the homepage of gregory and ann kline

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Here's a couple things that we have been up to...

- Soccer! Both kids are now playing soccer once a week. It is a very informal group of 3-4 year olds. They split the hour up into several sections where they play soccer skill games or just have the kids work on some sort of skill. Marcus has been loving playing for the past year and we decided it was time to give Will a chance at it. There is a big difference between the listening skills of the 4 year olds compared to the 3 year olds, but Will is doing a great job and loving it. Just wish I had the energy to go watch them play more often instead of choosing to stay home and rest.

- My belly and the babies inside are still growing. For all the fears that my doctors and I have had about complications and preterm delivery, things are going amazingly well. One baby is measuring completely average in size and the other baby is huge - measuring close to the 80th percentile for growth. I do have some tall people way back in my family tree so maybe he is getting his genes from there.

- All four of us have had the joy of experiencing this nasty cold that seems to be hitting everyone right now. We are feeling much better, but still doing lots of nose blowing.

- We had a really nice Thanksgiving. Could have been nicer had my cold stayed away for a few more days. We had dinner at my sister's and everything was yummy! The best part was just getting to spend time together as a family.

- Greg and I took a breastfeeding class at the local hospital. We told the kids that we were going out and Grammy would put them to bed. Marcus asked if we were going on a date. Hmm... Greg and I out alone without kids talking about my boobs... Yes, I think it was a date.

- This deserves a post all on its own so maybe I will elaborate more another time, but I just want to throw out there how proud I am of the progress Will has been making at school so far this year. My two kids are drastically different in their view on school-type activities. Will is just way more interested in playing pretend or doing sports than he is in the details it often takes for many educational activities I can come up with. As hard as it is for me, I feel I have done a decent job at encouraging his strengths and the things he loves, and not pushing the things I think he should be doing/learning. At some point I realized forcing the things I wanted him to know on him was just going to be ugly for everyone and decided I would leave that up to a good educational system. Every time he brings projects home from school or even just tells me details about his time at school, I am so proud of him for how much he is learning.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Moms of Multiples are Freaks (and so are moms of adopted children)

I came across this video that I found completely hilarious. Although I have yet to experience this in full force, I have already had the joy of receiving and dodging several of these questions. I'm pretty good at dealing with invasive questions from strangers who don't seem to notice one bit that their questions are rather personal/annoying/stupid. A very similar video should be made switching out the mother of twins for a mother of adopted children of a different race than her.


Friday, November 19, 2010

The Future

I'm naive. Not so much as I was back when we were waiting for Marcus to come home. I filled the time reading books and had decided exactly the type of parent I was going to be. I knew the facts. I did the research. I knew how I was going to implement the steps to be that mom of my fantasy. I knew how I would handle getting him to sleep at night. I knew how I would handle feeding him. I just knew it all. That was until the second he was placed in my arms.

Apparently I forgot to read the book that explained that my kid (or your kid, or any other kid you ever met) is not going to go along with your plan. I missed that other book that explains that most of parenting is about winging it, flying by the seat of your pants, and making it up as you go along. And I am certain that no one has even bothered to write the parenting book that explains that no matter what kind of expectations you have for yourself and the kind of parent you will be, none of that will override the fact that you have a well molded personality that is what it is no matter what.

Out the door went cosleeping because Marcus had been sleeping in his own crib for months and really had no need or desire for it. Out the door went all my plans to run swiftly to his side the second he whimpered in the night because I was so exhausted that I usually didn't hear him and Greg got there first anyway and often took care of him without me ever realizing. Out the door went my plan for Marcus to fit smoothly into our lives since our lives at the time didn't accommodate for nap time and long, frequent feedings and his need for downtime.

You would think I would have learned. Instead we jumped into our wait for Will and I jumped into a whole new world of fantasy and expectations about the future in my head. With two kids, they would play together. They would be on the same schedule, or more importantly, Will would be happy to suddenly jump into the schedule the rest of us were on. Yeah, I was dumb again.

This time I am doing it right. Or at least trying to. I am trying not to even bother to think about what it will be like when we have two more little boys in this house. I do have a few expectations. Or really just one. I expect to be completely overwhelmed and tired for the next 18 years. I have no clue if these babies will be ready to come home a few days after they are born or if they will have a stay in the hospital. I have no clue how well they will handle their feedings or how long a feeding will take. Actually, I have no clue what to even expect of newborns since I have never had one in my house for more than a few hours.

I am keeping myself even from thinking too much about how Marcus and Will are going to be with everything. We talk about the babies and so far everything seems to be going well. (Or at least it is going better than the first time I mentioned to Marus he was going to have two new brothers and he started screaming "Nooooo!!!!") Will loves babies. He loves playing with them and holding them and rocking them and doing anything he can think of to care for them. But, he isn't around them every minute of every day so I am refraining from having too many expectations that he will have any interest in doing those things with his little brothers. Marcus loves being the big brother and is not so fond of having Will steal the spotlight. Obviously I have some fears about how having two babies in the house that need lots of extra attention is going to weigh on him. But he also has this intense sensitive side. Each time I lay down in my bed he comes in and asks if I want my teddy bear or if there is anything that he can get for me. He is a helper at heart so maybe I have no reason to expect much jealousy from him. The other day Marcus put his hands on the sides of my belly completely unprompted and then pressed his ear up against my skin. He said, "Hi babies. I want to play with you." I never expected my heart to be smiling so big.

I have no idea what to expect or what the future might hold. I do know that even though it might take awhile, it will all work itself out. And I totally expect to forget that point when I am sleep deprived and all four of my children are screaming at the same time.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

28 Weeks

I feel like my blog has been rather neglected over the past few months. It hasn't been for lack of content to blog about necessarily. It is mostly because I just can't find the energy to whip out the computer, take ten minutes to find a comfortable position to sit in, then realize I have to pee before getting situated again, and finally typing something up. This growing babies stuff is hard work.

But I now can say almost completely confidently, that all this growing baby work is going to be worth it. Not that I ever thought two new members of my family would not be worth the effort, it is just that I have had my doubts whether all this effort would result in two babies. I had my doubts that even getting pregnant would be a possibility. Then when we found out that it was twins, I had even more doubts that my body could go the distance. I was in serious doubt that I would make it out of the first trimester without the loss of one or both babies. I have a reproductive issue that drastically increases the chance of miscarriage and stillbirths. (Even the word "stillbirth" makes me sick to my stomach.) Yet, I managed to watch the weeks tick away. First 12 weeks were done and I had made it out of the first trimester when most losses occur. Then I made it to the point that miscarriages became highly unlikely. Then I hit 20 weeks where if something happened to the babies, it would no longer be classified as a miscarriage and would become a stillbirth. I couldn't stop smiling the day I was 24 weeks. At 24 weeks, babies have their first fighting chance at living outside the womb. Babies born at 26 weeks have an 80% survival rate, which is impressive that babies so tiny could survive, but the fact that 20% of babies born at that gestational age don't make it still had me quite on edge. Just two days ago I hit 28 weeks. I woke up at 3 am (because I had to pee of course) and my first thought was, "I am 28 weeks right now!" I've hit another huge milestone in this pregnancy. Survival rate is way up at this point and the chances of life long health problems due to prematurity is way down. I have hit the home stretch. In 2.5 months or less, we will all finally be able to meet these little guys!

Best of all, as miserable as I am lugging this giant belly around and having every inch of my body ache, I am not showing any signs of going to into labor any time soon. That isn't to say it couldn't happen at the drop of a hat, but it doesn't seem likely. I have managed to get myself familiar with the labor and delivery department at the hospital since I did have one day where I was having contractions that ended up stopping and last Friday I got to hang out there to be monitored for an issue somewhat unrelated to the continued growing of these babies. I have such a wonderful group of doctors (yes, I have to deal with an entire group of doctors, not just one) that are always on top of my care. So much so that woman who does the scheduling of appointments and I have come to recognize each others voices on the phone.

In addition to being physically exhausted, I am also rather mentally exhausted as well. And bored. Can one be bored mentally and exhausted mentally at the same time? Yes, because I am. I haven't been put on any physical limitations by my doctors (which is AMAZING), but I certainly am not capable of doing much these days. I try to cook dinner and do a load of laundry every day, but some days that is still too much for me to handle. I am left doing a lot of nothing. My back pain makes it difficult for me to sit for too long, so I often find myself in the one position where I am not miserable - laying flat on my side in bed. I can't be very crafty with my hands in that position or I would be knitting. I can read, but even though I love reading, it gets tedious at times. I have tried surfing the net or emailing but typing is nearly impossible in that position and there is only so much staring at my iphone I can manage. Movies are good... but really, how many movies can one person watch? I can cuddle with Marcus or Will or just talk with them or read to them in my bed, but it can only be one kid at a time or else they think my bed is a trampoline and they love to be on the move so getting them to cuddle with me long doesn't happen. Mostly I lay there thinking of all the things I had really wanted to accomplish before these babies arrive. The babies have beds, but they aren't set up yet. The babies have clothes that are mostly organized, but not well enough to suit my type A personality. The babies have a room that isn't ready for them and is still currently occupied by their brother. I know the logical thing would be to cash in on some help that has been offered to me but as I mentioned, I have that type A personality that means that in order for it to be done the right way, I am the only one who can do it. I guess I should just succumb to the fact that it will never get done. If it can't be done before the babies arrive, no chance in hell that it will happen after they arrive!

Mostly I lay around and can't stop thinking about just how blessed I am. Miracle is a bit of a strong word, but it is truly amazing to me that I have been able to make it so far in this pregnancy when all odds have been against me. So many expected moms to twins end up on bedrest sometime midway through the second trimester. I have hit the third trimester and all my resting is bed is mainly voluntary. I am blessed to have a fantastic family, particularly a mother who is able to cart my kids to and from preschool every day and entertain them for endless hours just so I can hang out in my bed. I am blessed to have the most amazing group of friends. Nine of my closest friends got together and set up a schedule so that from the end of October through the beginning of January, they are showing up at my house to entertain me and/or my kids to help break of the monotony of me not really feeling up to going anywhere. I am blessed with a husband who has been understanding beyond all expectations and has never once complained about all the extra household work he has had to take over. I am blessed with Marcus and Will who have been so flexible with the fact that their mommy spends so much time in bed lately. And of course, I have been blessed with these two little angels that spend their days and nights kicking me in my ribs and headbutting my bladder and are growing just perfectly.


Sunday, November 07, 2010


Looks like I'm winning the belly growing contest!


Wednesday, November 03, 2010


I walked into our dark bedroom the other night, turned on the light, and this is what I found.


Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Halloween has come and gone. Thankfully I have pretty agreeable children in certain aspects. They don't really have too much of an opinion on what they are for Halloween. Marcus was full of suggestions this year. The absolute best of which was when he suggested that he dress up as a stink bug. If only I was feeling more creative these days... I came home from a consignment sale with a couple of costumes and both kids were thrilled. They were just excited to get the chance to dress up and could care less what they got to be. I have a feeling that this might be the last year I get to make this decision for them.

Notice those ever important flashlights they are carrying since it was daylight the entire time during trick-or-treat. Maybe I am remembering wrong, but I swear when I was a kid it was actually dark outside when we went door to door.

Marcus kept asking what I was going to dress up as. He wasn't satisfied when I said nothing and insisted that I could be a butterfly. I agreed, as long as he made my costume. My little consumer said, "You don't MAKE costumes. You BUY them." Well, we showed him. With a little help from Greg, Marcus and Will made my costume.

I'm not a very aerodynamic butterfly these days.

Since my dad's birthday is the day before Halloween, we sandwiched our trick-or-treating between birthday dinner and cake and ice cream. (Actually, I didn't even do the trick-or-treating this year, just sat on the porch at my parents' house. I definitely partook in the dinner and ice cream though.) My dad was thrilled to have all his grandchildren around to blow out his candles for him. He said, "I didn't even have to waste any of my own hot air on that!"

Happy Birthday, Dad!


Monday, November 01, 2010

Kids and Loss

A week ago my family experienced the loss of my aunt. The saddest part for me is the feeling that I never got a chance to know her very well. She didn't live locally most of my life and the time she did spend living near me was after she had had a stroke and didn't communicate very well. I do have some amazing memories of the summer when I was nine and I visited her and my uncle outside of DC for a couple weeks.

We have had a few deaths in our family over the past few years. It wasn't quite two years ago that we lost our beloved pooch, a loss that Marcus and Will definitely felt since she was a member of our household. The boys still talk about their first family dog, particularly when they see photos of her. Although they didn't know my aunt very well either, she was someone they often saw at family gatherings and someone who was always able to get them roaring with laughter. It was hard to let them know that she passed away but they both agreed that she is now in heaven with our pooch.

Greg and I have decided not to shield our kids from a lot of things in life. Not that we want to bombard them with violent images on TV or discuss every aspect of the news with them, but death is a part of life and we figure it is a part they need to know about. With the other family deaths they have been around for, there was no viewing. There was a viewing with my aunt and Greg and I agreed that Marcus and Will would attend.

We talked about it very briefly before we left. We didn't want to make too big of a deal about it and make them over think things, but we knew we better prepare them. We started off by just mentioning that we were going to see their aunt, but it was just her body now because she had died. Marcus announced, "It will just be her bones." A couple weeks ago when we went to see the dinosaurs at the museum, we assured the kids that there was nothing to be afraid of because the dinosaurs were dead and it was just their bones left. So we had to stress that those dinosaurs were only bones because they died a LONG time ago, but their aunt would still look like their aunt.

Just before we left we explained that there would be people there that might be crying and be sad, and that is okay. It is okay to be sad because we won't get to see our aunt for a long time. Also, there was no need to worry if Mommy or Daddy was crying either because we are just sad but will be okay. We also told them it was very important to be quiet and act like big people because this normally was something only big people get to do.

I have no idea if we handled things the "right" way or not, but that is how we handled it. I am sure it helped since my aunt was someone they were familiar with, but not someone they were really close with. Neither of them had any questions for us after we saw my aunt for the last time so I think it all went smoothly.

It was nice to get to see several of my cousins who live out of town. I only wish they would have been in town for a different reason. I'm glad to know that my aunt is in heaven now and no longer trapped inside her body that was affected by her stroke. I am willing to bet that Aunt Shirley and Uncle Pat are up there being as goofy as always as they play endless rounds of golf.

My aunt and I at my baby shower four years ago when she assisted that I sit on her lap for the photo.