Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Pattern Continues - Week 21.2

Girl-Girl-Boy-Girl-Girl-Boy-Girl-Girl-Boy . . . you remember these pattern problems from 1st grade math.  What should come next?  Girl and then Girl!  That is exactly what  God is sending, two girls.  M and M will be two more beautiful Girls to add to our family.  If a later ultrasound sees something different, we will let you know.

This is a shot of the tops of heads.  They were both heads up and neither were lower than the other.  It was hard to determine a Baby A and a Baby B.  So for today Baby A was on the right and Baby B is on my left. The visit was a good one, and yet I left with many butterflies back.  I will be seeing a specialist on Tuesday.  The doctor made that decision while making notes on the placenta and the blood flow.  I don't think he noted anything bad just concern over the shared placenta.  We know that we are having identical twins as this is clearly one placenta and not two fused together. Baby B was 10% larger than Baby A and we don't panic over the Twin to Twin transfusion syndrome until there is a 20% difference.  Yet it is a concern. 

 I am trying to let go of my fear for these two and enjoy the images of my cute little ladies.  Here is the little Lady on my right side (now known as Baby A).
 This is the young Lady on the Left side (now known as Baby B.)  Her sister's head is peeking in on the side. 

 I left kind of depressed because of the need to see the other doctor, but the good news is that means another ultrasound next week.  This will be very high tech as they examine each baby very closely and set some markers to look for.  The doctor wanted to see if we needed another course of action so he will confer with doctor number two, all while I get to peek again. 

What do you do as a family to celebrate knowing the sexes and needing to distract mom and dad, go register at "Baby's R Us"!

This was such a silly way to spend two hours and yet so much fun.  I made dad share the "gun" with the kiddos as we tagged items for our wish list in the store.  Not easy considering dad didn't want to share.  LOL I could not believe all of the strong opinions my kiddos have over strollers, high chairs and everything else. 

As we left J kept asking if I remembered the prices on stuff.  He admitted that it was now growing more and more real to him as to the financial changes two will make.  He did mention that going out with identical twin girls is a great way to end our baby fest.  I giggled because I have thought we were finished many times before.  I am getting old but God still might have another plan. 

So until next week's ultrasound and visit with the specialist doctor I am going to rejoice in the knowledge of two precious "normal females".  They were very active and that is always a good sign.  We also decided that being identical twins with very thin membranes separating them unto separate cribs might be silly.  We plan to use one crib.  J and I also agreed on bedding for our little ones, which means I get to spend the next few weeks changing our school room into a baby room/office. 

Here the crowd is trying out different rocking chairs.  We missed Pooker's opinions but college calls. 

Dad couldn't help to get in on the act but only after telling everyone to pretend to be mom,  apparently that means falling asleep when sitting down.

So here we are:  Princess, Pickle M & M, and I.  My belly just keeps getting bigger and bigger.  The good news is that my blood pressure is great and the doctor thinks it is good news that I am now gaining weight, just 4 pounds, but he was happy I wasn't still loosing. 
And here I am at Week 21.3 wearing one of my new fun twin shirts.  It says "Marco" under one baby and "Polo" under the other.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mom's Catholic Coffee Club

We have a group of mom's that get together every other week or so to discuss the latest chapter in our religion book, we use the Didache series just like the teens. It takes us forever to get to the topic because moms just need to talk sometime.
We are now on Chapter 20 and have grown close. These fun ladies sang to me on Monday with a cheesecake. So fun and wonderful way to make me feel so loved.
Thanks Julie and the rest of you ladies for celebrating with me. 
Notice my fun twins shirt!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mom's Birthday Lunch

I don't put much celebration into my birthday.  This year is not going like I thought it would anyway.  God is sending all kinds of surprises.   These two precious souls growing inside of me are making me feel so old.  It took me days to recoup from all the walking for Mardi Gras.  The swelling went down in my feet after spending the rest of the week trying to teach with my feet up.  Not easy to do.  The little ones are enjoying the Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis.  So we were able to read and rest at the same time. 
My birthday was on Friday.  We went to our friends house to do stations of the Cross and to have dinner.  It was nice being with all these friends again.  We brought two cookie cakes for after dinner and another dad also had a birthday.  We had a great time with friends.  It is always so nice to have the entire family together.  I love all my babies and it was a treat to meet a lady and her two month old twin baby girls.  She admitted that she was very tired as her twins took her to five children with the oldest being just 4 years old.  Her mom took her to lunch with the red headed girl twins to get her out of the house.   It helped me to see those adorable babies.  Maybe we will get there someday!!!
We all had a blast at lunch and enjoyed the brief time we were all together. Thanks to all for the wonderful birthday wishes. God bless this next year in my life - no matter what it holds.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Lundi Gras - "Here Comes the Big Parade!"

I know that many of my friends from the North will not understand the idea of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. I understand what my northern friends hesitations are as I had them myself.  Mardi Gras is not about the drinking and Bourbon street.  I didn't get that for ever and I could never understand why my good Catholic friends were always so excited about their memories of Mardi Gras.  Then I had the chance to go and I learned about this crazy unique sub culture of history and charity that exists within the Krewes of the Carnival Parades.  It is still newer to me so I can't explain it but I can say that I am intrigued and really enjoy our involvement.

The food is one of the best parts of any New Orleans visit. 
YUMMY - the food almost makes the traffic worth it.

J had four riders this year.  He has been on the Orpheus Krewe since that first year.  I have never riden and don't really want to.
I prefer to spend the day resting and then dressing up for the ball. 

J describes the experience like that of feeling like a rock star.  He claims that there is an incredible rush having hundreds of people calling out to you even if you are wearing a mask and throwing beads to the crowd.

J is proud to be a part of the big parade and I enjoy watching him share that with his guests.
The Orpheus Krewe was started by Harry Connick Jr.  He is very much considered the famous son of the city.  He uses his celebrity to bring others to his parade and then the ball.  Everyone has a great time and money is raised for his music charity.
This year Brett Michael was one performer.
Cyndi Lauper was another. 

This is a picture of the street lights that were used years ago to light the way for the parade.  They look so dangerous.  I don't really understand their history but the locals do.
This is the way I always get into the ball.
J rides in on the float.

This year I was not able to get on the correct side to see him at the ball and get his attention but it is still thrilling to watch them come in.
Lisa and Bill enjoyed themselves.  Bill and J were very sore the next morning but then so was I.  These twins are kicking my butt, I don't know why I ever thought I could handle all that walking.
I was glad to have Lisa's company to chat with, shop with and arrive at the ball together looking great in spite of our little time in the rain and our long walk over.

Elizabeth and Tony enjoyed themselves.  It took awhile for them to perk up after the ride.  I guess throwing beads for several hours can really wear a person out.
I have always been a huge Harry fan.  This is only the second year I have seen him and this is the first time he performed.  He joined Brett Michael for two songs. 

Great performances all around.  The crowd loves Harry so much.  Having him on stage electrifies the crowd.
His daughter joined him on the piano.
Harry is calling up his Law and Order: Special Victims Unit's co-star.

Mariska Hargitay joined them on stage. 

Brett Michael surprised us as how great his performance was.  He really is an all star entertainer.  It is his Poison time is what I remember most about his music.  I loved hearing "Unskinny Bop" as it took me back to the year that J and I dated.

Cyndi Lauper was not my favorite entertainer, but we stayed and "We Pop"ped a little because "Girls Just want to have fun."
We headed back to the hotel so very late.  That felt like the walk of death.  Lisa and I both had blisters.  Bill and Jason were both sore.  Elizabeth and Tony stayed later.  It was a very hard long walk.  The hardest part was getting up the next morning and getting out of town before the Mardi Gras Day parades began.  We were still sore and tired.  Driving out of town we saw several floats full of people hauling it down the highway.  Only in New Orleans where Mardi Gras is taken so seriously can a float full of people be found going down the interstate at highway speeds.  It is part of this sub culture that J and I have fallen in love with.  I hope that each of you had a very Happy Mardi Gras (and Lundi Gras) knowing that you will have a prayerful Lent.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Week 19.5 - Feeling Lots of Movement

A family friend began talking about how big I am the other day.  I would have been super upset if he had been my husband, but J knows better.  This man was saying that he knows that I am already bigger than I was when I was 9 months along with Jumba.  I don't know if he is right or not but I do feel huge.  When I complain J is very good at either ignoring my comments all together or reminding me that we are having TWO babies this time. 
It is now time for me to be honest.  I am starting to need more and more sleep again.  It isn't nearly as bad as it was in the first trimester and I figure I have about 4 or 5  more weeks until we hit trimester 3, but my energy is leaving me more and more.  So is my need to use the restroom.  Last night I had the most horrible experience in this regard, well at least it was extremely embarrassing.  I was in a very deep sleep.  I don't sleep that hard and haven't for years.  I snore all the time and wake often at night.  I need to potty now but I have had real sleep issues since I was pregnant with Bagel.  So last night I was in this very deep and rare sleep and I woke up soaking wet.  J was out of town and I panicked.  At first I thought my water broke and that started a 2 hour worry fest.  My belly was still hard, full of fluid, I thought and I could feel movement on both sides of the belly.  I didn't have any tightness of pain.  I cleaned up and sat in the bathroom for awhile waiting to see if I would drip any more fluid.  I reached the embarrassing conclusion that during my dream I was using the bathroom and I must have lived that in real life as well.  GREAT, JUST GREAT.  I have two more babies to potty train and mommy, ME!   UGH!  The kids got a kick out of this, I had to tell them why the bed was damp this morning when they tried to cuddle me.   I am now at a point where I am on the toilet or dreaming about it (or both). So now I feel very old and very fat!  Good times! 

All is better each time I feel the babies move.  They are making me so happy just feeling them move around.  I know several on-line blogging moms that have lost  babies the past few weeks and then a good friend here in TX lost one this week.  So sad for us on earth but so wonderful that Heaven has gained these precious souls.  It has had me a little one edge.  With all the movement I have decided that I need to embrace and enjoy the fact that we are being blessed with twins, and each day it looks more and more like they will be healthy.  I am going forward with just enjoying this unique place I am in.  We ordered some funny twin maternity shirts because no matter what happens this is where we are today.  We need to embrace it and enjoy it.

Rain Rain don't you dare go away!

Texas is still in the red. The drought is easing for sure but it is still bad.
We have had several days of rain. I was so thankful that Valentine's day was so nice because the rest of the week has been filled with rain.
I love the sound of the rain falling, I love the moist air and the wet ground.
  I had seen too many people complain about all the rain and it upsets me.

  We need this rain people.  So many trees are dead, let's not loose any more. 
I see the rain and I just think, Thank you GOD!!!!

Versatile Blogger Award

I am delighted and honored to learn that I was picked to recieve a blog award.

Bloggers who receive this award are supposed to do the following....
Thank the person that nominated their blog for the award and provide a link back to their blog.

I was awarded The Versatile Blogger award by Monique from Mountain Of Grace
Thanks for the award Monique! Please check out her blog, it is one that I recently found myself. I love her colors and style, very peaceful. To be honest she nominated my other blog "I Really Do Homeschool All These Kids". I try to only use that one for homeschool postings so I thank her here at the family blog.

List 7 things about themselves
  1. I love all the seasons. I miss seeing them here in Houston.
  2. I love history. I like to study it, I like to visit old places and I like to learn about it.
  3. I am so proud of being an American, I think our history is the coolest.
  4. I am always shocked at how so many people don't pay attention to current affairs.
  5. I can't imagine what life would be like if my children were in traditional school.
  6. I am dumb founded by the number of people that are friends with their children and don't actually parent.
  7. I am most hopeful about our future when I am with the youth of the next generation in our homeschool religion class, Catholic Coffee Club, they know their faith, they know their history and they see a beautiful future.
Pick 15 newly discovered blogs to give the award to.

  1. It was the best of times, and the worst of times
  2. Snails & Ponytails
  3. Lord, Make Me a Saint
  4. For His Glory
  5. Are We There Yet?
  6. Happily Ever Johnson 
  7. Chocolate For Your Brain! 
  8. Half a Dozen and More Productions    
  9. Braids, Curls & Hunting Squirrels
  10. Four Blessings Academy
  11. Hope Echoes
  12. Life In a Small Town
  13. From the Heart
  14. CF Family
  15. Following the trails to Heaven

  The national news has been so hard to swallow as of late that I have really enjoyed my blogs.  A few months back I went through a very long list of Catholic Mom's on line and started following the ones that I could relate too.  Recently  I figured out how to see the blogs I was following.  These 15 have been some of my favorites to visit.  Thank you ladies, you all have beautiful families!!!

Pope likes Big Families

Big Families Are Sign of Optimism, Says Pontiff

Calls for Legislation to Safeguard and Support Them

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 16, 2012 ( Benedict XVI on Wednesday offered words of encouragement for families with many children.
At the end of the general audience, he greeted representatives of the National Association of Large Families.
"In today's social context, families with many children are a witness of faith, of courage and of optimism, for without children there is no future," he said.
The Holy Father added that he hopes "adequate social and legislative measures for the safeguarding and support of larger families will continue to be promoted, since these families constitute a source of wealth and hope for the entire country."

Thank you so much for the few words of encouragement.  We love you Benedict XVI.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Enjoying Being Spoiled by My Family!

St. Valentine's Day is one that always escapes me on how to make it be tons of fun for others. My hubby and kiddos take great care of me. They spoil me and I love it. J spoils all the woman in his life and we all are blessed by it.
Years ago J got us flowers and as much as I loved his thoughtfulness I have never thought that $70 of flowers was a good use of money.  He is smart man and sent me chocolate covered strawberries instead.  Now those make me happy. 

This year he ordered the girls their own so mom didn't even need to share.  Then He delivered some to Pooker who is having a tough week of exams.  Goobers grabbed this shot of Dad's 6 girls eating their chocolates together.
The good news it that they shared with the boys. 

J then got out the surprise he worked very hard to order for me.  I had no idea what it was.  To be honest he was a little nervous and that made me nervous. 

I love the gift so very much.  He found a Bro. Matthew for me.  That would be the art work of a now deceased hermit artist.  This man was known locally in the foothills of rural Missouri for his simple artwork that was painted on pieces of wood from old barns.  Visit here to learn more about the art and the artist.

My aunt, cousin, and mom all own some beautiful pieces that are very moving and I learned yesterday now very very very expensive.  Bro. Matthew's nature scenes don't command the same price.  Now I own one.  I am so excited and proud of it. 

I was shocked to learn that J has been trying to buy one for years.  Bro. Matthew would paint one piece for one of the highschool auctions in St. Louis each year.  My aunt had a friend that knew him so she was a contact person, or at least this is how I remember it.  He was a hermit and you never knew if he would paint for you or not.  My aunt valued her painting and over the years picked one up for my mom and her daughter.  I always wanted one.
Some day I hope to own a  religious one as well but this is beautiful.  My husband has spent years tracking auctions and trying to find one we could afford.  I am so happy!  (and spoiled)
I admit that I knew exactly what it was and who painted it as soon as I saw color on the wood.  Just Beautiful.
Dinner was at my favorite place.  J and I had a delicious seafood treat.  Yummy!

We came home full and ready for a show.  The kids treated us to their own after dinner theater.  I love it.  I must tell you that I went to sleep last night feeling so very blessed.

I can't really even sum up the theme to the performance but I loved it.  J and I have the most wonderful house full of Valentines ever.