Tuesday, July 29, 2014

27 and 28 Weeks {4 Days}

Sorry guys, I don't have any of the cute fruit/veggie pictures with the kids for these two weeks. 27 weeks were two rutabagas. I'm not entirely sure I'd recognize a rutabaga, much less know how to eat two of them!
27 weeks brought a few strange pregnancy symptoms. I discovered that the odd, smooth patches on my tongue devoid of taste buds are what is known as geographic tongue--sometimes brought on my the hormones of pregnancy. In my case it's utterly painless, just...odd. I had my 3am insomnia return, but thankfully only for for or five days. I also noticed that my skin is incredibly sensitive sometimes. So sensitive that even the brush of one of the kids touching me makes me just want to scream. It seems to be most concentrated in my legs and torso, but thankfully it's not constant!

At 28 weeks, the twins should be around 2 1/4 lbs each, or around the size of an eggplant. Again no picture with the kids because I can't stand eggplant, so what would I do with two?!

Do I look tired? Cause I feel tired. Obviously I'm so tired I didn't clean the mirror after Shane "cleaned" for me.

The twins seem to be doing well, and I think I am as well although I won't lie, I'm certainly feeling large! Can I just tell you how heavy this belly is? I feel like I'm nearly full term with a singleton. Evening walks (waddles?) are pretty out of the question for me, as I'm in quite a lot of pain from my hips and I seem to have a lot of BH contractions when I walk in the evenings. The pool is as much as necessity as ever; what a blessing that I'm having this pregnancy in a place where I can be in the water nearly every day.

My favorite time of the day is the evening, when I lay down and watch the twins move. It's incredible to see how big and obvious they are already as they dance around, and they still have 10ish more weeks to grow! It creeps Nathan out to watch or feel them. He says it looks like aliens dancing around under my skin and it's creepy. So I guess it served him right that the last time he tried yelling at my belly to wake them, he got a thump in the mouth! Haha.

Oh, and lest I forget, I failed my second one hour glucose test. Even though I passed the three hour with flying colors last time, they wanted to diagnose me with GD since I failed the one hour a second time. I refused to go to the MFM (my insurance won't cover them!) and told the nurse I wanted to take the three hour again. I won. Yaaay? Lucky me. Darn double placentas!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Shane and His Glasses

A few months ago, we noticed that Shane's left eye was wandering a lot, particularly when he was tired or when he was looking off into space. I made him an appointment with our pediatrician, who referred us to an eye doctor. Eventually Tricare referred us to a pediatric opthamologist, and though we were scheduled for about a month and a half out we were able to take a cancelled appointment and be seen earlier.

It was quite interested how they can tailor all of the eye tests to a child by using pictures, toys, and even a barking dog on a far wall. Shane was a brave boy: he had to sit in a special chair and they did a series of eye tests, some using a strip of prisms to test how far his eye was wandering. He did cry a little bit about the numbing eye drops--the nurse said they stung--but was fine after they took effect and he had to get three other kinds of drops. I may have bribed him slightly with the mention of the special sunglasses they would give him when we left! 

Eventually the Dr. finished and said that Shane has something called Strabismus. If you would like to learn more about it, you can click here. It's a lengthy read but quite informative. In Shane's case, he has constant wandering in both eyes at a distance, and intermittent wandering of both eyes at close range. He literally sees (and his brain processes) two images. Because it's already so advanced at a distance patches would be ineffective, and the doctor said that either glasses or surgery are our options. He recommended we try glasses first, although they have only a 15% success rate in cases like Shane's, but obviously I don't want the poor guy to have surgery if we haven't tried the less invasive route first. We have a follow up appointment in a few months (when I'm 37 weeks pregnant!) to re-evaluate and see how things have changed.

I took the kids to Walmart to pick out a pair of frames and Shane was NOT thrilled with any of them. There were a pair I thought were really cute, kind of a retro look almost like 3D glasses have. But the only pair he liked were "the green ones"! I figured that the only chance of getting him to wear them was if he really like them, so that's the pair we went with!

That week while we waited for the glasses to come in I tried to really get him excited about them. We talked about all the people he likes who wear glasses, and even a little girl in his class at Summer's Best Week who wore glasses a few days. (She doesn't like hers either!) The day we went to pick up the glasses I told him we'd have a Glasses Day Party with fun and treats.

So we picked them up and had them adjusted for his face, and as we walked around Walmart he got offended every time someone talked to him and didn't comment on his glasses. We went home and we played in the sprinkler and ate watermelon, and in the evening he got to watch Rio 2 and have popcorn and cookies. 

On days when he doesn't want to wear the glasses but he has to anyway, he always asks if he can have another glasses party! Way to try to work the system, kiddo. 

He's pretty good about wearing them. We spend a lot of time reminding him to put them on, and he's always taking them off and putting them down somewhere. Sister has also gotten in trouble a few times for snatching them off his face. I need to go get her a pair from the dollar store! I still see his eye wandering sometimes, but it doesn't seem quite as bad now. God is a God of miracles, and I am praying hard that the glasses work and he doesn't have to go through surgery(ies).

The first week he wore his glasses might have been harder on me than on him. There were a couple times I cried a little, wishing that I could take it from him. I hate the thought that he has to see everything blurry (the way it works for now is that they've given him a prescription he doesn't need for vision, but the theory is that his eyes will have to work harder to work together to see which may correct the muscle imbalance. Or something like that.) I hate the thought that his head might be hurting from strain. I just hate this for him.

On the other hand, I'm grateful to live in a place and with insurance that could get him help, and that he is still young enough that even if he does need surgery it has a good chance of working. His brain is still developing as well as his eyes, which gives him a better chance. My mommy heart just hurts for him, that's all. He's pretty cute rocking the green glasses though!

Monday, July 14, 2014

25 and 26 Weeks {and three days}

26 weeks marks the end of my second trimester...woohoo! I can't believe how much this second tri has draaaaaaagged by. I felt like this pregnancy was flying by before the summer--we were doing something every day, whether is was a pre-school swap day (three days a week), bible study, church, or finding a fun free activity. Once summer hit we were down to bible study and church and time has not been ticking by as quickly! Of course now we go swimming most days and there are still a lot of fun things to do in the area but it has just seemed slower.

Cauliflower sized at 25 weeks

My kids ditched me for last week's picture and I didn't realize I had dropped something on my stomach, so be forgiving. I spent that week slaving away over a dresser and nightstand that I wanted to refinish for the babies. They were both side of the road freebies and worked well, just needed a little sprucing up! I spent hours outside in the hot sun, wearing a mask, sanding and cleaning and priming and painting and sealing. Between trips outside I worked on a couple of things I wanted to organize, washed and stored some baby stuff, and cleaned the house top to bottom. That Friday (when I turned 25 weeks) my dad kicked me off the remainder of my project (the dresser drawers) and finished painting and sealing them for me. That sounds like it should have been a simple project but the drawers are ornate and detailed and had to be completely painted with a tiny paintbrush. I had primed them all and by the time I finish my hips were dying from sitting on a stool hunching over the drawers. It sounds like it shouldn't have been much work at all, but it was unbelievably exhausting! Then my parents spend the weekend with us, and this past week I volunteered at our church's vacation bible school all week. That also sounds like it should've been easy, and was also an exhausting week! Saturday we ran errands all day, and yesterday I started volunteering at church so I was there all morning. In the afternoon we packed a picnic supper and spent a few hours swimming. Ahhhh, water. Sweet rejuvenating pain relief! I so love the pool. So to recap, the last two weeks have been busy, although fun, and I'm tired!

So here we are, 26 weeks, and according to everyone I've talked to lately, "not looking very big". The camera doesn't lie, people. Some days I feel massive, and some days I feel small. But the camera captures how I look! Can I just put this out there...

Shane, left, 36 weeks. Azaria, middle, 35 weeks. Twins, right, 26 weeks.

Babies: The babies should be about 14 inches long and about 1 2/3 lbs now, around the size of a head of lettuce. Supposedly they can hear our voices now, and are practicing breathing by inhaling amniotic fluid.

Weight Gain: I don't know. Azaria used my scale as a stool and now it just blinks. I haven't put much effort into fixing it yet.

Stretch Marks: No new ones yet!

Belly Button: Bulgy. Unfortunately I have an umbilical hernia, which is when a small hole rips in the membrane that holds your guts in and a small piece of inside pokes out. That's a really simple explanation but thankfully mine is small for now and it's nothing I did, it's just my third pregnancy and I'm stretching out fast. It hurts a lot, sometimes I have to press on it for a while to sort of push it back in and I've hit it on the corner of a chair or the couch a few times and I almost passed out from the pain. 

Maternity clothes: I've outgrown a couple shirts. :( Mom made my volunteer shirt into a maternity shirt, so now that we know how to do that we'll probably just get some t-shirts and convert them instead of buying bigger maternity shirts. Those things are expensive, and if I buy a bigger size to accommodate the twin belly they'll be way big up top, where converting a t-shirt allows for tailoring the top half to suit.

Movement: Feeling the movement has always been my favorite part of pregnancy, and it's even cooler with twins. I think Dani is the one who is more active, usually on my far right side. Sometimes I'll feel her moving, and then I think Dean kicks her back and they play footsies and wiggle together. It's not uncomfortable for me yet, although I've gotten a few zinger hits to the cervix, but my ribs are intact for now!

Sleep: I need naps and hours and hours of sleep, but I get neither. That's life! Thankfully I'm not terribly uncomfortable while I am sleeping, but I do always end up on my back and that puts my hips out which is painful. I've also found myself doing a lot of grunting and pulling on things for leverage to help me roll over. Some days I feel so tired and like I can't go on that I just want to cry my eyes out, but God gives me strength to make it to another bedtime.

I have no particular cravings or aversions, just a to do list a mile long and a limited amount of time in which to finish it! I hear that a lot of twin moms just hit a wall around 30 weeks and can't do much after so I'm trying to get as much as I can done now. Even at this point I find myself trying to limit how many hours I'm walking around at events because I start to get regular and uncomfortable braxton hicks. We haven't done many of the festivals or things like that this summer because of that, and thankfully the kids aren't really old enough to know. We just spend extra time at the pool! Any time I think of how uncomfortable I am or that something hurts, I remind myself that I have a long way to go and I am certainly not the first woman pregnant with multiples! I also tell myself that my kids know I love them even if I'm not on the floor with them much anymore, and they really like cereal, oatmeal, and sandwiches, so they forgive me on the nights I don't feel up to cooking a healthy, balanced meal. Excuses? Maybe. I like to call them temporary modifications I can live with.

Monday, July 7, 2014

4th of July Weekend

Last weekend my mom and dad came down for a visit. They got here on Thursday night and *sniff, sniff* left on Sunday after church. As with most visits it was way too short, but we packed in lots of fun (and work)!

I realized as I was getting pictures off my camera that I took hardly any! Bummer man. Friday morning mom got Azaria all dressed up and gave her her first braids. She looked like Pippi Longstocking!

The socks...oh, the socks. One time Daddy dressed Azaria and pulled her socks up to her knees. Ever since then, she refuses to fold them over and wears them like knee socks. Toddler personal style, man. Live and let live.

Since Azaria got all dressed up and was being oohed and aahed over, Shane left to go get dressed up too. He didn't want any help, he just wanted to surprise Grandma and BopBop. This is his pirate get-up, and it's his current favorite. I didn't get it in the picture, but the outfit includes his cowboy boots. Always.

My parents got up with the kids each morning, and I slept until between eight and nine. (We won't discuss Nathan's sleep habits). There was a lot of book reading, play time, and love and hugs. I absolutely love seeing the kids light up and attach to their grandparents! 

A wonderful part of the weekend for me, other than enjoying my parents company, was all the help. Mom did all of my piled up laundry and cleaned my stove. Dad took over a huge project I'd been exhausting myself on. They helped with the cooking and cleaning up and the kids. It was so nice! 

Hey, speaking of all that laundry? In the middle of the second load of laundry we heard the washer start making a really odd clicking noise. Now this washer is only about a year old. I had to get a new one when we moved here because my old (VERY old) one rusted out in storage. It's a good brand, and there's no reason it should be breaking down! However, because it's a newer, although basic, model, it's got electronics involved. Dad and Nathan pulled it out and took it apart and hemmed and hawed and I'm not even sure what all they did, but after searching around on the internet Nathan came to me with the part they thought it required and a price. After I picked my jaw up off the floor and recovered from my minor heart attack, I turned back to whatever I was doing. A short time later I hear Nathan exclaim, "there's a sock in it!" He decided to take the drain pump apart before buying a new one, and he found a big pink sock (left) stuck deep inside. We still aren't sure how it possibly could have gotten in there! I looked at the sock and swore up and down that I had never seen a sock in that size and color before. Mom thought maybe it was one of Shane's that started white and turned pink because of whatever drained through it. That night I looked through a bag I keep of lone socks and found the original (right). Smaller, pinker, and at the BOTTOM of the bag. That sock must have been in the pump for months! 

Then, not too long later, I was using the blender to make part of our supper. I smelled burning, took the blender jar off, and saw the base motor smoking. I threw it outside and huffed and puffed a little longer about another appliance biting the dust. This may have even been before the washer was fixed (for FREE, thanks for persisting Nathan!). Nathan and Dad took it apart after it cooled down to see if they could fix it, but it was DOA. Shane was out there helping the big guys--he pal-ed around with them all weekend and it was amazing to see him light up with all the male attention.

We stayed up late on the fourth after a nice supper of bean burgers, potato salad, and black bean brownies. Fireworks were cancelled in our area due to the hurricane effect storms that had been expected, so we hung out on the back porch and enjoyed the nice cool evening. Below you can see "the boys" working on (taking over) my project--but more on that in another post!

Saturday we hit the beach bright and early. No pictures, but lots of fun! Daddy took Shane out and broke waves with him for quite a while. Azaria wasn't interested in much but playing in the sand. I found myself kind of nervous to go out with either of the kids. My big old belly makes me float even more easily than normal and I didn't feel comfortable trying to keep them safe. Once we got them fed and down for naps, mom took a sewing project off my hands (more on that later, too) and I worked on gluing and taping my "fix-it" pile of toys, books, and hair clips. 

Once the kids got up from their naps mom and I took them to Chik-fil-A to play in the play place while the men watched a movie. I love how clean Chik-fil-A keeps their play place!

Eventually the guys met up with us and we were treated to an amazing dinner at Red Lobster. Thanks so much mom and dad! The kids went down to sleep straight away, and mom went to bed soon after. The rest of us watched Grownups 2. It was so funny! We went to early service at church Sunday so my parents could get on the road sooner. We stopped at a couple shops on the way home from church, and after a quick lunch they were headed back to Ohio and I headed back to church for a meeting. 

Thanks for making that huge drive, guys! We wish you could've stayed longer, but we are so glad you came!