Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A & B / Hermanitos Update

I realized last night after talking to Tia Marga that I never posted an update on the ‘hermanitos’ (little brothers) from last week’s doctor’s appointment.  From this point on I’ll be going in every week – basically to make sure there are no changes and also to do some fetal stress monitoring on the little fellas to make sure they’re doing okay.  We got to see them during an ultrasound last week but unfortunately neither one of them was in a terribly good position so the pictures, combined with the fact that they’re scanned images now, are not the best – but you get the idea.


that’s A’s face – you can kind of see the eye socket, nose and chin.


a rather creepy picture, but you can see both A and B’s faces.


B’s face – eye is closed and you can see his nose.


this picture perfectly depicts how i feel – A is currently head down while B is head up so A is constantly kicking B in the face (you can see his jaw/chin).  nice.

The doctors were very pleased with what they saw.  Both boys have a little fluid in their kidneys but apparently that’s normal, particularly in boys and usually it rectifies itself after birth.  A is on the right side and weighs appx. 3 lbs, 13 oz., while B is appx. 4 pounds – so they’re both midges but getting there.  The doctors would like to see them both at about 5 pounds by delivery time but this is the point when they start to gain weight.  They are within a couple days of each other in terms of size. 

Overall I’m feeling fine though I’ve broken out in to a lovely rash on my legs (hormone related) that makes me want to rip my skin off.  I’m hot (thank goodness the temps have finally dropped some) and not so comfy, and nothing fits anymore, and after this weekend where I sat for the bulk of the weekend at a knitting ‘retreat’ hosted by my friend Betsey my feet have now swollen – bye bye ankles! - but I only have to get through 8 more weeks.  I can do anything for 8 weeks. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

i heart faces – smirk

So I’ve known about this website and their weekly contests for quite some time but have never actually entered any of them.  I don’t think I’m going to win at all; rather I’m doing this to get feedback on my pictures.  This particular contest is rather timely since all I seem to get from Emilia these days are smirks when I point the camera at her.  Case in point – this lovely shot from her first day of school…

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hello smirk-ville!

See the other entries here!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


This week’s ballet class was a complete ‘do over’ from last week’s debacle.  Not only were we on time, I’m happy to report we were actually early *gasp* to class so Emilia had plenty of time to get comfy, change and run around.  My shots from the day are not terrific – I didn’t realize it but my camera was on some sort of funky setting I clearly do not know how to use.  Additionally, most of my pictures were taken through the window of the studio door.

Sidenote: This is a far more ‘intensive’ ballet class than her last one.  Last year in the ‘reds’ they were all about organized chaos and just having a good time.  This class they start learning about plies and grande jettes and first position – the whole shebang.  They also do tap.  Had I known all this when I was signing her up I would have kept her in the red group.  Oops.

Emilia was still tentative at the beginning of class (and I’m not ashamed to admit that I was bribing her with a lollipop if she would go in and at least participate a little bit).

Scooting in…

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a little closer…

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she made it to the bar!

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mmmm… never mind.

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she’s back!

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smirk city… again.

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 here they were supposed to be doing a curtsey and then running and jumping.  clearly someone wants nothing to do with this activity.

Towards the end of class they do a dance to some sort of Disney music (Little Mermaid, I think) and pretend they’re one of the princesses.  This was more up our alley (though she’s never seen any of these movies except for parts of Sleeping Beauty).

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judging from what maisie is doing (foreground) i’m guessing they’re supposed to be putting on earring and/or necklaces?)

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wait a sec… is that a SMILE?!!!!

*not pictured- emilia plugging her ears while they were all making their tap shoes make ‘popcorn sounds.’ hilarious.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


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the smirking continues at ballet.

So last week was an exhausting week of firsts – first days of school, 3 year old check up (more on that later) and our first ballet class.  Emilia, because she’s such a prima ballerina (NOT!) has moved up a dance class and is now in a group of 3-5 year olds. The class is still 30 minutes long but in addition to ballet they introduce the girls to tap.  Holy exhausting.  Of course Emilia, up until last Friday, had been begging to go back to ballet.  I explained that her friends from last class would probably not be there but that I knew Maisie and Zoe would be in her class (fortunately, another little girl from our ‘hood is also there).

In typical Denise fashion, and because of those darn Latino genetics, of course we arrived late to our first class.


My friend Betsey even called me while I was pulling in to the parking lot to see where I was and if she could snatch Emi out of the car and take her in to class.

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of course, no time for before-class photo shoot.  guess who’ll be there early this week.

Shocker – Emilia wanted nothing to do with ballet class.  In fact, despite my best efforts, I had to sit in the studio with her and have her on my lap in order to even get her in the door.  After a week of firsts, she was just d.o.n.e.

Monday, September 13, 2010

showered (and ammended)

My playgroup friends showered the ‘hermanitos’ and I last weekend.  Mil gracias to Ms. Caitlin for organizing the decor and the yummy cupcakes and to Ms. Anne for being wise enough to take pictures.  Solo por ti, Tia Lo, hay foto de la barriga! ;)

To see the pictures, go here.

I am, once again, a most fortunate girl, with tremendous friends.

So my friend Kate just reminded me I failed to note that I ran a 50 yard dash while 30 weeks pregnant with twins at my shower.  Emilia had been going down the slide and one of those mother’s-worst-nightmare moments she lost her balance and landed on her neck – head going one way, feet in the air.   All I can say I forgot about the babies in my belly and only saw my first baby lying on the ground.

Of course, her reaction after I had thrown off my flip-flops and dashed to her - “oh no mama, my band-aid fell off!”


After much water (and a very mellow following day mostly because my quads were ON FIRE) I think my heart rate returned to normal.

In an ‘hermanitos’ update, I went to the Dr. this morning and the fellas are doing just great.  Heartrate for A was 138 and for B was 136.  Both are pretty much positioned the same as they were at my last visit – A on the right and sort of head down and B on the left.  Blood pressure, blood work, etc all came back normal.  I go back next week for an ultrasound to see exactly how big they are and to get a better idea of when we might be expecting them (YIKES!!!) but we’re so excited to get another peek at the fellas and see how much they’ve changed since my last ultrasound at the end of July.

in the words of Dora the Explorer

“We did it! lo hicimos!”

C’mon all you mamas – you know you’re singing the rest of the song now.

In all seriousness, we have parted with our much beloved but much problem-causing Volkswagon.  The dear girl will forever hold a special place in our hearts.  It is, after all, the car I drove back in my single days in DC and it is, in fact, the car I drove to a certain Metro station to meet a certain young man nine years ago.

Where I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Our very first first date I was supposed to meet Marcus at the Ballston Metro Station.  I waited outside the station for nearly two hours.  He was waiting inside the station.  Who doesn’t pop their head out of the train station to see if someone’s waiting up there? It was fated from the start – there’s no other explanation as to why I would have sat there in this car outside of a Cosi Sandwich Bar for that long.

And yes, we had three first dates because all three were total and complete disasters in their own rights – involving not only protracted wait times but also ill-fitting suits, misunderstandings, and yes, projectile vomiting.

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goodbye sweet prince.  you have been a faithful companion for many years.

i’m not too ashamed to admit that i did shed a couple tears as marcus drove away in the jetta – blame the pregnancy hormones.

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and then he came home with this monster…

the MV…

the Swagger Wagon…

the latest addition to the Van Clan…

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I must publicly thank my friends Anne, Jen and Lauri for pointing out that I was being prejudiced against the minivan and that it would, in fact, change my life.

And oh, how it has… even though I’ve driven it a total of 3 times.

Lumbar back support – yes please!

Backup monitor – check!

XM satellite radio – who knew?!

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Controls on the steering wheel to answer your cell phone – hello hands free!

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And the space – OH the space – it is, in a word, luxurious.

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And oh-so-C-L-E-A-N!!! (Seriously, Marcus made Emilia take her shoes off when we rode around in it on Sunday).  Hilar.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

first day jitters

Tuesday was Emilia’s first day of preschool this year.  Unfortunately for her Mama it was an ‘ease-in’ day which means she started at 9:15 and I had to be back to pick her up at 10:30 – exactly enough time to get virtually nothing done.  Emilia was all excited about school and it was virtually the only thing she could talk about for days before - ‘I have to go to school!!!’ was the refrain most-often heard in our house.  We even switched up our bedtime routine a bit to make time for baths before bed after it became painfully obvious that bathing in the morning had to go (we were about 20 minutes late to ‘drop-in day’ at her school because of morning bath).

Naturally, the morning of ‘the big day’ Emilia woke up in a horrible mood and EVERYTHING was an argument.  The dress she ended up wearing was not the ‘official’ back-to-school dress I bought for her, but another one (she’d barely worn it anyway so it’s good it gets some use, but irritating since we had laid out all our clothes the night before and were fine with our outfit then).  Then the hair ‘chimbas (pigtails) mama’, so I made pigtails.  Tears. ‘No mama, trensas (braids)’ – so I made braids.  Even more tears. ‘I wanted CHIMBAS!!!’ Tears over putting the toothpaste on her brush (she wanted to do it, which she did, but she insisted that I had put it on).  Then she wanted her socks pulled all the way up (they’re not knee-hi socks, but the fold-over kind – not a pretty look when they’re pulled up.  Then we wanted a waffle for breakfast, no, a cheese sandwich, no cheerios… O.M.G. NIGHTMARE.  Frankly I wanted to throw her in the car and drop her in the parking lot by 8.  But I knew it was just the jitters so I tried to be as patient as possible and keep in mind that she’s still a baby who, after all just turned 3.  All this is to explain some of the scowling that went on during our traditional before-the-first-day-of-school photo shoot.

 Last year Emilia sat beautifully for me to take her picture in the living room…


this year, not so much…

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model posing (i swear i haven’t taught her to do this) with and without the scowl.

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 our school shoes this year – probably the only week they’ll be this clean and shiny despite being machine washable.

Last year’s outside picture…

DSC_0887 and this year’s collection of happy faces…

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9_7_10 22 the scowling continued in the car (where at least I managed to get her to eat a cereal bar – am guessing this is where she’ll most often eat breakfast – today, for example, she refused to eat anything at all for breakfast – just not a breakfast girl sadly:()

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the first hint of a smile – she had just seen her friend natalie (from last year) crossing the parking lot.  (we had to walk them in the first day but now they do carpool – thank goodness!)

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relieved to see a couple of pals from last year’s class were already in the room (Betsy and Jackson H.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

you’ve got mail!

Emilia is all about the mailbox these days.

Sometimes I feel badly for our mail carrier because I feel like Emilia is semi-stalking her.  She’ll wait all excitedly and keep checking to see if she has arrived and then races out to the mailbox.  I think she mostly loves to check for the mail carrier because she knows she’ll give her a lollipop!

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the ‘stalker’

But in all seriousness, Emilia L.O.V.E.S. to get mail.  Now, ‘mail’ for her consists of any kid-centered catalogs I might receive (ie: PBK, Hanna Andersson, RagsLand, Learning Express, etc).  She will tote these around for ages and ‘read’ them until they’re literally in tatters and the pages have fallen out.  As part of her birthday present we got her a subscription to “Highlights for Kids” magazine which is meant for the 3-5 year old set.  It comes with little stories/rhymes/poems and stickers along with a bunch of “find it” activities.  She almost passed out when she got her first magazine and I swear completed every activity in it within the first two days (it was a little exhausting).

Now she’s in to letters though.  She got a couple of cards in the mail for her birthday (she carried one from Karl-Anders all the way in Aland around with her for two days before I took it away from her because I was afraid she would lose it).  Then, Kyrie wrote her a letter.  Apparently, sweet Ky has a similar letter-getting obsession.

Since then, we’ve been all about making cards for people….

Kyrie (and Baby Brooks of course)…

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The current stack… Grandpa, Tia Marga and Jacksito (but not Duke!), and Nana…

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So, be forewarned that there may be some mail in your box from a certain 3 year old!

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nice bruise in the center of her forehead.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

year in review and an A & B update

By no means do I expect anyone other than the grandparents to sit through this entire 10 minute video, but I made a little movie of Emilia over the past year.  The change between then and now is, in a word, breathtaking.  I had no idea how much she’d changed until I started working on this back in June.  Most of these images have appeared at some point or other in this blog, but there are some new ones as well – ones that didn’t ‘warrant’ a posting by themselves. There are a couple that are out-of-order, but you get the idea… what a year it’s been!

After my doctor’s appointment today I’m happy to report that A & B are both doing well.  A’s heartbeat was 144 and B’s was 156 (still sitting on the right and left sides respectively).  All looks/sounds good – I’m measuring at 32 weeks and am at 30 weeks which is pretty normal.  I’m supposed to start taking it ‘easy’ but as the doctor noted, with a 3-year-old at home taking it easy ‘es un decir’ – basically no more going to the gym but I can still walk in the ‘hood and make sure I’m staying really hydrated because we’re in ‘crunch time.’  I’ll go back in 2 weeks and then weekly after that at which point they start the fetal non-stress testing (basically where they hook you to monitors to make sure they’re doing okay for 30 minute stretches of time – we had to do one with Emilia once as well).  No word yet on whether or not we’ll have a C-section – remains to be seen but it’s a relief to know the ‘chatos’ are doing well.