Saturday, July 30, 2011

On a hot summer's day

I haven't taken the girls to a pool (haven't even been to a pool myself) since we had just Isabella, before she turned two, before we moved half way across the country. From the influences of watching mermaid performances at the aquarium and enjoying water in general, Isabella and Victoria were absolutely elated we were going to a pool today.

Some reasons I have for not wanting to go these days include: it's terribly hot outside. I'm huge, I waddle, and I am not capable of running after two girls going their own directions.

Today, we had company. And, our church friends had the brilliant idea of going to an indoor pool. Yes, I like indoors. Please. Melissa and I are only a couple of weeks apart, in terms of when our babies are due. She's due at the end of September; I'm due mid-October.

Can you see the excitement mounting?

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My friend, Melissa, and her two year old daughter, Camille, were the best. Loved hanging out with them.

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Utter glee and excitement keep building.

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I must report that the girls did not think fondly of the ten minute adults-only swim time.

Why can't we be in the pool?

Can we go back to the pool, now?

How about now?

Can we go swim now?

***

Look at them. Would have stayed there all day if we let them.

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Here I am, at 29 weeks and 2 days, with twins. I sent tsunami shock waves through the women's locker room after I put on my swimming suit and we were heading towards the pool. Jaws dropped to the floor. These women didn't even make eye contact with me.

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I must confess, I was utterly shocked, too. It's not everyday I get a full view of myself. At home, I get a shoulders and above view only. 29 weeks and 2 days, people. No telling what I'll look like by October.

Two months from now, I will be quite a sight, if this isn't already giving you a bit of a surprise.

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These two girls on either side of me are constantly, accidentally, running into me. Mainly my protruding belly. Perhaps the girls are interacting with the babies?

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This recreation center was holding out on us.

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Not long after the 10-minute adult-swim, the seeming calm waters started gushing out. Wow!

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Feeling great and having so much fun.

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Oh girls, we can't stay all day long. We have other plans for the day. Promised we would attend a birthday party in the afternoon.

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I promise we'll come back some time. Come, please.

How about tempting you with more water fun at the birthday party? Where you can put back on your swimming suits and run through sprinklers?

But this is SO MUCH FUN.

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We had lunch with Melissa and Camille before heading back home for naps and quickly leaving for the birthday party.

Told the girls napping was a necessary condition for going to the birthday party. One, I didn't want to deal with cranky tired girls. Two, I needed to sit down for a bit.

***

They actually fell asleep, and I had to wake them up to leave for the party. We were about an hour late.

Heyden, whose birthday we were celebrating, isn't keen on most of the usual birthday fare - like cupcakes or cakes. His treat of choice ended up being popsicles.

Which was perfectly fine with the kids. My girls included.

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In fact, on the way home, Isabella announced that she, too, doesn't want cupcakes or a cake for her birthday. She wants popsicles, too.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A home makeover by my church family

The plan this morning was that my church was sending the girls and me to the Children's Museum, while the youth pastor and some teenagers came over to help around and outside the house. I also would have company - a gal from church with her three young boys and a high school gal to help manage the five kids (ages five and under). My expectations weren't high; I was so grateful for any assistance in, around, and outside my house.

Everyone arrived at the house around 1o:30 or 10:45 this morning. I moved as fast as I could, and we ventured out of the house to the Children's Museum at 11 am; as the youth pastor, a female leader, and five to eight teenagers finished up their lunches. We let the kids play on the first floor for about an hour, had lunch, and then let the kids explore the upstairs fun. Glad to see them full of energy, running to and fro, trying this and that. By two to two-thirty, the adults weren't the only ones tired, but some of the younger ones were showing their cranky tired selves. Time to go.

By the time I got home, I expected to find an empty home, since four to four and a half hours had passed since I had left. I was surprised, shocked, to see the church van still parked in front of my house and teenagers still hard at work outside as well as inside my house. That, apparently, was just the beginning, of the shock.

I walked in the house to see that I got a wonderfully delicious makeover, in addition to cleaning! My living room was rearranged and looked so much more spacious. The girls' toys disappeared into their bedroom or the downstairs. Some wall hangings - painting and some photographs - got moved and rearranged. They had moved the arm chair to the living area, but I wanted the living area and dining area to remain separate.

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To add to the surprise, we also got some much needed little pieces of furniture. Such as this little table for the phones. Sadly, the phones had previously been resting on the floor.


My acrylic painting found its way to the mantle, no longer resting on the bench to the right. One of my photographs, taken in Japan, found its way next to the front door, while the two photographs previously there got moved to the kitchen. The fireplace mantle was tidied up a bit.


Some other goodies we got. . . On the left side, you'll see a long, sleek, black fan that my parents got for us recently. To give the inhabitants of an upstairs that provides a quite warm (lower ninety's) upstairs home during the summer days a reprieve.

But we also were bestowed another kind of fan for the window, one for each bedroom upstairs. One set of blades blows the inside hot air outside, and the other set sucks in or brings in the cool air from the outside. Pretty neat, huh? The contraption sits in front of the screen, so flies, bugs, and the lot do not have an easy way in.


The girls have a fan in their window as well.

Thank goodness for extra fans. The two bedrooms are the parts of the house that get the hottest by mid to late afternoon.


The outside got a makeover as well. This maple tree got its lower branches trimmed.

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Also in the front yard, a little landscaping took place. Mulch was also added so bugs, spiders, and the like would less likely make their way inside the house. I had requested the guys clean out the area immediately outside of the basement windows, so I could easily open the basement windows to air out the downstairs. Please check those spots for snakes, too, while you're at it, since my brother-in-law spotted a snake in one of these window things once. Oh, and they got us a new garden hose for the front yard. See it?


Beautiful landscaping, I think. I'm not at a place where I'm ready to take care of any flowers, yet. Some day, we'll get to the grass.


The backyard trees got a decent trimming as well. This set of trees had plenty of outgrown from the base of the tree and had lots of low lying branches. Looks clean and lovely here.


This tree got the same treatment as well.


Back to the inside of the home. I'm thankful for this, the new window fan(s).


A new table and lamp. Perhaps I can lounge on this love seat and read some time. Looks like the perfect spot, don't you think?


A perfect little table to house the phones.


I am just basking in delight over my little home makeover.

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And the tender loving care from my church family. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I cannot thank you enough.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

While the girls are out

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While my children are in the care of others, I feel obligated to fill that time up with "constructive" activity or meetings in which I desire not to haul little precious cargo with me. How resting or sleeping constitutes slacking off, when I'm utterly exhausted or am pregnant with twins in the third trimester, is beyond me.

In the three little precious hours the girls were away, I waited for a friend, whom I wasn't aware had cancelled (because she hadn't slept the night before and had a horrible migraine). After traveling back home, I cooked a rice noodle dish, pulled weeds in my front yard for awhile (my front yard was overtaken and dominated by meter-high weeds), and ate. Took a bit to cool off and calm down enough to eat, before having to pick up the girls. I actually had less than three hours time, if traveling time is taken into consideration. Not bad, for getting stuff done, eh? But, I wish I could have gotten so many other things done . . .

Monday, July 18, 2011

These are a few of my favorite foods

I was made in America and born here as well. Sometimes I think I need a "Made in America" t-shirt, just to satisfy the numerous curious folks I encounter who must, must, must satisfy their curiosity. Otherwise they might die. I must look too exotic to be American.

Though I've lived my entire life here, in the United States, doesn't mean I cannot appreciate or embrace the culture of my parents and ancestors or any other culture for that matter. I'd rather have an interesting personality than be form fitted into an ambiguous cookie design of no distinct origin whatsoever.

With regards to food, I love to dabble in cuisines of differing ethnic origins. Trying new things is always an exciting new adventure.

However, I do have some favorite foods that almost immediately take me back to warm memories and put a smile on my face. One such food item, a beverage really, is drinkable yogurt I remember having in Taiwan and drinking in childhood. This specific brand - the smell, the taste, everything - brings back fond, vivid memories. I love this drinkable yogurt. It says "soft drink," but it's not soda.


A second food item I currently can't get enough of is this pineapple pastry. Oh so tasty. The complex flavors in my mouth makes for a very happy pregnant lady. I've tried other brands of pineapple pastry, and none have matched this one. None.

On his most recent trip to Taiwan, Daddy picked up a couple of boxes of these exquisite pastries for me. I've never seen them sold here in the States; plus, they aren't the cheapest little delights. So, I've got to be careful about how quickly I enjoy these irresistibly tasty treats.

For the moments I had been thinking about these delicious sensations, momentarily I was distanced from the fact that I am sitting inside my house, where it is a sweltering 90 degrees. Not the coolest for a pregnant lady in the third trimester with twins.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Attempting to keep non-human things alive

I used to be decent at keeping plants alive, especially house plants. Had 20 or some at one point.

Then I had a child. and my ability to keep people as well as non-human living-things alive proved non-existent. So much for the women-are-great-at-multitasking theory. At least where I am concerned. Alright, this is just me; I can live with that. Hello, my name is Lily; I cannot multitask.

Being challenged in the world of keeping different kinds of living beings/things hasn't stopped me from trying. Enter Exhibit A: my purple shamrock plant. Hasn't been doing well at all. Hardly any new leaves coming through the soil, no flowers blooming, and leaves slowly dying. Let's blame it on the dormant winter season.

Er, uh, winter has been over for some time now.

Last week, while the girls were at church for Science Adventure in the mornings, I took some time to ditch the old soil and give the ole girl nutrients via new soil and a good water drench. So far, seems to be working.

Leaves seem happier.

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More leaves are cropping and peaking through the soil. On a tangent, I need a macro lens, with which I wouldn't have these blurry close ups. See leaves coming through?


Wait, it's not two coming up at the same time but four leaves. Count 'em. I'm one happy momma.

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Now, if I could only convince them that circumstances are joyous enough to flower. . .

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Musings of a 4 year old

My four year old. I find the musings of my 4 year old particularly fascinating, because I was once four years old and something very significant happened that I remember quite vividly and starkly. Before revisiting that occurrence, let me mention some musings of my 4 year old, the older sibling in the family.

***

If it is raining, lightning and thunder will follow. And vice versa; if it is lightning and one can hear thunder, rain will fall.

Flowers from weeds and other flowers are not the same.

Night time isn't always dark. Sometimes the sun is still out when night time begins.

Healthy foods help take care of us and help us grow.

She, her sister, and the babies inside my belly will all continue to grow; Daddy and I will not get taller.

Butterflies are cool and neat. Moths are scary.

***

I was about Isabella's age, perhaps a few months younger, when I pleaded with Daddy. I badly wanted to take piano lessons. So, I asked him while he and I were in the garage and my sister was in the family room getting her piano lesson.

How would my dad have known a four and a half year old was dead serious. And that she, I, one year later, would be able to play all my scales. Or that I would compete in various competitions every year, starting at the age of six or seven. Or that I would take twelve years of formal instruction?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A whole new level of tired

On Friday, out of sheer desperation, I got some coffee at Starbucks. Couldn't stomach what I had made at home. If I didn't get some kind of help, someone would have to take care of the girls for me and pick me up off the floor.

Got confirmation of just how tired I was or looked. A friend and barista at Starbucks took one look at me and said something to the effect of "You took tired to a whole new level" or "you look a whole new level of tired." That would accurately reflect my state of being; yes.

Later that day, I got the lab results from my blood work. Couldn't blame my sheer exhaustion on anemia. Guess being pregnant with two and taking care of two in the world are taking me through the ringer.

And, of course, there are nearly sleepless nights, like last night, where I got at most two hours of sleep.

Over and out.