Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Long Weekends Make for the BEST Weekends!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend with your family and friends and most importantly took time to remember our beloved servicemen who have served our country and those who are still serving. There are many freedoms we enjoy everyday that we also overlook everyday. Our gratitude and respect should go to these brave men and women for these freedoms we enjoy. 


Friday afternoon, I left work early to make a mad dash through Kroger and run a couple of other errands, because we had BIG plans for that night! 

For the last couple of years, we have offered our nephews two options for their birthdays. Either a present to unwrap or a sleepover at our house with dinner of their choice and a trip to the movies. They ALWAYS choose the second option. Because of ball schedules, this weekend was the first time we could fit in Colin's birthday weekend. (His birthday was April 28. Yikes.)

When my sister dropped them off, we had fierce but short "summer shower" come through. They had their hearts on playing baseball outside, but the rain put those plans on hold for an hour or so until I finally caved and let them go out in the drenching wet grass to play. 


In between my turns at bat, I managed to put up some of my favorite patriotic decorations. I love to put these up before Memorial Day and leave them out until July 4th! I seriously think that this might be my favorite season to decorate for other than Christmas. 


We went back and forth on dinner plans and finally decided to just order pizza and have it delivered. Paper plates and pizza...my kind of Friday night fun!


After dinner, all they wanted to do was watch movies on Netflix and eat brownies. They don't have Netflix at home, so I think they feel like it's quite the luxury when they come to our house. 


We let them take turns in picking out a dvd to take to the tv in "their" room before they go to bed. I'll start the movie and let them watch for about an hour before turning it off. Usually, one or both will be asleep when I go back in to check on them....not Friday night though. They picked the movie, "Elf" to watch, and I can't blame them. I'd probably stay awake to watch that one too. 


Saturday morning was packed with pancakes, bacon, more Netflix, bag packing, and yard running before it was time to leave to make our 12pm movie, The Angry Birds Movie. Ugh. Friends. It was awful. I try to make the most of kids movies, but this one just did nothing for me. In fact, I fell asleep twice during the movie! The boys didn't laugh once. If you ask them if they like it, they'll tell you yes. If you ask them if they thought it was funny, they'll tell you no. Sooo...there's your 9 and 7 year olds' reviews. 


After the movies we stopped at Lowes to get shelves cut for the nursery closet project we're working on. (more on that later) One boy was super helpful and one was a tad dramatic with a pouting fit thrown at the checkout line when I said no to buying him candy. 

It's hard being 7. 


We played MORE baseball outside when we got back home and just enjoyed the beautiful day we had outside! 

We were supposed to go to a cookout Saturday night with friends, but Stephen hadn't been feeling well all day and was afraid he'd not be able to stay long once we got there. So we stayed at home instead. 

We had a church lunch the next day, so I whipped up my much requested Honey Bun Cake (recipe to come in a few weeks)


It is SO GOOD. 

I had Kohls cash about to expire, so I ordered a few of these puppies for the nursery closet project. I'm not sure whether to feel accomplished that I got the entire order for free or feel defeated because I spent so much at Kohls previously that I had that much in rewards cash. It's a love/hate relationship. 

Monday, I slept late and then came in to work until 4pm. It's AMAZING how much you can get done when all the other "business departments" in a hospital are closed. 

 We wrapped up the long weekend with dinner at my parents house. A little Thursday Night Family Night on a Monday if you will. 


So, today is May 31st and that means it's 2 of my best, dearest friends in the entire world's birthdays!! I could do a week long post series on my friends because they are just the best people ever, but I'm settling for a little combined shoutout today!

My friend Emilee and I can almost tell you the exact date we became friends. There was a specific, life-defining moment one teenage summer, and we've been by each other's side ever since. I seriously do not even know what I would do without her. We've been there for each other's happiest moments, and been by each other's side through our hardest moments. We've planned WAAAAY too many events, parties, and showers together through the years. We just get each other. If I need to vent and have someone just "get it", she's going to "get it." Find out you're having twins and start to freak out with all the "what are we going to do'" scenarios. All your friends and family are excited and reply with encouraging, "don't worry it'll work out" comments. Not, Emilee...she's riding shotgun in the boat of practicality with me and whose first response was, "WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?!" I KNOW!!!! Happy Birthday Emi, I love you so much and hope you have the best day! (Birthdays are kind of a big deal for us!)


My dear life-long friend, Angela is also celebrating her birthday today. I've often said many times through the years that Angela is the un-filtered half of my brain. We share the same thoughts, she's just often braver than I to actually put those thoughts into spoken words. We may not see each as much as we would like to anymore, but anytime we do get together, it feels like we just saw each other the day before. We always pick right up where we left off. I love that about our friendship. We have spent many hours laughing until tears are rolling down our face, making reference to inside jokes, and planning friends' baby showers together. I am so glad I have this gal in my corner, she's the kind of friend that every girl needs! Happy Birthday Ang! I hope you have a great day...love you much!


Don't forget to link up with us tomorrow for Pinspiration Wednesday!


We're talking all about our Summer Bucket Lists!! Mine list is probably going to be a bit different than your average Summer Fun list, but I can't wait to see what everyone else has in store for their Summer plans! Grab our graphic and join us tomorrow!!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Faves

It seems like it's been a sweet forever since I did a Friday Favorites post, but here we are!! I just love the blogging community, fun linkups and sweet friendships made!

|one|

We have the most beautiful rose bush at our house that we honestly debated on getting rid of when we moved in. Every Spring and Summer when these soft pink and white roses start blooming I'm immediately thankful and glad we kept it! There's 30-40 roses blooming right now; it makes me smile when I pull in our driveway every afternoon. 


|two|

I shared a story about our youngest nephew, Colin a couple weeks ago and  a get well card he made for a stranger which ended up having a lasting impact that none of us ever saw coming. You can read it  here

Similarly, his big brother, Riley also has a caring heart of gold. He handed me this piece of paper during church on Sunday and I had to snap and pic and send several text messages to let these people know that Riley was thinking of them and wishing them God's care over them. I love those boys' hearts!


|three|

I've tried to stay away from many online forums during this pregnancy, because those things can get me all kinds of worked and up worried over nothing. That being said, I'm reaching out to you ladies to ask this, is it normal or did you have problems sleeping during your 2nd trimester? I will sleep hard for a couple of hours then wake up and be WIDE awake for a few hours. It's the worst. It's not that I'm uncomfortable or hurting, I'm just WIDE awake. I hate just laying there while Stephen snoozes away, so often I'll grab an old blanket (yes, it's a Christmas blanket and it's the coziest thing ever) and head to our guest room. I stretch out on the bed in there and watch tv until I finally get sleepy again. Normal or not so much?


|four|

We ordered cribs over the weekend! We decided to go with this very clean, straight line look for furniture in hopes to keep the room looking less cluttered with double furniture. 


|five|

Last Summer, I had the guest room and spare room / junk room / future nursery painted. I went ahead and picked a color that I knew I would be happy with whether we had a boy or girl. (Or now...a boy/boy, girl/girl, boy/girl...oh, how quickly things change in a year.) It's Sherwin Williams Tidewater - it's perfect!

Over the weekend, we purged the room of everything we had thrown in there the past two years and the closet....OH the closet. It's beautifully EMPTY now! So we've got our blank slate to start working from!!


Now, hopefully these kiddos will cooperate on June 6th and we'll find out whether we add pinks and corals to this room or navy and something. OR who knows what direction it'll take if we have a boy/girl combo on the way! No matter what, we can't wait to see what we're having and to give these babies NAMES!!


|six|

In the most life changing news, things are about to get real around here. Don't get me wrong, Krispy Kreme does NOT and will NEVER replace our famed local donut shop that we have, but my goodness. I'm probably more excited about this than I should be. 


|seven|

Join myself, Justine & Leigh on Wednesday for our Pinspiration Wednesday linkup! We're posting and sharing all about our Summer Bucket lists. Can't wait to get some fun ideas from everyone! Grab our graphic and join us on Wednesday!


Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful holiday weekend!!
linking up here





Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thursday Confessions


I'm joining my friend, Leigh, today for my Thursday Confessions. (Which an alternate post title could've been, "#allthepregnancyhormones.)

|one|

Earlier this week, during our lunch "break", (I use the word "break" VERY loosely.) in less than 30 minutes we were interrupted by 6 different guys coming in just standing there over us while we ate killing time, needing something, etc. HELLO?!! You see us sitting here around this big table and eating a meal, right? Oh, it doesn't bother you? Well, that's good for you but for me...you can go!


The girl I work with...well, she and I had our fill that day. We quietly got up from the table and left the room with two of the guys still in there. Then we left the building. We ended up taking a nice little walk outside around the hospital. It was by far the best part of that day. 

|two|

Remember that guy a couple weeks ago that  I told you calls me Monica? This week, he's called me Jessica...THREE TIMES. I was VERY clear with him for the 219th time in 6 years that my name is ERICA...not Monica...not Jessica. I won't get my hopes up. 


|three|

If one or both of these babies are girls, my dad and uncle are ADAMENT that they not wear headbands or "garter belts around their heads" as they call them. To that I say...yeaaaah....oooooohhhkay.


|four|

It feels pretty darn good to stand up for yourself when you catch someone lying about you right outside your office door. I don't know WHERE this power has come from but I marched myself right up to him and cleared that mess up real fast. No, sir.


|five|

I may or may not have cried on Tuesday when I saw my best friend post her last picture of their home with the "Sold" sign in the yard. IT'S NOT EVEN MY HOUSE?!!! They built that house and moved in right after they were married. We've had some fun memories in that house, just like I know we will in their new one...which is even closer to us. But still, WHY did I cry? Oh yeah...#allthepregnancyhormones


Check in with Leigh today for everyone else's fun (and probably more normal) confessions. 



Friday, May 20, 2016

Questions and Answers - Part 2

If you missed yesterday's post about how we found out about the pregnancy and then how we found out about the twins and whether or not I had a craniotomy, you can get caught up here.

Today I'm finishing off our most asked questions list, with the logistics of it all!

Am I excited?
This sounds like a dumb question to type out, but it’s seriously probably our most asked question. Yes, we’re excited, but we are still overwhelmed. It’s A LOT to think about planning for and not just the immediate needs, but 10 years from now, 16 years from now. More than excited, we are THANKFUL. We will never know anything different than having two together.



Have I been sick?
Nope, not once. I joke that it’s been the most boring pregnancy ever and that I couldn’t been more thrilled to have it that way! Especially with it being twins, I think I’ve dumbfounded the doctors that I’ve not been sick at all. One doctor threw his hands up and said, “Hey…Hallelujah ya know!” The other one just keeps saying, “this is great…I can’t believe it.”

Any other symptoms, cravings?
I had a few weeks (weeks 9-11/12 to be exact) of extreme exhaustion. Every day about 1pm I felt like I could just lean my head back and go to sleep in my office. I would leave work at 3:30, go home, go to bed, get up  fix dinner, clean the kitchen up, and go lay back down until bed time. Cravings…nothing substantial or consistent. In fact, I’ve not had much of an appetite at all and have lost weight, which I’m told can be common. There’s been a few moments, where I’ve thought of something to eat and just had to have it because it sounded so good. For example, Long John Silver’s. I bet I’ve not eaten there since I was a kid, but it sounded SO good to me one night that I picked it up after a ballgame on my way home and y’all…I NEVER SAT DOWN while I was eating. I scarfed that food down standing up like it was my job! I’ve not had it since and not wanted it since, but for that one glorious moment, it was the meal of my dreams!

When will we find out genders? Will we find out?
I laugh at the 2nd part, have you people met me?! YES, we’ll find out! There’s TWO lives to plan for! We go back in less than three weeks and we miiiiight find out then, but no promises. They say it’s harder to find out with two. We may find out one and not the other until the next time just depending on how they’re lying and how much room they have to move around.


Will we have a gender reveal party?
Probably not, just because there’s no certain time frame of when we’ll know what they both are. There’s no way to plan for a party when we have no idea on a when.

What do we want them to be?
I know the response people are wanting is for us to say, “boy/girl, 2 girls or 2 boys” but my response is always, “healthy…I want them to be healthy. I don’t care what they are. Obviously boy/girl would be the ideal twin scenario, but as long as they’re both ok, I really don’t have a preference.”

Do we have names picked out yet?
We have 1 boy name that we’re 95% sure on. If it’s two boys we’ll split that name up. For example, if it was Colin David, one boy would have the name Colin and the other would have David. Girls’ names we’re up in the air on. We have a middle name for one, which I’ve had for probably 15+ years..it’ll go with anything, we’ve just got to decide which one it’ll go with. Naming a child is serious business. It’s not so much what is “cute” to us, but what will grow with the child, and what we can see a 40 year old woman one day with this name that we pick out.


What are our nursery plans?
Well, part of me wants to say my nursery plans went from being cute to functional. Which is true, but it’ll still look great. That being said, I don’t know what we’re doing yet. It all depends on their genders. We’re making ZERO plans other than cleaning out the room and closet until we find out.

Will I have a c-section?
It all depends on their positions, but just because it’s twins, doesn’t necessarily mean an automatic c-section. We’ll just have to see closer to time. Whichever option is going to be safest for both babies and myself, I’m all for it whatever it may be!

Will I go back to work? How long will I be off?
We’re having twins, I HAVE to work! Haha. Even if it had just been one, yes I would’ve gone back to work. Just a personal decision and everyone is different, but for this phase of our life, I have to work. As long as nothing unforeseen happens (i.e. bedrest prior to delivery) I’ll be off probably 12-14 weeks. Which means, I will get to snuggle all through the holiday season at home in our cozy living room with a beautiful Christmas tree on one side and two perfect babies on the other! Ahhh...I can't wait!

What are our childcare plans after I go back to work?
We are fortunate to have so many family members who have said they would help in keeping our babies for us during the day. My mother in law, being the primary source. So various family members are our plan for the first year or so. Eventually, we will place them in an MDO program part of the week, but for now they’ll be with family. We hear that immune systems with twins are lower and ours will be ready to go somewhere when I go back to work right in the midst of flu season. Call me paranoid, but I’m just not comfortable sending them to daycare during that time. If one catches something, the other one will get it.

Will you do the “bumpdate” posts?
I don’t know. If I do, they won’t be weekly. Maybe once or twice a month?? I think they’re fun posts and LOVE to read them, but they’re just not 100% for me to do.


What kind of help do we need?
We need prayers! Lots of and lots of prayers! So far, everything has gone smoothly and both babies are doing great, but that doesn’t ease our anxiousness. We try not to worry about something happening even though we’re out of the “danger zone”, but we know all too well from others’ experiences that anything can happen later on in a pregnancy. It’s so scary. We feel like we’re in constant prayer for our babies’ health and safety. There’s nothing that we want more! Please join us in that prayer!! 


Thanks so much for joining me this week for all of these fun posts! I've waited SO long to share news like this on my blog, I just never imagined it would be news of two precious babies! 

I look forward to sharing our lives with you as we begin this new journey. So many of you have been so supportive, encouraging and have been praying for us for so long. These children are most certainly our answered prayers. God's timing is perfect. God's plan is perfect. He is faithful!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Questions and Answers - Part 1


After I finished writing this post, I realized it was quite lengthy, so I'm sharing part of it today and the rest tomorrow. Today is mostly about how we found out and how we reacted. Tomorrow is more of the logistics of it all. 

I’m not sure what direction this blog will take now that there’s children (PLURAL) in the picture. It may become your typical “mom blog” and if so, that’s ok, because that’s our life. Every post won’t be ALL babies but for this week, it is because well, I’ve kept my mouth shut on here for over two months…so I’m letting it out all this week!
                        
We’ve been asked a list of questions from family and friends over the past couple of months and most questions have been the same from each person. Today, I’m taking time to answer those questions on here for me to look back on one day and remember how it all came about and how we were feeling during those first few weeks.

How far along am I?
I am almost 15 weeks.

When’s my due date?
November 12 is the official 40 week due date. However, we already know that the babies will be here between 35-38 weeks; our doctor doesn’t let multiples go that long. That being said, we’re looking at anywhere from October 8 – 29. So…mid-October is what we’re saying.

When / How did I find out? (this is the long one…get cozy)
Early last Fall, we decided we would give ourselves until the end of the year to see if we got pregnant again, if we didn’t, I would start Clomid in January. Obviously, I didn’t get pregnant by end of the year and with the holidays and end of the year at work, I never did any research much on Clomid. I knew you only took it for a few days, but I didn’t know all the specifics. I called my OB’s nurse to tell her we were ready to start (My OB was ready to start me in September, she was just waiting for us to make our decision of when to start.) We chatted about my cycle and quickly determined I needed to start the med in two days. This was on a Friday. Everybody knows how doctors’ offices work on Fridays, everybody’s rushed, half of the people leave early, some close at noon. I needed the Clomid for Sunday, the nurse was going to call it in to our pharmacy. I went by the Pharmacy late that afternoon, they had nothing for me. Stephen went again that night, still nothing and had nothing on their orders for me. Saturday comes and I’m flipping out because I NEED this medicine tomorrow. I pulled my “our doctor is also a good family friend” card and called my OB on her cell and told her what had happened. She called the Pharmacy herself and the prescription was ready for pickup just a few minutes later. We’re still not sure what happened, because we know the order was sent from the office’s end, it just never made it through to the Pharmacy’s end. Crisis adverted.



I’m not sure if this is common practice with Clomid for all OB’s, but a  “Day 14” ultrasound was optional with my doctor. (A Day 14 U/S looks at how many follicles have been produced and their sizes. Follicles produce and release eggs. Clomid is supposed to increase follicle production, therefore, increasing your chance of egg release, increasing your chance for conception.) Because everything for January started so quick and not well planned out by yours truly, I opted not to have the ultrasound in January + this was all right before the blizzard!


When I didn’t get pregnant in January and called in for my next round of Clomid, we scheduled a Day 14  U/S. On February 19th, I had the u/s and was told the Clomid was working but it wasn’t doing all it could. I had 9 measured follicles but “only one favorable follicle” that measured 1.55cm. The nurse told me she was going to call in my March round to the Pharmacy and was doubling my dosage. So immediately, I’m thinking, well, they don’t think I’m going to get pregnant this month, because they’re already calling in my medicine for next month and I’ve still got 15-16 days left in this cycle. Later that day, I told my cousin who is a Women’s Health Nurse Practioner what they said and she agreed, that yes it was working, but it could do more. They like for follicles to be close to 2cm to be “of good size”. Again, my hopes of getting pregnant in February were slim to none. To many known facts that were against us.

March 10, I was one day late. When you go through fertility issues / problems / etc, you just get to the point where you KNOW your body. Even ONE day was a red flag to me. I took a pregnancy test on a whim that morning, NEVER expecting it to be positive, I really just thought my body was off because of the medicine or something. I took a shower, got ready for work, and then looked over at the test to see the normal pink control line and a faint 2nd line. I must've stared at that little strip for 10 minutes trying to decide if the 2nd line was really there or not. Finally, I convinced myself it was there because HOW MANY negative tests have I taken…they did NOT look like this. So, it must be a real 2nd line. For whatever reason, I threw the test in my bag along with another test and went on to work.

A few hours later, I took the other test. Why? I don’t know. Curiosity I guess. There was a 2nd line on that one too, but this time it was brighter and not as faint as the one earlier in the morning. I called my OB’s office (because you’re supposed to let them know as soon as you take a positive test after a pregnancy loss, so they can begin you a medicine that’s basically a steroid that helps strengthen everything down there during the first trimester), she sent me an order to go get my blood drawn to confirm. I had that done, my hcG level was at 612 which means YES INDEED those little 2nd lines were accurate, and she called me in the new medicine, Prometrium to start taking that night. ALL of this happened before lunchtime on THURSDAY March 10. (Thursday is important later on.) And Stephen had no clue any of this was going on. In fact, he sent a text message at some point that morning, telling me how bad his day had been so far. He had been having problems at every stop on his route and traffic had been crazy; he was just having a bad day. All I could text back was, “well, maybe it’ll get better”. WHAT DO I SAY?!? “It’s ok, turns out I’m pregnant so that should make your day better?!” Telling him that was not an option.



Here’s a little back story for the next part, my family has been talking about going a cruise together for the last year or so. We had decided that we’d try to go this year in October during our nephews and my sister’s Fall Break from school. However with it being very well known we were trying to get pregnant again, we didn’t want to book until as late as we could in case I did get pregnant and couldn’t go. We learned from the travel agent my dad dealt with that we could wait as late as August to book, which would be great. Even if we found out around August that I was expecting, I could still go and have a good time. (They won’t let you cruise after 24 weeks.) SO..that was THE PLAN.

That same THURSDAY afternoon, my dad walked in my office at work and said, “Well, I booked our cruise today!” I just froze and stared at him. In my head I’m thinking, I can’t tell my dad before I tell my husband! I said, “Ooooook….so, what happened to our plan of waiting until August to book?” He explained that the deposit he placed for all of us wouldn’t process until the next morning, and we could cancel after that time but it would only go towards the booking of a different cruise date, he would not get a refund. At that point, I know I’ve got to get home and tell Stephen so we can tell my parents that night at our weekly Thursday night Family dinner night because who knows when we’ll be ready to take a baby on a cruise! I wanted him to get that refund by the 10am cut off the next morning.

OH…and I also got a call for an interview that day from a job that I had applied for MONTHS before and hadn’t heard anything from. So much time had passed, I had forgotten about it! ALL of this happened on THURSDAY before I ever made it back home. Such a HUGE day!

When I got home, I told Stephen about what all had happened during my day. It took a few minutes to absorb it all. We were excited, but we were cautious more than anything, as anyone after a loss would be. We decided to tell my parents, sister and BIL that night at dinner just because of the new developments that day with the cruise plans. At dinner, my dad told everyone else, “Hey, I booked the cruise today!”

Remember that scene from Father of the Bride II where the family’s arguing about the name of Annie and Brian’s baby so to change the subject, George just jumps in and says, “Hey guess what, I sold the house today!” and everyone fell silent?? Yeah, it was just like that moment.


So then, the comments came from my mom and sister about, what happened to waiting to August, we don’t know what Erica’s situation will be…etc. My dad says, “Well, they’ll let her cruise up to 24 weeks, so…” I cut him off and just said, “Well…..we won’t be able to go because I’m pregnant already.” My mom and sister screamed and cried. My dad just sat there and looked defeated in his master plans he had taken care of that day. It was a table of mixed facial expressions.

Update – my dad got his money back the next morning and no one is cruising this year since the babies could be here as early as October 8. I ruined everyone’s Fall Break plans for 2016. Ask me at this point if I really care.

When did you find out it was twins?
We were scheduled for our first appointment and ultrasound at 8 weeks. They do them a little earlier with pregnancies after a loss just to see if everything is going ok and if anything could be caught early on that might be a problem.

I should also add that I had an additional blood draw over the weekend after our big Thursday to make sure my hcG level was increasing. They want it to at least double in 2-3 days. Remember it was 612 on Thursday, on Sunday it was 3026!! I knew it was a big increase and one friend even immediately joked it was twins because of it more than quadrupling. I assured her it was just going to be one, and that I just had an amazingly strong pregnancy this time. She laughed at me and said she’d be interested to see how our first u/s turned out.



Tuesday, April 5, we had our first u/s. By this time, I was a pro at ultrasounds since I had had more than I can remember in the past year and a half. So I’m calmly lying there praying, please let this baby be ok and have a strong heartbeat. The lady says, “ok, you ready to take a look?” The monitor is hung high on the wall in front of me, and I was all like, “Yeah, sure!” She said, “Here’s Baby #1…….” I felt my eyes get so big they could pop and I looked at her with this, “you better not say what I think you’re about to say” look. “And here’s Baby #...” Me interrupting her… “Shut up! Shut up right now!” “#2!” Stephen instantly jumped out of his chair was right up against the wall the monitor was on and was just dying laughing. I’m lying there thinking, “what if it’s two girls…that’s 2 weddings close together! They’ll both need cars at the same time! OUR CAR INSURANCE!?!!!!” Yes, these are the instant thoughts I had. I laid there the rest of the time covering my face in disbelief and I must've repeated at least a dozen times, "but there was only one favorable follicle...", and then I apologized to the u/s tech for telling her to shut up. She assured me she had been told far worse.

She kept looking for a third, which I informed her “was certainly not there.” What did I know?


After our ultrasound, we had to go back to the waiting room, because all of the exam rooms were full at the time. Once we got called back, we found out our doctor had to go across the street to the hospital for an emergency surgery, and another doctor would meet with us. So, we’re sitting in this exam room pretty much in silence staring at each other when the nurse or assistant or whatever her title is came in to get all the info from us, take blood pressure, etc. Those people. She asked us if we were ok, and my answer to her was, “we’re fine…still in shock, but we’re ok.” She snipped back and said, “Well, you took Clomid, you should’ve known your chances were increased.” Fortunately she had her back to us when she said this because I couldn’t contain my reaction to her. “Yes, well, the chances are slim now aren’t they? And you’d be shocked just a bit too if you just found out.” UGH.

THEN….she started asking what surgeries I had in the past and I told her just my gallbladder. She flips through my papers and said, “No, there’s something else in here I saw.” I informed her, “No…just the gallbladder..nothing else. I just filled those papers out an hour ago.” She INSISTED, “No. There’s something else you had that I saw.” At this point, I gave up, because apparently, I don’t even know what surgeries I’ve had myself. Y’all…the lady said this….”I swear I saw something in here about a craniotomy or something.” I looked at Stephen who was doubled over in his chair barely holding it together and I mouthed the words, “WHO IS SHE?!?!” to him. You’d think I’d remember something like…oh…..HAVING PART OF MY SKULL AND BRAIN REMOVED!!!



Finally the doctor came in and was  super nice to us and understanding. He answered questions that we should’ve had but were too shocked to think of and informed us that given our Day 14 ultrasound and other circumstances, we were looking at a LESS THAN 4% chance of this having happened. We should’ve bought lottery tickets on our way home that day. 


Part 2 coming tomorrow...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Snapshots of the Past 10 Weeks

I'll answer all the questions tomorrow, but today I'm sharing a few pics that have been life the past 2+ months. Hopefully by now, you all understand my slow down in blogging during that time. While I haven't been sick ONCE (praise Jesus), I did go through a few weeks of complete exhaustion. I barely made it through the work days, came home, went to bed, got up ate dinner, got ready for bed and went back to bed. I've never been that tired in my entire life...naturally, blogging was no where on my priority list for those weeks. 

On March 10 on a whim, I took a pregnancy test and got a positive test - and what kind of expectant mother would I be if I didn't snap a pic of the best sight ever!


Later that same day, I had blood work done to confirm. Everything moved SUPER fast that day since I had experienced a loss in my last pregnancy. I have the worst veins ever for needle sticks. After four tries in my arms, they finally were able to draw blood....from my hand...not fun and a guaranteed bruise. 


Oh yeah, did I mention I went that WHOLE day and didn't tell Stephen what was going on?! Yeah, I did. Worse wife ever. I picked up this book during my lunch break and gave it to him when I got home. Cue the teary eyes and thankful hearts!


Because of some things that happened on the day I found  out (more on that tomorrow) we had to expedite telling our parents. We managed to wait until the weekend to tell Stephen's parents. We gave Stephen's mom a onesie that said, "You Better Sit Down". I wish we had gotten her reaction on video, because it took her a while to get it. Her first reaction was, "Oh that's cute..." about 30 seconds later, the jumping, cheering and tears ensued.


A few weeks later, we had our first appointment and an ultrasound. The day they lowered the boom on us....


When we told my mom's side of the family, I ordered a cookie cake for a our announcement. 


I had given my aunt a heads up since she was trying desperately to get everyone there that night for us to tell. She picked up a cute ice cream cake for our news!


While I was never sick with "pregnancy symptoms", I did catch a horrible virus three weeks ago which landed us a trip to the ER. The main concern was getting too dehydrated for the babies. Had I not been pregnant, I would've toughed it out, but my doctor just didn't want me to go that far. I needed IV fluids and soon before I got any worse. Two bags of fluid, three "cocktail" shots in my central line and I felt like a new woman. 

Our wonderful ER doc did an ultrasound in my room just for peace of mind, and both babies were great. I may or may not have cried for the first time in the pregnancy in that ER room. I may or may not also have said, "I guess I'm attached to them now." #allthehormones Baby B did a backflip, impressed his Daddy and the doctor. Baby A snoozed the whole time. Which leads me to this assumption...one baby is like Stephen and is all "look at me, look at me" while the other one is like me and basically wants to be left alone and relax. We'll see how that turns out. 


Two weeks ago, we had another ultrasound and can I just say how amazing it is that these tiny people are growing so much in such little time?!


Baby A is harder to see; he or she was head down whereas Baby B was head up.


B's head is a A's feet. It was incredible to see them both moving and squirming around and yet not to feel any of it. I can't imagine how unreal it's going to be once I start feeling them in a few weeks. 


That's been a little look into our life lately. We're waiting until we know their genders to make all the big decisions like nursery ideas and names. There's just too many options to consider at this point. I mean if we wanted to be REALLY prepared, we'd have 2 full girls names and 2 full boys names ready. That's 8 names!! (two of each, first and middle) I'd rather not drive myself that crazy this early. 

For now, we're buying up laundry detergents and boxes of diapers....we think we're going to need several of both of those. (Or so I've been told.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

When You Tell People You're Having Twins....

First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you for all the kind words and well wishes that have been extended our way since our announcement over the weekend! We  have felt your love and prayers for many months, and I truly believe that God not only answered our prayers, but all of your prayers for us as well! They say it takes a village to raise a child, so I'm expecting it to take a small nation to raise the Stafford twins! I am so excited to share the joy these two will bring to all of our friends and family!

There are many questions to answer, and don't worry, I'll address those this week. So, if you have any questions, please send them my way in the comments, on facebook or email. There's probably not a question we haven't been already been asked by our families and close friends who have known our secret. We've been an open book, and will be through this process to an extent. 

For today, I'm sharing some of the most fun moments of these past several weeks. 

We were able to catch the reactions on video of some of our family members when we told them about our newest development...twins. I'll add a little backstory to each video. Just a little disclaimer, these are all iPhone videos so not all are the best quality and some you will need to turn the volume up on to hear what is said. (You will NOT need to do that for the first one. Bless her heart.)

My Sister
Right after our appointment when we learned about Baby A AND Baby B, and yes for now that's what they're "lovingly" referred to, we stopped by the school where my sister teaches. She was working late and about to leave. It was our first ultrasound, so I told her I just wanted to bring our pictures by for her to see. 


Stephen's Parents and Brother
After we told my sister, we stopped by my parents house and somehow Stephen's phone didn't save their video, but their reaction was sweet and my Dad nearly came out of his seat in disbelief. After their house, we went to my in-law's house where we were supposed to have dinner. 

For the past couple of hours leading up to our arrival my MIL and BIL had been texting us for updates. There came a point when my BIL, Evan, started asking if it was twins. To make him stop, Stephen just started flat out lying to him. "No, it's not twins, don't you think that's kind of big news and I would tell you if that were true?!" That is the backstory to his reaction. Ashley is his girlfriend who lived out of town at the time. He had told her all afternoon, it was just one baby.


Our Nephews
A little over a week later, we told our nephews. Initially we gave them shirts to reveal our pregnancy. Riley's said, "Big cousin" and Colin's said "Middle Cousin"...they guessed about the baby from the shirt. Then....


(Oh, and please disregard any and all Southern accents you hear in these videos. It is what it is.)

My Mom's family
This side of my family is extremely close. We always have been. It's not uncommon for all 24 of us to get together for no specific reason other than dinner at my Aunt Linda and Uncle Charlie's house. I think some of them had a hunch I was pregnant which explains the somewhat lack of enthusiasm or shock to our first surprise. I told them all I was pregnant right before we ate and then pulled out a cookie cake that said, "Stafford Babies Due November 2016" and had my grandma read it. It took a few people repeating it to sink in....THEN the reactions came!


Stephen's Family
This one was easy to pull off. We eat together every Sunday and 99% of the time Stephen's grandpa calls on him to lead the prayer. To announce our first surprise, Stephen just snuck the info into his prayer. I can't believe everyone held it together until the amen, but AS SOON as the amen was said...


For the twins part of the announcement, we waited until the first round of excitement had calmed down a bit. I love how his grandma just has to walk away. And I also love how you think his little cousin Jared is in shock and then you realize, oh no, he's just mesmerized by the amount of cheese wedges and crackers that are on a platter on the table. 


Telling everyone we were having two has by far been so much fun! Everyone's reactions have been priceless. There have been so many smiles, stares of shock, and tears shed. These babies have already brought so much joy to the people we love the most! 

I can't wait to see how these little ones change our lives!

linking up here 




Monday, May 16, 2016

Answered Prayers



Sometimes God's greatest blessings come in pairs. 

In October, our little Second House on the Right will become home to our new family of FOUR. 

There's so much to share with you that I've been silent about for MONTHS now! I can't wait to share it all!!

To be continued...

linking up here

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Heart of a 6 Year Old Boy

For several months, our nephews, Riley (9) and Colin (just turned 7) have kept themselves quiet and occupied during church by coloring sheets in a Crayola Minions pack that they have, almost exactly like this one.


One Sunday, Colin asked me who some of the people were on the prayer list. He was going to color some of the pages for these people and he wrote "Get Well Soon. Love, Colin" on them. 

As if that wasn't sweet enough, a 6 year old boy on his own determination and his own pure and innocent heart doing what he could with what he had to spread love and kindness to others...then, this happened. 

He started coloring several of these pages, writing his little note and he gave a stack to my dad, asked him to take them to the hospital (where he works also) and give them to people who were sick and they would make them feel better. 

My heart. 

So, my Dad, the best Granddad in the WORLD, did just as Colin asked. He overheard a family talking in the cafeteria at lunch one day, and heard enough to know that their family member was a patient. He approached the table and gave the woman one of Colin's coloring pages with his note and explained to her that his 6 year old grandson made the card for people who were sick hoping it would help them feel better. 

Last week, my Dad was called to the main lobby to pick up something left for him. It was a note from the lady he met in the cafeteria several weeks earlier with a letter that she had written for Colin. 


There are immeasurable lessons to be learned from this story, but the one I keep coming back to over and over in the past week are these verses that my Dad shared with us...

Matthew 18:3-5
"Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives Me." 




Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thursday Confessions

|one|
There's a guy in our department who calls me Monica. For reals. I've been here over 6 years, he's been here like 50 or something, and he thinks my name is Monica. He's not joking. 


|two|
I LOVE juices. Last week I picked up an Apple, Orange, Pineapple blend from Welch's and oh my stars, it is GOOD!! It's fruity without being too sweet! This will be a summer staple in our fridge!


|three|
I think I finally figured out YouTube and how to upload videos from my phone! It's the little things, really. Which means, there's videos coming to this blog soon! eep!!



|four|
I finally finished the book, "Me Before You" last night. And  yes, this is the same book that I started reading months ago....months, as in plural. Book reading to a backseat for a while, and I picked it back up on Monday, and couldn't put it down. I can't wait to see the movie now, and yes, I'm packing all the Kleenex!



|five|
We've had leftovers twice this week, and I don't even care. #itiswhatitis


|six|
I began seeing a new Primary Care doctor last year. Basically, all I need a PC doc for is my annual allergies which turn into sinus infections; it's like clockwork EVERY. YEAR. My old PC (who retired against much begging and pleading) would give me an allergy shot and within 24-48 hours I would be 100% better and would be fine for the rest of "allergy season". Last year, I sweet talked a friend who's an NP at a local walk-in clinic to give me  the shot. Earlier this week, I reached out to my new PC's office. They don't normally keep the shot on hand or perform it in house, but it's on order and they're going to give it to me. I will admit, I pulled a few of my networking strings within the hospital to make it happen and get a rush on it.



Come back tomorrow, I'm sharing a super sweet story about my nephew and the card he made for a complete stranger. Bring your Kleenex.