Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Afton the Performer

I love my little girl Afton. She is seriously such a little joy to me. It's so fun to watch her go through each stage, and she is growing up so fast! I guess that is what the oldest child gets--they are the first to do everything.

Afton has no fear. She loves talking to complete strangers. I love how she is young enough to not be afraid of anything. She doesn't care if the stranger she talks to is in a wheelchair or handicapped, if they are old or another race. She loves everyone. Though sometimes it scares me that she isn't afraid of strangers. How to teach her to be careful, but not lose that love she has for everyone?

She's just such an outgoing little thing. She loves music. Even in the womb, she would move a lot when music--particularly classical--was being played. This was not a phenomenon I experienced with the twins, though Ripley does seem to calm down quicker when you sing to her. When Afton hears music, she just has to dance! And she likes to sing along, even if she doesn't know the words. She sort of sings the last sound of each word as if she knows it. So cute.

So here's my new Afton story. On Saturday morning our ward had our ward Christmas breakfast. I almost didn't go because we were so tired and had three parties that day. But I love breakfast and I knew Afton would love. I couldn't guilt Trevor into it, however, so he stayed in bed while I packed up all three kids and went to the stake center.

At the breakfast, we sat at the end of one of the tables so I could get out easily and manage the twins. They had scheduled the West Jordan Madrigals to be there to perform, and they performed on the back half of the cultural hall, so we had front row seats. Afton was glued. She absolutely loved it. She somehow knew not to get out of her seat or go run around--she watched avidly, clapping heartily after each number, and sometimes, grasping the back of her chair while she shook her little booty. She just loved it!

The performance was excellent. When it finished, they left, and I resumed a conversation with the person next to me as I bounced both babies on my knees. Then someone said something--I looked up, and there was Afton. She was standing in the middle of the stage where the performers had just been, grinning ear to ear. And then--then she started to dance. She was totally into it. And because only seconds had passed since the performance ended, everyone was watching her and clapping. She loved it. There was my kid, performing in front of some 100 people, not remotely nervous!

By total chance, I had our flip camera in the pocket of my coat, from the night before when we went to the Festival of the Trees.(Where, by the way, she was WAY more interested in watching the performing group than looking at the trees!) So I managed to get a little of her performance on tape. But it totally does not capture fully how freaking funny it was. I love how she just grins when she's the center of attention. Remember her 2nd birthday when we started to sing and she started to grin ear to ear when she realized it was all for her? Yup. That's my girl. I wonder where she gets it?




 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Excuse the Mess, We're Making Memories

I saw this sign on Pinterest:


I've thought about it a lot. It's an idea that's been in my head for some time now--the idea that while I'm just keeping my head above water and trying to get through each day, paying bills, making dinner, making sure the house isn't a total wreck--in the meantime, my children are making memories. A normal day for me can be a turning point or an oft-repeated story for them when they get older.

Example:

ME: I'm in the playhouse one afternoon, sitting at the top of the slide, preparing to go down. Then, I notice at the bottom of the slide, SOMETHING is there. It looks like a snake. What if it's a snake??? Yes, it does look remarkably like a piece of jump rope or something...but WHAT IF IT'S A SNAKE??? What if I slide down and it gets me? This is not a chance I can take. The results would be too horrible. I need to be SURE it's not a snake. I sit there. I think. And then, I remember that there is one person whose always on my side and will make sure I'm ok and that the snake doesn't get me. "MOM!!!" I scream. No answer. Mom is inside and probably can't hear me. "MOM!!!!" I yell again. And again. For quite some time. Suddenly Mom is there. I tearfully and disjointedly explain that there's a snake at the bottom of the slide. Mom reaches up and picks me up from the slide and carries me, crying, into the house. As I pass the slide I get a better look at the snake. It is only a piece of jumprope. I'm sure glad Mommy rescued me anyway.

This is how I remember it. I'm sure my mother, on the other hand, has totally forgotten this incidence. Now that I'm a mom, I think I can imagine how her side of the story went.

MOM: Crap. I've got to get these dishes washed before the kids come home from school. Oh, and I've got to switch the laundry over. Where did I put that other glove I found? Was that Megan crying? Huh. Oh, there it is. I'll put it up here in the closet. Now for that laundry. Wait--was that Megan crying? I guess I'd better go look. She's in the backyard by herself. Man, I've only got five minutes and they'll all be home and wanting a snack. Oh yes, there she is. What in the world is she crying about? "Are you ok honey? A snake? That's not a snake. Come inside." Now what can I make them for lunch?

To my mother, this was just a normal incidence on a normal day. To me, it became a memory I still carry with me thirty years later. Why do I remember it? Why is this particular memory still there? Is it because I learned that Mommy will always save me? That I shouldn't be afraid? That some things appear worse than they really are? I don't know. But that day, Mom was doing the dishes, and I was making a memory.

And now I am the mom, and I wonder what is happening each day that, for me, will be insignificant and forgotten, and for them will be something they remember forever?

 I remember going up to Oregon to visit family as a child--it was a magical place. We'd spend hours chasing barn cats, wandering the farm, playing in the irrigation ditch. Now, I go up as the adult. And I just sit and visit with everyone and thoroughly enjoy myself, not really paying attention to what all the noisy kids are up to--as long as they aren't crying or bleeding, I'm good. I don't really realize that they are off--having adventures, creating memories they will always cherish, while my conversations with relatives, while enjoyable, will likely be forgotten forever.

Some people spend their entire lives trying to "get over" their childhood. But I was one of the lucky ones that had a wonderful childhood. I grew up in a loving home and was taken care of and loved. I remember my childhood as magical. Can I really make my children's childhood as magical as mine? Can I make my home the comfortable, loving, friendly place that my own home was, growing up? Or is this a magic I even create? Don't children create the magic themselves?

We were watching slides at my parent's house the other day. One of my sisters noted the clock that was in the background of one of the slides--it was the clock that hung in our kitchen for most of my childhood. And we were all like, "Oh! Remember that clock! Wow! Look at that clock!" And mom is probably like "it's just a clock I got for my wedding. Big deal." Was the clock magical? No--it was just our memories that made it that way. It was just a symbol that reminded us of a simpler time when we were comfortable, happy, and loved.

I feel this pressure to give my little girls what was given to me--a backyard that has good grass and a big playhouse and an interesting layout where they can dream and imagine and play with their friends. Right now my grass is so course and gross that you can't walk on it with bare feet, and we can hardly afford to fix it right now. I feel so bad that I'm not giving them what was given me. I'm so worried that they won't have the magical memories that I had.

But then I have an evening where we're all playing together--I'm stealing Afton's nose and she's running to Daddy, and he picks her up and "hides" her from me while I try to get at her, all the time she's letting out peals of laughter. Trevor and I hold the babies facing each other, and they giggle as we fly them around the room in our arms, Afton in the background trying to fly too. Afton goes to Grandma's house and plays in Grandpa's shop--which she talks about non-stop on the way home. Or she goes to her other Grandma's and reads an Elmo book, crying and crying when I come to take her home. These are different memories than the ones I had. And I don't know which ones she'll take with her into her adulthood. I guess all I can do is make sure that most of them are as happy and comfortable and loving as I can. All I can do is make absolutely sure that she and her sisters know they are loved, that we will do anything to make sure they are taken care of and happy, and that, when the sad times come or when they are scared, we still have each other. I think that has it's own kind of magic--the kind of magic that settles over an ordinary day and makes it into a learning opportunity and a memory that lasts a lifetime.

So even when life is a little bit messy--and my house isn't so clean--it's ok, isn't it? We're all just making memories!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Halloween

MY.LIFE.IS.CRAZY!!!!

Here's a picture of my girls, Little Bo Peep and her sheep for Halloween. Its the best I can do right now!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Big Picture...and other random stuff...

Yeah, I know. It's about time I updated this blog. I HAVE been updating my Realscrappy blog, and some of those posts were really involved and took a lot of work. But man, free time is so difficult that I'm afraid this blog has gone on the back burner. Whenever I get a free minute, I have the hardest time choosing what to do. Surf Facebook and Pinterest? Do I work on my scrapbooks? Read my book? Work on the paper dolls I'm making for my neices birthday party? (They are going to be SOOO cute!) The other night I chose Lord of the Rings. Trevor and I watched about 45 minutes of the first one. We'll just work our way through them all. It will probably take two years. In fact, I think Afton will be potty-trained by the time we finish all three of them. (Which is going to be a LONG time from now)
 So I'm far too disorganized in mind to make an organized post. So I'm just going to take a page out of my friend Heather's book and just be random. Sometimes, those random posts are the most entertaining to read.

Pinterest - Ok, shameless plug. I am SO getting into this. If you aren't on Pinterest yet, consider it. Here's why:
1. It's a place to put all those little ideas and thoughts that come to you while surfing the net. Instead of bookmarking that tutorial or saving that picture you like, just pin it. You can come back to it later when you are ready. Where is that tutorial I was looking at for how to _____________? That's right I pinned it. I love that.
2. If you are like me and don't like surfing the net for random tutorials and ideas, you can just see what other people pinned and borrow their ideas. I am so overwhelmed with ideas and inspiration when I'm on that site!
3. I have made two recipes now that I pinned, and I loved both of them!
4. It has hilarious pins like this one. This one had me laughing out loud at 3:00 a.m. while I was pumping last night!
Ok. No more plugging. Just go check it out.

Movies - Despite my lack of time, I do manage to watch some TV. It's something I can do while feeding a baby. Or sometimes it's the only activity Trevor and I have the energy to do after the kids are finally asleep. Other than Lord of the Rings the other night, we also watch Chuck a lot, which is our new favorite show. We are working through season 3 and we love it! We watched Thor the other night. Eh. The best thing, of course, was Thor's chest, which got way too little screen time. I'd have liked more of the chest and less of--well, everything else. It wasn't that great of a movie. The love story was SO unbelievable. I felt like I was watching a video game. I swear, the world he was from is just like one of the boards on Mario Cart. (and if you've seen the movie, you know that "Rainbow Road" looks JUST LIKE the Bifrost!)

Sleep...or the lack thereof....I'm actually writing this the next morning from when I started it. Mondays and Tuesdays are crazy as I help Trevor out the door with the three kids. And then--a half hour of peaceful bliss. It's pretty much the ONLY TIME I'm EVER in the house by myself since I had the twins. I relish it. And it's so short. This morning I planned to spend my half hour going back to bed, but the temptation to do other things won over. We don't sleep much these days. The babies are no where near a sleep schedule. They do great from 7:00 to about midnight, but after that it's anyone's guess. Last night they were up every hour and a half. We are both irritable and ornery with lack of sleep--especially Trevor, who has a much harder time going without. I just don't know what to do about it.

Paperdoll Project - So my sister-in-law asked me to make some paperdolls for her daughter's birthday party in December. Wisely she asked me early, because they take a lot of time to make. But I am LOVING it. It's been so long since I was able to really draw anything, and so I've fully enjoyed it. Right now I'm working on making the dolls. I draw them, scan them in, then use Photoshop to perfect them. Then I reprint them and back them with several layers of sturdy paper. That's where I'm at now--the part I hate. Backing them is NOT fun. But here is a picture of a few of the dolls! I'm making ten of them. It's going to take forever. But then I get to design the clothes and that's my favorite part!

My Little Girls - I love my babies. All three of them. Even on days like today. It's now the evening, and I'm exhausted. The only reason I even have a minute right now is because I'm pumping. (that's right, I can type AND pump. I'm that awesome.) Its almost 8:00 and I haven't eaten anything in hours because I haven't had time. This is the first time I've sat down since getting home. Its just constant. BUT--really, isn't this worth it?

 Right now Afton is downstairs watching An American Tail which was one of my favorites as a child. It's so cute listening to her trying to sing along. She loves to learn the words to songs and sing them. Today in car she was doing quite well while watching Beauty and the Beast. We just put her in a "big bed" and she is so excited about it. It's actually the daybed I got for Christmas in 1988 and used until I married Trevor!

The twins are starting to laugh and smile, now. And that makes them SO much more fun. They are starting to interact. My predictions, based on what observations I have made so far:

1. Scarlett will roll over first. She will also discover her hands first
2. Ripley will talk first and probably walk first, too.

The Big Picture- My life is hard right now. No question. I am so crazy busy. I am a very efficient person that can get an astounding amount done in a very small amount of time, due to my complete ability to ignore small details and rush through it. I am a "big picture" person, and I can look at something and do things in order of priority to get it done. But now--now I have way more stuff to fit in than even I can handle. And that means that sometimes the laundry sits clean in its basket for several days. The mail doesn't get picked up and Netflix sits for a ridiculously long time before I remember to put it in the box. Making dinner is rare, and when I DO make it, its leads to a much more stressful night. Its taken me four days to start and finish this post. My kitchen is cluttered, my front room is littered with diaper bags and baby blankets. But I am trying to remember the big picture--those are little details now that have to be low on the priority list behind playing with Afton, taking care of the babies, and being with my husband for the few precious hours we are all home--before we all have to go back to work and daycare again.

But I am a happy woman. I have a loving husband, beuatiful children, a roof over our heads and an AWESOME new van. What else is there? And sometimes, I even find the time to be silly.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Free Time

So...I haven't updated forever. I've been even worse on my RealScrappy blog. Every time I feel guilty about it, I remind myself that I just had twins. Surely people will forgive me for taking a little hiatus, especially on my other blog. I just don't have it in me to update that one, though I have been scrapbooking here and there--I have to. I have SO MUCH to do! I'm working on three books right now! In fact, I am already feeling guilty that I'm doing this instead of that right now. Which brings me to the topic of today's post:

FREE TIME.

Remember that stuff? I used to have a lot of it. I had so much of it, I didn't know what to do with it. We're talking single girl free time. Man, I miss that. But not so much that I'd trade my lack of it as a wife and mother to go back. Still, I do miss free time. I find that when I get it, things like cleaning and laundry and showering are starting to crowd in, and I hate that. Free time is supposed to be ME time! But it seems like when I get a little bit of it, I suddenly find myself unable to decide what to do with it. And feeling guilty, no matter what I choose, for not choosing the other thing.

Take today for instance. I had a magical 90 minutes where all three of my children were fast asleep. (Three children! Hear that? I have three children. I still can't believe it, it happened so fast.) What did I do with my free time? I WATCHED ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT. How lame can you get? I was so mad at myself! My computer was off-limits since I was, at the moment, burning a DVD of when the babies were born. But I could have read my book. (I'm currently reading Inkheart, and after 150 pages it finally got really good.) I could have sewn something, or made some hairbows. Or cleaned. Or finished unpacking from our trip to Loa. Or done something that, when finished, I would have something to show for it. Instead I watched the same 30 seconds of footage of Kim Kardashian's wedding while these obnoxious wannabe reporters talked about how gorgeous her dress was and how much money she made off her wedding. What a complete waste of time!

When it's not free time, its mom time. And don't get me wrong--I love it. My babies are growing so big every day, I can hardly believe how much they've changed. Especially since they started out three oz. different in size, and now they are FOUR POUNDS different. Scarlett is 9 lbs and Ripley is a whopping 13! When you lay them side by side, they don't even look like sisters, let alone twins.
Anyway, here I am again with a bit of freetime. The children are, miraculously, asleep again. Trevor is picking up my sister and her family at the airport. And so I am going to update my blog with recent pictures of my babies, and also a video--so that when I go to work next week and people ask, I can say, "Here's a video of how cute my girls are!" And that, to me, is definately worth my time!

Well, I know I won't really have free time again for a long time. That's the price I am paying--the price every mother pays--to raise her children. But it's ok. My babies are so precious, and even though this time in my life is extremely stressful and a huge adjustment, it's also an enormous blessing. I love my little family. And my love for my husband has grown so much since I gave birth to these three little girls. I am truly blessed--even without freetime.

 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Time for Another List

So I've got a lot on my mind today--well nothing pressing, but lots of random thoughts floating around. Most of them have to do with twins, for some reason ;) I feel kinda bad that I'm one of THOSE PEOPLE right now--the ones whose every single post on Facebook is about the same thing. I hate those people. I've hidden those people before--you know, the girl that posts every single detail of her wedding plans each day. Or the girl that whines about the same subject every day. And now I'm that girl. I'm sure I've been  hidden by people. I understand if they hide me. I find MYSELF annoying. But--it's just such a huge thing for me right now, and literally is pretty much the ONLY thing I think about. Taking care of newborn twins can be a lot of work and you have to stay focused. I can't imagine how I'll manage when Trevor is back to work. There's only like a two week time period between when he goes back and when I go back--maybe I'll be glad to go back to work in the Fall?

Anyway, this post is going to be a list of random stuff. I cannot promise that none of them will be about the twins, but I CAN promise that some of them WON'T be. But, most of them will be about our lives right now and the recovery I'm going through. Sorry. (Man, sorry about the all caps every where. That is so annoying. I'm just an annoying girl!)

1. Wait. Sorry. Scarlett's crying....#1 will have to wait...STINK that baby is cute! I just love that kid! She's got the prettiest little almond shaped eyes! (Ok, ok...this is NOT about the twins. This is NOT about the twins...be strong...)

2. For most women, pregnancy is a big obstacle in keeping your weight down. Apparently for me its a great opportunity to lose weight. I lost a lot after Afton, and then I gained it right back. So I'm hoping this time I can turn that opportunity into success. In one week I have dropped 32 lbs, the last ten was in the last two days. I now weigh six lbs less than when I got pregnant! In fact, I weigh less than I have in probably two years! My stomach is still nasty and a deflated balloon, but hey! I'll take it! I put on these pants on like Wednesday or so, and they barely fit around my waist--I had to do that maternity trick where you put an elastic around the button hole to give yourself another inch. Yesterday I put them on again, and they were totally falling off of me. WEIRD. Not sure HOW I will maintain this weight loss, though, since I can't exercise for six weeks (well, five now) and it's not like I'm in the habit or have a fridge full of healthy food. Most of what I eat right now is what the ward is bringing me. And once I CAN exersize (I can never spell that word) there will only be like one week left of the summer and then I'm back at work. And it's so hard to work out when I'm working. Especially when my number of children has tripled. Wow. #2 is long.

3. I went outside yesterday. OUTSIDE. It was so exciting. Mom came over and watched the kids while Trevor and I went out to eat at Iggy's (yeah, the maintaining weight loss thing is totally gonna happen) and then we went to Macey's and bought some essentials. It felt wonderful to be OUT. Except I forgot to take a pain pill before we left so I was hurting when we got home.

4. I breast-fed BOTH babies at the same time this morning for the first time. Without anyone helping me (i.e. handing me the babies and helping me get situated.) I was so proud of myself. Of course, I still had to feed them afterward because they either they won't stay on long enough or maybe I just run out of milk. I don't know. I never really breast-fed Afton much because she hated it. But these two, especially Scarlett, do great. I only do it like once a day though. I'm still kinda mystified by the breast-feeding thing. I mean, it takes twice as long and you still have to feed them afterward--kinda hard to live that way. But I am certainly not producing enough milk for two babies--barely enough for one, actually. So I am hoping that the actual breast-feeding will increase my milk supply. And though I am managing to feed (breast or bottle) two babies at once, I don't know what the trick is to burp two babies at once.


5. I just snapped this picture of Scarlett. Isn't she cute? Ripley is asleep so I just took one of my little Miss Scarlett. I love that kid. They are both just adorable! I call Ripley Miss Peacock because when she cries out she sounds just like a peacock. Trevor does a fabulous peacock impression, and we are at the zoo he'll do a call and the peacocks will answer. One time an albino peacock at the Tucson zoo flared his feathers and shook them like he was calling Trevor on. It was pretty cool. So, I guess that's where Ripley gets it.

6. Wow. It's like...12 hours later now. Life got pretty busy after I finished #5. And then we headed out to my Mom's house for the day. I just needed a day to relax and rest and recover. It was AWESOME. I love my parent's house. I love how inviting and comfortable it is. I'm just home there, in a way I can never be home anywhere else. We sat outside in the twilight, just talking and holding babies and enjoying the breeze. It was an a great day. I was in a lot of pain for part of it, so it was nice to be babied by my mommy.

7. We need a yard. How much work is it to just roto till the back yard, plant some seed, and just sort of start over? My little Afton needs to be able to play outside. I love my mom's yard. I love how interesting and comfortable it is. And it was like that when I was a kid--I don't want Afton to miss out on a backyard until she's 11. You know?

8. My ward is awesome. They are bringing us dinner every other day for two weeks. Isn't that great? I don't think a lot of wards do that. I am very blessed. But then, these two are the ONLY babies in our ward, apart from the little boy that is due in about three weeks. I imagine if you live in one of those wards out way west where there are like 15 primaries and 52 nurseries, you probably don't get many dinners...

9. Kylee is here. She's my niece. I have some pretty awesome neices and nephews. I've always really related with Kylee. She's 13. She's going to stay for two days and help me and Trevor out. She's a fabulous babysitter--she changes diapers without being asked. And today when we got home I started doing the dishes, and she offered to help me. Seriously, I love this girl. It's gonna be a fun couple of days having her here!

10. My sister Cindy taught me a really great twin trick. When you need them to be awake but they are kinda sleepy, put them next to each other and let them kick around and watch each other. Even at this young age it totally works--unless they are REALLY tired. They just stare at each other and then they cry. Well, Scarlett cries, and Ripley whines a little bit as if she's saying, "Wait...we're crying now? Are we supposed to be crying?" I put in my first post about the twins that Scarlett was the mellow one. Well, that's because that was the PLAN. We always thought whatever twin was Ripley would be the dominant one. But no. At least for the time being, it appears to be Scarlett. Ripley is way more mellow. Ok, they are 9 days old. So who knows.

11. My sister Nicki took some SWEET pictures of the twins and of Afton. I am not going to post them here--yet. I have made up a birth announcement and I'm waiting for the few hard copies (that are for relatives) to come, and then I'll post pictures here and the announcement on Facebook. SO cute. Nicki is such an amazing photographer, and I'm so grateful to her for doing this for me! So stay tuned for those pictures. But here's one of the ones of Afton. Isn't she just adorable?

Well. I guess I'm stopping at the rather weird number of 11 things. But oh well. Right now Trevor and Kylee are feeding my babies and the mom-guilt is stepping in. So I'd better go, you know, be a parent and stuff.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Introducing the Rees Twins!

I had twins YESTERDAY and I'm already updating my blog! How lame am I? But I keep getting so many questions on Facebook that I thought I'd rather write it all out here than as fragmented responses on Facebook.

First of all, the birth went great. Except the doctor forgot about it. It was kinda funny. They went to give me my block, and the anestheseologist was like, "Has anyone heard from the doctor? Maybe we should get hold of him first," and it took them a good 20 minutes to get him. He'd been at the hospital late the night before and was heading to Riverton Hospital--totally forgot he had a scheduled c-section Friday morning. I wasn't upset--poor guy. I don't know how these OB doctors have a chance to have a life at all. And its not like I was in labor or anything. Anyway, I wasn't remotely nervous or scared the whole time. It was so laid back and easy compared to Afton's birth. I was surprised how much I could feel during the c-section--it didn't hurt, just a lot of pressure, but I could definately feel it when they pulled the first baby out. When I heard her cry, I was crying too. And then how strange--we weren't done .They still had to get the OTHER baby! I saw them both breifly and heard them both crying--Baby B was TICKED OFF let me tell you! Then they whisked them away and I had to wait THREE HOURS before I got to see them! I was so drugged up though, that I really did need the time. My face was so itchy. I hate that effect from morphine!

So then they brought me the babies. And they were so beautiful! And it was also very clear they are NOT identical, so we feel no need to get a blood test. Choosing which baby was which was really cool--and we actually got it on video by accident. When they first brought the babies to me, I was holding them both, and Baby A started fussing and crying. I tried to calm her but she kept crying. Then I looked down at her and said, "Scarlett," in this soothing voice, and she immediately stopped crying. I looked at Trevor, stunned, and we knew then that Baby A was most definately Scarlett. Which was what we'd already been leaning toward anyway, actually.
Everyone keeps asking who they look like. Its really hard to tell. Especially when we know that Afton looked so much like Trevor when she was born, but then morphed into me as she got older! They don't look like Afton though. I like that all three of my girls totally have their OWN look. Ripley has chubbier cheeks than Scarlett, and clearly has a different, more ski-jump nose. Her hair is lighter and she has a little less of it. Neither of them has as much as Afton did. She's got this little scowly face that is so cute. She has ears flat against her head, unlike Afton's, who took after Trevor and they really stuck out! She's the better eater of the two as well.

Scarlett is darker--even her skin tone is darker. And her hair. She has a less pronounced nose. And the best part? DIMPLES!! No idea where she managed to get those--neither of us have dimples in our families. But you can see them clear as day in both cheeks. She always has this little pleasant half-smile on her face. She's the more mellow of the two, and she just doesn't eat as well for some reason. Her ears don't stick out either--only Afton inherited that lovely little trait from Trevor! She also has Trevor's hairline and a widow's peak.


I am recovering ridiculously well. I can't believe how much I can get around on only the day after. I feel great, actually. I can sit up on my own without trouble--it's hard to believe I even had abdominal surgery. Though--I'm sure if I stopped taking the drugs they give me, I'd be reminded soon enough! Dr. Barney told me that this is one of the smoothest twin pregnancies he's ever seen. How cool is that?

And what about Afton? It's hard to say. She was excited about the babies when she came yesterday with my parents. She pointed and said, "Babies!" And she really wanted to hold one. And then when she WAS holding one, she'd point at the other and say, "I want THAT one!" I think they are just toys to her. But she was also really clingy to Grandma and others, trying to get attention. I don't think we'll really know how she feels about it until we bring them home on HER turf.

Trevor has been FABULOUS. He was so helpful when Afton was born, but he's even better now. Being a CNA has given him a lot more training and confidence. And if he has to help me with something a little personal or undesirable, neither of us is uncomfortable. I mean--he's done much worse at work, and I'm his wife! He really has been great--doing almost all the feedings and the diapers too! I have only changed ONE diaper so far, and that was Scarlett's this morning!

So yes, this has been a fabulous experience so far. The babies are healthy, I feel great, and all is well! Though I did just find out that I'm really anemic--which explains why I've been particularly loopy this time. So I'm having a blood transfusion--should be starting it in a few minutes. But that doesn't prevent me from having visitors! We love visitors, so if you want to come see us in the hospital, you are welcome to. We will be here until Monday for sure.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Final Thoughts Before My World Changes

 I AM HAVING TWINS TOMORROW!!!!!

Here is my official final pregnancy shot. I am going in to have these babies in about 14 hours. We go in to the hospital at 4:30 a.m. and the C-section is scheduled for 6:30. I can hardly believe it. Everything has been leading up to this, and now it's finally here. And then--it will pass, and I will be on to a new phase that I haven't thought near enough about. I have focused so much on the pregnancy and getting them here safe and sound, that the actual task of taking care of two babies hasn't crossed my mind near often enough.

I had a babysitter lined up to take Afton today, but she kinda flaked on me. I'm glad. I have enjoyed my last day as a parent to one child. Afton and I have sung songs, rocked, watched a Barbie movie, and snuggled in my bed where she kept kissing me. Trevor managed to get off work early--bless that guy who was willing to cover the second half of his shift--and he's on his way home right now. We have so much to do. Get the car seats installed, make sure everything is packed, put up the pack and play. Get the beds made and just touch up the house so it looks great when we get back. I'm nesting still--I want the house to look just right before I can really feel ready to have these kids.

Yesterday my two friends, Heather Webb and Carson Barlow, came over and helped me clean--BLESS THEM. They did the things that I have a hard time doing like mopping the floor, scrubbing the tub, even detailing my car. I feel so much more ready since they were here to help me out. My sister-in-law delivered the little red and green bracelets she made for the twins. When we look at those little faces and decide which baby gets which name, we'll slip those little bracelets on their wrists to seal the deal. I have little caps for them to wear, lovingly made by my neighbor, friend, and daycare provider Brook, that they will wear home from the hospital. (the ones pictures below were actually made by my friend Heather) I finished little Scarlett's dress, as I did Ripley's a few weeks ago. Their bag is packed, Afton's bag is already at Mom's, and there's just a few more details to work out.

I keep trying to explain to Afton that her sisters are coming, but she doesn't quite get it. Though, yesterday I was changing her diaper and my neices Anna and Bethany were in the room. I said, "Bethany and Anna are sisters, Afton. You are going to have sisters too!" Then I turned to Bethany and said, "She doesn't get it, does she?" And then Afton said, "Sisters! Ripley and Scarlett!" It was so stinkin' cute. Maybe she does get it a little bit!

I don't think I really comprehend the change that is about to take place in my life. I don't think you really can. When I was pregnant with Afton I knew I would love her. I knew that I would feel a new kind of love I'd never felt before. I knew I would die for her. But it wasn't until I held her in my arms that I really understood that. And I love her so much more today then I did that day. I love her more and more all the time as she gets bigger and learns new things and says the cutest funniest things. I love everything in her that is like me, and everything in her that is like the man I love. How can I possibly love another child--two more children at once--the same way I love her? How can I possibly understand them and get to know them like I did with her, when I have two at once? But I know I will.

I make fun of Afton's stupid Barbie movies all the time, but there's a line from a song from "Barbie: Island Princess" that I keep thinking about.

If we make room for someone new
Doesn't mean that there's less for you
Only means that our circle has grown

Love knows, Love grows
Bigger than before
In your heart
There's always more


So I know that I will love these little girls as much as Afton. But I won't  understand that for a few more hours yet. I feel very blessed that I have been able to carry these babies two days past full-term--something most twin moms are not able to do. I am grateful that thus far they have been perfectly healthy. They estimated their weight yesterday as 7 lbs 10 oz for baby A and 7 lbs 12 oz for baby B. Very likely this is way off, but it still shows they are a good size and healthy and ready. They've been kicking me all day. I think they are just as ready to meet me and Trevor as we are to meet them!

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Sewing Projects--So Far

So I'm finally doing a post on all my sewing projects! Yay! Yes, I'm still addicted--the excitement of it has not yet faded. It's something I can do without a lot of walking around--and right now, walking around pretty much sucks.

I remember the first time I tried to sew something. I was a kid and wanted to make Barbie clothes. I found a needle and thread (my sister Nicki showed me how to thread it) and would basically wrap the material around the doll and sew it on every which way. At some point, my mom noticed that I was interested in sewing. So she took me aside and showed me a few things--how to do a hem, how to gather, basically, how to make a skirt. I still remember the little pink skirt we made together with the pink ruffle on the bottom.

After that I'd make other Barbie clothes, but of course they sucked. But then, making Barbie clothes, especially the top, isn't really easy. I was so excited in 7th grade when we took Home Ec, and I already knew how to do a few things on the sewing machine. I don't think I took a sewing class again until my Senior year, and then I remember making a dress and some rice frogs and stuff. After that, I only used the sewing machine to make rice frogs occasionally--I remember making one for my husband when we first met. And one time Trevor and I made a cloak for his Halloween costume. I also made the skirts for my ballroom team the first year I taught it--they were simple circle skirts and easy to make, but a pain to cut out. But someone else made the boys' shirts and the sashes.

Why I never persued sewing more, when clearly I was interested at such a young age, is beyond me. I remember telling people "I don't sew because it makes me swear." But I've now realized that, although it still might make me swear occasionally, it helps to use a good sewing machine. My mom's machine is 40 years old and totally thrashed.

So now, if you've been following my blog, you know that I got together with my sister Nicki in April and made the bedding for my twins. That just got me going. So we bought me a sewing machine for my birthday. We made the quilts for our twins, and I made a valance and a table cloth as well--you can see that on my earlier post. From there, I've done a few other projects as well--and that's what I want to share in this post!

The first project I tackled really highlights how very little I knew about sewing. I still have a ton to learn, but now I can look at the pattern of this little baby dress and understand that I was WAY over my head with this one. Still, I DID finish it. But whether little Ripley will ever wear it remains to be seen. It has SO many problems. I wanted to use the leftover material from their bedding, and I used most of it to make this dress. But I sure which I'd waited until I had a firmer grasp on what I was doing! I don't think I can get more of this material--I bought it online. Anyway, I am going to make a similar one for Scarlett using HER leftover material, and it will be interesting to see how much easier it is the second time around. But I just haven't done it yet.

My next project was quite a bit easier, and I should have started with it! I chose a pattern that didn't have sleeves or collar but was very simple. I liked the first one I made so much that I made a second one! Only--I forgot the lesson I learned to ALWAYS prewash the fabric, so the second one (black) shrunk a little and doesn't fit her as well. Afton wears these two outfits all the time! Once you get to her size, it's a lot harder to find stuff for her at Kid to Kid, and I HATE buying new stuff too much--so expensive! (not that making her these two outfits was ANY cheaper, but at least I got to pick the fabric!) Anyway, I'm glad I have a couple of summer outfits for her to wear!

Next, I made this little yellow dress, from the same pattern that I used above. It was quite a bit harder than the first two. I love that about sewing though--each pattern I do teaches me something new that I didn't know how to do. And reading and understanding a pattern is the HARDEST part! But I've also learned to utilize Youtube. If there's something I don't get--like this pattern called for bias tape and I wasn't sure what it was for--I just type it into youtube and watch a video of how to do it. Very helpful! Trevor picked the material for this. I was afraid it was too bright but now I just love it! She looks so cute running around in it, though I wish I'd used this cute sunflower ribbon I found instead of rick-rack. Rick-rack always looks so--70's. And homemade. I mean, have you EVER seen an outfit in a store that uses rick-rack?


Trevor and I collaborated once again and decided to make drapes for Afton's room, in an attempt to get her to sleep longer in the mornings, instead of getting up at 6:30. This, by the way, TOTALLY WORKED. She sleeps till 9:00  most of the time now! Anyway, I must say I'm not overly thrilled with how this one turned out. I mean, they are sturdy and well made, and we used blackout material on the back so it really does block the sun very well. But it's just WAY too much green. The material is leftover from the twins room, and there IS a green highlight in Afton's room, but it's just too much. But I don't really care. They work.

Next, I decided to sew some curtains for the french doors in my kitchen. These french doors lead out to the TUMOR. The Tumor is an "add-on" room that a previous owner built--and built very badly.  If you don't believe me, observe Exhibit A:
Anyway, we haven't removed it because we are afraid the state of the siding underneath is really bad, so we aren't going to attempt it until we are prepared to replace the siding. The door that leads to the tumor has these large glass windows, and since we store pretty much all our crap in the tumor, people can see this the minute they walk in the front door. For 2 1/2 years I've been wanting to buy or make some curtains for those doors, but never have. Now I found it ridiculously easy! We bought the material at Joanne's on sale for about $30, and then the rods at Wal-mart. I managed to finish them in only a few hours, and only needed Trevor's help to cut the material. (Crawling around on the floor is NOT my forte in my present overly-pregnant state.) And of course, he installed the rods.
I think they turned out quite nice, and the effect on the room is quite startling. It's amazing how different a room can feel with new curtains!

And now my latest project. This I finished today. I love this little dress! But unfortunately Afton can't wear it yet because it's way too big. She's in that weird size right now where some 2T's are too small, and some 3T's are too big. I made this as a 3T and it drowns her. So we'll have to wait to see it on her!

Ok, this was a WAY long post with WAY too much detail that you don't really care about. But oh well. I'm pregnant, ornery, and totally bored. So there.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

To the Fathers in My Life

I was listening to a radio station the other day that was talking about Father's Day and how it's not such a big deal as Mother's Day. People on average spend much less on Father's Day gifts than they do on Mother's Day. Among the many predictions from the commentators as to why this is, neither of them mentioned what I thought it might be. There are less dads. Many more children grow up without a father than they do a mother. Out of curiosity, I checked some statistics on fatherless children in America:
  • In a study of 146 adolescent friends of 26 adolescent suicide victims, teens living in single-parent families are not only more likely to commit suicide but also more likely to suffer from psychological disorders, when compared to teens living in intact families.
  • Teenagers living in single-parent households are more likely to abuse alcohol and at an earlier age compared to children reared in two-parent households
  • In a study of 700 adolescents, researchers found that "compared to families with two natural parents living in the home, adolescents from single-parent families have been found to engage in greater and earlier sexual activity.
  • Children with fathers at home tend to do better in school, are less prone to depression and are more successful in relationships. Children from one-parent families achieve less and get into trouble more than children from two parent families.
  • The economic consequences of a [father's] absence are often accompanied by psychological consequences, which include higher-than-average levels of youth suicide, low intellectual and education performance, and higher-than-average rates of mental illness, violence and drug use

    http://www.photius.com/feminocracy/facts_on_fatherless_kids.html
We truly live in a world where having an absent father or no father at all is becoming more and more common. I feel so grateful that this is not the case for me, or for my children. I know that sometimes this is unavoidable and not the fault of the women affected by it--I don't mean to point fingers at single mothers, because I totally respect what they are doing. And am mystified by how they manage at all. But I am just so grateful for the great men in my life.

My dad is awesome. Everyone loves him. When I was growing up, several of my friends who did not have fathers or did not have close relationships with their fathers tended to adopt my dad. Dad is the kind of man that everyone feels comfortable around. He may seem shy, but he's not really. He can talk to just about anybody. Everyone likes my dad. Even as a child, when reprimanded and crying in my room and feeling really sorry for myself, I would often say, "I hate everyone!" And then quickly amend this with, "Except Dad!" You just can't hate my dad. He's honest, hard-working, and loving. He is always ready to give you a hug--and he gives awesome hugs.

My dad was always there, always reliable, always AROUND. He went out on his own with his cabinetry business when I was about four, and he works in the shop in our backyard. So he's always been home and accessible to me. Dad is always there. How lucky I was to have him home every day as I was growing up--to know there was always a parent nearby. Mom was always around too--he and my mom have an awesome bond. They don't seem to ever get sick of each other. They spend A LOT of time together. They just ENJOY each other. So many couples find it hard to adjust at retirement or when their kids move out, unsure of what to do with just each other. This never seemed to happen to them. They are just so compatible. Trevor and I have a very similar marriage, for which I am so grateful.

I love my dad so much. I think what I learned most from him is what it looks like to work hard and love your life. Work isn't ugly or undesirable--its something to take pride in. And my Dad, a total Master Craftsman with wood, takes pride in the work he does. Whether it's building a kitchen, growing a pumpkin, or playing music on his guitar. Dad knows how to take joy in the simple things, and not dwell on what he does not have or feel depressed for bad things that may have happened to him. Life is beautiful and simple for him, and it doesn't take a lot of money, fame or attention to keep him happy. He's a man who can find complete solace and joy in watching a sunset or staring at the birds in the bird feeder for twenty minutes. He finds the simple things fascinating--and that is truly a great gift. I think to be happy with you have, while still striving to improve, is a great way to find happiness in this life.
**I realized when I was writing this that I couldn't think of a single picture I had with just me and my dad! So I took one with him last night when I visited him for father's day. This is my favorite one:



And then there is my husband.

How did I get such a great guy? Seriously? What would I do without him? But this is about father's day, not husband day. He's a great husband, and much like my own father, but Trevor is an absolutely phenomenal father. He isn't the type to come home, play with the kids a minute, then leave it up to me. He is hands on. He gets it done, a lot of times much better than I can. Afton absolutely adores him. She almost always prefers him to me. He's so gentle and sweet with her, but he's not a softie either--he will discipline her when she needs it, without totally losing his temper. But I just love how much he loves her. He can play with her forever. His patience with her is never ending.

I CANNOT wait to see him with our new little ones. I remember when I was anticipating Afton's birth, one of the things I looked forward to the most was seeing his expression when they put that baby in his arms. How crushed I was when it became clear that I would have to have a c-section, and would not get to see that moment. After a quick look at her, they sent me off to the recovery room, and Trevor got to be with his little girl--without me. But he still got his moment, even if I wasn't there to see it. And I'm sure this is how it will be again when the twins arrive in a few weeks (days? please?) and he has that special one-on-one--well, in this case, one-on-two, time with them. But it's ok. I'm sure that no matter what I do, they will worship him as much as Afton does. Why? Because the love he has for his children is so real and tangible--he treasures them and they can feel that. He's not afraid to cry or be emotional. He's not afraid to stand up and be the authority. Pride has no place in his parenting--it is all about the best interest of his child. And I love that about him. I loved him with all my heart when we were dating. I loved him even more after we got married. But having children with him has multiplied that love beyond anything I ever knew possible. With each new child, the love just gets bigger and bigger. We created these children together--they would not exist without us--and they make us feel so complete.

In a world where good men seem to be so hard to find, where bad behavior in men is often excused and accepted and considered unavoidable, somehow I have been fortunate enough to be raised by and then married to two of the most amazing men God had to offer. Why I received this blessing I do not know--I am certainly no more deserving of it than anyone else. But I am truly grateful for these amazing men and what they have taught me. Love the simple things, love your children, love each other--and no matter what happens to you, you can still be happy. I love you two!

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Memo to the Twins and Other Random Thoughts

My dad got after me again to update my blog. He says he's sick of looking at the picture of my feet every time he checks it. Sadly, my actual feet now look MUCH worse than they do in that photo. Picture them five times bigger and bright red. But, for my Dad's sake, I won't post a picture of them. Actually, that would be pretty awesome if I did...

***

Well, what can I post? Here are some updated pictures of my nursery. Not much is changed, except we got blinds, I finished the lamp, and I don't think I posted pictures of the awesome closet my dad put in for us.



The doctor scheduled my C-Section for the 8th of July--two days after my 38-week due date. Too long for me, but that's ok. I won't be having them on the 8th. I'm going early. The babies are going to start coming on the 1st of July. I have written this in a memo and sent it via umbilical cord. I am still awaiting a reply, but I'm sure once they read my reasons (longer time with them before I go back to work, our new insurance year starts on July 1st, and how completely miserable I am) they will discuss it between themselves and decide that I am thoroughly convincing and they should comply with my request. I also mentioned that they have a pretty awesome dad that they are TOTALLY going to want to meet. I thought about mentioning real food, but it will be awhile before they actually get real food and I didn't want to get their hopes up. I wrote this in proper business format, and as I tell my students, people take you more seriously when you write in proper business format. (I'm not sure if that's really true, but that's why I tell them.)  I'm sure Ripley and Scarlett will be so impressed with my skills, they will be eager to see what the outside of me looks like, and not just the inside. I smell a lot better on the outside, too, I told them. That should help.

***

Do you have words that you can NEVER spell? I can never spell CALENDER. Or EXERCISE. The only reason they are spelled right this time is because I have spell check on in blogger. Otherwise they'd be wrong. I can't spell RESTAURANT either.

***

Stretch marks are SO ugly. I'm so glad I'm not going to be wearing a bikini any time soon. You know, there are some distinct advantages to not being beautiful. Now don't get me wrong--I'm not putting myself down here. There's nothing wrong with having average looks, and I don't think it's putting myself down to say they are. I'm not super model beautiful, and I'm kinda glad. Here's why:

MEGAN'S LIST OF REASONS WHY BEING BEAUTIFUL ISN'T AS COOL AS IT LOOKS

  1. Beautiful people tend to define themselves by their looks--other people are always defining them that way. And it would be hard to be defined by something that can't last. So when the looks starts to slip and then go, they run the risk of having a major identity crisis. Of course, this isn't true of all beautiful people, but you get my drift.
  2. Beautiful girls get asked out a lot more, but they never know if the guy is interested in THEM, or just in the outside package. At least I know that when Trevor asked me out, he liked me for ME and not because he just thought I had a nice ass.
  3. Beautiful people are desperate to hold on to their beauty and suffer a lot when it starts to go. I don't have to worry about stretch marks, because no one sees my belly but my hubby, and we've already established that he loves me for me and not my ass. Or my flat stomach. But it must be SO HARD to see what was once a gorgeous body go to pot. Seriously.
***


When I was a kid I used to sing to the devil. Yeah. I remember wandering around the backyard singing to the devil, trying to convince him that he should give up the whole devil gig. I was pretty sure that being a really cute and innocent child, my words would hold a lot more weight with him than someone like a prophet or Jesus. I'm pretty sure it didn't work though. But at least I tried. No one can say I didn't try to reason with him.

***

You know what I find REALLY annoying? I mean REALLY, REALLY, annoying? People who don't use punctuation on their status updates in Facebook. It's actually pretty amazing how Facebook can expose the people who didn't pay attention in English class. It can be pretty shocking how many of them have no writing skills whatsoever. I'm not just talking about kids, but grown adults who appear to be perfectly well educated, and they probably are--but why do they write in run-on sentences? Don't they re-read what they wrote and go, "Wow, that makes no sense!" I hate updates like:

"oh my gosh you won't believe it I just got back from powell with my family well it was fun but i'm so burned ouch that really hurts."

Really? Can you not hear the commas calling from the sidelines, begging you to remember them? What about the old SHIFT key when it comes to capitalizing? Now as a keyboarding teacher I've had a few astonishing moments when I realize one of my students doesn't know how to use a shift key and has been using CAPS LOCK every time they capitalize a word. But--come on! That HAS to be a rare thing, right?

I often want to call these puncuation neglectors to repentence on my own status, but then I think, "this could cause Facebook drama," which, as we all know, is even worse than not using punctuation in your status updates.

***

Here's an awesome pic that explains why my husband will be such a freaking awesome dad to three little girls:






It also shows how women are multi-taskers even as children. Afton always wants to brush her teeth while getting her hair done. And I say, go for it. It keeps her busy while I do it. (And yes, I usually do her hair. Trevor just likes to blow it out before putting her to bed. Cute, huh?)

***

Well this has been fun, but it's Midnight so I suppose I ought to go to bed. I have A LOT to do this weekend, and I am so grateful for the friends and family that have offered to help take Afton while I get it done and/or watch Trevor get it done while I rest on the couch. Good night!

Friday, June 3, 2011

How Much Guilt is Normal?

Tonight I asked Trevor how often he feels guilty. He thought it was kind of a weird question. I told him I feel guilty ALL THE TIME, and I wanted to know if it's a "woman" thing, or just a "person" thing, or maybe it's a "mom" thing, or a "pregnant" thing. He said he feels guilt often--then asked how often I feel it.

Every. Day.

If I forget to make dinner. If I don't put Afton to bed. For every minute he's playing with her and I'm not. For every diaper he changes instead of me. For every time he does the dishes, even though I cooked the dinner and I know it's only fair--still, shouldn't I be doing something rather than lazing on the couch? And even though I KNOW I should have my poor nasty swollen feet up, how can I do that and leave it all for him to do? Or worse, NOT do? If I'm sitting there and he's cleaning (not a super common occurance, but it DOES happen) I feel guilty for being lazy. Though, often enough it's been the other way around and hasn't bothered him one bit. And then there's the unreasonable guilt--like how is it fair that I am having TWO babies when there are couples, much more financially stable than we are, who can't even have one? And how can I even dare to feel overwhelmed when I have been given such a blessing? And how can I feel so guilty for questioning, "Why me? Why did You give me TWO? Why did you think I can handle this, or afford this?" and then MORE guilt for sounding as if I don't want both my babies, when I DO! I DO I DO!!

Trevor conceded he doesn't ever feel that much guilt. He said that he wants to spend time with Afton, and not to feel guilty when he's having his own playtime with her. It made me feel a little better.

Do all women feel this much guilt? Is it normal? Is it healthy? Do women feel more guilt than men? Is that just part of being female? Or are my female friends reading this going, "Damn, girl, go see a therapist!"

I'm having a hard day. I had to try really hard not to have a complete breakdown at the park today. I KNOW it's pregnancy hormones, and frustration that it's summer and there's so much to do, and I'm too big and awkward and tired to do any of it. I don't want to miss this summer with Afton, as she gets older and is growing so much. But I can't walk around Wheeler Farm. I can't take her swimming very easily or least not without Trevor. Going to the zoo again is out of the question.  I can't do so many things. And so what do I feel? GUILTY!!

Man, I am SO FAT. (Pregnant fat. One thing I am NOT guilty about right now is my weight. One of my favorite things about being pregnant is it's the only time I feel no guilt whatsoever about what I eat and what I weigh. So liberating.  I can let it all hang out and not care. I'm HUGE. It's actually kinda awesome.)

So help me out, guys--am I crazy? Are all women like this? Am I just so pregnant I can't tell the difference between real emotion and hormone-induced hysteria? Grrr...

Monday, May 30, 2011

For Dad

My dad told me today that he checks my blog a lot to see the progress of my babies on my little widget. But he says I don't update enough. So this is for you, Dad.

...



...


...


Hmm...I guess that's why I don't update. I can't think of anything!

...


...


...


Well, I thought of something that HAS been rolling in my head for a while. But this really has nothing to do with my dad. The fact that I'm updating at all is for you, Dad, but the subject matter is totally random. Anyway, I have been listening to "Scream-Free Parenting" on CD, since my sister lent it to me. It's been very interesting and I can't wait for Trevor to listen to it so we can talk about it. But in the last chapter, he talked about something that I've been thinking about all week--the four levels of love. I actually sketched it out in graph form because it made me see it better:
Level 1: I love me for my benefit - Obviously the lowest level of love, a very selfish level. You care only for yourself and your needs, and will do whatever it takes to fulfill them. Babies are pretty much at this level. So are some pretty non-functional adults.
Level 2: I Love you for my benefit--a higher level, because now at least you are thinking of someone else. But you are only thinking of them so long as, once again, it benefits you. If it gets hard, you are out of there.

Level 3: I Love you for your benfit--this can sound like the highest level, because it's so self-sacrificing. It's also pretty unhealthy. And impossible. You can't really completely love someone else without putting yourself into the equation in some way. A relationship is made of two people--a truly healthy one will fulfill the needs of both parties. Loving at this level is exhausting and unrewarding.

Level 4: I Love me for your benefit--I love this. It can sound a little selfish, but it means that you take care of yourself, so they don't have to. You bring yourself to the relationship as a whole person, who can give of yourself freely. You don't rely on someone else to make you happy--your are already happy, and are then able to make them happy. You love yourself, and thus don't have all that baggage that can keep you from loving them freely and unconditionally. Therefore, THEY benefit from your healthy love of yourself.

Isn't that cool? For some reason, this really got me. I think sometimes we think we are bad people if we take time out for "me-time." I'm not one of those people. I love me-time. It's been the hardest thing for me to adjust to after having a baby--not having as much time to do what I want to do. I'm just glad to know that I'm not a horrible person for wanting it and making time for it.  Trevor is the same way, and we often barter in our household for me-time. It's basically our currency. We take turns, so the other can have time to work on hobbies or do what they need to do. Of course, this book wasn't really about your marriage, but about your kids. Afton is so young still, I have a hard time applying it. But you can most definately apply this to parenting. If you are loving your child at the highest level of love, then you aren't as hurt when they don't give back or appreciate your sacrifices--because your motivation is completely changed. You are not doing it so you can get a reward for it. You are doing it because it's just part of who you are. I know a lot of people that I benefit from, just because of who they are. I am blessed just to know them and have their example. These are people who are taking the time to take care of themselves, and I benefit from what they are becoming. Does this make sense at all?

This concept originally came from a monk, who was talking about man's relationship with God. So at church on Sunday, I was thinking about that too. How to apply it in a spiritual sense. I'm still working out the kinks on that, but I do know that you can't truly give selfless service unless your motivations are at the highest level. Unless your love for God and your need to do something that will better yourself is of higher importance than being awarded or noticed for your efforts.

Well, that's all. I usually have no real deep thoughts in my brain--I'm pretty much in this "TWINS, TWINS, TWINS" mode all the time. So I'm proud of myself for having something a little deeper to think about this week. Hope you weren't too bored, Dad. I love you!



Sunday, May 22, 2011

Boredom/Anticipation

I am so freaking bored. I don't know what to do with myself. I find that I suddenly seem to have an abundance of extra time and I have no idea what to do with it. I'm not reading a book right now--nothing seems to interest me. I work on my scrapbook, but get bored quickly, or I don't feel very inspired. When Afton is awake I can think of a million things I need to do, but then when she's asleep I am so bored I want her to wake up again. And this is just on the weekend! Today is Stake Conference, and as we aren't remotely willing to drag Afton to it, we aren't going. And I find myself sad there's no church to take up three hours of a long boring day. Now THAT is bored!!

I know why this is happening. As a general rule, I don't get bored for long. I always have a million projects and things I'm working on. This has everything to do with pregnancy and nesting. I was the same way when close to my due date with Afton. It's like the anticipation of a coming baby makes you sub-consciously make room for them. I know that when the twins get here I will have less free time than I've ever had in my life. I will look longingly back at these boring days in May and June and wonder how I could ever have been bored. At least, that's what happened with Afton. But regardless, I'm making room for these two little ones. And that's good. Sometimes I long to hold them with a severe intensity, and can't believe I still have so many weeks to wait. Especially becuase I'm getting HUGE and officially, my waist is bigger now than it was when I was full term with Afton! It feels like I should be going into labor any time. And though they are now big enough--probably between 3 1/2 - 4 lbs--to survive outside the womb, 31 weeks is certainly not an ideal time to give birth. I need to give them AT LEAST four more weeks.

I'm frustrated because it's hard to get out and go anywhere. This weekend has been hard--walking very far is suddenly a lot harder, and get this pulling sensation when I do that makes me need to sit. (No, it is NOT a contraction!) I have so little energy, and so despite the decent weather, we can't go to the zoo or the aquarium or swimming or anything else fun. It sucks.

Anyway, that's what's on my mind today. I have no idea what to do with my day, though I'm toying with the idea of cleaning out the tumor. (The tumor, if you don't know, is an ugly "addition" added by the previous owners of our house in which we store all kinds of crap.) But cleaning out the tumor would really mean me sitting there and telling Trevor what to do, so as you can imagine, he's not particularly keen on the idea.

Well, that's my boring Sunday morning. I don't even have a picture to share. So sorry!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

List of Random Thoughts

So I was wondering what to update my blog with, and found that I have a million unrelated thoughts. So...sounds like it's list time.

1. I have a new phone. We transfered to Cricket and they LOST my phone number. Never were able to port it over. After six days of waiting, we decided it was fruitless to keep waiting, when obviously they are a bunch of idiots. So we went to Verizon. And you know what? Apparently we get a huge discount because of Trevor's job at the U. And apparently I get the same discount for being a teacher. Did you know that? So, yeah, information, that would have been useful to me NINE YEARS ago when I got my first phone. I want all that money back. (If you need my new number, just email me and I'll get it to you!)

2. I finally found a lamp base for my baby room. I went to a consignment store. Its off-white instead of white, and a little too big once I brought it home. But it's ok. Didn't cost me much. THEN, I go to my sister Jen's house last night and we were downstairs in her storage room, and THERE IT IS! The perfect lamp base. White. The right size. Exactly what I imagined. The one I knew in the pre-existence. And she doesn't even want it and she gave it to me. So now I have two lamp bases. Hmmm...guess I'd better make another lamp shade and put the other one in Afton's room.

3. There are only 13 days of school left! Hooray!!! I cannot wait to get out of here! I'm not near as stressed as I was at this time last year, but I still want to be home with my little girl and my husband.

4. My mom told me the other day that I'm not near as ornery with this pregnancy as I was with my first. I think she's right. Maybe because school isn't as stressful this year as it was that year, since I dropped pretty much all the "extra" stuff I do. I've learned that doing extra stuff only stresses me out and is not remotely appreciated by my administration.

5. Trevor passed his last pre-requisite classes this quarter. One by the skin of his teeth. He needs at least a C+ in each class to be considered for the program his work offers that pays for all his nursing school. I was SO afraid he wouldn't pass, and then he'd have to go to school next semester. And if he has extra time, I'd rather he spend it working than going to school, seeing as we are going to be dirt poor once these babies get here.

6. I am not (at the moment) getting seven periods next year. I usually teach an extra period, and it means no breaks during the day but also another $400 (before taxes) a month. This year the enrollment in another teacher's classes in my department was unexpectedly low, and we had to switch everything around and the bottom line is, no 7th periods for me. So yeah. I'm having freaking TWINS and I'm LOSING $400 a month. Like I said, we're gonna be poor. But--very happy.

7. We're working on the Badge Unit this week. My students design badges, make them with my badge-making machine, and then "sell" them to another class. This is my favorite one that my kids have made:

Not that they came up with it on their own or anything. I just really like it. I want one. Maybe I'll go make one and wear it on my lanyard. I only have one badge on my lanyard right now. It says, "I"m gestating TWINS. What have YOU done today?"

8. We went swimming the other day at my sister-in-law's mother's house. It was so nice to go to a private pool instead of a public one. Miraculously, my swimsuit actually fit me this pregnant. I'm pretty sure that's because I got it at Layne Bryant. Afton wouldn't do more than sit on the first step of the pool and splash. She was VERY upset when we put her in a floating waterlily, and when Trevor held her and carried her into the water. But she was content to sit on the step and have us blow water at her through one of those water wormy thingies. It was very cute. Thanks for inviting us, Becky!

Afton pretty much stayed in this spot as much as she could. She was happy there.

Trevor and his brother David try to coax Afton out on the lily pad. She may not look upset in this picture, but trust me, she is.

I wanted one with me in it, so Becky obliged.

This is Trevor getting after me for having the camera while I'm in the water. Yeah, as if I'd drop it! (Oh, good thing I didn't...)

9. This morning in the school announcments, something was wrong with the speaker and everyone who talked sounded like a Transformer. Only not quite as articulate as a real transformer, because you could only catch a few words. It was really annoying.

10. I went to the doctor last Friday for my 30-week visit. The doctor checked me and said my body is showing ZERO signs of going into labor or dialating or anything. So that's good news. He thinks I'll go full-term with these kids! And he won't schedule a c-section until I'm 38 weeks. So that's good news--they are going to be huge. I am going to be huge. Right now I'm the same size as I was at 9 months with Afton. But I don't mind. Its the only time in my life where I don't have to be guilty for being fat. And where I can pretty much eat what I want and not really gain weight. At this point, I've only gained 11 lbs! (that's because I gained all my pregnancy weight BEFORE I was pregnant...)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Update on my Nursery!!!

So I have been having SO MUCH FUN with my baby nursery!! I feel bad I didn't go this crazy on Afton's room. I have a ton more done so I thought I'd post a few pictures. It's not completely done--there are two things I still need:

  • Blinds. They are ordered but won't be here until June 13! Urg! The room looks so UNFINISHED without them!
  • Lamp Base. I cannot believe how hard it is to find a good lamp base. I made a cute lamp shade, but I just want a medium sized white lamp base to use with it, and I can't find ANYTHING that doesn't already come with a shade and is what I want. So frustrating. Trevor is actually thinking of making one. So in the pictures, the shade is just sitting there without a base.
We spent the weekend making both quilts for my babies. I took Thursday off work and made Ripley's quilt with Trevor's help. It was so fun to work together on this project. I remember when we were dating we made the cloak for Trevor's Aragorn costume together. It was such a fun day, and we even talked about one day making costumes for our future children. (I was SO excited about that conversation...)

This was just like that. We work so well together when we sew together. We just figured out the pattern together. And whereas at first I was showing Trevor how to thread the needle and stuff, by the end he was trying to show me the same stuff! He actually has a knack for sewing, and whenever it calls for something super straight and perfect, I have him do it for sure!

So here we are sewing. Trevor is working on Ripley's quilt that Thursday. We didn't finish it that day--I had to figure out how to actually "quilt" it, since I didn't want to pay $40 to have someone else do it. Luckily my awesome machine came with a walking foot, which is required in order to do the quilting yourself. It made the whole process quite easy, actually!
Though, I really suck at sewing perfectly straight lines.

When Ripley's was all finished, I was ready to start Scarlett's on Saturday. I did most of hers by myself as I watched my sister's kids. Trevor helped out toward the end when I had to match the back on with the batting. And he sewed the edges around the whole quilt because I was scared to! All in all, I'm quite happy with out it turned out, though Scarlett's didn't wash very well. I have learned my lesson to ALWAYS
wash the material before you sew with it!

This is me on Sunday morning frantically trying to finish the quilt before church. I wanted to wash it while we were gone. Yes, I know I look horrible. But I don't care! What a perfect little mother I am on Mother's day, making a quilt for my baby girl! And how happy I was to finally get it DONE! I have tons of leftover material, so I'm still trying to think of ways to use it. I might even try making some baby clothes out of it, but sometimes leftover material doesn't work because there isn't enough to cut it the right direction. So we'll see.


 Ok, here are some pictures of my baby room!






Isn't it adorable?? There's the finished quilt, and the bedding as Nicki and I made it. The picture on the wall is just something I printed off the internet, and I backed the matting with some leftover material. Scarlett's is a rose and Ripley's is a lily.

The letters of their names were really fun, and were a hybrid with digital scrapbooking. Here's how I did it.
  • First, I took the letter (wood, bought it from Hobby Lobby) and traced it on a piece of blank paper.
  • Then I scanned the paper into my computer and pulled it into Photoshop. I re-sized it to 8 1/2 x 11.
  • Then I pulled in the digital paper I wanted to use. I used the kit Ma Bebe from Dianne Rigdon--she created this kit for me when I requested someone to help me on the Two Peas in a Bucket digital scrapbooking forum. You can read all about it on my scrapblog here.
  • Then I just "punched" the letter out with the paper I wanted. Just did the magic wand tool on the scanned letter, then clicked on the paper layer and copied and pasted.
  • Next I used an action to create the painted look on the edge. See, a real paper scrapper would have done this with actual paint, but I didn't trust myself to get it even, so I did it digitally!
  • Then I printed it and cut it out.
  • Painted Scarlett's letters red and Ripley's letters green, though really all you will see if the paint is on the sides.
  • Then I used mod podge to glue the paper onto the front. After it dried, I used a light sanding block to sand the edges. I really liked how this made the edges look rough and more authentic. Then I mod podges over it again! That's it! A BIG thank you to my sister-in-law Andrea, who told me all about how to do this--I never would have known without her!
  • We hung them with nails, and Trevor did a great job tipping them from side to side so they looked really cute on the wall.
So then I had this REALLY old round table that my dad made. I've been using it as a nightstand forever. It used to have a different cloth cover on it, so I thought I'd made another one that matches the room decor. It was so easy! I just cut out the cloth, hemmed the edges, then sewed on the ribbon. But I used one of my fancy stitches that my machine does to make it look more embroidered. I was so glad to use one of those features--it's the kind of thing they show you when they are trying to sell you a machine, but in actuallity you never really use it.

And last is the lamp shade. This was easy--but not as easy as I thought it would be! I bought the shade at Joanne's, and it's made for this. You just peal off the outer layer, then use that as a pattern and cut out your material. Then you just stick it on the shade, which is covered with sticky paper. It was kinda hard to get it to line up just right, but it was nice to not have to sew anything. Then I used a glue gun to glue the ribbon on the top and bottom. So easy! Much easier than finding a stupid base for it!

Here's a shot from the other side of the room. I had to get the awesome closet that my dad put in for us! And it wasn't easy--apparently this closet used to be a doorway into what is now our upstairs bathroom and used to be the closet. Well, I guess that explains why that bathroom is the size of a closet. As you can see I've already started putting up their clothes and blankets. Man, I am SO nesting right now! And I still have eight weeks to go! But I feel more and more ready for the impossible task of raising twins with every little thing I add to this room. Maybe that's why I'm doing more for this room than I did for Afton's--I'm MUCH more terrified than I was then!