Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Happy Belated Father's day

My idea for starting to blog again was to just share. I'm trying not to self edit too much. That's really hard for me. I like sharing all the good stuff, and there is a lot of good stuff there, but I tend to try to save it up. I also do that thing where you kind of gloss over the mundane and the crap.

Today we took a little day trip as a family to celebrate father's day a little late. We're still close to the beginning of a short little break for Tommy from school. God I love having him home. Life feels almost effortless when there are two parents home all the time. Two adults to think of the fact that the diaper bag needs to be packed. And let me just say that with the boys, our diaper bag is the size of a carry on...and actually it wouldn't even fit in the overhead compartments. So we would end up having to gate check the stupid thing. I swear that thing weighs about 15 pounds. Also, there is another person to grab snacks. Another adult who can help me position pillows when I need to nurse to at a time or sooth and nurse at the same time. Or take the big kids on an outing while I stay home with the babes. I want this time to never end.

So as I was saying went on a day trip. We drove the hour that it takes to get to the town where our midwife lives, and grabbed some lunch. The wait staff must have done some hand signals to each other when they saw us come in...because we got SUPER fast service. It was like they decided ahead of time to quickly turn over tables that have a high likelihood of containing screamers. Maybe I'll make a point of letting wait staff know that It's okay to do that for our family when we go out.

We walked in, and were seated. I ran to the ladies room. When I got back our drinks were there. I looked at the menu for 30 seconds and decided what to order for me and the girls. Our super sweet waitress came and took our order. I took the girls to the ladies' room. Our food was being put on the table when we came back. I ate half my lunch and one of the boys started to cry. I nursed him for a couple of minutes, and we got a takeout container, signed the check and scooted to the door.

Some people might get offended at having their lunch go so quickly, but.....I get it. We don't just go out to eat at a restaurant, we descend upon it. It was good to get to eat out (it's definitely not something we do often). Everyone enjoyed their lunch, and then I ate my leftovers in the car when I got hungry later. Plus there was so little fussing in the restaurant that I'm sure we didn't bother anyone else. I consider that a win-win-win.

Afterwards we had a lovely visit with our midwife. Anyway, that's all for now, I have to get to bed, but didn't want to not post.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Nine minutes ago our eighth wedding anniversary ended. I think back on the kids that got married eight years and seven hours ago and they are vague silhouettes of the people that we are today. Of course we look different, but we just are different.

I went back through our wedding pictures a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn't believe how stiff we looked together. I'm sure part of that was that we were in front of a hundred people, but it's also that we hadn't developed that deep knowledge of the other. We hadn't truly become one. We'd not gone through the births of four children, loss, two moves (both while pregnant), two job changes, countless hours of laughter, arguments, and comfortable quiet. I look at our wedding photos and I see two friendly kid strangers on a choose your own adventure.

I would choose this adventure again and again...

Monday, June 9, 2014

Twin Pregnancy Installment #2

At 14 weeks pregnant I measured 19 weeks. At 19 weeks I measured 24 weeks. At my appointments I would ask "Could there possibly be two in there." My midwife took me seriously. She would carefully listen for a second heartbeat. One time we thought we found one, but it was the exact same speed as the first heartbeat. So it seemed that I was just having one gigantic baby and that I probably had my dates off.

Also, our midwife was unable to palpate (or use her magical fingers to feel all of baby's body parts) very well because I had a huge amount of amniotic fluid. Plus my uterus would clamp down like a vice every time she tried to feel (uteri tend to do that when they are trying to tone up to have two babies).

At the same time, I really wasn't gaining much weight. I was fit. I was active. Sure my pubic symphysis (that little piece of cartilage right where the two sides of your pubic bone meet up) hurt like the dickons...I mean so bad. So so so bad. I also outgrew the pregnancy pillows at the chiropractors' office.

Anyway, below is a picture of me at 35 weeks. It was taken 11 days before the boys were born. I'm standing in the birth room with my oldest daughter Grace first thing in the morning. The previous days I had spent getting the birthing room all ready.

I had set in my mind that the birth room must be ready by Thanksgiving. Actually my dear friend (also a midwife) had put that idea there. I was due the day after Christmas. However, at 30 weeks, Tommy took this photo of me. When I saw it I was like....hang on. That isn't right. I very vividly remember 30 weeks with Ava and that is NOT what I looked like. 
 This was me at 30 weeks with Ava.
This was me at 40 weeks with Ava. Ava weighed 9 pounds when she was born. 9 pounds.
I went through and dug out those pictures and thought okay I need to be measured today. So I got out my measuring tape and measured myself the way that I had seen my midwife do all those times. I got 38 centimeters. That night I felt and felt my belly. I talked to my unborn baby and asked to know the mystery. Lo and behold I could feel two round bottoms up near my rib cage. You are probably thinking that that was the point when I was sure that I was having twins. I think though that you have underestimated the power of my denial. So when my midwife friend came to visit the next day I bombarded her when she came through the door and asked her to measure me. She got 40 centimeters, but palpated and could only feel one baby and lots of fluid just like my midwife. Also like my midwife she said that it was really unlikely to be a second baby since we couldn't feel any other parts. At this point I was sure that I was nuts and that I must have some grotesque form of twin envy. My friend also asked if I was sure of my due date. This was the time when I really started to question even my fertility charting abilities. I thought that I just must not have known when I conceived and that my dates must have been off. She suggested that I be prepared for a baby by Thanksgiving, but also mentally prepare for the long wait of going past the time when I would expect to have a baby. I'm actually kind of practiced at that

As it is rather late in the evening, I will continue with this story later. It's fun reminiscing about it, and making sure that I get many of these memories down before they become to blurry. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Once again the bug to document our life as a family has bitten me. I can't make any promises about the frequency of posting, but I hope that it won't be four years again. There have been about a million changes in our life since I last posted. Most notably, we had twins in December. Suprise twins.

I'll just let that sink in for a moment (in case you don't know me...for those of you who do, I'm sure the shock wore off a while back).

It's funny to call them surprise twins, because every twin is a surprise at some point. I'm sure that every family of twins has the "how we found out we were having twins" story. For us it just happened after our second son was born.

For me Finn's birth was more of a confirmation of a nagging feeling than an absolute shock.

I found out in April 2013 that I was pregnant. We were ecstatic. We had planned for this baby, and couldn't have been more happy to find out of his or her arrival.

Early on in the pregnancy I felt lots of cramping. I, of course, googled causes of cramping in early pregnancy. What I found said that it could be nothing, it could be a miscarriage, or it could be twins. It felt sort of reminiscent of the miscarriage I had had 2 years prior and so I just decided to take things easy. My midwife suggested herbs that could help prevent miscarriage. I took them with a small gag each day.

But maybe it's twins I thought. I tried not to share this crazy notion with Tommy but I was unsuccessful. He didn't want to talk about it. "Twins are terrifying." He would say.

 Life (Granger and Finn) are calling so I must end there for today. Hopefully I will be able to add a new installment soon.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


There really is no good explanation about how this particular week got out of hand. Sure we traveled on Friday and Saturday, but it really seemed like no biggie when we are able to get the tree up Sunday and rearrange all the furniture in the living room (to you know, actually fit the tree in, in a pleasing way). Tangent: I love putting up the tree because of the cleaning under all the furniture part...and of course the pretty lights.

Anyway, so there really seemed to be no reason for everything to go out of control. The house was clean for the coming week.

So if you were able to reach your eyeballs through your computer screen and see me, you might be wondering how I came to be sitting in my living room with laundry hanging out of two baskets piled on the rocker, toys and veritable junk littering the floor, dishes and food all over the dining room peaking at me from around the corner,and me sitting snacking on a dried up crust of bread with my hair disheveled in a sideways floppy bun from several days without combing it, I'm hoping that my reality show TV crew shows up soon. I hid when our produce guy came to deliver our box this week.

That isn't particularly surprising I suppose, but it is surprising to me after feeling as though I have positively slaved away to keep things running around here. Okay, so maybe not slaved, but definitely worked hard...okay, I liked my first word choice better. Whatever! I am bedraggled. Not quite as bedraggled as Papajama looked when he arrived home from school on Tuesday with the flu, but I am bedraggled...tanked up on vitamin C and probiotics? Absolutely, but bedraggled nonetheless. I honestly don't know how anyone who single parents or has a frequently traveling spouse does it. 2.5 days of this stuff and I'm done.

Phoenix seems to be her cheerful self, although she is showing signs of being cooped up in the house for several days straight. Zephyr seems to have caught a mild case of it though. She ran a fever last night, and I'm hoping that we're going to escape dry heaves with her...that's what Papajama has been battling. In the 4.5 years we've been married, I've never known him to go an entire day without eating. But yesterday he ate nothing and today he ate an apple, and a miniscule amount of rice, green beans, and tofu that I made for dinner.

So now here we are, I'm the last person up tonight, and I'm bushed. But, I really don't want to go to bed. It sounds far from relaxing. Both girls are in our bed this evening, and I know as soon as I lay down, Zephyr will want to nurse. Phoenix will want back scratches. And to tell the truth, Mama needs a little personal space. Three days of being pulled, and snotted on, and taking food orders...and to top it off Zephyr isn't sleeping well, and she's waking me up every half hour. It's much less than a relaxing proposition for the evening...And so I'm up...but who knows how much longer that will last....

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Adventures in Homeschooling

This year we're trying to do some homeschooling lessons with Phoenix. She is just ready. She knows nearly all her letters and asks all kinds of questions...her favorite one is "why", and I promise it never gets on my nerves when it's in response to a request for a change in behavior. Nope. I never hear myself lecturing "that sometimes you just have to do what your parents tell you to right away. And I'm happy to talk about why you have to do things most of the time, but quick obedience is necessary sometimes." And I'm sure no one can hear me saying that through gritted teeth or anything. Anyway, the point is that she needs some extra input so we're starting with the calendar and learning about counting and writing numbers...etc. So far it's really fun, even if the three year old attention span is a little short.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"My Dada Calls Me Monkey"

Ssshhhh! Don't tell our big girl, but I'm making up a new nickname for her.

She's Phoenix. She is, of course, our fiery fiesty girl. Or as the dentist put it...she has an independent streak (this followed him me and two dental assistants trying to get her into the chair). Hmmm, yes, independent.

But then of course, she's complex. She's cerebral, curious, and it's as if she burns herself up and emerges cool and calm and ready for the next challenge, just as a Phoenix would. I've never met anyone else who can go from a tearing rage to completely calm in less than five seconds...and yet, I gave birth to her. She exists; and she's amazing.

But don't tell her I'm calling her Phoenix. She would only correct you and tell you that her Dada calls her monkey. Apparently she only has room for one nickname, and that's ALL.

Our little one on the other hand has a new nickname too, and she's not correcting anyone (yet) so you can feel free to let her know. She is our little Zephyr. It's as if she rode into our lives on a warm breeze (I imagine that breeze was caused by laughter, but you can picture it however you want). She's such a happy baby. She's the one that smiled at three weeks old, and kept all of her smiles just for me in those early days. She possesses mystery complete with her wispy blonde hair with brunette tips and the eyes of a sage. Don't let that sweetness fool you though. She's shrewd, and her every grunt is full of calculated meaning. It's in the eyes, and the regal hand gestures too I suppose. She points the way that I imagine royalty would.

Together they are quite a pair. Phoenix is nearly constant motion. She needs action and adventure and mental stimulation. Zephyr decides on a move and then goes. She keeps watch over all of the happenings, and then gets involved in what interests her. Together they are either laughing or yelling together. They mesh together well, or clash horribly. There's no tidy metaphor to wrap the sibling relationship in, so I'll just leave it as it is. Phoenix and Zephyr, Zephyr and Phoenix. The girls.

Oh and by the way, Phoenix would correct me if she heard me call her little sister Zephyr, too. Her Dada calls the baby koala bear.