Tuesday, September 29, 2009

For you, Valerie.

It encouraged me to know you have missed my blogging. I can't say that I have much exciting news to report, but I will make an effort to contribute here more. Just be prepared to be bored at times. :)

We do have some small victories going on around here lately. One, Avery has decided that she now likes the Dora Pirate Adventure movie. This is big success. If you know Avery, you know that she is terrified of most movies. Like freaking out, crying, terrified. It's fear of the unknown, we think - nothing has ever really scared her in any movie to our knowledge. But she has always been satisfied with The Donut Man and other children's singing videos, which bore Declan. He prefers the action and adventure of Dora and Diego, y'know? He's a boy! So we've decided we're not catering to her as much anymore and we put Dora on (this specific Pirate video) for the past several days for Declan and she has slowly warmed up to it, finally today REQUESTING it. Holy wow, that is huge. We've also discovered that HEARING the video is her issue. Grandma Jean gave her Tinkerbell for her birthday and we have put it in the laptop for her to watch without sound - THAT was fine, listening to it freaks her out. ????? Honestly, no idea.

Another victory is that Declan is taking more and more steps! Still nothing super consistent but he is choosing to toddle at times vs. getting down and crawling. Still HATES to take your finger(s) and walk with you; it has to be all his idea in his own time. Wonder where he gets that??

We're gearing up for a trip to Galena, Illinois in a few weeks with my parents. We're looking forward to it, though I can't believe "that trip we're going to take when the twins are still tiny" is now looking us in the face! There's a pool there, which excites Avery and I know will be a hit with Caden. Last time we went to a pool Declan wasn't a fan, but I think he might like it if it's just us, and my mom says it's usually quiet there. We'll see how it goes!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Not entirely sure what to say...

as not much has really happened, but I know it's been a while since I posted something new. The sleep thing is still not going well. I'm not sure what to attribute it to overall but did notice thrush in the twins' mouths Sunday morning. I called in this morning and we're back on Diflucan for the 3rd time (and they have been on Nystatin before that). Let's hope this knocks it out because it is just no fun. That's probably part of their problem...maybe a growth spurt is the other part of the problem? Honestly I'm not certain, but I do pray they start sleeping better. My parents kept them overnight on Friday night and we were able to get a good night's sleep which was wonderful.

We tried faster flow nipple this weekend which seemed to work wonderfully - for about 2 feedings. Then they were choking and gagging and retching so that apparently is out and we are back to slow flow nipples.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Perhaps I just needed to blog and complain.

Last night was way better! Granted, it took until 11:30 to get them to fall asleep and stay asleep (they went back into their carseats as Madelyn puked all over everything because she was laying on her back) but they made it until 4:30, took quick bottles and went back to sleep until almost 8am. And then they were awake, alert and happy nearly ALL morning! Heather comes over on Wed mornings to hang out and let me get stuff done (cleaning, organizing, today it was putting out my fall decor) while she watches the kids, and they seriously just chilled in bouncy seats and swings all morning. We brought Avery to school and then came home and I put all 3 littles down for nap and I haven't heard a peep in over an hour now. YAAAAAAAAY!

In other news, the DNA test came today. While Heather was here I roughed up the twins' mouths and then sent the tests back when I brought Avery to preschool. So hopefully we'll have results late next week! I just can't wait! I plan to add a poll to the side to see what you all think...and then we'll see what the test says for sure.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'm about to get cranky.

The twins are already there. In cranky-ville, that is. I swear, they have totally forgotten how to sleep well and sleep for decent stretches of time. What the heck is going on? It's really starting to tick me off quite honestly.

Tonight, I have replaced the pacis dozens of times. They acted like they hated being swaddled a few nights ago so we stopped that, but I have swaddled them again tonight. Tonight, I removed the car seats from the crib (which they had been sleeping in every night up to now), swaddled them tight, placed them right next to each other in the crib and have walked away....only to return all those times to replace pacifiers. But now I've walked away and it's quiet. Wait no, someone is stirring again. Drat.

You can't let a twin cry when they share a sleeping room. Well, you can, but then you'll have 2 babies awake instead of just one. So hard.

Yep, one is awake again. I'll keep updating but we have waged war on this sleeping crap and I am determined to win.

DNA test is ordered!

It should be here any day. Just as I sat down to type this one of the twins started crying. Nights haven't been good lately, lots of night waking and just general fussiness from both of them (mostly Macey). Pray for us!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Another twin mommy needs your prayers.

I met this mommy when I was pregnant with Macey and Madelyn. We met via the blogging world because we were both pregnant with twins and one of our twins each had a 2 vessel cord versus a typical 3 vessel cord. And THEN our twins were born exactly a week apart - my 2 girls on July 8 and her two boys on July 15 (a match made in Heaven perhaps? lol)! Boden and Potter are doing well, as are Macey and Madelyn. It's their momma who needs your prayers right now.

Kristen was having pains in her upper back and went to have a CT scan to rule out blood clots. It showed no blood clots but did show a 3 cm mass in her chest below her bronchial tubes which is in a suspect location for lung cancer. On Sept. 1 she had a test and the dr was "very concerned" as the mass is sizeable - it's either lung cancer or a fungus, and signs are pointing away from the fungus possibility. Basically, she's already had a lot of tests but she is STILL waiting to hear results. Her next test is scheduled for the 23rd when they will get a tissue sample that they are confident with give them a diagnosis.

Kristen is scared and she is a brand new mommy to 2 beautiful boys. She has a strong faith in God but we all know that doesn't make things perfect and easy. PLEASE pray for Kristen, her husband and her baby boys. Please pray that this is not cancer. Pray for her peace as she has two newborns and is already stressed and sleep-deprived, and now dealing with this on top of it all. Pray for a miracle - that God would remove the mass completely when she goes for her next appointment. Just pray, knowing that God is in control and that He is with her all the time. He is mighty to save.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A sick 5 year old and double the shots...

for the tiny princesses. Macey and Madelyn had their 2 month checkups today. Heather came and stayed with Avery and Declan while I took M&M. Macey is 20.5 inches and 9lbs 11.5oz. Madelyn is 20.5 inches and 10lbs 2oz, so still very close to each other. Macey checks out just perfectly all around. Madelyn has a left clogged tear duct, diastasis (tummy muscles stick out, same thing I have now that I had twins) and a small umbilical hernia. They did very well, even talked to the doctor some. He said we do need to keep in mind that they were born 3 weeks early, so things like them not smiling much at all yet don't concern him very much. They both drink 4oz of formula at a time and are still very drooly with it - they need burp cloths under their chins at all times! They are sleeping one 6 hour stretch at night, and then smaller sleeps after that 6 hour stretch. I joked on Facebook that the very next person to ask me how they are sleeping gets to take the next night shift...and I noticed that no one has asked me since! And yes, we immunize on time/schedule and they each had 3 pokes today. SO sad. Double the tears, and very hard for our loving nurse, she felt so bad! This afternoon they are restless for their naps, understandably so I am sure.

Avery. She told me this morning she wasn't feeling well, said her throat hurt and asked me to take her temperature. I did, no fever. So we went about our day, she stayed home with Heather and did tell H that her side hurt, but other than that nothing strange. We went for a drive over the lunch hour since someone was here spraying the house for bugs (crickets galore in here, driving me batty) and she was fine again. I dropped her off at preschool at 12:30, and when I went to kiss her forehead she felt HOTTTTT. I tried to take her temp at preschool with the under tongue thermometer they have there but she panicked (she's used to the ear thermometer at home) and said she wanted to go home. So home we went. She is now asleep on the couch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I need to use that many exclamation marks because she never, and I mean NEV-AH falls asleep during the day, hasn't since she was 2. So I know there's something up for sure.

Haven't ordered the DNA kit yet. I wanted to research which company gets you results back quicker. Which is downright hilarious now considering I probably could have had results back from BOTH places in the time I am wasting doing my research. Always want the most bang for my buck, you know! Or in this case, the most bang for someone else's buck. Either way, I am way too bargain-shoppery for these kinds of things apparently.

OH! And how could I forget? The twins' baptism is this Sunday at 11:00am. All are welcome! If you don't know where we attend church just email me and I'll let you know. My mom made the baptismal gowns and oh my goodness they are GORGEOUS. Smocking, people, there is lots of smocking!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Some people are truly generous.

We just got a check in the mail from a dear friend. The memo said this: "FIND OUT!" So my friends, we are finding out if Macey and Madelyn are identical or fraternal! I am ordering the kit, like, NOW!!!

Thank you, friend, from the bottom of my heart. It means so much to me and I am SO excited!! You will be the first to know. :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lots of questions about the identical thing!

Let me see if I can clear this up. When I was pregnant with the twins, the perinatologist told me he thought the girls were identical twins. This was because they shared one placenta, were both the same gender and had a very thin membrane dividing them instead of a thicker one like you might see with fraternal twins. Remember, we had no early ultrasounds with these girls, which is when it's easier to see if they are close together in a more shared sac or further apart in 2 obviously different sacs. It is VERY rare and extremely dangerous for twins to share one sac completely as their umbilical cords can get tangled in one another and lead to possible death. Our girls didn't share a sac, we know that for sure (I would have been on big time bedrest and would have delivered much earlier) but the separating tissue between the sacs was thin, almost transparent. Which again, led the perinatologist to believe they were identical twins. And we believed him and said they were, because what do WE know compared to him, right??

Fast forward to the letter we got after the twins were born that detailed the pathology of the placenta. Turns out, the placenta MAY have been 2 separate placentas that eventually fused into one placenta. Again, we had no early ultrasounds to show if there were 2 placentas to begin with, so when we saw the ultrasounds it looked like one shared placenta. If there is just one placenta then we could be 100% certain they are identical twins. If it WAS 2 placentas that fused into one bigger placenta that leads away from identical twins and more toward fraternal twins. However, there are exceptions to every rule, as we're finding out with twins.

The pathology report used terms like "fused twin placenta", "a central membrane divides the two placentas", and "sections of the rolled central membrane confirms a diamnionic, dichorionic architechture". Now again, that doesn't mean jack squat because diamniotic/dichorionic (di/di) twins can be EITHER identical OR fraternal, lol! 25% of identical twins are di/di twins:

[edit] Dichorionic-Diamniotic
Normally, twins have two separate (di- being a numerical prefix for two) chorions and amniotic sacs, termed Dichorionic-Diamniotic or "DiDi". It occurs in almost all cases of dizygotic (fraternal) twins (except in very rare cases of fusion between their blastocysts[22] ), in 99.7% of all pregnancies,[23] and in 18–36%[24] (or around 25%[22]) of monozygotic (identical) twins. Dichorionic-Diamniotic twins form when splitting takes place after the third day after fertilization.[22]DiDi twins have the lowest mortality risk at about 9 percent, although that is still significantly higher than that of singletons. [25]

Most of this has to do with when the egg actually splits, on which day after fertilization (that is, of course, if the egg did split and they are identical). If you're interested, there's more information here.

So DNA testing is really the only way we can know for sure, with a set-up like our little princesses have. Does it really matter? No, it really doesn't. But I want to know what happened inside me! Did I produce 2 eggs? Will I start the process of twins "running in the family"? Or did my fertilized egg split? Plus it's the #1 question we get asked - are they identical? And it really stinks to have to say, "We have no idea!"

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

I think everyone should be able to see these...

here are some recent pictures of the twins together and some of them separate. They are becoming so alert and awake, which is lots of fun!


The silence is deafening.

I'm sitting here sipping my Mt. Dew and eating a Hershey's bar dipped in peanut butter (shut up, you know you want to), and it's completely quiet (save for the rattle-trap refrigerator, on its last leg). That is nearly unheard of around here, especially at 1:30 in the afternoon. Caden is off to Kindergarten of course, same as every day. Declan and the twins are down for nap and sleeping. And miss Avery is off to preschool! Normally she would be sitting here, hounding me for something to dooooooooooooo as she dislikes tv/movies and can't entertain herself worth a toot. Which is precisely why I chose afternoon preschool MWF so she'll be outta here during naptime and I can do whatever I want (provided everyone else naps, of course). Yahooooey! She's at the same Christian preschool she attended last year. She'll go this year and be all ready for Kindergarten next fall. I can hardly believe it! Avery also started dance class last night and will go every Tuesday. It was so stinkin' cute I could hardly stand myself. Cuteness overload...a bunch of 3-5 year olds in pink tights, shoes and leotards with their little hands over their heads and all of it. She LOVED it, said her favorite part was "being a butterfly!!"

Happy 2 month birthday yesterday to the twins, can't believe that either!

In other news, I now feel like a total donkey for asking for money in a previous post because a) no one has sent anything and b) we now need at least 2 new tires on our van and probably a good deal of front end work to correct the problem that's making our tires go bad and giving the steering wheel a good shudder. AND we need new carseats for the kids so that we can fit 3 kids across the back of the van - it's not currently working well, but we can't drive the van all the way to Des Moines with the tires as bad as they are in order to test what carseats will work back there. Yes I know, whineeeeee but I must be honest. So it's priorities, people, and the DNA testing will have to wait. Heather says they're identical. I say they look like little old men. One of us is right. Maybe both of us.

Monday, September 07, 2009

If you've ever wondered what it's like when BOTH twins cry at the same time...

here ya go. It's just too cute not to take some video of!!! Macey on the left, Madelyn on the right (as per usual):


Friday, September 04, 2009

I have no shame

AND a great thought just occurred to me. I can't be the only one who wants to know for sure, without a doubt, whether or not Macey and Madelyn are identical or fraternal twins, right? The only way to know for sure is to do a DNA test via cheek swab. There are several reputable companies to get your at-home kit from (we know from other twin parents) but there's a catch - it's anywhere from $150-200 for the whole shebang. Now, I don't know about you but that's a TON of cash for us to come up with. So, here's my shameless plea and "great idea" all rolled into one - if you want to know and you feel inclined to help, would you please send us some funds via paypal at verhoef@wildbluepella.org (send it as personal/gift, because it is!) and we'll see how quickly we can reach our goal and get the kit? I'm serious. James would be throwing a FIT right now, hahahaha! But honestly, I'm serious. If you can send $1, great. If you can send $100, great. If you can't send anything, great. If you don't WANT to send anything, great (we'll still let you know when/if we ever find out though, lest you think I am vindictive). Let's do this! Amaze us people!!!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Avery's test went super!

Have I mentioned before that she was a super star? She was a super star again. FLOORED me. She didn't even blink when the catheter went in and wasn't in the least freaked about it either. We had talked a lot about it and I had explained very completely what all would happen so there would be no surprises. She did whimper a little when she had to move with the catheter inserted, said it hurt. And she said that it did hurt when it was removed. But no tears!! The last part of the test requires the patient to pee all over the xray table and she tried but she just couldn't. I think we tried for 30-45 minutes and nothing. So they let her go on the potty and then jump back on the table for a few more xrays. They told us that the age range of 4-7 often has a hard time letting go of their bladder like that on a table when they have been so trained to go on the potty. (I had asked Avery to practice the other day on a towel and while she thought it was immensely hilarious, she didn't have success then, either.) Results came back - normal! So now we just try to do a better job of wiping, hand washing, etc. I admit, it's easy to be lax about that when I am feeding a baby and don't have the time to run in there and make sure she wiped correctly and washed well, kwim? So we'll try to do better and hope that she has no more UTIs. She hasn't complained today about anything hurting and she hasn't gone as often as the other day either. I think maybe it was nerves...

Still on the Avery topic, she basically went from the VCUG test over to the clinic for her 5 year well-child check. Since I had promised her no more ouchies for the day we waited on the shots until she starts Kindergarten next fall. She is 40 inches tall (16th %) and 36lbs (24th %) - she's a peanut! She wears 3/3T clothing still, with some generous 2T that still works fine. She passed with flying colors. We did talk some about her propensity to complain about her tummy hurting. After a complete physical and also xrays of her mid-section during the VCUG, our dr is pretty convinced it's an anxiety thing. I would concur.

Some milestones: Declan stood today completely by himself in the middle of the floor without anything helping him to his feet! He's been standing, letting go of stuff, etc, but never up from the floor completely on his own. He also took about 6-7 shuffle steps tonight to get to the Cozy Coupe car outside (mommy's garage sale find last Friday, woot!). I think September is going to be his month.

Macey smiled now as well. Heather was the first to have seen it while she had the twins and Declan during all of Avery's ordeals yesterday (have I told you how much I love you, Heather??). I haven't seen it yet and I tend to say it doesn't count until it's at mommy, but Heather swears it was the real deal. So just a few days apart from each other they smile. Awwwww!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Life never grows dull around here...

We are one day past the last day of Avery's medication for her UTI and guess what? She has peed very frequently this evening and tells me that her bottom hurts when she goes, after I prodded her for the information. UGH! She's supposed to have the VCUG tomorrow morning and I don't know if they'll do it if she's got another active UTI. I hope they do so we can get it over with (she knows it's coming and we'd ALL like to just be done with it) but I'm not sure what will happen. I'll update after tomorrow...

Caden seems to be doing just fine in school! He has breakfast as school as well so it's a big day for him!

Declan is soooo close to walking. Tonight I came home after having been gone for several hours and he was excited to see me, so excited he allllmost walked to me, but then nope, decided crawling was better. Silly boy!

Madelyn hasn't smiled again. James said Macey smiled at him tonight but I don't believe him.

And that is just about it!