Friday, July 27, 2012

My Twins Are Famous

Yes, it's true.  My twins and I are famous. 

Well, we're kind of known in the neighborhood.

OK...a bank teller and the CVS manager know us. 

But still...that's kinda like being famous, right?

A few weeks ago I ran into CVS to buy some formula and the manager asked how the twins were doing.  She said she hadn't seen them come into the store for a little while.  I thought, "Yes, shopping without two infants is so much faster plus I'm not loaded down with 73 lbs of formula, diapers, pacifiers, bottles, blankets, burp cloths, toys, extra outfits and a stroller the size of a small Hawaiian island" but refrained from saying it.  While we were talking a woman overheard us talking about twins and she told me she had 17 year old twin boys.  Then she asked to see pictures.  Wanting to see pictures of children you don't know only happens to celebrities, right?  Ergo, I am like a movie star.  :-)

Soon after that I went to the bank and one employee came up to me and asked how the boys were.  "They're great," I said feeling very proud that she knew my children after only a few short months on earth.  I don't think she remembered my kids because I tried to set up a custodial account for them TWICE and both times they wouldn't be calm enough for just 10 minutes to let me do it.  I don't think we're memorable because the crying was so bad (even with pacifiers) that we actually had to leave the bank..TWICE.  I'm going to go with the fact that they are so adorable and she knows them for their cuteness.  You be the judge.  Cute or not?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Thank You, Lesley Brown

As much as I'd like to take credit for a fascinating blog, I have to thank Derek for finding this article.  About a month ago the woman who conceived the first test tube baby, passed away.  Click on the link to learn more about Lesley Brown.

I thought the Today show piece was interesting to watch.  I then scrolled down to read some of the comments about this story.  There are a few people saying Lesley was playing G-d and trying to go against Mother Nature.  There are the usual arguments we hear about why this is unnatural or wrong, although at a quick glance it seems there are more people in support of this than not. 

One comment, however, struck me as beautiful.  Someone wrote that we often are born, live, and die without knowing the reason we are here on earth.  Lesley knew her purpose.  Because of her determination and courage to be a part of this revolutionary process as well as the genius of Dr. Patrtick Steptoe and Dr. Robert Edwards, I am able to have children today.  Thousands and thousands of people have been able to have the family they desire thanks to this amazing team.

I am grateful to live in a time when this is possible.  I am also grateful I live in a country which allows IVF.  I am grateful I live in a state in which surrogacy is legal.  I am grateful that I had the funds to do this.  I am grateful there are egg donors willing to help families like mine.  I am grateful I got to work with a sweet, dedicated and wondeful surrogate.  There are days when I'm still in shock that all of these things came together to produce two fantastic children. 

It is unfortunate there are still countries, states, policies and communities which deny people the joy of having a family.  Hopefully that will change.  Maybe one of these babies born through IVF will invent new technology or medicine for reproduction or become a lawmaker who knows firsthand the importance of allowing men and women to use this incredible knowledge we have and will fight for the right for everyone to have access to IVF treatments.  Or maybe, just maybe, a baby born through IVF will discover a cure for a widespread disease, a way to provide clean water to millions, or a new, environmentally friendly energy source which will help all of humanity -- even those naysayers.  Only time will tell.

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Not-So-Secret Crushes

I, like a lot of people, sometimes get depressed about the state of the world today.  When you're up twenty hours a day and feeding babies at 2 a.m. in a dark, quiet room you can do a lot of thinking.  There are moments when I get scared about the world in which my kids will grow up.  The news talks about global warming, running out of gas, the cost of health insurance skyrocketing, famine, lack of drinking water...wait...I have to stop or I'll get more depressed.  You all can add your own depressing news to this list if you want.  I will focus on a few positive things I have found in this world.

Through my blogging I have developed a few secret crushes which are not-so-secret crushes after I publish this  now.  A lot of blogs have made me laugh.  A lot of blogs have made me cry out of both happiness and sadness.  There are blogs that have inspired me, educated me and guided me.  There are a lot of blogs that I love to read but I felt like I had to single out two of them.  One is a surrogate's blog.  One is a mother's blog.  At the risk of sounding melodramatic I can honestly say that when I see that there are people in the world like these two ladies I have hope that the world will be OK.  When I get sad about how we treat each other in this world I know that there are some selfless, strong, positive people still out there.  I hope my children surround themselves with people like these women.  Better yet, if I do my job right, my children will be selfless, strong and positive people.  I might have to think "WWVD?" (What would Veronika do?) or "WWBD?" (What would Bernadette do?) as I teach these children to find their place in the world.

The first blogger I have a crush on is Veronika who writes Sibling for Sophie Cleo.  It just makes my heart melt.  Veronika doesn't think what she is doing is anything extraordinary which makes her a truly extraordinary human being.  Read her story and click on the link in her blog to see the story of her IPs.
I also have a secret crush on Bernadette at Rasta Less Traveled.  I started reading her story half way through but from what I have picked up she has gone through more than anyone should have to endure to become a mother.  She has adorable twins now, one who left the NICU a while ago and one who has been there for 100 days.  Bernadette is constantly facing obstacles.  She is alone, in a foreign country with newborns, and she manages to keep a smile on her face and a sense of humor in her heart.  On my "bad days" (in my home, with my partner nearby, with healthy children...wait, if those are my bad days I am lucky!)  I think of how Bernadette has coped with such adversity and I gain strength from her and people like her.

So, dear Derek, it's true that I have many lady crushes through the internet such as Jesse, Chelle, Jeni, Tiffany, Andrea, Melissa, Tonya, L&S, and more.  There are even some guys who I love from afar like Michael, Tony, Kevin, Jeff, Doug, Bill, Ryan, Reuben, Jason, Adrian, and the list goes on.  But Bernadette and Veronika have a special place in my heart next to you, Derek.  They help me know that the world may be a rough place, but there are gems to be found.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Nursery

I have been following other people's blogs for probably about two years. I love seeing the nurseries people create.  For a long time I would imagine what I would do if I had a boy or a girl (or one of each!).  What theme would I do?  What colors would I pick?  How would I decorate it?

We moved five weeks after the twins were born so we knew we wouldn't have a nursery in our old place.  And, with newborn twins, we didn't have a lot of time to work on the nursery in our new place.  It took a while, but we've been adding to it slowly and trying to make it special for our kids. 

Derek and I are not the most fashion forward and trendy guys.  Whatever sense of fashion I might have developed waned about a dozen years ago when I started interpreting and my choice in clothing became grey pants with a black shirt or black pants with a grey shirt or, if I'm feeling sassy, black pants with a dark green shirt!  (I have to wear solid, dark colored clothing to contrast with my skin color so my clients can see my hands easily.  Interpreters have the most boring wardrobe and on days we don't work you can guarantee we'll be wearing our one and only shirt with stripes or polka dots.)

So our nursery may not be featured in a Martha Stewart magazine, but it's finally ready to be revealed to all of you.  It's nice to feel like the boys have a room of their own.

We had extra letter decals to let you know who owns the room. 
Notice the "No cats allowed" sign which was put up after a cat left a "present" in the Pack and Play one day.
The double Pack and Play is where the boys sleep...but they'll be too big for it soon.
Hopefully the boys will sleep in a crib soon.
Our closet is overflowing with baby supplies.

Our library is overflowing with books.
Signs from the baby shower & the party at Derek's work.

I love wall decals!

The leopard is watching over our boys while they sleep.

The gecko is stalking the butterfly.  Do geckos eat butterflies?  Who knows.  Who cares.  I just love the light switch cover.

We finally have a nursery!

Friday, July 6, 2012

What Is Parenthood Like? This Says It All

I copied this a little while ago and thought it was funny.  I can't remember where I got it from but I thought it was worth sharing.  My life often mirrors this list.  I have been trying to watch a movie for over a week and I'm only a little over an hour into it.  My phone conversations last anywhere from a minute to twenty minutes and usually end with, "Uh oh...the baby is starting to wak--" <click>.  I  only eat food that can be eaten with one hand.  I think I have Big Bird Goes to the Doctor memorized by now.  Don't even ask about the showering.  :-( 
  • Practice wrestling a large, slippery fish three times a week.
  • Wake up every two hours at night, punch yourself in the face, walk around for 28 minutes pleading in jibberish. Go back to "sleep." Repeat.
  • Socialize with friends in 18-second increments.
  • Practice asking for the check, boxing up your food and exiting a restaurant in under sixty seconds — two bites into the meal.
  • Watch 38% of any film or television show; never see the ending or resolution.
  • Read the same three paragraphs of a novel once every two weeks; fall asleep.
  • Shower every three to five days, but only for two minutes.
  • Hire a makeup artist to make you up to look 10 years older. Look at yourself in the mirror, then laugh, cry, laugh, cry, laugh, cry. Do not go get a drink.
  • Pack two additional bags of random stuff to carry with you every time you leave the house.
  • Stand around a tennis court and catch fly balls with one hand for two hours a day while also preparing a peanut butter sandwich.
  • Practice wrestling aforementioned large, slippery fish, then dress it in seasonally appropriate outfit, including hat and/or jacket. Then go back, remove all clothing, and apply sunscreen. Re-dress fish.
  • Memorize The Cat in the Hat, then repeat every evening between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Make 24 hours of baby-crying audio; hit play the moment you take a phone call, fire up your computer, or begin speaking any sentences to another human that contain important or useful information.
  • Imagine a mental written list of your responsibilities for each day, tear it in half, burn one piece, take a (literal) shit on the other one. (Sorry.)
Still, the smiles they are giving me all the time, the sweet coos, the excitement of watching them find their hands, the thrill of Jeff rolling over, and the cuteness they have as they start to grab little stuffed animals makes all of the chaos worthwhile. 

Wait...what?  Back up.
The coos?
The stuffed animal hugging?
No no...the other one.
Oh...the ROLLING OVER?!?!?  Is that what you want to discuss?

Yep, you read that right.  Jeff has started rolling over.  On Monday Derek put little baby Jeff on the play mat before he left for work.  I was laying on the couch and decided to close my eyes for a minute.  Jeff was using his voice a little and then suddenly his voice sounded different.  Quieter.  When I opened my eyes it was because he was now suddenly face down.  Derek suspected a cat was involved. 

Two days later Derek was home with Jeff while on Skype with his mom.  This time they saw Jeff roll over.  No cat helping according to Derek.

I was skeptical.

This morning I saw it.  It was so amazing.  Jeff got about 93% over.  He couldn't quite get his hand out from under his chest after rolling but it was so cool to see that.  My little boys are growing up!

Now, if only Aaron can learn to do the dishes.