Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nightmares and storms.

I need to start recording Ethan's sleep pattern, so you guys will have to deal with that part of this. :)

He woke up again, beginning Monday at 5:00am. There was the usual...sobbing, wailing, panicked and you could tell once he "found" his blankie because the sobs turned to gasps and then an eventual subside. All told, it lasted 2 minutes, max. Last night, it was 11:00pm and he had the usual with the difference being that he would not stop. There was no subsiding, so I went to him. He was in full blown panic mode and laying on his back with tears streaming down his face. He reached out for me and I grabbed him. He held on for dear life as we crawled into bed (yes, our bed...I'm pregnant and tired and something just felt different this time). He laid in my arms, facing me, for 45 minutes. Each time I opened my eyes to check, he was staring at me with his thumb firmly planted in his mouth. He did not go back to sleep. Jason came upstairs at almost midnight and I had him put little man back in his own bed. The crying lasted all of about a minute and a half and he was out for the rest of the night. We go through this every few months without explanation and it's really time to start looking at some sort of pattern. I can't think of any recent changes in our lives and I haven't added anything new to their diet. I'm thinking, perhaps, that he is just overstimulated? I turned off their Ionic Pro thinking the blue light that it emits might be freaking him out, so we'll see if that works.

We had a wicked storm pass through here tonight. It was Figgy and the Professor's first really big storm. In fact, they had us under a tornado watch and warning for almost half an hour, so that should give you an idea of what the weather was like. We have all of the windows open and turned out the lights to watch the lightning light up the sky. Ethan was mesmerized by it and kept climbing into the big chair to move the curtains and stare outside. Elizabeth, however, stood in the middle of the living room, looking at me as though I was making the noise, and screaming, "OH NOOOOO!" She ran around in circles with her hands on her cheeks, screaming, "OH NO" and "bye-bye!" She refused to come to me for comfort, only looking at me with this look of horror as if to say, "Why are you doing this, mommy?"

It was hysterical. Does that make me a bad parent, that I'm laughing at my daughter's fear? I did tell my husband that he could sit next to me on the couch and I'd hold his hand, since he's deathly afraid of thunderstorms. Between him and the dog, I think I need to get a prescription for valium, or something along those lines. :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

What a weekend! Whew! I didn't think we'd make it through, but it turned out to be a beautiful one and everything just sort of fell into place.

Thursday night, we took my husband's car to the dealer for a few things. He called me in a panic earlier in the week because the check engine light had come on and the brakes were really becoming an issue. We knew we'd have to have them replaced, but were biding our time because of money issues. In addition to all of this, it was oil change time and inspection time, so we just figured we'd get it all done in one shot. UGH! We dropped it off at 10:00 on Thursday night and talked to the tech about what we wanted done. They're open until 11:00 as they're a major dealership, so that was the bonus. The problem? They didn't call us until 11:00 Friday night! I was sound asleep, but quickly awoken because the news was not good. When inspecting it for the Virginia inspection, they found a fuel line leak, an exhaust leak, and the headlights (?!?!?) were not mapping correctly. So, they suggested we pick it up on Saturday and take it to the Dodge dealership. Saturday was supposed to be reserved for a barbecue with all of the neighbors, but we had to bail on that. When we picked the car up, we talked to the tech and he told us we were looking at spending just over $1000 for the repairs. UGH! The car is only worth about $2000 and we don't have $500 laying around, let alone $1000. To top it all off? We had a big, red rejection sticker on the front glass. So, there went my plan to take it to some hole-in-the-wall gas station to do a quick inspection to tide us over. After some serious panicking, I figured we'd leave it up to chance and run over to Carmax to see what they might be able to do with us. What a pleasant surprise! We talked to them about selling it to them and decided to check out what our Chevy was worth to see if we could get into a 2006 minivan. They offered us much less than I thought they would, but we were able to qualify for a decent loan with decent monthly payments. The offer on the other car was above and beyond what I thought they'd offer and we decided to hold off on getting a new van and just took the check for my husband's car. This was the deal:
  • His car is 8, almost 9 years old.
  • 92,000 miles.
  • Sunroof doesn't work ($600 repair)
  • Trunk leaks water and fills up the backseat floors when it rains ($1200 repair)
  • Exhaust leak
  • Fuel line leak
  • White smoke emits from the exhaust
  • Brakes need replacing
  • Failed state inspection
We received WAY more than we originally thought and pretty darn near blue book value for the car in mint condition. We nearly ran out of there with the check! We're going to be able to finally pay my mom back some of the money we've borrowed from her over the last few months, pay OFF a credit card and pay down a line-of-credit. It doesn't make us nearly debt free ($150k, anyone?), but it does help us some. And, we'll be able to go to a nice dinner for our wedding anniversary next week. :)

So, with the day blown on Saturday, we woke up Sunday with the best of intentions. We were going to meet dear friends in Maryland and check out RennFest on Sunday. Wouldn't you know it? There were storms planned for the entire day. So, we hemmed and hawed and couldn't figure out what to do. Finally, we figured we'd head out to Leesburg and walk around the outlet mall to look for a new comforter for our bed (cats have torn the heck out of the faux down so there are feathers everywhere!). On our way out there, the weather seemed to be clearing up in the distance so we kept driving and ended up in Harpers Ferry! It really is one of our most favorite places in the area and only about an hour/hour and a half or so from where we live in Northern Virginia. The weather was beautiful up there and we had a nice lunch at a little outdoor cafe. The kids were amazing! We walked down to the river and along the train tracks (the kids saw four trains yesterday), then let them out of their stroller to run along the river bank. On our way home, we stopped at the local ice cream shop and the kids had some strawberry ice cream before jumping into the car for a nap on the way home.

We talked about how much the kids seem to be growing and changing by leaps and bounds. There really is no sign of the baby in either of them. They have lost their chubby cheeks and pudgy legs, the bottles are long gone, and the snuggles are slowly beginning to disappear. (Though, I still try and steal them whenever I can!) They are attempting speech at a record pace, pointing out so many little things that we so often take for granted, and growing increasingly independent of one another (though they are still very co-dependent of one another).

This weekend was a grand success!

Oh, and, my husband is officially one of those men on the road that makes you angry. He refuses to do anything over 50 miles per hour and insists on driving in the right, passing lane. He will not put the car in reverse to back it up and will drive around for hours (even pay for parking!) to avoid parallel parking the car. So, our trip home yesterday took us almost 2 hours instead of 1 and I had to finally holler at him on the Greenway because he was driving 50 in a 65 and even slammed on his breaks to slow down even more when he saw a cop. He doesn't grasp the fact that he can get a ticket for NOT doing the speed limit. He doesn't have any problem doing 50 in a residential area, though. *groan*

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm normal!

I'm normal! I'm a normal mom of multiples! Yay! :)

We have new friends who just transferred here from Colorado with their twins. The kiddos were born six days before Figgy and The Professor (though, they were five weeks early). We "met" at first on our Raising Multiples community that I've been active on since the kids were born. When she found out they were moving here, we starting communicating a little bit more and finally caught up today for a playdate. Now, normally, I cringe at the thought of getting together and going to the park because I cannot stop to carry on a conversation, I can't sit on the bench with the other moms and chit-chat, I can't focus on one child...sometimes one of my kids will even fall off of the playground equipment (GASP!) because I'm tending to the other one. So, I end up leaving feeling overwhelmed and like I've been rude because I didn't get a chance to talk to whoever I was there with.


Amber got there with her two kiddos and her friend, Tanja (from Germany), and I immediately felt comfortable. She's a super nice woman and it was as though it was an unspoken understanding that we probably wouldn't have a chance to really get a conversation started, which was perfectly fine. We did chat and knew the other one had an eye on the kids if one of us had to run to get the other child(ren). I felt normal, suddenly, and immediately at ease. Not once during the two hours that we were there did I feel overwhelmed or on the verge of tears. And, she even got it when I said that sometimes I feel anxious about the people surrounding us. I didn't feel weird that my kids weren't playing with the others (because hers did the same thing!). We came to the conclusion that it's just a twin thing; who needs other kids when you have your own buddy right there with you?

I had such a good time and was so stress-free that it was two hours later before I realized it! The kids are fast asleep, now, and we have made plans to meet up next week for another playdate.

Friday, September 19, 2008

My life

I was thinking about something today and I want to get it down before my mood switches and I'm feeling overwhelmed again.

I've spent a good part of my life thinking I'd never find that one man that would love me - really, really love me. There were a bunch of creeps thrown in for good measure, and lots of dangerous behavior on my part, but I don't know that I ever really believed he'd come along. With that, there was certainly never the thought that I'd have a little family of my own to care for. It seems like just yesterday I was living in San Diego, partying all the time, dating, spending my days at the beach and thinking about maybe finding a job or finishing college. 8 short years later, here I am. I have the husband, I have the family that I've always wanted... So, I don't have a house of my own and we're hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt from fertility and college loans. What I do have is a family that supports me; a mom that is providing a roof over our heads, another mom in Oregon that would do the same for me in a heartbeat if I could convince my husband to move, extended family that is over the moon with excitement for us, and friends that really do love me.

I love my life so much. I don't know where we'll be in two years, three years, or ten years, but I do know that we'll be together - and that's what matters most.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What is wrong with people?

We had some scary moments in our little neck of the woods, today. The fire department showed up early (10:00-ish, I guess?) and our cul-de-sac was soon buzzing with activity from the fire chief, chief battalion, and several police cars.

A little back story: We live in a town in Northern Virginia that has *0* crime. If you look at our local town police departments website, they maintain a weekly log of crime. It consists of a car broken into, someone parked illegally on the street (facing the wrong way), and things of the like. We have one apartment complex that is full of illegal immigrants, so that tends to be where most of the domestic violence and fight calls come from. Our neighborhood is comprised of three cul-de-sacs that have townhomes on them. The townhomes were built in the 1970's and are gigantic for homes nowadays. Our particular court is the quietest, with 19 homes in a "u" shape. On one side, there are two families (one with a set of identical twins!). On the base of the u, there are three families with children under the age of 4. On our side, there is us, our neighbor who has two small kids under the age of 3, another family with two boys under the age of 4, and another couple with a newborn. There is one house on the base of the u that has had a history of trouble. The guy that owns it is a real deadbeat. Long story short, on of my brothers worked for him over 10 years ago and finally left because the guy couldn't pay him and still owes him several thousand dollars. The guy doesn't live there, but rents it out, and has had all sorts of vagrants moving in and out. The house has been condemned, but somehow, he found someone to rent it for $500/mo. Needless to say, the homeowners here are not happy with him because the state of his home is causing the housing values to plummet. No one takes care of it. The basement is COVERED in black mold. It's disgusting. So, this sketchy guy moved in a few months ago with his dog. He seems nice enough, and a few of the neighbors like him, but I just don't get good vibes.

So, back to today.... The fire department was called because he arrived home from working and, when he opened his door, was overcome by the smell of natural gas. His dog didn't run to the door as he normally does. The guy had enough common sense (THANK GOD!) to put his cigarette down before entering the house. He *says* that he walked in and found that someone had come into his home and turned on all of the gas burners on his stove. (The dog is okay.)

The thought? The original thought was that the owner did it in an attempt to collect insurance money, hoping the house would explode.

THERE ARE CHILDREN IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD! If this guy hadn't put his cigarette down before he went in, who's to say the house wouldn't have exploded and taken all of us with it? I'm overcome with fear at this point because whoever did this had no thought about the infants and children that surround the home. I'm overcome with fear for Heather, Billy and Peyton, who live next door to this guy. Their home is attached to his. The same with the family with a newborn and small child to his right. We're 30 feet from this house...

I'm terrified for the safety of my kids and the children that we play with everyday. We have formed strong bonds with these people and I just fear for them.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Dear Elvis,
You are 9 weeks and 2 days old. Your joints are now formed and you are bending, flexing, and squirming around in my tummy. I have spent the last three weeks throwing up every single day. I can't keep anything down. Today, I enjoyed 1/2 of a container of blueberry yogurt before I had to put that away. Then, a few hours later, I salivated over the dry toast with strawberry jam. That's all I could manage, until dinner when I was so hungry that the thought of cooking made me sick. My stomach was in a turmoil as I grilled the London Broil that had been marinating all day long. The corn smelled heavenly. I sat down at the table with the best of intentions, my tongue wagging in anticipation...until I promptly had to remove myself from the table and lay flat on the couch. Apparently, a well prepared steak isn't even enough to make you happy.

Please, please, I beg you. I desperately want to take care of you at this stage. I want to nourish you with green veggies and fresh fruits. I want to pump protein into your system. I need to give you calcium.

I am convinced that you are a little girl. Only little girls do this to their mothers.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

We went on vacation. I'm tired. The Professor doesn't do well outside of his routine. Figgy wanted to join the dolphins and swim to Portugal. The kids protested sleeping. They learned it's fun to open doors. And hide in cabinets. And chase seagulls. We will never take another vacation with the kids. EVER. AGAIN. Is that clear enough? Never.

We came home on Saturday to a torrential downpour. The kids are no longer sleeping in cribs and, this morning, I climbed out of the shower to find two little faces staring up at me from the bathroom door. When I got into the shower, the kids were quietly playing in their room; with the door shut. Yes, I'm quite sure it was tightly shut, thank you. And, as I sit here silently refusing to get them up from their 45 minute nap (because it SHOULD be three hours), I can hear the drawers to their dresser opening and closing.

Note to self: Secure dresser to wall.

At this point, is it even worth keeping the cribs, or do we simply take the crib mattresses out and sell the cribs?

And there is the bedroom door opening.

Gotta go.