Monday, August 31, 2015

Preggers II: Twins 18 Weeks

18 Weeks:

How far along?  18 weeks

How I am feeling?  I'm feeling well, but very tired in the afternoons and evenings, especially on days when I work.  Also, very large, but I am just continuing to tell myself how important that is for two healthy babies in a few months.

How big are babies?  The size of bell peppers... 7 ounces and about 5.5 inches long from head to bottom

Sleep:  Pretty well although I'm up two to five times a night to use the restroom.

Boy/Girl, Boy/Boy, Girl/Girl Predictions:  Not really anything yet

Babies Nicknames:  Babies, or Twins 
Weight Gain/Loss:  I'm still about even with what I weighed I became pregnant

Best moment this week:  I love feeling the babies kick and move, although it doesn't seem to be strong enough for Hubby to feel yet.  Also, I went back to work this past week, and I enjoy knowing that the twins are with me while I work every day and anywhere I go for the next few months.

Food cravings:  Nothing really... I just have to make sure I'm eating regularly -- my tummy just feels so full most of the time -- two babies take up a lot of room.

Missing:  My energy in the evenings -- it is hard to come home from work and be whipped.  Our clean laundry sits in the basket for days because when I finally get Tracey Ann in bed and get off my feet at the end of the day, I don't move.
Movements:  Yes, little pokes, when I quiet down for the night -- usually more often on my right side than my left, but sometimes I'll feel the left side get poked.

Labor Signs:  No, thankfully.
Comparison:  Here I am carrying Tracey Ann at 18 weeks:

And here I am with the twins at 18 weeks:

Hubby and I cannot even believe the difference.  I am GIGANTIC at 18 weeks compared to my first pregnancy -- but again, two healthy babies are the goal, and I will be bigger as a result.
General Attitude:  Feeling good and sort of amazed that I could be about half way through this pregnancy.  Thirty-six weeks is considered full-term with twins, and my doctor wants to induce at 38 weeks (although, we're still determining the best course of action), and so I really am just about halfway through.

 What I am looking forward to this week:  The MICHIGAN football season opener is on Thursday AND it is in Utah AND Hubby and I will be there!!!!  We have been excited about this and planning this for nearly a year, and it is ALMOST HERE!  Plus, I get to wear my cute Michigan maternity shirt again!!!  GO BLUE!

Milestones:  I'm roughly half-way through the pregnancy... or at least close.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

New Adventures

I love it when my husband and I can experience new adventures together.  Now, yes, it's great when we can go zip-lining or whitewater rafting, but I just mean life adventures.

I can't go into details, but the last 36 hours have included a new adventure in life and marriage for us.

We are in the process of doing something we have never done before, and it has given us a new marital adventure together.  In the past 36 hours we have:
  • stayed up late making Pro/Con lists
  • stayed up late writing out financial options and implications
  • both been awake again at 4:00am to further discuss our options
  • attended meetings together
  • presented proposals together
  • and, come to some decisions together
We have done a few of those bullet points before in our marriage when we were weighing options for a big life decision, but never all of them in such a short period.  This has been another new adventure for us to experience together as a husband and wife team and we feel so blessed to be able to do tackle it together.

Please stay tuned and keep us in your prayers.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Manly Man

My Hubby is a manly man.  He eats fire for breakfast and kills a bear for dinner.

When I asked my manly man to take care of a wasps' nest inside the side view mirror of my work vehicle (the car had sat dormant all summer), I should have known that his manly encounter with wasps would not stop at my side view mirror.

After eradicating the next in my car, he circled the house to see if any other nests had deigned to be built on our property.  Low and behold, he saw one at the cornice of our roof and immediately decided to attack.

In his shorts and flip-flops, he climbed a ladder up to our roof, walked on the lower level up to the cornice, aimed his wasp spray and let 'er rip.

The wasp spray did its job... but as you can imagine, fumigated wasps began flying, flopping, and falling everywhere.  And, as you can imagine, Hubby began dancing and prancing -- on our roof -- in his flip-flops trying to avoid them.

Well, my manly-man eradicated the wasps without a single sting (I never doubted him), but did leave us discussing possible safer ways to handle wasps nests in the future.

I love my manly Hubby.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tracey Ann - 19 Months

I have certainly fallen down on my monthly posts about Tracey Ann's progress... and even tonight, I don't think many pictures will accompany this post, but she is doing some awesome things that I want to make sure I remember down the road:
  • Tracey Ann LOVES to dance -- anytime she hears music playing, she starts flapping her arms and stomping her feet... it is absolutely adorable!
  • She has an "attitude look" that she will give us randomly -- not necessarily when she's upset with us... just randomly when she feels like it.  She narrows her eyes and points her head down and then looks up at you with a pout on her face, and it is absolutely hysterical.  After weeks of our wondering what in the world she is doing and where she learned this, we started giving the look back to her, and she immediately bursts out laughing.  So, we still don't know exactly what is up with this look, and I REALLY want to get a picture of her doing it, but it cracks us up!
  • She has recently started putting words together to ask "yes, please", "more, please", "help, please" and I am THRILLED!  I love that she is learning manners at such a young age.  The only problem is, she thinks if she says 'please' the answer should always be 'yes', and she gets upset when that is not the case.
  • Her hair is long enough for a pony tail or pigtails, and I absolutely love it!  I have quickly learned that I am not adept at toddler hair styles, but I LOVE that she is old enough for little pony tails.
  • She has started giving us hugs when we say that we need a hug, and it is adorable.
  • She can drink small amounts from a cup without spilling -- well, she can drink large amounts from a cup without spilling too, but after a few gulps, she gets bored and starts playing with the remaining milk in the cup, which makes a mess
  • In the past month, she has started saying "Hi" to everyone she sees.  Now, I know a lot of children that do this at a much younger age, and I've been theorizing why Tracey Ann has waited this long to be so social with strangers, and I think I know why she was hesitant before now -- As a baby, she was very cautious of strangers.  She never threw fits or clung to us, but when she saw people she didn't know, she would study them with a very serious look on her face.  She would not smile, wave, or talk to strangers, long after she was smiling, waving, and talking.  I think she is just naturally a girl who takes her time to warm up and feel comfortable in new situations and with new people.  Now, months later, she feels confident enough when we're out and about, seeing perfect strangers to smile, wave, and say, "Hi" to everyone she sees.
  • She is such a sweetheart and we thank God every day for such a precious, healthy daughter.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

New Appreciation

Well... I am 17+ weeks pregnant with twins -- not even halfway along (Lord Willing), and I must say... I have a brand new appreciation for tv shows and movies who depict women who are pregnant and miserable.  Now, I am not miserable... but I am finding these plot lines much funnier than I ever have before.

For example, this montage of Rachael and Phoebe pregnant on Friends had me laughing hysterically.  Phoebe is carrying triplets, which I love, and Rachael is just a wimp... but it's still really funny.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Bradley Training

I haven't meant to be silent for the past few days, but I have been exhausted!  I have been down in Denver taking classes in how to teach Bradley Method of childbirth, which, if you remember, is the method of natural childbirth that Hubby and I studied and had a wonderful experience with in birthing Tracey Ann.

I have spent the last three months reading, studying, and completing academic assignments... then I've spent the last four days in Denver attending 12 hours of classes a day becoming a Certified Bradley Method instructor.

My mom flew in from Michigan to watch Tracey Ann while I was in classes... and it was a very long few days.  While they were a whirlwind, I learned SO much, made some good friends, and I'm returning to Rifle fully certified as a Provisional Teacher to start teaching Bradley Classes.

A huge thank you to my mom, dad, and Hubby for helping make this training possible for me.  I am so excited to begin teaching expectant parents out here.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Inexpressible Comfort

"Oh, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person: having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them out.  Just as they are--chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with a breath of kindness, blow the rest way."

~ Dinah Maria (Mulock) Craik 1826-1887

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Happy Birthday to my wonderful Mother!

You are my best friend! 
You have taught me everything I know about being a wife, a mother, a daughter, and a decent person.

Thank you for everything you've invested in my life and for running anytime I need you.

Perfect example:  Today, my mom is flying to Denver to spend four days watching Tracey Ann while I attend conferences.

Thank you so much, Momma!


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

So Touching

My parents have always liked Frank and Kathy Lee Gifford.  They were not married at the same time my parents were -- but maybe 5-7 years later, and they have a similar age difference as do my parents.  They had children and seem to have a solid marriage.

Of course, Frank Gifford, was a football legend and went on to be a broadcaster, and then Kathy Lee was a well-put-together co-host to the Regis and Kathy Lee Show for many years.

I remember back twenty or more years ago when the news broke that Frank Gifford was having an affair, and I remember that their marriage did not end.  I never knew how they worked through it, but, as a children, I remember thinking it was very admirable that their marriage did not end, and they clearly found some way to work through it.

In recent years, Kathy Lee has had a segment on the Today show, and, frankly, I find her and her co-host a little weird... but yesterday, she gave the most touching, beautiful, honorable tribute to her husband, Frank, and I hope you will take the 8 minutes to watch it.

Thank you, Mrs. Gifford, for sharing this side of your husband with the world.

God Bless the Gifford family.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Preggers II - Twins: 16 Weeks

Well, it seems with another pregnancy, I should keep some track of pregnancy updates, although I am pretty busy keeping up with the twins' big sister, I will try.

How far along?  16 weeks

How I am feeling?  Pretty well.  I had very serious nausea and vomiting throughout my first trimester and a little beyond, but I am pretty much past all of that (knock on wood).  I don't have a lot of energy, but more than I did in the first trimester, and all-in-all, I'm feeling good as long as I get off my feet in the evenings.

How big are babies?  The size of avocados... 3.5 ounces and about 4.5 inches long from head to bottom

Sleep:  I am sleeping pretty well -- I'm finally back in my own bed after a summer of traveling, and figuring out my pregnancy positions again.

Boy/Girl, Boy/Boy, Girl/Girl Predictions:  Not really anything yet

Babies Nicknames:  Babies, or Twins 
Weight Gain/Loss:  I may not comment on this every week, but, to date, I have lost weight since getting pregnant.  Nothing major -- my weight is basically the same, but a few pounds less.  It was hysterical to share that information with Hubby when we arrived home from our travels because I have a big bulging belly, but I'm the same weight as I was when we left.  We thought it was really funny.  My doctor was less amused and says that I really need to start gaining soon.  I'll do what I can.

Best moment this week:  Hubby and I had a doctor's appointment last Friday and they are taking ultrasounds every four weeks with twins, so we got to see both of the babies and hear their heartbeats.  They seem to be doing great, and measuring perfectly.  We also learned that both placentas are attached to the back of my uterus, so I can feel baby kicks and movements a lot earlier.  With Tracey Ann, the placenta was in the front of my uterus so I couldn't feel her moving until around 21 weeks.  I thought I had been feeling little twin flutters, and hearing where the placentas are located confirms for me that I'm definitely feeling the twins.  :-D

Food cravings:  Nothing really... although some days I surprise myself and buy Captain Crunch at the store, and then come home and eat four bowls... that was probably a craving, but mostly no.

Missing:  The ability to lay on my back.  I enjoy sleeping on my back, and just relaxing on my back and those days are gone for a little while.
Movements:  Yes!!  I have felt little flutters for nearly two weeks, but I wasn't entirely sure they were baby movements.  This week, with the information I got from the doctor, I knew I was feeling babies, and the movements have gotten stronger every day.  I am sure Hubby will be able to feel them in no time.  I can't quite decipher one baby from another yet, but I definitely feel little movements.

Labor Signs:  No, thankfully.

Comparison:  Apparently I didn't take a 16 week picture with Tracey Ann, but here I am carrying her at 15 weeks:

And here I am with the twins at 16 weeks:

General Attitude:  A little overwhelmed from time to time.  I am studying to become a Bradley Method instructor and so I am reading book after book about natural childbirth and the best ways to labor and more, and it can all be a little overwhelming when I apply all the knowledge to the fact I'm carrying twins.

 What I am looking forward to this week:  School starts, so I get to see some students again, I attend the Bradley training in Denver, which means I have to be finished with all of my assignments, which will be a HUGE relief, and it means my mom is coming in to Denver to help with Tracey Ann while I'm in my trainings.

Milestones:  Well, my first pregnancy post with the twins -- I think my first pregnancy post with Tracey Ann was 15 weeks... so I guess not a big difference.  Also, feeling the babies move is amazing.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Like Mine

Don't you wish your hair was cool like mine?
(This is what happens when a pony tail is on top of her head, then sprayed with sunscreen.)

Friday, August 14, 2015


A few days ago I saw a pregnancy announcement on facebook where a couple shared that they were expecting twins.  I immediately was feeling a camaraderie with this couple and was excited to watch the video of them sharing the news.

In the video, they presented her parents with a cake decorated with two babies in frosting, sort of like two-peas in a pod.  The parents (now grandparents) were thrilled and shocked to realize the meaning of the images on this cake and kept asking, "Really?," "Are you serious?"

After about a minute of shock, when the grandma again asked, "Are you serious?" the new mother responded, "Unfortunately."

My heart just sank to hear that word come out of her mouth.  Really?  That's what she shared on film for the entire facebook world to see?  It is unfortunate that she is having twins?

I know I am hormonal, but I was heartbroken to hear that, and all camaraderie I was feeling toward the couple immediately vanished.

So, when she looks at her ultrasound, which embryo does she wish hadn't attached?  When her children are born, which is she going to think of as "planned" and which will she consider the "surprise" or "unfortunate" one?

I know I am taking her comment way to literally... but was are LITERALLY talking about a child.  A child who will enter the world and enter a family, and if his/her parents are not excited about his/her arrival, WHO IS?!?!?!

These twins are probably going to watch this video announcement someday, and what are they going to think of that comment?

Sure, I am sure that one day, they will watch the video understand, as adults, what a tremendous responsibility twins are for parents, and understand that the prospect of having twins might be overwhelming.  But there will be a number of years or decades before the twins have that adult perspective where they will probably wonder why Mom thought having twins was unfortunate, and what does that mean about how she feels about us?

Let the record show, from the moment the doctor told us we were expecting twins, Hubby and I were elated.  We have always wanted a big family, we have always wanted Tracey Ann to have multiple siblings.  WE ARE THRILLED!

We also have moments of self-doubt and fear for the big change coming into our life and wonder exactly how we will handle three children in two years... but we are very excited for the challenge and are completely in love with both of our babies on the way -- and their big sister, who is such a joy.

Rest assured, we feel incredibly FORTUNATE to be expecting twins.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

These Days

These days, we spent our afternoons are our new pool... our new kiddie pool:



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Back In Rifle

Hubby and I are back in Rifle and have been for almost a week.  We have been various places around the country, and traveled internationally.  But, sights like this in our local Rifle make me happy to be home.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

This Fall

We have a lot going on this fall, just to give you some idea of what is going on in our world.

Hubby is working full time -- which is much more than full time from August-June.  He is also still working on his graduate degree in education administration.

I am working part-time in the job I've had for the past five years -- same job, but less school districts, so its now part-time.  In addition, I have been asked to teach a class at our local community college for their teacher education program.  I will be teaching Child Development, and I am really excited, but I have a lot of work to do to create my class, prepare lectures, and re-familiarize myself with the course materials (it has been a few years since I took this class in graduate school).

In addition to all of that, I am in the process of training to become a Bradley Method of Husband-Coached Childbirth Instructor.  If you remember, Hubby and I had a wonderful experience preparing for Tracey Ann's birth through our Bradley classes, and so I want to make myself available to help other couples prepare in the same wonderful way we did.

I will attend four days of certification classes next week... and I am studying like crazy trying to complete all of my certification assignments before then.  I don't have to have everything done before the workshop... but I would like to.

So, please pray for my time and my speedy study-skills as I study and complete assignments as quickly as possible to complete this certification next week.

How is your fall?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Getting Ready...

Soon after we announced that we are expecting twins, a friend of ours sent us the below video to help us prepare for life ahead... it's pretty funny:

Saturday, August 8, 2015


So, since I've announced that we are expecting twins, I haven't really written much about my pregnancy of the range of emotions we are having in preparing for twins, mostly because we've been visiting family and so my blogs posts are different -- shorter and quicker because I'm up later with family.

So... now that I'm home I'll be more in the routine of sharing thoughts and some longer posts.

Twins.  We are having twins.

We are so excited and we feel unbelievably blessed.

At times, I do admit that I am nervous... but I was nervous before having Tracey Ann.

Having twin babies... and three babies in less than two years is a huge, life-changing situation, and require tremendous amounts of energy and financial support.  I don't know how we are going to do this.

But, when I start to feel nervous and overwhelmed, I think about the number of things that I do know:
  • Hubby and I have always wanted a big family
  • Hubby and I have always wanted our children close in age
  • We feel so incredibly fortunate that we are able to conceive naturally, and relatively quickly -- and apparently, multiple babies
  • We make a great team and we have parents and families, who, although they are far away, are incredibly loving and supportive
  • I am healthy and young... and yes, I will need to be careful, and take care of my body, and get more rest in the coming months, but we are believing a very positive outlook for the duration of this pregnancy
  • We firmly believe that these children are blessings from God, and He will provide us everything we need when we need it -- including sleep and resources
  • We also believe that we worship a God who hears our prayers (and the prayers of our family and friends) and so as we cry out to Him for His blessing and protection over this pregnancy and these babies, we pray with expectation for those prayers to be answered
So -- twins -- crazy, exciting, major, awesome, scary, and faith-building.

Please join us in these optimistic and faithful prayers.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Home Sweet Home

WE are HOME!!!

I didn't post yesterday because we were driving all night from St. Louis to Colorado -- we left St. Louis at 11pm CST and arrived in Rifle at 4:00pm MST.

Being home, so far, the best parts are:
  • Loading my own dishwasher with my own dishes -- that was such a comfort -- I LOVE my dishwasher
  • Knowing where everything belongs in my own kitchen
  • Watching Tracey Ann recognize that we were home and recognize her nursery
  • Crawling into MY OWN BED with my husband -- we LOVE our bed
  • Watching the GOP Republican debate -- that isn't' specific to being home, but we were able to watch it in our own home as we unpacked and made dinner
Now, we need to re-group and prepare for a new school year.

Praise God for our safe travels all summer and for arriving home to our little home.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Not An Adventure

** Note: We had a wonderful time with family in Mexico.  It was a great time with lots of memories and Tracey Ann was such a trooper, and had a blast with her cousins and Miller family.  That being said, this post is written in hindsight of our fun vacation. **

I remember traveling to foreign countries when I was younger and it was such an adventure.  It didn't matter if I was on a college chorus trip, or studying abroad, or taking a side trip from studying abroad, or on my honeymoon, or vacationing with my parents -- foreign countries were such an adventure.

At this stage of my life, foreign countries are not an adventure.

Foreign countries are really hard on my little family and the beautiful cultural experience is lost amongst a toddler who won't sleep or eat, and a pregnant body that does not feel well and just wants to eat and drink food and water that I'm sure will not make me sick.

With children who are fascinated by the differences, intrigued by the food, and excited for the tropical excursions, international travel will be A LOT of fun -- still slightly stressful, but very fun and memorable.  With a toddler and twins on the way, the differences were hard on our schedule, the food was, at times, scary, and the tropical excursions were minimal.  Because we were with family, the trip was definitely fun... but the trip was work.

I hope that in another ten to fifteen years, I will be able to travel abroad with my husband and children and enjoy the foreign experiences and idiosyncrasies of international travel adventures... but for the time being, international travel is not an adventure.

I just hope I remember to come back and read this post the next time my husband or I have wanderlust that has us looking for our passports...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Here They Are

Here are the pictures I was going to try to post the other day about trying to take a picture of three children ages two and under... Talk about drama...

Monday, August 3, 2015

Pregnant... Not Hung Over

I will be marketing a new maternity shirt designed to be worn in the first few months of pregnancy for mothers who, like myself, find themselves vomiting intermittently, everywhere they go.

The shirt will read
"Pregnant... Not Hung Over."

This way, when a mother-to-be finds herself queasy and less-than-composed in a public place, she can just focus her energy entirely on feeling better instead of wishing that every other person walking past her didn't think she was irresponsible and hung over.

This way, she can feel free to look completely unkempt in the morning (as her morning sickness might require), and freely throw up in any public restroom, outdoor flower pot, trash can, or airplane airsick bag she may need to make use of (as her morning sickness/motion sickness/general pregnancy sickness might require).

Look for these shirts available in time for Christmas at all major department and maternity stores.