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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