It is not a great hair style yet, but hey - one step at a time.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
It is not a great hair style yet, but hey - one step at a time.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
- Clay has been home - really home - for a year (this is the first time in our 7 years of marriage).
- In this year of togetherness we did not kill each other as some predicted.
- Being home, Clay has been able to watche the pregnancy and birth of his second and third daughters and has spent countless hours with his oldest daughter.
- We won the neighbor jackpot. Everyone in SC has been amazing and welcoming.
- They have seasons in South Carolina.
- Clay's job is easy. I mean really easy compared to his normal life. We both needed that.
- See notes above on how Clay has been home for a year and we haven't killed each other.
- Our girls were born with the aide of fantastic (non-military) healthcare!
- Kayla has done beautifully in her school.
In addition to all the really good things that have happened, this year in particular marks the culmination of a heartbreakingly difficult journey to build our family. With Kennedy and Karsen soon to be 6 months old, I am almost to the point where I can actually be thankful for the painful lessons God taught me along the way. I can definitely be thankful - beyond gloriously thankful - for the the abundant blessings that resulted. (And the fact that they finally sleep!)
So, with 4 desperately necessary days off (of one of the many jobs I regularly find myself barely getting by in) I can kick back, relax and enjoy it all enough to be truly thankful.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Now its not that I don't like to work. I do, and I have discovered that I am not good at not working so rather than volunteer my time into chaos, it makes good sense to get paid for a schedule. Its also not that I don't like what I do. I am for the most part indifferent to my exchange of corporate work for money at this point. And it is certainly not that I don't like DC or travel. In fact if I have to admit it, that's probably first on my list of why I do keep this particular job. But, I can not get over Karsen's little cry yesterday when she got her 4 month shots, or Kennedy laughing out loud at Kayla who insisted on dancing in her white (yes as opposed to black) cat costume.
I guess it just means that somewhere along the way I really did become a mom. A real mom. The kind that will cry as she gets into the car the first time she leaves her babies in the uber capable hands of their dad and nanny and boards a plan where for 36 hours she is a 1 hour and 5 minute plane flight away from every little noise they might make.
Its not like I left little weak premies. Karsen weighed in at the 75th percentile at 14 lbs and 5 oz. With Kennedy at 50th at 13 lbs and 3 oz. Certainly I don't need to prove Kayla's health or independent capability as she moves into 5t-6t clothes and stands a head taller than most of her same age friends. *Not that she always loves on those friends: Evan got bit the other day for hitting her on the playground at school -- which her dad declared good self defense and evan used as solid debate material to prep for his white house run by arguing that he was in the lesser of the wrongs -- but alas, rather than spend my fleeting moments here in DC obsessing about the new boss I have or the mounting inbox or what I am going to wear to the very awesome opportunity for a girls dinner out tonight that I get to sneak in, I am just passing time until I can call home again and not look like a stalker.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Friday is my first official day back at work. I am trying anything to fill time beforehand with pleasure. I have a massage scheduled for tomorrow in hopes of finding bliss for an hour before the end of what has been 6 months of intellectual vacation (when you include the bed rest before birth).
For now, duty without a paying boss calls...
Monday, September 15, 2008
On Sunday, we did the almost unthinkable. We went to church alone. Now, I thought this was a great plan because let's face it they all go to the nursery or Sunday school for an hour and my mind though BREAK TIME! if I could just get us there. But, alas this is where the plan had logistical issues. Getting all of us up, showered, fed and dressed in dresses took 3 hours. But, really at one point I was posed to be on time. I had Kayla on the front porch, Karsen locked into her carrier and was walking across the living room with Kennedy when, yup, she threw up all over both of us. Not the little spit up that I have learned to live with and pretend is parenting perfume, but most of the contents of her stomach on my entire outfit, the floor and herself. 15 minutes later we were redressed and on our way, again. Now late for church the children's staff helped me get everyone to their rightful places and me settled into an extra chair in the back of the sanctuary where I could fight sleep and contemplate how long it would take me to leave the house if I had short hair. That is when another 'good' idea struck me, I could go to the nursery and feed each baby with the help of the staff. (Read: Whoever is picked in line to be eater number 2 will begin to protest a few minutes into number 1's meal and I will once again have to silently list the reasons I nurse rather than bottle feed them). To spare you the details let's just say, by the time I left their room BOTH babies were in new outfits, one nursery worker needed to go find something to change into and sad Kayla was the last kid left in all of the Sunday School wing declaring she had been forgotten. I decided that all that effort earned us a trip out to lunch where I fed Kayla everything she asked for off a salad bar (attempt at mother of the year award) and fielded question of the passer-bys that are twin genuises about why they aren't identical, both are both girls and no I don't sleep enough! (see previous blog venting on these things).
Alas, Clay returned home in time to do that magical thing he does were he and the babies sleep on the couch (why has this never worked for me?) and I started the process of catching up all the things my not-so-free hands did not do all weekend. I promise not to share out loud my support for the Citadel's plan to go into the field once every month and instead focus on the things that came out of this weekend.
1) Both babies now go to bed at 7 pm and do not eat again until 6:30 am. That does not mean they sleep, but at least they don't eat.
2) I discovered Kayla can in fact feed herself from the fridge or pantry when I forget to. Who knew a 4 year old could make PB&J?
3) If you don't do laundry for 3 days, it only takes 5 hours to catch up on it!
Monday is back and let's just admit it - thank goodness for Natasha. In addition to keeping me sane, here are a few of the pictures she took to mark their entrance into month 3. Perk #885: her love of photography.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The twins are now 3 months old and changing fast. They are sleeping from (okay, sleeping might be an overstatement)...they are going without eating from 7 pm when they happily go to bed to 5:30 am when they decide it is time for breakfast. They immediately return to sleep until about 7:15 or so. Thus, we are all getting more sleep on...um, well...most nights. Karsen is addicted to the pacifier (aka baby crack) and occasionally decides during the night that she must have it NOW. So the sleepy parents wander over and replug her every so often. How often dictates how much sleep the rest of us get. And here I thought I was saving myself from a battle over the thumb.
By some crazy genetics, both babies still have blue eyes. Kayla never had blue eyes, they were dark from the start and are huge brown saucers now. I seriously doubt that either little one will keep them, but I am trying to enjoy them everyday that I have them since it is such an anomaly to me. Karsen, if I have to admit it, gets referred to now by the street gawkers as red headed. My dad had red hair so technically this is possible, but I still can't see it.
Speaking of folks on the street who insist on commenting on twins, may I explain the definition of identical? Identical: The SAME in every way.
In all seriousness, I get asked on every single outing if 1) they are identical and 2) if they are a boy and a girl. This is almost always from the same person in that order. #1 if they are identical how in the world do they have the different everything you are commenting on (hair, size, etc). Please see the definition of identical. #2 If they are identical as you seem to think, how would they be a boy and a girl. Have you ever compared the anatomy of a boy and girl? Hmmm. See definition of identical. #3 If they were identical twins of opposite gender then yes, I am the type of mother that would dress both of them in matching pink outfits - who cares about the boy's sense of identity. If it didn't happen so often, it would be as amusing as it sounds.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Little does she know, I see God everytime I see my girls...
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Of course that is not to say we haven't come a long, long way. The babies no longer eat every 2 hours. In fact, they now go to bed between 7 and 8 and sleep some part of the hours until 4 am when they eat again. They go back to sleep until 7 when they wake for the day. The problem with this schedule is that 1) I don't go to bed between 7 and 8. 2) It doesn't account for the "other" night time needs (you know - Kayla, Clay, Noble, my ridiculous appetite, the over flowing milk supply, the raccoon that breaks into the porch...).
I actually dream of sleep. While falling asleep last night, my final thought though was "boy, I wish I could find time blog..."
Sunday, August 10, 2008
What a week last week was. Tuesday Kayla officially turned 4 and the babies reached their 2 month milestone. We have had 2 parties, 3 sets of shots and one visit from Peaches and Papa Bear and one from our beloved friend Blannin. Things have been so busy, my own brothers have been completely unable to reach us by phone to wish the birthday girl well. However exhausting, the minutes continue to race by. Some moments I fight the urge to wish the time away (...if only they could sleep longer, if only they could play with toys, if only she could make her own...) and some moments my heart breaks that whole stages are gone forever.
This was the first birthday that Kayla completely dictated. She insisted on cupcakes (Ariel in the end) for her friends in her class on her "actual" birthday and a party with her other friends at the Splash park on Saturday, complete with pink and purple balloons, etc. Clay's parents, a.k.a. Peaches and Papa Bear, were here for a long weekend. Kayla has loved having them in town to party with and us parental types have been able to enjoy a nice meal or two while visiting with actual grown ups. For those that love stats - Kayla weighed in at 41 lbs (75th percentile) and is 41 inches tall (90th percentile). She will start Pre-K next week. Unbelievable. There is NO way I am old enough to have a 4 year old.
The babies now smile and coo! It makes all the work worth every single second. Kennedy weighed (and I say weighed because you know a week later they have grown) 11 lbs and 1 oz (75th percentile) and is 22.5 inches long (50th percentile). She is ever alert, but relatively easily entertained much like Kayla was. Karsen weighed 11 lbs and 12 oz (90th percentile) and is 22 inches long (50th). A little higher maintenance, she needs to see or hear someone at all times. She is a happy baby, but she will snuggle in and make a nest at the first chance -- choosing to be with people rather than play solo every time.
Natasha is another of the blessings I can't believe keep coming. She is WONDERFUL with the girls and just enough type A that she surprises me with an organized linen closet or the like in addition to keeping our entire house happy. I somehow haven't found that her presence extends the day, but I have found that it makes it more enjoyable. Since she started, I have managed to slip in a pedicure and a haircut in addition to the birthday party planning and runs to the grocery store. For those who have asked - She is 26, not Russian (although she says she gets that question all the time), engaged to be married next May, a photography apprentice and a super gentle, kid-loving soul. We are getting along great. If only life worked where I could have a nanny and not a job! With 6 more weeks before I have to go back, I try not to think about it.
The Citadel freshman come in for their orientation week on Saturday. Clay is excited to get started. I however am not looking forward to him leaving for PT at 445 in the morning or teaching a class that doesn't end until 6 p.m., but I embrace the TGFN (thank goodness for Natasha) attitude and accept my fate.
I have slews of pictures of all of Kayla's parties, but our home computer is in the sick bay and I can not download pics to my work computer. I promise more as soon as I put the computer back together from its tragic launch through the window...
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Clay is working 8 to 4 or so, Kayla is going to adventure camp at her preschool and the babies are working me over at home. To get all of us air, I started walking the neighborhood in the morning . It takes a full hour to get all three of us dressed and ready, 40 minutes to walk and an hour to get us back into the house, changed and settled. By then half the day is gone and I am shaking from hunger (because I only ate 3 courses of breakfast - its an absurd amount of food I am consuming, but that is a different problem) and desperately longing for that allusive shower previously mentioned.
I admit it, I feel like a parenting failure that I can't do it all alone, but I am thankful I have a job with great maternity benefits and a husband that surrendered before I did (so he can't complain about the money!) Natasha tells me that out here it is offensive to call a professional nanny a babysitter, so nanny it is (I would call her a hot dog if she would come help me) and I am thrilled to imagine the moments ahead when someone else gets puked on. (Read: Karsen still has reflux issues).
At this 6 week milestone I would like to announce amazing accomplishments -- like Kennedy can roll from front to back and both babies can sleep a 5 and half hour stretch from 9:30 to 3 and Kayla can name reptiles or spell them -- but I am too tired to really indulge in the amazing blessings that I am drowning in and can only promise you that I will try to get your formal birth announcements there before Christmas.
Our kitchen update is almost done (no, we did not plan for it to still be going after the family expansion) and the guest room is completely available. You are invited to come hold a baby... while I collapse. For now, I have to run as Kayla tells me every single day here birthday is "almost tomorrow" and I have yet to plan a party (with pink cupcakes with chocolate in the middle and butterfly cookies and 2 pieces of candy...). Its my one goal for today. This is the best I could do for pictures, I will try to get some more soon.
I admit defeat,
Monday, July 7, 2008
Today was the one month check up. Kennedy weighed in at 9 lbs 4 oz (50th percentile) and 21 1/4 inches long (75th percentile). She is long and lean and strong, but we still call her floppy woppy because when she gets comfy, she just crashes and won't do a thing to hold herself together. Karsen, is our chunky monkey because she is the cuddliest butterball you can hold. She weighed in at 10 lbs even (75th percentile) and 20 1/2 inches long (50th percentile). As you see, they continue to insist on all things being opposite. But, the percentiles are great and we continue to be astounded that they are larger than most of their singleton, full term counterparts.
Now, I don't want to jinx it so dare I admit that after living through several nights of letting the girls get off the dual schedule and winding up awake every 1.5 hours or so, we have had 2 consecutive nights of 5 hour stretches (10-3) of sleep. It has to be the first time I have been horizontal for 5 hours since the two pink lines appeared. Surely such sleep is sacred. I do try occasionally to heed that repetitive advice you get from every single sympathetic person who insists you should "sleep when they sleep", but in all reality the moment two babies are quiet and asleep there is a hierarchy of needs - bathroom, drink, food, laundry, mail, etc. - that never dwindles in your 15 minutes of free-handedness to allow nap time before someone needs something again. When the allusive "nap" thing does happen, it is nature taking over and sleep catches you while holding a baby, a water cup and leaning in some strange position on the arm of the couch. Which is my new definition of multi-tasking. Wouldn't CEB be proud.
My grandmother visited this weekend. At 80 with now 6 great grand kids she was a lot of help rocking babies while Brian entertained Kayla and we celebrated the 4th of July with the girls first trip to the beach.
Here are a few pics to prove that everyone at our house is alive, healthy and while severely tired, happy. Maybe not everyone - check out Kennedy's expression when Karsen the cuddle bug moves over to hold on to her...again.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Everyone asks me what the worst part is. Its only having 2 arms at the moments that I want/need 4 or 6. (Clay who? don't even think I am ready to add a set for him). And yet somehow only having 2 is also the very best part. The part where no matter how repetitive and how exhausting, I get at least twice the time of snuggles, twice the opportunity to love on them. And just about the time I am full of baby smell and ready to collapse, I get the entertainment of an almost-4-year-old to completely renew my awe in how exciting it is to learn everything. "Do you know that that there is a circle moon tonight mommy?"
That is not to say we have had the easiest of weeks so far. My mom left at 6 am on Tuesday, so officially Clay and I are now out numbered by the girls. Karsen had already been to the doctor on Monday. Turns out she has reflux and will have to be propped up after each feeding to prevent her spitting up and choaking which she had done a number of times in the night and scared us silly that it was a breathing issue. The good news is that Karsen is now 8 lbs and Kennedy 7.6. They are growing great (and much, much too fast for me).
Tuesday I got to visit my doctor. My incision was leaking and it turns out that the fun of being catheterized numerous times made for a fun little UTI. An antibiotic later, I should be fine shortly. Just about the time I got home and was ready to fall asleep for the afternoon nap I was sure I had earned, Kayla's preschool called. She had taken two little acorns and stuck them up her nose. The school was able to get one out, but the second took a trip to the pediatrician and then on to the ENT specialist to have it extracted. Clay was reassured along the way that he will not need boys to have exciting stories to tell (and reminded that objects in the nose and ears is the number 1 reason for kids under 5 to visit the doctor). By our first night alone, 3 of the 5 of us cleared by a doctor, we settled into our 2 and half hours of un-interrupted sleep before the next night feeding! When I can get to the point where other people think it is funny, I will also confess how Kayla got the Victoria Beckam hair cut (after these pictures were taken).
Despite it all, the hormones have kicked in and I am mourning the loss of being pregnant (back when it was cute and fun, let's forever forget those last couple weeks) while trying to soak up every second of where we are today.
Here are a couple pictures. Apologies to all who are waiting patiently for me to get back to them. I am now officially missing my connection with girl friends and hope that as routine sets in over the weeks ahead that I will find ways to talk to you rather than just write to the masses. Per many a suggestion, I promise to try and start a blog/picture site to keep you up to date at your leisure instead of mine.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I know that you guys were following the how we got up to the birth part pretty closely and then all of a sudden you had no info or too little info to make sense of what happened on Wednesday... I have tried to answer a few people's questions along the way, but let me see if I can get to them put them together for you awesome girls who supported me from "just sure" I would get pregnant on the ski trip in January 2006 to the birth of the twins, surely you have earned the juicy details. I just didn't want the mass email announcement too have too much non-boy-gore in it!
So on Wednesday morning I went in for another blood pressure and weight gain check as the doctor's were starting to suspect the onset of pre-eclampsia again. I was 36 weeks 5 days which technically is not the 37th week when the neonatologist will let the OB intervene. Sure enough, pressures were up and the weight was up another 3 pounds (in 48 hours) both were unsettling but not enough to force the hand of the doctor to break my water which was bulging through the now 6 cm open cervix???? I had absoultely no idea people could walk around at 6 cm - did you? So, they sent me over to the hospital for blood work and monitoring while we waited on protein counts. I laid in bed all day. The Dr. came in at 6:30 and checked me - agressively - to see where the babies were and felt like there was no change. She told me to walk around a bit while I waited on her to make a few calls about whether realistically I could be discharged at that point. Well, between walking and the check, within 45 minutes it was all I could do to stand up and not give into moaning through the super intense contractions that were making walking such an effort that it scared the poor 10 couples on their hospital tour! Dr. Pound came back and checked me, I was a 7 and the Kennedy was a +1 with the water intact, but visable. She declared that I was not going to be going anywhere and that if it didn't break before anesthsia could get down to the room, she would break the water in a controlled setting.
If you HAVE to know, they took a picture (attached) as they stood me up for the epidural and weighed me. Total I gained 61 pounds. I think the nurses were just doing this part to humor themselves. After 2 tries - yep, I am the only person I know to have 2 pregnancies and 6 epidurals - I was almost pain free again and texting people to calm the nerves and we broke my water. (There is a whole aside about the dosing level and me puking that I will just leave out and pretend didn't happen). By the time the entire delivery team: 2 OBs, 4 nursery nurses, 2 labor nurses, 2 respiratory therapists and one anesthsialogist were in place it was 11:30 we waited to role down to the OR until midnight after a conversation about NOT seperating their birthday's by a day on accident. When we got to the OR, they moved me to the operating table and Dr. Pound stepped into place while everyone else was dressing in their masks and such and the Dr. said, give me a little push to see where her head is. I did and then people everywhere started saying, NO, NO don't push and I said I am not and Dr. said, we will deliver through it everyone and she showed me Kennedy over my belly about a second later. No pain, no pushing, no nothing.
There was a mad rush of people to her side and although it took some time for her to cry, they wisked her out of the room after a few minutes declaring that the OR is too cold for babies. I heard the Dr. tell everyone to get in place for Karsen and they checked her position on the ultrasound. She was still head down. Dr. Pound declared she was breaking her water and prepared for a second delivery just like the first. When that didn't happen, they had me start pushing. And pushing. And pushing. I pushed with every contractraction on either my back or one side or the other for the next 2 hours. They tried and tried and tried to turn Karsen. When they water broke and she moved down so rapidly apparently her head turned to the side and she got caught at the pelvic bone. We tried everything until finally Dr. Pound called for a second-second backup doctor who came in and declared that not only was Karsen's heart rate dropping too much with contractions for me to push anymore, but that my cervix (which apparently knows nothing of multiples) was already closing rapidly and I was doing more damage than good. With a very short and sad conversation, they moved to a rapid C-section, having to redose the epidural with some kind of spinal something and drug me into a state that while awake, I barely, barely remember. I do remember Karsen crying and seeing her briefly at my shoulder. Then I remember nothing until puking in recovery and them saying give her the phenagren (sp?) to counter act the morphine...blah, blah...I was drugged one way and the next until sometime the next day. The lactation consultant, a nurse and my mom nursed the babies while I was out cold (an ugly picture proves it) and I "recovered" from both deliveres and my new junkie status. Thus the reason no one heard from me again...
Because I know you want to know as much as they did (and lots of people actually ask): For more nurse entertainment (I loved my team!) they weighed me when they pulled all the tubes to see what I 'lost' at the delivery - 25 pounds. I checked out 29 pounds down and today at their 2 day weight check, I was down 36. I have ankles again, but still quite a bit of swelling. I hope somehow it equals 25 pounds of water weight, although I doubt it. Either way, I will take a 'diet' plan that lets you lose 36 pounds in 5 days anytime.
The girls are amazing. I find myself in love all over again. I am nursing them and they are doing great, I just don't get a break too often. At least its amazing bonding time with each one. I can nurse them together and sometimes I do, but I look like what you would expect (will spare you that picture) and I only do it in seclusion or the middle of the night. I find myself ever amazed at how they are nothing alike at all. You would think they were from too differnt families and other than the fact that you simply can not get them to sleep away from the other one, you really would doubt their relation. Each has the most amazing things about them though and I feel like I got the best of 3 worlds.
Awe, speaking of the third. She is a great help, a great big sis and yes definitely going through a transition (wet the bed last night, etc). If there is a hardest thing about this experience (besides the pain in the gut when I get up) it would be feeling the guilt already in going from a one and only to 3, certain I am failing someone at all moments.
Thank you so much for all the support and encouragement and for laughing with me as I ballooned up into Shrek. I am going to keep needing you, oh say...for the rest of my life.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Kennedy Deone was born June 5th at 12:14 am. She weighed 6 lbs, 8 ounces and was 19 inches long. She is the black haired beauty that looks like a tiny version of Kayla.
Karsen Lee held out until June 5th at 2:24 am. She weighed 7 lbs, 6 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. She is the blonde haired beauty that surprised our house of brunettes!
They are both in perfect health! Mom and babies all plan to go home together on Sunday.
We appreciate all of your support and prayers,
Clay, Heather and proud big sister Kayla
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