Friday, October 26, 2012

Two new additions!

 I went into labor on July 29th 2012 at 39 weeks pregnant, on the dot! Sunday July 29th at 9:06 pm and 9:07 pm our two beautiful girls made their grand entrance, with loud hearty cries!

Evelyn Charlotte
9:06 pm
6 lbs 12 oz 19.5 inches long

Claire Elizabeth
9:07 pm
6 lbs 14 oz 19.5 inches long

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Today, our little sweet peas are only days away from being three months old! Time has flown by and our little babies are now 16 pounds each and growing each day. They are rolling over, laughing, smiling and a huge joy for mommy, daddy and big brother Owen. They continue to amaze us each day with their budding personalities.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

38 weeks, 3 days!

There is no question about it, I have seriously neglected this blog. With good reason though! I have been busy growing my two beautiful girls, all while keeping my six year old son happy, healthy and entertained. Summer is actually difficult for Owen because he misses school so much.We signed him up for summer camp, thinking it would be a good fit... it was most certainly not (long story).

In the beginning of my pregnancy with the twins, it seemed like every person I talked to said "Ohh, twins! How wonderful!... they'll be born really early and really tiny". So, I had kind of mentally prepared myself to go into pre-term labor with the girls starting as early as 30 weeks. Each week that went by, I thought okay not this week! Now I'm at 38 weeks and 3 days (considered full term with a singleton and considered "fully cooked" by many doctors and twin moms who know how it feels to be a beached whale).

I'm just thankful to have kept them cooking to full term. The girls should be about 6 or 7 pounds each right now, which I am curious to find out. I have an OB appointment today with ultrasound, which is always amazing.

While my mom was visiting a few weeks ago, the sonographer did a 3D ultrasound for us unexpectedly. I could not believe how much detail we could see on the screen - it was like we were actually taking a peek into my belly and looking at the girls face to face! I'm going to include a few ultrasound pictures, and a belly picture from a few weeks ago (I need to take a new one, because I'm sure that I'm even bigger now!)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Superbowl menu

Here are a few recipes that I'm using this Sunday...

BLT Biscuits

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 package (16 oz) bacon slices, cooked
1 small head romaine lettuce
4 plum tomatoes
1/2 cup mayo

1. preheat oven to 425. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, pepper, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cheese and buttermilk just until mixture forms dough.

3. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface; knead gently several times. Pat into 8x6 inch rectangle (about 3/4 inch thick). Cut dough into 24 squares with sharp knife; place on prepared baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly on wire rack.

4. Cut each bacon slice into 3 pieces. Tear lettuce into small pieces to fit on biscuits. Cut tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices.

5. Split biscuts spread each half lightly with mayo. Layer each biscuit with 2 slices bacon, lettuce and 1 slice tomato.

Makes 24 mini sandwiches

(a variation is to prepare as directed above, adding deli sliced turkey and avocado)

Buffalo Wedges

3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons smoke or sweet paprika
blue cheese dressing

1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Slice potatoes into 4 or 6 wedges, depending on size of potato.

2. Combine hot pepper sauce, butter and paprika in large bowl. Add potato wedges; toss to coat well. Place wedges in single layer on prepared baking sheet.

3. Bake 20 minutes. Flip potatoes; bake 20 minutes or until light golden brown and crisp. Serve with blue cheese dressing.

Fried Pickle Spears

3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 eggs
1 cup cornflake crumbs
12 pickle spears, patted dry
1/2 cup vegetable oil

1. Line serving dish with paper towels; set aside. Combine flour and cornstarch in small bowl. Beat eggs in another small bowl. Place cornflake crumbs in third small bowl.

2. Coat pickle spears in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip pickles in eggs; roll in cornflake crumbs. Repeat with remaining pickles.

3. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook four pickles at a time, 1 to 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove to prepared serving dish. Repeat with remaining pickles.

Makes 4 servings

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

comparison belly photos

12 weeks 3 days with twins

20 weeks with Owen

When my doctor said that twin pregnancies will be twice as big as singleton pregnancies, I thought she was just exaggerating. Then when she told me that the top of my uterus was at my belly button at 10 weeks, and that it was the size of a 20 week pregnancy, I started to believe her. Well, there is no denying the proof in pictures!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Babies galore

Here are the twins during last weeks ultrasound. They were 10 weeks 3 days in the pictures below...

The technician has changed the "names" of the twins because Twin A (formerly known as Twin B) is presenting first (closest to the cervix). I could not believe how much the babies had moved since the last ultrasound 4 weeks prior. Another thing that blew my mind was that the babies had grown so much to the point where they looked like little babies!

I felt so lucky to have this glimpse into their private little lives, so early on. With Owen I only had two ultrasounds- one at 16 weeks (the all exciting reveal of sex) and one more at 34 weeks when the doctor thought Owen was breech (Owen was indeed head down and ready to go). So I really do enjoy each of these ultrasounds, and every moment seeing my babies on the screen. During this particular ultrasound, I saw the babies moving around for the duration of the ultrasound exam. They would arch their backs every time the technician would rub the doppler over my stomach, along with many leg kicks and hand motions that almost mimicked them rubbing their eyes or sucking their thumbs.

The technician just kept telling me how adorable they are, and how they have cute little profiles (It was very reminiscent of my ultrasound with Owen when the ultrasound tech said those exact words and his cute profile).

The sweetest words to my ears though, were that there was a membrane (seen above, dividing the twins). Brian and I had been praying about that for weeks, ever since my last ultrasound. Four long months of hoping and praying that our babies had a separating membrane. Thank God, there is a membrane. Without a membrane, the babies can become entangled their cords, which is often deadly. The twins that share a placenta and an amniotic sac (no membrane) are called Monochorionic-Monoamniotic twins (always identical). Our twins thankfully are Monochorionic-Diamniotic, which means they share a placenta but have separate amniotic sacs (because of the membrane separating them, they are in separate thin sacs. Also, always identical. Unless there is a rare case that the placentas of fraternal twins fuse together to look like one single placenta.)

I read a description of this that seems helpful in understanding all of this. Think of fraternal twins (from two separate eggs) as being in two hard shell eggs. They have separate hard outer layers, plus an inside thin membrane layer. With identical twins, they are essentially in one hard shell. They share the hard outer shell. My twins have separate thin inner sacs that divide them in their one "egg".

What a learning experience this all has been. I can't believe how different it is having two babies in my womb instead of one. I know that theme will continue long after they're born, and I'm welcoming that difference as a really fulfilling and heartwarming experience. Yes, double the time and work, but double the blessings!

Monday, January 9, 2012

New life, times two

Lying on a table, getting an ultrasound done, I felt like I was having my first out of body experience. There on the screen were two little beans. As thoughts raced through my head "Can I actually be seeing two babies?" so many emotions swept over me as I reasoned with myself and put things into perspective. All while the ultrasound technician was continually printing out images of my full uterus. I sat there still, quiet, and in awe. Then, the confirmation came. The ultrasound tech labled those beans.... Twin A and Twin B.

A few photos of my babies were handed to me, and I proceeded to the waiting room while my doctor looked at the information prepared by the ultrasound technician. For the next 20 minutes I could not take my eyes off of that picture. The images of my tiny babies were so beautiful that I'm sure everyone in the room noticed my smile. I then explained to Owen that there were two babies in mommy's belly, not just one. He smiled, hesitated a moment and then exclaimed "I might get a brother AND a sister!"

Lets back up a little. On Thanksgiving eve, as Brian was preparing the turkey for our upcoming feast, I found out that I was pregnant. It was such an unexpected and welcomed joy that we were able to celebrate together, right at Brian's favorite holiday.

Right from the beginning, I felt that this pregnancy was entirely different from my pregnancy with Owen. I must have said that a dozen times, because all of the symptoms were much more intense. I never had morning sickness with Owen, and this time around I felt like I didn't have a moment of not feeling sick. The list of doubled pregnancy symptoms just goes on and on.

I scheduled an early appointment with my OB/Gyn to have an ultrasound, because I was not sure how far along I was. My doctor told me that all she could see was a thick endometrium and possibly a tiny gestational sac, but that it was too early to tell. She scheduled another ultrasound for 2 weeks from then. I left the doctors office feeling really emotional. Close friends who knew of my pregnancy reassured me and prayed. Two weeks went by and it was time for my second ultrasound. December 14th. That's when I saw my twins for the first time. The whole time we had been praying for this baby and it turns out, it was two babies all along! What an awesome God, we have.

That first ultrasound that I had, was only at 4 weeks which is why nothing was seen. My second ultrasound, where the twins were clearly visible, was at 6 weeks. So now as I approach my third ultrasound this Wednesday, at 10 weeks, I can't help but wonder how different my babies will look. Seeing that their little tails have completely vanished, and now they will have arms and legs!

New life, so intricate and wonderfully made. Such a blessing.

Friday, October 7, 2011

autumn treasures

Most seasons start out gradually as they work their way to their "best moments". Winter doesn't usually come barreling through (unless you live in New York). Winter starts out with a chill in the air and frost in the grass that glistens in the sunshine that is peaking through the clouds, trying to keep those mums in bloom just a little bit longer. And Spring, it makes it's entrance with tiny tips of tulips poking through traces of snow on the ground and the sound of birds flying back home from their warm winter on the beach. Summer makes the least prominent entrance. In July when the temperatures are near 100 degrees everyone always says "When did Summer arrive?".

This past week has been one of those weather urban legends. The ones that you picture an old farmer to tell when harvesting his last crop of the year. The temperatures have been in the mid 70's to mid 80's, gorgeous blue skies, bright sunshine.... and slowly changing foliage. That slow change in color gives me the chance to take it all in, and really appreciate and recognize how sometimes the insignificant things in life truly are the most spectacular.