Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Question

Walker: Without a doubt, the most frequently asked question (The Question) of a to-be-twins-parent is, "Do twins run in your family?"

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not annoyed by The Question - I love talking about The Deuce - but I can't tell you how many times per day I answer The Question.

My current statistics show a 1:1 ratio between the number of people who I told we're having twins and the number of people who ask if twins run in our family. The ratio remains 1:1 despite the few folks who don't ask The Question because a few folks who do ask The Question don't believe me and ask twice.

The Question prompted The Answer. The Answer has evolved from longwinded to borderline rude in the span of six months. Back in June, when I learned The Answer to The Question, I was loquacious. The Answer sounded as though it came straight from Dr. Luke's book, When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads. I gushed with all the new twins knowledge.

Yep, way back in June, The Answer involved a cultural mishmash of global statistics, population trends, fertility pills, probabilities, and luck. The Answer originally went something like this:

"Glad you asked! Dana and I, we're having identical twins. And yes, actually, Dana does have twins in her family, but they were identical twins too, and identical twins are absolutely random. Crazy luck, huh? Population statisticians have been keeping the number of identical twins born per pregnancy (1 in 285. Yeah, that seems low, doesn't it?) and the number hasn't changed across populations or the mother's age at all since 1956, the year they started keeping records. Now, fraternal twins is another story. Fraternal twins is genetic, although fertility pills have played significant part in the rise of fraternal twins..."

Now The Answer is much shorter:

"No, twins don't run in our family. We're having identical twin boys. Random happenstance. Crazy luck."

I haven't asked any parents of twins if people continue to ask The Question, but I can foresee that they likely will for the rest of my days, so I better get used to it. I can also foresee The Answer to The Question getting even shorter...

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 12:00 PM :: (4) comments

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year with our friends Ben, Leyl and their lovely daughter Maddy. Happpy Holidays!

Dana at 28 weeks

Excited Parents-of-Twins-to-Be

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 10:21 AM :: (2) comments

Friday, November 24, 2006

A quick update



Dana: In my last post I forgot another perk that I am shamelessly enjoying while pregnant... my handicap-parking pass.

I was first told that this was an option during the twins class at UW that Walker and I took a few months ago. At that point, I laughed it off, thinking I would never need something so desperate. Little did I know how hard it would be to get around. A few weeks ago my Doc suggested it, and officially signed the referral for a temporary parking pass. I've had it for a week now, and let me tell you...it is god sent!

Some other quick updates...
The latest belly measurement at the Docs office was 41 weeks. That equates to the size of a full term single pregnancy, PLUS one week. No wonder everyone thinks I'm about to explode.

I started my first weekly Non-stress Test last week. This is when they strap you up to a machine while they monitor each babies' heart rates for 20 minutes. They also monitor my contractions, which I've been having more and more of. They tell me that it is normal to have so many (I'm averaging about 10 per day), as long as they do not come in regular intervals, and they stop once I've laid down. Apparently they are my body’s way of preparing for the big day. While they are uncomfortable, and sometimes a little scary, I've grown to appreciate them as little warning signs that I need to slow down, sit down, lay down...what ever it takes to calm things down. I really had no idea it would be so hard to just take it easy. :)

Also, it seems that Baby 'A' (who has always been the more active one) can't seem to sit still and is no longer head down. For a while they were both breach. This position was very uncomfortable for two reasons. First, both heads were pushing against my rib cage and sternum, forcing the muscle tissue around my sternum (or more specifically, my zyphoid process) to stretch and tear. This, you can imagine, is very painful. The tears and the pain are still there, but the pressure has been relieved slightly.

Also, with 4 feet jumping around on my bladder, I have often yelped out in pain at very random and often inappropriate times. Try explaining to the woman at the check out counter that "no, I'm not in labor, my babies have just used my bladder as their trampoline."

Recently Baby 'A' has flipped around slightly, and is now sideways (transverse) across my abdomen. While I can only imagine what kind of assault he is giving his brother, this position is slightly more comfortable for me.

Officially, we have several more weeks to go before Baby 'A's position becomes permanent, thus determining whether I will be able to give naturally or not. I'm just hoping he's getting it all out of his system now, and will settle back in nicely with his head down for the last few weeks before they are ready to come out a join us.

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 1:27 PM :: (0) comments

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Setting the record straight...

Dana: Especially for those who think other wise: I honestly do love being pregnant.

I know that I don't always answer the question, "How are you doing", with something that sounds blissfully content. No, I usually give you something that refers to my utter surprise at how a human body can go through so much stretching, weight gain, muscle ache, swelling, and fatigue. But let me be clear...I truly love every minute of it.

Think of it less like complaining, and more like astounding revelations of the wonders of twin pregnancy. The way I figure it, anything in my life that is a known temporary state of being (good or bad) provides an opportunity to go through the experience with more interest, intrigue, and appreciation.

Here are some things I have appreciated the most:

1) Being pregnant, I've felt a connectedness to my body that I've never felt before. I am more in tune with all aspects of it than I've ever been. I hope I continue to feel this way, after pregnancy. It feels good to be so aware.

2) I feel absolutely no desire or interest in going out for a drink on a Friday night, hanging out in a smoky bar or club. This is a good thing! For a while there, my 20's were getting a bit too wrapped up every opportunity to party. I am definitely over it.

3) For the first time in my life, I have started to visualize my life as a mom. Honestly, I've never let myself think about it. As each week brings me closer and closer to actually becoming Momma, I am having so much fun imagining what kind of parents Walker and I will be.... and I am already proud of who our children be as a result.

4) It is amazing to feel them move around inside me!! It took a while to get used to the sensations of other beings inside my body (still kind of weird, when I put it that way!), but now I look forward to every movement. I study them and try to determine the differences in their behavior. It is the first steps towards learning their uniqueness and individualities.

5) Finally, even though my size and body aches can be debilitating, each challenge of this pregnancy feels incredibly rewarding. When I see their eyes meet mine, I will truly feel the pay off of the most satisfying accomplishment of my life.

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 7:50 PM :: (0) comments

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Manufacturing Time

Walker: Like most, Dana and I are busy people. Dana works and carries the Twins, and I go to school, work, and help Dana out as much as possible (I have the easy part).

Despite our busy schedules, we love to cook, and one of the goals we set for ourselves when I started law school was to eat together every night. To meet this goal, we both help each other out – I cook when she's busy, she cooks when I'm busy, and when we're lucky, we cook together. But lately, because she needs to rest (and turn sideways to reach the kitchen countertop), Dana has had to take a leave of absence from the kitchen.

So, with one cook down, I've been looking for solutions, and last Wednesday, I found one: Lasagna. The key here is spending time up front to save time later. Do the math – it's all about efficiency: 1 hour prep time = 8 meals, which equals 7.5 minutes per meal. Good luck! This is a great recipe...Dana couldn’t get enough of it.

Dana's Favorite Lasagna

Tomato Sauce
1 28 oz can organic whole peeled tomatoes
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
3 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

Meat
10 oz bulk mild Italian pork sausage
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Spinach
1 bunch washed spinach

Béchamel
5 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup organic all-purpose flour
3 cups organic 2% milk
¼ tsp nutmeg
Salt to taste

Cheese
1 cup fresh mozzarella, diced
¼ cup parmesan, freshly grated
¼ cup pecorino romano, freshly grated

Pasta
1 lb lasagna (best quality you can find) or make your own

Topping
¼ cup breadcrumbs

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and fill a large bowl with ice water (ice bath) and set it to the side.

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until starts to smoke. Cook the onion, celery, and garlic until the onion becomes translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the carrot and the thyme and cook for 5 minutes longer. Next, rip each tomato into pieces and add them to the pot along with all the juice from the can. Incorporate all the ingredients, and allow the mixture to come to a boil and then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, add salt & pepper to taste.

In a 10 inch sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and garlic and sauté until brown. Drain fat on paper towels and set aside.

Next, submerge the spinach in the boiling water for 15 seconds, and without discarding the boiling water, remove the spinach and place it in the ice bath. Once the spinach has cooled in the ice bath, drain the water and ice and dry the spinach as much as possible in between 5 to 10 paper towels. Refill the ice bath.

Preheat the oven to 400.

Cook the lasagna in the same pot of water used to blanch the spinach. When the noodles are al dente, strain the noodles and place them in the ice bath to refresh them. Once the noodles have cooled 5 minutes, strain them again, and let them dry in the strainer.

Now make the béchamel. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter until it starts to stop bubbling. Next, add the flour and whisk constantly until the mixture turns a nice golden brown. Then add the milk, one cup at a time, constantly whisking the mixture. Bring it to a boil and stir for one more minute and remove from heat, add the nutmeg, and salt to taste.

Now it is assembly time. Lightly oil your large lasagna pan, and add one layer of the noodles. Next add half the tomato sauce and then add another layer of noodles. Next add half the béchamel and spread evenly over the next layer of noodles. Continue with meat, noodles, spinach, noodles, rest of the tomato sauce plus a layer of the mozzarella, final layer of noodles, and then the rest of the béchamel. Spread the parm and the pecorino evenly over the top, and then do the same with the breadcrumbs.

Bake on the top rack of your oven for 20-30 minutes. Enjoy.

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 9:04 AM :: (2) comments

Sunday, November 12, 2006

"No, actually it's another few months..."

Dana: At least 4 times a day I give that answer to a stranger that has commented on my rather large pregnancy state. Their remarks are usually something along the lines of either:

"Any day now, huh?"
"I bet you’re relieved that it's almost over!"
"You look like you're about to explode!"
"You must be in the home stretch now!"

This has not only been a bit of an annoyance while I am trying to go about my daily errands, but also shocking to me how many people feel they absolutely MUST comment on my size. I had no idea that people were so inclined.

It also has been a bit disheartening. It almost makes me feel like, "yeah, why isn't it just around the corner? Haven't I gotten big enough?" My doc has told me that I've reached full term size for a single birth pregnancy and I haven't even gotten to the 3rd trimester yet! I measured the other day at 47'' around my midsection (up from 42 inches, just 2 weeks ago). I have grown out of most of my large maternity clothing. Even Walker has noticed people's reactions and stares as we walk in and out of public places. It's like they are thinking that I shouldn't be there, but rather the in hospital, pushing.

So, while a twin pregnancy is usually a shorter gestational period, it FEELS like it's taking much longer than a single pregnancy, since I'll actually be in the "home stretch" for several months.

The big question...how much bigger am I going to get?!

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 10:48 AM :: (2) comments

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veterans Day

This Veteran's Day we're sending a big hello and safe return to Uncle Shane and Uncle Cole who are both serving overseas in the Armed Forces in the Middle East. No matter what our thoughts are about the current Administration's war, we unequivocally support our troops, and none more than Shane and Cole.

We are saddened when other use the phrase "support our troops" to stifle reasoned dissent, and we hope that with the winds of change blowing in after last week's election that this practice stops.

Shane and Cole - you're in our thoughts, and the boys cannot wait to meet you - we love you, Walker & Dana

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 6:16 PM :: (1) comments

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thank you!

Dana & Walker: Thank you so much to everyone at the SPD Domestic Violence Unit who threw us a wonderful baby shower this afternoon. We are VERY excited about the Maclaren Twin Techno - thank you!

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 2:03 PM :: (0) comments

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Spotlight on my favorite artist...

Dana: I wanted to share with everyone a very exciting gift I recieved at my babies shower in MN from my dear friend, Sarah Angst.

Sarah and I were roommates in college, while attending the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Through our college years, I watched in awe as she developed her unique artistry and craftmanship. Since then, she has successfully made quite a name for herself, and I could not be more proud!!

Sarah is a painter and printmaker, creating images taken from nature and small town culture. Most of Sarah’s pieces are small and quaint; her images are not complex, displaying the effortless beauty in everyday subject matter. All of her artwork attempts to emit a calm, comforting sentiment of a simple time and a simple way of life.

You absolutely HAVE to check out her website: www.sarahangst.com

If you are looking for an adorable and original shower gift, Sarah sells her prints on bibs, onsies, baby tees, etc. on her website. Here are a few that she gave to the boys...

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 12:23 PM :: (0) comments

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Roughhouse

Walker: When we sat down in front of the ultrasound monitor on Friday, Dana and I had no idea we'd see so much action. Even though the Deuce lives in tight quarters, the boys still have room for roughhousing.

roughhouse (ruf'hous') [Informal] n. rough, boisterous, or rowdy play, fighting, etc., esp. indoors. vt. -.housed', .hous'ing to treat (a person) roughly or boisterously, but usually in fun - vi. to take part in roughhouse.

The technician zoomed in on Baby A, and lo and behold, Baby B was boldly shoving his butt in Baby A's face (the round object above Baby A's face is Baby B's butt):


Apparently, Baby A did not like Baby B's butt in his face, so he decided to kick Baby B in the groin:


And Baby B said, "YOW!"


And then Baby B decided to leave Baby A alone and go back to sleep:


It was an action-packed ultrasound experience! Clean bill of health all around. They weigh over 2 lbs each, and their weights are within 4% of one another (very good news). Go Twins, Go Dana.

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 4:37 PM :: (2) comments