Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Five Years Ago....

Five years ago today .....
  • I had been on bedrest for eight weeks
  • The last two were in the hospital on a Magnesium Sulfate drip
  • WARNING: DON'T READ THIS ITEM IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH! I had endured major humiliating indignities all to keep my two precious boys inside of me a little bit longer, the main one being that the area between my legs had become so incredibly swollen that the nurses all used to come in with various remedies for me to try, all telling me they had never seen anything like it before. It eventually got to the point where it took FIVE nurses to get me off the bed onto the extra wide commode they put right next to it for me to pee: two on each leg (to make sure my legs didn't close at all) and one behind me.
  • In the early morning of February 28th the nurses came in to tell me that it is within my right to refuse medical treatment, and that if the doctors don't agree to do an emergency c-section that morning, they would go over their heads to the chief of obstetrics in the hospital.
  • As soon as the doctors came on duty that morning, they spoke with the nurses, came in a did a cursory exam of my body, and told me they were doing an emergency c-section in an hour. This is after they had responded to my mom's request that I be examined earlier in the week by glancing under the covers, saying that lots of women pregnant with twins get swollen, and leaving.
  • They tried to catheterize me but the amount of swelling made it physically impossible to do. My husband arrived that morning to the sounds of my screams as they tried for fifteen minutes to make this happen before they gave up.
  • The doctors attempted to give me a spinal but the amount of swelling was so extreme that I was no longer able to sit up.
  • I was given a general and the boys were taken out as fast as possible as soon as I was out, within seconds of each other. They were six weeks premature.
  • While DH was watching from behind the glass, he witnessed a big splash as my bladder ruptured. He continued watching in amazement as they paged a urologist STAT to do emergency repairs.
  • A weighed 5 lbs 4 oz.
  • B weighed 5 lbs 6 oz.
  • They were taken immediately to the NICU and given C-Pap to help them breathe, but only for that first day and night.
  • Supposedly I was wheeled through the NICU to see them after I woke up from my general, but I sincerely have no memory of this whatsoever.
  • I began pumping as soon as I could sit up that day (whew, what a relief to be able to do that again) and was amazed at how much it HURT!!! But I kept it up every two hours and eventually it stopped hurting. Those first couple of days were so incredibly frustrating - I knew I had to do this to force my milk to come, but I was physically unable to get out of bed so I needed to ring for a nurse each time I had to pump. And each time I pumped I got a little bit more, but in the beginning it was literally a drop of collostrum. Some of the nurses acted as if this was a waste of time, but others encouraged me, stressing how this was liquid gold and that every little bit helped.
  • I was allowed to see my babies the next day and one of the nurses took Polaroids of me holding first one boy, then the other, then both together. I looked at these as I continued pumping every two hours.
  • I had a long recovery, so I guess it ended up being a good thing that the boys had to stay in the NICU for a couple weeks. I ended up needing physical therapy to walk again - had a walker that I used for those first two weeks and a wheelchair that I used whenever I returned to the hospital to visit. And of course, my catheter bag stayed with me for a good couple of weeks so my bladder could heal. Since all the swelling went to my legs and feet, it was probably a good thing that I didn't have to get up to pee!

I look at the boys now and find it impossible to mesh the picture in my mind of them in the NICU with how they look today. It's amazing how big and strong and active and verbal they are.

B is my sensitive child. He gets worried when people (whether real or on tv/in stories) do the wrong thing. And he always comes up with great ideas, which he announces by saying, "I've got a great idea!" He loves building things with legos and blocks, and is currently in love with the musical "Joseph" and performs bits of it for us every night.

A is my challenging genius. We figured out this year that he has Asperger's which finally explained so many of his behaviors that we just couldn't understand. Now we know that, for example, he just can't help himself from touching electronics, so we have been working on adapting the environment so he doesn't have access to things like the computer, and teaching him strategies to help him find other things to do when he feels the compulsion to touch stuff he shouldn't touch. He is now such an incredible reader that while he's not interested in sitting down and reading bigger books like we know he is able, he can read all mail we receive and read what I write as I write it! He loves to sing and dance and clearly has the music in him!

I love listening to them talk to each other and play together. I'm so glad that I had twins first - they learned to share and compromise so early really because I gave them no other option. They are both so incredibly affectionate and outgoing I just have to laugh.

I feel so blessed that God allowed me to finally conceive these two incredible boys and carry them almost to term after five long years of trying. Hard to believe that it was about ten years ago when we started our journey to become parents. So many twists and turns happened along the way, but ultimately I'm so grateful things happened when they did, even if I couldn't see it at the time.

Happy birthday to my beautiful boys!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Business Calls

Received a message on my business answering machine from a mom asking about themes for her 8-year-old daughters party. Put together a list and called her back. I was a good mom. I waited until the kids were all in bed. They were read to, sung to, tucked in, music turned on, door shut, down for the night. How did they know I was on the phone with a potential client, trying to sound professional? How did they know that tonight was the night to come out of their room (something that all three of them together rarely do) and try to talk to me, all at the same time? How did they pick the exact moment that I was on the phone with said client to whine and cry and try to do things in my room that they are not allowed to do?

Mish Mash

Okay, here's a recap of my life since last I posted:

* I did TWO parties this weekend! One was my first "stranger" party, a person who saw my ad on-line and called me Friday to see if I could do her son's party on Saturday. Yikes! But I did it. :) And then I did my friend's son's party on Sunday. Both were so much fun!

* A woke up Monday complaining bitterly about his stomach. I thought it was because he was hungry and encouraged him to at least eat some Cheerios, but he only ate one. As we got ready to go to school he threw himself on the ground clutching his stomach, so I let him come back home with me after we dropped off B. He laid on the couch moaning all morning, needing me to sit with him. At lunch time, he looked so pale, I pushed jello. Big mistake. Let's just say that bright red and bright blue jello don't look so good coming back up. He stayed on clear liquids after that and kept them down, so today we moved onto the BRAT diet and he's doing better. Just in time for the boys' birthday tomorrow!

Okay, that's all I can think of right now. I have had LOTS of post ideas in my head, but not enough time to write them! I'll work on carving out more time.

Just had to answer the phone and talk to someone begging for money for their organization. What part of "We just can't afford to help this year but hopefully we will be able to next year." Do they not understand?!!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I read some REALLY funny blogs the other day and kind of got somewhat intimidated about writing my own posts, but I'm over it now! :)

I spent all morning yesterday doing paperwork and I'm actually finished now. What a fabulous feeling. All bills are paid, paperwork sorted and filled out, shredded or filed. Aaahhh. And today I worked on all of A's paperwork and appointments. I literally just worked for two straight hours, but I was able to:

1) Set up a pediatric urologist appointment (let's just make sure there isn't any physical reason he's not potty trained)

2) Switched his health provider to one that covers all the hospitals we have taken him to

3) Found child psychologists covered by his new insurance

4) Made an appointment for him with Child Guidance Services

5) Found out how to receive diapers for him (took numerous calls to figure this out)

6) Contacted our pediatrician to make well appointments for all three kids and for them to contact the DME (AKA the diaper company)

I was also able to do a load of laundry and put it away.

Not bad.

So glad I designated Wednesday mornings to focus on all A's "stuff".

My sister took J and A after school yesterday so I could work with B on finally finishing all of his paperwork to get HIM evaluated by the IU. I don't think he is autistic too, but he is extremely sensitive to any conflict (in real life or pretend) and drools a LOT, so I want to get it checked out. So that's all done too.

Okay, that's all the time I had this morning. Now it's off to pick the kids up at school.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Oprah changed my life

Well, no not really. But I watched my TIVOed episode of yesterday's show last night and it seems that thousands of people wrote her to tell her that her show last week on The Secret did just that. Yesterday the episode was all about the reaction to last week's show.

Here's what I got out of it:

The "Secret" is all about the Laws of Attraction. You will get back whatever you put out there. If you are negative and are thinking negative thoughts, things around you will be negative. Whatever you choose to focus on, be it your weight, the things about your spouse that annoy you, the things in your life that you don't like, they will become the biggest thing in your life. I'm not sure if I'm explaining this right, but last night it made a lot of sense to me! Bottom line, to quote Monty Python, "Always look on the bright side of life!"

One of the ideas they presented was to list all the things you don't want and then write the polar opposite. I think I'm able to just jump right to the polar opposite (woohoo, go me) and write the list of what I DO want in life. Here goes, in no particular order:

1) I want my children to be able to lead independent lives in which they are doing things that make them happy and are socially responsible.

2) I want my husband and I to have time together on a regular basis to communicate and stay connected.

3) I want financial freedom, the ability to pay my bills without worrying about when the next paycheck comes, the chance to take the kids out to lunch without having to cut way back on what we order just to ensure that we can afford it, the opportunity to take the family on vacation once in a while, an emergency fund set up to cover three months worth of expenses, a retirement fund so we can retire at some point, an education fund for each of the children to ensure that they can go to school without having to declare financial independence and work many differnt jobs to be able to pay for it as I did.

4) I want a peaceful, non-chaotic, organized home.

5) I want to be physically fit, to make good choices with the food I eat, to exercise regularly, to fit into my size 8 clothes.

6) I want to make money from my business and enjoy it, doing at least two parties and/or assemblies a month.

7) I want to study the Torah and the entire Tanakh, being able to question and share ideas with other like-minded Jews.

8) I want to continue developing friendships with other women.

9) I want to scrapbook at least two times a month.

The idea is that once you clearly know what you want, you need to work on making steps towards achieving it. The more I write about this, the more I think this is something I have been living all my life already, but I think it's good to state what you want out of life and figure out how to make it happen.

What about you? What are the things you want in life? If you have your own blog, I challenge you to post about it and then leave a link in my comments. If you don't have a blog, list what you want in the comments section. I'd love to read what other people want out of life!

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Birds!

Yes, the birds are back. Birds seem to like my bedroom windows. They frequently make nests there, which is very sweet and the kids like to take a look at them. Once we even got to see the eggs in there (I didn't tell the kids when the next fell and all the eggs were crushed and the baby birds died - we just said they all flew away.) which was truly amazing to watch up close.

Hearing the chirping once in a while is sweet.

Having the chirping wake you up and listening to it all day long whenever I'm in my room - not so sweet.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow Day!

Finally! Snow actually fell and accumulated. We've had a few snowfalls, but they have only been teases - leaving a small dusting behind that melts before the kids get out of school. Today we were awakened at five by the automated voice of DH's school district stating that school was canceled for the day. Woohoo! DH didn't have to get up at his normal 5:30 and got to sleep in until 7 when the kids are finally allowed to get up. And then he treated me to a morning vegging in bed while he got up with the kids and took care of them. I can't remember the last morning I slept in, between him working on Saturdays and me working on Sundays, so this morning was such an incredible present. Happy Valentine's Day, indeed!

A just read all this out loud over my shoulder and wants me to write the next story about Hammer the Nails (that's what he says the title should be). Yesterday was a very long but productive day. I had A's IEP meeting which ended up being three hours long. We brainstormed lots of ideas for his increasing anxiety and screaming tantrums as well as suggestions about the non-existent potty training. I brought with me to the meeting a one page document that I had written that included every single thing I have tried to get this kid to go in the toilet. I described every incentive plan we have had, every chunk of time that we have required him to sit on the potty and every chunk of time that we have tried between trips to the potty. I described all the special toys he was only allowed to play with while on the toilet, the games that we tried (like "Sink the Cheerio") even how we tried pouring luke-warm water over him while he sat on the toilet. And bottom line, he has never ever done anything but sit or stand on or at the potty. I asked for a special group to come out and work with him. The IU finally agreed, though they won't pay for it until this summer, seeing as then he will officially be "school-aged" since he goes to Kindergarten in September.

After that meeting, I had just enough time to get J down for a nap and the boys down on the couch for "quiet time" when my next meeting for the day began with a knock on the door. A young rabbi arrived to talk with me about a group called "The Friendship Circle," a Jewish organization that sets up trained teenage volunteers with families that have kids with special needs so the child can have a teenage "friend" and the family can have a little respite. Very nice. He wanted to meet with A and get a sense of him, finding out if he would take a while to warm up (not a problem with my overly social son) or would even acknowledge him at all. It was great to have someone rough house with the kids for a little while I got to sit on the couch.

And then DH got home early. My Hebrew School was canceled for the night as was his rehearsal, so I took advantage of all that extra time and cleared out a lot of junk from the bedroom. I just had gotten rid of a large bench we had in the room (took up too much space and wasn't getting used much) - I LOVE Freecycle! - and bought an inexpensive file cabinet from Staples to create a small office nook for my business stuff. DH helped me move the computer armoire over which really opened the area up. After I cleaned up a lot I started hanging pictures back up around the house. Which brings us back to why A wanted this to be called "Hammer the Nails."


Okay, I have to get the chicken out of the crockpot (Southwestern chicken - so easy - two cans of corn, one can of black beans, one bottle of salsa, chicken pieces, stir and cover, cook) so we can eat dinner. Hope you have had a great snow day!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Is it snowing yet?

I have to get back in the habbit of blogging every day. Not that my life is that incredibly interesting, but I think it helps to have an outlet for everything I'm thinking and doing, especially with DH working almost every night. I really don't have much to write now except that I'm tired but just got the kids in bed for the night and must go downstairs and clean up the styrofoam snow they made all over the downstairs while I was in the bathroom. Fun.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

So it begins . . .

Just before it was time to go up for her nap, J kept coming in to me as I finshed eating my lunch with two fingers raised. "Two more minutes, Mommy," she announced, returning every two minutes or so to repeat her proclamation. Since she was playing quietly in the other room, I didn't think too much of it as I finished my McDonald's Asian salad (LOVE them!) in relative peace. When I went to throw my trash away, I poked my head into the playroom and tried to make her smile. J smiled and then said, "No, Mommy, go away." Okay. Whatever. I'd like to say I got suspicious then, just knowing that something was up. But, I didn't.

When I went into the playroom to bring J upstairs, I noticed that she was chewing. "What are you eating?" I quickly asked her, and she matter-of-factly replied, "Chocolate." Of course. What else would she be eating now? I looked at the playroom floor and realized the true reason J hadn't wanted me to come in. She had stolen an entire box of chocolates that I had left too close to the counter's edge and was systematically going through every gold wrapped piece, leaving a pile of foil in their place. She knew she shouldn't do it, so she was hiding it from me.

Lovely. She is still two and she has learned to hide from when she wants to do something she shouldn't. I don't think either of the boys has really learned that one yet. I'm just so proud.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Why, oh why do they print the instructions on how to open a child-resistant cap ON the said child-resistant cap?

Having a child who can read at an early age is interesting, but very frustrating when he is able to read things that he really shouldn't be reading!

Don't worry, the Poison Control Center reassured me that the vitamins he ate won't harm him, but didn't have any good solution for making him forget the instructions he already read and proved to me that he knows how to use.

P.S. As I type this, said child is hanging on my shoulder (literally) reading every word I type. Whenever I pause, he suggests a word for me to put in. And since he's insisting on it now, I must type in his name: A. There, is that better, A? He's now moved on to my box of business cards, pronouncing that he needs to create his own party productions when he's older.

Well, it's never dull around here.

Since last I posted, in no particular order . . .

* Dropped the kids off at school this morning and then went with my sister to the funeral of our next door neighbor from the house where we grew up. My family lived there for about 25 years or so, and we were all pretty close. I think of them as my surrogate grandparents. The Ds had a pool that we were welcome to use any time, and we all wore a path between our yard and there's through the years. Some of my fondest summer time memories are of going over to the D's pool and sitting under the shade of one pool umbrella, Mr. D. under the other, both of us reading The Star or The Enquirer, or some other stupid newspaper like that. Just the two of us, spending the afternoon together, laughing at the incredible articles in there.

* Once we got to the funeral and got a chance to see everyone (big family, lots of kids, many we hadn't seen in years and years) my cell phone rang - school was closing because the heat wasn't working properly. We had to go back and pick up the kids. So NOT the way I was planning to spend the day!

* Okay, my website is up and running, I've been sending out e-mails to spread the word, passing out business cards and flyers, have an ad on Google, signed up to be on the various search engines, added "metatags" to my web pages . . . NOW WHAT?!!!

* Made a HUGE financial mistake the other day and started my business checking account with our home equity line of credit. Only problem is we refinanced our line of credit over the summer into a fixed rate and did away with the line of credit part of it. OOoops! So now I have to go over to the printer's with my credit card and apologize like crazy!!!

* Had a FABULOUS weekend away scrapbooking with good friends. Finished my entire album for 2006. The secret? Take less pictures.

* Have to go tackle the ENORMOUS pile of clothes before it makes good on its promise to take over the house. Think I'm kidding? You haven't seen the pile.