Thursday, June 26, 2014

End of the school year

It is the first week of June and the last week of school. I'm not there but I know the many activities and excitement are filling these days. Every year Bridges has a huge All School Picnic. I was bummed not to attend but outdoors (Jack McGowan's Farm) for a long period of time with the babies wasn't something I felt I was quite ready for by myself and a porta-potty. I thought about it but it rained all weekend and I wasn't sure the double stroller would handle the terrain well.

Tuesday was the talent show which is always truly full of talent. It's almost like America's Got Talent because there is such a variety of acts. I didn't stop though.

Wednesday I made it to school. Nana came to watch babies while I went to the award ceremony. I'm grateful she can come and stay with them so I could focus my attention on my students awards and the whole ceremony. 

I came home and after an hour, was able to feed babies and myself, and then I walked to school with the babies. We attended the 6th grade graduation. These sixth graders were my first 3rd grade class when transferring to Bridges. I wanted to be there to say goodbye.

After the graduation it was dismissal and many little fingers and faces poked in to see the babies. Mollie and Will tolerates it well. And with that, a school year ends!

Thursday nurse Gloria came to weigh babies again. These kids are growing machines! What miracles we have in our lives!

And just like that, June is off to A busy start. Next week Caleb's schedule will change so that he is home with me except two mornings a week he will still go to child care at Amy's house. He loves her and all the kids. They are usually outside all morning, so I know he is playing hard and having fun!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Out with a bang

Sunday, May 25, we had a family evening at Nana and Papa's. Josie had a friend visiting and she requested a family bonfire. Josh even got me some rice milk chocolate so I could have s'mores! Caleb once again enjoyed being outside. 

May 26th was Memorial Day. We went to Scandian Grove to place the Monson planter on the plot. I volunteered for this duty at a reunion a couple years ago. At the time I had no children, but it's even more special to go with my kids now. I am really intrigued with family history.

We came home and took a family walk.

May 30th I had a special birthday date with my sister and two college friends. Megan and I were roommates freshman and sophomore year. Anna and I became friends sophomore year. Both are dear to me and I am glad we have been able to keep in touch.

We ate dinner at The Republic near Lake Calhoun. It is owned by my friend's husband Matty. I've wanted to go forever. It was delicious!!  Afters dinner we walked to a grocery store to buy Oreos. Thank goodness they are dairy free. 

We did some pictures, some with clean teeth and others not so clean! It gave us the giggles.

May 12-16

This week I actually had a social life. People to see almost every day. 

Monday Caleb came home from daycare with a high fever. No wonder he woke from his nap Sunday out of sorts. He was probably already coming down with something then. He did cry out once in the night to go to the bathroom. He was drenched in sweat. Fever broke. I kept him home Tuesday just as a precaution though. 
On Tuesday my friend Jen brought me lunch from Culvers. She and her son came and hung out with me and the kids. Her son Max just finished preschool so Caleb and him played nicely. I was able to take a quick shower too!
Then my mother in law came so I could go to an after school meeting. It was the last site council meeting of the year and the agenda was something I wanted to be present for. 

Wednesday, my friends and professors from Gustavus, Jill and Mary, brought me a salad from Panera and a book and outfits for Mollie and William. They each took a baby and I was able to eat with two hands! It was great to catch up with them! Two phenomenal teachers and women!

On Thursday my aunt Cheryl came so I could get something done. I got 5 spindles and the first post stained on the banister upstairs. What a tedious task! But I was very grateful to have some fairly uninterrupted work time. She enjoyed smiles from Mollie on the changing table and interacting with Will. 

Good news came on Friday at Mollie's appointment with the audiologist. She passed her hearing test finally! It must have been fluid and it finally moved and freed itself up. Praise God! 
She can hear us. It's on paper! 

Part of her new outfit from Jill and Mary.
Both in one arm. They fill my whole arm.

Mother's Day

Agenda for Mother's Day: Brunch with Millers, naps, and supper with Monson Alms. It's all about eating and sleeping:)

We had pancakes with Nama, Papa, Aunt Boogie (Jess) and Lincoln at Nana and Papa's house. Josh was the expert griddle cook. We found some dairy free batter for me, added bacon and strawberries too. Yummy! We hung out there until a little after 1:00 and then headed home for some short naps. 

After nap time we went to Oma and Grandpa's house. Caleb woke up a bit rough and was a bit clingy. Between the babies and Caleb we had our hands full. Good birth control for my younger siblings:-) My grandparents from Green Isle were able to come, as well as Garrett and Kayla. Kayla actually did some dairy free shopping at Trader Joes. Kayla has celiac disease, is allergic to dairy and Red dye 40. I have new appreciation for her and a bit of a better understanding as to her struggle with food labels, restaurants, and get-togethers. 

I appreciate all this time with family. I know many are far from loved ones. It is a blessing I try not to take for granted. 

We got home and I got a picture with my 3 wonderful children! 

And get Woody in there too. He counts=4 kids!

Single parent

Josh is in sales and so he travels on day trips in the area to customers. He does have some customer at greater distances though. So this first week of May he needed to do an overnight trip in Iowa. Luckily my mom could take Caleb and I had support on and off with Mollie and William. I was very tired after the first night on my own, but luckily the next morning my mother in law came and I could take a nap.

Single parenting twins cannot be easy. I know some women do it, but I would not wish it upon anyone. I am thankful I have a spouse and circles of support around us.

While Josh was gone I went to Target with Mollie and William to get a baby shower gift for a co-worker. I technically had more time before the next feeding, but they had had enough. Will made sure everyone knew I had babies at the checkout line. After school Josie came and babysat so I could go to the shower. It was nice to connect with my female co-workers. I also had divinity for the first time. YUM! Glad to find out that's a dairy free treat!

Josh came home a day early. Woohoo! So it was only two days and 1.5 nights alone. So glad to have him home and the family all together.

Then on Friday the 9th I got my spa day. Glorious!  A massage, facial, and pedicure. So wonderful!

Here are some pictures from the week:
They are getting big for me to hold two at once!
William has perfected the lower lip! Ack!
My student, Brielle, and her mom brought me a huge salad!
Really, Mom?!
William's all clean!
Mollie's all clean!
Caleb had a present arrive in the mail from Aunt Krista, Uncle Garrett, and Aunt Kayla! 
Let's snuggle!
This Annika! She and her sisters are big helpers when I need a little help with all 3 kids. 
Nice to meet you, Will. ;)

It's May!

May 2: My 30th Birthday! The day started well. Mollie and Will gave me a synchronized nap time so I got to shower in peace. My cousin, Andrea, stopped by on her way to her dad's to meet Mollie and William. I haven't seen her since last summer, so it was wonderful to catch up! Then my mom brought me lunch and her co-workers, Gina and Emily, came to snuggle babies. OF course after they left Mollie and William really didn't want to NOT be held, but we found a comfortable spot to snuggle.

Caleb did a great job of wishing me a happy birthday throughout the evening. He was very sweet! I grabbed a lot of snuggles from him.

Josh planned my birthday party on Saturday, May 3rd. He made and arranged all the food to be dairy free and delicious! He even made dairy free cupcakes! Family helped with a few items and some cleaning. My step-sisters both couldn't actually make the party, but stopped by in the morning to wish me a Happy Birthday. Josh asked people to gift me 30 items of something if possible. My inlaws gave me 30 Lindt chocolate balls. That will be a great celebratory treat when I stop breast feeding and have dairy again! My parents gave me 30 books from my childhood. I remembered them so well. One I remember loving that I got from a book order in elementary school called, "Gus the Bus." I'm such a nerd:) From Josh I will have a Liv Aveda Spa Day next Friday, May 9th. Can't wait!

By the way, have I mentioned Caleb is fully potty trained. A couple days ago, a switch flipped and he tells when he needs to go. He's suddenly so old and big without the diaper changes! Way to go, Caleb!

Caleb loved playing with his cousins and they used Caleb's new bubble machine from my cousin Andrea. It's a good one!

The first 30 years of my life have left me feeling completely, undeservedly blessed! By age of 30 I have been married 5 years, in my career for 8 years, a homeowner, a mother of three, and surrounded by family and friends. God has been faithful! Not every day or memory I have has been pleasant or easy, but it has led me here...a very beautiful time in my life. Currently I am exhausted, but for all the right reasons. It's worth it! I pray the next decade to be full of the right kind of busy that is meaningful and full of love. Can't wait!

A few snapshots of the week:
Pirate Baby!
We're tired!
Climbing trees at daycare in the rain! 
A stretch and smiles
A flower baby?
Tummy time!
I do tummy time too!

Wrap up April with 2 month visit

Post Birthday and Easter weekend I was in recovery mode. The cakes, the cleaning, the prep, the loading and unloading the car, all of it...drained me. Luckily a dear friend, Betty T, came twice the following week to give me a nap! I am so grateful! She's a retired nurse, which part of her time was in the hospital nursery, so I knew the babies were in expert care.

April 21 I took Mollie and William to their two month appointment, by myself! Oh baby! I kind of feel a certain amount of pride and sense of accomplishment. I have to fill out a questionaire for each child, each being a 4 page document. Yikes! Definitely something I fill out before I get to the appointment. One of the questions is "Describe your child's personality:" might think this is a silly question for a 2 month old, but I took it as a challenge to find the best description words, with a good spin. I have practice with this considering all the progress reports I write for my students:) So considering will is a needy and fussy child, with enough relief for it not be something I can't manage, I wrote: "Expressive." When I think of Mollie I think of her strong gaze and stares. So for her I wrote: "Contemplative." I hope the nurse smiles reading those words about my 2 month old babies.

I talked to Dr. Benson about taking eliminating dairy from my diet. He said to give it a try! He is again pleased with their growth and development. Mollie is 20.25" long (1%tile), 9lbs. (5%tile), and head measurement of 15" (46%tile). If we adjust her numbers and count her as 3 weeks instead of 8, based on when she would have been full term, her measurements put her in the 15th percentile for height, 45th percentile for weight, and 60%tile for head circumference. William is 21" long (1%tile), 10.2lbs (8%tile), and head measurement of 15.25" (39%tile). His adjusted measurements put him in the 45%tile for height, 70%tile for weight, and 75%tile for head circumference. They are doing great! This was their first appointment with shots, which made me a bit nervous to be alone, but I knew I could get help from the wonderful nurses. We love Dr. Benson's nurse Katie, and we could have asked our favorite receptionist, Lindsey, to come back too. Katie and another nurse came in to administer a drink vaccination and three shots to each child. The tray with all of that on it was a bit intimidating. Both tolerated it super well. Both were done crying within a minute. Whew. I was able to pack them up and meet Josh to go shopping for a piece of furniture on our way home.
                     Waiting for shots!

The 23rd was Josh's birthday and sadly the only thing I could get to our house for him was sour dough bread. He loves it, and I felt limited since I have gone dairy free. That night though a gift was that my friend Kayla came and watched babies so we could go to bed!

Happy birthday, Josh. I told you while I was still pregnant that I was grateful we are where we are in our marriage while adding twins to our family. We are in a 'good spot'. This good spot comes from us making an effort to communicate, having patience, and senses of humor:) I am so grateful you are my confidant, my best friend, and true love. I'm so glad you were born, and God designed our lives to prepare us for one another, and then join us so well together.

This weekend I took Caleb and his cousin Eli to the park with Mollie and Will. It was a little chilly so we didn't stay too long, but was nice to get out of the house. 

On April 28 was my school's annual big fundraiser. The weather was rainy and cold so we weren't sold on going but decided to pack us all up in the end. They have a DJ and Caleb had a valet dancing with me! I will cherish these years as they will not likely last! Caleb has got some moves too!!