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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Progress, Pinterest & Smooth pregnancy

Another week gone. forever recorded in the history books of time. It's Thursday, which means Monica and I will take some time to reflect on some things in our life that we are thankful for. I look forward to this part of our week, because I think it's good to take time to focus on good things in our lives and point out reasons we are blessed. There's always something to be thankful for! So what are you thankful for this week?

Monica's List:

I'm thankful for pinterest and new recipes! I am one of those people who gets sick of the same old food very fast. Sadly Jeremy isn't one of those people at all... haha! I love trying new things in the kitchen! Pinterest is such a nice little place to find new ideas/recipes, keep them organized, and make note of the things I tried and liked. I had a Peanut Butter Banana Oat smoothie this morning for breakfast and it was just Wonderful!! It was such a filling breakfast and there's almost 20 grams of protein in that sucker! Good for my growing boys! :) (The fat and calorie content is high because of the peanut butter, but I think the good I get out of it outweighs that) I am trying a new recipe tonight (Cheesy chicken spaghetti) for dinner and I really hope it turns out good! Definitely not healthy but Jeremy loves chicken, noodles, and cheesy things. Here's to hoping my picky hubby will like it! Since we have gotten together I have gotten him to start eating salad, grilled asparagus, fish, cut back on soda and have gotten him to like running... I'm trying! :)

I am thankful for a pregnancy that continues to be smooth and for the energy I still have! On days I don't work I have a really good amount of energy and feel like I get so much accomplished! Days I work it's not so high by the end of the day, but I think it could definitely be worse! I had a doctors appointment yesterday and everything is going just great! Our doctor couldn't be more happy and neither could we! Their little heart rates were strong at 145 and 143. My blood pressure was great and the tech told me the nicest thing I have heard since I have gotten pregnant! She said, "Your belly just looks so big to people because you are such a tiny person!" I was like, "What?! Oh my goodness?! Did someone just tell me that I am a tiny person while I'm 28 weeks pregnant with twins?!!" Bless her soul I wanted to hug the girl! haha! After hearing, "Oh my goodness, you're huge!!" every single day... it was so nice to hear! It's so crazy how fast time has gone! My ultrasounds and appointments will be every 2 weeks from now on and my doctor said by 34 weeks we will set a c-section date so we have the OR time set aside. If everything continues to go perfect and they stay head down we can try vaginally and it will still be easier to cancel the OR time then try to get it at the last minute. She fully expects me to go to 37 or 38 weeks! Wow, and people think I'm big now?! :)

Movement... ahh...I am so thankful for movement! I just love how much our little babies move! With two it seems like I am always feeling something! I count myself so blessed to be able to experience this! They are so worth every sacrifice we have made! Mommy and Daddy can't wait to meet you sweet babies!! We already love you more than words can describe and nothing you could ever do will change that! We can't wait to "meet" you and hold you in our arms!

Jeremy's List:

I'm thankful for progress. Tuesday night, Monica and I took around an hour and a half and went to work on our nursery. I got my closet (there are two small closets in the room and we each took one to use when we moved in) cleaned out and ready to use (it was packed). Monica's closet had been cleaned out for some time now and she already has an organizer put in with baby clothes hanging ready to go. We got the spare twin bed taken apart and moved downstairs. We made a lot of progress. We have around 7 bags of stuff to take to Goodwill! Mainly clothes but some other stuff as well. It's been a good excuse to reorganize the house and clean out things we haven't worn or used in years. I'm thankful for all the progress we've made. Now to paint! Here's some updated pics of our progress!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Twin and Mommy Update

It's been awhile since we have posted an update on how my boys and wifey/soon-to-be-mommy are doing. They are all 3 doing great! Monica has had such a smooth pregnancy and it continues to go smooth, or smooz as my friend Hoy would say (He's from South Korea and hilarious). They boys continue to grow. I don't know this directly but can make an educated guess that since Monica's tummy continues to stick out more and more that they are causing this phenomenon because they are getting bigger! It's also pretty apparent because  of the amount of movement we have been feeling. I can tell those little feet/hands/arms/legs we keep feeling are getting bigger because the thumps are getting harder!

Actually several times we have been able to see them move from the outside! Not just a "bump" either, we can see a little arm or leg roll across her belly! We have a video of it, but the video was taken early in the a.m. and Monica's jammies are not suitable for this blog. She's a hussy, lol!

So far the majority of the movement has come from Baby A. He seemed to be the more active one. Although during our ultrasounds B moved around just as much, so I figured it probably was just his positioning that was causing us not to feel him as much. Now I'm sure that's what it was! Or he decided to up his game these past couple weeks!

Last night was by far the most incredible night as far as feeling the twins move goes. That was the most movement I have felt yet. It came from Baby B. It felt like he was doing somersaults and all kinds of dance moves in there! It was unreal! He was moving so much and we could feel it so good! It left me speechless and giddy! At one point he was not moving as fast or hard, but slower and sort of pushing more than kicking if that makes sense. I started to kind of push in just slightly on Monica's tummy where I had been feeling him doing all his kicking and could literally FEEL his FOOT! I could feel it!!!! My fingers pressed against it for a second or two and he pushed back against my hand! It made me jump! He did it one more time too. I pushed in again just slightly but this time it was more than a subtle push back, it was more of a wiggle around. I guess I disturbed him, lol. It was so insane! Makes me so much more excited to meet my boys! I CANNOT WAIT!

That's all for now I guess. Monica and I are still working on the nursery. It has turned into a reorganize the entire house project, lol! So far we've gone through all our clothes and are getting rid of 4 bags full! I half way reorganized the office (I still have some work to do), and am working on reorganizing our closet and the two closets in the nursery. Obviously we've done a lot of reorganizing in the nursery as well. Some stuff had to be taken downstairs which in turn created an organizing the basement project! Our house is gonna be so organized when they get here!

We also just got our maternity pics on a disk from our photographer, Cindy Lee Photography. We'll post some of those here shortly. We have 28 week Belly Pics coming this Friday, and ultrasound pics coming next Tuesday! Whoo-hoo for upcoming excitement!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Heat, Chocolate Syrup & Help

Well it's Thursday again! That means it's time for our weekly Thankful Thursday post! Another week forever recorded in the history books of time? Did you record something awesome in those books this week? Hopefully it was an epic week for all! This time comes each week and we like to take time to think of things we can be thankful for. There's always something to be thankful for. Here's our lists:

Monica's List:

I am thankful for a furnace. Our furnace quit working yesterday and it was 57 degrees in our house. Luckily it was an easy fix and Jeremy was able to take care of it with the help of his dad. It made me realize just how thankful for our furnace I am. I know there are people out there without homes or heat, and I'm thankful we have both!

Jeremy's List:

I am thankful for chocolate syrup! I was thinking that this morning while making myself a glass of chocolate milk. Really, I was. I was thinking about how I would probably never drink milk if it weren't for Hershey's chocolate syrup. I go through around 2 maybe 3 family size bottles a week of Hershey's chocolate syrup a week (thank goodness for Costco too for selling it to me in bulk and cheap). I drink at least one 32 ounce glass of chocolate milk a day. I also use it on my cereal (it's a CF thing). Ok, maybe it's just a Jeremy thing. When I was growing up the doctors were always trying to give my parents tips on getting me to gain weight. One was to put chocolate syrup on stuff. So, to this day I still eat Cocoa Puffs, Golden Grahams and Cheerios with whole milk and a bunch of chocolate syrup. It's sooo good! Thankfully I don't have CFRD (Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes) or I'd be in BIG trouble! Maybe some day I'll post a picture of this goodness!

I'm thankful for helpful families! Monica and I are blessed with families that are always willing to help us. When we moved into our house, my parents brought pizza over and my dad helped me install our cabinets and stove. In August one year he climbed up into the crawl space of our house to help me install a ceiling fan. I thought he was going to have a heat stroke! Or cause water damage to our ceilings from sweating so much, lol! This past Tuesday, Monica's parents and grandma came over. My mother-in-law and Monica's grandma helped her do a ton more work on our babies bedding stuff. My father-in-law fixed a burner on our stove that the Fridgidaire guy said was a "model fault" that couldn't be fixed. He also helped me work on my blazer and get it to stop overheating, although today i think I found where it's leaking antifreeze from... bummer.  I'm very thankful for both our families and how much they have helped us over the years! They'll get plenty more opportunities when the twins get here too!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Belly Pics: 26 Weeks

We're officially 26 weeks! Our little boys can now open their eyes and are taking their first looks around inside mommy's tummy! Pretty awesome stuff! Everything has been going great. Monica and the boys are doing perfect. All the appointments have gone smooth and there hasn't been one hiccup, nor any hiccups with any of the appointments! AHAHAHA, I crack myself up! Enough chit chat, here's the most recent pics!

                            Baseline                                                                            26 Weeks
24 weeks

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Cast iron skillet, Movement & Day Shifts

It's Thankful Thursday time again! Another week recorded in the history books. Seems like lately in the Parks household it's been go go go. It's nice to stop and take time every week and acknowledge things we're thankful for. Here we go, on with the lists! So what are you thankful for today?

Monica's List:

I am thankful for my new cast iron skillet. I've been wanting one for quite some time and my grandma got me one for Christmas. I used it for the first time tonight and made pork chops. It was really convenient to be able to brown the chops in the skillet and then just throw the whole thing in the oven to bake. It seems like things just taste better in cast iron. :)

I am thankful for energy. Yep, I've still got it! We are entering the third trimester and my body can tell. Thankfully I don't notice it too much, but certain things just wear me out a lot faster. I know that is only going to get worse the further along I get, so I am just thankful for the nice amount of energy I seem to still have. Maybe it's just me, but it seems I may be entering the "nesting stage?" I just want to have everything clean, organized, and ready for when my little boys get here!

I am thankful for movement! These little guys like to move!! Maybe they will be soccer players when they get older? lol! Baby B sure is getting his practice in with my ribs, but it's not bad at all! :) He is on my right and I notice as long as I don't lean to my right or lay on my right side too much it seems to help keep his little feetsies out of my ribs. I just love feeling them move throughout the day! I am so thankful for that!!!! Yesterday they were moving so hard I think I saw a knee and a little leg push against me! You could definitely see every little nudge on my belly from the outside! Of course it is mostly A, he is our more active one.. especially at night! hehe! He needs to get on a different sleeping schedule ASAP! :) I love my little babies so much!!!! Come on April!

Jeremy's list:

I'm thankful for an amazing wife! She takes such good care of me. I came home from work yesterday and the house was spotless! She had cleaned from top to bottom and did an amazing job. The house looked great! I love coming home to a clean house. I know that may not happen so often in the future with two boys running around messing everything up :)

I'm thankful for a day shift position in which I get off at 3:15pm. For 5 years or so I worked 12 hour night shifts. It was tough. At first I like it because of the people I worked with and the atmosphere at night. Not to mention the shift differential was really nice too! I really enjoyed it. Once Monica and I got married it got much harder to work nights. I wasn't seeing her hardly at all when I would work 3 days in a row. Maybe for two hours after I woke up and before I had to leave again we would get to spend time together. We also slept alone a lot. Monica was home alone for 3-4 nights a week. I'm thankful that now we get to spend every evening together and go to bed at the same time. Which leads me to me 3rd thankfulness.

I'm thankful for our time together in the evenings. I got called in to work last night from 10:45pm to 7:15am. Monica had to sleep alone in our bed and slept terrible. It made me realize just how thankful I am that I get to go to bed every night with my wife and don't have to be apart like we used to. I'm so thankful for our time in the evenings after dinner and treatment time, when we can sit on the couch and just be together. I really enjoy it. It's my de-stress time of the day. Being with her makes all the worries of the world disappear! My wife is the best thing that's ever happened to me! I love her so much! ;)

So what are you thankful for today?! Think long and hard about it and leave us a comment telling us what you came up with! Looking forward to hearing them!

Plus, don't forget to check out our Indiegogo website and share it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Nursery Progress

We we will officially be 26 weeks pregnant with our twin boys this Friday! It is going by so fast! It seems like just yesterday we got our box in the mail with all the meds to start the process. I remember every little step we took. From being in Florida and starting the birth control pills (it's part of the IVF process, I know it sounds weird), to taking the first shot, going in for our retrieval and waiting for that phone call to see how many little embryos we would have.

I remember the transfer. They brought us a picture of the two embroys they would put into Monica's womb. Sitting next to Monica holding her hand and watching the ultrasound screen, we saw the two little flashes of white come out of the needle. Our babies were now officially in their mother's womb! Finally recieving the news we had been praying for years to hear, that Monica was pregnant! It has all gone so fast and we have soaked up every second of it. I wouldn't change it for the world. Enough reminiscing though. On to the real topic of this post, the nursery.

Our progress is... well..... non-existent as you will see by the photos below. People keep asking us if we have it done and seemed amazed when we say no. I guess it is getting close so we'll have to get crackin! I wanted to post some photos of it before so when we finish it you can see the drastic transformation that will have taken place. I also threw in some prelim pics of our nursery bedding and such.

Monica got a sewing machine for Christmas and her mom is a very good seamstress. We decided to make our own blankets, bumper pads, crib skirts, and the thing that goes at the top of the curtains. It is all so expensive and we would have to buy two of most of it. So far we have spent around $50 and we shouldn't have to spend anymore than that. That will include two quilts, two bumper pads, two crib skirts and two curtain things. For all this stuff at most stores it was going to cost between $300-400 dollars. That's craziness on a budget like ours! Hope you enjoy the pics! I am going to start working on it soon! :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Crockpots & Quick Recoveries

Well, it's that time again to celebrate the things we're thankful for in life. Another week has been dedicated to the history books. Hopefully it was a week to be remembered for great things! Monica and I like to take this time every week to think of some things that we are thankful for in life. It's often a great reminder of just how incredibly blessed we are. So here's our lists:

Monica's List:

I am thankful for my crockpot! I love cooking with that thing and I really need to do it even more often! It's so easy and everything tends to come out nicely when I cook in it! I love coming home from work and smelling a tasty meal ready when I walk through the door. Tonight we are having a roast with carrots and potatoes, one of Jeremy's favorite meals. It makes me feel really good to cook him something I know he will really enjoy. I LOVE me some carrots cooked in roast juice! MMM!! Momma's getting hungry! ;)

I am thankful for the treadmill my parents gave us. It is an older one that my dad doesn't use anymore, but it does the job. I am no longer running and I try to get in walking time. Jeremy and I love to run/walk outside more than anything but with our unpredictable Missouri winters it is nearly impossible. It is very nice to have the option of a treadmill... although time creeps by on that thing! :) Nonetheless I am thankful!

I am thankful for 3D ultrasounds! We have both been thankful for ultrasounds in several past posts. It was so neat to be able to see one of our little boys precious faces this week at the ultrasound! Hopefully we will get a chance to see A's little face soon too but he tends to keep his back to us. Maybe he is more shy? ;) It's so hard to try and picture what your children are going to look like, but 3D ultrasounds give you a small sneak peak and I think that is just so cool!!

Jeremy's List:

This week I'm thankful for a quick recovery from being sick. I had what I think everyone is catching. It started with a few days of a sore throat, followed by sinus congestion and headaches, then drainage down the back of my throat and ended as a chest cold. I usually catch this every year, sometimes twice a year. I can always tell when it's coming because the back of my throat will feel tender and swollen the day before it really kicks in. It usually lasts for 2-3 weeks. This year it made its debut and finale in about 5 days! I am extremely thankful for this. I usually end up missing several days of work and end up on antibiotics (pills) or admitted and miss 2 weeks of work. Thankfully this time I only missed 2 days! I am really not wanting to use any of my time off so it can all be used for maternity leave. I am thankful I got it over with and hopeful that I'll remain sick free until next year!!

I'm thankful for a new vest machine on its way! The machine I have is the American Biosystems ThAIRapy Vest. I've had it since I was 10, making it 18 years old! The tubing is the original tubing and the vest I've had for a good 10 years. My tubing is currently held together by duct tape in one spot and my vest is missing the middle strap, lol. I've never bothered calling to have them replaced. A) because I wasn't sure who to call or how to go about getting it replaced (embarrassing to admit), and B) because I didn't want to end up paying out of pocket for it. I'm a cheap skate when it comes to certain things and just made do. I recently asked my CF clinic to send an application for the Respirtech InCourage Vest system. I know that several CFers use it, including the infamous Ronnie Sharpe and they all love it. While I was in New Orleans for the national respiratory conference I had the opportunity to go to the vendor hall several times and try out almost all the various vests on the market. The Respirtech InCourage system is the one I liked the best. Their vest works slightly different than others use a triangular waveform instead of a sine waveform to deliver the percussion and their data shows it is more effective. Incredibly long story cut short :), my new vest will be here tomorrow after I get off work, and the lady coming to drop it off and do the training happens to be a friend! I'm very thankful to have my new vest and put it to use!

That's all for this week! What are you all thankful for?! Leave comments! Have a great weekend everybody!

P.S. We're also thankful for all the support of our Indiegogo campaign! We're 42% funded! Please check it out and share it! Thanks!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

24 Week Twin Ultrasound: Update & Pics

We had our 24 week ultrasound yesterday! Everything went great and the boys still look amazing! It was so awesome seeing them moving and squirming around on the ultrasound. We've been able to feel them for several weeks now and have even been able to see Monica's stomach move when they kick now. It's mostly Baby A that punches or kicks so hard we can see it from the outside.
Baby A is still our rambunctious one. He moves A LOT! Baby B does his own share of moving and kicking mommy's ribs, but seems to be much more mellow. At least it appears that way until ultrasound time. Maybe they're just showing off, but when it's time for an ultrasound they both start wiggling like crazy. Baby A did a nice big roll over for us and Baby B showed us his face :)
Baby A was vertex or head down this time! Hopefully he will stay that way so we can attempt to have them regularly and not via c-section. And by "we" I of course mean Monica :) I will be standing near-by with a camera strapped to my forehead! A GoPro to be exact. As soon as I get paid for some things I sold I will have it in my possession, lol.
I guess that's it for now. Everything is going good in our neck of the woods! We just had our maternity pictures taken today. I know not many people do them, but given this very likely may be our only pregnancy I wanted to have them done for Monica! I'd give her the world if I could, which for now came in the form of maternity pics! Which will be coming soon! Enjoy the ultrasound pics!
One of each of their feet and their room divider

Their heads which are now right next to each other

Baby B gave us a nice profile shot

Baby B looking at us. His face was against mommy's belly so his face
looks like it's pushed up against a screen door as the ultrasound tech described it.

Baby A being shy with his back to us. He never lets us see his little face.

Tell me this isn't the most adorable thing you've ever seen! Baby B hanging out
letting us see his little face! He has Monica's nose! Oh and yes that is the cord,
but it's not around his neck, just floating in front of him :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Belly Pics: 24 Weeks

We're officially 24 weeks pregnant with our twin boys!! Mommy Monica had a check-up yesterday and everything looked great! She had to do the test for gestational diabetes. Hopefully that comes back negative! I don't anticipate a positive result because everything has gone so smooth and she has not been having any symptoms. Heartbeats were 138 and 143.

The movement keeps getting crazier and crazier in there too! Monica says they move a lot! My mom got to feel Baby A punching this week. We could actually see it from the outside! We were watching my mom's hand bounce when he punched it! It's so unreal! We have an ultrasound appointment tuesday! Can't wait to see my boys again and share pictures with all of you!

But I know the real reason you came to the blog today. The same reason why noone will probably read this, they'll scroll down to see Monica's Belly Pics! Here they are:


                               Baseline                                                                            24 Weeks
22 Weeks

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Kickboxing Babies & 2013

Hey everybody! It's our very first Thankful Thursday post of 2013! Whoo-hoo! We like to take the time to share what we are thankful for each and every week! There's always something to be thankful for! Another week is recorded in the history books, so let's reflect on a few things we can be thankful for shall we? Here's our lists of thankfulness.

Monica's List:

I am thankful for family! What a wonderful holiday season we had this year! I would say it was the best year yet as far as being with our families on the holidays. Everything went really smooth and it seemed everyone was just happy to be together! I just love it when things turn out smoothly! Our boys are blessed to have such loving, supportive families behind them.

I am thankful for movement! I feel the our baby boys moving every day... for most of the day. It never gets old and I love it!!! This past week their kicks and punches have become stronger and most every time they move it can be seen by others now! My in laws were over for dinner the other night and they were both able to see the baby's moving. It's such a neat thing to be able to share with loved ones!

I am thankful for a hands on husband! We went to Babies R Us and registered for the first time tonight. Jeremy was all about it! He did all the scanning and was even excited to go up there and do it. I know this can be rare and that there are plenty of men who would have to be drug to something like that... but not my Jeremy!! ;) My boys are blessed to have such a great daddy!

Jeremy's List:

I'm thankful for another year! Monica and I were sitting and talking the other day about what we would like to do on our 5 year anniversary. We realized that we have been married for 3 and a half years! Time flies when you're having fun! It's crazy to think it has been that long, but at the same time, it seems so much has happened in such a short period of time. So I am thankful for another to live on. Another year to be the best husband, son, friend and soon DAD that I can be! Here's to 2013, it's gonna be the best year yet!

I'm thankful for an easy going wife! She's going to be 24 weeks pregnant with twins tomorrow and I haven't heard her complain once about something pregnancy related! Sure she has had aches and pains and has told me about them, but not once has she complained. Not once has she been whiny or had a bitter tone to her voice when talking about anything with the pregnancy. Baby B has started making it a habit of pushing/kicking her ribs, lol. It makes her ribs sore, and most the time I can only tell because I will see her rubbing her right side. She has had so many people tell her all the terrible things she has yet to go through with her pregnancy. How she's going to get so tired of them moving, they're going to be kicking her in the ribs so hard they'll feel like they're going to break and that she's just plain going to be miserable. It's very disheartening to hear such negative talk about such a wonderful thing, but Monica always just smiles and says something about how blessed she feels to be pregnant and that she doubts any of the terrible things will bother her :) I guess what we've had to go through to get to this point has made it easier for Monica to overlook the negatives and focus on all the positives! Anywho, I'm thankful for an easy going wife! She has made being pregnant look like a breeze! She's such a strong woman and I'm more and more impressed be her every day!

So what are you thankful for?! We have an entire year ahead of us full of so many things to be thankful for!!