Category Archives: Love

My body is a Wonderland

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Meet November and August! They were born in October.

Here is their birth story.

Two and a half weeks ago I fell down the rabbit hole the stairs. I don’t know how it happened. I was feeling out of sorts the whole day and I went to bed early, my head all muddled. Andy thought it was odd. I just thought that I was tired and pregnant. I got up to make the long trek to the bathroom a while later and on the second to last step downstairs, I twisted my ankle and fell, landing on my side. I think I screamed, and Andy definitely yelled as he ran down the stairs after me. When he asked me if I was okay all I could think was, “How did I get here?” He helped me up to a sitting position and I felt a warm gush. I sat there in a pool of my own tears, hoping it wasn’t blood. My waters had never broken before.

All I could say was: “Oh my god.” and “I’m not ready!” and “I hope the babies are okay!”

Andy kept reassuring me that they were, and that he was more concerned about my ankle than any thing else. I couldn’t care less about my ankle (which was fine), I was about to give birth to TWO BABIES OMG. I was so full of adrenaline that I just sat there, teeth chattering, while I tried to figure out if I wanted to stand up. And then, after Andy helped me up, I stood there, teeth chattering, wondering if I should maybe start moving. It was weird, going into labor at night. I’d always been woken up early in the morning. “Should we call your doctor?” Andy asked. “What should we do?” It was a lot to decide. Going to the hospital seemed like the next logical step. Andy went to go wake up the boys, we’d put them to bed an hour or so before. He also called our friends Andy and Meg; Meg was to meet us at the hospital.

She walked me in as Andy went to find parking. “Did you cut your hair?” I asked her as the people at the front desk helped me into a wheelchair. They laughed because priorities and wheeled me to a tiny room because triage. Some faceless person asked me if I was sure if my water had *actually* broken. The puddle I left in the wheelchair answered their question.

40 minutes after we arrived at the hospital, I was pushing out a baby. But before that happened my kids and husband showed up to the tiny room and I moaned awhile. My kids asked, now fully awake: “Why is she making noises like that?” Meg talked to them about their moaning mama and what it all meant while I continued moaning.

“The last time she got like this, it didn’t take long,” Andy said as he pushed my back with all of his strength. No one took him seriously. THEY WOULD SOON LEARN. The plan was a caesarian, but they took too fucking long. Right before they wheeled my bed out of the room I said, “I feel like I have to poop.” A resounding UH OH. They wheeled me faster while I yelled, “I’m pushing!” Some faceless individuals threw some stuff at Andy to put on while we raced down a hallway. I couldn’t stop pushing. “Don’t push!” They told me. Not pushing was not an option. I couldn’t NOT push. I was pushing.

“Help!” I cried. “I’m pushing!”

“Don’t push!”

I was pushing. 40 minutes after we arrived at the hospital, I was pushing out a baby. I was shocked when Nova crowned, because I didn’t actually expect to give birth so quickly.

“Head!” I yelled. “HEAD!”

A couple of faceless chatting nurses rushed over to my spread legs and grabbed the baby shooting out from between them. Told ya, I thought smugly. And then maybe, c-section my ass. I barely got to whisper hello to Nova before they took him away (I didn’t see him again for a day and a half. It makes me want to cry thinking about it).

“I guess we’re doing this vaginally,” said my doctor who was not my doctor. I almost did a fist pump. She and a faceless person pushed down on my stomach for a bit to try to turn Gus, but it didn’t take. He was still coming out feet first, and I was feeling like I just HAD to push again. Since he was so much bigger than Nova they were afraid he’d get stuck, so emergency c-section it was. She told me that I would have to be put under and that Andy would have to leave the room. Both of our faces fell.  But I kept pushing and yelling, “Help!” until I blacked out.

When I woke up what felt like 2 seconds later, Andy was there to welcome me.  “Are they gonna do it?” I asked in a scratchy voice. Andy said, “They already did it.” and I said, “Oh right, that makes sense.”

Meg had taken the boys to her house to sleep and so it was me and Andy and Gus. Gus had been born 20 minutes after Nova, but after midnight so they had different birthdays (and maybe even different signs)! “That’s so cool!” one of the faceless nurses was saying. I couldn’t help but laugh but I sobered up quickly, when I was told that Andy and I couldn’t visit Nova in the NICU (low birth weight) since we both had nasty colds that wouldn’t quit. It was horrible to be separated from him. One of the nurses from the NICU was a sweetheart and brought Andy and I pictures of him so that we could see how he was doing.

With my last two deliveries I was able to leave the hospital rather promptly, and that wasn’t going to happen this time around. I hated being in the hospital, hated being separated from my kids and husband, hated eating hospital food, hated having my blood pressure taken every five seconds (it was worryingly high), but luckily I didn’t have to worry too much about my c-section incision. I was moving around pretty well after a couple of days to everyone’s surprise, including my own.  Some of the nurses winced sympathetically for me when they heard that I’d had both a vaginal birth and a caesarian, but I’m glad my original birth plan wasn’t a total wash. I got to deliver one of them naturally, and that makes me happy.

When Nova was finally transferred to my room I was overjoyed.

IMG_2430One of the nurses asked me, “How can you tell them apart?” And I just stared at her. They look like brothers, but they don’t look identical to me. Which is kind of a relief because now I don’t have to worry about mixing them up.

You know what? Let’s just fast forward to us all being home. Here we are, courtesy of my MIL who, along with Andy’s stepdad, just left after a week here:

105_0517RIO IS KILLING ME IN THIS PICTURE!!! Ahem.

The twins are here. THEY’RE FINALLY HERE. I’m so happy to be home and so grateful to all of our wonderful friends and family who have watched our kids and made us delicious food. And speaking of food…I’m off to eat some more while the babes are still sleeping.

 

toods

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Baby, Family, KIDS., Life, Love, Twins

Woman of Steel

 

SAM_1855Thrifted Bailey 44 column dress, Pink Studio mary janes

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SAM_1857TWENTY NINE WEEKS, U GUISE. This is when I tell you how nervous I am about going into labor even though I’ve done it three times. Because I’ve never done a two-fer. HOW DOES THIS WORK. (Don’t answer that)

So this is not a maternity dress, no duh doy. I’d first seen many versions of this column dress pop up on style blogs that I frequented like, yeeeears ago, and I loved the look of them but the price not so much. When I came across it on Anthromollogies, where it was worn during pregnancy, I thought, “How cute!”

Well, I found the EXACT same version at Value Village the other day (HELLSYEAH). It’s pilling a bit but still looks to be in pretty good condition and it stretches quite nicely over my engorged belleh! I would never have attempted to wear this dress during pregnancy if not for Anthromollogies, and I know it’ll translate quite nicely when I slim down after squeezing these kiddos out. HUZZAH!

Here’s another number:

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He loves me so much he trimmed his beard for me.

ELEVEN YEARS U GUISE.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT TODAY IS? It’s our anniversary. Anniversary. It’s our anniversaaaaaaryyyyyy.

Wow. I’ve been married to this red bearded dude for a really long time. I love him even though he mentioned a SIXTH kid while I have two inside of me right now.

To celebrate we went and saw How to Train Your Dragon 2 with the boys while eating pizza and burgers and hot dogs.  We also got choked up because pregnancy hormones, u guise. >.> Tonight, there will be ice cream.

Also, Mad’s a kindergartener now! It’s kind of weird having two kids in school.

IMG_2112He’s adjusting really well. I’m glad but also sad because well…my baby. He’s growing up!

*sniffle*

Anyway, here’s some more pictures from this pregnancy:

IMG_2078Rio being adorable, geez.

SAM_1795 IMG_8382Taken three years apart at the Oregon Aquarium. I like to go when I’m heavily pregnant, apparently.

SAM_1805An outfit from last week.

toods

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Filed under Life, Love, Preggers in PDX, Preggerville, Stylefile, Thrift/Vintage

Do you know what today is?

It’s our anniversary. ANNIVERSARY.

blue0274 - 081099 rollI’ve always hated this picture. My hair was frizzy, my boobs look pointy and I’m carrying a GRIP of stuff (I swear, I’ve never seen that jacket before in my life). But it’s our first ever picture together – and Andy looks so sad! I have to admit, I was freaking THRILLED that he cared so much. I remember how it felt that day, like the world was coming to an end when in reality I was simply getting on a bus (and then a train) back to Sacramento. We were in a WORLD of hurt. We had to wait a month and a half before we saw each other again? OMFG NOT COOL. I remember the girl who took this picture told us, “You guys are so cute!” and we thanked her morosely, pouting all the while. Moments later, I waved through a window and Andy watched the bus leave the station, eyes squinty with emotion, until he finally skated dejectedly away.

CHILDREN, PLEASE! Contain yourselves.

We have been married 10 years today.

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I miss my nose ring.

September 13th, 2003. I’m pretty sure we chose the 13th because we knew some of our anniversaries would eventually fall on a Friday. HUZZAH!

IMG_6232I do love this picture, even though I’m making rabbit teeth. But I like the way my dress looks in motion. My dress was INCROYABLE, ya’ll.  At first Andy wanted to wear a purple suit (which would’ve been awesome) and then all white (which would’ve been awesome), and then he just went with the white tie. Which was awesome.

Together we looked great.

I met Andy in 1999, the end of my sophomore year. We lived in the same dorm, San Rafael. I was on the fourth floor and he was on the sixth and he and his roommates were SO LOUD that I would sometimes want to shout “OH MY GOD YOU GUYS, SHUDDUP!”. They’d move their loveseat out into the walkway and watch people in the courtyard, just LAUGHIN’ IT UP.

His hair was blond with black stripes, and sometimes black with blond stripes, and I called him “Skunk Boy” in my head.

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One day our paths crossed (he was coming from the dining hall and I was on my way there) and he smiled at me. I instantly felt warm and fuzzy inside and I remember thinking, “Aw, he’s sweet.” The next time we saw each other, he was flying by me on his skateboard (barefoot) and he did a double take when he saw me. I think he might’ve said something like, “Whoa, there!” Heh. Or not. It was probably “Heeeey…!” Either way, he ran back to talk to me and we stood there for 2 or 3 hours discussing random things.

This was like a week or two before summer break. I think Andy and I knew each other less than a week before we jumped straight into a relationship. And then we spent 3 months apart. I went home to Sacramento and he stayed in SB. He wrote me the most romantic letters and poems and I wrote back my lovesick replies and we would have these long, sappy phone conversations where we’d each sigh a couple million times.

When I moved back to Santa Barbara? Oh Lord, it’s so embarrassing to think about this because we were UBER dramatic and junk and my sister Bethany witnessed it but we basically did this:

We were in luuuurve.

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He missed my scent.

The first days and weeks and months we were walking on air, believe it or not. See what I did there?

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These pics were taken on Andy’s birthday in 2000. As happy as I looked, I was feeling pretty low. We’d already broken up once and gotten back together the next day and I was afraid it was going to happen again. I was…ahem…a little clingy. A month later, we broke up.

It was a dark time. On the bright side, I lost, like, 20 pounds.

After barely any contact for almost a year, we went to dinner to touch base. Andy was moving back to Templeton and I still had a quarter left of school to finish. We kissed that night and decided to get back together a couple of days later. And then he left town and we were apart for three months. Again.

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Andy’s birthday, 2001. I was feeling pretty good.

Okay, so he visited me on the regular. He did. And while we were apart he wrote me the most romantic emails and poems and I sent back my lovesick replies and we’d have sappy, yet mature conversations about how much we loved each other.

Then I graduated, Andy moved back to SB, and we got a cute apartment together. We lived in Santa Barbara for a year or two (we even worked together at Borders. Those were good times) and then to LA where Andy went to grad school. Our mutual hatred of Los Angeles brought us even closer together, and one night, kneeling in the street, Andy proposed. With a poem.

Right? Of course I said yes!

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Happy Anniversary/Friday the 13th, my love!

toods

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Filed under Andy, Love

Read by Mama

Whenever I read a book to the boys I do it a-la Reading Rainbow. I tell them who wrote it, who illustrated it, and lastly: “Read…”

And the boys all answer: “By Mama!”

So when I got up this morning there was a card for me with the words “Read by Mama” written on it (Andy rocks).

LOVE.

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I’m so lucky.

Also, could Mad’s expressions be any more hilarious?!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and to all the mothers out there: Happy Mother’s Day!

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Filed under KIDS., Life, Love, Stylefile

Ma Nature’s Lyrical

Howdy.

Thrifted shirt (Little Edie’s), Anthropologie dress, Fossil pumps, Thrifted gladstone bag (Ebay)

Lately I can’t get enough of flower patterns and these Fossil flora pumps and the obvious reason is because of the season. Because…Ma Nature’s lyrical, with her yearly miracle. SPRING!


Those crazy kids. Psst. You guys. Ephraim is totally checking out Dorcas. Watch out Benjamin!
Maybe I should have a Seven Brides for Seven Brothers interlude in every post? You think?
Anyway, I found this shirt at Little Edie’s and I must say it compliments my color block dress well, especially since I’ve never felt comfortable with the top half. Actually, I need to take the shirt and the dress in to my seamstress, both are a bit of an odd fit.

I wore this the other day:J. Crew shirt… yeah, you’ve seen it all before and will see it again. I would talk about how nice the weather’s been lately but then I’d just sound like a broken record (spring, spring, spring!). But I’m really enjoying having brown sons for a minute!

What else? A lot of playdates and A LOT of book reading. A lot of cookie eating. A lot of changes: my babies are disappearing before my very eyes, I can’t get over how Z will start kindergarten in the fall. I’m pretty nervous about it actually, so I try not to think about it too much. Mad is loving puzzles lately, and Rio is *this close* to crawling and gets frustrated when he can’t make his body do what he wants it to. After a while of dragging himself all over the place he uses his raptor shriek to let me know that he’s done doing all of the work so could I please hold him under his arms while he lurches around to his heart’s content? Thanks Mom!

Toods,

Jen

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Filed under KIDS., Life, Love, Stylefile

Dottie

Dress: Zara

Tights: Amazon? Can’t remember.

Shoes: Gianni Bini

Purse: Matangi

I’d like you to meet my new dress, Dottie. Isn’t she cute? Dottie came all the way from New York to be with me. I tried to tell her that she shouldn’t get mixed up with a girl like me. “I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel,” I told her. “And I’m SO OVER empire waists!” Try though I might, I couldn’t deny that I  was drawn to her peter pan collar and her sweet polka dots. I realized that I had to have her! Plus, I had to make up my mind sooner or later because I couldn’t hang out in Zara all day when there was plenty more of New York to see the end.

Anyway, I was so NOT in the mood for heels, but I think next time I’ll introduce Dottie to my very good friend Agatha; I have a feeling that they’re a match made in heaven. Say hi, Agatha!

You know who Dottie reminds me of? Another girl that I was scoping out in New York, that’s who. This time it’s a real girl, I promise.

Isn’t her outfit adorbs? We should totally be twinsies! I just need a navy blue cardigan.

 

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Filed under Adventures, I feel pretty, Love, My bag, Stylefile

BB MINE

I need these coats in my life. NEED.

You say epaulets, I say SWOOOON.

So cute, it burns!

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Filed under Love, Pretty things