Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ahead or behind??

It's not even December and I've ordered my Christmas card/birth announcement with shutterfly. Win! However, the twins are already 2 months old today... hmmm...
Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Funnoying part 2

Remember THIS post on "Funnoying" things? Well here's part 2!

1. One thing I forgot to mention in part 1 when I was still pregnant:
Person: When are you due?
Me: October 20 is 40 weeks, but twins generally come early, so we're anticipating the end of September or early October.
Person: Oh! My birthday is October 28 (or whatever day), you should shoot for that day!

...Seriously? What part of end of September or early October do you not understand? This actually happened SEVERAL times.

2. I've been thoroughly surprised at how many people have asked us if our twins are identical. Clearly, we have no concept of basic biology, as boy parts and girl bits are quite different! Additionally, if you even take one glance at O & E, they look very different. Sometimes I want to make some snarky remark, but generally end up saying, "Well, they actually can't be identical because one is a boy and the other a girl." Which often times has resulted in an, "Oh really?" {sigh}. A friend of my mother-in-law had twins and she made me laugh when she said that people would ask her if her twins were identical or nocturnal (instead of fraternal). HA! Maybe a little nocturnal. :)

3. When Emma is clearly wearing pink and perhaps even a bow in her hair and people ask me who's who. Granted, we live in a country where men will often wear pink, but still...

4. When people who I don't even know want to touch or hold my children. There was a couple at church that I've never seen before that came up to us and said they wanted a picture of them. No introduction, no real greeting, no hand washing. But they didn't just want a picture of them, they wanted a picture of THEM holding the babies. How do I say no when they are holding their arms out reaching for my preemie-sized babies?  I'm getting better about saying no and asking demanding that people wash their hands. We're starting to be those people that constantly keep their kids in snug baby carriers, practically making them overheat, so that people won't touch them.

5. It's amazing to me just how much attention we get from people because of having twins. I've never been stared at, pointed at, smiled at, or laughed at more in my life. I've also never had so many people hoard around me, particularly at church or school. I've learned that if I have a baby with me, that getting somewhere (even just to go see Mike at school) will take me about 2-3X longer because I constantly get stopped.

6. Many Thai people seem quite concerned with image... if you go to a department store, many of the workers will be off in the corner with a mirror putting on make-up or fixing their hair, etc. Owen had a bit of baby acne for the first month and I felt like so many people had to point that out to me. Additionally, it was often, if not THE first thing that they would say about my little Owen. Not, "What a cute little nose" or "What fluffy hair he has" or "He has really long eyelashes" NOPE... it was always, "He has a rash" or "Can you do something about that?" {sigh} Good thing his cradle cap isn't too bad. Poor boy.

I'm sure these funnoying moment will only continue as they grow, so I'm confident this won't be the last "Funnoying" post.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Mug shot

These are Owen and Emma's passport pictures for the next five years of their life. Every time I look at them, I honestly laugh; Emma with her cute little smirk and Owen with his skeptical and serious face.

These pictures portray their personalities well, we think. From what we can tell... Emma is more outgoing and social. She loves face time, she smiles easily (and has from the beginning), coos a lot & adores being held. As you can tell, Emma, AKA "chubba cheeks" also loves her food . :) She is a champ of a nurser, but a horrible burper. We've been starting to give her gripe water (water with sodium bicarbonate and dill weed oil), which has helped her burp better and not be fussy by the end of the day (when all the gas accumulates).

Owen is our serious little man. He is harder to get a smile from (I know it's still early... I guess Emma is just an overachiever in the social arena) and I feel like every photo I snap of him, he has this slightly disgruntled, serious, or skeptical look on his face. He is a very content baby though and hardly ever cries. He is a horrible nurser... he likes to bite with his gums and whip his head from side to side while he snorts (we affectionately call him "snorty face") for a good 10 minutes before settling down to eat, and then he takes his sweet sweet time eating. He does this when fed by a bottle too, though not quite as much.

Mike and I joke about the difference between having a boy an a girl... Owen really only cries about 4 things: a dirty diaper, when he wants to be swaddled, is hungry, or when Emma the bully punches him in the face. Emma is more high maintenance. She cries when she's scared, when you don't quite have her in the right position, if her swaddle is too tight or too loose, when her swing stops moving, if she isn't being held, when she's hungry, if she can't see your face, if you're not laying close enough to her etc. etc. It's so interesting how two little beings that are raised in the same environment who are getting the same treatment, the same food, have the same parents etc. are so very very different. I love it.

They are sleeping well. I was scared by other parents into thinking that I'd only get an hour or so of consecutive sleep. I prayed for children that sleep well... and already at 6 weeks old, they are often doing 4-5 hour stretches at night. And since they are more or less on same schedule, most of that is overlap! We don't feel as sleep deprived as we thought we would, especially with twins. We've really been blessed.

Life is great. We love being parents and are having a lot of fun!

More pics and less words in the next post or two. :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Full hands and hearts.

These are some of my favorite pictures of Emma and Owen. They are just such sweet babies!!!

In our last ultrasound, they were positioned face to face, just like this. It makes me think they are telling each other sweet secrets. Mike jokes about the secret handshake that they'll have. I pray that they will be the best of friends!

It's amazing to me how quickly you forget how life was without your children. I feel like they have always been a part of me! It's also amazing to me how fierce your love is for them from the moment you set eyes on them... you don't even know them but you love them so intensely.
These two precious babies have captivated our hearts. Our hands and hearts are full. Our cups runneth over.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The end... well, more like the beginning. :)

We took a belly picture every week from 6 weeks until the very end. This was the last one we took. I took off the 5 and replaced it with a 6, but hoped I wouldn't make it to the 36 week picture with how uncomfortable & swollen I had become in just a matter of days.

By this time I had pregnancy induced hypertension. My blood pressure had sky rocketed & I was sporting wicked headaches, my body was retaining so much water it was hard to sit, to stand, to sleep, to go to the bathroom... to do anything comfortably. My ligaments were so stretched and painful & the babes were bulging out in my lower abdomen so much so that even clothing would hurt. Praise God that it was really only one week of feeling like this... really, the rest of my pregnancy was very very easy; I was so very blessed.

I had a 35.5 week appointment scheduled on Sunday the 23rd, and after having cried myself prior nights due to pain, I told Mike that if the ultrasound showed we had two 5 pound babies, I wanted them out! The ultrasound tech had a difficult time getting measurements because I would cry out in pain and squirm away as he passed over my ligaments & belly bulge, but was finally able to see that they were indeed at least 5 pounds each. Both were breach at the time, which automatically meant a c-section. I had been resigned to the fact that I would probably have a c-section, and in all honesty, at that time, I was so glad because it meant that they would be out that much sooner!

Fetal heart monitoring

So I pleaded with my doctor to do a c-section that day, to which he responded, "Cannot today. Maybe next week." I burst into tears... another whole week?! Mike calmed me down saying that he thought that next week meant "this week" to our doctor, which indeed it did. He asked if I wanted Tuesday or Wednesday and I firmly said, "Tomorrow. Tomorrow morning!!" (Monday)  I think he pitied me. :)

So we got things arranged at the hospital. We went home to get the hospital bag, get things in order, e-mailed friends and family, got the day off of work and returned to the hospital around midnight on Monday the 24th to check in and get prepped for the 6:45 AM c-section.

Don't let that smile fool you... I was so very uncomfortable but so very happy that they were going to come out in a matter of hours.

Peace out. On my way to the operating room.
Daddy getting ready too
I was given a spinal tap and felt nothing from about my chest down. Gotta love me some of those strooooong drugs!!
Getting cut open
Owen Michael was born at 6:57am weighing 5 lbs, 12 oz and 18.5 in. long. Emma Caroline was born 2 minutes later at 6:59am weighing 5 lbs, 2 oz. and measuring 17.9 in. Hearing their precious cries brought tears to my own eyes. How sweet it was...
Hooray!!! They're here!!! Owen on the left, Emma on the right. Please excuse my triple (or is it quadruple?) chin... I told you I had retained a lot of water!!
Both were wisked off to the NICU and put into incubators. Emma was placed in one simply because she was small, but Owen was immediately put into an incubator and given oxygen. He came out butt first, head down, which perhaps contributed to his rapid breathing. In the meantime, I was stitched up and Mike was able to go snap a couple of pics.


Emma... so alert
Emma girl

The rest of Monday is a daze for me; I was in an out of consciousness. Mike said that during the day, after I was observed in the recovery room for a while, I would talk to him for a little bit and literally fall asleep 5 seconds later. Our friends Grant and Carolyn even came to visit us, which I vaguely (if at all) remember.

My catheter and IV came out on Tuesday, which meant that it was time for me to already be getting up out of bed. I didn't know what to really expect with a c-section (reading material and advice from friends only does so much/goes so far), but knew that it would be really hard to get in and out of bed and even walk. I remember when I tried to make it to the wheelchair that was about 2 feet from my bed and I thought, "This is IMPOSSIBLE!!!" Everything got easier and better with each passing day. I spent a lot of time walking up and down the hospital hallways pushing a wheelchair to balance myself. I think the exercise really helped. Another blog post in the future on my opinion of c-sections...

Little Owen had to stay in the incubator until his breathing was regulated, which meant that we couldn't hold him or have him in our room (or take many pics). But Emma girl was in and out of our room and passed from visitor to visitor each day.
I look like death... still so swollen.
Love this sweet picture of Emma and her daddy!!!
E Drinking milk from a cup... she looked like a little kitten!
E being burped.
Love that little tongue hanging out. Uber relaxed.

On Thursday evening,  Owen's breathing had regulated, he was off oxygen and taken out of his incubator. Mike was able to hold him for the first time.

So handsome! I love his fluffy hair!! :)
Owen and I were able to spend some time together on Friday morning before I checked out of the hospital with Emma. He still needed a few more days of observation before going home, even though he was out of the incubator and off oxygen.

Teary-eyed Mama: Holding Owen for the first time.
Going home with Emma on Friday morning. I was an emotional mess, as you can see. Mixed emotions about leaving Owen, excitement about going home, fear of being responsible for this new little life... uhm, and just slightly post-pregnancy hormonal. :)

Unfortunately, Mike was not able to be with us when we went home. He had taken a half day at work and had the morning off, but the whole check-out process took way longer than it should have and he actually had to leave to get to work. Don't worry, he left me in able hands... I had two wonderful ladies take me home and spend the afternoon with me until Mike got home that afternoon.

Mike was able to go to the hospital on Saturday to visit Owen and then on Sunday morning, we went with our friends Grant and Carolyn, to go to the hospital to take sweet Owen home. It was Emma's first outing and her first time being reunited with her womb-mate.

Our baby carriers, Grant and Carolyn! Such a blessing to have them since I was still so sore and slow.

Owen getting footprinted before we left.
Reunited and it feels so good!!!

Hooray! Now our family is complete!


We are so grateful to be home, to be recovering well from my c-section (I feel great!), to have two precious, precious gifts, and for all your love and well wishes.  Thank you to all who came to visit us in the hospital; we were so overwhelmed by your love & kindness!

Please pray for us as we continually adjust to being a family of four, as Mike and I learn how to parent, as we learn to thrive on less sleep (and for those of you that know us well, you know how much Mike and I love sleep, particularly me...), and that Christ would remain our center and strength through it all.

Much love to you all.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Funny, annoying, or perhaps a bit of both (funnoying):

  • When people tell me that their children are so close in age that it was ALMOST like having twins.
  • Being asked (already!!!!) if we'll have more kids after Owen & Emma. Hmmm... how  about we focus on the arrival of these two first.
  • Getting my belly touched and rubbed by total strangers.
  • People passing me, glancing as they go by and seeing that I'm pregnant, continuing to walk and then doing the double take-look over their shoulder-I can't believe she's so huge stare (sometimes while mouthing, "WOW!" Okay, the mouthing of "wow" only happened once, but still, it was worth mentioning, right?)
  • People pointing at me and doing the universal pregnant sign of a semi-circle swoop with their hand... yes, I know I'm pregnant, thank you for pointing out the obvious as I waddle in your direction.
  • Talking about vaginas and boobs with curious people (Will you be able to deliver vaginally? Will you breastfeed?) Uhm... do I even know you?
  • The things that come from other mom's mouths when they're telling me some of their stories/experiences. And I thought the things their kids said was funny...
  • My Thai helper telling me not to drink coconut water because Thai people believe that it will make the baby come early. Then literally, the next day, my landlady (who is also Thai) telling me that I should drink coconut water water because it is healthy for the baby and helps get rid of the waxy layer that surrounds the baby. 
  • It's always funny to me how people react to my size when they don't realize that I'm expecting twins...
    • At my last check-up at 33 weeks, 3 hospital workers must have thought I was going to explode; they each wanted me to use a wheelchair. (I don't always reject wheelchairs, but try to walk as much as possible when I can, so that I at least get a little exercise.)
    • The nurse working with my doctor during a check-up was worried and exclaiming (in Thai whispers) to my doctor how LARGE I was. When he told her that I was expecting "two people," her entire attitude and demeanor towards me changed (and the Thai whispering also disappeared).
  • And my all time favorite: when you apparently slip through the cracks at the hospital, and the "at risk" nurse calls you when you're 33 weeks pregnant and the babies could be born really any day, and tells you to a) eat a lot of protein b) not eat a lot of sugar and c) lay on your right side when you sleep (doesn't every pregnancy book say the left!?) Uhm... thanks, lady?! Maybe you should have tried calling and giving me advice 23 weeks ago when I wasn't about to go into labor any minute, but I'm glad you could check me off your to-do list.

Thai people are very sweet and really accommodate to pregnant women. Some things that my building guards & building cleaners do for me now (that are neither funny or annoying but just kind...):
  • Hold my hand down the 4 stairs at the front of our building since there is no railing
  • Ask each time now if I need them to call a taxi for me
  • Ask me if I'm in pain
  • Open and close car doors for me when a friend or a taxi pick me up/drop me off
  • Bring any groceries/bags I might have directly to my apartment
  • Open the building door for me before I can even think to pull out my key card
  • Tell me how lucky I am that I have twins & on top of that a boy and a girl
  • Explain to others that I am having twins so that they don't silently judge how large I am. Okay, it's probably not because they don't want them to judge me... I think they are legitimately excited that there are going to be twins in our building, so they tell other people, other guards, visitors, etc. It's cute. I can't wait to see how they react to O & E when they finally arrive. I'm sure they'll get loved on immensely. :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Giving in...

Okay, I give in. Some of you people are persistent!

We're at 33 weeks now, so the end is in sight!!! :) I have two 4 pound babies in that belly of mine! Praising God for their health, their growth, and for how He has continued to give strength!


Remember THIS post? Well, I've been busy working on finishing/making more quiet book pages.

Flower page: button the flowers on and off

Dinosaur page: sensory play with different textured ribbons from the volcano. Learn to zip and unzip the zipper on the dinosaur.

Unzip the dinosaur for a surprise... 2 dinosaur eggs!!!

 Crack open the eggs to find two cute baby dinosaurs!

 Viola! :) Adorable, right? Sometimes I laugh at how funny they are.

Other pages still in progress:
-Felt dolls (see last post)
-A cookie page with snaps, buttons, and a fun spatula.

Ideas in the making:
-A barnyard with chickens, cows and sheep
-Mr. Potato Head
-Fishing page

The ideas are endless... however, my time is quickly running out! :) (Hooray!!!)

What's in a name?

People often ask us what the names Owen and Emma mean, if they are family names, or just how we picked the names in general.

I don't mean to be funny or mean sounding, but honestly, we picked the names because they are names that we liked that former students had not ruined for us. It was hard with both of us having taught for 8 years, to come to a decision. There were names that we liked, but had had naughty students with that name in the past. :) I'm sure all you fellow teachers understand! Then there was the problem of one person liking a name, but the other person thinking it was just "meh."

People are usually not surprised that Mike comes from Michael, but most people have no clue that Karly comes from my given name Karlene. The only times we use Michael or Karlene though are to sign checks or a receipt for a credit card. So we didn't want names that could really be shortened, which meant having shorter names, but not too short because we already have a one syllable last name!

We picked out 4 names; two boys and two girls names because at the time we hadn't had the ultrasound that revealed their sex! We definitely had our favorite boy and girl name though, so when we found out that we were having a boy and a girl we were elated because we didn't have to choose who got the "secondary" name.  It wasn't until we found out that we were blessed with a boy and a girl that we looked up the actual meanings of our preferred names:

Emma: all containing, universal, whole
Owen: well born, well bred, young warrior

*Despite there already being two Emily's in the the Aust family, we went ahead with the name Emma because we love the name and because neither Emily goes by Emma. :)

The middle names we picked had more significance to us than just simply liking them. Owen will be Owen Michael, after Mike of course. Emma's middle name perhaps requires a little more explanation. Emma will be Emma Caroline. I do love the name Caroline, but it is honor of my dear friend Carolyn. Carolyn and her husband Grant have become dear friends to us here in Bangkok. They have walked with us through many highs and lows these past 2 years, and have been faithful friends. We have journeyed through a lot together, traveled together, cried together, laughed together, and just simply lived life alongside each other. So albeit not being EXACTLY the same name, Caroline is a reminder to me of my sweet friend Carolyn.

Carolyn & Karly

Caroline: beautiful woman, joyous pretty song
Michael: who is like God

We can't wait to meet you, Emma Caroline and Owen Michael! You are already so dearly loved! :)

Attitude & Heart's Posture

I had a friend recently tell me that I am probably one of the most gracious pregnant women she's known because I don't complain. What a sweet compliment; please let me dive into that a little deeper today....

I've learned a lot of things during pregnancy, such as, your body is no longer your own, suddenly you're talking about everything in weeks, your belly apparently wears a "public property, please touch me" sign, you have zero ab muscles to get out of bed in the morning, etc. However, one of the main things that I have learned is that pregnant women tend to commiserate over all the woes of pregnancy.

And I've learned that I am NOT one of those women that like to commiserate... period.

I don't mean to say that I'm not sympathetic towards others that are expecting, but often times, I think people simply COMPLAIN... about EVERYTHING. While there is a fine line between a simple statement to a whiny complaint, those whiny complaints are too much for me... especially when you hear nothing else but complaints come out of that person's mouth. Honestly, I just try to avoid those people because they are not enjoyable to be around!

Now, I must say that I have been beyond blessed. I had minimal morning sickness, which made teaching much easier than expected. I haven't had any leg cramps, major aches or pains, or been on bed rest. I don't have a toddler to chase after, I have a helper that comes to assist in the daily tasks of cooking and cleaning, and I have a supportive community of friends that visit or get me out of the apartment. I am blessed. But despite having these things and experiencing what I would probably consider an "easier" pregnancy, despite expecting twins, I really think it all comes down to my attitude and heart's posture.

I CHOOSE to be joyful despite any woes I may have.  I CHOOSE to thank God during the difficult and frustrating times. I CHOOSE to remember that children are a gift... and I get TWO sweet little ones!!! I CHOOSE to remember how many family and friends that Mike and I pray for each morning that want children so badly but instead have walked a difficult journey. I CHOOSE to be grateful. I CHOOSE to remember that 9 months is such a short period of time.

So when I hear the complaints, I sometimes just want to say, "Buck up, strap on your big girl pants, make a different choice, and change your heart's posture!"

I've been re-reading a book called, "Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother" by Carolyn Mahaney. Yesterday, I read the chapter titled, "The Blessings of Loving my Children." Here are a few gold nugget quotes that I took from that chapter that I think really apply to not only having children, but expecting children too.

"Although many mothers are commited to caring sacrificially for their children, they sometimes neglect to enjoy them" p. 51

"We are to delight in our children." p. 51

"...we have a choice. We can either resent the challenges and demands that accompany motherhood and persist in our selfishness, or we can draw from God's grace and receive His help to cheerfully lay down our lives for our children." p. 53

" we set aside our own selfish desires and glorify God by joyfully serving our children, we are pursuing true greatness according to the Bible. Let us do so with tenderness, affection, and with a smile!" p. 53

"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them" Psalms 127:3-5

So does that mean I NEVER complain? No. There are days/moments that are harder than others, but when I find myself in the middle of what could be a complaint instead of a statement, I choose to counteract it with joy...

It's not the most comfortable thing when Emma has her feet in her ribs and Owen kicks me in the pelvis or sinks so low that I can hardly walk... BUT I'm so grateful that they are growing and moving (and I CAN walk because I haven't been put on bed rest!) My fingers are swollen like sausages, arthritic feeling, and I have lost feeling in 7 of 10 of them, BUT I have a husband who massages them each morning so that I can better use them. I wake up about 10X a night to either use the bathroom or eat protein, BUT I know that it's preparing me for those late night/early morning feedings. I'm tired of eating protein and chewing all the time, BUT I have two 4 pound babies to brag about because I have been eating so well. I can't bend over very easily, so tasks like putting on underwear, a skirt, pants, picking up something I dropped on the floor are challenging and take me a really long time to do, BUT I can still do those tasks (and have a husband that helps me).

So what's your attitude and heart's posture when you walk through more difficult times? Are you choosing joy, or do you need to make some changes? Do people notice your joy and gratefulness or your complaints?

Sunday, August 26, 2012


When we went to our 20 week ultrasound and found out that we were having a boy and a girl, we were thrilled!! Granted, we would have been thrilled no matter the outcome! The doctor seemed quite certain (though there was still a 20% that he could have been wrong due to it still being relatively early and girl/boy bits were still developing) and did a great job explaining how he was quite confident we were having one of each.

We enjoyed 5 weeks in Minnesota over the summer, announced the genders and the names of our little ones. We had two WONDERFUL baby showers for Emma and Owen in MN, in which they were thoroughly loved upon (as well as Mike and me), receiving quite the haul. We managed to pack pretty much all of their booty in four 50 pound suitcases. Upon arriving back in Thailand, I looked again at the ultrasound pictures, and I was suddenly filled with fear... the girl and boy bits pictures looked exactly the same to me! Suddenly, I thought that we were having two boys... and all I could think about was how many pink, girly items we had received at those showers. And how I spent so much time picking out "the perfect" paper to modge podge onto the wood letters to spell their names that we had already hung in the nursery. I even had dreams that we had two boys!

Then to augment my fears a little bit more, my Bangkok friends had a third shower for Owen and Emma before we had another ultrasound at the hospital to confirm that their names were indeed going to be Owen and Emma. Again, we were showered with so many generous gifts, words of wisdom, and lots of love... and many precious pink, girly, ruffley items. (More on shower #3, including pics in another post...)

Needless to say, I was a little bit of a nervous mess this morning when we had our 3rd trimester ultrasound. The doctor checked for boy and girl bits right away, for which I was grateful. He found Owen first, and then I literally held my breath as he checked Baby #2...

...Yes, she is indeed sweet little Emma Caroline.  [Sigh of relief] Their name letters can stay, the pink, fru-fru can stay, and I can still call them Emma and Owen.

They are doing well, wiggling and rolling around like CRAZY... Emma is head down and kicks my ribs constantly, while Owen is breach and is busy kicking my pelvis area. My stomach will ripple from their womb acrobatics and often I will have a head or a butt poke out, making me quite lop-sided. I can't help but laugh at how busy they are, how many times they get the hiccups a day, and the foods they react to each day.

Both babes are just shy of 4 pounds (hooray!!). I sure hope they stay in there another 6 weeks to grow and hopefully reach a good 5+ pounds, but man, I am anxious to meet these precious little gifts!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

More growth

Remember this picture? Yeah me too... the picture where I BARELY look pregnant, but thought I was REALLY starting to show. (Granted, if you compare my 16 week photo to my 6 week photo, there is a DRASTIC difference).

Well... I've definitely grown in the past 11 weeks. This is probably one of my last belly pics that you are privy to, as I will soon get embarrassingly huge with the twinks.

It's been fun to look back at the weekly pictures we've taken (we've taken a weekly pic starting from 6 weeks to now) and see how the twins have grown! I write this post at nearly 29 weeks and I can hardly believe how much growth has already happened in the last 2 weeks!

I'm slowing down more and more these days. The 5 minute walk to school, now takes me a good 15 minutes, I tire easily, and even just putting away a few dishes in various cupboards can make me a little out of breath. Mike is getting used to my pace &  has been gracious through it all... walking at a snail's pace, carrying ALL the grocery bags, helping me out of bed in the morning, massaging my swollen arthritic feeling fingers (did I mention I had to get a fake wedding ring since my rings stopped fitting me about 5 weeks ago?) & going-to-cramp-up-at-any-minute calves, etc. I'm so grateful for a hubby that serves me and is attentive to my needs.

Not that I personally have anything else to compare it to, but I would say that I've had a remarkably easy pregnancy. I think God is being gracious to me, as it's definitely going to get harder in these last weeks, and perhaps a bit chaotic with the arrival of the twins as well. However, despite the relative ease of it all, I think I'm at that tipping point where I'm about ready to be done. I'm comparable in size to a woman who would give birth any day now, which always provokes a lot of awkward stares, random belling touching, and extra tips (walk slowly! be careful! don't do that! eat more! don't eat so much! etc.)  I think there are a few people out there that would wrap me in bubble wrap, if I'd let them... people are funny around pregnant women.

Anyway, more updates (probably sans picture) to come, I'm sure...

Awkwardly lost

I've reached that awkward point now where I'm that childless soon-to-be mom/stay-at-home wife/homemaker that is becoming a shut-in increasingly immobile as my belly grows in size with 2 babies. Suddenly, I have all this time on my hands. It shouldn't feel that different from summer vacation in a lot of ways, but since Mike has been at back to school meetings all of last week, open house is later this afternoon, school starts tomorrow, and I just can't physically do as much, it does feel drastically different from summer vacation. Part of me is in withdrawal mode from Mike, after having spent all summer with him, and part of me is unsure of how to really be productive now that I am not teaching and am still twin-less. Or perhaps it is withdrawal from an institution of some sort... pre-K through grade 12... undergrad... 8 years of teaching & going to grad school... there really has never been a point where I've been out of the school system once I entered it at 4 years old. And suddenly, there's a part of me that feels a little lost because what was once such a large part of life is no longer playing an essential & major role.

Sure, there are things to do: baby clothing and cloth diapers to wash, MN teaching license to renew, card orders to fill, quiet books to make, books to read, friends to visit, Olympics to watch, and time to rest and rest some more. However, the lack of structure and an actual to-do list  (I think of all the scrambling to get photocopies made, lesson plans complete, e-mails sent, research and create activities) has left me feeling... well, like a fish out of water.

I know, I know... I'm supposed to ENJOY this time; it's the last time I'll actually have time for myself for a very long time. It's not that I'm not trying to enjoy it or make the most of it, it's just that I'm still transitioning and feel a little lost at the moment as I navigate new territory. Now if only I could stock up on hours of sleep & acquire a sleep reserve before the twinks made their debut!

Saturday, July 28, 2012


I've dived into the world of felt, and I'm pretty sure I've found my third calling (aside from teaching and card making): quiet book sewing. Now, by no means can I take credit for all of these shenanigans, as I have found many ideas (and patterns) on-line. I have tweaked where I've seen fit and have come up with some of these ideas on my own as I have plunged into this new world of I'm not teaching and I need to occupy myself in these 2 months that I am still baby-less creativity. Here's hoping that I can have at least 7-10 quiet book pages done before Owen and Emma make their appearance.

Page 1:
Circus train, complete with velcro wheels, 3 finger puppets, and puffy steam.

Page 2:
Cooking breakfast, complete with eggs, bacon, toast (and jam), pancakes (with syrup and butter), fruit (that you can cut open/peel), milk & orange juice, frying pan, burner and temperature gauge, utensils.

Page 3 & 4 in progress:
Zipper dinosaur (inside will probably contain dinosaur eggs or baby dinosaurs or something ridiculous)

Felt dress up dolls (yes, that's a MN Twins jersey...)

People have been asking me if I have a sewing machine; I do not. I have been hand sewing everything with embroidery floss, which sure can take a while, but it's been good for my arthritic feeling fingers (a pregnancy-related symptom) and I like the imperfect look that it gives as well.

Anyway, more updates to follow, I'm sure.