The Gall!

(This was written a month ago, but as you can imagine once you read this, things got a little hectic, AND I was very medicated!)


In case anyone was wondering, here is a list of things that have happened in my life that have caused LESS pain than the gall stones I was dealing with:

  • Getting hit by a school bus at 13 years old
  • Having both big toenails removed practically at the same time
  • Getting kicked square in the face, full force at a karate tournament
  • Jumping off a swing but getting my shirt caught and falling on my face busting my lip open
  • Slamming my finger in a car door at 7
  • Finishing a soccer game with an ankle sprain so bad my doctor didn’t understand how it wasn’t broken
  • Giving unmedicated, vaginal childbirth

And I’d do it 100 x’s over before I feel gall bladder pain again! And good thing is, I won’t have to because they took it out and GOOD RIDDANCE! The pain of these gallstones was unlike anything I have ever felt before.

So this is sorta how it went down. Last Saturday I went in to the ER at 4am (so really Sunday early morning) in excruciating pain.  I’ve never had heartburn before (I KNOW!) and when I told Callie what my symptoms were, she said it might be that and to take some tums. About 3 hours later (and half a bottle of Tums -is that even safe?!?!) I was keeled over the arm of the couch, DEMANDING that whatever the hell had crawled ALL UP INSIDE of me to get the hell out while simultaneously thrusting my abdomen into the same armrest doing a quasi Heimlich/dry jump maneuver.  Super sexy, y’all!  All of this while I cried and vomited profusely.  When I literally couldn’t stand anymore, I woke Callie up and told her that I would be taking a cab to the hospital and that I would give her a call and let her know what was going on.

Arrived to hospital at 4am, was seen by  a few nurses to take vitals and take care of pain management stuff, waited until about 8:00am for the ultrasound tech to tell me that what the doctors suspected was correct and that I had a pretty crappy case of gallstone.  Luckily, from what the ultrasound showed, my bile duct look good, there was no inflammation to the gallbladder, and my liver looked good.  So, they gave me some pain meds (IBUPROFEN!), and Zofran for the pretty intense nausea and sent me to a follow up with my PCP the next day.

That whole following week (4/4-4/8) I had a constant dull ache right underneath my right breast.  I would classify it as a 7 on the pain scale.  Painful enough that it was noticeable and definitely uncomfortable, but not enough to keep me from working.  So I carried on as usual, although something didn’t feel right.  Because I was petrified to feel that same pain, like, EVER again, I basically refused to eat anything besides bread and water all week, so on Saturday (4/8/17), when I started to feel the pain creeping up again around 3pm, I knew it wouldn’t be good.  We were visiting Callie’s grandmother about an hour upstate, and as we were driving back close to 7pm, the pain became intolerable and I had to pull over on the highway to switch and let Callie drive so that I could lie down and just breathe through the pain.  By 9pm I had taken three 800mg ibuprofen, a Zofran (the nausea ramped up big time!), and two scalding hot bathes that seemed to be the only things that would satiate the pain.   At 4am, I was back in a cab to the hospital.

It seemed like maybe they didn’t believe that I was in as much pain as I claimed to be in, but honestly, with the Opiod epidemic in our country currently, I get it!  Same lady, two Saturday nights in a row, on the floor, literally screaming, “GIVE ME DRUGSSSSSS!!!!!!!”  My blood pressure should have been enough to show them the pain I was feeling (177/117, yeah, I KNOW!) , but nope!  I had go all out!


Phone ringing….

Mom: “HELLO?!?!  Todo esta bien?!? (Is everything ok?!?!)

Me – “MOM!!! I’m in a lot of pain, and they wont give me drugs, and you need to come here, because I’m gonna punch someone in the face, and they don’t believe me that I’m hurting, mom , and this is some ole bullshit with these damn nurses that don…..” (all in one breathe)

Mom – “SAMMIE!!!  Jew nee to calming down becoz, de lady, chee not gonna give you nossin! NOSSIN if jew gonna be a meanie to dem.  So, jew know, taken it easy!

Me: “MOMMY!  You need to just come!”

Mom: “Ay Dios Mio!  Ok, Mami is coming…”


Mami got to the hospital in about 20 minutes, came in to check on me.  They had given me 4ml of morphine at this point, and NOTHING.  When my mom walked in, I was standing in front of the bed, rocking back and forth as if in labor pain.  I was crying, and in lots of pain.  My mom stepped out into the hallway, yelled at a handful of nurses, “My dotah es in a lotta pain!  Please!  Jew don hearing her!?  Chee’s berry estrong, and if chee is crying, jew job es to heling her!  GO HELPING HER!!!!”

So, thanks mom, because that Dilotin was EVERYTHING!  Same gig as the week before.  Waiting till after 8 for the ultrasound tech who basically said the same thing as the last week.  This time though, she thought it would be best to speak to the surgeon since I was clearly in a lot of pain, and it wasn’t going away even with pain medication.  So around 10am, the surgical team came in, told me they would admit me and monitor me, pump me up with antibiotics (since my white blood cell count came back pretty elevated) and re-hydrate me.   So I was admitted, sent up to a private room, and loaded up with meds, both painkillers, antibiotics, and fluids.  Next morning, head surgeon came in and basically said, “Ultrasound doesn’t look terrible, but you’re clearly in a lot of pain.  White blood cell count hasn’t changed much so you’re clearly fighting something, so we’re gonna go in this afternoon and see what’s going on.”

I was taken back to surgery at 3:30pm, and I’ll be honest, don’t remember much for the rest of that day.  On Tuesday morning after surgery, the surgeon came in and filled me in. Turns out my surgery took about an hour and 15 minutes longer than it should have because my gallbladder was so incredibly inflamed that it was starting fuse with my liver.  The way he described it was sort of like my gallbladder was chronically sick.  So, he’s glad they went in and took it out because he made it seem like that pain would be pretty consistent. And also, the 7 he said I felt all week was likely a 10 for a normal person and that he has no idea how I was able to work like that all week, and that when I was saying that my pain was at a 13, he knows it was well off the chart!surgery

Sooooo, all of that to say, my gallbladder is out, thank the sweet LAWD! It was quite the experience, and lest we forget the “no lifting for 6 weeks” rule, so you know it’s been pretty interesting and also innovative ( and sometimes ingenious!) trying to figure out how to move around 3 babies without lifting.  CALVES BE ON POINT, YO!!!

About a month later, I’m feeling pretty good, down 58lbs in 6 months (thanks to the additional 8.5lbs I lost in the one week from barely eating), getting ready for surgery again at the end of July (that one was planned and it’s for another post), spending more time outside with my family (the new flexibility with my schedule is INCREDIBLE), volunteering at my church more (finding God has been another adventure that I wasn’t expecting and has been BEAUTIFUL but more on that in another post as well) and really, just being the best mom, wife, and worker (in that order!) that I can be. All is well on this end, friends.  All is well….for the most part…

~S

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Conditions…

Another Christmas has come and gone, and I couldn’t be happier that all the holiday madness is over (for the most part!). The kids had a blast!  They opened up all their presents (AT 6:30 AM!), had our new favorite holiday tradition of Christmas Pancakes (just some green and red sprinkles in the batter)IMG_6440.PNG, went to my sisters, and spent time with family.  They haven’t stopped playing with their toys since Christmas morning.  You have no idea how fun it is to pry a toddler off of a balance bike while he grips the handle bars and wraps his legs around it, to the point that you just carry him AND the bike to the changing table and figure out how to NOT get poop on everything.  That LITERALLY happened!  Levi!  And my house is impeccable now that Noah got a mini vacuum that REALLY works. “Come on Nene, follow mama, and you clean, ok!?”  We haven’t had a scrap on the floor, what with the toy “real” vacuum, and our real human vacuum (Austin)!  Mary has been dying to ride her bike, but NY has had less than perfect Holiday weather filled with unseasonably warm weather with loads of rain, and the one day that was beautiful, we were just so busy, but she has flown her remote control hummingbird all over the house, and into ever single wall, sooooo…

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And since we are speaking of Mary, part of her adoption “contract”, if you will, is that her mom would sign over her rights under very specific conditions that have been agreed upon.  The two main conditions (which also have conditions!) are a monthly email with 2-3 pictures of Mary and a brief snippet of what her month has has been like, i.e. “she is doing well in school.  She scored two goals at soccer 2 weeks ago.  We’ll be on vacation next week and she’s looking forward to it”.  Simple as that.  Not über crazy and not too involved.  I get it.  She just wants to know OF her biological daughter, and I can’t say I wouldn’t be the same considering the circumstances.  She also gets a quarterly visit.  One visit every 3 months, 4 times a year.

Initially we thought everyone on our end would be ok with this, but we didn’t consider Mary’s behavior/emotional well being with the continuation of visits, and ALSO knowing that her birth mom has her baby sister and not her has been a real source of the constant PAIN IN MY ASS that I’m dealing with as far as Mary’s conflicting emotions are concerned.  We’ve noticed that this is a continuous cycle with Mary every time she does/doesn’t have visits, or whenever she does/doesn’t see her mom.  The behaviors, the anger, the sadness is the same regardless of whether these visits happen or not.  In August, mom missed her first visit, which led it be a little over 6 months since Mary had any contact with her birth mom.  She was great all summer, up until the week before she knew her visit was coming.  Then mom missed the visit, and all hell broke loose for about 6 weeks, behavior-wise. 3 more months pass.  Mom shows up in November, with a trove of gifts, which of course sends a whole slew of different messages.  And then the ” I really love my mom.  She’s a good mom because she buys me cool and pretty things” conversation happened, which was really hard to reign in because…ego…

I guess the whole reason I’m bringing this up is because her birth mom emailed me back this time, the day after Christmas (even though I send the monthly email on the first of each month, and she never writes back!) to ask for us to please consider inviting her to Mary’s birthday party.  That it would make her year, and that she would want nothing more than to share Mary’s special day.  Uh, EXCUSE ME!?!  Now?!  After 3 birthday invites?  So of course, despite trying my hardest, my alter Petty LaBelle showed up, and the response was so protective and almost guttural, verbatim, “Hi there.  Unfortunately, Mary is have a huge “Adoption Day Party” (her choice) and we’ve decided to forgo a 9th birthday party and will instead be spending a weekend at an indoor water park with her best friend and her favorite cousin.  Hope you have a Happy New Year.  Stay blessed! ~Petty Labelle” .

And now I feel HORRIBLE about it!  I mean, there was other stuff in the email that she wanted addressed (Mary’s current size, her favorite show/activity, what she’s into now [Descendants!], how her holiday was, what she got, etc.) which I had absolutely no issue with, but I was so caught up in the BS of kind of proving she’s OUR daughter now, that I forgot to be kind to her.  I can’t imagine the struggle.  I can ABSOLUTELY imagine what it’s like to not have my children, and it is the WORST feeling I have ever felt just THINKING about it!  And I should have been kinder, but also, the freaking audacity!  The times that we have invited her, she hasn’t shown up.  In fact, she promised Mary a cake, and fell of the face of the earth, so my “guarded” feelings about Mary’s day were totally warranted, but maybe my delivery was a little too much.

I’ll be kinder next time, placing myself in her shoes, but also, by being honest and beginning to address some of the issues we have with her, will communicate what OUR needs are to keep Mary’s heart safe and happy.  My gut tells me that Mary’s mom will be around, and despite everything, so long as the relationship improves and the honesty and trust us there, I’m pretty ok with that. In what capacity she’ll be around is still unclear, but I know their hearts are very connected, and I can’t see myself not honoring what my daughters heart is telling her, but I also know that sometimes we don’t make the best choices when we ONLY let our hearts lead the way.  Life experience is huge, and Mary has had tons but her loyalty is blinding…also, 8 years old!  Mary will learn things in her own time, as she should.  She will develop a relationship with her birth mom at some point, but for right now, we are in charge of those interactions, and reiterating who we are to Mary and to her birth mom, the gentle reminders of “you lost your opportunity to be in charge here” for birth mom, and also trying our damnedest to give love and hope and opportunity to the woman who gave us one of our most precious gifts…

We’ll always be somewhat indebted to her, and we should start reminding ourselves of that a little…img_6441

Permanency

Yesterday we had court for Mary.  We didn’t know what to expect except what we had heard, which was mostly, sit back, listen to what they are saying and prepare for this to go any way.  That didn’t sit very well with us, but having had other friends who had gone through TPR (Termination of Parental Rights) we know that it can be quite the lengthy process.  Kids have to be in foster care any 15 out of 22 months before a TPR is filed and then after that the trial and disposition and finally a decision from the judge.  Depending on how long the child has been in care dictates (for the most part) how long the TPR process will take.  With Mary having been in care for over 5 years, we kinda knew this was gonna drag on and on and on.  Moms reluctance to give her up would make this last even longer! So, we showed up at 9:30am ready to lock our butts into the cold wooden seast and listen to what the caseworker was going to testify to.

Now, when you’re at a hearing, the evidence that is presented is ONLY from when the TPR is filed and before that.  Nothing after that. Since the TPR was filed, mom has been pretty consistent (guessing she doesn’t wanna lose her kid) but it’s a little too late.  They would be testify and providing evidence from moms WORST year.  The year that she disappeared for half of and tested positive on all of her drug tests for the other half and left all her different treatment programs (rehab, anger management, parenting, individual therapy).  Not a good look.  But we sat in the waiting area with our caseworker, her lawyer, and Mary’s Lawyer.  A few days ago Mary’s lawyer came to our apartment to interview Mary.  We weren’t allowed to sit in, which was a little unnerving, but Mary has been pretty adamant about being adopted but STILL seeing her mom if she was.

As we sit there, Mary’s mom’s lawyer walked over to us (the whole group, not just Callie and I). The caseworker’s attorney (let’s just call her Alyson) suggested to Mary’s mom’s lawyer that she should sign the consent.  The “consent” is a document that’s almost like pleading “no contest” in a court of law, except you admit guilt but no evidence is heard against you.  Makes it pretty hard for a judge to determine and prove negligence if there is no evidence, so then we go to the disposition where everyone can make their case, EXCEPT the Department of Social Services (DSS) won’t be able to use evidence from BEFORE the TPR, only AFTER! This is mom’s best option because if we were to use the information from AFTER the TPR, mom has a greater chance of getting Mary back, and Mary could potentially go home.

Mom’s lawyer went back to where Lisa (Mary’s mom) was sitting.  She gave Lisa the information and came back about 10 minutes later to explain to us that Lisa would be willing to sign the consent if, and and only if she can get an additional one hour visit every week.  Alyson and Mary’s lawyer (Saul) were both completely against it.

“That doesn’t even make sense! We’re in TPR! We can’t give her MORE time with the child! It’s counterproductive. Absolutely not!”

So Lisa’s lawyer went back and told her.  She was gone for quite a while.  She came back and said that Lisa would not agree to signing anything unless she got more time with Mary.  Our car worker called her supervisor to speak to him and see if it was something that was feasible.  After several more minutes, and sweaty palms, the caseworker’s supervisor decided that if mom would sign the consent, an additional visit a week would be the best option, and we could proceed with the case and the department would have one less thing to worry about (that’s mine and Callie’s take on it).

“I represent my client and what she wants and there is NO WAY I will agree to one more visit! My client wants to be adopted, and another visit a week is out of the question on the grounds that it would cause too much confusion for my client and remove her from school even more than the 3 days a week that she already is,” boomed a voice from the corner.  Saul is a small guy, about 5’6″, bald shiny head, small elvish features and tiny voice, but when his voice came through, we all knew this was a non-negotiable.  Lisa’s lawyer called an attorney meeting with the judge.

All 3 attorneys entered the courtroom and left all of us outside to wonder what was happening.  What felt like an eternity later (probably only 10 minutes though) all 3 attorneys returned, Saul and Alyson to where we were sitting and Lisa’s mom’s attorney to the opposite side of the area.  Saul said the judge said “ABSOLUTELY NOT!  We are in TPR and there is no way I would approve an additional visit.  This is not a permanency hearing (where they make decisions about visits, treatment, next 6 months) and it’s not beneficial for the child.  And I would tell your client that if she’s adamant about seeing her children, she may want to sign a conditional surrender because that’s her only guarantee to see her child.  We’re terminating her rights! She needs to understand that.” Callie and I are sitting there not saying anything, kid of taking it all in.  This is so new for is, and we had loads of question brut it was all going so quickly but also really slowly and time was crawling but feeling like we were in fast forward. We see Lisa’s attorney walking towards us.

“Do the terms of a surrender stay the same?”

All eyes on Callie and me. Blink blink.

“Us?!”

Nods in our direction.

“4 visits a year. Quarterly. No holidays, Mothers’ Day, or birthdays.  Monthly email updates with pictures. Anything else at our discretion.”

“What about 6 visits a year? Every 2 months?!”

Callie, “Absolutely NOT!”

She walks away. She comes back.

She’ll sign the consent.

Everyone looks at each other and then look at me and Callie.  What the heck are they looking at us like that for?

“Wait?  She’ll sign the surrender?” says Mary’s lawyer.

SHOCK! She’ll what?!?! She’s gonna surrender her rights?! Somehow Callie and I heard consent, not surrender.

“Yes, she said she’ll sign the surrender so long as those conditions apply and so long as Mary is adopted by Sammie and Callie.”

Callie’s eyes brimmed with tears and Mary’s lawyer told us not to get too excited.  There are a series of questions that the judge would ask that most parents, upon hearing, change their minds about surrendering.

“We have to go back to the office and draw up the paperwork.  Everyone be back by 1:45pm.  I’ll inform the judge that she is surrendering.”

So we left, had lunch with my parents, had a Sangria because THE NERVES, and made our way back to the courtroom, waiting impatiently for them to call us in.

“PARTY FOR COLLINS.  COLLINS!” screeched through on the loud speaker.

Sweaty palms, light feet, we made out way into the courtroom.  I don’t know how any mother could have heard the words the judge said and not break down.  Are you of sound mind making this decision?  Have you had any alcohol or drugs today?  Do you realize that you are going to be losing custody of your child today once these papers are signed?  DO you realize that a day, a week, a month, a year from now, you cannot take back this decision?  All of those were asked, but the one that took my breath away, that left an ache in my heart for what this mother was doing/about to do, “DO you realize that once you sign these papers and walk out of this courtroom, your child will be a STRANGER to you in the eyes of the law?” “Yes, I understand”.  My heart broke for Mary’s mother, for the first time since having met her.

A stranger…and it’s double sided because she IS a stranger.  She’s BEEN a stranger.  But somehow not.  And as her penned hand mechanically moved across the paper, probably collecting tears and ink stains along the way, it was not lost on us the gift that she was giving us, the gift and the life that she was giving Mary, and we realized then that she loved this child more than we had expected.  That she loved her daughter so much that she was willing to give her away to give her her best chance, and all in one moment I had a new found respect for her.  A desire to make it work the way that divorced parents did, because really, more people loving our daughter is something we would turn our nose up to.  For the second time, she was giving Mary life, and for a quick moment, I loved her.  Genuinely, deeply, and unselfishly.

At 2:28pm on Tuesday, May 10, 2015, the judge announced that Mary was officially freed for adoption. We’ll talk to an adoption worker next week and start the ball rolling on paperwork and interviews and whatever else she needs us to do.  In just 3-6 short months Mary Mendez will be an official member of Casa Mendez.  It’s been official in our hearts for ages…

We Were So Worried…

for NOTHING!  Absolutely nothing!

First, thank you everyone who commented on my last post about Mary visiting with mom for the first time in months.  Callie and I read all of your replies, and really just love you all so much.  Your support and your kinds words always validate our feelings, address our concerns with kindness and love, and lift us all the way up on our super low and tough days.   So friends (and I’m lucky to call you that), we appreciate you.

Mary had no idea she was having a visit yesterday.  We were worried that mom wouldn’t pass the toxicology test and that Mary would be really upset if another visit was cancelled, so as per our caseworker Karen’s request, we didn’t tell her.  Yesterday morning, Karen received the results of Mom’s tox screening on Tuesday.  Results negative, visit still on, but we still didn’t tell her because what if Mom didn’t show up?!  So we sent her off to school, with no inkling that a bus would be picking her up early, and taking her to see Mom. We debated (several times) calling the school, or having Callie walk over and pull Mary out of class to warn tell her, but Karen advised us to just not say anything because there was still the possibility that Mom wouldn’t show.

But she DID show up.  And the visit went (from what Karen and Mary tell us) pretty well.  The tears didn’t happen until the end, when it was time to leave, and Mary wasn’t ready yet.  She says she needed more time. That the visit was only this long (spreads her hands about 8inches apart). I think she fears Mom will go missing for a long time again and that she had more things to say to her about how she’s been feeling.  Callie and I were texting with Karen most of the day (in iPhone group text fashion) and were just asking her to really try and guide the conversation so that Mary can get some of the answers that she needed from Mom.  How we have been working on her being honest about her feelings because no one can get mad about what is going on inside of her even if it’s something they don’t want to hear or they don’t agree with.  We asked her to explain some of the terminology that we have been using with Mary to convey some of the things that are happening with Mom.  I’m pretty sure when taken out of context, “Mom is sick in her brain” probably makes us sound like real assholes, instead of making us sound like parents using child friendly language to explain the true nature of addiction.  But Mom completely owned it! She told Mary that she has been sick and that she has been working very hard on feeling and getting better.  And we appreciate that, because we are all on the same page, and Mary is getting the same message from ALL of the people that she loves.  That it’s ok to make mistakes because we are all human, but it’s so important to own them and fix them, and try your best.  Must make it a little less frightening and confusing.  At least I hope it does.

They talked about the baby in Mom’s belly, six months along, and how it’s another little girl, and Mary gets to name her (ugh! This is gonna be the topic of conversation for WEEKS!  I just know it!) and Mary chose Lydia (a combination of her and Mom’s names) and she must have told us about it 500 times already in less than 4 hours!  Mary told her about what is going on in school, and how soon, she’ll be going into 2nd grade, and that she is reading sooooo many books and that she reads like a 2nd grader already!  From what it sounds like, she was trying to fit in as much as she could in the short time they had together.  Mom bought a ton of junk from the vending machine, like Oreo’s and Chips, and some other stuff, and Mary told her that those things are yummy, but that you can only have them sometimes because they are not good for you!  #PARENTINGWIN!  This coming from the kid who did this!  And then it was time to come home, but not before a whole lot of tears and clutching onto Mom.

Callie tells me that she was so happy when she got off of the bus.  That she walked in, put her things away, and asked Callie to write her down some questions.  This is her new way of telling us that she wants to talk.  It’s indirect and non-intimidating, and most of all, it’s working.  She’s opening up.  She’s feeling comfortable and happy and safe enough to trust us with what she is feeling and knows that we won’t judge her or make her feel bad or not validate her.  So Callie wrote some questions down.  “How did it feel when you saw Mom?”  “What’s your best memory of you and Mom?”  “What’s your saddest memory of you and Mom?”  “When were you most scared?”  “When were you the happiest?”  “How did you feel when the bus picked you up and you didn’t know where you were going?” Open ended questions that we were hoping she would answer honestly and openly.  And she did!  She totally did.

I got home from work, and we ordered her (and her Mom’s) favorite dinner, Sesame Chicken and fried rice.  We laughed and talked about this weekends plans (Fishing Derby, PRIDE Carnival at our Church which houses our county’s LGBTQ Community Center and has a huge family event Saturday afternoon, and the boys Baptism on Sunday), and the whole time Mary kept making comments about her “family”, meaning US!  YES, US!  Everything was, “my brothers”, “Mommy” “Mama”.  She talked about our upcoming vacations, and a few times, she would just mumble randomly, “I really love my family!”.

At one point, she caught me off guard.

M: “So I made my choice Mama”

S:  “What choice, CooCoo?!”

M: “I choose to stay here!  I want to stay with my family”

S:  (Look of shock on my face) “Your family?! You mean…with us?  You want to stay here, at home, with us?”

M: “Yeah.  This is my family.  I choose you guys!  I choose to stay here.”

S:  “Oh honey, we choose for you to stay here too! We love you in our family.  You’re our daughter, our best girl, my CooCoo bird, our silly lady!  We want you here too! But sometimes, those things aren’t up to us, honey. They are up to the court and the judge.  Hopefully, the judge will see that we all love each other so much, and that we are THE BEST family EVER!”

M: “YEAH! The BEST! Hehe ::huge smile:

S: ” Yeah, hopefully she’ll see we are the best family, and she’ll make the greatest choice, and let you stay. But no matter what happens, you always have a home here, you hear me?! With two mommies that love you, so, so, so, so, so, so much!  So, so much!” (hugs and kisses and cuddles, and i tuck her in)

M: “Mama? Can we pray?”

S:  “Sure Cooc’s. You do it!”

M: “Dear God, please keep my mommy, and my baby sister safe.  That she makes good choices, and that she doesn’t get more sick.  Please let her not be sad at me for choosing my family.  Let the judge make the good choices too.  Bless my brothers and my moms, all of them, and bless me.  Thanks for food and clothes and a nice house.  Oh and Olaf (her huge stuffed animal).”

S: ” And bless our hearts so that they stay open and filled with all of our love, no matter what happens!  Amen. Good night, best girl”

M: “Goodnight Mama.  I love you, and I love my family….”

It COULD NOT have turned out better if we had written a script for it.  She’s safe, she’s loved, she’s home.

She chooses us…

She totally. Chooses. Us…..

SHE'S GOT HER FAMILY, SO NOW SHE CAN SOAR!

SHE’S GOT HER FAMILY, SO NOW SHE CAN SOAR!

Better Late Than Never!

Forgive me bloggers for I have sinned! It has been 10 days since my last entry!  Sheesh!  The good thing is that the time is flying, so much so, that If Nikki hadn’t text me to yell at me about the amount of time that has passed since my last post, I wouldn’t have even noticed!  With Christmas (and the birth of my sons) quickly approaching, there has been tons of shopping, wrapping gifts, school meetings (parent teacher conferences), drama being fosters moms (I’ll touch on an update later in this post), packing bags, baking cookies for the OB and our rental office, taking Mary to see some of the cool Christmas light displays in our area, spending time with family, and simply spending time with Callie before our life gets REALLY hectic (as if it wasn’t enough before!), I just barely had time to put many words on screen.  I HAVE been reading everyone’s posts and staying connected that way.

So 32 weeks!  The boys are the weight of pineapples!  Can you imagine!?!  Our boys are probably weighing a little more, but still!  According to the different sites, they are approximately 17 inches long.  Their digestive systems are fully developed, and their skeletons are fully formed, but their tiny bones are still pliable and soft.  Their skull bones are still not fused together (they wont be for A LONG WHILE) so that it makes it easy for their heads to get through the birth canal (still really keeping our fingers crossed for a vaginal delivery).  Babies lungs are also continuing to develop (they get tons and tons of hiccups and it is ridiculously cute, even though I think it’s WAY too many!).  We also met for a second time with our doula, who we LOVE!  She is so kind, calm, and funny.  We went over some of our birth plan, and came up with tons of questions to ask our OB at Callie’s appointment the following week.  Can she eat (my wife LOVES to eat!)? To what point?  How do they feel about her moving around during labor?  Can she labor in a hot shower?  Does she have to strapped to monitors the whole time?  How many people can be in the L&D room?  Can the doula come with us for the C-section?  How about the epidural?!  When is her cut off for that if she decides to use it?  So many questions!

MY BEAUTIFUL WIFE

MY BEAUTIFUL WIFE

33 weeks!  Callie has been so incredibly uncomfortable, poor thing.  It has been a tough week for her.  She has been feeling what she expresses as pins and needles in her vagina, and the contractions have gotten to the point where they cause her to stop and catch her breath sometimes.  I keep saying that it won’t be long now!  This past Wednesday was her OB appointment.  Unfortunately, because of my new work schedule, it’s hard for me to make the appointments, so her mom and my mom have been alternating turns taking her.  It was officially her last cervical length scan.  She is at 1.7cm, the lowest she’s been, so we are gearing up for these boy to be here any day now.  Noah (baby A) is right in position, constantly head butting her cervix (hence the pins and needles).  Levi (baby B) is sort of in fetal position above Callie’s belly button but under her breasts.  They are both still head down, so vaginal delivery is still possible, BUT Levi can turn at any point, so there still isnt a 100% guarantee that he will come naturally.

MY FANTASTIC ART SKILLS

MY FANTASTIC ART SKILLS

All of our questions were answered! Callie can eat (Thank the heavens!) up until 4 cm dilated. Then she can only have clear liquids (water, juice and broth basically).  Once she goes into active labor, ice chips and that’s about it.  She’ll need to be strapped to monitors for most of her labor because it’s not just one baby that they are monitoring, it’s two, but she is able to walk around in intervals, which is fine.  Having a doula is great and encouraged, but unfortunately, only one person can be present in the event that there is a C-section and OBVIOUSLY, that would be me!  Our OB said that Callie can have her epidural WHENEVER, and that there is no specific time frame for when she has to do it, which is great because Callie was a little concerned about that. Depending on how bad her labor pains are, the shower is an option and so are other birthing techniques like a labor ball, or a rebozzo (a laboring scarf to pull on).  So we feel much more ready now that we don’t have so many unanswered questions floating around between us. Callie wighed in at 157lbs, the heaviest she has ever been in her life, whci means a weight gain of 22lbs!  Not bad for carrying nearly 8lbs worth of babies!  Also, if they don’t come on their own, we have an induction/c-section date set, but we aren’t telling just yet! Let’s just say, it’s not too far away.

Babies are just fine!  This week in their development, they have an extra half-inch in their head circumference to help accommodate those growing brains.  They also have their own immune systems and start to inherit mommy’s immunities.  They can also start recognizing day and night, mainly because they spend most of their awake time with their eyes open and their sleeping time with their eyes closed.  And when they are awake, WE KNOW IT!  Elbows and asses everywhere!  My little honeydews are so darn cute!

NOAH HAD HIS ARM OVER ONE SIDE OF HIS FACE (BUT LOOK AT THOSE LITTLE LIPS!!!)

NOAH HAD HIS ARM OVER ONE SIDE OF HIS FACE (BUT LOOK AT THOSE LITTLE LIPS!!!)

LEVI WAS RELAXING WITH HIS HANDS BEHIND HIS HEAD

LEVI WAS RELAXING WITH HIS HANDS BEHIND HIS HEAD

33w

WHY IS MY WIFE SO DAMN HOT?!?!

I also decided that this week was as good as any to install the car seats.  I’m still not used to the way they look in the back seat of our small SUV.  Every time I have climbed into my car this past week, I did a double take and imagined my life with 2 little babies in it.  Even after 7 1/2 months of acknowledging and recognizing that we are having twins, it  still truly hasn’t sunk in yet.

TWO INFANT SEATS IN MY CAR! YIKES!!!

TWO INFANT SEATS IN MY CAR! YIKES!!!

*FOSTER MOM UPDATE*
We have won this battle.  After insisting to our case workers and Mary’s therapists and moms Parenting Therapist about the excessive amount of gifts that Mary has been receiving, they have spoken to mom again, in length, about the negative effects of giving her so many (undeserved) gifts.  She has agreed to bring gifts/toys to her sessions, and then take them home with her.  In the past week and a half we have sent more emails, to more supervisors then we can count.  Luckily it’s all gotten squared away.  Sticking to our guns has worked…for now!  We also, just found out (after receiving Mary’s report card and speaking to her teachers) that Mary has developed a new habit of blatantly ignoring people when they are speaking to her.  Her teacher had to call her 4 times on Friday out of the cubby section to go back to her desk.  The other students in her class speak to her and she turns the other way and pretends not to hear them.  We have also noticed this behavior at home and have tried to correct it, so we weren’t aware that it was happening at school to.  When she got home from school on Friday (which is Hot Chocolate, Stay Up Late, and Movie Night) she was EXTREMELY upset when we told her that her privilege would be taken away.  It the first time that she showed to us that she was disappointed in her self and affected.  Normally if we say we are taking away her privileges she says, “Fine!” and goes to her room and puts herself to bed.  What 6 year old punishes themself?!?! Our six year old, what’s who!  So when she finally had a real 6 year old meltdown tantrum, Callie and I smiled at each other, and knew that finally, finally, we are breaking through.  It melted our hearts to see our little girl cry…LOL!

So I believe we are all caught up.  Christmas is only  3 days away (2 if you’re Latino because we celebrate Christmas Eve), and I’m excited to play Santa for the first year ever.  Hope that everyone has a beautiful holiday shared with your loved ones. I know I will but how could you not, when you have these two as nieces!?!?!

THE LADY AND THE PRINCESS

THE LADY AND THE PRINCESS

Lots of love….

~SAMMIE ❤

Dolls, Ankle Socks, and PJ’s: A Foster Mama’s Frustration

We are having a serious issue, and I don’t know how much longer we can keep our cool.  We consider ourselves to be reasonable people.  Respectful women.  Kind folks.  When we are asked to do something (within reason) we comply.  That’s just who we are.

For weeks (months really), we have been communicating with Mary’s case worker about the amount of gifts that Mary’s mom has been giving her.  We have also spoken to the Parenting Counselor and Mary’s individual therapist as well, and all three have touched base with mom about the incessant gift giving.  They have given her the reasons as to why this could be detrimental to her development. 1) She doesn’t learn to value and appreciate things 2) When we have a reward system in place, it is difficult to discipline her if she continues to receive weekly gifts from mom (every Tuesday) and twice biweekly (every other week she sees mom Tuesdays and Thursdays).  And 3) Our apartment simply isn’t big enough to have 52 two foot dolls (one for each week of the year and those ridiculously scary looking Disney princess dolls).  All of these conversations were simply not heeded and Mary has continuously received gift after stupid freaking gift.

Finally, we had it!  With Christmas quickly approaching, we wanted to make sure that the holiday season with out family was a special one.  We normally buy gifts for each other, wrap them and promptly put them under the tree.  Not this year though.  We are teaching Mary all about the true story of Christmas, as well as the story of Old St. Nick.  We have wrapped her gifts and placed them in our closets and won’t be putting them under the tree until she is fast asleep Christmas Eve.  We decided that since mom hasn’t been listening to the workers that maybe we would reach out to her via email.  So Callie wrote her a very  nice letter explaining to her all of the above reasons as to why she should refrain from purchasing gifts, with the added, “And it’s the holiday season, so to avoid duplicate gifts, as well as making Christmas extra special for her.”  We also sent her the pictures that we took of Mary in her Christmas outfit in case her mom wanted to get cards made to send out to friends and relatives.  This was approximately a week ago.  Added to that email was a list of things that Mary doesn’t need (sneakers, short ankle socks, toys/dolls, pajamas, hats, gloves, winter jackets, t-shirts, house slippers) and things that she does need, since mom has felt so inclined to buy her things (longer winter socks, thermals, sweat suits, and winter boots).  Not that we can’t purchase those things for her, but since mom is going to buy her things every week, we might as well give her some clues for the things that she’d be better off buying.

Yesterday, when Mary returned from her visit, she came home with a bag full of stuff.  What was in the bag, you ask?  Welllll, you guessed it! Everything on the “DO NOT BUY”.  Ankle socks (It’s f*cking winter lady!), hats and gloves (last week she bought her 3 sets), house slippers (because the other 4 light up pair that she bought her obviously weren’t enough), another freaking princess pajama (because the 2 drawers full of pajamas that we have accumulated in the past 8 months certainly aren’t enough!), and a freaking Baby Alive doll that pees and poops, which we got Mary as a gift from Santa to help her in being a big sister.  That was the gift that we were most excited about.  That is the gift that we waited on freaking line for, refreshing the screen for hours on cyber monday in order to make her Christmas extra special because she wanted it so bad.  Needless to say, we were freaking PISSED!  Our case worker texted me on my way home from work to let me know that Mary’s mom had bought her a doll.  We knew it would be more than that because otherwise she wouldn’t have texted us.  We did not anticipate a bag full of crap, again, for the 4th time this month!  I let the case worker have it! When are they going to step in and tell her mom that it’s inappropriate and disrespectful to not respect the wishes of the foster family.  Does she not know that we hold all of the cards in our hands right now?  We can cancel visits when we feel like it.  We can cease all phone calls (we let Mary call mom whenever mom cancels a visit for something ridiculous like rain!).  We don’t ever have to send her another picture of Mary in a school play, or catching her first fish, or bouncing at a bouncy castle, or showing her face of wonder when capturing her first firefly ever. We have been nothing but kind to this woman, and nothing but understanding of her situation.  We speak highly of her to her daughter and encourage Mary to share her stories about her mother with us.  We have Mary write her cards and I put DVD’ together of Mary at her school functions.  We are the ideal foster parents and get blatantly disrespected like this!?!?!  How is it that we can comply and work with her and all of the multitude of requests, but our simple one is not even considered?  I can assure you, from this point on, we will be changing.  We will not be so accommodating.  It’s unfortunate, because Mary is ultimately the one who will suffer, but how do we make it clear that this behavior from mom is unacceptable?  How do we get her to understand, that her selfish behavior (the need to assert herself as “mom”) is not in her daughters best interest?  How do we explain to her that this is a partnership and that we should all be working together to do what is best for Mary?

On Tuesday, despite Mary’s tears and tantrums, we will be sending all of the stuff back (with the exception of the doll, which she loves, and makes us sad because we wanted to give it her) to her mother with a note indicating why it was all being sent back.  We will speak to the case worker and the therapist, and unless there is a valid reason as to why we will be receiving any more gifts, they are not to send Mary home with any more uselses crap unless it is pre-approved by us.  Is it a bit extreme?  Perhaps.  But we have rules in our home, and we expect them to be followed.  If Mary’s mom wants to have things handed to her by her sugar daddies and her stripper friends, so be it, but we will not be the parents that hand things to our children so that they expect everything to be handed to them in life.  They will work hard and earn them.  They will do chores for allowance, and learn the value of a dollar.  They will take pride in their achievements.  Those are the children that we will raise.  This situation has gotten out of hand!

Weeks 30 & 31

Everything seems like it’s whizzing by, but in that weird way like it happens in movies.  It’s moving so fast that it’s all a blur, but then suddenly, it all slows down so quickly that you only have a second to focus your eyes, realize what you have to do next, and then, it’s all speeding past you once again. Like in the matrix.  I didn’t even realize that I hadn’t blogged and updated in so long.  The days are all sort of meshing together.  Alas, here I am, updating you all on our crazy lives.

Thanksgiving day was great!  We had dinner at my parents with my siblings, and then shot over to Callie’s parents house where we got to have some more dinner.  We went home, and quickly passed out.  Callie was having a hard time sleeping.  For the next few days she was having some really weird pains that she hadn’t experienced before, tons and tons of miserable heartburn (that wouldn’t let her sleep and in turn wouldn’t let me sleep!), and more contractions than usual.  They have been coming on stronger and lengthier than they have before. Sunday afternoon, we went to my parents house for a little while (Yes Callie is still on bed rest, but don’t worry!  My parents put her on the couch to lay down and won’t let anyone go near her) and took our annual Christmas card picture.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

We usually take it on Thanksgiving day, but since my sister was in hospital after having given birth on Wednesday morning, we decided to meet Sunday. Mami made lunch (she doesn’t really cook anymore since it’s just her and Papi at home so when she does cook, we all get really excited and race over), and took our pictures.  Callie was complaining about how uncomfortable she was most of the day, and we ended up leaving a lot earlier than we usually do.  In the car, I convinced Callie to call the Dr. and see what the recommendation was, at which point she realized that she had left her phone charging at my parents house.  We turned around and head back to my parents to get her phone. She used my phone to call while I was inside.

As I walked back to the car, I could see Callie’s concerned face.  The Dr. said we should go to he hospital and just get it checked out.  The pain she was feeling sounded like some round ligament pain (probably from the growth spurt they are having) and that the contractions didn’t sound like they were close enough or any different than normal, but with twins they have to be extra cautious, so it was probably best to come in.  Since Mary can’t travel out of the state of NY and our hospital is on the NY border in CT, we had to go home first, call my in-laws to come watch her and put her to bed (school the next day), and then get going to the hospital.  Let me just say, I freaking LOVE Greenwich hospital.  If you live in metro NY or CT, this is the place to be.  I’m so glad that our boys get to be born there. So we get there, Callie gets strapped onto all the monitors, and we wait.  The contractions are the same as always.  About every 12-15 minutes or so, but they do realize that they are rather long.  The Dr. came in to check her, but her cervix was the same.  Still short, still not dilated.  We joked around with the nurses (we can be so incredibly inappropriate!) and then about 5 hours, 2 bags of fluids, Breaking Dawn 2, and 1 steroid injection later (to help with the babies lungs in case they do end up coming early) we were sent on our way.

Monday Callie had a follow-up injection (it’s a series of 2 shots within a 24 hour period) with our OB, and had her 30 week appointment on Wednesday.  MAN OH MAN are those boys huge!!!  Usually the weight of twins isn’t divided per se, but they are usually smaller than a singleton.  Well, apparently our boys didn’t get the memo because not only are they weighing in as if they were each singletons, but as if they were about a week and a half ahead singletons!!!  Normally at 31 weeks, babies weight anywhere between 2 1/2 to 3 lbs, but Levi is weighing in at 3lbs 7oz, and Noah is weighing in at a whopping 3lbs 13oz.  Talk about chubbas!!!!  They still weren’t cooperating with the ultrasound tech.  Both are still head down, but they were facing Callie’s back again, making it impossible to get a face or even profile shot of them.  We do know that Noah has tons of hair (visible by a little white halo around his head) and Levi has little sprouts that are starting to come in. IF the old wives tale is true, that’s probably why Callie is having so much heartburn! I have a feeling that Noah is probably dark-haired like our donor (or I like to say, like me) and Levi has red hair (hopefully my little ginger like Cal’s).  Callie’s cervix is still holding at around 2cm, which is decent..  At least it’s not thinning, and still closed, so that is great news!

I think they are having a growth spurt again because Callie has been devouring everything she sets her eyes on.  Last night she pretty much ate through half a batch of brownies before they even cooled down enough!  This week we discovered that the boys LOVE hearing the ABC’s, but only when I sing it.  Callie sings it and they couldn’t care less, but I sing it, and you can literally see their little arms and legs going CUH-RAY-ZEE under Callie’s skin.  It’s totally their jam! I come home from work, and say, “Hey Buddy! Hey Bubba! Wanna hear your jam?” And let the dancing begin! It cracks me up! They also love it when I read them “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”.  They start wiggling around like, well, caterpillars!  They love sticking their butts out so Callie can rub them.  They are little freshies! Aside from that, friends, we are just a few weeks away.  If the boys don’t come naturally by 38 weeks, we’ll be having an induction, but we hope that won’t be the case.  I have a feeling they will be here in the next 3 weeks or so, but Callie thinks they are coming Jan. 14th!  I dunno…we’ll just have to wait and see…

FINALLY IN THE 30'S!

FINALLY IN THE 30’S!

7 WEEKS TO GO!

7 WEEKS TO GO!

Baby Dreams

These past 3 weeks I have been both pleased and plagued with baby dreams.  Some are so amazing and I see our cute little chubby boys on my chest as we cuddle and watch some TV, and then others, I am running around in what seems like endless circles, holding the hand of one toddler and screaming my head off looking for the other who is nowhere to be found.  Some mornings, I am so happy, that I wake up feeling amazing the whole day, and other mornings, in such a panic that the rest of my day is spent biting my nails and reliving the dread of the previous nights dream.  I realized that today that some these dreams may be due to the fact that I have more estrogen and progesterone coursing through my body than usual (started taking birth control pills in order to induce lactation WITHOUT the sugar pill which means 37 days of crazy hormones, and with my PCOS, this is all pretty new to me).

One night I had a wonderful dream! I mean, it was so amazing.  We were in the hospital, the boys had just been born, and I was allowed to cut the cord.  Within an hour I was tandem nursing and was producing so much milk that the hospital LC couldn’t believe that I wasn’t the biological mother and that I hadn’t been pregnant before.  They latched right on and ate for a while.  When I looked at them, they smiled at me.  I couldn’t really see what they looked like, but it was more like a feeling.  My babies were content, and they knew they were loved, and I FELT that.  I woke up, and my heart was so full that day, that even a 5:00am traffic jam first thing in the morning, spilling my whole cup of coffee as I got out of the car, and forgetting my lunch couldn’t make that feeling go away.

About 3 days later, I had a horrible dream.  It was kind of in pieces but everything felt incredibly real.  We were on our way home from the hospital.  It was pouring rain.  The streets were getting flooded so I decided to take the back roads (it’s very hilly where we live, so it made sense to me, because there was no where for the water to pool as it would all flow downhill).  In my dream, I was right, but then suddenly it started to snow.  The boys started wailing at the top of their lungs!  Callie couldn’t console them.  She told me to pull over so she could try to nurse them, or rock them a little but, but I didn’t want to because the snow was getting heavier and I just wanted to get home.  I don’t remember much of it, but I do remember not being able to stop that car as it started rolling down the hill.  I pressed the brakes but they wouldn’t catch and I could see a tractor-trailer approaching at the intersection about 100 yards away.  The car was picking up speed, Callie was  yelling “STOP!”, I was yelling “I CAN”T”, tractor-trailer tires screeching, and the inevitable sound of a crash. I distinctly remember our SUV rolling, as if something out of a movie, and then I remember the most piercing green eyes on one of my baby boys and I woke up!  I couldn’t breath! It was all so real!  This dreams were screwing with me big time.

About 2 days later I dreamt that the boys were about 3 and that we were on a Disney cruise.  They were so excited to see the Pirates Show and to have ice cream.  I remember walking on the deck, and I was holding both of their hands.  I let go of one for a second to get my wallet out for my “seacard”, and when I reached down and said, “Take my hand Bubba”, there was no response, no warmth in my hand, no resistance.  “Bubba?  Bubba?!?!”  And I freaked!!! Totally freaked!  I didn’t know whether someone had snatched him, if he had just wandered off when he saw one of the many characters walking on the deck, or if that little thing I saw out of the corner of my eye that looked like it was jumping overboard was my son! I didn’t know what to think!  I ran around the whole deck of the boat, yelling at the top of my lungs. Before I could stop myself (I can do that sometimes in my dreams), I grabbed a life vest and jumped overboard.  Before I hit the water, I woke up drenched in sweat (mainly because Callie was drenched in sweat even with a fan on in 30 degree weather and had her body drapped all over me).  I was pretty shaken up.

This morning, I woke up to such a happy, awesome dream, and that is carrying me through this day (and possibly the miserable snowstorm quickly approaching my area!).  I was in the delivery room.  Callie was laboring beautiful (according to the doula), and she was really holding it together.  She hardly screamed and didn’t curse me out.  The end… LOL! Just kidding!  After a little while (distinctly remember looking at the clock on the wall and it was 3:11am)the doctor announced that Noah was crowning.  I ran over to see and Callie yelled at me to come back and hold her hand because it hurt so bad.  So I did, and next thing I know, she pushes and on her chest they put this massive baby, with a head full of dark brown hair, and eyes as grey as morning fog.  It was incredible! Then another push and another cry at 3:13 and then 2 glorious babies were on Callie’s chest, this picture not as clear from all the tears in my eyes, and I see dark hair again (we have been debating whether we will even have AT LEAST one ginger baby {please Ginger Gods!}) and the most piercing blue eyes I have seen.  And I sang to them, and they knew it was me.  I felt it.  They kicked their little legs, and they just stared at me, wide awake, while I sang to them, as if they were dying to hear it without the muffling of that bubbling they were sitting in for so many months.  When I stopped they cried, when I sang they settled.  It was incredible.  My cat walked into the room (weird, I know!) and she started making this weird meowing sound that ended up being my first alarm.  I shut it off and tried to fall back to sleep and get back to the place I was in my dream as quickly as I could before I lost it, but no such luck.

I always hear about pregnant lady dreams, but never pregnant partner dreams.  I know they happen.  Butchjax confirms that, as her wife has been having these dreams too.  Parenthood is a scary but incredibly rewarding experience.  It’s only natural to have both of those kinds of dreams, I suppose.  I just prefer the ones that don’t involve me feeling like I am the worst parents in the world, or by babies scaring the crap out of me.  I’ll hold on to last nights dream for as long as I can…those eyes (even if that’s not what they really look like) will never leave me…

Our Baby Shower…

But not before Marco and I went on a hiking trip and a quick stop at the Storm King Arts Center and checked out the cool sculpture park.

Saturday started out as a typical hiking day.  Marco stayed the night Friday and we watched Americas Next Top Model (one of my 3 guilty “ratchet” TV pleasures) until about 1am and went to bed.  Woke up at 7:30, made a C.D. for the road (no my 2003 Toyota Corolla does NOT have iPod/iPhone hook up!), and head out to hike Storm King Mountain.  It was a nice short hike with amazing views of the Hudson River.  There is nothing like fall foliage in New York.  Unfortunately, we missed the window for the beautiful tri-colors of green, red, and orange, but what we got was still spectacular!

memountain menadmike mike

After that short, but much needed hike, we shot over to the Arts Center.  I had been there before in the summer, but it’s so interesting to see how much of a difference a season makes.  There were a lot of interesting new pieces that I really liked, and exploring some of the art that I’ve seen before with Marco was great.  We came to an agreement that it would be a great place to have an adventure next summer or fall with my little guys in tow.

bhudda manbell mirror spark supermarco zhang

Marco and I spent the whole day catching up on life and love, and he was explaining to be about a situation that he had with an ex-boyfriend of his regarding some loaned money.  He really had me believing the whole time that they were meeting in Pleasantville (a small town near us, and yes the same Pleasantville from the film) at the Starbucks to do a money exchange.  He was supposed to meet him at 5pm.  Since the stop was on the way home, I offered to stop there before we went home.  He was texting with the “ex-boyfriend” all day, and commented that he was running a bit late so we would go and get a glass of wine at this really awesome wine place.

wine spread

We were there for about 40 minutes when Callie, Mary and Callie’s best friend Jenny walked in.  It was at that moment that we knew, that our baby shower was coming.  The whole day, I had no idea.  We had seen my cousin while doing some shopping a few days before, and he made a comment about seeing us on Sunday, so the whole time, we thought the surprise shower would be Sunday, so they got us pretty good!

We walked into a building next door to a Starbucks and it dawned on me that it was the same place where my sister had her shower.  As the doors opened, we were so surprised and taken aback by the amount of people that were there and the faces that we say yelling, “Surprise!”  It was such an incredible and overwhelming feeling.  Our friends and family worked so hard to put it all together.

They went with a nautical theme, which is the same theme we are going with for the boys nursery.  There were anchors adorned with tulle and sea shells.  Our cake was a beach with a whale in the water colored frosting and 2 little babies with names written on their bums.  There we lobster crates holding the white chocolate covered oreo party favors.  There were trays and trays of food!  Instead of one baby shower chair for the expecting mommy, they had a bench for 2 moms!!  Everything was just beautiful.  We really couldn’t have asked for more…

We got changed (we had given my Nikki our clothes for the shower a week earlier, since we KNEW we were having one, we just didn’t know when), and made our rounds to say hello to all of our amazing family and friends.  Some of our new friends were there (these fantastic ladies that we met at our friends wedding a few weeks ago), some of our oldest friends (one of the only friends that I have kept since 8th grade and Callie’s 2 oldest and dearest friends), Callie’s boat family (they’ve known her family since before she was born and are just as much her “real “family as her real family is), our aunts and uncles and cousins.  So we mingled, we ate some delicious food, did the Cupid Shuffle and the ChaCha Slide (a family party MUST!) and were ushered over to our bench to open the MOUNTAIN of gifts.  It was the Mount Marcy of baby shower gift mountains.  We received so many awesome things like a baby bullet system , a twin carrier, cribs from the in-laws, a twin stroller from my parents, a color video baby monitor from my sister, tons and tons of adorable clothes (most of which had bow ties and mustaches on them and tons of baby sweater vests- they know me tooooooo well), a tub, play mat, towels, wash cloths, loads of diapers and wipes, bottles, sheets, a Boppy, and piggy banks which my aunt promptly passed around and within 5 minutes time they were so full you couldn’t put any more money in them! Levi and Noah both walked away with almost $60 each in their banks, which will go in their bank accounts as soon as they are born.  We also got $300 worth of gift certificates and some stuff was doubled which we can return and pay for our carseats which we will be picking up on Wednesday.  My mom put together a clothes line with about 20 outfits (doubled), socks, hats, shoes, GIANTS GEAR!, and bibs.  It was really cute.

Towards the end of the event, we cut the adorable cake and as if it was cute enough, it tasted AMAZING!!! Dominican cake with a guava filling!  I’m not even a cake person, but that night, I woke up at 3am and devoured about half of the half of cake that we had.  Everyone keeps telling us how delicious it was even 2 days later.  After we cut the cake, it was close to 9pm and almost time for everyone to leave.  Before people started heading out, we wanted to make sure that we were able to thank everyone for all of their hard work putting out shower together and for all their love, support, and generosity.  I kind of got a little emotional.  We always knew that we were loved, but to know that all that love will transfer over to our boys was overwhelming and incredible.  At 9pm, the dj cut the music off, we cleaned up the place, split the gifts into 4 different cars and head back to our apartment.  Our friends helped us bring all of the babies things in, and Callie and I sat up all night reading every single card and writing down who gave us what (our friend had written a list, but we wanted to be a little more specific).  All in all, it was a beautiful night that Callie and I will remember for the rest of our lives.  All the love that we felt in that room was at some points overwhelming.  I watched Callie’s gorgeous face the whole night.  I don’t think I’ve seen her smile like that since our first sonogram.  It was awesome.

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