Sunday, August 30, 2009

Smile for the Birdie!

Ever since Geof and I found out we were having the Wonder Twins, we've been looking forward to many things. One of them is pregnancy pictures.

Not cheesy pictures from Olan Mills, either.

I'm talking about artistic photographs taken in just the right light to emphasize the beautiful and bulbous lines of a mother-to-be's body.

Because this will likely be our only pregnancy, capturing great images of my big baby belly was especially important to us.

For that task, we called on our talented friend and photographer extraordinaire Leah Charbonneau.

She came over around 9:30 a.m. today and snapped picture after picture of Geof and me in the morning light in spots around the house and in the backyard.

Leah's lens caught Geof kissing my tummy and talking to the twins, as well as the two of us holding each other and the girls.

She also had us stand belly to belly, which should be pretty darn cute!

Because we know Leah so well, we felt very comfortable - not posed like during school picture day. Remember that? Ugh.

We promise to post images from the shoot as soon as we get them. I'm sure you're just as excited as we are to see them!

In the meantime, check out Leah's awesome Web site -

The Wonder Twins' BFF is Born

"There must be something in the water in Knightdale."
We hear that a lot these days.

That's because two sets of our very close friends who live less than five miles down the road from us in "K-dale" have recently had babies, and clearly, we're next in line.

We didn't exactly hold a group meeting and decide over beers one night that we'd all start trying. It just happened, and we're so thankful.

Mason Charbonneau was born to parents Leah and Mike on May 15. He is already a little "ladies' man" with his darling smile and upbeat personality.

Just last Tuesday, we welcomed another beautiful baby from Knightdale into the world. Emma Owens was born just before 1 p.m. to Lynn and Adam.

We met the Charbonneaus at Rex Hospital that evening to visit the precious newborn. Geof and I (look how big I am!) are on the far right. Mike and Lynn's mom are next to Geof, and Leah is on the far left.

Geof and I had never seen or held a child who was literally only hours old. Nor had we ever been in the recovery wing of the birthing center any time other than on our childbirth class tour. This was not only a special experience for us but an educational one, as well.
We all took turns holding Emma. Amazingly, she never cried. She let out a few soft whimpers, but she never shed a tear. She was incredibly good.

She is also incredibly adorable. She has Lynn's eyes, Adam's hair color and a small dimple just like her mommy. Mike and Leah have already tapped her as Mason's first prom date. :)

As I looked at this perfect infant, I couldn't help but notice the joy she brought to everyone in the room. I also couldn't help but feel very fortunate that Geof and I would share in this same joy (times two!) in just a few months.

Ready? Push!

Geof almost got in big trouble at last week's childbirth class. Almost. :)

He had gone to Ikea in Charlotte to purchase two new bookcases for our office and had just enough time to make the 3+ hour drive back from the Queen City to Rex Hospital for class #3. Or so he thought.

Our teacher, Caro, likes to start class at 7 p.m. Sharp. I was there. Geof was not.

Caro announced that we were going to spend the evening practicing labor and the different methods used to deal with the different kinds of contractions.

I furiously texted Geof. "Where r u?" There was no reply.

Two minutes later, he came bursting through the classroom door, looking a little sweaty and slightly out of breath. He knew being late was not going to be good, so he had run all the way from the parking lot to the classroom.

He looked at me, smiled and said, "You were going to be mad at me."

"Uh, yeah," I said. "If you do that when I actually go into labor, I will kill you."

With all future parents now present and accounted for, we began the process of pretending to have our babies.

Each student read a scenario that described the time of day, the type of contractions and where they were occuring (home/hospital). We then acted out the appropriate breathing patterns and positions to best deal with what we were "experiencing."

I frequently reminded Geof that whispering nice things in my ear was okay, but getting up in my face was not.

I have a feeling I'm going to be a little tense during this process and don't want to instinctively head butt him if his attempts to help drive me crazy.

We also went over things like "back labor," which is when the baby's head is pushing against mommy's spine/tailbone. Apparently, it hurts like all get out.

When practicing ways to relieve the pain of back labor, I asked, "How do you know you're having back labor? Does someone see it on a monitor?"

"Oh no," Caro said. "You'll know!"

Yikes. Let's hope we don't have to go down that road!

We have our fourth childbirth class tomorrow, which is also our 7th wedding anniversary. Learning about the babies seems like a perfect way to celebrate!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

And in This Corner.. Our Two Little Heavyweights

Every time I open one of my many baby books, I read about how much the little bundle of joy is expected to weigh at that particular point in the pregnancy.

Considering those books are written for parents of singletons, I never really thought much about the statistics. I just assumed the Wonder Twins would weigh less than the number stated, because there are two of them.

Not so much.

At Tuesday's ultrasound, we learned Twin A weighs 2.4 pounds, and Twin B tips the scales at 2.8 pounds! They actually weigh the same - if not more - than most singletons at 28 weeks!

Geof and I were totally shocked. Our best guesses put them at less than two pounds each for sure. Nope. They weigh in at combined total of 5.2 pounds!

No wonder I look like I ate a house! :)

The ultrasound technician calculated the babies' weight based on the measurements she took of their heads, arms and legs, stomachs and bladders. Both she and the doctor agree that our girls are healthy and growing just as they should. Hooray!

The other exciting part about the ultrasound? The photos! For the very first time, we actually got several shots of Twin A's face.

In all of our previous ultrasounds, she always hid her face from the camera, while her outgoing sister stepped right into the spotlight. Apparently, Twin A felt like the first week of my third trimester was the perfect time for a coming out party.

It was tough to capture images of Twin A, because she is our little "squirmy worm" and constantly kicks and punches like a kung fu master. But, the technician somehow convinced her to stay still long enough to get a few perfect pictures.

Twin B was her usual photogenic self. We got great images of her profile.

Since Geof plans to paint the nursery next week, we decided to ask the technician to do another anatomy scan just to make sure the girls are still... well... girls.

The pink can stay! The twins are 100% little lady!

As for their positions, Twin A remains head down, which is good. Twin B is still head up. To avoid having a C-section, I need her to follow her sister's lead and dive downward.

The doctor says there is still plenty of time for her to change positions, so we'll hope that happens over the next few weeks.

My next appointment is set for Sept. 8. That is when I will learn the results of Tuesday's test for gestational diabetes.

Basically, I had to drink at pint of vile, gag reflex-inducing liquid at 8:30 a.m., and one hour later, the nurse drew four vials of blood. They'll be tested to determine if the appropriate levels of sugar were present.

We are so thrilled with the progress the girls are making! We can't believe they'll be here in less than three months!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wedding Bells and Weird Comments

Dum, dum, dah-dum... Dum, dum, dah-dum...

The Wonder Twins attended their first wedding ceremony and reception last night in Raleigh. Although it was not very monumental for them considering they couldn't see anything, I think they did enjoy the vibrations from the organ at the church and the 1990s music mix (think Boyz II Men) the DJ was spinnin' at the Sheraton Hotel downtown.

They weren't exactly kicking to the beat, but they were certainly kicking. At times, it would make my stretchy black wrap dress flutter.

Speaking of the dress, I got a lot of compliments on it. I can't take credit, really, because the dress isn't mine. It belongs to kind-hearted Kelcey Carlson, the morning anchor at WRAL. Upon hearing of my pregnancy, she lent me several suits and nice dresses that she wore when she was pregnant with little Charlie. They have certainly come in handy!

A simple black dress can definitely be elegant on its own, but since I never get dressed up for a night on the town these days (more like put on the PJs and eat ice cream in front of the DVR), I thought this was a great chance to don some of my glittery jewelry and high heels. So, I did.

I got a lot of comments on my four-inch, leopard print Jessica Simpson open-toe pumps. Mainly, people wondered how I could walk in them with my added belly weight.

Frankly, I wondered the same thing. I moved very slowly and very cautiously to make sure I didn't take a tumble on one of my many visits to the restroom. (Don't make fun. You'd go a lot, too, if you had twins sitting on your bladder.)

Those weren't the only kind of comments I got.

The mother of the flower girl asked me when I due, and I smiled and said, "Three months from today exactly." She looked at me wide-eyed and said with hesitation, "Are you sure?"

I thought, "No, I have no idea when I'm due."

At that point, I knew I needed to explain that I was carrying twins. After doing so, the relieved lady said, "Thank God. I was going to say you looked way too big to go another three months." Nice. I appreciate your medical expertise.

The comment that truly takes the wedding cake, though, has to be what a member of the hotel's event staff told me as I was moving from the cocktail hour area into the formal dining room. She said, "You know, a lady's water broke here last weekend!"

What?! Why would you tell that to an expectant mother? I was worried enough about staying upright in my heels. The last thing I wanted to think about was going into labor in the breezeway of the Sheraton!

I managed to mutter an "Oh, wow." She answered back with, "Yeah, it was pretty exciting!"

For you, maybe, but probably not for the poor wedding guest!

I made it through the rest of the evening without encountering any other major faux pas about my budding family.

The waiter did ask me if I wanted a second slice of cake, but I quickly realized he wasn't trying to offend me. There were just several types of cake, and many of the guests (with big bellies and without) were indulging in all the varieties.

When the clock struck 9:30 p.m., Jessica Simpson, the girls and I left the ball to head home, where we could put our sore feet up and rest. Even though we never hit the dance floor, the excitement of the day was enough to wear us out!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Open Up and Say "Floss!"

No one can put a guilt trip on a pregnant lady like a dental hygienist.

I never thought I would say that, but it's true. I swear.

I had my six-month check up back in May. Obviously, I knew I was having the Wonder Twins at that point, so I made sure to tell the dentist about my baby bump before any cleaning (or gnashing) of teeth began.

He went about the regular routine of using that "whurrrring" device to clean my teeth and then hosed them off with the professional grade squirt gun. After he was done, he proclaimed my teeth and gums healthy, and left to take care his next patient.

That's when I got the lecture from dentist's helper, the hygienist.

Instead of just handing off the complimentary tooth bruth and tooth paste and sending me on to the receptionist to schedule my next appointment, she sat down and starting talking about the importance of flossing.

OK, I know flossing is important. I just didn't do it as often as I should. Admit it. You don't, either.

With no solid reasons to back up my infrequent flossing, I was forced to endure the lecture, defenseless.

The hygienist went on to tell me that UNC-CH had done lots of studies about pregnant women and flossing. Apparently, all those strands of string led the Tarheels to a single conclusion - that mommies-to-be who don't floss are more likely to have low birth-weight babies.

Great. How could I not floss after hearing a story like that? I half thought she was lying, because she knew I would be forced to transform into a neurotic flosser, but I didn't feel like investing the time to attempt to disclose her false pretenses.

So, now I floss. Every night. With perfect accuracy.

If I forget, I stumble out of bed and do it in the dark.

By golly, if the twins are tiny, it will NOT be because I didn't floss.

My next check up is scheduled for Nov. 2. Theoretically, the girls should still be in my belly at that time.

When I open up for the hygienist, I will be expecting some "atta girls" for my new found, guilt-influenced dental dedication.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Not One of Blockbuster's Best

Monday marked a return to Rex Hospital in Raleigh for childbirth class #2. On the evening's course schedule? Watching "the movie."

What movie, you ask? You know... It's the one every set of new parents warns you about when you mention you're starting childbirth classes. The warning is usually followed by expressions of horror and writhing movements among the upper extremities.

With that as our preview, you can imagine our excitement when Caro, our instructor, popped the tape into the VCR and hit "play."

It really wasn't that bad until it got to the part that showed the live birth with no epidural. The woman looked that she was on the brink of death, not the precipice of delivering life. The other jarring part was the color of the baby. It was white as a ghost. I remember commenting to Geof: "It looks like a monster!"

I already knew the babies were covered in a white substance in the womb, but I didn't think about them coming out covered in it, too. Let's hope it doesn't take them long to "pink up!"

Geof's aversion was more to the talk of "stretching" the female region. At one point, he had to look away, because it made him a little squeamish.

As long as he doesn't pass out in the delivery room, that's okay with me.

Following the showing of this cinematic masterpiece, Caro discussed pain medication, which seemed like a natural transition. We learned about the types of drugs available, how and when they're given, and the possible side effects.

Apparently, 90 percent of women ask for an epidural. That, of course, made me wonder what the chances are that I could physically endure delivering two babies with zero drugs. Caro said I could do it. I'm just not quite sure I want to.

The other reassuring bit of information I gleened from her was that birthing baby #2 will be much easier than birthing baby #1. She compared it to being a second-time mom. All the "parts" will be appropriately stretched out already, so after two or three good pushes, baby #2 should make her debut. Swwoooo...

Caro rounded out the study sesssion with a tour of the hospital's birthing facilities. I had never really been in a baby ward before, so I tried my best to drink it all in.

The rooms for labor and delivery are pretty spacious. They come equipped with a flat-screen TV and VCR (No, Geof is not allowed to watch SEC football while I'm huffing and puffing through contractions), a recliner chair (Geof's makeshift bed) and curtains in the entranceway to prevent you from sharing your delivery with the rest of Raleigh.

About an hour after the Wonder Twins are born, we'll all be moved to a recovery room. We toured those, as well.

They have most of the same amenities. I liked knowing two things: 1.) I can order three meals a day from room service, and someone will bring them right to me; and 2.) the girls can sleep in the room with us. They don't have to stay in the nursery overnight.

As we waited for the elevator, we saw lots of family members and friends bringing colorful balloons, flowers and gifts to loved ones who had just had babies. How neat to know we'll be there in about 12 short weeks!

In case you were wondering, I like bouquets made of wildflowers... or iced cookies. :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ready. Set. Run?

There are very few things in life that I'm willing to run for, with the sole exceptions of help in the case of a dire emergency and the finish line in an actual road race. I'll explain what this has to do with our Friday activities in a just minute.

Geof and I met at the State Fairgrounds after I got off work Friday evening to shift through the junk and the jems at the Triangle Mothers of Twins and Triplets (TMOTT) semi-annual consignment sale.

We were on a mission. Like MacGyver.

Our goal was to find a gently used double baby jogger that we could take on runs in the woods and to play dates in the park. Considering the price of the BOB Ironman double baby jogger ($500) nearly sent me into cardiac arrest, this seemed like the best way to meet our athletic needs without breaking the bank.

The event organizers were smart and allowed the crowd of anxious TMOTT members to spend about 15 minutes previewing the wares before they opened the cash registers. We made a beeline for the stroller section and much to our excitement there was ONE double baby jogger just waiting for us to take it home.

Since I'm not allowed to run during the pregnancy, I gave it a test with a lame-looking swift walk, and it performed great! Geof double checked the brakes and safety latches, and found them all to be in good working order.

Several people glanced at the stroller while we were pawing over it, and I shot them looks that said, "This is MINE. You don't want to fight a pregnant lady, do you?"

Shortly after the preview session ended, the crowd was corraled back into the hallway. We had each drawn a number, which was supposed to dictate the order of entrance into the sale. Ours was 194. Not so great.

Thankfully for us, the entrance process went a little wonky, and about 15 minutes later, the doors opened and people started spilling into the expo center.

Geof looked at me and said, "Should we run?" I looked back at him and said, "YOU can run. I am not running anywhere." I heard sprinkles of laughter coming from the ladies standing around me. They knew.

I suppose you could say Geof and I compromised and speedwalked our way to the apple of our eye - the jogger. By some type of TMOTT miracle, no one had snatched it before we could get there, so if we wanted it, it was ours.

We hemmed and hawed over it a little longer before finally sealing the deal. Cha-ching! Seventy-five dollars and a brief wait in line later, it was in the truck of the Element, ready to carry the Wonder Twins across the finish line at a springtime 5K!

The other good part is I didn't have to fight anyone to get it.

With our "large equipment" purchase out of the way, we were free to paruse the other sections of the sale, which included tons of adorable clothes. I am such a sucker for all things pink.

We searched through the 0-3 months and 3-6 months racks looking for good deals, and we definitely found them. I got several items with the tags still on them, pristine dresses that I know cost $25 or more for $2, and several darling brand-name sweaters for pocket change.

My favorite clothing purchases were the tiny matching onesies that say "Little Turkey" and "My First Thanksgiving." Both have cute turkeys on them. As I'm sure you know, the girls' due date is mere days before everyone's favorite glutonous holiday. We thought these were the outfits for their first big T-day. Yay!

We celebrated our bargain-hunting success with dinner on the patio of the Mellow Mushroom in downtown Raleigh. We met Leah, Mike and their three-month-old bundle of joy, Mason, there for a nosh and some good conversation.

Geof also got a lesson in baby feeding 101 with Mason. He did a great job making sure the little guy drank his bottle and gave a solid burp afterwards. Check him out! Daddy-to-be is a natural!

It was a great night. We look forward to more evenings out on the town with the twins (in utero or not) and friends!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Notes on the Nursery

I came home from work today to find a wonderful treat in the Wonder Twins' nursery - a freshly installed chair rail! Yay!

This is cause for tremendous celebration, because it is the all-important first step to actually decorating the nursery. We really couldn't start painting or hanging the border until we got the chair rail up.

It looks really great! Geof is to be commended for his hard work. But, he didn't do it alone. He had some help from carpenter extraordinaire Adam Owens and his lovely wife, Lynn, who is pregnant with little Emma and ready for delivery any day now! Many thanks to Team Prego for adding a special touch to the girls' room that will remain for years to come!

As I type, Geof is upstairs armed with Adam's caulk gun. (That thing is dangerous! It's already slung some white gunk on the carpet. I'm waiting for our black cat to be its next victim!) He's filling in the gaps, so you'd never know there had ever been a slight space here or a small separation there.

Tomorrow, he will sand it down and paint it white to match the trim in the room. As soon as it dries, we can begin Operation Paint Can. That entails finding the perfect shades of petal pink and chocolate to add above and below the chair rail. Once that is finished, we can add the final touch - a chocolate border with pink polka dots near the ceiling. Awwww....

Our goal is to finish all the work by Labor Day. We'll see how well we do! I know having it ready long before the babies' birth will lower my anxiety level immensely!

There is just so much to accomplish, and my "to do" list is very long. But, thanks to my wonderful husband and great friends, I'll know I'll have every item checked off in record time!

Until then, I'll just practice the relaxation exercises I learned in child birth class. "Breathe iiiiiiin.... and Ooooooout." :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Another Trip to the Doctor

On Monday, Geof and I took the Wonder Twins to the doctor for a check up. We met with one of the practice's physicians that we had not seen yet, which was good. The goal is to meet all the doctors in the practice before you deliver, so you won't feel like a stranger is extracting the babies from inside you. Makes a lot of sense to me.

Dr. Richardson was super cute. Young and hip. She did not sport a starched white lab coat or scrubs. She was wearing a navy sundress with white piping. She might be my new favorite doctor.

She listened to the girls' heart beats and said they were at 140 beats per minute, which is right where they should be. She also measured my belly and determined I am progressing well.

Dr. Richardson asked if I was feeling movement from the twins, and I, of course, said "yes." The girls are very active. Twin A seems to give more pointed kicks and elbows. Twin B likes to push up against my belly with her back or butt to create large mounds of pressure. It's hilarious to watch my tummy morph into new and weird shapes. It's like aliens are inside me.

The doc said because the babies move a lot, it's hard to know for sure which twin is doing which movements. But, overall, feeling movement is good. Apparently, at some point in the future, I'm going to be asked to do "kick counts." I'll keep you posted on that one!

Then came the unexpected question - "Are you having contractions?"

Excuse me? I'm 26 weeks along. I better not be having contractions! (That's what I was thinking, not what I said.)

Instead, I answered nervously with, "Um, I don't know. What does a contraction feel like?"

She immediately responded by saying, "If you don't know, then you aren't having contractions."

Thank God.

She went on to explain that contractions feel like a worse version of menstrual cramps and cause the belly to tighten up like a ball. Awesome. Can't say I've experienced that yet.

She warned me that if I did feel those sensations to monitor the time between them and to call if they became close together. Eeek! My newly formed anxiety might be enough to trigger a contraction!

Our next doctor's appointment is Aug. 25. I have to have a glucose test to make sure I don't have gestational diabetes. That includes me drinking a disgusting fruit punch-flavored drink and having a blood test exactly an hour later.

After that torture is over, I get to have an ultrasound as my reward. Yay! We can't wait to see the girls again!

Geof and Dara Go to School

Geof and I had our first child birth class this week at Rex Hospital in Raleigh where the babies will be born.

We meet once a week for five weeks, and thanks to some artful rescheduling by the assignment desk at WRAL-TV, Geof will be able to attend all five classes with me. After feeling like Reject Single Mom when I went solo to the car seat class last month, I was not about to let the crazy news biz force Geof to miss out some much-needed parental education.

The class runs from 7-9 p.m. on Monday nights and is taught by a trained doula named Caro. (No, I didn't leave the "l" off. Her name really is "Caro.") She is also the mother of three children, and I think her medical training combined with her life experiences make her an excellent instructor.

Caro started the class by asking each of the 12 or so couples attending to introduce themselves, say what they were having and the due date, and share what they were most nervous/afraid of about the pregnancy. Apparently, sitting on the teacher's direct right is not a good idea, because Geof and I had to go first.

We answered the list of questions without much difficulty. Despite my forgetful "prego brain," I had no trouble remembering my name and that I'm having Wonder Twins in November. It was hard, though, to come up with what I'm most nervous about regarding the pregnancy. "Everything" seemed like a bad answer.

I couldn't think of one outstanding concern, so I just commented that there are a lot of unknowns when you're having multiples, and I'd like to learn more about the challenges we could face with delivering twins.

As the only parents of multiples in the room, we were clearly the only ones worried about that. Everyone else said in no uncertain terms that they were terrified of the PAIN.

Hmmm... Pain? I looked over at Geof with wide eyes and whispered, "Oh crap. I hadn't really thought about that yet."

I'd put hours into buying beautiful consignment clothes, picking out the perfect cribs and registering for all the right things, but I hadn't thought for a moment about the pain that I would most certainly endure in 3.5 months. How did I forget to think about that?!

Caro, a real pro, had obviously anticipated what I had not and scheduled "pain management" as the main topic of the night's class.

First, she explained that pain was actually a good thing during pregnancy, because it means you're actually having the baby. Or, in my case, babies. If you weren't in pain, your body wouldn't be doing what it was supposed to do to birth the babies.

Along those same lines, she encouraged us to trust our bodies. Although she is a bit "granola" in her philosophy, I agree with her approach. For example, if a position doesn't feel right, don't do it. Move to another position that is more comfortable. Really, who's going to know mommy's body better than mommy? Daddy? Please... :)

Caro also gave us great methods to use to relax and take our minds off the pain. She had us take long, deep yoga-style breaths with her. "Iiiiiin..... Oooooout." She advised us to close our eyes and envision a calm, tranquil color while we breathed in through our noses and out through our mouths.

I couldn't decide what color to pick. I ended up choosing petal pink, because it's one of the main colors in the girls' nursery and knowing that Geof will actually paint the walls that color in the next few weeks eases my decorating-related anxiety.

Next came the physical part of the class.

In our information packet, we were advised to bring a mat or blanket and pillows with us. Of course, Geof and I forgot ours. And, I was wearing a dress, which is not a good idea when you're supposed to be lying on the ground. Getting up gracefully is not exactly a skill I have finetuned with my ever-expanding belly.

We're definitely not in the running for parents of the year.

At least, we weren't the only ones who forgot our stuff. Those of us without just watched as Caro and the other couples demonstrated some good sleeping positions for the moms-to-be. I tried them out at home and found them not much more comfortable than what I'd already been doing. (See the post below for an animated explanation.)

Caro concluded the class with a list of items to bring in the "go bags" that we'll grab when it's time for the Wonder Twins to come into the world. She noted which items the husbands should not criticize or question, because if they did during a tense time like labor, they'd most certainly get cussed out. By mommy.

We have homework for our next class. We have to read a text book. Don't worry. It's not that long, plus it has a lot of pictures, which Geof likes. At least reading will be less painful than delivering two babies!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Catching Those Elusive ZZZzzzs

Sleep is something I'd wager most people take for granted. You lie your head down on the pillow and usually within a few minutes you're sawing logs and giving your body plenty of time to decompress from what was likely a very long day.

I still go to bed at about the same time every night, but the process of finding a comfortable position and actually drifting off to Dreamland is now a bit more challenging.

According to the "bible" of baby books, "What to Expect When You're Expecting," moms-to-be are not supposed to sleep on their backs after they hit the mid point of their pregnancy, because it can reduce blood flow to the mother's heart. Instead, prego women are encouraged to sleep on their sides.

This sounds easy enough. For a normal-sized person. But, add two babies in your belly, and that's when things get interesting. Don't believe me? Strap a large watermelon to your tummy and see how simple it is for you to switch from side to side.

Yeah. That's what I thought. :)

I have a devised a special method to ensure better sleep quality for the Wonder Twins and me for the remainder of the pregnancy. I took two old, full-body length pillows and put one under my regular pillow to help prop up my head and the other next to me. When I get under the covers, I angle the second pillow, so it provides support under the side of my belly that is touching the mattress.

This works pretty well. Until I have to turn over. Pillow #1 remains stationary, which is good. Pillow #2 has to pull a Shamu-type flip in the air in order to shift sides under the sheet with me. After a few awkward wiggles, I usually get settled fairly comfortably.

The bad part is I typically wake Geof up in the process. Often times, I find myself taking up a solid three-fourths of our queen-sized bed, and poor daddy is holding on for dear life to the remaining fraction of mattress. Because he is an incredibly patient person, he never complains or tries to regain his bed real estate. Maybe he's scared I'll pelt him with a pillow.

When I'm lying on my left side (facing him), pillow #2 separates us. I have jokingly started calling it the "Berlin Wall." Not exactly romantic, but necessary to keep me from waking up every hour with back pain and general discomfort.

The other thing I have to monitor to ensure I get a good night's sleep is the amount of time I spend on my feet. If I'm standing on a hard surface for hours, I'm guaranteed to have back pain later. Any aches from the neck to the base of the spine make it tough for me to sleep, no matter how tired I am. By making sure I sit enough during the day, I can protect my precious ZZZs at night.

In less than 14 weeks (!), snoozing will definitely take a backseat to feeding, changing, holding and loving the babies. That's why I'm willing to do whatever it takes now to drift off to Dreamland.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Fit to be Tied

I never expected maternity clothes to be super flattering. (Which is good, because they aren't. At least the ones that I can afford.) I expected them to be functional, comfortable and provide space for my ever-expanding baby bump. (Which, for the most part, they do.)

What I can't figure out is why every maternity clothing manufacturer on the planet has designed tops for mommies-to-be with a stupid tie around the empire waist. Seriously, what is the purpose of this added accessory? It's not like my top is going to suddenly fall off if I don't have the color-coordinated string knotted in a perfect bow at my back.

I hate the ties, because not only are they ugly, they are also totally uncomfortable. Every time I lean back in my chair at work or in the driver's seat of my car, that cutesy bow digs into the center of my back. Not so comfortable for a woman whose back already hurts.

That leads me to believe that a man must have decided that ties would be an excellent addition to any maternity item covering the upper torso. Sorry, boys. I'm not hatin' on you. I just know no lady old enough to have a child would design something that belongs on an outfit for a toddler.
Am I going to get rid of all my tops with ties? No. Then, I wouldn't have anything to wear. I could do a little redesigning of my own with my trusty sewing shears, but since most of the maternity clothes I have aren't mine, that's not a good idea, either.

I guess I'll just remain fit to be tied until the Wonder Twins are born, and I can banish the bows from my clothes and put them in the girls' pigtails where they belong. :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"Baby cribs... assemble!"

For those of you who have seen (and love) the movie, "Anchorman," you will undoubtedly catch the reference in the title of this post to film character Ron Burgundy's famous line, "News team! Assemble!" Following that proclamation, Ron pulls out a conch shell and blows into it, creating a trumpet-like sound, and all his colleagues come running.

Nothing quite that dramatic happened when Geof put the Wonder Twins' cribs together last week. But, I did think this all-important first step in nursery preparation was worth sharing with you. Geof documented his Oscar-worthy performance with the camera on his Blackberry while I was at work.

In this photo, you see the "before" stage. The pieces are out of the box, and it appears nothing is broken. Good.

Now, Geof must figure out, using directions that might as well have been written in Russian for all the help they were, how to put those pieces together. More than two hours later, Geof texted me a picture of the finished product! Fabulous! Twin A, your bed is ready!

After a quick bite to eat and drink, Geof returns to put crib #2 together. This time, though, he got "help" from Stella, our tuxedo-wearing cat. (She's always dressed for formal occasions.)

Whether her tasks involved lying on top of the directions or sitting inside a box Geof would probably need to access at some point, Stella was ready to assist! Four paws are better than two hands, right?

Despite the feline intrusion, Geof managed to assemble the final crib in about two hours. Twin B, you have a bed, too! Congrats to Daddy for doing such a great job!

Now comes the hard part. The cribs take up a lot of room, so we have to get creative about how we'll fit a glider arm chair and a dresser/changing table in there, too!

I have no doubt, though, that we can do it. After all, we've got Wonder Twin Power! Activate!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Adventures with Grandpa Buzz

If you've noticed a slight decline in the number of posts to the blog recently, it's because we've had the "No Vacancy" sign on at Chez Demi-Levine. We've been blessed with visits from friends and family from around the state and across the country.

Last weekend, Tucson TV's favorite morning weather wonder Erin Jordan braved severe weather to fly in for a quick stay. All four of us girls had a great time shopping, eating out and sightseeing around Raleigh.

Two weeks prior, Geof's Dad, Buzz, came to town from Rogers, Arkansas (yes, he has all his teeth) for an 11-day visit. Instead of trips to the mall, we took trips to the driving range. Buzz fired balls into the great green abyss using Geof's golf clubs, and Geof tried to follow suit using my clubs.

I've had those blessed Big Berthas since high school where, in a moment of mental weakness, I let Coach "Stoney Tony" convince me to found the girls' golf team. I say that because I wasn't very good at golf. I'm not just being humble, either. I have no aim, and that's not exactly something that college recruiters find impressive.

The good thing was I never had intentions of being great at golf. I rarely practiced, because that would have conflicted with cheerleading practice. Flipping in the air was way more fun than hunting in the mosquito-filled woods for my stupid lost ball.

Regardless of my lack of talent, Geof likes to tell people I am actually good at golf. I think he just forgets that I get to hit from the red tees. Or, maybe it's the beer.

I do, however, have a mild competitive side, so I thought why not see if I, a woman pregnant with twins, can still smack a Titleist 200 yards with a driver.

I didn't choose the most appropriate apparel for this attempt at Nancy Lopez-dom. A skirt and halter top were condusive for the soaring temperature but not so much for bending over to place the ball on the tee! Ooops. I don't think I flashed too many people. The old men probably liked it anyway.

I took a few practice swings and was surprised to discover my burgeoning belly didn't really get in the way. So, I moved up to the tee and took a swing.

Bounce, bounce, bounce. It was quickly evident that it had been YEARS since I'd even tried to play.

After hitting a few more balls, I finally got one or two in the air. I noticed in my backswing and follow through that I was definitely stretching muscles I hadn't used in a while. (That's what happens when you are 5'3 and gain 20 pounds!) In an effort to avoid future soreness, I put Bertha back in my bag and sat down to rest and sip lemonade.

That's probably the same position I'll assume years down the road, when Geof says he'll teach the girls to play golf. Like I said, I always made a better cheerleader. :)

During Buzz's stay, he and Geof also took a trip to Wrightsville Beach, NC. Buzz is considering retiring in a coastal North Carolina community, which would be much closer to his little granddaughters than his current Arkansas home. We've got our fingers crossed that he chooses the Tar Heel state over his other top choice, Florida. Can you imagine anything cuter than the babies in tiny bikinis building sandcastles along the Carolina shore? Awww...

When the boys weren't house hunting, they were clearly cracking open some cold ones at the beach and soaking up some sunshine.

When they got back to Raleigh, they went straight to work on our "honey do" list. Buzz and Geof stained the deck a gorgeous redwood shade.

They also planted two crepe myrtle trees from the State Farmer's Market on the side of our house. We call them the "twin trees." You can see them from the girls' nursery. They're growing big and strong just like our little ladies!

The twins had great time meeting "Grandpa Buzz" for the first time. Next time he comes to town, they'll get to see what he looks like. That's because they'll have arrived!

Instead of hitting golf balls, he'll be changing dirty diapers! Fore!