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!