero" mentality that the only way I could ever be a real woman was to "do it like they did it in the old days." Let's be honest. Even without an epidural, our experience these days is not like those of old.

So my philosophy is to just do what works for me at that moment.

Child #1 -- I experienced pretty hard labor for 15 hours with Robbie, traveled back and forth to the hot bath tub, rocked on the giant exercise ball, hee-ed and hoo-ed. But when the doc told me I was still at 9 cm and could possible be there for a couple more hours, I beckoned for the magic doc. With the epidural in place, I was relaxed during the pushing phase, which lasted just about 20 minutes, and was able to calmly welcome little Robbie into this world and into my arms.

Child #2 - I decided to get an epidural with Eveley when I was about 7 cm but said epidural never took effect before she was born. Not the best $1200 I've ever spent. But it was a happy birth experience nonetheless.

Child #3 - Mr. Caleb decided he would like me to experience the au natural route. He came so quickly, I hardly had time to put on my hospital gown. No IVs, no needle pricks, nothing. And as I writhed in pain and screamed at the top of my lungs, sweet Caleb was born.

Honestly, I recovered much quicker after Caleb. But I was able to really take in the actual birth of Robbie. So my conclusion? To each her own. Period.

Feel free to birth in your own bed, in a giant tub bathing with your hubby, squatting in the woods, or while having a family reunion in your hospital room. It's not my business.

Here we are at child #4 and #5. And I claim no experience or wisdom in this area. I have been researching and stalking message boards to see if I can better understand this whole twin birthing process.

Monday, I spoke with my OB and asked for a little more guidance on the upcoming birth. A little background on my doc. He is a type-A, marathon-running, stress-loving kind of guy. He personally delivered nearly 400 babies last year (more than 1 a day for you math averse people) and is a machine. He is a big proponent of natural births and doesn't mix words. I love him.

I mentioned to him that I had read that an epidural was recommended during twin births, just in case an emergency C-section was required. He completely agreed and suggested I get an epidural from the get go. I was pretty shocked.

He explained: "Sometimes, after the first baby is born, the second baby will be breach. So I may have to reach into the uterus to grab the second baby's feet."

Um...excuse me??

Do I look like a cow?

Don't answer that.

However, if this birth goes as quickly as Caleb's, he informed me that an epidural may not be possible. "But, don't worry," he said, "I can still do it."

Yea. I'm not worried about you, doc. I completely trust your skills. It's me I'm a little concerned about.


Friday, March 11, 2011

A Family Affair

You think our life is getting crazy this year?? Well, let me fill you in on a few more details to prove that is it definitely turning into a crazy (but awesome) year.

If you have been around me for any little bit of time (in person or in bloggy world), I am certain that you have heard me speak of my extended family more than once.

I am the oldest of 5 children. We are each very unique but all love each other deeply and enjoy being together. That is a testament to the purposeful, godly parenting of our mom and dad.

Our family history definitely can not be characterized as smooth sailing or easy peasy. But we have continued to trust in the Lord, stick by one another, and weather the storms.

2010 was the "Year of the Weddings." Both of my sisters were married within 3 months of each other. Kate (on the right) and Oscar were married in April and live in Houston. Carrianna (in the middle) and Eric were married in July and now live in Charleston, SC.

Weddings are so much fun and bring all the family together. But they are also tons of work, and my mom was in great need of a much calmer 2011.

Yea, right.

2011 will now be known as the "Year of the Babies." Around the first of the year, we discovered that all 3 girls were pregnant. Kate and Carrianna are due with their first babies, 2 days apart -- the first week of September -- and I was able to drop the bombshell that my pregnancy would add 2 grandbabies to the mix, bringing the total to 10!

Now, my parents are no strangers to a household of kids. My "little" brother is still at home and will graduate in May (right around the time these twins are scheduled to arrive...as if things weren't complicated enough!). My mom had her 5th child at 35, and I thought that was pretty impressive. But I can now say that I have won the "race" as I will birth 5 by 32. Watch out Mrs. Dugger! =)

I am so excited for my sisters to experience motherhood and wish I could actually be with them as they do. If only they lived nearby....(I hope my brothers in law are reading this and feeling guilty.) And, of course, my parents are struggling to work out travel schedules to be there for each one too.

There are many unknowns right now -- genders, birth dates, baby names, labor experiences. But one thing's for sure: Christmas is gonna be crazy!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fat Tuesday -- You asked for it...

I promised I wouldn't do it. But, in honor of Fat Tuesday, here it is.

I am 29 weeks (and 3 days). Right now, I feel like I did at 8 1/2 months with my previous pregnancies. And I am growing larger by the minute. I have no idea what to expect in the next several weeks, but I do know it isn't going to be pretty.

We had our 28 week ultrasound last week, and the babies are doing great. Our sweet boy weighs 2 pounds 4 ounces, and little girl weighs 2 pounds 6 ounces.

Unfortunately, they have repositioned themselves. My little girl is just hanging out lying across my stomach horizontally. And our boy is currently in a breach position and kicking the fire out of my bladder. He has been labeled Baby A, so it will be important for him to turn around and be head down in order for us to have a natural delivery.

Our next goal, according to the doc, is to get to 34 weeks. We will have our next ultrasound then and will hopefully find that the babies have straightened themselves out.

The goal for March is to transition Caleb out of his baby bed and into a bunk bed, which he will share with Eveley. Then we will begin pulling out the boxes of baby girl and baby boy clothes and restocking the nursery. Thank goodness my mom is coming to visit next week!!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Babymoon ~ Phase 2

After spending 4 days in the relaxing southern California coast, we made our way north to Beverly Hills.

Again, it was an amazingly unique experience. We stayed at the Beverly Hills hotel which prides itself on being a private place for celebrities or people in the biz. They have a secluded entrance and allow no paparazzi on the premises.

When we arrived, we saw Ashley Olsen here waiting for her car.

It was kinda ironic to be on our twin babymoon and run into one of the Olsen twins.

As we were leaving the hotel one evening, we drove around the corner to find a group of paparazzi sitting on the concrete ledge. They jumped up with their cameras as our car came around the bend. Then they sighed and immediately sat down. Not even a flash of the camera. I wonder what gave us away??

Bob and I spent a good amount of time here in the hotel lobby.

I plopped myself into those big pink chairs, sipped orange and cranberry juice, and gawked away. This was definitely not the place to pull out my big Canon SLR camera but I tried awkwardly to snap a few photos with my iPhone.

This was the best one I got!

It is Steve Martin. (I promise...)

He was at the hotel having lunch with Amy Adams, and Bob and I stood with them outside for a few minutes while waiting for the valet.

I couldn't believe I was standing beside George Banks! I love him! (Hope you have all seen Father of the Bride...)

We saw Denise Richards (who has weirdly skinny legs) and Sylvester Stalone at the hotel.

Then it was time for us to make our late night TV debut.

I arranged for us to have tickets to the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Bob didn't really want to go but I convinced him that this was a unique opportunity and it would be cool to go "behind the scenes" of a show. Bob researched it on the internet (of course) and read reviews of others' experiences.

One guy said: They only seat really cool and hip people on the floor of the audience so they can go greet Jay when he walks out on stage. My wife was 5 months pregnant and we got stuck up in the upper levels and couldn't see much.

So, while we were waiting in the lines to go into the studio, we began picking out the "cool and hip" people who would be chosen to sit on the floor. Since I am 7 months pregnant with twins, we thought we would be lucky to even get inside the studio.

But lo and behold, as we entered the studio, the pages pointed for us to bypass the stairs and head into the main entrance. And we soon found ourselves sitting on the studio floor right beside the camera man.

If you know me personally, you know that I am not dramatic or very emotional. I'm pretty reserved and shy away from awkward spotlight opportunities!

As the hosts explained what we would do -- run up to the stage to shake hands with Jay when he came out on stage -- I almost passed out. But before we knew it, the band was playing the theme music and the camera man motioned for us to head to the front of the stage. Here are my 2 seconds of fame!

(You only need to watch the first 40 seconds or so of the video (I am not endorsing the rest of this show. I have on a gray striped sweater and Bob is wearing a light blue shirt.)

Watching the taping was really interesting and tons of fun.

We spent the next day sightseeing in Hollywood. There were lots of preparations taking place for the Oscars which were just a few days away.

Our last night, we headed to Spago, one of Wolfgang Puck's restaurants.

We decided to forego the tasting menu since it didn't quite pan out the last time we did it. As we were waiting for our food, out comes Wolfgang himself.

I was totally surprised since I didn't expect he was actually at the restaurant. He walked over to us, looked at my belly, and said, "I see you've already eaten." How rude! Just kidding. He was really sweet and asked about the pregnancy. When we told him we were having twins, a boy and a girl, he said, "I need your recipe. I can only make boys." Pretty funny.

We flew out the next morning and nervously returned to the real world. We were so excited to see the kids and they seemed to be happy to see us too!

We are now are back to reality. I drive a white mini van, eat spaghetti which I have to cook myself, clean toilets, wipe bottoms, and wear sweat pants 5 days of the week.

And I have a wonderful, funny husband, and crazy kids.

Now this is the good life.