Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day [S]Cares

For many years prior to this one, I have heard the woes and frustrations expressed by my friends, family and random parents lamenting over the search for "The One". And now, I can fully empathize and understand why.

Whatever you want to call these places - daycare, childcare, school, child center - the differences from one place to another, regardless of location and price, drastically differ.

Below, I impart what I've seen so far from some of my dayscares to dreamcares (without naming names, of course):
  • When we're talking about daycares, franchises aren't all bad. You see consistency and stricter guidelines implemented at each that provide some reliability and assurance of quality.
  • More money does NOT necessarily mean more quality or peace of mind and vice versa.
  • Infant rooms MUST have clean floors. Clean means no outside shoes allowed, no wet substances and no food.
  • Location, location, location.  I will be bringing two infants to daycare. I don't want them to be in the first room from the front door (that is also coincidentally NOT locked or attended by anyone).
  • Show Me Organization! It goes without saying that you probably don't want your child sleeping on someone else's linens but how about eating your hard earned breastmilk? I don't want to see mismatched and disorganized food bins and fridges as much as I don't like to see strewn bags of belongings all over hallway floors.
  • ABCs. I'm not talking about learning them. I'm talking about the credentials backing up the people I will be paying to watch and care for my new additions. I want to know that everyone is educated in childcare, certified in CPR and experienced in working with infants.
  • Ratios. You never thought you'd have to know this math stuff after school was over, right? Well, brush up on your ratio know how. I'm not entirely comfortable if they tell me that they are always maxed out with the number of infants that the state allows and short on the number of caregivers consistently available at any given time.
  • Open Door Policy. If I'm nearby, I'd like the option to stop by anytime to check in on my babies. I can understand if they'd like notice of a visit though. All in all, most places where you would be bringing infants have this policy in place.
  • Schedules & Feedings. What time is drop off? What time is pick up? What is the feeding schedule? Now, to each facility's credit so far, each had fairly flexible pick-up/drop-off availability and tried to match your feeding schedule as closely as possible.
We have a few more tours to take and haven't committed to any one place in particular quite yet. When what you are most concerned with is cleanliness, professionalism and organization, it doesn't seem like a lot to ask for in a daycare but as I've already seen, those terms are highly subjective and open to interpretation.

I'm not rushing or worried about not finding "The One" (yet) but we'd like to be prepared and check this off of our list of things to do.

"A goal without a plan is just a wish."  ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Sunday, August 28, 2011


In the impending arrival of hurricane Irene here in NH, Ken busied himself in the nursery while I tried to be equally as productive on my laptop.

What happened?

Hubby finished ripping out all the walls of the nursery and bagged it all = Productive.
Hurricane Irene never showed = Annoying.

And me? I tried but became sidetracked with taking a shower, giving myself a manicure (see photo) and browsing the internet for bathroom vanities = Not So Productive.

Just for the record, even after perusing over a hundred of them, I did NOT find a vanity to love. Ditto with the medicine cabinet. (We're also renovating our master bathroom.)

Our power never went out (thankfully) because it would have derailed the destruction of all the brain cells I've wasted watching DIY and HGTV shows today.

Pictures to follow of the gutted nursery room. One day soon, it will transform into a lovely nursery that will hopefully keep content babies.

Today, I am 26 weeks and 2 days. Doctor is hoping babies will be happy where they are until 38 weeks. That's about 12 more weeks to go ... or another 3 months. Those are a lot of numbers but the smallest one seems the most daunting.

My next ultrasounds are scheduled in the week after Labor Day. We are especially excited to get to the 3D/4D ultrasound appointment with a wonderful ultrasound technician who we both really like and is much better than the ones at the hospital. I'll be sure to post those pictures as soon as they become available.

By the way, how did anyone manage to navigate bottles and breastfeeding paraphernalia?

Exasperated with looking, I just picked a few of each thing and vowed to panic after the babies are born.

One day next week (maybe even tomorrow?), I am determined to START my crib quilt. I've had the fabrics ready to go for over a month now and my sewing space is set up. Should I make progress, I'll post pictures to share.

Many more of everything to follow ... another day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Last weekend, Ken and I finalized the registry. Now I'm actually glad that I did most of it online because going to the actual store armed with a scanner with floor to ceiling baby items (you know how small they are, right?) was so overwhelming! I only wanted to touch and feel a few things such as the stroller, playmats and swings. We weren't there too long (much to Ken's delight).

The nursery is just being started now. We seem short on time but I think we will be able to finish it within a month. It could also be wishful thinking on my part. All the walls and ceiling must come down. The windows also need replacing and the hardwood floors installed. Ken is doing most of the work himself so the task is time consuming for someone who lacks such a commodity.

Babies, however, are oblivious to all of this business of preparation. They are happily kicking and punching (hopefully not each other) within. I can feel their movements all the time now and even though I don't really know which one is which, it's comforting to know that they are active.

Have we already talked eggplants last time? In the sixth month, that's about the size of these little guys. I can't imagine how much room they now have in there. In an attempt to gain more in utero real estate, they are stretching my stomach and I have the stretch marks to prove it (much to my dismay).

By the way, as an aside, stretch marks are not totally preventable and lasering them afterwards is the only way I've found (other than fading over time) that will totally remove them.

Ladies who've been there, there now or plan to be there:
Stretch marks are part of the pregnancy journey and should you be part of the majority that get them, it isn't as traumatic as you might think it will be. Now, I won't be modeling my bare buddha belly for a portrait either but I'm comfortable in my skin ... even if its a little dinged up.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Measuring Up

Yesterday, I had my weekly doctor's appointment to check on the babies' development and progress. Nothing out of the ordinary (which for this lady is great news). Blood pressure is excellent. Both heartbeats are beating in normal ranges. There is much more movement down below especially after mealtimes and when I want to sleep. I suppose this will start breaking me in to the sleep deprivation that is to come!

They decided to measure me (just for laughs) and no surprise that I am currently measuring the same as a woman with one baby at THIRTY-FIVE weeks! 

That is a THREE and a FIVE (35), folks!

It explains the ligament pain, back aches and puffy feet. I also feel about 35 weeks along but still have a ways to go before I hit that magic number.

For now, I'm appreciating each day, every movement and even every pain as a part of the collective joys of pregnancy. No one can quite explain the experience so I'm blessed to be a part of this "club".

And just so you know, even though I've complained that nine months (about 270 days) seems like a really long time to make a baby, it takes an elephant SIX HUNDRED PLUS days!! That comes out to something like twenty months or almost two years.

Comparatively, I'm quite happy with nine months.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


If you're unfamiliar with this term, don't feel bad. I only came across it myself a few years ago while browsing through pregnancy sites.

The term is intended to loosely describe a final hurrah for couples before and/or during pregnancy prior to the birth of the baby to enjoy a final trip together sans baby ... or in our case, kids. The overall general notion of this is that once they enter the picture, its a totally different kind of vacation. Then again, so is this "babymoon".

Most vacations I think of involve tropical locale, beaches, nightlife and most certainly more than a few libations to ease any jetlag and calm the senses.

Babymoon vacations can still involve a tropical locale and beaches but not so much a nightlife and forget the libations. My nightlife consists of a warm shower before putting on PJs and sipping on milk or water while enjoying a late night and much needed snack.

So, there you have it folks. Nothing terribly exotic or exciting about a babymoon because the most exciting part takes about nine months to produce and sometimes the person producing needs a break from all this 24/7 work she goes through.

Ken and I just booked our last getaway (aka Our Babymoon) to The Essex in Vermont. If you've never been and looking, we both highly recommend it! http://www.vtculinaryresort.com/
We're considering it both our babymoon and anniversary rolled into one. Got to multipurpose with double the not so tiny expenses for our new arrivals!

We were there just this past February over Valentine's Day and LOVED it!
It will be something new and old to enjoy the drive during fall season (my favorite season).

We're taking my parents along this time around. Apparently, there is a spectacular golf course up there that everyone except me will be playing on but I certainly won't feel left out. I'll be at the resort spa for several hours. We should all make it back to our rooms around the same time with no harm, no foul...just in time for our dinner reservations.

Yes, at this stage of babymaking, all I'm planning and thinking about is my next meal or snack.
Sad, but true.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Well, I took QUITE the break from blogging and now I'm back! Better late than never ... as every self-proclaimed procrastinator alleges!

Be prepared but after all of our struggles, tears and heartbreak, Ken and I are pleased to announce that we are expecting ...

Neither of us ever expected or thought we'd ever experience something like this and at first, it was overwhelming and we were in shock. After a few months of getting used to the idea, we're happier than we've ever been! Trust me - it hasn't been easy navigating which things we need two of before welcoming not one but two babies at once!

God is Good. We're blessed. Truly.

We thank everyone who has supported us, grieved and celebrated with us and shown us unconditional love.

This will be an unusually long post as I'm very behind on my good intentions of updating the same. Below are the many, many ultrasound pictures from 6 weeks to about 23 weeks. Most of the size references and what baby is up to is taken from The Bump.

After this post, I'll be more vigilant in posting as things progress and when I have days where I need to vent :)
5 weeks 6 days (April 7, 2011)
Here is the first ultrasound where I discovered we were expecting twins! Two black circles are two sacs with two little ones growing!
At this stage, they are about the size of a sweet pea but already sprouting eyes, ears, nose, cheeks and chin. The little hands and feet are still webbed but may wiggle by week's end. Hearts are beating and blood is starting to circulate.

6 weeks 6 days (April 14, 2011)

Little blueberries now and generating about 100 new cells every minute. Arms and legs are emerging and a permanent set of kidneys is now in place.

7 weeks 0 days (April 15, 2011)

This picture is a little tougher to see here. You'll notice it's only a day later than the last photo. This is from my first appointment at the high risk OB I am now seeing for this pregnancy.

Before we know it, we won't be able to capture both of them in one photo!

8 weeks 0 days (April 22, 2011)

In their 8th week, these little ones are about the size of raspberries. This photo is a little tough to see but if you can barely make out their little bodies in this one.
I can't feel them yet but they are moving those little arms, legs and toes like crazy!
Baby A - 8 weeks 6 days (April 28, 2011)

This photo might be a little clearer than the last one (not much though).

Meet Baby A.

Honestly, I don't know if the ultrasound technicians tag the same baby every time because at this stage where they are so small, they are able to move around quite a bit.

Baby B - 8 weeks 6 days (April 28, 2011)

Meet our other little olive. Introducing Baby B!

This one is facing outward towards the camera to pose for a picture.

The doppler can now pick up the heartbeats.

They are actually beginning to look like babies now instead of little dots on the screen!

11 weeks 4 days (May 17, 2011)
Bones and cartilage have formed and vital organs are beginning to function now. Arm joints are now working (better to hit each other with!).

At 10 weeks, they are like little raisins.

At 11 weeks, both are about the size of two limes.
Babies now have a 1:1 ratio between their bodies and heads.
Baby A - 11 weeks 4 days (May 17, 2011)

Baby A here is facedown in the photo. Heartbeat is 180bpm.

The head is on the right side (big ol' melon like mama's).

Their skin is so transparent right now that blood vessels show right through but fingers and toes are no longer webbed. Hair follicles, tooth buds and nail beds are forming.

Baby B - 11 weeks 4 days (May 17, 2011)

Baby B is laying with his/her back to us in this photo. You can see the head on the left. Heartbeat is 170bpm.

Inevitably, there is always one that is more active than the other at any given time and at least one that doesn't cooperate when we want to get a picture!

In this picture, you can see the little fist (that was pumping vigorously at the time). This baby is resting below the other baby ... and punching upwards. The sibling rivalry has already begun!
Baby A - 12 weeks 3 days (May 23, 2011)

Here is Baby A in 3D. You can see the little arm up to the face ... Oh the drama already!
Babies are little plums now!

Baby B was not cooperating this week so there are no pictures to post.

Baby A - 15 weeks 4 days (June 14, 2011)

Baby A is showing us a side profile here.
Amazing to see eyes, nose and lips already!!

Babies can also suck their thumbs, wiggle their toes, make urine (not so cute) and breathing amniotic fluid as the liver, kidneys and spleen continue to develop.
Baby A - 15 weeks 4 days (June 14, 2011)

Lanugo (thin, downy hair) is growing all over their bodies for warmth. They are the size of naval oranges now!
Baby B has not made an appearance yet again.

Big yawn down there!! :)
Baby A - 15 weeks 4 days (June 14, 2011)

Baby B - 17 weeks 4 days
Finally, here is a side profile of Baby B! It was tough to get this one to take any pictures because he/she was hiding behind the other one.

17 weeks 4 days (June 28, 2011)

You may be wondering what exactly you're looking at in this photo but if you haven't already figured it out, we can clearly see that one of these wigglers is a boy!

He was not shy about showing this factoid off all over the ultrasound and I have several such photos of him making sure we knew it. I have saved you the obnoxious trait he has already picked up from his *AHEM* father.

You can make out two legs and the lighter white lines are his bones.
17 weeks 4 days (June 28, 2011)

This one is a little harder to see but it took quite a while to even get this picture!

Here is the other little one and the one thing missing here is what her brother has been showing off.

Yes, it's a girl!

She's been very shy hiding behind her brother for some time. Both babies are about the size of onions. Fingers and toes are now topped by one-of-a-kind prints.

Ken and I had a bet going. He said the babies were both boys and I said that there were one of each. If I won, I would get 30 minutes worth of foot rubs that do not have to all be used at the same time or date ... I have yet to reap even one minute of this reward.
Baby A - 22 weeks 4 days (August 2, 2011)
Baby B - 22 weeks 4 days (August 2, 2011
Here are photos from my last ultrasound. They aren't terribly exciting and if you think you can't see anything that even remotely looks like a baby, you'd be right. These pictures show the hearts and below them the heartbeat monitor. Baby A's heart was beating at 155bpm and Baby B's at 145bpm.  

Babies now pass the hours yawning, hiccuping, rolling, twisting, kicking, punching, sucking and swallowing.

Their digestive systems are busy creating meconium (a tarry black substance made of swallowed amniotic fluid, digestive secretion and dead cells) which will fill the first diaper after birth. Those taste buds actually work and studies show that after birth, babies are most interested in tastes they've already experienced through amniotic fluid.

They are about the size of papayas and they are now able to hear outside noise from down in the womb. Those little faces are fully formed and babies are starting to settle into sleep cycles, snoozing about 12 to 14 hours a day.

Today, I am 23 weeks and 6 days (24 weeks tomorrow!). These guys are the size of eggplants now!
Taken from The Bump.
We've been playing around with the prenatal kit we bought to see if we can hear the heartbeat. We've also been putting the little mics on my belly and playing music. Ken has also been lecturing them to no end using the included mic you can talk into. No surprise that there was no movement at all when that was happening (they were both probably lulled to sleep!).

Nowadays, they move around ALL the time and especially after meals. It's still strange and I always wonder who's moving and if they are already hitting each other in there :) 

We've already purchased many of the bigger nursery items such as the cribs, changing table, strollers and recliner.

I'm excited to report that baby shower planning is also well underway by two fantastic ladies who I can't thank enough already!  It's been such a long road and a long few years that I'm looking forward to this one event very much.

I've experienced no nausea in this pregnancy and have been able to enjoy most of it. My belly is extending beyond my feet at this point so putting on pants are getting difficult and luckily my shoes don't have laces! Ken has been busy getting us settled and renovating our new home in NH. We've been busy but happy these last several months.

Is it snacktime again? Tummy is grumbling :)