One Whole Hand! Each!

Everyone,

Today the boys turned 5 years old. 5! I just can’t believe it. When people told me as babies that it would get easier, I almost didn’t believe them. But I can honestly say, 5 years later, it’s much, much easier. Pleasant even. So much so that I’m a little sad for Butterfly and Cowboy that they don’t have their own twin. Because twins are just so much fun!

Pirate:

Pirate 5 yr old

This one is ALL boy. And mischief. And destruction. And kindness. And happy. And tenderness. He’s probably going to hate me for the last one as a teenager but he has a very kind and tender heart. I hope he never looses that.

His favorite thing to do is play games on the Wii. Or on the iPads. He LOVES Pikmin and that is his favorite game of all time. (So he tells me.) He also likes Spyhunter, Plants vs. Zombies, and anything with cars. He’s actually amazingly good at these games. Better than I ever could get!

He also loves to play outside with Butterfly. Professor is okay to play with, but he LOVES to play with his sister. Their current game is wearing their capes outside and playing “Eon Kid” which is a tv show they watch. Not sure what happens in those games, but watching them it involves Pirate having a weapon (like a bow and arrow or a gun) and doing whatever Butterfly says.

Pirate 5 yr house

He likes to ride his bike. And he’s actually quite good at it! The problem that we are having is that he is so tall, that little kid bikes aren’t really his size. And he’s too big for a big bike. He has a push bike that has been really fun for him but he won’t be able to ride it much longer.

He is interested in going fast. He has GREAT dance moves. He gives great hugs.

His favorite food is tacos. He could eat tacos all day long. But only if they are made the specific way. And that way is with refried beans (we call them painted beans because Butterfly liked how you could paint them onto your taco shell), sour cream and cheese. That’s it. And he’s super picky about how you make it and how it goes onto the soft taco shell.

Besides tacos, he likes waffles, frosting, cheese, and macaroni and cheese. He is not the biggest eater right now and dinner time is a struggle. He says, “Yuck! I hate this!” with every meal and it gets old. After a few bites, he often likes what we are having. But he wants his food to be pretty. And we don’t eat pretty food here.

He weighs 47.5 lbs (about the 75%) and is 48 1/8th inches tall (97%). The nurses at the doctors were joking with him and saying how skinny he looks! The doctor says he probably doesn’t have an ounce of fat on him. One long and skinny boy!

He had his big school check up and he passed the eye test with flying colors. His hearing test is within normal, but on the higher side of normal. They said that he is hearing fine, but that he might be congested or have build up that messed up the highest range of hearing. Good to know that he is actually hearing something. Sometimes I wonder!

He got 2 shots, and is one healthy boy. Active, happy, and busy. That’s my boy!

Professor:

Professor 5 yr old

This one is a dreamer and a thinker. He plays so well by himself. Sometimes he doesn’t play as great with others. But I recognize that from my own childhood and try to encourage a balance between the two. I like it because if he doesn’t want to play with Pirate and Butterfly, he’s fine playing on his own.

I frequently find drawings around the house done by Professor. How do I know it’s him? He writes his name ALL over it. He is a lefty so often his name is backwards, but it’s very legible. I didn’t teach him how to do this, he somehow figured it out own his own! Smart boy! He recognizes only the letters in his name but can count to 100 and recognizes numbers up to 30. Thank you big sister for that one. She often counts in the car to keep herself occupied and he picks up everything.

He is always very curious and clever. He also loves to play games and ride his bike outside. He has a push bike and while his feet never leave the ground, he is very deliberate and never reckless. He has taken a few crashes, though.

Professor 5 yr house

He got 3 shots at the doctor’s office. Why 3? The first shot was defective and the vaccine leaked all over after the needle was in. So he had to have another. He complained all day about his owies and refused to use that arm all day.

He loves to eat anything except chocolate. And if he doesn’t like something, he says there is chocolate in it! He does like white chocolate, though and other candy. He likes ice cream, and cake and waffles. He loves oatmeal (which he calls Ort-meal) and yogurt.

Professor Blue Eyes 5 yr old

He weighs 36.5 lbs (about the 10%) and is 43 and 3/4 inches tall (about 75%). We were a little surprised at his height measurement, only because Pirate is SO tall that Professor seems short compared to him. But he’s really fairly tall. The doctor said that for his height, he is in the less than 3% for his weight. Another super skinny and long boy. Seems we have a theme going on!

TWINS:

Twins at 5 yr old

I get a lot of people who don’t believe me when I say that these guys are twins. Pirate has a good 5 inches on Professor, and a good 10 lbs. They are very different. But they are saying things like, “We are five!” and “We’re the same age, and that age is 5.” So they get that they are the same age. And they get that they were in mommy’s tummy together.

(Did I write this one down? I can’t remember so I’ll write it again. It’s worth repeating. When I was pregnant with Cowboy we talked about the baby and how Pirate and Professor were babies in my tummy at the same time. Pirate says, “Yeah, when I was in your tummy I kicked Professor in the head!” Professor says, “Yeah, and I didn’t like it!” Pretty much sums up my pregnancy with them.)

They play well together. So well. But they also do fine by themselves. They aren’t super competitive with each other, although Pirate is on a winning kick right now. But he wants to win over EVERYONE and not just Professor.

Big 5 years olds with their presents. Hiya!

They have a lot of the same interests but I think a lot of 5 year old boys have these interests too. They love video games, Pikmin, superheros (specifically Iron Man and Hulk but they’ve just discovered Batman on Netflix so we’ve been watching that) and cars.

It’s hard not to do comparisons on them, only because they are the same age and do like a lot of the same things. I know a lot of twin books say never to compare them, but I’ve chosen to ignore the books. They are twins. They will get compared. I try to emphasize their good parts, and also their parts that go together. They are twins. They always will be one of 2. And I’m glad for them. And for me.

I can’t believe that 5 years ago I was huge and in pain and excited to meet my little guys! Not so little anymore!

Safire

Easter, I mean, Birthday

Everyone,

Easter this year was so much fun! Baby Cowboy got his own basket and the Easter Bunny and Nana really gave the kids some fun in the morning.

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And boy did they have fun. Yes we ate Candy for breakfast. Yes, it was good!

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Even Cowboy seemed impressed with his “haul” (which was this little alligator, a bee book and another board book).

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It was also Juice’s birthday on Easter. We celebrated! Kind of! He opened his present when the aftermath of Easter kind of died down. I got him some supplies to clean his swords, and the kids gave him a box to keep it in. They also drew all over it. I traced their hands on the top and it’s totally adorable.

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Juice is 34 this year!

This is what happens when you give a 4 year old candy for breakfast.
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He was very excited about that bag of jelly beans.

After church and some normal food, we had ice cream cake and blew out candles. Juice was able to Skype with his family and mine which made him really happy. He misses them. We all do! But it’s fun that we have technology to be able to see each other in real time. I just keep thinking of those pioneers who left their homes and never saw their families and parents again and went west. Courage!

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Speaking of church, here is the picture of the kids in their Easter clothes!

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I love how all the boys match each other. Butterfly is wearing my old dress. She gets her baptism dress this year and she’ll be wearing that to church, but it’s not made yet. Looking forward to seeing it soon though!

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This is a better picture of the clothes. And your not drawn to Pirates crazy smile so much. I think he might have had too much candy.

Safire

Cowboy Birth Story

Everyone,

It all started about 4:30 in the morning on January 7th. I sat bolt upright in bed because of a pain or heart burn or something. Maybe a little of both. It was pretty common for me to be up half the night with some kind of pain but in the back of my mind I thought this was different. I laid back down and dozed until 5am, when I was up feeling very uncomfortable.

I hoped this was it. See, my parents were in town and I really wanted to have him while I had lots and lots of help. I had an induction scheduled on January 11th, and I hoped that I wouldn’t make it to that day.

I didn’t have very regular contractions. Mostly I felt horrible cramps. Like menstrual cramps. No matter what way I switched positions, I still felt them. I got up and walked around. I took some pain killers. I kind of puttered in the bathroom. I started noticing a pattern to the cramps and started timing them. They were around 2 min apart and lasting about a minute or so. I had about 20 minutes of that and Juice woke up.

By this time, I knew this was different. The pain killers did nothing to touch the cramps. I felt awful. My doctor at my last appointment told me not to wait to call. If I had contractions for more than half an hour, to call them.

I told Juice that I thought he should stay home. I decided to take a shower and see if the contractions and the pain went away. It didn’t. I got dressed and put all of my stuff into the hospital bag while Juice got ready. Still not very painful contractions, but these horrible cramps. I started noticing that the tops of my thighs were started to ache. I called my doctor. He said to come on into the hospital and get checked out. It never hurts to be looked at.

I was 38 weeks and 3 days. I had Butterfly at 38 weeks and 4 days. And the boys, I had at 36 weeks and 6 days.

I had breakfast and said goodbye to the kids. I was going to stay and make sure that Butterfly got off to school around 9am but I really just wasn’t feeling well. Juice said we should go sooner rather than later so we left.

We got to the hospital (time unknown, I really wasn’t thinking about the time) and headed up to Labor and Delivery. They were expecting us. I signed a bunch of forms. I got my ID bracelets and they asked us to wait in the empty waiting room.

About 5 minutes later, a triage nurse came and took us to triage. I got undressed and they hooked me up to the monitors. One showed that the baby’s heart beat was good. And the other showed my contractions. Or my lack there of. I was sure they were going to send me home. I still felt pretty horrible, lots of cramping but nothing really showing up on the monitors as a real contraction.

I answered a bunch of questions, including how dilated I was at my last appointment. Which was Wednesday the 2nd. I was 2 centimeters. They checked me again and this time I was 4 centimeters! They said they were going to keep me and moved me into room number 2.

In Labor Jan 7 2013

There, I had all my monitors hooked up again, and answered a bunch more questions. Mostly about the baby and what my plan was. They asked me about 3 times if I wanted the epidural and I said I would think about it. I got a few more bracelets and an IV. (I HATED this IV. They put it in the side of my wrist and it ached every time I moved my hand. Which was a lot.) They left me to labor a bit. The nurse came back in and adjusted my monitors so I would get credit for the contractions that I was having. Since they weren’t showing up on the monitor and I was feeling them. The cramping was getting worse but nothing I couldn’t handle.

Cowboy Contractions

My doctor came in (same one I saw on Wednesday! Yay!) and we discussed my plan for labor. My contractions were still very, very mild. And not terribly regular. I wanted the doctor to break my water and see what happens from there. I didn’t want pitocin. I wasn’t sure about the epidural still. She said she was fine with that and got out her stuff. It was about 10:40am by then. She broke my water (which hurt, not the water part but the getting the hook in there part) and frowned. Both her and the nurse looked at me and the doctor said she knows she broke it. No water was coming out. (Honestly, I had been wondering if I’d been leaking fluid for a few days…no conformation on that though.) She had to break it again and pushed on my belly after. A small gush came out. Followed by regular little gushes as I had contractions.

It’s game time. When I had Butterfly, the doctor broke my water and I had her only a few contractions later. They did the same with the boys. I was expecting things to start moving. So was everyone else. So when nothing really happened, the doctor left and the nurse too. I tried to relax. Juice took a nap (a tiny short one, lucky) and I turned the music on my phone so I could think of something. About 10, maybe 15 minutes into it I started hurting. The contractions were finally starting to get regular and hurt! I just kept telling myself “down, out, down, out, down, out” with each contraction. Pretty soon my breathing and shifting woke Juice up.

Juice sleeping/waiting for baby

I made him come over to my right side and hold the baby heartbeat monitor onto my side. I wanted to be sitting up. It was the only comfortable position. Sadly, they don’t want you sitting up because it’s hard to monitor the contractions and the baby. So Juice’s job was to hold the monitor on my belly and make sure that they can still monitor the baby while I sat up and tried to manage the pain.

I remember feeling like I couldn’t do this. I remember thinking that this was normal and that I was probably in transition. (Yay for reading and watching a ton of labor stuff before!) I started to shake. I KNEW I was in transition. The nurse came in and tried to talk me into an epidural but I knew it was close and I couldn’t wait for the epidural to kick in. I started to have contractions back to back to back and the nurse asked if I wanted to be checked.

The doctor walked in at that moment and said that she would check me. It took me about 4 contractions to be able to roll over onto my back to be checked. I was complete and ready to push. Then it took me about 4 MORE contractions to respond to that. I remember saying that I didn’t want to do this. A lot.

I had a small break in the contractions and they convinced me it was time to push. I asked if I could lay on my side. Really, I wanted to sit up but being on my back hurt way worse than being on my side. They said sure. It was awkward, laying on my back. They kept trying to push my legs out farther than I was comfortable. And I lost control. Lots of pain, lots of screaming (yes, screaming) and lots of crying. I think I only pushed on my side for a few contractions. They kept counting to 10 to help me and I totally ignored it. I pushed when I was ready, and for how long I could. The doctor told me if I rolled over on my back we would have the baby.

I remember having to steel myself to roll over. It hurt. A lot. And when I did, they kept trying to push my legs back. And I kept wanting to arch my back away from the pain. It HURT to be on my back. Finally, I decided, “Let’s get this over with!” and pushed as hard as I could.

Then, the contractions stopped. I had been having stair step contractions back to back, where I didn’t get a break in between to re-center myself. The pain just kept coming and coming and coming and building and building. I could feel his head crowning but it wasn’t painful. I suddenly could take a breath and realized what was happening. Then I felt the contractions come back and I pushed as hard as I could. His head was out. Then the next contraction the rest of him came out with a whoosh and a HUGE gush of water came out with him. It was 12:27pm.

They put the baby right onto my chest and I looked down at him. Boy did he look like Professor! I got to hold him for a few minutes and they took him to the warmer to get him wiped up and weighed. (8lbs, 3 oz which is what I weighed when I was born, and 20 inches long)

Cowboy Weight

Juice took his picture.

Baby Cowboy is here!

The placenta came out in one big whoosh and I felt so much better. It really is amazing that once that is gone, you feel great. I guess it was a big placenta too because the doctor said so. She said she had to give me one stitch. She asked if I would rather have some local to numb the area, but it would be two sticks. One stitch, also sticks. I chose just to do the stitch and have it over with.

I started shaking really bad again at that point and they brought the baby back to me. They brought me a few more blankets and covered me up. They gave me a very cool bracelet that would play Braham’s Lullaby when the baby got close to me. They gave Juice his bracelets and I started shaking again. We did some skin to skin and they piled the blankets on. I think every house should have a blanket or towel warmer. A totally frivolous thing I would like to put on my Christmas list.

Mommy and Cowboy Jan 2013

Juice and I looked him over, and he started sucking his thumb! So adorable.

Cowboy sucking his thumb Jan 2013

I let Juice hold him for a few minutes and then they wrapped him up to be moved over into the other rooms. He got to push the bassinet and I got a wheel chair ride.

Daddy and Cowboy Jan 2013

This was my longest delivery yet. Butterfly: 2 hours. The boys: 4 hours. And him, they count it from the time of my first contractions (I say about 5am) till he was born. So 7 and a half hours. But really, from the time they broke my water at 10:40 till his birth at 12:30 was only about 2 hours. This has been the only birth I’ve actually gone in to labor on my own. The other 2 were inductions. So I think it’s okay if it’s a little longer than the others! Plus, I had no pitocin, no interventions (other than breaking my water) and I seriously felt great after. Shaky, and a little light headed, but I like that I could get up to go to the bathroom if I wanted and I could walk only a few minutes after birth.

We decided on his name (email me if you want to know, I won’t mention it here) and Juice decided he disliked Buckaroo for his blog name. So we switched it to Cowboy and it fits him much better. Welcome to the work baby Cowboy!

Happy Mommy and Baby Jan 2013

Safire

PS- More about the hospital stay later. I have A LOT to say on that subject.

Due Date and Baby!

Everyone,

Today is my due date for the baby. Whew, I made it! And guess what? I had the baby almost 2 weeks ago. Yup. Blogging in real time people.

No honestly, 4 is harder than 3. I think because I had SO MUCH HELP when the boys were born that I was able to adjust slowly to having 3. This time, not as much help. My parents were here for a few days, and Juice has taken a few days off. It’s an adjustment for us all, and we’re all coping. Some better than most.

PLUS, our first floor is still in the messy throws of being of being re-floored. Which we’ve had our friends help with, and our family. But still, it’s all torn up and that is what Juice is taking time off to do. Oh sure, he helps some with the kids. He’s actually been very helpful. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like he’s ignoring me and our three (!!) boys completely. But the floor does take up a lot of our time.

PLUS, we found mold in our downstairs wall.

Seriously, the fun never stops here!

Here are a few pictures of the babe, and then the birth story will follow in a few days.

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You can see our new floor in this picture.

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Safire