Time to upgrade to a bigger house?

As I become more and more crafty it has become apparent that we are going to need a bigger house. One to accommodate my darkroom, pottery studio and sewing rooms.

For the time being every time I want to sew something I have to go into our kitchen, move the microwave and clear off the table before I can pull out my machine. After I am finished I have to once again set everything back the way it should be. Which does not inspire my creativity as much as I would like.

Sewing does remain the only one of  my crafts that I am able to actually accomplish at home. Today I pulled out a bunch of projects I have been planning to start, and as a result they have taken over our guest bedroom. (7x7xmommy some of them might have your name on them!) While we probably could spare some space in the garage, we do live in Vegas and working out there in the summer with no AC is not my idea of a good time.

If anyone had any ideas I’m all ears!

Published in: on November 6, 2010 at 5:03 pm  Comments (1)  

I always wanted twins!

I am told quite often by strangers “I always wanted twins!” or something to that degree. My external reaction to this is usually a smile or nod, but inside I am always thinking “Really???”.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a mother to twins and I feel completely blessed to have these two beautiful girls in my life.  However, it is not an easy job being a parent to twins. While no parenting is actually easy having twins adds a whole new level of difficulty.

First of all – there is the sleep, or lack of sleep I should say. For anyone who has had a newborn at home, please reflect on that time. Now for every time you had to get up to change a diaper or make a bottle or simply rock that baby to sleep… please double it. But it doesn’t stop there, now imagine you just got that little baby to finally stop crying and set them in the crib and you start to climb into bed. When suddenly another baby wakes up crying which also causes that little angel you just set down to wake back up as well. Think about that. Over and over and over. Sounds fun, right?

I also have to mention the cost. I am not even going to touch on formula, diapers, clothes and everything else babies need, I only want to mention the cost of a multiple pregnancy. While many Americans are left with little or no health coverage the cost of giving birth to twins could put them in debt for the rest of their lives. Frequent visits to a Perinatologist, extended NICU stays, seeing specialists like a gastroenterologist, or pediatric cardiologist can add up very quickly. My pregnancy, plus our hospital stay cost over $250,000. I was talking with another mom this week whose babies’ medical bills were 1 million a piece!

And then there is another issue that has been weighing heavily on my heart recently. Pregnancy complications. I don’t think parents of healthy singleton babies realize just how lucky they are. (I have added healthy to that list as I am aware pregnancy complications are not limited to multiple births) To have a complication free pregnancy, deliver within a week or two of your due date, and to be able to leave the hospital with your baby is truly a blessing. If that has been your experience – please be thankful for it. Unfortunately, for many parents of multiples that is not a reality. Along with those two (or more!) little heartbeats also comes added risks. These include but are not limited to TTTS (twin to twin transfusion syndrome), gestational diabetes, placenta previa and placenta abruptio, pre-eclampsia, heart problems, and preterm labor. It can be easy to just read that list of complications without really understanding the lives that are affected by them. So I want to share with you some real life stories I have come across.

I’ll start with the pre-eclampsia because that is what caused our twins to be born at 7 1/2 months. We were extremely lucky that I did not develop this pregnancy induced, high blood pressure condition until I was already 31 weeks. My doctors worked with me and allowed me to carry to 34 weeks before deciding to take the babies. Here are a couple of pictures of their first days.

Alyssa

Kylie

Kylie on left, Alyssa on right

As I mentioned, I feel so lucky that I was able to carry our girls as long as I did. There is a mom of triplets who just joined our mother of multiples group who was in the hospital with severe pre-eclampsia at 25 weeks. At our meeting on monday one mom said she thought she had to deliver already, although I have not heard for sure. At 25 weeks the babies could be viable, having somewhere around a 50% survival rate. The road would be long though. Babies born that early face a long journey and many possible life long problems.

TTTS. Twin to twin transfusion syndrome affects identical twins sharing a placenta and causes disproportionate nutrition and growth between the babies. Babies can survive TTTS, although sometimes they do not. For this story I am sending you to a friend’s blog. It was their nieces affected. Please go read their story here.

I would also like to share a recent blog post from a dad whose twin boys were born at only 19 weeks. At just 10 ounces and 8 ounces their boys were born alive and actually survived for over an hour. Please read about their struggles here.

These stories are just a few of many, many more out there, and are all too common for parents of multiples. I remember as my pregnancy progressed I was always aware of what my babies’ chances of survival were at any given point. I know other twin moms felt the same. It is a difficult journey and one I am very thankful to have made it through.

Now for the next 17 years….

Published in: on November 5, 2010 at 9:32 am  Comments (1)  

All About Bear – 11/4

Our little Bear is such a sweetheart. We had some guests this week, a couple from our old church in Durango were passing through and were patient enough to spend a night at our house. We had a very good time with them and the girls did amazing. After the first couple minutes of crying, they were very social and Bear even let Sheri feed her dinner. Kylie even had such a good time with them that instead of going to bed at 7 and staying asleep, she just took a little nap and got back up to see them more. She ended up not going to bed that night until after 10:30. But in general she has been a very good sleeper going down around 7:30pm and getting up around 6:30am.

She is a crawling maniac and some of her favorite activities include pulling the dish towels off the oven door, splashing in the pets’ water, trying to rearrange the wires under the computer and shaking the wine rack. Here she is trying to crack into some of the yummy beer the Collins brought us from Durango.

Published in: on November 4, 2010 at 12:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

All About Bean – 11/3

I am a couple days late on my post about the Bean. I blame LOST season 6 on DVD that we received in the mail just before the weekend.  Any free time we have is now spent finally seeing how one of our favorite shows ends. Anyways, here it is… All About Bean.

Miss Alyssa finally discovered the real joys of crawling. While I mentioned before she had made some forward movement, mostly she was content to just sit and play with whatever was around her. Sometime last week she decided it was time. She was no longer happy with only what was within arms reach and so she started to explore. It has been a lot of fun seeing her getting into all the things Kylie has been getting in trouble playing with for the past month. She also loves to pop open the cassette player on our stereo. (YES we still have a stereo that plays cassettes!) When we tell her “no” she looks very surprised and looks to see what Kylie might be getting into. It is like she doesn’t believe she could get into trouble for anything. It is so cute it is hard not to smile at 🙂

That top tooth finally made its way through on Halloween, but she still seems easily cranky, so there may be another one right behind it. She is talking a lot now and her little voice is adorable. She adds a little “w” to her sounds. Like she’ll say “bwa bwa bwa”, it is so cute.  She is still thriving on the new bedtime and only woke up once last night to eat. We even had company and were up late talking and eating and she slept through it all.

It is a good thing I didn’t find the time to write this blog yesterday as her and I did not see eye to eye all day. She woke up early and had used up all my patience for her by 7am… not a good day in the making. Then she proceeded to fight her naps, wake her sister and all around be a crabby pants all day. But today she is looking very cute in a new outfit I got for her from one of the other moms in my mothers of multiples group. And she is being very cute just all around, so we’ll forget about yesterday.

 

Published in: on November 3, 2010 at 5:11 pm  Comments (1)