Sunday, September 30, 2012


4 months ago we were all waiting to meet our little twin boys - wondering what a "nest" this full would feel like.

I had made it past the piano concert, Oliver's birthday, awards ceremonies, kindergarten graduation and last day of school parties, which I never imaged would be the case.  On 5/30 I had a doctor's appointment where we decided to induce the next day, at exactly 38 weeks.

So Brad and I got to go out on a date on our last pre-twin evening while grandparents watched the kids.  The food was great, but no restaurant chair or car ride on the way was very comfortable when you look like this.  I was not able to sleep much at all that night - part worry about twin complications and part excitement about meeting the boys and part excitement about taking deep breaths again.  Pregnancies are always pretty easy for me, but the last few weeks of twins were a totally different story.  I felt like my skin was not going to be able to contain them when they moved around.  I think I googled something about if exploding bellies are possible at one point :)  

 We checked in bright and early on Thursday, 5/31.  Both babies were head down, and all was well.  My doctor was ready, after not being the one to deliver Oliver and Genevieve) and my very good friend Kim was all set to be my doula.  Contractions progressed very slowly at first, but I kept warning them I go from 4 to 10 cm very quickly.  My mom had dropped by to see how things were going around lunch time.  She left at about 1:30 (give or take) to run some errands while I was a 5 and all was calm and quiet after my trusty epidural was in place.  Soon after she left I told the nurse I thought I should be checked {10!} and within a few minutes I was rolled into the operating room (always the case for twin deliveries should there be a need for an emergency c-section) where about 18-20 people were ready to assist.

I felt like I was in a movie with the bright lights and little operating table and so much activity and different conversations all around me.  My most vivid memory is hearing the anesthesiologist that was monitoring my heart rate and oxygen right behind me ask Brad if these are our first babies.  When Brad said "actually makes 6 and 7", the guy very loudly said "OH MY GOODNESS!!!!  7??  7!!! OH MY GOODNESS!  I COULD NEVER, I HAVE 2 AND I CANNOT IMAGINE!  7??  I mean that is great.  Congratulations."  He cracked me up and prepared me for the reaction I get all the time now.

And then after a quick and ridiculously easy delivery, our sweet number 6, Brendan Thomas James was born at 2:54 pm.

Then they did a sonogram right then to see how Baby B was positioned, which can change while Baby A is born.  Sure enough, we had a breech baby at that point.  The multiples/high risk doctor was paged and while we were waiting on him to scrub up, Baby B kicked, broke the water and let my Dr. catch his foot!  They were able to perform a "textbook breech extraction", which was great for the 4 med students that made up a nice audience.  Our cutie little number 7, Patrick Thomas James made his grand entrance at 3:05 pm.  Hearing two screaming newborns while the pediatric teams checked the babies was definitely what made "twindom" seem real!

We were wheeled back into my L&D room and were admiring the little guys when my mom popped back in to check on me at 3:30 (or so).  She was shocked to see us holding babies because there was really no time to call or text anyone because it all happened so fast.  The nurse that weighed the babies went to get a second scale because she couldn't believe their weights.  Brendan - 7 lb 7 oz and Patrick 6 lb 11 oz!!  I had 14 lb 2 oz of baby - crazy!!  They were without question not identical twins.  I think Brad was pretty relieved to  know he could tell them apart.

I was so, so, so grateful for 2 boys that were so big and healthy.  Our prayers (and those of family and friends) for no bed rest, no c-section, and no NICU were all answered.  I can only describe my feelings of relief and overabundant blessing as floating on clouds the rest of that day and night.  I had read so many stories of twin birth timing and scenarios that I knew to not take this for granted.

That evening the oldest 3 kids came to meet the boys.  No hospital provided "Big Brother/Big Sister" buttons this time around. I think we used up all their supply when Genevieve was born.

The first night at the hospital went pretty well although they were s.l.o.w. eaters and I had such a hard time waking them up for feedings.  I was still super high on adrenaline and didn't always fall asleep even when babies were sleeping and no one was taking my blood pressure, etc.  I enjoyed the spaciousness of my queen size hospital bed in the new part of the hospital, while these two boys were happier smooshed into one little bed.

Oliver came to see them the next day.  He was really happy to talk to his "twin new babies".

We were released right after lunch on Saturday afternoon.  We got home just before it was time for Camille to leave for her big dance recital.  A friend and her helpful daughter came to stay with the littlest 4 and me while all grandparents, Brad, Kilian, and Lucy went to watch her.  I have since watched the recital DVD with her dozens of times to make up for that fact.

The books about twins I had checked out from the library had described in detail why so many people have hired help, or night nannies, for twins.  Holy moly!!  I think Brad and I got about three 20 minute naps that first night, but we survived and it is much, much better now @ 4 months.  More updates to come.... eventually!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Oliver is 3!

Happy 3rd Birthday to Oliver!  We celebrated his big day with a construction cake, which was a more simplified version of what I had seen online, but seemed to work just fine for Oliver. 

3 things I love about Oliver:

1 - He is obsessed with cars.  He calls himself "car".  As in "Oliver, so get your pajamas and bring them to me", his response with a serious sad face, "Car can't.  Car doesn't have any more gas", or "Car has a flat tire, Car can't move", while slowly moving his foot my direction to show me his "flat". Or if I say "let's go get a snack" he'll say "ok, Car will ZOOM in there".

2 - The way he says "cha-lock-it" instead of chocolate.

3 - His use of the day "Saturday".  He does not say any other day of the week, or yesterday, or tomorrow, or before or later.  Everything happens on a Saturday, and when it happens to fall in place and he gets it right, he really impresses people.

One of his gifts was a set of 9 little Disney Cars books.  He didn't want to move on to his toys presents until he was able to look at all of them.  Good thing he has 3 older siblings to read to him this summer.

Final note:  Since the babies waited until after Oliver's birthday to be born we cannot claim that we have 4 kids age 2 and under.  Oh well!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Everyone needs a Genevieve

Our littlest girl turned 18 months last Sunday.  It is hard to believe,  but at the same time we kind of needed it to be true since she is about to assume "big sister of 2" duties! 

Genevieve started out as one of the easiest babies in the world. I cannot imagine an easier baby.  We always said "everyone needs a Genevieve".  She has always loved to eat, loved the stroller, loved to entertain herself,  loved to be held, loved the car, and loved to be put in her crib wide awake as long as she has her blankie.  That has definitely not been the case with all our kids!

Over the last 2 or 3 months she has really found her own little personality, which is quite sassy at times.  She can absolutely stick up for herself - seriously, she has bullied both Camille and Oliver lately.  She is a smart little thing that watches everything the older kids do.  She is not a very early talker, but the words are starting to come more and more quickly.  She absolutely understands what you ask her to do.  She helps unload the kids' dishes from the dishwasher and stacks them correctly in the cabinet (better than her daddy to be honest).

She makes us laugh all the time and we are all crazy about her sweet chubby cheeks, arms and legs.  She looks a lot like Lucy did as a toddler - minus some of the long curly hair.  We just recently made our first attempt at pigtails.

She has no idea what is about to happen to her position in our house, but I am not worried.  This is the same age Oliver was when she was born and I know what great buddies they are now.  Plus, she will be an excellent bossy big sister that will alert me when the twins are causing trouble down the road.  Lucky them!

Monday, May 21, 2012

New Stuff

Here we are just waiting for the twins to arrive now.  I have been very focused on just making it to the month of May, so I am surprised by the amount of free time I have now that we are this far into it. Here is what's new with us since my last post.

new glasses

new carpenter skills

new communion-taker (yay Lucy!!)

new net to match big brother's (watch out lepidoptera of the south plains!)

new missing tooth

new vocabulary
Not yet 3 and he recently said, "This is my conversation and it truf.  I'm mad!" when I wouldn't let him outside by himself.  He is also capable of saying nice things like "don't worry baby, it'll be fine" to Genevieve.

new glasses prescription

and new hearing aid - which has been wonderful for all of us

new tree swing

at Noni and G-Pa's house

is a big hit

new profile
and finally, new walker
Genevieve waited until around Easter (16 1/2 months old, less than 2 months before her twin brothers are born) to start walking as well as routinely sleeping through the night.  I would like to thank her for both.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Twin Talk

Many people know that I have always wanted twins. With babies 1 through 3 I was actually a little disappointed to only see 1 heartbeat. After we had 4 kids I started realizing that it would be a kinda crazy, so I told myself to stop wishing. Well, here we are jumping from 5 kids to 7 kids!

This was the first time that we both wanted to find out the gender of the baby, so I went to this sonogram thinking we would "ruin" the surprise by learning boy or girl. Ha! God found a different way to surprise us. Brad wasn't at that appointment, so I got to text him with,

"It's a boy...and another boy. No kidding! I will bring pics by if you want"

and he did want me to. I went to the school at lunch time and showed him, as well as the rest of the faculty and staff. News like that spreads fast. We wanted to tell the kids rather than let them "hear it" so we caught Kilian and Camille in the hallway and pulled Lucy out of class to show them the pictures and tell them.

I saw twins being baptized at church 2 days before the sonogram and told Brad that part of me still really wanted twins, to which he rolled his eyes like he does every pregnancy when I say those sorts of things. Also, just a few weeks before we found out I was pregnant, my friends Wes and Erin welcomed their precious twin girls. I have been admiring how sweet they are non-stop, and actually wondered if it could be contagious. hmmmmm....

I have an appointment with my doctor today (it was just the ultrasound tech last time) so I am really looking forward to some more answers.


A few facts:

1. I only remember hearing of one set of twins in my family before this. I believe it is my grandma's uncles - named Rubel and Strubel (I'll have to check that spelling with her), but now that this news has spread, I've learned of a couple more distant sets of twins.

2. Twins make up about 3 out of 100 births on average

3. My high school class graduated with 72 people. At least 7 of us have had (or will have) twins

4. I was in a mom's prayer group at our church in Wylie in 2005/2006. 4 out of 10 of us have had (or will have) twins

5. These twins will make Oliver the middle child of 7 at the ripe old age of 3! and just barely 3 since his birthday is the end of May. He looks like he is up for the task, right?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Catchin' up is hard to do

Fall summary since I did not make blogging much of a priority!


- made our annual trip to Joyland amusement park

- started school with a 4th grader, 2nd grader and Little Miss Kindergarten.

- which left me at home with just these two during the day


- made my first and only attempt so far at copying an idea off pinterest

- began my 13th "busy season" with the same company, 6th year as a remote, part-time employee (this is cuter than me by a computer).

- let my big helper feed his sister and teach her how to crawl faster


- found out we are expecting another baby in June - due on Uncle Darren's birthday/Flag Day!
- celebrated our 13th anniversary

- took all 5 kids to Midnight Yell here in Lubbock (since it might be the last)

- survived the great James stomach bug of 2011 (no pics of that!)

- trick or treated


- I don't remember the first part of this month. I felt worse than usual for the first trimester and slept as much as I possibly could

- they found ways to have fun in the house anyway

- one detail I do one point there were no clean bowls, spoons or cups so kids were drinking water out of measuring cups and using measuring spoons to eat their cereal out of our smallest mixing bowls. Pathetic, but true.

- Genevieve turned 1

- gave thanks like the pilgrims


- Kilian turned 10

- announced baby 6 is on the way
- started feeling like myself again
- Lucy turned 8

- enjoyed Kilian's first piano recital, Lucy singing in the Christmas parade and some great school Christmas programs

- traveled to Houston and back to celebrate an early Christmas, but made it back in time for Christmas Eve snow here (more later)

and that leads us to January when we had our first sonogram at 19 weeks and found out that baby number 6 and baby number 7 would be coming at the same time! 2 boys! No wonder I felt worse!