Friday, December 31, 2010

Visitors, Hats, and Puzzles

Well, I haven't posted anything since Monday because I don't feel like anything particularly interesting has happened in the last few days.  It's been fairly routine.  Someone comes and takes my blood pressure and temperature at 6:15, and checks to find out what each baby's  heartrate is, which takes just a couple minutes.  Then I go back to sleep until "Dining on Call" calls me at 8:00 or so to find out what I want for breakfast, which for the first couple of weeks was eggs in some form or fashion b/c I was trying to really ramp up the protein, but for the last 3 days has been oatmeal, because I started feeling puny a few days ago (although I am fully recovered now).  Then I lay in bed for a couple of minutes until the sonographer gets here, or my breakfast.  Normally both appear around 8:30 or so, and so I eat and have an ultrasound by 9 or 9:15.  Then the babies get put on the monitor and I am ready to actually start my day by around 10 or 10:30. 

This week, on Tuesday, I had a lot of visitors and spent most of my afternoon talking.  One of my visitors brought me some cuter yarn and more needles, so I promptly stopped working on my scarf and knitted a cute little baby hat that I will take a picture of and post if I can figure out how to do such a thing.  Also, Tuesday evening USA played all 3 Pirates of the Carribean movies, and I watched the second one, and part of the 3rd one.  Wednesday I had a few more visitors in the morning, and then knit all afternoon because I have become slightly obsessesed with it.  R. and the kids brought Zaxby's up for dinner, and then I knit all night until I finished my little hat.

Then yesterday, I had no visitors, but I did have a sore throat, so I just sat in my pj's and knit on a second hat that I have started on that is now driving me crazy.  I have taken this thing out like 4 times, and then finally got it to work, but by the time I got it work I was about to pull my hair out, so I put down the knitting and put together a hummingbird puzzle.  I spent pretty much all day on this puzzle.  I have not done one in years, and actually enjoy them.  While I was piecing it together I could not help but think about getting old, and how I normally associate puzzles with old people in retirement homes, and that when I do get old, I plan on investing a lot of time and energy into them because they are fun, and it's better than spending your life in front of the television.  It also makes your day fly away from you.  I would spend what seemed like 15 minutes on it and then look at the clock and two hours would have gone by.   I did not have any deep revelations about aging, I was just picturing myself as an old person.  I've always wanted to be a spry old person, but sometimes things don't work out the way you want, so if I am not one of those old people who can still hike and snow ski and stuff like that then I'll be an old person who does puzzles.  Anyway, it was fabulous.  

The other sort of exciting thing that happened yesterday was my friend across the hall had her baby!  Her water has been broken for almost 15 weeks and then all of the sudden yesterday she started to get an infection in the fluid.  So they had to get that baby out right away.  He's doing ok, but he'll be in the NICU for a while because of his little lungs, and since she lives an hour away from here, she's just going to spend a few nights in one of the empty rooms up here so she doesn't have to have someone drive her back and forth.  Anyway, he came a couple weeks earlier than she was hoping, but I know she's glad that she can go home now if she wants to.  Since I didn't have a revelation about aging, I had a revelation about this little experience.  I have been spending more time meditating (although I know it sounds like I just jump from one thing to the next) on my relationship with God and just truly relying on Him.  Well I had been thinking about that for a couple of days, and how it's hard to focus on that when I'm at home because so much is going on there, and how even though I'm not thrilled to be cooped up here all the time, how I could benefit from having so much time to talk to God and really reflect on some stuff.  I had been thinking about how I needed to make sure that I used this time to really train myself in relying on Him instead of myself or something else so that when I do get out, I'll be in the habit of it.  You're probably wondering where this is going and why I didn't start a new paragraph.  I'm getting there.  After J. had her baby, even though I am very happy for her, I was a little sad that my friend was going to leave (here I am making it all about me).  I realized that I had been taking comfort in knowing that someone else was here going through the same thing (except for longer).  So in a way, her presence was a great source of comfort and support to me.  Not to mention she made it fun because she is a funny person.  But what I realized last night, is that even here, I had found a way to get sidetracked once again, and that I needed to be finding my comfort and support in the Lord.  He has been and is being so faithful to me, and here I am looking all around me to find what really only He can offer someplace else.  It is amazing what He will use to get me back on track. 

So today, I'm feeling a little more purposeful in finding my comfort in the Lord.  I also picked up my knitting again and have decided to try to finish this little irritating project I picked for myself.  Plus I had a friend come up and wheel me down to the Chic-fil-A on the first floor for lunch and we had a nice visit.  Tonight, I might try to watch part of the Chic-fil-A bowl, if I can keep myself awake for it.  I briefly considered ordering a pizza, because Papa John's is rumored to deliver to rooms in the hospital.  Although it's going to be a busy night in the world of pizza, so I am now reconsidering that.

Happy New Year tomorrow!!  (Oh yeah, and i'm 29 weeks today!!)

Monday, December 27, 2010


Now that Christmas is over, and I've got all of R's tests graded, I feel like all of the items on my "to do list" that had deadlines are completed.  This means that I'm less motivated to complete most of the other items on my to do list.  In fact, I sort of feel silly even calling it a to do list. Everything that is on it I would normally find recreational:  Reading, Online shopping (or at least researching future purchases), Sudoku puzzles, and Knitting. That's what's left.  I sort of feel purposeful in looking at bunk beds, because sometime in the near future, we're going to have to rearrange (well not we, R and someone else) the furniture.  But before we can do anything we have to find a spot to store a queen size bed currently in our guestroom.  So that's the most pressing thing, and let's be honest, it's not pressing at all.   We've got like 2 months on that one.  But I feel useful and it's fun planning, so I've been putting a lot of energy into it. 

Other than that, for the last 2 days anyway, I've been knitting.  I think it's been about 5 years since I actually knit anything.  I'm sort of enjoying it, except that the project that I picked to start with (a scarf) was chosen merely because of the colors of yarn and needle sizes that I had.  So I'm not that into what I'm making, and I forgot how long it takes to do this.  However, it's going to be a really pretty scarf if I finish it.  I was calculating the other day, based on the number of inches I was able to knit, that it should take me at least a month to finish it.  Since I fully intend to do other, cuter, projects as soon as I get some other needles and yarn (which should be coming sometime in the future), I may not actually finish it.  And that would be fine. 

On another, totally unrelated topic, someone had asked me about having to be on oxygen.  I am on oxygen.  I have a nasal cannula that I wear off and on during the day.  They just want to get it a little more concentrated in my blood stream to help out B.  So I sleep with it on (it falls out occasionally) and then I try to wear it during the day.  But I take it out to eat, and when the kids come up, and every time I go to the bathroom.  Sometimes I forget to put it back in.  It's totally drying out my sinuses, even with the humidifier and saline spray that they gave me, and it's rubbed a sore in my left nostril, so I'm not a big fan of it right now.  It is about a thousand times better though, than being on an IV, which I am not, but was the first 3 days I was here.  It made me swell up like that blueberry girl from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

28 Weeks

Yesterday, I was officially 28 weeks pregnant.  This was the first major goal.  Evidently, the survival rate goes up drastically after 28 weeks and the health complications go down.  My goals from this point forward are in 2 week increments.  I had a WONDERFUL time going home.  I got to eat dinner with the family, read the kids their bedtime stories, say prayers.  And then being there this morning was great - seeing their reactions and just being around for all of the excitement.  It was a much anticipated event by all of us (although for different reasons).  Then a sweet, sweet friend made Christmas dinner for R and the kids, and R brought it to me here.  It was delicious.  Despite all of that,  I think the longevity of this stay started hitting me today. On the way back to the hospital, I realized that the next time I leave will most likely be after the babies are born, and that could happen anywhere from days from now to 9 weeks from now.  I sort of don't know what to mentally prepare myself for, even though I very seriously doubt it will be 9 weeks from now.  I do know one thing though, I have got to start fixing my hair while I'm here.  I have mostly just been letting it air dry and putting it in a ponytail.  It looks terrible.  I blew it dry today when I was at home and instantly felt better about myself.  I also put makeup on today for the first time in a week and a half.  It is amazing what something so superficial can do for your mood.  So, while I can't promise I'll do this every day, I am going to make it a point to try to make myself presentable at least when I get wheeled around the hospital, which should be happening every few days or so.  I'm also going to try to avoid the scale in the room next door to me.  After getting on it the other day, I was reminded why I don't own one of those awful things. Even though I have gained an obscene amount of weight so far (40 lbs to be exact and I'm sure I'll gain some more), after weighing myself, and then looking in the mirror, I felt as if my face looked like a cabbage patch doll. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Girls Night In

So, last night I went to get something from the nurse's station right after I updated my blog, because I was headed for bed.  My across the hall neighbor was out there in her wheelchair, and we started talking, and I stayed up way too late.  Evidently she doesn't get awakened at 6 am every day to have vital signs taken.  Anyway, we talked about all sorts of stuff.  She's actually pretty funny.  She is probably funny normally, but I also tend to think that having been on bed rest for 14 weeks, 9 of them in this hospital has probably started to get to her.  Ya see, her water broke when she was 19 weeks along.  Since there is no chance of survival at that point in the pregnancy, she just stayed at home on bed rest for 5 weeks.  I'm not sure they expected her little boy to keep growing the way he has, and her not go into labor or anything.  Once she got to 24 weeks in the pregnancy, they admitted her here, since there was a chance of survival at that point.  She is now 33 weeks along, and scheduled to be here for 3 more weeks before they do her c-section.  Even though her little boy is growing, they don't know what the outcome of this is going to be for him.  Apparently, the fluid helps lung development, and since she had very little of that, being ruptured and all, they don't know if he'll be able to breathe once he's born.  Yet here she is, crazy, and joking around and all.  She has a great attitude, and has helped put things in perspective for me.  She also gives me survival tips.  So far I have learned:  about the Salon downstairs, that you can order food not on the menu if you sweet talk the ladies in the cafeteria (and it's really good food they tell me - you can even get Chick-fil-A!), to have the nurses wheel you around the hospital periodically just to people watch (she's making me out a scavenger hunt), and that there is a restaurant and atrium over in another wing that's really nice to visit.  Also, that's it's important to keep your sense of humor.  This is only temporary, and even though it might seem like it's gonna be a long time, it will really be short when it's all done and we look back on it.  I do have to say though, tonight, I am going to try to go to bed a little earlier.  I don't know if I can party like that every night.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hospital Salon

There is a very well kept secret that is known as the Hospital Salon.  I'm not sure why it's a secret, but not very many people seem to know about it.  It's actually a cute little place where they do your hair, cut, shampoo, put rollers in it if your inclined to do such a thing, give you pedicures, manicures, etc.  It's non-profit; that is all of the money that would be "profit" goes to the hospital.  I was questioning the lady on their clientel, and she said that most of the people that come to see her actually come from outside of the hospital.  I would never have even thought of coming to the hospital to get my toes done.  However, now that I know it goes for a good cause, I might have to have my every-other-year pedicure done here from now on.  She did a pretty nice job; I will say though that there weren't many color selections (although I found one that I liked), so if you try it out and are particular, bring your own polish.  I fully intend to have my hair put up in rollers just for the fun of it if I am here past the two month mark.  I figure by that time, I'll be pretty nuts anyway, and so it won't really be out of character. 

As for the rest of the day, I had more visitors!  Some visitors brought games, and we sat and played a few rounds of Bananagrams, which is a neat little Scrabble type game.  Fortunately I had practiced, sort of, by playing Scrabble last night, so I was up for the challenge.  It just took me a round to get warmed up is all. 

In between phone calls, pedicures and visitors, I graded some papers. This time I was actually grading some short answers, and I think it's kind of fun.  I would elaborate, but it probably violates some unspoken teacher-student privacy code of some sort.

Well, I'm tired and it's late, so I'm going to bed.  And just in case you were wondering, I did win the Scrabble game.  It was close.  He was winning by 1 point and got stuck with the J. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Date Night in the Hospital

Yesterday was mostly uneventful.  I was on the internet most of my free time researching digital cameras, baby books for the twins, names for the babies, and setting up the Caring Bridge website. I'm not sure why that took up so much time, but it did.  No change in the babies again, other than position, so no news is good news. 

The most exciting thing that happened was when a group of incredibly gifted carolers came to my room to sing.  They must have been former members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir because their voices brought such joy to my ears as has not been heard in, well, a while.  I even tried to record one of the songs with my cell phone to use as my new ring tone. 

Today, the babies did not want to be monitored.  They don't like being monitored most days.  Fortunately, this monitoring session was almost immediately after the ultrasound, where there was no change again (other than position - these guys like to move). The kids came to visit in the middle of it, so we ended up going with what we had at some point.  Then I worked on my BSF lesson, which I eventually finished, had some more visitors, and some more visitors (I love visitors!), and then R. came up around 4:30 and we went on a tour of the NICU.  They showed me a baby that was a few weeks older than where I am now.  He only weighed 3 lbs! But he was doing great! The nurses are all very nice, and the facilities look very capable.  Even so, I really hope the boys don't have to go there, or if they do, that they don't stay there very long!   Now date night continues with take out from Red Lobster, followed by a heated game of Scrabble. Another thing to thank God for - capable and willing babysitters!

Speaking of being grateful to God, one of the things I have been thinking about lately is how normally when something like what we're going through happens is when people (myself included) draw closer to Him. I am ashamed to admit that it takes something like this.  It really shouldn't.  God is so wonderful.  I was reading a Psalm today, and one of the verses (40:8) says "O Lord my God, you have done many miracles for us.  Your plans for us are too numerous to list.  If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them."  It is SO true.  And yet sometimes, it takes being hospitalized to be able to seriously reflect on that. Thank you Lord for using this opportunity to bring me closer to You!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Bedrest Journal

Well, I have been encouraged by a number of people to keep a journal of my hospital stay.  At first, I thought that it wouldn't be a very interesting journal, and I'm still not sure if it will actually be "interesting."  However, it gives me something to do, and I do have a lot of random thoughts while I sit here, so since nothing else will happen for me to blog about for a while, I thought I would just use the blog as my journal.  We'll see how it goes.

Tomorrow will be the end of the first full week of being in the hospital, not counting the weekend before that I was here when I got to go home for 2 days and then had to come right back.  So far, believe it or not, I have not been bored.  It took a few days for the emotional distress of being away from my family to allow me to have any clear thoughts.  It hasn't been easy at all being away from everyone.  I miss my husband.  I miss the kids.  I miss not seeing their excited little faces during the Christmas season.  I kept thinking about how we couldn't go on our hayride to get our tree, and we all wouldn't go driving around looking at Christmas lights (although R. could certainly do this without me).  These were the sort of thoughts that took up a great deal of the first couple of days.  Then I started coming around (see previous post), and have let go of the superficial things and just thought about how truly blessed I am.  God is good. Since being in here, Baby B (from now on I will just call him, B to save typing 4 letters and a space) has responded well to the rest and oxygen and most days his dopplers are hovering around a 5, which is still elevated, but acceptable, and if he stayed there for the rest of the pregnancy that would be AOK.  So I find ways to pass the time.

In the past week, I have 1) Graded the mulitple choice for R.'s exam.  2) partially updated Ansley's & Silas' baby books 3) Done one BSF lesson 4) Researched Christmas purchases online (which takes up a lot of time) 5) Gotten sidetracked on the internet while doing #4 (which is probably why it takes up so much time) 6) Watched TV.  Now, I know #6 is a big shocker, because normally I don't do this.  But desperate times call for desperate measures, and there is no greater waste of time than watching TV, so there you have it.  All of this doesn't seem like a lot once I write it down, but since I get up every day around 6 to have my vital signs taken, sometimes go back to sleep until 8 when they come in to do my ultrasound (actually I only first did this today), and then the babies get put on monitors after the ultrasound to try to get 20 minutes of a trace on their heartrate (which they protest greatly so it usually eats up about an hour).  So by the time all of this is done and I've eaten breakfast and all, it's normally around 11:00.  So the mornings are pretty full.   Then at some point both of my doctors come in to talk to me (not together), I have to have more vital signs taken in the afternoon at some point, I've had visitors almost every day so far, and the kids come up every day.  After dinner the babies have to get back on the monitors again, so there's another hour, and then I take my shower and talk to R. and get to bed around 10 or 10:30, so that really even though I have for the most part laid in bed for an entire day, I only have a few hours in the afternoon where I feel like I have to find something to do.  And right now I have a whole list of things to do - I've got 6 books to read; more shopping to do online; more of the tests to grade; another BSF lesson; some planning; and at some point I'm going to tour the NICU and get a pedicure in the hospital salon! So, more to come.  I'll keep you posted on anything new and exciting that happens.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Lord is a Faithful God.

Blessed are those who wait for Him to help them. (Isaiah 30:18).  This is the verse that I have repeated to myself whilst falling asleep the past few nights.  It's been pretty comforting. 

To update:  Baby B has a bad placenta.  He's been squished by his larger brother for most of this pregnancy, and the blood flow through his cord isn't what it should be.  This makes him too small for his age.  He's on the charts, largely due (probably) to the enormous amount of protein that I've been consuming over the past month.  (side note here, Baby A and myself are tracking the 75th percentile nicely due to the protein as well).  But no one knows what sort of health problems he may have after he's born, if any.  No one knows what caused his placenta to look the way it does.  No one knows why the cord flow isn't up to speed. No one knows how long he will continue to grow inside of me (although at this point, I'm hoping and praying a minimum of 5 weeks with a larger goal of 9 weeks).  All we can do is look at him every day and just see how he seems to be doing in there.  There has been some speculation, and some "intervention" if you want to call it that (hospital bed rest, protein, fluids, oxygen), but the bottom line is no one knows.

No one except the Lord.  He has a wonderful plan for His entire creation that will bring Him all of the glory that is His. There is a bigger picture.  The picture is about Him, not me.  I know that I am a part of His plan and He will use me for His glory.  He will use these babies for His glory.  I don't know how, and it might not be the way I want things to work out, but life isn't about me.  That's not a real popular idea.  Especially in our culture today where everyone is convinced that the purpose of life is to do what makes you happy.  Emphasis on you.  Find yourself, be true to yourself, etc. etc.  Buy more things, because that will make you happy.  Get a better education, because then you'll have more knowledge, which will make you happy, or if that doesn't, then the money that your better job will get you will make you happy.  Really?  Is that what life is about? Personal happiness?  It's a great side effect of living a life of purpose, but not the purpose in and of itself.  I think God likes blessing his children.  He doesn't enjoy watching us suffer.  But our happiness is not His plan.  His glory is.  So for now I can find comfort in knowing that He has always had a plan, nothing will change that, and I already know how the story ends.  So for my part, I know the Lord is faithful, and if I wait on Him, then I can fulfill my part of His plan, whatever that may be.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls and Paranoia

I love cinnamon rolls.  I have to say it is one of my favorite breakfast foods.  While I was making them this morning, Colin asked me if that's what I was making, and I said "yes, is that ok with you?" to which he replied.  "Yes.  Because I love them."  I also have to say, that I have tried the Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls now twice, because I made them wrong the first time (they were good both times), but my family and friends in town still prefer my recipe, which really isn't my recipe either.  I got it in the mail one day with one of those things that wants you to subscribe to their magazine.  I am so glad I did not throw it away, here it is:

2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
3/4 cup of buttermilk
1 stick of butter
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Now before I start with the directions I have to tell you that I don't follow them.  First of all, I don't use buttermilk.  It's not something I keep and I tried a shortcut one day because I didn't feel like mixing the lemon juice (or vinegar) and waiting for the milk to curdle, so I just used regular milk and they came out just dandy.  I also don't use a whole cup of sugar, I usually only use about 3/4 cup, and make up some of the flavor with putting some more cinnamon in.  I don't really measure the cinnamon, but I'm guessing it's closer to 2 teaspoons than 1.  I've also been running short on butter before and used some cream cheese to fill in the difference and that tasted great, too.

Ok, so what you do is mix the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda together, and then mix in the vegetable oil 'till it's a little grainy.  Then in with the milk and you should mix this together in a kitchenaid mixer until it looks a little doughy, just a few minutes.  You're supposed to knead it, but it is a really wet dough and I don't know how you would ever knead this stuff unless you added quite a bit more flour, which I have also done, but they don't come out as nice.  So after you get it all mixed up,  HEAVILY flour your countertop and roll this stuff out.  If you roll it too much it's going to get sticky, because it IS a pretty wet dough.  So if you use a whole lot of flour rolling it out then you'll be fine.  After you get it rolled out to about a 12X8 ish size, spread that stick of softened (or melted, but softened works a little better) butter out onto it.  Then sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon on top and roll it up into a long jelly roll.  The original recipe says that you should be able to cut this into 8 rolls, but I can get 10 or 12 out of it and then I don't feel guilty at all about having two of them, especially if you get 12. Bake them for about 15 - 20 minutes depending on how brown you like them (and your oven) at 400 degrees and enjoy.

Now for the paranoia part.  I have never claimed to be the most laid back person on the face of the earth, I did however think that I was relatively laid back.  Being pregnant with twins has made me realize just how laid back I am not. I worry about almost everything.  The most recent concern has been my varicose veins.  They actually get worse with every pregnancy, and so I was expecting that my entire left calf would be purple at some point, but I was not expecting it to spread to my thigh.  So, when I realized last night that that was what was happening, I of course, started to worry.  It's only one vein, right now, but I started thinking about how when people have heart surgery they take veins out of your thigh, and what if this was THAT vein, and how it was damaged, and maybe I needed to be worried about blood clots, and it just goes on and on from that point.  I finally just talked myself into going to sleep with the knowledge that I had a doctor's appointment in only 6 days, and I would just pray that I didn't die before I could get in there an ask him about it.  You're probably thinking that if I was really worried, I just would have gone in today, and you may be right.  I might just like torturing myself.  But at any rate I dreamt all night about having a miscarriage, partly due to the fact that Colin joined us as some point in bed and kept bumping into my belly.  So there you have it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


So, four days away is my first and at least in the near future, last catering gig.  I can't wait until it's over to be quite honest.  I fully intended to do the grocery shopping for it today and spend the next 3 days cooking.  However, since it is 1:40 pm and I have not even gotten ready for the day yet, let alone printed my shopping list, it's not looking like it's going to happen.  I'll just do it tomorrow. 

The menu (tapas):

1) Lobster Broth
2) Lobster Salad sandwiches (had to use up all the meat to get the bodies for the soup)
3) Tomato Tart with Olive Tapenade in Phyllo
4) Chicken Empanaditas
5) Jalapeno Peppers with Bacon & Cheese/ Sweet Peppers with cheese
6) Mixed Fruit/Cheese
7) Chocolate Brownie Bites & Cheesecake Bites

Which reminds me, I haven't even gotten the recipes out for the desserts and might want to do that before I head off to the store tomorrow. None of these recipes are my own.  I sort of  idol worship Thomas Keller, and so the first 3 are mostly his.  The rest are a collection of Williams Sonoma, Pioneer Woman, Southern Living, and something I ate at party recently that I asked how to make and have therefore copied.  I never claimed to be original.