Friday, January 29, 2010

January Goal- Success!

I completed my goal!!! For the four weeks of January that I had classes, I made my 3x/week gym goal or exceeded it!

Jan 3-9: 3 times
Jan 10-16: 4 times
Jan 17-23: 6 times (woo hoo!)
Jan 24-30: 4 times (estimated, since I did 3 this week already and have a class I plan to attend on Saturday morning)

So... I wanted to get to the gym 12 times in 4 weeks... I went (inc this coming Saturday) 17 times! That's 5 over goal!!! So, I earned my massage. So far, I'm sore but still happy to be going. Hopefully the same will be true in February. So far, my classes have all been strength training (pilates, yoga, a pilates-yoga-tai chi fusion), so my hope for February is to add in a cardio class a week. I take walks with the kids when weather permits but it is winter in Pennsylvania, so that's maybe once a week and usually only the quarter mile to the store and back. We shall see...

I think I will be emailing the spa for my hour and a half of relaxation! Yay!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Finding Her Smile

Guess who found her smile? Maya! I'll post pictures soon (we got a new camera and Peter hasnt uploaded the card yet, and I dont know how!). Now that she is smiling, she wants to flash it all the time! (Except, of course, when I'm trying to get a picture!)

I just changed the NASTIEST diaper from Bobby. I mean, it was EVERYWHERE. Included a clothing change and had to wipe him down from stomach/back to thighs. Fun times. And the smell... You get the picture...


Took the kids up to Bethlehem on Tuesday with my MIL. We stopped by and saw Dr Lee and our nurse and the staff. It was nice. We stopped by the Carter's that was just built and I got some cute little outfits from the clearance rack, then we went to lunch. We saw the cutest, elderly Sister as we were leaving. She came and looked at them and said a little prayer over them. Very sweet. We stopped by a huge Christian bookstore before we left, since Peter and I have been looking for English/Spanish storybooks for the kids and my MIL knew they had some. While I only got 2 storybooks and a children's bilingual Bible that were Sp/En, I did get a whole series of Catholic storybooks that talk about the Mass, saints, etc. All in all a busy, but nice, day.
What hasnt been so nice? The screwed up eating schedules... Bobby and Maya dont like to eat when we are out. We've had this happen with doctor's appointments and things, where they will only eat a little bit and then, when we get home, it usually takes the evening to get back on track. Well, Miss Maya decided she needed an extra day! Neither ate well on Tuesday but while Bobby got back to normal yesterday, Maya only ate 10oz for the day (instead of her normal 24oz). This morning, though, things seem to be back to normal and she's eating like her old self. But I was a tad freaked yesterday. She seemed to want to eat, but would push the bottle away. Today, takes her bottle like a champ, takes a nap, then plays with her toys on her bouncy. I'm planning to take them out tomorrow and I'm concerned about it playing haywire with her meals. We're going to see Aunt Sarah at work for lunch and then pick up PawPaw before coming home. (I have to pick up my dad anyway, and we are extending our trip out by an hour or so to see S)

In Christening news, I called the supermarket that is catering the Christening luncheon to check on the order. It went through (I placed it online and havent always had success with them getting it). Peter has taken the day before off to pick up dear Terri and her fam from the airport (cant wait!). The gown, shrug, and coat are clean and pressed. The bonnets arrived. Their post-Christening outfits are squared away. Prayer cards are ordered. And I just arranged for our house to be professionally cleaned on Tuesday, so that is one more thing I dont have to worry about! I still have to reorganize furniture on Friday in prep for the luncheon (put away the bassinet, add chairs, move our dining room furniture out so that we can use that room for socializing, etc) But, things are coming into place. I have odds and ends to do, which I'll try to take care of on Tuesday, since I plan on taking the kids out while the house in cleaned (an estimated 5 hours!).

Well, Stinky Butt :) just woke up from his nap, so...

Update on Nadya part 2

More Good News from Glenda!!!

I'm happy to report Nadya is at 2 pounds, 14 ounces & is holding her temperature well. Her feedings were dropped from continuous to 1.5 hrs on, 1.5 hrs off. Her isolette heat has been turned off & she has been dressed and wrapped in a blanket. Moving forward for 4 weeks old last night and 1 month old on Friday! Praising God!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Teething, Menfolk, and Other MindWarping Thoughts...

Oh Teething Goddess or Tooth Fairy or whomever is out there with teeth... If you could please give my little boy some pain relief by NOT having him grow more than one tooth at a time... Yeah, I'd appreciate it and I think he would too... (written after cuddling and comforting a crying Bobby for over an hour... Hey! He's now playing with Maya and feeling better! Thanks a lot!)


I was talking to Peter the other day, and the conversation turned to the yearly get together of mothers who have lost children. I was commenting that, perhaps, I'd try to get there at some point, since the east coast gathering is in NJ and we are so close. After some quiet time, Peter said, "What about the dads? When do they get together?"

And it struck me. They dont, do they? Is it because men dont always open up and talk about their grief? Is it because there is no one to organize it? If there was something organized, would men get together? What would they do? (Does it matter???)


My wrists still hurt. :( And I have a headache. :( Time to hit the Advil... Especially if I want to make yoga in 3 hours!


Peter's mom ironed the Christening gown today... So beautiful. I cant believe we are almost there... In other news, I ordered their baptismal cards from the same place I ordered Nick, Sophie, and Alex's memorial cards. It is a great company.
(I edited out the last names of the godparents, hence the lack of centering in those lines)

I really love the cards. They are lovely and perfect. I have to finalize the catering, get the house clean, but in less than 2 weeks... The last of the baby organizing is over. I cant believe it. Our next "big deal" would be going to TN in June! (any Nashville bloggers want to get together at Noshville's for a meal- email me and we can organize a date!)


Well, the bambinos are getting fussy (and probably hungry!)...
Edit: They werent hungry! Bobby was sleeping but Maya was, eyes closed, bopping all around and socking him! Thanks to their dear Aunt Terri for the sleep sheep. Turned on the rain sound and, within 60 seconds- NO JOKE- she was settled and they are both enjoying an afternoon nap!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Life I Might Have Had

This is the life I might have had 2 years ago.

I thought that, as I walked to the store. The rain stopped and I loaded Bobby and Maya up in the twin stroller, strapped my diaper bag to it, and headed out for the quarter mile walk through our neighborhood to the local market to pick up a few items that we couldnt buy at Whole Foods on Sunday. I passed by a mom of 7-year old twins that I'd run into on my last walk by her house and we chatted. She commented on how sweet Maya looked in her pink hat and how cute Bobby's cheeks were. I did my shopping, maneuvering the stroller down the isles, tossing in some A&D ointment to keep Maya's bum soft and clear and some baby oatmeal and rice cereals, then grabbing some snacks for mom and potatoes for tonight's dinner. I checked out, tossing my purchases in the bottom of the stroller and walking back into the brisk afternoon towards home.

And it hit me. This is the life I might have had 2 years ago.

But just as quickly, my mind retracted. No. It's not.

And it isnt.

Aside from the obvious that Bobby and Maya arent Nicholas and Sophia, and I'm sure their personalities would have been as different as they are from each other, it's more than that. Our dream had always been that I would quit my job and stay home. I know how lucky I am to be able to do that. While I would have done my best to stay home, I know that we would have struggled. And I dont know that I would have been able to not work.

I presume that, after a while, I would have had to have gone back to work, at least part time, probably nights and weekends. We had debt back then that we dont have now. While I didnt make a lot as a library manager, I did well enough that we ate out often, spent as we saw fit, and didnt struggle in our lifestyle. When I was out on maternity after Nicholas and Sophia, and then again after Alexander, we made ends meet but it was a huge help when I was bringing in a paycheck (as it is for most U.S. employers, our maternity was unpaid).

Now, I dont worry. Given, this month (our first with a real budget), we went way over with eating out and the unexpected trip to NY, but it's a headache, not a problem. We know we will have to do better and stick to our guns so that we dont end up with a problem, but it struck me, walking home, that the life I have today wouldnt be the life I would have had with Nicholas and Sophia. That life would have struggled more... Would have worried more...

Sometimes it just strikes me that, even though so many people think I am living a dream 2 years removed, in reality, I'm living a life so very different.

One Step Forward...

We are lucky enough to have a HUGE Whole Foods 15 minutes from us. It just opened and I've been there twice. I'm in love!!! To help with the high cholesterol, I decided to try some of the coconut milk alternatives, like creamer and ice cream. DELICIOUS!!! So tasty. I have enjoyed my morning coffee with a hazelnut coconut milk creamer- how did I drink coffee before you, So Delicious Non-Dairy Creamer? Hopefully small changes like this will make a difference.

Didnt make it to the gym yesterday but have Pilates tonight. Cant wait to get this week off to a good start.

Looks like the rain is dying away, so I think I'll take the kids for a walk to the grocery store.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Happy 14m Birthday, Alexander!

Fourteen months have flown by in an instance... Happy Birthday my sweet cuddlebug. We love you.

Friday, January 22, 2010

New and Improved? Or Maybe Not...

Back from my blogging vacation... Thanks for the sweet emails and comments. :)

About Anonymous comments... I don't want to disable this feature because there are plenty of lovely folks who dont want to leave their names- and that is okay. But, with the recent influx, I have decided, much to my dismay, to moderate and reject. In the past, while I've always moderated, I have published everything (unless specifically asked not to). Going forward, I am not going to publish anything nasty. For two reasons: one, I dont want to and two, I dont want to have comment "fighting" between folks. It's just not worth the animosity. Also, I've installed an analytics software to monitor where comments come from. I had refrained from doing this for a while, but several other bloggers emailed me and suggested it. Finally, I used to not respond to comments, unless folks linked an email or blog with their responses. I am going to start that back up. So, if you want a response to a question, email me or link yourself when you comment. I wont be using the comment forum as a platform for back-and-forth discussion.

Other reasons for taking a break...

  • I found that I was getting "glued" to my laptop and had been thinking, for a while, that I needed to unplug and just focus on the babies. Instead of working on certain special projects, like photo albums and Respect Life stuff, I was logging in, reading blogs, emailing a lot, etc. It was almost like bedrest 2.0. I love keeping up on people's lives, but I was stalking my RSS reader and responding at the drop of the post! I would hold babies and my computer! It was getting to be a little too much. So, I needed some time off. Forgive me if I am delayed by a few hours in commenting or returning email, but the last few days gave me a nice break and I think I'll keep my computer time to a set bit a day, rather than always being logged on. (And, the time really helped me finish up laundry, not to mention read several stories a day to the kids!!!)
  • Did I mention previously that my GP diagnosed my wrist pain as pregnancy induced tendinitis? It sucks. Apparently, I stressed my wrists out from holding the TOCOs in place for hours daily. My wrists bothered me the last few weeks in the hospital, but I thought it would get better after the twins were born. And it did. But recently, they've been hurting a lot. I asked my GP about it and she recommended a few weeks of ibuprofen to help with the pain and reduce the inflammation, plus a wrist guard. If that doesnt work, then I can try cortisone injections and, finally, surgery. I already will have to have knee surgery at some point in the (hopefully distant!) future (thank you, soccer and martial arts and 1999 car accident!); I'd like to avoid wrist surgery if I can. So... They still hurt, but I'm hoping the yoga and pilates will help strengthen them.
Speaking of the gym... Guess who kicked their 3-goal/week in the butt this week and has gone 5 times already! Tomorrow morning will make 6! I am so proud of myself! I havent noticed too much drop in the scale department but, as one commenter pointed out, I have noticed a difference in how my clothes fit. On top of it, though, I just love going. I have never been a gym person, but this time is different. I feel like it isnt just an investment in me, it's an investment in the kids. It has never been about being skinny or losing weight (although, that is nice!). It's been about wanting to be a healthy example for them. And I feel like I'm on my way there. (Although I did bake a delicious german chocolate cake last night...)

Today, my MIL and I took the kids to church for a special Rosary for the Unborn (today is the March for Life in Washington, DC; since we werent going down this year, we decided to host a Rosary with all 20 Mysteries in the main Church). Our parking lot was full with the cars from folks who took the bus down and we had a respectable 14 folks show up for the Rosary (we normally have 12-20 after Saturday Mass for the Rosary for the Unborn that we sponsor). The kids were great. My MIL held Maya and I held Bobby; they were quiet and looked around before we began, and then were quiet during the prayers. I'm not sure if it is because we take them to church and always have, and because we pray with them at home, but they sit through the hour Mass and the half hour Rosary with no issues at all. We'll see how the Christening goes when water is being poured over their heads!

Speaking of the Christening, I've gotten some emails from bloggers asking if it would be okay if they attended. If you're going to be in the Philly area, we'd love to have you. Shoot me an email and we can discuss. :)

Napping babies are waking... Thanks for abiding with me. :)

Update on Nadya

Update on Nadya from Glenda:

Nadya is doing well. Her brady spells (dropping oxygen & heart rate) has lessened and she is pulling herself out of them for the most part instead of the nurses having to pat her bottom to remind her to breathe. The doctors did decide to give her more blood on Tuesday to help her out, although her hemoglobin was holding steady. It was a little low, but wasn't moving up, and she was fluctuating in her weight. She seemed to be much more alert and active Wednesday, which made momma happy. It is so hard leaving her there, but I know it is what's best for her.

I met with a pediatrician at an office that was recommended for the child(ren) from Ukraine and by the maternal-fetal doctor who discharged me. The hours are good and they are getting ready to extend them, they do there own after hours calls, and a couple of them have worked at Vanderbilt Childrens or Kosair Childrens.

I have returned to work on part-time desk duty, in order to make some money to pay the bills (4 weeks off was not good!) and so I can take some time off when she is ready to come home. I go in as usual (7:30-8) and go se her in the early afternoon, then return until close (4-5). Some days we don't make it up in the evenings which is difficult, but I know we must also take care of ourselves.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Taking a Break

Some stuff has happened that I'd rather not get into, but it makes me think that I need a break. It could be a day, a week, I dont know. Rest assured that we are okay and that I'll pop back on here when I have something meaningful to say. For now, I just need to reevaluate.

Monday, January 18, 2010

2/3 and a Surprise!

Guess who has hit 2/3 of their gym goal and it's only Monday! I might have to up my goal for February... We shall see. After yoga yesterday afternoon and a class (albeit a "gentle yoga" class) late this morning, I am 2/3 of the way through my goal. We are having friends for dinner tonight so I'll be missing Pilates, but since Peter was home for the holiday, I was able to hit a class I dont normally (and I was, by about 4 decades, the youngest person in said class!). Woo Hoo! If all goes well, I will hit the gym between 5-6 times this week! I cant believe it! (The scale cant either; instead of going down, it decided to boycott and go up by 1/2 a pound! Scandal!)

As for the surprise... Maya has rolled over, completely unassisted, from back to front! When I got home from the gym, Peter shared this exciting news. I am so sad that I missed it!! But, at the same time, because I get so many moments with them, I am glad that it was something saved special for Daddy. I cant believe it! She rolled over! By herself! And Peter said that you could see her thinking about it and purposely doing it.


Yesterday, Bobby and I were looking at different pictures in the house and we came across the calendar (because it is from our church, it has pretty religious art pictures on it, and he was mesmerized by the "Wedding of Cana" portrait). Standing at the calendar, I began to read off the things on it. And, when I got to today, I gave him a primer about Martin Luther King, Jr. From the south myself, MLKjr has been one of my heroes since I learned his "I Have a Dream" speech in the 5th grade. And so, in his memory and honor today, I will leave you with his dream. It's mine, too.

"And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!

"I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today!

"I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together." This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning: My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!

"And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

"And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that: Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

"And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

(click here to see Martin Luther King, Jr deliver his speech in its entirety)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

You're Awesome!

THANK YOU to everyone who emailed me with comments about cholesterol. You guys are so sweet! Several folks asked me about my PCOS and the predisposition to both high sugars and high cholesterol. Yes, PCOS does contribute to both. Thankfully, I've been really lucky with having lower sugars. I have only had one blood test come back in 2 years with slightly elevated fasting blood sugar (and it was only a few points over normal). My others are all well within range. When pregnant, I did have GD and high sugars, but that was expected with the PCOS-twins-bedrest combo. As soon as I delivered, my blood sugar was back to normal. So, I've been really lucky on that front. I've had a couple of tests come back with higher cholesterol (even when I was strictly vegetarian), so the PCOS has played a role in that. Since I'm 18 weeks post delivery, I am assuming that my numbers are (fairly) accurate (even though PCOS does play a role, they arent considered "false highs" since I can still have cholesterol related issues). I am sooo hoping the gym helps to lower it into normal ranges. I dont know how much my diet can be changed (well... I do drink almost a pot of coffee (decaf) a day with real half and half... I'm sure that much dairy is NOT helping me... I'm cutting down to making only 4 cups and drinking that during the day instead of drinking 12 cups over a day... I've worked down to 8 cups, so half way there!)

Thank you to the advice on adding flax seed, oatmeal, and a variety of other things. I will most certainly look into them! I'm having a retest in 8-10 weeks, and I'll let you know how I'm doing!

As to the funky anonymous comments in recent days. I've noticed these around other blogs too. Not sure where the nastiness is coming from these days... I take them with a grain of salt. There are plenty of wonderful Anonymous folks out there, so I'd never disable that feature. I choose to publish all my comments because it's a free country and we're all entitled to our opinions (including thinking I'm a whackjob or whatever). I'm a member of a variety of forums and have never seen my name mentioned, but even if it is, oh well. We all grieve in different ways. Some folks choose to not hang pictures or talk about their children who have passed; and it works for them. We choose to integrate our dead children into our lives as much as we can, in pictures and in words, and that works for us. I loved the one comment that explained that, if our children were alive, we wouldnt forget them in order to love Bobby and Maya, so of course we dont forget our children who have passed just because we love Bobby and Maya so much.

I feel grateful to be a member of such a connected community. I read blog after blog, some about life TTC, some about pregnancy after TTC or pregnancy after loss, some about mourning parents, and some about life with children living and dead. Even if I am not in the same position as the writer, I always feel so lucky to be able to both share their journey as well as have them share mine. I learn something or gain something or (hopefully) give something to other parents who grieve and rejoice.

I remember my grandmother telling me that, in her day, women who had losses didnt share them. They were told to ignore them and try again and just forget. And, because of that, there werent people to "help" others as they entered "the club". Can you imagine? I cant. And I dont have to. I try to write as honestly as I can, whether that includes sorrow or joy, because I remember being an anonymous reader, reading blogs and trying to find a way to go on because the unthinkable had happened and I had lost a child. I dont know what I wouldnt have done had I not found the understanding and support.

So, as much as I hate reading nasty comments, perhaps they have found our blogs in pain and cant express themselves. Or perhaps they know someone and cant help and are taking out their frustration on us.

Or maybe they are just mean.

I dont know. And does it matter? Really? We write for ourselves, to help our grief, to go forward without moving on, to express ourselves and, if we are really lucky, to help others and to connect with others who understand. So, while I appreciate the offers to kick ass on my behalf (and I appreciate you all jumping to my defense, I really do), let's take a page from my grandma's playbook and just pray for them. We dont know where they are in life or why they are trolling our blogs and writing things we'd rather not see. (Maybe they are like the little kid on the playground that used to chase you and try to hit you because he like you... Who knows...)

Okay, stepping off the soap box. I've got to finish up breakfast dishes and get ready for the gym! Yes, I'm going to the gym! :) Starting the week off right with yoga. :) (oh, and that laundry wont wash itself, so I'd better see to that too...)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Goal +1 and some complaints...

I went to the gym for the 4TH TIME this week!! It was an amazing fitness yoga class. And I'm hoping to start the week off right with a 12:30 class tomorrow (with the same instructor from Wednesday).

We're going to take the kids for a walk in a bit before we head over to church to do a few odds and ends.

And on to my complaint. My $^#$%&(#*%&(#*%& cholesterol is high. Not just a bit high. But like 69 points higher than it should be. I am so pissed off... I have 8 weeks before my recheck, so I'd better get my butt in gear... UGH! Universe- really??? Could I have a break please?

(Oh and thank you, Universe, for letting my sugars come back AWESOME... I am quite appreciative of that!)

(And my second complaint: Anonymous who leaves comments like the one on this post... Find a life...)

Happy 23m Birthday, Sophia

I love you, sweet girl. Happy 23rd month, my dear Sophia...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thanks :)

Thanks for the comments and emails on my last post. I was a bit frazzled last night. Poor Maya: this was COMPLETELY our fault and not hers. Neither baby has had reflux issues when they are fed correctly. The only problems we've had is when they are overfed. Our pediatrician told us that their bellies are the size of their weight, divided in half, by ounces. So Maya, at 8lb 4oz, has a stomach about the size of 4 and 1/8 oz. Well, the night we had the choking instance, she only weighed about 7lb and ate 5 ounces. Normally, she paces herself, but she seemed extra hungry, so ounces... And we all know what happened. So, last night, we were at church at a meeting and she woke up, hungry (which I expected since she'd only eaten 2oz a few hours before we left). We get home and I made her a 1oz bottle with vitamins, which Peter gave her and she gulped down, and then, since it is easier to make formula is evens, I made a 4oz bottle. (Now, 1 scoop of formula adds .2 oz, so that 4oz bottle was about 4.4oz.) So, all together, we are talking about 5.5oz. She took it down like it was nothing. We've been told to let them "decide" to burp and to not pull the bottle from them, to avoid air in the tummy, so Peter let her keep it until she was done- which was the end of the bottle! And she still wanted more! Peter told her, nope, she was cut off and began to burp her. First, there was a little spit and then just everything. She had this look on her face like "Oh well... No big deal... Can I have another bottle please?" No tears, nothing. She was soaked, Peter was soaked, the chair was covered (which, funny thing: did you know that plain water can remove wet formula from upholstery??? good to know...)

So, I feel bad. And what is worse, last night, I made Peter feel bad. So, he takes Maya upstairs and changes her (and himself) while I watched Bobby sleep and made Maya a new bottle. When he comes down, I offer to hold her and feed her so that he can eat. (Did I mention that I had JUST brought dinner from the kitchen?) So, I'm feeding and burping, and he finishes and offers to finish her up, to which I tell him that I'm not comfortable with him feeding her because both of the bad feeding experiences happened on his watch. Okay. I know. I really do. That was just downright bitchy and mean. And I saw the hurt cross his face and I felt like a monster. I tried to back up and make it funny, but the damage was done. And I still feel bad. I handed her over and let Peter finish and she was fine. She ate, Bobby ate, I ate, and we went to bed. They slept all night and Peter fed them both this morning and, you guessed it, fine. So, I have no one to blame except us. Me for making the 5.5 ounces for her instead of making one 4oz bottle, taking out some of it for her vitamin, adding rice to the rest, and handing that over to Peter; and Peter for feeding her 5.5 ounces when she has a cut off of just over 4oz. Preemie stomachs arent meant to handle so much food (heck, I'd even say term babies arent meant to handle that much either) and it can cause vomiting or, even worse, induce reflux! Which we dont want.

Holding my little peanut now while Bobby talks to us. I have a feeling he's about to say "Mommy, why is she being held and I'm not???" Which, to the average ears, might sound like "WHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA"... But for now, it's all giggles and smiles.

On an unrelated note, please say a prayer for this mom who just lost her son; his twin sister is still kicking and, hopefully, wont be delivered for another 12 weeks or so... Also say a prayer for Jessica's friend who just delivered her baby still at 42 weeks.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What the heck???

Maya just puked up her dinner (1 ounce of formula with vitamins plus a bit under 4 ounces of formula with rice- which is supposed to help keep it down!). Not sure what is going on. She was very hungry tonight as we were leaving church and I'm wondering if she gulped it down and then, on the burp, it just all came back up. But it brings back too many memories from a month ago... Thankfully, no choking, just a lot of regurgitated bottle, an outfit change for both Maya and Peter, and a pretty nasty living room chair...

4 Months Pics (from 1/10/10)

Click here for pictures...

Deep In Thought

4 months... That's 1/3 of a year. My babies are a third of the way through their first year of life on the outside. Why is that so rough? This week, on Thursday, they will be 18 weeks old. They are now older on the outside than Nicholas and Alexander were on the inside. And, on Thursday, they surpass their big sister, Sophia. They will be older here than any of my other children ever were inside of me. And at the end of March, they will be on the outside longer than they were on the inside. At the middle really, since the first 2 weeks of pregnancy, they are not there except than in the form of my eggs... Time has gone by so quickly.

As we were in the restaurant on their 4m birthday, we remembered their milestones... They've been to quite a few restaurants in 4 months. Elevation Burger (several times), El Bodegon, Olive Garden, Pure... Not bad for infants! And they are always so good. They sleep or look around or eat. At Pure (which is NOT the kind of place you take children, let alone a baby), they were perfect. I had called ahead and told them the skinny (that we've been there in the past, would love to come but have 4 month old twins, were they interested or wished we'd rather not?). They were sooo accommodating. They picked a special table for us that had enough room for the stroller to sit next to us. They brought our drinks and took our orders and timed our first course so that we could feed the babies and then eat. The kids were great and a lot of folks stopped by our table to see them. Only in NYC will a complete stranger fix your child's pacifier! :) We took some really special pictures.

The kids have now eaten rice cereal, oatmeal, bananas, and green beans. They liked them all! I still cant believe they are old enough to eat... How insane is that. They prefer eating off our fingers and eat with such gusto! However, they will also eat off spoons (they just dont like it as much).

I made a pie yesterday for Sophia... I cant explain why, but I felt like she was saying, "Make a blackberry pie." So I did. Her 23m birthday is on Saturday, but it just felt right to make it... So, we'll eat it tonight! I'm skipping my Body Flow class for the Respect Life Committee meeting we have on the second Tuesday of the month. I had Pilates last night and figure I may hit the gym after the meeting for a swim; otherwise, I'll skip today and go tomorrow. Plus I have another Body Flow on Thursday. Cant miss my 3x week! I'm hoping to post that I hit my 2nd week goal!

Some of you may remember that I was on meds for high BP but that I came off of them in the hospital. I had a check up this morning and my BP, while higher than average at 126/88, was lower than my normal. My doctor offered HCTZ to help lower the bottom number, but we opted to recheck in 3 months, in the hope that the working out will help drop it a bit more. If I could go drug free, I'd be thrilled. Peter and I both had appointments. We got a booster vaccine for Tetanus, Pertussis, and Diphtheria. We had blood drawn for several panels. Just an overall "check up" type visit. Peter hasnt been since his Navy physical- in 1995!!!

Well, the twins are waking up. They had a busy afternoon. Peter's mom came and sat with them in the car while I ran some errands. I needed to hit about 5 locations (dry cleaners, pharmacy, etc) for short, 2-minute visits, and she offered to stay in the car with them so that I didnt have to unpack them at each visit. It meant that we did it all in an hour!!! It would have taken at least twice as long alone.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

4 Months...

My sweet little babies are 4 months old. They are a third of the way through their first year.

Time is flying by. Flying by...

Just Breathe was sweet and selected me as one of the seven beautiful blogs she likes to read. I'm lazy and dont often do blog quiz type things, but thought, in honor of their 4 month birthday, I'd play along and list 7 things about me.
-I love looking at the stretch marks on my (still stretched out) belly. I can point to ones from each baby and I really love that.
-I pray. A lot really. More than that, I talk. Maybe they arent really "prayers". Fine. I talk to the Divine every day. And I enjoy that.
-I'm not as conservative as some people think I am. I'm not as liberal as other people think I am. I'm just me.
-I still look at Peter and see the boy I met almost 12 years ago. I still see that kid in his eyes and his smile. I still love him just as much and more.
-I am my mother's daughter. And, sure enough, the things she did that irritated me growing up, I now do. And I completely understand now.
-Sometimes I stand in the nursery and just watch Bobby and Maya when they are quiet. When they are really quiet, I put my hand by their noses to make sure I can feel the warm air or I rub their backs to make them squirm a bit. Just to make sure... And sometimes, when looking at them, I still cant believe they are mine. And here. And doing well.
-I physically hold all of my children when no one is around. I'll pick up Bobby and Maya and then hold onto the box of Nicholas, Sophia, and Alexander. I'll rock in the rocking chair and just look out the window, content with holding all of them...

As to seven blogs... Well, I can't pick just seven and you can see why... Hours of my days are spent hanging out with you and reading about your lives and loves and losses. I wouldnt spend those precious waking moments with you if I didnt truly care. So consider yourself beautiful and chosen and wonderful. And, if you want to share seven things about you in your comments, I'd be delighted to hear. And hey, if enough of you are interested, I can funnel them into a post so that others can be introduced to your beauty.

Time to get a shower and get breakfast. Peter is sleeping still, as are the kids, but the hotel puts out breakfast in 5 minutes. And I'm hungry... (Dont worry: I'll bring it back to the room and even bring some in for the mister...)

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Guess what babies are currently napping in the middle of a king sized bed in Queens? Yep! Bobby and Maya! They have taken their first trip to the Big Apple! Given, it's not Manhattan (although we may go into the City tomorrow for dinner at our favorite restaurant), but it's still NYC.

The funeral Mass today was beautiful. It was at St Clement Pope R.C. Church in the Jamaica section of Queens. They had gorgeous wood cuttings of the Blessed Mother holding a toddler Jesus by the hands, as well as cuttings of different saints. Just beautiful. Bobby had a few minor freak outs because of the joys of teething prior to the service, so we walked around and looked at the stained glass and the wood cuttings. Afterwards, we went out to lunch and celebrated the life of our friend's father. We're at the hotel now (in Queens) and tomorrow morning, we'll leave for Long Island for our cousin's funeral. They put a pack-n-play in our room but we brought our SnuggleNests (which rock!). We're going to start them off in the P-N-P with the nests (they have a cushion that is more comfy than the bottom of the P-N-P. If that doesnt work, then the SnuggleNests are meant to be put in bed with parents, they can safely co-bed with us if the need arises. (And, to be honest, I've co-bedded with them sans the nests and agree with Dr. Sears, that mothers especially are ultra aware of where their babies are when co-bedding. But, I digress... I LOVE THE SNUGGLENESTS!!!)


Thank you for the warm thoughts and emails about my post last night. I appreciate you all so much. I could feel the love when I logged in. I think a lot of my recent heart pains are a result of the many milestones that Bobby and Maya are hitting and passing with flying colors. It's only normal to think of what the other babies would be doing, at this age, or at their age now had they lived. And it brings heartache as well as joy for Bobby and Maya. The whole parenting-after-loss is a new chapter on pregnancy-after-loss, and it is a never ending work in progress. I know the hard days are to be expected. I think that helps, actually. Knowing that they are going to happen. Knowing they are going to pass. Knowing my heart will stay broken but that I have the tiny hands of our perfect saints and the growing hands of Bobby and Maya to hold it together.

Friday, January 8, 2010

These Eyes...

Do you think this woman had any idea of the hurt she'd go through? What a difference a few years can make to the person that lives behind our eyes...

Hurting tonight... Remembering... Wishing...

Holding on tight to the miracles and blessings I have.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

GOAL and 4mo Appt

GOAL!!!! I hit my self-imposed "3 at the gym workouts/week" goal this week! Pilates on Monday and Body Flow on Tuesday and Thursday. Peter and I have decided that, if I hit my monthly goal of said 3 gym visits/week, then I will reward myself with a monthly massage!


Well, it comes in threes. Our friends lost their baby, another friend lost his father, and now an elderly cousin has passed. We will be in Queens for one funeral on Saturday and then Long Island for the other on Sunday. The hotel provides cribs, but I think I'll pack their snuggle nests and just stick them in our king size bed. (And there is a gym at the hotel, so I might sneak in a 4th workout!)


The kids had their 4 month check up. Bobby is on the chart at 22 inches and 12lbs 1oz. (Yes, you read that right; he's over 12 pounds). Maya is just below the 4 month old chart at 20 inches and 8lb 4oz. Even though she is much smaller, she is growing at a steeper rate on her chart. The doctor was very pleased with both. They were doing well on all of the 4 month old markers she was looking at (WOO HOO!!!). She also said that feeding solids is right on track for their development. She recommended continuing the nightly rice bottle plus adding a spoon feeding of oatmeal or rice each night this week, then next week adding a veggie during the afternoon. We should go with one veggie per week to make sure there are no issues. Once we go through the veggies, move on to the fruits. So, tonight, Bobby had some oatmeal on a spoon! He had some bananas this afternoon (on my finger) and how he loved it! He refused the spoon this afternoon for those, but ate the watery oatmeal on it, so score one for that! His stool is a little thicker (sorry for the TMI) so we figured the oatmeal might help with that. Maya still hasnt really dug the whole spoon/solid feeding/etc yet, but I might try her with some rice cereal on a spoon tomorrow. We'll see... (Kiddo doesnt need oatmeal, if you catch my drift...)


Working on revamping Nicholas and Sophia's baby book... Their original one was my first foray into scrapbooking and each child has gotten a better book, which means theirs looked rough. I wanted to redo it. So I am. And it is hard. Really, really hard. But I wont stop until it feels right. Even if I do cry at every page.


If you havent seen Still Life 365, then perhaps today's entry might be a nice place to start... ;)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

On the Wall

Our house is an old fashioned colonial. The stairs to our 2nd floor open into the loft where our laundry area is; you can either proceed into the bathroom area or you can go down the hall that has the office on one side, the kids' bedroom on the other, and dumps you into our bedroom, to which the nursery attaches (and shares the wall with what will become their bedroom). That hallway has always been envisioned by us as the hallway of pictures. On one side, we have two paintings that my father completed of Peter and I, followed by pics of Nicholas, Sophia, and Alexander. I'll be adding Bobby and Maya once I find the same frames that I have for their siblings, since I'd like them to match. The opposite wall is empty. This was the wall that we always saw as the "growing up" wall... The wall where we would put pictures of our children as they grow up.

But not all of our children. Not now. And that really hurts.

I asked my mother-in-law yesterday if it was hard to watch Peter do things that Robert never would: graduating HS, going to college, getting married, having children. She nodded that yes, it was hard, but that it was harder watching Peter do those things without his brother by his side. Yes. I can understand that. From Peter's perspective and now, from hers. And from my own.

They will never grow up. They will perpetually be my babies. My tiny, sweet miracles. My piece of heaven. Lost in the stars. Black-and-white. Never aging. Unchanging.

I bought frames and have added pictures of Bobby and Maya. A picture of Peter kissing my belly. Bath time. Dressed up. College frames that hold more than one picture. Pictures that show them as babies... Growing up. But there is another frame. A frame for the brothers and sister they will not know physically in this world: their names in the sand, Seraphim's gorgeous photos, Carleigh's Mom, Holly's, photo. We've talked about adding a picture on their birthdays... A picture where we age but they dont... I dont know. We dont know. All I know is that as happy as I am to hang photos on that wall, I am also hurting.


We received a box from Mimi and Grandpaw (or Granddad... Not sure what my stepdad has decided on yet...) My mom sent beautiful ornaments for Bobby and Maya. And three, precious angel ornaments, each inscribed in her beautiful manuscript, the names and birthdays of Nicholas, Sophia, and Alexander. She also sent an ornament of Peter and I holding Bobby and Maya, in black and white, held by and angel that says "watch over us". Really beautiful. All of them. I will update my ornaments post when I have pics.


I did get to the gym on Monday for my Pilates class. It was great. I was sore yesterday but the class was great. Last night, I took a Body Flow class, which is a hybrid Tai Chi-Pilates-Yoga class. Again, awesome. It felt so good to finally get my body into movement. I am super sore today, but it feels good. And, best yet, I had given myself a January goal of 3 classes/week. Come Thursday, with another Body Flow class, I will have completed my goal! It is super hard to leave the babies, but I know that Peter enjoys his DaddyBabiesTime and, truth be told, I need to have MommyTime. I have noticed such a difference in how I feel, just by having that time. But it's hard. I still have nightmares of them dying in their sleep or having something happen while I am at the gym.


Teething. Both at once. Maya started around 12-13 weeks and our pediatrician said that 3 months was around the earliest babies start but that we might not see a tooth poke through until 7 months old or so... that it all depends on the baby. Well, Bobby started around 16 weeks old. (They are 17 weeks tomorrow and 4 calendar months on Sunday). Last night... They both were up all night. They went to bed after eating around 11pm. Bobby was up from midnight until 3am and then he fell asleep and traded with Maya, who was sleeping, from 3am-6am. They both wanted to eat at 7am. And, even though I'd hoped to catch some sleep, they were raring to go by 9am. Fun times... The only thing that calmed them was when I rubbed their gums. I hate to see them in pain. I know this is normal, but still, it kills me to know that all I can really do is rub and hold and love. Our parents all used the bourbon-on-the-gums routine, but that really doesnt do much until teeth are actually cutting the gum. Right now, that isnt happening and it is just the uncomfortable feeling of teeth pressing on the gum. So... We just wait. And let them grow. Which, today, has meant trading them off. I give them that they are consistent with one another! One hurts then is comforted and falls asleep, and then the other wakes up hurting is comforted and falls asleep, and repeat.


It's Three Kings Day. Little Christmas. Old Epiphany. Happy Day to those who celebrate. We are due to spend the evening with one of the sets of Godparents. I have the ingredients to bake a cake. That is my goal for the day. :) Just the one goal. :)


Okay, sleeping Maya on my chest needs to be traded for crying Bobby. Have to go...

Prayer Requests

A woman who was due in July, just lost her baby and another, who is around 6-weeks, was in the ER spotting, after finding out on Christmas Eve that she was pregnant. These are friends of a friend, so I dont have names at this point.

Please say a prayer for these two moms.

UPDATE: Trishondra, who was spotting, the baby's heartbeat was 182 and measuring a few days farther than she is, but she was told there is still a possibility of threatened miscarriage. Melinda's baby measured only 9weeks and she was through the first tri-mester. She will have a D&C Tuesday at 8am.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Article on Feeding Solids

Thank you to one of the many Anonymous posters who linked to an article by NIH on introducing foods to infants. It concluded that "Early introduction of solid food to infants is less harmful than was previously reported. Longer follow up is needed, but, meanwhile, a more relaxed approach to early feeding with solids should be considered."

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Get Your Banana On!

Guess who really wanted our bowls of soup but had to settle for a little bit of mashed banana on my finger instead?

He was quite happy with it and would have kept eating, but I limited him to perhaps 1/2 a teaspoon. He'd just had his bottle, but he needs to be cut off when it comes to eating.

Maya? Not so interested....

Ah.... That's what she likes!

Baby Things

As much as I like to write, I hate pointless writing, which (hate me if you must) I consider those cheeky wedding planner books and baby books. I gave a wedding one a try because it was a gift and stopped after one or two updates. So, bring us to baby books. Everyone wants you to do one. Peter and I... Just not our style. But I found one that I actually dont mind and have filled out what I can so far. It's called "My Baby Book: A Catholic Baby's Record Book".

I frequent our local Catholic shop and have had my eye on this since right after Nicholas and Sophia died. I thought of buying one for them but since I could only fill out about 6 of the pages and since I think my blog is a better telling of their birth story than any book could hold (not to mention I kept a baby journal during their pregnancy), I opted to not. With Alexander, I decided I'd buy one afterwards and, just as with Nicholas and Sophia, didn't after he passed away. So, Peter's mom and I went to the bookstore to introduce Bobby and Maya. The owner had reached out to me after Nick and Sophie had died and has been praying through each of our pregnancies. She even gave me a beautiful prayer card after Alexander and told me she'd continue to pray that God would grant us living children in this world but that, if that werent part of the plan, that He would hold our shattered hearts together. So, I thought it only fitting to take the kids in (and of course, I picked the windiest, coldest day we've had). So, loaded the kids up in their snowsuits and packed them in the car and off we went.

The shop owner was so kind and recognized us (even though I havent been in there since April!) and told me that she kept the thank you note I'd sent her (after she gave me the prayer card) by her desk and prayed for us every day. She hugged and kissed each baby and chatted with Peter's mom while I ventured into the baby section, where, even now, with two live babies in my arms, my breath still catches and I feel like a fraud... and my heart aches that I am buying things for Bobby and Maya that I never had a chance (or the need) to buy for the others. But, I picked up 2 of the baby books and put them on the counter.

And stopped.

Staring at me, next to the baby books, was a rosary. The words read: Awareness Rosary "Pink and Blue": the pink and blue ribbon is symbolic of Infant Deaths, Miscarriages

I didnt know what to do, except buy it. I had an uncontrollable urge and had to have it, even though I have a rosary that I pray for loss and a rosary that I pray for the unborn and yet another rosary that I pray for mothers. Yet... Something said "BUY IT NOW".

I asked her about it and she said that she had just ordered them but wasnt sure how to let people know about them... What to say... How to help... And she asked me. She asked how she could help other mothers and fathers in their grief.

I told her to encourage parents to name their babies, even if they miscarried the day after that BFP and had no concrete evidence of the gender... That, if they didnt "feel" boy or girl, to choose a non-gender biased name, like Francis... That, if they had no idea what to name their baby, to go with the suggestion a priest once shared with me: Mary or Joseph. I told her to share that, regardless of how young, their baby was a person, loved by them and by God, and that their child was waiting to be reunited with them in Heaven... That the Blessed Mother will watch over them and hold them until the parents are there to do it themselves. We talked for several minutes, about grief and parents and miscarried babies... How, even in the Catholic faith, where babies are considered 100% people at the moment of conception, the special grief of parents who lose a child to miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss is often unaddressed or, at best, under addressed. It was heartening to see that she was interested in how she could help when people come in, looking at books on grief, and it was nice to feel like I could help in some way. I'm due to go back and drop off some Mystery meditations I've been working on, as well as some of the Mary, Help of Orphaned Parents prayer cards we had made.

Of course, I found out why I needed to buy the rosary. And my heart still hurts...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Starting Off...

Or should that be spouting off??? Oh... I forget... (Get ready for a jumbled post... My early rantings of 2010...)


I dont believe in making resolutions at New Year's. I'm lame and after a few days of effort, give in. I have no will power. So, instead, I've decided to pick 2 things that I'd like to work on in 2010 (and beyond). They are big goals that cant be accomplished in a year, so maybe I can give it a try...

I'd like to have more self control. Lumped into this is trying to tame my Irish temper (poor Peter would really appreciate this I'm sure) and have the fortitude to actually make it to the gym 3x a week. Secondly, I'd like to learn more patience. Unfortunately, my mom making me open and shut the door (I'd just slammed) a hundred times to give me "patience, a virtue YOU dont seem to have" (imagine that in a sufficiently MOM sounding voice) didnt accomplish much (save a desire to slam the door when she wasnt within earshot). Neither did copying Bible passages when I smarted off (although I do credit her with my love of religious studies, so I did gain something there, if not the intended patience). So... Those are two things I think I'll keep in mind this year, with the hopes of having a little more self control and a bit more patience once 2011 hits... We shall see...


I've been meaning to write this post for a while now, ever since my mom and grandmother visited in mid-November. It's been sloshing around in my head for a while and I just havent been able to put it together. Then I read a post from Donna and my mom called to tell me something (see below) that made me realize I really should write this post and get it out there.

It's no secret that I'm adopted (well, maybe to some folks it is). So, my mom calls me yesterday (or the day before, I dont remember... days seem to run together) and tells me that a coworker was looking at a picture of the babies and I, and couldnt stop gushing about how much my mom and I look alike. Mom, being Mom, thanked her and smiled (and then called me!). Tickles us both pink, although I feel bad that folks think my mom is old enough to have a daughter my age... She's really quite young for that! But I digress... Back to the why I wanted to write this post...

When Mom and MaMaw were visiting, we were discussing the coloring of the kids, that Maya is so light and Bobby has a more olive complexion. I was about to say that he inherited Peter's Greek/Puerto Rican complexion when my grandmother busts out with (to Bobby) "It's because you take after the Indian side of the family" (by Indian, I mean Native American, Cherokee to be more exact). This opened a conversation about the different NA tribes in our family, but most of all, it really hit a nerve.

Growing up, I always felt different. Mamaw and my Aunt Shirley were probably the two matriarchs that made me feel most like I wasnt different at all. They rarely, if ever, brought up my adoption and used to say things like I took after Aunt S because I burned toast (an inside family joke). Their children (my aunts and cousins) never treated me any different because we didnt share biology. But, for whatever reason, the thing that always stuck out to me were the people who did. Why their opinion mattered so much I will never know, especially when I was surrounded by people who didnt care how I was born and came into the family any more than they cared what color socks they put on for the day. I was family and that was that.

As much as I thought I'd put the whole "I'm adopted" thing, as it relates to feeling different or out of place, behind me in a way, it wasnt until Mamaw said that Bobby took after our Cherokee family that it really hit me. No one else thinks about it. No one else views me "that way". To them, I'm family. I'm a granddaughter or a niece or a cousin. My children are, of course, their family. And not just in some loose sense. In them, they can see some great-uncle somebody or great-great-great grandma's nose. And it makes perfect sense. Because they are family.

Of course I look like my mom. She's my mom. I have her mannerisms and share (some of) her likes and dislikes, although I think I have more of an attitude problem than she does. :) And, of course, Bobby takes after the "Indian" side; why shouldn't he? (And, just as a postscript, Native American tribes are well known for adopting children into tribes and those children weren't viewed as any different from children born into the tribe). So, maybe I'm lighter in skin. But, if Bobby and Maya have taught me a small thing, it's that a strawberry blond, blue eyed, ivory skinned little girl can have a dark skinned, purely PuertoRican grandmother... And an olive skinned, brown haired and eyed little boy can be born from a very light skinned mother. Looks mean very little- and these kids have half of my genetic make up.

Combined, our family has people from every background and from every continent, save Antarctica. And we are all family. Some of us married in. Some were born from the womb and others from the heart. But that is just one thing, like our eye color or our hair color. It's our love that makes us family. The rest... Just an adjective to our noun.

Who would have thought that, after all this time, it was me that didn't really get it.

My heart hurts...

Dear friends of ours suffered a miscarriage last week. I promise not to curse (too much) but DAMMIT. I'm so pissed off, angry, and heartbroken. My heart just breaks for them. More than anything, I want to say something or do something that will make it "better"; and more than the average person, I realize that is completely impossible. So, even though I wont list their names here, please say a prayer for them, that your warmth and love will surround them right now as they mourn their snugglebaby.