Thursday, December 31, 2009

The past decade and what I've learned about myself

1. Talk nerdy to me and I will likely fall in love with and then marry you. Who knew my three brothers could have such an influence on me!

2. I can and have established incredible bonds with people I have never even met, a handful of whom I talk to, text and email on a regular basis. They are as much my friends and loved ones as the friends I have had since I was a teenager. Thank you Internets for that.

3. I had a very fulfilling if not totally challenging career/job from 2002 to 2007 (with a short stint in '08 when Piglet was three months old) but being a stay at home mom is my true calling, my heart's desire. Some of my friends, after staying home for awhile, decided they wanted to return to work and I understand that too, but for me, home is where it's at. I feel incredibly blessed to have a choice in the matter.

4. I enjoy being crafty, but it ebbs and flows. I never got into the scrapbooking craze, but I did get sucked into the S.tampin' Up card making thing for a bit and I absolutely love knitting and am decent at it despite the fact that it does not come naturally to me. My *extremely* patient and good-humored knitting teacher can attest to that! Right now I'm not doing anything creative or crafty but I hope to knit at least a hat or two for the Twinks before their arrival in March.

5. Mr. K sometimes asks me if I'd like to have another career once the kids are in school and I honestly just don't know. A non-profit event planner/fundraiser by trade, I know I don't want to go back into that unless it's in a volunteer capacity. I haven't found my second professional calling yet, but maybe in the next decade...until then I hope to be active in my kids' lives, their schools and our community.

6. When I was 14, I thought I would be married by the time I was 26 and have a baby by the time I was 30. When I was 24 I thought I would be married before I was 30 and have a baby by the time I was 32. Just goes to show you, older is wiser. Married at 29 (but very nearly 30) and had Piglet just weeks after turning 32.

7. Body image changes tremendously as you get older. Need I say more?

8. I wasn't a very adventurous eater in my early 20s but dating Mr. K was just the mojo I needed to awaken my inner foodie. She's still alive and kicking though has been on hiatus for the past six months or so. We are planning a joyful reunion next spring.

9. I love living where we do. Having all four of my siblings, dearest friends, plus my parents 25 or fewer minutes away has been wonderful. I may not have always appreciated it and though I would've considered relocating in past years, my feet are now firmly planted and I never want to leave...though a vacation home in Hawaii or Palm Desert wouldn't be bad. No siree.

10. A planner to the core, I have learned that even if things don't work out exactly as you wanted, they eventually do work out. You don't always get what you want, you get what you need. Words I have adopted as my new anthem.

Happy New Year, New Decade, my friends. It's my great hope that we will continue to get to know each other and ourselves better in the years to come.

** Please note and respect the new copyright statement located at the bottom of the page. No one likes a copycat.**

On my birthday

One of my husband's co-worker's wives who also happens to be a reader of my blog (you can find her blog here), after months of reading about my complete and utter adoration of all things PIE, actually baked me one! From scratch. And her nice husband brought it into the office and delivered it to Mr. K with expressed instructions that it was for ME!




To Darren: Thank you for lugging that giant tin into work.

To Msr. Henry: Thank you for being so good thereby giving your mom enough time and energy to bake me that pie.

To Christie: OH. MY. GAWD. That PIE. You are gifted. And thank you for sharing that gift with me! The Twinks also thank you as they are already big fans. Regrettably, Piglet could not be reached for comment. ;)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Matching is overrated

My best friend and I were together this weekend and something someone said reminded of us the time she wore one of these:

With one of THESE.
Meaning -- at the same time, as a PAIR.

It was a week after she'd had her second baby and she was rushing to the lactation consultant -- newborn in one hand, ushering preschooler with the other and she just jammed her feet into whatever shoes were under her bed. She drove all the way to the appointment, got out of the car, walked into the office, checked in and sat in the waiting room filling out paperwork before she noticed. Truth be told, *she* didn't notice. The receptionist had to POINT IT OUT TO HER. Imagine her utter surprise when she looked down to find that not only was she not wearing two black shoes or two sporty shoes, but two completely different styles of shoes and colors! (Her driving moc was black patent and her Puma was grey.)

In her sleep deprived fog, she had managed not to notice this oversight. And as you may recall, this is the woman who wore heels and met me for lunch while she was basically in active labor. Seriously. This made me realize (again) that having a baby is overwhelming even for people who have done it before and are usually pretty together.

So whenever I start to hyperventilate or work myself up into a lather freaking out about how, with two newborns and a toddler, the house will stay clean or how I'll be able to stay on top of the laundry, or when I will ever sleep again, I just try to remember what happened to my best friend and laugh it off. She's human and so am I. Perfection is not something to strive for, but survival certainly is. So things won't get done, I might not wear matching shoes sometimes, things are going to be crazy for a little while, but we'll make it. There's no other option. The important thing is that we try our very best to enjoy and cherish the time with our children because it is all too fleeting. Before we know it, we'll be going on college visits with them. Ack. Don't get me started.

As for my friend, four months later, I am happy to report I have only spotted her in matching shoes, clean (chic!) clothes and everyone is alive, well, adorable and thriving. She survived and so will I. I'll even go so far to say that someday, maybe, just maybe, I'll meet her for lunch wearing heels (that match).

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My appointment today

A short and sweet update about my boys. I am happy to report that they are still doing so well! They are in fact, thriving. Fluid levels look perfectly even, my cervix grew and is now back to its former glory of 4.37cm and in the past 2.5 weeks the Twinks gained a half a pound each and now weigh 1.5lbs a piece. My perinatologist said that they are bucking the trend of twins being small. Of course I beamed with pride.

Let me just say it again...


Les Twinks -- MY Twinks are fatties!

This puts them in the 83% for weight at this gestational age and the scale is based on singletons!

That's right.

You heard me.

I've already pulled out the percentile brag sheet and the babes are STILL IN MY WOMB.

And that, my friends, is how we roll here at Maison Piglet. :)

P.S. - Lest you think it's *all* rainbows and sunshine here, I will confide that I'm thinking about switching our final name choices for the boys to Z.ofran and Z.antac. The boys may be thriving but I am unfortunately NOT! Really the only thing that doesn't make me totally nauseous or give me wicked heartburn are sweets - ice cream, pie, pastries and candy. Now watch me get gestational diabetes. Sheesh.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A great investment

It's no secret, Piglet is a big-time mama's boy. He loves to cuddle and frequently asks for hugs and when he does, he is just plain irresistible. Seriously.

When this face looks at you and says "Mama?" And then he wraps his chubby little arms around himself, I would challenge you not to scoop him up and squeeze him like a package of C.harmin.

The problem is, sometimes once he's all cozy in my arms, he doesn't want to be put down again and when I try to set him back down, he makes like a koala clinging to a branch and I'm stuck. Of course this usually happens when I'm trying to pour myself a cup of hot tea or in the middle of emptying the dishwasher, not to mention that with my growing belly, it's starting to do a number on my back. He'll let me set him on the countertop while I finish my task but (GASP!) it's sooooo dangerous! Piglet is a very cautious little guy but still, I know that the countertop is no place for a toddler.

Then one day I saw The Learning Tower in a catalog and I knew it was what we needed. I'm usually up for buying and trying new things if they will make my life easier but this thing is a piece of furniture and at nearly $200 I had to mull it over a little. After about a month of serious consideration, I bit the bullet and bought one last week at one of my favorite local baby stores. Our handyman assembled it a few days ago and even though it's not quite Christmas yet, I couldn't resist letting Piglet try it out.

Piglet is a huge fan. He's scarcely left the safety of its four sides since I put him in it three days ago. It's very well-made and so much safer than a step stool (or the countertop *hang head in shame*). Now Piglet can be right up at my level while I'm tidying up the kitchen or sitting at the island eating a bagel in the morning. It will also be fantastic the next time we cook or bake together.

To the makers* of this awesomely simple, yet highly useful piece of furniture, I thank you, my back thanks you.

On a Twinks-related note, I am 23 weeks tomorrow! HOLY PIGLETS. We are knocking on the door of viability at 24 weeks. Of course I want them to cook a while longer than that but still, what a milestone! I see the MFMS on Tuesday so look for a full update later this week. I am excited to see the little buggers again and maybe deliver a short lecture on the fact that mommy's uterus is not a bouncy house and particularly not at 2:00 a.m.

*This product was not given to me and I received no compensation for my positive remarks.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

That time of year

It's that time of year again where I start to get even more sentimental than usual. And this year, what with the Twinks bumping around and Piglet growing right before my eyes, I am exceedingly weepy. My baby is turning TWO. We've had a such an amazing second year together.

I can't even be trusted to watch O.prah right now because as you all know, she's made me a crier.

What does a sentimental, weepy, pregnant a deux blogger do to harness her energy?

Make a SLIDESHOW of course.

Of course!

A slideshow!

With music!


So you can appreciate the gravity of the situation, you may recall I've only ever posted one other slideshow in 249 blog entries. Hang on to your Noble Firs, this one is not for the impatient. In fact, before I previewed it for Mr. K, I warned him of its lengthiness. Once the second song started he said "You're right, no one is going to sit through the whole thing."

But we did.


And then I boo-hoo'd a little.

But only a little.

Because I'd already watched in ten times in the past 24 hours.

What do you say, join me for a little trip down memory lane?

*Post edit*

Jen - The songs I used are "Make A Wish" by Chris Rosser and "You Are the Best Thing" by Ray Lamontagne. Enjoy.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


It's been cold around here, really, really oddly cold for the usually quite temperate Pacific Northwest. If I've ventured out with Piglet, I'm admittedly one of *those* moms who over bundles my child (a la A Christmas Story). I am scared to death of him getting cold, so I apply layer after layer of warmth in order to fend off the dreaded draft. The other day Mr. K took Piglet for a short walk around our neighborhood. Piglet sported the following:
  • long-sleeved onesie
  • flannel-lined jeans
  • cashmere sweater
  • heavy fleece half-zip
  • heavy wool peacoat with quilted flannel lining
  • cashmere hat with fleece lining and ear flaps
  • scarf lined with fleece
  • socks pulled up to his knees
  • boots
  • mittens (though he would not wear them so I had to remove them or risk losing one
You can imagine how much it drove me INSANE to see the following while I was shopping at an outdoor mall the other day:
  • father wearing: jeans, boots, thick funnel neck sweater, heavy coat, hat and gloves
  • child wearing: khaki pants, long-sleeved t-shirt, tennis shoes
I don't care if your kid hates coats and hats or whatever. I also don't care if he/she is strong-willed and "just won't" wear a coat. If it's cold enough for you to need a coat you can bet it's cold enough for your child to need a coat. You're bigger and smarter (in theory) and you need to put some freaking outerwear on your kid; it's 28 degrees outside for crying out loud.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I've written about this before -- about feeling betwixt and between the world of mommies and playdates and picky eaters and the world of infertility - the world of needles and FSH numbers and slow rising betas. Every year around Christmas time I find myself flashing back to my first IVF cycle.

I remember it all so clearly. The day the giant box of meds arrived and how I excitedly rifled through it like it had come from J Crew and not a fertility pharmacy. Decorating the tree and imagining next year, hanging a sterling silver ornament with our baby's face displayed inside it, adding a stocking to the mantle. I remember all those hours spent hoping, imagining, praying for a miracle. Praying for us to be one of the lucky ones to have our first IVF cycle work.

And then I remember all the first negative home pregnancy tests, thinking that it was probably just too early, the nurse's deflated voice when she called to deliver the news that it hadn't worked. I wasn't pregnant. Not even a little. I remember the swirl of pain and emotions I felt. The heartfelt email from my friend and acupuncturist who wrote "This isn't your fault. I have never had a patient more dedicated and willing to do any and everything it takes to have a successful cycle. It isn't your fault NOT AT ALL."

It was so painful. The ache I felt inside as I watched my sister and sister-in-law with their one month old babies, wondering if I would ever experience being a mother. Trying to convince myself that even if it never worked, I would be ok. Knowing that I was just lying to myself. Always feeling like I was on the verge of tears or a complete breakdown. It was the hardest period of my life.

Even now, nearly three years after that first failed cycle, I can't shake all those swirling emotions. Even with a Piglet asking me to pick him up every two minutes and making preparations to bring home two more babies, the fear that I might not have gotten here, to this place, makes me shudder. I am grateful, so grateful that I am a mother. It is all that I imagined it would be and much more.

My greatest wish this Christmas is that all my friends suffering through infertility, fearful of the unknown, will be able to meet me here, in this place and never, ever look back.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

On my nightstand

There's a book that I've been reading for about a month. I'm actually a very fast reader but I am savoring this book, reading and re-reading parts of it, trying to make it last as long as possible because I just don't want it to end. It is so beautifully written and has made both Mr. K and I realize just how extraordinary our identical twins are. Witnessing their bond from infancy to adulthood is going to be amazing.

Really Twinks, no pressure, but Dad and I are really excited that you are identical so you better live up to all the hype.

So back to the book, it's called One and the Same by Abigail Pogrebin. Abigail and her sister Robin are identical twins and Abigail not only tells their story, but interviews countless other sets of twins, siblings of twins, friends of twins and twin experts from all over the world. She writes so beautifully and captures so perfectly all the best and worst parts of twinship. While reading this book, I've laughed and cried (so sorry for the cliche). But one chapter on ART made me do both nearly on the same page. One RE talks about being under fire in the "how many to transfer" argument. There is a supposed belief out there that many REs are willing to transfer an "irresponsible" amount of embryos in order to increase their practice's success rates. He argues that patients are allowed to have a say in their care, to have say about how many get transferred and that it is only fair to let the patients in on the conversation. As I read this, I was getting out my pompons to cheer him on.

The passage goes on to discuss the delicate topic of whether or not REs are "playing God" and whether their chosen speciality is really medically relevant or if it's just profit-driven. I thought his response was dead-on. Here it is:

"I've got news for you. I work my ass off. And I get paid a lot of money, but you know what? When I was thirty-three years old, working 150 hours a week, making about 90 cents an hour, I didn't have anybody complaining about my salary; no one cared. And now, all of a sudden, I finally get to age forty-something and I start making money - after decades of killing myself- and all of a sudden I'm a criminal? And all I'm doing is helping people have babies? They don't know how hard it is to come to work every day, what it's like to tell somebody they just had a miscarriage, to have a patient want to kill you because their IVF cycle didn't work, though you did your damndest to give them their best shot, and they're writing blogs about all the things you should have done because they don't know where to put their anger."

I have to tell you I laughed out loud about the blog comment. These REs really have our number. I wasn't blogging then, but after my first cycled failed I could've written a doozy. Not about the level of care I received, but about how freaking mad I was that things had ended so poorly. A negative beta and none to freeze. They didn't even have a shared risk program then, so it was a total loss with no safety net. It was a painful time in my life.

There have been some books I've read in my life that have made a huge impact, but I think this one may be in the running for a top spot. After Mr. K read it (in about three hours) he looked at me and said "Babe, identical twins are really special." Before reading this book, we were so wrapped up in all the concerns and worries about having twins plus a toddler, we hadn't really stopped to think about the miraculous fluke that was about to introduce us to a whole new world. Then after reading it, we realized just how awesome (and sometimes freakish) the bond between our boys is. Of course now we're worried that Piglet will be left in the dust!

**Post edit**

I was so thrilled and honored to have the author of this life-altering book leave a comment on my blog entry! Abigail (hoping a first name basis is okay), thank you for taking the time to write a comment. It means so much. I hope you know I could have written many, many more paragraphs about all the other facets of your book and how they moved me at the core of my being. Thank you for taking such a personal risk and writing this book for twins and twin families everywhere. By the way, my husband wanted me to tell you that he thinks the photo on the back cover is simply amazing. :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Update on Les Twinks

Today I had another long ultrasound followed by an appointment with the Maternal Fetal Specialist. I must say, 4.5 weeks really is too long between visits. I started to get anxious at about the three week mark. I am happy to report that Les Twinks / Wontons are doing fabulously!

Here are some pictures of the little darlings. Sorry they aren't the best quality, I took them with my phone and then just emailed them to myself. Too tired to go downstairs to get my camera!

Baby B's foot...though it looks just like Baby A's and also just like Piglet's!

Baby A's winning profile!

Baby A's face from the front. I must say it looks EXACTLY like Piglet's ultrasound pics from the same angle. And I stared at those day in and out and carried them around in my purse so I know what I'm talking about!

Baby B laughing. I had just started to tell the sonographer that I thought Baby B was going to be my calm one and then he started moving his jaw up and down like this as if to say "Sucker. I am a total hellion!"

Man, they are BIG little buggers.

Average at this point in gestation for singleton is about 10.5-11 ounces and 6.5 inches in length.

Les Twinks? Care to venture a guess? You're going to be stunned. I was!

They are 15.7oz and 16oz and 11.5 inches long.

Seriously. What?!

Yes, there is a margin of error, but still, it means they are at least the same size of singletons, or gulp, even bigger than what was shown.

Plus they are measuring nearly a week ahead! My little overachieving Wontons! My guess is that I'll deliver a little after 35 weeks and they'll still be in the 6lb range. There I go counting my chickens again. But so far, I've been right. These babies are made of duct tape or something, they are amazingly strong!

Cervix doing great too! Fluid levels even and clean! All in all it was a fantastic visit.

I also got the sonographer whom I just LOVED which made my almost two hour ultrasound fly by. Plus I had really missed my Twinks, so I was happy to see them bobbing around in there. I even got to witness Baby A deliver a swift kick to Baby B's head. Baby B then migrated all the way up above my belly button. It was so wild and fascinating to observe. I felt so lucky. I still feel lucky.

And now? Yep, still feeling lucky.

The reasons are obvious but I'll tell you anyway. My baby boys are thriving despite my complete inability to stop puking every single day. They are still getting what they need. They are happy in my cozy womb. They are healthy. They are interacting with each other and smiling as they do.

They are perfect.

And in my own way, because of them, I feel perfect too.