A DIY R2D2 HC (Halloween Costume)…I just liked all the abbreviations.

I’m trying to play a bit of catch up here at the ole’ blog and keep on plugging away with my record of life. Pierson started 1/2 day kindergarten this year and has been exposed to Star Wars there. He asked if he could be R2D2. And I agreed…I mean, how hard would it be to DIY an R2D2 costume?

Halfway in, as the paper mâché toilet paper gloop wasn’t looking promising, I was cursing myself for not saying ‘no’. All in all, it turned out fine and Pierson was proud of it. That’s all I cared about. I was happy to help him follow his dream, but I told him next year he needs to just find a costume from the dress up bin.

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And another of all the kiddos and cousins dressed up. (I like this particular one for a few reasons: It’s a rare photo of Sterling actually smiling on command; Merritt cracks me up because he wasn’t too amused that he couldn’t see out of his Skunk costume;  And as always, Anders was smiling.)

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On to November…

Recent Family Times

We recently spent times with family on both sides of the aisle (i.e. My family and Michael’s). My camera card went kaput, which made me super sad to lose so many pics, but here are a few from my family gathering.

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And a few from Michael’s family gathering…

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I’m thankful for the blessing of family!!!

Toddler Implants

A couple of weeks ago, Sterling and I started using suction to adhere toy eggs to her stomach.  We started with one, then she requested another.  After I suctioned the second one onto her belly, she immediately got a smirk on her face and was proud as punch at her ‘nummy-nummies’ (My kids’ term for breastfeeding).  I definitely agree that she’s too young for implants.

…wait for it…

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Mission Twinpossible! 6 month update

I never want to forget, and oh, how I wish that were possible.  Tonight, the boys and I planned a surprise for Michael’s birthday.  They made signs and put a “Yuck! Don’t Look” sign on our obvious secret cake.  I wish I could capture their excitement and return it to them in another decade. I wish their zeal for life would always remain.  And the time ticks.  Before I know it, making your own confetti and hiding under mom’s desk at work won’t be as cool as it was tonight.  So, for a few minutes, I’m just savoring life and the family I’m blessed to have.

The twins turn 6 months tomorrow and I have officially survived the most difficult 6 months of my life.  There were moments I doubted it would ever be here, as I struggled every nursing session of every colicky night to keep going.  I was confident that there was no light and the proverbial tunnel’s edge was only bleak.  It was that hard.  And every day was a victory–every single day.

Yet, somehow, deep in my mind I also knew that in the midst of these moments I needed also to relish them.   As difficult as it’s been, each day has been a victory–and a true blessing.  And so tonight, here’s to some randomness of late-More to keep a record because up is down and down, up these days.

Pierson, now 5 1/2 is in half day kindergarten and really loving it.  He is learning a lot and taking more pride in his work–He is doing better all the time at his writing, though it isn’t a favorite.  You can tell he’s making progress from the beginning of the year until now.  He is my inventor and his wheels are always turning.  Just yesterday, he rigged a ‘pulley’ in the basement and was hoisting himself up to the ceiling with it.  I have to be careful not discourage him with his crazy ideas, because boy are they!  Below, he made a computer with MagnaTiles and plugged in a mouse he’d found laying around the house (Side note: favorite Christmas gift EVER–played with EVERY DAY).

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Thatcher is in preschool 2 days a week and truly loves being a student.  He sits at the table and colors intently, cautious of the lines.   We are working on reading, though it bothers Pierson that they are learning together.  They are both doing great.  Thatcher is a detail-oriented kid and loves to help Michael.  He is driven and when he gets his mind on something, world, you’d better watch out!  Just recently, he nailed a board to our deck with more nails than I bothered to count.  You can still see the evidence in our deck as he spent an entire day driving nail upon nail into the board.  He loves to tease, yet is also intuitive about the needs of  his siblings.  Though, like his momma, he knows how to antagonize his oldest brother and is an expert, as was I, at button pushing.

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Sterling has been potty trained for many months now and doing great.  She’s definitely confident and independent, but has a soft spot for her Daddy and cries significantly if he forgets to honk at her on his way out the door each morning.  She knows what she wants and will not hesitate using her lungs to let us know, though her language is definitely harder to understand than the other kids’ language at the same age.  She loves to swing and if you’d push her, she’d stay for hours.   She possesses quiet strength, but I’m not surprised.  She is my observer.  She watches what her brothers do, and will join right in on the fun.  Today, she informed me I was wearing my dad’s (BearBear’s) shirt which I was (It was one that my father game me many months ago and I haven’t worn it in forever).  Yesterday she wanted to do my hair, and when I watched her, she placed the rubber band in her mouth in the exact manner I do every time I fix her hair.  She does not miss a beat!  In this video below, she SCREAMED because I would only let her go on the ‘swing’ once.  (If you have a difficult time watching the video, you can try the link here.

Merritt was doing the tripod stance up until last week.  I walked into the room and the kid had helped himself up to a sitting position.  Crazy kid.  You’re too young for this.  For the last couple of months, he’s been working to crawl and this past week was the a-ha moment.  He’s just about figured it out.  He’s not fast yet, but I know it will be here soon.  He is always hungry and is all about eating his brother’s leftovers.

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Anders is the most smiley kid of the bunch and I feel has been smiling since he exited the womb.  Always a smile from that kid.  And not just a little one–A let’s-see-how-much-real-estate-I-can-take-up-on-my-face type.  It melts my heart every single time.  He’s loving the johnny jump up and stays happy just bouncing around for quite a long time, or he loves to be held.  And if  he’s not doing the johnny jump up and you’re not holding him, he lets you know of his disappointment.  He also can’t be convinced to eat more.  When he’s done, he’s done.  And don’t try to convince him otherwise; he’ll bite.
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Tonight, I’m grateful–Grateful to be a wife to a man I adore (Happy Birthday!) and blessed, beyond measure, to be called Momma to 5 kiddos.  And THRILLED to have made it 6 crazy months with twins, something I thought many times would send me over the edge.

The Twin’s Birth Story–BOGO Easter Special

The only day that I had hoped my babies would NOT arrive was Easter Sunday. Being married to a pastor, I’d hoped he’d be able to preach at church that Sunday morning. But God had other plans.

Around 2 o’clock on Easter Sunday morning, I woke up with some labor pains. Contractions were anywhere from 2 minutes to 10 minutes apart. I took a bath until they tapered off, then went back to bed. I woke up again at about 6:00 with the same irregular contractions and again with the same moderate intensity. Like any good laborer, I downloaded a contraction app on my phone and tried timing the contractions to see if they were getting more regular. No luck–2 minutes, 8 minutes, 5 minutes, 3 minutes.

My parents were helping us that weekend and encouraged me to go to the hospital. I didn’t want to create a false alarm 2 hours before Michael was to be preaching, but with each contraction intensifying and at my parent’s urging, I decided I’d go to the hospital 20 minutes away. Michael was already at church getting ready to preach. Our plan was for Michael to meet us at the hospital. If it didn’t appear to be real labor, he could hurry back to church in time to preach, if need be.

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When I arrived at the hospital, we registered. It was 8:30. As the contractions got more intense, I quickly realized how slow the world moved. None of the rushing you see on TV. The admitting staff and nurses strolled around as if they had all the time in the world. I was wheeled to the triage room, where I met Michael. They did an initial check-I was 6 cm dilated. It was 9:00. At this point, I knew there was no going back and was admitted. I began to ask for my epidural.

All the nurses sauntered around the delivery room getting things ready as I continued to beg for my epidural. My brain still sees the nurses movements and the slow-motion manner in which they moved.

“Yes, we’ll get you an epidural as soon as your blood work comes back.” And she repeated this 5 minutes later when I asked again. Then, again in 5 more minutes, after I requested the epidural again. The contractions were getting much more intense.

Somewhere in the midst of the slow-motion nurses, my husband leaned down and whispered this sweet nothing in my ear: “I hate to tell you this, but you’re not going to get your epidural.” These aren’t the words a laboring wife wants to hear. I bit back, “You don’t know that! Be quiet.”

At 9:35, the nurse once again promised my epidural, “Your blood work came back fine. Now we’re just waiting for the anesthesiologist. Then we’ll get your epidural, call your doctor who is 30 minutes away, get you comfortable and we can check your dilation again.”

Michael looked at the nurse intently and urgently said, “You need check her NOW. I think you are going to have babies soon.” The nurse obliged, though I don’t really think she believed much progress would have been made.

“You are 9. I’m calling the doctor.” And the fast-forward button was now pressed. Let’s just say there was much more scrambling than sauntering at this point.

“May I have my epidural?” I asked one last time. The nurse hemmed and hawed “…Well, if we give you an epidural now, then it would put the babies at risk, and…”
My mom claims that I snarkily replied, “So, that’s a ‘no’?”

At 9:45, they checked and I was given the instructions “You are 10– DO NOT PUSH.” With increasing pressure to push, I was given instructions not to. The only thing that kept the babies in utero was that the membranes were still intact. But I knew I couldn’t push because one baby was head down and the other breech. If I delivered one, the other could have been put in danger. The next 30 minutes were the hardest of my life.

And time stood still as I waited for the doctor to come from his church service to the hospital. He was still on his way. Many times I questioned the nurses about the status of his commute. I requested someone call the doctor and tell him to hurry. Then I asked, “PLEASE, CAN I PUSH? I have to push.” The nurse was told that there was no doctor and it was reiterated NOT TO PUSH.

Michael looked at the nurse and said, “We need a doctor and we need one NOW.”
“We are trying to get another OB GYN who would come in to deliver (It’s Easter, remember). You just cannot push.”  The nurse was running from station to station at this time, in and out the door. The pressure was intense.

Then there appeared in the room a quiet 40ish woman who soon identified herself, “I’m Dr. Hannigan. I’m happy to help you by staying here with you until your doctor comes, but I want you in the SURG room.” I resisted because I didn’t want her to automatically perform a c-section, but she promised that just because we were in the operating room didn’t automatically mean she’d do a c-section. It just meant we’d be ready in case something went wrong.

I was wheeled to the surgery room. At least now there was a doctor. All was now in place for these babies. Except my doctor. They scrambled to get ready for the babies’ arrivals and FINALLY my doctor walked through the door in his plaid Easter sport coat.

“I have never in my life been so thrilled to see another man!” I exclaimed.

My doctor hurried to get suited up. Even though they told me not to push, I took his presence as license to finally yield to the pressure. On the next contraction, even though my doctor wasn’t fully suited up, I pushed. At 10:19, With a gush, Twin A, Anders Warren, flew out and was caught by two nurses. They held Anders up and I oohed over him, but my doctor stopped me from oohing further, “We still have another baby to get out, Maren.”

Dr. Wright asked the volunteer doctor to help find the legs of twin B. Via an ultrasound wand, she informed Dr. Wright where baby B’s legs were. And the doctor went in and pulled baby B by the legs out. Pretty effortlessly on the doctor’s part, very painfully on mine. He kept saying, “You have to relax, Maren.” But difficult to do when someone is up to their elbows inside of you feeling for a baby. And at 10:23, Merritt Paul, was born. Merritt had some bruising on his legs from the extraction, which cleared up in a couple days.

And once again, over the span of 4 minutes, my life was forever changed and blessed for the fourth and fifth time.

Anders Warren Boehm – 10:19 a.m.; 7lbs 5oz, 21 inches
Merritt Paul Boehm – 10:23 a.m.; 8 lbs 1 oz, 21 inches

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Last photo, thanks to Sunlight Photogaphy Thanks, Sara!

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