Sunday, December 30, 2007

Tea Party

Yesterday the girls had a tea party with 'real' tea and Libby's new 'breakable' tea set. In the background are the parts of Amelia's crib, ready to go down to the basement. Wow, finally done with the crib after nearly five years of having it in one girl's room or the other's. Now if we could just be done with diapers :)
I am putting a couple of others on the Soul Reflection Blog, too

Saturday, December 29, 2007


There has been very little sleep for Chris and I lately. Get your mind out of the's for a clean reason.
Amelia moved into her big girl bed. It takes a good hour or more every night of sitting in her room so that she will stay in her bed while fighting sleep, tossing and turning, talking to herself, singing, throwing covers off her bed, stretching as far as she can to get them back without actually leaving her bed, kicking, making shadow puppets on from the light of the night light, shaking the little bed rails that keep her from falling out, peeking at us to see if we're still there...... When she finally falls asleep we sneak out on our hands and knees and very slowly pull the door shut. With a sigh of relief and silent 'thank you' prayer we creep back into the living room. Within ten minutes there is usually the sound of an opening door and little feet padding down the hall and accross the kitchen floor. During the night there is always as least one similar episode and we once again need to sit in her room for anywhere from 10 minutes to a half hour. After a couple of hours of sleep we are awoken at about 5am.
This morning I woke up to her jumping onto my chest HARD at about 5. That was one hell of a wake up call, let me tell you.

There are some new photos of the girls and the snow in our yard on my Soul Reflection blog.... Soul Reflection Blog

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Six Years Old.

Tomorrow is the sixth birthday of our twins, Rainey and Grace. To think that they would be halfway through their first year of school...

Both Chris and I have been having a difficult time with it lately. We just miss them so terribly, and this time of year will always be painful. They were born and died just four days before Christmas. Their funeral was right after the holiday. There was snow on the ground the day of the funeral and I had to wear a pair of my mother's sandals because my feet were too swollen to fit in any of my shoes or sandals. I was a mess physically which made it so much harder for me. On top of the insane swelling, I was having all of the normal physical aftereffects of giving birth....pain, bleeding, exhaustion...but it was when my milk came in that I hit my lowest point. How cruel was it to have to milk come in with no babies to feed....I had to wear an ace bandage to their funeral.

I had to go Christmas shopping the day after I got out of the hospital (Christmas Eve) because I didn't have a gift for Chris yet. I know it was ridiculous of me but for some reason it was desperately important to me. Walking into the mall just days after giving birth to two little girls and holding them as they passed away....just days before they would be buried...was sickening. And the day after Christmas we had to go to a doll shop to buy dresses for them to be buried in. The preemie clothes were too large. That, above all else, was the most terrible experience and the one that still makes me feel physically ill when I think of it. There were dolls everywhere....ultra realistic dolls laying in bassinets and sitting in high chairs, staring at us...modeling the clothing that our daughters would wear for their funeral. I will never go into another doll shop again.

Since I had been very large due to carrying twins and having too much amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios...the condition that ultimately caused me to go into labor) I looked like I was full term. So when I saw people after having them they were excited and exclaimed, "oh, you had your babies!!! Congratulations!!" Sometimes I gently told them that yes, I had, but that they had passed away....othertimes I just quietly said 'thank you' and moved on. That happened over and over for many months.

I remember too vividly the feeling of my stomach suddenly collapsing when my water broke during delivery. Because there had been SO much extra fluid it was like a water balloon huge surge of water which made a nauseating sound as it hit the floor in the delivery room. My stomach collapsed instantly and the wind was literally knocked out of me for a moment due to the force. Of course figuratively the wind was knocked out of me for months and months. And sometimes it still is. Like today.

The nurses were very kind to us. As they handed Rainey and Grace to us to hold they were gentle when they told us to not be startled if Grace moved...that she was still alive. They were so warm. And so tiny. And their skin so soft when I kissed them. Hours later, we asked the nurse to bring them back in so we could hold then one more time. I wasn't prepared for how cold they would be.
The nurses took their photographs and put them in little tiny handmade white gowns. They made casts of their tiny feet, and gave us a box with their hospital bracelets, photos, footprints, the handmade blanket they had laid them on, and various other little items. If there is ever a fire I will get Libby and Amelia out first, and then their box. I would risk my life to get their things out safely. I would be devestated to lose the only physical things I have of my daughters'. I have to be able to look at their feet...every tiny wrinkle of their feet are visible.

We have been struggling. We saw a story on the news about sextuplets who survived and are in fair health. They were about the same size at birth as our girls. Although we are always happy for mothers with healthy twins or of tiny preemies who stings every time. Libby's two best girlfriends are five year old twins. It is lovely to see them, but difficult at the same time.

Libby talks about her big sisters in heaven often. I told her that the angel ornaments on the Christmas tree are to remind us of Rainey and Grace.... and she now periodically tells me that all of the ornaments are so beautiful and that they all remind her of Rainey and Grace, and 'Gramps' (my father who passed away three years ago). Last week Chris told the girls that he is so lucky to have two awesome daughters....Libby corrected him and said that he has four daughters. It makes me happy that she so clearly understands that her two big sisters are still in our family and around us every day....and that she has big sisters who are angels who watch over her and Amelia.

Happy birthday, Rainey and Grace. We miss you. We love you.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Cookie Party!!

What a weekend! I'm exhausted. I had a senior portrait session on Saturday. It was down in Milwaukee and we were in the midst of a pretty messy snow storm. I had a lot of fun with her, though, and also enjoyed being able to spend some time with my sister (it was my nephew's girlfriend that I was photographing). Sunday I had a photo session in Oshkosh with a large family...some of my favorite and most regular clients. I had a lot of fun with that, then rushed home to get ready for a big cookie party. Libby was having three of her best friends over to make Christmas cookies. Keep in mind they were all 4 or 5....and add in Amelia and we were in for a mess and a lot of fun. Our kitchen floor was barely visible due to a carpet of sprinkles...and I'm not exaggerating. Thank God my friend, Dani, stayed and helped. It is her son Ethan who is Libby's long time fiancee. I'm including a LOT of photos below.

There was not much sleep to be had in our house this weekend, either. Amelia suddenly figured out how to climb out of her crib on Friday night. And how to open her bedroom door. Need I say more??

Photos from the cookie party....

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Great news!

My new website has launched! I'm super excited about's SO much nicer than my old one in a million ways. Check it out if you're bored!
If the thumbnails in the portfolio section get squished into the jukebox and shopping card buttons, just let the slideshow run instead of clicking on each thumbnail... it only happens if your screen is not wide enough.

Everything else is great around here.... getting ready for Christmas and Santa's arrival. Everyone is very excited :)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

3 Below

Well, it's a balmy 3 degrees below zero today.

I just got an email about a 5k on New Year's day...I am hoping to run it. My plan will be to work on speeding up my pace this month so I can keep up with my running partner and set a new personal best for that distance. I've been running really slowly for months now, because I've lost all ambition to go fast or long.

St Nick came last night for Libby and Amelia...they were pretty excited. Libby is SO excited for Christmas that this was huge for her. She also has an advent calendar that we open each morning. It's from Starbucks (I know, not the most traditional...) and has little drawers for each day. Inside is a piece of chocolate, and after you open each one you turn it around and put it back in. There is a little bit of a picture on each one, so it shows a little more of the whole picture each day.

I swear that Amelia gets more fun and sweet each day lately. I think it's due to her constant growth in vocabulary, so she can express herself with much less frustration. It's so much fun.

I got my new website last night! I am so excited to have a really nice website for the should be up and running (with the same URL... ) within a week or so. Yay!!!!! It will be so much easier for my clients and I because there is a client proofing section as well as a shopping cart, so all of their viewing and ordering can be done right there. The site I've been using has caused nothing but frustration and confusion since I started using it.

I am in Milwaukee today for work and am anxious to get home so I can run and then get started on the site. I am forcing myself to run first, because being very OCD I know that I'd get working on the site and not be able to stop and run. I suppose I'll run on the treadmill, since it's negative three degrees. I love running outdoors in the's my favorite time of year to run outdoors. But when it's less than ten I just stay in on the treadmill unless I'm running with Jo.

Things have slowed down now with photography, since the holiday photo season is wrapping up. I'm enjoying the slow time, but am anxious to do a few more sessions with my new camera, which I LOVE. If you want a REALLY good camera get the Canon 40D :)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Let it snow!

Well, we're in for our first storm of the season...they are saying 5-8 inches today/tonight. Perfect day to put up the Christmas tree and drink a lot of hot chocolate!
Libby is still feeling very stylish and sassy with her new hairo. I cannot get over it....she looks SO old and SO damned cute! It suits her absolutely perfectly. I say it all of the time, but I LOVE that she feels secure enough to be her own express herself and just to be...Libby. Love it. I hope that we can continue to nurture the environment so that she and Amelia can both feel able to be themselves throughout their lives. In my opinion it helps their self-esteem, confidence, creativity, and most importantly happiness.

Amelia is amazing. Her vocabulary is impressive as is her sense of humor. If it's possible I love and enjoy her more and more every day. I am humbled by her and Libby's beautiful spirits.