9 Months Old!

So Noah and Levi turned 9 months last Sunday, and boy are those kids something else!  They really are coming into their personalities and becoming their own little people.  Sometimes it’s hysterical to watch, and other times, I am kind of in fear of what the future holds!  The boys are smart, loving, cuddly, and most of all, mama’s boys!

NOAH

MY LITTLE HALLOWEEN PUMPKIN

MY LITTLE HALLOWEEN PUMPKIN

PERFECTING THE WAVE

PERFECTING THE WAVE

There are so many things that I can say about Noah, but nothing would suffice to capture how LARGE his personality is.  He is totally going to be my little linebacker.  There is nothing he loves more that crawling all over his brother and tackling him to the ground.  We practice with a little sensory football that we bought at a tag sale, and he loves when I throw it and he gets to “catch” it, and then “throws” (hands) it back to me, and gets so excited when I yell, ” MUY BIEN NENE!!!!”

He is also perfecting how to wave, and can be seen waving to pretty much anyone, except my father and Callie’s father.  I don’t have any idea why he won’t wave to them.  The best is when I get home from work, and I walk in to them eating dinner in their high chairs and Noah’s face lights up and he waves to me!  It’s totally the awesomest!

He is more and more mobile every day and has been figuring out how to use all of the furniture to get him where he needs to go.  He crawls at the speed of light, and has started to use my fishing bucket as his main means of “transportation”.  He’s strong and stubborn.  If you tell him “no” or say “uh uh!”, he will promptly throw whatever is in his hands, or toss his body backwards and cry his fake cry (you now the one!) until he is finally over it, and will go back to doing something he probably shouldn’t be doing.  He is experimenting with different sounds, but still has no words and sounds like a baby zombie (as you’ll hear in the video below). This kid. I love him to pieces.

LEVI

MY BRIGHT LITTLE JACK-O-LANTERN

MY BRIGHT LITTLE JACK-O-LANTERN

THIS LITTLE GQ BABY

THIS LITTLE GQ BABY

Levi is my sensitive little soul.  If you want to cuddle and squish all day?  He’s your guy!  He loves to pull his brothers hair (especially after getting crawled on) but then will rub his brothers head while Noah plays with toys.  He is still our pacifier baby, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.  Levi LOVES music and can be found “singing”, off key (mostly) and mouthing the words and trying to make the sounds.  Itsy Bitsy Spider is hands-down, the GREATEST song in the world to him. He is quite the mimicking baby at 9 months old.

He is very verbal.  He tries to say “leche” but it sounds more like, “nene” which is what we call his brother, but it’s fair to say that “leche” is his first word, which doesn’t surprise me because this kid can EAT! Basically, don’t go anywhere near him if you have food in our hands and you don’t intend to share!  I don’t think he ever gets full,  and still no teeth in sight either! I have no idea how he gums all his food to death!

He finally started crawling about 2-3 weeks ago, but we were a little worried because it was always with one side of his body only, dragging his little belly across the floor and one leg behind him, but in the past week he has learned to move both legs (kinda, sorta, occasionally) and has started darting across the apartment.  He is learning to stand himself up on lots of the furniture, toys, and in his crib, but he still hasn’t learned how to get down, so he’ll stand there and cry until someone comes over and helps him down.  He is truly scared, almost petrified to fall.  My little cautious baby.   Still very observant and still has a lot of trepidation about movement and trusting his body.  He’ll learn, just at his own pace.

Noah and Levi have really started to form a special bond and have started to look for each other.  Lots of times the can be found sharing some morsel of food that one of them found, swapping sippy cups, or holding hands in their high chairs.  They have started to communicate more (whatever that means) and have been found having conversations using grunting noises with each other when they should be going down for the night.  And weekend mornings I find their room a mess, after they tag team and throw all of the stuffed animals off of the dresser that separates their cribs, and then LAUGHING about it!

HAPPY SATURDAY!

HAPPY SATURDAY! (note the mess on the floor!)

These two have really become 2 peas in a pod and look for each other when the other one isn’t in the room.  They use those grunts like echolocation! I kid you not!  But watching them grow has been pretty awesome.  These little 9 month old guys have stolen my heart!

Turtles grilled cheese my kids

18 Weeks

Well, 2 weeks shy of being half way through this pregnancy.  That is both the best thing ever and also very sad.  I still haven’t decided if I love being pregnant, but then again there isn’t really much to love yet.  I’ve just started showing, and I am JUST starting to feel some movement (although I’m not convinced), and not knowing the gender (despite me wanting this baby to be a surprise) is making me feel a little, I dunno, disconnected?!  I think that will all change soon though, as this pregnancy starts getting more real.

How I’m Feeling this Week: I feel pretty awesome this week.  I’m not as tired all the time, and I’ve been enjoying the crisper weather that autumn is bringing in.  I absolutely hate the summer, and look forward to fall and winter.  So mix that with the burst of energy you get in the second trimester and well, things are pretty great!

How Big is Biscuit: Biscuit is about the size of a green pepper, or about the size of a small electric shaver.  Weighing roughly 7 ounces and measuring about 5 1/2″ from head to bottom.  Baby is forming some vernix and the ears are just where they should be now.  The alveoli are beginning to form in baby’s lungs and the vocal chords are forming as well!

Baby Bump News?:  This bump is definitely growing, and daily I am starting to feel more and more pregnant for sure!

SHAMELESS BATHROOM BUMPIE

SHAMELESS BATHROOM BUMPIE

Sleep:  Sleep has actually been pretty awesome!  In fact, Callie has been really great about letting me sleep in.  We have a system.  On Saturday’s, she sleeps in and on Sunday’s I sleep in. The past few weekends have resulted in us having to leave the house early, so she has let me have Saturdays instead…still have very vivid strange dreams from time to time, but for the most part, I don’t really remember much of it…

Food Loves/Hates:  Nothing really, but we went apple picking last Sunday and I have had apples pretty much every day.  Last night I made a braided apple pie which is delicious!!!

Symptoms:  Started to feel some MOVEMENT!!!  I’m still not all the way convinced, but I feel it most at night, when I lay on my side and spoon Callie.  It’s hard to really explain what it feels like.  People say like bubbles, or like gas, sometimes even like flutters, but I’m not sure if that’s what it really feels like to me.  I can’t really describe it, but I’m pretty sure it’s Biscuit!  And that is super exciting!

Next Scan:  My next appointment is scheduled for October 8th, for the anatomy scan.  I had an appointment yesterday just to check my BP and to give urine and do the AFP blood work.  Should get the results in a few days.  I was a little sad at my appointment though.  Our OB, who we ABSOLUTELY ADORE is pregnant.  I got a call last week that she was going to be out early on leave (at 24 weeks) because she was put on bed rest.  We were worried about her, and were given an appointment with the midwife at the same medical group, who just so happened to be my doctor before I switch to my OB since the midwife doesn’t do deliveries anymore.  The appointment went well (BP totally ok, and no protein in urine) but since the midwife has HER patients and also MY doctors patients, they are giving me a new doctor which I am not happy about.  He worked with my OB Dr. M, and Dr. M’s nurse Chrys is AWESOME and she’ll be working with him, so that will help, but I’m still not happy about it.  Chrys assured us that Dr. M said she would definitely be back for when I deliver, since her TRIPLETS are due in early December!  When i found out it was triplets, I couldn’t even be mad any more!  Freaking triplets!  Wow!!!

Sex:  ???

Overall Feelings:  I’ve been getting more and more excited about this pregnancy as it has progressed.  I’m excited to experience more movement, and baby hiccups, and seeing this little thing on the screen in just under 2 weeks.  I’m curious to know if my intuition is right, since I can’t help but feel with my whole heart and gut that Biscuit is a girl, but at the same time, I crave that surprise.  I still have 2 weeks to think about it, although the prospect of another Gender Reveal Party is really appealing!  HAHA!  Anything for a party!

Something I Didn’t Expect:  I didn’t expect to want to BE super pregnant.  People at work are starting to notice, and my family can totally see my little pump now.  I didn’t expect to want a natural delivery sooooo badly.  I had a dream the other night, that I blacked out while I was laboring, and woke up to a baby boy who wouldn’t latch after having a C-section and NO RECOLLECTION whatsoever of having had him.  It was freaking scary and my worst nightmare!  So I didn’t expect to be really sad and scared about maybe, just maybe having a c-section.  It’s really 50/50 odds though, isn’t it.

Also, Callie and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary on Sept 22, but I haven’t really had a chance to write about that, but I’ll get to it i swear!

usSo friends, there ya have it…week 18!

Oh and as always, these guys…nene nen1 macho1 macho

14 Weeks

14 weeks (and +3 days at this point) and things seem be to be going very smoothly.  I’m starting to get little bursts of energy back, but I still spend a lot of my free time (whatever that means when you have a wife and 3 kids) sleeping.  We went out on the boat on Saturday and I slept for the majority of the day after only swimming for about an hour or so.  I dried off a little, went into the cabin, and took a 2.5 hour nap with Levi…then he woke up, Noah promptly went down, and I slept another hour and 15 minutes with him.  Sleep is just…sooooo good!

How I’m Feeling this Week:  Much much more like my normal self.  Having what my doctor calls “growing pains”, which is just a ton of weird cramping, and stretching.  My assumption is that Biscuit is just in there growing.  I’ve also been a bit less cranky and grump than I have been the past few months.  I’m pretty sure Callie appreciates that, as I’ve been kinda, sorta mean to her lately.  It’s been pretty bad.  But I’ve also done my fair share of apologizing, although, probably not as much as I should have.  Definitely not as much as I should have.  I’m also feeling like I need lots of affection lately, and I feel like I need to be able to sleep naked more, but when you have a 7 year old at home, that isn’t “your kid”, it’s hard to be able to do that.  And having to sleep with the door open so we can hear the boys next room over (thanks the LAWD they are finally in their own room and we can close up this damn pack-and-play that has been monopolizing the space in our already tiny room) makes it all the more difficult.  But this week, I’m feeling pretty alright.

How Big is Biscuit: About the size of stress ball (should actually go and buy one of these) or roughly the size of a lemon.  About 4 inches long, which still just seems so incredibly tiny to me.  We’re talking about the size of the palm of my hand! That’s wild! Baby is also weighing about 1.5oz.  Also, Biscuit is probably sporting some super soft lanugo, and wiggling up a storm, even though I can’t feel it yet.

Baby Bump News?:  I was told by several people this weekend that my belly is definitely starting to show.  I can tell you, my pants are starting to feel it.  I can no longer close a SINGLE pair of my pre-pregnancy pants with the exception of a pair of brown chino pants that I got a size too big.  Otherwise, I have been wearing all of work pants and all of my shorts with no top button and just a belt to hold them up on my waist.  I believe, I will have to go take a trip to the store and try and score some OK maternity pants that don’t hug too much in places that I’m not comfortable with them clinging.  Also, you could totally tell that the bump is appearing when I wear my Speedo swimsuit.  It’s crazy to actually see my body changing, and then to feel it when I lay in bed at night.  Something tells me that I’m gonna get pretty big during this pregnancy.

Sleep:  I’ve been having these ridiculously weird (and mostly scary) dreams.  About a week ago, I woke up and asked Callie if I had been in jail.  In a haze, she answered, “No..why would you ask that?!”  In my dream, I had been thrown into jail for fighting at a bar, i spent what felt like an eternity in there, but it was really only 3 days.  My friends Marco, Nikki, and T had come to visit me and they kept looking at me weird as if they new something but I didn’t.  My sister came to pick me up from jail, but I wouldn’t leave until I said good-bye to all the friends I had made, and the warden made me go through like some weird obstacle course to get out. Then I walked out into the parking lot and all my friend and my siblings were waiting there with their swimsuits and beach chairs.  We were about to get into the car, and my water broke, but I wasn’t visibly pregnant.  In my dream I woke up, and was in a room that I used to live in with black lights and neon wall coverings.  I asked Callie if I had been to jail, and she said, “Of course you did honey, remember?!”  So I started asking her what happened.  She said that I got into a fight and got locked up.  Then I told her that it was weird becasue I hadn;t felt the baby move, and she gave me a look of horror like she was waiting for me to figure it out and I finally did.  “You don’t remember much do you?  You must have blocked it out because of all of the trauma”.  I knew right away that there was no more baby.  And I started screaming at the top of my lungs, “NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, YOU’re LYING!  NO, NO, NO, NO, NO”…it was terrible!! And then I woke up, panting and sweating and asking her if I had been to jail.  It was so strange!  So I whimpered on and off the whole night, while Callie held me and kept telling me it was ok.

Then there was a zombie dream, where my whole entire family was in a house that we had found while it was empty, and we could see the river from out window, and there were people floating all over the place in the river, and the doors stopped locking, and the windows had no locks on them at all, and there were mattresses and cushions blocking out all the light and hiding us from the walkers outside.  Then  heard a baby cry and realized that it was Noah in the other room, and I wasn’t sure if he was getting eaten or if he just wanted his moms, so Callie ran out and I went behind her with Levi in on hand and a lamp in the other to hit a zombie in the head if I had to.  She grabbed Noah, and brought him back into the room, and then I realized that the walkers had heard him crying and were making their way up the stairs, and we had no freaking locks!  So I start freaking out and silently crying, holding onto my family, as the door starts to rattle!  I wake up, covered in sweat, holding into Callie for dear life!

Last night, I was being tortured as a sex slave, for none other than Rumpelstiltskin from Once Upon a Time…seriously, it was super weird!  And no one would believe me when I escaped, so he found me again, put electric nipple clamps on me, and would constantly taze me.  It was just horrible!  And every time i cried out in pain, it would be turned up a notch.  There was more, but I can’t really remember it, but I was super scared to go back to sleep because I didn’t want the dream to pick up where it left off, like it has so many of these past nights.  I wish these dreams would just chill out for a little bit!

Food Loves/Hates:  Give me all the orange juice in the world!  Please!!! I have gone through about 3 gallons of orange juice in a week.  I can’t get enough.  Also, please, i’m begging you, keep that damn salad away from me!

Symptoms:  Just weird dreams, some weird cramping, and debilitating gas.  I get what Callie’s family calls “Gas in your ass”, you know, when you feel like your taint is being sliced with a box cutter…that kinda gas.  I’m gonna have to get something for how terrible it’s been and to  help me expel some of this god awful air!

Next Scan:  My next scan is scheduled for October 8th, for the anatomy scan.  I also have an appointment on September 24th (possible ultrasound) to check my blood pressure and to do a non-fasting glucose test to see where my sugar is since it’s been pretty broderline for the past 2 years or so.  At my scan this past Thursday (the NT Scan), Biscuit (13w6d) was measuring 2 days ahead at 14w1d, and was just as cute as ever, waving at moms and at Wita (who shed some tears watching baby moving on the screen), but she was too busy being busy to let them get a great measurement.  After jiggling her around a little bit we got a good measurement.  Biscuit measure 1.6, which is good, but we haven’t gotten the results from the blood work yet, but I’m sure it’s all gonna be fine.  So far, everything looks good! And (she) sorta looks like she has Levi’s profile.  Cutie!Biscuit

Sex:  I’ll take it! It’s been pretty consistent these past few weeks…now that I have a little more energy, I hope it pics up in frequency.

Overall Feelings:  A bit overwhelmed with the idea of buying maternity clothes.  I’m excited to be possibly showing sooner than I expected, but also devastated that there isn’t anything cool and my style to wear.  It’s still 90 degrees here in NY, which is about 10-15 degrees above normal, and I’m not sure how much longer I can get away with wearing some of the stuff I’m wearing.  I’m one of those people who has been the same size for over 10 years (36×30 pants, and L shirt, XL sweater) so I go into the store, grab what I need, and get the hell out.  Shopping takes me all of 30 minutes for a whole season!  Knowing that I’ll have to go into a store, probably not find ANYTHING that I like, and have to settle, just has me dreading having to go!  But I’m excited about pre-natal yoga at the Destination Maternity, so I’ll take that!  Maybe I should shop after yoga, and go in with a clear mind and an open heart.

Something I Didn’t Expect:  Being excited about my body changing.  With all of my ideas about gender expression, and my image, and being overweight, I didn’t think that I would be so excited to see a bump growing under all this chub and over-sized clothes. When Callie and I lay in bed, she puts her hand on my belly and talks to Biscuit and I wonder if she thought I was that adorable and cute when I did it to her.  I didn’t expect to take daily “bumpie” and then scroll through my phone analyzing and scrutinizing the tiniest of changes.  Soon enough, I’ll post a bump pic, just not ready to put myself out there yet.  I at least need to get myself some maternity pants…

Also, these guys…

Noah Back

THESE GUYS LOVE A BACK CARRY!

THESE GUYS LOVE A BACK CARRY!

IMPROVISING AT WITA'S

IMPROVISING AT WITA’S

WHAT IS IT WITH BABIES AND BUBBLES?

WHAT IS IT WITH BABIES AND BUBBLES? THEY AREN’T IMPRESSED…

THESE GUYS!

THESE GUYS!

Starlight Bloggers Award!!!

starlightI’m so glad to have been nominated for this award by two bloggers whose blogs I love to read!  Bumbi’s Mom and LifeAsAGayMom…these ladies are so great about writing raw, honest, emotional and real posts about the joys and struggles of being mom…and I am grateful for the friendships we have formed…so thanks for the nod and thanks for being you!

The rules are:

  • Thank the giver and link their blog to your post.
  • Answer the 3 questions given to you.
  • Please pass the award on to 6 or more other bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated by you.
  • Include the logo of the award in a post or on your blog (please never alter the logo and never change the rules).
  • This Award is created to highlight and promote Inspiring Bloggers.
  • Nominate your 6 favorite bloggers and pass on the award!

The following blogs I love for a ton of reasons, but the best way to find out way, is to check them out yourself!  You’ll see! (All of the “About Me sections have been linked)

My Perfect Breakdown
          My Kid Doesn’t Poop Rainbows
Mama et Maman
Counting Chickens
AdoptiveBlackMom
          Impossibly Royal

The 3 questions I was asked (2 sets of 3, so really 6!) are:

  • If you could do one thing over this week, what would it be?
  • Why did you decide to start a blog?
  • Who or what inspires your creativity?
  • What is the funniest memory you have? If not in all time, something more recent
  • What’s your favorite recipe? Don’t be stingy and leave parts out!
  • What is something that will always make you smile?

This week, I would redo absolutely nothing.  It’s been a pretty horrible week actually.  The only thing I would do is fast forward it until tomorrow so that my sisters wedding day can be here and we can have a nice time with extended family and celebrate my sister and her new husbands commitment to each other.  And also, I’m officiating so I’m hella excited.  Technically, tomorrow is the last day of the week, so even though it hasn’t happened yet, I would redo that!

I decided to start blogging to chronicle the things that were going on in my life in regards to my wife being pregnant with out twin boys and how I was feeling as the non-belly mama while things were progressing, but really it has turned into a blog about my life.  About the everyday crap that happens. About being a foster mom on the journey to adoption.  About raising 3 kids in apartment in New Rochelle.  About dealing with life as the Universe dishes it out.  I started blogging, mainly, to tell my story, and be able to read back on it later.

If we’re talking about inspiring my creativity in regards to writing, well that’s easy!  The world around me does.  But when we are talking about creativity, like art and music, it also comes from a variety of places, but lots of times, it comes from somewhere really deep.  Somewhere that the old demons lay around an linger in. That’s when I write my best music, my most melodic spoken word, my brightest and most vibrant pieces of art.  Those demons, who try and rear their ugly heads every once in a while, those are the ones that encourage me to remember how far I’ve come and how expressing them through some form of art is so helpful and therapeutic.

I have a crapload of funny memories.  I’m a pretty funny chick, and I can usually make people laugh pretty easily.  But if I had to chose a funny moment (funny now! Ridiculously embarrassing then!) from my own life, it would have to be the time that I was in Sophomore year of high school, in the middle of a very silent class room, during a Regents exam.  The room was seriously silent!  So silent that my teacher dropped a push pin and you ACTUALLY heard it hit the floor.  My stomach wasn’t doing so hot, as it was 9am, and I had had to rush out of the house that morning for fear of being late and not being allowed to take the exam, with one of those travel bowls of cereal and milk.  During the exam, my stomach kept rumbling, and even though I doubt anyone heard it, it was making me absolutely nuts.  I wanted to excuse myself to the bathroom, but you can’t during Regents’.  So I figured, if I lean a little to the left, and then a little to the right I can get “the Spread” (c’mon! y’all know the spread!) and that way, when I did actually fart, it wouldn’t be loud, it would just ease it’s way on out like a little pfffffff.  Well, yeah…that totally didn’t happen!  I sounded like a trucker after 3 bowls of chilli!  It sounded more like Prrrraaappppp! I was mortified, but my classmates thought it was hilarious!  This is one I’ll tell my kids, that I’m sure they will think is just. The. Best!

My favorite recipe is one that has been passed down in my family from who knows how many great grandmother.  I learned from my mom, she learned from her mom, and she learned from her mom.  It’s for making Empanadas.  I don’t know the exact measurements, because I’ve always been told, that love in your food can’t be measured. So excuse the vagueness of this recipe . It has a few steps for prep that need to happen well before you start cooking.  The first is to go to your local grocery store, and check the freezer aisle.  If you have a GOYA section, you will find “Discos”.  empanadasYou can make these yourself, but it’s much easier to but them.  Next you will have to make Sofrito.  You can buy it too, but believe me, it’s not as good!  And you can use it to cook a lot of your other foods and give everything a nice little boost.   To make Sofrito you will need:

  • A green pepper
  • a red pepper
  • a bushel of cilantro
  • a whole garlic (peeled)
  • a large Spanish onion

You will cut all of these ingredient up, put them in a blender or a food processor and chop them up, until the consistency is something like a salsa.  You don’t want to liquify it.  It need a little substance.  Once that’s done, you can start making Empanadas.

  • Brown 1 pound of ground beef.  Make sure it’s finely chopped. Once cooked, drain it.
  • Put the meat back in the pan, and add 1/4 cup of water and one spoon of tomato paste.
  • Add a package or two of Sazon and sprinkle some Adobo to taste (I usually salt it a little bit more than it should be, because once you put it in the Disco, it evens out the taste)
  • Add 2 heaping regular spoonfuls (like the ones you eat with) of sofrito (this is also to taste…sometimes I find that I need a little more if the garlic isn’t particularity strong enough)
  • Let it cook for about 10-15 minutes on medium heat so that it absorbs all of the flavor.
  • Once it’s done, set it to the side to cool a bit (about 10-15 minnutes)
  • Get a fork!
  • Open the pack of Discos.
  • Put a few spoonfuls of meat in the middle of the Disco.
  • Fold the disco in half, and with the fork, make impressions around the edge to seal the meat inside.
  • When you are about half way through the pack of Discos, put oil in a different pan and let it start to heat up.  It needs to be REALLY HOT so that the empanadas don’t stick to the pan.empanadas-raw
  • Once they are all closed (make sure they are properly sealed!  If the meat is still too hot, it will make the Discos extra doughy and harder to work with, so make sure it has significantly cooled down), you can put them in the hot oil.  They cook pretty quickly (about 3-5 minutes).  You want to watch for nice little bubbles crisping on the surface!  Be careful when you eat them!  They are very very hot!empanadas doneThe ground beef can be substituded.  We sometimes use cut up shrimp, shredded chicken (we boil it until cooked all the way and then shred it and cook it following the above instructions), we use guava and cheese (doesn’t need any cookin, just guave paste in the International food aisle and Queso Blanco) and also, pizza sauce, mozzarella, and peperoni!

And finally, something that always makes me smile?!  These guys…kids macho neneThe 3 questions for all you lovely folks…

  1. If you could have any super power what would it be and why?
  2. What is a secret talent that you have?
  3. When you grow up, what do you wanna be?

Please don’t delete this note: The design for the STARLIGHT Bloggers Award has been created from Yesterday After is a Copyright image you cannot alter or change it in any way just pass it to others that deserve this award.
Copyright 2015 YesterdayAfter.com – Design by Carolina Russo July 5, 2015

26 Weeks

I wish it would just slow down.  I hope that time doesn’t got his quickly when the boys are born.  It makes me sad to feel that this is all going to be over soon.  I love seeing Callie pregnant.  I love the great mood and the positive attitude she has had.  I especially love coming home to my wife (hehe wife!) every day now that she’s on bed rest, because our opposing work shifts only allow for us to spend time together on Friday evenings and Saturdays.  It’s been so great to catch up on our TV shows and cuddle on the couch or in bed (kid free!) all day on Wednesdays and Thursdays when I have my overnights.  It’s amazing to watch her body change every week to accommodate our growing babies.

This week Levi and Noah are about the length of zucchini.  They should be weighing in at just over a pound half, but they are weighing in at (Levi) 2.2lbs and (Noah) 2.0.  The doctor says that’s great!  They continue to develop their lungs by breathing in amniotic fluid and then exhaling it.  They keep stretching their bodies out and pushing all over Callie’s belly.  I’m almost certain that they (because they are exhibitionists!) are sticking their little butts out for Mamá to rub.  Of course, I appease them!  Their fingernails have grown all the way in and will probably be really jagged when they are born.  Grimy and jagged nails are one of our pet peeves with kids! They might also open their eyes this week or next and begin batting their eyelashes (hopefully they’ll be long and I’ll be really envious!).  This week, their brain-wave activity is also the highest it has been throughout their development.  They are really starting to make sense of the warm pool that they are encased in, and all of the sounds around them.  Their sensitivity to light is also at its most sensitive since they have been able to sense it.

This week, at our OB and Perinatologist appointments, we were told told that Callie’s cervix got back up to 2.1 from a 1.94 so that’s great.  We were also told that the boys have quite a bit of hair, Noah more than Levi.  Callie also passed her 3 hour glucose test (phew!) but that she is sort of borderline so she has to monitor her intake of carbohydrates and sugars.  Unfortunately, it was Halloween Friday and Mary brought home enough candy to satisfy (10 times over!) Callie’s insatiable urge for sweets these past 3 weeks.  And by insatiable I mean, piece of pie, 10 minutes later sherbert, 30 minutes later candy, 20 minutes later more pie, 1 hour later looking for something sweet again.  Marco brought a pie, Crack Pie to be exact, for the wedding and it was AMAZING! Callie has been talking about it ever since.  No seriously, EVERYONE and their mother needs to have this pie.  If you have a Momofuku near you, make it your business to get a slice.  It’s pricey ($45/pie) but soooooooo worth it!  All of that said, everything looks  and seems to be going well. Our weekly appointments continue with the OB and bi-weekly with our Perinatologist.  I’m starting to get a little worried that we haven’t even painted the nursery yet, but I enlisted Marco for a hike and help with cleaning and organizing our storage unit and getting some stuff done in the nursery this Saturday.  Even on bed rest and with everything going on, Callie is still encouraging me to take some time to myself since I’ve been doing everything basically on my own for over 3 weeks now, so I’ll be able to really enjoy the autumn foliage this Saturday hiking Storm King Mountain and revisit the sculpture park at Storm King Arts Center down the road.

MY WIFE AT 26 WEEKS PREGNANT WITH OUT TWIN BOYS

MY WIFE AT 26 WEEKS PREGNANT WITH OUT TWIN BOYS

*BREASTFEEDING WITHOUT BIRTHING UPDATE*

I have been trying to induce lactation pretty much since we found out that Callie was pregnant.  I have done manual expression and used a breast pump 6-10 times a day (depending on my work schedule) for about 15-20 minutes each time.  I wasn’t having any success with the exception of 1 little drop, so I contacted a lactation consultant who put me on Domperidone.  After the second day on Dom, I had a few drops of clear liquid the next 2 days of pumping.  After those first few days, there was nothing else.  Not a single drop, but I never gave up.  I called the consultant to ask her if birth control was the way to go (I think my PCOS is preventing me from having the appropriate levels of estrogen and progesterone to really get the milk making ball rolling), but she said it can take more than the 1-2 weeks that everyone says it takes from Dom to work.  So a month and a half of taking Dom 4x’s a day later, and still nothing.  I decided to make an appointment for both Callie and I, so Friday morning we went there to discus with her our next options.  She checked to make sure that I wasn’t producing anything (which I’m not), and decided that since we still have time it would be best for me to stop pumping (thank the lawd!), take Birth Control to stop my period, trick my body into thinking I am pregnant by not taking the sugar pill and going right into the next cycle, and continue with the same dosage of Dom for the next 2 months.  Then I’ll stop the pill, keep taking the Dom, and start pumping with a vengeance like before.  HOPEFULLY, that will work.  If not, then there really isn’t anything else I can do besides get a feeding tube and supplement with Callie’s breast milk or formula.  I hear that once babies latch on, there seems to be an increase in milk production from non-birthing moms, and then I can start taking herbs again that will help with that as well.  So I’m still on this journey of trying to be the best Mamá for my boys.

WOULN'T BE SO BAD TO NURSE WITH A NURSING SYSTEM, WOULD IT?

WOULDN’T BE SO BAD TO NURSE WITH A NURSING SYSTEM, WOULD IT?

Marrying My Best Girl

I spend most of my Friday night getting our apartment ready to host about 15 guests for our wedding.  I think  it was more to calm my nerves and keep busy.  I couldn’t eat, I barely slept, I made sure that our rings fit, and I looked at myself in the mirror every time I went to the bathroom, and practiced saying “I do”.  After taking Mary trick or treating in our apartment complex, I set up some minimal decorations as per Callie’s request because she didn’t want to make “a big deal” about it, especially because it was taking place in our living room and not at some big fancy hall like we had always dreamed of (it’ll happen eventually).  I organized, moved furniture, moved the zoo into the nursery, and hoped that I hadn’t forgotten anything important.  I kept telling Callie, “In just 19, 16, 12, hours, you’ll be my wife!!”  The smiles that followed that will be engrained in my mind forever.  My friend Nikki spent the night for an impromptu bachelorette party that consisted of watching Bridesmaids and drinking non-alcoholic wine (for Callie) and shots of Fireball (for us!)  We  stayed up later than we probably should have, but it was fine since I couldn’t really sleep anyway.

Saturday morning, the BIG DAY, my alarm goes off at 8:03 ( always set to some random time…OCD thing).  I wipe the kitchen counters down one more time.  I make sure that there isn’t any hair on the floor of my very white (and usually immaculate) bathroom.  I take our clothes out.  I iron Callie and Mary’s dresses.  I Iron my clothes and Nikki’s son’s (basically my nephew) clothes.  My sister got to  us at around 10:30am to style Callie’s hair.  I brushed my teeth and found my something old, new, borrowed, blue.  I had to make some rice so I put the pot on for Nikki to watch while she made her baked ziti, cut some fresh mozzarella and tomatoes and put them con crackers with a little basil leaf, and I jumped in the shower.

At around 11:30 our guests started arriving, putting their homemade dishes in our kitchen for the potluck lunch, and getting really excited about our vows.  I put my socks and slacks on, taking deep breaths, I button my shirt slowly and fidgeted with my tie (I must have tied it like 10 times before it was “perfect” and I don’t even believe in perfect!), I buttoned up my vest, tied my new shoes, and walked outside to let the judge into my garage spot (parking by us is a nightmare!) .  We walked upstairs, and I got everyone to find a seat.  I stood there with the judge waiting for Callie to enter the living room.  Callie walked into the living room down our long hallway and at the very moment, I couldn’t believe that after all that time of talking about our little shotgun wedding, it as actually happening.  I had seen Callie in her dress, but I hadn’t seen her done up with hair and make-up in her dress.  My head was reeling!  In about 5 minutes I was going to be married.  I was going to have this amazing woman as  my wife.  My heart couldn’t contain itself.  My eyes filled with tears (didn’t spill any though!) and I held Callie’s hands as the judge welcomed everyone and introduced herself.

She asked if anyone objected (NOPE!), she asked if we wanted to marry each other (YUP!) and then we exchanged rings making promises to be there for each other as spouses, not only when we wanted to but more so when we didn’t.  We were told to never forget our commitment and to love and honor each other every day for the rest of our lives.  And we will.  I just know it!  Something about the way that Callie looked at me during those 5 minutes, I knew that I was making the best choice of my life. That having her as my wife, and her choosing me to be the other mother to our children are the two most important and life changing decisions I could have made.  For the rest of my life I will be reminded of that in the smiling faces of my kids, or the tears of my wife when we see them off to college, or the first time we meet our grandchildren.  I will know that I made the best choice by choosing her.

We took a ton of pictures, had lots of delicious food, and celebrated with some music and some reminiscing.  It was nice to have such a small intimate affair.  We were able to talk to everyone, to listen, to share hugs and know that we will remember everything that happened, even to the smallest minute detail, like how Gracie (our kitty) walked across us and the judge when she asked if there was anyone who objected (really Gracie! You little hater! I know you love mommy but DANG!).  I’ll remember all of the kin words that were said about our love and the tears shed by friends and family. It was an amazing day that I will never forget.  I keep looking down at my ring and saying, “Did his really happen?!?!”  It really did.  Today, I woke up the same person that I went to bed as on Friday night, but somehow, everything is different.  The only thing that comes to mind is our favorite song, as song that us of our relationship, of our story, of our love…

Want To by Sugarland

I packed a cooler and a change of clothes
Let’s jump in, see how far it goes
You got my heart in your daddy’s boat
We’ve got all night to make it float

We could sit on the shore
We could just be friends
Or we could jump in

The whole world could change in a minute
Just one kiss could stop it spinning
We could think it through
But I don’t want to, if you don’t want to

We could keep things just the same
Leave here the way we came
with nothing to lose
But I don’t want to, if you don’t want to

I got your ring around my neck
and a couple of nights I don’t regret
You’ve got a dream of a degree and a shirt that smells like me

Yeah we both got dreams
we could chase alone
or we could make our own

The whole world could change in a minute
Just one kiss could stop it spinning
We could think it through
But I don’t want to if you don’t want to
We could keep things just the same
Leave here the way we came
with nothing to lose
But I don’t want to if you don’t want to

Never waste another day wonderin’ what you threw away
Holding me, holding you
I don’t want to, if you don’t want to

We could keep things just the same
Leave here the way we came with nothing to lose
But I don’t want to, if you don’t want to

But I want to
But I want you

WAITING FOR THE JUDGE

WAITING FOR THE JUDGE

WAITING FOR MY BEST GIRL

WAITING FOR MY BEST GIRL

WITH THE JUDGE

WITH THE JUDGE

WHEN I SAID "I DO" AFTER ALL THAT PRACTICE IT STILL DIDN'T SOUND PERFECT!

WHEN I SAID “I DO” AFTER ALL THAT PRACTICE IT STILL DIDN’T SOUND PERFECT!

I LOVE THAT GIRL!

I LOVE THAT GIRL!

MY FAVORITE PICTURE OF THE DAY

MY FAVORITE PICTURE OF THE DAY

wed11

wed12

MY RINGS

MY RINGS

WITH MY SIBLINGS

WITH MY SIBLINGS

WITH OUR CLOSEST FRIENDS

WITH OUR CLOSEST FRIENDS

HAD TO GET IN A FREE FEEL! FIGURED I WOULDN'T GET YELLED AT ON OUR WEDDING DAY...LOL

HAD TO GET IN A FREE FEEL! FIGURED I WOULDN’T GET YELLED AT ON OUR WEDDING DAY…LOL

TEMPORARY MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE

TEMPORARY MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE

wed8

BED REST NEVER LOOKED THIS GOOD!

BED REST NEVER LOOKED THIS GOOD!

Our Love Story

Two days shy of the day I marry the love of my life, and I can’t stop thinking about how I fell in love with her.  How when she walks into a room, even if there are hundreds of people in there, she is the only one I see.  I think about how she is laying in bed, making such a huge sacrifice to make sure that our 2 glorious little boys are kept safe and sound.  I remember how from the first time I met her, I gravitated towards her as if our hearts knew something that we weren’t privy to yet.  Some big old secret and plan to eventually see us together.  This is the story of how our love came to be.

I was in a relationship.  As married as you could be in NY at the time.  I had been in this relationship, trying to conceive with a women I knew wasn’t for me.  My heart always knew it, but my brain tried to make it work, because that’s what you do when you are “married”.  My ex-wife and I were invited to a BBQ at Callie’s best friend Jenny’s house.  Her best friends girlfriend was my biological brother (from my father’s side) lesbian sister Trudy.  We had a few beers, sat in a huge circle on the deck, played some badminton, and had a few burgers and hot dogs.  As the night started closing in on us, the fireflies set the mood, and the music had a bunch of drunken lesbians rapping along to B.I.G.’s “Juicy”, we decided to play a game of spade’s.  I had already seen Callie’s competitive nature during our not so friendly 2vs2 badminton match, and was surprised to see that no one wanted to play with her OR against her. “She’s CRAZY when it comes to spades!” “She REFUSES to lose!” “I can’t play with her crazy ass!” I, was totally up for the challenge.  I am a spades master after all! So we played together, all night, across from each other, high-fiving, laughing, telling jokes, and talking loads of crap. Loads and loads of crap!  We won, tons of times, and spent the next three hours in our seats at the table as pair after pair were spanked several times.  Spades Masters we were called.

We didn’t see each other for months, probably closer to a year.  We barely spoke.  I ended up calling my relationship quits, dissolving our domestic partnership, and moving out leaving my 2 fur baby puppies behind.  I ended up back home with my parents and attending an outpatient treatment program.  I was a wreck.  My life was in shambles.  I started a rebound pseudo-relationship.  It was great while it lasted I suppose.  We connected but something was just off, and after all of the hard work that I had put in during those 2 years working on myself, I wasn’t willing to settle.  I started hanging out with Trudy (my brothers sister) and hung out with Callie a time or two.  She asked if I had 4th of July plans, which I didn’t, and we ended up hanging out that day.  Her parents boat neighbor took his boat out and invited Callie, Jenny, Trudy and myself.  We spent the whole day talking crap, hanging out, drinking ice cold beer and smoking cigarettes.  There was something about her.  How easy our conversation was.  I loved the way she laughed .  She would start with a chuckle, then full belly laugh, but she would cover her mouth and you’d only be able to see her eyes over her ridiculously chubby little Vienna sausage fingers.  I actually told her that, and it’s become an ongoing joke.  She responded with, ” Just as ridiculous as that Spongebob watch!” ::Swoon:: She could trash talk with the best of them.  At one point, I was ready to go swimming, and she wasn’t ready yet.  I told her (in a very flirtatious but not trying to be flirtations way) that I’d hold her hand as we jumped in.  She hesitated but agreed.  At that very moment, I felt something. Holding her hand, I got a shiver down my spine.  A flash of a future with her.  Electricity.  About 2 years later, Callie told me that she had felt “a spark”, and she could tell by my expression at that very moment, that I had felt the same thing.  I went home afterwards, even though she had asked me to stay the night with her and the girls.  I knew, that was the beginning…

OUR FIRST DAY...AND CHECK OUT MY WATCH!

OUR FIRST DAY…AND CHECK OUT MY WATCH!

A few weeks later, I went on my annual camping trip with my closest friends.  It’s a rule that we are not to use electronics on this trip.Only twice a day it is allowed: 1)while we wait for everyone of us to be up, give or take an hour in the morning and 2) in the early evening when we all went down to the rec center to take our turns for showers, about another hour or so.  Callie had remember that I was going, and she sent me a Facebook message wishing me a good time. I didn’t have any reason to check FB considering that all my closest friends were there and I usually steered clear of social networking all together on our trips, but something kept beckoning me to check.  I have to admit, after I saw her  message, I spent most of the next 4 days formulating an excuse or another to go back to my tent and check my phone.  I wanted to talk to her so bad but I didn’t know why.  While away, my girlfriend Laura had text me that her parents caught her drunk again and were sending her off to a rehab center in Florida.  It was a devastating blow, but there wasn’t much I could do.  We tried long distance for about 2 months but that didn’t work out well.  Callie said we should hang out, so we did, as soon as I got back.  We “non-dated” for a while.  She would pick me up after program and we would go down to the dock, where we inevitably fell in love.  I knew I loved her about a month in, when we had plans to go fishing and it started pouring rain.  She told me we didn’t have to go since the weather was so crappy.  I told her fishing in the rain was one of my favorite things.  We sat on that dock, for hours, in the pouring rain, holding hands, joking around, and letting fish after fish free upon catching them.  We had a blast, and I was officially in love with the woman of my dreams.  Outdoorsy, funny, kind, loving, beautiful, a shit talking spades player who was ballsy, always speaks her mind, and never fails to surprise me.

OUR FAVORITE SPOT IN THE WHOLE WORLD.  WHERE WE FELL IN LOVE, WHERE WE FISHED IN THE RAIN, WHERE I PROPOSED, AND WHERE WE PLAN TO TEACH OUR BOYS TO SWIM AND FISH

OUR FAVORITE SPOT IN THE WHOLE WORLD. WHERE WE FELL IN LOVE, WHERE WE FISHED IN THE RAIN, WHERE I PROPOSED, AND WHERE WE PLAN TO TEACH OUR BOYS TO SWIM AND FISH

August 21st we had our first kiss, September 5th we went on our first real date to the bowling alley, and September 22, 2010 we made it official.  We spend that whole month laying in bed inside the cabin of her parents boat, catching up on Glee while Netflixing, eating PB&J’s at 3am, doing puzzles, playing scrabble, making out and talking until the sun came up.  She was everything I could have ever dreamed of.  Flashes of us as old ladies on the porch in rocking chairs waiting for our grandchildren, filled my head.  She was the one!

Years passed, our relationship flourished and I was ready to take it to the next level.  We wanted a big wedding but it was more important to start our family. We made plans to have our babies and the wedding would come later, but first I had to propose! And I did, with an amazing scavenger hunt that fills Callie’s eyes with tears every time she talks about it.  It’s been almost a year since that day.  In 2 days I get to marry and spend the rest of my life with the most amazing woman I know.  She keeps telling me how lucky she is to have me, but I keep reminding her that I am the lucky one.  I am the one that has been blessed beyond finding word to express.  I am filled with gratitude that God has sent me such an amazing soul to share my life with.  In 2 days, all of my dreams will be realized. There are many love stories, but ours is my favorite.

“Marrying Day” Plans and 25 Weeks

We’ve officially made it to 25 weeks (well, right now it’s 25w4 days).  I was a little late this week with our board (finished it on Sunday night) because we have been running around like crazy trying to find outfits for our “marrying day” (according to Mary).  We’ve bought Callie’s dress (which looks AMAZING and accents her baby bump perfectly, although I feel guilty about having seen her in it), and a new vest and bow tie for myself.  I have to say, when we have our “real” wedding, I am definitely going to Men’s Warehouse to buy/rent my tuxedo.  They didn’t even bat an eyelash when I said that we were getting married and that I was looking for a vest that fit well, but wasn’t too tight around the chest.  I love that they had a woman who was doing fittings as well.  All in all, it was a really pleasant experience (although a little more expensive than I was hoping for but what are you gonna do right?!)  We also went to look for rings with no success.  Everywhere that we went said it would take 1-2 weeks to have them resized, which isn’t going to work for us.  Standard in store size is a 7. Callie wears a 6 and I wear an 8.5.  We figured since we will probably have these rings indefinitely, we would at least spend a decent amount of money for them and make sure they are rings that we are happy with.  5 days later and still no rings.  We have one last stop before we just order the ones we want and have them delivered to us later on and just get sterling silver rings for our ceremony in the mean time.

We were just gonna go to City Hall and have a judge marry us, but we ended up deciding on having the judge come to our home and marry us there (it’s the same price so WHY NOT!?!).  We have some friends coming over and my siblings and are having a potluck style lunch.  We are fortunate that our closest friends and sibling were able to rearrange plans to accommodate our lesbian shotgun wedding, as so many of you bloggers have dubbed it.  It’s gonna be awesome, and I’m excited, nervous, scared, and beyond happy to be marrying Callie, my best girl and the love of my life, on Saturday 11/1/14 (1+1+1+1+4=8 and if you flip that sideways, it’s the symbol for infinity which reassures me even MORE that this is what is meant to be and happening just as it should)  Still sad our parents won’t be able to be there.

So how’s about those 25 weeks, huh?!?  Our little buddies are developing their startle reflexes.  They can totally get scared now if something falls and makes a loud bang that they weren’t expecting.  I think this is funny! I wanna scare them, but Callie said it’s not nice and that I should think about that, considering what a fraidy cat I am.  No seriously!  To this day I have never seen a Chuckie, Freddy Kruger, Halloween, or Friday the 13th movie…ever! And I never will!!! I have no idea what ANYONE did last summer, and I don’t care to find out either!  At this point, the boys are continuing their growth spurt and causing Callie to be “1st trimester tired” all over again.  They are getting some fat on their bodies, but they started that already considering that they are 2 little chubbas!  They are also developing surfactant which is a lipoprotein which will help the boys lungs breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide without their lungs collapsing.  If you ask me, I would say that’s pretty important! Also, their testes will be or already have descended into the scrotum.  I think that’s pretty important too! When I sent my friends the weekly chalkboard update Marco commented “Oh thank God those testes have descended! I was starting to worry!” which I thought was hilarious.  You know what else is hilarious!?!  Balls! LOL! Ok, get it together Sammie! These boys should be measuring in at about a pound and a half and about 13 inches long.  No wonder we really can feel those kicks ridiculously strong now.  Most people will catch a glimpse of them moving around under Callie’s shirt and can see them kicking and punching to get out.  Not yet little guys! Not yet! We still have a few more weeks.

COULDN'T CHOOSE SO I USED BOTH!

COULDN’T CHOOSE SO I USED BOTH!

25w2

We had a perinatologist appointment last Thursday and Callie’s cervix is doing worse than it was before.  It went from 1.97 to 1.94. It’s a really small change but if it continues to get shorter, it could potentially be a big problem.  The doctor made it very clear that she is to stay off of her feet until 34 weeks! He is concerned that the babies want to come and that Callie does too much.He was very specific.Our OB told us that she should be on bed rest and take it easy but this doctor was very specific.  If you tell a runner who runs 8 miles a day to take it easy, they may run about 6 instead.  He is saying “Run no miles lady!”…at all if you want to stay pregnant because at this rate, who knows how much longer they will stay in.  Good news is, she isn’t dilating or cramping and the contractions have slowed down a bit, although they are stronger than they were before.  I’m making sure that she isn’t doing anything at home with the exception of bathroom trips and switching from the bed to the couch.  When I’m not home? Well, that’s another story!   I just want my buddies to stay in there as long as they can, preferably 38 weeks.  Oh, and they love it when Mamá reads to them.  They wiggle, and roll, and move all over the place. I think they can recognize my voice now.  Callie says that they move a lot when I come home and start chatting and they haven’t heard my voice in a few hours.  I like to believe that!  So upcoming wedding, and completion of nursery this week and next.  No idea when the baby shower is but I’m almost certain that it’s coming in the next 2-3 weeks! Can’t wait!

MAMÁ READS TO CHUBBA AND BUDDY

MAMÁ READS TO CHUBBA AND BUDDY

You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do…

With the impending birth of our twins, Callie and I decided that it was our number one priority (this week) to get married.  Everything that has been going on with her cervix and contractions and the bleeding last week, we’re getting a little paranoid and a little nervous that these boys will be here sooner than we think and that I won’t legally be their mama.  I know that I probably still have to legally adopt my boys (although I don’t plan on going to Mississippi any time soon, I am hoping to take my kids to Disney in Florida at some point, and God forbid something happened down there, I wouldn’t be their parents.) but I also know that marriage equality and reform has at ton of momentum right now and it’s all inevitably going to change.  FINALLY!   With all of that said, this >>>>>>

MARRIAGE LICENSE

MARRIAGE LICENSE

happened yesterday afternoon.  We got out Marriage License, and we are getting a few things together for our friends to come here on Saturday 11/1/2014 and have a little shindig at the waterfront park across the street from out apartment complex.  We’ll probably just go out to dinner and not really do anything major (since our plans are to have a bigger wedding when the boys are here) except maybe game night and beer/wine at our apartment.  I’m a little sad that my parents won’t be back from their 39 day excursion in Europe (they are seriously partying it up in super gay Mykonos, Greece which they are LOVING! “O my gah! All deh peoples is so nice ovah he-yah eng ebrybah-dee es un GAY! PARRTYYY!”), but you gotta do what you gotta do…

In 2 weeks time, I will be legally married to the woman of my dreams, the mother of my children, my best friend, and the love of my life…