Monday, August 31, 2009

Nervous

Tomorrow is the first day of preschool. Typically this day is marked by excitement from all; this year, however, it's filled with a mixture of emotions. I am excited, but I am also very nervous. I have planned and prepared for this day all summer. I have met the kids and their parents, yet for some reason I am still nervous. I know I am adequately prepared. My awesome mentor teacher and friend Martha has helped me tremendously by providing tips and suggestions. She has encouraged me and supported my ideas since I was first offered the job back in February. I suppose a case of the "nerves" is normal for any first-year teacher. I just know how hard I have worked to make the classroom "mine", and I pray the Lord will bless my efforts. Something new this year is bible story, which I am happy about. I love to share about the Lord and this provides a scheduled time each day to do so.

Pray for me this week as the kids and I get used to a new schedule and routine, both at home and in the classroom.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Baby. . .

Found this today and I just love it because it's so true. . .


A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer,
bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for.
~ Anonymous

Friday, August 28, 2009

Dr. Day

My appointment went well and all looks good. I don't have to go back until the end of September, at which time I will have another u/s to count the number of placentas. The goal is for each baby to have his/her own and not a shared placenta. If they do share, then typically one baby gets more nutrients and grows at a more normal rate than the other. The delayed growth in the smaller baby is cause for concern, but we'll cross that bridge if/when we get there (doc's words, not mine). My goal (well, the doc's actually) for today's appointment was 2 separate egg sacks, which I have. At my next appointment, I will also schedule a level 2 u/s in Charlotte to ensure the babies are still looking good and to do some checking for genetic anomalies. I guess the risk is a little higher than with a "singleton" and it would not matter to TJ or I, but we'd rather know ahead of time for planning purposes.

TJ and I sat and talked with the doc for a long time today (the talk took up the majority of the appointment time) but it was nice because so many of our questions were answered. Again he reiterated the fact that I may have to be put on bed rest at some point if I continue my trend of early contractions. I had contractions beginning at 26 weeks with Teagan, and was hospitalized at 33 weeks for them. He also answered some of my questions about delivery but obviously that is a few months away. So far my blood pressure is normal (high blood pressure, or pre-eclampsia, is another "risk factor" that accompanies twins/multiples)and for now, all is well and he's happy with how things are progressing.

Not a terribly exciting appointment but a relief to have some questions answered none the less. Now I'm off to have lunch at school with Th. Ta and I are going to surprise him. . .

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Open House

Open House day 1 at the preschool was today. I say day 1 because it's tomorrow, too. I had 1 parent stop by today but the rest will come tomorrow, which is my scheduled day. I was nervous but it went fine. I hope tomorrow goes as well. Thankfully I know some of the parents, and one of my good friend's daughter will be in my class. Plus, I sent out an introductory email last week and I've had a very positive response from them. Of the parents I don't already know, most have said how excited their child is and offered their support in various ways. That's a great sign of involved parents and I definitely want that!


Very tired today and Teagan wasn't feeling her best so she and I stayed home from church tonight. Ta was very excited about church because he gets to join our church's 'Patch the Pirate' club. The kids memorize Scripture, sing songs, and learn Bible lessons related to everyday living. This is Th's 4th year and Ta has always wanted to do it since Th started. I'm thankful for our church everyday! I wasn't raised in church so it means a lot to me that our kids not only have their blood family, but their church family, as well, especially since most of our blood family lives far away.

I don't know if you remember Brandon, a boy who attends my church. Anyway, his cancer is back with a vengeance! TJ said our pastor discussed the situation with the entire church, and the outlook is not good. The cancer originally started in his brain and surgery was able to remove 98% of it 2 years ago. Brandon went for MRI's every 6 months just to monitor. He found out in April, exactly 2 years later, that it was back and was now in his spinal column. He has had several more MRI's done since April and not only has the cancer in his spinal column grown, but it has since spread to his stomach. There is only 1 option at this point- treat with chemo/radiation and pray it stops the growth. I had difficulty sleeping last night (our pastor phoned to share some of the news but not in as much detail as was discussed at church tonight) because I just kept thinking about this otherwise normal 13-year-old boy. It makes me so sad. I decided that for our part in helping out the family we are going to have family portraits made. I talked to a friend of mine today who does some photography and she is willing to take the photos of them for free and only charge us the cost to print them. I have seen some of her work and she really is very good. I plan to call Brandon's mom tomorrow to see if we can set something up this weekend. Brandon begins his treatments next week and I want to have it done before he starts to not feel well and his hair falls out again. He has the most beautiful hair, by the way. It is brown and curly and would make any girl jealous. I will post a picture once we take some. I think the pictures will be nice for them, especially since Brandon's dad has been unemployed for over a year and his mom has to work to support the family. I doubt they have any recent family photos and my friend shoots on-location, meaning the pictures don't look posed or fake. They will be cherished memories, I'm sure.

*I am thankful for healthy children, a loving church and family.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Clothes & Rain

Well, I hate to admit it, but I had to do it. I had to make the switch from regular to maternity clothes. Compared to the other children this is really early, but already I have begun to show (as TJ so kindly pointed out to me today!) and feel HUGE for the babies’ gestational age (9 weeks today). I tried to wear my regular clothes but each day it became harder and harder to squeeze my belly into restrictive waistbands. It was nice to be able to breathe today! I guess I am a little upset because I worked really hard to lose weight for our cruise (which I did). As a reward, I bought some new outfits just before we left. I literally only wore them 2-3 times, some only once. Plus, I usually lose weight the first 3-4 months of pregnancy because of nausea; however, since I’m not feeling sick (for the most part), I have already gained 2 pounds. That’s not a good sign! Oh well, now I’ll have more incentive to lose the baby weight once I deliver so I can fit back into my semi-new clothes.

On a fun note, we went on a family bike ride after supper. It was nice and sunny, with a little breeze blowing to help keep us cool. We made it to the halfway point and turned around. About 2 minutes later, it began to pour! We were soaked by the time we got home, but the kids thought it was great and I did, too! It was fun to enjoy it with them.

*I am thankful for my children. All 6 of them.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I am so cheesy! =)

About 15 minutes away from my hometown (in Ohio) is Twinsburg. Every year the town celebrates "Twins Days" the first full weekend in August. It just dawned on me that next year I will get to attend as a participant, not just as a spectator. That is pretty neat as it is a big event and often receives national media coverage. The good thing is it won't cost us much considering we can stay with family and enjoy the festivities all weekend long. I am already excited and looking forward to it!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Well, today unofficially marks the end of summer in our family. Th returns back to school tomorrow. He is excited but apprehensive because he does not know which of his friends will be in his class. The friends we have seen/spoken to this summer were all placed in other classes. He is hoping at least one of his friends from last year will be in his class.

The summer passed quickly by. We were busy in June with VBS and a quick beach trip, July the older 3 kids attended a science camp for 3 weeks, and August marked our Bermuda trip. I have also spent many, many, many hours working in my classroom painting, organizing, sewing pillows/other items, cleaning, hanging items, making materials, and too much more to list. Open House is next Wednesday and Thursday and then school begins the following Tuesday.

I am excited yet nervous for a new school year, particularly because this will be my first year teaching. But, I had such a wonderful mentor teacher last semester and I have incorporated so many of her techniques into my own classroom that I feel confident in what I will be doing. I also asked her to come observe me towards the end of September to give me some pointers and ways to improve. Now, I realize I am only teaching preschool (3 year olds!) but that does not mean that the kids come to school simply to play. Play is important, everything that they learn will be done through play, but the point is, I want them to learn. This is not daycare, its preschool. Get it? PRE-school. Once they get to kindergarten, the teachers don’t have time to catch up all the kids who didn’t go to preschool. The pace is fast in K-12 schools, and kids need to develop a love for learning at an early age in order to promote and foster their future academic growth. I hope to do that. To stimulate their little minds so that when they leave my classroom at the end of the year, they will look forward to moving on to learning about life from their next teacher, and so on and so on. I hope that makes sense.

On a different note, my mom phoned me today to ask if we would consider going to Ohio for Thanksgiving (I haven’t given the holidays any thought yet). She and my sis want to host a baby shower for TJ and me since we are basically starting over. It is overwhelming with all that we need: another crib to crib bedding to a bed for T.G. to car seats to a triple stroller (where do I even get one?) to clothes (in the chance that they are the same sex- I don’t have enough to clothe 2!) to bottles, diapers, etc, etc. I thought about joining a “Mothers of Multiples” group to talk to other moms and get their advice about everything: babies’ sleeping arrangements (same crib or separate), feeding schedule (same time or different), etc, etc. I just don’t know. Hopefully I have at least 6 months to figure everything out, but somewhere in the next 6 months we also need to purchase a larger vehicle. I gave that responsibility to TJ. Thankfully we both agree we want a Ford Excursion or Expedition XL (X-tended Length- replaced the Excursion in 2007) so he can find one and head up that endeavor. Nevertheless, we have a lot to do in the next few months, and I won’t lie, a shower would be a blessing, especially to our pocketbook. Considering how fast the past 3 months passed, I have no doubts the next 3 (and then 6!) will, too.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What???

The last entry regarding this latest pregnancy was sort of ominous in tone. . . the "not knowing" of what was going to happen had me in a state of fear: am I about to miscarry a baby I wasn't prepared to have, or is everything okay and my dates are just off because of an inconsistent cycle? The Lord provided some answers (and much more) at my doctor's appointment this past Monday.

TJ offered to go with me but I declined since I was only meeting with a nurse to handle the insurance paperwork, schedule lab work, and set up my next appointment. However, much to my surprise, the nurse wanted to begin the appointment with an ultrasound to see where I "officially" stood: pregnant or on the verge of a miscarriage. Low and behold, the Lord had much more in store for me because as soon as the image appeared on the screen, I immediately, clearly, and distinctly saw two egg sacs with two "blobs" in the middle of each. I turned to the technician and asked, "What is this?" She smiled and nodded her head "yes." Twins!!!! I began to cry tears of joy as well as shock, and then asked how they were doing. She reassured me that both babies had good, strong heartbeats and confirmed they were 7 weeks 1 day gestational age. A huge relief and an even bigger shock. I told her I would need a picture because my husband wasn't going to believe me, and she smiled and obliged with my request.

Upon leaving the office, I so desperately wanted to share my news with TJ but not over the phone. I drove straight home and found the house empty. Ugh! I phoned him to find out where he was and his planned arrival time. He inquired about my appointment and I vaguely told him everything looked good and that I was progressing fine. I also added I wanted to share the ultrasound picture with him once he got home.

When he arrived home, he was busy doing odds and ends but I shoved the picture in his face (after attempting a more loving way!) to force him to look at it. I was prepared to have to explain what he was looking at, but again to my surprise, he immediately recognized the images he was seeing and a smile took over his face (good thing because I was shocked enough for both of us!). He asked if it was "for real" and when I confirmed it, he picked up the phone to share the news.

I, on the other hand, am excited yet nervous. I have been pregnant before. Plenty of times. I know what to expect. But, this is different. This is unknown. I am now considered "high risk" and have to go to the doctor every 2 weeks. The babies will be closely monitored and I will have many tests done to determine their health and well-being in-utero, beginning at week 12. I have had natural childbirth 3 times (meaning no drugs) and was hoping to do so again, but now I'm not so sure. I also know the chance of C-section increases with multiples, and the thought of that petrifies me. I am a wimp and proud of it! I can't stand needles (which is why I chose to give birth sans drugs) and hate pain, both of which accompany a C-section. I also nurse my children and am not sure how that will work with 2. When will I sleep? When will I eat? All of this is new to me and like many people, cause for alarm. But, as many, many, many friends have reminded me since hearing the news on Monday, God's "grace is sufficient" (2 Cor. 12:9) and that He "will not give me more than I can bear" (1 Cor. 10:13). I know God is faithful and loving and able to bear my fears, burdens, problems, whatever (Psalm 68:19). I am trusting in these promises.

I hope you will pray for these two yet-to-be-named 'T' babies as my family and I embark on this new journey together. I can't wait to see what else the Lord has in store for us. . . Updates will be on here as I go to the doctor. Along with the babies, big changes are coming to my family as a result. We need a bigger vehicle, and I need everything as far as baby gear goes because I only have enough for 1. Thankfully Christmas and my birthday are right around the corner so I may register at some places to help my parents know what to get for me. It's a bit overwhelming when I think about it too long, but again, God is in control and will provide for our needs as He always has. FYI: my next appointment was scheduled so that TJ could attend with me. Due to scheduling conflicts, it is not until Aug. 28th.

*Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate. ~Psalm 127:3-5*

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Greetings from sunny Bermuda!

We arrived today (Tuesday) about 2pm. Bermuda is an island under the authority of the British government. It is modern in many ways, but still very traditional. Once the ship entered into the harbor and blew its horn, the Town Crier rang the bell and announced our arrival. He also met us at the pier and announced the time and temperature.

So far our trip has been great. The ship is small (compared to others) but offers a vast array of activities. We have enjoyed eating, sunning, eating, playing games, eating, shopping, eating, sunning some more, and eating some more. We are doing our dive tomorrow followed by some shopping and sightseeing in the town of Hamilton. I am really excited. We bought an underwater camera so hopefully we can get some great pictures. TJ, unfortunately, is not feeling very well (neither am I, but he is worse). The kids had a cold and I think they shared it with us before we left. We have been going to bed somewhat early (by 11pm) in order to get some rest.

Speaking of kids, I miss them terribly. I can’t wait to see them! I hope they are doing well. Ta and T.G. had coughs and runny noses when we left. Hopefully they are feeling a bit better and didn’t get worse. I am sure the boys are having a great time, but I’d love to see them. I also miss Teagan. I miss holding her and the way she grabbed my hair so my face would turn to look at hers. I also miss T.G., the “Princess.” I found the cutest dress for her today. I know she’s going to love it! As soon as I saw it, I thought of her. And when I showed it TJ, he also thought of her right away. It fits her personality.

There are lots of children on the ship, and even more surprisingly to me, there are lots of babies. I feel for the moms who have to care for the kids, particularly the smaller ones, because the ship is not the most “kid friendly” environment. Granted, there are plenty of activities for children, but mainly ages 4 and older. Now that TJ and I have experienced a cruise, we would like to take a family cruise. Hopefully this will happen in a couple of years. If we start saving now, it should be feasible.

Well, bed time now and another fun, exciting day on this gorgeous island! Pictures will follow sooner or later.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bermuda, here we come!

TJ and I are leaving today for a 7-day cruise to Bermuda. On the agenda: plenty of fun, sun, and shopping. We also have a reservation on Thursday for a dive to the bottom of the ocean where we will have the chance to see, touch, and hold many tropical fish. I am so excited and can't wait! Please check back for pictures from our trip, hopefully to be uploaded daily. If not (due to connection issues), see you in a week!




~T.C.