Sunday, December 12, 2010

Quick Update

Peyton (not sure what that face is about), Mor Mor (my mom), Maryam, Braden, and Natalie

I can't believe two months have already passed! What a whirlwind!

Braden Anders and Natalie Catherine were born October 8th at 2:56 am and 3:01 am. I'll post more about their birth soon (hopefully). Since then, my days have been filled with nursing/diapering/soothing babies, caring for and playing with Peyton and Maryam, trying to keep up with my house, hosting Thanksgiving and baby blessings, and very little sleep. I'm starting to feel like I have the hang of this, and we sort of have a normal schedule. Sort of. I actually made it to church today--for the second week in a row. And the babies and I stayed for all three hours of church for the first time since they were born. I haven't attended three hours of church for about three months now. During the last month of this pregnancy I would go for Sacrament Meeting and then come home to rest. I'm really proud of us for staying the whole time today. That was my goal last week too, but it just didn't work.

Peyton gave his first talk in Primary today. He did about half of the first sentence, looked up, saw all the kids and teachers, and got stage fright. He started to cry, and Tobin had to give the rest of the talk for him. Poor kid! He was so excited to give a talk. Maryam has given two this year, and each time Peyton was disappointed that he didn't get a turn yet. He decided to be proactive and a couple weeks ago he asked the Primary presidency if he could give a talk. Hopefully next time he won't be so frightened and will give the talk himself.

I'm sure there's so much more to post, but I'm out of time. The babies are hungry . . . again! That is the story of my life right now. I'm savoring every moment with these precious miracles. This is the last time we'll have babies in our house. I know I'm going to long for these days again later, so I'm soaking in every minute right now.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Still No Babies

Well, friends, my blog silence does not indicate the arrival of the newest Moon twins. It indicates my frustration with their lack of arrival. I haven't blogged because I don't want to complain. It is such a huge miracle and blessing for us to be pregnant at all. I'm so thankful Heavenly Father gave us this opportunity. That being said, can someone please get these people out of me now?!?!?!

I will reach 37 weeks as of tomorrow. That is two full weeks longer than Peyton and Maryam gestated. I'm scheduled to be induced next Thursday, if labor doesn't begin before then. I can't really imagine one more week of this torture. Tobin and I saw my doctor yesterday. The babies are looking good--and HUGE! The doctor asked how I am doing and I told him that I'm beyond miserable now. He is truly sympathetic, but he can't induce me before 38 weeks. He measured my belly and said, "No wonder you are miserable. You are measuring 6 weeks overdue!" (If I was only pregnant with one baby, that is.) He checked my cervix and found that I am about 1.5-2 cm dilated. He can't strip my membranes this early, but he did a rigorous exam. I think this is his merciful way of trying to help move things along. I get to go back to see him again next Monday, unless the babies come before then. He said he would bet I don't make it to that appointment on Monday. But then again, he thought I would have these babies around 36 weeks.

The doctor told me to do whatever I can to stay comfortable at this point: crank up the AC (it's super hot here this week), keep my feet up, rest, etc. Tobin suggested entering me in a marathon instead so we could try to get labor started. Speaking of my lovely husband, I have to mention another thing about him. When the nurse first called me back yesterday, she took my vitals, weight, etc., as usual. I stepped on the scale and watched the numbers climb, as usual. But the number kept going up and up and up. The digital display topped 200 lbs, then 214 lbs. I was flabbergasted. Just last week I weighed in at 170. My mind was reeling trying to figure out how I gained around 45 lbs in one week. The nurse saw the look of panic and confusion on my face and said, "He's playing a trick on you!" I had forgotten that Tobin likes to put his foot on the scale behind me to push the numbers up and give me a scare. He used to do it at every appointment when I was pregnant with Peyton and Maryam. He hasn't been to many appointments with me this time, so the thought hadn't even crossed my mind. Stinker! As it turns out, I only gained 2 lbs this past week. Whew!

For now, I'll just keep plugging along. Hopefully the increased cramping and lower back pain will lead to something soon! I'm really ready to reclaim my body and meet these little babies. I know I've got a tough gig between here and there, but I'm ready to face labor so I can move on from being pregnant.

P.S. I would certainly welcome your suggestions of wives tales and home remedies that will encourage the onset of labor. I am, however, unwilling to try castor oil. :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Quick Update

Friday was our last "big" ultrasound for this pregnancy. Both babies are looking great, practicing breathing, and getting big. Our little boy is measuring just about right on for a baby at 34 weeks gestation. He is 5 lbs 1 oz now. Our little girl is a few days small for a baby at 34 weeks gestation. She is 4 lbs 15 oz now. Based on those measurements, it seems that these two will definitely be larger than Peyton and Maryam were when they were born. I can't wait to meet them!

I think I've reached the miserable stage now. I know every day the babies stay in my womb is better for them, so I'm really trying to stay positive and just take it one day (sometimes one hour) at a time. I'm really feeling stretched and stuffed, and I'm having a hard time catching my breath all the time. I'm starting to recognize a few of the signs that my body is getting ready for labor (besides Braxton Hicks contractions), but who knows how long I have to go. If these babies are born at the same time as Peyton and Maryam were, I just have to make it to this Thursday. But my doctor thinks they will go at least one week longer. We shall see!

Monday, August 23, 2010

31 Weeks and Counting!

Here's the latest prego picture and update. I am 31 weeks and 4 days pregnant, but who's counting, right? Ha! I am!

I had another regular doctor's appointment today, and everything is still looking good. Both babies are head down and still vying for 1st position. Are these two going to be competitive or what? Their heads are so close together that it took the doctor a few minutes to figure out where the second head was. They are literally pushed right up against each other and my cervix. But for now, our little girl holds the position of Baby A (first to be born). After measuring my stomach, the doctor said that my body thinks it is 37 weeks pregnant now. Wahoo! But he still thinks I will make it to 36 weeks before these two are born. I'm really ok with that. If we can avoid a trip to the NICU this time, that would be wonderful!

Both babies are measuring well and looking good. They are moving a lot and trying to take over my rib cage. I heard my stomach growl a few days ago, but the noise came from the wrong location. It was just below where my heart should be. That was a strange experience! I guess these babies are rearranging the furniture for me.

Of course the doctor says I should try to stay off my feet and take it easy as much as I can. He's realistic about my having four-year-old twins too, though. I'm starting to feel more tired lately anyway, so I don't need much prodding from the doctor to take it easy. I've been taking a morning and an afternoon nap as of late. Tomorrow I start watching my friend's little girl again, so I'll probably have to cut down to one nap per day. But I can still lay on the couch and watch the kids play. My body certainly gives me cues for when it's time to lay down, and I can't really ignore them. I'm too much of a wimp to power through the pain anymore.

So that's it. I'm hoping we have just about 4 1/2 weeks to go now. My hospital bag is packed, the babies' room is pretty much ready, clothes are washed and folded and put away, diapers have been purchased (and many were received as gifts from fabulous friends!). I still need to pack a bag for Peyton and Maryam, just in case they should need it. But I feel like we are in pretty good shape.

I think we have decided on names too! We are thinking Hunter Anders for the boy and Natalie Catherine for the girl. We found Hunter (actually Hunting) in some Moon family names we did sealings for last Friday night. Anders is also a family name, from both sides. Natalie is a family name, but I can't remember if it came from the Moon or Walther side. And Catherine is my grandmother's name. I'm glad we found names with significance to us (though obviously I need to do a bit more research). I'm hoping these are the right ones. We'll see if they stick. Maryam is still quite attached to Anders as the boy's first name. And she says Hunter is a dog name, since we have some friends whose dog is named Hunter too. Oh well. I guess our boy will be familiar with his first and middle names. He can choose between them when he is older.

P.S. My youngest brother returns home from his mission tonight! He has spent the last two years serving in India. I think his plane landed just a little while ago. I'm tempted to call, but I know he has school tomorrow. Seriously! I hope he's not too jet lagged to start back to college right away. :) Congratulations, Ray! And welcome home!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Baby Names

I'm beginning to feel anxious that we have not yet selected names for the new babies. We have narrowed down a list of boy and girl names, but so far none of them seem like the right fit. Tobin and I have discussed them a little more this week, and I think we are getting closer to a decision now. I won't tell you which way we are leaning yet; I'll just give you the short list of boy and girl names. Feel free to offer your opinions and suggestions.

Boy Names

Girl Names

A Riddle

Next to my night stand there is a stack of books about baby names and pregnancy. Tobin and I were talking about names the other night, so I grabbed the top book, which was a baby name book. The bottom 1/3 of the book was wet; not dripping, but noticeably wet. I checked the other books, but none of them were wet. The floor was not wet, and there was nothing on the night stand that could have spilled on this book. I'm stumped! How does the bottom of the top book get wet when nothing else around it is wet? I asked my kids and my husband if they know anything about it. They don't. Strange!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Where Did a Month Go?

I feel like I posted pretty recently, but looking at the date of my last post, it's been a month. I'm not really sure where the time went, but in some ways I'm glad the time is going quickly. I'm now 29 weeks pregnant. My personal goal is to make it to 36 weeks; that's just 7 more weeks! I'm feeling a serious urge to pack my hospital bag, but I'm making myself hold off until at least the end of this week (30 weeks pregnant). There are still plenty of other little projects around the house that are calling my name, too. The one that seems most pressing to me lately is to clean out my closet. I'm not really sure why this is the most urgent thing to me, but I'll probably make it happen this week--if I can fit it in between naps. I'm feeling pretty good lately. I'm getting more tired and hungry all the time, though.

I've been working feverishly on Peyton and Maryam's baby books for the last couple of weeks. They each probably have ten pages done now. This is another nesting thing. My idea was to finish scrapbooking their first year before the next set of babies is born. I don't know if it will happen, but I'm definitely giving it some effort.

Last night my sister-in-law and my friend threw us a Baby BBQ. We had a good time hanging out with friends and family. They were so generous to bring us gifts, even though this is not our first pregnancy. I wasn't looking for people to bring presents, we just wanted to celebrate this huge event in our lives. We really have sweet family and friends here. I forgot to bring my camera, so we have no pictures to document the event. We had a name suggestion bowl and got some pretty funny entries. We also got a few serious ones. But somehow, we don't seem to be any closer to naming these babies. I'm not sure how that will all pan out. I guess by the time we leave the hospital with them we will have to decide on something.

Maryam and Peyton are being great helpers for me. They let me nap almost every day (while they watch a movie). I know it's not great parenting, but growing babies is hard work! We started reading Charlotte's Web together a few nights ago. They watched the movie two days in a row last week, so I thought I would introduce them to the book. We have been reading a chapter a night, and it's going great! Peyton, especially, is excited to read it each night. I love it! Charlotte's Web was one of my favorites as a child, and I love sharing it with my children now.

I'll try to get Tobin to take a picture of my belly tonight so I can post a current photo. I'm having maternity pictures taken in a couple of weeks, so hopefully there will be some good ones from that to post here as well.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mistake or Mischief

Maryam didn't finish her sandwich at lunch today, so I asked her to put it in the fridge. Later, this is what I found. My daughter is a smart girl, so I'm trying to decide if I think she was being lazy, snarky, or silly. I guess next time I need to give more explicit instructions . . . bag first, then fridge, girlie!
cute Peyton just wanted his picture taken with the fridge
the culprit and her brother
Yes, that is her Halloween costume. She loves to dress up!

Our "Garden"

Our town house has a deck out back, but no real yard. When we had the deck built, we asked them to include a planting area, which is filled with calla lillies and irises. This year I really wanted to grow some vegetables too. In April I bought three pots and a few plants and we were on our way.
Peyton and Maryam helped me plant one cucumber, one pear tomato, one cherry tomato, and two beef steak tomatoes. We even roped Tobin into helping, since I'm not really supposed to be lifting heavy things like bags of soil and full pots.
Tobin worried that our little potted garden would die, since I have a bad track record of remembering to water potted plants. I promised him I would be much more diligent about watering. Lucky for me, we had quite a rainy spring, so the plants have done pretty well, even if I did forget to water now and then.

Getting Started

You can see my callas and irises in the background and on the right.


This past week we have enjoyed the first few tomatoes off our plants. We harvested four pear tomatoes, two cherry tomatoes, and one beef steak tomato. The larger tomato actually could have used a few more days on the vine, but it tasted AMAZING, even though it was a little under ripe. Now I'm wishing we had planted more tomatoes. Maybe next year I'll add to our collection of pots so we can add more plants to our potted "garden."

Peyton and Maryam in front of the smaller tomato plants
with the larger tomato plants
proud faces

the fruits of our labor

Daddy Daughter Date

On June 28th, Tobin took Maryam on their first official Daddy Daughter Date. Maryam was SO excited! She put on her fancy easter dress, princess sandals, and tiara. Tobin put on a button down shirt and dark jeans, so he wouldn't look too under-dressed. As soon as Maryam saw him, she told him he needed to put on a tie! This is one girl with innate romantic notions!

The cute couple went to Yogurt Pizzaz where they enjoyed some frozen yogurt and watched part of a movie showing there. Then, they went for a walk together. Maryam said her favorite part of the date was when Daddy opened the door for her because that was romantic! Look out boys, this is one girl who still believes in chivalry!

Peyton was jealous that Maryam got to go on a date with Daddy and he had to stay home with Mommy. Poor kid. His life is rough! One of these days I'll take him on a date (if he'll go with me). Maybe then he will be more excited about time alone with Mommy.

Recently Finished Projects

I was on a bit of a sewing kick and was able to finish several projects. I mentioned a couple of these before, but didn't post pictures until the packages had arrived to their recipients. Here are the fruits of my labors. I still have several projects I want to complete before the babies are born, but somehow my sewing always includes time on my floor for measuring, cutting, pinning, etc., and getting up and down from the floor is progressively harder these days. We'll see if I get anything else done . . . .

Car Seat Cover Ups

I made these for myself. I'm excited to be able to cover my babies so strangers can't just reach in whenever they want. These seem to be quite helpful when the baby is asleep, too.

Baby Quilts

The girl quilt was for my friend Cami who just had her first baby girl. (She already has three boys.) I think this is my favorite girl quilt so far.

The boy quilt was for my brother and sister-in-law, who are expecting their first baby - a boy - at the end of this month. I can't wait to meet my newest nephew!

Nursing Covers
This nursing cover is for me. I'm not sure it will be practical for nursing twins simultaneously, but at least I can use it when I need to pump in the car.

This nursing cover was for my sister-in-law, along with the baby boy quilt pictured above.

Well, that's enough projects for now. Still on the To Do list are some curtains, sleeves for a couple dresses I found on clearance for Maryam, more baby quilts/blankets to give as gifts, and a lot of scrapbooking. I think I better start prioritizing!

Family Stay-Cations

We are not traveling this summer, due to the pregnancy, but we have done a couple of fun family day trips together.

Tobin and I took the kids to the California Academy of Science in San Francisco. It has an aquarium, roof top garden, tropical garden, and much more. We probably only saw half of it, but we bought the season pass os that we can return as much as we want during the next year. The kids really loved it! A group of moms has a trip planned there for next week, and I'm really excited to go back and see some of the things we missed. Here are a few pictures of our adventure.

Peyton, Tobin, and Maryam under the aquarium

I told Maryam to put her thumbs down so her hand wouldn't block her face for the picture. She took my instructions literally!

Peyton, Tobin, and Lydia . . . photo by Maryam
Our family went to the Jelly Belly Factory with a group of moms and kids from our ward. The kids thought it was really cool. Peyton was so excited because jelly beans are his favorite treat right now! Daddy wasn't all that excited, but he humored us anyway.

Peyton, Maryam, and our friend Mikayla

Peyton and Daddy

Maryam and Lydia

Maryam, Lydia, Peyton, and Tobin

Won't Maryam love when I use this shot for her wedding video or something like that? :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm Losing It!

I think I may have officially lost my mind! I know, it's a pregnancy thing. But I didn't seem to gain many brain cells back after the last pregnancy. This could be a bad thing. Luckily, I have a calendar in my cell phone that remembers all of the important things for me. If it ever dies, I'm in big trouble!

Here's my latest example of my lack of brain power . . .
My sister-in-law's baby shower was this past Saturday in Utah. Of course, I couldn't be at the shower, but I did make a couple things to send to her. I am super excited for her to receive them, and had her gift completed in plenty of time to mail it for the shower. However, every single day last week, I forgot to go to the post office. How does that happen? Every night I would see the gift sitting in my living room and think about what point in the day I would go to the post office the next day. Then each day, I would not think about it one time. I finally mailed the packaged this Monday. I missed the shower!

I had a baby gift ready to send to a friend in Utah as well. So Monday, I finally could keep it in my head to get to the post office. I planned to use the priority mailing boxes at the post office to send the gifts. When I got there, I realized that I didn't bring any packing tape, and I didn't know if the post office would let me use some. The line was huge on Monday, so I started the wait to find out if they had tape. Then, I noticed some tape for sale with the other packaging items. Lucky me! So I went back to the little counter, packed up the two gifts in separate boxes, and taped them closed. Then I realized that I was still holding the cards. Duh! I taped one to the top of the box and shoved the other under the flap.

I waited in line again and finally made it to the window. The very kind post office employee told me that if I used a different box I could save a lot of money. I was so grateful! I got the boxes she suggested, and was actually glad to make the switch so I could put the cards inside this time. I switched the gifts to the new boxes, taped them closed, and realized that again, I failed to put the cards inside the boxes. Seriously?!?! Two times in a row? I will cut myself a bit of slack, since I was also trying to keep track of my two active four-year-olds. But really I should be a bit more together than this.

I will post pictures of the gifts and some other projects I recently finished, but I want to wait a couple more days. I don't want to spoil the surprise if one of these ladies reads my blog post before she receives her package. Let's just hope I got the addresses on the boxes correctly. My sister-in-law is having a boy and my friend had a girl. I will be so embarassed if I mixed up their gifts! (Girls, if I did mix it up, please let me know so we can arrange an exchange!)

Friday, June 18, 2010

In Other News . . .

Life is moving along at a regularly crazy pace. Peyton and Maryam are growing like weeds, as evidenced by Peyton's flooding pants. I bought him a couple new pair of jeans and a pair of church pants, but I refuse to buy any other pants until fall. This wouldn't really be a problem, except that the boy loves to wear his sweat pants. We are starting to get a lot of comments, even from strangers, about the length of his pants. I find it comical. Yes, I know my son's pants are too short. No, I'm not going to do anything about it right now. Thanks for being the fifth person to point it out today! :)

We are having lots of summer fun so far. We have two weekly park days, and next week I'm going to meet with some other moms to plan more fun activities. One that's high on my list is the tour of the Jelly Belly factory. I think Peyton and Maryam will really like it. I need to try to get that one on the schedule sooner than later, since it will mean a fair amount of walking and time on my feet. Other activities like going to the beach might be a bit less strenuous for a pregnant mama. Shoot, a day laying around in the sun sounds great! Our neighborhood pool has been a nice amenity too. My belly feels so much lighter in the water. Peyton is a regular fish, and loves jumping in, trying to dive for toys, swimming around with his friends, etc. Maryam doesn't really like to put her face in the water, but she LOVES the social aspect of the pool. This can cause me a bit of stress, since she sometimes wants to hang out with the local teenage girls who happen to be at the pool. Yikes! I'm really not ready for her to be a teenager yet.

I haven't figured out yet what to do about preschool in the fall. We've been doing a co-op style preschool for the last two years. I'd love to continue, but I'm not sure if it's realistic with a brand new set of twins due about the time school starts. I got a flyer about an in-home preschool nearby, and based on the price, I think I'm going to have to suck it up and be super woman with the co-0p style again. Paid preschool for twins is expensive!

Another Small Miracle

Two weeks ago I had another "big" ultrasound--these will occur every six weeks until the babies are born. The ultrasound is performed by a tech, who is not allowed to tell the patient anything important. She did get to tell us genders, though. (See my previous post) On the ultrasound, I noticed something abnormal in our little girl's brain. The tech didn't mention it, and I didn't ask her about it because I knew she couldn't say anything. The following Tuesday I got a call from the genetics department to inform us that our little girl had choroid plexus cysts in her brain. They offered us another more in-depth ultrasound, since this type of cysts can be related to a chromosomal defect called Trisomy 18. The geneticist said our little girl doesn't have any other indicators of Trisomy 18, so there wasn't much need for concern. But they wanted to do another ultrasound just to be cautious. This defect can usually be ruled out by the genetic blood test; but since I am pregnant with twins, it doesn't work for us. I agreed to the ultrasound, and we scheduled it for Monday of this week.

I was able to push this concerning information to the back of my mind most of the week. The kids and I had the flu over the weekend, so that helped too. Thankfully, I was feeling better on Monday morning and ready to get the next ultrasound done. Sadly, Monday morning is when Tobin came down with the flu. My fabulous sister-in-law, Kristyn, accompanied me to the Kaiser hospital in Oakland for the ultrasound. I was pretty anxious all night Sunday, and spent a lot of time praying for peace and strengthened faith. By Monday morning I was feeling much stronger. Kristyn and I had a lovely visit, chatting and laughing. An ultrasound tech performed basically the same ultrasound on both babies that had been done just 10 days before. I watched closely, and didn't see the cysts in our little girl's brain this time. Next, a doctor came in and did the same ultrasound again, slightly abbreviated. She was able to discuss her findings, and told us that both babies look normal. The cysts are, in fact, gone! The geneticist came in next and talked with us for a few minutes. She didn't have too much to discuss, since the risk of any problem is now incredibly low. What a miracle! I am so touched by the Lord's mercies.

Today was another appointment with my regular doctor. When you are pregnant with twins you get to see the doctor every two weeks! Phew! Good thing I like him. :) Tobin, Peyton, and Maryam all came with me today. This was the kids' first time to see the babies on an ultrasound. They were so cute! They asked Tobin and me a lot of questions about the colorful posters on the wall while we waited for the doctor--can you say female anatomy lesson! They were both totally attentive during the ultrasound and talkative with the doctor. After the exam was over, I asked a couple of questions I had for the doctor. Then, I asked the kids if they had any questions. Peyton raised his hand. I told him to go ahead and ask. He looked at the doctor and said, "How do they get out?" I started laughing, and the doctor looked at me and asked, "Can you handle this one?" I explained to him that we've actually had this talk before. Then I told Peyton again how babies get out of the mommy--the super short, one sentence answer. It was so cute.

My doctor said today that I need to start planning to tone down my activities going forward. He doesn't even want me carrying heavy laundry baskets anymore. I'm not on bed rest, and he wants to keep it that way. Honestly, so do I! So now, I'm going to have to start cracking the whip for my hubby! Tobin really is a great help. I'm just going to have to save some of the bigger household chores for him to help me with in the evenings. I'm sure that's not his favorite idea, but it sure beats having a wife who can't do anything at all.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Big Baby News

We had our "big" ultrasound this afternoon. (This is actually the first appointment that Tobin has been to for this pregnancy since we were released from the fertility clinic.) Both babies were very active and gave the ultrasound tech a bit of a run for her money. We were there for about an hour and a half to get all of the pictures and measurements that the doctors like to see. Whew! It's really neat to watch the babies on the screen and see all the different parts of their bodies and how big they are getting. We are really lucky to have twins again, since we get to have the big ultrasounds every six weeks until they are born. I don't know how women with just one baby get through a pregnancy with only a couple of ultrasounds. I feel so lucky to be able to see our babies at every doctor's appointment!

Baby A is measuring slightly smaller than Baby B -- by about 10 grams. That's not much of a difference at all. They are both about 12 oz right now. The technology for ultrasounds is amazing! I'm truly fascinated by it all.
But I'm sure this is not the news you came for today. Here's the announcement you've been waiting to hear . . . .
Baby A is . . . a BOY!
Baby B is . . . a GIRL!
That's right, folks. We must be the luckiest parents alive! We are having our second set of boy/girl twins! I was really hoping these babies would be a boy and a girl again, partly because I'm terrified of trying to tell two boys or two girls apart. Maryam has been telling us all along that we are having a boy and a girl, so she was really happy to be proven correct today. Peyton is holding out for two boys and two girls. Yes, he wants us to have FOUR more babies because he likes to have lots of friends to play with. What a cute couple of kids we already have! They were really excited to see the ultrasound pictures tonight. We took them to dinner to tell them the news and show them the pictures. It was a fun time for our family. We are all so excited and happy!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Half Way . . . plus a little

I am almost 20 weeks pregnant--it's official on Thursday. For a singleton pregnancy, this is the half way point. For me, 18-19 weeks is the half way point. Twins are considered full term at 36 weeks, and my doctor assured me today that if I have not had them by 38 weeks, he will induce me. Woo hoo! Time finally seems to be moving a bit faster.

The good news today is that both babies are looking great, and I actually gained some weight. In fact, I gained five pounds in the last two weeks. Yikes! (Though, I'm only up seven pounds overall.) The doctor said I don't need to go looking for extra calories now, just eat what sounds good and doesn't make me queasy. Morning sickness is improving all the time. I'm hoping it will be completely gone very soon. But I've been hoping that for a while . . . .

I started having Braxton Hicks contractions last week. My doctor told me today that it's normal to feel them earlier during a second or subsequent pregnancy because you recognize the feeling. I remember when I was pregnant with Peyton and Maryam the doctor asked me something about feeling Braxton Hicks contractions and I told him I hadn't felt any. He said, "You're having one right now." What a surprise!

This Friday is the big ultrasound where we (hopefully) will find out the babies' genders. I'm really excited! I'm such a planner! I really hope the babies cooperate so I can get going full swing on getting everything ready for them. I want to get clothes washed and ready, get cribs set up, decide if I need/want to make new quilts for them, make car seat cover things (so people can't just reach in to touch your baby), etc. Who knows how many projects I'll actually finish before they arrive. I'm working on some gifts for other moms/babies too. And of course there are the myriad non-baby-related projects that I have planned or started but never finished. I'm also toying with the idea of trying to get Peyton and Maryam's lives scrapped before the new babies are born. I have not scrapbooked one single picture of their lives yet. It's tragic and shameful, really. Oh well, what's a mom to do, right? Shoot, maybe I'll just wait a few more years on the scrapbooks and let them do it for themselves. :)

Stay tuned for exciting pictures later this week. I may have some completed projects to show you. And there will definitely be new ultrasound pictures in a few days!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kids! What a hoot!

Last week I was sustained as the Ward Music Chairperson at church. This Sunday I went to the bishop's office with my family after church to be set apart. (In our church, we have callings where we serve, unpaid, in different capacities. When a person receives a new calling, she is "set apart," or given a blessing or special prayer, to help her do the new job. It's like getting advice from Heavenly Father, through a priesthood leader who voices the blessing.)

Tobin and the kids and I went in the bishop's office with the three bishopric members. I told the kids this was going to be a special prayer and they needed to sit very quietly with their arms folded and listen. We emphasized the need for reverence, too. About half way through the blessing, Maryam let out a really loud fart. She followed that by giggling and snickering through the rest of the blessing. I couldn't decide whether to be embarrassed or burst out laughing. Luckily all of the adults in the room managed to maintain decorum until the blessing was finished. I shook the bishop's hand and apologized for my daughter and we all started laughing. What a story I have to share with her future husband someday! Needless to say, our Family Home Evening lesson last night was about appropriately dealing with bodily functions in public.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Little Life Lessons

Being pregnant has produced all sorts of opportunities to teach Peyton and Maryam about life--especially about reproduction. They have quite a few questions about babies and pregnancy. I'm doing my best to be honest and age appropriate with answers for them. Yesterday, they asked to see some pictures of themselves when they were babies. Tragically, I still haven't made their baby book. (This brings me to a dilemma. Do I make one book or two???? Advise, anyone?)
But I digress. Thank goodness for digital pictures! I took the kids to the computer and opened the pictures there. They were enthralled with the slide shows of themselves as babies. Many of the pictures also feature Tobin and me. As you probably recall, Tobin has lost quite a bit of weight in the last year and a half, so he looks very different in those pictures from four years ago. Maryam saw the first picture of Tobin way back when and said, "That's Daddy when he was crunchy. Now he is smooth."
This is serious progress. The last time she saw pictures of her chubby daddy, she said, "That's when Daddy was a little bit ugly." I'm not sure why she was associating being overweight with being ugly. That's not something she heard here! She made comments to me about strangers along those lines too, so we had some serious conversations about everyone being unique and special. And just because someone is overweight doesn't mean they are ugly. I'm glad she has now found some different adjectives to use. Crunchy and smooth are just too funny!
Crunchy Daddy
Smooth Daddy

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Baby Update

Here are a few ultrasound pictures from last week.

Baby B back of head and spine (facing down)

Baby B Profile (facing up)

Baby A Profile (facing up)

Baby A with hand next to face

I had my first appointment with my OB/GYN, Dr. Grullon, today. I love him! I've only seen him a few times in the last 8 1/2 years, so I don't know him very well; but he was so supportive and happy for me today. I'm so glad he is my doctor!

From here on out the medical monitoring gets more intense. I will see Dr. Grullon every two weeks, and I will have a "big" ultrasound every 4-6 weeks. Suddenly I feel like my schedule is getting full.

Dr. Grullon did an ultrasound "up top" (what's the technical term?) and a vaginal ultrasound to check my cervix today. I had a "big" ultrasound last week, and he discussed the results with me today. At Kaiser the "big" ultrasounds--where they measure the babies' bones, brain, organs, etc.--are done in the radiology department. Dr. G said that one of the placentas is just touching my cervix. I think this is called placenta previa. I saw the radiology tech type it on one of the pictures last week, but she didn't mention it to me. I'm pretty sure that's because she is not actually allowed to discuss the results with patients. That job is left to the doctor. Anyway, Dr. G said today that when the placenta is close to/touching the cervix this early in the pregnancy, it will usually resolve and move away. If it doesn't move away from my cervix, then we will have a c-section delivery. He said if I tried to do a vaginal delivery with the placenta there I would just bleed. I'm kind of freaked out about this, but Dr. G was so calm and didn't seem to be overly concerned. So I'm going to rely on his expertise and tell myself not to worry until there is really something to worry about. In the mean time I'll definitely be praying for that placenta to move over! Dr. G said he will be doing an ultrasound on my belly and a vaginal ultrasound to check my cervix at every appointment until the placenta is no longer touching my cervix. Besides this minor concern, everything else looks good.

Dr. Grullon was so upbeat and positive. And he seems genuinely excited that we are having a second set of twins. He mentioned how unusual it is for someone to have more than one set of twins and how wonderful it is for us. I really appreciate his positive attitude. I can get so anxious and nervous when I go to the doctor, but he made me feel so comfortable and more calm. He even asked me to bring him pictures of Peyton and Maryam that he can put up in his office.
Every time I see the babies on an ultrasound I get more excited to meet them. This pregnancy is finally starting to feel real. I am beginning to show a little, but I won't post a picture yet. Mostly, I just look like I need to start working out more. Maybe next month I will look pregnant enough to put up a picture. I have felt the babies move a little bit too. I realized during the "big" ultrasound last week that I feel them moving more than I thought. It was easier to identify when I saw them moving on the screen and felt the little tickling movements inside me at the same time. I've also felt a few definite thumps. On Tuesday I rested some library books against my stomach and got a kick right behind my belly button!
I'm officially 16 weeks pregnant, as of yesterday. Woo hoo! Moving right along!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Chomping at the Bit

I'm feeling anxious lately about getting things ready for the new babies. I want to get the cribs out and put them together; go through the baby clothes, wash them, put them away in the dresser; wash the baby car seat covers; etc. I keep telling myself to calm down and relax. We don't even know if we are having boys or girls or one of each yet. We still have MONTHS to go! I think this is the OCD part of me coming out. I want to be ready now, even though I know we still have a long time to wait.

I have a bunch of other craft projects that I want to work on, including repurposing some maternity shirts from winter to summer wear. But somehow I can't get myself motivated to do those other things. And so, I do nothing. I crack myself up! (Now, you understand by nothing I mean, taking care of my kids, house, church calling, etc. I can't actually do nothing.)

Morning sickness is lessening lately - I'm 14 weeks pregnant today. But I've actually been throwing up more lately. I guess I better ask the doctor if that is a bad thing when I see him. My hunger is continuing to increase, but food is still not looking too good. I have, however, managed to eat a little red meat lately. This is a miracle, of sorts! I ate one piece of tri tip on Sunday and had a hamburger for lunch yesterday. And it tasted so good! Granted, my stomach felt really funky after both, but I did keep them down. Wahoo!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Blue Moon

On Saturday we purchased our first minivan! It's a 2006 Chrysler Town & Country. I'm so excited! We found it at a used car sale hosted by our credit union. We initially intended to buy a foreign made minivan, but they tend to be more expensive. The minivan selection at the sale wasn't that big, and we stumbled across this lovely car by luck. It was a good deal, and only has 50,000 miles on it. I don't know about other parts of the country, but it's hard to find cars with low mileage in this area.

When we first looked at the minivan, it was missing a couple of the seats. We asked the sales guy if they had all of the seats, and he had to go ask someone else because he is not familiar with this type of vehicle. To our amazement--and my joy--this van has stow-and-go seats. The seats all fold down into the floor! The sales guys were really amused at how excited I was about this feature. The van also happens to have a DVD player, which is a nice plus for long trips with the kids. I have already laid down the law, though, that we will not be watching movies while we drive around town. Does that stop the kids from asking to watch a movie every time we get in the new car? Of course not!

We took the van for a test drive and then drove it around the lot to check out our other options. In the end, we decided to go ahead and buy it. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. At least I know that once these babies arrive I'll have a way to transport my whole family anywhere we need to go. The new minivan is a light, silvery blue, so Tobin has named it Blue Moon. This is a whole new world for us. Tobin would rather have purchased an SUV, but I didn't want to pay more for the vehicle and the gas right now. Maybe a few years down the road when we are independently wealthy . . . .

Cute Kiddos

I've been feeling much better lately, and I'm starting to have a little more energy. But somehow I'm throwing up more now than before. Yesterday, I was getting myself and the kids ready for church and suddenly needed to run to the bathroom. Peyton followed me and watched the proceedings. He was not at all grossed out. In fact, I think he was kind of impressed. After I threw up he said, "Wow, Mom! That was a lot!" He and Maryam were both concerned that I should stay home from church since I was sick. They didn't want me to get anyone else sick. So cute!

We had a great weekend, enjoying three full days in a row with Daddy. It was so nice to have busy season come to an end this year. Tobin works really hard, and we appreciate his dedication to taking care of our family. We also appreciate the days when we get to have him all to ourselves! Tobin and I were even able to go out car shopping on Saturday, and ended up driving home with a new (to us) minivan. I'll post about that later today once I've downloaded (or is it uploaded?) the pictures.

Monday, April 5, 2010

So Far, So Good

I had an appointment with the nurse practitioner today. I was going to post some ultrasound pictures, but they don't really look like much yet. Maybe I'll post some from the next appointment. Hopefully by that point the babies will have some distinguishable human features. I'm sure we could have gotten better pictures today, but that didn't really seem to be the NP's purpose. Oh well. I did get to see the heartbeats on the monitor. That is always reassuring.

The appointment today was a little strange for me. With my first pregnancy, I was referred to a perinatologist right after the fertility clinic. This time the fertility clinic sent me to my regular OB GYN, so everything is different. The NP made a comment about this being my first pregnancy. I corrected her and told her that I already have four-year-old twins. She looked at me like I was crazy! She said she saw the records in the computer, but assumed that my pregnancy in 2005-06 was a miscarriage. (Who would go back for more IVF, right?) We had a bit of an awkward moment while she tried to wrap her head around people wanting more than two kids. It was kind of awkward for me. Luckily, my appointments after this will be with my regular OB. At the very least, the NP could have pretended not to think I'm insane. Oh well. I figured I would get some reactions like that. Most people (strangers or acquaintances) here assumed we were done having kids when our first set of twins turned out to be a girl and a boy. It's amusing to me to see the way other people think.

I'm almost through the first trimester of this pregnancy. I'll officially be 12 weeks pregnant on Thursday. The allergic reactions are getting much better in the last few days. I think I only ended up taking Benadryl about 50% of last week. Yay! I'm really hoping I will start to like food again soon. So far I've lost about 2-3 pounds because food is really disgusting to me. But I'm getting so hungry all the time now that I really need to eat more. It's the strangest contradiction! Please share your ideas of foods that were super tasty while you were pregnant. I really need to find something that tastes good and doesn't make me want to run for the bathroom. :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Our News

Well friends, I promised that I would explain my infrequent blog posting lately. I think you've waited long enough.

We have a big surprise to share.

Are you ready?

We are expecting another set of twins!! They are due October 21, 2010. Chances are good that they will really be born a few weeks before that, though.

This pregnancy has been pretty rough so far. We did IVF again in early February. As part of the process, I have to take a number of medications. One of them happens to be a daily injection of progesterone in oil. It seems that I am allergic to something about this medication. In the past, I've had itching at the injection site when I used it. This time I had major allergic reactions. The doctor changed the type of oil three different times trying to find something that I was not allergic to. We finally settled on olive oil, since it caused the fewest/least scary reactions. As a result, I've been on Benadryl pretty consistently for about two months. My allergic reactions have ranged from itching at the injection site to huge welts at the injection site to swelling throat and tongue to itching throat and tongue to hives to muscle aches. Seriously. I'm not even exaggerating. I got to finish taking the shots last week, and the allergic reactions are finally starting to diminish. I'm hoping to be a normal (pregnant) person who doesn't take Benadryl every day very soon.

Additionally, I had a bit of bleeding at six weeks, and was put on bed rest for about two weeks. Strangely, the timing was almost exactly the same as the bleeding I had when I was pregnant with Peyton and Maryam. Weird! The doctor was concerned about one of the babies for a bit, but at our last ultrasound everything looked fine. The women in our ward were fabulous about taking care of us while I was on bed rest. And my sister-in-law and her mom were fabulous as well. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful people who care about us!

I have another ultrasound next week--just a regular check up with the nurse practitioner. After that appointment I will be passed along to my regular OB GYN. We will get to find out the sex of the babies in early June. Stay tuned!

So far the regular pregnancy symptoms have been pretty normal. Of course, I'm sick to my stomach. But I haven't done much throwing up, so that is a blessing! I'm seriously tired! And the past two weeks I've become VERY, VERY hungry! I'm hoping that food becomes appetizing to me again soon. It's really hard to make myself eat when the food isn't really appealing. Overall, I think I may have lost a pound or two so far, but I'm expecting that trend to turn around pretty quickly.

So, that's my story . . . and I'm sticking to it! I'll post some ultrasound pictures soon. They're not too exciting thus far. But next week's pictures should look more like babies than blobs, I think.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

We're Alive

I know I haven't posted much lately. I'm sorry to my faithful followers, if there are any of you. I'll be back soon with stories to tell. But for now . . . well . . . you'll just have to keep wondering what we are up to. Give me a little longer. It will be worth the wait.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Plugging Along

I know I need to blog more. Well, really I don't know for sure. Maybe no one is reading this, so it's just my own inner critic and guilt fiend telling me that people want to see more here. But then, some of you have become "followers," so I assume that means you want to know what is going on with us. Anyway . . .

I'll try to blog more. Lately life is normal. We're in the midst of busy season, so Tobin is not home much, even though he isn't really doing any tax work this year. Someone please explain that to me. No, don't. I know he is extrememly busy at work. Luckily they have hired a couple new people so hopefully we can meet the guy who sometimes sleeps in my bed sometime soon. :)

Peyton and Maryam are closing on the their fourth birthday. I'm not going to do a big friend party this year. We'll save all that drama for the big 5th birthday next year. This year will just be family and a few close friends (who qualify as family in our eyes). Peyton has been praying for a car race track for his birthday. He started asking for one just before Christmas, but I . . . *ahem* . . . Santa, had already spent his budget for the year. Since then we've heard of nothing but a car race track. He seriously prays for one every night before bed. I think I better get on that soon. I'm not sure what is out there, and I don't want to spend a fortune because I didn't do my homework. Peyton wants a dinosaur or shark cake. He decided the other day that a shark cake is probably better because sharks are more scary to people. I love it! I better work on that too. I'm not too skilled at cake decorating, so I'm thinking a blue cake with shark toys on it. Yeah, that's my style. Too cheap to buy a cake; lack the skill to make a fantastic cake on my own. Maybe there are some better ideas on the internet . . . .

Maryam hasn't mentioned anything particular that she wants lately, so I asked her a couple of days ago. She wants a Beauty and the Beast cake with the real toys on it - just like her Cinderella cake last year. That way she gets a cute cake and a present all in one. She's a smart girl. I asked her what she wanted for a present. She said, "I want car keys like you and Daddy so I can practice driving." I explained that you have to be 16 (maybe it's 18 in Cali now?) before you can drive. Well, she likes to pretend that she is 16, so that will be fine. Seriously, that's her explanation. She likes to push my buttons by telling me that her boyfriend is calling on her toy cell phone. A few days ago she told me that she broke up with Gape (her boyfriend - the name is really Gabe, but she thinks it's Gape). Now she has another boyfriend already, Jesse. Her boyfriends are from a couple different episodes of Hannah Montana. I may have to ban that show for her! This girl is 3 going on 16! She's a serious crack up!

Well, that's our life in a nut shell. We've been battling a nasty cold/virus thingy. It hasn't been too fun, but I think we are all on the mend now.

If you have any fabulous ideas on the birthday cakes or presents, please share! Do your kids have a car track they really love? I'm thinking something compatible with matchbox cars, since Peyton already has a lot of them. And what do you give the girl who wants car keys at age 4??? Do they make toy key fobs? (How do you spell that anyway?)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Feeding the Chickens

This afternoon I suggested the twins go upstairs to play since they were driving me crazy playing downstairs while I was sewing. They were more than excited to play in their room for a while. I didn't hear anything out of the ordinary and figured they were probably building their secret hiding place again (think blanket fort). A little later, I heard them playing at the bedroom door, keeping each other out/in. I headed upstairs to see what they were up to.

I turned the corner in the hallway to their room, and this is what I saw.

The blob on the floor is the inside structure of one of the twins' arm chair style bean bag chairs. The white spots on the floor are styrofoam "beans" from the chair. I stepped into the twins' bedroom and found this . . .

They emptied the beans from both of their chairs onto the floor of the bedroom. I quickly asked them why they would empty out their bean bag chairs onto the floor. Maryam replied, "To feed the pretend chickens, Mom." She used this tone of voice like their actions were perfectly logical. I had to work really hard not to burst out laughing right then. I explained to them that this was probably not the best idea and they would need to help me clean up the floor. They agreed, and I ran downstairs to get the camera and some beach buckets.

We spent 45 minutes scooping "beans" off the floor into beach buckets and then into trash bags. Then the kids were great helpers vacuuming all the remaining beans from underneath everything in their room.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas Sunday

We had our Christmas program at church on the Sunday before Christmas. I sing with the ward choir, and we had planned and prepared to sing three songs. I was also involved in a quartet that was singing another song. The choir director asked us to arrive 30 minutes early for church so that we could do one last rehearsal before we performed.

A few weeks before Christmas I bought outfits for the twins to wear to church on Christmas Sunday. It's a tradition in my family to get a new church outfit for Christmas and Easter. I loved this tradition as a child, and I have continued it with my own children. Each year I search a few different stores for a beautiful dress for Maryam and a handsome sweater vest outfit for Peyton -- and of course the are always coordinating! The night before the "Christmas Sunday" I laid out the twins Christmas outfits so they would be ready to wear the next morning.

Now, I should give you a bit more background information. Tobin is our ward clerk, so he has to attend early morning meetings before church each week. This leaves me to get the twins ready by myself each week. Every Sunday morning they throw a fit about having to get up and get ready. That fit usually involves some crying and yelling about not wanting to go to church. Once we get to church they are happy to be there, so I'm not really sure why they throw a fit every week. It probably has something to do with having to get up and get ready earlier than any other day of the week (since I'm not working this year). I usually do everything I can to motivate them to get ready, including allowing them to choose their own outfit to wear to church (with some guidance from me--I'm really way to anal to just let them have free reign).

So Christmas Sunday morning dawns bright and early. I wake the twins earlier than usual so we can arrive early for the choir practice before Sacrament Meeting begins. I even aimed to arrive an hour early rather than 30 minutes early so that I would have 30 minutes extra time for melt downs, tantrums, and other such catastrophes. Well, I really should have allowed an extra hour. That Sunday morning was the first knock down, drag out battle I've had with my daughter. It was a glimpse of what her teenage years could be like. And it was ugly! This is one of two times during the year that I choose her clothes for church, but she was not having it! She threw a huge tantrum about not wanting to wear her Christmas dress. I tried everything I could think of to convince her to put the silly dress on, and suddenly we were deadlocked in an epic battle. I ended up texting Tobin and telling him that we might not make it to church at all that day. He left his meeting to call home and try his fatherly powers over the phone to convince the twins to listen to me, but to no avail. Maryam still refused to put on the dress.

I finally gave up and told her to choose a different dress to wear. I was nearly in tears, we were running very late, and I wasn't finished getting myself ready for church yet either. At that moment she finally decided that she would wear her beautiful Christmas dress after all. Oh, was I fried! Eventually we did make it to church. The choir practice was already half way through, and I was still on the verge of tears. One of my friends happened to arrive about the same time and asked how I was doing as we walked down the hall. I broke down crying and she lovingly consoled me. She has five children and assured me that these kinds of mornings happen to the best of us. Thankfully, her cheerful attitude quickly lifted my spirits. The choir performance went quite well, and my performance with the quartet was even better. It turned out to be a lovely, spiritual meeting.

I usually take a picture of the kids in the Christmas outfits before we leave for church, but this year that obviously was out of the question. In fact, I didn't even think of taking a picture until much later in the day after they had already changed their clothes. I had to bribe them the following Sunday to get them to put on the Christmas outfits again so I could take pictures. It may be a short-lived tradition at this rate. But next year they won't be three-year-olds anymore. Maybe four-year-olds are more reasonable and obedient. Maybe four-year-olds will better understand their mother's desire for a cute looking, coordinated, somewhat matchy family for the Christmas program at church.
They are such posers! I don't know where they come up with this stuff!