Race the babies

30 Jul

So my life is now a gambling game.  Can I finish this (whatever needs to be done) before the babies are born.  Today I finished a project which I began only 4 days ago.  I think it’s the fasted dress I’ve ever made from purchasing fabric through completion.

Sunday I discovered the need for a new dress.

Monday I bought the fabric.  ( Usually it would then sit for weeks/months/years, but this time I didn’t dare wait.) 

Tuesday I cut out the pieces. 

Wednesday I sewed most of the day.

Today (Thursday) I unpicked the sash I had sewn wrong, resewed it correctly, and attached it to the dress.  Done!!!

Presenting Cherry Pie’s new Sunday Dress.

  

Isn’t it beautiful?  I love the fabric and the pattern (which I successfully altered to fit her waist.  Woot!)

The pattern is from the book Sew Serendipity by Kay Whitt.  

 
And check out this professional top stitching ;)

  
Also, all the seams inside are clean finished despite the fact that I do not own a serger.

*******

Now that Cherry Pie’s dress is done, there isn’t anything more I really care about finishing before the twins arrive.  I’m super ready for them to be outside me instead of inside.  

Per my last ultrasound, one twin is 5 pounds 9 ounces and the other is 6 pounds 7 ounces.  That is 12 pounds of babies wedged between my ribs and hips.  Yes I am ready for them to be out.  Unfortunately for my crowded kidneys and me, the doctor figures we can wait 3 more weeks.  So I’m hoping the babies are less patient than he.  The good news is they have both turned head down (They were both transverse for quite awhile.) 

  

Going off the Rails on a Grouchy Train

27 Jul

angrythomas

This morning, by the time we got to church, I was struggling.  I was frustrated about some things and worried about some other things and by that point, quite cranky.

What had set off my pity party grouchy train?  Well, my girls’ room is a mess.  I ask them to clean it up, and they will get the laundry off the floor and a few things put away, but the corners stay piles of crap.  As in old papers, bits of candy wrappers, parts of broken toys, hair elastics & bobby pins, clothes, a.k.a.  filthy garbage.

This morning, my oldest daughter announced that she had no Sunday clothes that fit.  Now I knew she had outgrown one dress, but I thought she had others.  I’ve been asking her for 2 weeks what clothes she needs, because I’ve got to get all the school shopping done before the twins are born.  But she waited until Sunday morning to inform me that she has no Sunday clothes.  So I go in to her closet to see what I can find.  That is, I attempt to enter the closet.  It is impossible, as my 9 year old daughter has so strewn the floor with her own clothing and toys as to make entry impossible.  This 9 year old has been told daily for months that she must not leave her clothes and wet swim gear on the floor, but she does anyway and only picks it up when I go in there and notice now bad it is and threaten her that I will burn it all, and she can go naked to school for all I care.

I have wanted a better closet organizing system for a long time.  I found pictures of what I wanted and discussed it with the resident Lieutenant.  I really wanted it done before the twins were born.  But it isn’t going to happen.  I ran out of energy about 2 months ago, and the resident LT has hardly been resident, what with 10 days of Military Duty, 4 days of a mountain climbing trip, 4 days of Scout camp, and taking the kids to swim meets.  Then he has been working 10 hour days for his regular job this summer, which was supposedly going to give him Friday’s off, but somehow he always has to go in for a few hours on Friday and then he uses up the afternoon to drive me to doctor appointments, since I’m too tired and huge to drive the hour to my doctor’s office and the hour back by myself.  Still I feel cranky about how “nothing” I wanted to happen before the twins were born is happening.

I found the 13 year old and acceptable outfit.  I yelled at the 9 year old in a horrifying manner.  We loaded all the kids in the van and headed to church, my grouch train just adding new cars all the way as my brain found more things to be upset about.

grumpycat

I knew my attitude needed to change if I was going to be able to teach my class, not to mention participate in Sunday worship the way I should.  Sunday is a day to worship God and repent of sins and commit to doing better.  I was so far from that at 9:00 a.m. 

I sat in my bench as well as I could with my enormous baby belly.  I glanced around, and it seemed to me that everyone else had life easier than I.  I knew that was just lies, but the score on derailing my grouchy pity-party train was so far train 5, me 0.

I asked myself, “Don’t I have the faith to let the Lord take care of us in His own time?  Don’t I have the faith to accept that the way I want my life to be isn’t always the way the Lord will have my life to be?”  I was getting to where I needed to be, but I was still feeling pretty rebellious and cynical.

Then for the Sacrament Hymn, we sang “As Now We Take the Sacrament.”  It is really my favorite Sacrament hymn.  The last verse includes this line, “And silently we pray for courage to accept Thy will, to listen and obey…”

I asked myself, “Am I going to keep sitting here being angry because things aren’t the way they ‘should’ be, or am I going to accept how things are and then cheerfully do all in my power to make them better, trusting in God to fill in the gaps and make things work out alright?”

The right choice was obvious and the grouchy train was successfully derailed. 

The rest of Sunday was wonderful.  Except the part where I dropped Baby Bean on the floor because she was thrashing around on my lap, well what is left of my lap, and she thrashed too far out where I couldn’t reach or move fast enough to catch her.  So she thudded to the floor and set to wailing good and loud.  But the missionaries gave great talks, which I enjoyed and benefited from, and my Young Women’s lesson went really well.  We had a decently restful Sunday afternoon at home with *almost* no children fighting, and finished it off with a game of Settlers of Catan and then a few rounds of Love Letter.  

Life is going just fine, and new closet organizers won’t really make a difference.  What will make a difference is me helping the 9 year old reduce how many clothes she has so they all fit in her dresser and on the closet rod.  And I can do that while sitting down, so it’s attainable.

Doctrine and Covenants 123:17

Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.

How Much Bigger???

21 Jul

  
Did you know that babies grow faster towards the end of their gestation?  They gain half of their birthweight in the last 7 weeks.  So in the picture above, (photo A)  the twins and I are at 32 1/2 weeks.  Time wise, we are over 3/4ths to the finish line.  Size wise we are half-way there.  

  
Photo B– here we are 9 days later at almost 34 weeks.  Clearly they are growing fast!!

Today I had to remind myself that back a few months ago, I knew that I was going to get miserable and that the more miserable I got, the better, because that meant the twins would be getting bigger and more able to survive outside.  

It was easy to say at 20 weeks when they were 1 1/2 pounds each.  

Now they are closer to 5 pounds each.  Today as my back ached no matter what I tried, I had to repeat it like a mantra ” my back hurting is better than the babies being in the NICU”.  I kept forgetting and wanting to call my doctor and cry about how I couldn’t take it anymore. 

 Mass repetition made it finally sink in, though, and I now feel capable of lasting a couple more weeks.  At which point, I think that I will be able to convince myself that another 2 weeks can be survived.  (Or however long it takes for these little guys to be ready). 

In a side note, I blogged a couple months ago about how awful it is to tell a pregnant woman how huge she is.  Funny enough, once I wrote about it, it quit bothering me.  Now if someone mentions how huge I am, I just agree with them and it doesn’t offend me a bit.  (I do think the twin factor has something to do with it, because I know I have a great excuse to be growing so large.  but I think writing about it helped too.  I no longer harbor ill feelings towards that nice guy who commented on my size two Christmases ago, which is a relief because it seriously bothered me that I was so unforgiving). So there you go.  Feel free to tell me I’m horrifyingly huge.  It shan’t bother me a bit.  

Blueberry Pie is 15

11 Jul

Can you believe this cute little baby 

  
Is now grown into this handsome boy?

  
I’m struggling to believe it myself and I’ve been around for the growing.

  
This is what he wanted for his birthday.

  
Classy, no?  He used it to pick up girls at the last church dance and was very pleased with his success.   He knows how to be funny without crossing the line into stupid and annoying.  I appreciate that a lot.  

He likes reading good books, listening to Jazz, and drawing, which are things I’m very happy about.

He also likes playing xbox games where much killing happens, listening to computer game soundtracks, and teasing his sisters, which I’m not so thrilled about.  

Blueberry Pie is pretty constantly hungry.  His favorite snack is “chips and cheese” which is tortilla chips and shredded cheddar.  I buy 2 boxes of tortilla chips and a 5 lb bag of cheddar cheese every month to keep up with this hunger.  He also eats lots of yogurt and raw oatmeal and pretty much anything I will warm up for him.  He does not like stir fry.

He is now over a 1/2″ taller than his father.  I’ve been having to buy him new jeans every 6 months for the past 2 years as he has grown taller.  He is not taller than I am yet.

Blueberry plays baritone saxophone in the high school band and jazz band.  He knows how to rock it.  He really is very cool.   

He likes to tell me about his dreams, which are always very vivid and take a very long time to describe.  His favorite time to talk is after 9 pm, when I have announced absolutely non-negotiable bed time.  I am always torn between finally hearing what is going on in his life and my own need for sleep.

Before he goes to bed at night, he will come over and bend his head sideways until he just bumps my head.  Then he says, “Night, Mom.”  

If I weren’t such a Coward…

29 Jun

<insert rainbow picture here>

If I weren’t  such a coward, I would post these thoughts on my Facebook status instead of here on my blog.  But Facebook has burned me before, and I’m gun shy.  (although if I weren’t such a weenie about unfriending people, it might be safer…)

The last couple of days I’ve had the most icky unbearable feeling.  Not because of the Supreme Court’s ruling to allow Gay Marriage nationwide, but because of the reaction of many of my friends on Facebook.  I’ve seriously considered unfriending some, but as I mentioned before, me = weenie.

My feed looks like this:  All my gay friends and people who love them are rejoicing with sincere happiness. There is no “haha we won” there is no “you losers suck”. Just sincere happiness for a day and a ruling they have longed for. 

 Meanwhile my “Christian” friends are mostly posting damnation, doom, and gloom. It feels like sour grapes and ignorance and major jerky temper tantrums.  

My personal reaction to the ruling:
1.  Dude, this ruling has been inevitable for over a year, why is everyone so upset?  

2.  Predicting that the U.S. is suddenly heading for immediate destruction and damnation because of this ruling is ridiculous.  There are tons of laws in this country already that make stuff legal that I  or others believe is a sin.  This one doesn’t suddenly shift the balance.  

3. Since when did posting bible verses denouncing other people’s sins and inevitable damnation ever help anyone be better? 

4.  What is up with that acronym “SCOTUS”?  Every time I read it, I think “scrotum”. Can’t they come up with a different one?  

5.  This ruling by the Supreme Court really just seems like fairness to me.  I like fair.  

6.  I truly believe that we need to fight to protect families.  But I believe the fight needs to begin with eradication of child abuse, pornography, drugs, and poverty.  When we have gotten rid of those, then we can worry about whether those 2 gay women/men over there are somehow undermining families because they want to be married.  (Even then I think it will sound ridiculous to me). 

I will continue to teach my children in my home that sex outside of marriage is a sin, and that God’s plan is for a man and a woman to be married to bring forth children on this Earth.  However, I will never think it is my place to go up to someone on the street, much less Facebook and tell them they are evil bad & nasty.  My kids will know that it is never okay to be unkind or rude to someone because they are doing something we believe is wrong or because they believe differently than I. 

Anecdote:  I knew a young girl who became pregnant and was not married.  At first, I felt a little unsure how to act.  But I quickly decided a few things:

1. She knew what her mistake had been better than I, and my being unkind to her wouldn’t change either the mistake, the results, or her feelings about it.  

2.  Jesus would have been kind.

3.  My snubbing her or lecturing her would not make her “see the light” or make her feel welcome at church, which is where she needed to be.  

I feel the same thing applies to gay people.  My only part is to be a friend.  Not to judge, not to preach, certainly not to declare their sins to their face.

My part is to work on repenting of my own sins.   Worrying about other people’s sins will not get me where I need to be.  

#lovewins

#gaymarriagemightbewrongbuthateiswronger

#NOH8

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow all men the same privilege.  Let them worship how, where, or what they may.

My Kids Are Not Just Numbers

13 May

 

Because I’m obviously pregnant now, I get lots of strangers asking me how many children I have.  I tell them I have seven, and they are shocked.  I then have to decide whether I’m willing to tell them that I’m expecting twins which will bring the total up to nine, and shock them further.  Their responses generally fall along the lines of “I don’t know how you do it, I was overwhelmed with just 1 (2-4).”

I say something about how helpful my big kids are, or how much fun we have as a family, or that I think being a mom takes all your creative energy whether you have 1 kid or 10.  All of these things are true.  It is also true that the numbers seven and nine are just as overwhelming to me as they are to these strangers.

But the thing is, I don’t usually think of my kids in terms of numbers.  The only times I think in terms of numbers is while I’m setting the table for dinner, while I’m buying 1/2 price shakes at Sonic, or when someone asks me how many kids I have.

Most of the time,my kids are not numbers, my kids are my kids.   I think of my children as Blueberry Pie, Cherry Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Tamale Pie, Key Lime Pie, Banana Cream Pie and Baby Bean.  That’s not overwhelming,  that’s my kids.  (That’s also a list of delicious food.)  I love them each.

It struck me this week that maybe God feels the same way.  We think of  7 billion people in the world and are overwhelmed and wonder how our Father in Heaven can watch over us and answer our prayers.  But to Him, we aren’t 7 billion.  We are Sally and Suzy and David and Daniel and Josh and (you get the idea.)  We are not numbers.  We are His children, and He loves us.

 

Moses 1: 37

And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying: The heavens, they are many, and they cannot be numbered unto man; but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine.

Because Twins: Changes

7 May

So things have already started to change around here because we’re expecting twins.

#1- I’m not babysitting anymore.  I was too tired and too pregnant to chase those high energy, high maintenance extra kids around.  When I first found out I was pregnant in February, I told the mom that I would have to take a month or so off from daycare.  Then I found out in March that the the baby was actually twins, and I realized I couldn’t keep babysitting after they were born, so I told her she would have to find someone new by the end of June.  Then I had that week of terrible tension headaches.  Also, I realized I wouldn’t be able to lift her heavy 2-year old much longer.  Also, Baby Bean suddenly decided that the 2 year old was a threat to her territory, and she would just jump on him and bite him/pull his hair several times a day.  It was getting hard for me to move fast enough to keep him safe from her. I told the mom she had to find someone else as soon as possible.  I had to watch her kids for 2 more weeks.

I went from this:

marypoppins

to THIS:

misshannigan

I gave her the phone number of an acquaintance friend who was interested in babysitting.  I was a little worried that this friend would hate me forever, but I was desperate to get out of a situation that I couldn’t handle any more. I ran into this friend at a mom’s night out on Tuesday this week and timidly asked her how it was going.

“Oh, I only watched them for one day and I told the mom I couldn’t do it,” she said.  Then she turned to the other moms at the table and proceeded to tell them all how terrible these kids were.  They WERE really difficult to care for.  I babysat them for them for 6 months, half of which I was pregnant and sick and tired, but it wasn’t until the headaches that I had to cry “UNCLE!”  Apparently, their grandmother (who is a relatively young grandma) is watching them now, because the mom can’t find anyone else who is willing to put up with her kids.  Lucky for her, the 2 oldest will be in all-day school beginning August 12th.  The 2 year old is a piece of cake, as long as you keep anything breakable away from him (and also keep Baby Bean away from him.) So grandma has hope on her horizon.

#2- Switched Baby Bean to cloth diapers.  This will be less diapers I have to buy when the twins are born.  I don’t like putting newborns in cloth diapers.  They go through, like, 10 diapers a day (x2).  Thats a lot of laundry.  Also their legs are too scrawny for cloth diapers to seal around to keep in the explosive projectile poo.  However, Baby Bean has enormous fatso legs and only goes through about 6 diapers a day.  The DH rigged me a clothes line on the balcony.


Aren’t diapers on the line so cute?  I love not having trash cans full of stinky disposable diaper trash.  I love not buying diapers.  (Actually I am stockpiling diapers for the twins now, since I’m not having to buy them for Baby Bean and Banana Cream Pie.  I don’t expect the stockpile will last long, but it should help.)  Also I’m hoping that cloth diapers encourage Baby Bean to potty train much earlier than Banana Cream Pie.  My other babies that wore cloth diapers potty trained before they were 2 1/2.  My babies who wore disposable diapers didn’t potty train until after their 3rd (or 4th) birthdays.  It would be super cool if Baby Bean was totally out of diapers by Christmas.

#3 – Banana Cream Pie is pretty nearly potty trained.  As soon as I was done babysitting, the potty training began.  We’ve been working on it for 2 1/2 weeks, and she is more trustworthy every day.  I’m not totally confident that she won’t have accidents when we are away from home, but at home, she is pretty good.  By August she should be an expert toilet user.

#4 – I’m slowly fighting my hoarder tendencies and trying to get rid of things we don’t use.  It’s difficult for me, because I can always think of possible scenarios when we might use those things.  However, one thing I’ve learned in the last few years is, you can’t clean clutter.  All you can do is move it around.  Reducing the “stuff” in the house will make the house easier to keep clean and make room for the twins and all their stuff (diaper stockpile).  When we designed our house plan, we were planning on having 6 kiddie pies.  Now we will have 9 (+1– I’ll have to tell you all about him later) and so using our space efficiently is important.  Luckily, the bedrooms are big enough to hold 2 sets of bunk beds each, and the closets are roomy.  I have planned out organizing systems to put in the closets (instead of just the couple rods we have installed now) to maximize the space for clothing storage.  If my dreams come true, those closets and maybe even some built-in bookshelves will happen before D-Day.

#5 This is just a little thing, but I feel like a genius for figuring it out:  I’m going to use a backpack for a diaper bag this time around. (Because my 2 hands will be full of 2 babies.)  Actually, for the last 4 years, I haven’t really used a diaper bag.  I just threw a few extra diapers and wipes in my purse.  I’m not one of those moms who feels like she needs 50 things to be prepared.  However, new babies do require a few extra supplies (like clothing changes and burp rags) and I’ll have to pack all that x2, plus Baby Bean is still in diapers.  So I for sure need a dedicated diaper bag, and it for sure needs to be as hands-free and easy to organize as possible.  I know I won’t actually use the organizing pockets as well as I could, but I plan on having a zipper pouch for each baby–or at least each size diaper.  That way I can say, “Cherry Pie, get the yellow pouch and change Twin A.”  Then the pouch can get tossed back in the backpack and yet it stays organized.

Yep, I feel like a genius for figuring that out.

I’m sure more changes are coming down the line, and I’ll roll with them as they come.  Life’s exciting and, yes I am busy.  But busy is ok.
#6. Oh yes, I got my hair cut even shorter. Easier is better, right?  I think I like it.

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