ENT Referral and Twin Smiles

Mia has been making this weird noise pretty much since she was born.  I’ve tried to describe it to the various medical professionals, but the little stinker has yet to make it in one of their presences.  Her speech therapist suggested that I try to tape it and I finally succeeded this weekend.  I texted her the video, she agreed that it was odd, and suggested that I send it to Mia’s pediatrician.  I don’t really have a way to do that, so I just added an appointment for her when I scheduled Xander’s weight check.

Their weights were great!  Mia was 9 pounds 1 ounce and Xander was a whopping 10 pounds!  For the first time, their dr actually seemed satisfied with their weight gain.  🙂  Mia earned herself a referral to a pediatric ENT to check out the weird noise.  BINGO!  Dr said we were going to have to go anyway to get her hearing rechecked at 6 months so we might as well just go a little early.  He said he doesn’t like to mess around with potential airway issues.  He said some other stuff too, but I’m pretty sure that my eyes just glazed over while my inner 4 year had a tantrum at the thought of yet another specialist visit.  Now putting head firmly in the sand until the visit.  Just say no to Dr Google!

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One of the great things about living where we do is that we’re so close to my parents.  We stopped by for a bit on the way to the appointment and I got this adorable pic of my dad holding both babies.  I think this is the first time I have photographic evidence of a Mia smile!  I was so excited about it that I broke through my mental block against scrapping at night and made a page!

File Jul 29, 10 25 45 AMPretty simple page, but I like it.  🙂  I think one of my August goal’s might be to try and scrapbook in the now.  Thoughts?


What a difference a year makes

I’m addicted to the timehop app.  In case you live under a rock, it’s an app that shows you what you posted on social media on the same day in previous years.  This showed up on Saturday.

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The photo on the left is of the meds for my first day of injections from the cycle that resulted in the twins.  I didn’t really blog it at the time, but now that I’m scrapping pictures from these months, it’s kind of forcing me to process it.  Which is good and bad.  Good because dealing with baggage is healthy and bad because dealing with baggage is hard.

RaptorDad and I had agreed that this was going to be our last cycle regardless of the outcome.  I had a really hard time accepting the likelihood that Kate would be an only child, but to be frank we had gotten to the point where we were done flushing all of our disposable income down the toilet of infertility treatments.  We decided that if Kate was going to be an only child that we might as well take advantage of that and start traveling.  Plus, she was starting kindergarten and I was going back to work at an awesome school after 5 years as a Stay At Home Mom.  We were just done with having our lives on hold.  And done with the emotional roller coaster that is infertility treatments.  I was so sick of having my life divided into 2 week cycles of hope and despair.

The cycle seemed doomed from the beginning.  We were supposed to cycle in early summer so that all of this would be behind us before I went back to work, but our meds got held up by a European holiday and then held up in customs.  (We always order our meds from Europe because it’s a fraction of the cost.  Still ridiculously expensive, but much cheaper.)  Then we decided to ask for a lap to check for endometriosis just to be sure that we gave this cycle every possible chance to succeed.  Good thing too, because they found a cyst the size of a tennis ball when we did the preop ultrasound.  And when they went in, they found not only endometriosis, but that both of my tubes were partially blocked despite a clear HSG and hysteroscpoy the year before.  Well, no wonder the treatments weren’t working.

We started the cycle right before I went back to work; in fact, I had to ask to leave one day of inservice about 30 minutes early.  Talk about awkward.  Obviously I didn’t say what kind of appointment I had, but it’s still awfully flakey to ask to leave early on your first week of work at a new job.  RaptorDad and I had no actual hope that this cycle would work.  We were just going through the motions as we had both accepted that Kate would be an only child.  I don’t even think we would have gone through with the cycle if we hadn’t already spent many hundreds of dollars on the meds earlier in the summer.  But we had and so we did.

When I started my period a few weeks later, we were sad, but in some ways relieved.  After all, I had gotten hired at a school that I loved.  I was so excited about working there, especially since it seemed like I would be able to transition into a full time teaching job the following year.  And while I missed being at home with Kate, she was loving kindergarten and I was loving being on the same campus as her.

I decided to test early just to rule out anything crazy before I stopped my progesterone.  Imagine my shock when I got a positive test!  I then spent the whole weekend convinced I was having a miscarriage, but I was actually pregnant!  We were in for a long road ahead, but I’ll tackle that more in another blog post as this one is already super long.  🙂

And if you made it through all of that, here’s your crafty reward.  🙂  Like I said, I’m scrapping pics from last August/ September and I came across these pics that RaptorDad took as a joke.  I always take pictures with Kate on the first day of school with a little chalkboard so he decided to take some of me on my first day of inservice.  🙂

scrapbooking RaptorMama-2I thought it might be neat to take pictures of the layout in progress, so here’s the bottom layer.  I mixed up some paint and some texture medium and put it through a stencil.

scrapbooking RaptorMama-3Then I matted my pictures several times and added a bit of rick rack.  So far so good.

scrapbooking RaptorMama-4Then the embellishment, journaling, and title.  I had a super hard time with the embellishments!  I love the October Afternoon puffy stickers, but they drove me crazy trying to figure out where to put them.  lol.





3 Month Mia Update!

Mia is doing fantastic!  She’s making great eye contact, she’s started smiling and cooing, and she’s tracking.  Also trying to find her thumb and lifting her head up.  🙂

ECI is going fantastic.  We just added speech and a nutritionist.  Why speech?  At this age speech is working on her oral motor skills- things that will help her nurse more efficiently.  We were working on them with her occupational therapist, but then she has to split her time between the oral motor exercises and the exercises to work on her core strength.  When you consider that Mia isn’t really super attentive for the whole hour (she usually spends at least part of it sleeping or eating) her therapist and I thought it might be a good idea to add speech.  Now Mia gets therapy twice a week!  The more the merrier I say.  We try to do her exercises every day, but it’s difficult to juggle that with everything else.  I feel a lot better knowing that, at minimum, she’s getting a good therapy session twice a week.  🙂  We also added a nutritionist once a month to come out and weigh her so that we can stop doing weight checks at the pediatrician’s office.  Yay!

She also had her second MRI and everything looked good.  Her ventricles were a little larger, but still nothing requiring a shunt.  The neurosurgeon said she had less that a 20% chance of needing a shunt at this point.  Since the odds are rarely in our favor (let’s just say I’ll never go to Vegas) that’s freaking me out a little, but it is what it is and there’s not a darn thing I can do about it.

Overall, Mia is just a doll.  We <3 her so much.

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I’ve not been able to scrap much recently as the babies are currently boycotting any naps that don’t take place on the boob, but that is giving me lots of time to work on my current crosstitch project.  When I get bored with finish that, I’m going to start on the babies’ stockings.  Fun times!  They are the best snugglers.  🙂

File Jul 24, 1 03 47 PMIn other news, I’m trying to walk everyday after the babies are in bed.  So far so good!  I’ve walked the last 4 days.  🙂  Now I’m trying to decide if I should do it every day or let myself take the weekends off.  Decisions, decisions.


3 Month Xander Update!

Since the babies are 3 1/2 months old now, it seems like a good time for an update!  And since they’ve basically stopped napping unless they’re in my lap, you get instagram pics.  🙂

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Xander had surgery on mine and RaptorDad’s 11 year anniversary to repair a bilateral inguinal hernia.  Basically, his intestines were not where they should be.  In an effort to preserve poor Xander’s dignity, I’ll refrain from saying more but you can check wikipedia if you like.  Basically, it went something like this.

Me: Um, can you come take a look at this?

RaptorDad: Yeah, I noticed that.

Me: !!!

We brought it up at their 2 month visit and the nurse practitioner agreed that it looked odd, said there was a possibility that it could be a hernia, and we should have an ultrasound to rule that out.  You know, no big deal.  2 days later (Friday), I took Xander in to get his ultrasound BY HIMSELF!  My parents (who are rockstars) gently suggested that asking my mom to come with me was insane and that I should instead leave Mia and Kate with them.

File Jul 21, 7 50 36 PMXander didn’t quite know what to do with himself having the Moby all to himself!  The ultrasound went quite well aside from Xander peeing all over himself while his diaper was off.  That poor ultrasound tech.  Mia peed on her too a few weeks ago when they were checking her hips.  lol.

Then we went upstairs to get Xander’s blood drawn since the PICU mentioned that his iron was low and we should have it rechecked.  At this point, I’m starting to wish there was a Dell Children’s Bingo card.  I think I would be winning.  For having generally quite healthy babies, I sure seem to be here a lot.

We got there at 12:35.  (This is important later.)  The dr’s office was supposed to have faxed over the orders for his blood draw, but they couldn’t find them/ they weren’t sent.  Don’t know, don’t care.  The end result is that we had to wait for the dr to refax them.  Except that my dr’s office is closed from 12:30- 1:30 for lunch.  ::sigh::  Xander and I waited in the waiting room and I thought to myself that, why yes, my mother is always right and I am glad that I’m not dealing with another hungry tired infant and a bored almost 6 year old.

Poor Xander.  The first time they dug around for a while a couldn’t find a vein.  Then they called in someone else to try.  On the second attempt, she found a vein but it blew.  At which point they told me that they were willing to attempt once more, but that it was up to me.  Um, why is it up to me???  What do I know about this?  I hate being put in that position.  Obviously he needs to have his blood drawn or we wouldn’t be here.  Can you do it or not!  Third time was a charm and they got what they needed.  Spoiler Alert: he has low iron.

We finally finished and went back to my mom’s for a bit.  Xander’s pediatrician called us that afternoon to let us know that he NEEDED SURGERY!  Are you kidding me?!?  I’ve been known to have some major head in the sand moments, but it never occurred to me that he would need surgery.  Not only that, but our appointment with the pediatric surgery group was Wednesday.

After meeting with the surgeon (BINGO!), he confirmed that Xander definitely had a hernia and that it definitely needed surgery.  In 2 days.  Y’all, 2 days is not long enough to freak out about my TINY 8 pounds and change baby needing surgery.  We were also told that we would need to stay over night since they were going to have to put him under general anesthesia and they make the tiny babies stay overnight.  Oh, and we had to be there at 5:45 AM.  And he couldn’t eat after 1:45 AM.  Oh boy.  We went ahead and bought some disposable diapers for both babies.  Xander had to be in them for 2 weeks to let his incision heal and I wasn’t interested in schlepping cloth diapers up to the children’s hospital for Mia.  This is also when we discovered that poor Mia has no junk in her trunk.

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We sent Raptor over to my parents’ house on Thursday evening and set our alarms for 1:15 to make sure we fed Xander.  Except that we slept through the alarms.  We woke up in a panic at 2:04 and had about 30 seconds to decide that yes, we were going to let him eat, but only for 5 minutes.  I then panicked for the rest of the night that they were going to cancel his surgery, but it was no big deal.  Like seriously no big deal.

We got to the children’s hospital at 5:45 as instructed and then waited to get the show on the road.  Xander was not pleased when I fed his sister and not him.

File Jul 21, 8 12 25 PMThey do the tiny babies first and Xander was the tiniest so they brought us room pretty quickly.  The surgeon said that they were going to try to do the surgery with a spinal block (like with a c-section) instead of putting him under with a general, but that he would have to be calm.  I laughed hysterically on the inside, but said that we were good with whatever they thought best.

Then came the time to hand him over at the doors that we couldn’t walk through.  Y’all, I totally cried.  And then I looked at Mia and said to myself, “at least it’s not brain surgery.”  They said it would take about an hour so I sat there and tried to read while watching the minutes tick by.  Luckily, their time estimation was spot on and they let me, Mia, and RaptorDad into recovery.

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My little Xander!  They let us in as he was waking up and I got to hold him and feed him pretty much right away.  Everything went swimmingly and they were able to do it with the spinal!  I was totally shocked that my, um, emotional boy was calm the whole time.  There ended up being a hernia on both sides that they repaired; I guess it’s common with preemie boys.  This makes me feel both glad that we made it to 37 weeks and they weren’t true preemies, and guilty that I didn’t make it to 38 where we might have been able to avoid this all together.

Since he didn’t have to go under general, they had us stay for the day, but discharged us in the afternoon instead of making us stay overnight.  We went to my parents’ to pick up Kate a day earlier than planned and my mom insisted on RaptorDad and I taking an hour to go get some dinner since it was our anniversary.

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Cue all kinds of mommy guilt, but sushi.  Sushi y’all.  A whole (literally) boatload of sushi.  Yum.  🙂

Biggest shocker?  Babies don’t get real pain meds, only tylonal.  I thought that was some serious crap, but everyone assured me it would be fine.  And in the end it was.  We gave him his tylonal on a schedule for the first 24 hours and then we were able to stretch it out.  Within a few days, he was totally back to normal.  We went in for the follow up with the surgeon the following Wednesday and everything looked great!

The biggest pain was dealing with disposable diapers for 2 weeks.  I know it seems like it would be less work, but he spits up so much that it’s not like we were doing any less laundry.  Plus, it’s clear that I’m a disposable diaper newbie.  I felt like they were always leaking.

I meant for this to be an update about both of them, but it’s already gotten quite long so I’ll save Mia’s update for Friday.  🙂

Better Late Than Never, Right?

DAD Pics-2I take pictures of Kate every year with these cardboard letters that spell out DAD.  Then I print them off as 5x7s and put them in a triptych frame from Ikea.  At least that’s the plan.  Let’s not talk about the fact that last year’s pictures are still on my computer, m’kay?

Usually I try to find a fun location, these under a bridge being my favorite, but since the babies can’t sit up yet I figured we were limited to the grass.  Since my mom has a much nicer yard than me, I was planning on taking them there, but I kept putting them off.  First it was just too wet.  Have I mentioned that I contemplated building an ark in June?  Then my mom was out of town.  Then…  well, you get the idea.  Finally I woke up one morning and realized that these pictures weren’t going to take themselves!  And for that matter, our grass might not lush, but it’s green and this year that’s good enough.  😉

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I tried to get a shot of all 3 kids, but Kate acted like laying in the grass was tantamount to laying on a bed of nails, so those shots didn’t turn out so well.  I think this one of her up against the fence is pretty cute though.  And it gives a bit of contrast to the pictures of the babies.

DAD PicsI initially wanted a pic of all 3 kids, and then either one of each baby or 2 of the babies together, but Kate was super offended by that idea.  lol.  Next year, maybe I’ll do DADDY so I can include more pictures. 😉



Like I said on Wednesday, I decided to split our trip to the splash pad in to 2 layouts largely because the light was so pretty where the babies were sleeping and I was having too much fun with my camera.  🙂

scrapbooking RaptorMama

Why yes, I have started moving the twins in to their 0-3 month clothes and yes, they are enormous on them.  But their matching newborn onesies are mostly long sleeve and it’s too hot for that if we’re going to be outside.  Besides, the whales are freaking adorable.  🙂

Let me know what you think!  🙂


Rainbow Layout!

I ::heart:: rainbows.  I was looking through my older October Afternoon B sides to mix and match with my new OA Poolside papers and realized that I was halfway to a rainbow based on what I had already pulled out.  Then I dug through my washi tape and the idea for this layout was born.

scrapbook raptormama-3I freaking love it.  It’s in my top ten favorite layouts for sure.

scrapbook raptormama-4It all started with the blue stars on the orange paper.  It was the first scrap I came across while I was originally experimenting with the texture medium and stencils and after it dried I realized that it actually looked pretty cool.  Most of the stars got covered up with the layering, but I like just seeing them peek out.

On Friday I’ll have a layout up with the twins hanging on their blanket this same day at the splash pad.  Originally they were all meant to be on the same layout, but I decided to go ahead and split them because I wanted to tell 2 different stories.



Playing with Texture Medium

My name is RaptorMama and I’m (newly) addicted to mixed media scrapbooking.  My new box of goodies included some stencils (more coming tomorrow!  They were backordered.) and I’ve had a blast playing with them.  Here’s my first layout.

scrapbook raptormamaI’m also currently loving the gold glitter paper (I punched all of the hearts out of the center of that mat before adhering my photo) and the mini doilies.  I didn’t realize when I ordered them, but they come in a pack of 75!  I’m totally getting some more colors the next time I place an order.  🙂

scrapbook raptormama-2Aside from taking a while to dry, the stencil was actually pretty easy to use.  I can’t wait to experiment with it some more!



Swimming Layout

I love summer layouts. 🙂  I always end up with a ton of layouts for the summer months. In 2014, I ended up with 17 layouts in June and 15 in July.  September (admittedly a slow month even for me) will probably end up with only 3 or 4.  Partly because I love playing with my waterproof camera, and partly because I always love the summer lines.

scrapping RaptorMama-3I love these pics of Kate and my Dad.  🙂  I played around with some stamping on this layout and I think I like it.


Scrapping with Frames

Looks like Xander has eared himself a referral to ECI.  Mia was having Occupational Therapy today (she’s doing amazing by the way) and I asked her therapist (who I love) to take a look at Xander because I was worried about him having torticollis (basically tight neck muscles.)  This can result in the dreaded flat head and helmet.  I’m glad I asked because, sure enough, he does.  I got the ball rolling today to get him referred.  Incidentally, I <3 ECI.  What a great program.  They come out to our house to do the therapy and it’s ridiculously cheap.

And here’s a quick, simple layout.  I have a ton of these smaller chipboard frames (I always seem to use the 4×4 ones up first) so I decided to go crazy and use a bunch on one layout.  I used TurboCollage to put 6 2×2 pics onto one 4×6 canvas and printed it on my selphy.


I like that it allowed me to use a lot of pictures on one layout while still leaving some room for a little bit of embellishment.