Thursday, May 27, 2010

Video of Baby Boy Kicking

I've been trying to catch the babies kicking on video for a couple nights now.  I've been sitting in my wonderful recliner with the camera on the side table while I crochet and watch TV.  Usually, when they start, I try to grab the camera, remove the lens cap, turn it on and start shooting... only to find that they have stopped.  Well, tonight I finally got a few good kicks on video.

And now... we present to you... Little Man Kicking (watch for him on the right side of my belly)...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Completed Closet

Here is a better picture of the finished closet with all their little clothes hanging in it.  Yesterday was my first day of "baby laundry", where I washed all their clothes and tried to organize their closet a bit.  It's hard to believe that soon there will be two little babies who live here and wear all these adorable, tiny clothes!

29 Weeks

Well, we're at 29 weeks today.  This is our last week in the 20's.  I have to say that I'm looking forward to the 30's.  Our babies will be here no later than 38 weeks, so it's crazy to think that it's just over 2 months before we see their little (still unnamed) faces.

We had an ultrasound yesterday.  The good news is that both babies are still head down.  I'm very happy about that, because that means that we can try for a vaginal birth (which is better for the babies).  It's also neat to know that the strong kicks I'm feeling around my ribs are in fact kicks (versus punches).  The ultrasound tech said that our baby boy's foot is all the way up under my ribs.  I have no idea how he can actually get his little foot all the way up there, but I guess their amniotic sacs must run the full length of my ever-expanding abdomen. 

The not-so-great news is that they're in the 34th percentile for twins at their gestational age.  They weigh 2 lbs. 9 oz and 2 lbs. 8 oz.  I was disappointed to hear this, considering how much protein I've been eating.  I was hoping that they would be bigger.  The ultrasound tech said that that's really nothing to worry about unless they are under the 10th percentile, which is good news.  She wouldn't have even pointed this out to us, but Jason was watching the monitor very carefully and asked her about the "34%" that he was seeing.  A regular singleton would weight around 2.9 pounds at this point, and our babies are 2.5 pounds, so I don't think that this is really anything to be concerned about.

We have a doctor's appointment next week, so I can ask her more about this then.  I should also get the results of my glucose test, but I assume that there aren't any problems there or they would have already called me.

Here's how the three of us look at 29 weeks:

The babies are about 15 inches long now.  Their muscles and lungs are maturing and their little heads are growing to accommodate their brains, which are developing billions of neurons.   Billions of neurons... wow... so I have 2 times some billion neurons growing in there...

I can't remember whether I've written about this already, but the babies have a tendency to bulge out.  I'm not talking about a foot or an elbow - I mean the entire baby's back and butt will bulge out on one side of my belly.  It's almost uncomfortable, but it still makes me smile.  When they do that, my belly looks completely deformed.  I have no idea how they are strong enough to do that (you would think that they would have to be pushing against the opposite "wall" with both of their arms & legs full force to create that much tension in already tight skin).  Sometimes they do it at the same time, and it feels like someone put a clothes hanger inside me - both butts sticking out opposite sides.  We're going to have to try to get a picture of it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Nursery: Part 3

Oh, I feel like there is so much to write about.  We had a really solid weekend of nursery renovation.  It was hard work, but it was also a lot of fun.

On Friday night, we started to talk about the closet.  Our entire house is filled with these cheap white wire shelves.  They are horrible.  Not only do they look bad, but they don't hold things well (because things fall between the wires), and you can't slide your clothes hangers on them because they have individual holes for all of the hangers.  Before we painted, we ripped the horrid wire shelving out of the closet.  We didn't get a "before" picture with the wire shelving in place, but this picture shows the nasty carpet, removed door and wire shelving, and the dots where we spackled the holes from wire shelves.  You'll also note that you can see the adventurous off-white color that the room was painted before we got started.

So many decisions to make here!  Do we do buy a pre-fab shelving unit?  The cheapest ones at Lowe's are around $500!!  There is no way we're going to do that.  Do we do a single rod or a double rod?  Could we build shelving into the side or would that look weird?  After much researching online (and another 4 am researching session on Saturday morning with my pregnancy insomnia), I decided that a double rod and shelving built into the right-hand side of the closet was the way to go.  Here is the very precise detailed sketch I created:

I left on Saturday morning to pick up something from Craigslist and to stop by a church yard sale (bought a few clothing items for the kids for 25¢ each!).  When I got home, Jason had already started cutting the boards for the second half of the floor.  It took us probably about 2 hours to finish the entire floor.  Jason did a vast majority of the work here - measuring, running up and down the stairs to cut the pieces, carrying the heavy boxes of laminate.  The floor looks awesome (and only 62¢ per square foot)!  Here are some pictures:

Rolling up the nasty old carpet

Pulling up the tackboard

Our lovely subfloor

With the underlayment - almost ready to get started!

Jason proud after Laminate Day 1

Cutting boards with our neighbor's table saw - notice his sporty "safety goggles"

Hard working Daddy

Laying the last row - whoohoo!!

We still need to put quarter-round around the bottom and paint the trim, but I think we're going to have to find a truck for getting the quarter-round from Lowe's to our house.

After we finished the floor, we went to Lowe's to get the things we needed for the closet.  After debating plywood versus melamine versus MFD, we decided on cheap pine for the cleats (that hold up the shelves) and melamine for the shelves.  We were at Lowe's for two hours (I'm not even kidding - and that is with a drawn plan). 

When we got home, we realized we needed a 1/2" drill bit for the toggle bolts that we were using for the side supports (there are no studs in the side walls of our closet - only two studs in the back).  Jason went to Ace Hardward to buy the drill bit.  Then when he got home, we realized that our wimpy drill (the only power tool that we own) can't even hold a bit that size.  So Jason went out again - third trip before even really starting this project - to buy a real man's drill at Lowe's.  He came home with a great drill and I think we really got started around 7:30 at night.  "We" (mostly Jason with me watching from the glider and occasionally helping with an extra set of hands) worked until about 10 PM.

Putting up the first shelf

We had the two long shelves and two short shelves finished before we went to bed.

On Sunday, "we" finished building the rest of the shelves pretty quickly, and I primed and painted the cleats white. 

Shelving complete - needing a coat of white paint on the cleats

Ta-daa!  We had to hang up a few baby clothes to get a half-decent picture.

Of course, you must keep in mind that we do not own a single decent power tool - not one.  We have a wimpy cordless drill and no cutting technology (except for borrowing our neighbor's table saw). We also borrowed another friend's circular saw last-minute on Sunday morning to cut a few remaining pieces.

I'm washing the babies' clothes today, and I hope to stock the closet and take a real picture with it full of our babies' things before the end of the day.  I may or may not finish in time.

Though this was not exactly rocket science, we are both really proud that we essentially built something (something aesthetically pleasing and well supported) ourselves.  We're ready to start thinking about other rooms and maybe even buying a power tool friend for our new drill someday...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Why Friday Nights (Or Early Saturday Mornings)?

Why, babies?  Why do you kick me so late on Friday nights, or should I say early on Saturday mornings?  This is the second week in a row that I was up around 4 am on a Saturday morning, unable to fall back asleep, wondering if a bowl of cereal could appease my growling stomach.

And since I'm awake and it's 5:30 AM now and dark outside - why in the world are there birds chirping up a storm out there??  Shouldn't the birds at least wait for the first tiny beam of sunlight to crest the horizon?

At least I have been able to spend more time researching how we should build new shelving into the nursery closet.  Though I think using my brain for this relatively simple problem-solving is going to make it all the less likely that I will fall back asleep...

Maybe I should try getting back into bed...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cute Laundry Room Art

I'm finally posting a picture of the cute laundry room art that I got from Volume Twenty Five on

I think it looks so cute in my laundry room.  Now, I just need to do a tiny bit of touch-up painting on the cabinets and this room is completely finished!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

28 Weeks

We're at 28 weeks today.  I celebrated by toasting to the morning with some Glucola.  This was definitely less tasty than my morning coffee, which I have not had for over 7 months now.  I told Jason that this tastes like really nasty hummingbird food (not that I've ever drunk hummingbird food before).

I had to drink that at home and then be at the doctor's office exactly 60 minutes later to have my blood drawn (to test for gestational diabetes).  Unfortunately, I decided to go to Harris Teeter to pick up a few things (today they started super double coupons - doubling up to $1.98).  I got a bit tied up there and showed up at the doctor 3 minutes late.  Luckily, there is a 5-minute grace period.  Phew!  I should get the results at the next appointment in two weeks.

Today marked an important milestone for me.  Since I was a little girl, I've had a phobia of needles and anything piercing my skin.  Today was the first time that I can remember (in my entire life, no exaggeration) that I had blood drawn and did not shed a tear.  I was breathing deeply, but my eyes didn't even water up.  Go, me!  I felt like the phlebotomist should at least have given me an "I'm a big girl" sticker or something.  Alas, I got nothing.

After the tearless blood drawing, I went up for my regular OB appointment.  We listened to the babies' heartbeats.  I love hearing their heartbeats.  They did the regular blood pressure, weight, urine, swollen hand check, etc.  The doctor said that everything looks great.

We're at 28 weeks today.  The babies should be just over 2 pounds now.  We'll get another growth scan next week to be sure that they're both growing well.  They can blink and they have eyelashes (hopefully they have my eyelashes!).  =)  The babies can cough, suck and they practice breathing.  They can also have REM sleep now... I wonder what they're dreaming?

I found the comparison of these two pictures fairly entertaining:

 With one baby at 28 weeks

With two babies at 28 weeks

Notice how much more extended the second belly is.  I'm really starting to feel like this now.  I would really like to know where in this schematic my organs are going?  I keep asking Jason what my belly is going to look like if we make it 10 more weeks.  I can't believe it's just 2.5 months (at the most) before we meet these little people.  They are kicking up quite a storm these days.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Nursery: Part 2

This weekend, we went crazy working on the nursery.  On Friday night, we went to Home Depot to buy some Freshaire paint for the nursery.  They have a very limited selection of colors (which was both a blessing and a curse), and we selected Silent Moment (sounds like a great name for a nursery paint color, huh?).  It's a very light blue color.  We were unsure of whether to go a little darker, but this turned out to be perfect when we put it on the wall.

We started by ripping out the closet shelving.  All of our closets have that annoying wire shelving.  We're hoping to slowly replace those with something more sturdy.  Then we had to spackle all of the holes in the wall.  We also took the closet door out, because it would always hit the room door when you open it, and it's easier to get things out of the closet without dealing with the door.

We put a fresh coat of bright white on the ceiling.  I always cut in the paint, and then Jason rolls it on.  The nice thing about using VOC-free Freshaire paint is that I could help out without worrying about all the fumes.  You can barely smell anything in the room - quite a change from regular paint, which we can usually smell for weeks.

In this next picture, you can see the first coat of the paint on the wall on the left, and I'm working at cutting in the wall with the window.  This day took a huge toll on our knees.  I think we need to invest in some knee pads.

Our musical inspiration for painting was the Glee albums and a little Tommy Walker, courtesy of my good friend, Stephanie.

Oh, I am so glad to see that nasty brown carpet gone.  We're pretty sure it's the original carpet from when the house was built in 2001.  It has held up well, but it's very dirty and faded in spots from the sun.  We're going to put in some laminate.  Jason did all of the work to remove the carpet and pull up the tack boards.

Here is our lovely sub-floor, and we were able to put down the underlayment for the laminate.  We'll probably finish the laminate next weekend.

We got laminate from Lowes for $0.62 per square foot.  The room has already come a long way from this:

I have to give major props to my amazing husband for doing all the heavy legwork.  I helped where I could, but he did all the heavy lifting.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Nursery: Part I

We are finally beginning to do the nursery.  Here is what it looked like before:

It's a very small room, and it's the most neglected room in our house.  It is the closest room to our bedroom, so we decided it would be the best choice for the nursery.  To date, it's been the "kids' room" for when our life group comes over.  There are 5 kids under five years old, and they would play in here (with a babysitter) while the adults hung out downstairs.  (If you're wondering... yes, that is duct tape holding together a huge rip in the old leather love seat.)

A huge thanks to all the life group guys for helping us get this furniture out of the room.  We already sold our cheap-o tv stand for $15 on Craigslist (of course).  We're still trying to off-load the love seat and the TV.

We took the blinds off the window and we're in the process of re-caulking it.  Here is what the room looks like bare:

We're going to paint the ceiling and walls this weekend.  Jason really wants to use the VOC-free paint from Home Depot called Freshaire.  We're using a Home Depot gift card that I got through work to buy the paint.  We're going to paint it a muted blue color, and we're having a muralist paint a mural for the little ones.  The mural is definitely our big splurge.

I can't wait to post more pictures as we continue to make progress!

Fabulous Finds

I got some more fabulous finds today on Craigslist and one of the forums that I frequent.  I've been wanting to buy some Ultimate Crib Sheets, because I hear that they are a lifesaver.  I found some on Craiglist for $5 each (they usually retail for around $20).  One of them is even embroidered with Psalm 139.

(Sorry about the shadows on the picture - it's hard to find good light this time of day.)

The lady also had a green gingham dust ruffle and bumper that she had been asking $50 for but no one had shown any interest.  So she gave it to me for free (along with a matching green crib sheet)!  It's really cute, but hard to get a picture of without putting it on the crib, so I'll post a picture later.  I gave her $20 for all of it anyway, because it was just really nice of her to do that.

I also bought a humidifier and a bottle warmer.  I paid $10 for each of them, and this lady gave me a changing pad, some bottles and a blanket for free.  The humidifiers usually go for about $35 and the bottle warmers go for $40. 

Here are some pictures of the humidifier.  It's in the shape of an elephant.  I don't know if it's really cute or kind of creepy...

The mist comes out of his trunk.  =)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The OJ Incident

I have a dear friend who often writes on her blog about "keeping it real" - things that happen in their lives that are examples of how our lives are not so "charmed" all the time.

Last night, I think I had a good "keeping it real" moment.  I did the laundry yesterday, and then I got up the motivation to go for a walk.  When I got home, Jason and I did some small chores around the house and I took my wonderful, wonderful shower.  (I love showers and have been often taking two showers a day lately.)

I was just boiling water to make dinner, and I was opening the fridge.  Jason had just pulled out the OJ from the fridge.  He likes to shake his drinks vigorously before he pours them (OJ, even milk).  So he gave it a good shake about a foot away from me.  Unfortunately, the lid was not securely sealed, and I was doused in freezing orange juice (in my newly washed rob with my freshly showered body).  It was freezing.  I think I instinctively responded with,"$#*T!  Why did you do that?"  Jason responded,"Why was this not closed?"  (Jason is the only person in our house who drinks OJ, so I'm pretty sure that I know who didn't close it all the way last time it was used.)  =)  He felt really bad and apologized and started wiping up the OJ.

Now, this was, of course, a complete accident.  Jason did not intentionally spray me with freezing orange juice.  Well, blame it on the pregnancy hormones... I actually got more mad at him than I've been in 5 (?) years of dating and marriage.  I was quite literally on the verge of tears... about orange juice.  (Clearly, pregnancy hormones are having some effect on me, because this is not normal.)  Luckily, I recognized my anger level was "unsafe" for any continued interaction, and just went upstairs to take off my citrus robe and wash myself down with a wet rag to remove the stickiness that covered my formerly clean, freshly showered body.  I came back downstairs and we proceeded to make and eat dinner and have a lovely evening watching Glee together.  I got over the "OJ incident" quickly.

In retrospect, I find it entertaining that I got so ticked off about something so silly and something that was just an honest mistake that anyone could make.  I guess I should be thankful that in more than 3 years of marriage, we have never had more drama than the "OJ incident."  I also realized that I need to work on not responding to getting doused with freezing OJ with exclamations like "$#*t".  I definitely want to avoid saying things like that in front of our children.  It just seemed so appropriate at the time, though. 

I also must say that Jason is a ridiculously good husband and daddy.  He takes excellent care of me and the babies.  He makes sure that I'm hydrated and brings me fresh glasses of water when he notices that mine is getting close to empty (because I will obsessively conserve water when my glass is less than 1/4 full for some reason... seriously weird).  He brings me string cheese to snack on because he knows that the babies need protein.  He goes on evening walks with me even though I know he would probably rather be running or swimming.  He mows the lawn, does the dishes, tells me I'm beautiful, kisses me goodbye before he goes to work and buys me my first Mother's Day card.    He rolls with the punches and is a sweetheart when I'm in a funky (or pregnancy-induced irrational) mood.  I am a lucky woman, despite the fact that he occasionally accidentally sprays me with orange juice.  Our babies are lucky babies to have such an awesome daddy.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Very Pregnant Bridesmaid

My brother-in-law posted some pics from the wedding this past week on Facebook.  When we can view the professional photos, I'll post some of those, too.  Until then, check out how big I am... wow...

27 Weeks

We're at 27 weeks today - the last week of our second trimester.  I'll be really glad when we get into the thirties.  The babies seem to be doing really well.  They're kicking and punching more every day.  It's very interesting to have two little ones in there, because there is a lot of motion in my belly.  Sometimes only one of them will get going.  Every now and then, they both get going.  I was joking to Jason last night that sometimes it feels like there is a baby disco in there.  I can almost hear the bass...

The babies should be around 2 pounds each now - about 14 inches long with their legs extended.  We'll have another ultrasound on the 25th to give us an idea of exactly how big they are.

They can open and close their eyes.  Their lungs are still developing.  They have eyebrows and eyelashes, and they look very much like they will look when we meet them.

We got our glucola (glucose drink) from the OB at our last appointment.  Sometime later this week or next, I'll drink it up and drive myself in for a blood test (to check for gestational diabetes).  I really like that I don't have to actually sit at the doctor's office and wait the entire hour for my blood test.  They allow me to drink it at home and just be sure that I'm at the office for the blood collection at exactly 1 hour after I drink it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Beautiful Cleveland Wedding

Sorry that I haven't posted in a while.  We went to my sister-in-law's (Jason's sister) wedding in Cleveland this past weekend.  I didn't want to post that ahead of time because it seems irresponsible to post on the internet that you're going out of town.  =)

The bridal shower and rehearsal dinner were great.  The wedding was beautiful.  Michelle looked absolutely stunning in her wedding gown. Everything went off without a hitch, and it was a great day.  Luckily, my bridesmaid dress worked out just fine.  Jason and I were both in the wedding, so we didn't get any of our own pictures (since I can't tuck a camera in my dress anywhere).  But many pictures were taken of us, so when I get my hands on some, I'll post them. 

I was really worried that I would be exhausted during the weekend or that I would have back problems or that I would feel faint during the ceremony, but everything was great.  I had a pretty normal energy level (besides sitting down all the time) and I did not ruin the ceremony by playing the role of the fainting pregnant lady.

I have to say that I'm very happy that I will not be on a plane again for probably a very, very long time.  The flight home was not super comfortable, and I don't enjoy the traveling experience as a pregnant lady.  One perk on this trip was that I rode one of those airport carts three times.  Concourse D at the Cleveland Airport is a very long way from the main terminal.  I finally feel very justified catching a ride on the "cart of shame."  I just cradled my gigantic belly so that people wouldn't wonder if I was just being lazy. 

We'll hit the 27 week marker on Wednesday... getting closer to the day we meet our babies...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

26 Weeks

We are at 26 weeks today... getting closer and closer to 30 weeks by the day.  I can't believe it will only be 11 weeks (or less) before we meet our babies!

The babies are supposed to be about 14 inches from head to heel, the size of an English hothouse cucumber.  That seems like an awfully random vegetable to associate with 14 inches, but I guess the baby websites have to start reaching a bit to find something that matches.  =)  Not just any cucumber... an English hothouse cucumber...

We still haven't decided on names for them, but we think we may be getting close.  We stopped sharing our top names with people when we realized that some folks responded less than enthusiastically to some of our name choices.  Then we would get skewed by their responses... which ones they liked or didn't like.  So we've decided not to tell people our names until we at least select them... and maybe we'll even wait until they're born to tell everyone.  We're not sure yet.

The babies are moving more and more every day.  I'm getting to the point now where I can feel one of their body parts kind of pushing out against me.  Usually I think I can feel the little guy's bootie pushing out against my abdomen.  You can definitely feel that there is something hard underneath my skin.  I thought all of this would be strange, but I just really love every minute of it!

I met with a postpartum doula today to learn more about her services.  She would come to help us during the day (learning the basics, helping with the babies, allowing me to actually take a nap or two, helping with light housework and meal prep) or come during the evenings to help us with the night feedings.  The Executive Team at my company generously offered to pay for someone to help us after the babies are born.  Otherwise, we probably wouldn't even be looking into these options.  I really liked the woman that I met today, so we'll have to see what we decide.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sweet Gifts

I have received so many wonderful gifts from my friends for our babies.  Last week, a very special package came.  It was from my Aunt Barbara.  She sent me these two needlework pieces that my grandmother made for her girls when they were babies.  My grandmother, Jack, passed away when I was about 8 years old, so I didn't have the opportunity to get to know her very well.  I'm so honored that we'll be able to display these in our babies' nurseries... something special that their great grandmother made many years ago.

Aunt Barbara also knitted them these ridiculously cute little caps.  They look like little berry tops - SO cute!

Thank you, Aunt Barbara and Uncle Alan, for the lovely gifts!

Blanket for the Little Man

For years, I've been crocheting baby blankets for my friends' babies.  It's really neat to finally be able to make some blankets for my little ones.  I made this blanket for the little man, and I'm working on a pink blanket for my girl.  This blanket worked up very quickly, but her blanket is taking much longer.  It's a granny square pattern.  Hopefully I get it finished before she comes!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

25.5 Weeks

Here is what a 25 and a half week twin belly looks like.  Quite a contrast from the first belly pics I posted long ago...

For the record, my belly button is still in.  Kristi may very well win the guessing game on when it's going to pop, since she's the only one to guess.  May 25... I think I can make it!

It seriously felt like our little guy was running like a hamster in a wheel today.  It makes me think of when you see a dog dreaming, and their legs start flailing like they're running after something.  I think he was trying to run up the side of my uterus.  He makes me smile.  =)

Jason read in a book yesterday that they have seen twins interacting with each other in an ultrasound.  They say that they have observed them fighting, hugging and kissing.  Very interesting.  I have to admit that the kissing is a bit hard to believe.  The fighting - not so much...