Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Last night was the Halloween party at church - the only Halloween festivity we attended since we missed it over the weekend (nothing going on tonight). Cash was a little apprehensive about the whole thing as you can see, but he was a very dutiful waver as prompted, even during the costume parade. We did manage to crack a few wary smiles.


video

And since I don't know that I will ever be creative enough or take the time enough to home-make mine or my kids costumes, I must pay homage to those that do. Here's my friend LuAnn with her husband Jeff and their baby Simon as Marge, Homer and Maggie Simpson (they figured the only time they could get away with dressing Simon as a girl without permanently scarring him), and Harrison, Cash's little friend next door as Mr. Peanut, complete with the hanging monacle to go over his eye:

Chicago

So we had another great time in Chicago this weekend. Hit the Magnificent Mile for some good shopping, went to the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry, enjoyed some beautiful fall weather, and caught up with old friends. I'm sad to think it may be our last time down to Chicago. Ryan's November is actually busy, believe it or not, and we're going to Utah for all of December. Maybe January, but it would be pretty cold. Then after February life as we know it will be drastically different....

Pictures - eating with my friend LuAnn in a cafe on Michigan Avenue.

"American Gothic" at the Art Museum

The German U-boat captured by the U.S. during WWII in the Museum of Science and Industry

Eating lunch with my old roommate Angela (sorry old friends - I meant to get a picture with her boyfriend in it too (sounds serious!), but he left before I remembered).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Trick or Treat

So we recently found out how Wisconsin does Halloween - everyone will be trick or treating this Sunday afternoon. Huh? Yeah, apparently, (even though it seems to work fine everywhere else in the country) they don't like to do it on a school night or something, so everything happens this Sunday and then there is nothing that goes on on actual Halloween day. I was trying to find some festivities on Halloween, and there was nothing. All celebration goes on this weekend and will be over by Monday. Whatever. And since we're going to Chicago this weekend (need to do some shopping on Michigan Avenue before I'm waddling), and they don't do it the same, I guess we pretty much will miss Halloween this year.

So in lieu of Halloween, here's some pictures to enjoy of our neighbor's front yard. I mentioned them before - the blood and guts decorators. It's so gross! (Seriously, would your kid want to go trick or treating here??)

Visitors

So my friend Tara from New York was here this past week learning how to cut hair. We didn't get many pictures, mainly because we were so busy trying to get everything in that we never even left the house, but if we had taken more pictures you could have seen lots of mannequin heads around the house getting their hair cut, and both Tara and I with our new dos. (Yes, I actually let her do my hair and it turned out fine!) Cash and her little boy, Eli are only about two weeks apart. It's funny to see the differences though - can you tell which one of our kids is the tv junkie? Seriously, it was so funny to watch Eli trying to hand Cash things during a movie and Cash being like, "Seriously dude, don't bug me. Baby Einstein is on."


Thanks to my super nice husband for being the babysitter all weekend. Here's the boys being taken for a bike ride by Ryan.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Breathing again, sort of

Wow. Thanks everyone for sharing in our shock and giving so much encouragement! It's been a crazy few days, but having been asked a lot, I'll try to share some more details.
The range of emotions:

- Coming out of the ultrasound room into a full waiting room where it felt like everyone was staring at me, Ryan told the lady behind the desk we just found out we were having twins. She looked at me and said, "Oh wow, she looks a little faint." Quite true, quite true. And shaky. Really bad morning to skip breakfast.

- All the rest of that first day though - couldn't stop laughing. Delerium? Denial? Or just the fact that it really is just nuts!?!?! Not sure. I think it was partly that I was shocked and terrified for Brooke when I heard about hers, so maybe I was past those emotions. My mom started to choke up on the phone and I had to just say "No, mom. I'm not in a crying mood about this - it's just too funny and crazy to me right now!"

- Um, holy cow - I was really scared to have two kids 20 months apart - but now to have three boys under the age of 2?????

- Ryan's feelings? "Boy's rule the house! Boy's rule the house!" "Boy party, boy party!"

- Everyone else's reaction? "Wow, hope you have lots of help." No, actually, we live hundreds of miles from anyone. And next year will be moving thousands of miles from anyone.


Other thoughts:

- When we really stop and think about it, Ryan and I both said that we never would have imagined ourselves as the parents of twins.

- I think it will actually look like a mom and quadruplets - Ryan and Cash are already told they look like twins, I have no reason to think these two will look any different!

- I had already been looking for a double stroller for Cash and the baby - so I asked Ryan, "So do I need a triple stroller now???" Then, "Oh, wait, who am I kidding - I'm not going to be going anywhere."

- FIVE people in a two-bedroom house?!?

- Um, can you fit three car seats in the back of an Xterra?



How am I feeling?

- Justifiably now, at least twice as bad as I ever felt while pregnant with Cash. Way more nausea, lots of headaches, and serious back problems. Luckily they are all feeling much better currently.


How do they know the twins are identical?

- Well, that's what the ultrasound tech said based on the fact that there are two sacs and only one placenta. That is the most common scenario. Although I have read that fraternal twins could have a placenta that is fused and just looks like one. So there is still a possiblity that they're not identical, but so far it's most likely that they are. But it is very good that they have separate sacs - much less risky.

- The other funny thing is that of all types of twins, identical boys is the least common. Pretty funny that Brooke and I both managed it! And no, neither of us was on any kind of fertility treatment. Besides, I think Clomid and stuff only increases the likelihood of fraternal twins, it doesn't increase the chance of a zygote splitting into two. And neither of us knew until our 20 week ultrasounds!


Do twins run in the family?

- Didn't really think so, but actually there are a few on my side. But as it turns out, heredity is more a factor in non-identical twins. Identical just seems to be more of a freak occurence.



Did we jinx ourselves?

- Probably. Ryan and I used to joke around that we really wanted twins so we could exploit them - commercials, print ads, the next Mary Kate and Ashley.... Then we had one. And we fully admitted to ourselves then that wow, after having one - there's no way we'd ever want twins.

- When Ryan found out Brooke was having twins, all he could do was shake his head and say, "Twice the poop, twice the poop." Well, as Brooke points out, for us already having one in daipers, that's three times the poop, three times the poop.



Why we're pretty lucky:

- You know how you don't realize until you look back on your life that God really knew what He was doing with you far better than you did? Well, we couldn't be in a better place right now - good thing for us we decided to move to Milwaukee just to have an easy year for Ryan. If he was like most first year medical residents working 80+ hours a week, I would really die.

- We already had a really hard baby. Didn't think anything good would come of having gone through that experience long-term, really, besides the fact of feeling triumphant that I actually got through it, but seriously, I feel much better prepared for handling a twins. After one colicky, non-sleeping baby, two isn't quite as daunting (I'm not kidding myself though, it's still going to be ROUGH!)

- Having been such a hard baby, Cash is now an angelic toddler. Seriously, I couldn't ask for a better child to have around while trying to deal with twin babies. He is so chill and mellow, and entertains himself really well.



Anyway, we're excited (and still terrified, of course). I guess this is what I get for being the girl that loves surprises - although I'm always the surpriser, not the one being surprised! And the twins must have been in on the whole thing - I had hardly felt a peep from them before. Now that the secret's out - they're definitely starting to make their presence known!


And look - our first present came in the mail today! My sister is Julie is so on top of it!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Um, surprise! Well, for us that is, really. Not only is this the big announcement for everyone else (that's the bonus for being a blog-reader!), but as you can see in the picture, yes, there are two heads. And two heartbeats. And four feet kicking me in the bladder. And we just discovered it this morning at the ultrasound. We had only heard one heartbeat before. But nope - it's identical twin boys. I don't have much else to say on the subject right now because I'm still a little in shock. The due date is in March, but they'll be coming in February it looks like.

Even more uncanny, I was going to blog last week about how we were so excited and already going through shock for my BFF, Brooke, who is due a week before me and just found out she is having identical twin boys!! What are the chances??!?!
















Heaven help me with three boys!!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Movie


So the other day we watched Danny Deckchair, an Australian movie. It was actually pretty cute. There doesn't seem to be many noteworthy movies out right now, but this was just a fun, pleasant movie, nothing amazing, but entertaining. Put it on your queue if you do Netflix or Blockbuster.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Door County, Wisconsin

So we took a little weekend trip up north to Door County this weekend - the "thumb" of Wisconsin - a little peninsula that sticks out into Lake Michigan. It's dotted with charming little towns that are all very festively decorated for fall, and has some of the thickest forests in peak fall season that we've ever seen. It was beautiful.

We also went out to Washington Island, off the very tip. You have to take your car across on a ferry, and it was a pretty deserted place. Apparently we were there just past the peak season and it was a little freaky feeling like you might get stuck there. About 700 people stay there through the winter and the ferry has an ice breaker so they can cross to the mainland twice a day - if the ferry is working. A very secluded, relaxed life on a beautiful island, although we realized it probably would never be the kind of life for us.
There was also the fall Harvest Festival up in Sister Bay - another cute little town, but I have no idea where all the people came from for this celebration!












And they really decorate so well for fall (we have some neighbors who are the blood-and-guts kind of decorators for Halloween - gross). These weren't even the most festively decorated, just some I realized I had a picture of.

And of course, when passing through Green Bay, we had to stop at Lambeau Field - home of the Green Bay Packers.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Dreaming of the future

So sometimes Ryan and I think about things we would like in our future house (as in way in the future). I think we'd like to live set back from the road a bit, and definitely not 6 feet away from our next door neighbors like we are now. So in that setting, I love these fences in central park, with the occasional bench built in. I think they're so charming!










Of course there are a million things we talk about and would love, but currently, I can't get past one issue. I know the free-standing bathroom sinks look so nice, but right now, after four years of having no more than a two-inch circumference around the sink for any sort of counter space - I HAVE HAD ENOUGH! IS IT SO MUCH TO ASK FOR SOME SURFACE AREA? At least this house we're in has the one cupboard over the toilet for storage - but that has further contributed to my problem, really. Between that, and having to use the back of the toilet to put stuff on for lack of other counter space - can I tell you how many things have ended up in the toilet over 4 years???? Gross. I'm tired of it. And forget looks, I just want to set the toothpaste down somewhere if I feel like it, and to not have to fish it out of the toilet 30 seconds later. Am I just clumsy, or does anyone else have this problem?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mmm, mmm good for you

So I picked up a new book today when we went for storytime and the local Barnes and Noble. Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld, wife of Jerry Seinfeld.

Some of you may have seen her on tv - my friend told me about the book after seeing her on Oprah the other day, and and I know she was also on the Today Show this week. I guess her kids are picky eaters, and won't eat their vegetables. So Jessica started coming up with recipes that use pureed vegetables in regular foods - basically sneaking in their vegetables - and her kids never seemed to notice. So she's got recipes for stuff that kids love, like quesadillas (butternut squash puree mixed in with the cheese), chicken nuggets, pizza, mac and cheese and even her own ketchup recipe. I'm especially curious to try her desserts - brownies that even have carrot and spinach puree in them!? Cupcakes and stuff with beet puree, etc. I'll have to let you know how they turn out! I don't really think I have to hide vegetables from Cash, sometimes he just won't eat much period - vegetables or other. But I do like the idea of adding more nutrients to stuff I'm going to make anyway. We'll see how it goes! If anyone's interested, I have a really good coupon to get 37% off that's good until October 15th. I can email it to you if you want (maybe you can find it online too).

Monday, October 8, 2007

Huh....

So apparently all those cute pictures of kids in the pumpkin patch are taken before they're mobile? I could only get Cash sitting in the pumpkins, trying to lift the pumpkins, dumping straw on the pumpkins, and looking like a goofball as he fell into the pumpkins. Maybe I'll have to take Ryan with me and try again.






But he does occasionally take good pictures, really. Here's a couple recent ones:


And it's been a while since I've put on any video for the far-away family members to see, so here's one of a typical day with Cash:

video

By the way, we just found out that Ryan gets Mondays and Fridays off during this rotation in October. The other three days he gets home at 1pm. Wow. No complaints here!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The real deal

Last week we had our first traumatic doctor's experience with Cash. Ok, that's not true, I feel traumatized every time he gets shots, which is why I make Ryan go with me. But this time, not only did he get shots, he had to get blood drawn. Having been a phlebotomist (person who draws blood) all through college, I was pretty sure the girl felt quite uncertain about sticking the needle in his arm because it appeared she didn't really have a clear target. I was right. After digging around in his poor, tiny little arm for probably a full two minutes while he was screaming and sobbing, at the point when I was about to start crying, I finally said, "STOP! You can try a finger prick - I'm not doing this anymore." So then we had to endure the finger prick, more tears, more of this girl not knowing what she was doing.

But then, when it was done, Cash just wanted me to hold him. He put his head on my shoulder and just wanted me to hold him. Even after the trauma we'd put him through, that was all he wanted. It started a whole flood of thoughts about his feelings. How awesome it is that kids love their parents this much. And even more than just love, it's like they adore them. For Cash, everything is better when I'm around (or Ryan). He wants to be wherever I am. His eyes light up whenever I enter a room. For all the effort I put into going out and doing fun things with him, taking him to classes, museums, etc., a great day for him could be just sitting at home all day - with me. He's also sort of in a shy stage right now, where he is super clingy, and doesn't want to leave my side. It could be annoying, and at first we were worried that he was going to be too shy and he needed to interact with other kids better. But after this realization, I determined that actually, I'm going to drink up every minute of this behavior, because I'm sure it won't last. For now, he thinks I am the greatest thing in the world.

And then I realized: This is what people search their whole lives for.

Seriously, think about all those times you liked someone, only to find they didn't like you back as much as you like them. All the dating relationships that never held quite the intensity you craved. Or friendships that never seemed quite as reciprocated. Even with spouses, they have so many distractions, careers, etc., that they can't even have quite the same demonstration of adoration. (I guess it would also be weird for Ryan to cry every time I left the room, and could get annoying having him follow me around the house constantly, but you get what I mean.) And so I realized, how completely fulfilling it is to have a child - to finally have that feeling of pure love and adoration showered out on a daily basis. I think people talk so much about how much love you have for your own child, but this was sort of a new realization to me, how much, in his way of showing it, Cash loves me. It's a pretty balanced relationship, I think. This is the real deal. This, I realized, is what love is all about.