Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

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And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

~Luke 2:4-14

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

~John 3:16

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Found on the bathroom door

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Cuddlebug and Bearhug somehow manage to get toothpaste all over the place when they brush their teeth. We find little blobs of toothpaste stuck to the counters, the mirror, even the wall. Once it dries it gets sticky and hard to clean, as you can imagine. Dh was annoyed about having to clean it up, so I suggested he have them clean it up. Maybe seeing how hard it was to clean, and the fact that they would be the ones to clean it each time, would motivate them to be a little more careful with their toothpaste in the future.

I guess he took me up on that suggestion, and apparently the boys figured out that it takes a lot of water to soften up all that toothpaste so you can clean it up. I came home to find this on their bathroom door (in Bearhug's handwriting):

Danger
Wet floor
I'm serious
Choose another bathroom.


LOL :)


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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas pictures

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It's been two years since I've had pictures taken of all three boys together. It took a lot of shots but I think these ones turned out pretty good :).







Here are a couple of the earlier attempts.




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A request from Cuddlebug

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Here's a conversation from the other day:

me: Did you have a good day at school?
CB: yes!
[pause]
CB: don'tcha know we always?! (sounding annoyed)
me: well, usually, yeah.
CB: then can you stop asking?

yeesh, ok. I guess I do ask him that pretty much every day, guess he got tired of it.


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Letters to Santa

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The day we put up our Christmas tree, Cuddlebug and Bearhug decided to write some letters to Santa. Thought you'd enjoy these :)

Dear Santa, see that black stocking that says Super Mario Galaxy? That's Orion's stocking. Even though I like Super Mario Galaxy. Give Orion presents too! Love, Cuddlebug

Here's the Super Mario Galaxy stocking:


Dear Santa, do you like our tree? The ginger bread man photo is with me Bearhug & Santa. So like the tree. Love, Bearhug, Cuddlebug & Little Bitty

Here is the gingerbread man picture ornament he's referring to:





Dear Santa, here's a tip and caution. Tip: I am leaving a present for you. Caution: I'm watching you just like Santa so go quickly. Sincerely or love, Bearhug


Dear Santa, I want... a metal detector, Super Mario Galaxy star ornaments, Henry and Mudge books, and a liquid balancer. Love, Cuddlebug

I asked him what a "liquid balancer" is and he said it's something they used in science at school. A scale maybe?


Dear Santa, here's what I want for Christmas: a metal detector, a big shovel, mixing science cups, awesome billiard table and things that go with it, and the rest you choose. Love, Bearhug

Bearhug has been fascinated with pool tables ever since he played "Clubhouse Games" on Nintendo DS. We got it because it had chess on it, plus a ton of other games. He really like the billiard "biller" games so now he and dh are both making plans for a pool table (which for the record, we have no room for, not to mention they are expensive!).

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

SEW & WW: Look who we found

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Taken in 2005, we ran into Santa while waiting for a train ride.



Click here for more Special Exposure Wednesday. For more Wordless Wednesday click here.



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Monday, December 15, 2008

Magic Marker Monday: Christmas crafts

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Photobucket



The boys made these at parents' night out on Saturday:

By Bearhug


By Cuddlebug


By Little Bitty


For more Magic Marker Monday, visit 5 Minutes for Special Needs.




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Sunday, December 14, 2008

School pictures

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We got the boys' school pictures back not too long ago, thought I'd share them. I let Cuddlebug and Bearhug each pick their own background, and I chose Bitty's. Notice how Cuddlebug likes his shirt buttoned all the way up, Bearhug prefers his shirt not buttoned at all, and Bitty let me button one of his buttons :).

Cuddlebug


Bearhug


Little Bitty





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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas meme

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I saw this over at Rebecca's and Julie's blogs and thought it looked like fun :).


1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

Hot chocolate with whipped cream on top :). I like egg nog too but I'm the only one around here who does so it's not worth buying it (I don't like it enough to drink an entire carton by myself).

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

Santa made his first real appearance at our house last year, and just left unwrapped presents in the stockings along with a special note for each of the boys. :)

3. Colored lights on house/tree or white?

White lights on the tree, no lights on the house. I would love to do luminarias around our house but haven't been able to talk dh into it, it would be a bit out of place here.

If you haven't seen luminarias, here's a picture, they are candles in sacks which doesn't sound like much but they really look beautiful at night!


4. Do you hang mistletoe?

Nope

5. When do you put your decorations up?

Usually the first week of December, although this year we got our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving :).

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

Hmm, most of my favorite Christmas food is dessert! My family has a tradition of eating barbecue on Christmas though, and that is yummy.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?

Playing Santa for my little brother, and waking up at 6am to harrass our parents until they got up and let us open presents. :)

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

I finally got up the nerve to ask when I was around 7 (I think), after that my parents let me help them be Santa for my little brother. The best part of that is eating the cookies :) and seeing him all excited about Santa on Christmas morning.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

No, we wait until Christmas morning.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

We have maroon and gold bows and ribbon on the tree, white lights, a string with little gold bells on it, and a ton of ornaments that we've collected over the years. We have a set of round maroon ornaments that match the ribbon, but we have lost several of them because we couldn't convince the boys they aren't balls and they DON'T BOUNCE.

11. Snow. Love it or dread it?

We don't get much snow, so it's not much of an issue but I love when snow first falls, I dread having to go out in it (other than for fun).

12. Can you ice skate?

No, I seem to remember the one time I tried I spent most of my time falling down or clinging to the walls.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

My favorite gift is when we found out 3 days before Christmas 2000 that we were going to have twins :).

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays for you?

Remembering Christ, His life, and what He did for us, and spending time with family.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?

So many to choose from... it's a tie between fudge, divinity, sugar cookies (in Christmas shapes of course), and pumpkin pie :)

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Two of my favorite traditions are watching The Polar Express with the boys, and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus on Christmas morning.

17. What tops your Christmas tree?

This year it's a homemade "Luma" (one of the stars from Super Mario Galaxy) that Cuddlebug made for the tree.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?

Giving, especially to my kids.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?

O Holy Night and Angels we have Heard on High

20. Candy Canes. Yum or Yuck?

Yuck. Double Yuck. Bleh. They look but cool but can't stand to eat them.

21. What do you want for Christmas?

I just want to have a calm relaxing day :)

22. Do you attend an annual Christmas party?

No. We've been to the one at church a couple of times but the boys have a hard time with those kinds of things. We don't have a Christmas party at work.

23. Do you dress up for Christmas Eve or wear PJ’s?

ROFL - us? dress up?

24. Do you own a Santa hat?

Yes, the boys like to play with it. I could be wrong, but I think it may be the same one we had when my brother and I were kids. I remember as he got older he started asking for "proof" that there was a Santa, one year he left a camera out and a note for Santa to take a picture of himself. So my Dad put the hat on and took a picture of the hat, and we told my brother that Santa must have had the camera at a bad angle (not sure if he bought it, hehe).

25. Who do you normally spend Christmas with?

Usually just the five of us, because our family doesn't live close. This year though, we're taking a trek in the "Ram" to visit our family - dh's brothers and parents and my parents.





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Friday, December 12, 2008

Autism Twitter Day

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Autism Twitter Day


Bonnie at Autism Family Adventures has set up Autism Twitter Day this coming Tuesday, December 16th.

This is an opportunity for those affected by autism to promote positive awareness and share their experiences by tweeting about autism and sharing links. Join us to share your personal experiences, tips or things that have helped your family, resources, general information about autism, etc.

There will also be a panel discussion and a number of prizes throughout the day.

Panel times
9:00am PST / 12:00pm EST
12:30pm PST / 3:30pm EST
8:00pm PST / 11:00pm EST

How to participate
Sign in to Twitter (sign up for a free account if you're not already on Twitter) to post your tweets, and be sure to include #ASD in your tweets. Follow the #ASD hashtag at http://www.summize.com/.

Click here for more information and to RSVP for Autism Twitter day. Be sure to use your twitter URL (not your blog) on Mr. Linky when you RSVP.

See you there!






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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Potty, potty, potty!

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Just a quick update on potty-training with Bitty. He's been doing really well with #1 as long as we're home and he can easily get his clothes off. Just like his brothers at that age, he's not cool with just pulling his pants down, they have to come off. At least he doesn't insist on also taking his shirt and socks off (if he has them on to begin with)...

Whenever he has to go, he just takes his pants and underwear off so when we see that we know to ask him if it's potty time. He'll repeat back, "paw-ee tie" and go running for the bathroom. Yay!

One day I was upstairs when "potty time" struck, and he came running to find me. I heard him coming up the stairs saying, "Mama? Mama? Oh nooo!!!" uh-oh, lol. He didn't have an accident, the "oh no" was because he wasn't sure where I was. We made it though!

So that's the good news. The not so good news is that other than that first day, he has shown NO interest whatsoever in doing #2 in the potty. In fact, we can tell when he has to go, because he'll come and ask for a pull-up so he can do his business in that. We try saying no in hopes that he'll eventually go to the potty, but he just holds it (or going in his underwear if he can't hold it anymore, yuck). So for now, if he asks a couple of times we'll go ahead and give him the pull-up. When he's done, we have him go with us to the bathroom to flush it before we throw the pull-up in the trash. We're hoping that will reinforce the idea that poop belongs in the potty, not in the pull-up.

So, we're getting there. Next we'll start working on going potty other places (he surprised me by using the potty at church last Sunday, yay!), staying dry at night, and eventually phasing out the pull-ups altogether.




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I've been tagged (like, forever ago!)

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I finally have a few minutes to put some thought into my responses, so here goes.

Elizabeth and Andrea tagged me a while back for a high school meme. I have to apologize in advance because it's sure to be less interesting than some of the others I have read, lol :). I really had to think hard to remember what I was doing in high school!

1. Friday night lights - I went to school in West Texas, where high school football is a religion. I'm not kidding (and it rocked!). Our stadium seated 15,000 and it was usually full or close to it. When we played our cross-town rival, there were people sitting on the grass in both endzones because the bleachers were full. I was in the pep squad for three years (in West Texas, one must be an accomplished gymnast and dancer to be a cheerleader, and if you saw my pathetic coordination, you'd know I am neither, lol). Pep squad was fun - we got to wear the cute cheer outfits, carry big fluffy pom poms, and be loud and silly :). By senior year, my best friend and I decided we were too *ahem* mature for all that, so we quit the pep squad and went to the games as regular students.

2. License to terrorize innocent motorists - remember the lovely station wagon from the movie "Vacation"? We had one kind of like that, only bigger and not *quite* as ugly. (see Mom, I said something nice about your car!) hehe. I had the distinct pleasure of taking my driver's exam in that station wagon, complete with parallel parking. I spent weeks practicing, but it worked - I passed. Much to the dismay of every other driver in town, lol. I was in three wrecks during my high school years - only one was my fault though. The one where the police report described the other vehicle as "airborne." Yep, that one was my fault :(. Bumpy, unfamiliar roads and distracted drivers do not mix. That's my public service announcement for the day.

3. Cruisin' - there wasn't a whole lot to do in our city/town, so somewhere along the way, someone came up with the brilliant idea of going "cruising." For those unfamiliar with this ever-so-cool pastime, it involves driving up and down one of the main streets in the middle of town, over and over, at night on the weekends. Just up and down the street, with designated turning points at Sonic and I don't remember the other one, somewhere on the other end of the street. There would be tons of cars, just driving up and down the street, sometimes stopping at Sonic for some food, sometimes stopping in a parking lot to hang out. I know what you're thinking, and the answer is no, we didn't have anything better to do ;).

4. Romance and intrigue - ha! I had a few boyfriends, mostly short-lived relationships, if you can call them that. The longest was 4 months, until midway through junior year when I got a letter from the guy I'd had a crush on forEVER, asking me out. He was 2 yrs older and in his freshman year at college about an hour and a half away. We had a great first date, started writing back and forth and going out whenever he was home for the weekend, and well, we've been together ever since :).

5. If you were a tree... - how would people have described me back then? Probably "friendly" and "smart" come to mind. People who knew me well would describe me as "goofy" and those who didn't would describe me as "quiet."

6. Music - I can't think of high school without thinking of the song, "Ice, Ice, Baby" by Vanilla Ice. LOL, they played it at every pep rally and it was always blasting from someone's car (oh yeah, that was me). I had fairly eclectic tastes in music back then (kind of like I do now), some of my favorites were Def Leppard, The Cure, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Nirvana, and Boyz II Men.

7. Entering the workforce - my first job (aside from babysitting) was working at Orange Julius in the mall. We got mall discounts, so that was cool :). My jobs in college were more interesting, but I'll wait for a college meme to tell ya all about it!

8. Sexy lips - haha, I almost forgot about this one. One summer at camp, I found out the hard way that I am allergic to wasp stings. We had outdoor shower stalls, and as I was walking in, a wasp came out of nowhere and stung my lower lip. It swelled up to huge proportions, earning me the nickname "sexy lips."

I am too tired to come up with a list of people to tag, so if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged. Mwahahahaha, it's too late to look away, you are still tagged :). Seriously, I've had a lot of fun reading these so far so if you decide to jump in (or did one already) leave your link in the comments and I'll stop by!





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Crazy 8's

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My SIL over at Musings of the Wife of a Pilot tagged me for a fun meme that just happens to involve my favorite number, 8. Why 8, you ask? Well, just look at it, it has a great symmetry to it when you write it as two circles like an "altitude-challenged" (translation: short) snowman. Very cool. Ok, enough nonsense about the number 8, on with it already!

8 Favorite TV Shows: (in no particular order)

-Heroes
-Life
-Fringe
-The 4400
-Stargate Atlantis
-Psych
-Lost
-Fox News (yes, I realize that's more of a channel than a show, but close enough!)

8 Favorite Restaurants: (not like we get to eat out often, but yum!)

-On the Border
-Texas Roadhouse
-County Line BBQ
-El Rey
-Posados
-Ninfa's
-Abuelos
-Outback Steakhouse

8 Things That Happened Yesterday - December 9, 2008

-Cuddlebug and Bearhug both found their missing coats (yay!)
-I went to work (same thing I do every day, Pinky)
-dh met me for lunch and we bought some science books for the boys (for Christmas)
-we didn't have time to actually eat lunch, so I picked something up on my way back to work. I didn't get to eat it until 4:30pm (busy day).
-watched Hannity & Colmes
-wanted to scream every time I heard the word "bailout" (today's scream-word - "car czar" ahhhh!)
-cuddled with Bitty
-It was cold, very cold (where's global warming when you need it?)

8 Things To Look Forward To:

-Christmas!
-our trip to visit family for Christmas
-vacation time
-watching the boys open their Christmas presents
-seeing my family when I get home from work every day
-hugs and kisses at bedtime
-warmer weather (I know it's going to be a while, but I'm still looking forward to it!)
-strawberries & cream frappucino from Starbucks

8 Things I Love About Fall:

-the trees with their vibrant colored leaves
-sweatshirt weather
-football season
-being able to actually spend time outside (without collapsing from heat)
-the start of school
-Halloween
-Thanksgiving
-pumpkin pie
-hot chocolate

8 Places I Want To See Someday:

-the carpet in my sons' room (kidding! sort of)
-FBI headquarters
-Hawaii
-the view of Earth from space (I know, not going to happen)
-Italy
-Niagara Falls
-Alaska
-The Bahamas

8 Things On My Wish List: (some unlikely, but still)

-a congress with an ounce of common sense (is that so much to ask?)
-a self-cleaning litter box (probably more likely than #1)
-a 35mm camera (and a tutorial on how to use all the cool features)
-more kindness and understanding in the world
-more hours in the day
-to hear Bitty say "I love you" (until then, he says it in his own way)
-for my family to always be close to each other and to God
-to be a mind-reader so I know what Bitty wants to eat without the guessing game, or so I know when Cuddlebug or Bearhug have misinterpreted something I said so I can clarify


Feel free to join in, leave a link if you do and I'll stop by to check out your list!




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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I like to move it, move it!

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I was putting Bitty to bed last night and I overheard Bearhug (who was supposed to be brushing his teeth) singing in the bathroom, "I like to move it, move it! I like to move it, move it!"

ROFL! He was singing it again at the dinner table today, he cracks me up! Here's the song:






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SEW & WW: Shouldn't those be on the tree?

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Despite our attempts to "hide" them at the back or near the top of the tree, he still managed to find and reach them... oh well, what fun are train ornaments if you can't play with them just a little bit?




Click here for more Special Exposure Wednesday. Click here or here for more Wordless Wednesday.





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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Uh-oh...

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Little Bitty won't watch Yo Gabba Gabba anymore. He still sings the songs, but he no longer wants to watch it on tv (time to clear out the 15 or so episodes we have recorded on DVR? maybe not yet). Instead, he says, "es-ahcha noos" (let's watch the news). That's what we get for trying to talk him into watching the news instead of Yo Gabba Gabba (as a joke) when that was all he wanted to watch :).

The only problem with that is, most of his Christmas presents are Yo Gabba Gabba things. A guitar, a little playset with the characters, even a DVD that we were planning to give him early for our upcoming trip. Hmm... it's all wrapped up, hopefully he'll still like them! I'm pretty sure he'll still like the guitar, he LOVES music and always wants to play along when we play Guitar Hero (now he can, lol).

Guess what else - after months of only wanting to wear Thomas clothes, all day every day, this morning he didn't want to wear Thomas and asked me for a shirt with "pamets" (planets). AAAHHHH! I don't have a shirt with planets! And we spent all that money buying Thomas shirts! My mom bought him long-sleeve Thomas shirts for Christmas since he doesn't like to wear his "non-Thomas" long sleeve shirts (although I have on occasion been able to convince him that a red shirt is a "James" shirt, hehe). He even made a stink about wearing his Thomas underwear, and that's the only underwear he has. Here's hoping he was just tired and cranky this morning (well, he was) and that this isn't really the start of a new trend. Sigh.





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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Dec 7th is World TTTS Awareness day

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Today is World TTTS (Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome) Awareness day, and December is TTTS Awareness month. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may recall that our twins, Cuddlebug and Bearhug, are TTTS survivors. From what I have read, diagnosis and treatment has improved considerably since I was pregnant with our twins 8 years ago. Still, awareness is crucial to helping women who are pregnant with multiples get the information they need and for their doctors to be on the lookout for possible signs of TTTS. It is a life-threatening condition so the earlier it can be detected and treatment options evaluated, the better.

What is Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome?

TTTS is a disease of the placenta that affects identical twins who share a placenta. It occurs when the shared placenta contains abnormal blood vessels connecting the two babies, and results in one baby (the "recipient") receiving too much blood / nutrients, while the other baby (the "donor") receives too little. Cuddlebug was our "donor" twin and Bearhug was our "recipient," which is why Bearhug was red and bigger at birth, with his heart struggling to pump because his blood was thick like syrup. Cuddlebug was pale, smaller, and anemic, with his body struggling to make its own red blood cells to make up for the shortage. Our boys were not diagnosed with TTTS until delivery, which thankfully was early because I had developed pre-eclampsia. Despite the complications of prematurity, their early delivery saved their lives, because it's unlikely they could have survived much longer in the womb.

A little primer on twinning

In order to better understand how TTTS happens, it helps to understand how twins develop. Fraternal (dizygotic) twins occur when two eggs are fertilized by two sperm. Fraternal twins have two sacs and two placentas.

Identical (monozygotic) twins occur when a single egg is fertilized by a single sperm, and then during early cell division, the embryo splits an extra time to create two genetically identical embryos. If the split occurs before day 4, the twins will have separate sacs and placentas, just like fraternal twins. If the split occurs between days 4 - 8, the twins will share an outer sac and a placenta, but will have separate inner sacs (monochorionic/diamniotic). That was the case with our boys. If the split occurs between days 8 - 12, they will share both an inner and outer sac (monochorionic/monoamniotic) and a placenta. A split occurring after day 12 generally results in conjoined twins.

I heard it explained once as the later the split, the more "connected" the twins will be, and essentially babies are at risk for TTTS when they are "connected" at the placenta.

If you are pregnant

TTTS can happen to anyone. It is essential to have an ultrasound within the first 3 months of pregnancy to determine whether you are carrying multiples and if so, whether they share a placenta and inner/outer sac. That way, extra monitoring can be started early if you are carrying multiples who are at risk for TTTS.

If you are carrying multiples who are at risk, it's important to know that there is hope! Even with a shared placenta, there may not necessarily be uneven distribution of blood and nutrients. Monitoring is critical to help catch any potential problems as early as possible. If signs begin to appear that there may be a problem, there are treatment options available that have been successful for many babies.

For more information

World TTTS Awareness Day
TTTS Foundation
Fetal Hope Foundation
TTTS Awareness Day - News Release
TTTS Foundation - Fact Sheet






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Saturday, December 6, 2008

I'm back...

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It's been a loooong week at work, lots of hours and not much time for blogging (obviously).

I have some stuff to post, which I will hopefully get caught up on sometime this weekend, but for now here's some of the latest overheard from Little Bitty:

He loves to sing - as his speech is developing, so is his ability to sing. One of his favorite's is the "Train Ride" song from Yo Gabba Gabba.

"Trayah trayah go' nekka trayah, trayah trayah go' nekka trayah... trayaaaahhhh, a tray-ahhhh!" (translation: "train ride, train ride, goin' on a train ride... train ride, a train ride!") with a little "chugga-nugga-chugga-nugga-chugga-nugga-CHOO-CHOO!" in the middle. Sometimes he sings it, sometimes he screams it.

And today, he started singing "no moh muh-kees chutenonna beh" (no more monkeys jumpin' on the bed). I started off another verse for him and he finished up, "mama cahjah dahr anna dahr-seh, no moh muh-kees chutenonna beh" Such a cutie! I'll try to get him on video singing :).

He learned a new body part too, lol. He started pointing to his feet, nose, etc. and waiting for me to repeat it back to him, and then he patted the front of his pull-up and looked at me. Guess he wanted to know what that was, so I told him. As much as intellectually I know we should teach them the technical terms, those just aren't words I really want to hear over and over (and I'm not going to type it b/c I don't want someone googling it to end up here), so I taught him "wee-wee." (plus it's easy to say). I thought the way he asked me was cute :).

He's also repeating back phrases that he hears:

"uh-oh, de-geh-yee-oh" (uh-oh, spaghettios)
"towee awsuh" (totally awesome - dh taught him that, lol)

He's repeating so much now, although I still haven't managed to get him to repeat back, "I love you." We'll get there!




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Monday, December 1, 2008

Mondays in Motion #11: Snowball fight

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Mondays in Motion!


For the time being, I'm going to change "Mondays in Motion" to the first Monday of each month, rather than weekly. Since today is the first Monday of December, here goes!

With the cold temperatures lately, it seemed like a fun time to share a snowy video. My favorite part is the snowball fight toward the end, lol :).



It's your turn! If you don't make it today, feel free to join in anytime during the week. :)









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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Reality check on aisle 7

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It's been a while since we've had a full-blown meltdown in public. Now we know why. I hadn't even realized it, but we hardly ever go anywhere with all the boys anymore other than the park. Grocery store? Maybe a quick stop here or there, but dh does the grocery shopping while they are all in school. Mall? Ha! I can't even remember the last time we went to the mall. We used to take our twins to the play area at the mall but we gave up on that a long time ago. Restaurants? If we're eating out, we get take-out and eat in the car.

So there you have it, the real reason we don't have meltdowns in public much anymore. Until Wednesday night anyway. We decided to take the boys to the toy store so they could show us what they'd like for Christmas. We've pretty much finished our Christmas shopping, but we really just wanted to get out of the house for a while (and maybe confirm that they'd like what we already got, lol).

Things were going fine until Bitty saw this:


I managed to pull him away for a second, but then he saw this:


...and then he was back to the first one. He tried to pick it up and put it in our cart. After all, he had just gotten through tossing 5 different play-doh sets into the cart on another aisle (guess we'll be getting him some play-doh for Christmas, I can take a hint). He knows how this works, anything you want to take home needs to go into the cart (keeping it in the cart is tricky as mom and dad have gotten pretty good at "disappearing" things before reaching the checkout, haha).

The box was pretty big and heavy though, and he was struggling to even pick it up, much less attempt to get it into the cart. I tried to humor him by carrying it and moving on, but he wasn't having it. Maybe he is wise to the toy-bermuda-triangle effect that seems to haunt our carts. Maybe he is just impatient. He decided he preferred to open the box right then and there.

By this point, dh and our older boys were well ahead of us. Cuddlebug was busy following the curious blue arrows of tape that had been placed all over the floor.


He was more interested in the arrows than the toys, and insisted that we follow to "see where they lead." I heard this in the background as I struggled to cajole Bitty into moving along so we could catch up. Mr. Bitty is nothing if not persistent, and I could see that the time for gentle diversion was over, now it was time for The Last Resort.


By this time, dh was headed back toward us with Bearhug and Cuddlebug. I picked Bitty up and carried him (while pushing the cart - quite a feat, eh?) kicking and screaming over to the train table. The reason this is The Last Resort is because although all of our boys love to play with the trains, it is almost impossible to get Bitty to leave them again without a major meltdown. But since we were already in meltdown mode, we really had nothing to lose at that point.

Bitty calmed down as soon as he saw the train table (yay!) but got upset again as soon as he realized it was just the table and no trains (ugh!). Typically, the toy store has a few engines and train cars on the train table for kids to play with while their parents shop for overpriced valuable trains and train accessories. What kind of Toys'R'Us puts out the train table with no trains?!? Not only that, they had a separate table, under a clear plastic cover that was fully stocked with out-of-reach trains. Nice.

Bitty was understandably upset. Dh tried to distract him, and I tried to calm Cuddlebug who was very agitated that we were no longer following the blue arrows. He found some nearby and was bouncing up and down wanting to start following them again. Bearhug wanted to go look at video games.

Dh took CB and BH to the video game section (luckily, the blue arrows were pointing that way) and I stayed with Bitty. He didn't understand why there were no trains, so he kept pulling trains off the hooks wanting me to open them. Each time I told him I couldn't. Then I pretended to try to open them and told him they were "stuck." I tried to distract him with other things, and I tried to get him to leave the train table to go "look for" Dada and his brothers. Not happening.

Finally I gave up. I made one last attempt to get him to come with me willingly, with no luck, and then I picked him up and started moving. He started screaming and yelling "ehp! ehp!" *groan* that's his version of "help! help!" Lovely. I didn't make it far carrying him b/c he is so heavy now, and when he's squirming around screaming like that it's almost impossible to hold him w/o dropping him. So I put him down and started pushing the cart. Lucky for me, he didn't run back to the trains. Instead, he started screaming and trying to pull the cart back.

He was hanging from the cart's handlebar, screaming at the top of his lungs, and people were staring (guess I can't blame them). I was thinking to myself, "gee, it's been a while, can't say I missed this," as I kept walking, trying to keep Bitty on his feet instead of hanging on the cart. He realized that wasn't working and dropped to the floor. He started pulling the cart over his legs (by pulling on the bottom part of the cart) and I wanted to let go so it didn't look like I was trying to run him over with the cart, but I had to hold on to try to push it the other way to keep him from hurting himself.

I managed to pick him up again and that time I was able to make it all the way to electronics before I had to put him down. I found BH and CB pinging off the walls and pushing each other, while dh tried to keep them calm. We gave each other "the look," yep, time to get out of here NOW.

Thankfully, as soon as he realized we were leaving, Bitty started to calm down. He was apparently ready to go home. We got everyone out to the car and as we have done so many times before, asked each other, "what were we thinking coming here in the first place?!"






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I'm a mom of three boys on the autism spectrum, 11-yr-old identical twins and a 7-yr-old. My husband is a SAHD.

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