Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Annual Snow Ice Cream Event

Excitement and wonder filled our home once again today when Kynzie realized the snow falling outside. Her delight is contagious. It is amazing how your child's perspective can often change your own outlook. I may just end up enjoying snow before this winter is over!

Although Kynzie wanted to, we did not venture out to play today. But we did have snow ice cream again after dinner. Kynzie looked forward to this all day and didn't let me forget our "plan".

Max ate his whole bowl of snow ice cream, which is only significant since he doesn't eat regular ice cream. He thought the whole idea was pretty neat. He kept saying, "We're eating snow!" and "We have snow in our house!" He probably doesn't remember from last year like Kynzie does.
He wanted more, as did everyone else, and when I told him it was all gone he told Delainey to "get your shoes on." He was sending her out for more snow!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tiny-mo or Dynamo

Here is Daniel doing push ups at 6 months old. (They are 7 months old now.) He has a great deal of strength in his little baby body. I am not sure which is more amazing - how far up he can push himself or that he hasn't stood up yet...

Daddy used to call him Tiny-mo and Dennis, Dynamo because Dennis was a pound larger. They are both about the same size now, but Daniel definitely needs a new nickname. How about Mighty-mo?

Here is a picture of Dennis and me, and a picture of Dennis smiling at Daddy.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Cranberry Spinach Crustless Mini Quiche

I made up a quiche today to take to a baby shower, and it was so yummy. I actually adapted it from a recipe for Crustless Carrot Mini Quiche. I made the carrot variety, the spinach and cranberry and also a zucchini quiche that Kynzie really enjoyed. Here is the Cranberry Spinach recipe...

1-1.5 cups fresh cranberries, shredded (or chopped or what ever)
4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
(some chopped fresh mushrooms might be good, but we didn't have any)
1-2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic (to your taste), minced
salt & pepper to taste (I skipped the salt & pepper by mistake and didn't miss it)
.5-1 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 Tablespoons brown sugar, optional
6 eggs, beaten
1.5-2 cups shredded cheese (I used a cup each of mozzarella and cheddar)
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Melt the butter, or warm the oil, in a medium to large skillet on medium heat. Add garlic and green onions and saute but do not brown. Lower heat and add spinach. Allow to wilt slightly. Stir in shredded cranberries until mixed well and warm. Remove from heat. In a medium mixing bowl, lightly whisk eggs. Stir in cheese, cinnamon, salt, pepper, brown sugar and cornmeal until mixed, and gently fold in the spinach mixture. Scoop by tablespoonfuls into 'greased' mini muffin tins or mini muffin papers if you prefer. Bake at 325 degrees F for 15 - 17 minutes. Remove from over and allow to set for two minutes before removing from pan. Best served warm.

Delainey and I like these best. I think I mentioned in another blog that if I could figure out how to get cranberries into all my recipes, I would. So, this morning as I was staring into the fridge trying to come up with ingredients to make different varieties of quiche, cranberries came to mind. I am just surprised it took me this long!

Kynzie liked the zucchini quiches best. Instead of spinach and cranberries, I shredded 2 medium zukes (skin on), used one less egg, 1.4 tsp of nutmeg instead of cinnamon, and only 1/2 cup cornmeal. These were the most moist of the three kinds, and Kynzie said that is what she liked best. She actually said because they were softer, I think. I thought they were a little bland.

The carrot quiches were the driest of the three, and we had the most leftovers of these. Here is the link to that original recipe, which I do intend to tweak next time.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I LOVE these monkey snowsuits

I am willing to go out and buy new carseats just so our twins can wear these adorable monkey snow suits! (Because the babies don't fit very well in their car seats with the suits on.) My husband, not so much... on the buying new car seats part. He thinks the suits are cute, too.

Daniel didn't think they were all that great, but I think Dennis knew he was a cutie pie!

Kynzie's Ready for a Winter Wonderland

Yesterday when we left for my Grandma's Thanksgiving dinner, it was snowing heavy, wet flakes. Kynzie was more than thrilled to see the snow. But by the time we arrived back home, she was crying. I asked why, and she said because the snow was all gone already. She didn't even get to play in it. I was so sad for her!

This morning when I saw snow on the ground, however thin a layer, I turned into a giddy little girl! I wasn't as excited about the snow as I was about telling Kynzie it was outside. And she was beyond excited to see it. She started making plans. "I'll wear my gloves, and... Mommy can I taste it when we go outside? How long will it stay today?" And on and on for quite dome time.

Max followed her excitement cautiously. I don't think he remembers much of the snow. Or maybe he does remember and doesn't care for it as much. We'll see.

It is really funny that she loves the snow so much. Scott, of course, despises cold weather and snow and all that goes with it. I don't hate snow; I think it can be beautiful. I would like it much better if it wasn't so cold. We haven't done extensive snow playing or anything, but she has fond memories of what we have done I guess.

Scott usually puts aside his winter disdain and builds a snowman with the kids at least once a winter. I should say snow giants because he tries to build them taller than himself. He has taken Delainey sledding, but has yet to do that with Kynzie. Delainey or I have played in the snow with Kynzie, carrying on the traditions from my childhood - snowball fights, attempts at snow forts, snow angels, and Kynzie's favorite, snow ice cream. Here is last year's post about snow ice cream.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Satuday Evening at Our House

Tonight was a good night for the most part...

Daniel figured out how to go from tummy to sitting upright all by himself tonight. So, I can leave the room with Daniel on his belly. Then come back into the room and he is sitting up all by his little self. It is quite a sight to get used to. I had to rethink whether I really left him on his tummy the first time I came back and he was upright.

The twins are 7 months old now. Dennis isn't sitting up yet, but he does enjoy clapping these days. Both boys enjoyed some sweet potatoes again this evening. This is the 2nd time they have eaten store bought baby food, as opposed to home made.

Dad and Mom came here after out Thanksgiving at my Grandma's, and they brought the turkey and some other leftovers that made for a yummy dinner for us. They invited us to eat turkey and noodles with them after church tomorrow. Yum Yum!

Max just asked if it was time for bed, and I said it's almost time. He said, "I miss Daddy." Isn't that sweet? The girls are watching Veggie Tales "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything", but he isn't interested. Most movies just aren't his thing. He will sit through Blue's Clues most of the time. He is too active. Music often catches his attention, though. He went back to the TV when the "music videos" came on at the end of the movie.

I told the kids they could have a little ice cream before bed; he said he wants pears instead. Delainey bought some mint chocolate chip ice cream flavored chewy candy and ate one in the car. I had one too, and didn't care for it one bit. Kynzie smelled the candy smell - "What's that smell? It smells like candy, like chocolate candy." So, Delainey shared one with Max and one with Kynzie. Kynzie loved it. Max spit out the one tiny bite he took and said it tasted like ice cream.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Have a Grateful Heart

I have so many blessings for which I am grateful! I woke up this morning to the twins' chatter accompanied by smiles. How much better can life get? Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the many blessings you have given. Blessed be the name of the Lord. You give and take away, but my heart will choose to say blessed be Your name.

We are in a season, if you will, of the Father "giving" it seems, and I want to give thanks.

I am thankful for my husband. He loves his family so much and wants to be an involved father and husband. He has the desire to provide for his family and does it without complaint. I am glad that he takes an interest in leading us in knowing and loving the Lord. He is a wonderful man and a blessing in my life.

I am so thankful for each one of my children. They are each so unique and gifted in their own ways. I thank God many times a day for each of them and that I am able to stay home with them!

I am thankful for my parents. Thank you Dad and Mom for all that you have done. God used you to lay a firm foundation. I pray you reap the blessings of the seeds you've sewn (and continue to sew).

I am thankful for my brother and his family and my sister and her family. These are my best friends, and I am so glad God coordinated us all to be a family.

I am thankful for my husband's family. God blessed me with in-laws who are caring and supportive of our family.

I am thankful for our church and church family and friends there. It has truly been a wonderful support system.

I am thankful for our coop. This has been a huge help in our home school journey this year, and the great group of families being knit together is a terrific added bonus.

I am thankful for our home and all our material possessions.

I am thankful also for all the memories I have of holidays past. Times with my Granny and Prampa who are no longer with us, and times with my Grandpa and Grandma. I loved holidays as a kid (just as I still do). I couldn't wait to get to my grandparents' homes to give big hugs and kisses and then play with my cousins. I loved the smells of the food cooking, the sounds of the adults talking and laughing with each other, the yummy dessert tables, playing games... I have always loved family get-togethers. I hope my kids do too.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Bug, You're My Little Girl

Delainey turned 14 on Monday. I am so proud of her. That she made it to 14. Ha, ha! No, just kidding. I am so proud of how she has grown and matured in the last year. Happy birthday, Delainey-Bug! I love you! I am so thankful that God blessed my life with you. You have challenged me, made me grow and made me seek after God more intensely. You have given me countless joys over the years, bringing many a smile to my face and much laughter to my lips. Your hand in mine is still as precious now as it was when you were born. I am so pleased when you choose to move forward and press into Jesus despite what fears you may have or what hindrances may come... Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid... for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. - Deut. 31:6

You're my little girl, but you were His first
the one that He created
No one in this world could ever be like you...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Plans to give me hope...

I say I trust in God. And I mean it to varying degrees each time I say it or think it or pray it. I think He is calling me to a deeper place yet again. Growing pains hurt. Especially spiritual growing pains.

I have spent several days sitting around having a it of a pity party for myself. You see, I feel like I have worked really hard toward certain goals lately, and I have come so close to achieving those certain goals. But I've been blocked. I can't see the goals on the horizon anymore.

I feel like I have been diligent in particular areas, and now, right before what should be the payoff, it is cutoff. So, I have asked God why. I have whined about it. I have tried to figure ways around it. But all I needed to do was say okay God, you know what is ahead... you lead the way, and I will follow you. I trust you.

It is so simple, but yet so difficult. I have to get out of my own way. Lay down my plans. Throw out my carefully laid out plans. That is really hard to do sometimes. But it brings so much peace to let go and let God take the lead in your life. It isn't the way of this world; It almost seems backwards. Let go and you have peace? You should have a plan to have peace.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future..."

Because of things in my past, it is sometimes difficult for me to believe that people don't have ulterior motives. I don't want it to be that way, and God has done much healing in this area, but I have become painfully aware that I still operate in this broken way, even toward God.

But His word says His plans are to prosper me and not to harm me. I believe it. I believe He is calling me to believe it on a new and deeper level. So, I lay down my best laid plans, and say, Yes Lord, I trust you.

Home Made Muesli Mix Brings Germany Home

mmm, mmm, mmm good! That's what this is. When Scott came home from Germany in February, he was constantly raving about the breakfasts he ate daily. Yogurt, apple cider type beverage, fruits, and a granola-like cereal. He spoke longingly of this granola-like cereal often. I dismissed the notion of having it here, thinking it was most likely a "Germany only thing".

In the meantime, I had been searching for an alternative to prepackaged oatmeal (because I don't care for it). I want something a little healthier and more filling than sugary boxed cereal. I like to reserve that for a special occasion or a treat or snack more than a way to start the day. So, I first came across Swiss oatmeal in a cookbook. (I cut the recipe down to 2 servings.) This was better, but still not quite the texture I desire.

One day, while on a search for a healthy, yet easy treat to take to a get-together, I spied a bag of Bob's Red Mill Muesli that looked interesting. It even had a delicious cookie recipe on the back. I took it home and made a batch of the cookies. I felt the recipe needed modifications and was quite pleased with the end result.

Also on the bag was the directions to eat the muesli as cereal, either hot or cold. I decided to give the cold version with milk a try first and found that I really enjoyed it. When I described my new found breakfast delight to Scott he said, "That's sounds like what I ate in Germany!"

As a side note, I grew up not liking hot cereals, porridges, or gruel of any sort. I also did not care for milk in my cereal. The texture of soggy cereal was not bearable for me. And, with maybe two exceptions, I still don't care for these things. So, trying to find something similar to what I don't like in a form that I do like has been a challenge.

Now I make it at home. And here is the recipe so far. I am sure as I learn more and try this or that, my recipe will change. What is Muesli, anyway? Check out the Wikipedia definition.

O'Brien Morning Muesli

4 cups 100% whole grain rolled oats (thick cut may taste better, but I haven't tried that variety yet)
1 cup pearled barley, uncooked
1 cup unsweetened flake coconut (not shredded)
1 cup slivered almonds
1/4-1/2 cup sunflower seeds, unsalted is best
1 cup raisins
1/4-1/2 cup date crumbles, look for no sugar added
1/4-1/2 dried cranberries
2-3 tablespoons flax seeds

Mix it all together and keep it in an airtight storage container. I actually doubled this today, and it should last us 1 week if Scott, Kynzie, and I eat it. (Scott may not eat it until he has his dentist appointment next week.)

If you do soak the oats overnight before mixing the cereal, which is probably the healthiest way as soaking grains brings out the best nutrient-wise, you would want to reduce the recipe down to tablespoons at a time instead of cups. You would only want to soak what you could eat in one day at a time. You could also mix fresh fruits instead of dry this way.

I add a little cinnamon and Stevia to it in my cereal bowl. Kynzie likes it this way as well. I have a sweet tooth that I am trying to tame, and Stevia seems to help in that department.

Scott enjoys it with a glass of apple cider just like in Germany. In fact, it brought back memories of Germany so vividly for him he's going back again! Seriously, his work is sending him back to Germany but only for a week this time.

Anyway, I also found a great recipe for Chicken Barley Soup to use some of the pearled barley! Maybe I'll post that one later.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bittersweet Good-Bye for Ol' Blue (aka Storm Chaser)

Tonight Scott called and said something like “I’m going to be a little late picking Delainey up tonight… I crashed my car.” I first said, “Are you joking?” He has been known to make up silly things from time to time to time and time again. So, I actually ended up asking him a second time. He seemed remarkably calm for him, but he also wasn’t making complete sense. He can get irritated when I try to ask clarifying questions and he isn’t in the clarifying mood. I just tried to quickly sort out in my mind what he was saying and make sure he was okay.

He is okay. He may be sore, but he is okay. Thank you, Lord. And thank you that no one else was hurt either.

In fact, no other vehicle was involved. Just a light pole. He rear-ended a light pole, so to speak, swerving to miss a turning vehicle down a slippery hill.

That truck has served him (us) well, but I guess the “storm-chasers” days are over. It is a little bit bittersweet Bitter because now we’re down to one car again which means I won’t have a car often. And sweet because… I can’t really think of anything sweet right now. So just bitter.

No, that isn’t right. It is good he wasn’t hurt. It is good that wasn’t our only vehicle. It is good that we have another opportunity to wait on the Lord’s provision just like we did when we first received that truck as a free gift! There! That is the something sweet! It was FREE! So, bittersweet.

A good cornbread recipe for an iron skillet

I made cornbread in my iron skillet… I am still looking for the BEST cornbread recipe, but this one was pretty good. Is all cornbread a little on the dry side? But this one was not nearly as crumbly as many other recipes I've made/eaten.
1 cup cornmeal – I only had maybe 2/3 cup left, so I added a little corn grits (polenta) to make it just under 1 cup. Then added a little extra flour.
1 cup flour – I used a combination of white and whole wheat.
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 ½ cup buttermilk – I did not have buttermilk, so I used 1 cup plain yogurt and ½ cup milk.
1/3 cup sugar
2 medium eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Here is where I found the original recipe: http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/mybestcornbread.htm But of course, I couldn’t just make it as stated. I didn’t mix it in the order they suggest either, but it may have been even better if I had. I think this was the best cornbread I have made yet. It isn’t terribly sweet, but you can always add honey and butter when you’re ready to eat it up. It had a good flavor and a good texture. Oh, and I added cinnamon because I am a bit of a cinnamon fanatic. A teaspoon of vanilla would add some nice flavor as well.

Next time, I may add flax seeds, too…

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Talk about sensory integration!

“Mom, my eye bulb is bumpy…” (a short silence as I glance back to see her with her finger in her eye, and before I could spit out a warning about fingers in eyes especially in the car… “and, it tastes like… banana.”

What?! Kynzie is so “5-senses” oriented. But I don’t think I realized just to what extent!

Brotherly Love

We dropped Delainey off at a friend’s birthday party today, and Max began to cry when she jumped out of the car. He was so sad to leave without Delainey. It is so sweet that he loves her so much. Kynzie and Delainey tend to argue and disagree more often, but Max has a different relationship with his oldest sister. (Although, Kynzie does miss Delainey when she is gone as well and loves it when Delainey agrees to play house or school with her!)

Max even seeks out Delainey for comfort if I am nursing or otherwise indisposed during the day. Once recently when Max wanted to do something and Daddy told him no, he turned around and asked me. Mommy explained that if Daddy already said no, he shouldn’t come ask me – no is no. He then declared that he would go ask Delainey as he turned and headed into the other room. Too cute! You never know what they are thinking, and I love that he is able to fully communicate to us what is on his mind. Well, as fully as he does anyway.

I'm sure a bit of the close connection the kids have stems from our decision to home school. It is such a blessing to my heart. The little kids don’t know what it would be like for Delainey to leave every day to go to “school”. She does it right here at home. That is what is normal for Kynzie and Max.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I may not know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future... and it isn't Barak Obama

I know I am going from an apple pie post to this one, but my heart is heavy as I type this. I wonder if there were any Israelites who felt this way after Samuel, God's prophet, introduced Saul as the first king of Israel. I wonder if anyone asked God why He would allow it to happen. The people wanted a king. Americans seem to want a king of sorts... There are Samuels who have been warning us what it will be like, but we aren't heeding the warnings.

Just for the record, Saul was chosen by God to be king. Here is a description of Saul from the Bible that I thought was interesting - "...a choice and handsome {man,} and there was not a more handsome person than he among the sons of Israel; from his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people." He was also from the smallest family of the smallest tribe of Israel.
I am not really saying that Obama is like Saul... I am suggesting the situation may have similarities.

The people of Israel had rejected God's rule over them. This is true of America as well. Read below for Samuel's warnings about a king...

God told Samuel "...{the people} have rejected me, that I should not reign over them... Now, therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them."

He {Samuel} said, "This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots.

Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.

He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.

He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants.

He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants.

Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use.

He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves.

When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you in that day."

Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, "No, but there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles."

-scriptures taken from 1 Samuel 8:7-20

So, what do we do? Maybe we should have done a little more of this prior to now, but there's no time like the present. If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. - 2 Ch 7:14

This is a great place to start. Also, pray for Barak Obama and his family. Pray he will have a very personal and meaningful encounter with the one, true Jesus Christ. Pray for the lives of the unborn. Pray for God to weigh on the hearts of all of us to protect those who are so precious and have no voice of their own.

Pray also for Israel in the days, months and years to come.

Remember, David was chosen as king after Saul! David was considered by God to be a man after God's own heart.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Apple Pie with a Granola Crust

Here is the recipe as requested (sorry it's a little late.)

I find recipes that sound yummy and combine a little from this recipe and a little from that recipe and add a little something of my own. So, repeating the same product twice is sometimes impossible. But, I am going to try to give the recipe for a yummy apple pie/apple crumble.

I purchased pre-made granola pie crusts (similar to graham cracker crusts). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush pie crust with egg whites and bake for 5 minutes; set aside.

I used apples from my mom's apple tree... mmm, they were delicious. Maybe 5-6 cups peeled, cored and sliced

I also don't really measure things so much. But I am going to give measurements to the best of my ability.
1 T lemon juice
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c sugar
3 T whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2/3 c whole wheat flour
2-3 T flaxseeds
1/2 c brown sugar
2-3 T wheat bran
1/2 c oatmeal, rolled - may need more if you think it needs it... I may have used up to a cup one handful at a time...
1/4 to 1/2 c applesauce (start with less and add more if needed)

Mix apples with all the ingredients listed before TOPPING. Spoon into pie crust. Next, combine topping ingredients with a fork or pastry blender until crumbly. Sprinkle over apples. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Topping should be golden and bubbling.

I just thought of another variation of this recipe that I enjoy is Apple Cranberry Crumble. Yummy! I love to add cranberries to many different recipes - Cranberry Butter, Cranberry Bread, Cranberry Pineapple Jell-O... the list goes on!

Twitter ... Is it worth the work?

I have been trying to add Twitter to my blog and be cool and up to date and whatever. But I am only getting frustrated with it. I hoped it would help me add quick updates to my blog. Keyword - "quick". So far, nothing is quick about any of it. It is annoying, and I don't have a good stretch of time at one sitting to figure it out. I apologize if you are getting some strange log in request when you come to my blog. I am getting strange log in requests, and it is my blog! Hopefully, I can resolve this issue today. If you get the sign on pop-up, please close it for now, unless you have a twitter account of your own and want to sign in, I guess. But it isn't necessary. And, I plan on removing it ASAP... or later.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bradley Birth Reunion

We had our Bradley Method Class Birth Reunion yesterday afternoon. All of the couples from our classes minus two, I think, gathered with babies in tow at our instructor's house for a time of sharing our birth stories and meeting all the babies. There were six baby boys and two baby girls present. Some of the boys' names were Dennis and Daniel (ours), Elias and Vash; and the girls' names were Joy (shortened from Joyce) and Olivia with no middle name so her last name could be her middle name when she marries. (I had never heard of that before.)
What a neat experience! I enjoyed it a great deal. I always love to hear birth stories, and Scott loves to tell ours. We definitely rocked the "natural birth in a hospital." We didn't have any home births from our class which is a little unusual, I guess. Our instructor said she always has at least one couple who does a home birth.
Scott says we're done, but if we are blessed with another, I would move to Kansas and have a home birth. Yes, I said that. And, yes, I meant that! Of course, Scott would have to be on board, and so far, he's not... That is kind of an important detail.
However, Scott and I are considering becoming Bradley instructors in the near future. He really is passionate about natural hospital births at least.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Care & Keeping of "Little Puppy"

Today, after church was over and people were clearing out, Kynzie found an unclaimed little (stuffed) puppy (we are talking something likely from a McD's meal or similar). She said we better take it to the lost and found, but by the time we arrived at the lost and found location, no one was there to take said found item.
Kynzie came back to me with tears in her eyes. She said she was so sad that no one was there to take the item, and now what would the owner of this lost little puppy do? She was explaining the situation to a friend when I realized what the tears really represented.
Kynzie recounted that she herself had a little tiny puppy once and lost it and didn't want this puppy's owner to feel the same. Scott agreed that she could take the puppy home this week and bring it back to the lost and found next week.
At home this evening, she made a bed in a basket in which to carry the little puppy until bedtime when she decided the puppy needed to sleep with her. We have known her own little puppy (and spare cuddle blanket) have been missing for awhile, but this is the first glimpse of the impact of its absence.
She even mentioned going to the store to pick out a new little puppy. I wish we knew where we left it. Here is the blog post about her Little Puppy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What is Mommy-Hair, anyway?

Max was standing behind me on the couch playing with my hair. He was quiet for a long time then thoughtfully said, "I think you a girl, Mommy." Then, a little more silence as he tried to pile all my hair on top of my head. And another comment, "You have Mommy-hair. You have short Mommy-hair." It was cute and sweet. He has never really played with my hair before and never really made comments about my hair, either.

Then the moment was over as his hands turned into an alligator, and the alligator "chomp, chomp, chomp"-ed my hair. And my earring became a doorbell that he "ding, dong"-ed over and over again.

In short order, my hair became a spiderweb, a basket for a basketball for a basketball player, and a pile for digging.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Here is a Quick Update, or not so quick

I changed my comment settings back to only registered users because I have had too many strange and even mean comments left anonymously. If that change doesn't help, then I will have to go back to comment moderation. I just don't have as much time to check email, do research and blog (anything computer related, basically) so anything to streamline the process.

The twins are 4 months old now. Daniel outweighs Dennis by a few ounces at 15 pounds 3 ounces. Dennis weighs 14 and a half pounds. But Dennis is 1/4 inch longer. They are both very healthy and happy. Praise the Lord for this! Only by God's grace, not by my own strength. Because very often, I don't have any left...

It is so much fun to watch their very different personalities emerging daily. I love it! Dennis absorbs everything in his surroundings - watching, listening, tasting. He is sometimes easily startled because his attention is intensely consumed by one thing and gets abruptly interrupted by another noise or quick movement. Daniel is a go and do baby. He should be crawling before he is 5 months. Okay, maybe not quite. But he loves to sleep on his stomach, and he can push forward with his feet. He can also grab things with his feet and pull the item towards him. They both suck their thumbs now.

The kids are all doing well. Delainey started coop Monday. She is excited about coop this year. So am I. I hope it goes well in my classes too. I am a little nervous how it is all going to work out with nursing the twins... But, back to Delainey. She is taking Spiritual Life (Jr & Sr High girls only) first hour. Second hour is Tapestry of Grace History (Middle Ages), followed by Tapestry of Grace Literature. Then it is off to Intercessory Worship for all of us and then lunch.

The four little kids and I will leave after lunch to go home for naps, but Delainey will stay for a full day. Because she doesn't need a nap anymore. After lunch she will have science, then art in the fall and choir in the spring. And she will finish the day with Classical Composition class. The coop only meets every Monday with some breaks for holidays.

I am in the nursery and pre-K classes in the mornings. Seemed a fitting place for me to be at this time in my life... I am considered the lead teacher for 2nd hour Circle Time. That means I have to have actual plans for the class. First and third hours I am the Lead Caregiver. I am excited to participate.

Kynzie can barely contain her excitement for coop. She will have Five in a Row (a child's literature based unit study, sort of), Circle Time with me, and Character First class before worship and lunch. Max will be hanging out with me and the other littles.

As soon as I make all my decisions for what curriculum we will be using at home, I will post about that. Right now my wish list is super long, but my budget is super short! There is just so much good stuff out there; that's why my wish list is so long. I just have to figure out what stuff is the very best for us. We are only adding Math and Grammar/Spelling to coop and maybe some electives, like typing.

I am planning a garage sale soon. I am planning to go through the rest of the house with a fine-tooth comb to get rid of every little (or big) thing we do not need right now. I feel like I keep purging stuff, but not enough. So the front of the garage is filled with stuff to go.

I joined the local home school group again this year. I guess I kind of had to since I am the librarian and the library is stored in my basement right now. It is fun to get ready for a new school year and do it on my own time - what works best for our family. The school district here started so early this year. We plan to start after Labor Day, other than coop.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Give a Boy a Stick

Max loves any kind of stick - a broom stick handle, the metal bar that goes in the pack and play, the plastic rod support from the hamper, an actual stick... you name it. He loves to pretend and it seems a stick must be present for adequate play.

It's a guitar, a light saber, a gun, a bamboo pole from a song and dance in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a sword, his dancing stick as seen in such numbers as Chim Chim Cheroo and Jolly Holiday with Mary or Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (I didn't check the spelling on that), his horse, a motorcycle (handle bars)... again, you name it. Add a second stick and it can now be a violin or crutches like Grandma Pam.

It is so much fun to be a parent and watch your kids play and be creative and imaginative.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It really did win a blue ribbon!

Delainey's photo of Max standing at the door really did win first place in the photo contest! I am so proud of her, and very excited for her as well! She didn't get a blue ribbon, but she did receive a nice book to add scrapbook pages. It also came with some digital scrapbooking software.

There were 27 others who entered photos, and each enterant was able to enter up to three photos. The photographer who taught the class and ran the contest told her that one of her other photos would have won second if it hadn't been by the same person. Pretty exciting stuff, there... imagine what she can do when I get a new, super cool camera, and she gets to use the old one all the time! (Aren't I funny?)

Job well done, Delainey!

Here's the other photo...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Photo Wins Blue Ribbon in My Book!

Delainey's been taking photos trying to set up some good shots for a photo contest. Now, mind you, she has never had any photography lessons except an hour slide show/discussion at the local library. And, she doesn't have a very good camera with which to work. But she is determined to come up with the perfect photo. Well, this one is my favorite so far...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

behind in my blogging

I am behind in what I would like to blog. I have at least a dozen posts that I have started but not finished. And, now, the letter 'p' and the '.' keys are sticking on my computer. That is so annoying when you are trying to type quickly.

Anyway, I would like to give a weekend update or two... but it will actually just be updating items of interest randomly, and I am not making any promises as to how far along I'll get.

My mom and her twin sister (Aunt Karen) were known for their singing before they were married and were asked to sing at various local events and hotspots, you know, church, the local opry, the town's pioneer days, and the like.

Well, the act only got a little bigger when they got married. My dad and my uncle Tom joined in the fun and they continued to get a few gigs, and apparently they still do... they were asked to sing a little ditty about Jack and Diane, no just kidding. They were asked to sing a song, though, at a family reunion for my mom's mom's side of the family a couple weeks ago. (Got that?)

[Side bar: My dad played the drums for that same local opry for many years and eventually became a comedian as well. Buckshot. That became his stage name. I have some great memories of watching my dad on stage. They even had their own spot on the local TV station. So, if we didn't go to the opry we could sometimes watch him on TV! How cool is that when you're five? Or 35?]

On with the show. Mom and Karen sang, and Dad played guitar. Tom would've played guitar as well, but he had to be out of town and couldn't join us. But they did decide to have the grandkids sing with them. Six of Mom and Dad's 11 grandchildren sang - the twins just weren't up to singing in public yet, and Tacy & Clayson didn't make it this year. Karen & Tom didn't have any grandkids yet... their first is due any minute... literally, any minute or maybe he's already here! I haven't heard yet. But I am so happy for my Aunt Karen, and TJ & Laura, too. Can't forget them.

My Dad & Mom-in-law gave us a swing set they don't use anymore (they probably never did, really. It was probably mostly the kids that used it. Ha! I'm on a roll tonight!). My kids are so thrilled. You would think we have World's of Fun or something in our backyard now. I am thrilled, too. I am so glad they have something to do in our own backyard.

On the fourth of July, we went to my parents for dinner. Mom made her famous brisket that is sooo yummy. There was corn on the cob, mmmm, and delicious desserts, or belicious as Max says. We shot off our own fireworks - our kids and Troy's. Then we all watched the display put on by the city. This year is the first year Kynzie stayed outside the whole time, and she didn't even cover her ears/eyes the whole time. Max stayed glued to my lap the entire time, thumb in mouth, cloth in hand. It was past his bedtime, but he didn't care much for the noise anyway.

Tonight, we went to a potluck dinner at a local church where Kynzie has been attending Vacation Bible School all week. This is the first time she has done something like that. She loved 'Bible school' and was disappointed that today was the last day. The church had a dinner, and the kids sang some songs they had worked on all week. Kynzie, my social butterfly, was more interested in all the people than whether she had the right hand motions going at the right time. It was super cute since she's only four.

Delainey had a brief tennis lesson this week and a photography lesson of sorts at the library. So, now she is trying to take some photos to enter in the photo contest. I wish our camera would work out better for her, but she's trying. I'll try to post some of her photos later this week.

Speaking of photos, I will post some in this post later. The SD card is in the other room where the twins are sleeping and I don't want to go rummaging right now. So, maybe check back again a little later if you want to see some pics.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Most Precious Moments

As Dennis finished nursing this evening, he started to work at figuring out what his hand is and what it might do for him. He focused on his hand's movement back and forth in front of his face. He concentrated quite intensely for awhile. Then, he began to look at the bright flowers on my shirt. Finally, his eyes caught mine, and he connected, locked on. And, he returned my smile.

I love those moments. I love to watch my children learning and experiencing new things. And those smiles are so precious; like jewels.

I wonder if that is a little glimpse of how God feels to be our Father. He enjoys watching us, His creation... watching us learn and experience life, His abundant life for us. And, then, when we connect with Him, I bet that is most precious to Him as well... when we express our love to Him, our gratitude toward Him, our smiles.

What parent doesn't take great joy in an "I love you, Daddy" from their children?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Beautiful Poem for those who have experienced miscarriage

Most of our friends and family probably know that I have experienced miscarriages. I have started a post about the loss and some ways I found to deal with it, but I haven't finished it yet. I found this poem tonight, and I wanted to post the link to it here. It is titled 'Heaven's Nursery' by Rebekah Milne.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Tuesday's Top Ten Things to do with Two-Month-Old Twins

1) Type one-handed while nursing (how do you think I have time to post!)

2) Have a goal for (the babies') sleeping, eating and wake-time and slowly work toward it. My goal is eat/wake/sleep in a three-hour rotation. It may sound familiar to those of you who have read Babywise or Along the Infant Way. Lots of controversy surrounds some of the ideas within, but as with anything, take from it what will best benefit you, your babies, and your family. And, we have found it benefits us in many ways... maybe another post another time there.

3) Keep them in the same crib... at least in our experience it is easier, and as of two plus months of age, they don't wake each other when crying.

4) Make the individual time you have with each count, but also do as many things as you can two at a time! Nursing is the biggest and best two-at-a-time-task for me! But, you may not want to go that route. Maybe you would rather enjoy bonding with one at a time. Then you could double up at bath time maybe...

5) Keep a "While I Am Thinking About It" Notebook. This can be a little, spiral notepad or a more elaborate 3-ring binder with various subjects (home life, school, calendar, to do, menu/grocery, etc.) divided with tabs. But have it handy, that is the key. I think of things constantly, and then promptly forget them.

6) Make sure you give your husband opportunities to bond with the babies, too! My terrific husband has always enjoyed having a hand, or two, in the children's care. This time is no different. He does the bathing of the babies. He also talks with them, holds them, changes them, burps them, and more when he is home.

7) Give the babies toys or colorful objects on which to focus and to practice coordinating muscle movement and hand-eye coordination. Dennis is much better at grabbing something he sees. (But Daniel can roll!) It is so sweet to see them growing and changing.

8) Talk to them face to face. Watch them try to 'talk' back to you.

9) My husband said I should add that you should work hard to keep them awake in the evening. Try to not let them nap past six o'clock or so. It is often much easier said than done, but it is good to have goals.

10) Make sure you are allowing them to fall asleep in the crib. I think this is about the time (2-3 months) that they become more aware of sleep aids, which means they can easily become more used to them. Sleep aids such as rocking them to sleep and then carefully and gently putting baby down in the crib, hoping not to wake the angel. It becomes even more important with two babies, I think, than with one... it may seem like a sacrifice at first, but it will pay off for you and your sleep!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tuesday's Top Ten Twin Stuff List... Especially for a Small Living Space

I don't think you should buy two of everything right away. I will say that we used two bouncy seats from week one... well, maybe week two, I can't remember.

I really like the bouncy seats we have, but if I had thought about it a little more, I might have chosen a more portable style. Or at least something that folds up and stores out of the way.

1) Take Along Swings - maybe just one to start. You never know whether both babies will like swing time or not, and you may not need to have both in a swing at the same time. I have found that both of mine enjoy swinging, and I enjoy having them both in the swing at the same time.

2) Nursing pillow - I would like to have the inflatable pillow as well for travel. I discussed the nursing pillow in a previous post.

3) Bouncy seats - fold up if you can find them. I had a couple of older bouncy seats with my older children that folded for storage and for portability. These are two wonderful qualities (easy storage and easy portability) to find in any baby equipment for twins.

4) floor gym - collapsible. These are helpful, but not completely necessary. They do take up a lot of space if you don't find the kind that folds on itself and stays closed with snaps or Velcro.

5) Double stroller of some sort. We have a Graco Duoglider, and I love the feature that allows you to snap the carseats in and out. I have also seen the stroller that is just the frame for holding the carseats.

6) Port-a-crib or pack-n-play (somewhere to put them, especially if you have other small children)

7) Good breast pump - high quality and portability (can you plug an adaptor into the car? Believe me, it comes in handy!)

8) Portable changing table/station or several stations throughout the house - I have created a portable changing station on a cart. Maybe I will take pics of it and add them later.

9) A back pack diaper bag - I love mine, but it isn't as big as some others. You may want something a little roomier? Also, think about how easy it will be to clean and whether it will stand up on its own.

10) An incredible setup for nursing - including Hands-free phone/books/computer whatever you need to make nursing work for the long-haul. Read this for more info on Nursing Set-up (and other useful twin information from a real mom of twins).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Our Twins are Two Months Old Today!

Today the babies are two months old, and they had their two-month check up today. We started seeing a new doctor when the twins were born. Apparently, he is a very popular doctor; he's always booked at least six weeks in advance. He has been in practice for quite some time, I hear, and he is considered to have a more "natural" practice.

I expressed how I was a little apprehensive about toting all four littles with me (even with Delainey's help) to the doctor in a previous post. My sister-in-law called me and offered to watch Kynzie & Max which helped bunches. (Thank you!) Long story short: We went to the appointment Wednesday and found out it was really on Thursday, and since he is a really popular doctor, he was already double-booked on Wednesday. So, we had to go back today. My gracious sister-in-law just laughed at my silly situation, (in a sort of feel sorry for you kind of way, I think) and offered to watch the kids again today!

So, anyway, Dennis weighs 12 lbs, 11 oz and Daniel weighs 12 lbs. They both measure 23.25" in length. Everything else is fine. The Dr. said they don't worry about crossed eyes or lazy eyes until around 4 months, they don't really worry about navel hernias until around 4 years of age, and he didn't think Daniel's desire to be crooked all the time should be worrysome just yet.

Since I am exclusively breastfeeding at this point, I have been a little paranoid about making sure they are each receiving enough nourishment. I think today's appointment took that concern down one more level.

We skipped the shots today, so we all left mostly happy. It did seem that the Dr. broke Dennis' heart when he had to turn his little head away from Mommy. So there were some residual tears and cries there.

I tried to take some cute pictures of the babies last night, but it didn't go so well. Here is one of my favorites though... Daniel is smiling and Dennis is done.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Before and After the Hair Cut

I wish I had taken good 'before' pictures of Delainey's hair. She had her locks loped off last Friday night. I didn't go with her; Scott and Max went along to get their hairs cut as well. Scott called me when she was getting her hair cut, and I thought I was going to cry just hearing about it. I don't know whether I could have handled watching it. I know that is silly, and I didn't even know I felt that way until Scott called me.
Anyway, when I saw it I couldn't believe how much different she looked! She donated her hair to Locks of Love, and one of the ladies at the salon said there should be enough for two wigs from her hair. Wow! I don't know about that, but I do know she had a whole bunch of hair chopped!
Her haircut is so cute. And, it really looks great on her. It makes me think maybe I want a hairstyle like hers. But she begged me not to get mother-daughter 'do's, so I guess I'll wait at least till hers grows out a bit.
Here is the link to her Christmas photo. That is the best one I have of her long hair. She seems to always have it in a ponytail or something in all the other photos I have... so here is a pic of her with a ponytail at a recent family gathering.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday's Top Ten Twin Items of Interest

1) Dennis was ready to go to 3 hour feedings before Daniel which presented a little bit of a dining dilema unitl Daniel caught up a bit in the last day or two... it is easier on mom nursing every 3 hours instead of every 2
2) Tomorrow is their two-month check-up. It will be a bit of a logistical challenge because this doctor's patient rooms do not hold all of us at once...
3) They both are enjoying face-to-face interaction, which is fun
4) They are starting to have more awake time that isn't cry-time
5) Smiles are becoming much more common, which is so rewarding!
6) I have decided that I enjoy dressing them in matching outfits, especially since they are fraternal, and I can tell them apart.
7) Kynzie told me yesterday that she can't tell them apart when I dress them in matching outfits
8) Max calls them both "Dennis 'n' Daniel", I think
9) Scott thinks Daniel might be longer than Dennis now; I think he may have caught up weight-wise
10) Another twin mom told us that we would have to pad our schdeule with extra time for any trip we make to account for all the attention twins generate. We have found this to be true for the most part. Usually, it is fun and enjoyable talking to people about our experiences, and often, hearing from others about their twins.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wait till you hear this weekend update

Let's do a little bit of a weekend update here...

Friday - We received some difficult-to-hear news that had a happy ending. Scott called me Friday early evening and told me his father was in the hospital. He explained that his dad had been changing the oil under the family Suburban when the jack gave out. I even shudder now as I type it out. Fortunately, Dad-in-law was able to go back home a little while later, albeit with several staples and stitches and a great deal of pain.

Saturday - We took some time to clean up the big trash items we've been 'saving' in the garage. We are back to the decluttering, and I am back to trying to implement my favorite home-care system - The House That Cleans Itself. (My favorite part about this book is the idea that if you can't change the habits of the household inhabitants, then you should try to change the household to fit the habits of the inhabitants. What a domestic revolution!) Then, we were pleasantly surprised after dinner with a visit from Dad-in-law! Doing better, but still sore.

Sunday - Pastor Jim's sermon was good this morning, just as usual. I adjourned during the last part to the nursing mother's room. My mom came with me to help hold, burp, change one while I nursed, burped, changed the other... she spoils me! And I am thankful for it. Later, Kynzie suddenly developed a fever, aches, and chills during our visit with Scott's parents after church. After we were back at home and had Kynzie more or less settled, I went to visit my sister, Tacy, and their new baby, Micah. I forgot my camera.

Monday - I had to cancel my already rescheduled dentist appointment due to Kynzie's fever, although she is doing much better today. But God is giving me grace because that tooth isn't bothering me as much as it had been the last two weeks. This evening, Scott purchased a 32" plasma flat screen TV! I think I am going to run downstairs real quick to make sure it is really there (not just his dream I am in) one more time.

We have been so used to our 19" screen TV for years now. So when we sat down to have a look at the picture on this monstrous tellie, it was like we had a movie screen in our home. It certainly isn't the most spiritual of purchases I suppose, but it didn't go on credit! Whoo hooo!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Micah Trey is Here!

My sister and her husband had their baby boy on April 17th (I think)... three weeks early again. He weighed 6 lbs, 13 oz and measured 19 in. I haven't seen him yet, but I am planning a visit tomorrow. Hopefully, I won't forget the camera. Everything went well and I am sooo happy for the whole family!

Friday, June 20, 2008

One of Our Budding Artists

Kynzie has many gifts and talents... holding a writing utensil is not one of them just yet. But she loves to draw on her "arbie-doodle", and it seems to be great practice for her. One evening she came into the living room from playing quietly in her room. She was quite pleased with herself, and this is why:

And, just in case we couldn't be sure about what she'd drawn, she brought her 'model' out for us as well. This is a portrait of Strawberry Shortcake (or Strawberry Cortcake, as Kynzie calls her). You can see the likeness, right? The hat on her head?

The short story behind this is that when she was littler, Scott could entertain her for long stretches of time by drawing things on the Magna-doodle for her. She would pick various characters from her toy collection to bring to him for caricaturization. It was magical to her to watch Daddy replicate Woody or Cinderella with this drawing medium.

And now she has finally decided maybe she can do it too. That is what is super-sweet about it. She never would try it herself until now. I love watching our kids grow and learn new skills. It is a little bittersweet because it does go by so fast, but I wouldn't miss a moment like this for anything this world has to offer.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Losing Weight After Twins (Or "Does 'Twin Skin' Ever Go Away"

Is it possible? I am not sure. I am going to bear it all here folks... no, you aren't going to see any photos of my "twin skin". It's safe. I am going to tell you about my weight. Maybe I will feel more accountable if I tell the world all about it. Or at least maybe someone else out there will feel better if they see I am not doing so well...?

I weighed approximately 126 lbs before my latest pregnancy. I weighed 191 lbs the day before I gave birth to my sweet twins. The day they were born, I weighed myself after delivery - 161 lbs. That is awesome! Last Friday I had my 6 weeks (which was actually postponed to weeks), and I weighed in at 145 lbs, I think.

Now, my goal is to exercise and eat properly while still getting enough calories to continue exclusively nursing my twin boys at this time. Notice there is no weight loss goal in this statement. It happens slowly but surely for me. I just don't know how different it will be this time after twins. I gained the weight differently.

Oh, wait, I just thought of a weight loss goal - I want to be able to wear my wedding rings again. Yes, that would be nice. I really miss wearing them.

So I heard about this program Lose Your Mummy Tummy. Anybody heard of this? Better yet, anybody used it successfully? The 'Mummy' who told me about it couldn't say enough positive about it. I'm curious...

The problem has been that I haven't had an appetite, at least not for anything healthy. I crave sugar and lots of it. I want to eat ice cream, cake, cookies, candy, you name it. This is how I found out I can't eat chocolate because the twins don't do well after that.

But I think I am turning the corner. I think my appetite is coming back around with a little self-discipline and some prayer. I actually felt hungry this morning. I haven't felt hungry since I was pregnant.

And, we are getting back into the routine of going for walks. My sister-in-law is letting us borrow their double stroller so we can go on walks with all four little kiddos in a stroller.

They say twin-skin doesn't go away without, say, a tummy tuck. Since I am not even 2 months post-partum, I think I still hold on to naive hope.

What is 'twin-skin', you ask? Well, it kind of reminds one of a raisin, only maybe a little plumper. It can be viewed a couple of different ways. I like to see it this way: Battle scars of a battle fought well and something to be worn proudly. After all, I would do it all again, and looking at those two babies makes it all worth it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Twin Birth Plan - Sample for a natural hospital birth

(Formatting from Word didn't copy over to here.
Apparently, our birth plan was a little controversial among some of the hospital administration and staff, but God worked it out that all the nurses working with us loved, or at least liked, our birth plan! We had so many people tell us what a blessing it was to be at our birth.
Just as a side note, we did have this birth for these babies, and it was awesome! To God be glory and honor and praise! He is faithful and loving.
And, by the way, my husband, Scott wrote this birth plan originally! Yeah, Scott!
I know that to some, natural birth and hospital don't go together in the same sentence, but it will serve a purpose for some.)

Twin Birth Plan

Name: Scott & Tonya
Midwife or OB: Dr. Tami
Pediatrician: Dr. Douglas
Professional Labor Assistant: Amber
Birth Center or Hospital: Medical Center
Approximate Due Date: 05/08/2008

We are very excited for the birth of our twins. As a couple, we have been educating ourselves on the advantages and techniques of natural child birth. Our goal in doing this is to have a delivery outcome whereby the mother and children are healthy and able to begin their journey together immediately. As a pregnant mother, I (Tonya) have not taken this responsibility lightly. Not only have I read and taken instruction in natural childbirth, I have been preparing my body for what is rightly called “labor”. I have maintained a healthy and well balanced diet full of protein and other essential vitamins and minerals. I have done cardio exercises, as well as practicing various positions. I realize that in order to have a natural child birth, neither I nor my husband can be passive participants.

Our decision to have a natural child birth has led us to the practice of Tammy, D.O. and to Medical Center, a hospital with a good reputation for supporting natural childbirth. We understand that the birth of twins may have a higher risk of complications and again affirm our #1 desire is to have a healthy mother and healthy children. To help you understand our view of what natural childbirth means to us, we have listed below some procedures for mother and children that we believe can affect the outcome of our birth. Please note that in the event of an emergency, our choices may change.

Requests in the event of normal birth
1) To have my husband, Scott, present throughout the labor, birth, and the immediate postpartum period.
2) To have my birth attendant with me throughout the birth.
3) To allow my oldest daughter, Delainey, and my mother, Kathy, to witness the birth
4) To have no routine prep, including shaving and enema
5) To have limited vaginal exams, preferably at my request
6) To have lights dimmed, temperature warm, quiet voices and limited personnel
7) To have no sedatives, tranquilizers, pain medication, or anesthesia
8) To have no routine stimulants to start or speed up labor
9) To have no routine rupture of membranes
10) To have no routine IV; I realize there may be a need to secure an IV site due to a twin pregnancy
11) To have minimal electronic fetal monitoring
12) To bring and use during labor: music to play, olive oil to make compresses to relax perineum, other aids to relieve back pain, my own clothing, and other helps as needed.
13) To be free to walk around during labor – no routine confinement to bed and/or labor room
14) To have access to a birth ball and squatting bar
15) To have the option to modify delivery positions such as side, hands and knees, squatting, or whatever position feels best at the time.
16) To avoid a routine episiotomy
17) To delay cutting of the cords to allow the babies to obtain the maximum blood before cord stops pulsating
18) I would like to nurse each baby as soon as possible.
19) To try turning techniques, if needed, before birth of second baby
20) To allow adequate time for delivery of the placenta – no routine pitocin stimulant or manual removal
21) To have as early a discharge for the three of us as possible, barring complications, as I feel I will be able to rest better at home.
22) If the body temperature of either baby is of concern, the baby(ies) should be placed skin-to-skin with me and a warmed blanket will be spread over us. At no time will the babies be separated from me, or Scott, and placed in a warmer.
23) At no time should our babies be separated from us. All newborn care should be done in the same room with us.
24) We prefer that no eye drops or ointment be used in my babies' eyes.
25) Our babies should not be given any substance by mouth other than my breastmilk or colostrum. At no time should sterile water, glucose water, or formula of any kind be given. The babies will be allowed to nurse on demand, and no rubber nipples or pacifiers should be introduced.
26) We do not wish to have the babies’ blood glucose tested. If their blood sugar level is of concern, more frequent nursing will be encouraged, since maternal colostrum provides a healthier and more stable blood sugar level than processed glucose.
27) No soaps or disinfecting agents will be used to wash the babies, and vernix on their skin will be massaged into the skin rather than removed through washing. We will be responsible for the bathing of our babies.
28) Absolutely no procedure will be performed on our babies without our authorization, and either my husband or myself will be present for any procedure that is performed.
29) We do not wish to have the Vitamin K shot administered. There will be no circumcisions.
30) We do not wish for the PKU test, hearing test or infant immunizations to be administered in the hospital. It will be our responsibility to see that these tests are performed by a pediatrician at a later time.

We realize that this list is extensive, but please view it positively. This is Tonya’s 4th birth and we have become more informed with each succeeding child. We trust in the care that you can offer which is why we have chosen your hospital. We look forward to this experience and this partnership with the very special people on your staff. Thank you.

Monday, June 16, 2008

So, How DO You Nurse (as in Breastfeed) Twins?

You get one of these nursing pillows - EZ-2-Nurse Twin Nusring Pillow. I don't think I could nurse my twins at the same time without this pillow. And I don't know whether I could keep my sanity if I didn't nurse my twins at the same time, at least most of the time. So, this pillow is a sanity-saver for me.

I think there are other similar twin pillows out there, but this is the one I have and use day and night.

With a singleton at night, the baby is in the bed with me and can nurse, and I don't have to get up. But I couldn't figure out how to do that with two. I have read about women who did and even read a short tutorial but still couldn't figure it out.

Speaking of tutorials, I came by this pillow second-hand (it was generously given to me in exchange for my regular Boppy nursing pillow) and didn't get any of the paperwork that may have come with it. But I did find this online tutorial which was immensely helpful.

There is even an inflatable double nursing pillow that I think would be a good investment to take on the road with me.

I also found an online site that sells a pattern to make your own twin nursing pillow. I can't find the link, but when I do, I will add it here.

Then, there are nursing tops & dresses... but maybe that will be another post.

I also want to add this link for others expecting twins. There is some great advice on having twins in three parts. It is geared toward a big family with more children than I have, but I found it so helpful anyway!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

How do you keep your Daughter safe?

So, I got a Facebook account so I could check it out before I decided whether Delainey could get one or not. I just don't get it. What is the point? It seems like a bit of a waste of time to me. Can someone help me understand?

I can't let her go anywhere alone. Not because I don't trust her, but because I can't trust some other people. Last night we went to a mall to check out a store my husband heard about. While we were there, Delainey had to use the facilities, hmm, hmm, you know. So Scott explained how to get to the nearest one and off she went only to return in short order accompanied by a strange fellow.

Some guy had started to follow her, weaving to the other side of the walkway when she weaved, stopping to show interest in some store front suddenly, when she stopped. Delainey wisely and quickly found the first store with more than one person in it and hung a left inside.

She approached the two men behind the counter and announced that she believed she was being followed. One of the gents asked if she would like him to call security. She said no, but could he please walk her back to the store in which her parents were shopping... and he did. Thank you to that store employee and to everyone else who helps out in a situation like that!

This man asked Delainey to point out the perpetrator, and when she did, he said security had already been called on that guy for picking a fight that night.

Now, one might say she could just be paranoid... but I have actually watched this happen twice before in other stores. Once, in Price Chopper, I followed a man because I thought he was following Delainey (who was, once again, going to the bathroom). And she knew he was back there, because she would back-track and stop and go and all that stuff you would do to see whether someone was following you.

So, I watched for a bit, then I made myself more visible so she could see me and head back to me. He went to the front of the store and sat there.

It causes Delainey to feel quite shook up, and it takes me a minute or two to let the anger settle after these situations. Anger at these men who have no regard for anyone other than themselves. I don't understand how someone could be this way. I don't understand how a grown, and sometimes married, man can't keep his eyes off my young daughter's backside when she walks by. She doesn't wear "hey, look at me clothes." But then I try to remember to pray for them... at a safe distance, though.

Delainey is a beautiful girl. She is friendly and not afraid to interact with people. She doesn't walk with her head down or with the countenance of a victim. Does this sort of thing happen to all girls? Or is it just her? And, you know, so many times she has one or both of the little kids with her. Although, in both of the above instances she did not have any kids with her.

Maybe it is the part of town in which we live (and visit when we go the mall). I don't know. I just need to keep training my daughter to be cautious and wise. And continue to cover her in prayer. I thank God continually for allowing me to take care of His precious daughter. I want to do the job well.

Maybe it's time to get a cell phone...

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my Dad and to Scott's Dad and most of all to my husband. This man is a great father. I am blessed to have a man who desires to be so helpful with our children. He looks forward to building bonds with each of his children. He loves me, and he loves them.

He willingly is in charge of bath time. He willingly takes over most evenings after dinner so I can have as much of a break as a momma of twin infants can have. He enjoys feeding each baby as they become old enough to eat solid foods. And I bet you're wondering about diapers. Well, I will tell you that he changed more diapers than I did in the first two weeks of the twins lives.

He has never shied away from a dirty diaper. Although, I did tease him because before we had any babies he said he would only change dirty diapers if he had latex gloves to protect his hands. The gloves never happened, and he has always changed diapers.

To borrow some lyrics from a song I don't even know... what a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man (and mighty handsome, too, even holding Dumbo).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Forgotten Bug Party

I think I already 'blogged' about the Bug Party at the library to which I fogot to take the kids. Kynzie still sadly recalls the day we forgot to go the the Bug Party. Friday evening we went to my mom & dad's to celebrate Kynzie's birthday and give my sister a mini, family baby shower.

We had the bug theme going for Kynzie's part of the evening.

My mom had the kids search their large yard for various bugs and see who had the most at the end of the time allotted. Kynzie paired up with uncle Clayson, and they came out winners in the end. Kynzie kept saying she just couldn't believe she won the bug game on her birthday.

Kynzie had to try four times before she blew out her one (non-trick) candle. I didn't get real elaborate on the cake. Kynzie liked the grass from a previous cake I made, so we just decided bugs on grass would be perfect.

Kynzie put on her ladybug costume, and Max put on his bumblebee costume for the present part of the party.

Kynzie was so delighted with all of her gifts, but here she is after opening up her Baby Alive. She thanked Scott and I over and over for that doll. It was just what she wanted, she said. She didn't even seem to mind that we decided not to get the one that 'poops', thanks to a heads up from my sister-in-law, Kerry. Thanks, Kerry. (Kerry asked me if I really needed another messy diaper to change. Good point.)

She also received an Aquadoodle mat, a Play Wonder frog toss set, a doorway puppet theater, as well as a few other odds and ends. Not that the gifts were odd...

Below is the quilt Mom made for Clayson and Tacy's new baby. It is a spinoff of the Noah's Ark theme she made for their first son, Elijah. Mom also made Tacy's 'shower' cake. We all loved it! All the little plastic shower favor babies on it and sprinkles, too. It was so 'Mom"! Good job, Mom.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Update on the O's

I will try to keep updating the bog with more photos of the kids and the growing twins. Last Saturday, the babies were 6 weeks. I weighed the babies in their diapers. Dennis weighed 11.5 lbs and Daniel weighed 10.5 lbs. That is a full pound each since the previous Friday! I always hope they are getting enough to eat. Scott says they are.

We haven't been taking many photos lately. Our camera is wonderful because it was a free gift. But it isn't so wonderful because it runs out of batteries VERY quickly. It takes forever for the camera to take a photo, so, of course, you miss the photo you meant to get. Someday, I will have a better camera. I used to use 35mm SLR cameras, and in some ways, I miss those. But I love digital! With 5 kids, a better camera seems like a worthwhile investment, right?

Anyway, I sent some photos online to Wal-Mart to be printed. When I went in to pick them up, I had to sign a copyright release saying that I was the owner of one of the photos and that it was okay for Wal-Mart to print the photo. I told them I guess I should be flattered, but I was a little annoyed as well since I was pressed for time.

It was a photo I had taken right in our own living room. I did use my brother's super cool digital SLR camera, but it was way too dark to be from a studio.

I think the twins like the swing; so much so that I am considering purchasing a second swing.

Scott bought me a small deep freeze. I already bought a bunch of different meat on sale and started loading it up. Very exciting! He also bought an Equalizer Heating and A/C Register Booster for one of the living room vents. I have wanted one of these for awhile.

The little kids have spent lots of time outside. They love outside! Kynzie enjoys taking care of her garden. My mom bought her a couple tomato plants, pepper plants and a lemon basil plant for her own garden. She is in green thumb heaven. Here are pics of Kynz when she received her gardening equipment and then her plants, too.

Max loves his sports equipment, and they both thoroughly enjoy riding the various ride-on toys. There is Max's motorcycle (his is blue), the little red scooter, the red push-around buggy, the tricycle, and, the newest edition, Kynzie's new bicycle (I couldn't find that one online).

The babies are quickly growing out of their porta-crib, but Max is not out of his crib yet. He really likes his crib. He has never even tried to climb out of it. He has taken naps a couple of times in his big boy toddler bed, but he doesn't nap as long. And he is a little different than Kynzie; she knew to stay in bed till we came to get her. Him - not so much.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

So much wonder in a four-year-old

Kynzie turned four years old! We spent the evening at Chuck E Cheese. She was so excited. And as a last minute treat, Papa Dan and Grandma Pam and Aunt Kelsie met us there. We didn't tell Kynzie, so she was quite surprised. I forgot to take my camera. Not that it would have worked if I had remembered it anyway... but that is a different story for a different blog post.

Kynzie is so much fun to watch in situations like this. She is so genuinely happy, and she lights up with such delight at each new event. It is refreshing. I love to experience things through my daughter's eyes, and all her senses really. She expresses such wonder, and her curiosity takes her on great learning adventures.

Papa and Grandma gave her a super cool bicycle complete with training wheels and pink tassels on the handlebars after Chuck E Cheese. She still gets these huge eyes and matching grin when she asks if she can go ride her new bike. It is so cute!

Her most recent learning adventures have been about what happens to our pee pee when we flush it, why God made the trees for us (as opposed to the trees just being for birds to build nests), and the life cycle of a butterfly. Growing a garden is always on her mind. She asked me today why I haven't put anything in our garden to grow yet. She said "we (her and Delainey and Max) have been taking care of it for you," as though to say we are waiting on you to plant something.

The best is hearing her say "now we are going to be able to drink my pee pee" after she flushes the toilet every time now. And this is somehow exciting to her! Not the refreshment of drinking water necessarily, but the knowledge she has gained about the water treatment plant process.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Blog Changes

It has been brought to my attention (by more than one faithful reader) that I need to address, among other items, the issue of my blog name. Since we are no longer just the five cheery O's, shouldn't I come up with a new name.

Well, I have given this much thought, even before the babies were born. I think it still works because we now have five cheery O children! Now, if this pregnancy had resulted in a singleton, then, yes, I would have had to change it. Some say to leave it is as it is would be lame. Maybe. But I never have cared much what others think. That is why I still wear my crocs past pregnancy. (Just kidding, Kelsie! I wouldn't embarrass you like that!)

I did finally remove the pregnancy ticker now that the twins have been here a whole month. I plan to get around to some other upgrades to the blog as well. It is just time consuming. And time is a hot commodity these days.

Like right now - Daniel requires some of my time! Gotta go!

Mother's Day - Max's Birthday

I had a great Mother's Day this year. I had two more children to mother for starters! How awesome! My husband and the kids made me breakfast in bed. They also gave me a wonderful gift - an ipod shuffle and beautiful cards (the home made ones are the best!). It was the first Sunday back at church since the birth of the twins. It was like we were celebrities. Well, actually not us, just the babies. All that was missing was the flash of a hundred cameras. It was so much fun!

I received a lovely rose corsage and the day brought special prayers for mothers. After church we spent some time talking with friends, and I was able to share my birth story with some who were interested. How fun! We finally left church and headed to my mom's house. But not so we could take her to lunch or something traditional like that...

My mom made lunch for me! It was a very yummy treat and greatly appreciated. My mom is an awesome cook. Her family get-together meals are the best. (My sister-in-law made my mom's brisket recipe and it was super delicious. I am a little jealous that she can cook so well!) My brother and his wife (the good cook II) came over with their kids and we sang happy birthday to Max.

He received some cool gifts this year. I think he got most of his favorite things - an airport set complete with airplane and helicopter, a construction site play set, small toy tool kit, "baseball game", addition to Thomas train set, motorcycles, clothes, as well as some other fun things.

There is a picture of Max and my twin nursing pillow. He said it was his turn to nurse the babies, so he got himself ready and asked me to hand him the babies!
The picture of Max and Daniel depicts how his genuine desire to show love and tenderness for the babies is sometimes outweighed by his curiosity about their body parts.

Speaking of which, when he was helping Daddy change one of the babies recently, he noticed what was under the diaper and proclaimed "Just like me! Just like me!"

Max really does love the babies, and he does try to be gentle and soft with the babies. It is so sweet. But he just doesn't have any concept of spatial relationship or how much he weighs compared to the little boys. (By the way, I didn't try to take a photo of Max poking Daniel in the eye; it just happened that he decided to poke his eye as my slow camera finally shuttered.)
I also wanted to include a photo of my Grandma on Mother's Day. My brother was the good grandchild and went to visit our grandparents - so this photo is courtesy of him. The little girl with Grandma is his daughter, Aubrey. My daughter Kynzie shares the same birthday as my Grandma.