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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Filler post

Hopefully Monday's post will be a sufficient excuse for any recent/future blog slacking, but because I'm an overachiever, I still wanted to try and get another post in this week... even if it is completely lame.

Many of you probably read Allison's Thanksgiving re-cap post, and if you did, you might have noticed that while she made reference to our presence over the holiday weekend, she included us in ZERO of the pictures. I know, so insensitive, right?

The good news is that she did take a picture of us with her fancy pants camera... apparently she just didn't think it was exciting enough to share. But in case you haven't caught on, my standards are low at the moment, so I think anything is exciting enough to share:


Don’t I look tired? Aren't we cute? It's not a great shot of the twins, but being that I currently feel like I'm walking a fine line between looking pregnant and looking like I don't know how to dress appropriately for my weight, I'm ok with that.

Anyway, there you go. Proof that we were there.

Also, speaking of fancy pants cameras, we bought one! We opted for a nicer point and shoot, and decided to just copy our friends, the Scibas, by getting a Canon PowerShot G12. We actually ended up finding a good (and more importantly, legitimate) deal on Craig's List, so we didn't have to put too big of a dent in the preparing-for-the-babies budget!

So now that we've crossed one item off our list, I suppose we can get on with tackling the next 800. Technically the babymoon was also on our list, so I guess after this weekend, we'll be able to cross that one off as well- hooray for progress! Oh, and hooray for a vacation!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Why it's amazing that my brain is still functioning (aka: first world problems)

Well hello there!

We have returned (although not yet fully recovered) from our turkey day travels to see my family up in Dallas, where much fun was had by all. It was a full house (6 adults, 1 toddler, 3 dogs, and various other family members coming and going) and there was no shortage of activity going on, so needless to say, the long weekend wore us out a little! I think you'll all agree that there is no better type of exhaustion, however, and we are gladly looking forward to doing it again for Christmas in a few short weeks!

In addition to the normal lapse in sanity caused by holidays, there are a few other things on my plate that are occupying any and all available brain cells:

1. Registering for the babies
Registering is hard. And I would venture to say that registering for a baby is harder than registering for a wedding, because at least when registering for a wedding, you have some concept of what you'll do with the items once you get them. And you also have probably grown up using many of the items that you're registering for, so while choosing between brands can be difficult, at least you understand the basic function of a set of hand towels or a spice rack, for example.

Registering for a baby (or in our case, babies) is a whole different ball game. How on earth am I supposed to know the purpose of a bouncer versus a swing versus a jumperoo versus an exercauser, let alone pick out the "best" one(s) for our unborn children? And please don't even get me started on the more complex areas of the store, ie: anything and everything pertaining to bottles and pumping.

Thankfully, Allison graciously supplied me with an itemized list of what to register for and went with me (on Black Friday, no less) to Babies R Us to get the ball rolling. Approximately 5 minutes into it, I was fairly certain that my head was going to explode. About an hour into it, when she agreed to go scan a few more basic items while I "tested out" the recliners, I was fairly certain that my head already did, in fact, explode.

We got a lot done, so now I am just maintaining the list online, but there are still so many things to decide... and we haven't even picked out bedding for the nursery yet, which I know will be an ordeal!

2. Picking out a new car
Brian has taken the lead on this search, praise the Lord, so this is actually only consuming a minimal amount of my (already very limited) brainpower. After extensive research and a few test drives, I think we have decided on the Honda Pilot.

But if you've ever bought a car, then you know the decisions don't stop there. Leather or cloth seats? What color? Used or new? How much money should we put down? What kind of monthly payment can we afford? How much will we get for trading in our current car? Oh, and WHEN ON EARTH WILL WE HAVE TIME TO GO BUY ONE?!

3. Studying for my PHR exam
Way back in February, my company agreed to pay for me to take this HR certification exam; however, it was too late to sign up to take it in the Spring, so I signed up to take it in December. Obviously I had no idea how much would be going on at that time!

I have been studying pretty consistently for the past 3 months, but there is a lot of material to cover, and the pass rate for people taking this exam is only around 55%. So yes, it is safe to say this is causing me a fair amount of stress.

4. On a related note, I recently started a new position at work.
It was a promotion, actually, so that is great news, but transitioning into a new job is always a challenge, and especially when it's one with added responsibility. So basically when I wake up to pee in the middle of the night now, instead of then staying awake thinking about color schemes for the nursery, I am also running through the next day's meeting agendas and going over spreadsheets in my head. Fun times.

5. LIFE
Oh, yes, and then there is the whole business of going about our daily lives. Decorating for Christmas, grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning the house, taking care of the dogs, planning our trip to New Orleans (this weekend!), planning showers, doctor's appointments, etc. Oh, and growing two humans.

I should have clarified at the beginning of this post that I am NOT complaining- these are all wonderful "problems" to have... I just feel like my wagon is a little overloaded at the moment and wake up many mornings wondering not if, but when I will crack under the pressure.

I am reminding myself once again that God's grace is sufficient for me and I don't have to do it all... but unfortunately that doesn't seem to stop me from trying :)

So with that in mind, please don't feel sorry for me! And if you happen to see me curled up and crying in the fetal position, just ignore me. But if you do have any helpful advice or words of wisdom, feel free to share!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gobble gobble

Happy early turkey day, everyone!

Thank you for being so excited about our recent announcement... and sorry for making some of you cry :) We haven't finalized the names just yet, but promise to do so and let you all know before Christmas, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, I'm going to take a little blogging vacation for the week, so unless something monumentally bloggable happens in the next few days, I'll see you turkeys next week!

I'm sure Allison will continue blogging this week, so feel free to read hers to hold you over while you wait... it's basically like reading mine anyway!

Monday, November 12, 2012

16 weeks

Ladies and gentlemen (ok, just ladies), we have a bump-date!



A few thoughts on this picture:
1. Please note the two little turkeys. Gobble gobble... also appropriate since I seem to be eating more these days (see "total weight gain" below).
2. In the last bump post I wore blue, so the fact that I wore pink in this one makes me feel like an equal opportunity mom.
3. The dress above was passed onto me by Allison, so if you like it, feel free to send any compliments her way. Apparently it pays to wait until after your sisters have had a combined total of 5 children before getting pregnant because you get to inherit all of their maternity clothes!

Moving along: I haven't done one of these surveys yet, but I thought it might be a helpful way to give you all of the highlights of the pregnancy thus far. So here you go.

How far along: 16 weeks and 1 day

Total weight gain: 6 pounds. In the first trimester, I gained 1 pound. In the second trimester (so, in the past 3 weeks), I have gained 5. Oops. I am actually fine with it because I think 6 pounds at 16 weeks is decent for a twin pregnancy, so I'll take it!

Maternity clothes: I can get away with wearing looser fitting tops but all of my pre-pregnancy pants are officially useless to me. Thanks to my aforementioned sisterly donations, I already have about 8 million maternity tops and a few maternity bottoms. I bought an extra pair of maternity work pants this weekend and (perhaps more importantly) a pair of maternity yoga/lounge pants.
        
Stretch marks: Not that I've noticed.

Sleep: I sleep fine for the most part, but typically wake up around 3 am to pee. I have also noticed that if I switch sides too suddenly, my uterus does not seem to like it.

Best moment this week: Getting to hear their heartbeats on Friday! 152 bpm and 140 bpm     

Miss anything: Sleeping on my stomach, regular consumption of turkey sandwiches without fear of listeria, and being comfortable in my clothes

Movement: Not yet... hopefully soon!

Food cravings: I still don't know that I would call them cravings, but the other day I did see a fruit snack that someone had dropped on the floor at work, which prompted me to visit SEVEN of our building's vending machines in search of a bag of fruit snacks. Sadly, I left empty-handed. Un-sadly, I bought a box at the store that afternoon.

Symptoms: I think I am already experiencing some round ligament pain (see above regarding my unhappy uterus when I switch sides while sleeping). I also feel like I've been hit by a truck around 4:30 pm every day and stumble around in a daze until I eat dinner around 6 pm. That's about it.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Strong smells make me queasy, and I still have a bad taste in my mouth after almost every time that I eat, but hopefully that will stop soon.

Happy or moody most of the time: Probably depends on who you ask :) I have been a little anxious in the past week or so, but I wouldn't necessarily say moody. I did throw a mini temper tantrum when Brian was attempting to take the picture posted above because I wasn't happy with his picture-taking skills... but that's not really unusual.

Have you started to show yet: You be the judge!

Boy or Girl: Or one of each? Not sure yet. BUT we will have our first ultrasound with the perinatologist this week (we'll be seeing him every 4 weeks to make sure the twins are growing at the same rate), so we MIGHT be able to find out. Fingers crossed (that their legs won't be)!

Looking forward to: See above. I am just so ready for them to have names, and to register and start working on the nursery!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What Should I Blog About? - HIJACK

BLOG HIJACK BY BRIAN

On the way home from small group last night, Amanda shared with me that she had posed the question above on Facebook and had received a response from one of my friends*, which I happened to find amusing. So, naturally, I asked about the other things people had suggested and found those to be pretty funny as well, and so I suggested that she combine all those ideas into one blog. And write it when we got home before bed. Her response: "I can't write that fast. My writing is a work of art. Why don't you do it?"

Fine. I will. So here we are. Thanks for joining me! For starters, the suggestions she received are as follows:

- Erika
- Needle Lady
- Phyllis or Bad Santa
- The ridiculous November heat, baby predictions, mom fears, book/movie reviews
- Goals for the next 4 years**
- How wonderful her in-laws are
- Spice Girls
- Larry's*
- snails
- Her awesome coworkers and all the fun they have at work
- What she would do the same and differently with our twins compared to her twin upbringing**
- How she imagines the babies' personalities will be based on pregnancy symptoms/ultrasounds
- Our awesome neighbors

I'm not sure quite how this will turn out, however, one thing I am sure of is that Erika will most likely comment on it, and that comment will be within the first hour of this being published. One other thing I am sure of is that if there was a show called "Needle Lady" all that the famous Needle Lady would need to do to get aired on TLC is talk with a redneck accent and do things no sane human being would do - like give acupuncture to her friend's prize hog or something. I don't watch much TLC but I do know who Honey Boo Boo is and although I don't envision myself ever watching her show, I will admit my guilty pleasure redneck show is "Duck Dynasty." If you haven't watched it, it is about these eccentric, rich Louisiana folks that sometimes work and sometimes don't.

One person that may have fit right into that show would be Amanda's housekeeper while she was growing up - Phyllis. I can't recall if she has been mentioned here before, but for you "Duck Dynasty" fans, imagine Mama Kay with bright orange hair and wearing some really loud, colorful, flowery dresses. I'll never forget the time I met Phyllis and she said the N-word. Well she wasn't saying it exactly - she was quoting someone else. But, when she said it I laughed because it was so unexpected, and now I am pretty sure she recalls the time I laughed at that word every time my wife speaks to her.

Moving right along, has this warm November been kind of a let down to anyone else? I feel like October tempted us for a couple days with cool temps and then November was like "Not so fast!!" Anyway, one of my favorite things to do when it does feel like winter is watch movies in my nice warm house. Speaking of movies, we recently watched "What to Expect When You're Expecting." Funny movie, and my favorite parts all involved the group of dads that took their kids on walks together, and the brotherhood that they shared. I look forward to that when (prediction) we have our little boy and little girl. Honestly though, whatever we have, boy/girl, boy/boy, or girl/girl, I really can't wait to be a dad. And, I know my parents and in-laws are just as excited to be first time grandparents and 6th and 7th time grandparents respectively!

A prediction that I can say will come true for the babies is that they will listen to old-school jams like the Spice Girls and the Beastie Boys (none of the Beastie Boys songs with bad words though). And they will also be treated to at least one meal pre-birth and post-birth at one of the finest (or worst depending on who you ask) eating establishments in Richmond..... Larry's! If you have ever lived in Richmond (like our awesome neighbors the Higginses), you know that everyone out here either loves or hates that place. I love it. Their cheese enchiladas are the gauge by which I rate all other cheese enchiladas. Not saying they are the best, but they have been doing something right all these years.

One last prediction, and I can't say exactly why I think this, but I have this feeling that if we do have a boy and a girl, the boy will have a personality more like Amanda, and the girl will be more like me. My only fear is that I have two girls that are just like their mother. Wait, did I say fear? I meant HOPE. If we had two boys just like me... now THAT would be scary for Amanda!

Finally, I have really noticed lately that I have the privilege to work with some really awesome people, and my wife does as well from what the stories I hear from her. When I was finally able to tell the folks that I work with that we were pregnant, and later that it was with twins, they celebrated with me and said they were so happy and had been praying for us... and, well, it meant a lot to me, and I know it did to Amanda as well. So for those co-workers of ours that are out there reading this - thank you, you make working fun and our lives better.

Hope you enjoyed this random flow of thoughts and ideas produced from the suggestions on Facebook.  If you didn't, thanks for reading this far anyway. **There were two questions I couldn't tackle because they were pretty specific to Amanda, so if that was you, don't worry, I bet Amanda will answer them.

And.... snails.

Monday, November 5, 2012

15 weeks and another cold

Ok so all 3 of my posts last week were a little lame, as evidenced by the low number of comments, which leads me to believe that you all actually want me to continue rambling mindlessly about the pregnancy. Well I've got good news: that's basically all that's on my brain, so I should have no problem obliging. The bad news is that my efforts to appear less whiney seem to be futile.

Last Tuesday, I very suddenly came down with another cold. In my pre-pregnancy life, I typically got sick (usually a mild cold) maybe once a year. So the fact that I have had two very persistent ones in the past 3+ months is a little frustrating.

Thankfully I am no longer at the whim of my (understandably) conservative fertility clinic nurses, so I consulted the list of approved medicine that my OB gave me and have been able to "indulge" by taking some Sudafed. It's pretty sad when you feel like taking cold medicine is a treat, but such is life.

I still don't really like food. Or food doesn't like me. Or maybe the babies don't like food, which is a real shame if they like growing.

I officially have only one remaining pair of normal pants that fits. I realize I could still wear most of my normal pants with the belly band, but they still feel really restrictive and uncomfortable, especially since I spend so much of my normal workday sitting. I am planning to go buy some maternity pants soon, but in the meantime, please let me know if you think of a tactful way for me to request that my boss allow me to wear pajama pants. Better than asking to come to work with no pants on, right?

I'm thankful to report that there have been fewer irrational meltdowns over the past week, but admittedly there have still been a few mini-tantrums... mostly at meal time when Brian is trying to help me decide what to eat. Apparently telling him that "nothing sounds good" but insisting that I need to eat doesn't give him much to work with. Oops.

Our next appointment is on Friday and I am honestly surprised at how quickly the past 3 weeks have gone by. It has been nice to not have to spend so much time at the doctor's office, but I miss the regular ultrasounds and updates, aka: the regular reassurance that both babies are alive and well. 

I realize this is a common fear for all pregnant women, but it is really hard not to get caught up in the "what ifs," especially when it's too early to feel them move or anything... although when I do start feeling them move, I'm sure then I'll just obsess about whether or not they are moving enough!

So that's really it for now. I will be sure to post a 16-week bump picture next week as promised, so stay tuned. Oh, and even more exciting news- we will hopefully get to schedule the anatomy scan soon which means we should find out if they are boys, girls, or one of each in the not too distant future! Eek!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Getting to know me

The Liebster Blog Award is given to up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers, and nominated by fellow bloggers. Liebster is a German word meaning sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome. 

I set myself a goal for this week to (a) seem less whiney (notice I said "seem" and not actually "be," ha!) and (b) blog about something other than the pregnancy, so you can imagine how thankful I was to receive this award the other day that provided me with automatic blog content!

I was tagged for this award by Amanda, with whom I have two important things in common: 
1. Our awesome first name, obviously
2. Our hatred for our reproductive systems (although hopefully she will SOON be celebrating good news of her own!)

Anyway, the point of this award is to answer 11 questions about yourself and then tag 11 people who meet the criteria above to answer 11 new questions. However, I am going to be lame and only comply with the first requirement... feel free to copy and answer these yourself!

Why did you start blogging?
Because I was newly married, unemployed, and BORED! Go read my first post as evidence.

What's your biggest pet peeve?
This question is sort of like asking a parent to pick a favorite child- how do I pick just one?! I guess I'll go with flakiness. I have a very hard time being understanding when people don't do what they say they are going to do, or when they back out/cancel at the last minute, especially when they come up with a lame excuse for doing so!

If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Red, because it's my favorite color. Deep, huh?

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Italy; Brian and I had big plans to go there for our honeymoon but our bank accounts had other plans.

What's your favorite book?
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation (I wish I was joking, but I'm not.)

What is the quirkiest thing about you?
Easy: the imaginary friends

If dreams always came true, how many kids would you want?
I think Brian and I would both be happy with three, but we'll have to wait and see how two at once goes and then we'll get back to you!

What is your greatest vice?
I foolishly asked my husband to help answer this question, and within seconds, he responded, "Your temper?" You can imagine how that one went over. But in fairness, it's probably true (especially at the moment), so I'll leave it.

What is your favorite thing about your husband?
I'm admittedly tempted to skip this one altogether after Brian's response to the question above :)

My favorite thing about Brian is his sense of humor. I also appreciate that he is patient, loving, etc., but his ability to make me laugh/smile when I'm sad, angry at the world, or just plain being too serious is invaluable!

What is your happiest childhood memory?
Going to Camp Davis every summer with my family! Allison wrote a post about it not too long ago.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you be?
Next door to Allison and Wade... don't judge our co-dependency.

So there you have it!