Family update

Baby girls, Remington Jane and Rowan Adele:

We hit 33 weeks yesterday and are looking forward to hitting the HUGE milestone of 34 weeks.  This last week was probably the craziest in my pregnancy yet.  A week ago on Friday I went to my routine Spokane appointment and we discovered that baby B (Remi) is experiencing growth restriction.  At that point she was 3 lbs 6 oz and her sister, Rowan was weighing 4 lbs 1 oz.  That doesn’t sound like a big difference but it’s significant.  Remi’s umbilical cord doesn’t have a great connection to the Placenta so we always knew this could present an issue down the road.  The dr.  described her as currently on a diet.  she’s losing her rate of growth (she was in the 10th percentile and at this appointment dropped to the 3rd) but she’s not starving.

The plan of action for this scenario has been to monitor me twice a week with NST’s and get Doppler flow studies twice a week.  The Doppler flow measures the blood flow from the placenta to baby and the oxygen getting to the babies brain.  We’re keeping a close eye on her with monitoring as well as measuring fetal kick counts 3 times a day at home.  All of this will hopefully mean that we can catch things before they get too bad for her. :)

So at this appointment they gave me a shot of steroids in case her situation got dramatically worse and we had to deliver her and sister soon, the steroids would help speed up both girls lung development.  On Saturday I went to the local hospital to get another steroid shot.  Sunday morning I woke up with major cramping and after a little time deliberating Dane and I drove to the hospital, Mom stayed home with Isaac, and a friend took Boston to church.  At the hospital I started having consistant, very obvious contractions every few minutes.  They admitted me and told me I would be staying for at least 48 hours.  I was dilated to a 2 and 70% effaced.  They also told me they’d have to give me magnesium to stop labor.  I was freaked out and overwhelmed at the thought of magnesium, so they decided instead to give me a shot of Turbuteline.  It’s milder but it did the job.  We were able to stop labor and they pumped me full of fluids.  I stayed overnight and went home late Monday afternoon on strict bedrest.

On Tuesday I had an NST and dopplar flow.  Things looked fine but the apointment took over 3 hours.  Then on Thursday Dane drove me to the hospital because I wasn’t feeling the babies move very much.  It turned out they both had consistantly high heart rates (up to 200) and my Dr. said if they couldn’t get their heart rates down we’d be delivering that day.  They gave me fluid again and were able to get the heart rates down so I was able to go home.

We just got back yesterday from a Spokane appointment and both girls look great.  This was the first easy normal appointment we’ve had in a while.  My next appointment will be a dopplar flow and NST at the hospital on Tuesday and next Friday I head to Spokane again to check on babies.  We’re hoping for now to make it to 34 weeks!  Just 6 more days!

We’ve also discovered in our ultrasounds that the girls both have a ton of hair.  :)  So fun.

Me:

I’m doing fine.  This last week has done me in a little with all the stress.  Most the pregnancy I’ve been able to take in stride and even really enjoy, but the worry and stress this last week had me crying a few times (I HATE crying in front of Dr’s. )  Bed rest has been hard for me because I’m not someone that can naturally sit still for a long time.  It’s caused me a little anxiety and I had my first panic attack since I’ve been pregnant.  It was no fun to be reminded of what that feels like.  It was fine though.  I freaked out and cried for about 15 minutes and then it was over and i felt back to normal.  I did decide though that I HAD to get out for my own sanity.  So Boston and I spent an afternoon at a friends house, where he played with his buddies and I just laid on her couch all afternoon.  It was a nice change of pace.  I spent some of today laying outside in the grass and sunshine and that was nice too.  As usual my friends and family have been such a huge support.  My Mom has taken over the “Mom”  and “nurse” role up until Dane gets home at night where he takes over being Mom and Dad. All the while I just sit and watch everyone rush around me, doing my job.  It’s HARD not to feel guilty, but I also feel really grateful.  People have brought us dinners, let Boston come play at their house and Dane pulls up Boston’s desk to the couch every night so I can join them for dinner. :)

Dane:

He’s working his tail off, trying to balance work with random unexpected visits to the hospital.  His boss has been great though and gets on to Dane for working too much.  When Dane gets home from work he takes over at home and teams up with my Mom to clean the house, help with dinner, get boys ready for bed and puts them to bed by himself every night.  He’s been a huge help.  He’s nervous about twins, but getting really excited to meet his little daughters. :)

Boston:

Boss is my big boy and getting bigger every day.  I can tell my bed rest has taken a toll on him and he’s missing his old Mom.  I talked with him one day about  having these babies and then being able to run and excercise again and he got a huge smile, jumped up and gave me a huge hug.  He’s sensitive about me and how I’m doing and I know he just wants to have his old Mom that can run jump and play with him like normal, back again.  He’s been a trooper though and is a huge help around the house.  We try to get him out as much as possible because he is my social butterfly. I also try to do as much with my boys as I can while sitting (watching movies, playing games on my phone together, reading books, talking, or playing pretend.  When the boys visited me at the hospital Boston and I played Dr. and he got to move my bed up and down and take “care” of me.   My mom has helped me keep up with preschool which is the highlight of Boston’s weeks.  He LOVES preschool and feels like such a big boy on school days.  He’s learned a ton from preschool too.  He’s gotten great with his counting and numbers.  He can write and spell some things.  He can read almost any 3 to 4 letter word phonetically which is so cool to watch.  He started doing this at the beginning of the school year and has been continually excited about learning to read more.  Just yesterday Dane and Boss were out and they saw the word “Ice” on a sign and Boston sounded it out for a second then said that says “Ice, Dad”.  His first word to read phonetically was Mom back in September. :)

He just moved out of his toddler bed to a real twin bed.  Boston is so excited about his baby sisters and has claimed Rowan as “his” baby.  After one really hard day he said to me, “Mom I’m just having a hard time and I just want the babies to pop out of you!” He likes to feel the babies move and  he sings and talks to them.  Super sweet. :)

Isaac:

Isaac is the silliest 2 year old around.  He cracks us up every day with his bundle of silliness, intensity and energy.  He is our chatterbox and speaks in the funniest full sentances with no filler words.  Here’s an example of a Zekey sentance.

“Bosty.  Hurt.  Head. Me. Swing.  Momma” = “Bosty hurt my head on the swing, Momma”.  :)  Or he’ll use cute phrases like,

“What?  Momma?” or “Name?  Momma”  when he wants to know what something’s called. My favorite sentances are when he’s talking about something he loves.

“Me.  Love.  Loodles.  You?  Love?  Loodles?  Momma?” Loodles are noodles. :) He also will refer to himself as Zekeybooboo and I love it.   He talks really slow, seperating each word and he’s very precise.  It makes us laugh a ton.  He’s also learning a ton at preschool  He knows lots of his numbers and colors, artists and composers, and some of his articles of faith and pledge of allegiance.

He’s very into my belly and these babies.  He has to hug and kiss the babies (or as he often says, the bellies) every day, multiple times a day.    He gets really intense though and sometimes my belly takes a beating.  He just doesn’t know what to do with all that energy.  So I will be VERY watchful when he has actual access to the babies. :)

Isaac is still my love bug and has to kiss and stare at me lovingly multiple times a day.  He’ll stroke my face, make little love noises, brush my hair out of my eyes, give me kisses and then either do something that hurts (like pinch my cheeks) or run off playing.

I love this stage with him.  Even though he is destructo and is usually out looking for something to throw, rip or destroy.  :)  We love our Zekeyboo.

 

29 weeks with baby girls

In 3 days my girls and I will have hit 30 weeks.  It feels like such a huge milestone.  This pregnancy has just cruised along and I can’t believe that really anytime now I could get these babies in my arms…or maybe in a NICU incubator (lets hope not).

When this pregnancy started out my Dr. was planning on Fall babies and I was planning to move into the hospital at 26 weeks for constant monitoring.  There have been lots of scares with this pregnancy.  First thinking I was miscarrying, then thinking the babes were Mono mono, then thinking twin to twin transfusion was happening, but every single time we’ve had these scare, everything has turned out to be perfectly fine.  These babes have grown right along, just as they should, as healthy as can be.  I’m so so grateful for that.

About a week ago I had a routine drs appointment in Spokane and I brought a handful of friends with me so that they could shop while I saw my dr.  At that appointment the Dr. noticed my cervix had shortened from 3.8 cm to 2.5  This had him worried so he sent me over to labor and delivery.  My friends were sweet and helped me check in, then they drove home and my husband drove up.  We thought we’d be there over night, but no progress was made and I had minimal contractions so we were good to go home.  :)

Ever since that appointment I’ve been on modified bed rest until the 24th of November where we can see what things are looking like and what to do from there.  I’m hoping I don’t have to go on strict or hospital bed rest, but if so, I’m just so grateful we’ve made it this far.  I’ve been extremely lucky to not go through this alone.  I have the most supportive friends and family in the world and I just don’t think I could of gotten this far without them.

I had one really hard night while my husband was out of town and I was on bed rest.  I was cramping a lot and felt very worried.  My husband called my sister in law Bekie (with out my knowledge) and I asked a friend to bring my boys and I fast food.  Within 15 minutes a friend showed up to my house with cinnamon rolls, my other friend came with the requested fast food and Bekie showed up with pillow in hand saying, “I’m spending the night”.  I immediately started bawling and although I was embarrassed I was so grateful for the outpouring of love and help.  Kim did all my dishes, fed my children and cleaned my kitchen and swept.  Bekie cleaned all my bathrooms, helped get boys down, vacuumed my upstairs and we got some much needed catch up time chatting the night away.  The next day Bekie whisked my boys away along with every ounce of laundry in my house.  She spent the day doing ALL of my laundry while she cared for my boys.  She also made up a schedule and so many of my friends signed up right away to help us out.  I’ve had a friend come make me lunch and check in on my kitchen most days. A good friend has done my grocery shopping  and friends have brought us dinner every night and taken my boys for a few hours every day so I can keep my feet up.

My boys Nana and Papa took them on a special date that they couldn’t stop talking about.  I’ve felt so grateful and blessed for the immense support and love extended to me and my family and these growing babies.  It’s very humbling, but it has also made me anxious to be the one on the giving end again, because I know just how good it feels to be so so cared for.

My husband has also been a huge support every night when he gets home from work, taking over, cleaning up after dinner and doing most of the work in getting boys in bed. He still lets me rock them most nights though….that’s my favorite.

And in less than a week my Mom gets here and stays for months and months!  I can’t wait! My sisters and grandma are also coming to spend Thanksgiving with us and they’ll take over the meal planning!

Well I’ve gotta go because my friends are about to pick me up to wheel me around target so I can get a couple things I’ve been needing.   They’re all a little too excited about this outing (haha).  I can’t believe I’m actually gonna ride one of those things.  Ey yi yi.

Anyway my heart is completely full of gratitude, for all my children, my dear sweet husband, my family and my friends that are more like family.  :)

PS These girls are busy little things, kicking away all day long.  I honestly love it.  Nothing better. :)

 

Preschool day 18: Science day

June’s Mom Kirsten was so sweet to host our first “official” science day.  She planned a day full of magnet learning.  At the table she had a magnet hanging from the ceiling and the kids got to test all kinds of different items to see if they’re magnetic.  They had a little sheet to check yes or no.  The kids had so much fun with this they continued to collect items around the house to see if they were magnetic.  The kids took turns spelling their names on the fridge in magnets, built magnetic matchbox cars, played a magnetic fishing game, played with different kinds of magnets and got to eat snacks and watch some magic school bus.  :)

Kirsten did such a great job!  At the end of the day my son said, “We did a lot of fun.  And we did Science”.  :)    Thanks for hosting June!

18 boss mag

Boston playing with different magnets

18 Boss

Name spelling

18 Char

Charlie working on his name

18 hanging mags

Testing if the items are magnetic or not

18 June

June’s turn

18 magnets

Kirsten taught them a little magnet history and facts. :)

18 Kids

Preschool day 17: A little bit of everything

For preschool today we just focused on our basics.  We did our songs, prayer and charts and then each boy took a turn reciting one of the articles of faith.  Each boy has at least 1-3 memorized.

We spent some time working on writing and spelling our names by doing worksheets that required you to fill in the missing letter of your name.

IE:  Boston
oston
ston
ton

So by the end of the sheet the boys were writing their names by themselves.

After writing time we cuddled on the couch with some Nilla Wafers and learned some fun facts about Georgia O’Keefe and I read the boys, “Georgia’s eyes”.

For Zoo-phonics I’ve been changing things up.  Today I wrote a Zoo-phonics story that required the boys to find the cards all around the house.  The story would say things like,  “Once upon a time there was a little mouse who loved to bake ‘pies in the oven”.   So the boys would run to the oven, find Missy Mouses card and say her name and sound.  This continued through the entire alphabet and a big hunt around the house.

Next we played Mother May I for a few rounds and then Hi-Ho cheerio.  Mother May I was a fun way to help the boys obey instructions, ask politely for what they want, accept no answers and they each said “Thank you” every time they got to move forward.

We had a lot of time left over so the boys ran around the backyard for 45 minutes.  We loved having Tristan join us too!

17 cheerio

Playing Hi Ho Cheerio

17 door

Lining up for Mother May I.

17 door2

Look at these silly faces. :)

17 mother may i

The boys playing Mother may I while Tristan’s Mom was the “mother”

17 weather boy

Dressing Kristoff for a cold fall day. These boys have moves!

 

Preschool day 16: Halloween party

We finally celebrated Halloween for preschool today.  The whole group of us had sick kiddos on our normal preschool day so we figured a few days after Halloween would be just as fun to party.  We sang the circle and hello song with all of our guests, including some of the Mommies. After songs we prayed, did our articles of faith and the pledge of allegiance.

For breakfast I made orange dyed chocolate chip waffles and Ghost bananas and grapes.   After breakfast each kid took a turn standing in front of everyone and saying what they were dressed as for Halloween.  They also each did a little model spin. :)  We went on a hunt for skeleton bones, put the skeleton together (his name was Skelly) and then we learned the Skeleton dance.

Our next game was another dancing game where I played music while the kids danced around a bunch of shapes on the floor.  When the music stopped, whatever shape they were standing on, was the shape they could pick from me to paste onto their paper pumpkins.  By the end of this game all of the kids had turned their pumpkins into Jack O’ Lanterns by decorating with the shapes they landed on.

We made monsters from paint samples.  We used a green paint sample to make frankensteins and orange samples to make candy corn witches.   I served them up some Skeleton bones (pretzels, white chocolate and marshmallows) while they crafted.

The kids then all ran around outside for a bit and we ended the day with Curious George Halloween and some popcorn.

Thanks for joining us friends!  Now bring on Thanksgiving!

PS Most of these game ideas can be found on my preschool pinterest board.  What would I do without pinterest?!

16 projects

Some of the kids creations

16 breakfast

Ninja Turtle, a Ghost and Captain America eating breakfast

16 Charlie and Boss

A little movie time after preschool

16 dancing

The dancing Jack O’ Lantern game. The kids pumpkins are hanging on the wall

16 ghosts

Banana Ghosts and grapes

16 June

Pirate June

16 pippa

All the big kids were surrounding baby Pippa. :)

16 shapes

Explaining the game.

16 skeleton

Learning the skeleton dance

16 Tristan

Skeleton bones

Preschool day 15: Geography and Math

Today was one of my favorite preschools days.  Not sure why,  but everything just flowed nice and the boys had a great time.   Our lesson today was focused on Math and Geography.  So after our morning routine we built number towers (smallest to largest).  The boys had to match the numbers, and put them in order.  This helped them to have a visual of 9 being bigger than 8 etc… then I would ask them which number is bigger (4 or 8) etc…

Next we played basketball math (a game we made up back in September). We threw in some quick Zoo phonics races and moved on to a new game.

For Geography we built our map of the united states and then we got out Ninja turtles and sent them on adventures around the states.  This game was a total hit.  The Ninja turtles started out in their home state of Washington ;) and then each boy chose a state they wanted their turtle to adventure to.  They took turns rolling the dice and could move their turtle that many states away.  We added in a lot of background story like Michelangelo riding Polar bears in Alaska and Donatello fighting snakes in Nevada.  :)  For the last 20 minutes of preschool the boys free played with the map, their turtles, and a couple lego bad guys.  I heard cute conversation like, “The bad guys are in New york” and sure enough the bad guys were hanging out by the statue of liberty.  Such a fun way to learn the states, use some math skills with the dice and put our imaginations to good use.

15 blocks

Block numbers

15 boss and char

Ninja Turtle adventures

15 boss and zeke

Rolling the dice

15 boss math

Writing out the equation with sticks

15 boss throw

Boston’s turn

15 build tower

Tower building

15 char throw

Charlie’s throw. It must of landed in the bucket judging by Boston’s excitement. The boys are good at cheering for each other.

15 hurricane

Zoo phonics. The boys are in the middle of a hurricane in this picture. :)

15 kristoff

It’s a cold rainy day and the boys dressed Kristoff appropriately.

15 map

Finishing the map puzzle.

15 math

Charlie doing some adding

15 ninja

At this point the boys had their Ninja’s talking with each other since they were only a state away. :)

15 tower 2

Finished product. I didn’t have enough 1 piece blocks so out tower is a little funky. :)

15 tower

proud boys

15 writing

Super hero writing practice

Preschool update

I was really excited to start preschool for Boston and his buddy this year, but also a little nervous.  I wasn’t sure if what I had planned would work, or if I would be the right teacher for the boys.  It’s been a relief to see that it has been going really well and I am much more confident.

Growth:
I’ve grown so much more confident in my ability to inspire and teach my child.  The boys have grown more confident over all because of the new skills they have learned and the knowledge they’ve gained.  My 2 year old knows the sounds of A-D.  He repeats the pledge of allegiance and articles of faith and he can recognize Van Gogh and Strauss in a picture and call them by name.  :) I can also tell he feels so big when he “counts”.  His counting usually starts and ends with the #2, but it’s so great to see how much even he’s absorbing when he only participates partly.

The big boys have learned how to spell their names and their writing skills and pencil grip has improved a ton from day one.  They also have the pledge of allegiance and Articles of faith 1-3 memorized. They love to point out when something reminds them of either our artist or composer of the month.  If we’re in a store and classical music is playing, Boston will point out that it sounds like Strauss.  The other day we were in a store with a bunch of famous art copies and Boston excitedly ran around pointing out the Van Goghs.  We’ve gotten through all of our zoo phonics flash cards and have moved on to the 2nd stage.

Where we’ve had success:
Our preschool schedule has been working great for the boys and myself.  We have the same routine every morning when they come in the door.  The end of our day is also the same, so I just come up with new lesson plans for the middle of preschool.  That has made things easy for me and it seems to be working for the boys.

Journal time didn’t seem to be exciting for the boys, so for the month of October I’ve cut that and replaced it with reading time while the boys eat or color.  They’ve loved reading time and after a half hour they are often still asking for more books.

Zoo phonics is a program I would recommend to anyone.  We love it and are finding a ton of success with it.  It’s inspiring Boston with reading and spelling.  He made up his own game where he starts saying a letter sound and then picks different words that start with this letter. Ie: “Puh, Puh, Puh, piano!”  He also can spell different words by sounding them out.  This is all due to zoo phonics (coupled with lots of story time).

Art day has been a highlight for the boys and a fun change of pace (at a different house).  We’ve also incorporated (at least last month) an exercise day with some other friends and that was a hit too!

The boys have amazing little memories and I’m always so impressed to see how much information they can retain.

My favorite resources and tips:
Chewing gum during writing time has been a successful little trick in helping the boys sit still at the table while they write, although their attention spans have been growing!

If we can turn any activity or lesson into something where we can move, then we do it.  These boys stay inspired and engaged when we incorporate a lot of movement!

The library is my best friend.  I have a constant rotation of about 40 books going through my house.  I order all the books online and our library is awesome and has a drive through that I can pick them up at.  So easy!  Each month I order every book I can find on our artist and composer for the next month and I read up on them.  Then when it comes time to teach the boys I know which books I want to read to them and I can filter out the really cool and preschool appropriate facts for them.

I have a planner that I write our schedule out in every preschool day as well as a calendar to mark what our basic lesson for the day will be.  I take notes in this planner on the boys progress, what worked that day, what didn’t and what to do to prepare for the next day.  That has been crucial to me not feeling overwhelmed.

Frog tape has saved me and my posters.  I use it to hang all of my heavy posters and we’ve been going off the same tape since the beginning of the year!

Overthebigmoon is one of my favorite websites to print out writing worksheets.

My preschool pinterest board is filled with some of my favorite preschool resources as well.

Well that’s about it on our update.  I’ve been relieved and excited that it’s gone so well.  Next year we’re moving to (3) 3 hour days a week (one day at another house) so that will be a new experience, but hopefully equally successful.  If you’re wanting to start your own preschool, my best advice is to ask for tips, advice, resources etc…  I’ve had so many friends contribute to our positive experience by sharing their best resources, experience and tips with me!