Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Workin' Man

I have long since wondered if I should just get rid of Cohen's toys. He just doesn't play with them. On rare occasions he will pass one by and stop for 15 seconds, but generally, they go untouched.

I have recently discovered that he likes things that are more "real" work, like stirring with a spatula in a pot, or his recent obsession with buckles. I had these magnet shapes that I had gotten for him that are still a little "old" for him, but I decided to try and let him play with them on the fridge. He didn't really care about that, but then when I gave him a bowl and a pan to put them in, he spent at least 15-20 minutes transferring them from one to the other and back again. And then this morning he did it with his cereal too. He doesn't generally get food out of his high chair, but I was curious to see what he would do if he had the cereal and two little bowls. And he spent quite a bit of time transferring that around the house too.

He held still and was focused and it was amazing.

 {From the tupperware to the pan....}

{From the bowl to the pot}

Apparently he just needed more busy work to do. The flashing lights and sounds of the toys don't interest him. He's a workin' man I guess. So we have been spending lots of time with this buckle board we found, a lifejacket with FOUR buckles on it (thanks Gramma!), and giving him little "jobs" to do. He has also discovered stacking boxes and will do that for some time as well. So, I guess we'll get rid of his toys and just keep the less conventional toys around the house. Maybe it's just the age he's getting to, but it's so refreshing to see him be able to really focus on something and not just be wandering around the house. 

{And over to giant Mr. Bear's back...} 

{And having a little snack while he's at it}

What do your toddlers like to do? Ideas are always welcomed, especially if they like tasks more than actual toys! 

Friday, April 26, 2013

I had a different post planned for today, but it just doesn't seem quite right. My brother lost one of his very good friends in a car accident last night. My heart is broken for my brother and his family as well as his friend's family. It's just so amazing how quickly things can change in the blink of an eye. It's also amazing how much differently you respond to tragedy when you have faced your own. I have spent a good part of the morning crying for the people involved and the pain I know they are going through. I hate that anyone has to lose someone that they love. Hug your loved ones and enjoy each moment. Please say a prayer for my brother and his family as well as Jason's family today.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

There's Something Happening Here...

Everyone asks what Cohen thinks of getting a baby brother and well, he has no clue. We talk about the baby and show him mommy's tummy. He is generally oblivious to the fact that my stomach is growing larger and larger and that he really can't sit on my lap anymore. It doesn't stop him from trying though.

The other day he had his first possible revelation that maybe there was something strange going on.

 {Hi Mom}

 {Wait a second...}

 {Let me get a better look at this...}

{Well this is odd}

{Oh well, Mom can you just pick me up?}

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Cohen's latest hobby is buckles. It's more of an obsession actually. He knows where every single buckle is inside our house and out. There's the one on the little play board I made for him, one in the swing, one in the other swing, the bike helmet, the bike trailer, the stroller, the backpack in the garage and the one on the BBQ cover. He knows them all.

The first thing we hear when he gets up in the morning is either "mik" (milk) or "buck-kle". He rarely plays with his toys, but the buckles he will sit and do for a little while. He's actually pretty good at it but he gets frustrated if he can't get it for some reason and then we have to take the buckles away.

{Swing buckles}

{Board buckle}

{BBQ buckle}

32 Week Thoughts

It feels so strange to be here at 30+ weeks. With the boys, we were counting every hour and days and everything that happened was in the 18-25 week range, so the idea of 32 weeks just seems so foreign.

I had a nice time of calm once we passed the 25 week mark and carried our way on to 30 weeks. I have noticed that my fears have been slowly creeping back in. Where before I worried about a miscarriage or having a baby at any second, now I find myself wanting Ezra out. I know he would still be considered a preemie and I certainly don't want that for him, but I'm nervous.

When I was pregnant with the twins, we were told over and over that every day they were inside was what was best for them. In the end, they ended up getting sicker because they were still inside and eventually their chances for survival were better on the outside than in. What was supposed to be better for them ended up being worse. We will never know if the boys had been delivered just a day or two earlier what the outcome would have been. Maybe they would have been weaker because they were earlier or maybe they would have done better because the effects of the TTTS weren't as advanced. I don't know, all I know is that in the end, my body was supposed to keep them safe and it didn't.

And now I worry about baby Ezra. I know in my head that this is completely different and we have no reason to think that there is anything wrong. But my heart tells me that my body failed and I am scared of that happening again. I want Ezra out where I can see him and touch him and hear him breathing and know that he's okay. I know some of you preemie parents are cringing at the thought of me even saying that, and I have hesitated to admit it anywhere other than in my head as well. Our past experiences play so much into everything that happens in our lives and this is one of those cases. I know it's not best for Ezra to be born right now. I know if he really was born right now that I would feel horribly guilty for even thinking that I wanted him to be born early. My heart is scared of losing another child right now and for me that is a very real fear, even though it doesn't make sense rationally.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The History of "Stinky"

Cohen has a little blankey lovey named Stinky. He originally started out as Mr. Shakers because of the little rattle in the giraffe part of it. Then one day we were in the car and we couldn't figure out what smelled like feet and finally realized it was Cohen's Mr. Shakers. So then he was dubbed Mr. Stinkers. Cohen has recently started asking for "Stinky" by name, so now he's just Stinky. Stinky isn't so Stinky anymore, but he's stuck with the name. He also isn't quite as clean and pretty as he once was, but he is incredibly well loved by a certain little boy.

{Mr. Shakers circa Feb 2012 - back when he was shiny and new}

{Mr. Stinkers July 2012 - Blanket smelling runs in the family?}

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Easter Weekend

We had a fun Easter weekend and hope you all did too. The weather here was awesome which is highly unusual. Usually, the kids are running around out in the rain doing their egg hunt while we watch from inside. This year, it was shorts weather (anything over 60*). 

On Saturday, we went over to my brother and sister-in-laws for my nephew Eli's 8th birthday and an egg hunt. Cohen didn't really "get" finding Easter eggs, but he did find some dum-dums which he was thrilled with. He wasn't entirely sure what to do with them and ended up putting one in his ear. He was a sticky mess, but he loved it. 

I realized this weekend that Cohen isn't a baby anymore, he is a toddler. I was happy and sad at the same time. Happy that he has come so very far and sad that I can't keep him little forever. 

{This goes in my ear, right mom? Oh I can EAT it?}

Sunday we took Cohen to church. Easter last year was the first time we ever took Cohen to church. April also marks the end of RSV season, hooray!!!! I can't wait to get out and about more with Cohen while I still can. 

Cohen got a little Easter basket with bubbles, chalk and a little bunny cup. After church, we went over to my parents house for Easter brunch. I made a egg and potato casserole but it was way salty, like, inedible. Maybe next year will be better.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Teeny Tears Party for Carter

With the boys' second birthday coming up, we wanted to do something to honor and remember Carter. And what better way than a diaper party!?

I talk about Teeny Tears frequently because it really has been a huge part of my healing. In review, I love Teeny Tears because:

- The people behind it are truly awesome and put so much time and effort into making Teeny Tears a well oiled machine and supporting all the volunteers.
- Making tiny diapers allows me time to think about Carter and to do something positive with my grief
- It allows me to involve others in my grief process, and making diapers is actually very fun and rewarding
- I love the idea that I can do something as teeny, tiny as a little diaper to provide a little bit of comfort to parents during an incredibly different time. Some parents have nothing the right size to put on their little ones and these diapers are just perfect.
- My hope is also that with each little diaper tells parents that their babies are valued and that their presence on this earth is important no matter how long or short of a time they are here.
- And, let's be honest, they are adorable

Teeny Tears as a whole has donated over 32,000 diapers in nearly all 50 states. There are bereaved parents, grandparents, siblings, aunties, people who haven't experienced loss but still want to help out and even a few men pitching in to help diaper the little baby bottoms of the US. It is truly amazing and I am so blessed to be a part of it.

So, for Carter's birthday, we will be having a diaper party here at our local church. We hope to get lots of diapers made so we can continue to send out diapers. So far our little group here in the NW has made and donated over 5000 diapers that have been sent to over 60 different hospitals and organizations.

And guess what, you get to be a part of it! If you are a baby loss parent, we would love to honor your babies as well. I think Carter would love to have his angel friends be a part of his birthday party. Every set of diapers is donated with an "In memory of" card that goes with the diapers that are given to the parents. If you have lost a child, we would love to donate diapers in memory of your little one. If you would like diapers donated in memory of your baby, please email jana.teenytears@gmail.com.

I will be making the cards between now and the diaper party on May 4. When the diapers are made and mailed out I will definitely send you pictures (or they will be posted on the blog) so you can see them. I think it would be really neat to see Carter and all of his "friends" being sent out to help others. I know we have already donated diapers in some of your angel's names, but if you would like to be a part of this, let me know, we are more than happy to send out more!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Is it Okay to Not Share Our Story?

In the world of baby loss, there are lots of questions and emotions around when is it okay to share our story? There are often feelings of guilt if we say we have 1 child when we really have 2 or we don't mention our angel baby. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer, I think it totally depends on the situation and what you feel is right at the time.

Generally, I love talking about my boys. It's a pretty normal thing within my family and close friends to talk about Carter and "the twins". Despite the emotions and feelings of guilt, I have come to notice that there are times when I don't want to share our story. It's not that I don't count Carter as our child, because I do, or that I am ashamed or embarrassed of our story. It's more of the opposite. Sometimes I just get the feeling that the person won't understand or appreciate our boy so it feels more like I am protecting him by not sharing. 

At times, it feels like I am being scrutinized and judged based on how I react when people ask questions or we tell our story. Like maybe we aren't sad enough, or we aren't tearing up, or we act like we miss our boy enough. None of those things will ever be true. We will always miss Carter, but it doesn't mean that we cry every minute of every day (although some days we do). Some days, I don't want to be judged by my emotions or seeming lack thereof. And some days, I just don't want the looks. The looks of pity or the awkward silences. I just want to be a normal person.

The other reason is that although Cohen isn't old enough to understand what's going on now, this is his story too and eventually, in some situations it will be up to him whether he wants to share or not. We will always talk about Carter and he will always know that he has a twin, but I want him to feel like he can choose if it's something he wants to share and when. I also don't want him to feel like he is defined by being a "twinless twin" because he is, but he's also so much more than that. 

There are many times that we will share our story and we will share Carter with other people. What it comes down to is that in my heart, Carter is our boy and he always will be. We will never hide him from the world or act like he didn't exist. But, there are times when it feels as though it's all I can do to protect him and myself by not sharing his story. And I'm okay with it because for me, I know how much I love that boy and that will never change. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

31 Weeks & A Baby Shower

I got to have a baby shower! And it was before the baby came! So exciting. My sister and sister in law threw me a nice little baby shower on Saturday. Things like this generally make me nervous because I don't like everyone watching me, but it was low key and fun and I had a really good time. Baby Ezra got spoiled with lots of new things and even Cohen got a few presents.

Cohen loved all the activity and the food, although he kept asking to go outside. Karen made a cute little book for Ezra and had the guests fill out little pages with guesses for the day he will be born, weight, and things they hope for him. It was a fun little celebration and I can't wait for Ezra to get here to use all his cute stuff.

In other 31 weeks news:
I'm not sure if I just never felt the boys move as much because of their situation (Cohen squished and Carter in a giant pool), or because they were so little still, but man, this kid can move. I love feeling his kicks and rolls and karate chops and it's also very good reassurance. He likes to stay up late at night and keep me awake. I'm starting to feel the 31 weeks and am napping whenever I can. Other than that, things are just moving right along! We are getting very excited to meet this little boy.

 {Mom and my "Mom 2" and their grandsons}

{What's a party without this guy!?}

{LOVE the way this blanket turned out}

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fess Up Friday

I have moved from Girl Scout cookies to Cadbury Creme Eggs. I spend about 20 minutes a day trying to convince Danny to get me some.

It took me three transactions to get through the grocery store in one trip. Once for the groceries. Another for the balloon for Carter I forgot I had tied to the cart. And another for the donut I was clutching in my hand, you know, so it didn't get lost.

I had to google when the third trimester started.

One day after Cohen had dumped his cereal on the floor and was signing "more" I heard myself say "Go eat the ones on the floor" 

I always thought children on leashes were ridiculous and now, I have never wanted one more.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hello, Spring!

A certain little boy around here is very happy that it's spring time and that summer is coming soon! These pictures are somewhat deceiving because five minutes before this it was absolutely pouring down rain, but we saw the sun come out and had to get out while we good. Such is the weather in Washington. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Little Help

I mentioned before that as the time gets closer, I am increasingly nervous about having to have a c-section, more for the emotional aspect that the physical. We are going to try to avoid having a c-section, but there is that possibility. My worry is that laying on that table, even though it's a different one, in a different hospital, will bring back all the feelings and emotions of the boys' delivery. I'm nervous about whether I can make it through without just being knocked out completely, which I really don't want either.

If you are a baby loss or preemie parent, or anyone else who had a traumatic birth, how did you do the second time? Were you in a similar situation? And how did you handle it? I would really love to hear how some of you did with your rainbow baby/next baby. If you are more comfortable emailing me that would be wonderful as well keepingupwiththekimmels@gmail.com 

Thank you!!! 

Monday, April 8, 2013


30 weeks has been my goal since the beginning and we MADE it! I could not be happier. I had an appointment on Friday and if you follow us on facebook, you know I failed my first glucose tolerance test but passed my 2 hour one. My one hour results still came back high so my doctor suggested I cut back on carbs. I politely told her that would be cutting out all my favorite foods. But, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

I have graduated to being a normal person, at least in the pregnancy world. I will now just be checked as they do a regular person from 30 weeks to 40 weeks. I'm still not entirely sure what that means, but apparently I don't have to have more ultrasounds or NSTs unless something comes up and they feel like I need it. I had my fastest appointment ever on Friday. They checked my cervix (still good!) and measured my belly with a tape measure (30 cm). I've never had that done before. It was quite odd to not have any kind of ultrasound or test, but I quite enjoyed it. Other than the carb thing.

I have noticed my emotions becoming a little more...apparent? Here's a brief look inside the brain of a 30 week pregnant post baby loss, post preemie mom.

Anxiety: I am growing increasingly nervous about having to have a c-section. I have been told I'm a very good candidate to have a VBAC, but there is still that chance and it terrifies me. I have frequent dreams about going into preterm labor. I also have crazy thoughts about just having the baby now before something has the chance to happen. I always wonder if the boys would have been born just one or two days earlier if that would have changed anything. With them, it ended up being that the longer they were in there the worse things got (although obviously they also needed to be in as long as possible), so I think that part of it has stuck with me.

Excitement/Anticipation: I can't wait to hopefully have a baby and lay in my hospital bed and snuggle him. And put clothes on him. And introduce him to his big brother. And bring him home. And snuggle him some more.

Tears: Lots of tears. I cry, or think about crying, about just about everything. It probably is a combination of pregnancy hormones, the boys' second birthday coming up, and just all the emotions surrounding this pregnancy and birth.

Denial: There is a part of me that isn't quite ready to acknowledge we will hopefully be bringing home a baby. There is still that little part that says yeah, but what if....what if something goes wrong before he's born? What if something goes wrong at the last minute? What if something goes wrong after he's born? Spare me the lectures, I know I can't focus on it or let it consume me, but there is absolutely no way that I could go an entire pregnancy without the possibility crossing my mind. I have lost a child and those scars and wounds never go away.

Preparation: I've decided that now would probably be a good time to start getting ready. I have lots of things on my to-do list that I want to get done. Just little things like build a fence, pack a hospital bag, find a crib, do my spring cleaning. We'll see how much actually gets done.

And there you have it. I'm excited and nervous and happy and scared.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Weekend Activities

It was another busy weekend over here in the Kimmel household. Friday morning I had a doctor's appointment. Danny got off work early so we could head down to Seattle for our friend Jimmy's birthday. We got a pass for the zoo so we decided to make use of it and stop on our way. The weather forecast wasn't looking good but we decided to chance it and it didn't rain at all! We took Cohen last year but he wasn't quite old enough to "get" it.

I think he will still appreciate it a little more when he's older, but if he could actually see the animals then he liked to look at them. We got to see hippos, a snow leopard, penguins, emus, kangaroos, snakes, fish, and the gorillas. He watched the gorillas for quite awhile, but the resident crows were his favorite.

Since it's the off season the zoo was closing earlier than we thought, I think Cohen would have loved to run around and explore a little more, but it was a good little taste. It was also really nice because there weren't that many people there and Cohen could actually get up close enough to see some of the animals.

From the zoo we went to our friends' house for a diaper change and a quick snack. We went out to dinner for the birthday boy Jimmy. When we got there we found out there was a 45 minute wait. By the time we got to our table Cohen was done. I ordered my food to go, ended up eating it real quick at the table and then taking Cohen back to our friends house for bed. He zonked out right away but decided to get up to play in the middle of the night, as he often does when he's had a very busy day that isn't his normal routine.

Saturday morning we got up made some pancakes and decided to head home. We took Cohen home for a quick power nap and then headed back out for a mini playdate with a few other moms from a local baby loss group. It's always nice to just get together and chat with moms who get it and just get out a few thoughts to people who understand.

We found out my little brother John home from college for a quick visit and the fam was having a pizza dinner at my parents house. So, from the park we went to there house for dinner. We were all tired, especially Cohen, and I wanted him to have a little down time before bed so we didn't stay too long. We came home for a bath, some snuggle time during Elmo, and BED! I'm exhausted and the weekend isn't even over, which I guess is a good thing! We had fun and call me crazy, but I love my down time.