Happy birthday my wonderful boys! What a fun and exciting year it has been! We feel so blessed to have you as a part of our family, we have enjoyed every second with you. You have brought so much more joy and love to our family and we look forward to another adventurous year with the both of you!
Today we celebrated our boys 1st birthday, what a special day! We had decided to keep it simple and relaxed so we had a little party with just our family and the grandparents. Michael and I baked cakes last night. I was in charge of the dairy and soy free cupcakes for the boys and me and Michael was in charge of the cake for the others. We also took the day off for the girls. We spent the morning like any other morning and after the boys had their nap and had finnished lunch we started the party by opening gifts. They were very excited about the new toys, the girls helped them open them. We played a little and then we had cake. None of the boys ate very much of their cupcakes. Jacob dug right in with his hands and made a mess but didn't eat much. Lucas on the other hand didn't like the feel of the frosting and wanted nothing to do with his. Here's a video of us singing to them and their reaction to the cupcakes.
After another nap (well, Jakie decided not to sleep but anyway) we played some more and before going to bed they got to take a bath with mommy.
Last night we had an ice storm and this morning we woke up to freezing temperatures and a layer of ice covering everything. The schools closed for the day, yay! Maddie and Lily enjoyed a day off and we spent the day cleaning and preparing for "mormor" and "morfars" (grandparents) arrival this evening. Michael and the girls went to pick them up and I stayed home so that I could put the boys to bed, luckily it warmed up in the afternoon so the roads were clear. The girls were so excited to see "mormor" and "morfar" and the boys get to meet them tomorrow morning. My parents haven't seen the boys since they were two months old so I'm very excited about them meeting each other.
This is their birth story, in detail ( consider that a warning ;) ).
Tuesday January 29th was just a regular day. Maddie was at school and Lily was home with me like every Tuesday. We made a quick trip to Target for a few things but the rest of the day we took it pretty easy at home. After dinner I looked around the house and thought to myself "maybe I should clean up a little bit in case I go into labor and need to call someone to watch the girls", I don't know where this thought came from but I'm wondering if somehow I knew what was about to happen.
It all started as I was about to go to bed. I noticed I had bloody show ( I was loosing the mucus plug ). I never noticed this with my two other pregnancies so this got me quite concerned. I called Michael who was at work and spending the night in Oklahoma City. He tried to assure me not to worry as we've always been told that even after loosing the mucus plug there can be weeks before going into labor. I was still worried as it was a little early being only 34 weeks 5 days along and with Michael not home I especially did not want to go into labor. The mucus just kept coming, lots of it! I went to bed and tried to go to sleep but couldn't. I had some painless contractions that I thought was braxton hicks, I had had those for weeks. I started counting them as my Dr. had told me to call if I had more than 6 in an hour. Turns out I had a about 6 that first hour, they were still painless so I didn't call. By this time it was past midnight, I could still not sleep and kept counting contractions. Finally I got up and decided to take a shower just in case I would have to go to the hospital. After the shower I sat on the bed and started flipping through the pages in my pregnancy book. Now it was about 3am and as I stood up it felt like a ballon popped inside me and a little water ran down my leg. With my previous labors my bag of water did not brake by itself so this was also new to me but it was very clear that that's what just happened. I called Michael right away and the first thing out of my mouth was "make arrangements to come home, my water just broke", I think he was wide awake right away. I then called my Dr. and left her a message. Then I proceeded to call our friends Brenda and Fredrik to see if they could take the girls and as I was talking to Fredrik Dr. Tricia called back. She was already at the hospital with another patient and told me to come right in. I woke up the girls and told them to pack a few things to bring to Brenda and Fredrik's, they were wide awake at that moment and very excited. I quickly threw some things in my bag, got a few things for the girls and in less than 20 minutes from the time my water broke we were in the car and on our way. I did not want to wait for Fredrik to pick us up because they live very close to the hospital which is 30 minutes from our house so to wait for him to come here and then go back would be an hour wasted. My contractions were slowly getting more uncomfortable but I was still doing fine.
I dropped Maddie and Lily off with Fredrik, and Brenda drove me to the hospital. During this time Michael had arranged to come home on a flight leaving around 6:30am which meant he would be at the hospital around 8am. On our way to the hospital my contractions became quite painful. Around 4:15am we walked into labor and delivery where they had a room waiting for me. They quickly confirmed that at least on of my bags of water had indeed broken and I was 3cm's dilated and fully effaced. At this point I had a strong feeling that Michael would not make it in time. We, of course, had constant contact on our cell phones. Things got real busy. I had several nurses trying to hook me up to monitors, Lucas was so low and would not stay on so it was a challenge. They got an IV going. My Dr. came to do an Ultrasound to confirm the babies positions and to check me again. Baby A was still head down while baby B was breech. The plan was for a vaginal delivery in the OR. Then I suddenly realized that I had forgot to bring my camera, Brenda offered to go home and get theirs which I was very thankful for. In the meantime the anesthesiologist came in to give me an epidural. Not that I really wanted one, my other deliveries have both been drug free, but because of the risk of an emergency c-section my Dr. did not give me a choice.
Finally around 6am the epidural was in and working and Brenda was back with the camera. I got to relax for a few minutes until Dr. Tricia walked in to check me. To my surprise I was completely dilated and ready to go. I was wheeled into the OR, where all twin deliveries take place, lots of people were waiting - my Dr, my labor nurse, my anesthesiologist, an ultrasound tech, the neonatologist ( the babies Dr ) and several NICU nurses. Brenda was by my side with her camera and my cell phone. As everybody was ready my Dr told me to push, I did as I was told but not being able to feel anything I wasn't sure if I was actually pushing. Well, I was. In that one push Lucas was born, the time was 6:39am. He didn't cry and was quickly handed over to the NICU nurses and Neonatologist. Dr. Tricia went right to work on getting Jacob out. With her hand inside me and the ultrasound tech guiding her she tried to grab his feet to pull him out. At this point I was very thankful for the epidural ;). Jacob was not cooperating so this went on for several minutes. In the meantime I was trying to see what was happening with Lucas, he had started to cry a little and looked pretty good. As they took him to the NICU they let me see him for a few seconds and he was so beautiful. Dr. Tricia kept working on getting Jacob out, I remember I was starting to get worried that a c-section would be neccessary and I would be one of the unlucky women who had to have both a vaginal and a c-section delivery. But just as I was getting worried I was told to push. I did and in that push Jacob came out, feet first! The first picture of Jakie is of his legs and butt coming out of me, I love that picture! He was born at 6:47am. He was a little blue and didn't cry at first but as the NICU team got working on him he also cried a little. I got a quick look at him as they took him away and he was just as beautiful as Lucas.
Still on the table I called Michael with the news, at this time he was sitting on the airplane about to take off. I then got wheeled back to my recovery room where I had to wait for the epidural to wear off before I could go see the babies. The neonatologist came to give me a status report on the boys. I don't remember much of what he said but he talked about the boys having trouble breathing on their own and that they had to give them surfectant for their lungs. He said to anticipate them to be in the hospital until their due date which would have been 3 weeks since twins are considered full term at 38 weeks, it turned out to be just 13 days. He also gave me their weights, baby A ( Lucas ) 5lbs2oz and baby B ( Jacob ) 5lbs0.1oz.
My epidural wore off just in time for Michaels arrival at the hospital and we got to go to the NICU together to see the boys. It was very emotional to see our little babies with breathing tubes, IV's and all those monitors hooked up. But they were both so beautiful and it was amazing to finally meet these people that we had already grown to love in the past 8 months.
"Party at my house" Maddie said Friday afternoon as I picked the girls up at school. Ok, not exactly but somehow she managed to invite 4 girls over for a playdate. It was a really nice day so they all played outside and had a blast.
On Saturday the girls had two parties to go to. First at the neighbors house, their friend Toni turned 6 and her sister Izzy turned 3 so they had a combined birthday party. They ate pizza and cake and played. Later that afternoon they went to a bowling party to celebrate another neighbor, Nick - who is also a classmate to Lily, so that meant more pizza and cake.
Here's a picture of them all dressed up. Maddie wanted me to curl her hair with the curling iron and I did my best. She has my hair and it's thick and really hard to style, she liked how it turned out though.
In one week the boys turn 1 year old! I can't believe a year has already gone by, they are getting so big!
A year ago I was 34 weeks pregnant, this is the last picture we took of me a few days before the birth. I was huge! ;).
Considering the circumstances and despite the fact that it was hard to sleep and get comfortable I was feeling pretty good and I was totally convinced I was going to make it past my goal of 36 weeks. In fact, I was so sure that I had not even packed my bags. I had a bag sitting on the floor in my bedroom with just a few items in it. I should have learned my lesson from when Lily was born, she arrived at 39 weeks and I was so convinced I would go past my due date, like I did with Maddie, that nothing was packed when I went into labor.
The boys decided to enter the world at 34weeks 6days, a little early but after a somewhat rough first few days they did really well. I just realized that I haven't finnished writing down their birth story and I'm planning to do that this week and I will post it here for anyone who wants to read about it. Another reason I will post it is that I'm planning to order a blog book one day, I think that will be really neat, and I want the story in the book.
We're not planning a big party for the boys. We will keep it small with cake and some presents. I'm gonna have to figure out what kind of cake to make that does not contain butter or milk.
Maddie's birthday is 3 days after the boys, she turns 8 years old! That's even more unbelievable...our baby is 8! She will be having a small party at home this year and she's very excited.
for now. When I put the boys down for their nap this morning Lucas went right to work on his chewing. I watched him on the monitor and went in every time he started to chew to make him stop. I gave him some toys to chew on but that only distracted him for a minute or so. Finally I had to wrap the whole crib in sheets.
That was a very temporary fix so after lunch we went to babies r'us to buy a pack'n play as temporary solution #2. I'm hoping that maybe if we keep him in the pack'n play for awhile he'll forget about the chewing. After coming home both boys checked out the pack'n play and gave their approval. They found it pretty fun to bounce in it. At bedtime I think Lucas was a little confused and it took him much longer than usual to go to sleep...my sweet boy.
Lucas can not stop chewing on his crib, I don't know what to do. When he first started this last week we tied blankets around the top and bottom end, the sides has plastic guards on them so he can't do too much damage there. Well, today he decided that if he can't chew on the bottom or top rail he'll just chew on the bars. He gets down on all fours, twists his head and chews. What's up with that kid? The boys have tons of chew toys but basically chew on every toy they have. All day long they go from chewing on one toy to another. You'd think he gets enough chewing from that.
This is what his crib looks like with the blankets tied around the ends. Notice his "I didn't do it" expression...too cute ;).
Here's another "I didn't do it" look. Notice the marks on the bars.
Once every week Michael is working we have "girls night" at our house. When the boys get older I guess it will be called "mom and kids night". On that night we watch a movie together and the girls cuddle up with me in my bed. Yesterday we watched "Night at the museum"(we've seen it before but it's a good movie) and since Michael had left his laptop at home we watched it on the computer in bed. The girls fell asleep like this.
Right before going to bed I noticed I have a couple blocked milk ducts. I'm not in pain right now and I only noticed the lumps because of the redness. From previous experience I know that this is not to be taken lightly, mastitis is horrible, and rest is the key to get better. So I cancelled our playgroup plans for today and when the boys took a nap this morning I slept too. The rest of the day I'm planning to not do more than neccesary and hopefully this does not progress to anything worse.
Two posts in one day, I know that's unusual ;). I just wanted to post some pictures I took this afternoon as we (the kids and I) went for a walk in the neighborhood. Michael left his computer at home this week, which means I will be able to do more blog posts and other things :).
This past week we've been working hard on cleaning out the house, maybe not so much cleaning as going through things and organizing. This house is rapidly becoming very small and we're feeling it. Square footage wise it's not too bad but it's only 3 bedrooms, the boys room is actually an office and does not have a closet which is a huge problem. Other than the closets in the 3 bedrooms there's only one small linen closet which we actually use as a craft closet, storing coloring books, crayons, play doh as well as games and puzzles. Everything else gets stored in the master bedroom closet or in the garage. The house in general is not very well planned out with a lot of waste of space in different areas. This week we've separated things that can be thrown away, donated and sold. We've got lots of baby things that I'm getting ready to sell.
We've been planning to put the house up for sale in the spring 2010 but are actually thinking about doing it this year already.We can't afford to buy a new house so it may seem crazy but facts are, this house is too small, it's getting to a point where we're putting a lot of money into it, the value of the house won't really increase much (if anything) in a year, our hopes of Michael upgrading before next year looks bleek so we won't be financially better off next year than what we are now. Selling the house seems to be the best option for us right now, that way we can pay off some of our debt and rent a place where we are not financially responsible for the upkeep. We would love to leave Texas, we're leaning towards moving to Colorado....eventually. If we do sell the house this year though (which may not even be possible considering the economy and the housing market at the moment) we may just rent a place here in the area because after all living here is cheap. We have some big decisions ahead of us and in the meantime we're trying to get the house in good shape.
On a side note, the other day we received an e-mail from our homeowners association letting us now that a home in our neighborhood was burglarized this past Wednesday morning. The homeowner and her dog was home at the time and surprised the burglar who decided to run, kind of scary! This is most likely an isolated incident as the neighborhood we live in is considered very safe but per recommendation from the homeowners association we've made sure to lock our gate leading out to the alley. I'm also making sure we keep all doors locked and blinds closed (at night). We did not tell Maddie and Lily about this as they get easily scared about this sort of stuff, I didn't see the need for them to know. Well, this afternoon they played with the neighbors kid and the first thing they said after coming in at night is "Mom, did you know there's a burglar in town!?". Great ;)! I'm having company in bed tonight.
We've been giving the boys more time to explore around the house lately. With Michael home it's much easier since we're two to watch them. Here are some pictures from this weekend.
Yesterday we finally found the perfect gate for the hallway to the girls bedrooms and bathroom.
Lucas is wondering when lunch is ready.
Checking out the Christmas stuff in the box and watching the girls playing in the hallway.
Michael changing Lucas, Jacob looks so small next to Michael ;).
Jacob is such a good cruiser by now. He walks around the house just holding on to the walls. You can just see how he is thinking about letting go but is just quite not ready for it. It won't be long!
Lucas has decided to chew up his crib, literally. The side rails have plastic guards on them so he can't do much damage there but the bottom and top rail does not have this. Yesterday he had a hard time going down for his nap and decided to chew on the bottom rail, it's totally destroyed. We didn't notice until afterwards. There's wood missing and the color is totally scraped off. Great! I don't care too much about the crib but the darn thing is most likely made in China so who knows what kind of chemicals is in it, either way it can't be good for him to eat. For now we've tied a blanket over that end until we figure something else out.
Monday morning we woke up to freezing temperatures and rain, I was so hoping that school would be cancelled so we could get an extra day off and cuddle up inside. But no no, I guess the ground was warm enough that the rain did not freeze because it was not slippery at all. The rain froze everywhere else though, the grass, trees, cars that were sitting outside and our garbage cans etc were all covered in ice. It stayed cold all the day so when the girls came home they went out to play with the icicles
The day before, on Sunday, we put new batteries in a Winnie the pooh ride on toy that a friend gave to me after her little boy got too big for it. The boys have always liked playing with it, although they're not big enough to ride it yet, but with batteries it got even more fun. The girls realized that it's also a bubblemachine and will blow bubbles when you push a special button.
And here's the second part of the story. Lily had been give some voluntary homework over winter break and anyone who finnished it would get to pick something out of the treasure chest at school. The treasure chest is full of fun rewards for the kids that they sometimes get to pick from when they are being extra good or have been working extra hard. So Lily had finished all her homework and brought it back to school on Monday and consequently got to pick something.
Our sweet girl picked a bottle of soap bubbles for her brothers! She is such a caring, thoughtful litte girl. After that I just had to let them blow bubbles inside, it was too cold to go outside, even though I normally don't let them since it makes the floor wet and sticky. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture but all four of the kids had fun with it.
We've enjoyed some gorgeous weather in the past few days, what a nice start to a new year! Today we've had about 25C and sun. After dropping off Michael at the airport (yes,he's back to work after 3 wonderful weeks off) I took the kids to the park. Maddie and Lily had been asking to have a playdate but I decided we'd do something together instead. Turns out lots of their friends were at the park as well so the girls were happy. I didn't bring the camera today but we did take some pictures yesterday as we all went to a different park that we've never been to before.
Lucas fell asleep with a toy in his mouth.
Jacob walking with daddy.
Maddie going down the slide with Jacob.
The camera ran out of battery power so we didn't get many pictures.
Tomorrow it's going to be cooler and windy but by the middle of next week we are supposedly getting more of this warm and sunny weather.
Last night we decided to pack away the Christmas decorations and to throw out the tree. The Christmas tree was still holding up pretty good but we were ready to get it out. It feels good to get the house all clean and fresh for the new year.
Oh, and maybe you noticed that the girls got their hair cut. Maybe you can't tell from the picture of Maddie but you can see what Lily looks like. I cut it myself and I'm pretty proud of it. I was cutting Michaels hair as I always do (money saving ;) ) when the girls asked me if I could cut theirs too. I haven't been brave enough to try since they were little but I decided to go for it. Both of them wanted to cut it to chin length so I chopped it all off and it turned out great!
We had a very nice New Years eve just the six of us at home, two of us were sleeping though. We ate fondue with oil and chocolate fondue for dessert. We played the Wii and perquackey with the kids. Perquackey is a really fun game that Eva got us when she was here. It's a dice game with letters, you roll the dice and try to spell as many words you can with the letters you roll. The girls are really good at it! Now that they are older we can play family games that are actually fun for all of us. I don't particularly enjoy playing candyland or chutes and ladders etc so this is great. The girls stayed up till midnight and we all watched the ball drop on TV and made a toast with champagne, soda for the kids.
We're looking forward to a fun, exciting new year...2009!