Friday, December 31, 2010

On the last day of 2010

Bedtime on New Year's Eve
How blessed I've been by these five little faces!

Happy New Year Friends!
I'll see you in 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reading Goals Recap

I thought it was time to check my 2010 reading list to see where I am.  Over the past year, I've been listing the titles of the books I've read on my sidebar and Goodreads. I just counted and it looks like I hit 45.  I may finish up one more by the end of the year, but I still won't hit my goal, but I guess I need to cut myself some slack.  I spent most of 2010 pregnant with the twins and I've been operating on very little sleep since they arrived.  I'm bummed not to meet my goal, but 2011 is a new year and I expect to have WAY more energy this year!  Here's to a new year of reading adventures!!!

By the way, I got a Kindle for Christmas and it's AWESOME!  It will never replace the feel of a real book, but it's the thing for the bibliophile!

Tea and crumpets anyone?

Little Chef serving up smiles and baked goods

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Little Star

We read lots of Christmas picture books each year.  I love sitting down with the kids with a small stack of holiday books.  Over the past few years, I've collected some favorites that I pull out and read only during Advent and Christmas.  We've got books about Winter, The Nativity and some holiday fantasies like The Nutcracker and The Polar Express.  This Year, my oldest son checked out at least six different versions of  the famous poem, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.  He wanted to compare all the art work of each version.  So, yes, we truly enjoy Christmas picture books around here.  In fact, I hope to collect a few more treasures this year in addition to Anthony DeStefano's Little Star. 
I sat down to read this book to my two older sons a couple of weeks ago and I've been meaing to post about it since, but life with infant twin boys has made me a little slow about reviewing Little Star
Little Star is delightful.  It tells The Christmas Story from the perspective of a tiny ignored star (kind of reminded me of Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer a little bit- read it and you'll see why). This humble little star is the only star who understands that the baby Jesus is a king and that he's just little. Little Star  "gets it" because he's also little.  The tiny little star wants so badly to touch the baby and warm him that he uses all of his strength to reach out with his light to the earth.  He burns brighter and brighter with love for the baby King and he ultimately burns himself out.  With so much love, Little Star sacrifices himself for the cold baby.  The star reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world and Little Star's sacrifice points us to the ultimate destiny of that tiny baby as well.  It's a keeper.  DeStefano's Little Star keeps the Christmas story fresh with some vivid artwork even if the stars look a little cartoon-ish.  This little story not only tells the story of the birth of Jesus, but reminds us that true love is sacrifice..

Merry Christmas friends!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday poem

His name is Liam.
Oh, can you see him?

It's Friday and I'm feeling both sleep-deprived and a little punchy.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Weekly Yarn Along

Last night, I was teaching a beginning knitting class at my local
knitting shop, the Knit Knook and I cast on for another Hermione hat in this bright
pink in Cascade 220 Superwash.  I can't remember what
color this since I sometimes don't keep the labels and clearly didn't  in
this case.  I'm making this hat for a friend's little girl.  I love this pattern!
I can't tell  you how many of this fun cabled hat I've made.  I perused
several patterns at Ravelry, but I kept coming back to the Hermione hat.
It's a fun project without being too difficult or too boring.  As for
reading this week, I just got Cooking for Isaiah yesterday as
I really need to get more proficient at gluten-free baking for myself and
especially for my husband who has a gluten intolerance. I always enjoy
reading cook books!  I always pull
 out Christmas 101 at this time of year for inspiration and I'm still reading
Beauty which is a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast.  Since I'm up nursing the
twins a lot at night, I actually have time to read, but sometimes I listen to
books on my MP3 player as well.  Last night, instead of reading Beauty, I
listened to Only the Good Spy Young (the 4th installment of the Gallagher Girls
series).  Don't you just love that title??  Yes, I do enjoy YA novels from
time to time and this series is just fun.  It's like Alias for the high school set.
 It's really hard to capture the color changes in this yarn.  The colors remind me of Fall leaves after they have already fallen and gotten dry and crunchy.  
I had to include pictures of these arm warmers that I finished last
night before I cast on the Hermione hat.  I made these for my sister as an
early Christmas gift. I think she would have liked the thumb holes,
but I just liked the simplicity of the arm warmer and honestly, I didn't feel
like picking up stitches for the thumbs! 
This is another pattern I found at Ravelry.  It's called Toasty and
it's super quick and super easy.  Boy, are they warm!
I'm trying to get better at photographing my work.  I think this weekly exercise
in showcasing both my knitting and reading should help me improve my camera skills.

Thanks Ginny for hosting the weekly Yarn Along!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My first yarn along

Over at Small Things, Ginny has been hosting a weeklyYarn Along.  I've been wanting to participate and this is the first week I've gotten out the camera to take pictures of what I'm knitting and reading.  Like Ginny, knitting and reading are two of my favorite hobbies and so this week, I'm sharing my in-progress hat.  It's the Thorpe pattern on Ravelry.  It's the first top-down hat that I've knit and I have to say that it's a little tricky to get started with so few stitches on double points, but I persevered and I'm almost done.  I'm making this for my oldest son, Luke who requested a new super-warm hat. I'm happy to indulge him in handknits!  He really wants the earflaps to keep his ears warm.  This week I'm reading Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty & the Beast by Robin McKinley. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My birthday cake

I've been wanting to post pictures of my birthday cake forever now and I'm just now having the energy to do it. I know.  My birthday was in August, but I really wanted to post pics of this cake even if it's November.  Remember this post?  Well, I had almost forgotten it myself.  So, imagine my surprise when my best friend Stephanie surprised me with this beautiful cake.  I have to say that it's even prettier than the one in the movie

Pondering October

Yesterday, the twins were officially four weeks old! Despite the fact that Paul and I are operating on very little sleep these days, the time has gone by quickly.  I realized that Tuesday was my true due date.  After we learned that we were having twins, I knew that I would never make it to November 9th and I just knew that the boys would be born earlier in October.  After scrolling back and looking at my blog, I realize that I have written very little in months. I've relied on images (no picture today!)  and there were things that I wanted to ponder here, but I just didn't have the energy or brain power to articulate much clearly. This pregnancy was unlike any of  my others.  Although it was my shortest pregnancy (I delivered the twins at 36 weeks), it  felt like the longest.  It seemed that I spent most of my pregnancy in the third trimester. Now, at a month postpartum, the memories of intense insomnia and lack of oxygen are fading quickly and suddenly I feel a little sad about that. I know that can be hard to understand since anyone who was around me heard me whine incessantly about how difficult the pregnancy was for me.  I wish I hadn't been such a whiner.  I wish I had treasured each day more, but I thought of only myself and for that, I feel ashamed.  Even though I love being able to take deep breaths again, I wish I could feel the babies move in my belly again just one more time.  What's wrong with me?

 I still can't believe I got two babies!  It's really just now sinking in despite all those ultrasound pictures labeling Twin A and Twin B.  I am so blessed and yet I couldn't see it especially during those last couple of months of pregnancy.  I went to my routine ultrasound appointment on October 13th truly hoping that my doctor would say that I could go ahead and go to the hospital despite his wanting me to last another week.  I did get my wish as he determined that the twins were developing twin-to-twin transfusion. For my entire pregnancy I was monitored for twin-to-twin transfusion. It's where one twin grows bigger and takes more nutrients than the other. The twins had been growing at the same rate the whole time that I wasn't really worried about it anymore, but at that last appointment, my doctor determined that twin B (James) was nearly a pound heavier than twin A (Liam).  I went home got my stuff and returned to the hospital.  My doctor broke my water and everything was fine for about an hour when I dilated from 4 cm to 10 in the next hour.   My doctor apparently thought he had some time too and he went home for a little while.  I had asked a few times for an epidural, but I thought I had time too and suddenly, there wasn't any time. I admit, this was not my finest moment.  Everything happened so fast after my doctor left. There was no gradual ramping up of contractions. My contractions were at 11!  Anyway, I found myself being wheeled into the OR for an unnecessary C-section.  My doctor showed up just in time to take over and deliver my little Twin A and I was saved from the C-section. I had been given a spinal minutes before Twin A was born.  Although I became strangely disassociated with my own body, I felt enormous relief because I knew that twin B was breech.  My little twin B was delivered feet first twelve minutes after twin A.  He didn't cry immediately.  I remember there being quiet in the OR and I didn't get to hold the babies right away.  It wasn't the birth experience I had hoped for, but the boys despite being small were healthy.

I'm so glad that Liam and James were born in October as it's my absolute favorite month of the year.  We enjoyed a mild October and I got to enjoy the Fall leaves longer this year than ever.  I thought that I would miss all the glories of Autumn, but I didn't.  Even though we didn't go to the pumpkin patch like we normally do or carve Jack O'Lanterns (we might still carve this weekend), we did get a ton of pumpkin pie pumpkins at the farm.  I have been surrounded  by pumpkins and I did get to enjoy a couple of pumpkin spice lattes.  I am now craving hot apple cider and thinking about making some pumpkin muffins with Luke.  Most of the leaves are gone now, but I still see some fiery yellow leaves here and there.  Autumn is fleeting and it always reminds me not to take anything for-granted. 

Now, here we are in almost mid-November.  Typically, I have most of my Christmas shopping done.  This year? Well, not so much and surprisingly, I'm not that worried about it.  Perhaps all that early shopping I usually do just adds to my end-of-year anxiety.  I know everything will work out.  Paul and I have plans to get everything done in one marathon shopping day (we'll see how that goes since we'll be taking the twins with us!) in the next couple of weeks.  I hope to enjoy a cozy no-stress Advent season with the kids.  I also hope to knit a small handful of gifts.  Life is returning to normal.  I feel that my brain power is returning and I'm feeling ready to tackle the challenges of life again.  I still want to nap every day, but I also want to do all the things that I felt I couldn't do while I was pregnant.  I'm exhausted, but happy!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The twins

Sleepy James and a grumpy Liam

Stripes for little T

 I started knitting this little hat for Tess a few days before I went to the hospital to deliver the twins.  In between feedings and pumping in the hospital, I finished knitting this hat. You never know when you will have a few minutes to work on a knitting project!  I used random skeins of Cascade 220 Superwash wool for this hat.  Tess doesn't usually model her handknits happily, but somehow we got lucky with this hat!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


the birth of our identical twin boys!  Liam Joshua and James Oliver were born on 10/13/10.  Liam weighed in at 4 lbs 12 oz and James weighed 5 lbs and 8 oz.  Both are 19 inches!  Paul and I are still in the hospital today.  Both Liam and I have been discharged from the hospital, but we're waiting on James.  I will post a picture when I finally get home!  Right now, I have to go and feed James again.   Eating for him is critical right now.  I just wanted to check in and announce our double blessings!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'm still here!

I didn't mean to disappear from the blogging world.  Is anyone still out there??  I can't begin to tell you how diminished my brain power is in this pregnancy.  By far, this has been my most difficult pregnancy.  I feel like I've been in the 3rd trimester almost the entire time!  I remember just barely two years ago, I was out trekking through the forest on a quest for a Christmas tree on little T's due date.  I had plenty of energy.  Sure, I was tired of being pregnant, but I could still walk and walk quickly!  I have never felt like this before.  I know that I've seriously neglected my little corner of cyberspace, but I hope to be back in full force soon!  I hate that I haven't documented some of our activities throughout the Fall.  I haven't talked about how homeschooling is going this year with Luke or how Sammy's doing in two-day kindergarten or how my little T has ceased to be my little baby girl.  I feel like there's a big blank over the past few months, but I suppose I needed the blogging break.  As most of you know, Autumn is my favorite time of the year and October is my favorite month, but I feel like I'm missing it this year.  I'm trying to enjoy the Fall leaves as much as I can, but most of my energy is going to growing twins!  I do hope to make some pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pie and a delicious caramel dip to celebrate the glorious season of Autumn, but first I have some hard work ahead of me!  I hope to update you very soon with the arrival of two small twin pumpkins!

Belly Shot

This picture was taken a few weeks ago.  So, I imagine, I'm much bigger as I sit and type this today.  I hope that the twins arrive sometime in the next few days.  I have issued an eviction notice!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Luke

Happy Birthday to my Luke.  11 Years ago today I became a mother.  He was born on Labor Day and well, his birthday is bound to fall on Labor Day now and then.  I can't believe how you've grown.  I love you so much!!!