Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Struggle is Real

It's been about 6 months since my last post. I feel that life never slows down, it just speeds up. I'm trying to cherish these days while my girls are still little, and that requires my attention almost 100% on them. No time for blogging. My girls are active. Oldest in theater and gymnastics and the twins are in their own separate activities (one in gymnastics and one in dance). I feel lucky that I can be home with them, but I'm running around half the time.

School starts tomorrow for the twins. This year I decided to keep them together for preschool. Last year was crazy...driving from one school to the next and praying that the weather or other circumstance wouldn't slow me down for drop-offs and pick-ups.

S just got potty-trained 3 weeks ago. Yes, she's 4 years 7 months old, but she had the most difficult time pooping on the potty. I swear I'm not a bad mom. I potty trained her twin and older sisters just fine. I tried many potty-training methods for S. Some days I didn't try anything at all. Some days I was exhausted and really didn't want to try.  Finally, one day it clicked...by doing nothing much at all. She knew she had to go while we were swimming at the pool and I said "let's do this girl" while we walked to the restroom. THANK GOODNESS she didn't give up and just poop in the pool. She pooped in that pool restroom and I was one proud mommy...even if she made me wait longer for this moment than I had hoped to.

I struggle daily being a mom, but if there's one thing I know I do right--my girls know I love them more than anything in this world.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

And Just Like That, They Are Four!

I always thought time slowed down during the winter. Well, not THIS winter! From November 2015 until now, I am really not sure what happened...we were just busy. In January, we celebrated the twins' 4th birthday. We just had a small party with the grandparents, Aunt Meghan and the cousins.  They loved their party, especially the presents and cake.

I can't believe how much they've changed in the past year. Matilda is 4 going on 14. She really catches on to her older sister's behavior and attitude (which isn't always a good thing). I have to say that she is well-behaved for the most part, and she really does listen to me. She's like my sidekick most of the week since she's only in preschool 2 days a week (unlike Sera who goes 5 days/week). I take her everywhere and she doesn't seem to mind.  Don't get me wrong, she has her moments where she's like a typically 4 year old, but that tends to happen when she's around her sisters or when it's time for bed (and she's over-tired). She loves swimming, and she can now go under water and pick up rings at the bottom of the pool. I'm amazed how much more comfortable she is in the water compared to 4 months ago. She decided to quit dance for the new year and take gymnastics with Sera instead. After 3 classes, the instructor says she's ready for the next level. She's a fast learner.  DH is trying to teach her how to play the piano and guitar.  She really shows an interest in music.  She's still shy around people she doesn't know well, but once she's comfortable with someone, she will not stop talking.  She loves wearing dresses...pretty much everyday! Her favorite color is pink.

Sera is so different than Matilda in so many ways. I love that they are different and have their own personalities. I feel like Sera will always be young at heart. She's so carefree and happy. She doesn't like to be told what to do and sometimes, it's her way or the highway! She is persistent and demanding. Her preschool TA's joked that when she is older and in a relationship, she will wear the pants in the relationship. It's so true! She seems to like gymnastics, especially now that Matilda takes the class the with her. (As much as they argue and fight, they really do like each other and enjoy being around each other...at least, I like to think so!) Sera's speech is taking off...I think going to preschool 5 days a week with speech therapy has really helped her. She's become more independent because Matilda isn't at school to talk for her. She loves to sing in the car--it's so darn cute! She loves wearing her "kitty" leggings and her favorite color is blue.

Today, they had their 4 year old well-checks. They are both growing well and healthy. Matilda was 42 inches tall and 38 lbs while Sera was 40 inches tall and 40 lbs. Matilda had to have a urine test (I've been worried about her thirst and constant potty trips). Both girls had their first blood tests. I have to admit I was a little nervous because back in November, Sera had a crying tantrum about the flu mist up her nose. She thought it was the worst thing--2 nurses had to hold her down to give it to her!  So, I warned the phlebotomist today that Sera was a feisty one and that she better go first because if she saw Matilda cry, it would be over! Sera went first and surprised us all. She looked at what the phlebotomist was doing the entire time. No flinching, no crying, no "ouch." She even smiled as if she enjoyed having blood drawn from her. She is one of a kind. She made a liar out of me. Matilda went next, and she didn't enjoy it as much. She kept saying it hurt, but she didn't cry. I was so proud of my brave girls. My ten year old would have been a different story...she would have cried like a baby.

It's never a dull moment with these girls. It's almost midnight here, and Matilda has already gotten up once for the potty and fell out of bed within the last hour. Falling out of the bed was a first for her. They are full of surprises, and they always keeping me on my toes! I wouldn't have it any other way, though.

I love love love them!

Friday, October 2, 2015

A Good Week...Surprisingly

Last weekend, DH and I took our first long weekend trip to St. Louis for a wedding...without the girls. We traveled by airplane and were gone for 2 nights. I was expecting lots of anxiety and worry on my part. However, I was alright. Of course, I missed the girls like crazy, but I have to admit it was nice eating a breakfast being able to carry on an adult conversation without interruptions. I checked in via text messages with my Mom throughout the days, which really put my mind at ease.  My Mom reported that the girls were doing fine, and I knew they were. I just liked the reassurance every couple hours. Overall, it was a great trip and we all survived...even my 69 year old Mom! (She would laugh at that comment).

With playdates, school, dance class, gymnastics class and swim lessons, I seemed to keep on schedule this week and not forget anything overly important. Ironically, I think I do better with time management, the busier I am. I'm crazy like that! Haha. 

School went great this week...I don't remember any of the girls complaining about going there. Just my oldest who said she wanted to stay home because she was going to miss me. When she got home on Monday from school, I asked if she missed me. She shrugs and says, "not really." She loves some drama on Monday morning for me.   

Today was Matilda's first swim lesson EVER! She's my shy, soft-spoken one, and I thought for sure that she would have a difficult time getting in the pool without me. She was still shy and soft-spoken with her swim instructor, but she seemed confident  and even smiled through her 30 minute lesson. I was shocked.  My little girl is becoming more independent day by day. 

And Sera had a great week of expanding her vocabulary. She's saying 3 sentence words more consistently. "Please hold me." "Pack lunch please." She rattled off several new words this week and did very well repeating words that I said to her.  Pronunciation isn't always perfect, but she's trying.  

I'm amazed at these girls everyday.  They keep life interesting and full of surprises! 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Finally...The First Day of Preschool

My oldest and Sera have been going to preschool for almost 3 weeks now.  Matilda was waiting patiently and kept asking when does she go to her school. Today was her day. She was pretty excited, but I knew when we got there she wouldn't want to leave my side. She's always been my shy, clingy one.  Luckily for her, this preschool has a parent stay the entire time for the first day. (Definitely doesn't feel like a first day to me...more like an orientation). Matilda had to stay within 3 feet of me at all times.  

It was a great morning, nonetheless. She has a great teacher and assistant. She's only going 2 times a week for 2.5 hours, which is probably good since she likes to be my sidekick the majority of the time. 

Why different schools for my twins? Definitely not my ideal situation, but I had to do what I felt was best for Sera. With her speech delay, she was able to sign up with the county preschool and receive her speech therapy while at school. It's great for her and she really excels in this type of situation. On her first day almost 3 weeks ago, it felt like just another day of school. She was eager to go--in fact, she was up early that morning. She woke me up and told me she needed to "pack" (her snack).  She's excited to be around other kids.  Ironically, she's an angel at school while she drives me bananas at home. Like I mentioned on my last post, she will push every one of my buttons daily. However, at the end of the day, she'll give me the biggest hug.

I tried to get Matilda into Sera's school, for they do take "role model" students (that's what they call them), which are basically kids that are not on an IEP. Unfortunately I was one month too late signing her up, so I was on a waiting list for her to be a "role model." #9 on the list. :(  So, that's why my twins go to different schools. They are so different and independent of each other that I don't think it bothers them.  In fact, I think they tend to play more together at home now that they don't see each other as much. Sera is in school 5 days a week for 2.5 hours.  I feel like half my morning is spent in the car driving, but as long as they are happy, I'm happy.

Matilda will have her first day of preschool next week without me, so we'll see how that goes. Most likely, she'll have some tears--which usually gets me a little emotional.

Monday, September 14, 2015

I'm Back!

Seriously, I am not good at this blogging/writing thing! I feel like everyday is just constant motion and little time for me to sit down and write. I just filed 2014 taxes if that tells you anything!

Maybe I should write less in one post and write more frequently. I mean, can I take 10-15 minutes out of my day to write a blog post?! I'm going to try it. Not everyday. At least once a week.

So, what prompted today's post, you might ask...or maybe no one is following this anymore. That's okay too. This can be for me only. :)

Proud Mommy moment.  I haven't really cried in awhile...hormones must be in check lately. However, today I let it out.

Sera, who is my more challenging daughter--always getting into trouble, climbing on counters to reach candy, taking her sister's things and running off with them (taunting "haha, haha"), helping herself to whatever she feels like, doesn't take "no" for an answer, still not potty-trained, and able to press every single one of my buttons within a day--made me cry tears of happiness today.

Long story short: she met this little girl who is about 5 (Sera is only 3.5 now) through school this past summer. This little girl is severely handicapped. I'm not sure what disability she has, but I know she is bound to a wheelchair, can't talk, and seems to lack muscular function.  Sera has talked about her on several occasions, and she tells me how she doesn't see "Kate" anymore.  Well, today I was walking Sera into the school and she saw Kate right away in the lobby.  Sera ran ahead of me and gave the biggest hug she could give to Kate. It was one of those sweet moments I will cherish forever.  Right away, tears formed in my eyes and I thought what a special little girl I have.  I have never seen another child make any contact with Kate at school, and here's my sweet girl showing love.

And, if that wasn't enough...one of the little girls in her preschool class was having a rough time at "drop off" today. What did Sera do? She hugged her.  It's nothing she thinks about; she just does it. She's the most caring 3 year old I have ever seen and I can't believe she's my daughter.

Needless to say, I balled like a baby when I got to the car.  My daughter touches my heart and she makes me so proud. While I do believe your environment, your parents, your peers shape who you become, I truly believe Sera has a little bit of extra kindness in her soul.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Premature Ovarian Failure...Still Here

(This post was written a month ago--rambling emotions put in writing--I blame it on the POF! Ha!)

Yep, I still have Premature Ovarian Failure (or should I say Primary Ovarian Insufficiency). I rather call it the first because the "Failure" part just seems more appropriate in my opinion.  My ovaries are not working...they are failing or have failed. It's been 10 years now since my diagnosis, yet I can still remember that day like yesterday.  I remember the doctor (who I haven't seen since that day). I remember the words that broke my heart. I remember thinking my life would never be the same. I remember that day as the first time I ever heard of "egg donation."

My heart was definitely hurt that day and little did I know, my life would never be the same...but in a good way. While at the time, I thought "egg donation" sounded strange...and scary in so many ways. In fact, I didn't even see it as an option until 5 years later. Crazy that it only took time and some mending of my heart to see that maybe using an egg donor was the answer.

It was the answer for us--though we didn't see it that way 10 years ago. I remember thinking that I was going to try everything in my power to conceive naturally, which ironically I made some significant lifestyle changes (diet, supplements, acupuncture) and did conceive naturally. And that was 3 months after having an FSH of 85 and estradiol levels of 0. Thankfully, we had our healthy baby girl and everything in the world was wonderful. Still had to take HRT because POF was there...but now I had a child who really took my focus away from POF.

A couple years go by, POF re-surfaced. How are we going to grow our family? Naturally conceiving was definitely not happening this time around. POF was in its same state...slight visibility of one ovary but the other was not even seen. Egg donation came up again...so did adoption. We looked into adoption, but when it came down to the 2 options, I really wanted to be pregnant again.   Finding an egg donor became our mission and when we found one, we were so happy and relieved to start the process. Unfortunately, that DE/IVF cycle was unsuccessful, and we spent our savings to make it happen.  That was it--we couldn't afford another cycle.

While I don't find myself to be extremely lucky, I do at times feel like someone is watching over me.  When the doctor met with us over our failed cycle, as he told us that he was disappointed, I never imagined that he would tell us he wanted to give us a 2nd cycle at no charge. While I thank our egg donor for our beautiful twin girls, I thank our doctor as well.  POF is definitely not in the forefront of my mind at that time.

A year goes by since our girls' birth and I start to notice my cycles changing while on my HRT. They are getting heavier and longer.  Darn you POF...I start to worry.  Why are my cycles changing?! Same HRT but different outcome. Six months go by and I decide to tell my OB/GYN. She has another doctor check into it further with an ultrasound. This doctor is clueless about POF. He's saying my lining is too thick especially since I have POF. My doctor was not too worried because I am on HRT which produces a lining similar to someone who has a normal hormone balance. She decides to perform a biopsy on my uterus. Everything checked out fine. Doctor suggests lowering my estradiol dose.  Ugghhh, really?!? That dose was making me feel good. We lower it...still heavy long periods. I give up.

Now this month (after almost 2 years of heavy long periods), I have a fairly light period! Nothing really changed in the last month, so I'm not sure why the change.  Still on HRT (1/2 estradiol dose for the last year, still on Provera), still have POF. While we are done having children, my focus is to keep me healthy for my children.  I want to do what's best for my body, but I'm not sure what's best when it comes to POF.  POF is still here. It never left...my focus just changed throughout the last 10 years.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

How Do I Sum Up a Year?!

It's been far too long since I wrote a post. It makes me somewhat sad, for so much has happened in the last year. Along with no blogging, I haven't kept up with my scrapbooking.  The only documentation I have is TOO MANY photos on my computer that need to be consolidated and eventually printed.  I keep saying things will slow down, but I feel like every year gets busier and busier.

Most importantly, we are all doing great. I love being at home with the girls, but they definitely keep me on my toes.  Sera and Matilda turned the big THREE on January 2nd, and my oldest daughter turned NINE on January 29th.  We kept their birthday celebrations small. My 9 year old had a sleepover with two of her friends, and they had a blast, staying up until 4am!!! Seriously, I couldn't stay up that late even if I tried. We celebrated the twins' birthday with a birthday dinner at the their favorite restaurant Applebee's. Sera ordered chicken fingers and applesauce, and Matilda ordered mac n cheese and broccoli. Of course, cake and presents at home followed.

In February, Sera and Matilda had their 3 year check up. It was confirmed that they are growing too fast! Matilda was in the 98th percentile for height (almost 40 in tall!) and 34 lbs. Sera was shorter by an inch and a half and out weighed her sister by 2 pounds.  Sera has seemed to develop eczema this winter, but otherwise, both girls are healthy...and happy! :)

Before their 3rd birthdays, we decided to take a family vacation to Disney World in December. It was by far our favorite and best family vacation yet! We loved it so much that we want to go again in December 2015. It was a relaxing time for us. With DH always working and I'm always trying to stay on top of things at home, it was nice to not have to worry about day-to-day tasks that we normally do. I think our happiness just poured onto all the girls--I've never seen them so happy. They giggled like crazy on the Tomorrowland People Movers ride (at the Magic Kingdom), which I never would have guessed that they would enjoy it that much. Another favorite was the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground at Hollywood Studios. They could have spent the whole day there.

Sera and Matilda started a one day a week "school" in the Fall.  There were a some cries at drop-off for the first couple weeks, but they love it now, especially Matilda. We continued with gymnastics class, but once we switched gyms, Matilda no longer wants to go.  While Sera does gymnastics class, Matilda hangs with me in the waiting room. I was hoping they would do the same activities (at least until they were in school full-time), but it looks like they are already showing their individuality and they have less dependence on each other than I thought. I think it's great, though. They are definitely their own person, so why not have different interests?

We took a vacation to Myrtle Beach in May, but we decided to drive. I could have done without the drive. Haha. The girls would probably agree. They don't do well sitting for long periods of time--can you blame them? I was going stir-crazy in the car as well! We won't do another road trip vacation until they are a few years older or maybe break up the trip, so we aren't driving 10 or more hours straight. After this vacation, I needed a vacation from my vacation! (which is probably why we took the Disney vacation later in the year)

Overall, 2014 was a good year for us. We are always staying busy and the girls make sure I am always busy!  Matilda is more independent while Sera likes to be near me or try to help me. Or if I don't give Sera all the attention she wants, she makes sure that she gains it in some way.  She can be a stinker, but she is the sweetest Mommy's girl. :)

I'd like to write more this year...that will be my goal.

Myrtle Beach - May 2014