Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

We have been looking forward to Halloween for ages!  Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy didn't seem to share our excitement.  We lost power on Monday morning, got it back for a couple of hours, and then lost it again on Monday around 3, never to get it back.  Our township supposedly canceled trick-or-treating tonight, but we weren't going to be able to have it at our house anyway.  Fortunately, friends of ours have family in the neighboring town, and invited us to go there.  It was the perfect street for trick-or-treating, because there were lots of houses fairly close together, and almost every house on the street was passing out candy.

Asher took to trick-or-treating like a monkey to the jungle.  He rushed right up to the door, and would sometimes say "trick or treat!" and sometimes just grab a piece of candy.  Sometimes he would say "thank you," sometimes he would push Benjamin up to the candy bowl and say, "Pick one, BooBoo!" Benjamin was a little more polite and cautious.  He would hover at the bowl and wait for the adult to pick a piece of candy for him, or he would point to the one he wanted and then let the adult, or me, put it in his bag.  Asher would then run back down the walk and say "Another house!  Another house!"  

They got a decent haul for their first Halloween!  They came home and split a full-size bag of M&Ms with Grandpa Nick, and I have to admit that I recently ate a Butterfinger and shared some Twizzlers with Meema.

Oh, right. We are staying at my parents' house because of our lack of power.  It has been a little difficult, because at first we thought we were staying here for 1 night... now 2... and now it seems like we'll be here til Saturday.  We've brought things over in dribs and drabs, but we don't have enough clothing for everyone.  Our house is very cold and dark, and it feels sad and lonely in there.  I can't wait to go home and warm the place up again.

Here are some pictures from our Halloween:

Knocking on the door with their friend Amelia (a dragon)

Lion and monkey

More lion and monkey

Mommy with her boys.  Apparently I am a whale for Halloween

Lion and Monkey with their friend Amelia Dragon

The boys were DONE at the end of the night.  On the drive home they both started to doze off, and when we finally got them into bed they went to sleep without monkey business (haha) for the first time in a while.  I hope they get a good night's sleep- they have been really thrown off by all the moving around and changes in schedule and scenery.  Last night Benjamin was asking to go home and go na-night at home. It was really sad, but we have told them there are no lights and it is cold at home.  They seem to be adjusting, although Asher is not eating much and is misbehaving at mealtimes.

Supposedly Halloween is rescheduled for Sunday for our township.  I will definitely put out my pumpkins and have the candy ready, just in case!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

a little about the boys and 32w

I just want to comment (yet again) on how lucky I feel to have these two sweet angels as my children.  I am still so madly in love with them that I can't stand it- even if there are days where I wish I could get a little more quiet and cooperation.

Tonight we had dinner at my parents' house, and though the boys did some usual 2 year-old stuff, like not sharing toys, some crying, and not really eating their food, they were mostly adorable and entertaining.  At the end of the night, Meema was reading to them:
I joined them and it is so wonderful to watch their rapt faces.  Asher was imitating all the noises and repeating words, and had a definite preference for which book Meema needed to read next.  We snuggled and it was just one of those moments you dream of when you are dreaming of having children.

I also found this picture on my phone:
Bear in sunglasses and p.j.'s at breakfast
I am so taken with their beautiful faces!

Benjamin is starting to pee more on the potty- motivated by M&Ms.  Eric and I discussed getting him pull-ups so he can go more easily. It is great that he his choosing to go, although he shows no interest in pooping on the potty.  But, progress is progress! I always tell him what a smart, big boy he is for going on the potty.  I am hoping once he gets the hang of it, Asher will decide it looks fun.  Fingers crossed.

Now, the pregnancy-
How far along?  32w1d
Total weight gain/loss?  At my appointment on Friday, I had gained 0 lbs since my last appointment.  The nurse offered to tell me my total gain and I said no, thank you.
Maternity clothes? Mm-hmm. I put on what I thought was a big sweatshirt tonight and it was more like a belly-baring top.  Yuck!
Pregnancy symptoms?  Feeling creaky, but that's about it.  I feel pretty energetic, all things considered.
Stretch marks? Maybe a few new ones? I asked the nurse at my OB's and she said she didn't see anything new.
Sleep? The same complaints. I wake up to pee and have trouble falling back to sleep.  Last night I didn't even have time to fall back to sleep before I had to pee again!  It is so annoying.  It is painful only sleeping on one side, too.
Best moment last week? I can't think of a single moment... life is moving along quickly, but mostly all good things!
Movement?  Yes.  She is head-down, her feet are up by my ribs, I think,  We got in a little fight the other day as I was trying to push them away.
Food cravings? Pizza.  We made pizza at home, and it was good, but it wasn't greasy enough.  That is what I get for trying to be healthy!  Eric said he wished I had mentioned my pizza craving earlier so we could be eating it more.
Gender? Girl!
Labor signs? Nothing other than Braxton-Hicks, still.  Why do I even comment on this?  I have had them since 18w in this pregnancy and clearly they mean nothing about labor, in this pregnancy or my last.
Belly button in/out? In.
What I miss: Having a wardrobe.  Putting clothes on and looking good rather than like a manatee.
What I am looking forward to: I was looking forward to Halloween and seeing my bugs in their costumes, but now it looks like we're having a hurricane instead.  I am NOT looking forward to 2-3 endless days trapped in our house with 2 2 year-olds.
Milestones: Well, my OB said, "in the home stretch now!"  This is both good news, and scary news.  We talked about my delivery... I cannot believe it will be in 2 months or less.  Oh geez, I'm not ready!  My OB thinks I will probably go til close to my due date and that the baby will be about 7 lbs.  I can handle 7 lbs!  I am worried about going into labor at work, since I work so far away, but he said I should be fine to get to my hospital.  I just hope my supervisor or co-workers are prepared to take me!

Oh! And on Saturday we had some family pictures taken.  The boys, the leaves, my belly, the family... I can't wait to see them.  I am unabashedly biased, but I think the boys are the cutest things on Earth.  Benjamin was a total ham- he was definitely posing and grinning for the photographer!  I will post some of the pictures here when we get them.

Monday, October 22, 2012

boo at the zoo

I just wanted to share what I think is quite possibly the cutest thing(s) on earth:
Polar Bear, Monkey, and Lion
Oh my goodness, I know I am totally biased because I am their mom, but tell me those aren't the most adorable little animals you've ever seen?

They LOVED being dressed up and have asked to wear their costumes almost everyday since.  We're practicing saying "trick or treat" and there is much excitement around candy.

Here is a picture of me with my belly on Saturday night:
Eric and I had a date at a restaurant, Gemelli.  We went there the night I was 31 weeks pregnant with the boys on our first big night after months of bed rest.
31w with my boys
Then I had dinner there on March 31st of this year on a girls' night out.  After a lovely dinner and 2 glasses of wine, I came home to my husband and one thing led to another... and that is when we conceived Petunia.  So we kept up the "31" tradition.  We had a delicious dinner, and a nice night out.

That's it for now- Meema and Grandpa are still in Paris and I want them home!  I have been visiting the grandparents and Pierrette at their residence, mommying 2 boys, trying to study (hahaha), and working. I definitely count on my parents for a lot of help and support and it stinks when they're gone!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


As I'm sure anyone who reads this blog (and doesn't already know me) has figured out, I have a lot of family around and we are all very close.  I love my family, and I love having children of my own.

My parents and my aunt Jane and uncle Ed are all away- in Paris, to be precise.  In their absence, I am the emergency contact for my grandparents and P.  Last night the phone rang with a "wireless caller" with a local number.  I answered it- it was the nurse from the assisted living home where my grandparents live.  Of course my stomach just dropped.  "It's not bad," she said.  I thought, "how could it not be bad if you're calling me?"

My grandfather had lost his balance and fallen backwards, and hit his head on the wall behind him.  He had an "abrasion," but the nurse thought he was really ok.  A place like that can't just send someone with a head injury to bed without further inspection, so they sent him to the ER.  At 9:30, I got in the car and drove to the hospital to be with my grandpa.

I really didn't want to go- at that hour I had been thinking my schedule for the evening was going to be dessert, garbage TV, and early bedtime.  But I couldn't stand the idea of him at the emergency room by himself.  Plus with his aphasia, I worried he would have a hard time telling the nurses and doctor some personal information.

When I walked in and saw him there (and he had just gotten in, I heard them announcing the ambulance over the loudspeaker as I walked in), surrounded by strangers, I was so glad that I went.  I felt protective of him the same way I do of my kids, which was a strange feeling, considering that for most of my life, my grandfather has been a very authoritative and imposing figure.  I almost started to cry, but I stopped myself.

They took very good and respectful care of my grandpa.  There was the usual waiting around that you get at any ER visit, but they were fairly efficient.  A doctor came in very shortly after my grandpa was registered, and he told us that grandpa would need some staples, a tetanus shot, and a CAT scan.  All in all, it took 2 hours.

My grandpa was alert and coherent the whole time, which was reassuring.  In fact, I heard him talk more last night than I have in months, maybe even years!  We had a wonderful conversation about our family, and about how special our family is because we are so supportive of each other.  It's true, we are a loving and, in my grandfather's words, cohesive family.

After they discharged my grandpa, I took him home and back to my grandma (who had called the ER looking for him after I didn't call with an update for 45 minutes), and then went home and jumped into bed- at 12:30.  Then the boys woke up at 6:45!  Eric let me sleep later, but I woke up at 8 and rushed around to get the boys ready for school, and myself ready for work.  When I got in the car to drive to work and had a moment to think, I started to cry.

Last night was hard- not the being up late- but seeing my grandfather that way, and at the same time feeling closer to him than I have in a long time.  He thanked me for being with him, which I said was my pleasure, and he said that he appreciated how I was able to talk to the doctors and nurses.  It made me feel good to be helpful.  But I miss my grandparents so much; maybe that sounds crazy because they are "here," but they are not the people they used to be.  My grandpa was wearing a shirt he used to wear in the summer on the Cape, and it just made me miss those days and those relationships.  I know this is life, that my grandparents are aging, and one day they will be gone, and I am bringing a new life into the world to carry on their legacy.  It's why my boys and I have my mom's maiden name as our middle names, because this family is so important to all of us.

I'm actually grateful for the moment I had to spend with my grandfather.  It is so easy to be caught up in the needs of my own immediate family, and when I am with my grandparents and my kids I tend to focus on my children.  I spent a lot of time last night thinking about and remembering the special moments I have had with my grandpa- living with my grandparents in Paris when I was 11 and slipping a prayer into the Western Wall when we visited Israel to ask that my grandfather and I not argue anymore; living at their house the year that I met Eric, having them dance at my wedding.  I'm lucky, and I made sure I told my grandpa that last night, and I rubbed my belly and told Petunia that this morning- she is one lucky girl to come into a family like this.

I'm thankful that my grandfather is fine, and that it was nothing serious, and I'm thankful we got a moment together for me to remember how much my grandparents mean to me.  Tomorrow the boys and I are going over to them for lunch.  Asher actually threw a tantrum on the lawn after school today because I told him we were going tomorrow and he wanted to go NOW! He definitely has his mommy's family-oriented attitude!

Monday, October 15, 2012

30w (and now 2 days)

Tonight- seriously tired, and annoyed because Eric was saying that my arm looked fat.
close-up of the belly and the fat arm

This morning I had a growth scan ultrasound, and things could not be better.  First, this baby is growing perfectly, and measured in the 50th percentile.  Just right- not too small, and not so big I have to start worrying about how I am going to push her melon head out.  She is head-down, and my OB said she will most likely stay that way.  Hurray!

Both the tech and OB confirmed that yes, she is 100% girl.  My OB put her genitals in 3D and took a picture, I told him that was a little too exposing for that poor baby.  But yeah, in 3D there is no confusion about what you're looking at, and I am definitely carrying a girl.

Then my OB took a cervical measurement and it's still measuring above 3 cm, which is unchanged from my past two visits.  At this point in the pregnancy, the cervix starts to shorten anyway, so I am right where I need to be.  100% normal- no glucose problems, no anemia, no cervical problems, head-down baby, and my blood pressure was 100/60.  I felt so great leaving.

How far along?  30w2d
Total weight gain/loss?  Gain.  How much, who knows, but I really feel much larger than I did 2 weeks ago.
Maternity clothes? Yes. I don't have too many but I can't rationalize buying anything new that will get worn for only 2 months.
Pregnancy symptoms?  Still irritable, but not as bad.  I have not wanted to kill Eric nearly as much, which is good for the sake of our marriage.  I get pretty tired out at the end of the day.  I'm also feeling creaky and sore, especially in my hips and inner thighs.  My OB said this is totally normal.  I never felt this way in my last pregnancy.
Stretch marks? I can't tell, but I might be getting some new ones.  Oh no!  How can I make it through a twin pregnancy in such good shape and then end up a mess after a single pregnancy?
Sleep? I have a lot of trouble falling asleep after I get up to pee, which is a minimum of once a night.  I take ambien, which I kind of hate that I do, but it helps me sleep.  I am also getting uncomfortable because I only lie on one side and I don't move or shift.  I wake up with a sore hip, and my underwear and pajamas cutting into me because of the weight I put on them.
Best moment last week? I guess this morning, feeling so reassured and normal.  Also, Eric and I picked a name, and I knew it was right because I felt so excited when I said it.
Movement?  Yes, I still feel her all the time.  She is definitely not flipping, but I know where her parts are now, and I feel kicks and her legs and arms moving.
Food cravings? Fruit and maybe some sweets.  Eric did get me a McFlurry last week as a treat, my first real pregnant lady food.
Gender? Girl!  Still so excited about it.  And her sweet girly name that we picked.
Labor signs? Braxton-Hicks. Some days I have more than others, but I have them everyday, especially when I have to pee or just went pee, and if I move suddenly or bend over.
Belly button in/out? In.
What I miss: My waist.  I remember missing it in my last pregnancy, too.
What I am looking forward to: It's still a ways off, but I am looking forward to taking my licensing exam on November 12.  After that I can just be happy and be pregnant, and enjoy the last month to 6 weeks of pregnancy and getting ready for baby.
Milestones: Less than 10 weeks of pregnancy left!  I think today was also my last ultrasound- now I am just a normal pregnant lady.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

30w update to come...

I have an ultrasound and appointment on Monday, so I will post about the pregnancy after that.  In the meantime, we are having a pleasantly unplanned yet still somewhat eventful weekend.

Yesterday Aunt Elana came to visit from DC, which was a nice treat.  We had a really good dinner of roast lamb and potatoes after the little guys went to bed.

The downside was that P, who joined our family almost 65 years ago as a nanny to my aunt Jane, but who stayed on to raise all 3 of my grandparents' children and serve as extra grandma to all of us grandchildren, got sick.  Unfortunately, my mom had to take her to the hospital and it took forever to figure out what was going on and to get her a room.  It seems to be an infection, and she seems to be feeling a little better, but it has been stressful for my parents.  I have stayed away from the hospital because 1) they didn't know what she had or how contagious it might be and 2) hospitals really are just the best place to pick up germs no matter what.  Hopefully she will be well again soon.

Today we started with french toast made from leftover challah.  We hung out in our pj's and noticed that the annual neighborhood 5K was running past our house!  We went outside to cheer on the runners, which the guys really liked.  Benjamin was waving and yelling, "Hi!  Hi!" and a lot of people waved back and smiled.
Hoping for more runners

A small positive was that I got my phone replaced.  The headphone jack and dock connector were not working correctly, and because it was still covered under warranty, I got a new phone.  I could swear to you that this new phone is faster and brighter, even though it is the same model.  Anyway, it was a small perk in the day!

Because the rest of the family was running around like crazy, taking care of P and my grandparents, Eric and I served lunch and dinner to everybody.
Look who still lives here- Trouble!
Helping Daddy vacuum.  Not so helpful, but they are encouraged to participate-
one day they will have actual chores!

Tonight Eric made Indian food for dinner, and I made a chocolate cake for dessert.  My parents, who were supposed to be on a plane headed to Paris, joined us for a quiet and relaxing evening.  We ate our cake and ice cream in front of a roaring fire, the first one of the season.  I think we all felt better after a good dinner and good company.

I found these pictures on the camera- I think they were taken while I was at work on Tuesday and Meema was babysitting.  I heard lots of complaints about how the guys didn't nap, but now I see why- Meema was WAY too much fun.  There are pictures of them hugging and tickling and kissing, building with blocks, reading and snuggling.  Geez, I wouldn't nap either!  Meema should take some lessons from me on how to be boring.

Bear standing where the blocks belong
Reading.  The boys love books.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

what's new here

Due to the Jewish holidays, the boys have not had a full week of school since their first week, almost a month ago!  There is yet another holiday this week, but after this, they will be on their regular schedule up until Thanksgiving.  The past couple of days, Benjamin has cried (real, actual, tears down his face cried) all the way there, saying "No school!  No!  No school!"  But then the second we walk in the door of his classroom, I am old news and his off to play.  Asher is fine going, and then when we get into the classroom, he starts to cry and cling.  Oy.  Most days they come home with most of their lunch eaten, and when I got home from work on Thursday they seemed to be in great moods, so something must be going right.

Eric also said that when he picked the boys up from after-care this past week, the women in charge complimented him on how wonderful the boys are.  I agree, but it is nice to hear that from other people, since I know I am completely biased.  The boys are always giving the after-care ladies hugs goodbye, which is very sweet.  We have certainly raised some loving and affectionate little guys.

Friday morning Asher started calling me "Mommy" instead of "Mama" and hasn't called me Mama since.  I am actually really sad.  Mommy sounds like such a big boy thing to say.  I kept meaning to take video of him calling me Mama, because he has this adorable way of saying, "Hiiiiii Mama!" and I never did.  And now I never will.  Just that feeling that time with them flies by so quickly.

Benjamin must have read my post about him not talking.  For one thing, I am a procrastinator and didn't call Early Intervention for him.  Partly because I just don't want to deal with taking an entire morning to have them into our house again, partly because I just don't feel like making a phone call.  Anyway, all of a sudden he is saying much more, imitating us more, trying to talk more.  He started saying, "I do!" too.  Today I went into the room where Benjamin and Asher were playing and smelled poop.  I asked, "Who in here stinks?"  And Benjamin said, "I do!" (and it was him).

Eric and I went out to the movies tonight.  It is the first time we've been to the movies since I was 21 weeks pregnant with the boys.  Can you believe it?  We saw "Sleepwalk with Me," which I was excited to see, since I first heard the episode of This American Life it is based on when I was doing my IVF for the boys.  The movie was not as funny as I think Mike Birbiglia's stand-up is, but we had a nice time and even got some popcorn.

And, it's not new, but I'm still pregnant.  I am happy to be passing all my bed rest milestones and not be on bed rest. says that my baby is now the size of a small squash, which is very fitting for the season!

Today we had what I am guessing will be our last day of "summer" weather, with temperatures close to 80 and sunshine.  Tomorrow is supposed to be cold and rainy, so I'm planning chili and cornbread for dinner, and maybe a pumpkin bundt cake as well.  I also saw that my aunt and uncle had closed up their pool for the winter, which makes me sad.  We had many a fun day at that pool this summer!  But ready or not, fall is here.  (I'm not ready.  Fall means this baby will be here sooner rather than later!)