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What can I say?

Sorry to those who have been expecting more posts. I guess that there is not really much to say now that we don't have a total crisis on our hands. I don't expect too much major drama from here on out. Now we just have four normal kids. I guess four under the age of four is enough drama in itself.

The twins are really doing great. Both are about 16 pounds, which still amazes me, and the reflux that we had so much trouble with seems to be totally under control. I think that the twins are entering a growth spurt. I just got done feeding them and I have never seen them eat like they just did. They shouldn't have been that hungry in the first place, it had not been that long since they last ate. We usually feed them two to three jars of baby food between them in one sitting. They just finished six, supplemented with rice cereal, and literally screamed for more every time I went to get the next jar. They ate as fast as I could shovel it in their mouths and burst into tears if I paused more than a moment before the next bite.

The "big" girls are doing great as well. Rylee's toe is looking much better. I am releived that we got the infection under control. She did finally lose her nail and a new one has already started to come in. The potty training continues, but is by no means complete. Reagan is just Reagan. Incorrigible, defiant, and totally adorable.

I continue to be amazed at the spontaneous acts of kindness followed by screaming and shoving.

I got a raise that starts this next month. That will ease the financial burden a little, however, we are still living beyond our means. That is the American way, right? It will be nice to get the twins off the formula, which is costing close to $1000.00 per month, and onto milk. They should be good for milk in the next couple of months. Kari is the expert on that sort of thing, I think that they can have milk after their first birthday, although I am not sure if that is actual age or adjusted age.

Now that our rug rats are moving more and more toward "solid" food. I say solid, but it is actually much closer to a liquid, more like a gel really. Anyway, now that they are eating solids I have observed more defenses that need to be added to the list of Postnatal Jujitsu techniques that every parent should be familiar with. And I will again discuss my own countermeasures for each of these defenses and will admit when I have no ideas also.

I have found that their techniques are not always aimed at thwarting your efforts to feed them, some are strictly to cause frustration by creating a larger mess. For instance:

The Spitting Simian

They only use this if their attempts to prevent food from entering their mouths have failed. Now that they have the food in their mouths they figure that they might as well have some fun while they are at it. They wait till you get a really big mouthful inserted and you have scooped the excess off of their chin, they take a moment to be sure that they have eye contact with you and then they strike. With their eyes locked on yours, their lips pursed, they forcefully expel the semi solid slop out with a Phbbbbbt! and then, with out breaking eye contact, give you a big toothless grin and stick out their tongues. A smile that I am sure means "gotcha, ya sap!"

There is nothing that you can do about it. Go get a wash cloth. On second thought you better wait because they never do this just once and if you clean up the mess now you are just falling further into their trap.

The Snapping Crocodile

At some point they may decide to allow you some hope of completing your task in the next hour, by opening their mouths, as if they really do want you to spoon some of that unidentifiable mush into their mouths. You might think to yourself "All right, they are hungry, we will have this over with in no time." But you are sadly mistaken. Just as you get a heaping spoonful near their lips they lunge forward and bite down on the tip of the spoon and, while clamped down, continue to thrust forward. This way they can use their lips and gums to force the glop of runny green beans off the spoon and into their laps as they thrust their heads forward. There must be some sort of competition to see how many times you will fall for that in a row, because they will immediately pop their mouths open again, as if to say "You really dropped the ball there, why don't you have another go at it?" They do so enjoy watching you try to clean it all up.

Again not much you can do to counter this other that to work on your speed. You have to get that spoon in there before they can clamp down, but don't insert it too far. If you gag the kid you might be looking at a much larger mess.

The Twisting Serpent

Most often used after the Spiting Simian or Snapping Crocodile. For this to be effective for your opponent, their face must already be fairly well covered with food. As soon as you make a move toward them with a loaded spoon they will twist away and wipe their face all over the back of the highchair, which means you will now have to clean their backs as well as their fronts.

All you can do is wait for them to get bored with it.

The Frightened Turtle

After they have become bored with all the other games they will sometimes just thump their heads down on the tray and remain there, as if their navels have suddenly become the most interesting thing in the world. They cover up like a heavyweight in a title fight. Trying to get another spoonful in at this point would be akin to landing a right hook on Mike Tyson's nose.
This technique will prevent you from even attempting to deliver more food and has the added perk of smearing the food that is inevitably on the tray (see the Spitting Simian) all over the forehead.

Again, not much you can do. Wait it out or if you are brave you could try to lift the head back up, but I have not had great success with that. You are just looking at a bigger mess.

The Gorilla Grip and the Flailing Feline

Similar techniques, both aimed at preventing the spoon loaded with goo from ever reaching its intended target. The Gorilla Grip entails grasping the spoon as close to the loaded end as possible, for more control. Once the spoon is under control it can be easily dumped down the chest or rubbed along the face. The Flailing Feline is more of a pure defense. Using the forearms the spoon is deflected and the contents relocated to the floor or lap. Once your opponent has control of the spoon with the Gorilla Grip, it can be very difficult to regain control. Their strength is surprising. Be careful here, you might be tempted to set down the bowl to peel their fingers off the spoon. This is just what they want you to do. No sooner than you set that bowl down they will shoot that free arm out in a flash and grab the bowl that you were silly enough to set on the tray. At any rate they will now have enough food on their hands to make running their fingers through their hair totally worth the effort.

Thank you for reading this latest public service reminder.

Yesterday it was one year since Kari was diagnosed with twin to twin transfusion syndrome. We sat out in the back yard and enjoyed a glass of wine in celebration.

It occurred to me that she never really told me about that trip to the doctor's office and I asked her to tell me about it.

Dr. Reiter had always maintained a somewhat cold, clinical, attitude and had warned her from the begining that there might be complications, including twin to twin. Soon after he started that untrasound he stopped and told Kari "We need to get you into the hospital today. They have twin to twin transfusion. It may already be too late. You should prepare yourself to lose baby B."

Obviously this was very upsetting to Kari and she began to sob, unable to maintain her composer. Dr. Reiter's demeanor changed from cold and clinical to warm and supporting. He put one hand on her shoulder and one on top of her head. "We will get you in today, we will do an amnio-reduction and we will go from there." He never again mentioned morbidity.

I have to say that I am glad that she didn't tell me at that point to plan on losing one of the twins and glad that she never shared the statistics that our kids would live, it was less than 20%. It never occured to me that we might lose one or both until I saw them in the NICU. I will never forget how small and pale Jordan appeared. She seemed to be nothing but ribs and a little head. I recall vividly how her little rib cage was rising and falling with such effort to get her body that desparately needed oxygen.

And so, I am reminded that we have two miracles and I should cherish every moment that I have with all of my girls. Even when they are screaming and I am exhausted and the house is trashed and the laundry is piling up and they are working my last nerve... Even then.

A year ago today I was admitted to Northeast in Humble for premature labor. What I know today and actually had the intuition but didn't act on it then...I would have made different choices. We have success, but it is very emotional right now. It's hard not to think what if...! If I hadn't already had my specialist appointment on the 25th, when would I have been "required" to be looked at again? I could have, well most definitely lost Jordan and maybe Madison if I didn't see Dr. Reiter that Friday. So many things! The stupid ultrasound technician Sue ( who by the way I had to insist on getting and eventually had to pay for out of our own pocket since they deemed it unnecessary!!!!!) okay.. who said to me very snobbish " Who told you you were having identical twins, they were wrong!" and also felt no concern that Madison was swimming in a pool and Jordan had very minimal fluid. Also the imbecile doctor Browning who also felt it unnecessary to have an ultrasound, said follow up with your doctor in two days after s eeing the images. Yes I am still PO'd about this and wish I had the mind control at the time to file a complaint or sue!

I look at my girls, their smiles, their giggles, their amazing movements, their perfection and I am still angry that I could have lost them. I did nothing about it but complain. And some may think why bother, you have beautiful healthy girls, but hell maybe it's the fire or stubbornness I got from my parents. I want to vent and cry tonight, so be it!

But I also want to thank you again for the many prayers across the country who I believe had a strong influence in our journey!

After yesterday...

After yesterday I think maybe I was making it sound too easy in my last post.

I was on my own for several hours with the kids and being my first day back I was trying to help get the house back in order. It is difficult to do much other than take care of the kids when you are alone.

It was a long grumpy day with short tempers all around, but I did get six loads of laundry done, the floor vacuumed, all the dishes washed and managed not to strangle anyone.


I started a post but didn't have time to finish it and it posted behind Kari's last post, so scroll down.

Four girls - diaper changed, dressed, reflux rx administered, loaded into car : 25 minutes

Walgreens Pharmacy Drive Thru : $50.00

Number of rows to find a double cart next to a parking space: 1

Comments, smiles, stares: 23

Whines, Screams, Cry's: 0

Diapers, Baby Food, Wine: $110.00

Pulling out of driveway back to home and unloaded: 57 minutes

Pride and Accomplishment: Priceless!

I can't tell you how many people ask me "How do you do it? Taking care of all of those kids. Your poor wife!" I can't attest for how Kari does it, but here is a typical day when I am home:

Take into account it is much much much easier now that the twins are eating normally and sleeping (allowed to cry for awhile) through the night.

I am vaguely aware of a small person breathing on my face. I try to tuck said small person under the covers so it will go back to sleep for 15 more minutes. Then I realize that I only feel one small person and I wonder what the other small person is up to. At this point I try to doze for a bit longer, but am no longer totally asleep. I have found that at this point I can doze and still listen for normal sounds and/or crashing objects. Total silence after this point will also cause me to become fully awake. I take a peek and the monitor for the twins to check for the yellow lights that illuminate when they are crying.

Often this is the time that I am informed about poop or other messes that might need attention. Three times in the last week Rylee has come in and woken me by saying in a soft voice "Daddy...Daddy, poop."
"Daddy, dog poop. Bunker."
"Show me!" (Which means I will show you) Rylee sometimes get show me and show you mixed up. Its cute.

On days where there is no poop the girls will snuggle with us for awhile or will go play quietly with blocks and puzzles for 30 minutes or so till they kick us out of bed.

Guilt forces me to get out of bed and see what kind of trouble my big girls are getting into. That or Rylee comes back in and tells me "I hungry."

Usually by this time the dogs have had enough waiting around too and make their wishes known by shaking vigorously and whacking their tails on the wall. Two labs flapping their ears, rattling their collars, thumping their tails, and whimpering, can not be ignored for long.

The first thing that I do is take care of bladder over pressure. This formerly private act is now closely scrutinized by two toddlers and two dogs. I then try to get everyone out of the bedroom as quietly as possible to let Kari get a little more sleep. The dogs go out side till I have the kids under control.

More often than not I turn on the TV. I can not help but say this again, "If you have four kids and you don't use the TV as baby sitter, you are a moron. Their minds can't get any mushier than mine." Although, some mornings I opt for quiet and encourage coloring or other activities. It all depends on the moods of the kids.

Change Reagan and help Rylee into big girl panties.

Turn up the twins monitor so I can stop checking for yellow lights ever three seconds.

7:34 till 7:38
Stand and stare at the disaster of a house that we live in and wonder what I should do first. Rewash the clothes that were left in the washer? Put away the clean dishes so there is room for the ones that are about to be cleaned. We use a lot of dishes and they are never all clean.

"I hungry."

Start breakfast. If I am feeling motivated, and the twins are still quiet, I let the big girls help me with eggs or French toast. More often than not, however, the girls want and I settle for frozen waffles. Bananas are also a favorite.

Sometimes this all goes smoothly and sometimes not. Rylee often asks for something, but by the time you get it prepared she has changed her mind and wants something else. "You said that you wanted waffles."
"No waffle."
"Yes, waffle. You asked for it, I made it and you are going to eat this or nothing."
"No waffle."
"Fine." So I eat the waffle.
"Its all gone. You didn't want it."
"WAFFFFLLLE!" now with tears.
"Will you eat it. If I make another waffle, will you eat it?"
"I help?"
"Ok, you may help."

Reagan meanwhile has been lounging in her chair, observing dispassionately, as she munches on her waffle with honey. She will eat almost anything, at any time. Its great.

The kids are eating and quiet. I let Bunker in and take him to the garge for breakfast. Bogie gets his food out side. The cat tells me not to forget about him with a loud meow, so I feed him too.

I go to start coffee, but the sink is too full to fill the coffee pot with water, so I start to wash dishes, but there is nowhere to put them, so I start to put away the clean dishes. "Milk?" asks Rylee.
"You want milk?"
"What is the magic word?"
"Okay, since you asked so nice." "Reagan, would you like some milk too?"

Pour myself some coffee from yesterday and stick it in the microwave. Forget what I was doing and start on laundry. Remember that I was doing dishes and go back to that.

8:07 - 8:14
"Down." says Rylee
"You want to get down?"
"Alright." I take the tray off her highchair to allow her to climb down. I hold Rylee over the kitchen sink to wash her hands and think that we should have washed the hands before we ate, what a great parent.
"Down." says Reagan with her sticky, honey covered hands stretched up toward me. She has not found silverware to be useful at meal time, but we continue to encourage it. I figure that she will learn to use a fork before she goes to college. Reagan gets her hands washed too.

Back to the dishes.

"You have to go pee pee?"
"Well, hurry! Lets go to the bathroom."
Pee, wipe, redress, flush, wash, hand out the M&M reward and the star sticker for the "I Did It" chart on the wall.
While this is going on, Reagan wants to sit on the potty too. We encourage this, but it is time consuming.

Let Bunker out of the garage and back out side. Jordan is starting to fuss.

I get out the syringes and fill two for each girl. I set the Previcid tabs next to them. I try to give the twins their meds first thing. Since we have to wait 30 minutes to feed them after the Previcid, I like to have that done and then distract them with diaper changes and such. If you don't they start to get impatient and wake up Momma.

8:31 - 8:45
I peek into the twins room and find them both awake. Jordan standing and smiling up at me with her tongue sticking out. Madison sitting up playing with her plush toy and giving me an identical smile with her tongue stuck out. "Good morning!" I say and get some giggles and coos in return. I pick up Madison first. Since Jordan is always standing it is easier to pick her up with one hand.
We head down stairs to the dinning room. I put the twins down and get their medicine. I lay the syringes and pills on the chair and select the nearest infant. Before I can administer the medication I see Reagan reaching for my stock pile on the chair and I am forced to pause to shoo her away and move the medication to the table. I get the pill in Jordan's mouth and one syringe in while trying to keep her from rolling over and spitting it all out when I notice Reagan. Undeterred, she has climbed up a chair on to the table and slid on her stomach across the table to get at her object of interest. She got her hands on one syringe and a Previcid tab. "PUT THAT DOWN RIGHT NOW!!!" I raised my voice more than I intended. I was just really surprised to look up from my kneeling position and see her head poking over the edge of the table and a syringe in her hand. I guess I was pretty focused on what I was doing not to see her get up there.
Now, where was I? I set the twin down to deal with Reagan and now I was having trouble remembering which twin I had been working on. They move so fast, are wearing nearly identical pajamas, and this is one of those days that I am having a hard time telling them apart. Not to mention that I still have not had my coffee yet, my day old coffee is still in the microwave. After several minutes of examining the twins I figured out which one I had been working on the continued with the medication.

Then on to the changing table. I set one twin on the floor and the other on the changing table. They don't like being changed at all and now that they can roll so well, it can be a challenging job. You really need three hands.

Put the twins in front of the TV and retrieve my coffee. I log the time they woke up and their medication on the individual baby logs.

Kari is getting more relaxed about it now, but she used to really hit the roof when I would forget to mark things down on the log. I can understand her frustration. Some things, like medication, are very important to record when you have more than one person taking care of the babies. It is embarrassing to overdose your kids. Also the logs have been a great tool for measuring their progress and food intake. I have tried to be more diligent about recording on the logs and she has tried not stress about it when I forget.

Give the twins some Cheerios to pacify them till I could give them a bottle.

Discover that we don't have bottles made

Bottles ready and warming. Finally started a new pot of coffee.

Feed both twins at the same time while they stand in their bouncy seats. They look like little baby bears with their heads tilted back, hands griping the sides of the bottles and standing on tip toes to get a better bite on the bottle.

Put the twins on the floor in front of the TV. At least they start in front of the TV. I doesn't take them long to end up in another room. Kari is usually up at or before this point and is nice enough to fetch another cup of coffee for me (I have lost the one I was drinking) if I am still feeding the twins.

9:35 - 10:35
There is a lull in the action. Everyone is fed and rested so it is usually fairly calm. Now we can get a little food for the adults. However, most days we enjoy the few quiet moments and skip breakfast, settling for more caffeine instead. Now I search for a project that won't take to long or one that won't suffer if it is interrupted. More laundry and dishes. Some times we tackle vacuuming or the pool at this point. Often the big girls will play outside for sometime. The jungle gym is a blessing. No more playing with large rock though.

10:30 - 11:00
Feed the twins solid food. They are getting better about the solid food and sometimes even open their mouths. More on the trials of solid food in another post. I may have related this before, but I have read that if you want to practice feeding an infant, you should tie a milk jug from the ceiling, set the milk jug to swinging and spinning, and then with a very small spoon try to transfer baby food (which has a consistency slightly thicker than water) from the baby food jar into the jug without spilling any.

11:00 - 11:30
Snack time for the big girls and maybe a nap for the twins. Sometimes the twins will sleep for thirty minutes and sometimes two hours. Maybe you can type on the blog or surf the net for a few minutes around this time, if you are feeling like ignoring all the other things that need to be done.

11:30 - 15:00
The twins will get up from the nap and play on the floor for awhile. Medicine needs to be given again between two and three. Hopefully, one or both of the big girls have taken a nap somewhere around here or you are in for a lively evening.

You must remember that through out this post I have omitted the 5 to 10 minutes at a time that must be taken to mediate disputes over toys or pushing or hitting, find all the spots that the marker you just caught your child with has been applied to you home, look for your coffee, change a diaper (or four), sneak away to use the restroom, help with puzzles, handout Cheerios, wipe up paint or urine or poop or milk or vomit (or insert your favorite mess here), help with the potty training, just sit and hold your needy kids for a few minutes because nothing else is making them happy, take out the trash, uncap and recap markers, swap out DVDs, stop whatever you are doing to acknowledge "Daddy daddy daddy ... look.", check on kids when there is total silence, retrieve unreachable toys, constantly weigh whether to give in to what the big girls want verses a screaming fit, and kissing boo boos.

I also have to say that thing are soooooooooooo much easier that the twins are on the new medication and eating again. There is no more screaming at feeding time. When the twins are hungry, they eat. There is no overstating the relief that we feel after going through months of basically force feeding the twins while they scream just to keep them growing. When they got worse and started to lose weight we where very distraught.

15:00 - 16:00
Another bottle for the twins and sometimes solid food. We have not quite gotten a schedule for solid food. We do try to take some time just to sit on the floor and play with the twins. It would be easy just to feed them and change them sometimes with all that is going on with the big girls.

16:00 - 18:00
Start working on dinner. We try to remember to thaw something out early in the day so that it is ready to prepare. I have to admit that starting dinner at four is contrary to every aspect of our lives prior to twins and is a huge amount of work. However, I am really enjoying sitting down to dinner together with the whole family. I want it to be "That is just the way we have always done it." for our girls. I think that it is important.

However, as I type this Kari and I have both skipped breakfast and dinner. Sometimes it is just too much to do.

Rylee and Reagan are much more civil after dinner and we have some good play time before bed. between 18:00 and 20:00.

20:00 - 20:30
Bed time for the big girls. We start telling them around 19:30 that it is almost time to put on jammies, bush the teeth, read a story and go night night. When I am home this is usually the time that I deal with just the big girls and the twins really start to squawk for Kari. It is almost as if they can sense that she is alone and turn up the heat.

It can be a little tense till we get the last bottle in the twins. However, after the last bottle we have the twins in bed by about 21:00 and they have been sleeping through the night. (As far as we know, since we turn off the monitors.)

21:00 - 01:00
Cleaning. This is really the only time that we have to clean, blog, surf the net, watch TV (other than Dora the Explorer), give attention to the dogs, ect.

06:35 - 06:55

All on her own.

Keep Kari in your prayers. This is the first 4 day trip that I have done since all the nannies have gone. She will be all on her own and she is going to need some patience.

We didn't plan ahead very well. I meant to make sure that there were no major projects that needed to be done and that we had sufficient food and medicine on hand so that Kari would not have to go to the store with all four girls. However, I dropped the ball. We are almost out of Previcid and need more baby food. I suggested that she call one of the nannies to watch the girls for a bit so that she could run to the store, but she is thinking about attempting the first solo trip the store with all the girls. To make matters worse, my truck wouldn't start this morning and we had to load up all the kids to get me to the airport. Madison screamed the majority of the way to the airport, but passed out by the time we got to the terminal. I think that may have thrown off their schedule a little bit, but Kari still sounded fairly sane when I spoke to her this evening. I was pretty proud of ourselves for getting the kids in the car and on the road so quickly. Although, Rylee wasn't wearing any pants and all the rest were still in their jammies.

We had a nice visit with Nana and Grandpa Wayne and are still trying to talk them into moving to Houston.

Kari tells me that Rylee pushed Reagan down four times in as many hours and the time outs don't seem to phase her.

It has been a little while since I posted. We have been busy.

It is a lot more work with out any help, but we are doing it and we are still married.

The twins are doing really well. The feeding issues seem to be almost non existent at this point. They are doing very well on solid food. They are both pulling themselves into standing positions, but Jordan is still in the lead as far as development goes. I still think that Jordan will be walking by her first birthday. They are moving at will through the house and you have to watch your step. They are both facinated by the dogs and cat. The pets seem to like the attention, even if the twins are a little rough on them. The cat will actually seek the twins out to get attention and puts up with more tail pulling that I thought he would.

Reagan is just Reagan. Still no respect for authority. She does things that she knows that she shouldn't and when you catch her she just smiles, giggles, and moves on to something else that she knows she shouldn't be into. Armed with that smile and those eyes, I think that she will go far in this world.

Rylee has been a little accident prone the last couple of days and has chalked up the first real injury among the kids. She was playing with a large rock in the back yard. The rock, which was slightly larger than my fist, was lots of fun until she dropped it on her big toe. Her entire toe turned purple and her nail will fall off according to the doctor. The toe has since become infected, she is now on antibiotics, is restricted from the pool, must have the toe cleaned three times a day and must wear socks at all times.

Rylee called for me the day before yesterday as I was feeding the twins. "Daddy, daddy, daddy, DAAAAADDDYYY!" This is not unusual. "Rylee, you need to wait till I am done feeding the twins."
"Rylee, Daddy is busy. You need to wait."
"Daddy! Please."
"Sigh!" I get up to see what toy is malfunctioning or what marker needs to be uncapped. Then I see my oldest daughter at the bottom of the stairs. I could not make eye contact with her because her back was to me and she was unable to turn around. She was unable to turn around because her head was stuck in the banister. My first thought was "I should get the camera." Isn't that the one thing that every kid does at some point. How is it that the head fits through so easily, but won't come back out?
After examining the situation more closely, I was unable to conclude how she got her head in there in the first place. You would think that it would be just the ears that would prevent her from reversing her position, but there wasn't even enough room for the back of her head to fit back through the railing. I figured that there must be a specific angle that would allow her head to come back out if we just got her ears tucked in. With one hand on her chin and the other on the back of her head, I moved her noggin this way and that to no avail.
By this time the twins are screaming, Rylee is whimpering, and Reagan quiet (which we all know is not good.).

"Karrrri, I need some help!" At this point I was beginning to think that I may have to get my saws-all out and cut up my stairway. Which would have been kind of fun since I don't have many excuses to use it. So I started to look at the railings, wondering how hard it was going to be to replace. "Too hard." So with Kari pushing and me pulling while stretching the rails apart we finally got her head free. We managed to bruise her ear pretty good. I bet she won't do that again.

I hear that things like that happen in threes, so we are waiting for the next disaster to occur.

I think that it is a full time job just to change diapers. So far this morning, between 7:30 and noon, I have changed eight diapers, five of which required more than three wipes. That, by the way, is how dirty diapers are rated. From no wipes to about five wipes. A "five wiper" is quite spectacular and usually entails washing the changing table cover and cleaning under your nails. I have heard baby poop is one part toxic waste and one part velcro, and I can assure you that that description is fairly accurate.

If you are squeamish about poop, don't have kids and avoid dogs too. Bunker has soiled the floor two nights in a row. I don't know what his deal is, but it is not a nice way to wake up. Yesterday he left me a present in every room of the house and peed by the door for good measure.

Despite all the feces, we managed to get the house mostly clean in preparation for Nana and Grandpa Wayne, who are coming over for Mother's day weekend.

The twin's dresser, a basket, carpet, doodlepad, stairs, a box, a few toys, and two toddlers from head to toe ... soft as a baby's bottom.

I was feeding the twins, the toddlers playing nicely upstairs in the game room, silence.

Vaseline is very hard to remove.

Thirty minutes later I got locked out by the three and a half year old.

Five minutes later the same child unlocked the door. A little disappointment, enjoying peace.

On my last trip I got to chatting with one of the flight attendants. The conversation ended up turning to kids, which it always does with me since I don't have any other sort of social life. It turns out that she had six children. When I showed her the pictures of the girls, some of which where taken in the Nicu, she told me about her first child that was born premature and it was difficult to look at those photos. Her son survived for three weeks in the Nicu before passing on. It was quite some time ago and she kept her composer. I on the other hand felt a huge wave of emotion wash over me as I relived my experience with the Nicu and imagined what it must have been like to lose her son. I was reminded what a miracle it is that our kids are alive.

There have been many times over the last ten months that I have been overcome with emotion, but it has been months since I felt anything quite like this. I thought that I was pretty much past that stage, I mean the twins are doing great, right? So why should I be getting choked up at this point? It was a little embarrassing, but I think I hid it for the most part. I think it was when she told me that she was not allowed to hold her son until they were pretty sure that he was going to die and when she held him he began to improve until they made her put him down again to warm him up. It really took me back to the Nicu where Kari and I experienced many of the same things as she did. The biggest tragedy of all is that the month after he passed away, Surfactant (the drug that helps the babies lungs inflate) became available and probably would have saved his life.

This evening Kari and I were discussing what we really remembered from that first trip to the Nicu to see the kids. For Kari it was mostly the pain from surgery and not being able to hold her kids that she didn't know if they would live or not. That and how red Madison was from all the blood that she had stolen from Jordan. I on the other hand have vivid memories of Jordan. She was so pale, especially compared to Madison who looked like a tomato. Her little ribs rising and falling with such effort to ingest that desperately needed oxygen and I just did see how she could possibly live.

It has been quite a trauma for all of us and I even though things have turned out better than I could have imagined we are still not quite over it. Most of the time we put a pretty happy face on and press on, but there are moments when we are alone...

Well, it is final. We are done with the nannies. Yesterday both Kandy and Mary Ellen were at the house to watch all four kids while Kari was at the doctor.

Good News and Bad News about that:

Kari doesn't have polyps and she doesn't have Fibroids. That is good. The bad news is that they don't know why she is having pain and bleeding. They went ahead and took a biopsy of her uterine lining to check for endometriosis. They should have the results of that test in about a week and a half. The doctor said to continue taking "the pill" that she started her on last month. If it is not endometriosis then it could just be a hormone issue.

Anyway, back to the nannies.

Kandy had already left by the time I got home from my trip, but Mary Ellen was still there. There were mixed feelings all around about the last day of nanny help. The nannies have really become part of the family and they will be missed greatly. There were quite a few tears as Mary Ellen thanked us for the opportunity to be part of the twins (and our) lives. I figured that they were attached to the girls, but there was more emotion than I expected. It was touching. I reminded her that she could visit any time she wanted and she made us promise to call anytime we needed help.

So that is it ... we are on our own again.

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