Thursday, December 28, 2006

On the mend? Hopefully soon...

I thought we were in the clear. But darn it anyway. Lillian didn't throw up any more through the night and both girls went to daycare. Yay! Unfortunately, Grandma Becky had her hands full at the end of the day when both girls threw up their last bottle. It looks like DH and I will be staying home in shifts tomorrow. Bummer.

Now that we're home from our travels, I hope to get the girls back to a routine so we can go back to getting some sleep. Though it was only about a week of sleeping all night the week before Christmas, boy, was it nice. We're all due to catch up.

We've decided to stay home this weekend (and a great number of following weekends) to try to find some normalcy. I'm really looking forward to it.

During the holidays, we were able to spend some time with some very special friends and family. While we all enjoyed it, I think our little family of four will also enjoy getting back into our comfortable little schedule. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Poor Sickies

Well, our luck in the health department has finally run out. Poor Lillian caught something nasty. After everything we've been doing for the past 8 months to keep their exposure limited, who'd have guessed that family was the flu culprit?

After a lovely holiday with my family, we went to DH's folks' house Christmas evening. Right after we arrived, we learned that one of our nephews had been throwing up throughout the day. And of course, there he was, getting up close to the babies, wanting to play. At 9:00 at night.

Needless to say, we were livid! We would have skipped the 2.5-hour drive and gotten together some other weekend had we known. Our preemies are still on sick-germ restrictions until they get bigger and we know they won't wind up back in the NICU. But no one called us - everyone wanted to see babies.

So, we didn't stick around too long, and took our girls over to DH's brother's house. It's in the same town, so it was a simple fix. My M-I-L that she wanted us to stay there so that she could show our babies off to her daycare parents who'd be dropping off their kids the next morning. She apparently forgot the doctor's orders to limit germ exposure for the first year. It would be one thing if we were able to dump our kids off in a big daycare with all kinds of other kids and pay a lot less, to boot. But that's not how it works. That's why I spend an hour and a half in the car each day - to keep our girls in a safe, less germy environment.

The next morning, they insisted we stop by for brunch. When we arrived, we learned that the puker's brother had picked up the bug, and spent most of the night praying to the porcelain gods. And yet, there he was, hanging out with the rest of the daycare kids. We got out of there in a great big hurry.

Sure enough, poor little Lillian woke up just before midnight and puked and puked and puked. She was miserable, and course, so were we. We kept her in a bassinet in our room so that she wouldn't disturb her sister (or infect her if by some chance she had been spared). DH called his family - at near midnight - to let them know how furious he was that Lillian was sick. His dad told him to mellow out because it would probably be short lived. That just added fuel to DH's fire. He kept saying that it would be one thing if they'd called and we decided to risk it anyway. That it would be one thing if the girls were full-term and big. Lillian just doesn't have any extra weight to lose. I tried reminding him that no one set out to purposely infect our babies. "Ooh, they don't have enough to deal with now that the babies seem healthy - let's see if we can put one in the hospital." They just didn't take the reality of our situation seriously. It will take him a long time to get past this.

Breanna soon followed her sister's pukey path last night. It was an easy decision to keep them home today. I didn't want them to infect anyone else, so we called our daycare grandma to let her know they wouldn't be coming. She appreciated the consideration.

We'll see how tonight goes. Keep your fingers crossed for us. In the meantime, here are a couple of photos from about a week and a half ago when they were clean and healthy. Lillian is the one with the tongue.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas to all and to all...

Good night! After an exhausting whirlwind of wonderful holiday activities, this mama is going to crash. But not without posting a little holiday photo. Merry Christmas to you all!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

In the air

Finally, it is starting to feel like Christmas is nearing. With minimal time spent decorating or baking or shopping, there's been no real kick-off to the season like I'm so accustomed to. Thursday night, though, that changed.

My colleagues and I purchased some gifts for a family in need, and Thursday was our wrapping party. Out came the papers, tissues, ribbons, bows, sparkles, candy canes, chocolate santas, snowmen ornaments, holiday pencils, the works. We sipped mulled wine, snacked on appetizers, listened to carols on the stereo, and shared Christmas fellowship. We talked about how we wish we could somehow see the faces of the kids as they open the gifts that we so lovingly picked out, purchased, and wrapped.

I'd talked to the organizer who is serving as the go-between, as to give the mother and three kids anonymity. She said that this family is one that has fallen through the cracks - they didn't get on the big clearing bureau to receive gifts from giving trees, the Salvation Army, etc. This was it. Our efforts would certainly impact on their Christmas memories. When the case worker informed the mother that we were "adopting" the family, I guess the mom started bawling. She kept saying that she couldn't believe that people would just give to her kids, without even knowing them. Won't she be surprised, then, when she sees her name on tags to gifts for her, too? She'll be getting some super-soft, beautiful pajamas, matching slippers, a blouse, a coordinating necklace, leather gloves, and a nice fat gift certificate to a local grocery store.

This is what it's all about. Being able to be a Christmas angel with the recipients never knowing who we are. I wrote each kid a personalized, signed letter from Santa, on bright green paper. I then rolled each one up, tied them in red ribbon, and stuck one in each of their stockings. What fun to play elf! And what a wonderful way to get to know my colleagues at my new job. They all were much more generous than I'd expected - each one really went all out to give this family a joyful Christmas. It really is a kind-hearted, sincere group.

The case worker promised she'd give us an update on the family's reactions after Christmas - I can hardly wait to hear what she tells us!

What is it that makes Christmas feel like Christmas to you? Feel free to post a comment on my blog. Blessings to you and your loved ones!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Up Nort' Part 2

Ahh, the unique sub-culture of near-Canadian living... I always feel like such an outsider when we're Up North, yet I always have such fun! And the stories I come home with!

We arrived at a beautifully decorated reception hall, themed with snowflakes and glowing with candles. Seats were assigned, and I was lucky to be placed across from some of the most amusing people in the place. Probably in the county.

The bride's mother is a total hippie and very proud of it, man. Seated across from her and her boyfriend, I learned their code phrases for getting stoned in about 1 minute or less (and I don't mean getting stoned as in the biblical references - they see it as a very good thing). Pot is a household friend to them. I couldn't help but laugh at their attempts at subtlety. Duuude. Friendly as they were, I really enjoyed chatting with them.

Right after the meal, the bridal party departed on a booze bus. For the next several hours, they hopped bars and celebrated in style. All except for my DH. He took the opportunity to run back to our room for a 2.5-hour nap. In the meantime, all the old folks (and I) hung out at the reception hall, waiting for the dance to begin. While waiting, I had a truly lovely visit with one of my DH's uncles. Eventually the DJ showed up and the party took off.

Much of the talk at the reception revolved around Hot Carls, Filthy Sanchezes, Dirty Muskies, Tea Bags, etc. Nothing like a bunch of perverts to bring a party to life. Especially when the parents of the bride are included in the chortling.

At some point, one of the local drunk girls showed up and started badmouthing the beautiful bride, whose dad quickly showed her to the door.

Another highlight was when the garter was auctioned off, and the bride's poor grandpa had the winning ticket. Of course when he went up to collect the garter, the chanting began, "Teeth. Teeth. Teeth." You guessed it, the poor chap was bullied into getting onto the floor and removing his granddaughter's garter from her upper thigh. I'm sure he'll never be the same.

An image that will remain forever ingrained in my memory is that of a booty. That's right. A naked butt. On the dance floor. This wasn't just an average moon. Oh no. One of the groomsmen is known for his love of mooning, but he took it to a new level during the dance. After making sure he had an ample audience, he pulled his pants down and then rubbed his backside up against a rather large gal on the dance floor. They were essentially back-grinding for at least a minute before she turned and realized he was bare.

Almost as many drinks were spilled on the floor as were consumed, but no one seemed to mind. Everyone in the place danced a ton. Seriously - a ton. Even my DH. We all had a bunch of fun, and no one brought on any significant drama, so I'd call it a success. My lungs are still blackened from the smoke, but the rest of me feels great from all the dancing and laughing.

As always, I look forward to our next trip Up Nort'. Although I think it will be awhile.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Quick post of some cute photos

We've started the girls on cereal. Here's Breanna after spraying it all over. And Lillian trying it, too, in her preppy little jean skirt and sweater vest. We're hoping that this might lead to sleeping through the night. As if we could be so lucky.

An Up Nort' Wedding

Well, I need to start by saying we had a great time at a beautiful wedding this past weekend. About a sneeze away from the Canadian border, we were officially "up nort.'" The bride and groom were beautiful and the ceremony was meaningful. As the priest talked about the action of loving, I often glanced up at my DH, a handsome groomsman near the altar. I'm happy to say that yes, I am most certainly still in love with my hubby. I've learned the hard way that that isn't always the case.

Getting to the wedding was an adventure - treacherous (and I mean really really horribly icy)roads and a missed turn in the middle of a po-dunk town in the center of no-where, I arrived at the church with about five minutes to spare. I'd planned for a good hour of hair prep time prior to the wedding, so needless to say, I had a mess on my hands. But, on the less icy patches of roadway, I dressed in my 2-piece floor-length gown. I somehow managed to get my hair up into some makeshift chopsticks (a pretty silver ink pen - now my secret is out). And believe it or not, I made up my face with no mirror.

When I breezed into the church basement moments before the wedding, I enjoyed seeing my DH's amazed face - he'd expected me to look as disheveled as I did when I left in the early morning hours to bring our babies to the sitters. I discreetly asked him to help me unzip so I could quickly slip on a bra, and then up the stairs I raced. The last one seated before the parents were escorted in, I'd made it. Good thing, since I needed to read the readings.

For the first time in a long time, the couple chose readings that weren't the same ones you hear at every wedding. It was rather refreshing. After the lovely ceremony, they rushed out into the back seat of some fancied-up old car. Their driver took them out to a boat landing, and the party followed. The driver (as well as a good number of locals) proceeded to whip cookies around in the snow. If you could forget that most of the vehicles were over-sized man trucks with beer stickers and "Git R Dun" bumper stickers, it was almost graceful. In a warped kind of way.

Not long after, the bride and groom hopped onto their sleds (snowmobiles - to my non-Northern readers). Wearing her beautiful satin, beaded gown and a lovely fur stole (and long johns and snowboots beneath), the bride was hootin' and hollerin' and having a ball. The adventure had most certainly begun.

I hear babies waking, so I'll cut this short. Watch for the continued story tomorrow. Good night, all.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Where did November go?

Where did November go? I still have Halloween decorations up in my house. Not good. Not good at all. I have a feeling that December is going to be mighty hectic - preparing for Christmas along with raising babies.

I vow to make enough time to wrap gifts the way I like to - lots of pretties. That's about my only seasonal vow this year. We baked some of our family's classic cookies last weekend, and that was great! If I don't get more baking in, I'm ok with that. And if we don't get the house all decked out, I guess that's ok, too.

We're off to a wedding up along the Canadian border this afternoon. DH is a a groomsman, so we need to go up tonight for rehearsal. We're both really looking forward to the trip. The babies will go to Dan's uncle and aunt's house on Saturday so that we don't have to skip the reception due to smoke. Everyone involved seems to be excited - but wow, what a lot of prep work for the weekend ahead.

Babies are doing great - finally eating cereal and seeming to enjoy it. The night before last, both girls - yup, both of 'em - slept all night through! Last night, it was back to the same old, though, and Breanna was up twice and Lillian up once. Oh well - there's a glimmer of hope.

So, in a rush to tie up loose ends before heading up north this afternoon, I sign off. Happy weekend to all! Stay warm!

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Here they are, my sweet hooded babies. My dear mother snapped these pictures of the babies on Saturday morning while I was at the writers' conference. I'm glad she was so handy with the camera. The girls were especially happy on Saturday - probably a combination of time with grandma and the coziness of polar fleece.

Once again, another week has blurred by. The babies' teeth are bound to appear soon, and then maybe we'll start sleeping all night long. I'm crossing my fingers. And toes.

Now that I don't have the health of babies to worry about so much, I finally had some highlights put into my hair. Considering I didn't make it out into the sun this summer (what summer?) I didn't get any of the natural highlighting that I need to keep me looking healthy.
While I was pregnant, I didn't expose myself to any unnecessary chemicals, so the bottom line is that I'm long overdue for some hair fun. It feels great to have decent looking hair again! I needed to do something - not just because it was so unhighlighted, but because I've lost about half of my hair since having the girls. It hasn't been super noticeable to others, but my DH and I are completely grossed out by all the loose hair strands in our house. I've been vacuuming like crazy and it is still disgusting. All I have to say is what next? I had no idea that having babies would wreak such havoc on my body - especially six months later still! Will I ever get back to being myself?
Oh well, it's still all worth it. Even if I never get my blink back and wind up bald and eternally exhausted, it's so very worth it. Breanna and Lillian are becoming so interactive - with me and with each other. It's so exciting to have conversations with them and to watch them "play" with one another. They are sweet and cuddly and I can't help but just love them more and more each day.
My DH and I were marvelling just tonight about how much we are still in love with each other even though we're so overtired and have no lives outside of babies. We determined that part of our love for each other is enhanced by sharing our children, by knowing that it took our spouse to create our babies, to have made them just as wonderful as they are. We are so very blessed.
Have a terrific weekend, my friends. And remember to give credit where it is deserved. We can't do everything ourselves.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Such a busy November so far! Where has the month gone?

Quick recap: Breanna has now joined Lillian in the Holy Rollers Club. Both girls were angels in church yesterday. When we arrived, there were no seats near any exits, and the usher offered to split us up near the front. I told her I would prefer something where we could make a fast getaway. She glanced at our two carseats, winked and said she understood. She then had some old folks move out of our way. For the first time, we didn't need to use the escape routes.

On to news that makes me smile: our girls have "discovered" each other. When we face them toward each other, they now realize that it's another person there. They lock eyes, smile, and sometimes even offer each other their hands for sucking. This is where the fun is starting to come in.

Another big discovery... I finally broke down and bought Podees. For those unaware - these hands-free bottles are great! I'd heard about them on my favorite website in the world ( and was pretty skeptical. How dare I doubt? I now have an option for feeding both girls at the same time without propping pillows (and popping the bottle back in the mouth over and over again) and without trying to be superwoman. Yay! The directions say that you may need to get the sucking started for the baby for the first time or two, until they get the hang of it. My DH tried it out with Breanna this morning and told me he didn't think it was working. I asked if he'd started the sucking for her (it was her first time trying it) and he said, "No way. You do it." I pulled it out and the bottle was empty. She'd figured it out on her own and emptied her bottle. Wow! I have a feeling we may be turning a corner toward sanity soon.

Let's see, what else. We've spent the past two weekends with my mom while my dad was out hunting and that's been really nice. Mom came to our house this weekend and babysat on Saturday so I could go to a writers' conference put on by a magazine that I regularly write for. (DH was off chasing deer.) The conference was in Fergus Falls (where Lake and Home magazine is based). What a fun visit with a bunch of bright women! I feel quite inspired to try to find some time and finally hammer out some of the articles that I've been wanting to write for a long time now. I don't really expect to find that free time any time soon, but I'm going to be on the lookout for it. Grandma had a ball playing with babies.

Speaking of babysitting, dear friends, is anyone interested in watching our girls the evening of Saturday, December 9th? My sis is throwing a surprise 30th birthday party for her husband at their local watering hole. She's hired a band and we have a lot of family and friends coming to town for the event. I'd love to go, but of course, can't bring the babies out. So if anyone (meaning two people - singletons, I'd never wish two infants on you at once unless you had good reinforcements - or unless you need a moral reminder to "save yourself" until marriage - this is not a job for one person) is up for the challenge, please let me know.

On a bit of a sentimental note, my mom made a comment to me this weekend that made me feel wonderful. She said that caring for two babies is in no way like having just one at a time. It's so very much harder. And she commented that she's impressed that I get as much done in a day as I do.

I can't believe how much I needed to hear that from someone. I've been wondering in the back of my mind if I'm being a big baby about how overwhelming it is having our girls. I've been feeling like an uncoordinated schmuck for having to have someone come in every other week to clean my house. For not cooking up delicious, healthy meals for DH and me. For not finishing that last step of laundry and leaving all the clean clothes in stacks on our unused bed. For not making time to vacuum out my new car once since buying it this summer. For not sending out pictures and updates on our girls to our out-of-town friends. I know that I'm a darn good mom and that our babies are getting all kinds of love and attention, but I've been feeling like a whimp of a grownup.

But just hearing another person who's been there with raising one baby give me permission to feel overwhelmed with two, ahhh. And to hear that someone else understands and agrees that this is so much more, what a relief. I've felt all along that no one understands because none of my family/friends have been down this road before, but after mom has spent enough time with us, she sees the reality. And she knows that I'm not exaggerating. (And she sees why I roll my eyes and want to spit on people every time they say, "Just nap when they nap." As if they nap.) I don't know why it's so important or why it feels so good to know that someone out there gets it, but nonetheless, what a relief. Thanks, Gramma Pamma.

P.S. Happy Birthday, Auntie Lissy!

Friday, November 03, 2006

The moments I've been waiting for...

No, we're not sleeping through the night. But the girls have started holding hands. Yes, it is the cutest thing ever!

Daylight savings time changes still haven't kicked in with the babies, so now instead of waking at 5 each day, they're up at 4, cooing and giggling and thumping their legs on their crib mattress - in complete darkness. That's the best alarm clock I've ever heard - baby coos. How can you not just love them to pieces?

We're heading to my folks' house tonight and I can hardly wait. It feels like I haven't been home forever! My mom's sisters are coming up to Grandma's house for our annual opening hunting arts and crafts weekend. This year, I'm not planning to participate in the crafts, but rather indulge in the free babysitting I'll get from my family. DH and I will get to go on our date and I am so excited! I haven't worn "going out" clothes in ages and it felt great to try on outfits last night to find something pretty. I was thrilled to pull some tops out of my skinny clothes bags and find that they fit again. Wahoo! I'm still not skinny, but getting back to normal slowly and surely.

Happy weekend all!

P.S. Look at how cute Lillian is in a hat! She gets it from her hat-loving mama, I think.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Baby Elephants

Well, here it is, Halloween night. After a very un-Halloweeny day at work, I picked up the girls at daycare. Our daycare mom helped me dress the girls in their costumes so I could go straight to my sister's house for a surprise trick-or-treat. My sweet sis and her hubby live out in the middle of a bunch of gravel roads, so I knew they wouldn't get any visitors unless family showed up.

We settled the girls into their little costumes and our daycare mom sent home little goodie bags for my DH and me. What a sweetheart!

Since daylight savings time changes don't mean squat to my daughters, they were quite ready for bed by the time we got to my sister's. Needless to say, we didn't get the pictures I'd hoped for. But I did get one of Breanna before she climbed into her pjs.

What do you think? Cutest baby elephant you've ever seen or what?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween Fun

We had a lovely weekend. On Saturday, we went to church in the afternoon and then to a pumpkin carving party. The girls were sort of good at church. The ushers were both in their 70s I'd guess, and notified me on our way out that they're twins. And that twins are always the luckiest people in the world. How nice!

We dressed the girls in their little elephant costumes and off we went. Our friends who hosted the annual party were in great spirits. The Mrs. is expecting a baby in about a month, and was dressed as a talking mime. Her hubby was Strong Sad from Home Star Runner - voice and all. The rest of the party was in costume, so DH and I used our quick wit to explain that we had dressed up as each other. Yup, our costumes were so good that you'd think you were talking to
Sweet Mary Sunshine, but indeed, it was Darling Husband. I'm not sure anyone bought it. So then we pointed out that we were zoo keepers with our elephants. They left us alone after that one.

Anyway, it was a really fun night. DH and I co-carved a great big pumpkin once our little ones fell asleep. Then once all the pumpkins were done, we all headed outside for pictures. I'm already putting it in my calendar for next year. Good people, good memories. Here's a link to the hosts' blog - complete with pictures. (The pic of the elephant and the zookeeper are Lillian and DH, dressed up as me.)

As far as Halloween fun goes for tomorrow, several people have been asking if I'm taking the girls trick or treating. I keep thinking it's silly, because, for one thing, it would be close to bed time. For another thing, the girls aren't eating solids. Not even mushed up cereal yet. Isn't the whole purpose of trick or treating to load up on sugar? Anyway, we'll see what kind of mood the babies are in. If they're up for it, we might don costumes and make a couple very quick visits to local friends/family. After all, they are darn cute in their costumes. But if they're ready for bed, heck, no one likes a cranky elephant.

My favorite things to hear

Especially on a Sunday morning...

...honey, you stay in bed. I'll take the girls upstairs so you can sleep in.

...I hope you're hungy. No, don't get up. I've brought you bacon and eggs. I'll be right back with some juice.'re sexy when you change diapers. And do laundry. Thanks for being sexy.

...I really miss you when I'm not here. It sure is great to be home with you.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

First wedding

Last Saturday, we attended our first wedding as a family of four. And of course, we forgot to get pictures of all of us together until after the girls were sound asleep in their carseats. This wedding was in DH's hometown, and he knew quite a few people. Of course, I knew a total of four. Including the bride and groom and my husband. Still, it was a lot of fun.

This wedding had more babies there than I've ever seen before. DH's single pal, Aaron, was there too. (Actually, I consider him to be one of my pals, too.) He said he was horrified that there weren't any prospects there whatsoever- every woman either had babies or looked like she was about to have one.

I'd been worried about our girls causing a commotion and the last thing I'd want is to detract from someone's wedding. Surprisingly, it all went very well. We were the traveling freak show, once again, but what else is new?

At one point, a lady who worked at the reception hall came up and lifted the blankets off the girls to get a good look. I wasn't sure if DH knew her or not, so I didn't pull the babies away in horror and give her a sharp tongue lashing. I have a little spiel that I've memorized when it comes to rude strangers thinking it's ok to touch other people's kids. After all, a touch of the wrong germs and our little preemies could wind up in the hospital in a blink. Turns out, DH did know the woman, but doesn't particularly care for her. She's lucky.

Other than that, it really was a fun night. DH and I even got in a dance - the first one in a long, long time. Ahh, the little snippets of romance. What would I do without them? Probably cut off all my hair, stop painting my nails, and quit baking plain brownies just the way DH likes them all the time.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Babies at Bathtime

Check out these clean little cuties! Breanna is close up and Lillian is on her back. They just love bathtime! My mom embroidered their names onto their little hoodie towels, and though you can't see it in the photos, they are just adorable.

Monday, October 16, 2006

DW no longer

Don't panic - I didn't give him the boot. But I am changing the way I reference my husband on my blog. He apparently started reading it not too long ago and realized that DW stands for Darling Wacko. He asked me to please, please, please stop saying that. He said it was like him referring to me as his Sexy Psycho. Taking that into consideration, I guess I'll just call him my DH, my Darling Husband. (Even though he is quite wacky at times.)

Not much is new on our homefront. We decided to wait to break ground on the new house until spring so that my DH can be home more with us over the winter. It's been great to have him home again, and we've really been enjoying each other's company. He goes up north next week for the whole week again, and then that's it. That house will be completely done and I get my hubby back full time. Yippee!

I've had several requests for more photos of the girls. Well, I have to admit, I'm a dummy. I was messing with our camera settings about a week ago to try to use the video recording function, and somehow, I messed everything up. I can't get photos off the thing and when I take a picture now, it's all manual, so things are blurry and the flash doesn't go. Needless to say, I need to take the time to check out the instructions or else just ask someone to fix it for me. That said, sorry, no pictures yet.

The babies are both really growing along nicely. They're both getting pretty pudgy, but really are long more than anything. It's hard to imagine DH and I would produce tall people, but it kind of seems that way based on how they're growing right now. I suppose it will change completely now that I've put it in writing.

We watched TV last night - the first time in months. The Extreme Home Makeover show that helped a family in Minot was on and we wanted to watch it. Lillian was trying to go to sleep through the first half of the show, and so I missed chunks of it, but got the gist of it anyway.

During the last half, DH and I cuddled up on the couch and it felt wonderful - like back in the days when we were dating. We haven't had much physical closeness during awake hours lately, as we often each have a baby in arms. I'm going to make a conscious effort to get in at least two nice, long hugs with him a day.

As I watched the struggles that family on TV lived with, I was reminded of just how good we have it. Whenever I start feeling sorry for myself for my face not being back to normal yet or for not getting much sleep due to babies, I'm going to remember that Minot family. We really are blessed with an abundance of good things and good circumstances.

While we watched TV, it felt good to cry again, to release such a mixture of emotions that I've apparently been hanging onto for a while. Sadness for the Blivens. Gratefulness for healthy babies. Fear for the status of the world our girls will grow up in. Love for my family. Pride for our community who jumped in to help that family. All at once, it was a powerful wave of emotion.

Now in the quiet hours of the early morning, it's still dark out and a perfect time to reflect a little bit. Friends, I ask you to count your blessings today. Life really is good.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Head Case

I just got off the phone with Lillian's neurologist. Thumbs up!

Miss Lillian had an MRI on Wednesday to see why her head is asymmetrical in the back. The results are in and looking good.

She has a mild enlargement of a ventrical in her head and a slightly larger-than-average space between her brain and her skull. It's all benign and nothing to worry about. I guess it occasionally happens with itty bitty preemies. In other words, she needs to grow into her head.

We're going to continue to monitor her over the upcoming years, but don't expect anything to come of this. Whew! A relief for all of us.

O What A Night

Guess who slept all through the night, do da, do da.

BOTH of my babies slept ALL night long. For real. At five months, three days, they finally made it. I credit it to the little chat my sister had with them before she left last night. Yay for all of us!

In fact, I slept so many hours in a row that I woke up with a stiff neck - not used to being in the same spot for so long, I guess. It's totally worth it, though.

DW is out west hunting "pantelope." He and his pal went last year for the first time. At one point, his buddy commented that every time he hears the word antelope, it makes him think of panties. (Insert eye roll here.) Ever since, they've become pantelope in our world. DW is hunting with a bow and lost six arrows already yesterday. It sounds like they're having fun, and that's the main thing. Too much work and no play makes a crabby husband and an even crabbier wife.

Speaking of play, my family is coming to stay with the girls and me this weekend. I'm going to take them out to the lot that DW and I just bought. We're probably going to break ground in the next week or two, depending on when we finalize our construction loan.

I'm quite excited to see my folks. And I know they're really excited to see the babies, too. While I have in-house help, I'm finally going to get the girls' laundry put away, cut the dogs' toenails, and bake the almond scones that I've been trying to get done for almost two months now. Big plans, I know, but when you don't even get to do the basics during the week, the little things count.

P.S. On a side note, welcome to the newest member of the Baumann family. Congratulations, friends!

Monday, October 02, 2006

My favorite time of year

Let it begin! DW and I went to his aunt and uncle's house in northern MN yesterday and the leaves were already changing like crazy! Fiery reds, blazing oranges, vibrant yellows. I can hardly wait to get out of the house and drive into MN in the next week or two to check out autumn.

Now all we need is a bonfire and some s'mores some evening and I'll be thrilled. For some reason, the smells of fall make me feel like home. I get sappy. I reminisce about childhood. My past constantly drifts into my present - both when I'm awake and asleep. I'm not sure if we spent more time outside in the fall when we were young, or if I just like the season that much more. Either way, this cool weather is refreshing my spirit.

I had a really nice weekend, and despite having the worst cold I've had in years, I really enjoyed myself. My auntie and sister came over for brunch on Saturday and then stayed for a few hours of visiting. I think we all enjoyed ourselves. The babies got lots of attention from their aunt and great aunt, and I got a chance to cook a little bit. My aunt was in town for her class reunion.

It's rare that anyone seems to want to come to Moorhead/Fargo. Outsiders always ask, what's in Fargo? I want to shout "We are!" Who cares if there aren't a lot of trees or a lot to do in some people's minds. Don't come up for the scenery - come up to see us.

While DW was up north working on his cousin's house this past week, that cousin's fiancee came to my house. She and I wouldn't appear to have much in common if you looked at us on paper, but somehow, we really seemed to connect. It was lovely to have her at our house and wonderful to get to know her better. We both commented that we wished we'd spent some time together sooner. Deep down, we have a lot in common within us. It's fun to finally have someone in DW's family to feel close to. (Even though she's not technically family yet.) And it's always fun to have a new friend.

Their wedding is set for Dec. 2 at Lake of the Woods. DW is going to be a groomsman and I'm going to be a program passer outer. We've been hemming and hawing over what to do with the babies for the wedding. Should we bring them with, along with a pair of nannies, who can take them back to the hotel once they fall asleep? Should we bring them down to my folks' house for the weekend? (This would mean an awful lot of driving.) Should we call on my dear sister (and pray that she doesn't get burned out with helping) and see if she would be willing to give up sleep and take them? Should we have someone come to our house and stay with them there for the weekend? Should we bring them with and I'd just go back to the hotel? (This is my last choice - as I'd miss out on most of the fun.)

Yesterday DW came up with the wonderful idea of dropping the babies off at his Uncle Duck's house on Saturday, on my way "up north." Duck and his wife hosted us yesterday and we had a lovely time. They don't have kids of their own, and they handled the babies really well. DW asked if they'd be interested in babysitting and they excitedly said yes. So, easy enough! I strongly encouraged them to call in reinforcements, though, as it's often a lot of work even for two grownups. I'm so very excited to get to dance again!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Holy Roller

We had an exciting development in the kitchen this morning. Lillian rolled over during diaper duty - twice. I guess this means we've exited the stage of placing the babies on a quilt on the countertop for this job. Look out, knees, here comes the floor.

After a nice weekend, I'm excited go back to work. That's a good sign about my job, I guess.

We took the girls up to the NICU, where they’d spent their first month of life. Finally, we delivered the giant basket of candy and "thank you" note. The nurses who were there were pretty excited to see how big the girls had become. Breanna was sleeping when we arrived, and was still covered up. We took Lillian out and everyone thought she was Breanna. Then when we unveiled Breanna, the nurses were all shocked to see how much both girls have grown. Yay!

DW and I worked through house plans last night, and I admit, it's getting kind of fun. The house is turning out to be bigger and bigger each week. I told him that we'd better just start building it before we find more ways to expand. Considering how much the price of materials has recently dipped, we're probably going to start building this fall still instead of waiting ‘til spring. Yuck for weather, but yay for more space!

It will be nice to be able to move in this spring. Our plan is to enter (and win) the Parade of Homes in May. And then move in the next week. It's starting to get more exciting now that we're actually crunching numbers and such.

I hear babies stirring, so I'd better finish up, warm up milk, and get the house up and out the door for the day. Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Double Digits

It's official - Lillian has finally surpassed 10 pounds! We went to the doctor for a checkup and the second set of immunizations yesterday. Lillian weighed 10 pounds, 10 oz. and Breanna was 13 pounds, 8 oz. Wow! No wonder my back gets tired when I hold them both sometimes.

Both girls had good reports from the doctor - he said we shouldn't change anything because they're doing great. That's what I like to hear!

The poor girls had a tough day after receiving their shots, though. They had a tough evening and night, too. Which means we all slept about 2-3 hours at most. Needless to say, DW and I are both exhausted today. We kind of took shifts with the girls, and he mostly had Breanna and I had Lillian. One of the rare times when Lillian was asleep, I heard Breanna making all kinds of "buh buh buh" sounds. I looked up and realized that DW had her sitting up on his lap next to me in bed. He said that as soon as he set her down she'd cry. She just wanted to sit, look at him, and talk. And sweet daddy that he is, he just let her talk away.

Tomorrow I am heading down to Mankato for a client event, which means 10 hours in the car or so. I'm hoping my colleague who's driving doesn't mind me taking a great big long nap. Somehow, I kept being drawn back to Mankato for work - not sure what the connection is there yet, but I sure am familiar with the different routes there.

This weekend, DW and I are going to spend some time together for a change. We've missed just being together as a family as our schedules have been colliding like crazy. We'll hopefully just hang out in pajamas and maybe even cook something if the girls give us a break. Gosh, do I ever miss cooking.

Well, off I go. My hair is nearly dry, the babies are waking up, and it's almost time to head in to the office. Happy Thursday, everyone!

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I've found the most wonderful inventions for parents. Things that have made my life so much easier include Dr. Brown's bottles, Tiny Love mobiles, a wipe warmer, a bottle warmer, and my favorite - Bumbos.

In case you haven't heard of the latter, Bumbo seats are great little chairs for babies. They're made of a dense foam and are formed so that baby is supported - without having to have mastered sitting yet. The support is in all the right places.

Lillian loves sitting in her special little chair. In the mornings when I get ready for work, I bring the chair into the bathroom and set it on the counter in front of the mirror. Lillian babbles and coos at her cute little friend in the mirror. Breanna usually stays in bed, so it's pretty fun to have that morning time with Lil.

I'd heard a lot about Bumbos from other moms of multiples. I'm on the bandwagon now, too. It's a great way to keep baby occupied without having her on her back (and worrying about getting a flat head). At 40 bucks a pop, I thought these other moms were nuts. But now I want to go out and get a second one. We'll see. Breanna likes sitting in it, too.

The other thing that has really made my life easier since the babies arrrived is my family. With DW working so much, I seriously don't think I would've survived. My darling sis picked up the girls from daycare today and watched them for a couple of hours so I could do a work thing. Because of single parenting, I've had to miss out on a lot of work social things - volleyball games, bonfire parties, etc. But tonight, I got to indulge and bond a little bit with my new colleagues, thanks to my sis. I sincerely hope for an opportunity to repay her someday.

For the Love of Socials

Last night, several friends/former colleagues stopped in for a visit. Most of them had not yet seen the babies, and I figured that with DW still out of town, this would be a good week to invite a bunch of lady friends over. As the living room filled with bright, witty writers, I was reminded of how much I've missed socializing.

I've spent numerous hours on my favorite website,, over the past year. It's a bunch of forums for parents with twins or triplets to interact. Anyone can post a topic and then people respond with their real-life experiences, advice and support. It's been an amazing source of information for me.

One of the topics that came up recently was the loss of friends. Not as in death, but as in abandonment once the babies arrive. Sadly, I was able to relate easily. While a few friendships have grown stronger recently, many have quickly faded. I figured that it might happen with those friends who aren't parents, but that doesn't seem to be a factor at all. Some of my longest friends, some with kids of their own, have pretty much dropped out of sight, not returning calls, not checking in.

Maybe it sounds like I'm pitying myself, but really, I don't think that's quite it. It's more of a realization of change, an acceptance of how life never idles in the same spot for long. I'm sure it's not intentional on my friends' part, but it saddens me to know that the comfort in some friendships will never return.

DW and I talked about this topic on the phone last night at midnight, when I was rocking Breanna to sleep. (Yes, she stayed up until midnight!) He's noticed a similar trend with some of his dearest friends. We've agreed that it can't be anything personal, but that it's sad nonetheless. We're looking forward to getting to know the new people who are entering our lives. Maybe the new friendships will be easier as people know us as parents from the start.

I asked DW if I seem different - if something I've said or done has pushed friends away. He swears I haven't become a grouch or one of those who only talks about babies (though you'd never tell that based on the content of my blog). He's convinced that it's a combination of people not wanting to "bug" us when they know we're busy with new babies, and people not being able to relate and thus just avoiding us. Whatever it is, life is changing, and I'm becoming much more thankful for the few-and-far-between social opportunities.

To those who are still actively in my life, I thank you for your friendship. To those who've faded into noncommittal blog readers, thanks for the memories. I invite you to remain in my life and know that you're treasured.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Smiley Peaches

This will be quick, but I just had to share this photo from this weekend. The girls and I relaxed at my folks' house with family coming and going all weekend long. On Saturday, I dressed Breanna and Lillian in peach for the first time. Reading their faces, I think it's safe to say they like their new outfits. I love being a mom.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A third of a year old already

My, has time flown. My babies are four months old already and are getting easier and easier. Not easy, but easier.

Life has been really busy, and I haven't even had time to write, and that makes me a little sad. That said, life has also been kind of fun. I've been bonding with my little family of four and really enjoying all the sweet noises coming from Breanna and Lillian. I've also loved hearing DW singing to the girls and playing, and especially, getting them to laugh.

Now that DW has returned from his long week away from home, we've sure enjoyed being together. The old saying "Absence makes the heart grow stronger" (or is it fonder?) keeps coming to mind. DW's been quite helpful with the babies (as he usually is), but he's also been a bit more conscientious about the house. He has emptied the dishwasher, washed some bottles, even helped fold laundry. Maybe he's just kissing up after raining on my weekend plans, but maybe not. He might actually get it.

I picked up a nasty cold over the weekend - first cold in ages - and it has just added to my exhaustion. I think that months of being run down has finally taken its toll. Thankfully, DW is babying me a bit. Even in the middle of the night - though I do have to shove him pretty hard to wake him up because he has a knack for tuning out babies while he sleeps. The cold is going away and so far, the babies haven't picked it up from me. We're all keeping our fingers crossed.

We've taken the girls out together a few times recently. Those front packs are great for quick trips to Target or for a walk around the neighborhood. DW even helped me find some new khaki pants and it was kind of fun. I don't always appreciate his bluntness, but in the case of pants, honesty is good. At least he's learned that phrasing is key - "Your butt looked much smaller in the last pair." or "Those don't look as comfortable." or "These ones are sexy - get these and don't even consider saying no." Much better than "Those ones make you look fat."

While we were shopping on Monday, one lady walked by and said, "Wow, you have your hands full." I smiled sweetly and replied, "Yes, but better full than empty." DW gave me a low five behind the pants rack and whispered, "Nice comeback." Apparently he's also getting sick of strangers feeling the need to tell us over and over and over again that we must have our hands full.

DW is heading back up north for another building project (!) tomorrow, so I'm going to drive to my folks' house for the weekend. I hope for a chance to take a nap while I'm there. How pathetic is that - that's my main goal for the weekend. To get a nap. Well, that, and visit with some friends and family who haven't met our girls yet.

Anyway, I am ready for the weekend. Don't get me wrong - I really like my new job and going to work each day. The only downfall I've found, though, is that I have to get up so darned early to make it there on time. Oh well, I really need to zip it. Life is wonderful and am so very thankful for all the blessings around me.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Life's getting easier

We've hit a milestone with our babies! Two nights ago, Lillian slept all through the night. Last night, she slept from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. This gives me hope, knowing now that both girls are capable of sleeping through. It can't be too far into the future that we'll all sleep all night long!

Our new daycare situation is wonderful! Grandma Becky cuddles and rocks our girls pretty much all day long. She loves having them and it shows with how calm the babies are. Not only does GB cuddle them up, she bathes them every afternoon and then washes all their clothes for the week to return to me on Friday. Each Monday I simply bring 10 fresh outfits for the girls to change into after their baths. When I arrive to pick them up each afternoon, they're freshly bathed and fed and happy as can be.

Since starting with GB, the girls have been much more relaxed in the evenings, too. Yay! Although it takes me 45 minutes to drive to GB's and then to work in the morning, it's worth every second of drive time to know how good things are for Breanna and Lillian.

Another thing that's getting easier is my Bell's Palsy. My mouth is almost back to normal - when I smile, you can hardly tell. Mind you, I still can't get a good suction on a straw and can't purse up for a kiss quite right, at least my smile is on its way. My eye still hasn't changed, and I'm still in glasses (darn!), but my face is really sore right now, which has typically happened right before another big burst of nerve regeneration. Bring on the pain! Do I sound like a sicko or what?

DW is still out of town, and I am really lonesome for him. The friends he's staying with have two adorable little girls, and I know it makes him really lonesome for his family, too. Good. Maybe then he'll hurry up and get his tail back to town.

When my sister was over at my house last night, she made a comment that I've thought to myself many times but never said outloud. She said that DW must be the messy one, because the house is still in really good shape after several days without him home. Good point. Now let's see if it's a good enough point to keep it clean once he returns on Friday.

Several friends came over to visit and meet Breanna and Lillian last night, and they all brought adorable little outfits. It's so fun to get baby clothes! My sister-in-law-in-law (my sister's husband's sister) brought her new little girl, who's just a bit older than mine. Boy is she cute - it was fun to see what's to come with our girls. It was nice to compare notes, too. A while later, a long-time friend of mine from back in the high school days arrived with his family. They have two tow-headed boys and a month-old little girl. It was so nice to visit with them all, and fun to see Lillian be bigger than someone for a change. My sister's mother-in-law and father-in-law also stopped in, so we had a full house for a little while, and it really was nice. Although I just realized right now that I was a horrible host and didn't even offer anyone anything to eat or drink. Oops. I'm sure they've forgiven me.

I'm going to sign off now, and enjoy feeling more rested than I have in a long, long time.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Beautiful Baptism

I'll have to work backwards on this entry and see how it goes. First, we started with our new daycare today and I hope all's going well. It was a little hectic getting out of the house this morning, because for one thing, Breanna slept all night long. Yippee! But that means she's REALLY hungry as soon as she does wake up (when it's time to go in the carseat). DW left town last night - he's working in Central MN all week, so I'm flying solo.

I took Lillian with me to the grocery store for a really quick trip last night. Breanna stayed home with Daddy. I was absolutely shocked at how much easier it is to just take one child out. I still am shocked today.

We had a lovely baptism for Breanna and Lillian Sunday morning. Our priest was so kind as to perform a private service for us so we don't have to wait until much later when the girls' immune systems are sure to be strong. While they are both healthy and thriving, after their rocky entrance into the world, this first year of life is going to be a bit more touchy than regular babies. In the photo are DW's brother and his girlfriend, who are Breanna's godparents, as well as my dear sister and brother-in-law, who are Lillian's godparents.

My folks stayed home with the girls yesterday morning so that DW and I could go to mass together. We both really enjoyed that luxury. After the baptism, our immediate family and our priest joined us for a picnic at our house. Dan's family brought a ton of great sweets and we fired up the grill for our barbecue. We had a lovely afternoon.

On Thursday night, my Dad and Mom came up to my house for the weekend. They took care of the girls on Friday since we didn't have daycare yet. They also took the girls in to the clinic so Breanna could get a platelet check (they've still been kind of high) and so that both girls could be weighed and measured. Guess how big these good little eaters are? Breanna weighs 12#, 2.8 oz. and is 23 inches long. Lillian weighs 9#,8 oz. and is 21". Both are growing right along! In the midst of them playing Grandma and Grandpa, they helped me at the house with stuff all weekend. My dad has become the pro bottle washer. And my mom is little miss laundry. I think they both really enjoyed being able to help - and to help with baby stuff - not mowing the lawn or junk like that. Mind you, they also did a lot of housework with me to prepare for the baptism picnic, but I think the baby stuff is what was most fun for them. The babies sure seemed to enjoy all the attention and cuddling. And I really enjoyed the help and the company. Thank goodness for family!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Who has the greatest sister on Earth?

That would be me. Without an ounce of doubt, my little sis is the best! She’s a dear friend and confidante, and a sweet, loving auntie to my babies. Add in that she knows me better than I know myself and we’re golden.

For my birthday on Tuesday, it was a rather uneventful day if you look at it on paper, and yet, it was my favorite one so far. We had a little ice cream party at the office, complete with uncomfortable singing and a card that showcased dancing desserts with googley eyes on the front.

As I was driving home, my sister called to wish me a good day and said that she was on her way home, too. Then my mom called, and we visited until I pulled into my garage. I saw that DW’s dad’s truck was there, and I made a snotty comment about how if he’d just popped in without calling first, I hope he was a little embarrassed by the state of chaos in my house. I knew that I had a laundry load of skimpy underclothes folded in different piles all around the living room because I was too tired to put them away the night before.

When I stepped out of the car, I could smell cleaning products. I unbuckled the girls’ car seats and walked into the house to find a clean, sparkling, clutter-free home! The tears started rolling. When my sister said she was on her way home, I’d assumed she had just left work at the clinic. In fact, she’d been at my house cleaning from 10-5. The house hadn’t been that clean since just before I had the babies. She’d bought and put up a shoe rack in our front entrance, and left a vase full of fresh, vibrant flowers, as well as a couple of cute little baby onesies. Can we say best present ever on the face of the planet? She even cleaned the downstairs bathroom, which I haven’t set foot in since sometime in April!

DW’s dad was in the living room when I got upstairs, and DW was walking out of the bathroom looking dapper as ever. He explained that his dad was there to babysit so that we could go on a date. A real date. With nice clothes and a wine list. DW even wore cologne to make me swoon. It worked!

Oh my, could it get any better? Once we fed the girls and settled them in with grandpa, DW and I went to Littlefields. He had an elk steak and I had a fabulous stuffed pork tenderloin. And my first glass of wine in a year. It was wonderful. Truly wonderful. For those who have trouble turning 30, they obviously don’t have my loved ones in their lives.

After we returned home and DW’s dad left, I called my sister to thank her. I said she must have had to work hard and fast all day to get everything done. She simply said, “Yup, I sure did.” I told her that my first instinct was to be a little embarrassed, but then she pointed out that it wasn’t that my house was necessarily dirty and gross, just really disorganized. I think she got a good taste just how hectic it is to have two babies at home in the evenings by myself and then leave on the weekends. The 8 loads of clean laundry in varying degrees of folding that were piled in the living room, on the bed, in the dryer and on the dresser might have been a good tipoff.

The running joke between DW and me during the last couple of weeks had been that he’d come out of the shower and walk bare into the living room to get a pair of boxers from a laundry basket because his undies drawer had been empty for weeks. I guess as long as we both can laugh about it, who cares, right? We don’t have to worry about that again for a while, though, thanks to my incredible sister. I am so very blessed.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Catch me if you can

Still alive and kickin’ – just a little swamped. Well, more like a lot swamped. Let’s see, where did we leave off with this saga called life?

Last Tuesday, our daycare mom called me mid-afternoon and asked if I could come pick up the girls. It was just too much for her – both babies were particularly gassy that day. I had many days like that myself when I was alone with them. And I only had them - not other kids, to boot. Only, I never had a backup to call. In that case, I'm jealous. Anyway, I left the office early with a bad feeling. Sure enough, the daycare lady gave us her 2-week notice. She says she accepted a job as a para with a local school, something she’d applied for before she met us, but hadn't given a second thought to since it had been so long. And of course, it starts two weeks from the day she notified me. Great.

I’ve been scrambling to find another small daycare that will take two infants. We’re still stuck with not being able to take them someplace with lots of other kids for the first year – so there’s a chance we’ll have to have someone come into our house. That would be great for getting out of the house in the morning, but kind of invasive (and so expensive), too.

At the same time, we’ve gone out of town the last two weekends – first to Lake of the Woods, and then last weekend to my family’s cabin in Detroit Lakes. The babies traveled well, so that’s a relief. But it’s just not the same as being at home. On a milestone note, both babies went all through the night without eating on Saturday. Of course, when I had help on hand. Go figure. I’m not complaining. Lillian woke up once, but my mom soothed her back to sleep without having to use a bottle. Yay! There’s hope!

We’ve also been planning Breanna and Lillian’s baptisms. We’re having a private service this Sunday with just our immediate families there. I would have loved to invite some close family and friends, but if we opened it up to some, we’d have to invite DW’s million relatives, and soon we’d have a service/party for 75 people. No thanks. I don’t think his folks are too happy with that decision, but it’s just too much to think about hosting that many people right now. Just having DW’s sister and her family over will be exhausting enough – the kids are adorable but so very out of control. I just pray for no broken bones/furniture/dogs while they’re over after the service. We’ve asked my sis and her hubby to be Lillian’s godparents and DW’s brother and his girlfriend to be Breanna’s. We’re all looking forward to the service.

On a very happy note, it’s my 30th birthday tomorrow. And my parents gave me the nicest gift in the world. They hired a housekeeper to come into my home occasionally to scrub/vacuum floors and dust for the next few months. I almost cried when they told me. By the time she’s done, I figure the babies should be a little bit easier to handle and hopefully in bed earlier so I can have the time to keep up again.

So… I’m nearly out of breath just thinking about how hectic life is right now. Friends, sorry for not keeping in touch. Please bear with me – or else come visit me and rock a baby. Enjoy the week ahead, all!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Single Parenthood Stinks

I have a whole new perspective on single parenting - and a lot of pity for those who don't have the support of a spouse during the childrearing years.

DW is up at Lake of the Woods for a remodeling project, so I've been flying solo with the girls. If I complained about not getting much done around the house before, I was insane. This is the true definition of not getting ANYTHING done. My bags are still packed from the weekend and in the hallway. The refrigerator has a suspicious smell, but I haven't had time to go exploring yet. The new roll of toilet paper that's half gone already still hasn't made it onto the holder. And our lawn probably qualifies for some sort of natural wild grasslands designation. I'm wondering if I dare even send the dogs out in the lawn, for fear they'll be swallowed up and never find their way back to the deck.

There is a light at the end of this long tunnel, though. DW will be coming home - I'd guess either tonight or tomorrow. I see from the caller ID that he called close to 1a.m. today, but I was sleeping in the baby room and missed chatting with him. Not only do I look forward to having some help with baby care, but I also anticipate spending some time with my hubby. While we were technically together over the weekend, there were always a bajillion people around and we were constantly on the go, so we didn't have much private time - the time we enjoy the most - where we just get to "be."

I'm feeling remarkably alert considering the combined 8.5 hours of sleep I've had during the last two nights. Breanna and Lillian are getting more and more on the same schedule, so of course, they both wake up at the exact same moment - hungry and loud. Poor little honeys. Mom only has two hands - so she can't carry two babies, plus get milk from the fridge and get it warming in the bottle warmer, while changing diapers and propping girls up so they can both eat once the milk is warm. Whew! It even sounds hectic on paper. Like I said, I'm looking forward to DW's return. Until then, I'm going to enjoy a good day at work, hopefully a nap in the car at lunch time, and a short evening with quiet babies. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


I've read a lot about it, but I admit, I'm a bit of a skeptic. Twin talk. A special language between identicals. A secret code that no one else can crack.

Until Wednesday night. I was in the master bathroom, brushing my teeth before heading downstairs to bed. DW had taken the girls down already and had laid down. While I was brushing, I could hear a bunch of commotion downstairs. The girls sounded really fussy.

When I walked into the babies' room, I thought "Oh, great. Another long night ahead." I knew that Lillian was tired and had been fighting to stay awake for over an hour by that time. DW appeared to be asleep already, even though both girls were noisy as can be. Thinking I was once again the one who'd be dealing with sleeplessness, I mumbled, "Way to tune out your own kids, Dad."

He corrected me and said, "Shh. Just listen. They're not fussing." Sweet guy that he is, he didn't chew me out for my crabby comment.

Sure enough, they were going back and forth - making all kinds of noises and giggles and gurgles and such - and smiling like crazy. All the while, they were laying on their backs in their crib - feet meeting in the middle - not even able to see each other. I'm certain that this is what so many people have referred to as "twintalk."

As cool as it was to listen, my sense of reality kicked in. It was midnight and I had to be up in 6 hours, with probably an hour interruption of sleep somewhere in between. I walked over to Lillian and placed a hand on her chest and gently closed her eyes with my other hand. She instantly silenced and fell fast asleep. And Breanna stopped her noise right away.

I guiltily climbed into bed, wondering what they were talking about. Hopefully how happy they are.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sleep is for Sissies

Actually, I really shouldn't complain. Right before laying Lillian down to sleep last night, DW had a chat with her to explain that she needs to sleep until 5:30 a.m. And wouldn't you know it, she slept all the way until 6:30! I nearly fell out of bed when I realized how long she'd slept for. Now if only we could coordinate the nights when Lillian and Breanna both sleep, heck, I'd get rested every once in a while. This photo is from early Saturday morning. The bigger they get, the smilier they are. What honeys!

My wonderful parents came to our house on Sunday to give me some reprieve. I'd originally planned to drive out to the lake for the day, but man, it seems like my house goes further into the gutter each new day. If DW didn't work so much, I'd be able to have him tend to the girls so I could try to keep our house in order.

So, I recruited my folks to cuddle babies and take care of feeding/burping them so that I could get out to the grocery store and get some other housework done. DW decided to stick around and visit, too, instead of rushing off to work. He even vacuumed while I shopped. What a treat! My house finally feels livable again. We've all agreed that my parents will come for one weekend each month until Christmastime, just so I can have time to do my housework. Yay!

I think we should hurry and invite over all of those local friends who have been wanting to see the girls while the house is still in decent shape.

The only downfall of not going to the lake this past weekend is that the girls didn't get to spend time with their Great Auntie Jeanne. I know she was really looking forward to seeing them and they would have loved the cuddle time with her. Hopefully we can get together soon.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Aah, the glory of a daughter who sleeps all through the night. Now if we could only have both do it on the same night, imagine how wonderful that would be! It's been a tough past few days in terms of peace and sleep.

Our daycare lady calls me pretty much every day to say that she thinks one or both of the girls are sick. Both babies struggle with gas and in turn are fussy until that gas is worked out. And when they both get going at once, our sweet daycare mom gets a little freaked out. Who wouldn't though? She worries that they're in pain and that they're ill. So, I've taken the girls into the clinic twice now to get them checked over, and both times everything looks fine. Different doctors have recommended different things. After last night's visit, instead of using formula to supplement inbetween breastmilk feedings, we're going to use Pedialite. And cross our fingers. And toes.

I have a gut feeling that this daycare lady will call sometime during the next few weeks and say that it's just too much and we need to find someplace else. She's a really sweet lady and I really like her, but I think twinfants are just too much for her. Darn. I'm trying to find a few backups just in case.

Not much else is happening right now. Thankfully.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Smiles Abound

As my daughters grow larger and their personalities start to develop, their happy nature becomes more apparent each day. Often in the middle of the night, when they're hungrily gulping down their snacks, they end the meal with a gigantic gummy smile. Never fails. I'm always so sleepy that I don't ever remember to have the camera handy. Well, I finally learned and set the camera next to the rocking chair before I went to bed over the weekend. This is what I came up with. (Lillian has the flower print and Breanna has the puppies on her shirt.)

And the exhaustion suddenly becomes a little bit more bearable. We will survive. Hopefully our sanity will last the journey with us.

And yes, Mom, they are in clothes and not jammies. We sometimes forget to follow the rules.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

TGI... Only Thursday?

Oh my, am I exhausted. I'm excited to be back in the real world, but wow - what a week! God must realize that I'm close to zombie status and has been helping keep the girls asleep. Last night and the night before, they both only woke up to eat once at night. I'm ever-so-thankful for that small miracle.

My clients are at the airport now, so I can take a deep breath and relax a little bit. And hopefully get some HR stuff taken care of. I still haven't filled out a W2 or health insurance information, or heck, even had my computer or e-mail set up yet. I'm so excited to be back at it!

Breanna and Lillian are doing great. Although, our poor daycare lady has had some hairy moments. One day she even cried when they both woke up hungry at the same time, three times in a row. Poor dear. Hopefully they'll lighten up a little bit with that.

I'm looking forward to the weekend so I can get a little caught up at home. There are piles of clean laundry all over my living room, mail up to the cupboard, and shoes haphasardly kicked off in random places - wherever my tired feet decided that enough was enough. Alas, the tradeoff is worth it. Those big gummy smiles from our babies are becoming more frequent - they just melt my heart.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Grind

Hi ho, hi ho. It's back to work I go. And go with a smile. I just returned from the first day of my new routine, and it feels pretty darned good. After a nice long weekend at my folks' house, I feel rejuvinated and ready for the real world again. My parents took baby duty during the nights so I could catch up on sleep, and oh the glory!

DW woke up early on Saturday morning, apparently appreciating the good sleep, and headed into town while the rest of us slept in. Well, most of us, but not my mom, bless her. Anyway, DW was going to look for some new sandals and to check out a specialty wood store he'd recently heard about. At about 11, he called and told me he was on his way to pick me up to test drive a car. I asked what it was and he said a 2007 Camry. My heart leapt! For real? The dealership was willing to give us what we paid for our crappy Chevy, so why not, right? I had to tease DW that he went shopping for sandals and wound up with a new car - certainly not how we'd expected to spend our Saturday. But how exciting!

When we returned home, my dad, sister and brother-in-law picked us up at our dock and we set sail for a couple hours. Talk about relaxation. We stopped at the sandbar and DW made his own little island and even wrote his name on it - then invited us to come visit. It was great to lighten up and get silly again. Family came over in the evening and we had a fun visit. My mom got a real taste of what it's like to care for two infants at once and her eyes were certainly opened. Poor dear. But she did enjoy spending the time with her grandbabies who didn't sleep at all - all day long.

Breanna shocked us all and slept 8 1/2 hours that night, though. We credited it to the "magic sleeping hat" that she wore to bed. On Sunday, my pen pal stopped in and met the girls and we had a really pleasant visit. Then off to my dad's folks' house for introductions. While we were there, about a bajillion of my dad's sisters and their kids and friends and grandkids, etc. stopped in. Talk about chaos - so we got the heck out of there right away. We're still on germ restrictions with the girls and that was just too many people at once.

Once we got home last night, we tried the magic sleeping hat again, but darn, no luck. Back to the usual up every 3-4 hours. At least with me going back to work, DW gets up to help, so it doesn't take so long to tend to everyone and then get back to sleep.

We prepped as much as we could last night for our big day today and it seemed to help. DW came into the bathroom to say goodbye and shoo me out at 7:10, and told me that he had the girls all ready to go, buckled into the car. I appreciated it, but reminded him that the earliest they can be at daycare is 7:30, so we'd have to wait a little bit. I took my makeup bag out to the car and applied it in the driveway in the meantime. Whatever works, right?

Anyway, the day went great for all of us. Our daycare mom said it got hairy a couple times, but it was manageable. I guess her 7-year-old son has a magic touch with Lillian. They put her in the infant seat and he jiggles it just so and she calms right down. And the daycare's helper has a way with Breanna that soothes her, so that's good too.

I really enjoyed being at my new job. The people are so genuinely nice and I think I'm going to like getting back into real client work again. I'll be in an account executive role, so less writing time and more strategy time. It feels like a nice shift back. The agency's biggest client is in town this week for 2007 planning, so it was great to be "on stage" right from the bat. The client guys seem pretty decent, too. Yay! I've officially hit the ground running.

Things really are going great all the way around. Our girls are growing and getting cuter each day (Breanna - 10 lbs., Lillian - 7.5 lbs.). And I have hope that someday we'll get more sleep. Who could ask for more?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

How do you spell relief?


DW and I have been going back and forth on when to start our trial run with daycare. I'd planned for today and tomorrow mornings - just to see how long it would take to get out the door and drop off the girls and head to work. DW thought we needed this whole week.

He spent most of Saturday and all of Sunday at home with us, and got his first real taste of how crazy it really can be. It seems like the girls are getting more and more in sync with each other, which means they often wake up at the exact same moment - starving. Because they're still so little, they need to be held in one arm and fed with the other. DW asked how one handles two at once? "Creatively. And patiently," I explained.

Sometimes I put them both in carseats on the kitchen island and hold a bottle for each of them. Other times, I prop them in the corners of our big recliner. Other times, I give one a binkie and feed the other (this option rarely works, though).

Anyway, once he got a good taste of parenting twins this weekend, he insisted that we do daycare Tues. - Fri. this week - so that I can get a little break before I go back to work. He wanted me to take care of the important stuff, like getting a haircut, canceling one of our phone lines, catching up on some sleep, digging out those boxes of skinny clothes that are in our storage closet - way in the back, and the list goes on. So, it's a been a glorious, although too fast, week.

Off I go now to the Hyundai dealership. I'm going to cross my fingers and hope that they have something I want so I can get rid of this lemon that I bought this spring. Although it's a 2005 and still under a bumper-to-bumper warranty, I've had it in 4 times for major stuff and 2 times for less major stuff. And now I can hear that the wheel bearing hub is bad. Unfortunately, that's a noise that I can now pick out after it happened with my last car. Augh. Cars. Oh well. In this climate, a motorbike just isn't that practical. I'm going back to my little foreign friends and giving up on domestic. Maybe I'll have better luck with my next purchase.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Last full week

As I'm winding down the week, I can't believe that this is my last full one being at home with the girls. Talk about mixed feelings! I've loved this time with them, all the snuggling and seeing their changes. On the other hand, I've started to get a little stir crazy. As DW has been working more and more into the evenings, I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed. Thank goodness for my wonderful sister, who has come to relieve me for a couple hours here and there so I can get out of the house without hauling two babies in a stroller, hoping no one wakes up.

Next Thursday and Friday, we're going to do a test run for mornings with our daycare. I'm planning to drop the girls off at 7:45 or so and leave them for a couple hours. Since mornings are by far my toughest time of day, I figure a couple of trials will be good so I can see just how early I have to get up in order to get to work on time. Plus, then our daycare lady can get a taste of how things go and be able to call me with questions.

Starting the week of the 24th, I start my new job and will be co-hosting my biggest client Monday through Thursday. Holy moly! I don't think it would be too good to have the phone ringing with baby questions. We're starting their planning for the upcoming year, so it should be interesting. What a great way to get to know what's going on right from the start. So, not only do I get to start at what seems to be a pretty nice little company, but also jump in right away. I'm excited! However, this is the first time I've had to be out of the house before 9 a.m. in years, and that alone (not to mention adding babies into the mix) is enough to scare the bejeebers out of me. Deep breaths. More deep breaths.

I'm also excited to get back to work and start earning money again. Since the bell's palsy came on, I haven't worked at all, thus no paychecks. I've been living off of what's in my checking account and been able to do just fine, but as we're getting further into summer, my balance is getting lower and lower and I really don't want to ask for money from DW or dip into my savings account. I haven't had to ask him for any money, and for some reason, I take great pride in that. Maybe because I know that it takes a lot of pressure off of him - not forcing him to support three more people than normal. So far, I've had him pick up one pack of diapers and two grocery trips, so it hasn't been anything much for changes for him. I know he's been trying to save up a bunch of money for some other exciting things, and it's been good so far.

So, here we are. My last week of staying home. As I write through my thoughts on this, my feelings are still mixed. Speaking of, I miss my girls. I'm going to go pick them up and cuddle.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Kissy Lips

Since they were just born, both Breanna and Lillian make kissy lips when they're getting hungry. They purse up their lips and form the perfect little "o". I've been trying like crazy to capture their kissy lips with a camera before they grow up and stop making such sweet faces. I finally got them on film a couple nights ago - probably around 4 a.m. Lillian is in the pink outfit and Breanna is in the blue.

Our middle of the night visits, while exhausting, have also been some of the sweetest moments. I've been making faces at the girls, trying to get them to mimic me. They've been sticking their tongues out back at me, and now they're starting to smile at me. And not just a cute little gassy smile. Full gums smile wide as can be -crinkled eyes and all. It's worth every second of this exhaustion.

Friday, July 07, 2006


I just returned from a very promising trip to a chiropractor/acupuncturist. We did a very thorough exam yesterday and started treatments for Bell's Palsy today, and lo and behold - my eye started watering right away! Whatever he adjusted to take the pressure off my facial nerve freed up my tears for a little while! I still definitely have symptoms, but that 1/2 hour of tears has given me hope. Who'd have thought that a person would miss crying?

It looks like it will be a pretty low-key weekend ahead. DW is going to work straight through, so it will be just like any other day of me taking care of the girls full time. To my friends who work during the week (pretty much all of you), if anyone is in town this weekend and wants to visit, please look me up. I have nothing planned whatsoever.

Not much else is happening on this front. I'm sleepy and am going to lay down for a little nap. Second time since having both girls home, and long overdue.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Two months already?

Our daughters are two months old and I can hardly believe it. In some ways, it's been such a long road that it feels like many many months. In other ways, it seems like they're still newborns. Wow - I've been a mom for two whole months - how lucky am I! They're over 6# and 8# now.

The girls and I have been enjoying our time at home together. We go for walks outside in the double stroller almost every day. The weather has been quite cooperative, so it's been a treat for all of us. Sometimes we wait until DW gets home from work and let him come with us. When he comes with, the dogs get to come, too.

We're not quite sleeping through the night yet, and some nights, not getting much sleep at all. But really, who can complain when the girls are so darn cute? Once Lillian is off the extra calories, she'll hopefully have a little less gas pain, and that will be a treat for all of us.

This past Saturday, we took a field trip to my family's cabin near Detroit Lakes. My Auntie Jeanne and her family were there along with my folks and my sister and brother-in-law. I had been really lonesome for some family time, and it was really a wonderful visit. I think we all had a nice time. The relatives got some baby time, the babies got cuddle time, and I got free time. My dad took DW, my Uncle Beaner and me out for a boat cruise around the lake and let me tell you, it was glorious! I came back refreshed and relaxed like nothing else.

Tonight, we spent our July 4th like townies. We bundled up the girls and walked across the cul-de-sac to watch the local fireworks display from our neighbors' deck. It was really weird not to watch the show reflecting on the lake, but I can't complain. Our neighbors have a 5-month-old daughter, so they're adjusting to their new family status, as well. It was a fun and quick little visit.

In the week ahead, we have doctor appointments. The girls get their first set of immunization shots, poor things, tomorrow afternoon. Then on Thursday, I'm seeing an accupuncturist to see if he can clear up this Bell's Palsy business. I have a feeling I might get a few hours out tomorrow night. My dear friend, Tina, has asked for a revisit to the Cork and Cleaver for a chat over Wednesday night teas. What a lovely idea. With this nice weather, we'll probably be able to enjoy ourselves on the patio. Something quite nice to look forward to.

Friday, June 30, 2006

No Guilt Allowed

It was a good day for me today, much better than the previous two. I knew it would be hard to have two babies at home at once, but I never imagined I'd be one of those moms who wouldn't get in a shower or a meal because she was so overwhelmed. Everything had been going really smoothly until just this week, when breastfeeding has taken over my life. Since getting both girls at home, I've been struggling a bit with breastfeeding. I wanted more than anything to have two breastfed babies, but I finally threw in the towel last night.

I'm convinced that if it was just one baby who hadn't been taught to bottle feed in the NICU for the first month of her life, I could most certainly make it work. However, we're still supplementing the girls with extra calories, thus having to give her a bottle of supplemented breastmilk several times a day. The more they use the bottle, the worse they are at getting their milk fresh from the source. It's a lot more work to breastfeed, so they get lazy and sleepy and don't eat much. Then half an hour later, they're hungry. All week, it's pretty much been the cycle of feed a baby, burp her, put her to sleep. Then repeat those steps with the second baby. As the second baby is finishing up, calm her sister, who has just woken up hungry again. And on and on and on. Meanwhile, I've been famished and frustrated beyond belief - not wanting to cave in and give them formula.

So today, I decided to simply pump the milk and feed them from the bottle exclusively. That way I could see just how much milk was coming out. Sure enough, there's been just enough to keep up, and with each pumping, I got ahead just a little bit. By the time DW got home from work, I had an extra 3 oz. in the fridge. What a much better day for all of us!

I really struggled with this decision, but I'm not sure why. For some reason, there's a lot of guilt here. I talked it over with my ever-supportive DW, and he backs my decision 1oo percent. He pointed out that I need to give myself a break - and take the time to sleep - and not try to get ahead of two babies at once. He reminded me that this way, we'll know the babies are getting enough food, they'll be more content, and I'll have some much-needed freedom (i.e. time to eat lunch, shower, etc.). What a relief that he's ok with this. And when I start feeling guilty, I just remind myself that the girls are still getting that good breastmilk, and that there's really nothing wrong with bottles. After all, I'll be pumping and giving them bottles once I go back to work anyway.

Whew! I must say, making the official decision has done a world of good for my mental health. Our nurse came out to the house to weigh and measure the girls again today, and she and I talked about feeding quite a bit. She also has twins - 9-year-old boys. And she helped me keep this all into perspective. I know that I'm doing the right thing for both the girls and for me.

Breanna and Lillian are growing wonderfully still. Breanna's a whopping 8 lbs., 2 oz. and 20 inches long! Lillian is exactly two pounds lighter and is 18 1/2 inches long. Yay for both of them! They're both sleeping soundly in their crib right now, and DW is in the bed next to them. All three are breathing softly in unison. What a peaceful feeling. On that note, I'm going to join them. Sweet dreams, friends.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Cute Babies

Here's a quick photo. I hate to be a show off, but I can't help it. They are just so darned funny! They make at least 10 million different faces a day.

Modern Living

What would we do without a refrigerator? How did folks in the olden days survive? Unluckily for us, DW and I found out firsthand. On Friday evening, DW poured me a glass of milk and brought it to me while I was feeding one of the girls. It didn't seem as cold as it should have been and so I mentioned it. DW had just opened a can and thought the same thing.

We realized that our refrigerator's lights were on, but nobody was home. Being the handy sort of fellow that he is, DW got out some tools and started investigating. With no luck. He figured it was a bad compressor or else something major. We quickly got out the phone book and started combing the yellow pages. Can you believe that in a community of more than 150,000 people, not a single appliance repair person works weekends? Of course, we're only talking about those who advertise in the phone book, but still.

So, we checked the temp of the refrigerator to see if any of the food would still be ok, but darn it, the temp was 61 degrees. Not being one to chance anything (heck, I throw out salad dressings if the expiration date is in the following month), we pitched almost everything. Some of the freezer items that were in the middle were salvageable, so we were able to transfer them to our deep freeze. Of course, I'd recently been grocery shopping, so there was a lot of waste. Including breast milk (aka liquid gold). How very frustrating. So much for trying to get a little ahead (or even keep up) with the girls' food supply. Thank goodness for coolers for the rest of the weekend.

Maybe it was God's way of telling me that the fridge needed cleaning - what a way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Oh well, at least the refrigerator sparkles now.

This morning, we finally had a repairman out to our house, and thankfully, he was able to fix the bad part quickly and relatively inexpensively. After what I paid for my favorite appliance of all time just three years ago, it had better last longer than just this. Once the repairman left, I hit the grocery store. And it felt great! I wonder how many months it will take me to accumulate all my condiments again. I didn't earn the nickname "Condiments Queen" for nothing, you know.