Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Who's older?

Is a common question people ask with twins, and up until this point I never thought anything about it. As it's one of the less obnoxious questions. However, today I came across a discussion from a mom of twins who isn't going to disclose to her twins, or anyone for that matter, who is older.

The thought has honestly never crossed my mind and I think it's too late at this point since everyone knows that Eli is baby A and Emerson is Baby B, but I was curious about the perspective of my 20 year old twin sisters. So I texted both of them. Their answers were fascinating to me.

I asked, "Did it ever bother you to know which of you was older."

Libby the older twin by 11 minutes answered, "No I loved knowing. Maybe that's because I am the older one."

While Lindy the younger twin answered, "Yes it did bother me actually. It wasn't fun on birthday's when Lib would blow out the candles and stuff first.  And she always rubbed it in my face."

(Which Libby currently denies doing haha).

Not the answers I was expecting as it had never occurred to me that it might bother one or both of them. They both did go on to say that the first question they are always asked by people is about who is older, (which is true even with the babies, followed up by the identical questions) but Lindy would have preferred not to know until she was older (it doesn't bother her anymore) and Libby is confused as to why it's an issue at all. Which seems to correspond to birth order. The older twin liking her 11 extra minutes.

So there's my very small research which obviously isn't conclusive of much of anything since it's such a small sampling. I think now every adult twin I encounter I might ask them this question since I'm now curious. Maybe we'll keep the issues on the down low with the babies, not keep it a secret per say but maybe not really bring any attention to it either. Who knows I guess we'll just see how it all plays out.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More tricks...

Eli can now officially pull himself up all the way to his feet
And he's so proud of himself every time he does it. The downside to all of this is he has no balance and falls straight back onto his head all the time. So every time he stands up I have a heart attack and try to stand by him to catch him in the event of a fall. Which isn't very practical. 

I thought it was suppose to get easier...

but these past few weeks have just about killed me. The babies refuse to go to sleep at night so it turns into hours of screaming, rocking, laying in crib, repeat, repeat, repeat.  Plus, they've both decided that they no longer want to nap, so the daytimes turn into a repeat of the evenings with over tired, screaming, whining, babies. They're so whiney and needy during the day and I have absolutely no time to do anything.

Which doesn't work out too well when I'm taking 5 classes and have an internship, plus job interviews and applications. So I'm incredibly behind, overly exhausted, and I've run out of patience.

Right now as I type I'm skipping a class, but I left the babies with the scheduled baby-sitters anyway and I escaped to the calm and quiet of the library. Now I'm fighting my desire to climb underneath the table and take a nap but I'm going to try and use these extra couple of hours away from the babies to get some work done.


I need help. Again, times like this I so wish we lived by our parents. Who I could pawn off my whiney kids without feeling too guilty about it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Good Mail Day...

Marcus and I have been married for 6.5 years and since the very beginning the mail was an anticipated event (because we're huge dorks). We are usually disappointed because, well why wouldn't we be it's mostly junk mail with some bills interspersed. Yet, we continue to be dorks and we both love going to get the mail each day.

Today was a particularly exciting day for me (and when I tell you why my dorky-ness will be further exemplified).  Today in the mail I received three books and they were all FREE! The absolute best combination.

I recently discovered paperback swap and I finally found an out of print book that I've been searching for.
 Dark Testament and Other Poems by Pauli Murray. I read Pauli Murray's autobiography last year for a class and she's an incredible woman. After checking out her book of poems from the library I wanted my own copy only to learn it was no longer being published and the copies I found were selling for $89 + dollars which was a no go. I'm beyond ecstatic to have found a copy and the fact that it was free through paperback swap is an amazing added bonus.

I also found Mockingbird, which is a book about Harper Lee (The author of To Kill a Mockingbird). This is also from paperback swap.

And finally...
I won Old Notebooks book from Good reads through their first reads program, and as an added bonus it's signed by the author.

I was having a pretty awful day for a lot of reasons, but three free books in the mail did a lot to lift my mood.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Last Palm Sunday...

I was in the hospital, 27 weeks pregnant, getting the second round of steroid shots to mature my babies lungs, hoping and praying for more time.

This Palm Sunday...
I have two 10 month old babies who went to church with me, and enjoyed waving and chewing on the palm branches. (Eli also went to the nursery today without any issue).

I prefer this year.

V-Day 2010...

I've been involved with V-day for the last 7 years. As an undergrad. Marcus and both attended my University's performance of the Vagina Monologues (Marcus bless him being one of the lone men among a room full of women talking about violence, rape, misogyny, and the female body). My graduate school continued with this preforming A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and a Prayer. This year I was finally brave enough to volunteer to preform a monologue because I think that the event is so incredibly important. I hope wherever I end up next I can in some way continue to participate in the good that comes from these  performances.

About V-Day

V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation, and sexual slavery.

Through V-Day campaigns, local volunteers, college and graduate students produce annual benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues, A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer to raise awareness and funds for anti-violence groups within their own communities. '
Some pre-show encouragement. 

2010 V-Day Spotlight on the Congo: Building the "City of Joy"
The 2010 theme is "Building the City of Joy". The City of Joy is a literal place, a pastoral community in Bukavu, DRC where women survivors of gender violence will be supported, healed and trained to be the next leaders of the DRC, but it is also a concept, a decision, a movement to end violence against women and girls. The V-Day Campaign is launching the City of Joy in the DRC as a call to end violence against women and girls.

The reality of the Democratic Republic of Congo
In the Congo, an economic war has been fought for the last 13 years by mainly outside militias who are hungry for Congo's vast mineral resources. These minerals make their way into the hands of Western Corporations and ultimately our electronics. World leaders and international bodies stand by, knowing what is happening, but failing to act.

The war in Congo is the deadliest conflict since World War II. Close to 6 million people have been killed. Millions have been displaced. The atrocities being perpetrated against women and girls in the DRC are nothing less than a femicide-- the systematic destruction of the female population. Advocates on the ground approximate that 500,000 women and girls have been raped and sexually tortured.

This years spotlight campaign for the DRC was especially important to me because I have friends who live in the DRC. Friends I met while they were students at Africa University in Zimbabwe and friends who have since returned to the DRC. Some of these friends I haven't heard from in some time and worry and wonder if they are still alive.

When we would talk and exchange emails I would often ask, "How is your country?" and the answers they shared where full of hope in the midst of the terror that has existed for the last 13 years.  The last time I heard from my friend Nick he had been sick and could no longer see. I worry, wonder, hope and prayer that peace will come not only to the Congo but to the rest of the world.
Zimbabwe 2005 (The two guys Nick and Eric on my right are both from the DRC).

And all of these guys are from the DRC.

The monologue I preformed was written by Eve Ensler and was the spotlight piece called, "A Teenage Girl's Guide to Surviving Sex Slavery." The story of a 15 year old girl taken by soldiers and held as a sex slave for two years.

Me & Sara with our "V's" for V-Day

Sandra, Sara and Me at the post show reception.

Much of the information I shared can be found here along with more information about V-Day.

Until the violence stops...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Last night my children made a grown man cry...

The last few nights bedtime has been a nightmare, especially with Eli. He fights sleep which results in an overtired screaming baby for hours. This is important background information to understand the rest of the evening.

This year I'm participating in my school's production of A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and a Prayer, where we preform monologues collected by Eve Ensler to raise money and awareness for v-day. (More about that later). Because I'm a participant I wanted Marcus to come and see me one of the nights of the performance so we asked Jason (my friend Delfin's husband) if he could sit with the babies on Friday so Marcus could go, and then Jason could go to the Saturday performance.  We hoped and prayed that we could get both babies into bed and sleeping before Jason arrived, but Eli was having none of it.

I left to get there early and Marcus stayed behind with Jason to make sure all was well. Since it was just Eli who was screaming Jason assured us he was okay and Marcus left. This is where things took a turn for the worse. Eli continued to scream and scream and scream. He was screaming so hard he was having a hard time breathing and was coughing. (Which just freaked Jason out because he didn't know if something was wrong). Jason tried feeding him, and then he tried changing Eli's diaper which in the process woke Emerson up.

So now Jason had two screaming babies. He tried holding them both at the same time, that didn't work. He tried putting Eli in the swing so he could get Emerson back to sleep and Eli literally flung himself out before Jason could get him buckled in. (Jason caught him). So that didn't work.

At one point Jason sent me a text message that said, "You need to call me now" (I think in the midst of his panic he forgot that I was preforming in a show and wasn't answering text messages. He needed to text Marcus). So I didn't even get that text until after the show was over.

Eventually, Jason decided to focus his energy first on getting Emerson back to sleep since that seemed like the easiest task. Eventually she did fall back asleep but as soon as he laid her down she starting screaming again. So he repeated previous efforts and eventually she went to sleep successfully in her crib. Which then left Jason to contend with the still screaming Eli.

At one point Eli did fall asleep in the swing but Jason decided to try and put Eli in the crib which just started the cycle over again. More screaming, more panic on Jason's part.

Finally, right before Marcus came home Eli fell asleep in the swing and Jason was exhausted, and reduced to tears.

Marcus and I both felt awful. I know how overwhelming two screaming babies can be (and I'm now somewhat used to it). I can't imagine being with someone else's children while they screamed for hours.

Poor, poor Jason. He assured me that all was okay and he would do it again because it was a good learning experience (God bless my friends). He also said he has a new appreciation for what we do, and why I usually try to have two baby-sitters for them whenever possible.

Jason also said that part of the panic was not knowing if something was seriously wrong with Eli. Marcus and I know that when Eli gets over tired he just can't handle himself and gets himself too worked up. Jason didn't know this and was afraid he was hurt or sick or something which just added to his panic.

Oh, children of mine.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A mish-mash of thoughts...

1.) I'm exhausted all the time and I hurt all the time. I'm so tired of the constant everyday struggle to move and do and be. I'm tired of it hurting to pick up my babies and having no energy. I wish the doctors could figure out a way to make it better.

2.) Eli's new trick of pulling up to his knees is not so cute at bed time. He gets on his knees in the crib, bangs on the side, tips over hits his head, and then cries. Then we repeat fun times.

3.) Emerson likes to sit with her legs straight out in front of her and then she twirls her ankles and feet around in circles. It's adorable but looks incredibly uncomfortable.

4.) The babies received their first rejection letter.  My university does a lot of research on a variety of things including child development. The studies for babies looked like a lot of fun and so when I got an email with information about the studies I volunteered my kids. (I promise they were fun studies where the babies essentially go play in a room on the parents lap). But mine were both rejected for being premature. Which I understand but I felt surprisingly sad about it.
Unfortunately, we do not have any studies for which Eli and Emerson are currently eligible.  Most infant studies, including all of our current studies at this infant center, are not conducted with premature babies because it is difficult to predict how exactly old they are.  The studies that we run in this lab have an age range of only 1 month, so if babies have two months less in the mother's womb, they are in some ways 2 months younger, but in other developmental ways, they are at or close to at age level.  Because of the difficulty to tell the proper age and our studies' limited age ranges, I am sad to say we cannot use your babies as subjects in any of our current studies.
Not the end of the world I know. But it really did look like fun and I'm all about helping advance research any way I can.

5.) Final synagis shot today. The babies were hilarious today at the doctor they were in funny moods and were so loud (until the shots). Eli weighs 19lbs 4oz and Emerson 18lbs.

6.) I miss spring break and have lost the energy and motivation to finish the semester. I think this is part due to #1.

7.) I had more but Eli just woke up...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Eli has a new trick...

He can pull up onto his knees and he's pretty impressed with himself every time he does it. However, he has absolutely no balance or center of gravity which results in a lot of falls (which for some reason he also finds amusing). He can't get onto his feet yet thank goodness although we'll be lowering his crib mattress tomorrow as a precaution.
When he's feeling really brave he lets go with one hand. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Well we tried the church nursery...

tried being the operative word. Today we decided that Eli should go to the nursery since he doesn't usually have any attachment issues and Emerson would stay with Marcus in church since she has huge attachment issues. Marcus handed him off to the nursery worker and away they went, a few minutes later we could hear screaming.

It was awful I was trapped at the front of the church wanting to run out and get him but instead knew I needed to stay where I was at. Marcus took Emerson and went to find the screaming baby. Eli was sobbing hysterically according to Marcus and he finally calmed down once Marcus took him back in his arms for a few minutes. After that all was well, and Eli happily went into the arms of the nursery care provider and played with toys, but only because Marcus stayed in the nursery with both babies. Which sort of defeats the purpose of going to church since Marcus can easily stay home with both babies much easier than hanging out with them both in a church nursery.

So it turns out Eli doesn't like being handed to a stranger and taken to a location he's never been before. Fair enough. Poor baby. I suppose we'll try again next week and see how he reacts.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Story time fail...

not the babies they did great, but story time itself was totally lame. Both babies love books. They love looking at the pictures and being read to so I thought it would be fun to go to story time at the bookstore. Yeah, not so much. The lady reading the book was the dullest woman alive. One would think if it was your job to read to children one might use a little enthusiasm and I don't know... make it entertaining for the children but no. No emotion, no enthusiasm, just a flat reading of each book. She also seemed a little put off that we brought the babies because of their age.

We sat through three books before we thanked her and went on our way. The cutest thing though is that Eli is starting to associate "dada" with Marcus. In one of the books every time the woman read the word "daddy" Eli would say loudly, "DADA" and then clap. It was adorable. Emerson was also listening pretty intensely and reaching for the book until another boy crowded her space and then she panicked and twisted around in my lap and put her arms up for me to save her.

So overall we do story time better ourselves at home, but we bought the babies a new book, and at least we tried.
Eli reading some books 

Emerson reading a book at the store.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Easter bunny and other mall musings...

Marcus decided to confront his strange fear about the Easter bunny dropping a baby and I worked past my issue surrounding the germs on the Easter bunny and we set off for the mall. Overall it was a success and we got a decent picture... (one in which my babies look entirely too old in my opinion).
But only one because surprisingly, Eli  my extroverted, people loving, child did not like this furry creature. After one picture he put his lip out started to pout, then cry, and put his arms up for us to save him. Apparently his love is only for people and not tall furry things. Emerson on the other hand was just a little curious about the whole thing. I brought her over to introduce her to the idea and she just kept touching the bunny trying to figure out what the heck it was. 

So overall not to bad (and then I wiped down their hands yuck). 

We had a really strange encounter though while we were waiting for the easter bunny. Eli was hungry so Marcus was giving him a bottle and I was sitting next to him holding Emerson and playing with her. Out of no where this random lady walks up and for the next 5 minutes we had the most random exchange ever. She basically talked without pausing and the subject matter was diverse... Here's an example and everything I'm going to type are things she actually said to me...

So do these guys know about the easter bunny or are they too little? I don't want to be the whistle blower, do you know what a whistle blower is? Do you go to the library? I bet you don't people don't really go to the library these days. The easter bunny is different than santa they all look different when I was younger I only wanted stuffed animals for easter but I suppose you get used to it huh? So what did you give up for lent? I gave up .....(I can't remember what she said). Did she [pointing to Emerson] give up anything? Does she know what lent is? So when does life start? I heard that it starts at conception? It's a fact you know... blah, blah blah (throw in something about a soul) more blah, blah...

and this was pretty much a stream of consciousness with small interjections by me when she seemed like she really expected an answer. Marcus was giving me the strangest looks, and then suddenly mid-sentence she walked off. It was totally bizarre.

Finally, Marcus and I were looking at swimming suits for the babies and most of the little girl ones were two pieces. Marcus looked at me and asked, "Don't they have any one pieces for her?"

To which I responded, "That was such a dad statement." 

Which he agreed and said, "I know I thought about that right after it came out of my mouth."

It was like we flashed forward 13 years or something. Really funny and cute. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Carrie Underwood Concert!!

Last night a good friend and I went to see Carrie Underwood in concert. We share a love of country music (a rarity in these parts) and have been talking about going to a concert for the last three years, so finally she surprised me with tickets as a late Christmas present. We had a great time, first at dinner where we had time to catch up since she had been out of town for the last week and life was hectic with mid-terms before spring break. Then later at the concert.

I'm still fairly new to the concert business. My first concert ever was 6 years ago when I was 19. Marcus and I went and saw the band Lonestar. This experience skewed my perception of concerts greatly because it was at a small intimate venue, and the crowd had to remain seated. (And since I sometimes act like a 90 year old that's just how I preferred it) everyone sitting nicely in their sits, remaining calm and clapping and singing.

My next concert was when I was 22 and it was more of a "real" concert in an arena with a million people. People who wanted to stand and dance and scream, (and since I'm 90 sometimes I didn't know what to do with this). I was incredibly stressed out and anxious the entire time and didn't have a whole lot of fun although I did love the performer. (I despise my anxiety but that's another post for another time).

This time however (being better prepared) this concert in an arena venue was no issue at all.  Carrie Underwood is amazing I love her music and her voice and everything about the entire concert was perfect (except for the girl behind me who kept shrieking. The pitch was one that caused considerable pain to my ear... apparently I'm still 90).

Anyways aside from that it was wonderful.
Waiting for Carrie after the opening acts.

This part was amazing...

She was in a truck suspended from the ceiling...
And it moved her all throughout the crowd from above.

She recreated the Grand Ole Opry to Sing "I told you so" a duet she does with Randy Travis. (It brought back happy memories from my trip to the Grand Ole Opry a few years ago).
Just a really good time. I got home really late and today was a bit of a struggle. Luckily Marcus didn't work today so that helped a ton.

Fun times! 

Monday, March 15, 2010


I gave the babies Cheerios for the first time today and they were a little confused by the whole thing. Eli couldn't figure out how to pick the cheerios up so he settled for just hitting them over and over with his palm. When I helped him put a cheerio in his mouth he was appalled. He closed his eyes, squeezed his nose and face, and spit it out. It was overly dramatic and hilarious. So no cheerios for Eli.

Emerson on the other hand has an excellent pincher grasp and could easily pick up the individual cheerios. However, she too had little desire to eat them. Instead she spent a lot of time concentrating on picking up each and every cheerio trying her best to get them all in her hands.

She actually got pretty close too. Except that occasionally she would have too many and go to grab another and they would all fall out so she had to start over again. Once she picked them all up she just held them tight in her fists. Crazy kids of mine. We'll try again soon.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring cleaning...

Sort of. We are rapidly running out of room in our apartment and we have accumulated a lot of stuff since moving in three years ago.  (Not to mention we've accumulated two new people as well). Since we're going to be moving soon, and for our own sanity, Marcus and I are slowly going through each and every thing in our apartment. It's going to take awhile I think. Today we packed away the babies 0-3 month clothes and most of their 3-6 month clothes which don't fit anymore and reorganized the nursery. I also boxed up the maternity clothes and baby girl clothes my cousin sent me so I could give them back.

And then I organized and filed my Christmas cards from 2008 & 2009 which were sitting in a stack on my dresser. I'm a pack-rat it's just who I am, and how I've always been. I like to keep things and always have really good intentions of creating great scrapbooks and memory books. Of course then life kicks in and I don't have for that, but I keep on saving things. Like our Christmas Cards. Although they are all (since 2003 the first year Marcus and I were married) neatly organized in one three ring binder.
I keep all of the letters that people send since it's a great way to keep track of the years events and I love looking back on old ones and seeing how things have changed.

I keep all pictures and all picture cards...
And I cut apart the rest of the cards and save just the writing (even if it's just a signature). So I have a record of who sent a card each year.

So maybe it's a little insane I don't know but at least I have a system for Christmas Cards and they're all organized.

Now the real problem is birthday cards, wedding cards and now baby cards. I just have them. Every where and they're taking over my life. I know I should probably just throw them away (which would make Marcus happy) but I don't know.

So for those reading. What do you do with your cards (Christmas, birthday, baby, wedding etc.) Do you throw them all away, keep a select few, have a really great organizational system. I would love to hear what you all do with them. (Even if it's just throw them away maybe it will motivate me to let go of some of my random cards from 10 years ago). 

Random Paranoia...

Marcus is paranoid about the weirdest things. Things that never even cross my mind as being something to worry about. His newest concern...

The easter bunny dropping the babies.

Seriously. He has this whole scenario worked out in his head about how it will happen. (This is based on my suggestion that he take the babies to get their picture taken with the Easter bunny while i was at my interview). He didn't and here's why.

In the mind of Marcus he would hand the Easter bunny Eli who would then start jumping and back bending like Eli always does. Then as Marcus went to hand the bunny Emerson it would be too much for the bunny to handle thus resulting in the dropping of one or more baby.

I find the whole scenario hysterical but it seems to be a real concern for Marcus.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Job interviews, motherhood, and the "real world"...

My first real world, grown up job interview was today and for the most part I think it went really well. Although it was incredibly long, over 2.5 hours. If nothing else comes from it, it was great practice and experience for future job interviews. So not a whole lot to post about it.  I loved the guy I would be working directly with and overall it seems very promising. I'll guess now I just wait and see if anything comes out of it.

Which brings me to my next thought motherhood and working. I'm new at the whole motherhood thing and being a working mother (outside my internship and grad. school) is completely unchartered territory. It also brought up a great deal of questions for me in navigating that aspect of my life during interviews. I know that legally jobs cannot discriminate or ask certain personal questions. However, as a women and given some recent less than supportive members of my supposedly progressive and liberal university, and society I have in many ways been conditioned to assume that my children are a detriment to me and may potentially be used against me (whether these fears are valid or not I cannot fully say).

I know that even among others at my university I have had to defend my choices, decisions, and future plans where my husband has not and this is directly related to my being a woman. So during the interview with 10 people I was left in an odd situation wondering if and when I should mention my family. The people interviewing me all went around the room and introduced them selves and each of them mentioned their families etc. So when the first question was to tell them a little bit about myself it just didn't seem as though I could omit two important pieces of my life. So at the end of my long reply about my education and background I mentioned that I was also the mother of 10 month old twins.

And thankfully there were no further follow up questions about that (which again has not been my experience at my university where meetings turn into inquisitions about my personal life choices. The other day a woman wanted to know if I had break-downs, when I mentioned that of course I did, she followed up with, "Okay so what are we talking about every minute, every day, once a week, one a month...etc?" she just couldn't drop it. What I felt like telling her was everyone at this university has breakdowns even without twins because it's exhausting, competitive, and at times intense). Sorry that was a random tangent.

Anyways, I basically guess I have no real point except that this new chapter of my life in the "real world" is so totally unfamiliar to me. Especially learning how to navigate family, work, and motherhood. I suppose I won't really know how to do it until I start trying.

All grown up in my suit!

Friday, March 12, 2010

I need a distraction...

from the anxiety that consumes me every time I think about my job interview tomorrow.  So I'm trying to take my mind off of it by blogging and I'm just going to warn you this may end up being a little bit random.

I currently reading the Notebooks of Tennessee Williams which to at least one of my friends is a random selection but ever since learning about him in an undergraduate literature class and reading and then watching his play,  "A Street Car Named Desire" I've been interested in who Tennessee Williams was.

This book is a compilation of all of the private journals he kept during his life and at 822 pages it's no small or quick read. I'm only about 100 pages into it but already I find him such an interesting man. For one he is a total hypochondriac. Every day he makes a note about how he's feeling, any small twinge, pain, headache etc. is mentioned and he seems to have a flair for the dramatic. One example from October 1936 he writes:
I have a periodically painful tooth -- that worries me. It is surprising that all of us don't go mad in this world. Problems, problems, problems-- somebody must have lost the answer book (61).'
In November he writes:
I am a bit alarmed about sudden, jolting pains that I have in the back of my head... (63). 
Literally ever single day he mentions something along these lines which I find amusing as someone who suffers from chronic pain. If I were to mention every single thing that hurt or pained my every single day it would be ridiculous.

He also has a delightfully sarcastic and witty nature to him as well which comes through in his journals and I find him incredibly amusing (even though I'm not sure that's his intention). One of my favorite lines thus far is:
Possibly each individual at the party waas -- taken individually a fairly decent person -- but put together they become absolute asses and make me despise them (69).

How hysterically honest. I sometimes wonder if we are losing some of that honesty with blogging. I know that many times I censor or omit certain feelings or emotions because of the potential for someone to come across my blog. I think the art of journal keeping in the way Tennessee Williams did for years and years may become a bit of a lost art. There are so many times when I have a desire to blog about a certain thing because it's important to me, and part of my story, but I stop myself for fear of being misunderstood or offending someone else and also the fear that I don't know exactly who is reading.

Which is all a little ironic because I initially started blogging as a means to deal with all of the anger, pain, grief that went along with our IF.  (Although that blog is private with only a few having access).

Just a few random thoughts sparked by my endeavor to read this massive work and my need to distract myself. One last thought Tennessee Williams offers:
... [journal keeping] has certain things to recommend it, it keeps a recorded continuity between his past and present selves, it gives him the comforting reassurance that shocks, defeats, disappointments are all snowed under by pages and pages of new experience that still keep flaking down on him as he continues through time, and promises that this comforting snowfall of obliteration will go right on as long as he himself keeps going.
Good night (I hope).

Physical Therapy Update


Developmental Team Objectives:
1.) Transitions in and out of sitting
2.) Sitting independently
3.) Hands & Knees/crawling
4.) Standing to play

1.) Sitting-reach to side & moving to side sitting
2.) Tummy --> Sitting, knees --> Sitting
3.) Standing to play
4.) Kneeling at couch cushion

Progress since last visit:

Eli can sit alone fairly well, though likes to fall backwards. He scoots along on his tummy by moving into a push up position on hands & toes. Can move 10-15 feet/under couch, etc. In this manner. Can go sitting --> tummy independently.

During Today's Visit: 
Worked on getting into hands and knees and staying there to play/reaching up with 1 hand. Worked on tummy--> hands & knees --> Sitting. Stood at couch to play (cushion removed) - tends to lean with body & play with both hands needs full support for balance. Hands & knees/kneeling at cushion on floor - beginning to put weight through a hand and keep chest/tummy off cushion.

Suggested activities for daily routine:
1.) Lots of floor time. Help him move from tummy --> hands, knees --> hips to one side --> sitting.
2.) Sitting to play - encourage him to move into side sitting to play with toy.
3.) Hands & knees - see how long he can hold it. See if he can shift weight to free one hand for play.
4.) Kneeling at couch cushion -- tummy off cushion.
5.) Put a leg out when he's scooting & see if he can figure out how to get over it.
6.) Standing at couch with cushion removed -- encourage 1 hand holding on for balance & 1 hand to play. Try to decrease leaning on couch with body.


Developmental Team Objectives:
1.) Sitting independently 
2.) Lying --> sitting
3.) Hands & knees
4.) Standing holding on

1.) Tummy time
2.) Kneeling at cushion
3.) Standing at couch with support
4.) Sitting

Progress since last visit:
Great progress! Emerson is sitting by herself for short periods of time & has fairly good sitting posture. More tolerant of tummy time --> pushing up onto extended arms & pivoting in place. Doing exercises on therapy ball. Putting more toys in her mouth.

During Today's Visit: 
Worked on sitting with no support --> minimal support & reaching to get toys. Did some standing at couch with cushion removed -- needs lots of support for balance & tends to keep hands off support. Kneeling at couch cushion on floor, needs some help to keep her knees bent, leans body on cushion. Showed how to go from kneeling to sitting by swinging hips to one side. Pushed up nicely on extended arms on tummy, chest off floor. 

Suggested activities for daily routine:
1.) Lots of time sitting - work on reaching for toys, holding them with both hands and banging toys together. Gradually increase distance she can reach.
2.) Kneeling at cushion on floor - try to get hands down & tummy/chest off surface. Swing hips to side to move to sitting when tired.
3.) Sitting on exercise ball - tipping slowly in all directions for trunk balance. 
4.) Lots of floor time, still makes sure she gets some tummy time each day.
5.) Standing at couch with cushion removed. Try to get both hands forward to play. 

Job Search Update...

  • 7+ hours spent applying for two jobs (it's depressing how long this process takes).
  • Two jobs applied for
  • One call back, resulting in one hour long phone interview = Second interview in person on Sat. 
  • Still haven't heard back from the other job.
  • More applications, resumes, and cover letters are in my near future
A little forward progress I guess. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Marcus!!

Yesterday Marcus turned 25 or half-way to fifty as we like to call it around here. (Stemming from when I turned 25 and Marcus told me I looked 1/2 was to 50). Overall it was a pretty low key birthday. Marcus had class in the morning and then we went out for a birthday lunch at Olive Garden. The babies sat in restaurant highchairs for the first time (after a lot of convincing that our babies were old enough, could hold their heads up, and would be okay in a highchair. Our server seemed concerned and didn't believe us).

Lunch went mostly okay. Emerson love sitting in her highchair.
And she liked chewing on the breadstick. (Marcus and I had quite the conversation about whether or not it was okay for her to chew on bread).

She seems to be okay... and she really loved it? (This whole table food thing is a little bit confusing and nerve wracking). 

Eli had little patience for the highchair and desperately wanted down so he could explore. The boy never ever holds still. The only thing that slows him down at all is books. He'll stop whatever he's doing to listen to the story and look at the pictures in the books. 

He started screaming...

And so we each took turns holding him while we ate. Not exactly a relaxing meal but we are getting a little better at taking them places. 

We had to postpone cake because I had two meetings which occupied the rest of the day but hopefully we can finish celebrating Marcus' birthday on Saturday. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

10 Months old!! (yesterday)...

I have two 10 month olds how crazy is that?
They can't believe it either. 

I really should give up on the sign at this point but it's kind of funny to see how excited they get over one piece of paper. 

No matter where I put it.

At least they're both looking at me in this one.

Oh well...
Eli at 10 months...

~Is scooting every where doing a weird modified thing mostly using his arms
~ Is a little better about eating solids depending on his mood but most of it still gets spit out.
~Is really loud and blabbers all the time. He says dada but we still don't think there's any association. 
~Gets into everything 
~Loves being around people. 
~Sits really well but still falls backwards.
~Has two little teeth poking through and chews on everything. 

Emerson at 10 months...

~Can sit but is still unsteady and still doesn't sit up straight.
~Likes to stand in our arms if she has any say in it.
~Can roll to her tummy but can't get off and screams.
~Stares at strangers, none of them can ever get a smile out of her.
~Studies things and loves to hold thing in her hands, the more the better.
~Is amused by Eli these days. 

Finally a good night!

The last few months bedtime and nighttime have been awful. Our babies who used to lay down and go right to sleep were replaced with two screaming monsters who wanted nothing to do with bed, crying and screaming for hours. This was just the precursor to the rest of the night which led to Eli waking up anywhere from 3-5 times and Emerson waking up 2-4 times.

Marcus and I were beyond exhausted, annoyed, and at a loss of what to do. But, last night for some reason things changed. I put both babies down to bed and neither of them made a peep. Instead they both went right to sleep, that in itself was a nice break from our recent norm. Then both babies preceded to sleep for 12 hours, without waking. Which is the first time ever that both babies have slept for that amount of time, at the same time (usually it seems either one or the other has a good night, while the other is up all night crying).

I have no idea what caused the shift. Maybe they were exhausted from the days activities. We went to my old place of work and the women in the office played with the babies for over an hour. Eli of course soaked up all of this attention and preformed each of his "tricks" right on cue. Emerson of course clung to me, but occasionally would sneak a smile.

Then we played at home and read books, washed dishes, ate dinner, and off to bed. Amazing. I so hope for many repeat performances.

This morning after waking up. They both look a little dazed, perhaps it's because they're not used to a full nights sleep. 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring break & a perfect day...

I'm currently on spring break for the next two weeks and today actually felt like spring!! After church Marcus and I went to lunch with the babies (something we haven't really attempted). Then we went for a walk because the weather was too nice to stay inside.
The babies sat on grass for the first time. Per usual Eli loved every second of it and Emerson wanted nothing to do with it actually sitting on the grass. She tucked her arms inside her sleeves and made sure her hands didn't touch anything.

She wasn't quite sure what to make of this adventure. 

But was content to study things like trees from the safety of her dads arms.

And eventually we got a smile out of her.
Hanging out with her dad.

What are we doing?

And then there's Eli...

He pulled out some grass and gave it a little taste.

He scooted all over...

And was a little unsure about the asphalt.

He also tried out some dirt, a stick, and a leaf, which is what he's eating in this picture.
And never stopped moving the entire time.

After out outdoor adventure we went back home, the babies ate, and all four of us took a nap. To top of a great day both babies were exhausted by bedtime and they each fell asleep after only a few seconds of fussing, which is nothing short of a miracle these days. (Now if they'll both just sleep through the night tonight...) Overall it was a perfect start to spring break.