Monday, May 31, 2010

One year ago today Eli ...

Came home from the NICU! (Before I go to sleep I couldn't help but note this milestone). Last year on this date we brought home our little Eli. We were terrified and anxious about everything. So much so that Marcus slept on the floor of the nursery next to Eli all night (I tried too but I was still recovering). It's hard to believe that our crazy little Eli who never holds still once looked like this...
Then: May 31, 2009
Now: May 9, 2010

In many ways even though they were born on May 8th none of it really felt real until we had take home babies. Our lives as parents really started with the release from the NICU. How far we've come (now if only we could get the boy to eat something). 

We're in Ohio...


missing our babies,

hoping they're going to be okay with out us for a few days.

In only a little bit of back pain due to some pain killers

sad about leaving our home in CT and our friends

Ready for the drive to be finished.

Anxious about the future.

Good night.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I'm still here...

Kind of. Our apartment is mostly empty, our moving truck is full. Marcus graduated on friday, tearful goodbyes to good friends keep happening as we each part for the next stage of our journey.

Tomorrow, Marcus and I will begin the 2600 mile drive back to our home state. The babies will fly over with their grandparents and we'll hopefully be back with them in a few days.

I ended up back in urgent care because I hurt my back and I'm unable to lift the babies or do much. (Thus why I'm now driving back instead of flying with the babies as was the original plan. I can't carry babies through airports and things with my current back condition. Excellent timing). I have so many things to update about but for now I must continue the packing, put the babies to bed, and do some work for my job interview next Sunday.

Here's to the next stage of life.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I graduated!!

I've been MIA these last few days because things have been CRAZY. My sister, brother in law and niece came for my graduation, my MIL is here, I of course have had several days of graduation events, plus I'm packing for a cross country move in a few days, and caring for exhausted, over-stimulated twins, and Marcus still has his graduation on friday. Whew... just typing it makes me exhausted all over again.

But I feel so very blessed for everything. I did it, Marcus & I did it, we did it!

3 Years...

2 Babies...

1 Masters Degree!

Me with Eli & Emerson

Some of my dearest friends in the world.

I have tons more to say/update but no time at the moment (and I have tons more pictures). Soon when we're back on the west coast I can adequately update from the last week or so.

P.S. I have a job interview (sends lots of prayers/good luck my way since I gave back my last job I really  would love this other position). 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Not sure what to call this post...

These last two days have been hectic and exhausting. On Thursday Eli wasn't acting like himself (Which means he was actually sitting in one place for more than a minute) and by the afternoon he had a fever of 101.4 so off to the pedi. he went. Turns out the poor baby has two ear infections. He was pretty tired and clingy all day yesterday and then he was in a lot of pain at night.

So last night I sat in the dark of my bedroom just rocking my sick baby, and all I could think is how very grateful I am for both Eli & Emerson. Yesterday, a fellow mom of multiples, and a friend from an online community lost her 20 month old son, and there in the dark I sat and rocked my baby boy crying, knowing that she would never get to rock her baby boy again. These are the moments and times when life seems to make so little sense. I rocked Eli long after he fell asleep with his head on my chest, sleeping with his mouth open, listening to him breath just like as we did in the NICU during kangaroo care. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost their little ones. I cry and pray for Tiffany and her family and all those who don't get to rock their babies. Sometimes life doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense.

And since we're on the subject of depressing news today I received the biopsy results from my colonoscopy from few weeks ago. It turns out I have Crohn's disease and I'm starting treatment immediately to hopefully put it into a state of remission. I'm not really sure how I'm handling this news. I'm nervous for what it can mean, I'm trying to educate myself without scaring myself, and mostly I think I'm choosing not to really think about it much.  It really hasn't been a good few days around here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

1st Birthday Party...

We finally got around to celebrating the babies first birthday. (Finals is a really bad time to be born). I feel a little bit lame in comparison to some 1st birthday parties I've seen but I just didn't have the time, energy, or money to do something bigger. Besides it really doesn't take much to please these kids. Hand them a cell phone they're good to go. That said I did want to get together with all of the very important people from this past year who have been such a tremendous blessing and help with the babies. Marcus and I have been blessed with a great support system and I really wanted a chance for all of us to be together before we all go our separate ways.

It was suppose to be outside, unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate so we moved downstairs to the common room in our apartment building.
Eli exploring the presents. Neither of the babies had any interest in actually opening the gifts. Although one of Eli's new favorite games is to pick things up and then throw them over his shoulder so that's what he did with each of the packages.

Emerson loving her balloon.

Some of the guests eating pizza.

Emerson and Marcus reading one of her new books.

James helping Eli open his present

Getting ready for cake.

My attempt at cake making...

I don't really bake. It's just not my thing.

Once again Eli had nothing to do with the cake. What he did do was dump the cake off of the plate so he could chew on it. Which is what he did for the rest of the cake eating time. Have I mentioned that he won't eat anything that isn't pureed. It's a problem (and a post for another time).

He also managed to flip the cake upside down when we suggested he try some. Emerson once again dug right into her cake (although she seems to prefer chocolate). 

My family has a tradition of taking a picture of all who attend our birthday parties. So here's the babies first annual birthday party picture. I'm going to miss all of these wonderful, amazing people.

Happy Birthday once again my sweet, crazy babies. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Emerson pulled into a stand...

She's being trying so hard lately to do it (she's Eli shadow and follows him every where he goes and tries to do everything he does which is just adorable). She was finally able to get all the way up. The most adorable thing about it is how proud of herself she is. When she gets even up to her knees she just looks up and starts giggling like crazy because she's so happy, so when she got all the way to her feet we all clapped and cheered for her (even Eli). She's making progress and she's just so dang cute because she's so truly excited when she figures out how to do something new. She doesn't do it easily or gracefully or even often, but she works so hard. She's both stubborn and determined. (And oddly enough she pulls up on thing like her highchair instead of the couch)
(We were getting ready for bed in this picture)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Quirky things about my kids (Part I)...

Lately each day Eli attaches himself to random object and he must be possession of that object at all times or he has a total melt down. This object isn't something normal like a blanket or a stuffed animal or even a toy. Instead it's weird things like a candy wrapper that Marcus accidently dropped on the ground. Or one of the most recent a strip of plastic off of a pepperoni package.
You can see it in his left hand in this picture. For days every where Eli went this piece of garbage went with him. He didn't chew on it he merely held onto it for dear life. If we took it away for any reason he had a total melt down until we gave it back and if he dropped it he immediately retrieved it not wanting to be separated for even a second.

He did the same thing with his birthday balloon. For several days everywhere Eli went the balloon followed (which was tricker because when it still had helium it often went to the ceiling. Eli would hold his hand up trying to reach it).
Pulling up with the balloon

Cruising with the balloon

Using the balloon as a pillow (as he clings tightly to the string).

At my friends recent engagement party Eli became attached to the thing used to crack open the lobsters. He was distraught to discover we couldn't take that home with us. 

He has it in his hand in this picture. 

We obviously don't let him sleep with any of these things because often they're not the most kid friendly but the whole thing is totally bizarre but really adorable too. Marcus and I like seeing what new object he becomes attached too. (Sometimes they're really big and seeing him crawl around and pull up with larger objects is quite the sight).

Have I mentioned...

This is potentially going to be a long random post but I'm so behind of everything at the moment that I figured the best way to update was to just mush it all together. So here it goes, all of the things I've been meaning to mention but haven't had a chance. So have I mentioned...

1.) That I finished my very last assignment/class/paper for my masters degree. I did it! I finished on time, taking more than the full course load, while pregnant, while on bedrest in the hospital, and then while dealing with two babies. Many at my school expressed their doubts, many more expressed their support and somehow I actually did it! I also may have angered a professor by questioning one of the final exam essay questions and she might have emailed me a rather "snarky" email in response to my questioning of her, but that's okay. I'm done I passed (and the question was really bad).

2.) I "met" Apolo Anton Ohno. Apolo and I go way back... okay not really. But like much of the world I learned who he was in the Salt Lake City Olympic games in 2002. I was a senior in high school, dating Marcus at the time, and I began to joke with Marcus that Apolo was my new boyfriend (I was 18 don't judge :~). I put his Sport Illustrated cover on my wall and there it remained until a year ago when my mom moved and it's been a long standing joke between Marcus and I. So when Marcus came home a few weeks ago and told me my boyfriend was coming to his school to speak I had to go.

He was actually a very well spoken engaging speaker. He had a great message and story and it was a really enjoyable evening. I also got his autograph (because for a moment I was 17 again and thought that I should). I was however a little embarrassed by some of the questions people asked, which included things about Apolo accepting Jesus as his lord and savior (come on people) and teenage girls requesting Apolo to friend them on twitter and read the notes they handed him. Seriously? You have a chance to ask him anything you want after a really great hour long talk and that's the best you can come up with?
Signing autographs after his talk,

3.) I spent the night in the ER. On Wednesday May 5th after my procedure I was having severe pain and when I called urgent care at my university they asked me to come down just to be safe. At urgent care they determined I needed a CAT scan just to make sure everything was okay and sent me over to the ER.

What an educational experience. I have never been to an ER in a big city and this hospital is a Level 1 trauma center so they get all the worst cases, plus it was Cinco de Mayo so there were tons of random drunken accidents. The place was a madhouse and it took forever. I also discovered that if you go to the hospital with a male bodied friend they assume that person is your husband and when they find out that they are not, the staff is just confused.

My friend Delfin drove me so Marcus could stay with the babies and we had everyone very confused which was actually kind of fun. The rest of the evening was not. We didn't leave until 7am (we went into urgent care around 9:30pm so it was a very long night). Everything ended up being okay, and I had the best IV ever (I know that's a weird thing to be excited about). I told the nurse that he needed to give some of the other nurses lessons as I showed him my scars from my hospital bedrest days when I was tortured by days of IV's.  I couldn't even feel his. Very impressive.

My night in the ER. The fun times are never ending around here.

4.) I also met Candace Bushnell author of Sex and the City (among others) and her newest book The Carrie Diaries. (More about this will go in my book blog at some point) But she told me I was a sweetie and remembered my name long after she had signed my book. So I took this to mean she either thought I was 16 or she's my new BFF. 
Me and Candace. 

5.) My sermon about PPD titled, "Surviving, Living, Thriving: A Hope for all Women" is going to be published by the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Which I find very exciting!!  

6.) I accepted a job... and then gave it back. Opps.. which may possible be the most awkward thing ever. But after getting my contract in the mail and doing the math and listening to my instincts nothing about the job seemed right. I do feel really awful about the situation though. This however means that we are moving back to the west coast in about 15 days. (And I haven't packed a thing, awesome). This also means that I am currently unemployed and hoping to find another job soon. 

I think these are the main things I've been meaning to mention and haven't. I'm still behind on my blogging and just about everything else in life at the moment, but this is a start.

(And if you actually read this entire thing... well, thanks because it's incredibly long and not that interesting.) 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Lesson in Sandwich making...

This afternoon Marcus put Emerson in her highchair and proceeded to give her a lesson in sandwich making. First, an explanation of all the ingredients which she then got to hold for him. Then some cheese for Emerson to taste herself, an exposition on the proper amount of turkey slices. The entire exchange was hilarious.

Then too top it off as he finished his sandwich he exclaimed, "I forgot to toast the bread!" (In the literal sense he prefers his bread toasted for sandwiches)

So to alleviate the problem he lifted his glass and said, "To you bread."

Oh my lord he's a dork, but I love him and Emerson enjoyed her lesson and the cheese.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Eli is having a conversation...

with my cell phone. Our cell phones are among his most coveted possession and when we give in and let him hold one he goes crazy. He's been sitting pushing buttons and had the following conversation with the phone when he pushed the voice command button:

Phone: Please say a command.

Eli: bah

Phone: Command not recognized. Please say a command.

Eli: aug

Phone: Did you say Yoda?

Haha I'm not even kidding it's hilarious.

One Year Appointment...

Eli & Emerson had their one year check-up yesterday and the pediatrician was really pleased with their progress. She's so affirming of all that we've done this last year with them, she was always aware and mindful of their prematurity at each appointment when we had concerns about things they were doing or not doing, she put up with our paranoia when we would bring the babies in at any sign of potential illness (we did that 3 or 4 times and each time it was nothing) oops, but she was very kind about it. She was an advocate for us when we were told the babies missed the Synagis deadline by 6 hours. Marcus and I both love her and we're really going to miss having her as the babies doctor when we move.

So many sad things about leaving our current life here. *sigh* oh well, such is life.  Now for some stats:

Weight: 19lbs 11oz 10%
Length: 28 in. 10%
Head: 50% (I'm so glad he's finally growing into his head)

Weight: 19lbs 9oz 25%
Length: 27 in. 10%
Head: 3%

What's interesting is that Emerson has just about caught Eli weight wise. This is attributed to several things. 1). she finally learned to eat from her bottle after about 10 months of fighting with her to eat something clicked and she just got it. 2.) she loves eating solids and 3.) She's not nearly as mobile as Eli. She's only been crawling for a week.  So she currently eats more and moves less.

Couple those factors with Eli who hasn't stopped moving in months and refuses to eat any solids it results in a change in weight. In the last three months Eli has only gained a few ounces while Emerson has gained over a pound. It's so interesting how those things work.
Waiting for the doctor.

They also got their first MMR shot yesterday. They were suppose to get their chicken pox and pneumococcal conjugate too, but I've heard that the MMR is just a much more painful shot and I didn't feel comfortable letting them get all three. So we're going back in a few weeks to get the other two. (I think the pedi. thought I was concerned about Autism and MMR) she kept assuring me the research says there's no link. I've done my own research and I've assured her I'm very pro-vaccines I just didn't want to subject them to the MMR and the other two in the same day. That's all end of story. I forgot to tell Marcus this so when I requested separate days for the shots he kept looking at me with a confused look. (I think I worried him with my request).  

Then the babies had their blood drawn to check for lead. Drawing blood from babies is one of the saddest things ever. The couldn't find Eli's vein and had to poke him several times and he screamed so loud. Emerson actually did a little better because she was mostly curious about the new setting and what was going on. It wasn't until the needle was in her arm for a second that she started to cry. The saddest part for me, for some reason was their little tiny Band-Aids on their arms coupled with their tear streaked faces. 

Emerson had a little pink one.
And Eli had a little blue Band-Aid. 
(Marcus and I got a kick out of the fact that they gendered the Band-Aids). 

Poor kids, it wasn't the most fun they've ever had. We do however continue to be lucky in that they seem to bounce back from shots pretty quickly. In fact they usually sleep better after shots (and they both slept through the night last night).

Yay! For growing, healthy, babies. I am so relieved we made it through this first year with just one ear infection and nothing else. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day 2010...

I had a good mothers day but oddly enough it had very little to do with me being a mother (although that's great). Sunday was my last day at my internship site and so I was responsible for planning the service and preaching. Because I've been through infertility I am more than aware that Mothers day is not a happy day for everyone. For some it is a reminder of loss due to infertility, miscarriage, infant or child loss or even the loss of ones own mother.

I don't think these realities are upheld enough in our churches. These things simply aren't named and I desperately wanted to acknowledge that I knew and understand this reality. So I placed flowers on the alter in memory and in honor of all those who are saddened on mothers day. I lifted up those women and recognized that pain, and then in my sermon I told my story of PPD. I told a story about the lack of compassion that women have for other women. The amount of judging the silencing that happens in our churches and our communities because we are afraid of being ridiculed. I spoke about my own journey to motherhood. One that did not come easily. It was not easy to get pregnant, it was not easy to stay pregnant, and then it was not easy to mother the babies in the midst of anxiety and PPD.

I spoke these realities because I think it's important that we lift up the many struggles that woman face. As part of the service I used this prayer.

 Leader: Today we give thanks for mothers.

All: For loving nurturers and strong providers.
Leader: For mothers who birthed us, for mothers who raised us, mothers of birth and of choice.
All: For stepmothers and adoptive mothers and all those who have a mothering role in our communities. We give thanks.
Leader: For mothering energy in all its sources, from women, from men.
All: For the Creator God who is mother to us all—we give thanks.
Leader: Today we give thanks, we give praise—and we remember the dangers of motherhood.
All:  Giving thanks is not enough. We must do more to protect mothers here at home and around the world.
Leader: So many die in childbirth. So many more become sick or injured during pregnancy.
All: Give us strength, O God, to do all we can, to protect these most vulnerable women.
Leader: We think not only of mothers we know, mothers in our family, in our community.
All: In this our global family, every woman is my sister. Every woman, even those whose name and face I will never know, is my sister, a fellow child of God.
Leader:  For every woman who dies while bringing new life into the world—who dies because she could not access medical care.
All: Am I my sisters’ keeper?
Leader: For every infant life that ends too soon, due to lack of health care. For the pain of that mother’s loss.
All: Am I my sisters’ keeper?
Leader: For every woman who wishes to be a mother but cannot. For every woman who does not have the resources to have a healthy pregnancy and to care for the children she already has.
All: Am I my sisters’ keeper?
Leader: We are our sisters’ keepers. We are the hands of God, the work of the divine in the world.
All: We give thanks to our mothers, by praying and working for the safety of mothers and future mothers throughout the world.
Leader: Creator God, Mother and Father—protect and watch over mothers. Give your strength and protection and love to all who give a mother’s love to those in their family or their community.
All: Loving God, keep mothers safe. And give us the strength to work to ensure that all who wish to bring life into the world can do so in safety and joy.
Leader: Am I my sisters’ keeper?
I am my sisters’ keeper!     

 The Sermon was very well received and one of the best moments for me was when a woman who was probably 60 or 70 squeezed my hand and said, "You're sermon brought back memories of my own struggles with motherhood." I felt the service encompassed the message and tone I was trying to convey for mothers day.
Me and my supervisor after the service.

My Cake (and John's too)

John (The intern from last year) me and the pastor cutting the cake.

After church the babies and I took off for Massachusetts to go to an engagement party for some of our close friends from school. (Marcus had to stay home due to a school project obligation, boo for school). We had a great time at the party.

The newly engaged couple Lydia and James with Emerson. (Lydia is Eli's godmother).
More friend enjoying their lobster. (The food was amazing everyone got their own lobster, plus there was chicken, steak, and clams. It was a feast).
Eli with Sara (Emerson's Godmother).

The group from our graduate school that traveled up for the party, among the best friends I have ever had. I am so sad to leave them in a few weeks. 

We got home around seven and the babies exhausted but I was greeted by Marcus with flowers and an adorable card from the babies that said, "This mother's day card is from both of us. One Card, twice the love! ... half the cost." It was adorable that Marcus spent so much time finding a card from both the babies. And then Eli and Emerson each scribbled something in the card with a marker. My other gift is a bracelet that hasn't arrive yet. It has a story behind it that I will share once it arrives.

All in all it was a great day. 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Today my babies are One!!

How is it possible that it has already been a year? I think part of the speed comes from my inability to remember much of the earlier months (thank goodness for blogs and pictures to help jog my memory). Today was a pretty low key celebration with the babies since Marcus and I are in the midst of the end of the semester, as are all our friends. We expect to have a big party next weekend. Today we simply spent the day together as a family. We went to lunch...

(And can I just say that we have come a long way in being relaxed about taking both babies into public settings).

We went for a walk...

and played in some dirt.

Happy boy.

Emerson using her new found freedom through crawling.

We played with balloons sent all the way from their grandma and granddad in Nevada

And then there was cake. Which Eli merely looked at. Totally uninterested (the boy eats nothing but purees and formula but that's another issue).

And Emerson went crazy and ate her cake with incredible enthusiasm and joy. She was upset when we took it away. 

Someday soon I'll post a more in-depth reflection from the past year but this week of finals has just about done me in. I'm exhausted and haven't had a decent nights sleep in awhile due to school not babies. 

Happy birthday my sweet babies. We have all come a long way this year. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I finally have a few minutes (although Eli is currently whining in the swing. The poor baby is getting a tooth and his gums are bleeding whining is an improvement over the screaming but it's going to be a long night). Anyways...

Last Saturday we headed to Boston to have Eli and Emerson's one year pictures taken, and to meet up with my internet friend Jess, her husband and her adorable daughter Avelyn. Jess and I first "met" two years ago through an on-line message board for those going through infertility. We were matched as "sisters" to support one another through the ups and downs of all things infertility and in the last two years we've gone through a lot together including the births of our children.

I was so excited to finally meet her in person and we all had a fantastic time. We had a picnic in the park, the babies tried to grab at our food, and Jess, Matt, Marcus and I talked. It's amazing how well you can get to know someone online.
Me and Jess with our babies (I was trying not to drop mine).

Matt with Eli & Emerson. Emerson loved Matt (and she's pretty picky about who she'll let hold her).

Three babies every where. Trying to eat was interesting because they all kept grabbing at things. 
Hanging out with my babies in the park.

Emerson loves flowers.

Me & Marcus.

Jess has more pictures on her blog here which are much better than mine  if you're intersted. Overall, it was just a really nice day in the park with new/old friends, eating a picnic and enjoying the beautiful Boston park.  I'm not sure why it took us two years to get together we had the best time!

The pictures turned out amazing too. We had them taken with Rachel of Brisham Photography and she does such great work and it was great to see her again too. We met her the first time last August in NYC when we went and had pictures taken in Central park. (You can see a preview of our shoot at the link along with some of Rachel's other work.

The saturday was just what we needed. A quick trip out of our city, away from finals and job hunting and all of that fun, a time to relax with friends and our babies. It was just perfect. 

(Eli & Emerson also got to see the Make Way for Ducklings statue, which you can read about here)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Quick before bed...

  • I finished my take home final tonight which is really just a big essay and turned it in 26 minutes before midnight. I now only have one paper and an evaluation for my internship left.
  • The babies have slept through the night, these last two nights! I really hope this is a permanent change.
  • I'm sore and tired.
  • Marcus is horrified that I shared that I had a colonoscopy with my friends IRL and on my blog. My thoughts are theoretically everyone is going to have one some day (If we all do as the medical community advises), my came about 25 years before I thought it would. Oh well... besides when you have an infertility blog and then a pregnancy blog talking about embarrassing procedures is pretty much par for the course.
  • I'm graduating in 19 days, we have to move in 26 days. We don't yet have any idea where we're going to live. I'm trying not to be too freaked out about this.
  • I came home from my school at 10 pm to grab a sandwich before heading back over to finish my paper. I found Marcus had washed all the dishes, bottles, picked up, cleaned out the fridge and was doing the laundry, after successfully getting both babies to bed. I just love him!
Good night!

So much to write, no time...

I have so many things I need to update about. Our amazing Saturday spent in Boston meeting friends and getting pictures taken. Emerson taking making her first attempts at crawling and all sorts of exciting things.

Unfortunately they will all have to wait because of papers, finals, and a colonoscopy (which let me tell you is a great deal of fun, not to mention I was by far the youngest patient today. As the nurse said, "You don't look fifty."). I'm incredibly drowsy from the procedure this morning, Marcus is at his lab he couldn't miss, and I have the babies in my drugged stupor, and a paper due tonight. Fun times in these parts these last few days.

Updates coming soon I hope. The end of finals is near.