Sunday, June 13, 2010

Oh my goodness... Have I really not posted since NOVEMBER?!?!?!?

Wow. Well, that's what I get for relying on Facebook to update everyone, lol.

Aaaaaanyway.... So Gaius is now 8 months old and the twins are 3.5, and all three of them are C.R.A.Z.Y. Usually in a good way. Roman has recently taken to saying "You're my BEST" and, coupled with the patented Roman D'Agostini Wink (TM), he pretty much gets whatever attention he wants. Giovanna now draws people complete with fingers and toes, and LOVES pretending she is a kitty, puppy, dinosaur, eagle, or monkey (or any other animal, person, or robot). They both like to tell stories, act out scenes from Ponyo and Sid the Science Kid, lol! And they like to dream about cars, dinosaurs, and making cookies. Giovanna likes monkeys and purple; Roman likes puppies and blue. I absolutely love their imaginations - so freakin' cool!!!! They often play creative games with each other (usually without ending in whining or incident) and it's so fascinating to see them play off of each other!

They have been in preschool 2 half-days a week for the last few months, and we all love it. They come home with a few new learned habits (which are generally annoying) and germs (which are always annoying), but Kyle gets a few quiet(er) hours per week and they get some independent time - YAY! They miss the school-year cutoff by about 6 weeks (BOO!) so they have another year of preschool before Kindergarten. Holy crap - that is soon. ACK!!

Gaius is freakin' amazing. He eats everything we feed him so far, lol, and still loves to nurse! I've been very fortunate that I have pumped (barely) enough milk for him so we haven't had to supplement with formula. YAY! He has 4 teeth and two more are close to popping through. We had a few weeks of biting, but it thankfully it didn't last too long. Breastfeeding is otherwise going very well! He stands unsupported for short periods, and has even taken a few steps - YIKES!!! Crawling is still his main mode of travel, and he is a sneaky ninja, crossing the room in about 2.38 milliseconds. We don't even put the vacuum away since we have to use it multiple times a day. He is the happiest. Baby. EVER. He almost always has smiles and giggles, even when he is tired and teething.

The twins are so good with Gaius - they crack him up all the time and are always rush to sing to him when he fusses. We have to back them off periodically because they get a little overexcited sometimes!

Here's a few recent pics!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Two 3-year-olds and one 2-month old!

Well, hello! I think this is the longest I have gone without blogging in awhile. Time has just been flying!

Gaius is TWO MONTHS OLD today! WTH?!? How did that happen??? He gives us such awesome smiles and coos. We have little "conversations" with him, and his siblings love it when he looks at them and smiles! He is growing right on track (actually a little ahead!), so apparently my breastmilk is working for him!

Breastfeeding has certainly been an adventure. I had a lot of pain at first and kept getting the standard advice: use lanolin, rub breastmilk on the nipples, let them air dry, etc... The pain should have been gone after a week or two, so at 5 weeks when I was still in tears half the time when Gaius ate, I called the lactation nurse again. Before going to see her, I looked up my symptoms (bruise-like pain, painful letdown, cracking, and "blanched" nipples after feeding) on the La Leche League website and KellyMom, another breastfeeding site. I discovered (and the lactation nurse confirmed within 30 seconds of watching Gaius breastfeed) that I have forceful letdown, so when Gaius was latching on, he would clamp down to slow the flow. That clamping cut off blood flow to the nipple, which was made worse by my already-poor circulation. Apparently, this condition (called vasospasms) is made worse by cold, which is what happens when you put lanolin and breastmilk on nipples and let them air dry. Great. So the things I'd been doing for FIVE WEEKS were actually causing me to have worse pain. Lovely.

The lactation nurse (whom I suspect is a miracle worker) showed me some alternate nursing positions that slowed my flow so Gaius wouldn't clamp down as much - basically to lean back and position him face down on my breast. Again - the opposite of what conventional breastfeeding advice tells us to do. The nurse also suggested to cover my breasts immediately after nursing or pumping to minimize air exposure and cold and to apply dry heat when practical. Within ONE DAY I was already feeling significantly less pain. A week later I was pain free! Breastfeeding is finally a pleasant bonding experience that I actually look forward to now! Since I'm back at work, I only nurse while I'm at home and I pump at work, which isn't fun, but it's for a good cause. :)

Giovanna and Roman are now THREE!!! And they have hit the "terrible threes" which is even worse than the terrible twos. They are exploring their individuality and independence, and in the meantime, driving Kyle and I bonkers! They ignore us, sass back, say "I did" when they clearly didn't do whatever it was we asked of them, scream for attention, and fake cry. We have attributed this a little to jealously issues with the new baby, but it seems to be in line with other children we know of the same age.

In direct contrast with the outright defiance, they are also displaying an amazing amount of love, imagination, and humor! The other day, we were driving down a hill and we hear Roman say with a quiet fake panic: "Ahhh! We're going down! We're all gonna die!!" which made everyone crack up. Where the heck did he get that?? And Giovanna started talking about how an orange dinosaur had scared her, and when asked by a friend where she had seen it, she said it followed her home from the doctor's office. We had been at the doctor's office the day before and had seen an old woman, fake-tanned to a leathery crisp, hair bleached platinum, over-makeuped, wearing all bright orange! In retrospect, it wasn't a big leap to think of her as a dinosaur, lol. These kids make us laugh every day - I love it. And Giovanna is drawing recognizable objects! Here is a face and her apple, complete with bite marks.

Kyle and I are doing great, too. I'm not thrilled about being back at work, but we're settling into a routine that works for us. :)

More pics:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's been three weeks already?!?!?

Time flies when you're sleep deprived! ;)

It's certainly been an interesting couple of weeks. Giovanna and Roman both adjusted pretty well to having a baby in the house. They are constantly asking where Gaius is, what he is doing, and if they can touch or smooch him. Roman loves to see when Gaius' eyes are open, and Giovanna likes to say "I love him!" and "I'm a big sister!" They haven't really had any jealousy issues, probably because they are used to sharing their parents with each other.

Gaius had his two week appointment last Thursday - healthy and 7 lbs, 13.6 oz! The doc said that they hope for newborns to gain about an ounce a day, and Gaius had gained 13 oz in 10 days, so he was very pleased! He even asked me if all I was giving him was breastmilk, lol! We went back for a follow up test (routine) and he is 8 lbs 3.4 oz - a steady gain! Gaius is currently spending all his time sleeping or nursing, with brief periods of looking around and making funny faces and noises. He is very strong and has been holding his head up for a few moments since we were at the hospital! He generally wants to nurse every 1-3 hours. He gave me a good 4 hours of sleep one night, which is the longest I've slept since I started contractions on 9/15. He is starting to fill out a bit more, too. :)

Kyle and I are tired, of course, but we nap occasionally and we sort of naturally adjusted to getting less sleep. We've been getting out of the house almost every day, which helps all of our moods. I'm still getting used to nursing (these first few weeks are painful, but sooooo worth it!) and my body is still healing from the birth process, of course. I'm so grateful for having a more "normal" birth and newborn experience than we had last time. To be able to hold Gaius immediately after he came out, to be able to nurse him within the hour, and to have him "room-in" with me at the hospital and come home with me has been amazing. It was so hard to go through the twins' hospital stay and I am relieved and so happy we didn't have to go through that again.

Both Giovanna and Roman have really taken off with their vocabulary and they amaze me every day with what they can figure out. One of their new games is to switch everyone's names - i.e. I am daddy, daddy is mommy, Roman is Boogie, and Giovanna is Robot. This sometimes involves donning another family member's hat or shirt, lol. They also pretend to be us and they take turns putting each other in time out for random things. I love watching their imaginations take off!

All three kids have colds right now. :( Giovanna has been stuffy for almost a week, Roman has had a tiny sniffle (his colds are usually milder than hers), and Gaius is even snotty. No fevers or anything - just congestion. Hoping it's over soon. Kyle had a sinus headache yesterday, but neither of us has really gotten a full on cold. There is a lot of handwashing going on in our house right now!

More pics:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Welcome, Gaius Thoren!

Gaius is here!! Here is the full (very long, somewhat graphic) birth story, so grab a cup of tea and settle in.

On Tuesday (9/15) I had my 39 week appointment with the perinatologist. He told me I was dialated to 1 cm, 3 cm long, and at a negative 2 or negative 3 station. So basically exactly where I had been 2 weeks earlier. I had been hoping for a little more progress than that, so I was a little disappointed. After the appointment, we went grocery shopping and headed home.

That evening, I started having some cramping, which I attributed to having an internal exam done. They were not very regular, but just in case it was labor, we skipped our Lovenox injection that night. I woke up at 2:30 am on Wednesday and the cramps had gotten stronger. I tried timing them and they were 8 to 9 minutes apart. I was getting excited and couldn't sleep, so I kept timing them all morning and by around 9 or so, they were down to 6.5-7.5 minutes apart. I took a shower, drank some water, and laid down to see if they would stop or slow down (which would indicate false labor). I ended up dozing off around 10:30 or 11, and when I woke up a little later, the contractions had become very mild and very irregular - about 12-30 minutes apart.

The rest of the afternoon we spent wondering if this was real labor or not, but by late Wednesday evening, the contractions had become regular and strong again, about 8-9 minutes apart. I kept timing them all night (I dozed off between some contrax, but only for a few minutes at a time before the next one came and woke me up) and around 6am they had dropped to 6 min apart. The hospital told me to come in when contractions were 3-4 minutes apart, so I took a shower and we got the kids ready. During that time, the contractions became so strong I couldn't stand or sit through them and had given up timing them. We piled in the car and drove to the hospital while I made all sorts of crazy noises and couldn't sit still. The twins were SO AWESOME. They quieted down when we asked and they just kept asking me all morning if my tummy hurt and if I was all better. :)

We got to the maternity ward (after several lobby/hallway stops for contractions) a few minutes after 8am. They got me situated and checked my cervix....

...8 centimeters. Oops. I asked (panicked) if there would be time for an epidural and the nurse said there should be, and to let her know if I felt the need to push. She messed up giving me an IV, but I apparently didn't notice because I didn't realize it until later, lol, then they wheeled me to the delivery room. 10 feet out the door (Kyle and the kids trotting behind us) I started to feel a lot of pressure. I told the nurse and she said not to push yet (duh).

I looked around the delivery room when we got there - there was a rocking chair, a birthing ball, a stool, and I had been told down the hall was a jacuzzi tub for laboring mamas. I had wanted access to all of that, but wasn't going to be able to use it!

At this point, my contractions were so strong that I was almost writhing out of bed with each one, but I couldn't push yet because there was still some cervix not quite dialated and I could really get injured if I tried pushing too early. I can't believe poor Kyle's fingers were intact after the crushing I gave them while trying to breathe through what felt like my uterus trying to escape.

All of this occurred so quickly that none of my family had been able to make it to the hospital yet. The twins were in the room with us, sitting on the window seat and eating their cheerios and raisins, looking just like they were watching a movie! Kyle got between me and them and Giovanna said "Daddy, move! I can't see!" LOL! A nurse sat with them and tried to entertain them, but they were just fine anyway. They didn't get upset at all! They just seemed fascinated by the whole process.

I asked again for an epidural and the doctor said she could get me one, but I would have to hold still, sitting up and hunched over my belly for 15-20 minutes, breathing through many contractions. That just wasn't going to happen, so I said "f___ the epidural" followed by many repetitions of the phrase "I'm so scared!" and "I can't do it!" I also asked that they tilt my bed up further and dim the lights, which they did.

Finally, they checked my cervix and said I could push. I started and my water broke immediately and I could feel Gaius shift into position to come out. The nurses helped me pull my legs back and hunch forward and I started to push, apparently making some unholy exorcism-type noises. The few seconds reprieve I got between contractions I breathed.

After the 3rd pushing contraction, the nurse said "One more and he'll be out!" I said "Really?" and found some previously-unbeknownst cache of strength. He wasn't out on the 4th one though, and the doctor said "Ok, he'll be out on the next one!" I said, "You said that last time!" and the doctor said "I didn't say that!" and I said "I can't tell who is talking! My eyes are closed!" The doc assured me that if I pushed really hard he would indeed be out on the next contraction, and Kyle said "She's right! I can see his head already!" so when it started, I PUSHED.

Ouch. I felt his head crown and come out, followed by his shoulders and the rest of him slid right out. And suddenly, he was on my chest and that was all I could focus on. One of the big things I felt like I had missed out on with the twins being so premature was being able to hold them right away. The nurses quickly rubbed off most of the vernix and newborn goo and I just held him and looked at his face while I delivered the placenta and the doc cleaned and stitched me up. I think I said a bunch of things like "Oh my god, I can't believe you're here!" and "Look at you! You're so beautiful!" I held him for what felt like ages - it was so wonderful.

My sis, her hubby, my dad, and my stepmom all showed up within the half hour after the birth and cooed over the baby and entertained the twins (who thought that Uncle Matt bouncing them on the birthing ball was the coolest thing ever, lol).

The nurses finally measured and weighed Gaius (7 lbs 6 oz, 20.25 inches long, 14.5 inch head circimference) and gave him his first bath.

Roman and Giovanna's reactions to the new baby were much different than I expected. Roman, who hadn't previously showed much interest in babies at all (except to yell at my tummy to come out and play, lol) was fascinated with Gaius. He kept grinning and laughing and saying "that's my baby brother! He came out of Mommy's tummy! He came out her 'gina!" LMAO! Giovanna, who usually fawns over babies, dresses up her baby doll, and often rubbed my belly and asked if the baby was sleeping, was much more timid when Gaius was actually in front of her. She hesitated before touching him and kept mostly to playing with the grownups in the room. Then Grandpa and Gramma J took the kids to the park and then home to nap while Kyle and I stayed with Gaius and Kyle sent pictures and messages to everyone we'd ever known. ^_^

I was able to try breastfeeding as soon as I was fixed up and Gaius was weighed. So far, he does the same thing Giovanna did - he doesn't open his mouth wide enough so we have to re-latch a few times to get a connection that isn't terribly painful for me. Once we get a decent latch, he figures out how to drink pretty quickly. The nurse told me on Friday that I was making "a ton of colostrum" which was good because then Gaius wasn't super-hungry. My milk started coming in yesterday though it's hard to measure how much he is actually getting. He was making some good gulping sounds early this morning, which is a good sign!

The rest of the hospital stay was pretty uneventful - we just got checked on a lot by the nurses and talked to a lactation consultant. We came home midday on Saturday (yesterday).

And without further ado - pictures!

(all of my new pics are available at

Thursday, August 27, 2009

36 weeks!!

Gaius and I are doing great! We had another doc appt last week at 35 weeks (probably the last ultrasound!) and I am now "graduated" to no longer being "high-risk!" - meaning, if I went in to labor, they wouldn't stop it because the risk for the baby is as low as it is for a full term baby. Crazy to think about! Next Tuesday I'll be 37 weeks, which is considered "full term" (though 40 weeks is how they determine due date). Wow.

They measured Gaius and are estimating he is 5 lbs 10 oz (give or take 13 oz, lol), which is the 65th percentile. We got a great pic of some already-chubby cheeks. The doc called him "well-nourished" and warned us he may be so used to being well-nourished that he will expect the same amount of nourishment after he is born, lol!! I figure if my breasts could mostly keep up with two babies, I can keep up with one hungry one! :) He's head down already, but no indication of labor any time soon! I've had a few Braxton Hicks contractions, which the doc says is expected at this point.

Gaius is very very active - he is always kicking and squirming and stretching in there! He likes to push up against my diaphragm which makes it uncomfortable to breathe easily, but at least he isn't usually pushing on my bladder or cervix, lol. The twins did that and it was soooo uncomfortable! My main discomfort is the heat and just having my belly in the way all the time, lol. My ankles and feet have been getting some swelling which has been pretty uncomfortable!

I'm getting so excited! We pre-registered at the hospital after our appointment last week so when I go into labor I don't have to fill out any pesky paperwork. I got all teary-eyed just being in the maternity ward lobby!

Giovanna and Roman are doing AWESOME as always! Kyle took them out on what the map said was a 10 mile hike this week!! They slept soooooo well after that one, lol!! They continue to crack me up every day with silly stuff they say. This age is so damn fun (though the whining and random completely-disregarding-mommy moments can be very frustrating). We're working on potty training with Roman now. Still doing a lot of laundry, but he's making progress and he's soooo proud when he uses the potty!! Giovanna tells him "good job! You peed!!" lol!

I have a ton of pics to upload, but my photobucket tells me it's apparently full, so I'll have to figure out another place to upload stuff! I'll give a few here:

Good thing they are washable (both the kids and the markers, lol)

Holding hands was their idea:

They looooove to hike with Daddy!!

At one of the many water fountains in Portland!

Me at 36 weeks:

Gaius at 35 weeks:

Some "well-nourished" cheeks, lol:

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Senses of humor have emerged!

Sorry it's been so long since my last post! We've been busy (and hot and tired).

I am 33.5 weeks along - only 6.5(ish) more weeks to go! Exciting! Everything is going well. I feel very full of baby already - Gaius likes to push up against my diaphragm and make it somewhat difficult to breathe comfortably unless I am leaning back with my belly sticking out, lol. Not the most ladylike of poses, but whatever, lol. I'm still enjoying myself since I don't plan on doing this again! ;) My last appointment was a week ago and still no signs of premature labor. No contractions, no dialation, and Gaius is VERY active. At least once a day I can sit back and watch my belly shift and churn like something out of Alien. If I didn't know what was in there, I'd be freaked out, lol. My next ultrasound is on the 18th - I'll be 35 weeks along and after that they won't stop labor if it starts! ACK!! Then another appt at 37 weeks, and probably one at 38 or 39, then it's showtime!

Giovanna and Roman are growing up so freakin' fast. I know it's totally cliche to say that, but I marvel every day at the crazy, funny stuff that comes out of their mouths. For example, Roman's new alphabet lyrics are "Now I know my ABCs! Next time won't you POOP with me!!" followed by hysterical laughter. The other night, Giovanna was trying to postpone bedtime by refusing to get off the potty. The subsequent conversation went like this: "C'mon, Boogie. Time to get off the potty and go to bed." "No, I'm upset." "Why are you upset?" "I'm UPSET 'cause... 'cause... Roman didn't give me coffee!" Roman then poked his head around the door and said, "Boogie, you want some coffee?" They say things like "What are you talking about?" and "It's blue, ACTUALL." Total attitudes. Love it. Usually. ;)

The animals (by which I mean the pets) are all doing great! Wulfric, our new kitten, has pretty much taken over. He play-attacks Merlin mercilessly, and Merlin just sits there and takes it. Sometimes he plays back, even! Never thought he'd do that, lol. Alex knows to pretty much stay out of the cats' way, lol.

We went up to Bellingham last weekend. We had a lovely small baby shower - Tory, Laura, Nana/GG, Mom, Rick, and our brood. We had grilled salmon and veggie kabobs - so yummy! We got great gifts (thanks, all!!!) and had wonderful fireside conversation about babies! And I love to talk about my babies. ;) It was so fun to see Laura's baby belly poking out! It is so cool that we will have cousins close to the same age!

We also spent some time at the park that weekend, and the kids played in my mom's backyard a LOT, often sans clothing! They picked veggies and apples from her garden and helped water the plants! They even helped Pop in the garden - Roman pretty much attached himself to Pop most of the time, and had a blast! It was a short trip, but very fun.

Yesterday, Kyle had a bunch of his parenting group over to do tie-dying! He made some really cool shirts for Roman and Giovanna (they are calling them their superhero shirts, lol) and some onesies for Gaius! He even left me a couple of white onesies so I could make some too! Yay! Here's what he made:

A few weeks ago we went to the wedding of our neighbors, Christe and Matt. They are expecting a baby this fall, too! It was a bit of a drive, but we all had a lot of fun. The twins got to watch the fish in a koi pond and run around with a bunch of older kids (who were great about including them!). And we all got to blow lots and lots of bubbles. :)

We've also spent a lot of time at the park lately (on days where our thermometer didn't read 110 degrees anyway) and the zoo and the Children's Museum, and visiting family and friends.

Tons and tons of pictures at the link below. Sorry some are rotated wrong. Photobucket is still not uploading pics right. Argh.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sick, but otherwise doing fine. :)

Time just keeps slipping away from me! Sorry it’s been so long between posts! This one will be very long to make up for it. ;)

A couple weekends ago, my little brother got MARRIED to his beautiful partner, Laura. They are so smitten with each other, it’s just silly – I LOVE IT! I’ve really never seen my brother so happy. The weekend was just lovely, and it was wonderful to see the whole family! Our drives up and down, however, were… eventful.

Kyle went up on Thursday with my sister’s husband and my dad, so they could join the bachelor party. My sis and I had a sleepover with the twins, who decided that sleepovers are not for sleeping. Giovanna whined about dinosaurs until midnight, then both kids were up at 4am. Not cool. Temi and I got up around 5 and (slowly) finished packing and getting ready. We hit the road at 9 and the kids were out before we reached the highway! Between stopping for play/lunch and many MANY potty breaks for our now-fully-day-potty-trained little girl, we reached Bellingham at about 5pm (yes, a 5 hour straight-shot took 8 hours). Then we had to get to the ferry and wait… and wait… and we finally got to our destination at about 6:20. We went through the rehearsal, had a delicious dinner, and crashed very hard that night!

Saturday dawned absolutely beautiful. We woke up earlier than we’d have liked (dang our early bird son!), but we had a ridiculously delicious breakfast, spent some time at the beach, had a lovely nap, and made it for pictures on time. The ring bearer, an almost-3-year-old boy named Isaac, spent most of the weekend chasing after Giovanna and trying to give her hugs! So cute! The ceremony was wonderful – Giovanna did a great job hamming it up as the flower girl, then she and I hightailed it several times to the potty. Roman was a champ and sat in Grandpa’s lap almost the whole time! The reception was really fun – had some amazing cheeses and appetizers, and a delicious dinner and cake.

Then the dancing started. Giovanna discovered the dining room had been turned into a dance floor, and started dancing around 8 or so. Just jumping around and going to town! Ro was already getting tired, so he spent a lot of time in my lap. People started joining Giovanna and the dancing went until very late! Isaac tried to dance with her several times, but she’s more of a solo dancer, lol. She seriously was jumping and dancing for about an hour and a half, nonstop, after a very active day. Meanwhile, Roman spent the better part of that time dancing in the arms of one of my brother’s friends, Elise. He actually spent much of the weekend fawning over her! We finally went back to the cabin between 9:30 and 10, and crashed hard again!

We were up early on Sunday, packed and headed down to breakfast. We spent some more time with the close family members still on the island, and watched Thoren and Laura open their wedding gifts. Teary-eyed, we headed out a little after noon.

We got about an hour south of Bellingham when the car started doing crazy things. We pulled over and called roadside assistance, were informed it was the battery, and that they were sending a tow truck. Well, a tow truck wasn’t about to do much for us, so we called my dad, who was a little further south than us. He (with my sister and her husband) turned around and picked us up a battery and followed us as we continued our journey.

An hour and a half later, just north of Olympia, the car died completely. Not the battery then – it was the alternator. This time, we did call for the tow truck, who happened to know a guy that Kyle used to work for in Oly! He had a shop, and said he should have the car ready by the end of the day Monday. We all piled in my dad’s Volvo and kept driving, with multiple potty breaks for Giovanna. We made it home a little after 12. That normally-5-hour-drive was about 12 hours!!! Thank goodness for my amazing family. The adventure would have been so much harder and crazier and more stressful if they hadn’t been willing to spend hours moving luggage, laying uncomfortably in the back of the Volvo, entertaining toddlers, and stopping every hour or so to pee, without complaint. I am so freakin’ lucky to have my wonderful family!!! THANK YOU!!!!

As you may have gathered from the above tale of crazy adventure, Giovanna is now fully day-potty trained! She has random accidents during naps and at night, but that’s it!! YAHOOOOO!!!!! Roman is following in her footsteps – asking to sit on the potty for looooong periods of time, though he usually doesn’t pee or poop there yet. Baby steps… 3 more months until Gaius is here… that’s the goal – only 1 in diapers at a time! :)

Since we’ve gotten home, the went through an icky cold. The kids both had low grade fevers at different times, a lot of congestion, and had a bit of a cough. Both are still a little snotty, but are mostly over it. Kyle had it for about two days, and I've been battling it all week. And it sucks because the only medicine you can take while pregnant is Tylenol, which does absolutely nothing for congestion. Ugh.

Giovanna is still talking about dinosaurs in her room at night. She acts scared, but turns it off and on without any effort, so we’re of the mind that it’s currently a sleep-delaying tactic (like saying she has to pee or poop on the potty when she’s already done it, or that she wants to snuggle, or wants more hugs/smooches, or more milk, or is hungry… she is a master sleep-delayer). The dinosaur changes locations (it was in the closet, and since we’ve started keeping the closet closed, it’s outside the window). We’ve tried sooooo many things. We tried explaining that the dinosaur has gone home (even waved bye-bye and Roman informed us that he went home in a big truck, and that he went bowling, too, lol!!), that the dinosaur was nice and would never hurt her, that her stuffed dragon will save her from the dinosaur… and many other things. Once she would only fall asleep for her nap on the floor between their beds (away from the window). The only thing that works at all is to tell her (rather firmly) that there isn’t a dinosaur and it is time to go to sleep NOW. Sometimes this takes a few tries. We hate having to do that, but when she’s up until after 11pm fake-crying about a non-existent dinosaur… well, we just don’t know what else to do! Meanwhile, Roman usually falls asleep during her whining and explanations, lol.

Developmentally, both kids are on track or ahead for their actual (not adjusted for prematurity) age! YAY!!! They continue to grow, but aren’t gaining much (if any) weight, which is totally normal and expected for crazy active toddlers. I give full props to Kyle for getting them exercise, creative time, learning time, snuggle time, reading time, and relaxation time, EVERY DAY. And he has lots of playdates with his parenting groups and friends so they get good socialization time, too. He’s an amazing daddy – I’m so lucky!

Gaius is doing just fine! He kicks me constantly (this week he has been targeting my bladder and cervix – ouch!) and I feel him squirming around in there all the time. It’s such a weird feeling! I've been terribly tired lately – not sure if it’s fighting off this cold, still recovering from the long weekend adventures, the pregnancy, or a combination of all of those. Still getting a bit nauseous in the mornings (ick) but it’s manageable.

I had a routine appointment last week with my OB (not the perinatologist I also see for ultrasounds and the “high-risk” part of my pregnancy). All looks great – I’m measuring right on schedule, not dilating at all, and no other concerns. YAY! I also got my gestational diabetes glucose screening test (involves drinking basically pop syrup and getting a blood draw) that I PASSED (I failed the screening with the twins and had to do the long 3 hour glucose test that involves fasting and FOUR blood draws, which I then passed), and my rhogam shot (my blood type is negative, and since Kyle’s is positive, I have to get a shot just in case the kid comes out positive so my body doesn’t freak out about the weird blood type). Oh, and I lost another 1.5 lbs, so I’m down about a lb or 2 from my pre-pregnancy weight. I really don’t have much appetite when I’m pregnant, so it’s not a huge surprise! I've been trying to get calories in me so I at least maintain my weight. The docs aren't worried at all since Gaius is so active and is growing fine. :)

The kiddos helped daddy make ranger cookies a couple weeks ago. (Ranger cookies have just about everything but the kitchen sink in them - very hearty, and made with a lot less sugar than regular cookies!) The kids helped measure, mix, pour, and shape the cookies! And they helped to eat them, of course! And they were sooooooo yummy!

That's all for now - I have a ton of picutes at the below link. Sorry they aren't in order. I uploaded them in order and they went all out of whack and photobucket is really hard to rearrange. Hope you enjoy anyway!