Thursday, March 26, 2015

Big Steps!

Yesterday morning marked something huge for this twin mama. Lucy and Clara walked, all by themselves, from the house to the car. 

I didn't have to carry two children and a diaper bag or purse all at once! It was so freeing and amazing!

I usually only take one trip to the car since I've figured out a way to manage it all. Plus, I don't love leaving one child in the house and one in the car. 

This is the first time since Lucy and Clara started walking that we haven't had too much snow covering the walkway to the car. 

It may not seem that exciting to you, but my arms were grateful for a momentary break. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Day in the Life: 18 Months Old

I did this once before, but wanted to do an updated version. This is just a sample of a day on my life as a stay at home mom with 18 month old twin girls. 

7:15- The girls are stirring so W goes in to say hi. Clara always wants to get in Lucy's crib and they hang out for a bit in there together. W gives them their Prevacid.

7:30- I jump in the shower while W changes diapers and brings the girls downstairs for breakfast. 

7:45- I finish getting myself ready, put my pj's back on (one of the perks to being a SAHM) while W feeds the girls oats and oranges for breakfast. 

8:00- I come downstairs and take over with breakfast. 

8:10- The girls are done eating so I clean them up and bring them into the living room to play. 
8:15- Daddy leaves for work so there are lots of hugs before the girls go back to playing. 


8:35- We start a butterfly sun catcher project I got from the dollar store. 

9:10- We head upstairs to get the girls dressed. 

9:25- Lucy sees the iPad and requests to watch Elmo. I turn it on for them in our bed while I get dressed. She's not happy she has to share with her sister. Lucky for her, Clara loses interest quickly and goes to find toys to play with. 
9:40- back downstairs for a quick snack before we leave. The snack gives me a chance to gather everything up to go while they're occupied. 


10:00- We are loaded in the car and off to destination #1: Panera for a chai

10:25- We arrive at our actual destination: the library 

10:25-11:10- we play at the library. We read books, play with puzzles, color, etc. 

11:30- We arrive home and I start to work on lunch. The girls are whining and clinging to my feet and legs so I put on a Signing Time DVD we just checked out from the library while I finish getting lunch ready.

11:50- We lunch! Matzo ball soup and carrots followed up by some applesauce. 
12:10- I clean up kids and highchairs, give plates to the dogs to lick, and put the girls down in hopes they'll play nicely together.

12:45- I cut some fabric for a quilt while they "help". This lasts about 20 minutes before I give up. 


1:05- Quick snack of banana with peanut butter before nap. I rethink how "quick" a snack is when peanut butter is involved and begrudgingly clean up peanut butter from everywhere. 

1:20- We head upstairs for a nap. We read a few stories and clean up their room. 

1:35- Girls are down for their afternoon nap. I go downstairs and heat up some lunch since I didn't get enough when the girls were eating. 

2:30- I lie down on the couch and fall asleep.

3:45- I wake up to the door closing and a baby over the monitor a few moments later. It's my FiL who had arrived and he offers to grab the baby. I slowly wake up while my FiL entertains Lucy. 

3:55- Clara starts making noise over the monitor so my FiL grabs her too. The girls are happy to see and play with pop-pop

4:10- W arrives home. 

4:20- the girls get an afternoon snack and then we all hang out together. My FiL is outside working on W's head light for his Prius. 

5:00- The head light project is complete and my FiL leaves. 

5:45- W works on dinner while I play with the girls. They're pretty grumpy at this time and require lots of attention. 
6:25-6:45- Dinner.

6:45- It's clean up time in the living room before bedtime. 

7:05- We all head upstairs. I start the tub and the girls play with W. 

7:15- The girls join me in the tub. I wash Clara and then get out. W finishes bath time while I get dressed. I get PJ's ready and wait for the girls to help get them dressed. 
7:30- bedtime story with daddy. 
7:40- Girls are in bed. 

7:45- We go downstairs and pick up some before we decide we're too tired and want to relax. I'm pretty sure I was asleep by 8:30 on the couch. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Microblog Mondays: Friends

We've been doing sign language with the girls since they were about six months old. Lately we found a Baby Einstein video on You Tube that is called First Signs. The girls have always loved the Baby Einstein videos and puppets, but this might be their ultimate favorite.

As a result, they've been introduced to some new signs we don't regularly use. One of the signs in the movie is "friend". I honestly didn't know they knew it until today.

This afternoon it was beautiful and almost 50 degrees (one of the first "warm" days since the fall) so we took advantage of it and went for a walk. It was so interesting to me because even though we've taken tons of walks, it was all so new to them. The stroller was new since we haven't used it since the fall and they don't remember it. Walking around the neighborhood was also new and exciting. We did a lot of talking about things and they were really having a great time.

Lucy then initiated a conversation about her sister. She reached to touch her next to her and said "ssss" for sissy. It was then that we started talking about her sister and how she was next to her. They held hands and giggled with each other. It was so cute since they're not used to being in a side-by-side stroller. It was then that I looked down and saw Lucy making the sign for "friend" as we talked about Clara. When I asked if Clara was her friend she started doing it more enthusiastically. Then I looked over and Clara was also trying to make the sign.

I love that they will always have each other as a best friend. It was so sweet to see them talking about their sister and labeling her as a friend. Heart melted.

18 Months Old

It seems each month I'm more and more behind on these updates. I'm not sure if anyone is even reading them, but I love looking back and reading about how they were at __ months old.

The girls are so much fun these days. I think they're to the point where I consider them to be more fun than work....most of the time. They are listening and following simple directions consistently and both trying to talk and communicate quite a bit. They are so full of personality and W and I are constantly amazed by their different strengths.

Lucy- You are so good at communicating to us what you want or need. You're starting to imitate anything and everything we say or do so we need to be careful around you. You are walking everywhere and just about running now too. You figured out how to stand up in the middle of the room without holding on to anything but first figured it out in the tub. We couldn't understand why you were so proud of yourself standing up until we saw how you managed it. You are such a great eater these days. If you told me that a year ago I would have laughed at you. One of your favorite foods is carrots. You are sleeping through the night about 50% of the time. The other nights you are up usually once and daddy sometimes has to climb in your crib with you to calm you down. This is the best way we've managed to keep you out of our bed. You now have 12 teeth including 4 molars. The only teeth you are missing for now are the canines. You're still wearing mostly 12-18 month clothing. Everyone keeps saying how much you are looking like your sister and I think it's because you're eating so well and gaining weight. You still love Elmo and seriously zone out when we turn on the T.V. We joke you get your love for T.V from your daddy because he was the same way as a kid. You love playing with the magnets on the fridge and puzzles. It's so fun watching you learn and grow.

"Cheese"
Playing with her Sesame Street cards
Getting ready for Mexico. 
Clara- You are getting so much better at walking. The physical therapist noted your balance was a little off and your right hip looked to be lagging behind the right when you walk, so we are seeing an orthopedic next week to check it out. Most likely it's nothing as you are improving so much every day, but we just want to be sure. You are walking all over the house with your sister and love carrying things with you. You love the little tins we have of pretend food (pineapples, peas and carrots, tea) and also the jewelry we have for you to play with. You finally got a molar and did so great with it. It didn't affect your sleeping at all but you're eating hasn't been great. You love your fruit but don't really like to try new things. I think you'd just eat fruit all day every day if we let you. You're trying to talk more and more but the accuracy is still lacking for sure. I love that you're trying more and gaining confidence in doing so. You are so thoughtful, kind, and sweet to your sister and you are always bringing her things. You always think of her and it's so incredibly nice. You love throwing things out in the trash and will walk 3 rooms away to do so if you have to. You are getting more and more brave in public. In music class you love picking up the instruments and strumming the guitar. You're venturing out more away from me and with the other kids. You're getting so big and smart!
Lovey on her head and fast asleep. 

Love that little face



The girls took their first trip to NYC this month and we had such a fun time at a children's museum. They are so much happier now that they are able to walk everywhere and get a little space from each other. This really helps with the fighting. They still have their moments, but the fighting lately has been much better. They are so into imitating everything the other one does and it's seriously so cute (and also seriously annoying at times, lol). They've discovered the dogs water dish and toilets so we are always on the lookout for water play around here.

In matching outfits with their buddy Jack. 
Helping Mama making guacamole
Passing out in the car is a regular occurrence with only one nap a day. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Immune Results

After emailing Dr. B a few times he finally called tuesday night with my immune testing results. Although nothing came back atypical with my last pregnancy, I was wanting to hear the same this time around. 

He called around 6:30 as we were eating dinner. I could tell he was going through the results over the phone, but kept mumbling about how "this looks good, that looks good, etc". Finally he summed it all up.

He said my NK cells were elevated, but not so much that we needed to start intralipids. He said if I had been on them previously we would be starting them. He basically summed all the results up as a mild inflammatory response but that nothing needed to be done at this time. He said we could see that that neupogen was working both by my immune response and my elevated white blood cell count. 

I then asked about my medications. At 12 weeks I will stop neupogen and drop my Lovenox to once per day rather than twice. I'm happy to reduce my injections from three times a day to once.

I also asked about the Doppler ultrasounds. He said that they are very safe and actually got quiet upset that people had told me otherwise. He said next time someone said that I should ask them in what literature they read it wasn't safe or if they just made it up. He was pretty heated about it, lol. 

So, as I suspected, we don't need to change anything at this time. I'm glad to have this reassurance but just wish it didn't cost $800 to receive. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Doppler Ultrasound

One of the things Dr. B recommends in the first trimester is weekly ultrasounds. This includes looking at doppler blood flow of the uterine artery. When I saw Dr. B at 7 weeks he did my ultrasound including the doppler measurements. I asked about his findings and he said he noted reduced blood flow to my uterus, but great blood flow between my uterus and the baby. He looked at my chart and said he wasn't going to change my current dosage of Lovenox since I'm already taking it twice a day. Last time I remember having to increase my Lovenox dosage and also using Viagra vaginally to help increase blood flow. 

Getting this done at Dr. B's office is fine and easy but getting it done outside has been a bit of a headache. At 8 weeks I went to my old fertility clinic for my ultrasound. The nurse practitioner came in and noted it on the ultrasound. She said, "We don't normally do that." When I asked why she said something about increased risk and exposure to the baby. She said she could get my old RE and see if he was able to do it, but I told her to just do the ultrasound. I didn't want to make a big deal out of it. When she was finished she said, "The hospital may be better able to accommodate you."  

At 8 1/2 weeks I had my first ob appointment that included an ultrasound. I asked the ultrasound technician if she could do the doppler. She also said it wasn't something that's normally done this early in a pregnancy. 

When I met with one of the Drs in my ob practice I told him Dr. B was requesting this information in addition to a weekly ultrasound. He was great about working with Dr. B and his suggestions and said he was willing to follow any of them. He asked his nurse about the ultrasound, she asked the ultrasound technician, and they all agreed I'd have to go to the hospital to get it done. With my pregnancy with my twins I had a few ultrasounds at the hospital so it didn't seem like a big deal. The nurse told me I would hear from her and I left. 

The following day she called and told me she needed to call Dr. B's office to get clarification for what she was requesting. The day after that she called to tell me I had an appointment scheduled for the next week at the hospital. 

Yesterday I had that appointment. Going to the hospital made it so much more complicated. I had to register (which included a ridiculous amount of paperwork) and my elevator confusion, sitting in some weird room without any kind of receptionist for at least 10 minutes, and then going to a room with two technicians. They were both somewhat confused by the script. They also commented that it was very early on to do doppler readings. I tried to explain to them to the best of my knowledge what Dr. B measured and why. Then they started. It felt like it took them forever. They did first check the baby so at least I saw that quick before they took their twenty plus minutes to do the doppler readings. All I could think was about those comments about it being done so early and the extra exposure. The technicians were so fascinated by the doppler as it is so early in my pregnancy and kept commenting on how "pretty" it was.  I think I made their days as it was definitely something out of the ordinary for them. 

From there I was sent to my doctors office. I called and asked the nurses if it was totally necessary and she made me feel like it was. The wait times are super long at my office and I really didn't feel like sitting there to find nothing out. I knew it was pretty much pointless. Another hour later I left the office. The dr basically agreed it was pointless since he didn't really know what the doppler measurements meant but did say everything was looking great and the baby was measuring right on target. 

Next week I'm supposed to go back to Dr. B's office to have an ultrasound. The week after that I'm supposed to return to the hospital. I'm honestly debating canceling it because of what a pain it was. I guess I'll just wait and see how I feel when the time comes but maybe asking Dr. B about all of the "it's so early for doppler" comments to help ease my mind may help too. It's quite apparent that the way Dr. B thinks and operates is very different from most doctors. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015