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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to you all! It's been fun over here at the Dunn house. First of all, we went to a Halloween party at my cousins on Saturday night. I was Raggedy Ann, Eric was the Hamburglar, Jake was a cute monkey and Hailey was a cute Koala.

First of all, none of the kids at the party knew what Eric was. When we got to my cousins, the triplets ran up to the car to greet us, and were like "Uncle Eric, what are you?" and he was like "I'm the Hamburglar from MCDonalds." They still had no idea what the Hamburglar was! What the hell! What are they teaching kids nowadays? Damn McDonalds and their stupid Monopoly game! Why don't have they the glasses with Grimace and the Fry Guys on them! ugh ... how will our youth learn anything important in this life?

The kids did not love their costumes. Jake did better in his than she did. But to be fair, Hailey's costume was much heavier and hotter. So we got a few cute pics, but then we had to rip them off them before Hailey burst a lung from crying. Here are some cute pics from the party.
Jake the MonkeyHailey the Koala

Then today I took the kids to my work (today was one of my days off) to visit everyone there, before going to Grandma's work and showing them off some more. It really was a long day for them. Thank god they napped in the car. Tonight we didn't do anything exciting with them. Unless you consider bath night exciting. Aunt Chrissy came over to visit though, and helped us get some more cute pics. God, I love these kids! Hailey's got this nervous smile that cracks me up.


Wonder Twin Powers Activate! Shape of .... the cutest twins EVER! I love these onesies. And I promised them to Erin and I am going to send them to her after she has her twins. Here they are on my little bundles of cuteness in the meantime! I just love this picture of Jake, he was CRACKING UP when I was bouncy the Eeyore stuffed animal on his belly. He's such a goof!
Wonder Twins
Happy Jake

Besides all this unbelievable cuteness, things have been pretty great over here. Work is good, I love being back there. It's so nice to have that time for myself again. And I literally RUN home to see those kids when the day is over. Physical therapy is KICKING my ass! She keeps doing these major deep tissue massages and literally I think I am going to cry when she is doing it. But I guess that's what happens when your son is a big fat lump! He's breaking my back, literally. Oh well, if that's my biggest complaint, I'll take it.

The babies are really moving around like lunatics. Hailey has been rolling all over the place for the last few months. We can't put her anywhere unsupervised except the floor, and even then she tries to roll away. But we could always count of Jakey to be a lump. Not only wasn't he rolling, but he was barely even trying, and din't seem to care. He was very happy on his back. And then one day it all changed. He was trying to roll over onto his belly, and managed to figure it out in like 2 days. Then suddenly he was rolling front to back. Ugh. So now we really need to watch these kids. No more putting them on the bed and leaving the room for a minute. I guess is it preparing us for mobile twins. But I don't know if anything can really prepare us for that.

Any of the pics in this post are links to a TON more cute pictures over in Shutterfly. Go check 'em out. I must say, the embryologists picked the cutest sperm and the cutest eggs, cause these babies are the cutest little people ever.

Erica and Eric (by the way, I always end my posts this way, and it's stupid, cause I always write them and Eric NEVER does. He told me he was going to write a post sometime soon, something about what a terrific wife and mother I am. We'll see if that happens ... 8-))

Friday, October 26, 2007

Barren Bitches Book Brigade #7: Happiness Sold Separately

So, here is my first turn on the Barren Bitches Book Tour. This month we read Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston. The basic rules of the tour are read the book, submit a question, get the entire list of questions that everyone submitted, answer a couple of them in a post, thus starting a discussion about the book. All books have some sort of theme related to infertility/adoption/child bearing etc.

Anyway, the book was about a husband and wife, Elinor and Ted, who are dealing with infertility. It's put a strain on their marriage, and right at the beginning of the book, Elinor overhears her husband on the phone, and realizes that he is having an affair with his younger, healthier personal trainer from the gym. The story evolves as Elinor confronts Ted and leaves him, he breaks it off with the trainer, Gina, and attempts to reconcile with his wife. They both deal with the obstacles of trying to work out their relationship, while Ted still sees Gina, and finds out she has a son Toby that he didn't know about from a previous relationship. To add insult to injury, Ted falls in love with Toby and they form a relationship. Elinor spontaneously without treatment ends up pregnant with her husband's child, which causes them to try and save their marriage. Unfortunately, she loses the baby. The ending is left somewhat ambiguous, but I think it's obvious that Elinor and Ted are through, and he is going to go back to Gina. Now to the questions:

Elinor seemed to turn all of her books on the subject of infertility backwards on the bookshelves, where Roger found them while cleaning. Why do you think she did so? In what ways do you think people who are struggling with infertility help in keeping infertility such a "taboo" topic? Do you see infertility ever becoming a more accepted or understood topic?
Well, this question kinda touched close to home, because I was very secretive about going through our infertility treatments. Why? I'm not really sure. On one hand I think it was the embarrassment of feeling like I was failing at something that so easily comes to other people. But I think it also had to do with the fact that if I tell 50 people that we are going through treatment, then it's 50 people that I have to call and tell that it didn't work. I mean, when "regular" people get pregnant, they don't call their friends and have to say "Hey, got my period, didn't work this month". Then don't have all their hopes and fears pinned on one months worth of medication and medical procedures. And it's bad enough to have to deal with the reality of a failed cycle, but then to have to tell everyone and their mom about it? I think it's just too much. So I'm not sure if it's a taboo subject, or just a really personal and private one.

I also think that a lot of people feel it's their right to give you their opinion or point of view on medical fertility treatment. Seriously, if someone told you they were trying to get pregnant by having sex with their husband or wife, would anyone ever say "Really? Cause you guys are kinda stupid and irresponsible, maybe you shouldn't have kids right now." Of course not! But tell someone you are going trying to get pregnant medically, and they will come out with all types of opinions. Like religious ones about how it's unnatural and the church does not support fertility treatments. Or my favorite "How can you do that? You don't feel bad about all your babies that you didn't transfer and just died?". People don't say to fertile couples "Oh, you didn't try to get pregnant this month? Well that's just half a baby you killed! What a wasted egg!" Oh well, I could go on about this for hours ... Next question ...

The book explores different kinds of love. It seems that their battle with fertility (and really Elinor's battle with herself) has changed the type of love Ted feels for his wife. Has your journey with infertility and/or loss changed the love between you and your spouse?
I think that any issue in a marriage can go one of two ways. Either bring the couple closer, or push them further apart. Elinor turned inside with her pain, and instead of leaning on her husband, she withdrew from him. It was really hard for me to understand this part of the book, because it was just so far from my own experience. If I didn't have my husband to lean on, I never would have made it through the process. He is my best friend, my sounding board, my strength. He took care of me in my darkest and saddest moments, and I like to think that I did the same for him. I can easily see that if your marriage isn't in a good or strong place, how an issue like infertility can tear you apart. First of all, it completely taints the physical aspect of your relationship. Sex becomes about trying to get pregnant, and the more you fail at it, the less you want to try. So your sex life suffers. And I think the feelings of guilt are really hard to deal with. The person who has the issue, be it male or female factor, feels like they did something wrong to have made them infertile. And then they wonder if their spouse resents the fact that there is something wrong with them. I think it's such an emotional thing, it's really easy to just want to hide inside yourself. And when you do that, you pull away from the other person. I feel lucky that we were only on the IVF roller coaster for a relatively short ride. But I know that if I had to take that ride again, I have an amazing partner who would support me the whole ride.

The end of the book was left open to the reader. Do you think that Elinor and Ted stayed together, or that they really finally separate? Did she pursue adoption on her own, or did they do another round of IVF with PGD? Do you think she ended up happy, or did she continue to struggle?
I think that Elinor and Ted split at the end. When all was said and done, to me it seemed like their marraige was over. I think he went back to try and make it work because she got pregnant. I think Ted fell in love with Gina. And I think Elinor decided that the most important thing to her was to be a mom, and that had nothing to do with Ted. I like to think that she was going to pursue adoption on her own.

I liked this book, but I did have a hard time sympathizing with all the characters, and I think the author wanted us to. She tried to show Elinors feelings, but also her flaws. At first I disliked Ted, but then she showed how he was driven to a point where he didn't think he was in a marriage anymore. Gina, at first, was just the other woman, but then you see into her life, and how she felt and what she was dealing with. And lastly, there was Gina's son Toby who got stuck in the middle, who loved Ted and wanted him to be a part of his life, which killed Elinor. Knowing that the one thing she couldn't give Ted, his mistress could. All that aside, I never sympathized with Gina. I just couldn't. I just feel like at the end of the day, a married man is off limits. You just don't go there. And same with Ted. Work on your marriage, or end your marriage, but don't cheat. I don't know, it was just hard for me to be ok with anything they did. The saddest thing for me was that in the end, it seemed like infertility drove them apart. Infertility is something that no one asks for, and it saddened me that the book made it seem like their marriage was good and solid until they started dealing with their infertility. I hope this doesn't happen to a lot of people. Infertility is hard enough to deal with. I hate to think that it can get so bad, it can ruin a whole marriage. I guess mostly I can just be thankful for the husband I have. Because for me it was the total opposite. I would have been disasterous WITHOUT my husband. He's my lifesaver. And that ends my first book tour.

Intrigued by the idea of a book tour and want to read more about Happiness Sold Separately? Hop along to more stops on the Barren Bitches Book Tour by visiting the master list at Want to come along for the next tour? Sign up begins today for tour #8 (The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood) and all are welcome to join along . All you need is a book and blog.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

First Toothy!

Ok, so it's been a while. Got a lot to catch you all up on. First of all, the kids had their 6 month checkup with the pediatrician. Jake is a fatty fatterson! He weighed in at 20lbs 13oz (90th percentile) and length was 28 3/4 (97th percentile). My little peanut girl Hailey was 15lbs 3oz (20th percentile) and 26 1/2 in length (75th percentile). Everything else looked good. They got their shots, but no after effects. They cried when they got them, but were pretty much back to normal by the time we left the doctor.

Otherwise we added an extra meal now, so they are getting solids 2X a day now. We do fruits and cereal in the morning, and veggies and cereal in the evening. Hailey is rolling all over the place like a lunatic. Anytime you put her down, she immediately rolls to her belly to hang out. So gone are the days of putting her on the changing table and running to get something in the closet. She'll flip off in a second! She's now rolling over and sleeping on her belly too. I don't love that, but the doc said once they can roll over themselves its fine if they sleep that way.

Jake is a slug. He doesn't roll at all. He doesn't even try all that hard to. I just think he is very content hanging out on his back. We are working on having them sit up, and they both are getting better at it.

So I came home from work on Tuesday, I was in the city for the day, so Eric had picked the kids up. When I walked in he looked at me and said "Our little boy is growing up! He is getting his first tooth!" At the time, you could see that the gum split and there was a little white showing. It's come in a little more since, and you can feel this sharp thing sticking out. I'm very excited for my little man. Nothing going on in Hailey's mouth yet. She's chewing on everything and drooling a ton, but no sign of teeth yet.

Hmmm, what else? I hurt my back really bad last week, and went to my doc and she wants me to do physical therapy 3 times a week to strengthen my back since I have to carry the twins all the time. I was like, WHAT!!!! when the hell am I going to find 3 days a week to do physical therapy! We'll see how that goes!

Here's a cute pic I took of the twins in adorable outfits that Aunt Christina bought for them.
All the babies

Last weekend we had a bunch of Eric's friends from high school over, which was lots of fun. His friend Brian and his wife have twins that are exactly 6 months older than Jake and Hailey, also a boy and a girl. It was fun to watch them and see where are kids are going to be in another 6 months, but also scary! Because they were moving all around. Ugh! And his other friend Bill and his wife were there with their daughter Hannah, who is 15 months. It was fun to get all the kids together. Here's a cute pic of them all. In order it's Jake, Brian, Olivia, Hannah and Hailey.
All the babies

Friday night I went to a digital scrapbooking party at my cousin Kristen's. It was the coolest thing ever, and I'm so excited to get started. I was big into scrapbooking before the twins, and made really cool ones for my wedding and honeymoon. But it was a lot of work and time. The digital ones will be so much easier to do in my spare time. I'll definitely post cool pages as I make them.

We went to Great Adventure with my brother this weekend and had my mom and Eric's mom babysit for the day. It was a lot of fun and I love roller coasters, but it was insanely crowded to the point where I just wanted to start knocking people out! That's when I knew it was time to leave.

And we went to the park today because it was such a beautiful day. We got some really cute pics of the babies. Here is a shot I was dying to take of the twins. I have seen a lot of other twin moms with this pic, and I just think it's so cute. Needless to say, I almost waited too long, because fatty Jake almost didn't leave room in the seat for Hailey!
Jake and Hailey

Alright, that's enough catch up for now. Next week I'll have lots of great Halloween shots from the Halloween party we are going to with the kids on Saturday.

Erica and Eric

Friday, October 5, 2007

Dear Babies

Dear Jake and Hailey,

Today you are 6 months old. I can't believe it's been that long already. One year ago I was pregnant with you, and anxiously waiting for the first trimester to end. I would dream about being able to meet you and see you and hold you.

And now you've been with us for 6 months. The first few months were a blur, at best. I was overtired, overwhelmed and scared that I wasn't going to be a good mom. But you taught me how to understand you, how to feed you, burp you, love you.

I must admit at the beginning to wishing the time away. I wanted to see your next stages. All you did was sleep and eat. I wanted to fast forward to when I could really play with you. And then some time went by, and you both were smiling and showing your little personalities. Jake, you are such a happy baby, the littlest things bring the brightest smile to you face. Hailey, you are a little tougher. I really need to work to get you to smile. If you could talk, I think you would say something along the lines of "All those stupid sounds and faces you make might work in making Jake laugh, but you are going to have to work harder for me."

But you both are amazingly good babies. You sleep good, and you eat good and you don't cause too much trouble. And as the time passes on, me and Daddy see more of ourselves in you. Jake, you seem to have Daddy's easy going personality. Hailey, I think you are going to be really independent like I am.

I always knew how much I would love you when you arrived, but I don't think I was prepared for how much you would impacted my life. Everyday, you make everything I do worthwhile. I watch you, and realize that the time is going to fly. Before I know it, it will be your first birthday, then you'll be starting school, etc. I want to try and cherish every single moment of your lives. I don't want to wish it away. I want to cherish the moments I can rock you in my arms, because soon enough you won't sit still for me to do that.

6 months is a short time in the whole scheme of all the time we will have together, but this last 6 months of my life have been the best I've ever experienced. I am thankful every day that I have you in my life, and I love you so very much. You are the angels of my life. If this first 6 months is any indication, it's just going to get more and more fun.

Jake, you are happy and cheerful all the time. You do like to have attention, and make little noises like a vulture if we don't pay enough attention to you. But you are easy going, and can usually be calmed quickly. You loved to be tickled and you love to look at your momma when someone else is holding you. Melts my heart everytime. You are my little man and I love to grab and kiss your chubby legs and feet. You have a adorable hearty belly laugh, and it makes me laugh every time you do. And for some reason you can't tear your eyes away from the tv when the Mets are on.

Hailey, you are definitely my little diva. Although at first it was tough to get you to smile, you now smile all the time when you see me or Daddy. You love when people stick their tongue out at you, or blow raspberries. Do that, and you'll laugh every time. You are independent and will do whatever you want. No matter how many times mommy tries to roll you onto your back, you roll right back over onto your stomach, and then cry until I flip you back over, to start the cycle again. You are beautiful and perfect and I could stare into those gorgeous big eyes for hours.

Happy 6 month birthday! I love you both more than it's possible to put into words. I can't wait to watch you grow up into the beautiful, amazing and talented young man and woman that I know you will become. But I plan to take it one day at a time, and enjoy every minute of it.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Our Weekend Away

So me and Eric went away for the weekend. It was WONDERFUL! Did I mention that we didn't take the kids with us? Eric's cousin was getting married in VA, right outside of DC, so we decided to go to the wedding and make a long weekend of it. We left Friday night after we put the kids to bed, around 730pm, and didn't come home until Monday afternoon, around 2pm.

The kids stayed home at our house and my parents and my sister and her husband took turns coming over and taking care of the kids and staying with them. It was really great for us, because then we didn't need to pack up all their crap and cart it to someone else's house. It was so nice of my family to do this for us, and give us this time to just do some grownup stuff. Eric's mom and sister and her husband went to the wedding as well, so it was nice to have some adult time with them.

So here is the run down of our weekend. It was about a 3.5 hr ride from NJ. We got to the hotel at like 11pm and basically just watched some tv and went to sleep. The next morning we went out to breakfast to this kick ass pancake house that we proceeded to eat at every single morning of our trip. The wedding was very nice, and that was saturday afternoon into the evening.

Sunday morning we did more breakfast (yum!) and then went to see 2 movies. We LOVE to go to the movies, and obviously the twins have kinda screwed up our going to the movies every weekend thing. So we went to see Eastern Promises (very good) and Across the Universe (also very good). That night we went out to dinner and had some drinks and came back and stayed up late and slept late on monday and it was all fun and wonderful.

I missed the kids a lot, but I really really didn't want to come home early! haha ... I think Eric missed them more than I did. He was all like "Hey, I miss the kids!" and I was like "Hey, get me another beer!" ... ahh, sweet freedom.

Here's some pics from the wedding. Me and my wonderful husband
Me and My Love

Eric's sister Lori and her husband Drew
Lori and Drew

My husband being silly
Eric, Erica, and Drew

Eric with his mom and sis
Eric, Mom, and Lori

And the happy couple, Nick and Erin
Nick and Erin

And sorry, no baby pics! That's what happens when a bad mom goes away for a weekend of debauchery! No baby lovin'!

But don't worry, they will be back soon!

Erica and Eric