Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas in The Great "Brown" North.

Okay, you all know I live in Minnesota. You would think that we'd have some of that beautiful, fluffy white stuff, wouldn't you? Alas, but no, we spent another Christmas without snow. Now I'm sure many people are happy about this occurance, but I'm not one of them. Damn Global Warming. I'm sure this is the culprit. Part of the reason, I choose to live here is because I LOVE the change of seasons, and a season to me includes snow! Oh, I will admit that it is nice to not have to deal with all the snowboots, snowpants, hats and mittens that go along with the snow and two preschoolers, but we're missing out on a lot too. NO WORRIES we have LOTS of winter left and I feel pretty confident in saying that we'll probably get dumped on a few times yet.

Back to our Christmas...due to no snow, our front yard looked like this on Christmas Day:
Christmas Day...and NO SNOW!

rather than this (note this is our old house):
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

All in all, we had a very nice Christmas. We celebrated on Saturday, the 23rd with my family because the girls' church school Christmas program was on Christmas Eve night. We gathered at my aunt & uncle's home for dinner, which was too much! We were all stuffed. All the kids loved opening a few presents and playing together.

On Christmas Eve, I spent some of the day wrapping presents and then it was time to get ready for the program. The girls were dressed so cute and were so excited to be singing and reciting. They had been practicing "Joy to the World" and "Little Jesus in the Manger". We got there, brought them to their room, and then found a place to sit. They walked in with their class and then sat with their teacher. BUT, no singing from Lindsey and Sydney were to be heard because THIS happened:
My sleeping girls
4:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Sleeping at the church program...PRICELESS!

Poor things...people were even taking pictures of them! It was pretty cute. We carried them out and they didn't wake up until we got to the car. After that, it was over to Grandma & Grandpa's for a lite supper of appetizers and some visiting. We left about 8 p.m. and got home and into bed. Sleep came very quickly for L & S.

Christmas morning was so magical! I heard Sydney and Lindsey coming up the stairs around 7 a.m. and Sydney was saying,
"Momma, I don't think Santa came to our house. I didn't hear the reindeer on the roof and we don't have a chimney!"
I told them that I'm sure he came and they better go check their stockings. They ran up the stairs and then:
"He came! He came! There's things in our stockings!"
Brice had driven down the night before so he was able to spend time with us that morning. The girls opened their Santa gifts first while we waited for Brice to wake up. I whipped up a wonderful coffeecake that I make every Christmas morning. And we proceeded to jump into the gifts. We had to rush in order to make it to church by 10 a.m. I popped the Breakfast Casserole in the oven before we left and Brice took it out on time. Then my mom & dad and Grandma came over after church to spend some time playing with the girls and eating brunch. Lindsey took a nap and Sydney & I watched a movie. Later, we went over to my brother's house, hung out and ate more. Just what we needed! We came home and watched Rudolph. A fine ending to a perfect day.

I have a few pics of the girls and our Christmas here. Check them out! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well. Ours isn't quite over. We'll be traveling to Dh's family this weekend for some more food, visiting and fun.

Seasons Greetings from Our Home to Yours!
Lindsey & Sydney singing Away in a Manger

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It's not always "the most wonderful time of the year".

My mind cannot focus these past few days. I’ve opened Word on several occasions wanting to make an entry to my blog, but no words came, or they were a jumble of words that didn’t make sense.

You see, a dear friend of mine is suffering a lost so great right now. M is 25 weeks pregnant. Very soon, she will be delivering her precious daughter whose heart beats no more. It has been consuming almost all of my waking thoughts and even some of my sleeping ones. It is so tragic and senseless and I, like many others, will never understand why this happens. I do, have a faith in God, though, and I trust that His wisdom is infinite and that there are things that our human and finite minds just can’t understand. I don’t believe God causes these things to happen and I believe that he suffers along with us. We are His children, how could He not?

The thing is, I have been where M is. Soon, January 20th will be upon us, the day I gave birth to my angel son, Seth Allan. He was all of my hopes and dreams; after all those years of infertility, treatments, tests, and a miscarriage. Shattered. Sorrow. Darkness. Pain. Hurt that cuts like a knife and sometimes you can’t even breathe. Sleep that you desperately want, but somehow can’t get, because the tears come even when you sleep. Days go by and you wonder how you will make it through a day without crying or how you wonder if there will ever be a moment where your thought isn’t of him. No smiling, no laughter, no joy.

But then you turn toward others who have been where you’ve been. You cling to your spouse, who is suffering too, but is your ROCK. You find comfort in your family, friends, God, and people you don’t even know. You try to do some normal things. You seek out poems that make you feel better and you write poems to make you feel better. And one day, you laugh. And you feel bad because you shouldn’t be laughing, you shouldn’t be happy. But you work through those feelings and you know what? It IS okay to be happy. It’s okay to go on. You are still here with a life ahead of you, people who count on you, love to give, and gifts of yourself that you need to share.

When I lost Seth, there were many angels that appeared to me. My sister-in-law had told her church about us and they were all praying for us. One angel asked my sister-in-law for my address because she wanted to send me something. Shortly thereafter, I received a book that made a great difference in my healing and gave me comfort. She sent me a note, telling me her story of loss. She said that it was okay to lean on God and be angry with God, that he could take it. She said He will bring healing. And she had enclosed some laminated cards in her handwriting that I still carry around, now, five years later. I’d like to share these words with you.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

“Though you have made me see troubles many and bitter, You will restore my life again. From the depths of the earth You will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.” Psalm 71: 20-21

“And the God of all grace…after you have suffered a little while will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10
I never met this woman. I only know her as Carla. I did send her a thank you, but I hope she REALLY knows what a difference she made in my life at a time when I really needed it.

So, today, the day of baby “Rs” birth, please say a prayer for M, G and their two little girls. Say a prayer for all the mothers of angels in Heaven; the fathers too. They sometimes get forgotten.

We are with you in spirit, M & G. We are with you in Spirit

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Another cute Lindsey & Sydney Christmas Carol.

Second verse of Away in a Manger.

The cattle are lonely...
the poor baby wakes.
Those poor cattle. I guess they could be lonely!

The girls had their Sunday School Christmas Program today. I was so proud of them. They did so good considering they missed the last practice due to being sick, and at the first practice they wouldn't even go up to the front or leave my side!

Here they are during the opening song ("O Come Little Children") after they walked in with the other kids.

Sydney & Lindsey Singing

And THEN, they got up by themselves and did this finger play called, "See the Baby Jesus".

See the baby Jesus
Lying in the hay.
He came to earth to show His love
And teach us how to pray.
See the little baby sleeping.
He came for you and me.
To save His people from our sin,
He died to set us free.
Complete with actions too!

Lindsey & Sydney doing their finger play...
I think Lindsey is feeling a little shy.

Next, we have their school (also a church) Christmas program which is on Christmas Eve. They have been practicing a lot! I know they'll do well!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Grammar...(no, not your grandma)

Fun stuff on a Saturday afternoon...

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz

Thursday, December 14, 2006

It Blows.

Singing Christmas carols is a way of life around here. I hear them singing as they are falling asleep and I wake up to them singing. A current favorite:

"Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, had a very
shiny nose, and if you ever saw him, you would even say it BLOWS!"

Oh...listening to them sing is good for my soul!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Note to self: Buy more twin mattress pads

Yes, having only two mattress pads when your kids are sick is NOT a good thing.

Saturday night we awoke at 1 a.m. to a little girl standing beside our bed saying:

"I coughed and then I puked in my bed."
Poor thing. It was all over and awful smelling (when isn't it?). DH headed to the bathroom to give her a bath because it was really gunked into her hair. I headed downstairs to take care of the bed. And what before my eyes did appear when I turned on the lights, but another little girl sitting in her bed covered in puke! UGH!

Long story, short...we were basically up all night, changing towels/blankets (we made a big bed on the floor), changing pajamas, numerous baths, etc. I did get a little sleep from about 4:30 - 7:30 a.m. and DH got to sleep from about 7:30 - 9 a.m.

I'm not sure what it was, viral, something they ate, but they did both end up running low grade fevers. By yesterday evening, they were doing much better and were pretty much back to being themselves this morning!

Me, well, I'm still finishing up all the laundry. Oh, and I'd better add those mattress pads on my list of things to buy. Although, I do think the big bed on the floor with layers of blankets works quite well. Just peel off a layer and back down they go!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

4 Year Check Ups...

...and the pediatrician SAID, "They're HEALTHY!"

I really didn't expect any surprises, but it's always good to hear those words. It's always so amazing to me think of where they started and to see them now. I'm just in awe, almost surprised, that when the doctor asks me, "Are they on any medications?", I can say NO. Or, "Are there any long term issues?" I can say NO. "Do you have any concerns about them?" I can say NO.

I'm a little late on the appointments, but since we've moved, I had to look for a new pediatrician. I spent quite a bit of time checking out different options (via the internet) in towns near us. I decided against seeing the local Family Practice. I did take Sydney there in August and was very pleased with the doctor we saw, but I just feel more comfortable, given their start in life, seeing a pediatrician.

I decided on the clinic in the town just to the west of us. The female pediatrician that we are now seeing, well, her name seemed very familiar to me, but I didn't really KNOW her. I also found out in my research that she has twin boys (another reason I chose her).

So, we got to the appointment and didn't have very long to wait. The girls were weighed and measured first. Sydney came in at 38.5" tall and 28.4 lbs. Lindsey is right behind her at 38" tall and 27 lbs. They are still so tiny for four, BUT...the doc told me that (GET THIS), they are actually ON the chart for their weight. FIRST TIME EVER! Sydney was in the 10th percentile for weight and 25th for height. Lindsey was in the 5th percentile for weight and 10th for height!

Now, I've never really been all that concerned about them being ON the chart. It was drilled into my head very early that they aren't concerned with that, just so that they are following the curve. They've just always been on their own curve. Anyway, it's a little exciting.

They had their hearing checked which Sydney "sort of" did and Lindsey wouldn't let the nurse put the thing in her ears. They also had a vision screening which they told me they both fell in the 20/30 - 20/40 range, but is within normal limits. They see the pediatric opthamalogist due to their ROP anyway, which I told her about.

The doc and I had a nice visit about them and their prematurity and come to find out, she was doing her residency at Children's when L & S were in the NICU. She told me that when she saw their names, she told her nurse that they can't be new patients because their names sound so familiar. That's why! She saw them every day for four months!

Oh, there is one other thing. She did hear a heart murmur on Lindsey. She asked if she'd ever had one before. No. She said it's probably nothing. We can just monitor it or she'd be more than happy to order an echocardiogram just to get it checked out. I decided to just wait for now. I need to talk about it with Brian. In the meantime, she ordered both of the girls charts from our old pediatrician. She said it's possible that it was noted previously in the chart, but they just didn't mention anything to me thinking it wasn't a big deal.

L & S both got the flu shot. The doc also mentioned the Hep A Vaccine. No rush in getting it. I passed on it and told her that I wanted to do more research. What do you all know about the vaccine?

Can I just RANT about something too? I brought a copy of L & S's vaccine records with me. WHAT THE HECK? How come can't they get these right? I mean, when we go for our check ups, BOTH of the girls are there, BOTH get the SAME shots on the SAME day. BUT...apparently, Sydney had the Chicken Pox, Polio, and Hep B on the same day, but Lindsey only had the Polio and Hep B on that day. No Chicken Pox. Then at another time, without going into details, Sydney had the MMR, but Lindsey didn't, and Lindsey had the Hib which Sydney didn't. Where is that banging your head emoticon when you need it? OH, here it is ==>

Anyhoo, all in all, everything went fine, was fine. It's all good. Hopefully, we won't need to see her again for another year! Wouldn't that be awesome?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Funkity, Funk, Funk...

I've been in a little funk of sorts the past few days. I spent a little time reflecting on it, because I'm not one to really get in funks. You know, I'm one of those "glass half full" girls. I don't generally worry about things; I just don't usually have down times for the most part. Especially during the holiday season. I LOVE this time of year and being in the holiday spirit.

I wasn't sure what was causing it, but I think it's a few things. One in particular is that I think it has to do with my free time this past weekend. DH left on Saturday morning for Green Bay. He went to the Packer game yesterday and will be back sometime today. The girls went to my parent's house on Saturday night overnight. It's an annual tradition they do with the grandkids and this is the first year that L & S get to partake. Everyone was excited for it. My parents also had my niece, C (12) and my nephew, D (9). They spend the night decorating their house and tree and then they go downtown for the "Deck the Falls" celebration. They have a short parade, hot apple cider and cookies at the merchants and then they light the big tree in the center of town. I'm glad that L & S are able to be a part of all of this now.

But back to my funk...I knew all this was happening earlier in the week. I decided it was a great time to do something with a friend. Generally, I'm a homebody. When DH takes the kids somewhere, I like to stay home, enjoy the quiet, a book, my pajamas, a movie, organizing without kids underfoot, whatever...just doing what I want to do in the house and not have to worry about anything else. BUT this time, I was really motivated to go out! I called several different friends to see about getting together; ALL of them busy.

My mom had run into an old friend of mine during the day on Saturday and she asked where I was. She works at the winery and told my mom to have me stop down later. I decided that was a great idea. After I dropped the girls at my parent's, I went shopping for a bit. (BTW, I did find a great rug for the girls room that I was looking for and some buffet lamps!) Shopping was a success so I headed back to CF and to the winery. I go inside and no S. I ask where she is and the woman tells me that she just left! They let her go home early!

Isn't that just my luck? I know I could've given her a call or something, but you know this time my homebodiness was taking over. My jammies were calling me.

I ended up having a nice evening, a glass of wine, comfy jammies and T.V. I watched the last episode of Big Love. I'm all caught up now. I'm very upset with the darn DVR though. I guess it's my fault because I didn't know how it worked. But, it deleted three movies that I didn't get a chance to watch because the disk was full. UGH! No warning, nothing. I had wanted to watch In Her Shoes last night. I've heard it was a good movie. Anyway, now I've figured out that I have to "Protect" the movie. Won't happen again. I'm prepared for the next time I'm Home Alone.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I am thankful for my grandfather.

Today is Thanksgiving, a day where we think about all the blessings in our life, who and what we are thankful for. I have so many things to be thankful for. My cup runneth over.

But today I'd like to tell you about my grandfather. He passed away three years ago today at age 83. I was very close to my grandpa. I was the oldest grandchild and the only granddaughter. You can bet we had a very special relationship.

I grew up only about a half mile away from my grandparents and spent lots of time with them. I could walk through the pasture to their house and did just that quite often. We spent time together, doing everyday things. They were always there for me (and my grandma still is). My grandfather was a wise man, a business owner, a farmer, quick-witted, stubborn, and proud. He loved having his family around and always wanted us together on birthday's and holiday's.

Sometimes, out of the blue, like while I'm in the middle of a store or doing laundry, I will find myself recalling a memory of him, of something he taught me (and he taught me a lot), and my eyes will fill with tears. I am comforted by the thought that he is watching over me and my family; guiding me from afar.

I'm sad that my girls will never know him the way that I did. They were only a little over a year old when he died. His memory wasn't as sharp the last few years, which I think was really hard on him.

Now, I have moved back to my hometown to be close to family. My hope is that my girls can have the relationship with their grandparents that I had with mine. I can only provide the opportunity, but hopefully a similar relationship will cultivate. My strong family ties are a big part of the "who" I am today...and I'm very proud of that.

Thank you, Grandpa.

Grandpa Bud
(written & read by me at his funeral)

In 1920, my grandpa was born,
The first of three to arrive on the farm.
His parents, Frank & Anne, were happy to see,
A little boy added to the family tree.

I don’t know much about his childhood days.
He worked real hard milking cows and baling hay.
He finished school at the end of eighth grade ~
With a head for figures; a fine farmer he made.

He met my grandma when he was about twenty-six.
She thought him quite handsome; he thought her a good catch.
They dated a short while and then got hitched
On a cold, wintry day in 1946.

In 1950, a business began.
Hauling lime to the fields was in high demand.
Knoblauch Lime Co. was its name;
It continues to grow, even now to this day.

It wasn’t long before the house was filled
With a little boy and two little girls.
He continued to farm; he had a love for the land.
Good thing he had help from the hired hands.

His children grew up and went on their way,
But they kept close by as they had lots to say.
Then the grandchildren were born, and they loved him so.
He teased them plenty as they began to grow.

He could be blunt and quite stubborn, but what a softie inside.
And when he spoke of his grandkids, it was always with pride.
And in their eyes he was someone they wanted to model,
He was smart and so wise, and respected by all.

I’ve looked up to my grandpa since I was a girl.
He taught me so much about life in this world.
On being honest and thankful for all that I’ve got.
And he gave great advice, whether I took it or not.

He has now passed on to a much better place,
Where he walks in the garden with His Holy Grace,
Laughing and teasing and chewing his cigar
As he looks down upon us, guiding us from a far.

And even though he is gone and we’ll see him no more
Doing some fishing or combining corn.
He’ll always be with us; we’re not really apart
For we all have our memories of him in our hearts.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My Patriotic Girls

I love that they say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning in school. I think they are talking so well, and seem so articulate to me!



Oh, and if you are wondering about what Lindsey is saying after she is done saying the Pledge, I asked her about it. She told me that she was talking to me in Spanish!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Prematurity Awareness Month

Yesterday was Prematurity Awareness Day.

It's a chance to reflect on my journey; our previous life in the NICU. Some days it seems like so long ago, barely four years, and at other times, it seems like yesterday.


when I was on bedrest at home due to an incompetent cervix and having a cerclage placed. Through all my infertile life, I remember thinking "if I could just get pregnant, then everything would be okay". Once I got pregnant for the first time and had a miscarriage, I remember thinking "if I could just make it to 12 weeks, then everything would be okay". So, after my fourth IUI/INJ cycle, I got pregnant again and at 19 weeks, my world fell apart when I lost our son, Seth Allan, to what we now know was an incompetent cervix. I'll never view 12 weeks as safe or even 20 weeks or even 30.

Honestly, it's never safe. Yes, the statistics get better as time goes on, but one never knows. I'm forever changed because no matter how far along someone is, the thought always crosses my mind that something could happen. I'll never feel that blissful naivete that many do as they go through a pregnancy. Not that I'm planning on getting pregnant, but I will never feel that about anyone else either. NOTHING, in regards to my reproductive organs or life, has, or ever will be, normal. I've been angry about it. I've mourned. I've accepted it.

My third pregnancy (after two more IUI/INJ cycles) was, well, really quite rocky the entire time. I did have a few weeks in the middle (which for me was around week 14-17), where I actually felt pretty good. No bedrest, no bleeding. At 22 weeks, it changed again when my blood pressure at home on bedrest was elevating and I went in to have it checked. My doctor proceeded to immediately admit me and I went into a dark room and on that awful stuff called Magnesium Sulfate. I guess lucky for me, I was quite oblivious to what this all meant. I was able to get two courses of steroid shots to help mature the girls lungs. The problem was that I ended up not tolerating the Mag and developed pulmonary edema. I was on oxygen and gaining 2-5 lbs.of fluid a day. They stopped the Mag.

The next few days passed by and I had no idea of the severity of my condition: Preeclampsia. Nine days after being admitted to the hospital, the doctor rounding, whirled into my room and told me that we couldn't wait any longer. You're having a C-section at 4 p.m. I called my husband and told him to come to the hospital. I was sobbing. When he got there, I was telling him that I didn't know WHY they were doing this. I was FINE! I could make it longer. I could make it to 28 weeks. I called the doctor back in. I needed him to explain to me why they were doing this. 24 weeks was too early! Needless to say, he went through the list of the reasons: my blood pressure, the protein in my urine, my weight gain, my kidney function. He said they had limits to each of these and he'd already let me go past them to get me to 24 weeks. It was time.

And with that, I was propelled into another new experience: life in the NICU and the rollercoaster ride that comes along with it. Times two. My time in the NICU really deserves it's own post. It was a long 114 days. I journaled every day. It was very therapeutic for me. You can read my journals at L & S's Caring Bridge page. Just click on Read Journal History.

I'm sharing some of my story today, like many others have. Premature birth is a serious, common and costly problem. It can happen to any pregnant woman, and no one really knows why. 1 in 8 babies are born too soon. 1 in 8! Many do not survive. We were one of the lucky ones. I will never forget where my girls started, how hard they have fought or how very far they have come. In an instant, things could have turned out so differently. I have been blessed.

Lindsey - 4 days old Sydney - A month old

I love you, sister! Let me lay one on you!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Housewarming Party and 40th Birthday...

Last Saturday was our housewarming party. We had a really good turnout; about 36 guests throughout the night and maybe 12 kids or so; friends, relatives, co-workers, and almost all of our new neighbors! We had planned to have the food and big part of the party in our garage (yes, I know it's November in Minnesota, LOL), and we still did, even though the temp was only 40 degrees. It figures that it was beautiful the weekend before and in the SEVENTIES three days before, but alas, we still had a great time.

I spent the week running errands; getting food, cleaning, hanging pictures, finding home decor items. Thanks so much to my mom, grandma, aunt and sister-in-law for helping with the food. Our menu consisted of Sloppy joes, Greek salad, chips, cheese & crackers, veggies & dip, and several desserts: Cream cheese bars, pumpkin bars, brownies, and chocolate cake. And of course, the beer, wine, and drinks were flowing!

DH got the garage ready that morning. We had carpet on the floor and he fired up the space heaters. It climbed from a cool 39 degrees to almost 60 F! I was amazed at how many people stayed out there in the evening. There was plenty of room inside and we had tables set up all over.

I was a poor photographer though, and got no pictures of everything set up; only a few pictures later in the evening. I didn't even get pictures of the signs that Brian had made at work saying:

Welcome to our Housewarming party which has absolutely nothing to do with Kim's 40th Birthday on Monday, November 13!

But, you get the drift! We received some wonderful housewarming gifts - plants, wine, etc., but the best part was sharing the evening with our friends. Honestly, I haven't had such a fun and relaxing time for a long, long while. It was nice to just sit, visit, kick back, eat, talk, drink, and know that I didn't have to drive anywhere!

The girls had such a good time playing with the kids and then between 7-8 p.m., my sister-in-law took the girls to her house, along with my niece & nephew, where they stayed overnight and my niece babysat.

Later in the evening, all the party moved inside, with some dice shaking going on downstairs and girl talk going on upstairs! The party broke up around 12:30 a.m. and one of my girlfriends stayed overnight, so of course, we were up a little bit later chit-chatting.

As for my 40th Birthday on Monday, it was pretty uneventful. I received a bunch of very beautiful cards and gifts. I spent the days with my girls and they loved singing to me. We went out for a family dinner at the Country Kitchen. Did you know that you get a free dinner and ice cream sundae on the actual date of your birthday? Brian got off pretty easy with my dinner free and the girls split a kid's meal.

Oh, I did get a nice compliment the other day, when I told someone I had just turned 40. They said, "No WAY! I thought you were about 32!" Hey THANKS!

I'll be a hunting widow this weekend. Brian is leaving on Friday and will be back on Sunday. It's going to be a fun girls weekend, hanging out with Lindsey & Sydney and my girlfriends. Hmmmm....what kind of fun food can we whip up while we're sitting in our jammies watching movies?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Adventures in painting...or trying to paint.

I referenced a story below regarding painting. Or trying to paint. The thing is I ordered this bedding several weeks ago and it shipped quite quickly. I was waiting to get the bedding before I picked out some paint colors. I had really wanted to get this done before our Housewarming Party this weekend. Well, I waited and waited and waited. The darn bedding did not arrive. I was getting nervous, because while I did like the bedding in the picture, I didn't "love" it, and wasn't sure that I'd even like it when it got here.

So, on Tuesday, I decided, to heck with it, I'm not waiting any longer. So, the girls and I jumped in the van and headed to the Cities. I'm still shopping for home decor stuff anyway. We made a stop at Bed, Bath & Beyond and Kohl's. I found a quilt that I just love. And they had TWO! I bought them and headed directly to the paint store where I looked at this and that and that and this, and I made a decision on the paint. I was trying to find a chip sample here to show you, but can't. Yellow and Green. Jonquil and Great Green, to be exact.

Here is the bedding the girls and I chose: Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The colors are really beautiful. I love that there isn't really a theme to it so that I can switch things around if I want to. Lots of colors to choose from too. I think I may do some sort of window treatment with pink in it. Not sure though, and I definitely won't have that done by tomorrow.

Anyway, back to the painting. I had already taped off the bedroom to prime. It was a very vibrant blue before. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
I had 3-4 hours on Wednesday morning and figured that I could knock it out. NOT! I'm and expert roller, but boy, that edging takes me forever! It was my first time using a brush (which went really well, BTW), but I'm very slow. This is when I called my grandma, who came out and edged everything for me while I took the girls to the dentist. When I came home, after stops at Sam's Club and Linens N Things, she had everything edged and she is GOOD! I called her to thank her for doing it and tell her how fast she was, since I was there when she started. She just said that she has LOTS of experience.

I finished up almost all of the painting on Wednesday night and yesterday, I did the last of it: the top of the ledge and one corner that I had to edge. I also touched up in some of the corners.

So, today, I will put all the electrical covers back on, get the bedding washed and put on and maybe the girls can sleep in there tonight! Some after pics will be coming shortly.

Oh, and if anyone has some ideas on decorating or window treatments, I would gladly accept them! I need all the help that I can get. I'm thinking of painting some wooden letters that spell out their name for over their bed. I also want to pull up the carpet that's on the floor. It's just tacked down as there is wood laminate underneath. Then I need to find a big rug to put between the two beds. What do you think? Any other ideas?

Always a work-in-progress!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Party, Painting, Appointments...

I swear...since we've moved, I've just been running around here like a chicken with its head cut off. I guess it's maybe because now the girls are in preschool and I'm taking them there and picking them up three days a week, whereas, we used to just stay home. But you would think with that extra time by myself, I wouldn't feel like I'm just not getting things done.

Last night I got home after a long day. The girls went to preschool, then I came home and began painting their room (that's a whole other story!). I thought I could knock it out that morning as I'd already painted part of it and it was all taped off, etc. I started edging and 1) I haven't done it that much and 2) I'm not that good at it. But I figured that the only way to get better was to go for it. I used a brush this time and while I really did good, it was so slow. So, I called my grandma and she came over to edge, while I went to pick the girls up at school and then take them to the dentist!

After the dentist (another story!), we went to Sam's Club to pick up some stuff for our Housewarming Party this weekend. You NEVER get out of there quickly. After that, we ran to Linens 'N Things to get a few things for the house. I'm still trying to decorate and get window treatments, etc. It won't all be done for the party, but it's supposed to be a continuous work in progress, right?

When we came out of LNT it was DARK! Drove home, where I started to make the girls grilled cheese sandwiches. I was thinking of too many things, because I wanted to get downstairs and finishing painting, I burnt two sandwiches on the stove because I forgot I was making them!! Thankfully, Brian took over the cooking part and headed downstairs. I finished up the painting in about an hour or so. I have one little bit left to do that I couldn't do last night as I had to tape off an area, but it was still wet. I'm hoping to do that this afternoon.

Today, L & S will go to preschool again and then I'm heading out to the office where I need to install some computer software for my mom & brother. Then it's back home to do a few things and back to school where I volunteer with serving hot lunches. I think after that, I will be able to do the painting. I NEED to get this stuff done before Saturday, as well as, clean, cook, do laundry...all that "fun" stuff!

Oh, and tomorrow is Sydney's one year follow-up appointment with the cardiologist. We need to pick up Brian at 11 and head into Minneapolis for the appointment. S is getting a echocardiogram, chest x-ray and EKG tomorrow. Then we'll meet with Dr. Bass. Hopefully all will be good with her Amplatzer.

Thankfully, we don't have dance tonight (ANOTHER story!). That would just be one too many things this week!

Maybe after the New Year, things will settle down.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween 2006

BRRRR! It was a cold one! Too bad the weather was off by a day! On Monday it was almost 70 degrees. the time the evening came around, it was only 20's and windy! But we still had the most beautiful princesses around!

Lindsey was an adorable Sleeping Beauty! Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Sydney was a precious Cinderella! Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I thought this year we might be able to hit a few more homes than just family, so we headed to some of our neighbors. Honestly, sometimes I wonder if they're my children. They were so shy, hiding behind my legs, even at their friend Lily's house (and she opened the door!). I asked my mom if I was like that and she said, NO! Quite opposite, I guess. They must get this from Brian.

Anyway, after hitting four homes in the neighborhood, we made the rounds to great-grandma's, aunts & uncles & cousins, grandparents, etc. Even though we all live in the same town, it was still a lot of running around and we didn't get home until late, but L & S really DID have fun! Hmmmm...maybe they're not all that interested because they're really not that interested in candy. M&M's are about it around here. Oh and the Tootsie Roll! LOL!

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Oh, and I just have to share a picture of their Halloween outfits that they wore to school! They were so excited for school that day!

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All in all, it was all good.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Zoo Day!

Man! Was it a gorgeous day yesterday! The girls and I decided to make a spur of the moment trip to the Minnesota Zoo. It was a quick decision too. When I woke up in the morning, it was still dark, and I was just so HAPPY that I didn't have anywhere to go that day. I was thinking to myself that it would probably be a good day to just stay home (maybe even stay in my jammies!). It had just been run, run, run all week. I'm kind of a homebody and I get crazy when I don't get my home time.

But anyway, later after the girls got up the sun started coming out and we had breakfast, I thought, Hmmmm...maybe it's going to be a nice day. I had thought it was going to be gloomy and cold. Guess I should check the weather report more often. I did check it then and it was going to be in the 60's! Well, sheesh, you know there aren't going to be many days like that this fall, so I just blurted out to girls, "You guys wanna go to the zoo today?" Well, imagine my surprise (NOT!) when they both yelled a chorused, "YES!"

So, I quickly made a couple PB sandwiches, threw them in my purse, along with a couple small bags of M&M's, grabbed my camera and off we went. It takes me about 30 minutes or so to get there, and when we arrived I was ecstatic to see an almost empty parking lot! The girls were getting so excited! The last time we had come to the zoo, I don't know WHAT I was thinking. It was on a Friday in the spring, so I was thinking that most kids would be in school. Alas, it totally did not dawn on me that it was right before Easter and all the school kids were on break! It was a FUNNY FARM; wall to wall kids, strollers on the paths, on the playgrounds, everywhere. So, you can see why I was doing backflips when I saw that empty parking lot.

We have a zoo membership this year and it's really a good deal. You only have to go twice for it to pay for itself and you get free parking too. That, and there is such a great reciprocity program for other zoos. Being that we are a traveling family, this can come in handy. We were able to utilize our membership at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City this past summer and get in free!

Back to the day... we headed right out onto the paths to make a loop on the Northern Trail. OH, and the other big news was that I didn't even bring the stroller in the car with me. This is the first time. They really did great; no whining about walking at all! It was just so beautiful out. We only had sweatshirts as coats and it actually got a little warm. It was so sunny! Just beautiful. Too bad we missed the peak leaf season.

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We saw the tigers first and then went on to lots of other animals. About halfway around the loop, by the Family Farm, there is a big playground. We stopped to play there and it was a far cry from the last time. There were so many kids on it before that L & S could barely walk around without getting run over. This time it was them and maybe a couple other kids. Then it was off again until we got back to the beginning. We ate our sandwiches at a picnic table and then headed inside to check out Discovery Bay and the Tropics Trail. The Tropics Trail was a hit because we saw Zaboomafoo!

I'm at a loss for words to tell you what a fun day this was. It was even more fun due to the spontaneity, I think. That, and it was gorgeous, and I had my two beautiful, fun-loving daughters with me. How could it get any better?

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I guess it did get better, because on the way home, Sydney said to me, "Momma, we had so much fun at the zoo today!" Music to a mother's ears!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Tackling Twins Trip 2006

I just returned from a long weekend trip to Phoenix, AZ. This is the fourth year that my online twin mom board has gathered for a "reunion" of sorts. It has certainly evolved from the first year that 18 of us descended upon Las Vegas. That was a fabulous trip, busy, hectic, hard to talk, but still a great experience for me, considering that I had joined the board at the beginning of the trip plans and really didn't "know" anyone. But, I'm an adventurer, so I figured, what the heck! It'll be a great way to "get to know" people!

Since then, we have met in Myrtle Beach, SC, Galveston, TX, and now this year in Phoenix, AZ. I've thoroughly enjoyed every moment of planning this trip each year. I really have fun with it, and no, it doesn't seem like work to me. I have fun imagining how this trip is going to evolve even more as we age, as our kid's get older, into school, and even out of school!

This year, unfortunately, I started coming down with a cold two days before the trip. I was so bummed and I really tried to head it off at the pass, but no luck and I was terribly sick the entire weekend. I seriously even thought about going home on Friday. I know I had a fever that morning. I was in a room with eight others and would find myself coughing as soon as I'd lay down, so I'd head downstairs each night to sleep on the couch. Not a lot of sleep going on! But I stuck it out, stayed up late (no drinks on my part though) and enjoyed myself, even though I was even quieter than normal. LOL!

We had 11 out of 22 newbies this year! I hope that the trip was all that they expected it to be. Of the 22, there were six (including myself) that have made all four trips. We rented a house the past two years and it's worked out better than I hoped it would. I can't wait for next year!

I love these women; those who have come on the trip and those who haven't; those who are a big part of the board and those who aren't around as much, if at all anymore. I love sharing about my girls with them and I love being part of their lives, their families. If they aren't around, I miss them. I wonder how they are doing, how big their kids are; will they ever come back?

With that, here's a tribute to our previous trips...

Phoenix 2006
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Galveston 2005
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Myrtle Beach 2004
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Las Vegas 2003
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Monday, October 23, 2006

Birthday pics!

I know this is late, but I wanted to share a few pictures from the girl's birthday party. It was a great day with family. We all had fun! We ate good too. Brian did a nice job grilling up the burgers and brats. We sort of did a Tinkerbell theme with balloons and decorations. The girls got lots of nice gifts, but are really enjoying their Leapsters and FP dollhouse!

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Thank you everyone!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Passport to the World...

What a fun night! I went to an event last night with my mom, my grandma and my sister-in-law at the Cannon River Winery called "Passport to the World". It was an event to raise funds for 10 children's charities sponsored by the Children's Culture Connection. We received a "passport" Passport when we arrived and we had it stamped at each country. Each country (charity) represented had a table full of items to bid on, plus information about that charity. You can read about the charities here.

We drank wine and wandered around looking at the all the items. They also had food represented from each country. It was very good and fun to try different things. We had a great time deciding what items to bid on and then checking our bids throughout the night.

After awhile, they had a fashion show with 10 models representing each country with designs by Dina Fesler. What unique clothing! Great music! The models were beautiful!

The silent auction closed at 8 p.m. and I won a few things. First, a Belly Dancing lesson and I get to bring three of my friends!
Belly Dancing lesson About Belly Dancing
I'm really excited. My sister-in-law and I are each going to bring someone. Anyone want to join us?

I also won a Dina Fesler original handbag. It's beautiful!
Dina Fesler bag

I also got this beach bag with a mat and flip flops. This bag is stunning! It was also designed and made by Dina Fesler. Dina Fesler beach bag

THEN...after the bidding was all done, we wandered back to the 4th Street Marketplace (a cute store that just opened by Connie Bickman, a local photographer and world traveller). We had dessert, coffee and tea to end the night.

It was such an enjoyable evening. I can't even began to tell you how much I enjoyed myself. The best part was sharing it with my family, who are also my friends!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

BRRRRRR! It has turned COLD!

Well, at least for a day or two. Yesterday we even had snow flurries! Yikes! On October 11? So when the girls and I saw this...

October 11, 2006

we decided to do this!

Next we put in the eggs... Then we add the chocolate chips...

Lindsey and Sydney were having a good time helping me.

Sydney & Lindsey

We had a family birthday party last Sunday and had a great time. The girls got so many nice gifts. They love their Leapsters and their new doll house w/twins! Here are all the pics from their birthday. Birthday Pics

I've been busy working on decorating my kitchen/dining room. I ordered some Roman shades for my dining room and kitchen window and tab-top panels for our patio door (or a doorwall, as those in Detroit would call it!). My mom and I also hit a flea market last weekend and I picked up several things that I now have displayed on top of my cabinets. I can't wait until I have it all done so I can post pics! I'm also ordering the new flooring and countertops tomorrow, and it sounds like it will be installed the week of October 30th! YAY! I'm VERY excited!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Happy 4th Birthday baby girls!

Here I am…reflecting on another year gone by. I can’t believe that my precious miracles are four years old today. FOUR! How does the time pass so quickly?

Seems like just a few months ago that I was sitting in the hospital waiting to have a C-section, scared beyond belief, but yet calm, feeling confident that everything was going to work out exactly how it was supposed to. Where does that confident feeling come from? Well, for me, I know it comes from my faith. I’ve been through many trials over the years…divorce, infertility, miscarriage, and losing a baby. Through it all, I’ve learned many things about myself, my strength and about the support of my friends and family. I think that each heartache, in a way, prepared me for the next, almost like another coat of armor, so to speak. Not that that armor protects you from future events, but each situation, each tribulation, has shaped me into the person that I am today.

Four years ago, I remember thinking why? Why couldn’t I get pregnant on my own? Why did I have a miscarriage? Why did I lose our son, Seth? Why couldn’t I just have a normal pregnancy, not one with all the shots, the blood draws, the monitoring, the cerclage, the bedrest, the pre-eclampsia? I thought for sure that after 15 years of dealing with infertility, I'd be able to have a baby. And now THIS? Now I have to go through possibly losing two more babies, two precious girls who barely weigh a pound? But yet, I still felt certain that everything would be okay, even at my lowest moments, when Lindsey was fighting for her life on the oscillator or seeing one of my babies being bagged time and time again. It was a quiet assuredness that I felt, but really can’t explain. I knew that nothing was in my control or even the doctor’s control. We would all do the best we could with what we had, but in the end, how they fared wasn’t up to us.

I thank God every day for having this time with my daughters. I look at them even now, and say to myself…I can’t believe there are TWO! I can’t believe they are mine! I can’t believe these girls weighed only a pound. A pound! They bring me such joy and happiness (frustration too, but I’ll take that). I am so proud, so honored and so grateful to be their mother.

They are so alike, and yet so different. Lindsey, I've always called my girls of extremes. She is either one way or another, really sweet and loving or the opposite! LOL! Sydney is more even keeled, straight and steady. It's funny how this is exactly how they were pegged in the hospital too, and it's carried forward.

So, I leave you with a few pictures…documenting the past four years. Thank you all for sharing these years with me. I truly believe that we meet each other for a reason. We learn so much from each other. We take and we give. If you are interested in reading about Lindsey & Sydney's first days and months, it's all documented at their Caring Bridge page. Click on previous journals.

21 weeks - the only pregnancy picture I have
I delivered three short weeks later
21 Weeks

Lindsey Faith - about 10 days old
Lindsey Faith

Sydney Paige - about 10 days old
Sydney Paige

Kangaroo Care
Daddy and Lindsey Mommy and her girl

Six months old
Six months old.

One Year Old
Now we're ONE!

Sydney - Two Years old

Lindsey - Two Years old

Lindsey & Sydney - We're THREE now!
We're THREE now!

Stay tuned for our birthday pics! We're having a family party today and it's going to be a great day! I love you baby girls!
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