Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Snoozers: (part of) a poem by Sandra Boynton


We like to snooze in the morning,




We like to snooze all day,



We like to snooze where ever we choose,

Snoozing our cares away.



But when the world grows quiet,


And the evening moon is bright,


We put on our pajamas,


And all hug our mama,





And never fall asleep all night.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Everyone together again

(G. on left, L. on right)

For much of our marriage, J. and I had a herding dog, Simone...a Bouvier des Flandres. I had always read that many herding dogs would herd the children, and I thought it would be so cute to watch Simone herd our future children around. As you probably guessed, reality wasn't quite as cute as I had imagined it. Simone was happiest when everyone was in the same room, preferably sitting down. When outside in the yard or going for walks, Simone would be on constant alert. If a child ran across the yard, Simone was after him or her, yipping (if you can say a 68 pound dog yips) until the child could be convinced to return to the 'herd'. Games of tag were impossible if Simone were out in the yard too. For an animal who had never seen a real sheep in her entire suburban existence, she understood about keeping her sheep together and gave it her best effort...whether it was convenient for us or not.

I have decided I must be part herding dog myself, minus the running part. I am never so happy as when my whole family is all together in the same place. As my children get older, I realize this is becoming more and more rare. I want to fully appreciate the times that it does happen. With the return of B. from Boy Scout camp, I have several weeks of togetherness before A. goes on vacation with a friend for a week. I also have a chance to recover from two very sleepless nights this past weekend while J. was gone to bring B. home.

For the scouting types among you, B. was elected to the Order of the Arrow. J. really wanted to be there for when the nominees were tapped out, so he went up a day early...on Friday. Saturday was the ordeal: the nominees must remain absolutely silent, eat a very limited amount of food, and spend the day doing service work for the camp. (Tree trimming and sand bag filling were two of the jobs I heard about.) The nominees were inducted in on Saturday night and Sunday they made the drive home.

Meanwhile, two of M.'s friends had signed up to each take a night to sleepover. Our plan was that I would care for the babies (ie nurse and nurse), and if they had eaten enough, but were still fussy I would pass them off to the girls to pace around with. It worked fairly well. But, having J. gone and having to parent solo at less than two weeks post-partum, made me a bit nervous, and I think the babies picked up on it. Last night, with J. home, everyone was feeling calmer and they slept the best they ever had.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Feral children

E. (in a much more flattering picture) with L. (in purple) and G. (in pink).

Did I mention how little I did at the end of this pregnancy? I was really not exaggerating about just sitting in a chair. This included actually parenting my children. Oh, I did the basic things. They were fed, clothed, and a modicum of reasonable behavior was expected. But, I gave a lot of passes to other behavior. I just didn't have the energy to be as on top of things as I usually am. Now that I am coming out of the pregnancy fog (it's feels a bit like Dorothy suddenly finding herself in Oz), I am looking around at my younger children and wondering how things have reached the state they have. I am reaping the effects of a lack of schedule and minimum expectations.
So, we are going back to basics. There have been a lot more 'do-overs' around here. The younger ones evidently all need to practice responding and obeying in an appropriate manner and everyone has fallen off the chore wagon. We are slowly climbing back on. Today, the clean-your-room-before-playing rule has been re-implemented. This will be followed by other routines until we are back on top of our game. I need this as much as the children. Appropriate behavior and follow through on chores takes a parent who is consistently monitoring both during the day. 'Consistent' is not a word that I would use to describe my parenting recently and I will also need practice to follow through on my duties to check that what needs to be done is done and done well. It's far more work than actually doing the jobs myself, but that would teach my children nothing except to expect other to do things for them.
I jokingly call the youngers 'feral', but perhaps it's not as bad as all that. No one burned the house down while I was pregnant...A. put a stop to that. And my older children really showed how competent they are. M., B., and A. did the bulk of the cooking and laundry during the last three months and M. even took over the meal planning and grocery shopping the last few weeks. (She hitched a ride to the store with a friend who was already going and I sent her with cash.) Also, while I was in the hospital, M., B., and a friend of theirs completely cleaned the house from top to bottom. It was so nice to come home with the babies to a clean house. The maturity shown by my older children really highlighted for me how important it is to continue with the consistent training of my younger children. I'm sure we all know of families where the younger children were raised very differently from the older children and not always to the younger one's benefit. I pray that God grants me the grace and strength to help all my children grow into competent, mature adults.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mammals

"Everybody knows what a mammal is,
Everyone who understands.
They're warm-blooded, have hair on the bodies,
And suckle their young from mammary glands."

This is a rhyme that M. learned long ago about the characteristics of mammals. She would repeat it often. So often that it has become part of our family culture. If anyone says the word 'mammal', someone else is bound to repeat the rhyme. Sort of our own family call-and-response tradition. Since nursing has become such a big part of life, discussions about mammals have been fairly frequent around here. TM and D can tell you all sorts of animals which are mammals. They can also tell you what is not a mammal...fish, frogs, birds, and dishwashers.

And until the newest members of our family decide to sleep for more than 1 hour at a time at night, there is the strong possibility that my posts may become loopier and loopier. Anyone hoping for coherence may have a while to wait.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

We're all home

(G. in pink and L. in green. They just won't stay awake, no matter what...at least during daylight hours.)

On Thursday, the babies and I were finally discharged and thankfully came home leaving the small four walls and the constant pokings and proddings of the hospital behind. For those of you knowledgeable about such things, you will wonder at my spending three nights in the hospital and not the normal two (or less). In his previous postings, J. left out the 'excitement' which occurred after the twins' arrival, in which I started to hemorrhage, requiring an hour long procedure, the details of which, thanks to the narcotics they gave me, I remain blissfully unaware. I received one unit of blood in the recovery room where I spent the next 6 hours, floating in and out of conciousness thanks to a second dose of a different narcotic. I finally met my new daughters about 7 hours after they were born. (J. promises me that he brought them over to me so I could see them, but I have absolutely no memory of him doing so.)

Due to all the intervention after the birth, I was slow to getting on my feet again. Then it was discovered my blood counts were remaining too low and on Wednesday afternoon I received two more units of blood. Though by this time, I was feeling quite a bit better. All of this has made for a much slower recovery than I have ever had. It is very frustrating because I am really ready to be up and doing things, but my doctor insisted I take it easy this week and not do anything other than nurse babies. Recovering from carrying full term twins is more difficult, just like the pregnancy was. Though I suppose I have to face the fact that being 43 has something to do with it as well.

In other family news, today is D.'s birthday. He is turning 6 and is so excited by it. He was up at 12:30 this morning asking if it was time to get up yet. We will celebrate his birthday tonight, having strawberry pie (made by M.) instead of the more traditional cake. (It's a male Curry-thing...cake just isn't a favorite.) We will all be together for about 20 hours. A. and P. came home from church camp this afternoon and B. leaves for scout camp at the crack of dawn tomorrow. We will also continue with our month of celebrations. Tomorrow is J.'s birthday and the day after that is our anniversary. (We'll be celebrating 18 years together.) Somehow celebrating Father's Day just doesn't make the cut. I just hand J. the most recent baby and say, "Happy Father's Day!"

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A few more details...


[J]


Here are a few more pictures... from yesterday, the girls' birthday.


This is baby G, the first one out. She practically leaped out at 6:59am... weighing 6lbs. 15oz.






And here is baby L, who arrived at 7:02am. Despite the fact that she was only 3 minutes behind her sister, she required a bit more... umm... manipulation... before she finally made her feet-first entry/exit. She was 7lbs. 6oz.

Are they identical? Not sure yet... though all of our biological infants have had a striking family resemblance. However, they are similar enough that I think we'll be color-coding for some time to come.



Clearly, E would not have chosen this picture of herself to post, and I hasten to add that she is looking much less disheveled one day later.
But she and the girls are all doing well, and have had many visitors. M and D are very good big brothers, carefully holding their new sisters. K, however, is mainly interested in poking the babies' eyes, noses, mouths, etc. He won't be assigned any babysitting duties just yet. M and B are naturals... and earlier today I had a little twinge of future-shock as I watched M (16-y-o) holding a baby sister so naturally... as someday I'm sure I'll watch her hold her own child. (But not yet! I'm not making any suggestions for the immediate future!)

A and P are off at camp, though they've received the news. I can't imagine the excitement when they get home. Just try to pry those babies out of A's doting grip!

The relief is palpable. I don't think I realized how nervous I had been. We have been blessed beyond anything we could have asked. My prayer is for the abundance of grace it will require to make me the father that God would have me be.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Welcome to G & L!

Here they are! The newest Currys!


(G is on the left; L on the right.)


More pictures to come....
(M)

I am pleased to say that at about 7:30am the Curry family swelled to 9 kids and 2 adults.
Genevieve, Lena, and E are all doing well. We don't have pictures to put up yet but will post some as soon as we can.
Everyone at home is overjoyed and can't wait to meet the new sisters.
Thank you for your prayers.

at long last...

[J]

Let the record show that we'll be leaving for the hospital at roughly 6:00am, CDT, June 15, 2009.

With any luck, the two newest DDs will be sharing their birthday with eldest brother B. (I don't think he'll mind... and that's one less date to remember for me. Very thoughtful of them!)

More news as events develop.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I am a freak of nature

OK, so maybe not really, but I feel like one. Evidently it is a fairly rare thing to get to 39 weeks while carrying twins. At least that's how it seems by the amount of discussion I generate every time I go to the doctor's office.

As you may have assumed, I am still pregnant. A week and a half ago the babies were measuring at ~7 1/2 pounds, so I'm not even thinking about what size they must be now. Today, I was at the hospital so they could check amniotic fluid levels (good), placental health (good), and to have a non-stress test. Both baby's heartbeats are normal and behaving exactly as they should be. "Textbook perfect" is the term the nurse used. I also discovered that I have been having contractions (according to the non-stress test monitor), but I'm just not feeling them. So, while I am relieved that the babies look good, I am still in limbo as to when they are going to be born. The OB keeps mentioning that he will induce me any time I want him to, and I tell him exactly what I think of Pitocin. (I think 'spawn of the devil' was the phrase I used.) If either of the babies seemed to be in distress, I would of course agree to it. But the babies look healthy and my boredom doesn't really outweigh the horribleness of Pitocin induced contractions.

A. and P. are really, really hoping I have the babies in the next 24 hours. They leave to go to church camp for a week on Sunday and want to see the babies and not have to wait. That time frame would be fine with me as well.

In the meantime, I will continue to sit around and watch my ankles swell. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would get so close to my due date. Everything I've read about twins focuses on pre-term labor...avoiding it, what to do if it happens, the effects on the babies, etc. Not once have I read what to do when you go to term and are completely miserable and uncomfortable. You know, useful information such as how to get into bed without feeling as though one has competed in Olympic level competition. I tell you, abdominal muscles do so much. I really miss them.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Would her midwife/doctor approve?!

[J]
Dear readers, you've heard from E how incredibly pregnant, uncomfortable, and bored she's been. Today, though, the boredom got the upper hand, and E decided that since she wasn't actually in labor, she might as well go spend the day in Naperville at the ICHE (Ill. Christian Home Educators) conference. What the heck. After all, she can sit and listen there about as comfortably as she can sit around the house... and it's something different... and maybe walking around the vendor's hall will bring on labor!

So, if you happen to see a very, very pregnant woman in Naperville, remind her to put her feet up.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Yet one more ultrasound

I went to see my now good friend, Tami, the ultrasound technician yesterday. The babies still look healthy and are estimated to be ~7 1/2 pounds now. It's not really possible I will go all the way to my due date (June 20) is it? If so, I may be delivering 9 pound twins. I was kind of hoping to have two new babies for my birthday on Sunday, but nothing seems to be happening right now.

I continue with my exciting life of sleeping and sitting. I fall asleep all the time. Earlier this week M. made me a big mug of tea. (Red raspberry leaf tea...it's supposed to help bring on labor.) It was still a little bit too hot to drink so I was holding it waiting for it to cool off. Evidently I fell sound asleep while I was waiting because the next thing I know, I've spilled the entire mug of tea all over me, the chair, and the floor. Thankfully it had cooled enough so I didn't burn myself, and M. was still around to help clean everything up.

The only other big household news is that M. has started taking Driver's Ed. and now has her learner's permit. How did that happen? It really doesn't seem that long ago that I was sitting around waiting for her to be born...at 10 days late, by the way.
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