Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bad, bad blogger

Thank goodness for pictures. Tons of pictures. Pictures of dirty faces, bumps and bruises, trips to the beach, days spent in pajamas. If it weren't for the pictures I worry that I wouldn't remember all that has happened.

I try to write it down. I bought baby books. I started this blog. Started being the operative word, because the number of posts vs. the number of months is truly pathetic. So, once again I will try to put into words the things I want my children to know. The ways I loved them, at this moment.

Annabella - Getting ready to start back to preschool. She demands attention - and usually deserves it. She is so perceptive and observant. The child never misses a detail. She lives for imaginative play - everyone is a character. Veruca Salt, Cinderella, pirates, hyenas, you name it. She assigns the parts and tries desperately to orchestrate the play. Unfortunately for her, the little ones aren't quite ready to follow stage directions and they don't really remember their lines.

She loves tacos, ham sandwiches, Nutella, and any treat that daddy brings home. She loves Purplicious, Madeline, and any book about a girl. She loves being outside, helping with chores, and throwing temper tantrums to rival the most legendary tantrum thrower (that would be me!). At least her tantrums usually happen at home, so I can skip the stares and head shakes.

She is sweet beyond measure and wants to hug and kiss everyone. Anyone she meets is her friend. I hope she retains that pure sense of love even when the world doesn't return it to her.

Lorelei - Oh, my little train wreck. The girl has bumps and bruises galore. It may have something to do with her total lack of fear regarding climbing, running, and jumping. Off the couch, over the chair, across the room. She moves at full speed. Even the bumps don't really slow her down - she is up and running again before you can blink.

She loves babies. Loves, loves, loves babies. She carries them around - patting and holding them. Until her attention moves elsewhere and they are unceremoniously dumped to the floor. She is slowly adding to her vocabulary, but baby, up, and mama still dominate.

Sawyer - The little man. He finally got a little trim when his bangs were too much to handle. He looks like such a boy now. He will try to say any word you throw his way, including dude, peaches (which sounds like bitches), and both of his sisters' names. He is a cuddly little monkey, and falls asleep each night playing with his belly button.

He loves phones, cars, and keys. Despite all his food limitations, he is my best eater. He loves his "nacks" and would happily eat all day if I would let him. He adores music and points to the stereo to get me to play Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious so that we can all run in circles around the couch.

I love you all, my sweet babies.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I would guess that Mother's Day had something to do with my thoughts. I thought about why I was now a member of the group being celebrated. I thought about the births of my children - three kids, but two birth stories. Lorelei and Sawyer don't get the individualized tale of their entry into the world until it comes to the part about "one minute later..." Annabella loves to hear the story of when she was born; about how I had to wake up her daddy twice, because the first time I told him I was having a baby he said, "Uh-huh" and went back to sleep. I wonder if the twins will embrace their shared story or feel frustrated by it - their earliest lessons in sharing.

More than my children, though, I was thinking about myself (how often does that happen anymore?) I was thinking about how you can think you have plans, but all they amount to is thoughts in your head. Life changes in an instant.

I knew that Annabella wouldn't be an only child. I wanted three. Charlie thought maybe two would be plenty, and even briefly tried to suggest sticking with the one we already had, but I won't share that discussion, beyond the fact that it wasn't pretty. So that positive pregnancy test was beautiful.

I thought about the future. I would probably be going back to work. It was amazing staying home with Annabella, but our budget was showing the strain of trying to fit three people's needs into the small space provided by one paycheck. However, the timing seemed great. By my own calculations I would be due March 17 - almost exactly 2 years after Annabella. I could enjoy the long summer home with the kids, then return to teaching in the fall. We would look for a new house - something bigger and newer, after our adventures in this first experiment. We had a new car, an Xterra, that would be perfect for the bigger stroller I would need, and all the other extras that would come with a new baby. I even went so far as to think about the next pregnancy. I wondered if we'd have all girls. If we should space them evenly. If it would be this easy to conceive again. And then I didn't think as much, because I just felt too tired to think. Too sick to think. I was six weeks pregnant and it felt different. Little did I know how different it would be.

Charlie came with me for the first ultrasound. It isn't a huge deal, but in a normal pregnancy where you only get two chances to see that little bean in your belly, it was worth missing a little work. Annabella went with GeeGee. I sat there in the waiting room, looking at other pregnant women, thinking about the little person inside. Then it was into the ultrasound room, undressing, and settling onto the table for our first glimpse. Our OB's office has a great set-up for ultrasound viewing. The tech has her own screen, but there is also a large, flat screen monitor on the wall so that the expectant parents can see what she is doing without hovering over her shoulder or craning backwards to peek.

She is doing the chatty thing while she gets everything situtated and ready to go, then an image appears on the screen. "What does that look like?" she asks. I'm not entirely sure what transpired after that. I think there were some curse words, some expressions of disbelief. Definitely nervous laughter and possibly a tear or two. Even trying to speak about it I still feel a touch of that uncomfortable mix of fear, adrenaline, and total confusion.

Charlie left the office. I think it was more than he could process at that moment. Or maybe he already knew too much of what it meant, being a twin himself. I called my mother. She screamed. She said, "You'll have to get a new car. A minivan." Little did I realize then how right she was. I texted my sister that there was big news. She guessed - I don't know how. I sat there, shaky, somewhere between joy and terror. Everything in my life had changed in an instant.

Adjusting to twin pregnancy wasn't a pretty picture for me. After those first hours of feeling giddy with new information, it all started to sink in. I thought about Boogs - about the ways in which this was going to change her life. I thought about money. I worried obsessively. My thoughts veered back and forth in an instant. I convinced myself that I was going to have a vanishing twin. I couldn't decide whether I would feel relief if that was the case. I worried about bedrest, early delivery, complications, birth defects. I worried and worried and worried.

I don't know when it changed. I'm not sure it ever completely changed, but after a while the idea of it wasn't so terrifying. It was scary - I had lived with one newborn before and now there would be two! - but it wasn't so bad that I felt sick just thinking about it. There were scares - vision issues, headaches, signs of early labor that meant steroid shots and medications to stop contractions. Suddenly those things were all behind me and I was going in for my scheduled c-section, facing another fear necessitated by the fact that the wiggle worms wouldn't spin around in there.

How did their arrival change things? I never thought anything would change my life more than becoming a parent, but becoming a parent to twins was more life changing than I could ever have imagined. I knew that adding a second child would be an adjustment, but adding two at once threw my life into chaos.

The first six months with three children were an exercise in survival. I don't know that I slept longer than a three hour stretch in all those months. Some nights I was up every hour. I changed diapers, prepared meals, nursed, cuddled, comforted, and cried. I felt like the world was going on beyond my door, but I was stuck in this hazy place where there were only needs, all the time, very few of them my own.

The real changes are so much more than that, though. The change of plans. There is no job. No new house. No way to plan for a future that seems completely in question. Maybe this was a gift to me. Gifts aren't always what you want - any honest child will tell you that. But sometimes, what seems like the wrong size or color at first ends up being something special. Something amazing. Something that makes you feel like it was meant for you.

My children have taught me more in their short lives than I learned in all the years before they came. They taught me that life keeps coming, whether you are ready for it or not. I'm so glad that they were there to help me learn that lesson. It's a hard one to learn, but they are gentle and beautiful teachers.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Please don't forget.

Things I don't want to forget:

Miss Annabella, you amazing girl. You are doing so great at potty training. I'm sure it will cause you complete embarassment if I ever reveal to you that I announced on Facebook your bathroom antics. You Ace Ventura'd your girl parts to tell me that the pee pee was all gone. Each time you realize you have used the potty those wide eyes of yours just glow with excitement.

You love horses. Especially your white horse, Charlie. You dislike monsters and witches. You love to sing and dressing up. Temperature is insanely important to you, to the point of making me crazy. You insist that things are too hot when they aren't even warm.

Your voice and phrasing make almost everything you say funny. You use vocabulary that surprises even me. You tell stories and ask questions from the time you wake until you fight against going to sleep. You make every day fun and challenging.

Miss Lorelei, you are such a contradiction, a fiery mix of sassy and sweet, rolled into a tiny child. You can be so dainty and kind, sharing your toys and cuddling one moment; then you are hissing your displeasure and biting anything in range the next. You take off your shoes. You climb on anything and everything without a smidgen of fear or hesitation.

You smile with your bottom teeth, grinning like a little French bulldog. Yogurt is your favorite thing to eat. You adore your big sister and can't get enough of Geegee. You're not really talking yet, except for "bye" and maybe "shoes." However, I can see that you are planning and plotting. The words aren't there yet, but the thoughts are.

Sir Sawyer, my sweet and scratchy man. By far the most easygoing of my children, but also so sensitive. You giggle and smile when things are going your way; but don't take away the Blackberry or your sword unless you want tears. You plow through everything: meals, walking, playing. You bounce around and off of things - walls and furniture.

You are copying words and sounds more and more: bye, ball, eye, cupcake, thank you. You put the phone to your ear and pretend to talk. When you get excited you run in place and wave your little arms. You are my best sleeper.

You're all changing every day. Sometimes I feel like there is so much to do - so many diapers and meals to make and clean ups and crying and soothing and naps and all the things that make the days run one into another until I realize that you are all older and different and I'm not ready for you to change. I love you.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Lucky me

Where do I start? I can't believe that we are approaching the twinnies first birthday and Miss Annabella's third. Three years? These have been the fastest, most life-changing, spectacular, amazing three years. This last year has been the craziest of all.

What can I say about the doodles today?

Miss A is in her hideout. I called it a fort, but she says, "No, Mama. It's my hideout." She wakes me up singing songs about how she loves me. She is the queen of schmutz-face. She loves her brother and sister like nothing else. I can't wait for them to start walking so that they can try to keep up with her and all the little imaginary games she has planned for them.

Lorelei is the sweetest, most angelic little thing. Except when she isn't. Then she becomes such a little hellion I want to run screaming from the room. She makes funny little kissing noises. She loves using the sippy cup. She just started to crawl up off her tummy (only sometimes) and she is finally getting one of her top teeth.

Sawyer is my little man. He is so full of giggles and is a tiny speed demon. I am scared to write it down, for fear it will somehow change something, but he has slept straight through from 7-7 for about 6 nights now. Ah, sweet bliss. If only he could teach Lady Lorelei a thing or two. He is on the verge of walking. He'll stand and lift his little feet, but just hasn't managed that forward motion just yet.

I wonder every day how I managed to get such amazing, beautiful, perfect little people as a part of my life. I'm the luckiest.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm procrastinating by doing what I usually procrastinate and don't do... interesting.

The best of intentions, right? I thought that I would at least feel some drive to do this, to record these moments. And I do, really. Every day that goes by and that they grow and change I wish that I could freeze time; I wish that I could find some way to make them always do the wonderful things they do. Yet days go by and I never make the time to do this. It's definitely a personality flaw.

So, there is so much that I've missed recording. New teeth, unbirthdays, standing, sickness, preschool, trips, tears... I can't go back. So I'll start with what I know right now.

Annabella is computering with me right now. Her input: I love Annabella. I love Daddy. I love Mama. I love GeeGee. I love Papa. I love my 'nother Papa. He's Nonna's friend. Where did my 'nother Papa went? What's in here? Bubbles? You pop 'em. Pop 'em for me, Mama.

Yeah, she's focused like her Mama is, that one.

Okay, new story. She never wants to name anything. We have to give all her "friends" names. So, yesterday she is playing horsie and Charlie asks her what the horse's name is. She says, "Fuggit." Erm. It wasn't exactly that. It was just what that sounds like, with her inflection matching her daddy's inflection - spot on. She then proceeds to repeat it about a million times. So glad that he's the one that taught her that one. Good job, honey.

The peach is her peachy self. She is sweet as can be, as long as I don't do anything to anger her. If I dare to leave the room against her wishes - watch out world. Turtle-man is king of the giggles. Man, can that one laugh.

More later, must bathe. Priorities, you know.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday again? Already?

Each day in itself is long... sometimes so long I wonder if it will ever end. But a week seems to fly past before I even realize it has happened, and the months keep adding up. It's such a strange sensation of standing still and speeding along all at the same time.

The things I want to remember:

Annabella waking up in the morning and calling out "Mom-may, I'm all done sleeping. Can I come out?" The first thing she wants to see is her babies ("Where my babies?")

The poor thing has trouble with getting her poops out. She says it hurts her feelings. Lol.

Lorelei started rolling this week. It almost seems like she did it just to get us to stop thinking she couldn't. She did it a few times - in front of me or Geegee, but isn't really motivated to do it again.

Both babies are teething. Ugh. Last Sunday was this glorious night of sleep - they went down early and Lorelei slept 8 hours, Sawyer 6, me 4... what an improvement. Followed by an entire week of relentless crying and refusal to sleep longer than 1 hour at a time. Around the clock. Staggered. I thought I was going to leave them on the porch so that the wild animals could take them and raise them as their own. Then, last night, Sawyer slept 7 hours, Lorelei 6, me 4 again. Thanks kiddos. I love you.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How we got here

I realized after I posted last night that I just jumped from pregnancy posts to three months out without even talking about the arrival of these little ones. I have to remedy that, so I'm going to try for a birth story - at least the parts of it that I can remember.

It starts in Target, as all good things do. I was doing some last minute shopping, riding in style on the motorized cart. The doctor's office called and offered me a c-section date the day before Boogs's birthday. I asked if there wasn't anything sooner, because at that point I would have been happy with giving birth right there in Target. The nurse said she would speak to Dr. Dill and call me back.
When the call back came, the date was February 29. Leap year. It seemed like a good enough day for a birthday to me, so I agreed. Now I just had to wait.

February 29th came. Charlie and I left for the hospital early that morning. I was scheduled for 10, which had been moved up from the original time of 1. We got checked in and I went back to change and get my IV and stuff done. Charlie came back to wait with me until it was time to go.

It was really different to go into the operating room vs. the labor room. Everything was much more clinical and I started getting nervous. They set me up to do the spinal, which wasn't horrible, but sent a shooting pain down into my leg and foot and made me jump. It was strange to be laying flat on the table waiting for them to do something. I felt completely helpless.

Charlie came in after everything was ready, and as they were starting the surgery he and the nurse were talking about traffic. I just laid there thinking I couldn't believe this was what they were discussing while I was getting sliced open. There was a lot of pulling and pressure, which was uncomfortable, but didn't hurt. Then I heard someone say, "I see a foot!"

Lorelei Bradley, the little peach, was born at 10:18. She weighed in a 7 lbs 8 oz and was 19 3/4 inches long. A minute later Sawyer Patrick, my turtle-man, entered the world. He was 7 lbs 6 oz and 20 inches long. Both babies were great from the start - pink, healthy, and pissed off at being taken out of their comfy little home!

Right after the babies were out, Anne tried to come over to let me hold one of them. She said she looked at me and said, "She doesn't look so good" to the anesthesiologist. According to her, I was a completely different color. Dr. Dill looked over the curtain and asked for blood, stat. I started feeling pretty sick, like I might throw up. I just kept wishing they would be done. At some point there was a Kill Bill moment, where a fountain of blood shot across the curtain screening my view. I remember thinking it would be funny, if I didn't feel so icky.
What I didn't know then - or for a long time after - was just how bad it was. Anne later told my mom and Charlie that she was really worried. I lost a lot of blood, fast. The anesthesiologist wasn't agreeing with the doc's orders, the blood took a while to get there. Things were not good. I'm glad I didn't realize that it could have ended right there.

Once they were finished closing the incision and things had stabilized, they picked me up to move me to another bed. I remember going, "Wooo!" when they lifted me. Then the doors opened, and I don't remember anything until I opened my eyes in the recovery room. There was a lady talking to me like she knew me, but I didn't know who she was. She told me they were still getting more blood into me. Then I don't remember anything until Charlie was there, with Peach. He wanted to let me hold her, but I was too scared I would drop her or fall asleep again. The next thing I knew, they said I was ready to go to my room.

Everyone was there, which was nice, but confusing. I kept apologizing because I couldn't keep my eyes open. Every time I sat up I felt like I was going to throw up or pass out. I was too scared to hold the babies. Needless to say, it wasn't my ideal post-labor experience. However, I got exactly what I wanted - two beautiful, healthy, wonderful children - so in that sense it was a complete success.