the homepage of gregory and ann kline

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Twins Arrival!!

The boys were born around 10:45 this morning, weighing 4lbs 11oz and 3lbs 8oz. They are doing great but spending some time in the NICU due to size and gestational age (34weeks, 1day). Dad is doing great and Mom is recovering. 

We only got to spend a few minutes with each of them, so we haven't decided who is who, but their names will be Aaron Samuel and Sean Robert. We'll let you know when mom is ready for visitors.

Photos will be posted when I'm not blogging from my phone. For now, follow these links.

Baby A

Baby B


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

This is your Christmas Card

Wishing you a very merry holiday season and a happy new year from the Kline family!
- Greg, Annie, Will, Marcus, and Maya

Sorry we skipped out on doing Christmas cards this year but we wanted you to know that we are thinking about you! If you are a regular reader or have been in touch, I am sure you understand why I went this lazy route instead of sending you a personal card.

Quick rundown if we haven't been in touch - We will be expanding our family any minute now from the four of us (plus our pup) into six of us. I'm pregnant with twin boys that are due to arrive sometime in the next 5 weeks. It has been a rough pregnancy that eventually led to me having major abdominal surgery two weeks ago. Thankfully everyone is doing just fine, although still recovering. The entire family has had to make a lot of adjustments to make it through this rough patch but we all know that it will pay off. We are looking forward to celebrating a very Merry Christmas together in just a few short days!


Ho Ho Ho

We took the kids for their annual picture with Santa at the mall on Sunday. We weren't sure it was going to be something we could accomplish this year but we made it. My sister told me that our local mall has complimentary wheelchairs so the first stop was customer service to pick one up. I don't think I could have made the trek to Santa's post in the middle of the mall without someone pushing me there. I don't feel that I really look that pregnant sometimes, particularly when I am sitting down. Apparently I am wrong since one of Santa's elves asked me if I was planning on having this baby before Christmas. Nope, technically still have 7 more weeks to go and there are two babies. All this happened while I was sitting in the wheelchair with my purse on my lap. Later on in our trip I had another lady comment to me that I just looked exhausted. I have pretty much avoided all the pregnant lady out in public attention I hear about since I don't really go out.

The Santa visit was fantastic! I set out several outfits for the kids to pick from that I felt were winter/Christmas appropriate, so their attire was pretty much all their idea. Will was shy for about 2.3 seconds and then he was over it. We even had to wait in line for a little bit and both kids were very patient. Marcus and Will jumped right up on Santa's lap and the first picture that was taken was a success! The only downside is that Marcus and Will both suddenly decided they needed to ask Santa for a dump truck in addition to their other requests. I am thinking Santa doesn't have time to make any more dump trucks to add to our already large dump truck collection. The items that Marcus has consistently been asking for are race cars, a race car track, and a Steelers shirt. Will has just been asking for race cars. This is the first Christmas in a couple years that trains haven't been at the top of the lists.

After photos we headed to the food court. It was Will's actual birthday after all. Nothing says birthday celebration like dinner at the mall food court! I don't know if maybe I was just happy to be out of the house and not at the doctor's, but the entire outing was so nice. The kids were so well behaved. We had some great conversation. And everyone had fun!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Will!

Today my little guy Will turned 4 years old! I can't believe my "baby" is so old. I got news for you Will (and Marcus too for that matter), no matter how old you get, you will still always be my baby.

Will had a fun birthday party last week with some relatives. Today, on his actual birthday, we didn't do a whole lot to celebrate since since we did all that last weekend.

I feel really bad about things I had wanted to do to make his birthday extra special this year but just wasn't able to do. We missed out on celebrating his birthday at school, but hopefully he can have a special day at school in a couple months when we can take in a snack for his class and I might even be able to steal away an hour to hang out at school with him. To makes things worse, this post doesn't even have any pictures because I am having camera card issues. There will be pictures, just not today.

I told Will this morning that I was certain that his birthday family was probably thinking of him a lot today. I asked him what he would tell his birthmom if he could. He said that he would tell her that he is happy and loves his family very much.

Happy Birthday!! May 4 be the best year yet!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

I Need Help Please

Everyday my kids try to tell me that they are incapable of doing things. From one kid I get I get a grumpy and frustrated, "I can't do it!" From the other I simply get an, "I can't," only it is said in a high pitched whiny voice in which he is somehow able to turn the word "can't" into a six syllable word. I never want my kids to think there is anything they can't do. (Well, within reason. Like no, they can't eat dog food and neither can they sniff glue.) As soon as I hear them mutter (or whine) that word can't, I ask them for a better way to say that. Like well trained puppies they respond with, "I need help please." It is my little way of trying to teach that we can all do anything we set our minds to but sometimes we do need some help.

Too bad their mother isn't too good at practicing what she preaches. I've always been the annoying kid who insists "I do it by myself!" I really suck at asking for help. I suck even more at accepting it. People have been offering for the past 6 months to help. For the past 6 months I've been telling people thanks, I'll get back to them, and still thinking... I do it by myself. The time has come. I can't. Or what I really mean is, I need help please.

So I'm cashing in. For all of you who offered to help and I have left you hanging, I've come up with some things that I could really use some help with. Thought I would post it here so no one feels obligated because I know this time of year is generally insane and time is stretched thin. It is a time for you to spend with your family, not taking care of mine. If you feel so inclined though, just send me an email (annie@gkline.com) or a message on Facebook if you would like to help with any of these things while I cheer you on from my recliner and avoid moving too much.

Wrapping Christmas Presents - I got the gifts. I got the wrapping paper and supplies. I even have some festive background music I could turn on at your request. Just could use some help with the bending and stretching and lifting gifts for wrapping.

Laundry - Greg's been great keeping up with the essentials but things are starting to back up a bit.

Getting Ready for Babies - We have cribs that need assembled. A dresser that needs painted and stocked. A few things in the attic that need to be brought down. Some organization of the huge pile of stuff that is in the middle of the babies' room. And it is all just waiting...

A Bag of Groceries - Nothing fancy, just maybe a few staples. Bread and cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches, ready to eat fruits or veggies, snacks, nonperishables, or anything we can stuff in our freezer for later. Although not the healthiest thing, ready to eat meals (Kid Cuisines, Lean Cuisines, etc.) are always great to have on hand for a quick lunch.

Dinner - Mmm... More food. If you ever want to help someone out, just feed them. Anything that involves heating and eating would be a huge blessing right now.

Exercise my Dog - The poor pup could use some play time. She loves walks around the neighborhood or just anyone to spare 5 minutes to play fetch with her in the yard. She is easy to please and if you show up, she will be happy to see you and get lots of exercise just showing her excitement!

Cleaning - If you are really brave and want to try to straighten up this place that I haven't cleaned for six months, who am I to stop you? I would gladly point you in the direction of the vacuum or dust rag.

Entertain my Kids
- I know a lot of you have offered watch my kids. I haven't once said yes and it has nothing to do with you. In addition to their crazy alternating preschool drop off/pickup schedule, my kids have been pretty sensitive to all the changes around here. They aren't used to just going off to other people's houses without me along. However, we would love for you to come here and play. My mother has taken over watching my kids almost all day long and I know she could use a break.

Entertain Me - Have you seen a good youtube video lately? Send it over! Got a totally addictive (and preferably free) iphone app? I want to know! Know a website that you just can't get enough of? Link please!

Get Creative - I am sure there are about a million other ways that I could use help and I don't even know it. If you think of something, make an offer! And if this is a crazy time in your life, that is perfectly understandable. I still love ya!

And thanks in advance. These past few weeks have been really bad and I know things are going to be insane around here for awhile. But as soon as things settle down, I have a lifetime to repay your good deeds or pay it forward. I am looking forward to it!


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Sliced and Diced

I never do things the easy way. I just wish at this point I could have found an easier alternative to my latest drama.

I've been battling issues with my right ovary since the beginning of this pregnancy. If you recall, I spent my summer beach vacation in the Outer Banks Hospital writhing in pain caused by giant cysts on my ovary. The cysts were causing the ovary to attempt to turn on itself and cut off it's own blood supply. Things seemed to stabilize though and the ovary troubles appeared to be a thing of the past. Until a few weeks ago. The pain came back. I quickly learned that as soon as I felt the pain, if I were to lay in a particular position it would subside within 30-45 minutes. It wasn't ideal since I never knew when the pain would arrive and if it would be feasible to stop what I was doing dead in my tracks. But I got by.

Then along came the pain again last Thursday. I laid down. It went away. Within 30 minutes it was back and nothing I did would stop it. Greg took me to the hospital. I dreaded going because, well, who looks forward to the hospital? But also because I have been there for the same reason multiple times and all it resulted in was me laying on a very uncomfortable table for hours on end in pain while virtually nothing was being done. Apparently I just wasn't screaming loud enough in the past because this time I got so much attention that the doctors wouldn't leave me alone. Unlike past pain issues with my ovary, this time around tests showed that my ovary was successful at twisting around enough to cut off the blood supply completely. By 1 am Friday morning I was having emergency surgery.

No one is all that fond of performing surgery on a pregnant woman. I certainly was not fond of being the patient in this scenario. I must have asked every question in the book pertaining to the risks of these babies of mine. The doctors assured me they were going to take every precaution. Normally the surgery would be laproscopic but that wasn't going to be an option with this big old pregnant belly of mine. I would have to go under anesthesia but they would keep me under as short of time as possible. (This meant I was awake during most of the surgery prep and they woke me up while I was still in the OR getting cleaned up after surgery.) The babies were monitored immediately after surgery. I was given steroid shots to help develop the babies' lungs in case they did need to be delivered and was given medication to stop labor just in case it started. The second I realized I was gaining consciousness while still laying there in the OR I shouted out, "Are my babies okay?"

Yes. The babies are fine. Almost a week after surgery and they are still fine. I'm now over 31 weeks pregnant with two very active babies. The big goal in twin pregnancies is to make it to 34 weeks. One surgeon said with all the stress, she would be surprised if I made it much longer than that. I told her she better prepare herself to be surprised then.

My ovary didn't have a very positive experience through all of this. The surgeons were hoping to untwist the ovary and allow the blood flow to return. The ovary had twisted on itself multiple times and after all the untwisting, no blood supply was returning. Bye bye ovary. I'm glad I don't have to worry about having anymore pain caused by that thing.

Babies might be doing great but I am downright miserable. My incision is about 12 inches long extending from a few inches above my belly button straight down, all held together by a shiny row of staples. I'm in a lot of pain. I would really love to get off of the pain meds they have me on but delaying a dose for just 15 minutes is excruciating. I've also had to deal with lots of minor post-surgery effects. My intestines stopped working for a few days after surgery. Things are better but eating is still not going that great. My lungs were threatening to collapse at one point. I am breathing better now with just a little wheezing. I am also retaining about 15lbs of water from all the IV fluids they gave me. Most if it is in my one leg making it very uncomfortable, difficult to walk, and makes me feel as though I have elephantiasis. I am home though. I missed my boys so much.

Happy Holidays to me!


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

New Toy

I got myself a new toy - an early Christmas present perhaps. I have been saving up for it for almost a year. And you ask, how does one save up for something when one does not even have a paying job? Well, let me tell you. First of all, I spent Greg's money, which is really my money anyway of course. My credit card has a reward program that allows me to earn amazon.com gift cards. So, all that grocery shopping landed me with a bit of a savings (as long as I spent it at amazon.com). From time to time I also participate in online surveys that earn me points that I then can trade in for gifts or prizes, or in my case, more amazon.com gift cards.

So, what kind of toy did I get myself?

No, I didn't buy a corvette with amazon.com gift cards. (Although my dad once bought a vehicle with spare change.) But just look how crisp and clear that photo is! That is because I took that photo with my new camera. It is a Canon Digital SLR camera. Don't ask me anything else about it because I don't have a clue. I've only made it a short way into the manual and haven't really ventured out of the automatic modes yet, but I am still loving it! I've taken a ton of pictures while laying in my bed (which is where I can often be found these days). So nice that I can practice and just erase those photos of my ceiling fan. I did venture outside for about 20 minutes last week before I became completely exhausted just to play around with it. Nothing too exciting, but thought I would share some aspects of our yard (and one indoor shot) through the lens of a decent camera.

I have to say that it is totally true that you really do repect the things you have to work to get. Yeah, I probably could have just whipped out that credit card and bought this camera months ago but I was commited to "saving" for it. I was so excited when it arrived that I just sat with the box on my lap for quite awhile enjoying the moment of finally getting something I have been waiting for. Then I opened it up and freaked out at the amount of buttons on the thing that I still have no clue what to do with.