Saturday, December 31


Dear 2011,

You've been a pretty awesome year.

Colby went from a semi-toddling still-baby toddler to a talking, running, crazy two-year-old-going-on-ten ball of amazing energy.  I began the year counting words, amazed that he was saying 30 words at 18 months.  Now he won't stop talking and I can coach him to say things like "Sorry!  Didn't mean to be rude!" when he burps.  (Just for giggles.)  He's had 3 haircuts, went on tons of adventures, and really became his own person.  He went on his first train rides, his first plane ride, and even started 2011 in another state altogether.  We went from loving Thomas to Toy Story to Caillou back to Thomas and then on to Cars.  He became a total clown who loves to fall down for laughs and will ask "Are I okay Mama?" when he falls.  But he's still a Mama's boy at heart who loves to cuddle, hug, and kiss.  He reminds me every single day why we started this whole parenting thing.

And the girls.  Oh, the girls.  They helped fill the first 5 months of 2011 with anticipation and love mixed with worry and uncertainty.  I had a spinal and cerclage when 2011 was just days old.  I spent hours and hours at appointments, a month in the hospital in bed, another 6 weeks laying in my own bed (and on the couch), then had surgery, spent another week in the hospital, and a few more days visiting the NICU.  All for their health... and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.  Times a million.  They went from (relatively) teeny 4lb 10oz loves (monsters when compared to the boys) who slept and ate and slept some more to squishy, rolly, sitting, teething, squealing loves.  Their personalities are so distinct it makes me laugh.

Sydney is laid back, content to play on her own.  But if she needs you for food or a diaper, she is fast to let you know.  She has a set of lungs on her to ensure she gets noticed.  She loves to jump in the Jumparoo and chew on anything in sight.  She loves her pacifier and will find it and start sucking away without help.  She loves bath time, but hates to get dried off. She won't lay still for a diaper.  She's so strong that you literally have to fight with her to get her to sit still for anything.  She's so ready to crawl.  She can scoot on her bottom, rotate, and push backwards a little.  She loves to eat and has chowed down on sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, cereal, applesauce, and bananas.  Like Colby was, you can't get food into her fast enough.  She wakes up every few hours at night still to eat, but I don't mind because it's when we get our best cuddles in, and she's growing way too fast anyways.

Zoe is usually pretty laid back too, but she wants more Mama time.  She's a little more laid back about her needs and will usually whimper for a diaper or bottle.  For awhile.  Then the screaming comes out.  She loves her big brother and will laugh at him for hours.  But she is a Mama's girl at heart and will let out huge sad tears while throwing out the pouty lip if she's not around Mama enough.  She loves to chew on anything and will sit and inspect it so carefully.  Her favorite toys are anything that belong to Colby- cars, trucks, trains.  Basically anything with a small part that can be swallowed.  She's not interested in her pacifier and I rarely even offer it anymore.  She's like Colby in that way.  She's not a fan of food and will only tolerate mixed grain cereal and squash, and only sometimes.  She's a total chow hound at night and will eat 15-20oz at night.  It's ridiculous, I can't get it into her fast enough it seems.

And me, well, I had an amazing 9 months off of work.  The first 10 weeks were spent on bedrest, but after that, I've gotten to spend an amazing amount of time with all the kiddos.  I know I was so lucky to get that time-- no time will ever be enough, but it was a good start.  Everything about all 3 of them is going so quickly that it's hard to remember where we were even just a few months ago.

Of course it's not always all good.  2011 was the second full year without Connor in it.  I'm always surprised how much that hurts and how it catches me so off guard.  But we're still learning to live with our reality and it does help to tell Colby about Connor.  To see him kiss Connor's heart.  To see him point to pictures.  I know he doesn't really get it, but it does help.

2012 has a lot of work to do if it's going to catch up to 2011.  But we have 1st birthdays, a trip to Texas, a wedding we're all in, and a 3rd birthday to look forward to.  There's sure to be so much more good in 2012 as well.

So, so long 2011.  It's been fun.

Sunday, December 25

Holiday Time

Holidays are hard with a baby in heaven.

But also amazing as you watch the joy in the eyes of your other babies.

Tuesday, December 20

Back to Work

I have been back at work for 2 days.  I am tired.  :)  I get up at 5am to have time to pump and shower and get things squared away.  The nanny gets here at 6:30 and I leave around 6:45 to avoid too much traffic.  I  get to school around 7:15, the kids get there at 8:15.  I get through the morning and then I pump at lunch time.  By then I'm dying.  But then I get through the rest of the afternoon and pump before heading out the door.  I'm home around 3:30 with the kids, play, and get dinner ready.  Then it's baths if it's bath night or more playing if it's not.  The kids are all down around 8, then it's clean up and pump and school work.  By the time I'm ready for bed it's about 11 with one last pump session.  Then it's lights out with lots of wake ups with the girls.  The first night I was up 8 times and last night it was 9 times.

I'm so tempted to throw in the towel with pumping.  At school there is no place for me to go, so I hide in the corner of my room and since it's so long between sessions I ended up spending my full 50 minutes pumping, so I get nothing done at lunch time.  And I feel like I spend more time pumping in the evening than I get to spend actually playing with the girls and Colby.  And then I'm up pumping around midnight and then 2 and then 5, so it limits my sleep even more.  (Though I'm usually up with the girls anyhow)

BUT my goal was 10 months because that's how long I have the pump for free.  And I do like knowing I'm providing for the girls 100%.  And it's only a little more than 3 months away so it's doable, right?   So I just don't know what to do.  I'm afraid that school is going to really cut into my supply anyhow, so in the end I might be killing myself for nothing really.

Oh well.  Point is, we're adjusting.  I have 2.5 more days this week then it's vacation until Jan 3rd.  Then it's back full time at which point my class really needs to be whipped into shape.  It's a tough group behaviorally and academically and the sub did her best, but she was really just winging it.  They write worse than my K class did in terms of both content and handwriting, so I have to tackle that.  They have no real set schedule so I have to do that.  There is no behavior management system so I have to tackle that.  Basically I feel like I'm going to have to treat it like the beginning of school all over again & take the next 4-6 weeks establishing routines (like no talking and wandering around the room).  I can take academic struggles any day, but the blatant disregard for proper behavior?  That I cannot stand, so we'll hit that big time.

Saturday, December 17


When the boys were born Johnny & I only had one other set of friends with a kid.  She was 2 years older than Colby, so a little beyond our stage.  So we went through NICU and babyhood and into toddlerhood "alone" without anyone else to compare to.  (Well, except for everyone on here, but I digress.)

But now, with round 2 with the girls, it seems like everyone and their mother is having babies.  On facebook just about every day there seems to be new baby pictures of friends and acquaintances and that random person I sat next to in Intro to Writing sophomore year.  (Because BU got facebook back in the day when it was The Facebook and when you connected with people by classes.)

My point?  Now we have lots of people to compare our kids to.  Johnny even has a friend who had a baby boy the same day the girls were born.  And Johnny does a lot of sleep comparing.  (Which is actually a little funny because he has never gotten up with the girls and sleeps just fine through the night...)

He's always telling me about the 2 month old who sleeps 11 hours a night, or the 3 week old who slept for 7 hours straight or the baby who wakes up at 10am every morning.

So, this all brings out a question Johnny has been asking a lot lately:

Why don't our kids sleep?

Seriously, what am I doing wrong?  Let's leave Colby out of this because I rocked him and cuddled him and he sleeps with us.  Whatever.  Lost cause.  He'll be out of the bed before kindergarten, so I'm not worried.

But the girls.  Seriously.  They're not cuddlers.  It's sad and makes me miss the cuddly Colby stage, but they're just not.  They're interactive and fun as heck, but they won't just nuzzle in for a good nap or rock.  Therefore, I can't cuddle them to sleep.  Sydney especially- lay her down and give her a pacifier and she's good to go.  Both can fall asleep on their own.  They can both soothe themselves back to sleep with their pacifiers or hand sucking.  The can both down 8+ ounces right before bed at 7:30/8pm.

So why do they wake up 3 or more times every night?  What am I doing wrong?  They seem to have all the "tools" to sleep through the night, but they still get hungry 2 or 3 times a night.  And it's not that they wake up for a "snack".  No, instead, around 11 then 2 then 5 they'll down another 4-5oz at a time.  They definitely get most of their food at night.  During they day they may take a 3oz bottle around 9, a 5oz bottle around 1 and then a 3oz bottle around 4 or 5.  They go back to sleep easily after eating at night, so it's not like they have their days and nights mixed up.  They're just late night eaters.  How do I fix that?

Honestly, I don't really mind because I'm still getting up to pump and I do love the night time snuggle sessions (because they're more cuddly when half asleep than when awake during the day) but I feel the need to fix this more for them.  I feel like they'd be more rested if they slept a longer stretch than 3 hours at a time.  (Though, to be honest, it's not like they seem like they're not well rested, so really it might not be an issue...)

I've tried getting them to eat more during the day, but it doesn't really work.  I've tried to "trick" them with a pacifier at night to cut the night feedings down, but that REALLY doesn't work.  I don't want to do anything that is upsetting to them and if this is what they really do need then I DON'T want to do anything to change it.  But any suggestions?

But I do keep telling Johnny... some babies and people just never do sleep all through the night.  I have never been someone to sleep through the night.  For as long as I can remember I've always gotten up 2-3 times for the bathroom or for a quick drink.  Usually I'm up for 2 minutes tops and I can fall right back to sleep, though.  Maybe the girls (and Colby) are just more like me?

(And before you ask, introducing solids has only succeeded in adding some messy late night diapers- it hasn't helped the sleep at all.  Oh, and Zoe is not a fan of solids.  As in, the second I try to feed her something she starts gagging and trying to throw it up.)

But they're so cute I can't stand it.

Thursday, December 8

It's the time of year...

...where everyone needs more time.

As time ticks away and I get closer and closer to going back to work I remember how much I still need to get done before Christmas.  Because it's almost here... as in not this coming weekend, but the weekend AFTER.  Seriously.  (Yes, I know you all have calendars, but I had to remind myself.  Again.)

I still have pretty much every single craft to finish...
- The coasters are awesome (I think!) and super cheap (16 cents a tile! + paper + paint + foam/cork on the bottom).  BUT the rubber cement is killing brain cells (only mine, I'm smart enough to use it after the kiddos are in bed) so I haven't finished them all. (4 each x 6 people)
- The penguins are stamped in black, but I started to add the white yesterday and the black is bleeding through, so multiple coats are necessary.
- I still haven't stamped the girls butterflies because when I tried with Zoe, she proceeded to try to put her foot in her mouth.  Fully painted.  I need more hands.
- The handprint calendar is only done by 4 pages.  Colby's attention span is slightly shorter than mine. (Slightly)
- We haven't hand printed the snowmen because I haven't set out the drying rack outside so I can hang & coat it so the paint doesn't chip.
- I haven't chosen the photos for the kids ornaments- though Colby did finish painting the stars.
- I haven't chosen the family photos to print and laminate for Colby's memory game.  But I did decorate the box with scrapbook paper and letter stickers.  I like it.
- Make family cards.

So, yeah.  Busy.  I did finish my mom's photo book & Johnny's mom's calendar though.  And a few of our Secret Santa gifts have been purchased.  And we got Colby a few trains & books & maybe 3 stocking stuffers.  The girls have zip.  Nada.  We haven't even found them stockings.

And we still haven't taken pictures for our Christmas card.  But last year we sent the cards out on December 27th.  So we have time.

What else?  Oh yes, I'm going back to school so I have to get some clothes that fit.  (Seriously, zero clothes fit me now.  Every pair of jeans fall off.  No complaining, but it's a problem.)  I have to register for my spring class.  And figure out how to extend my teaching license.  And start applying for jobs in SE MA.  Because we might be moving & building sooner than we originally thought.

I'm starting to make myself anxious, so I'll calm down with this...

and this...

and this...

Monday, December 5

Obligatory Updates...

I'm just so far behind in LIFE right now!

I go back to work on the 19th, so I've been busy trying to get as much finished before Christmas as I can so that I don't have to worry about odds and ends my first week back.  Thanks to my addiction (PINTEREST!) I came up with a ton of Christmas gift ideas - mostly for the grandparents - so I've been working on those with the kiddos...

The girls are making butterfly footprints...

Colby finger painted paper & I'm attaching it to tiles and making coasters.

Colby made a footprint penguin for each set of grandparents.

And Colby made handprint snowmen.

I think we have enough... but I LOVE this thumbprint ornament so much!

If you need ideas for the CUTEST crafts in the world, visit  Seriously, I could browse forever.  (And about 90% of my "Kiddo Crafts" board on Pinterest is from that site!)

Back to Work
As mentioned, I'm back to work on the 19th.  I vary from excited to nervous to plain old dread.  My first week is 4.5 days long with a holiday concert thrown in on Tuesday.  It will be interesting.  When I got my list over the summer there were 21 kiddos on it... apparently they have had to move a few kids because they were just too hard to handle for the sub, so I'm a little worried about that!  She wrote me an email awhile back telling me that they are "crazy but good".  Hmmm...

But then again, I spend my time with a crazy 2 year old and 2 6-month olds.  I like to think I can handle crazy.

We chose our nanny - we went with S.  She came over today to hang out and get a better lay of the land.  Colby warmed right up to her which isn't something he always does.  Within minutes he had her building a train track for him to play with Thomas.  That makes me feel a little better about the whole thing...

The girls are still up 2-4 times a night every night.  They like to eat at night.  Sometimes I'm so over it and think that I have to stop feeding them on demand because they're 6 months old and they should be sleeping through the night.   I worry that I'm creating bad habits and they'll become dependent on it blah blah blah.  But then I remember that I did the same thing with Colby - I fed him bottles through the night for the longest time, but he outgrew it on his own terms and they will too.  

And now the part that I feel like the worlds worst mother!  We have forced hot air and it's pretty much the worst heating set up in the world.  The girls sleep in our room and I close the door to keep out sound and light and because I hate sleeping with an open door.  What that does though, is keep the room chilly because the sensor for the heat is downstairs and when downstairs registers the 70 degrees, upstairs is still chilly but the sensor doesn't know because the door is closed.  And I put on the fan every night (pointing at the ceiling though) as white noise.  (We have a sound machine on order for Christmas thankfully.)  SO I'm always cold and sleep with two blankets & warm pjs.  BUT being the idiot I am, I was putting the girls to sleep in their Rock N Plays (it's a nightmare transitioning to the crib from those!) in their pjs with 1 blanket draped over them.  And they were both SO fussy.  They'd squirm and be generally whiny all night  -- though not waking up.  

WELL the other night I woke up shivering because I had one blanket on.  And then a lightbulb came on in my head.  Here I am, an adult and I'm cold, what on earth must the girls feel like??  So I dug out a pile of blankets at 3 am and piled each girl with about 4 blankets.  (It's safer in the Rock N Plays because I can easily tuck the blankets in and because the girls are strapped in and can't move).  Both girls slept like rocks for 3.5 hours after that.  Yes, it might not sound like much, but that is HUGE around here.  No fussing or whining in between.  Then this AM Zoe slept until 8:45am!  I actually went in to wake her up.  She was so toasty and snuggly in her bed.   So now I feel like I have been torturing my daughters for months by making them sleep in a freezing room with no warmth and their whining was just because they were cold!  :(

The girls are finally big enough to start cloth diapering fulltime and I'm so excited.  I love the cloth diapers and they give me such a sense of satisfaction that I'm doing something else.  They're so easy and CUTE.  (Yes, that's a motivating factor!)  I'm still waiting to get a full stash (Christmas!) but so far I grovia and thirsties that fit the girls.  I'm still getting used to the snaps and getting the right fit, but I'm happy with it!

The girls 6 month check is on Thursday so I'll be starting solids this week.  Maybe that will help the girls sleep even LONGER.  Johnny got some veggies for me to start cooking up.  We have a Beaba Babycook so I'm going to try to make most of the food that the girls eat.  I think I mentioned before that we're skipping over all of the white rice cereal and jumping right into veggies.  I'm excited to see how the girls do.  :)

Well I have a lot more to update about the kiddos, but it's 12:30am and this mama needs some sleep before the next feeding!

Showing off his choo choo collection!

Monday, November 21

Password Protection Question

Is there any way to password protect some entries on blogger, but to keep most of the blog non-password protected?

Saturday, November 19

Back to Work

Today is November 19th & this is post 17 for the month, so I'm not too doing too badly with this whole NoBloPoMo thing.

I go back to work in exactly 1 month.  I'm terrified & dreading it.  But I'm also looking forward to meeting my class.  Apparently they're a little crazy.  It's going to be a huge transition & I'm going to be so much more exhausted.  It will be a song & dance of work-kids-grad class (my last class before the practicums so I can finally have my MEd!).  I think the word will be exhausting.  But you can do anything for 5 months, right?

We've been interviewing perspective nannies.  We've met 2, we have 2 more lined up.

The first one, J, was just "meh".  I really liked her when we met and she has a cutie 2 year old she could bring to play with Colby sometimes.  And we were actually ready to offer her the position, but after thinking about it for a little more I just started to feel uneasy about her.  I'm not sure what it was/is exactly, but something tells me she's just not a good fit for us.

Then we met with another girl, S.  I really, really liked her.  She seems like a really great fit.  She's younger than me (I'm starting to feel really old lately) without her own kids, but her personality & how much Colby liked her just seemed right.  So I would totally have offered her the position, but I want to see what all of our options are.

So we'll meet with M & A on Monday and decide from there.  I'm liking our prospects.  It makes me feel a little better about going back to work.

I'm still a little (a lot) scared about how Colby especially is going to handle the transition.  He's such a Mama's boy & I don't want him to feel abandoned.  (Just thinking that makes my heart ache a bit)  Today we were at Johnny's aunt's house and I snuck upstairs to pump.  About 10 minutes in Johnny & Colby popped in because Colby went up to Johnny with "a single tear" and said sadly "Dada, I no see Mama..."  So I'm really worried about him.

And the girls are Mama's girls too.  Zoe just gives this look that lets you know she needs me right then.  It's such a sad look and she will find me across the room.   And I don't want to lose the closeness and the bond that we have.

And in addition to being worried about them, I'm worried about someone seeing the separation anxiety for what it is and being willing to work through the crazy transition because there are apt to be some awful days.

So, one more month with my amazing, beautiful, perfect children.

I know I can be a good mom through all of this.  And I know I've done it before, but it's still so, so hard.

Friday, November 18

Sharing responsibilities... does that actually happen?

From my calculations, the girls are 178 days old.

I have been getting up to pump every 3-4 hours during the night for 178 nights.  (Though usually much more frequently with the girls wake up schedule.)

Zoe spent 11 days in the NICU.

Sydney spent 13 days in the NICU.

So I have had two babies in my house for 165 nights.

(Though if we're being technical they spent 2 nights with my parents.)

So for arguments sake, I have done every single night time feeding/diaper change/soothing for 163 nights.

Times two babies.

And I have not slept more than 4 hours in a row for 178 days.

And I have not slept a full night since at least March.

And I have not slept more than probably 3 full nights back-to-back since before Colby was born.

(He STILL wakes up 2-3 times a night begging for water.)

Johnny, on the other hand, was in charge a total of 2 "Colby nights" in the beginning + the time I was on bedrest in the hospital. (I was in the hospital 20 days)

So, you can imagine my annoyance when he was getting ready to go to a comedy show tonight (I was getting ready to put the 3 kiddos to bed) and sarcastically said "You know the best part?  I'll probably get home at like 3am and you'll still wake me up at 7!"

Thursday, November 17

World Prematurity Day

With World Prematurity Day upon us, I don't even know what to think or say.

Our lives have lived and breathed prematurity since that day I was placed on bedrest at 23.2 weeks with the boys.  At that point, we hoped and prayed for as much time as possible, but no one thought we would make it until 40 weeks.  It was a waiting game of when the boys would enter our lives.  We all just hoped it wouldn't be too soon.

And it was and wasn't.

And since that day, prematurity has ruled our lives.

So I feel like I should say more, but instead for now I can only think how thankful I am for my 4 wonderful, preemie miracles.

They're my heroes.

They're the strongest people I know.

Monday, November 14

I've been bitten

So... my babies are 11 days shy of 6 months.

They're adorable & squishy & I love them to death.

I visited a friend who just had a baby yesterday.

And I decided I want another baby.

Soon.  :)

It's not going to happen for awhile, but officially bit by the baby bug again.

Sunday, November 13

On being happy...

When there is calm throughout the day, everyone is peaceful and happy, I often think that I'm the happiest person in the world.

How could I not when I look at their faces?

And when Colby's talking up a storm

Or the girls are rolling around on the floor

Or smiling up at me

I often think I'm the luckiest person in the world.

When I have these thoughts, I often feel guilty.  How can I feel like I'm the happiest or the luckiest when I can only parent and hug 3/4 of my children?

So, I might be happy.  Colby, Sydney, and Zoe are amazing and cute and funny.  They make the world go round.

But the happiest person?  I'm not sure it's possible.

Or I might be lucky.  Colby is defying all the odds of a 27 week old baby who spent 2 weeks on a ventilator.

 I often forget that the girls were even premature, or that their lives were in the balance at 27 weeks.

But the luckiest person?  Obviously we'd be luckier if we had brought two babies home from the NICU 2 years ago.

Luckier still if they had been born full term, or it bedrest had never happened, or... well, the list goes on and on.

It seems it's all a matter of perspective I guess.

I'm not saying that I can't be happy or feel lucky, because life is pretty amazing most of the time, but I constantly have a nagging thought in the back of my head:

Life can never be perfect.

And yes, I know, life isn't perfect for anyone.  But I have already experienced the best of life.  It was back when I was finally pregnant with the boys.

Happy.  Naive.  

Thinking I would be one of the few to make it to 40 weeks with twins.  Because I never considered anything else.  

Never did I dream I'd be having two of the less-than-1% of babies born before 28 weeks.  Never did I dream I'd be saying goodbye to my first son at only 2 days old.  Never did I think I would be here.  

That's when life was best.  When I didn't know- and I really thought that perfection was possible.  Now it's not bad by any stretch of the imagination.  We find joy in the big and the little.  Giggles light up the mornings and cuddles settle us in for the night.  We laugh and love and enjoy the amazing little beings we have.  

But now we know.  We're stronger for it.  We're more cautious.

But we're changed and a bit broken. 

And happiness continues to be possible.  But I'm afraid that I'll only forever be struggling to be as happy as I once was.

But it won't happen, because part of my heart is missing and broken.

Gone when those monitors stopped beeping.

Wedding Weekend

I'm just a little off from posting every day, but this is still more than I normally would and that's the point right?  :)


This weekend we headed down to a friend's wedding on Friday night. (11-11-11)  Like an idiot I didn't get any pictures, but she looked absolutely beautiful (Hi Crystal!).  It was a wedding where I didn't really know anyone at all, but it was also one of such an amazing couple & such a great friend that it didn't really matter.  Being there for them was enough.

If you've seen 27 Dresses, there is a point where one of the characters says something about watching the groom when the bride walks in. 

"You know how the bride makes her entrance and everybody turns to look at her? That’s when I look at the groom. Cause his face says it all you know? The pure love there."

Since I've seen that movie, I've started doing that- watching the groom when everyone else watches the bride make her entrance.  It's true- the face of the groom when the bride walks in says everything.  

And Ryan's said it all on Friday.  

It's been interesting to be on the outside of Crystal & Ryan's relationship.  I don't see Crystal very much (AT ALL) but I still love her to death.  And it's interesting because I've known Ryan longer than I've known Crystal.  Crystal and I met in 5th grade, but Ryan went to school with me from the beginning of time.  And Ryan's always been someone I've liked, so I love that Crystal & he are so happy.

But the point that I think I decided that I really liked Crystal & Ryan together was when Connor died.  At that point I hadn't seen Crystal in a while.  She had visited me on bedrest in the hospital (with her mom & brother- I love her family) but before that we'd kept in touch but never managed to see each other as much as we wanted.  And it might have actually been when I was on bedrest that I learned that she and Ryan had started dating... 

And I hadn't seen Ryan since I think high school.  But they were both there and it meant so much.  They could have easily skipped out, or Ryan could have said 'thanks but not thanks, I'm not going' because to him I was just some random person from school.  

But they didn't & it meant the world to me.  Everyone said that they would be there for us, but Crystal & Ryan really were.  (And Crystal was my first friend to visit Colby when he was only a week or so old!  She sat in his room with me for hours just staring at the isolette with me.  We could hardly even lift the blanket that blocked the light from him, so she could hardly even see him.   At that point we didn't really know if he would live or die, but she sat there with me.  She never complained or even seemed annoyed or bored with it.  And it meant so very much.

So with that, I'm so very happy for Mr. & Mrs. Sherman.  I love you both!  :)

Thursday, November 10

Randoms Again

So I'm failing at this NoBloPoMo thing.  Missing two days isn't so bad though, is it?

Today we're on to randomness because I can't think straight I'm so tired...

  • Johnny worked til 9 & it was rainy so it was a crazy day.  Colby just wanted to go outside (because it has been ridiculously beautiful the last few days and we have spent every moment outside that we could) but we couldn't so he was just off the wall.  Then he didn't nap despite my trying to get him to nap for 2.5 hours.  So he was just plain crazy (cute) all evening.
  • We (and by "we", I mean "I" because Johnny has still never helped with night time routine or night wakings.  Period.)  finally, finally, finally have the kids in a bedtime routine that has them all in bed and sleeping by 8:30pm most nights.  It's not perfect... the girls usually still wake up just a few hours later (if Sydney doesn't start moving around sooner), the girls are still in their Rock n Plays (they're transitioning to their cribs finally, but we're going away this weekend for a wedding so I decided not to push the whole routine when it would just be lost this weekend anyways), & Colby is still in our bed.  BUT I feel like I have the whole night when I come downstairs at 8:30 rather than 10:30 or 11.  
  • The girls are just growing up so fast it's making me a wee bit sad.  So much of life is picking which fire to put out next (which crying child to tend to, which disaster to avert, etc.) that I feel like I'm not just enjoying them enough.  Don't get me wrong- I spend every waking (and sleeping) moment with them & Colby all day every day.  But it's just not the same as when it was just me and Colby and I could pick him up and hold him and cuddle him all day long.  
  • Is it crazy that I'm already thinking about wanting baby #5?  (Don't tell Johnny, he might completely go crazy for that one!) (And yes, I know this one doesn't really make sense when I'm talking about feeling like I'm not enjoying the girls enough...)
  • Having 3 kids seems easier than having 1.  Is that crazy?  I remember with Colby I was lucky if I got out of my PJs most days.  Now I get all three dressed and fed & out the door most days.  Usually it's just for a walk around the development, but sometimes it's shopping or to visit or for appointments.  And I usually shower every day(!!!!).  Granted it's an orchestration of baths & then setting kids up in safe places while I shower, but I still do it.  The only difference, having 3 kids seems more like a routine & battle plan, while having just Colby was much more go-with-the-flow.  
  • I go back to school in mid-December.  We're still working on child care... I'm trying to find someone amazing who will cost us less than my paycheck.  And as a teacher, I don't make much.  Therefore, we're looking for someone amazing who basically wants to work for minimum wage.
  • And on top of all that, I have to start a grad class in January.  So it will be work, class, 3 kids.  The thought terrifies me.

Tuesday, November 8

Play Challenge: 7

So we're a little off on our play days, but we'll get them all in!

Day 7's challenge was "Mega Floor Doodles"

I thought Colby would have a blast with this one.  We picked up some big art paper at Target today.  I had been looking for a roll of art paper, but we were out of lucky, so instead I taped 12 pieces of paper into a giant rectangle on the floor.  I did this while he was napping & set out crayons, colored pencils (a random buy he asked for at Target, and he never asks for anything while shopping so I went with it), pencils, and stamps.

When he woke up from his nap his eyes lit up to see the paper and all of the materials.  He usually loves to draw and color so I was excited.  Unfortunately it kind of fizzled out after that.  We traced his feet and drew a few shapes, but he just wasn't really that into it.

Perhaps we'll try another day...

Excuse the mega-bed-head.   Like I said, he just woke up.

Sunday, November 6

2 years

So I'm a little behind on the play days.  Yesterday we were supposed to make playdough, but it was a busy day, so we'll get to that this week.

Anyways, yesterday was a pretty big day around these parts.

Yesterday was November 5th.

2 years ago Colby came home from the hospital.

Ventilators.  CPAPs.  Cannulas.  Monitors.  Blood transfusions.  IVs.  Antibiotics.  Blood gas readings.  Metabolic Acidosis.  PDA.  PFO.  Apnea.  Bradychardia.  Feeding tubes.  Incubators.  Isolettes.  O2 Saturation.  Heel pricks.  

They all didn't matter anymore.

 Because Colby was home.

healthy.  happy.  

Some days I think that this milestone is bigger than his birthday.

2 years home called for a celebration, don't you think?

though i tend to think every day is a celebration

So while Colby was out with Daddy, I ran out and picked up a balloon, blocks, and a game.

Because I would do anything to make him smile.

And his "oh, wow, mama!" when he saw the balloon could melt my heart.

And I was reminded again why I love to be a Mama.

Why I'm so lucky to have him.

And why my heart aches for what's lost.

Because two miracles were born in July.

But I'm only lucky enough to cuddle one.

To celebrate with one.

To hug one.

To have one call me Mama.

Though I love two.

Saturday, November 5

If I hated someone...

Today I was in the hospital for a hematology check. 
(Consensus is that clot is probably gone.)
((I don't even care.))

Anyways, who do we pass but Dr. C.
My questionable high risk from the boys' pregnancy.
The one who put me on bedrest.
Because babies at 23 weeks mean "no babies".
The one who never visited during the month I was laid up wondering if my babies would live.
The one who never visited when the boys were born at 27 weeks.
The one who never visited when one of my babies didn't live.

Yeah, that guy.

Anyways, I always say that I don't hate anyone.

But if I did hate someone, it would be that guy.

Friday, November 4

Play Challenge: 4


Today's challenge was Pretend Islands!  Just like it sounds, you were to use household objects to create pretend islands to play on & jump to & off of & around.  Pillows were the likely object, but we're lacking in the throw pillow department, so instead Colby helped me separate the foam floor mat.  We threw them around the downstairs & then we began island hopping!

Colby lives life dangerously and spent some time in the "water".

Thursday, November 3

Play Challenge: 3

When I started this challenge I told Johnny that it was meant to only use standard things you would have at home.  Johnny jokingly asked, "If we don't have the items needed, does that mean we have a bad house?"  I said yes and we laughed it off.

Enter Challenge Day 3.  We needed a tub of blocks to build towers and create cool things.  Now we have blocks, but we don't have a ton of any one kind.  Instead we have 10 of the infamous $80 blocks (did I ever mention those here?), a set of Little People blocks, and then random small sets of pop blocks, duplos, stacking blocks, etc.  Not enough of any one kind to make anything cool.

And so, Day 3 has been postponed.  

We'll get a bucket of duplos and come back to it.

Wednesday, November 2

Play Challenge: 2

Today's challenge was to build a fort.

After hitting myself on the side of the head for not thinking of building a fort sooner (seriously, we did it all the time growing up and it's so easy!) I was super excited to start some fort construction with Colby.

I decided to wait until after nap time so that everyone would be at their happiest because I knew it would involve leaving the girls a to lounge a bit as we constructed.  The only thing I grabbed from out of the room was a few sheets from the pile of unfolded laundry upstairs.  Otherwise the blankets and supports were already in the living room.

And ta da!

Colby loved it!  And I thought it was pretty neat to.  We had few entrances and even added the tunnel for access.  Colby thought it was funny when I got in the fort by sliding in the tunnel.  :)

All in all, a huge success... until Colby decided to try to walk on top of the fort.  Then playtime was over.

Busy time of year

This time of year- late October/early November has been pretty eventful for Johnny & I the past few years.

2007: We were smack dab in the middle of infertility testing.  We were doing ultrasounds, blood work, and the HSG.  (Uggh)

2008: We found out we were pregnant from our 3rd IUI cycle only to have it end in miscarriage in early November.

2009: We were celebrating Colby's first Halloween in the NICU, I was still dealing with the loss of Connor (and still am),  and we were able to welcome Colby home days later.

2010: We were celebrating our newest pregnancy , celebrating Colby's one-year-home-iversary, and awaiting the ultrasound that would reveal twins: round 2.

2011: Finally things seem to be settling down a bit in life.  :)  But it's pretty great.

Tuesday, November 1

Play Challenge: 1

To make my life more challenging, I'm going to try to partake in the 30 Days to Hands on Play challenge presented on hands on : as we grow & The Imagination Tree.

Because I need to do something else.


But I'm really excited about this one because I have just over a month left home with the 3 kiddos & I don't want to regret not spending every second with them that I can.  I'm going to focus more on Colby simply because he "plays" and it's a toddler activity thing, but I'm going to really try to get at least 15 minutes of one-one-one attention with each of the girls as well.

So to start the challenge, Day 1's task is to complete a mission statement and think about your child's likes and dislikes.

Mine is something like: I hope to focus more on engaging Colby, Sydney, and Zoe more in what interests them without worrying about the little things (cleaning, laundry, etc.).  I also hope to discover new things that really grab Colby's attention and new ways to play together.

Colby's Likes
- trucks, cars, trains-- things with wheels
- puzzles
- dancing
- cooking & baking
- catching & throwing balls
- being outside
- water (shower, bath, pool, puddles)
- painting

NaBloPoMo: 1

The first question for this NaBloPoMo is simply, what is my favorite thing about writing?

Everyone else.

I only really like writing on a blog... which is why I have several.  I usually hate my handwriting so I like typing things out better.  In all seriousness, blogging is a neat way to journal while kind of scrapbooking at the same time.

I started back when Johnny and I were first trying to start a family.  I guess techinally we were about a year in, but it still feels like forever ago.  In the beginning we were keeping our fertility issues to ourselves simply to protect from prodding questions and having to share negatives with our families.  So I loved writing because I found this little segment of the world that was facing the exact same things I was.  It was so interesting when I first realized that there were other blogs out there about infertility and suddenly I felt like this whole world had opened up.  People got "it".  So I fell in love with blogging then.  I never really considered myself "good" or considered it a hobby, though.  Instead writing was simply a way to share our journey.

Then we got pregnant, went on bed rest, had the boys, Connor died, we faced the NICU, and life continued on.  Writing continued to be a way to share the journey.  It also became a way to work through my... life.  If I look back through the vaults, I probably have about another 200 or so started drafts on my blog.  Usually they're issues or thoughts that came to me late at night, or in the shower, or while listening to the beeping in the NICU, or while rocking the girls to sleep.  I'd start writing to work through whatever I was thinking about.  Sometimes I'd feel better.  Sometimes I'd quit writing.  Sometimes I'd come back later and finish.  And usually if I did manage to post, there was someone out there who understood.

So I guess my favorite thing is simply the community that I've found.

Oh, and sharing my cuter than cute kids.

Woody, Buzz, & Jessie.
Poor Sydney- first Halloween and already dressed as a boy.

A cuter picture is forthcoming- Halloween was postponed around here until Sunday.  
Because towns have the power to do that.


So I signed up for BlogHer's NaBloPoMo on a whim.  I'm not sure why... I guess I need something else on my already overloaded plate?  Just for fun I guess... but if my "30 Day Photo Challenge" on facebook is any indication, I might not finish.  (I only did 2 of the 30 days of photos and then I was on bedrest with oodles of time.)

NaBloPoMo 2011

So, follow along or sign up.  It should be interesting.  (The other posts, not mine... I'm still a little confused.  As in I'm having a hard time remembering where I found the bloglist...)

happy november

Monday, October 31

Milk thaw

We had a pretty major-ish snow storm.  (Yes, in October.  I will never love NE weather...)

Johnny, the kids, & I left as soon as the power went out at 7:30 on Sat night.

It's Monday at 10:15am & power is still out.  (Kids & I are at my parents.)

Those 200+ bags of well over 1,000oz of pumped milk are in serious danger.

I may cry.

Friday, October 28

5 Months

5 Months

I love Colby's crooked smile.

Thursday, October 27


  • I'm tired.  Really, really tired.  I haven't slept more than 4ish hours in a row since May.  It's more like 3.5 because it's at most 4 hours between pumpings, so if I pumped at 12 then I'd be done at 12:30 and I'd be up again at 4.  (At the latest, but these girls don't believe in the latest.)
  • The girls are rolling monsters.  I don't remember Colby ever being quite so determined to roll all the time- it's difficult just to get a diaper on them sometimes!
  • Colby is so funny and cute that I can't stand it.  He asked me "Mama, are you princess?" in the car yesterday.  I want to freeze him right where he is to keep him this age forever... but he gets cuter and funnier every day, so I'm not sure what the ideal age would be.
  • I am dreading going back to work.  Not the work part, but the leaving the kids part.  Colby is attached to my hip and crying and throwing up commonly ensue when I'm not with him.  The girls are definite Mama's Girls, too.  Sometimes they just need their Mama to be calmed down and soothed.  And really, I don't want to lose the closeness I have with any of them and I know it will diminish some when I go back.  
  • On that note, Colby will not let anyone but me put him to bed.  The girls will not calm down at night for Johnny.  Period.  So most nights I get the girls settled downstairs then head up with Colby.  By the time I'm done with the first story usually a girl is screaming downstairs so Johnny will bring her up to me and she'll cuddle in with me while we finish stories and Colby falls asleep.  It's a little frustrating that I have to do pretty much everything and that the whole routine can sometimes take until 10:30 at night which is just crazy.  But I do love the extra snuggle time with the girls.  
  • Tonight Johnny worked until 9, so I had all 3 for the whole day myself.  In an effort to really get a good routine going, I started having Colby pick up at 7.  All three were upstairs, in their beds, and asleep by 8:30, though Sydney did wake briefly at 9:30 or so.  Score one for me... no more 10:30 nights with these kids.  :)
  • If I had known that pumping and breastfeeding were such effective wight loss solutions I wouldn't have stopped after having Colby.  I'm still dropping some weight... which is actually a little annoying as far as having no pants that fit.  But I digress... I read somewhere that it takes about 1000 calories to produce milk for one baby a day.  I'm producing enough for 3+, so that's about 3000+ calories.  It's impossible for me to take in that many extra calories... though I do try.
  • Speaking of pumping, I am so sick of the pump that it's ridiculous.  I pump 10+ times a day, so about 5 hours a day.  I'm secretly looking forward to March when the pump is due back.  But until then, I'm enjoying the savings.
  • Our new deep freezer?  Pretty much completely full of 200+ bags of milk.  I'll have to look into donating some of the older milk to make room for newer milk.
  • Syd's waking up... so I'm off.

Monday, October 24

There's so much to write... so I'll write nothing

The verdict is that I need to get the "No Cry Sleep Solutions for Toddlers" book.  I have the No Cry book for babies & it was helpful with Colby so hopefully the toddler version is helpful too.

I'm working on making Colby a picture book of our nighttime routine, so that will be nice to have too.

I guess I should reread the baby book too so I can get in a groove with the girls.  :)

Other than that, life is good.  I have about a million unfinished posts that I can't quite get my thoughts around.  We're looking into moving.  We're looking into how to make it possible for me to stay at home.  We're looking into a change of careers for me if it has to go that way.  We're working on dividing responsibilities more.  I'm working on dealing with everything that comes with having 4 under 3 when I can only hold 3 of them.  Basically, there's a lot going on...

I am loving it all though...

Now, the girls are napping & Colby's so close so I'm off to pinterest.  Because that's so much more important than dishes or putting away the mess in Colby's room.

Thursday, October 20

How did you manage sleep?

It's no secret that Colby's sleep habits are... lacking.  I know it's totally my fault... I refused to do any sort of crying tactics with him because (1) he was my itty bitty NICU baby (2) with lung issues I didn't want to risk any asthmatic-type episodes (3) he can throw up when he cries too much and (4) I can't bear to listen to him cry.  So instead we had a pretty good routine which worked.  He went to bed easily in his crib, woke up maybe once or twice, but I could get him back down.  Then the routine was rocked when I had the embryo transfer and then it was completely thrown out the window when I had the cerclage and couldn't pick him up like I used to.  So he started sleeping in our bed for part of the night.  Then he started only sleeping in our bed.  And sometimes he goes to bed in 10 minutes and sometimes it's more like an hour.  And I have to be there.  I know I have to change this, especially if I want to stay sane once I go back to school, but I'm not entirely sure how.

He naps pretty well... he goes to sleep on his own and I don't have to be right there.  He'll stay down for 1.5-3 hours depending on what we did that day.

The girls go to bed around 8 as well.  They can wake up a few times before they're truly settled, but I think this is more because they get startled (why do I always drop pans and toys when they're sleeping?).  They sleep really well... they wake around 12:30-1:30 and then again at 5 and then we're usually up around 7 for the day.  They can put themselves to sleep and often they do fall asleep on their own because I have to deal with someone else who is screaming bloody murder.  They take 3 naps usually... 2 shorter naps of 30 minutes to an hour and one longer nap of 1.5 hours to 3 hours.

So... I know I have to shake Colby's habits up.  It will be a slow transition because I will not do any crying techniques.  If they worked for you, great.  :)  But I'm not up for that... especially because he pretty much throws up any time he cries super hard now.  (I think he learned that it's a good defense mechanism and he will make himself gag to throw up while crying.)

I'm just curious how you got your kiddos to sleep how they do?  (Good or bad)  I know some people used CIO techniques, but I'm assuming some other people didn't.  I'm more curious about the non-crying techniques.  :)  

And for the record, I really am not judging anyone who has done cry-it-out.  I'm just not strong enough for that... I'm actually a little (or VERY) jealous that you have kiddos who can sleep!  :)

Thursday, October 13

Time flies

I know I'm not saying anything new here, but HOLY COW, can time go any faster?

It's already mid-October.  Fall is here.  The temperature is dropping.  Colby is gearing up to be Woody for Halloween.  I'm mere weeks away from going back to work.  Seriously?  That was ages and ages away not too long ago.

Anywho... the girls are 4.5 months old.  They're cooing and smiling and rolling (& rolling & rolling & rolling).  I'm beginning to realize how skewed my vision of the infancy stage is/was due to Colby's prematurity.  The girls are 4.5 months... they both have teeth (buds) and they both roll front to back & back to front.  At first I thought they were SO young and advanced because Colby's first tooth appeared at 8 months and he finally rolled back to front somewhere around there to.  But then I remember the whole adjusted age & corrected age thing and realize that they're really not so different.  4.5 months vs. 5.5 months corrected for Colby.  BUT THEN I remember the girls were premature too so really corrected they're like 3 months, so really I don't know what to think.

Except that time is speeding up.

The girls are real babies now.  They're not squishy newborns anymore.  And they haven't really be for awhile.  They have personalities and wants.

Really, I don't know what to say except that I cannot believe that they're so old already.

Both girls are still in our room right now next to the bed.  We moved Colby into his room right around 6.5 months or 3.5 corrected, so I'm not sure when I'm going to be ready to shake things up.  On average they go to sleep around 8pm & then wake around 1 or 2am.  I feed then they go back to bed and are up again around 4 or 5am & they eat again.  Then they're up for the day around 6:30 or 7am.  During the day they take about a 45 minute nap around 9 or 10, a 1-2 hour nap around 1pm, and then another quick nap around 5 or 6.  Colby loves them to death still, so I'm very happy we got through this stage without jealousy.  :)

And we've been busy.  All 3 of my brothers and my mom have birthdays in September.  We had cookouts and family parties like crazy from August to September.  We did A Day Out With Thomas & apple picking this past weekend.  Tomorrow my brother flies in from Texas and we have my other brother's Engagement Party in NY this weekend.  We've been walking and painting and cooking and having a (n exhausting) blast.

Apple Picking

Pumpkins pre-hay ride.

Enjoying an apple in the orchard.

Someone needed an emergency change.

Zoe thinking we're all crazy.

 A Day Out With Thomas

Loving the train ride

Zoe being cuddly with Grampy

And Syd hanging with Daddy

I'm working hard to soak in every minute I have with these kiddos at this age.  Each day they get more and more fun and funny, but I don't want to miss things as they are.  :)