Friday, May 31, 2013

Quick Takes

Yesterday, I received wonderful news at the neonatologist's office that the boys are both measuring 5 lbs and 9 ozs. These are great weights for twins, especially at 35 weeks, 1 day, and it's laugh-out-loud fun that their estimated weights are the same since this is unusual for mono-di twins (who usually have a discordance of weight allowing for one twin a size lead over his/her sibling). For the curious...I've gained 42 lbs so far, just 2 pounds more than what I gained with Thomas. Here's the most recent photo of me I found on my phone when my family was in town this past weekend and we visited my favorite park.  I think this pic really captures how different a twin belly looks. It's a whole different kind of big. Keg big.

I was prepared with this pregnancy to deliver very early.  We've been ready to shoost out the door for the hospital since a day or two after the school year ended for me two weeks ago.  While any rational personal would be elated to carry her twins to 35 weeks, I have not proved that rational person.  I'm not proud to share that on several nights I have prayed dozens and dozens of Hail Mary's begging our Holy Mother to send me into labor. I've done upteen things to seize the moment. I really have. But there's really only so many hours a woman feels like enduring the possibility of you-could-meet-two-new-souls-any-day-now!!!

Luckily, we don't have to wonder much longer. The induction is scheduled for Thursday, June 6th at 7:00 am.  I would appreciate your prayers so very, very much.  We will need prayers for a safe delivery and peace for the outcome, as there are many possible complications before the twins arrive (possibility of both a VBAC & c-section deliveries) as well as when they arrive (very probable stay in the NICU). **Thank you in advance**

I ceased all exercise when I started reading about twin pregnancies, so about 15 weeks ago, in an effort to preserve calories for the growth of the babies.  I have missed walking so very much.  I realized a couple days ago that this is the perfect time to pick it back up.  I've walked just two days in a row and can't tell you how lovely it was, even yesterday as I walked through strong winds and under cloud cover promising rains any second. 
Neighbor's flowers hugging the curb like a friendly hello.
Something else I miss very much but can't reunite with quite yet is taking care of the yard.  Weeds have literally taken over our landscaped areas. It is driving me crazy, as my son would say. The other day I was just itching to take care of a few bad spots. Paul was working from home and happened to look out the window to see his pregnant wife gingerly bending over so as to balance the belly and yet go to town on de-weeding the heck out of a mulched area.  As you might suspect, I received a strong scolding through the window and so I commenced to teach my son the ways of weeding...

"Son, get my gloves on and grab this shovel and show this weed who's boss!"

This morning Thomas called for help from his room.  I found him trapped in a crib with one leg stuck between slats and the other leg perched over the rail.  When I asked him, "Why did you do this?" his response was, "I was just busy being a super hero."  I think I might try this category of response out on my husband one day.  He'll open the front door after a long day at work and see three halfheartedly dressed boys and a wife with raccoon eyes.  He'll scan the perimeter and spot dishes in the sink and kids' toys scattered all throughout our house. When he looks at me for just cause, I'll plead my case with, "I was just busy being a super mom."

Kid is up. This is all I've got.

Have a wonderful weekend!


After publishing this post, I walked away to do whatever and looked over to Thomas as he was shaking his booty in his "no hat" (snow hat, for the uncultured). A realization quickly overtook me that the far fetched scenario I painted in #6 is merely the current state of affairs minus two babies.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Woodland Creatures

When you've seen the bottom of every laundry basket (dirty and clean) and scrubbed your sinks until they're white and your freezer is stuffed full of every dish freeze-worthy... you have to drum up a little something something to keep the crazy at bay while you wait but try not to wait for da babies to arrive!!!

And so yesterday I decided a little fox painting would do the trick.

Blank slate--ack!

Where I almost painted a bee that was quickly looking like a poster child for diabetes...

Almost done... and a little freaked out about painting the eyes

And finally dude found his home by some other fine looking creatures (I painted three years ago).

I was gonna drop this whole woodland creatures theme sooner rather than later, but my son finally, a week or so ago, took note of the owl I painted, proudly exclaiming, "Yeah. My mommy painted that owl for me. I like it!" So he's gonna ride out the cheap decorations for a while longer.

Got any projects on your slate? Or any ideas for what I might do in the next who knows hours to stay *relatively* sane?

Oh, and one super cute picture of another woodland creature, my turtle, who made me smile a million times from ear to ear during "Turtle Mania" at the Nature Center today. (And I'd insert other photos but my phone just puttered out.)

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Waiting Game

I handed in my keys, in a big blubbering cry fest mess, last Thursday just in time to zip off to my 87 hundredth doctor appointment.  That night sparked a breaking-in of at home motherhood with as much feverish cleaning as my lumbering over sized belly can handle.

Most recent pic. Another daring choice of stripes.
Today, I'm at 33 weeks and 4 days.  Average gestation for twins is 35 weeks. And while the end of a singleton pregnancy and a twin pregnancy are just alike in equal parts exciting and exhausting for all the anticipation, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say the hours of waiting feels just a tad different when you're carrying two babies.  Because when you measure 40 weeks at 33 weeks and you have the potential to grow at an exponential rate each day thereafter, you're a little freaked out and so are your stretched to a whole new level of max ribs.

However, as much fun as it might be to have you believe I'm busy here driving up a complain storm about things such as my tailbone screaming like it's about to break off and my need to rest between even the lowest common denominator of activities (Read: I got winded from putting on make-up this morning), I'm really fine.  And that's only because I'm on this high of gratitude that's sweeping me right through to the end of this pregnancy, should that be tomorrow or ten days from now.

He's recently taken to the egg.
I'm grateful the twins have stayed put this long.  I'm grateful that I was able to have the closure of finishing the school year (and in good health).  I'm grateful for every single minute I have with Thomas to read to him, play with him, and laugh with him--because we need a good stock of bonding and happy times before mommy goes fatigue numb and resorts to "uh huhs" and "what?s" for primary conversational pieces. I'm grateful for that insatiable drive to nest which is some kind of domestic euphoric drug inaccessible for production and distribution (shucks!), only available for us carrying a load out front.  There's a certain kind of magic in the desire to pack a bag or reorganize a fridge with all the critical calculation and focus as that of a bomb detonation and yet the gentle fondness of a mother caressing her child's face for the first time.  Good times.

Memory. Or should I say, The Game I'm Better Than Mommy At
I am past the point of taking it "day by day".  It's more of an hour by hour vigilance to divvy up my efforts in three equal parts: cleaning, distraction, and sleeping.  I've scheduled bits of busy into my calendar so there isn't enough of a lull in my life to make me want to toss myself on a bed and say stupid stuff like "THESE BABIES ARE NEVER GOING TO GET HERE!".  Maybe in between luncheons, play dates, and doctor appointments, I'll just happen upon a need to say, "Well, my goodness.  These babies have decided to arrive. I hardly noticed it was time!" Bahaha. Yeah. Totally like that.
My look of disgust? Who knows. Let's hope it doesn't stick.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

An Openness to Life

At any given moment, you could add up my husband and me and divide by four and you would have the sum total of persons open to new life.  Or rather it is: our openness to adding a plus one to our family.  This isn't to say we aren't pro-life or that we believe in using contraception or that we don't just absolutely love Thomas (and are excited for the twins to arrive).  It just simply means we are two people who acknowledge the counter-cultural wisdom in welcoming children--giving our version of a nod and wave when it passes by-- but actually considering such pursuit sends me into sleepless nights and my husband into (straight from the page of when I informed him we were pregnant with our 1st) a ghostly white apparition.

The blogosphere is brimming with women whom I admire for their openness to life. And not in the way I uphold being pro-life in my head. They're doing it with their very lives.  There's stunning Grace who makes being saddled with three kids under three appear just about the hippest (and most hilarious) thing any of us could be busying ourselves with even when she's working her magic as trophy wife coping as a (temp) single parent while her husband's away doing doctor-y things.  There's Dwija, whose recent vulnerability and honesty in sharing the shaky start for baby #6 makes me want to reach right through my computer screen and hug her with love for showing us what a "yes, do unto me" looks like.  And there's Jennifer and her recent eloquent post which offers an unwavering commitment to her children through the willingness to love with the bold life as an NFPer. 

And there are so many more.  In real life. In the digital sphere.  Women and men who are right from a come to life Couple to Couple League magazine, modeling for me the joys of allowing God to, if so the plan, cram our homes full of people to love in ways which stretch ourselves greatly.  Women and men strapped for money and giving a hearty yes.  Women and men who've dealt with grief, infertility, and/or medical complications and giving a happy yes.  Women and men who, just as much as the next person, don't know how their lives could possibly shift into place with one more child but still lay down their yes.

And here is me of little faith.  Despite my upbringing with a mom of unrivaled moral convictions and an unmatched love and respect for children of all ages and a mother-in-law with ten kids of her own and a heart so big it carries its own kind of music into a room, I'm just timid me.  I'm no bold proclamation, no walking billboard, no announcement of God's radical love for us in the way of being open to happy additions as some sort of beautiful string of pearls, pieced bit by bit through the long years of fertility. 

The form of my bold proclamation of openness to life is when I type preggo complaints into Twitter and then erase them.  My walking billboard is a belly at 32 (almost) weeks that's measuring 37 and looks 42.  My bold proclamation is my insistence that no, the Duggers really aren't weird, I promise.

While I would be eager to slip right into my mother's convictions, my mother-in-law's heart, and my sister-in-law's steady courage... oh, or Grace's pants (because how you have 3 under 3 and look like THAT is a whole other kind of wonderful)... I'm me.  Courage doesn't come easy to me.  Thinking tangles me up in a whole mess of serious.

But I've got today.  And today means one more day to love my husband in all the ways I know, listening, learning, and laughing with my son who is such a joy to me, and savoring every kick and punch the twins have in store even when that means edging ever closer to my muscles separating indefinitely.

Openness to life is not in the longing to add but rather to be joyfully vigilant and present in wrapping our hearts around every person we come in contact with.  It's in our reaches to our grandmother and the grocer and the students I see for just one more week before saying goodbye.  It isn't a race to multiply but rather to draw to ourselves, whether in new life or old, "ours" or others'", all the souls which could use an extra sprinkling of love. 

I am open.  I am not closed.  I'm also super frightened about the possibility of more than what I've already been given. My openness at this point will have to suffice to be the absence of a closed door, a hardened heart, turning to contraception as some sort of safety net to guard me from sacrifice.

Long ago my roots intertwined with the Culture of Life.  And while I don't have a mini-bus-o-Andersons and won't look you in the eyes and say, "Why yes, I would be more than happy to have another one", I'm open nonetheless.  I've always been open to life in my own way, never set in a vision for what my family would look like, making it relatively easy to accept quickly the surprise news of twins.  If my heart (or my husband's heart) is to expand even greater, ever more willing and open to new life, I have full confidence Christ will knock on our door.  Really loudly.  Because three boys under four is noise the Good Lord is not going to have an easy time rivaling.  

In the meantime, I plan on very un-timidly loving, with the greatest openness I know, a house full of three boys and a man who is, on most days, a delightful golden color.

Our 1st "plus one"! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Anticipation of May

This morning I ceremoniously turned my planner's pages to May and clipped everything from the 1st four months of 2013 closed.  I smiled and stared at everything happening in May...

My brother and sister-in-law are expecting their fifth child, Martin, who holds a happy title of 1st son.  While I won't be able to travel to hold baby Martin, I'm joyful from afar about their evolving family dynamic.  The thought of all their sweet girls swooning around a precious little boy is just too cute.

Both my sisters are moving into new homes: one into her 1st house and the other into her 1st apartment.  Deep into nesting, I do declare that there is something so delightful in the making of a home and so much excitement in getting a clean slate to do so.  I look forward to lots of new memories in my sisters' homes and I'm grateful to have them in Springfield with me! 

My last day of school is May 16th! I've been very sober about processing our decision for me to stay at home for a while with the boys.  However, I won't be ashamed to raise my freak flag of glee for any amount of time (if granted) between me waving goodbye to CHS and me bringing the twins into the world.  A chance to hang out with Thomas before things go bonkers around here would be just absolutely wonderful!

And then there's some other things about May too.

I got through January.  I started grumbling during February.  I held my breath through March for April and then when April got here I told it several times it was disappointing me.  The weather. My roller coaster of emotions with the twins' prep.  The weather.  

May means a flooding of green and flowers and letting my guard down to feel some joy.  

But let's not talk about June.  If I make it to June without babies, I'll be equal parts out of my mind thrilled for making it to that elusive 36th week and out of my body stretched, broken, aching and beyond any shape or figure I can possibly imagine (and refuse to) at this point. 

What are you anticipating in your May?