Friday, May 28, 2010

Snip Snip

Picture it!


Delightful Finch after a nap ;)

What Strong Bear might look like as a teen

Windy Day at the Lake with Seraph and Angel

Finch, Seraph, and Angel feeding the ducks


Monday, May 24, 2010

So this one time...

This week’s question of the week at the Multiples and More blog is about questions!

What is the craziest thing someone has ever said to you about your multiples and how did you respond?

I was talking to a new friend about how my twins are exactly one month older than her little girl to the day.  We talked about Angel for a while and then Seraph crawled into view.  She said, "Oh, is that Seraph?  So when is her birthday? and how old is she?"

I was at a complete loss for words.  She waited.  Silence.  Finally I said, ",  actually my twins have the same birthday....."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Karin Slaughter's Cupcake Contest

When my boy (age 5) saw my cupcake entry he said, "Wow, Mom.  That's a skeleton.  You are the coolest mom ever!!"

Thanks, Karin Slaughter :)

You can check out her contest here.  Hurry because the deadline is May 20th.  The grand prize is a signed copy of each of her books INCLUDING a pre-release copy of Broken!!!  I'm crazy excited to read this book - so if you win, can I read over your shoulder?  OR can I borrow it?  I'll give it back in a day or two....

My second entry: out for falling glass....or you'll end up like Suzy Cupcake here!! 

and my final entry (maybe it can get the consolation prize):

Stabbed in the chest.

It's cinnamon-flavored ice.  The kids LOVED it.  I was going to use a shard left over from home-made maple syrup....but the kids ate every drop so there was nothing left over to form sugar shards.

Wish me luck, and get your entries in, too--the kids had a blast helping me make it. Thanks again, Karin Slaughter.  Oh, and pick me, pick me pick me!!!!!

Here's some making of pics (I had to improvise a bunch):

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kids' Individual Identities

I'm feeling inspired today. Seraph and Angel have twin cousins, Pirate and Professor.  Their completely amazing mommy is so good about answering M&M's question of the week.  I really enjoy reading Safire's answers, so I thought I'd start doing it too - hopefully before I read her answers so I can't steal them.

This week's question of the week is:

How do you encourage your multiples to develop and maintain their own individual identities?
This is a funny question because my twins are already very distinct because of Seraph's heart defect.  Angel is walking/talking.  They are identical, but Seraph is noticeably shorter and puffier.  The nurse asked me last week if Seraph copies Angel.  It's actually the other way around - Angel copies Seraph.  She mimics her sounds, she plays the developmental games we teach Seraph, she sneaks off with Seraph's cords and gnaws on them just like Seraph does. (Angel copies everyone, though.  It's how she learns and she's really good at it.)
Do you plan to, or already separate them in school?
I'm sure I'll change my mind by then, but I think I'd like them to be in the same class in kindergarten. Let's see when Seraph's next surgery/recovery goes before we get into this.

Do you encourage your kids to pursue separate interests, or try to keep them in the same activities?
I have 5 kids.  I'm pretty laid back about activities.  I try not to bunch Angel & Finch together either because that's too easy to do, too.

What are your feelings on dressing multiples alike? Coordinating names?
I like to dress them alike...and I like to include Finch (who's about 18 months older than the twins)...but I don't do it all the time.  I like Angel in toddler clothes...and I like Seraph in onsies because it makes her feeding tube less likely to get pulled out.

My girls DO have coordinating names...and while they start with different letters, people mix up which name goes with which girl a LOT more often than I'd expected.

What specific things do you do to help encourage your children's individuality?
We take each of the kids out individually--trips to the store, walks around the block, errands, etc.  Mostly DH does this...but I do it too when I have a chance to get out with just one of the kids.  I think this is very important for non-twins, too.  All kids need to develop that sense of self.

I also have specific nicknames and praises that I repeat.  Like Finch is always my princess. Bear is always strong. Rabbit is always beautiful. Angel is always little Roo.

Seraph just started connecting "mom" with me.  So whenever she says it, I drop everything and run to her because I'm really excited about that connection and want to reinforce it. All my other kids said Dadada first, so I really love it :)

....and I spend time with Seraph each night after the other kids are in bed - just playing (which I like to count as her physical/occupational/speech therapy).

Ooooooh - there's one more thing I do with the twins.  I plucked a day off the calendar for each of them that they don't have to share with each other.  We celebrate Seraph on the first day of Summer...and we celebrate Angel on the first day of Fall.  (Yes, it is clever, thanks for noticing)  It's not really a birthday party - we just do stuff they like to do, make and share treats, take some time to look at pictures and talk about things she does or likes that's "just so her!!". Sometimes we invite friends and sometimes it's just family or extended family.  I'm sentimental like that ;)

    Monday, May 17, 2010

    Funny Girl

    Angel dumped out her Mac-n-Cheese so she could use her bowl as a hat.
    (and yes, her hair just curls like that after her shower - no curling/product required)

    Mom: Angel, NO!!  That is NOT funny!!!
    Angel: Funny Hat!!
    Everyone else busted up laughing...and her smile was soooo big, I had to laugh, too.  ...and then get the camera.  Oh, that girl!!
    Last week I went up stairs after bedtime and found Strong Bear and AngelRoo quietly reading books in the hallway!!  I yelled at them and told them to get in bed.  Bear thought I meant only Angel, so got up from the floor and sat down on a chair.  Angel decided it'd be better to copy Bear than do what Mommy said.  How does she know to ignore my commands already - she's only one!!?
    Angel refused to go to bed until Bear went, and then she made a big show of arranging her blankets on top of her tummy so she could sleep.

    Angel's decided that our neighbor's chair/steps are funner to sit on than the ones in our yard.

    AngelRoo loves teddy bears!  I sleep with a teddy bear that I had ruthlessly guarded from the older kids. But....Roo looks so cute when she asks for I end up giving it to her every time...and then she takes off and loses it for days at a time...and I still give it to her whenever she asks, "Teddy Bear?" I think she'd pick a teddy bear over her binky if she had to choose.  But, this is real life, not some twisted gameshow, so she'd end up with the binky, the teddy bear, and you'd be holding her....oh, and she'd have your cell phone, too.

    We call her "little Roo" or "AngelRoo" because she's like a baby kangaroo--happy to be held all the time.  She prefers being close to someone.  She hates being alone or being left. She has no personal space.

    Today I played the biking game on Wii Fit Plus.  I did all the work, and let her do the steering.  She LOVED it....but she knew I wasn't letting her do the whole thing, so she kept trying to crowd me off the balance board.  Once she found the river, she kept steering me into it over and over.  Bear and Finch do that, too.  They think it's hilarious.

    Sunday, May 16, 2010

    Happy Birthday, Strong Bear!!

    Recipe for Birthday Brownies:

    1-mix brownies as on package (the ones with chocolate chips in the mix work  best)
    2-after you pour it in the pan, Add Teddy Grahams (about one per brownie once they're cut into squares.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  Lay the bears on top but DO NOT stir them into the mix)(you could do graham crackers, but the Teddy Grahams are funner!)
    3-bake brownies
    4-as soon as you pull the brownies out of the oven, dump 1-2 packages of tiny colored marshmellows on top.

    The marshmellows will melt into the brownies.
    you can stick the brownies back in the oven for 2 minutes if you want the brownies to be toasted

    I was into sword fighting before it was cool.  My brother and I used to sword fight with the pool cues from grandma's pool table.  We've been getting the dollar-store swords for ages.  Sexy Haqon picked up this set from ToysRUs.  He said there were toy swords you could get there for $30!!  Oh my!!

    Strong Bear loved sword fighting with his friends and cousins.  There was a balloon-jail that you were trapped in if you lost:
    We almost had enough balloons to lift the "jail" entirely - it would relocate with each puff of wind.

    We moved the jungle gym outside for the party (it's been in the basement all winter).  The jungle gym was so fun that we had a couple of random kids show up and it was a while before we realized no one knew them.  It was a fun way to meet more neighbors ;)

    During the party, Seraph chilled inside with her Auntie and Auntie's sun glasses!

    Sunday, May 9, 2010

    Happy Mother's Day :)

    We're home!  It took FOREVER to get through discharge, but Seraph is home and everyone is sooooooo much happier now!

     Look - drinking from a bottle!!  I still can't believe it.  Can't wait to show her therapist tomorrow :)
     The kids visited gma's house (they can't stop talking about the trampoline) while we picked up Seraph.  We barely fit into the van with everyone.
     Taking the girls' new wagon out for it's first drive!  The girls LOVED it.  The loved that they were facing each other, and loved seeing the neighborhood.  Strong Bear came with us and loved pulling the wagon. Then some neighbors gave us cake!  Really yummy fantastic cake - chocolate with raspberry was nummy!
    On the way home with the cake, I asked Bear if we should share or eat it all ourselves.  "SHARE!!!" - What a sweetie :)  (Don't tell him I called that...he thinks only girls can be called 'sweetie'.)

    We're home!

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    A little bit longer...

    Seraph was soooo happy today :)  Beautiful Rabbit and I visited (with Rabbit's newly inherited camera).  Seraph gave us lots of smiles and sometimes ignored us to play with cool toys.  Later she got sleepy and wanted mommy to hold her.  She fell asleep but I accidentally woke her up when I put her down in the crib.  Uh oh!  That made her mad and tired and wary.  The nurse saved me by giving Seraph a bottle of Pedialyte.  We gave her kisses and left.  She only cared about her bottle.  She didn't even look at me when I left.

    I'm loving this new bottle thing.  Seraph is really comforted by the bottle.  She's taking 1/2 of her feeds orally now...and the other half via IV.  She only gets meds thru her g-tube atm.  They're working up to full feeds slowly.   The new goal for coming home is Saturday...ish.

    Le sigh.

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    Update on Seraph

    They restarted food to her tummy today.  She's getting diluted Pedialyte thru her G-tube.  20ml/hour. Yesterday they had to give her a folley so they could distinguish between the stool and the urine in her diaper.  They had to put a brace on her leg so she wouldn't pull out the folley.  She hated being less mobile.

    They just took the folley out.  She's only had one bad diaper today.  If she tolerates getting fluids to her tummy today, they'll try feeding her formula tomorrow.  If everything goes perfectly, she might be able to come home late Thursday :)

    She likes chomping on stethoscopes so much, that someone found her a play-doctor kit. 

    Yesterday when I visited, she started screaming as soon as she saw me.  She had sooooo much to tell me.  She wanted me to hold her and would NOT do anything but scream unless I held her.  She was soooo tired.  She prefers to sleep flat, but wouldn't let me put her down to take a nap.  I think she was scared that if she fell asleep, I wouldn't be there when she woke up.  Smart girl.  I finally rocked her to sleep.  

    and, yes, knowing she'd be out for several hours, I put her down in her crib.  She didn't even stir.  She was THAT tired.  Her daddy is with her right now.

    Monday, May 3, 2010

    Out of the PICU

    The transfered Seraph out of the PICU.  She is still very sick, but they feel like she's stable enough to be out of the ICU.  They haven't voiced any concerns about her heart so far.  They just put her back on her diuretics (the meds that make her pee off extra fluids).  They haven't started her formula yet.  She's still having diarrhea.

    The silver lining in this whole thing is that she's discovered an instinct to drink Pedialyte from a bottle.  She drinks the whole 2 ounces (that's all they're allowing her to have orally) in just a few minutes.  This is a HUGE step forward.  Before this she wasn't taking anything orally.

    Her team is doing everything they can to protect that new-found drinking instinct.  Hopefully she'll come home drinking her daytime feeds from a bottle :)

    I'm off to see her - please keep her in your prayers.

    Saturday, May 1, 2010

    I can't stand being away from--esp when she's hurting.  It's a mom thing.  Hard wired into my brain.

    They just put in a picc-line.  Her primary doctor and I have come to an agreement concerning the way her care will proceed.  They took the IVs out.  Yesterday she had both hands taped up and couldn't hold anything.  Also, they were drawing blood every 4 hours (pokes!).

    They're worried about her kidneys.  Her diarrhea has calmed down and she has started peeing again.  Her stats are returning to normal.  These are good things.  She's headed in the right direction.  I think she'll be away for a week.


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