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Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

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Christmas

Christmas with Toddlers (Part 2)

Life with toddlers seems to mean that you plan to not have a plan.

I planned to fully decorate the house, but of course that didn’t happen. At least we got the tree up, so I figure that counts for something.

The twins were definitely more interested in Christmas this year than last year but they are still more into doing their own thing. Next year I think they’ll start REALLY getting it, but that isn’t to say this year wasn’t fun – it was “we have toddlers” (not meant as a complaint) fun.

It wasn’t entirely their fault but the presents sat unopened under the tree until nearly 4:00. I’d had the gate blocking the room so they couldn’t get to the tree but decided to unblock it for the day and let them explore.

I thought they might be excited to rip open some paper this year, but alas we still ended up doing the majority of the unwrapping. Miles, actually, had a totally different idea of what he wanted to do:

My parents got them this super cute set of radio flyer bike/riding toys, and I imagined they’d hop on an take a joy ride. Nope.

Miles says I'll sit on it, but that's it.  Abby says nope, I'll play with this ball
Miles says I’ll sit on it, but that’s it.
Abby says nope, I’ll play with this ball

Miles did get a kick out of the new car track and toy vacuum for a few minutes.  Abby, a girl taking after my own heart, just wanted to eat chocolate.

Vroom vroom
Vroom vroom
I got this mess
I got this mess. Note the chocolate on Abby’s face.

We did manage to get a decent family picture, as decent as two toddlers will allow 🙂

Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!

The hit of the evening though was the sandbox new ball pit. It really was MEANT to be a sandbox for the back yard but since ball pit #1 and #2 both deflated I threw the ball pit balls in there instead and you’d have thought we threw a million dollars in there. 5 or 6 NEW toys completely discarded in favor of a turtle full of plastic balls. Maybe we should have just given them cardboard boxes 🙂

IMG_0784

They even got a little upset when we closed it

Probably not winning mom of the year for that video, but it makes me laugh.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Life With Twins – Weeks 32 & 33

Things were kinda crazy with holiday prep/family visiting so we have another two week combo post.

Miles pops out not only tooth number 2, but also number 3. Miss Abby still shows no signs of teething, however she is starting to kinda-sorta crawl, which basically means she picks a knee up and worms her way up an inch or two, and then somehow spins herself around in a circle. We are starting to see some preferences for toys – Miles really likes what I call his “weeble wobble” toy and the toy mailbox. In fact, any time I close the mailbox door, he reaches and opens it. Abby, quite stereotypically, seems to favor the phone. She also seems to have an affinity for music. We took them to church and she watched our mouths intently. During Christmas Eve service she decided to try it out for herself and bellowed a 4th verse to “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” that went something like “ahhhhh ahhhhh ahhhh!!!!”

Each week they become more interactive with each other. Miles grabbed a toy out of Abby’s hand and this time it made her cry. Later, while playing with the border of their alphabet mat, Miles made another attempt and Abby simply switched the piece over to her other hand. The mat boarder became a source of much entertainment this week  –  My dad gently tapped Miles in the face with it and he giggled hysterically. We also introduced bubbles and it made Miles so excited he appeared to hyperventilate.

Of course the most significant thing this week was the babies’ first Christmas. They are obviously a bit too young to really enjoy it so this year was more for the adults. We dressed them up in Christmas jammies, cute Christmas outfits, watched them “open presents” (aka eat the paper) and had another family dinner that they enjoyed much more this time around.

On my end, it appears that I’ve managed to injure myself yet again. *sigh* I’m still limping after this weekends’ long run from pain in my hip/rear. Here’s hoping its nothing major and something I can prevent happening again with some more frequent core and hip strength/flexibility stuff.

Pic overload time!

  • We do some last minute shopping with mom
We goin' shoppin
We goin’ shoppin
  • We have nakie baby play time
The first rule of nakie baby play time? Don't talk about nakie baby play time
The first rule of nakie baby play time? Don’t talk about nakie baby play time
  • Abby is all smiles for grandpa
I love Grandpa Santa
I love Grandpa Santa
  • They pose in their Christmas outfits, because really, we don’t give them a choice
Ho ho hope you think we're cute
Ho ho hope you think we’re cute
  • The stealing begins early
Gimmie that bow
Gimmie that bow
  • Family photos required, of course.
Mom, this is NOT comfortable
Mom, this is NOT comfortable
This was the best of several attempts
This was the best of several attempts
  • We open Christmas presents
Oooh paper. I can eat this?
Oooh paper. I can eat this?
Opening presents in our Christmas jams
Opening presents in our Christmas jams
  • We take our first bath together
What?
What?
Ooooo. Water
Ooooo. Water
  • Miles takes his teething out on my sweatshirt
Nom nom nom
Nom nom nom
  • And he lets me know how he REALLY feels about my driving
I sleep holding onto my "oh sh*t" handles
I sleep holding onto my “oh sh*t” handles

Good Morning Christmas

I don’t set an alarm anymore. It isn’t exactly necessary.

I think the babies are going through a developmental spurt and some separation anxiety so sleep has been a bit fitful for them recently. My boy alarm woke me up at 530 this morning. Bryan had gone downstairs so I got him, brought him into bed with me, fed him (the baby, not Bryan) and left him there to snuggle. It’s hard for me to go back to sleep after being awakened if its closer to morning so while I waited and hoped Miles would drift back off to sleep for a couple more hours I laid there in the dark thinking about Christmas.

I thought about Christmas last year, 18 weeks pregnant, both excited at the prospect of motherhood and nervous about the health of the babies, hoping they would stay put and be born healthy and hopefully full term. I thought about our “special gift” to my parents where we revealed the genders.

IMG_1608Miles stirred. I turned around and pulled him a little closer to me. I placed my finger in his small hand. He, in response, giggled in his sleep. I smiled.

I thought of two Christmases ago, waking up to the start of yet another new cycle and how all I wanted to do was get the day over with, avoiding all the Facebook updates with pictures of families. I wrote a post a few weeks ago about I think Christmas will always be laced with both sad and happy memories and as I finally drifted back to sleep, my hand in my sons’, I felt as I expected – both sad and at peace.

Merry Christmas from the Powers'
Merry Christmas from the Powers’

Merry Christmas to all, and to all still trying – to all remembering their angels, I will always be here hoping and remembering with you.

Life With Twins – Week 31

After the last couple weeks of excitement this one seems a bit lame. The biggest thing the babies are doing is they have both discovered their feet. Miles actually did a couple weeks ago and I forgot to mention it. Abby started up this week. Miles has a second tooth that is REALLY close to making its way through, and let me tell you, for a teething baby he is in a really good mood! He has also discovered the apparent wonder that is the iPhone charging cord. I don’t get it either.

Event wise they turned 7 months (sheesh), had their first visit with Santa (which was Bryan dressed as Santa), visited with their Florida grandparents and started eating more pieces of chewable food. Abby tried her first Candy Cane and was NOT happy when I ate it.

I was finally able to run my comeback half marathon, made even a little bit more special because its was the same day the babies turned 7 months old.

Picture time!

  • Miles decides he’s done with toys
Who needs cool light up toys when I can play with moms phone cord?
Who needs cool light up toys when I can play with moms phone cord?
  • We turn 7 months old
The shirts still fit!
The shirts still fit!
  • We pose with Grandma and Grandpa in front of the Christmas tree, complete with cute Christmasy outfits
Smile!
Smile!
  • We get into the Christmas spirit
ho ho ho
ho ho ho
Why does mom insist on taking pictures of us in stupid matchy matchy outfits?
Why does mom insist on taking pictures of us in stupid matchy matchy outfits?
  • We hang out with daddy Santa
Santa is our daddy!
Santa is our daddy!
  • And follow along while he waves in a parade
Straight from the North Pole!
Straight from the North Pole!
  • And then gnaw on some candy while pictures are taken
The wrapper is still on, in case you were wondering
The wrapper is still on, in case you were wondering
  • Merry Christmas!
A bit of a  different family photo
A bit of a different family photo

Memories and Outtakes

Ah, the holidays. The time of the year where trees are trimmed, dinners are good, presents wrapped and families gather together in attempt to get a family photo. A fairly easy feat as couple, a bit easier with older kids, and near impossible with infants.

Every year we get Christmas cards with the traditional holiday photo, and while I enjoy those I have to say that recently I enjoy the ones that are out of the ordinary a bit more.

Last years nice Christmas photo
Last years nice Christmas photo
What is actually my favorite family photo
What is actually my favorite family photo

I don’t typically send out holiday cards, photo or otherwise, because I am such a procrastinator that no one would get them until June, and who knows what kind of amateur picture we will end up with in front of our tree this year. I imagine they will end up more like these:

And these are just the babies - no parents!
And these are just the babies – no parents!

If we were going to attempt some kind of professional picture, or if you’re currently wondering how to pose your own pictures, you should check out this link. There are some seriously cute ideas. Should you choose any like this I’d love to see them!

Happy holiday photo shooting!

O Christmas Tree

Sunday during a brief “break” in the weekend, I brought the twins into the living room with me and started hanging ornaments on the Christmas Tree. I picked a Christmas station on iTunes radio and filled the green branches with bulbs, snowflakes and crazy characters while Miles sat in the bouncy seat and Abby bounced in the bouncer (aka “command center”). I had hoped to get all the ornaments up but instead I stopped about 75% of the way through, no longer feeling the same excitement and motivation. I walked away, leaving it unfinished.

Through all the months of infertility, one of the things I dreaded most was the holidays. Christmas was of particular significance when Bryan and I had a talk about how it was affecting me and what our future plans would be. On the other hand,  one of the things I most looked forward to when our cycle was a success was celebrating these holidays I once dreaded. As the days tick over from November to December, the excitement mixes with some sadness attached to memories of the previous holidays.

It honestly seemed silly at first and I was surprised and even irritated at myself because I finally have the family I dreamed about and yet I still carry the sadness with me. As someone who has much more patience with others than I do myself, I tend to view my own reactions with a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality. I have to remember, though, that these feelings and memories can’t just be turned off like a light switch. The journey that brought us where we are now will always be a part of me.I’m not going to simply forget how hard it was for me or how hard it is for the others I know still trying.  When I look at the Christmas Tree this year, and maybe for many years to come, I will likely feel both joyful and sorrowful. At each Christmas as I watch the twins open gifts I will both celebrate our wonderful family and remember the mountains we climbed to get there. I will embrace the mixture of joy and pain.

Now, it’s time to go finish the tree.

A Christmas Surprise

We cheated.

This is a pretty smart idea
This is a pretty smart idea

Image source

After a Google search early on the in the pregnancy I discovered that there was a local place that specifically does extra ultrasounds….and claimed they could figure out the sex as early as 16 weeks. Not only did I really want to know what we were having, but we also hadn’t seen the babies since the 8 week ultrasound when the babies were the size of gummy bears. I couldn’t resist. I just couldn’t. Plus, this would give the opportunity to reveal the sexes to my parents on Christmas. I had originally planned to schedule it right before we left, around 17+2, but when I called the lady told me more often that not with twins one doesn’t cooperate and so you’ll have to go back. (If they can’t figure it out the first time they’ll do another for free within 14 days) So we actually scheduled it for 16+2, just in case.

The business, called See Me 3D, was a mere 10 minutes away and operated out of an old house. Basically it was a little waiting area and then a larger room with a ultrasound machine that projected onto a large TV on the wall. The entire thing was recorded onto a DVD set to classical music, and included 2d and 3d images. I’d always thought 3d ultrasounds looked a little on the creepy side, and actually still do, but when its your baby/babies up there, its much more miraculous than creepy.

As instructed I consumed my coffee (caffeine to help them be movers) and felt appropriately hyped up and hopped up on the table. The lovely cold goo was squeezed onto my stomach – my first ever non dildo wand ultrasound.

Wow.

The babies – they looked like babies. Like little humans. With arms and legs, noses and eyes. I was mesmorised by the bones, the spine, the fact that I could see two brain hemispheres. It was just about the coolest thing ever. In fact I kept commenting on how cool it was that  I could see all of that. And they were moving.

They didn’t cooperate well at first. One had legs crossed and the other with a hand over the money shot. After about 10 minutes she had me get up to pee and try again, saying sometimes it’ll create a little more room.

It worked.

We saw Baby A first. A boy.

Baby B took a bit more wriggling. But in the end she finally gave up too. A girl.

A boy and a girl.

Bubbles and Squishy are a boy and a girl.

How perfect.

Yay one of each!
Yay one of each!

Later on we bought the two bears seen above- Bryan made the tags. We wrapped them up and gave them to my parents to unwrap at Christmas. My mom was totally surprised. My dad said he suspected we might, as apparently one of us mentioned having some sort of special present to open. Considering I barely managed to keep my mouth shut for the week and a half beforehand, I’m surprised neither of us said anything more.

Best Christmas Ever.

 

Christmas Recap and the Rudolph-mobile

After my successful 20 mile run on Christmas Eve (woot woot!), we all just kind of relaxed the rest of the day. We attended a Christmas Eve service, and came back and took a few pictures in front of the tree. This one is my personal favorite:

I’ve been calling it “Family Portrait 2011”.

Despite my protests that I really WAS good this year and my many promises to be nice next year, Santa denied my Christmas present request by sending Aunt Flo to greet me first thing Christmas morning. Thanks for that one. Unfortunately, Bryan also apparently caught the bug I had the previous Thursday with the added twist of nausea and vomiting, so spent most of the day sleeping. If it weren’t for at least having my family around, some fun gifts and a yummy dinner, I would have declared Christmas Day itself a total fail.

Although I declared not long ago that we would be waiting until my 30th birthday to proceed with IVF, this latest disappointment has me re- thinking that decision. I’m still not entirely sure what the plan is, but  I have put a call into the RE’s office asking for some info on the procedure and if there is anything we can do to help lower the cost, payment plans etc. I’m just over the roller coaster ride.

The  day after Christmas we squished 5 adults and 2 small dogs into 1 car and made our way to Pennsylvania to visit my grandfather (Pap) and aunt for the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aside from the cute lady who squealed with excitement every time we walked by with one of the dogs and the nursing home resident who threatened to cold cock Bryan at dinner (when I was the one who was talking), it was your pretty typical visit- gift exchange, food, lots of cookies, and then more time in the car. The really cool thing was when my aunt called a couple days later to tell us that he was really excited and talked about the visit after we left.

Tuesday I had plans to meet with my old college roommate, who I realized I actually hadn’t seen in five years. This is scary not only because it had been a really long time since I’d seen her, but also because this meant I graduated college more than 5 years ago. Yikes.

My car was not smiling at me this morning, and apparently decided to make my trip again more difficult. Even though the tire pressure had been checked and the tires had been filled since Saturday, the light was STILL ON. And I was late. Luckily, my sister was nice enough to lend me her car, which I appropriately nicknamed “The Roudolph Mobile”

I have a shiny nose

I picked her up, apologizing for the fact that we were two 30 year olds (actually, I’m 29) riding in the Roudolph Mobile, but hey at least we had a way to get somewhere. We caught up on about as much as you can after 5 years (the abridged version), walked around a couple stores, grabbed a coffee and headed back to her house.

Little did I know it, but soon it would be my time to shine.

Pulling out of the parking lot, I initially pulled into the left hand lane. She informed me that I would need to change lanes, but that I could wait until I passed the ridiculously slow moving car. Annoyed and glancing over at the old woman in the car next to me, I began to say “Good, because grandma almost got run over… (recalling the car I was in) by a reindeer”.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

I laughed at my own joke all the way back to her house.

Watch out, Grandma

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 Very pretty to admire, but honestly I’m was glad to drive away from it.

For anyone unfamiliar with the Iphone app Foursquare, you can “check in” to places to earn badges, and some stores you check into have specials. You can check into highways also, and without much else to do on a 12 hour ride, that is exactly what I did. My final check in before arriving back home was on Interstate 26…..what should be a fairly simple, innocent highway.

Uhh…..strip club? (Someone at the bottom had commented “Where are the boobies?”)

Well hey, at least the long drive ended with a bang.

😉

Ho Ho Humbug

I love holidays usually. And birthdays. My birthday typically involves my running around reminding everyone that my birthday is coming up and asking people to do things for me because its my “birthday week”.  I love buying Christmas presents (though I’m horrible at wrapping them) and the big dinners and parties and cookies.

Not this year. I am not into the holidays at all.

                                                                 (Thanks Pinterest)

I’m looking forward to seeing my family and visiting with friends I haven’t seen in awhile, but I don’t feel like decorating, I don’t care to make cookies, and parties? No thanks.

My Christmas spirit seems to have run away. Probably with my patience.

I feel like a Scrooge.

I guess it’s because, no matter how good I’ve been this year, Santa is probably not carrying a baby in his sleigh.

Bryan gets his results from his 4th SA on Wednesday. Hopefully Santa can at least bring me some good news.

 

 

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