Cousin Love.

I have a whole post about the twins' 3rd birthday party (a week plus in advance of their actual birthday but schedule-wise it made sense), but still need to upload pics and I have officially hit the proverbial brick wall. For now... my new favorite picture of my miracle niece and my two little (big?) ones. It makes my heart smile to see this. And when I say that Quinn LOVED her cousin, I mean LOVED.

 Ryan was totally ambivalent about K-bug until right before she left, but Q was enamored from moment one. She kissed her, hugged her, comforted her, gave her a paci, and helped feed her. It was completely precious --- and gave me a glimpse of what it would be like if Mommy had another baby.

 But that's a whole other post : ) 

Until then... my love bugs and my cousin. And I can't help but think that when my daddy looked down and saw his three grandchildren like this that he had a big ole smile on his face. Especially since two out of the three carry his big blue eyes. Love you, Daddy. 
We miss you - and wish so much you could have celebrated with us. 

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Attempting to tackle the big question.

This post has been in my draft list in various forms for sometime now. I have never quite come up with the "right" words to fully express and actually hit publish. But yesterday my friend Ashley posted something similar so I figured I would give it another go. You'll have to pardon me if I jump around a bit. It's the most bare-bones post I've written in awhile. If you judge, then please do so silently)

The big question that I get asked most often?
(Most often at inappropriate times ---seriously at Subway???)

Are we done?

Having kids that is.

And the honest to goodness truth is - I just plain ole don't know.
Every few weeks Matt and I talk about it. In all honesty, he would like to have a third but he is also content with what we have now. It's me who is the waffler if you will.

Now this is probably where I will skip around. 

I've been very open with our struggles with infertility. Most of you know that we went through months and months of testing and waiting, only to find out our chances of conceiving in traditional methods were less than .5%. Not 5%. Like half a percent. And IUI's were not an option. So we turned to invitro. And once we made the decision and had our peace with that - we steamrolled ahead. When I get my mind wrapped around doing something, there's very little you can do or say to dissuade me. So off we went through the endless procedures, shots, hormones, every other day check ups, etc. And I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was the best decision we ever made. We were lucky - first time out, boy/girl twins. And God fulfilled our dreams of being parents.

Here's where it gets tricky. Back then, over 4 1/2 years ago when we started everything, all we had were our jobs and each other. So the constant doctors appointments, the bed rest, the monitoring, the exhaustion, the hormones, the crying from the hormones, and shots - and the crying from the shots...it could be handled. We didn't have two little ones running around demanding our attention.

It's a little different now. 

In my head years ago, I just assumed that we would have 2 pregnancies, 2 kids and wrap it up for the day. But twins was a game changer. It was a difficult pregnancy to say the least - not just carrying 2 but carrying 1 that had such a serious heart problem. 

And sometimes I think I would like to have another to experience a normal pregnancy, a normal birth, a normal first few months at home without carting one baby down to the med center each day to see his sister for almost 2 months.

But there's no guarantees of that, right?

I want to have one baby to rock to sleep and not feel like I'm cheating the other one.

But the problem with that? Now I have 2 toddlers so I will feel like they are being deprived.

I want another baby because I'd love to see R&Q in a big brother/big sister role. 

But they also kinda have that. They take turns being the protectors and the "bigs" with each other.

Logistics mess with my head. I feel like our life is on a "track" right now. The "babies" are more independent. We can go places and I can mostly control them, even in large stores. Life is good. Life is full.
Life feels complete at this moment.

But what if it's not? What if we are supposed to be a family of five? Is it just fear holding me back? Or is it me just being selfish of wanting to experience the above again?   
I know without a single doubt that if God blessed us naturally with a third that I would praise Him and thank Him for his grace and mercy.

But it's not that easy for us. To get pregnant takes super planning. Money. Time. Emotions. A complete and total roller coaster. Again, is it worth it? Does that relatively short span of time really and truly matter in the hopefully long lives we will lead? Probably not.

 But it's still hard for me to think about. I don't want to inject shots in my stomach again. I don't want to be subjected to daily progesterone shots in my backside every night at the exact same time for 9 weeks until there literally are no places to give the shots that aren't filled with painful lumps.*

But I know I would do it in a heartbeat if I was sure.

But my heart isn't sure yet.

Maybe because my brain is taking over where my heart should be.

I'm hoping for that magical answer, that magical confirmation - we are done or we aren't.
 And I just don't have that yet.

There are also a myriad of other issues to consider. It has been recommended that we visit with a genetic counselor given Q's heart condition (parents of children with CHD are more likely to have a subsequent child with a CHD). Her type of defect can be genetics related - and we could hear that the chances of another one could be 50/50, 80/20, or maybe 5/90. Who knows?

Of course if we had done that before Q's birth, I know for a fact it would not have stopped me from getting pregnant with the twins. I would have rolled the dice. 

And as much as I hate to admit it, I think partially I am influenced by my friends who have three and four children. They make it work - and make it work beautifully. But if I am being honest with myself, I think I need to know my limits. I need to know myself well enough of what I can handle...sanely. Could I survive it? I think so. Could I handle it fully with grace having 3 children under 4 or 5 years of age? I don't know. Most days I feel like my head could spin off it's axis. And do my children deserve to have a completely A-type of mom who is going to come unglued? Not exactly a healthy scenario.

A friend once said that if you aren't sure if you are done, then you probably aren't. I agree with this logic mostly.

 But I think even people who say "Ok, we are done at two (three) (four)", they may always wonder the "what if". 

See? It's all very confusing. Many emotions. I wish that I had clear answers. I wish I knew fully in my heart what the right decision for us was. And I just don't know yet. I"m praying for clarity. Until then, I will enjoy our family of four, our precious little family that I prayed so many years for.

*Author's note: I would never trade ANYTHING, ANYTHING for everything we went through to bring the twins here. They are my lovies, my light, my everything. I shall never consider it a burden to go through what we went through for them --- it was the utmost PRIVILEGE.*

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Preschool Year in Review - Ryan (2012-2013)

Same disclaimer from Quinn's post. Lots of pictures :)
 Good for the ole bloggy book that I'll print up one day.

Let's see - here's a few details on Ryan's life at Preschool:

  • Ryan's favorite activities were music and playing outside. Oh, and playing with cars inside. He dominated the cars.
  • At first he really, really disliked art. Like his projects would come home with the pieces for us to do at home. Slowly but surely, he eased his way into it and a few months later I had completed art :) However, he loses interest in that quickly and definitely doesn't follow Q's quantity theory.
  • Ryan is definitely my more patient child. And he doesn't have to be first. He likes to scope things out first before diving into something new.
  • Most ironic memory? His teacher telling me how he was so excited to see the firetrucks from inside, but once he went outside, he FREAKED. Wanted nothing to do with it. Even though he sleeps with a firetruck every night.
  • I get the feeling he didn't love to be in the middle of the action. He does very well playing independently and I think enjoys that the most.
  • Preschool drained him. Like seriously sucked the life out of him. He came home almost every day and just wanted to lay on the couch and watch Mickey. After 5 1/2 full hours of playing and activity, I have zero problem with that. And I totally get it. After hours of being with people, this pretend extrovert just wants to chill out and be by myself.
  • He LOVED his teachers. He always talked about them, even from the beginning when his vocabulary was just developing.
  • He absolutely loves any songs that he would pick up from school and would sing them constantly.
  • And just like Quinnie, his love for Jesus (and knowledge of Him) is growing. We say our prayers at naptime every day and it pretty much makes my heart explode.

And here are Ryan pictures (note: some repeats from Quinn's but I want him to have his own page)

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