Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I'm not kidding you. I know, I've said the boys are sleeping through the night before. But I was stretching it; it just FELT like they were sleeping through the night because I wasn't nursing them. Last time I told you I was sleeping through the night we were getting up 3-5 times a night to replace a lost binky.
So I thought that was pretty good. Then last wek we had a, hm, how do I say this without swearing? Really POOPY week of sleep. It was insane: binkies at 1 am, 1:30am, 2am, that "I'm starving you idiot! Feed me!" cry at 2:15 am, then the other baby started his binky campaign at 4am. Rocking, burping, feeding...ugh, we just finished this part of newborn-hood!
Then last night, we all slept in our own beds at our own house.
For the first night in over a year, I slept for 8 hours STRAIGHT. The boys are still sleeping, clocking in at 11.5 hours as I write.
Peace be still.
Amen and amen.
What a glorious, fabulous, miraculous surprise. Thank you, God!
(Yes, I checked on them and they are still breathing!)
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
I've been blogging to share our family's joy over the birth of Matthew and Nathan. I've been blogging to share my own joy in the face of all the sadness reported in this world. I've been blogging to prove to myself that LIFE IS GOOD.
The boys went down for their nap this morning and I started my new little routine: check my email, check my facebook, check my blogger dashboard. On facebook today I read that my former colleagues are grieving: one of their students passed away after his second two-year battle with cancer. My heart is sad for the family, as well as my friends who grieve. I never taught this student, but I know he touched many lives fighting valiantly.
I checked my blogger dashboard next, where I can read any updates of blogs that I follow. I only follow a few, but I learned today that an old friend has been fighting for the lives of his leading ladies: both his mother and his wife have been fighting breast cancer in just the last two years.
My dear friend A's mother is also fighting breast cancer as I write - for the second time in her life. My own father has beaten prostate cancer. My husband only knew his grandmother for 8 years because she passed away after her own fight against cancer.
That's not to mention the non-cancer issues so many others face right now. We have dear friends in their twenties who are battling Crohn's disease and melanoma. A fellow multiples-mom lost one of her babies in utero three weeks ago and is bravely facing three more difficult months of pregnancy in order to give birth to baby R.
I didn't even mention my husband's near-death experience last month, when he had emergency surgery to correct a bowel obstruction just 4 hours from bursting and becoming septic.
Why do I list all of the troubles my friends and family are facing? I don't usually sit and think about all the negative things in my life. In fact, I try to do just the opposite: to be optimistic. So when I found Winston Chruchill's quote this morning, I knew that was the one. He's right; it does not seem to do much good being anything else. But ignoring it won't make it go away, either.
We need to remember that we serve a loving and compassionate God, who heals all of our diseases and infirmities, who takes our sorrows as far as the east is from the west, who turns our joy into dancing. We don't always understand His ways, but we still must trust that He will watch over us, take care of us, and give us burdens no heavier than we can bear.
Because when we least expect it, He makes life very, very good.
Matthew and Mom, Grandma, Great-Grandma, Nathan with Great-Great-Grandma on her 95th birthday.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Burnt toast. The odor fills one's nose the same way that the delicious aroma of freshly brewed coffee beans does. I smelled my dad's burnt toast this morning before I opened my eyes, which made me think of COFFEE!
OH, how I miss my coffee! I'm in coffee pergatory right now, waiting, waiting, WAITING for the day I can drink of God's most wonderful creation. I believe the promised land flowed with milk and coffee...who drinks milk and honey? Oh, but I do like sugar, so if they used honey instead I guess it could be milk and honey and coffee...but I digress.
Why no coffee? you ask. My children. I now understand what sacrafice means! I had to give it up in my 9th week of pregnancy when my stomach lurched while grinding beans one morning. That was one very wicked day of caffiene withdrawl! I got back on the wagon the day I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes five months later. I decided that if I couldn't have sugar, I WAS going to have my coffee! The last two months of the pregnancy was pretty rough, but I had coffee to make it all better.
THEN I delivered early. Darn kids robbed me of three more weeks of coffee drinking!
The boys were just a few weeks old and I was SO sleep deprived I could hardly believe it. In fact, I remember thinking, THIS is why they use sleep deprivation as a form of torture! Steve was making coffee. Mmm, just thinking about grinding the beans now makes my mouth water. I'll have just a bit, a teacup full instead of my Mountain Thunder coffee mug, I reasoned. I sipped that teacup and made it last all morning...ah, heavenly. How could something so wonderful POSSIBLY affect the babies?
Oh, we learned. In a hurry we discovered why nursing moms (me, at least!) should NOT drink coffee. Let's just say I'm OFF the wagon again, waiting in coffee pergatory for those pearly gates to open and let me in coffee paradise.
Where is coffee paradise? It's at Mountain Thunder Coffee in Kona, Hawaii. When you leave the sunny, warm Kona coast and drive about 30 minutes up the hill into the cooler, foggier coffee region, you discover coffee heaven. I've had the privilege to visit twice and can't wait to return.
There's so much to learn about coffee there! Did you know that when you buy a "Kona Blend" coffee that it's only 10% Kona beans and those are the lowest quality beans that plantation is allowed to sell? I don't even buy it any more!
Now don't get thinking I drink 100% Kona coffee all the time. That would be like eating wedding cake every day! (Not that I wouldn't like that, though.) We buy a bag or two of Kona to bring home with us and brew it until it's gone. We've learned you can't save it for special occasions because otherwise the beans dry out and then you've got a very expensive bag of dried up, tasteless beans. Might as well be decaf then.
Isn't it funny how something so strange as the smell of burnt toast can remind you of something so fabulous as Mountain Thunder Coffee from your Hawaiin vacation? Or is it just me?
Monday, September 21, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Matthew: Waa, waaa! (Mom, I'm so bored with just looking at Nathan during tummy time!)
Nathan: Wa (Me too)
Matthew: Waa, waa! (Let's race each other! I know I can smoke Nathan in the belly crawl!)
Nathan: Wa (You're on)
We think Matthew is considering a major in communications.
So I set them up at one end of the blanket and placed the elephant at the other end, the finish line. The elephant was chosen because Matthew was particularly fond of it this morning - he put it in his mouth, that's how I know. We'd practiced the belly crawl yesterday and Matthew WAS very fast, so I lined them up, giving Nathan an extra inch. Well, he's shorter, come on!
Me: On your mark, get set, go!
I placed one hand behind each pair of feet and instructed them to push off toward the elephant.
Nathan: Ung, ung! (Ha, ha!)
Matthew chooses not to respond to the taunting and instead, stares out the sliding glass door. I glance to see he's heard the kindergarten school bus stop outside our townhouse to pick up the afternoon students. Strong powers of observation, Matthew! In the meantime, Nathan glances behind him to see bro-bro dawdling at the starting chalk, so he takes a moment to spit up on the blanket.
Me: Time out!
I wipe up the spit up, hoping Matthew will see that Nathan has crossed half the blanket in just two minutes.
Me: Okay, go!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Being alone in this quiet house tonight has got me thinking about how incredibly blessed I am. I have good friends who will lend a hand on a moment's notice, like tonight. My babies are healthy and happy as can be, sleeping like logs these days - nothing short a miracle for 16 week old twins! And best of all, I have a devoted husband whom I love more every day.
Nathan and Matthew had their regular bedtime routine tonight, but I don't. Even though we talked and said our bedtime prayers over the phone, like we always do when he's on the road, I'm missing Steve more than usual. He's been traveling for his work for over three years now, so I got used to him coming and going. Now that I've had him home for most of the last four months, I've decided I like having him around.
He's such a great dad! My heart fills with pride when I see him bathing our sons or hear him singing lullabyes to them. I nearly cried when he read Goodnight Moon to Nathan last night. Sweet little Nathan's eyes closed a tiny bit more with every turn of the page until, at the very end, when Steve read, "Goodnight noises everywhere," he was asleep in his daddy's arms.
Even though I'll go upstairs in a few minutes and do my teeth-brushing and face-washing routine alone tonight, I will fall asleep with thanksgiving in my heart for my many, many blessings.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sniff, sniff..."Which one?" I ask. They both smile and kick. I choose Matthew. It's time to change them out of their pj's anyway, so I lay out the blanket and haul over two sets of overalls, two diapers, and the wipes. Matthew laughs and coos as I unfasten the diaper as if great fun is about to be had. I reach to keep his left foot from crashing into his poo and jam my own finger into the small pile of rank, warm mush. "Eww, Matthew, ewww!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I cry, as he kicks his right foot into the mess. "Matthew, stop that!" I laugh.
Steve, of course, thinks this is totally hilarious, and takes this opportunity to remind me that HE had to change all the poopy diapers this weekend, so I deserve the mess Matthew is making. ""Har, har," I retort.
Nathan, by the way, has been watching the scene lying alongside Matthew, quiet as can be. Steve gloats in his victory of having chosen the clean baby.
Great fun WAS had by all when he opened Nathan's diaper to find the biggest load of stinky baby doody he's created in weeks!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Matthew's round blue eyes searched mine from behind his rounder, bluer Soothie pacifier. Aren't Nathan and I God's best surprise ever? he seemed to ask. I was immediately convicted. "Yes, you are," I whispered, and kissed the top of his warm baby head.
Friday, September 11, 2009
After two years of struggling to get pregnant, Steve and Kim learned that they were expecting twins. This came as a shock to both of them, but they've spent the last few months preparing for the arrival of their fraternal twin boys. It's Memorial Day weekend and Kim just had her 35 week checkup. Both boys look healthy on the ultrasound and Kim's doctor has scheduled her C section for June 17, which is over 3 weeks away.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
A lot can happen in 9 months, so I’ll summarize what’s happened since the last entry in Dec. 08:
- January 09: Steve again gets assigned to audit
several times while I shiver in the Mexico winter, pregnant with twins. He tells me how ‘cold’ it is in Minnesota on a day that was ten below zero in Lakeville! Mexico
- February 09: We learn the twins are boys and start talking about names. Our families think we’re being coy calling them ‘Righty’ and ‘Lefty’ but the truth is, we just cannot agree on two boy names!
- March 09: In the midst of my stay-at-home or put-them-in-daycare dilemma, I learn that my teaching position will be eliminated for the 09-10 school year, meaning I will be laid off. So, I take that as a divine sign that I am to stay at home with my future sons.
- April 09: In my 30th week of pregnancy, I start my maternity leave and begin weekly doctor’s appointments for my gestational diabetes and babies’ ultrasounds.
MAY 25, 2009: MY WATER BREAKS AT AND THE BOYS ARE BORN AT VIA A C SECTION. MATTHEW WILFRED AND NATHAN JOHN ARE PREMATURE AT 35 WEEKS, 3 DAYS, AND SPEND 7 AND 10 DAYS IN THE NICU AT CHILDREN’S , RESPECTIVELY. ST. PAUL
- June 09:
· June 1: We bring Matthew home.
· June 3: We celebrate Steve’s 29th birthday at home, happy because we know what tomorrow brings:
· June 4: Nathan comes home!
· June 15: We celebrate 7 years of marriage at home with a cake and reminiscing with our photo albums.
- July 09: Reality sets in as we enter our 5th week of not sleeping: we are parents!
- August 09: The boys are cleared to travel after their 2 month appointment, so we plan a trip to
. I am to stay there with the boys at my mom’s for 2 weeks while Steve gets back into the swing of things with a business trip to Michigan . It’s not to be: STEVE HAS EMERGENCY SURGERY AUGUST 2 TO CORRECT A BOWEL OBSTRUCTION. We spent 2 ½ weeks in MI while he recovers from the surgery and he struggles with a bout of pancreatitis. Brazil September 8, 2009. It’s my first ‘official’ day as a stay at home mom…my friends and colleagues returned to their classrooms today. I feel like I “should” be there with them, helping the 6th graders unlock their new lockers, reading students’ schedules and directing them to the correct room, trying in vain to memorize faces and names that I won’t learn until Thanksgiving, staying late to finalize lesson plans for the rest of the week because I didn’t actually finish them during workshop week last week…wow, I didn’t think I’d miss it.
However, I spent my day playing with my three month old sons, nursing them, rocking them, singing to them and reading to them. We took a ride to pick up a swing for a pregnant friend and stopped by the vegetable stand in
I ask myself, can life get any better than this?
Yes, it can.
Steve is going to grill salmon tonight to eat with the sweet corn, we’ll take the boys for a walk around the neighborhood and then begin our nightly bedtime routine: baths and babas. If it goes well, they’ll be down for the count around and they will sleep through the night. Yes, it’s happening – they are sleeping through the night (more often than not)!
Then I get to do it all over again tomorrow.
God is so good to us, it’s indescribable!