Sunday, November 25, 2007

You'll have to excuse me and my sentimental ramblings, er, journaling...

At this time last year, I was preparing for the end of the world. Armageddon, if you will. The Apocalypse. You see, I had never had twins before and so I had no idea what to expect. I made lists and lists of things that I would need to live off of for the next year, as I would surely not be going grocery shopping ever again. I bought obscene amounts of toilet paper and paper towels and macaroni and cheese. I made sure to get the house decorated for Christmas the second we finished our pumpkin pie because I had so much uncertainty about what my life would become in the near future. I was thinking about my state of mind at that time recently, and I just couldn't think of any other time that I have felt that way. I always have things to do, whether it's things I need to do or should do, but I have never felt such an urgency in my life as I did during that pregnancy.

It was even more surprising when the girls arrived even earlier than I had expected. I went to my scheduled ultrasound the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and we discovered that there was some twin to twin transfusion occurring. Everybody's reaction went from "Oh, aren't you just the poster child for twin pregnancy?!" to "OK, it looks like these girls need to come out come out ASAP!" I went to my doctor that afternoon and we scheduled my inducement for Thursday. He said he'd prefer to avoid Wednesday because it was his anniversary.

"Sorry about your anniversary..." were my first words to my doctor when I saw him at the hospital the next morning. I had awakened at around 6 am feeling extremely uncomfortable, even on top of my carpal tunnel syndrome and case of the "crazy itchies." I decided to just kind of ignore it and when that didn't work, I got up and decided to take a shower. I came out of the shower saying, "Ben, we should probably get the kids out of bed and get them a very quick breakfast." I was trying to remain calm, while at the same time acknowledging the fact that those spurts of time between contractions were not getting any longer. We dropped off the kids at my amazing neighbor's house, who answered the phone at 7 am like she had been waiting by it for our call.

The rest is just your typical labor and delivery story, except this time I asked for more drugs and I had to deliver in the freezing cold OR with twenty people looking on. The extra drugs were as a result of my delivering Ethan, after the epidural had long worn off, to a nurse, because no doctor was yet present. My anesthesiologist this time around told me after I asked for more of the good stuff, "You're not going to be able to push." To which I replied, "Oh, you better believe I will." I'm sort of a champion pusher. Maybe it's even my special talent. As for my fears of there being no doctor this time? The good thing about having twins is that nobody messes around. The experts bring in "people" who, in turn, bring in their "people." At least that's how it seemed to drugged-up me. Luckily, I was able to deliver them the old-fashioned way, and yes, I probably pushed a total of five times for both. Take that, guy! Lucy was out at 11:49 and three minutes later, after a very red Lane emerged at 11:52, it was all over. (Except for the part where the respiratory specialist started pounding on Laney's chest to get her to breathe, but that turned out OK as well.)

My girls, born four and a half weeks early, were "amazingly healthy" for preemie twins, as everyone in the Level 2 Nursery where they spent their first week commented. Going home from the hospital without my babies was the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. However, I have never been so grateful as I was to those nurses who took care of my girls 24 hours a day. I would sit in there and listen to a nurse calling people to get shifts covered, and I realized that if these women (and one man) didn't show up for work, my babies would not live. I owed them the lives of my children, literally. I loved being behind the scenes and seeing how the nurses would joke about certain pediatricians who were "all business" and how they would give so much love and attention to each and every infant in that room. It was a glorious place. Laney got to go home one week after she was born, and little Lucy made it to her benchmark birth weight of 4 lbs. the next day, not wanting to be left behind. The nurse assigned to Lucy on the day she went home even teared up a little as we were getting her ready to go, admitting that she had gotten somewhat attached to her in the past 24 hours.

Once the girls were home, I worried that they were not staying warm enough. They had to try and maintain a temperature of at least 97 degrees. Usually, parents worry about their child being too hot--this was my first experience with it the other way around. Because of the twin to twin transfusion syndrome, and because of their difference in size, it was easy to tell them apart. Lucy was the little white baby, and Lane was the big red one:

I lived in constant fear of illness those first few months. As my doctor lobbied to get my girls the RSV vaccination ("A common cold for your kids means three weeks in the hospital for the babies," she warned me), I strategically placed hand sanitizer all over my house and turned into a germ Nazi. I didn't take them out of the house until March, except for doctor's appointments. Oh yeah, and brief car trips for sustenance.The nights were hard, but most of the time, I truly felt like I had been invited to a party that was going strong 24-7 with no end in sight. It was just such an honor and privilege to be around these amazing, tiny human beings. They were, and still are, awesome little people.

They will be one on Thursday, and so this week is a celebration. Of surviving a year. Of being a part of a world-wide "twin society" and loving every minute of it. Of the unexpected surprise that it has not been as hard as I had feared. Of knowing that the best years are sure to come. Of being able to buy the cutest coordinating clothes and having good cause. Of having the best family and friends that any mom could hope for. Of having two older children who adore their sisters and help out every day. Of only 6 months until Nursery! (I age three years every week at church. By the time they are 18 months, I will be an 80-year old woman...)

Happy Birthday, my angels! Thank you for always keeping the "party" going!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Flyin' SOLO, Take 2

I did it again. I up and left my entire family, the whole kit-n-caboodle, last Friday night for a whirwind trip to Boston. Why, you might ask? To torture my husband? Of course not!! Well...maybe just a little. He is gone A LOT. Just ask our sad un-cleaned-out garage. But that wasn't the main reason.

The main reason was:

OK, so to be fair, there were two other guys involved. We're talking about the Police, people! At this point, some of you are not at all excited about this. My mother-in-law said "Hmm, I've never heard of that group..." Well, you must know that I was raised on the Police. They provided the soundtrack for many a family road trip. I remember, as if it was yesterday, reading Roald Dahl's "George's Marvelous Medicine" to Sting's album The Dream of the Blue Turtles. (Not the Police, but still that same glorious singing voice, etched permanently in my brain) That book and those songs complemented each other very well, in the opinion of my eight-year old self. In junior high, in Chicago, I went to a party and someone got The Police: Greatest Hits CD as a gift. We listened to it and I felt so cool listening to music at a party. I also felt cool for knowing every song on there! And "Every Breath you Take" is still my number one pick for most haunting song EVER.

So back to my weekend. I drove myself to the airport on Friday night after putting all the kids to bed. I was a little nervous because this is the first time I have flown since they have implemented all of the liquid restrictions. I anxiously re-examined my one-quart bag with all of my precious less-than-3-oz. toiletries. I scoffed at someone in the line holding a gallon-size ziploc bag. Well, so maybe scoffing isn't my thing, but I got really worried for them. Luckily, getting through security at 10:30 pm is not all that bad, although I was surprised when they asked me to remove my cardigan sweater. I was wearing a turtleneck underneath, but what if it had been a tank top? I was horrified at the thought. (I'm sure many of you can imagine why...) What would they do to me if I said no? I tried not to think about it too much as I went to the gate.

My stay in Boston was brief, but memorable. I got to see the play my mom had directed about Robin Hood, I got to meet my brother's girlfriend, Meg, who is super-cool and super-smart. I also saw my awesome friend from BYU, Christina Davis. We graduated in Acting together and I miss her!

We made time for this special place:

This store rocks. You need to go there if you are ever in a city where there is one. And I got the cutest pink and brown plaid dress coats for the girls that you have ever seen! I am actually glad that I don't live near one because it would destroy me financially.

Brinna, Aydan and I made time to take ridiculous pictures of ourselves:

Isn't Brinna beautiful? (BTW, I'm going to start calling my blog a brag, and instead of blogging, I will be bragging, because that's what it is in this post, let's be honest...Although I was sure to put some not so lovely pics of us as well--look at Brinny in the background of Aydan's pic--ha!)

We ate dinner at Red Bones, where Clayton and Meg both work (Meg is the lovely brunette girl on Clayton's right):

See? Not pretty, but I love dining pictures, because that is where I am in my element! Bring on the food!

And of course, the concert! For another account of the concert, read my mom's account here. We were bummed because we didn't bring our cameras but they didn't even check and we were in the 10th row! (On the side, but still!) So I took this pic with my camera phone. My mom is looking up at Sting on the monitor above us, or rather looking at his biceps, which were not small. (I am so not attracted to him...)

For those who want to know, here is the setlist:

Message in a Bottle
Synchronicity II
Walking On The Moon
Voices Inside My Head
When The World Is Running Down
Don't Stand So Close To Me
Driven To Tears
Truth Hits Everybody
Hole In My Life
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Wrapped Around Your Finger
De Do Do Do De Da Da Da
Invisible Sun
Walking In Your Footsteps
Can't Stand Losing You
King Of Pain
So Lonely
Every Breath You Take
Next To You

I know what you're thinking. No Roxanne? It WAS strange, considering every time that I've gone to see Sting solo, HE sings it. Here is one of many videos I took with my phone, but I only had 15 seconds a pop, and so this is my favorite:

In conclusion, this trip would not have been remotely possible without the help of Clayton, Ben, Heather, and Lisa. Clayton bought my mom the tickets. He is my hero. Heather is my friend Jenny's sister and she watched the kids so Ben could go to the library. Lisa talked me into going after I had decided it was silly, and I didn't feel TOO bad about her volunteering to watch three of my kids for one morning because she had a concert experience of her own that very weekend. Read about it here. It's a good one! Ben is a trooper as well. Lucy threw up numerous times on Saturday night and I felt horrible! I abandoned my children, and so they got sick. But don't worry, I got major payback after I arrived home. Within ONE hour of my return, Ethan threw up all over his bed. And eight times after that. Then when he finished, Mila started. Nothing like jumping back into the trenches to make you feel at home!

Finally, this is for you, Mom:

Thanks for a great weekend!

Friday, November 09, 2007

My Faithful Steed

I took this picture in October because my car looked so happy under that tree. Then, I just read this and it inspired me to give credit where credit is due. Make fun of me all you want. The truth is, I love this car and could not function properly without it. Here's to you, Minivan!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

It needs to be said

Dear Laundry,

I officially declare war on you. You are trying to take over my house. You and your piles. Well, I am sick of the piles! There are piles of folded clothes that are clean, piles of unfolded clean clothes, piles of "for sure" dirty clothes, piles of clothes that might be dirty, and then piles that I have no idea where they came from or what they are. Enough is enough! I will drown in your filth (and possible filth)if I do not take action now. So here's my plan. If you are on the floor, you will go into the washing machine, no questions asked. I do not have the time or the energy to spend half my life smelling crotches and armpits. I don't care if I will be wasting water and detergent. It is a price I am willing to pay. I might have to put away more clean clothes, but if my only pile is a ginormous clean one, then at least I can contain it in one area and there is no mystery. I love suspense and surprises, but in a good book or movie, NOT from a urine-stained pair of jeans, thank you very much.


The Queen of the House

Sunday, November 04, 2007

What else to do at the crack of dawn?

Thanks to lovely Daylight Savings, it is 5:45 and I have already been up for an hour. The girls are happy and awake and crawling around playing while the rest of the world is celebrating an extra hour of sleep. Well, good for you, world. For some of us, it just means we get one more hour we have to somehow stay awake until church at one. Awesome. So, since I'm awake and so happy and chipper, I thought I'd better post some Halloween pics! I wish I could say that Halloween went by in a flash--but it was a really long day! After running around from one place to the next, I had to crash at 9:30. No late night haunting for this girl. But good times were had by all, so it was totally worth it. (Speaking of crashing, I am so going back to bed right now)

Halloween Party at the Law School (it was a rager--I ate four frosted sugar cookies--I just kept going back, saying they were for my kids--oops!)

Mila (Winnie Witch) and the director of her Halloween play, "A School for Scaring"

Mila at her class party

Quite the motley crew: a Ninja, Scooby, Little Bo Peep, and Batgirl (Scooby's sad because he wants more Tootsie Rolls)

Who knew that 2 roomates at BYU could have 7 kids between them in 10 years?

Sweet Sheep

Little Bo Peep found her sheep, and one was a little grumpy

The whole gang