Archive for March, 2015
I recently sat down with my almost 4-year-old to get her take on the impending arrival of her twin siblings. She says all kinds of crazy things to me on any given day, as most all almost-four-year-olds do, so I couldn’t wait to pick her brain. She was also very excited about our little chat, despite the fact that she insisted on drinking chocolate milk the whole time and staring off into space.
She took it upon herself to start our chat by telling me all the things that big sisters do.
Sarah: “Big sisters change the diaper and they help take a baby down for a nap. And they help grownups feed them and rock them to sleep.”
Me: “That’s right! Are you going to do all those things when your baby brother and baby sister get here?”
Sarah: “Uh huh, I am. It’s so beautiful.”
Me: “Are you excited about having a new brother and a new sister? Two babies?”
Sarah: “Uh huh.”
Me: “What are they going to look like?”
Sarah: “Maybe their hair is going to grow when they get out of your tummy. I think brother’s eyes are going to be brown and sister’s eyes are going to be blue.”
Me: “Oh that’s a good guess! When do you think they’re going to be born?”
Sarah: “In spring!”
Me: “Do you have a day picked out?”
Sarah: “Uh huh.”
Me: “What day do you think?”
Sarah: “Um, I don’t know.”
Me: “What do you think Norah is going to do when they get here?”
Sarah: “I think she’s going to play with them.”
Me: “Are you going to come to the hospital to meet them?”
Sarah: “Uh huh.”
Me: “What are you going to do when you get to the hospital?”
Sarah: “Just be quiet.”
Me: “Are you going to say anything to them?”
Sarah: “I’m going to tell them a secret.”
Me: “What kind of secret?”
Sarah: “A princess secret. And it’s going to be aiwehriauwbfiwubefaiww. That’s what I’m going to say.”
Me: “I couldn’t hear you, that was very quiet.”
Sarah: “No, it’s secret talk like this (very quietly) ‘Do you want to have a tea party.. that’s what I’m whispering. (Regular voice) That’s a secret talk.”
Me: “What are you going to do when mommy and daddy bring them home to our house and they start crying?”
Sarah: “Take them down for a nap.”
Me: “Yea? How are you going to get them down for a nap?”
Sarah: “Just rock them in the blue rocking chair. And I’m going to put them in that bed. Well I’m just going to climb up those things, and when they go to sleep I’m going to climb down those things.” [I’m guessing she’s referring to the step ladder I now have to use to get in and out of bed].
Me: “What are you going to do when they cry in the middle of the night and they’re sleeping?”
Sarah: “Um, I’m just going to stay in bed and just let you do that.”
Me: “Oh, ok because that’s what mommies and daddies do?”
Sarah: “Uh huh.”
Me: “What do you think Leela and Bonnie are going to do when we bring them home?”
Sarah: “I think they’re going to bark when they’re taking a nap.”
Me: “Oh no, I hope not, that’s going to wake them up, huh?”
Sarah: “Yea, they’re going to bark really loud.”
Me: “What are you most excited about having a new brother and sister?”
Sarah: “Um, changing their diaper.”
Me: “That makes you excited?”
Me: “Alright, I’m glad I’m going to have such a good helper. Are you going to help me give them baths?”
Sarah: “Yep…. but we need rags for them.”
Me: “Are they going to have little bitty feet?”
Sarah: “Yep! (holds hand up with fingers the size of a quarter) Like this tiny. And that’s what a big sister is for! I was a big sister when Bean [Norah] was little. When Bean was little like this, when she was this little (grape sized according to her hand).”
Me: “You’re still her big sister, huh? And now you’re going to have another little sister and a little brother.”
Sarah: “But can I be both their sisters? Can I be both their big sisters? But I can be their sis, too.”
Me: “Yea, you can. Are you going to give them sweet, gentle hugs and kisses?”
Sarah: “Uh huh, they’re going to be teenie weenie just like Teenie.” [I think the Teenie she is referring to is Nana's cat].
And there you have it. Words of wisdom from a soon-to-be big sis of twins. I would have interviewed Norah too, but I have a feeling hers would have gone something like this:
Norah: “Mama! Cracker! Cup! More! Dada!” The end.
Ok, here’s the thing, I could gripe and complain some more about modified bed rest, but I’m going to try to stay away from that negative state of mind and be thankful that I’m not on full bed rest, still pregnant and able to drive to work and back every day.
In that spirit of positivity, I’ve figured out, over the past few weeks, a few ways to entertain my young children without driving them all over town, keeping pace with them as they run, or attempting to jump on the trampoline. It’s been a learning curve for all of us. Sarah’s request of, “Mama, come see the tea party I set up,” isn’t met with much enthusiasm or energy when it takes Mama three solid minutes to go from laying to standing to walking into another room (which I probably don’t need to be doing anyway).
So here’s what we’ve come up with in an attempt to make everyone (mostly) happy.
First, let’s get real, Mama needs coffee. I know you’re not supposed to drink caffeine when you’re pregnant, this ain’t my first rodeo, but I warm up a glass ¾ full of milk and add some real coffee anyway. I’ve asked, it’s fine and it makes everyone in the house happier. So after Daddy makes coffee and I pour up a small cup, we can choose our activity.
Option 1: Outside is always the first option. It’s the perfect opportunity to sit and observe while they run all of their energy out. And while Sarah was disappointed that I refused to get on the trampoline a few times, she has now taken it upon herself to design and set up an obstacle course around the perimeter of the yard which involves jumping over multiple stools and a torn up inflatable pool, dashing through leaves, making circles around the tire swing and avoiding stepping in dog poop. She runs this course at top speed multiple times around the yard while I cheer, “Bravo!” from my perch and help Norah throw the ball for the dogs, thus effectively entertaining and exhausting two kids and two dogs at the same time.
However, it has been awfully rainy out lately, so we have a few inside options as well.
Option 2: Crafts. Now, this one requires a little more stamina on my part and Norah either needs to be napping or out on an errand with daddy because I quickly discovered that I cannot bend to the floor to clean up the paint that Norah so wishes to paint our tile with. I really like doing this with Sarah. First we get the iPad and go to Pinterest. She picks the theme of the craft and then we search until we land on something that she both likes and we have all the supplies for. This past weekend the theme was “Easter” and all we needed was some paper, paint, crayons, glue and scissors. It was quite the success and allowed Daddy to get away with only taking Norah to the grocery store while we played at home.
Option 3: The Performance. My kids love to dance and sing and perform. We’ve cleared off the fireplace hearth, tune Pandora into their choice of music (usually the Disney station), let them dress themselves in costume and perform to their hearts’ content. Both kiddos actively participate in this one and wear themselves out.
Option 4: Bring the game to Mama. We moved our kids’ picnic table back into the living room, thus providing the perfect setting to play tea party / restaurant / birthday party, all while Mama gets served up a variety of delicious Lego foods from my perch. It’s almost like breakfast in bed!
Option 5: The Van. I love my new minivan so much. And when the days started to get super rainy and dreary and the kids couldn’t go out, Mark suggested loading everyone up in the car and just driving. Sometimes we put on a DVD (we just bought 101 Dalmatians!), sometimes we listen to music, and sometimes we just stare out the window. We go and pick up lunch, or just drive and hang out. Norah always gets excited about this particular activity and loudly screams, “GO! GO!” and runs to the door if we even mention the word car.
Option 6: Let them go to their grandparents’ if their grandparents are willing and available. I think this one’s self explanatory.
Now, here’s to hoping this Spring weather is here to stay, or we are going to be in for a lot of long car rides with four little ones in the van in about a month or so.
“How are you doing? How are you holding up?” are the two questions I get most these days while people eyeball my growing belly.
“Really good all things considered,” is my usual response.
And it’s true. By 32 weeks, many women with multiples are already on bed rest and in so much misery that moving or breathing is a task. My OB always tells me how lucky I am – how being tall makes things so much better. And she’s right. I asked her last time what short women with multiples do, and she quickly replied, “Get put on bed rest and sometimes in the hospital.”
So luck, if that’s what you want to call it, has been with me.
This morning I went to visit my high risk OB. I love their office. The doctors are so great and laid back and they get you in and out so quickly. I see them so often now that I feel like I’m getting to know them pretty well.
Dr. B came in to see me this morning and picked up the ultrasound wand. “Let’s take a look at all that extra fluid around Baby B.” Baby B, it seems, has double the amount of room to swim around in than his sister and is outpacing her in size by a pound or so. That’s not a bad thing for the babies though, they are both are getting plenty of nutrition and are well within the sizes they should be, but Baby B is just a big boy.
The problem is all that extra fluid. It doesn’t hurt the baby in any way, but instead of feeling like I’m 32 weeks pregnant with twins, it feels more like I’m 35 or 36 weeks pregnant with twins – therein lies the risk. When my uterus hits a certain size, it may think it’s “go time,” even if we’re not quite there yet. Not to mention the fact that my ribs, hips, lower back and bladder are all paying the consequences as well. Sleeping has become a joke, as the dark circles under my eyes can attest, and this limited mobility thing is so hard for me to abide by.
At any rate, I got myself landed with an elevated risk diagnosis this morning and I now get to visit my friends at both OB offices once a week now: aka, I’ll be at the doctors’ offices at least twice a week from here on out.
I don’t want to sound ungrateful or unhappy – I’m not, just worried. I know so far we have been abundantly blessed and, despite the elevated risk, there is still a good chance that we can make it to that longed-for 36 week mark. Please keep our entire family in your prayers as we soldier on into the end of this pregnancy. I know the NICU here is an amazing and great place, but if we can avoid it or spend minimal time there, that would be my ultimate wish. I already love these two little ones so much and want them to be as healthy as possible. I can fight through the discomfort, after all it’s Mark’s job to sit there and listen to me complain without judging me, just as long as we are all ok in the end.
Snow in Louisiana is a rare and funny thing – especially when A) the forecasters are actually right and it happens and B) it lasts more than one day. Both of those things happened last week and I noticed that people’s reactions were something like this:
Day 1: SNOW! SNOW! SNOW! (ok, so it’s mostly ice) but cancel all the things and let’s stay home and party. No school! Yay! Also let’s take a million pictures and go outside in inappropriate clothing because none of us are prepared for this! Also, let’s update everyone and let them know where it’s snowing!
Day 2: A much more muted celebration, yay – no work, no school, but really I’m tired of being stuck inside with my kids, can’t we all get back to normal tomorrow?
Day 3: Real snow! It’s beautiful! But seriously, I’m over it. Please melt and go away and bring me 75-degree weather. Grumble grumble, complain, complain.
My take? I loved it – all three days of it from ice, to slush to real snow. I loved being at home with my family. Yes, it had its trying moments, but there is something so wonderful about an unplanned vacation. Perhaps it’s the homebody in me, or maybe getting outside long enough to watch Mark and Sarah pelt each other with snowballs and build a giant snowman satiated my need to get out of the house, but I was in heaven.
The stay at home gave me some much needed time to move Norah’s things into Sarah’s closet and get the twins’ things set up in a closet together – a big task that I had had no clue when I’d be able to accomplish. (And don’t worry, I mostly stayed off my feet, sitting in the closet organizing, folding, stacking and yelling for Mark to come move heavy boxes for me). We also cleaned bedrooms (in the same sitting and directing fashion).
But, most importantly, whenever I felt tired or worn out, I could crawl onto a couch and put my feet up. And guess what? I had very minimal contractions and physically felt so much better.
The girls played church, put on elaborate dancing and singing performances and generally enjoyed the heck out of themselves. I lounged on the couch and drank coffee while I watched them perform.
Of course it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but the unexpected break was a blessing. And when Sarah told me Thursday morning that she was ready to get up, get dressed and go see her friends that day, I applauded her good attitude.
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