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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Babymoon Part II

Remember back at Christmas when I gifted Brian with a reservation for the Babymoon package at the Houstonian? At the time, February 23rd seemed like 8 million years away, but somehow the time passed and last weekend we had the pleasure of experiencing Babymoon Part II right here in town. 

After lunch and a few errands on Saturday, we checked in at the hotel and received the following:

Yes, please! (Minus the fitness club privileges... we opted out on that.)

When we checked into our room, as promised, we were happily greeted with the following welcome basket, complete with teddy bear (C&C will have to share), sparkling cider, various bath products, and CHOCOLATE, including two chocolate cigars that we'll be saving for the day they're born, of course.

We lounged around the hotel for a bit and I made sure to snap a quick 31-week bump picture for your viewing pleasure. 

Then we spent a little time lounging around in the lobby (by the seasonally unnecessary but still appreciated fire) and talking about what life will be like after the babies arrive.

Self-pic time

We finally mustered up the courage to ask someone else to take our picture when we were on our way out to dinner. I foolishly opted for the hand-on-hip pose, which I think just makes me look silly, but oh well.

There's a restaurant attached to one of the movie theaters near our hotel that offers a 3-course dinner + movie ticket combo, which seemed like the perfect low key option to us (especially considering we had a gift card there leftover from our anniversary- thanks, in-laws!). This chocolate cake that was actually the size of 3 normal pieces of cake also seemed like the perfect option to us.

Side note: there was an incredibly obnoxious British woman that sat down at a table near us after having had one two many beers. She spent the duration of the meal yelling (complete with curse words) and eventually crying about how some of her friends think the Sandy Hook shootings were a conspiracy. It was awkward and the manager was asked twice to tell her to pipe down. I was two seconds away from waddling over to her table myself, telling her she was offending me and my unborn children, and smacking her across the face, but I refrained.

Imagine our excitement when she walked into our theater after dinner... thankfully she kept her mouth shut. FYI, the movie we picked was Silver Linings Playbook and I would highly recommend it - a little dark but very entertaining! 

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel and found this waiting for us upon our return (along with chocolates on our pillows and elevator music playing on the alarm clock, which for some reason we continue to listen to for a good hour).

The teddy bear wanted to join in on the non-alcoholic fun.

We woke up the next morning for our massages, but unfortunately there is no photographic evidence of that. Brian got a deep tissue massage during which the masseuse allegedly abused him with her elbows and I got a prenatal massage, during which the masseuse spent way too much time on my upper butt and way too little time on the crippling knots on my shoulder blades that I mentioned to her. Regardless, it was still relaxing!

We finished off the weekend with breakfast at the hotel before checking out and heading home. 

And that was that! We really did have a great time and were thankful to get in one last escape alone together before the babies come. Hard to believe our time as a family of two is coming to a close soon, but of course we're excited about our new life as a family of four. 

Thanks, Brian, for still being fun to hang out with... and for still putting up with me and my occasionally hormonally imbalanced ways. I love you!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Baby shower numero tres

It's safe to say that one of the highlights of working in Human Resources is that I get to work with a lot of females. And unlike many workplaces that feel more like middle school lunchrooms, I just so happened to luck out by working with a lot of females that I actually like, so I'm thankful for that as well.

As anyone that has dealt with infertility can attest, it is sort of impossible to not let it seep into every other aspect of your life, so it's not surprising that I shed many tears during the past 3 years at work. Heck, my co-workers often knew before my family members when a cycle didn't work because they just happened to hear me crying after hanging up from another disappointing phone call from a nurse.

All this to say, these people that I spend 40+ hours of my week with have become more than just co-workers to me, and just as they were to there to help me pick up the pieces every time we got bad news, they have been some of the loudest cheering us along from the sidelines throughout this pregnancy. So of course I suspected when they offered to throw me a baby shower that they would go all out, and sure enough, they did!

They opted to go with a movie theme- a "double feature"... pretty creative and cute, I must say. Here are the invitations, complete with Act II popcorn:


Loved this banner and they let me keep it!

I told you they went all out with the theme...

Not pictured, but the "snack stand" included hot dogs, pizza, and nachos... the 3 basic food groups :)

Cute cupcakes with "admit one" tickets for dessert

The favors- popcorn boxes full of candy... I might have taken one for each of the babies :)

Few things get me excited quite like candy- they know me so well!

The presents! And no, I do not plan to ever re-gift that owl bag because I want to keep it forever.

Cute matching crabby preemie outfits from Heather- Brian and I are going to get ourselves a pair to match

With the lovely and gracious hostesses who very much outdid themselves - Page, Suzanne, me, Priscilla, and Heather

In addition to hosting, Heather also played photographer (with her fancy new camera), so a big thank you to her for making sure this event was well-documented! And forgive me for not including pictures of the other co-workers in attendance, but I promise they were there and gave lots of cute and wonderful gifts :)

Although I'm a little sad to have our last baby shower behind us, I am so, so grateful for all of the thoughtful and generous gifts that we were given to help us prepare for Colby and Clara's arrival. There are really just a few items left on our list, which is a big blessing, because I thought we would be spending an arm and a leg trying to get ready for these little ones... although I guess thanks to IVF, we did actually spend an arm and a leg- ha!

Stay tuned for a post later this week on our mini-Babymoon stay-cation...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Quick check-in

Totally didn't mean to fall off the face of the blog earth this week, but apparently the holiday on Monday threw me off my game, so forgive me.

Tuesday's appointment went well. Colby was estimated to weigh 3 pounds, 7 ounces, and Clara was estimated to weigh 2 pounds, 12 ounces- still small, but still growing! She flipped over again, so she is back to being breech while he is still head down. She likes to keep us guessing, it seems, so I wouldn't be surprised if she was head down again by today's appointment.

I met up with a new twin mom friend this week who introduced me to the amazing video below about conversations twin moms get to have on a regular basis. Ours haven't even been born yet and I have already gotten to have some of these exchanges, so I can only imagine how much fun it will be once we're out with them in public! So sit back, relax, and enjoy:



My favorite part? "That's great you have a boy and a girl. You are done." "Thanks for handling that decision for me."

Anyway, that's all I have for now. Stay tuned for a post next week about the fun baby shower that my co-workers threw for C&C (and me)!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Presidents' Day Pictorial

Somehow Brian and I lucked out and BOTH got the day off of work today, unlike MLK day last month when Brian was off and I was busy dying of jealousy at my office. Thank you, Presidents, for making this possible!

I figured I would take this random holiday as an opportunity to share some random pictures with you, all courtesy of my iPhone. Enjoy:


Brian's boss's wife got these for C&C for our last shower and I love them! In case you haven't noticed, I love pretty much anything with their names on it. I believe they came from this website, which has all kinds of cute personalized kids' stuff on it.

These are the hostess gifts I gave the hostesses for my last shower and I thought they turned out really cute! My sweet co-worker, Page, started making these bottles as a fundraiser for a mission trip she took to Haiti last month- here's the facebook page in case you're interested! We use ours for dish soap but it could also be used for olive oil, salad dressing, etc. 

I made Brian take this picture with me in our bathroom after our Valentine's Day dinner date. I know what you're going to ask, and yes, we are totally planning to frame this and put it in the babies' nursery.

In fact, maybe we can frame this one too and put them both up on the wall together? 

Speaking of those babies, I just wanted to give you an idea of what my view looks like at the perinatologist's office each week. I felt awkward taking a picture during the actual ultrasound, so just imagine that there are two babies up on the screen. 

FYI, all of the appointments have gone relatively well so far! They aren't practicing their breathing movements regularly yet, so sometimes we have to wait a bit to actually see them do it, but now that they're 30 weeks along, they should start doing them more regularly. The next growth scan is at my appointment tomorrow (we only have those every 3 weeks), so I'll be able to report back with a size update after that. Please keep praying for continued growth for both Colby and Clara, but of course, in particular for Clara to keep up with her brother!

And on a completely unrelated (but totally awesome) note, there's the last picture for your viewing pleasure:


Once upon a time (2005-2006), I was a National Consultant for my sorority. I basically traveled to various colleges around the country to check in and see how the chapters were doing, give them advice/support, make sure they weren't breaking rules, etc. During our 2-week training, we had the privilege of serving as models for  Chi O Creations, the store that sells anything and everything that you can put an owl or Greek letters on. 

This was one of the lovely outfits I got to sport for the photo shoot. I'm pretty sure they could not have found something less flattering for my not-so-slender legs, but oh well. At least now I can list "professional model" on my resume, right?

And that's all I've got. Have a great week!

PS - I added a "Pregnancy" page at the top, so feel free to check it out in case you're desperately wanting to read all of the highlights in chronological order.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love

Survey stolen from Erika from Valentine's Day 2012

How long have you and your significant other been together?
Since December 16th, 2003 - it was a first date to remember!

How did you meet?
A mutual friend introduced us on the Aggie bus that we rode to/from campus. She introduced me to Brian as her "bus friend," but I thought she said "best friend." We then filled the duration of the ride home by staging a fake best friend break-up in which I was forced to choose sides between the two. We thought it was funny, even if the other passengers didn't.

We continued to see each other on the bus and a week or two later, I convinced him that if he would come to our sorority's philanthropy show, I would give him dinner at the sorority house. I've been bribing him with food ever since...

If married, how long have you been married?
5 years, 6 months, and 10 days

If you are married, where did you get married? Big or small wedding? 
We got married in Austin, Texas, at my home church in front of about 175 of our family/friends.


Do you have any nicknames that you call one another?
Not so much. Who needs nicknames when you have imaginary friends?

Name 3 things you love most about your honey:
1. He doesn't complain about me or speak negatively about me, even though my behavior often warrants it :)
2. He is thoughtful.
3. He makes me smile and laugh on a regular basis, and makes sure that I never take life too seriously.

Tell us how he proposed?
With the help of Allison and Wade, he took me on a scavenger hunt around Austin on Christmas day in 2006. Read all about it here!


Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals?
Flowers and teddy bear... probably because I don't like strawberries or champagne. We often institute a "no gift" rule, but thankfully he is well aware that flowers don't count as a gift :)

Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?
I could do either. I'm versatile like that. But admittedly, at 7+ months pregnant, I am much more of a pop a movie in and relax on the couch (or just go to sleep) kind of girl.

Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant other one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?
Travel to Hawaii and/or Italy! I also think it would be fun (much smaller scale here) to go to a drive-in movie.

Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine's Day.
We're planning to stop somewhere for breakfast on the way to work and dinner plans are TBD. We might go to Pappasito's for some Mexican food and then come home to relax on the couch (see above), or if I'm feeling particularly uncomfortable/tired/pitiful, then we might pick up dinner to go somewhere and come home to relax on the couch. It's a win either way!

Are you asking for anything this Valentine's day?
See above about the "no gifts" rule!

Give us one piece of advice for keeping a relationship strong and full of love.
Laugh a lot. Pray a lot. Hug a lot. Say "I love you," "I'm sorry," and "I forgive you" as often as possible.

Show us a picture of what love means to you:

This picture is from when Brian whisked me away for a quick trip to the beach after our second failed IUI last summer, aka: one of the lowest points of infertility/life for me. So thankful to have someone that loves me and knows what's best for me, even when I don't know it myself.

Happy Valentine's Day to the one I love and to all of you as well!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

ABC's of me


{A} Age: 29 (dangerously close to 30)
{B} Bed size: Queen, which used to be plenty big enough but has recently become a little cramped thanks to my friend, the body pillow. Oh, and thanks to my friend, the giant expanding stomach.
{C} Chore you hate: Cleaning the bathtub/shower
{D} Dogs: Noah and Buster, our firstborn babies
{E} Essential start to your day: Shower... I am not one of those people that can shower before bed and still feel fresh and clean the next day. In fact, the next day I feel homeless and disgusting.
{F} Favorite color: Red
{G} Gold or Silver: Gold
{H} Height: 5'6"
{I} Instruments you play: Does Guitar Hero on the Wii count?
{J} Job Title: Recruitment Supervisor
{K} Kids: Two on the way- Colby Wayne & Clara Lane
{L} Live: from New York, it's Saturday night! Oh, you want to know where I live? The thriving metropolis of Richmond, Texas (outside of Houston)
{M} Married: Happily, for 5.5 years
{N} Nicknames: I honestly don't have one, and I am not a huge nickname person, so unless your nickname is what you go by regularly, I probably won't call you by it!
{O} Overnight hospital stays: None yet
{P} Pet peeve: Just like people can't pick a favorite child, I can't pick a favorite pet peeve. Today I'll go with excuses. My least favorite? "I didn't have time."
{Q} Quote: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not men." - Colossians 3:23
{R} Righty or Lefty: Righty (tighty)
{S} Siblings: Elizabeth (35), Andrew (32), Allison (29)
{T} Time you wake up: 5:40 am on weekdays, however late the babies will let me sleep on weekends
{U} University attended: Texas A&M University (whoop!)
{V} Vegetables you dislike: I find mushrooms to be particularly offensive
{W} What makes you run late: That list is limited to natural disasters or other acts of God- I pride myself in my punctuality!
{X} X-Rays you've had: Finger, foot, uterus, and chest (when they thought I had TB)
{Y} Yummy food: Macaroni and cheese!
{Z} Zoo animal favorite: Pandas, duh

Monday, February 11, 2013

Baby shower #2

I know the correct word to use is "blessed," but I have to say that after our second baby shower, we just feel plain spoiled! In the best way possible, of course :)

Some of my friends here in town threw me an owl-themed shower and they did such a great job of tying the theme together- something I am terrible at doing, so I appreciated it even more. 

Loved the cute invitation!

They also decorated these onesies (one for each of the babies for the first 12 months) for us to take their monthly pictures in. I am kind of thinking about ordering matching stickers for Brian and me that say, "We survived 1 month, 2 months, etc." - ha!

The food was delicious- brunch shower food is the best! Muffins, scones, donut holes, casserole, fruit, pigs in a blanket, cookies, M&M's... and I'm sure I'm forgetting something! And check out the cute owl diaper cake centerpiece - almost too cute for us to disassemble and make use of the diapers... almost

Colby and Clara each got their own personalized cookies from this local bakery. The hostesses sent me home with several and Brian and I have made sure to alternate between eating one of his and one of hers- gotta keep things even!

And here's me at 29 weeks! I feel like my  entire body face is starting to look puffy, but I realize that comes with the territory, so I am trying not to beat myself up over it.

Love these cute matching owl blankets, and a big thank you to Brian's sweet Granny for getting them for us (along with their mobiles and sleep sacks)

Can't wait to read these during late night diaper changes... or better yet, for Brian to read them during late night diaper changes :)

Colby and Clara's aunt, great grandmother, and grandmother all made the trip in - they're the best! (My mom came, too, but we only got candid shots of her so you'll just have to trust me.)

Auntie Allison, aka: my dedicated photographer, looking her finest

My friend (and one of the hostesses), Brittany got the babies these adorable personalized sleep sacks... Brittany, you'll have to leave the name of the shop in the comments so we can all steal your idea! 

With the wonderful hostesses (Kristen, Brittany, me, Beth, and Katie)

Beth and I are due just 12 days apart- Colby and Clara can't wait to be best buds with baby Mateo

Double take- can you tell which one of us weighs less?

Two of Colby's and Clara's sweet aunties

Miraculously, we have already put away all of the gifts, washed all of the clothes, and reorganized the nursery to fit everything- thanks again in no small part to Allison for her help! It would be nice if we had a day or two longer to recover, but alas, it's back to work we go. Thank goodness for a 3-day weekend coming up, in which my biggest plans are to sleep and rest as much as possible.

We have one more shower coming up that my co-workers are graciously throwing for me next week, so stay tuned!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Week in review (so far)

- I went to my first perinatologist appointment solo on Tuesday and survived! They checked out both babies (paying extra attention to Clara's cord flow and fluid levels) and everything looked great, which was very encouraging. It was kind of nice not to have them take measurements for a change so that I didn't have to spend the entire appointment fretting about how many millimeters apart their femurs are measuring and other insignificant details. 

Clara was kicking and rolling around (making it very difficult to measure her cord flow) so the ultrasound technician pointed out that although she might be little, she is a feisty one! Wonder where she gets that? :)

- Relatedly, I came across this print yesterday on Etsy and thought it would be perfect for her: 

- My mom also sent me this article earlier this week about a sweet little giraffe named Margaret that was born prematurely measuring "only" 5 feet tall and said it reminded her of Clara... I can only hope she's equally as cute!

- I did our taxes this week and thanks to two failed IUI's and one successful IVF in 2012, we were able to itemize our medical expenses which turned out to be greatly to our advantage! Fun fact: We spent 28% of our annual income last year on medical expenses. Another fun fact: we'll probably spend the same percentage in coming years on diapers- ha!

- I seem to be one of very few bloggers that has not yet hopped on the "What I Wore Wednesday" train, and I was feeling pretty bad about that. So last night after I got home, I snapped this pic for you:

This is obviously not what I wore to work, but it's what I wished I was wearing all day. That happens to be one of maybe 2 or 3 size Large t-shirts we have in the house, so I will likely be sporting it regularly. Bonus points for the appropriately themed pajama pants that my mom gave me for Valentine's Day several years ago.

- Brian and I finally made the decision to register for 2 spots at a daycare starting in July (which is around when I would have to go back to work). I'm still not thrilled with the idea, but have heard good things about the place we picked and have three co-workers that will have their babies (all boys!) there as well. I'm also very relieved to cross this off our to do list, so for now I'll just live in denial and put it outside of my brain for the next few months :)

That's all for now. Looking forward to baby shower #2 this weekend and (briefly) getting to see family and friends!

Monday, February 4, 2013

28 weeks

Apparently the babies aren't the only ones that are growing...


How far along? 28 weeks and 1 day - 9 weeks or less to go!

Total weight gain: 22 pounds; Just about 9-10 more pounds to go before I'll catch up with Brian, which I have a feeling will happen sooner rather than later.

Maternity clothes: I am already getting pretty tired of my limited wardrobe, but not tired enough of it to spend any more money on maternity clothes, so hopefully those that see me on a regular basis will not pass judgement on me for my predictable attire.

Also, I did not purchase any maternity pajamas, and while most of the bottoms still fit fine (since I can wear them lower below my stomach), the t-shirts that I normally sleep in have all gotten pretty snug. Most women would solve this problem by borrowing their husbands' t-shirts, but my slim and trim husband wears a size Medium, so that's not going to help me out much, I'm afraid!

Stretch marks: Not yet! Some days the skin on my stomach feels so tight that I'm certain I'll find a few when I check myself out in the mirror, but they have held off so far.
   
Sleep: Brian has recently nicknamed me "Goldilocks." I have tried several different combinations of pillows in an attempt to fall asleep comfortably but none of them really seem to do the trick. Fortunately I'm so tired that I fall asleep anyway, but it's a guarantee that I will wake up a few times throughout the night and that the perpetual knot in my left shoulder will greet me each morning when I wake up.
                 
Best moment this week: Seeing Colby and Clara at our last appointment, making it to 28 weeks, making progress on the nursery, getting to feel Clara's hiccups
   
Miss Anything: Being emotionally stable? I feel like I was doing so well in the battle against my raging hormones, but recently they have being the reigning champions.

Oh, and my belly button. It's still there, but it doesn't look the same, and I have a feeling it never will again...

Movement: It's easier for me to distinguish which one is doing what now since I know where they are (and know that they don't have much room to trade places). Usually I just feel one of them at a time but there are rare occasions when all the punching and kicking has me convinced that they're fighting in there!
       
Food cravings: Not anything in particular, but you might appreciate that I was so hungry after eating dinner earlier this week (a kid's meal from Beck's Prime that I somehow thought would be filling enough) that I asked my dad to share a hamburger with me after I was finished. And then I shared a milkshake with Brian. YOPO (You're Only Pregnant Once... except that's not usually true).
       
Symptoms: I have noticed my chest tightening (usually at the end of the day) and sometimes it feels like I can't really take a deep breath, but I'm pretty sure that's just because my expanding uterus (and babies) are putting pressure on my lungs. I also feel a little crampy off and on, but haven't had any legitimate cramps or contractions or anything. All in all, it has thankfully been a fairly uneventful pregnancy, and for that I am very thankful!

Happy or moody most of the time: Please see my answer above to "Miss Anything"... I'm going to have to go with moody. I have never been particularly patient, but lately it seems that I'm even more impatient and quick-tempered than usual. And I have just been very sensitive. Everything (and everyone) hurts my feelings. Brian is really enjoying the new me, as you can imagine :)

Have you started to show yet: Yes, obviously. I am to the point where strangers don't hesitate to ask how far along I am or when I'm due, so it's nice to know that people aren't just wondering if I'm overweight anymore!

Looking forward to: Seeing Colby and Clara on a regular basis at the perinatologist appointments, my next (and final) two baby showers, and our mini-babymoon at The Houstonian in a couple of weeks!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Sneak peeks

As I have mentioned before, even though the perinatologist appointments often leave us feeling overwhelmed and/or frustrated, it certainly is nice to be able to get to see the babies' sweet faces so often. We have attempted to get some good 4D shots on multiple occasions, but they always seem to have a hand (or placenta) in front of their faces which makes it a little difficult. So for now, we'll just settle for the old fashioned 2D shots:


Here's Baby A, more commonly known as Colby:


And here's a fuzzy picture of Baby B, more commonly known as his (apparently little) sister, Clara:


Aren't they cute? Ok realistically I think most ultrasound profiles look the same, but still, we think they're pretty cute and that's what counts.

And even better than pictures are videos! Here is the world's shortest video of Colby yawning:



I have watched it probably 20 times so far :) No fun videos to share of Clara, but I have enjoyed the fact that she has started getting the hiccups this past week. Once I noticed them when I was trying to go to sleep, and the second time was during a meeting at work yesterday. It's safe to say I officially stopped paying attention to what anyone was saying at that point... oops.

That's all I have for now. Hopefully with the 8 million appointments we have scheduled over the next 6-9 weeks, we'll get a few more pictures/videos to share... and then, of course, they'll arrive and this blog will never be the same again, so get ready!