Still My Thanksgiving Miracles

I always get reminiscent this time of year. I enjoy spending time with family and the holiday meals together. And I always think back to two years ago and how blessed and thankful I am.

It was the day before Thanksgiving that I got to bring the girls home from the hospital. No more NICU. I still can’t believe they were so little, weighing two and three pounds. Thanksgiving turkeys weigh more than they did when they were first born. I remember being able to hold each tiny little bundle, one in each arm.

And here we are now. They are running around like crazy little two-year olds. They are healthy. They are happy. I am thankful.

There are some days when I don’t know which way is up. There are some days when I fall over from exhaustion. There are some days when everything just works out great and I feel like we should be a sappy family sitcom. But everyday I am thankful and I am kissing my blessings, each and every one of them – Bradley, Collin, Elsie, and Mallie. 

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

xxx

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Wake Up! Let’s Go to the Park.

Before I was even all the way awake this morning I was thinking of a way to get out of the house and procrastinate some chores.

Who else might possibly be awake this early with kids? So I texted Brandi, my partner in crime with things to do with the kids.

Me: Wake up! What are u doing today? I got a shit load of laundry and haven’t showered yet, but I think I’m gonna throw my hair in a pony tail and put on some clothes and take the kids to the park. Wanna go? Supposed to rain later. So we gotta hurry.

Brandi: Ur text just woke me up.

Me: Haha! Wake up. It’s nice out and prob not for long!

Me: I’m just jealous I can’t ever sleep in past 8.

Brandi: I don’t have any kids here. lol.

Me: How that happen?! Lucky!!

Brandi: I made it happen. lol.

Me: Can I borrow your magic wand for next weekend?

Brandi: My magic wand was a birthday party and my dad. lol.

Me: 😀

Me: So does that mean u don’t want to go to the park? haha

Brandi: Yes!

I would have loved some other adult company, but the kids and I made it anyway. It wasn’t too cold, considering that it is November in the midwest. But it was windy. We had a great time. I let them run loose and wild. AND I knew that they would take a good nap when we got home and I could probably get some “chores” done.

 

Sometimes you just gotta get up and go. Forget the weather forecast.  Forget the makeup. I can wash my hair later. With all these kids, if we don’t just go….we will never make it out the door. And I just wanted to get out before it rained on us. What a great morning! Love the spontaneity of it all. Those are usually the best times. 

xxx

My Babies Playing Spoons

I think with a little more practice we could start a band. The babies are great at playing the spoons, at least Collin and Elsie are… I’m not sure what Mallie was doing in the background. She gets sidetracked easily. They all do!

Earlier tonight I got out a few plastic Easter eggs and buckets. It’s amazing how busy and entertained they were with these silly little objects. It’s not the first time I’ve done this trick. Whenever I really want to get something done, like the dishes or a telephone call, this is one of my tricks. You can’t do it to often or it becomes normal and boring. But it sure is special and fun doing it every now and then. And they played forever and I got so much done! 

They got the spoons for themselves and went to town. I thought it was adorable, although a little noisy. But we had a blast!

AND Bradley lost another tooth tonight. On his way up to bed with a little tiny baby tooth tied up in a plastic baggy he asks me, “Mom, is there more than one tooth fairy?” I thought about it for a minute, unsure how to answer. And he says, “Like is there one in China?”

“Yea. I think there is one for every country.” It’s the best I could come up with. Sometimes you really have to think on your toes.

“Now go to bed so the tooth fairy can get to work!”

xxx

The Twins Playing Together

People always ask me if the twins play together. Most of the time they play side by side, which is pretty common for their age. They  also torment each other like all siblings do. But sometimes they play together and it is so darn cute. Check ’em out in action in the video.

***Warning: They are screamers. You might want to adjust your speakers.*** 

 

Itsy Bitsy Spider

When the babies were little it was so easy changing diapers. They just layed there and we got shit done. I would line ’em up, wipe ’em down, and smack a diaper on their little butts. I had a system and I was fast. If it was a sport I would have a medal in it. But then they start getting a little older and they realize they have better things to do than to lay still and get their diapers changed; like scale the walls, swing from the ceiling fan, try to ride the dog like a horse, or one of their other favorite past times that makes me over exert my vocal chords.

So what do you do when you’re trying to change a diaper and your baby (or babies in my case) seem to have taken on some sort of super human baby strength? I have tried an assortment of methods. 

I always seem to start with reasoning, which is the natural and logical starting point in my opinion. But it never works, no matter how smart you think your baby is. 

Sometimes I give them something to hold onto so they will occupy themselves, which nine times out of ten gets thrown at my face. Dang, they can aim.

Most of the time it ends up in a wrestling match. I try to hold her between my knees so she can’t roll. I grab a shoulder and roll her back over to her back. I fumble around looking for the tabs to the damn diaper between the screams and the fighting to get away.  This method rarely works either.

Distraction. That’s what works the best. But it’s got to be something good.

“Hey, look!” I say, pointing at the ceiling. “Do you see the spider?” I don’t know why, but they always stop and look for the spider. ALWAYS! Not Elmo, not Big Bird, but a spider. “See it?” I coax, while maneuvering the diaper under their butt and pressing down the tabs while they are still searching the empty ceiling with their big blue innocent eyes looking for a spider. Easy! Done!

But I’m not a horrible mom and we don’t have spiders on our ceiling. So then I sing them the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” song and everything’s good. Until my six-year-old comes around the corner, “Where? Where? I don’t see no spider!”  He used to have an imagination. I shush him and go to the next baby and the next diaper. 

I can’t wait until these kids are potty trained.

What are your tricks?

xxx

My First Helicopter Ride

I first started writing the story about my pregnancy with the twins here, the first day of the beginning of when things started to get very complicated. I was planning on doing several posts throughout the next six weeks about the things that I went through. But for some reason I just couldn’t get moving on it. I had it all written down in “bits & pieces” and lots of snippets in a purple notebook that I kept in my purse. I even organized the handwritten mess and torn out pages into seperate pieces to post.

Every time I sat down to type up the story on my computer I would get listless and zone out in memories from a year ago.  I would go into my shell. I thought alot about all that happened. I got lost in the memories. I got busy with the babies and kids. I worried that maybe I was sharing too much. I procrastinated and time flew by.

The twins’ first birthday came and I started to think about all of the trips back and forth to the hospital while they were in the NICU. These tiny little babies in isolettes connected to tubes and wires and monitors and nurses. They were still my babies and I couldn’t wait to take them home.

I would go to the hospital three seperate times a day to stay with my babies, to hold them, feed them, and give them baths. I was home the other part of the time to be with my other two children. After I would put the boys to bed I would make my last trip of the day to the hospital to feed Elsie and Mallie and rock them to sleep. It was a busy schedule, but we made it through. I can’t believe the year has flown by so fast. I can’t help but thinking back about everything.

Each night when I walked through the hospital parking lot I would look up at the lit up hospital sign, the blue letters watching over me as I trudged around snowbanks and made my way to the entrance. Each time I saw that sign, I would think, pretty soon I will not have to see this sign every night. Pretty soon I will take a different path. I will not have to walk through the ER, down an empty hall with artificial light flickering above me, and down to where the babies were. Pretty soon I would have a different route. Pretty soon I would be able to take my babies home. Pretty soon I would rock them on my couch and put them in their cribs. My route would be stairs and bedrooms instead of hospital rooms.

But before all of that there was the beginning. The story I intended to write. The sequel to “The Beginning of Complicated.”   It happened September 13, 2010. I’ve been meaning to finish it for a while. But better late than never.

***

The doctor sat in the chair by my bedside, legs crossed and hands clasped around his knee. I wasn’t used to seeing him on this end of the bed. Ususally he was at the other end in green scrubs delivering my babies. He was not my regular doctor, but he was on call. He was also the doctor that delivered Bradley and Collin. I knew him. I could understand his accent. I liked him. I trusted him.

But this time it was the worst conversation I have ever had with him. I sobbed. I bawled. I shook uncontrollably with tears. I wanted to hate him, but I couldnt. He was giving me the facts. He was trying to save me and my babies.

“We have mostly stopped the bleeding. As long as the bleeding is under control we can send you to Peoria. The helicopter is on it’s way,” he said. “If the bleeding doesn’t stop there is a 75% (I can’t remember the exact statistics that he said. I just remember it was horrible. They were not in my favor.) chance the babies will not make it.” The rest of that conversation was a blur. That last sentence stopped me in my tracks and hung over my head. I prayed. I pleaded. I sobbed.

Soon a young guy sauntered into my hospital room in a green flight jumpsuit with a cocky air,  “My name is Tom.” (I don’t remember his name. We will just call him that because he reminded me of an annoying blonde version of Tom Cruise in Top Gun). “We are going to get you ready.” He asked me some basic questions. The flight nurse came in with a thick file under her arm, I assumed it was my file.

They messed with the tube and wires. They strapped me onto a small board. I worried about my bare butt falling out of my hospital gown and my belly rolling off the other side. They covered me with a sheet, my arms across my chest Hannibal Lecter style. They wheeled me out to the flight pad; oxygen, IV, and monitors. I felt so helpless. I tried to breath. I had no way of doing anything. I watched.

They put large head phones on my head to block the noise. “It’s a tight cramped space,” he said. “It is loud, so you will wear these. We can talk to each other,” he said, motioning to him and the nurse, “and will be monitoring you and the babies. If you need somthing this is the signal,” he gestured a thumbs up or down.

The smell of the spearmint gum he was chewing was really annoying me. The blonde nurse’s pink lipstick irritated me. Everything irritated me because I just didn’t want to be there. I was still in shock that all this was happening and there was nothing I could do.  They monitored my contractions. They chatted nonchalantly back and forth. It seemed like they were flriting. I watched them out of the corner of my eye because I couldn’t turn my head, I couldn’t get comfortable with this big belly or these big headphones. They were pissing me off, probably because they were so normal at the time and I was not.

I tried to guess what they were saying and got bored with this after a while. The pain was too much and it was hard to concentrate. I was afraid to sleep. I watched the cornfield pass in a patchwork blanket beneath me. It was a thirty to forty-five minute ride on a tiny little board and the vibrations of the helicopter were killing my hips. It felt like an eternity.

Somewhere after the helicopter ride but in a hospital bed – I opened my eyes to a darkened room. TV. IV. Tray net to the bed. Monitors beside that. This was becoming all too familiar. I searched for a face, any face. I peered through blurry eyes. I tried to lift my head, it was too heavy. I tried to find the call button, my arms wouldn’t move. I tried to roll to my side, my body didn’t respond. I craned my neck to the left. I was relieved to see Brad. He was on the couch sitting next to his mom. The daylight was shining through the cracks of the shades, framing the pair as they were both texting on their phones. “What time is it?” I tried to speak, but it was hard to talk. My throat was so dry and scratchy. “I’m thirsty.”

“They won’t let you have anything to eat or drink yet, hun,” Brad’s mom said, coming to my bed side.

“Please!” I begged. “I’m so thirsty. Ask the nurse for ice.”

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

They wouldn’t let me have anything! I’m not used to not getting what I want. I tried to stay calm. I was hormonal, pegnant, and in shock from doctors, nurses, operating people with masked faces, helicopter rides…

But that is the good thing about Brad’s mom and why I like her. She gave in. She gave me a little sip of her orange juice when nobody was looking. It was so good. Probably the best sip I’ve ever had. Relief.

Eventually they took me to a normal room. A room that I would be staring at for many long weeks. I still remember the Norman Rockwell calendar on the bulletin board, the top of the tree out of my window. I could also see a parking garage in the distance. Plain curtains. White sheets and blankets. An extra large plastic mug of ice water on the tray next to my bed which the nurses always filled.

I was so sad when everybody left me and went home. I was staying there. I was stuck. I was there for the long haul. Bed rest! Really? Guess it’s for the best. I buried my head under the covers and cried myself to sleep.

Those were lonely weeks to follow.

xxx

I’m Going to Stick My Head in a Snow Bank Now

January 12, 2012 :  It’s chaos, I tell you. Mutiny. I am out numbered and the craziness ensues.

All day I have been chasing babies up the stairs, keeping Collin from taking rides around the living room on the ceiling fan, and yelling at the dog to shut up. Every time I turn around it is one or the other, and they know it. They give me a smile, a grin, a giggle, and boogie it up the stairs or climb the counters. They scatter in three different directions looking for trouble one way or the other. And I think they plan it because as soon as I turn my back the other is up to something and it is a never-ending circle and chase. I am one dizzy momma.

I’m not sure how they manage their plan of attack. It must be some sort of baby code that I don’t understand because none of them talk (well, Collin who is two sort of talks, he has his own language). They are obviously very good at communicating the best strategy to exhaust me because I never know which direction I am going or what I was doing.

In the kitchen you can find Exhibit A:

Tupperware as hats, lids as flying saucers, and plastic spoons as swords.

 

 

Yea, I definitely need some baby latches. I bought some and tried to install them, but I’m just not that handy and haven’t found anyone to help in that department. I should call dear old dad.

Exhibit B has got to be the bath tub. I put all three little ones in the tub this evening. They splashed, they rolled, the threw all the toys out, the wet wash cloth landed on the floor too many times; it’s amazing how much water puddles on the floor from a unwrung washcloth. I didn’t need a bath, but I got one anyway.

Stop. Sit down. Quit spitting. Stop pulling your sister’s hair. Quit splashing. Stay on your side of the tub. Quit pushing. Share that toy. Don’t do that. This isn’t a water slide. Quit! 

This is a different time when I threw all four in there. That was a tight squeeze and even more craziness.!

And the list goes on. They just laughed at me and egged each other on. I washed and scrubbed little arms, feet, and faces as fast as I could just to get done. At some point I figured they are in water, they are clean enough. WE ARE DONE!

I’m not sure what I was thinking putting them all three together. But it really doesn’t matter how I give baths. One at a time or in pairs, they are crazy no matter what. That’s why they get short baths. I can only take the craziness for so long…and for safety reasons. They are everywhere and the tub is not a water park.

Exhibit C:  Trying to get them ready for bed. The video explains it all. It is kind of longer, but you have to watch toward the end when Collin is making faces and yelling at the mirror. It is hilarious. Who the hell is this kid? And what is he thinking? Just plain weird, which I must say he probably gets it from his dad (of course he does, I’m not that strange).

And as the day is winding down I start thinking about this cartoon I saw on facebook.

Sometimes, you just have one of those days when this description fits.

Mommy doesn’t have any wine. I drank what was left last night.

So tonight…I think I will just go stick my head in snow bank.

Tomorrow has got to be a better day!

They are adorable, though…