The 30 Day Challenge Completed!

Day 30-A picture

It’s taken me a few days to finish up this 30 day challenge (more like 40 day challenge, but whatever!), but here we are at Day 30 (give or take a few days) and I’m sorta sad that it’s over.  I was really enjoying sharing my life with you all in some type of systematic way.  Now, I’ll just have to randomly insert stories into my post by *sidebar* or *parenthesis* as I usually do!  Anyways, without further ado, Day #30…

IN 24 DAYS, 15 HOURS, AND 47 MINUTES, I WILL BE 32...AND THIS WILL BE MY BIRTHDAY PLANS AS IT HAS BEEN FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS...BESTIES, BOAT, BEER!

IN 24 DAYS, 15 HOURS, AND 47 MINUTES, I WILL BE 32…AND THIS WILL BE MY BIRTHDAY PLAN AS IT HAS BEEN FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS…MY BRIDE, BABIES, BESTIES, BOAT, & BEER! LOTS AND LOTS OF BEER!


This past weekend was a great weekend for our little family.  On Friday, after work, I went home, changed my clothes, piled the 3 kids and the wife into the car, and headed to our little local amusement park.  When I was younger, our parents would take us once a year, and every time, it was the awesomest thing ever!!  Being so young, I didn’t realize that my parents probably blew about 3 days salary to take the 5 of us, and sometimes a cousin or two.  Back then, you could only buy tickets, not the super great “unlimited rides” bracelet that they sell now for one pretty fair price.  Rye Playland ,the amusement park in “Big” staring Tom Hanks, is the equivalent of a County Fair that is set up indefinitely.  It’s been there for decades.  The Dragon Coaster (featured in Mariah Carey’s Fantasy video) has been there since the 1920’s!  You can’t go there without riding it. I invited my sister and my two nieces, and we hung out from 6-11pm when the park was closing.  It was really great to be able to share such a huge part of our childhood with Mary and my niece.  It was even cooler watching them get their adrenaline on, and ride that Dragon Coaster by themselves.  That’s pretty brave for 7 year olds!  Went home and got ready for the next day!

Saturday, thanks to all the junk and cotton candy that Mary ate, she was pretty much out of commission all day!  She was vomiting from the second she opened her eyes at 6:30am, until she went to bed at 7:30pm.  It was pretty horrible!  I feel like such a bad mom when she’s throwing up, because just the sound of her retching is enough to keep me on the opposite side of the apartment.  “You okay honey?!  Do you need some water, or a paper towel, or a cold cloth for your forehead?!?!”, I shout down the hallway.  When she was finished, I would escort her back to bed, tuck her in, set up the iPad with the Netflix on, glass of water on the window sill, and check on her pretty often.  Most of the day she slept, the poor thing, so most of the day, we slept, babies on our chests, TV blaring, bodies sweating (we have corduroy couches – I KNOW!), and phones on silent.  It was actually not a bad day.  Sometimes, you just need a day to veg out.

Sunday, my sister Raquel had an impromptu BBQ at her place.  Her fiance, my soon to be super amazing brother-in-love on 8/1/15, was killing it on the grill!  The kids had a blast playing on the swing get, eating ice cream, kicking around a soccer ball, and enjoying the beautiful weather.  I talked to my mom about the boys baptism and in true mom fashion, she insisted that we needed more things than we had originally bought for the BBQ after the service, and made plans with Callie to go on Tuesday (yesterday) to pick up some more stuff (They picked up a TON more stuff thanks to my moms Visa card because we totally cannot afford any more frivolous purchases, and spending $50+ for “extra paper goods just in case” is just so dumb to me).  We played dominoes for a little while, and then head home, but not before getting this picture of the boys and their favorite cousin Jezenia…

LOOK AT THOSE FACES!

LOOK AT THOSE FACES!

Monday, good Ole Memorial Day, was wonderful.  First, let me say, although we haven’t been impacted by the loss of someone in our family or any of our friends, we do have a lot of family and friends who are service members in The US Navy, Marines, Air Force and Army.  4 of my first cousins have served on the front line in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar, and all over the Middle East.  They have lost many of their friends and comrades, and the day for them takes on a completely different meaning.  Our hearts were with all of them as they felt the weight and the burden of having survived while their Brothers were casualties of war.  I won’t let the politics of it all taint my vision or stop me from sharing in the fact that we are very fortunate to have these service men and women put their lives on the line for us daily.  All the time I pray that Memorial Day won’t take on a different meaning for us and our families one day.  So before we started our day, got our swimsuits on, and headed out to a cookout, we talked a little bit about why we have a “home day” and why we honor the courageous men and women who defend this country and our freedom.  I think Mary got it.  Like, really got it.

By 11am, everyone was dressed, packed, and ready to spend the day with Grandma and Pop on the boat.  We had bought the kids a small little pool to place on the back deck, and it was a hit with ALL the kids at the marina.  All 3 of our kids had a great day enjoying treats, lots of hugs and affection and attention, and splashing!  Lots and lots of splashing!  The boys only took 1 nap and weren’t even cranky all day!  We watched the military planes fly over head (there was a huge parade and military plane show at a park a few blocks over), fed baby swans, and Callie and I got to hand the boys off, have a beer, and play a game of spades just like the “Good Old days”.  Well, the days pre the new “Great Old days”!  It never ceases to amaze me how huge our village is.  It’s always so great and comforting to see how much love our little family gets.  You never really get used to it. After a long day in the sun (no sunburn, woo hoo!), we had all of the kids fed, bathed, and sleeping (completely knocked out for the count!) by 7:30pm, giving me and Callie the opportunity to “watch some tv” in bed without interruption.  Great show!!  Realllllllllyyyyyy great show! I’d have to say, all in all, the weekend was pretty successful, and with a short week at work, a meeting with our Pastor at our place tonight, an RE appointment yesterday morning (PW protected post to follow), and some last minute stuff for the baptism in 2 weeks, this coming weekend is upon us with more plans for great times with my kick-ass little family…

HOW CUTE, RIGHT!?

HOW CUTE, RIGHT!? (LEVI [L] NOAH [R])

MIRA MAMA! LOOK MAMA!

MIRA MAMA! LOOK MAMA! I’M SPLASHING!

ME AND BY KIDS...HAD TO FIT IN THERE SOMEHOW!

ME AND MY KIDS…HAD TO FIT IN THERE SOMEHOW!

My Little 4 Month Olds

4months4 Months old!  Holy Crap! I expected a lot of stuff when my children came into the world, but I didn’t expect for them to grow so quickly!  I can’t believe it!  I wish they would take their time and stop growing, at least for a little while.  But alas, children grow!

NOAH OSCAR

Noah is my main man!  As a mother, I don’t have a favorite, I just love each one differently, and Noah, he’s my sidekick.  My mini-me for sure!  He is my active baby, spending 15-20 minutes on the floor on his tummy, looking at himself in the mirror, reaching for pretty much anything he can get his hands on, and being the easier (and less needy) of our twins.  He is super alert, getting up at around 6:30-7am (giving me just enough time to cuddle with him and give him tons of kisses before I head out to work for the day).  He loves singing really loudly, and cooing to himself, or to his sister, or to the cat, or really to just about anyone who will listen.  He is all smiles most of the day, and hardly ever cries.  He’s a grunter, and slowly, we have figured out what his little grunts mean.  This kid is a laugher too.  The squeals he produces when he thinks something is hysterical are just so great.  Can totally brighten up even the gloomiest days.  He loves playing in his exersaucer, and looking at the bright flashing lights and pressing anything that will result in music or noise.  And the thumb sucking…so bad, but oh so freaking cute!

At his 4 month check up, he was weighing in at 13.47 pounds and measuring 25inches long.  The Dr. said that his Torticolis isn’t anything to be concerned about since we have been working with him diligently since his 1 month check-up, and now that he is spending more time on his belly and stretching and working his neck muscles, it should all sort itself out.  She also said that he doesn’t need a helmet/orthotic band either, at least not yet, and that the shape of his head has improved lots since the last visit at their 2 month check-up.  But really, the best thing about this little guy are those cheeks!  Oh, those cheeks!  Nene1 Nene noahLEVI JAMES

Levi is our squishy boy.  His favorite place to be is his belly on my chest, with his cheek pressed to my nose or lips.  He absolutely HATES tummy time and will barely do 5 minutes without having a complete red faced melt down.  Either way, we let him cry it out for a few minutes (as long as he is fed and dry), because even a little flailing is helping his muscles get a little stronger.  He is our silent observer.  He looks at everything around him with a very watchful and curious eye.  He is hardly ever seen without his Mico (little monkey Wubbanub) and his Owl Wubbie (also sporting a Soothies paci), and will promptly have a meltdown if he realizes that it isn’t within arms reach.  He is holding up his head pretty well and prefers to be sitting in his Bumbo than being on his tummy. He’s not as vocal as his brother, but he makes up for it with how great he is with holding onto things and reaching and playing with all of the toys hanging from his play mat.  He is such a smiley boy, and is rarely in a bad mood.  And all the chins he makes when he smiles (which is pretty often) are totally the best!

At his 4 month check up, he was weighing in at 13.29lbs, and also 25 inches long and really closing in on his brother.  They have always been about 6oz. apart, but little Macho is catching up!  We were concerned that his little (I say TINY but Callie gets super mad at me, because I’m “gonna give him a complex”) penis went inverted all the time (he was circumcised and we were concerned something was wrong) but according to our doctor, he has a really “fluffy” piece on his lower abdomen that is making his penis look smaller then it really is.  She manipulated the “fluff” a little, and voila!  I wasn’t expecting that!  So really, I have two little guys that are well endowed! I was totally concerned!  We also expressed our concern about his hate of tummy time, but she said he was doing just fine and nothing to be worried about.  Our little Macho Man is living up to his name, strong and tough (and apparently packin!)<—-also, not sure what i pressed to make this bold, but ummm, yeah…

LJSummer LJ

machomanThe Boys

They are finally, for the first time, starting to notice each other.  Levi rarely notices Noah, but Noah is all about trying to get his brothers attention.  He laughs at him, bangs in his general directions, yells at him and coos at him, but half the time Macho doesn’t even notice.  It wasn’t until Levi had no more food in his bowl, and Nene had food left in his that he wasn’t eating, that Levi looked over at him, grunted, and then smiled.  I think that was my cue to give him the rest of his brothers food.  twinsAnd since we are on the topic, REAL FOOD! This is one of my favorite things in the world.  Seeing a baby with food all over their face and really enjoying it makes me so incredibly happy.  That is the case for Levi.  He LOVES eating cereal.  When we sit them in their new high chairs (which have also become their favorite places to be this past week- even rocking them forever can’t put them to sleep like these high chairs do, it’s so weird!), he starts kicking his legs and cooing and yelling so loudly waiting for his food.  We introduced peas for the first time at last nights dinner, and Noah wasn’t having any of that either!  He does not like real food AT ALL.  We have to trick him by giving him a few sips of his bottle first and sneaking in a spoonful here and there.  I can’t wait till they start trying a ton of other stuff.  So far they eat and like (at least Levi does) Oatmeal cereal, bananas and now peas.  noah higchair

THEY LOVE THEIR HIGH CHAIRS!

THEY LOVE THEIR HIGH CHAIRS!


BUT THE FOOD, BOT SO MUCH!

BUT THE FOOD, NOT SO MUCH!


SMILING THROUGH HIS FEEDING

SMILING THROUGH HIS FEEDING

boysAll in all, these handsome little guys are healthy, growing stronger and smarter by the minute, and really giving us a hard time with this 4 month sleep regression thing.  Noah is still sleeping through the night (7:30pm-5am) but Levi has taken to staying awake, grunting and cooing in the pack and play from 12-2am for the past week, sleeping on and off for 3 hours,and then is officially away for the day at around 5 am.  You can only imagine the joy that Callie and I are experiencing!  But even the regression in sleep is showing that they are right on target and where they should be.  And even at 2am, when they are screaming loudly and scaring the crap out of us, leaning over into the crib and seeing them all smiles when they see us, makes it all ok….

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!

“Later, Laney” and 24 Weeks

Thursday afternoon, my phone is blowing up. I recognize the number as one I’ve seen a few times before but I don’t remember who it belongs to. First 2 times there is no voicemail. Third time they leave a message. It’s Laney’s case worker and we knew this call, this day, was coming. We were to drop Laney off at her usual visit with mom on Friday and then they would be picking her up and taking her to her paternal aunt after the visit. Callie was devastated. I was upset but understood from the moment that they dropped her off, that this arrangement was temporary. Callie on the other hand spent almost 24 hours a day with Laney and was definitely feeling it. Thursday night I went to work for my overnight shift and when I got home at 5:15am, I pulled Laney out of her crib and laid her in bed with Callie and myself and snuggled and cuddled her so she could feel how much we loved her. Friday morning, I got her dressed, brushed her hair, put her “smell good” on, and dropped her at her visit. Callie cried all the way to our OB appointment. I don’t think that tiny human will ever understand what she has given us in the past month and a half. She showed us that we can do this “parenting of an infant” thing even while completely sleep deprived. She showed us that cuddles are the best thing ever! That we swore up and down we wouldn’t do co-sleeping, walkers, propping bottles, playing in the crib with toys, baby Bjorn’s, but we lied…about all of it! She gave us more than we gave her and we are grateful that she was in our lives. So little time with us but such a huge chunk of our hearts were taken with her when she left. On a positive note, the caseworker gave the aunt our phone number (she asked first and we said whatever they needed we are available) and she invited us to her 1st birthday party in a few weeks, and called us family because it was obvious that her niece was well taken care of. Callie spoke with her on the phone for 30 minutes about feeding, sleep, and play schedules, thumb sucking and blankies and exchanged email addresses for swapping photos. All in all, we feel confident that we’ll stay pretty well connected to this little person we love so much! It’s not “good-bye” but more like, “Later, Laney”.

24 weeks! Can you believe it?!?! One weeks shy of our third trimester and these babies are a week sooner to coming home with us.

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Fetal movement has been CRAZY! Their kicks are stronger, sometimes even shifting Callie’s clothes! The past week, they have really been loving their sweets. Callie’s been having Skittles, ice cream, milky ways, Reece’s Pieces, homemade cinnamon toast, and pretty much anything sweet she can get her hands on. Not that I thought it was a very good idea to indulge so much with her glucose test this past Thursday quickly approaching, but how can I deny 3 PEOPLE all that sweet and chocolatey goodness!?!?! I’d be a bad Mamá! So I admit, I bought her a cheesecake from Juniors at Grand Central on my way home last Sunday from work and chocolate chip cookies and a pumpkin spice latte from DD’s yesterday! We had a Dr’s appointment Thursday, where they did a scan to see what was going on. Looks like everything is still good and it seems that the bed rest has been working. Callie’s cervix went from 1.97 to 2.2 which is great! She is still on bed rest (which she is simultaneously loving ::no work:: and hating ::can’t do shit::) and spending most her days in bed with her Snoogle or on the couch with the kitty who hasn’t really left her side since the day she stared bleeding. The ultrasound showed 2 very healthy boys (2 fat chubba’s!) who are still measuring bigger than they should. No wonder mommy’s cervix is struggling! The nurse did our 1st 3D Ultrasound and I was in awe! I couldn’t believe how clear they were! I could see my boys! Like really see them and not have to imagine what they look like anymore. They look like real humans! It was incredible. I held it together pretty well though, right after I jumped out of my chair and stood up close and in front of the TV monitor. It was surprising to see our donors nose on one baby and lips on the other. Callie says you can’t really see that yet, but I can see it! And I’m excited about it! Callie has gained 4 pound from her pre-pregnancy weight and her bump is measuring in at a whopping 28 inches!! Aside from that, we are just waiting on the results of the glucose test and are scheduled to check in again in 2 weeks. Everyone, say hello to our handsome boys!

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Here are 2 pictures of our donor…am I bugging about the looks?!

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Back to Life, Back to Reality…

Now that our Babymoon is officially over, things are back to normal.  Things have been pretty hectic in our lives this past month or so.  We barely even had time to talk (most of our conversations being through text) before our Babymoon last week (thank the heavens!), and now we are back to that crazy, busy schedule.  I FINALLY got the house in order, clean and totally spotless! Our floors are officially the shiniest, cleanest floors I have ever seen (my cat sliding across the whole 25×12 living room floor proves it!).  This excites me for the following reasons:
1) My OCD was going freaking nuts in a house where I couldn’t find anything and had no idea where to put the things I COULD find so that they wouldn’t get lost again.
2) I can wear my socks in the house (seeing me barefoot is the equivalent of having seen Bigfoot or the Nessie-lots of years playing soccer so it’s not cute at all) without having to throw them out from the filth that has accumulated on them by the end of the day
3) I can access my underwear without having to climb over mountains of junk
4) I can spend time with Callie and the kids because I’m not rushing home to get things done
5) I CAN OFFICIALLY START THE NURSERY!! ( This is the most exciting part, can you tell?!?!)

The second that we got back from our trip, we were again swamped with tons of stuff to do.  We got home at about 5pm on Wednesday, had to pick up the girls, get them fed and bathed, and then I went to work from 9pm-5am! Lets not forget the fact that now, I have to go around with my breast pump too! Good thing I was well rested to start up the craziness again. Thursday involved lots of cleaning, organizing, getting rid of stuff and tending to children (which were both home with us ALL DAY because of Rosh Hashanah).  There was lots of Nick & Disney Jr. (SUE ME!) so that we could get some stuff done. Friday, we got to go to the pediatrician to pick up all of Laney’s legal documents and updated immunization records for us to get her signed up for the WIC program.  Ladies and Gentlemen, this. Is. A. Lifesaver! We get close to $200 a month for her formula, cereal, and baby food! It’s awesome! We didn’t know that we were entitled to this as foster parents, but apparently (and luckily) we are.  It helps to alleviate the $60 a week we were spending on formula and baby food. ***(What you are about to read is a statement reserved SOLELY for this situation) Good thing Callie’s random keeps worked out, because she hung on to all of those receipts and now we get reimbursed for the food we already bought for her in the past month! That’s pretty sweet!

Saturday we attended the wedding of our 2 dear friends Lesley and Magdalena.  To say that it was probably the most beautiful wedding I have been to would be an understatement.  They had a small, very intimate ceremony with their closest family and friends.  I would say about 40 people in Lesley’s sisters backyard.  It was such a beautiful day.  It was 83 degrees in New Jersey, and I kid you not, not a cloud could be seen in the sky.  They exchanged vows (which were hilarious and heartfelt and showed how in sync they are as a couple: they wrote them separately but said almost the same thing!), had their favorite acoustic musicians play short set, and had beautiful sunflowers everywhere, and most importantly, you could feel every ounce of love, admiration, appreciation, and support for the couple.  I can’t help but feel like I was really sensitive to all of the positive emotions and love in the room, because the whole day I felt this huge surge of emotions that left me crying for most of the day (trust me, I was a blubbering mess through the ceremony and I hardly EVER cry in front of people!) .  I can go on and on about how wonderful Saturday was. We met this other lesbian couple who is 3 months pregnant with their first child.  Lesley barely let us get in the door before introducing us! Needless to say, we spent the rest of the day together and have plans to hang out for game night the last Friday of October.  It’s nice to have another expecting lesbian couple near by, and I’m pretty sure we’ll be friends with those 2 ladies for a while.  They are totally our kind of cool.

ME AND MY BEST GIRL

ME AND MY BEST GIRL

CALLIE AND I AND HER BEST FRIEND JAZ

CALLIE AND I AND HER BEST FRIEND JAZ

Sunday was my little sister Natasha’s Baby Shower.  It turned out incredible!  Most of our family was there, and I got to see some of my cousins that I haven’t seen in a while.  When we were younger, even all the way up through high school, we were all very close.  As we got older and obligations pulled us in tons of different directions, we drifted apart, so on the few rare occasions that we all get together, it’s usually a tragic hot mess! How many times have you seen late 20 to 30 year old’s playing Musical Chairs?! Trust me, it’s hilarious! My mom, my aunt, and my sisters boyfriend did a beautiful job of putting the whole thing together.  There was tons of food, a DJ, brownie pops, cupcake tower, and lots of gifts.  She was totally surprised.  They had gotten her there by telling her that there was an Armoire that her boyfriends sister thought was perfect for the nursery.  She walked in and right away started crying! It was GREAT! I’m glad she enjoyed herself, got to dance, and share such a special moment with the people that she loves and that love her right back! I can’t WAIT for my niece to get here!

MY GORGEOUS LITTLE SISTER NATASHA AND OUR FUTURE NIECE

MY GORGEOUS LITTLE SISTER NATASHA AND OUR FUTURE NIECE

And lastly, tomorrow is our 20 week scan (technically 22 weeks, but who’s counting!?!).  I feel like it’s been forever since we’ve seen our babies, and I really can’t wait! Hopefully, we’ll get a ton of pictures to walk away with.  I’m glad that this scan takes a while, and we really get to have a look at the babies and their development.  Hopefully nothing will show up questionable, and our little Sweet Pea and Pumpkin will be safe and sound, and happy!  I can’t wait to see their little faces.  And hands.  And feet.  And ears. And hearts! I’m one excited mama! Callie is a little concerned that she may have to go on bedrest.  She’s been having tons of what we just found out from my sister are possible Braxton Hicks contractions.  She doesn’t want to take leave to early, because she’s concerned that she won’t get much time with the boys once they are home.  I insist that we cross that bridge if and when we get there, but she’s preparing for hearing that she’ll end up home on bedrest soon.  So tomorrow makes 22 weeks and hopefully a beautiful scan of our LJ and Noah.

BANANAS - HA!

BANANAS – HA!

21 WEEKS AND THE LENGTH OF CARROTS!

21 WEEKS AND THE LENGTH OF CARROTS!

Babymoon

Provincetown at the tip of “The Cape” in Massachusetts is one of our favorite places in the world.  We love that quaint little seaside town feel.  The smell of the salty air, the beautiful sunsets, the shell and sand alleyways.  It’s all so intoxicating.  We decided that celebrating our 4 year anniversary and a well deserved Babymoon there, would be perfect!  We packed up our things, Mary’s things, and Laney’s things early Saturday morning, left our half unpacked apartment just as it was, and dropped the ladies off at their respective babysitters (other foster parents we know) for the week.  We hit the road at about 1pm and got ourselves ready for a 5+ hour drive with a ton of snacks for Callie, plenty of water, and of course, our usual road trip soundtrack, “Jagged Little Pill”.  We know every word to every song, and crack each other up with our best impressions of Alanis Morissette’s little screechy yodel.

We got there around 6:30pm, dropped our bags off at our cottage so we could change our clothes (it was chillier than we thought it would be), and went out to grab a quick bite to eat.  We made it an early night so we could go back and “sleep”.  We really needed to “sleep”.

OUR HUMBLE ABODE FOR THE WEEK

OUR HUMBLE ABODE FOR THE WEEK

Day 2 consisted of a pretty late start.  We hardly ever get to sleep in anymore (8 am is a sleep-in for us) so at 11:30am, we woke, got ready, and head out for a nice walk through the town.  We had breakfast at our favorites breakfast spot, visited loads of shops, grabbed a cool shark tooth mood necklace for Mary which we knew she would love (and she did! She won’t even take it off to shower so that she “doesn’t lose it”), had delicious homemade sherbert, and enjoyed each others company electronic free.  It was nice to have conversations about random things with Callie again.  Parenthood leads to lots of conversation about the kids, their development, what they did that day, what made you crazy, and what made you smile.  We hardly talk about adult things anymore, so I really treasured the hours worth of conversations that we had about all types of different, random things. Our second day ended with a steak dinners and a bottle of O’douls. towerDay 3 was a great day! We woke up really late (almost at 12pm) got ready and made our way into town.  Our 4 year anniversary.  It was a day to reflect on our love, on who we are as individuals, and on who we have grown into as a couple.  Every time I looked at her, I was overpowered with so many emotions.  I held her hand tighter that day, kissed her a little harder.  Images flashed in my head of the first time we held hands, kissed, made love, talked about marriage and starting a family.  Nothing in my life has ever felt as right as being next to Callie, and now our love has risen to the next level where we get to share it with our beautiful boys.  To celebrate, that day we decided to do a tour of the Pirate Museum.  It was actually pretty cool! That’s one of the things I love most about Callie.  She’s an undercover nerd like I am, and loves learning weird, random and totally useless facts about pretty much anything.  In this case, it was about the pirate ship “Whydah“.  It. Was. So. Freaking. Cool!  It’s the only real live pirate treasure ever found! We got to touch real “pieces of eight” (silver coins) that date back almost 300 years! We could have touched coins that were handled by Captain Sam Bellamy himself.  It was pretty awesome! All of the artifacts were found on the ocean floor, after searching for over 5 years for the fabled ship, all under almost 15 feet of sand.  It was all pretty neat!

Afterwards, we decided to take a walk on the beach.  It was a beautiful evening, with a slight chill in the air that was perfect for holding hands and walking pressed next to each other.  We laughed, drew in the sand, took some fantastic pictures, watched a seal show up and disappear, and placed our hands on Callie’s belly as the boys squired and wiggled and enjoyed the beach and fresh air right along with us. shadows sunset two sueybeach sil ptown coupleonsand chriscloseup That night we went out for delicious lobster and some karaoke, where I gave a shout out to my lovely lady and my boys and sang, “Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars that left most of the people in their seats all misty eyed, including my Callie. My boys were apparently moving around all over the place when they heard their Mama sing!

YUM!!!

YUM!!!

Day 4 started later than any other day on the trip.  We didn’t even get out of our rental until 1pm, which made it increasingly hard to find a spot for breakfast.  We did find one ( but they only served the very specific menu items with no substitutions), and while we ate, we say this guy…windowdogwhich was pretty funny! He was watching all of the people walk up and down the street and looked like a human if you watched him long enough.  That day, we took a trolley tour around the town from the restaurant laden West End and back around to the Art District on the East End.  We learned some cool things, like each house (if built before the 1900’s) has a little blue plaque in the corner that tells what year it was made in and who owned it.  We also learned that cranberries were indigenous to that area. They used to be called “Crane Berries” because the leaves looked like cranes! I KNOW RIGHT!?!?! Also learned that the Pilgrims settled in Provincetown first, but after about 2 months, and land that was un-tillable and no fresh water, they shot straight over to Plymouth.  Lots of cool stuff! We had some more lobster for dinner (You can’t beat a 1 1/2lb lobster for $15!), ended the night with some more (drag queen) karaoke which was pretty hilarious, and then went back to our cottage.  Before we went inside, we noticed that the sky was so clear that you could see what seemed like every star in our galaxy.  We stood there staring at the sky and said, “If everything is gonna be okay with the boys, you’ll let us see a shooting star.” Wouldn’t ya know, that right as I finished the sentence, a star streaked, big and bright, right across the sky! Callie and I both gasped and laughed. The universe has had so many ways of letting us know that the boys, our girls, and that we, as a family, are going to be okay.

Our Babymoon ended Wednesday morning, and it was awfully sad.  We weren’t ready to head back to our real lives.  We wish we could have just stayed out on the Cape, just the two of us, for at least a couple more days.  On the drive back, we held hands the whole way, asked each other what the 3 best things about the trip were, and looked forward to seeing our little ladies.  We promised to always make one on one time for each other, and that no matter how crazy and busy our lives get, we will always communicate what we need and do our best to give the other what they ask for.  I’m lucky to have a woman like Callie and I promised to never forget that. I don’t think I ever could, even if I tried…

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Buried Alive…Sorta…

Disclaimer: This is totally a rant! Bear with me…

I have never been the type of person to hold on to things.  In fact, I have always been the complete opposite.  If I haven’t used something in a few months, it more often than not has made it’s way to some landfill out in Staten Island or Brooklyn or into someone’s home via one of those donation boxes at our local gas station.  I will admit to keeping 4 separate shoe boxes full of things from the 4 significant relationships that I have been in, and 1 other shoebox that has some of the first pictures I took, letters from friends in high school (you know, original text messages that you passed or threw across the classroom as the teacher wrote something on the chalkboard), and programs from graduations and school musicals I’ve been in.  I can’t let go of these boxes (even though I know I probably should) for reasons that I can’t understand, but that’s besides the point.

I grew up in a house where my mother had very obvious, and very intense undiagnosed OCD.  It’s possible that my OCD is a learned behavior. I can acknowledge that.  Our house was so clean and organized that you would never think that 5 kids and 2 adults lived there.  We had glass tables (never a fingerprint), white walls (not a scuff mark was ever to be seen) and light gray couches (they were and STILL are immaculate even after a grandchild too).  There were never dishes in the sink, never a hair on our bathroom floor, and everyone did their share.  If something was out, that meant someone was using it, otherwise, it also made its way to said landfill.  My mother did NOT play that!  I like things organized and in their place.  I don’t see the need to have a ton of unnecessary things to clutter my space.

Living with someone that has the COMPLETE opposite idea of this is very difficult, but it’s even more trying when one is moving.  Callie is what I often call a Baby Hoarder.  She has the potential to fill a home to the brim with “garbage”.  A collector of things, a “One mans trash/another mans treasure” kinda person.  “We are gonna need this someday” kinda lady, and that makes me absolutely out of my mind!  This past week has been taxing both physically and emotionally for us.  With respite care for a friends 7 month old foster son, the Gender Reveal Party (haven’t forgotten to post about that, just haven’t gotten my computer set up yet), planning/packing for our Anniversary/Babymoon vacation this coming Saturday, a 9 month old with a stomach bug throwing up all over the place, a 6 year old with a buttload of homework, and no time or ability to just sit and relax and have an un-rushed kiss, this move has not been easy.  It took us a total of 5 days to move out of the old apartment.  We are completely and finally out after 5 long, drawn out, exhausting days. The lack of sleep, love, food and belly rubs for my twins (several times I even FORGOT that she was pregnant-seriously!) has made me less tolerant of Callie’s “collecting“.

I did the unthinkable (in her eyes, not mine)!  As I was organizing and putting things away, I threw out a ton of stuff.  Most of it was hers, like the 29 lotions that she’s had since before we were even together (the same lotions have traveled to 3 different apartments in 4 years and have never been used…ever! I mean, who in the hell has Celine Dion lotion anyways? I’m not even gonna wait for an answer to that one), the 7 curling irons, the dozens and dozens of freebies from hotels/motels that she has traveled to, the 14 containers of floss, and that’s just a quarter of the stuff that was in our 2x2x2ish bathroom cabinet!  I don’t even want to get into the medicine cabinet, which my best friend Nikki had dubbed “The Booby Trap” because there is so much stuff in there that you can’t open it without a minimum of 10 things falling out.  In our old apartment, there was stuff in every corner in one box or another. I mean, it was organized but it was starting to become to much. So I have been patient, kind, and gentle in my approach every year for the past 4 years.  I have asked nicely and I have done my best to be compassionate and considerate, but I’ve had it! We have 2 kids at home and 2 on the way.  We have enough shit for 20 people to last 20 years, and I don’t know how else to emphasize the importance and the need for space.  So I took it upon myself to start to “make room”.  Call it Non-Belly Mama Nesting or whatever! Believe me when I tell you, it was not received well.  I get it! I was an asshole and inconsiderate, and violated trust because “it wasn’t my stuff to get rid of” but it took me 4 YEARS to get there, and I’m over it!   Currently, she isn’t speaking to me.  I insist she’ll get over it, she reiterates that she will not. She can’t even name the things I threw out!  If someone had thrown out my things I would be able to name every item, where it came from , how long I’ve had it, how I acquired it, and a ton of other facts about it.  It’s a violation of trust (I suppose), but is my need to keep things organized and clutter free any less valid? Are we not in this together and supposed to come to some type of compromise?  I don’t have a problem keeping lotion, like 2 or 3 or 5, but not 29! This is going to be a crazy uphill battle of getting rid of things in an apartment that has 2 less closets (that were used for storage by the way, and that’s not even including the 6×10 storage unit that we ALREADY have [where I have 1 box and 2 camping bins and a tent]) and a nursery that needs to be started in a month and has boxes covering even the windows! I hope we can come to an agreement about getting rid of some things or I can foresee me sleeping on the couch for a couple of nights!

On a bright note, the following rooms are completely set up and clutter free:
-Both bathrooms
-The master bedroom
-Mary’s bedroom
-The Living Room
-The game closet

Still left to do:
-The Kitchen (sorting through 5 different plate/mug sets–who needs 17 plates for 3 people? Sheesh! OK, I’m doing it again!)
-The Nursery (and it’s millions and billions of boxes!)

This vacation is soooooo needed!

GUACABABIES!!!

Week 16- Our babies are the size of avocados! One of my friends dubbed them Guacababies, which we think is hilarious! They are doing everything they should be doing.  Their limbs are getting longer and more proportioned to the rest of their bodies.  Their little necks look a little more elongated.  Their little ears are right where they should be.  And they did super splits to show us all the goods! We officially know the gender of both of our babies, but we aren’t telling! Showing up at my parents house after our appointment yesterday was a little scary.  I could totally envision my dad shaking the hell out of me to spill the beans.  He used to do that to us when we were little.  My dad never hit us, (well, once when I was extra fresh but totally deserved it!) but he would grab us by our shirt collar and shake us around a bit!  When your 8, its super scary, but now that I’m older, it’s pretty damn funny!  He even offered to give Callie $20 to tell him! LAWD!!!! They swear they know what they are because of our facial expressions, but I can assure you that we did not let on.  Then my pregnant younger sister, Natasha, shows up and starts interrogating us as well and trying to get an inkling of what they are because she “can see it in our faces!”  I’m certain, we did not!

(I just realized that this post left out the second part! So annoying!)

Then I get a text message from my sister Raquel telling me that she knows what we’re having because, “Me and Sean (her fiancé) know everything!” Suuuuurrreee you’re right! But I entertained her suggestion and verified that she was still up for getting cake pops for the reveal. That’s a go! 60 cake pops thanks to Tia Raquel. Watching everyone get so worked up about this gender stuff is pretty funny. The death threats through text message though, not so much!

On Wednesday, the day before our 16 week appointment with our perinotologist, the nurse called Callie to give her the results for her blood work. She made it sound like something was wrong. Callie freaked, and kept trying to call back. After being on hold for forever, they told her that the doctors were gone for the day but they would make a note. I told Callie, “If it’s important, they’ll call back.” Wouldn’t you know, they DID call back, this time while Cal’s was in the shower! So we called back again, and “it’s after hours. We’ll leave a note.” Good thing we had our appointment the next day! Turns out that the protein levels on the AFP test were really high, BUT the phlebotomist forgot to tell the lab that it was twins! Tools!!! So proteins were high for singletons, but totally normal for twins. PHEW! Mama meltdown avoided!

With that said, every time I see my babies, I lose it! I get so excited! Their heartbeats are music to my ears. I record at least a minute from each session, even though we’re not supposed to. SUE ME! During our sonogram on Friday, we came to the realization that Baby A is actually Baby Acrobat! It was flipping upside down, around, and even decided to moon us at one point! Cutest culito I’ve ever seen! Our little Baby B is still his/her calm self, always stretched out and relaxed. It looks like its always trying to find its finger because again, he/she had the hands near the face being a little dramatic. AS USUAL! I love those babies! This amazing time is going so fast but so slow. I want to meet them so badly, but I love how gorgeous and happy Callie is during all of this. Week 16 is gonna be just as awesome…

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My gorgeous girl at 16 weeks

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My cutie little Baby Acrobat! Upside down! This one is gonna be a handful, but maybe I’ll overlook it because of that adorable little profile.

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Our Baby B. Mellow baby with a hand near his/her head all the time. And that little nose is to die for!

6 hours later….

For the past six hours, I have been diligently working on making the wearable decorations for our reveal party. It has been tedious, as I got stabbed by a fork several times while making miniature bows, burned my finger tips with the hot glue gun, got pink acrylic paint on one of favorite shirts, and had to explain to a 6 year old that the incessant questions are making me want to throw her off the boat! “I’M BUSY!!! JESUS!!!!!!!” But they came out FANTASTIC! I’m pretty impressed with myself. I’m not so bad at crafts after all.

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Oh yeah, and Callie’s Snoogle came in. I am no longer her favorite cuddle thing. I have been rejected!

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