Twin Bath Poop Re-habitation Project. Status: Recurring.

I’ve dealt with Poop in the tub before but lately I’m feeling like poop and I are getting a little bit too familiar with each other outside of a diaper. On that note, this is my only blog without photos. I don’t post pics of my kids in the tub online but the photo of them in the tub with poop is going in my ransom drawer for when they are older.

Too many times now I’ve taken one twin out of the tub, rubbed coconut oil on her, dried her hair, diapered her, dried out her ears (not necessarily in that order) and turned to grab my other child and she is showing me how well she is mastering her fine motor skill of pinching something between her finger and thumb. Too bad it’s her poop. Too bad it’s everywhere, just floating and sinking little balls of brown poop laughing at me.

I deal with it like any Mom would, I think. I grab some gloves and go poop fishing while trying to keep my child’s hands away from her face, mostly so she doesn’t eat the poop but also so she doesn’t get pink eye or whatever other, pleasant sounding but awful, things poop to the face brings. At the same time I have to keep an eye on the non tub pooping baby because my girls love to play behind the toilet.

The toilet? I know they don’t know any better but come on, really? Apparently they are fascinated with the pipes behind it. That means if Hubby isn’t home to take her then I am playing two simultaneous games of keep away and I’m the monkey in the middle.

Super fun, I highly recommend it.

The poop goes to the toilet, as much as I can fish out anyways. The rest goes down the drain and I pray the tub pipes don’t have too much hair in it so the poop drains far away from the drain opening. I cringe at the thought of pulling up poop the next time the drain gets unclogged. I wash the tub toys, poor things don’t know what hit them. Then I wash my child and I wash the tub, rinse both and pour a new bath where I wash my kid again.

There is an upside to cleaning poop out from a tub of water, it doesn’t smell, unless there is no water in the tub. Story to follow.

Tonight was what I believe to be the Epic bath time poop of all time. If my kids top this one I will be completely amazed.

I have to admit that bath time for River and Piper is often Facebook time for Mommy. I sit on the toilet lid, which is super close and across from the tub, and I try to catch up on what has happened online. The girls love their tub time and that leaves me time to play with them and play with my phone. I’m always facing my kids but from all my experience with kids pooping, it takes all but a few seconds for them to turn cleaning time into sewer time.

So there I am, and I am constantly watching them, but I have a soaker tub with high sides in that bathroom and turns out my kids, unknown to me, are currently using it to soak in poop like it’s some sort of spa treatment. I can see them playing but I can’t see the water. From time to time they like to get on their knees and look at me, or show me a toy, and I like to stop what I am doing and play with them.So I do but when I lean forward to play…..SUPRISE!  I’m sure you guessed it, little bits of poop from one of my 13 month olds is everywhere.

Why is it always in little bits when it is in the tub!

I spring to action but I’m not sure what to do, I’ve never had two kids in a tub of poop before. I pull the stop from the drain but realize that’s a bad idea, there are chunks in the tub, so I put it back. I usually put on gloves but the girls are playing and splashing so I am trying to keep the dirty tub water away from their faces. I have to get that poop out A.S.A.P so I just start scooping it out and putting in the toilet. I don’t have time to do much but react and quickly, including finding a pair of gloves.

I am in the above mentioned poop re-habitation process and all the thoughts racing around in my head about how best to deal with poop are just becoming funny.

I hear stress can do that. I start laughing and chuck it up to another Motherhood adventure.

The girls don’t know what is going on so they just keep playing but with all the toys removed all they can do is splash. So I am transporting poop, being a splash Nazi and trying to keep them from touching their faces till finally I can pull the drain.

What do I wash first, my tub or my two little human beings? I opt for the tub because if I wash them first they are just going to get dirty again from the tub. I always clean the tub with shampoo/body wash or soap so I grab what is the closest that I’m not allergic to, a bar of Dove soap.  I start suddsing that thing up like no ones business. The sides the floor, I’m sliding kids from side to side so I can wash it all. They loved it, they loved all the chaos! Mama whipping around here there and everywhere. Good thing they don’t know they can make it all happen again just by pooping again! You know, like when they drop something just so they can watch you pick it up over and over.

The tub is washed so now my kiddies get washed and everything gets a rinse. Contamination eliminated.  I take Piper out and get her ready while River plays in the empty tub with some clean toys. Ok, so ears dried? Check. Body coconut oiled? Check. Hair dried? Check. Diapered? Check. Poop smell? What the heck! Kids can poop in a second so I check her diaper. The smell is so offensive that I am sure it is coming from her.  It’s not Piper so I turn to the tub and there is my beautiful River, sitting beside a fresh pile of poop. This time it’s not floating in water and smelling to high heaven.

Poop in a diaper or in the water I can handle, but now I am using toilet paper to pick up the poop from the tub and it reminds me of when I used to pick up the dogs poop from they yard. The smell is strong and I am almost gagging. It just feels so wrong. You know what happens next, all you have to do is start reading at the top of this blog post. Mama is monkey in the middle again and the phrase “rinse and repeat” has never been so literal to me before right now.

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A Year of River and Piper, Month By Month.

Happy Birthday to my two precious little girls, River and Piper! Our whole journey together started out like a roller coaster ride but now it’s like a cruise into the sunset. That doesn’t mean every moment is easy but with all the scary stuff so far behind us now, it feels like easy sailing.

I was thinking of how much the girls have already done this year and it’s way more than what some people do in a lifetime. River and Piper survived being Monoamniotic-Monochorionic twins, six weeks in NICU, have been in an ambulance, on three flights, have lived in two Provinces, have driven across the Rockies and have been on the Ferry twice. Quite the adventures for such little people!

So for my 40th blog post, and to celebrate two very sweet girls, I took (most of the) photos to have a month by month view of River and Piper and the amazing way our little people grow up so fast:

Here they are just born, in all these photos River is on the left:

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(above photo by Lifetime Memories)

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(Above photo by Brian Miller)

Lullabies

Have you ever listened to a song and it made you well up, or even cry? Does it happen every time the same song or songs play and you wonder if you have crossed the crazy line? You know the crazy line that, especially as a Mother, is very hard to see because you feel like you have set up camp next to it so often it becomes normal. Like a mountain climber setting up his tent on a cliff edge, it just becomes part of the routine.

During runaway hormones, sleep deprivation, colic, growth spurts, wonder year leaps, teething (only to mention a few things) … did I mention off the chart hormones…I swear that sometimes I have crossed that line but I’m just not sure because I can’t see it and I’m too busy just truckin’ along to pay much attention..

But first, oh my word, River and Piper are so much fun. Happy 8th month birthday back on August 17th girls!

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I have enjoyed every stage of their lives so far and right now I am loving the laughs, giggles and ear to ear smiles. These girls hold nothing back, including teeth now. Piper got her first tooth showing it’s shiny white enamel on her 8th month birthday. I was expecting it to be one of the four front ones but it is further back. She is going to be a carnivore like her Mom. Then they both woke up on August 21st with a bottom front right tooth cut through and on the 22nd the bottom front left.

I first mentioned lullabies here http://wp.me/p43eFn-td where I wrote about using them to condition the girls to know when bedtime was. It’s more like Mom has been conditioned to be sentimental and sometimes downright sappy . The lyrics can really pull on my heart strings when I am cradling the girls, they can make me well up, and sometimes yes, I cry. They are tears of joy, hope and thoughts of River and Pipers past and their bright future.  I am a passionate person!

“Just a gift from Heaven just a dream come true”

This one is making me tear up right now! I waited so long for our little girls and I am so incredibly thankful to God for them. I can’t imagine my world without them. As full as my life was before they were born,  now it seems empty because I can’t imagine  a life without them in it. I dreamed of having children, I know Darren did too.

Darren’s Dad had a vision of the girls four days before they were born and he told Mum the details but not us. It was a miracle we still didn’t know their sex, even with three ultrasounds a week and technicians who don’t remember that although 90% of the population wants to know, we didn’t. After they were born his dream was confirmed, two perfect, red headed little girls. Who knew we were having red heads except of course God, who shared His secret with Dennis.

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Mum was very delighted to hear Pa say that he saw them perfect. She had heard from a friend in the States about a set of, now adult, MoMo twins who had some of the digits on theirs hands missing from something that happened in utero. She wasn’t sure what but she had become worried and had begun spinning that worry into even more prayer. She told us this after the birth, how when she first saw River and Piper in their isolettes she counted all 40 fingers and toes and gave a sigh of relief.

I didn’t have a vision but I really liked the name Rowan and funny enough it means red head, although it’s a boys name I was considering it for a girl. Glad I didn’t go with it, neither of the girls are a Rowan in my opinion.  Why are boy’s names easier to pick?

“You are the answer to a million prayers”

I prayed and prayed for these children and many people have agreed with us in prayer. God is good, He heard us and I heard Him. One evening after a Woman’s group, where (funny enough) we talked about expectations, I went to my vehicle and as I turned the key in the ignition the radio came on and it blared “Children are a gift from the Lord”. It was a Focus on the Family radio show on Spirit FM. It all makes sense to me that what I am about to share with you took place in a vehicle, because God likes to speak to me there. I have told Him many times, as I am crying in thankfulness from some revelation, that it is really hard to drive with tears in my eyes. After I heard that sentence on the radio I broke into sobs, I felt really angry and I turned my anger towards Heaven.

Gasp, you can’t be angry at God!

I wasn’t angry at God so much as I was expressing my anger to God, but even if I was angry at Him, He knows how I feel so why would I hide it from Him? I didn’t sin by taking my anger out on anyone. I took it too my Father in Heaven who loves me and knows my heart. With Him I am safe to share anything without fear of condemnation.

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“When you are angry, do not sin, and be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day” Ephesians 4:26.

And take it to him I did, I marched into the throne room (metaphorically speaking) and I said to Him, between sobs,  “If children are a blessing from you, where are my children?” I was essentially saying to God, I believe your word, it says Children are a blessing from you and I’m not experiencing that promise right now. It’s not demanding for me to say that to Him, I don’t need to demand a promise that has already been given in His word.

You know what happened? I heard Him say (not audibly for those who don’t understand this) “They are coming”. Instantly my anger vanished and my tears of sorrow to tears of Joy, I felt so relaxed, peaceful yet excited. I just praised him over and over and with renewed hope, I believed.

After more than three years of trying to conceive, less than two months after hearing from God I was pregnant. The comical part to me is that I didn’t say baby or child but I said children, I love God’s sense of humour.

lullabies 7Sometimes we stand boldly before God and we wrestle with Him. I wrestled the idea that I just couldn’t believe that He didn’t have, in His plans, any children for me. In the face of adversity we have a choice to reach higher levels of trusting God. In wrestling with Him, who knows all of me anyways, He showed Himself more to me. God gave me a lasting impression of how great and mighty He is with rare, high risk twins. Turns out He had a journey involving children planned out for me all along and I was going to find out, eventually, what His plans for me were and where He was going to take my faith during this time.

“I am here beside you I am here to stay, I will keep you safe and never go away”

I know it’s just a lullaby but I won’t always be here to keep them safe. The truth is I will have to let go of them,. As they grow and I slowly teach them how to make, not only their own choices, but good choices, they will step out from where I can keep them safe. If I don’t do this letting go, I will in the long run be hurting them and that is not part of my intentional parenting plan.

Just like my heart is connected to God’s I am working towards connecting River and Piper’s hearts to mine. I can run into the safe arms of God who may not agree with a choice I made but He will never love me less for it. He restores me and puts me back on my feet. I will be the safe place they can come to when they make mistakes so I can lift them back up and encourage them.

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I will never love them more or less because of what they do. I will love them for who they are, children of God entrusted to my care till they say “I do”, or move out of the house, after which I will need to completely let go.

Another truth is that I won’t always be around.

When the girls were born Darren wanted to talk to me about who should be the girls guardians if something happened to us. At the mere mention of this topic, tears would start streaming down my face.  I let him know I wasn’t ready for that talk yet, I had to talk myself into having it and he was really good about it.

My hormones were still going crazy, I was under a lot of stress and the thought of not being there while River and Piper take their first step, have their first day of school, their graduation,  their wedding day or their children really upset me. It was just too much on top of being away from home and my church family for so long, the girls in NICU, an upcoming move out of BC, recovering from my C-section and my breast milk not really coming in, just to name a few things… and did I mention hormones (they were so crazy!)? We would start to have the discussion but part way through, when I got overwhelmed I would let Darren know I was done. He was understanding and eventually we got the conversation completed.

How hard of a discussion is that? Pretty hard for me. Who is good enough for our kids?That question isn’t meant in a mean way but simply my first general thought. I don’t think there are a lot of people who feel someone can raise their kids the way they can. Mostly because we are their parents but also because we all have such different values.

I started thinking:

Who has integrity to honour our requests?

Who will love them like we do?

Most importantly, who will make them feel loved so that they know in their very being, without a shadow of a doubt, how special and unique they are and that their creator, Papa God, loves them so much and that they were created for a very special purpose?

We chose the people we did based on these questions and whatever leftover concerns we had we handed them to God. Ultimately He is their best Father already, we know He loves them more then we do and we entrust Him with them because He first entrusted them to us. Which leads to:

“Oh, I love you but God loves you the best.”

No matter how much I love River and Piper, God loves them the best. There is no greater love than the love of the Father who sent His only Son to die on the cross for the world. When I think about how much God loves my little girls I am reminded that He loves me that much too. I am overwhelmed with His outrageous love for us.

The moment I saw you I wanted to hold you and keep you warm on a cold grey morn. The moment I held you I wanted to kiss you and welcome you here on the day you were born.

I wanted so much to hold my little girls but I couldn’t, they weren’t stable. They were being kept alive with the help of machines via intubation. I’m not sure if it was a grey morning but it most likely was, seeing as how it was a December afternoon in Vancouver. Whatever the weather was, when they were born I couldn’t keep my babies warm. Their isolette was doing that, not my snuggles even though I wanted so much for it to be me.

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It was on day three that I was able to hold Piper and I held River on day four because she still wasn’t stable enough before that. The nurses wanted us to wait longer but we are advocates for Kangaroo care (skin to skin touch). I remember, clearly, the nurse handing Piper to me and I was so concerned with her comfort and, my word, not pulling all the C-PAP (assisted oxygen) tubes out and monitoring wires off her. Then all of a sudden it hit me, I’m holding my baby, my little precious baby and I had a floodgate of emotions rush in. I was in such disbelief that her small, fragile, now  three and a half pound, body was finally in my arms.

Piper melting Mama's heart.

Piper melting Mama’s heart.

Seven months of pregnancy, with the last two months being inpatient, had rolled into delivery and it all still felt so surreal. I then had these beautiful babies but I could only see them in their isolette and at most, reach inside and hold their hand. That moment of tangibility, when I held all of her, changed everything. My children finally felt real and not just like a concept I kept trying to make feel real. I was flooded with so much love, when I thought there wasn’t room for any more, amazement, awe and wonder.

After the girls were held they were soon extubated and onto C-PAP which was much less invasive and just aided the girls so they got enough oxygen when they breathed on their own. Even though River was initially the first to come off all breathing aides for good, she had to be intubated twice which was really hard for us to hear. It is very uncomfortable for anyone to have the tubes inserted, let alone for a tiny human being, but she bounced back onto C-PAP again soon. Although it maybe doesn’t sound like a big deal, no one can understand NICU time unless they have been through it. It is really hard and dramatic bordering traumatic to have to go through.

When our babies were held they thrived.

Touch is so important, when Jesus healed the Leper in Mark 1 he could have just said “Be healed” but he didn’t. He, being filled with compassion, reached out and touched the man as well. That leper had to leave everyone he loved to live outside of the city in the leper camp. That leper had not felt the loving touch of another person for years, Jesus knew this.  The Leper was healed physically and emotionally through touch and I know our girls received healing from Mama and Papa giving them the Kangaroo care they so needed to grow big and strong.

The song lyrics I mention are from Nicolette Larson’s release, Sleep Baby Sleep. Don’t get me started on other albums! Nicolette recorded the album after the birth of her daughter in 1994 and it is timeless.

The girls are over 8 months old now and I still well up at all the same places where the lyrics tug on my heart and I’m ok with that. In fact I hope it never changes, even when my girls are old enough to look at me funny for doing so.

Here is a duet with Graham Nash:

Here is my favourite to sing to them:

Watch out for the bear song though, it get’s stuck in my head.

I do not make any money by referring this album.

We love comments! The girls get to read them when they are older. Please leave us some feedback if you like at the bottom of this blog  =)

 © Lisa Hansen and Ready, Set, Identical Momo Twins, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Hansen and momotwinsfun.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A Non-Staycation, Staycation?

If a staycation is supposed to be a vacation you take while staying at home, then we had one. But is it still a staycation if you have to travel to get home? Let me dwell on that one….

Cockle doodle doo girls, it’s 4am and time to get this show on the road. Piper, who is on the right, turns to give Mama a huge smile and whoa, I take a step back. What happened to her? Quickly I’ve got her little head in my hands and it only takes me but a wee moment to realize she has three mosquito bites on her angel face. River has them on her thighs. Turns out our girls are our mosquito repellant, poor things.

I have the cutest video of these two waking up and squealing away. It’s as if we were telling them we were going to Disney Land and they were old enough to know what Disney land is.

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We have a three hour drive to Saskatoon and it was made a little bit longer due to the flooding that was still here. When Dare and I were in Saskatchewan four years ago there was epic flooding then too.  Personally,  I think they should have wised up and paid us to leave the province since we obviously bring the rain. The whole time we were gone it didn’t rain once and it was nice and hot in Saskatchewan. Yes we are driving through this and somewhere underneath all that water is a road.

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Two suitcases, two carry-on’s and a diaper bag all fit wonderfully on an airport cart but we also had two car seats! Dare made it work and off we were to complete our check in at the counter. I have to say that I really like flying with WestJet. We decided to give them the car seats at baggage check in so we didn’t have to lug the awkward things around. The WestJet employee checked in one of our carry-on’s too at no extra fee which turned out to make our trip so much easier. So, here I am holding both kids till Dare puts our passports away and takes a photo. The girls were out of the hospital less than a week and they had passports. It took two trips before we learned the trick of a successful photo. Their eyes have to be open and every time we laid one of the girls down they would shut their eyes and cry. Our success lied in figuring out that if we line a baby up with the camera, put a bottle in it’s mouth, get it’s attention turned towards the camera, pull the bottle out and snap the photo quickly we met all requirements. Honestly, they look like mug shots.

non stay vacation 3We only brought one of our carriers, the cheap one because it didn’t take up much room. I can’t wait to get rid of that thing though. Next time I think we’ll bring the Ergo, it would have come in handy to have two. They have a new one out now, for those of you into Ergo carriers, called the Ergo 360 that will sit your child facing in, out and on your hip or back. I like Ergos because they don’t cause pelvis, spine and hip joint strain like most other carriers do and that’s important to me. We want to get one but the store here got two in while we were in BC and they went as fast as Grandmas apple pie and now they are on back order.

We got our basic Ergo second hand and for a song and a dance in almost brand new condition, which was a huge blessing because even used they can cost a lot. For the new model we will have to remortgage our house because I’m not about to give my left leg or firstborn, they aren’t cheap. If you are in the market for a carrier check this link out: http://blog.ergobaby.com/2012/06/the-importance-of-ergonomics-in-babywearing/

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The girls did really well to Calgary but our first flight was late so we had to board the next plane right away meaning, no diaper change and feed. Our perfect plan was spoiled, but so was my birth plan and I got over it, but I’m not the one with the wet diaper, thank goodness. We changed and fed them at the first available moment but they already had their bloomers in a knot. River and Piper screamed the whole ascent and didn’t stop until Dare turned their attention to the TV and if I had to pick one word to describe what happened it would be, glued. The TV completely knocked them out of scream state and into a TV coma. That’s the second time TV has come in handy so I chose to shelf this information for a later date.

When we fly I just choose to be the last one out, no stress and less waiting time for our baggage. I might as well keep enjoying cuddles sitting than standing and waiting around a crowded baggage carousel. Besides, Piper is still enjoying her cartoons.

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 Never mind airplanes, what about ferry line ups? This is a ferry line wait gone bad. They wanted to be fed early and I was caught off guard. Am I a bad Mom for taking a photo while they cried? No way, they are going to crack up when they are old enough to get a kick out of this picture.  I somehow managed to make a bottle and feed them with both of them on my lap. Developing mad skills comes with the job. When Darren returned to the car it was as if nothing had happened.

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When we finally got to our house the girls were more than ready for bed. Shelley gave me a crib that she had dropped off earlier in the week. The girls slept well, thanks Shelley! The cribs I would like are only available in the states and that just wasn’t going to happen this trip. Shelley, thanks for coming and helping me to paint the nursery too. With having to go to the hospital in Vancouver at 24 weeks gestation I had to drop a lot of wishes and plans. The next time we get to BC the paint fumes will be gone and I can finish decorating the room. I never got a picture of us painting! I have pictures of the room but am saving them for a before and after blog.

Yes, those are garbage bags on the window of the master bedroom and I’m not ashamed. I refuse to buy window coverings until I decorate the room when the house is finished. Otherwise it could turn out to be such a waste of money if I had to end up repurchasing. I’d rather just do it right the first time. So, in the meanwhile, I have ghetto drapes. Sometimes, you just make do.

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Even before we left Saskatchewan I posted on a Facebook Mom’s page in C. R that I was looking for a play mat. It’s too big of an item to take with us and the girls are crazy without one. Moms of the world, if you are in the market for a play mat please buy extra rings so that when your child transitions from batting the hanging toys to wanting to put them in their mouth they can. It’s really important for development. I have seen play mats with toys so high all the child can do is look at them or bat at them if their lucky and I can’t help but think, who are these people making toys these days and what are they thinking?

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But look at this, who needs toys when you have Dad to maul!

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One of our first outings was a walk at Tyee Spit, not a very appetizing name to say the least, and Starbucks. We used to love taking the dog to the spit when she was with us. I just got some photos of her back so I’ll have to write a good bye blog about that amazing dog now that my heart has healed.

My kids are cool but Mamas not, I left the sticker on Pipers shades that Daddy bought. Come on Mama! Maybe we can start a fad. Weren’t rappers leaving the tags on their hats awhile back in, like, 2012? Do they still do that?

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As for starbucks, well, If you know me then you know I am a huge Starbucks fan. Mostly for a whole milk, 1 pump vanilla, Caramel Machiatto or a no classic shaken green tea lemonade, yum. Most Starbuckians are repeat offenders and by that I mean they have one or two drinks they keep coming back for. Guilty as charged. In Saskatchewan we are 2.5 hours from the nearest Starbucks so I had my fill while at home.

My word, do you see that child’s thighs? Maybe if I hadn’t put writing all over them, right? They’re bigger than my upper arm!

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Here is Papa having fun with Piper:

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It was overcast when we got to BC, I was convinced the rain followed us from Saskatchewan. I had Dentist appointments the first three days anyways to repair a filling that had broken just before going home. After a few days though, the sun came out and oh baby, was it a week and a half of great heat. I hit the beach ASAP with the family. River and Piper loved going in the water, I wish I had photos but Darren and I were both waist deep in the water with the girls and we didn’t think of it. Here  are the girls sharing, not that they know what that is yet.

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River and Piper got to see their Bestefar and Bestmor (Norwegian, I married into a family of vikings) again. I failed to capture a shot of Bestefar with the girls but here is a proud and happy Bestemor:

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Have you ever seen River Dance? You know, that stage production with all the Highland dancers? I am privileged to have my own personal River dance, and a Piper dance too. In the tub my girls leg their feet fly to their own beat. It’s quite the show, this horizontal Highland dance. The girls were beside themselves in Papa and Mama’s en-suite tub. We have nice one piece baths in Saskatchewan but the girls end up right smack together. They have so much room here:

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I love the beach, I would spend every summer hour I could there if I was in BC. We went once in Saskatchewan and I think we lasted 15 minutes and that was an effort. I tried to make the best of it but I couldn’t keep the mosquitoes and biting flies off the girls or myself, I was so disappointed. Part of my agreeing to come to Saskatchewan was that we would go to the beach a lot. Apparently I also had no clue what their condition was, most of the beaches are very small from the flooding. Poor Darren feels bad but we are making the most of our summer in other ways. We got some cute photos of the beach during our trip back home though! People of BC, you are so blessed with your beaches you can go and relax at.

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Besides going tho the beach we went tubing down the Puntledge river (baby free of course) a few times, we love doing that.

I knew there was no way I was going to be able to visit everyone when we visited home so we opened our house for anyone to drop by all day one of the Wednesdays we were home. What a great day! It was so nice to see and catch up with everyone.

Darren and I have mastered the art of eating out with twins. We go for meals during the slow times so breakfast is brunch and always have a bottle ready to go. We like Popseys for breakfast, especially now that they have done some renovations. We caught up with the waitresses and one of them still remembered our order. Darren looks so grumpy here. Piper is watching her Daddy, watch and learn little grasshopper, watch and learn.

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And another day with the gang after church:

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Packing, oyamen! I had to figure out what was staying, what was going. I was almost done and River started fussing so I remembered them watching TV on the plane and I put a towel under her bottom and plunked her in the double nursing pillow. After a bit she wanted to eat so as I was feeding River I gave Piper a turn. I took a video of River while she was watching TV, she was very, very upset at me for talking to her and disturbing her show! She even stopped munching on her shirt to tell me so.

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Dare promised to take me to Driftwood for Chinese. I can’t eat this type of food a lot so it has to be great quality otherwise it isn’t worth it. Bestemar is almost always the one taking photos so she isn’t in this one or the one above of us eating at Popsy’s. I wouldn’t doubt that woman has 300GBs of dinners she has taken photos of.

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The flight home went amazing once we actually got on it. We missed out first flight which I was ok with, once I found out it was only going to cost us $75 to stay an extra day because West jet waived the other $75 fee.  One more night in my own bed! I am spoiled in BC with a king sized bed. I sleep ok in the queen sized one in Saskatchewan but it took some adjusting. In the King sized bed we don’t even touch each other unless we want to. Sounds sad but it’s a description of his job and not of our relationship. That’s the reality of being a pilots wife, they aren’t home every night and you get used to having your own space. When they come home it’s hard to keep adjusting so this solves the issue. Piper likes the bed too!

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On our way home and time for a layover selfie! Piper is not impressed.

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The girls were so good on the flight home. I got the idea to hang this car seat toy from the tray knob, it was brilliant, and it entertained Piper for quite some time.

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So, there we have it. Some photos from our staycation that really wasn’t a staycation at all but more of a non-stay staycation and I’ll leave it at that.

Back to Saskatchewan safe and sound and snuggled up in bed. Thank you Lord for traveling mercies, friends, health and good times.

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We love comments! The girls get to read them when they are older. Please leave us some feedback if you like at the bottom of this blog where it says: Leave a reply.  =)

 © Lisa Hansen and Ready, Set, Identical Momo Twins, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Hansen and Ready, Set, Identical Momo Twins with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Big Girls, Little Aviators

happy 6 monthHappy 6 months to our little munchkins who actually aren’t that little. It’s Mom who got a gift though, both River and Piper caught on camera smiling at the same time! At 15lbs 8oz, both River and Piper are sitting at 50th percentile for a 6 month old. Since their corrected age is four months they are big girls! People have been saying to me, “You must be doing something right”. I know it’s one of those catch phrases, and not to negate their kindness, but when I hear it I can’t help but think that it has nothing to do with what I’m doing really, it’s in their genes. I don’t feel that feeding our kids is “doing something right”  but a responsibility and that there isn’t an option to not do so, although I suppose the truth is that not every parent assumes such responsibility. I don’t want to read into it too much but maybe it’s too late for that.

Our friends had a baby much more premature than we did and she is a healthy and beautiful 6 months too, congratulations sweetie! There are all these milestones to be grateful to God for, and when you have a preemie there are a few more tossed in the basket. A baby hitting 6 months is special for every Mama but when they are born so early, you are looking at them through glass with months being strapped to an emotional roller coaster you keep trying to get off of, it adds to the experience of having a child….or two. On one hand it feels like the time has just flown by but on the other hand it feels like our NICU time was ages ago. I can’t wait till River and Piper hit a year and I am loving being in the here and now with them.

Our appointment at the Pediatrician went really well, there are no concerns whatsoever. We went over the usual questions and then he asked if we had started solids. I always thought solids were to be started at six months but he said they can start to taste anywhere from four months if they show interest. Darren loved the idea of trying something new with the girls but I’m just fine with waiting. I have this “no solids till six months” sign flashing in my head. I wonder where it came from, the internet, a forum, a book, a conversation? Why do I feel so strongly about it? At one point I must have done some research on it but funny, I don’t remember.

It was actually the girls 6 month on the 17th but I was way too busy to finish writing. We went up to Flin Flon with Papa in a King Air 200. Here they are all buckled in and ready for take off:

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Here they are in the cockpit with Captain Papa:

flin flon 4It was wonderful to bring the girls on an adventure up north. After landing we drove through Flin Flon and Creighton which are side by side towns like how Comox and Courtenay are, for those of you familiar with those cities. Flin Flon is a Manitoba mining city on the border of Saskatchewan and has a population of 6,300 people. On the Saskatchewan side, right beside Flin Flon, is a town called Creighton with about 2,600 people and outside of Creighton is a lodge where we stayed. Apparently Manitoba doesn’t like Virgin phones because Dare and I both didn’t have cell service at the airport or driving through Flin Flon but the First Officer did. Both towns have different time zones which gets really confusing. We had this little guy show up beside the car as we were taking a corner, I’ve never seen a fox that looks like this before:

flin flon foxThe lodge was really quiet which was nice because on Monday the girls cried so much I thought I was going to go insane. It was nice to know there wasn’t anyone in the rooms beside us. They are in a “leap” which I will blog about another time. Basically a leap is a time of mental growth and after each leap a baby can do new things. It might have been the traveling that made them so crabby but I think it was the leap that threw them off.  They wouldn’t follow a schedule, snacked instead of eating full meals and cat napped instead of napping which is what some days in a leap look like.  I was at my wits end so here they are watching what came up when I turned the T.V.. Can you hear the silence? …it was instant. They didn’t seem to care what was on the T.V., they just stared at it and that bought me some time to hear myself think and get a game plan together.

flin flon tvPapa was up way to early to eat breakfast with so here are the girls watching me eat breakfast. Ever notice that as a Mom taking pictures there just aren’t very many of you and your kids? I need to start remembering to ask people to take photos of the three of us (or four when Dare is there).

flin flon good eatsOK, so tell me this doesn’t look like BC. What a great view from our room, I soaked it up, that and the sun that was shinning while it was raining back at our Saskatchewan home. We are looking forward to a short trip back to the coast in a bit and we can’t wait to see everyone!

flin flon viewSo, my little girls. There are many things I wonder about you both but right now I wonder if you will share your Papa’s love of flight, time will tell. For now you will have to settle with being little co-pilots. These were really thoughtful onesies given to you from some lovely people here in Saskatchewan. You have outgrown them now but here you are at three months. You are just so cute and I hope our time together doesn’t fly by too fast, no pun intended.

co pilot 2© Lisa Hansen and Ready, Set. Identical Momo Twins, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Hansen and Ready, Set, Identical Momo Twins with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Girls, Your Daddy Is A King

Girls, Mama loves your Papa so much. You will grow to know him more and more and even now you love him before you know what love is. I love watching him play with you, he always knows how to make us laugh. When he sings to you, you sing along, when he dances with you you, you look into his eyes and squeal with delight as he sways you to and fro, you never “miss a step” with him. He is my world and I can see he is yours too by the way your faces light up when you see him enter the room. Your Papa is gentle yet firm, kind, patient and loving and I know your spirit already knows that.

bibsGirls, this is your Papa’s first Father’s Day and he is so blessed to have two beautiful daughters to celebrate it with. Your father has built his foundations on a rock and it can not be shaken. After I met your Papa a wise woman once said to me that if I wanted to get to know him I should read about King David and “Darren is strong, he knows who he was created to be and he will not move from that, he will not change who he is for you”. Your Mama didn’t understand this at first but as she read about King David she began to understand and knew it wasn’t him who had to change but her.

God is gracious and kind and he has remoulded your Mamas heart and she has been learning to use it better ever since. Now that your Mama and Papa are married he has molded our hearts together and you will see, as you grow, how amazing such a beautiful thing is. Your Papa is the perfect man for your Mama. You will be able to recognize what a good man looks like because of your Papa’s example.

“And you saw how the LORD your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place.” Deuteronomy 1:29-31

Girls, your Papa will care for you and protect you through your life’s journey. He will teach you and lead by example and he will bring you to a place where he is no longer your champion, your defender. One day you will find your own king but there is lots of time yet for that, for now let’s focus on things like getting you both to your first tooth.

River and Piper, I want you to know how involved your Papa is in your life. You have been with us for almost six months and without God and your Papa I don’t know how I would have done it. Before you were born he was so excited to hear you were coming. He talked me through my pregnancy meltdowns and he was such a support while I was living in the hospital. When you were born and I couldn’t come see you yet he was there every moment reporting back to me everything that you were going through. You were so little when you were born and I worked really hard to get my milk to you so you could grow your best. One time I cried because I accidentally spilled some of this first milk.  “Don’t cry over spilled milk” your Papa said and I laughed, he makes me laugh a lot.

From him doing things like the midnight feed so I can sleep, changing diapers and holding you when you were colicky or just because you need snuggles.  He plays with you, laughs with you and hurts when you hurt. He says every day with you is a blessing, he is right and it has been like that since the moment we found out you were conceived and especially when we found out you were MoMos.  We are so thankful to God for you.

You will experience the love of your Heavenly Father based on how your Papa loves you. I am thankful that you will be loved the way you need to be loved by him. He isn’t perfect but when he makes mistakes he will ask you for forgiveness as he does even now. He allows you into his heart and you allow him into yours, it’s so beautiful for me to watch you bond with him.

Daddy river piper

Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place. [Deuteronomy 1:29-31 NIV] – See more at: http://www.gospelherald.com/articles/51605/20140613/fathers-day-bible-verses-and-quotes-christian-history-prayers-for-dads-husbands.htm#sthash.pRYpWScm.dpuf
Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place. [Deuteronomy 1:29-31 NIV] – See more at: http://www.gospelherald.com/articles/51605/20140613/fathers-day-bible-verses-and-quotes-christian-history-prayers-for-dads-husbands.htm#sthash.pRYpWScm.dpuf

Darren, I love you.

Thank you for choosing to mould your heart with mine.

Happy 1st Father’s Day

© Lisa Hansen and Ready, Set. Identical Momo Twins, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Hansen and Ready, Set, Identical Momo Twins with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Creativity and Baby Weights/Lengths.

I’ve been feeling creative these days. Although I only have short bursts of time I have finally started painting again. I brought paints with me to the hospital, I thought as an inpatient in the antepartum ward I would have lots of time and I probably did but time wasn’t the issue. I need things to be perfect, I like things to be professional. In doing so I forget to enjoy the journey in fact, I don’t even start the journey. Not that I don’t have some paintings laying around but they are mostly unfinished, what if I wreck them finishing them *gasp*. What a poor attitude but it’s been engraved with thick and strong lines in my bones. I have lately been deciding that the journey is going to be fun. I’ve been trying to change the way I think about it all. That, and Dare encourages me to just throw paint at a canvas, who cares what it looks like he says (*double gasp*). That is so foreign to me but I am doing it although I will admit to still wanting it to look fabulous.

If I had to guess where I lost my creativity I would have to say in having to survive. Before that, words from someone who loved me in fear. I wanted to go to school for art and I was told discouraging words by someone who should have understood that God put that desire in my heart. But they didn’t know and in the fear that I would graduate without any formal way of having an income they told me that if I went to art school I would never be able to support myself. I was angry because I was hurt at these words and I swore I would show them. Guess what, I never did. I became afraid, afraid I would fail. I took some painting and drawing courses here and there but I felt like I had been drained, what was the point, and so my heart wasn’t in it.

I’m not blaming anyone for my actions, or lack of. I’m just saying that I recognize why so I could make a healthy change.

I started taking night courses for interior design and did really well but they stopped offering it at night and I had bills to pay so going to school full-time didn’t seem like an option.  I never pursued it as part of me again thought, why bother, it probably won’t amount to anything anyways. I had a lot of sad, self defeating negative automatic thoughts back then. You know, the ones you have that you don’t even know you have. They just kept playing like a broken record over and over eventually sending me spiraling down farther and farther each year.

Another reason is I had bills to pay so I got a job. Without any “real” schooling I decided to get a job in retail and climb the ladder. I became Assistant Manager in a short amount of time but it was tough. I had to change everything about the way I functioned. I had to learn how to prioritize, be organized, follow checklists, manage staff. Looking back I can see how developing this left, logical side of my brain stifled the right side of my brain, the creative side. Being in the hospital and blogging kick started the shrunken right side of my brain.

I have many years ago recognized and said “stop” to those negative thoughts. Not on my own, though. I tried to heal myself by reading many self help books they always only helped a little. One day I told God I was done trying and I told him He was going to have to do it because I couldn’t. I can just imagine all of heaven sighing, FINALLY! Then cheering me on because from the moment I surrendered, my life really started to change for the good.

The only way to recognize, support and foster River and Pipers God given dreams is to do so for myself. I want to walk the talk and be a good model of God’s love for my girls. How can I do that when I am hiding behind fear of failure, perfectionism and self defeat? The answer is I can’t. So Father God, I hand to you these things, I know they aren’t from you, what do you have for me in return? I love how God always trades up and I thank Him for His answer. God help me to speak life giving words to my girls and to recognize when I don’t and ask them for forgiveness.

Today I was commenting on a post in a Mono Mono Twins support group on Facebook. I wrote a line that touched me and I felt I was to write a children’s book about having a preemie in NICU. So I did, it just flowed from me. I am excited, not just for the book but for the gush of creativity I felt. I haven’t felt that since High School. My hope is that it will encourage parents who’s child or children are in NICU and that it is a special piece of work for preemies to have read to them.  My hope is to fill it with pictures of preemies so Once Upon a Time preemies, siblings of soon to be preemies and parents of preemies can find reassurance that they aren’t alone and to prepare for the journey or just get through it as some days it feels like that’s all you can do, just get through today.

Speaking about encouraging news, the girls and I had a great day yesterday. The day looked good so I planned a walk to get the girls weighed, then it looked like poor weather. I hummed and hawed and finally decided to chance it and walked them to the hospital as Dare had the car. It was only a few blocks away anyways. When I got there the nurse said she had five minutes before her other appointment showed up, how perfect! Then her appointment never showed up so she had time to measure and chart them as well. Then we walked to the grocery store and when we came back out it had rained. I am so thankful it was sunny again for our walk home. Again, just perfect.

I am happy to say that my little chubby wubbys are gaining mucho weight. River is 25 1/4 inches long with a head circumference of 41cm and is 14lbs 8oz. Piper is 25.5 inches long with a head circumference of 42cm and is 14lbs 11oz. This means for a 5.5 month old their length and head measurements are in the 50th percentile while weight is in the 35th percentile. This is really good considering their corrected age is 3.5 months so the average will be much higher if going by their corrected date, which the Pediatrician will. We have a Pediatrician appointment in a few weeks so we will see where they are again then.

For now, it’s time to unwind, relax and enjoy the journey.

photo 55© Lisa Hansen and Ready, Set. Identical Momo Twins, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Hansen and Ready, Set, Identical Momo Twins with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.