Monday, December 31, 2012

A Good Way to End the Year

Take it from the person who helped load the car: we dropped off a TON of loot for the kids at Children’s. Sammy and Wren have been watching the toy pile grow in our office for some time, and they wanted to know what this was all about, so we took them along.

Dennis took one car and I took the other (we needed both), and we made the drive down Preston. By the time we turned into the Children’s parking lot, I was just trying not to lose it under the pressure of the familiarity of the drive, pregnancy hormones, and all the slow, sad music coming on the radio. Though it was familiar, I still managed to get lost in the parking lot with D and the kids following me patiently because I did not want to be a basket case when I got out of the car so I just started driving random directions.

The valet delivered a wagon for us to cart the goods in on, and we still ended up carrying some. The valet also started grabbing bags. Wren helped lug the toys she could lift and Sammy attempted to pull the wagon, though he had to have some major assistance. By the time we left, we had filled up every donation box to capacity.

None of this would have been possible without the donations from you. Family and friends as well as people we have never met contributed selflessly to make sure the kids at Children’s over the holidays will have a wonderful Christmas.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Imaginary Friends

Wren released a bird in the house. Technically, it was an imaginary bird, but the effects of said bird made it seem real.

During breakfast, Wren was pretending to be a princess who holds a bird on her finger and then releases it lovingly back into the wild. I think in the cartoons these birds are supposed to be able to do things like clean the house, but her birds never do that. Anyway, as she released this bird, she looked back to where the bird flew and said, “look at my bird.” I think I half glanced that direction and said, “oh, that bird’s pretty.” Sammy’s reaction was different. He stopped what he was doing and stood up in his chair completely naked holding a fistful of roast in his hand. I asked him to sit down and he said, “no mommy, the bird will get me.” By this point, both of my kids were staring so intently at “the bird”, that I was afraid to look behind me for fear that I was going to see some kind of hybrid bird/dragon creation flying around my living room. Luckily, I just saw a bunch of dust on my ceiling fan. However, I did catch the look on Wren’s face. This innocent bird plan had taken an interesting turn and she was enjoying it. Technically, she never said it was an attack bird; Sammy assumed. She couldn’t get in trouble if her brother stood paralyzed in a chair for the better part of a day scared of something she never gave him reason to fear. But she could still find it hilarious. Finally, I looked at the bird again.

“Sammy, it doesn’t look like a mean bird, does it Wren?”

“Uh, no, I guess it’s a nice bird that probably won’t hurt you.” She was obviously not thrilled to give this answer but felt her options were limited since Sammy’s refusal to sit meant she would have to eat her breakfast while staring at his full frontal nudie parts. I think she chose well.

Sammy plopped his bare butt back on the chair and continued to shovel roast into his mouth for breakfast. I looked at the clock and noticed it wasn’t even 8 am. If these kids slept later, would this stuff still happen?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Guys and Dolls

I’m worried about Sammy. He’s been playing with Wren’s Tinkerbell Barbie for months, which doesn’t bother me at all. What disturbs me is I thought he was just playing with the doll because he has an older sister and he’s very secure in his manhood. However, Tinkerbell is naked and has been since I can remember. This never struck me as odd or a reason for a boy to be interested in her until we entered the Disney store yesterday and Sammy saw a fully dressed Tinkerbell. He went and gave her a long hug before looking her in the eyes and saying, “Take your clothes off!” Now I get why he's been so enamored with the Tinkerbell at home.

The problem is this: real women don't look like naked Tinkerbell. The disappointment my son is going to experience in the real world of women after having lived his childhood with naked, 24 inch waist, boobs so big and perky she shouldn't even be able to stand, no cellulite Tinkerbell Barbie is immeasurable. Talk about having your hopes dashed!

I think to solve this problem I'm going to create a real doll that boys can play with which will actually prepare them for the real world. This doll will wear sweats; she won't shave during the winter months; her hair will always be in a ponytail, but not a cute one. Her skin will be dry because she doesn't have time to put lotion on and her boobs will be lopsided and saggy. Her butt and thighs will qualify as one body part creating the "buthigh", a term my friend coined when we realized an unfortunate shift down had cause the line between where one body part began and the other ended to disappear. If a young boy undresses this doll, God bless him! He will put her clothes back on quickly and probably be pretty uninterested in seeing a real woman naked for the immediate future. One of my goals in life will be accomplished!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Little More Information

Okay, here are the basics of this pregnancy laid out for those who will be praying for us. We will need specific prayer for different things at different times throughout. This is kind of like a marathon, except at the end I hope to get babies instead of a medal, and I’m planning on doing absolutely no running.

Now-24 weeks: This is what I call the Sitting Duck Stage. I go in for sonograms every two weeks alternating between my OB and a maternal fetal specialist. They check that the babies are alive, growing, and not playing any games that involve tying their umbilical cords together. The sitting duck part is that if they are in trouble, especially where cords are concerned, we can’t do anything about it. Oh, patience, why did I not learn that skill before now? God apparently hasn’t given up on my ability to learn new tricks.

24 weeks-32 weeks: This is when inpatient monitoring starts. I will be in the hospital where the babies can be monitored. If something starts looking suspicious and is caught in time, the babies can be taken via c-section and placed in the NICU. At 24 weeks, they have a shot at survival outside the womb. However, we are praying everything stays good until 32 weeks because 32 weeks still means NICU time, but the outlook is much better than 24 weeks.

NICU stay: We will be at a hospital with a Level 3 NICU, so if we can get to this point we’re not out of the woods, but it means the other portions of the pregnancy have gone well enough to land the babies in the outside world in the hands of experienced doctors and nurses. I’m sure we will have a ton of requests at this point, but I can’t predict what they’ll be.

I’m adding a link here of a woman in Oregon who just gave birth to two beautiful momo girls. I’ve been fortunate enough to run across some great success stories, as well as receiving contact information from friends of families in the area who have had successful momo babies. It’s good stuff, and I want to share it as we go.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Things To Do The Night Before a Life-Changing Sonogram

 Order gluten-free Pei Wei spicy chicken;

 Forget to order extra chicken in your husband’s so selflessly give him some of yours;

 Think about taking it back when you’re down to only rice and veggies in two minutes;

 Watch Inception, because nothing is more distracting than trying to follow that story plot;

 Scan The Bloggess blog even though it has some serious issues with language. Nothing is really not funny about what that woman has her elf on the shelf doing.

 Consider going to bed early, but for the first time since pregnancy began, you can’t sleep.

 Practice in your mind what you will do if they don’t find a membrane and what you will do if they do find a membrane. It’s a lot like preparing your acceptance speech for the Oscars but also having your gracious loser face on stand-by, just in case.(Winning the Oscar would be equivalent to finding a membrane.)

 Realize your husband has fallen asleep with the kids and you can eat all his chicken now, especially since he sent you out for chicken at seven at night and then didn’t even wake up to eat it!

 Remember that your husband has been fasting in reverence to prepare for the sonogram tomorrow and feel kind of bad for the previous thought. He hasn’t eaten in 24 hours, so he may not be asleep; he may be unconscious.

 Finish blogging.

 Check on husband.

We’ll keep everyone posted when we get some news. Keep us in your prayers tonight.  Nighty-night!

This is What Awesome Looks Like

We’ve had an unexpected change of plans for Santa from Sammy drop-offs. We are still taking donations up until the 20th, but we are going to have to do a first drop-off this week. Here’s why:

Above is what we have so far, and we still have at least three different places we are picking up donations from. Plus, those pictures actually don’t do the donations justice because we ran out of room on our floor and had to start stacking toys to even get them in a picture.

Since Children’s has volunteers come in and sort the toys by age groups and wrap them, we are going to go ahead and drop off this portion this week. We don’t want Santa’s helpers still wrapping gifts on Christmas morning!

To all of you who have made this possible, thank you for showing what Christmas is truly about. For our family, it doesn’t get any better than this, and for the children who will be receiving these gifts, you’ve made a huge impact on their holidays.  We feel blessed by each and every one of you.

A Quick Interview with the Birthday Girl
Wren at 4

Color: pink
Outing: park
Book: any princess book
TV show: Strawberry Shortcake
Food: ice cream (it’s what she was eating when I asked her)
Fruit: strawberries
Veggie: broccoli
Superhero: Spiderman
Activity at church: playing
Princess: Sleeping Beauty
Thankful for: Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A First Time for Everything

As odd as it sounds, I had no issues giving up gluten. I mean, I struggled through the carb flu complete with nose bleeds and vertigo and generally hated everyone for about four days, but that was it. I wasn’t tempted to eat gluten ever again. After what it did to my child? After what it did to my husband? After what it had probably done to me and would have done to Sam if given the chance? No thanks. Gluten: enemy number one.

This outlook maybe did not make me the best sympathizer when Dennis would have a struggle day, a day where he would pine for Pop Tarts, Jack in the Box tacos, and just crap that kills people in general.

Me: “Pop Tarts? You would risk your intestinal health and up your cancer chances for a faux bakery pastry that can sit on a shelf for seven years and not change consistency?”

Dennis: “I will not eat them for all the reasons you just mentioned, but if not for those reasons, yes.”

I was fairly superior in my approach to his “problem”. How could you struggle with killer food? I mean, just look at me and how easily I resist sugar (or not, but I don’t always live a self-aware life. I get tired.).

So you can imagine my amazement when my superior self got slapped down by the first trimester of my first ever gluten-free pregnancy. Smacked down and trampled might be a better description. Suddenly I was in a place where I wanted the following: seven chicken fried steaks, pigs in a blanket with cheese (oh dairy, I’m adding dairy to the offenses!), donuts from a donut shop in my hometown, and a big bowl of noodles, nasty white noodles covered in butter. I wanted to lick the bottom of the noodle bowl when I finished eating them just to make sure I got all the butter.

Dennis pointed out the GF options I had available, and I told him to jump off a cliff. I did not want a chicken fried steak rolled in Bob’s Red Mill and cooked gently in coconut oil. I wanted it rolled in regular, kill-me flour and fried in lard until it was crispy. I wanted to feed my babies lard covered death flour in the womb! I wanted it so badly I dreamt about it and woke up near tears.

Add to this that nothing I eat settles on my system well. Protein, fruit, veggies, and GF snickerdoodles all rendered me ill 15 minutes after consumption. I never suffered like this while pregnant and eating the death flour. Of course, both my kids came out with gut issues, so there's that.

Luckily, in some ways I am a rule follower. I have never smoked or done drugs.  I follow some rules, and not eating gluten is one of them. So I did not consume any of the above mentioned items. I did spring on some GF mac n cheese, a completely forbidden indulgence in our house. It was good going down; it did not do well when it landed.

I think God put me through this so I will stop being a jerk. I think I'm maybe supposed to be the kind of wife who lets my husband pine for Pop Tarts once in a while because he will never have the ones from his childhood again, even though they are not food, they are bad for many reasons besides that they contain gluten, and I have never drooled and teared up over memories of a Pop-Tart. He gets a few hours to be sad about this before I remind him there's a banana in the fruit bowl and if he so hungry all he can talk about is food, he can go shove that in his mouth. I am a work in progress. And I still want a chicken fried steak.