Sunday, September 29, 2013

Finnley & Elliot - On Your First Birthday

You both woke around 6:30 and started crawling all over me.

To celebrate reaching a year, I gave you honey toast for breakfast. You both ate a little of it. Dad had already gone to work, but Mason and I sang "Happy Birthday" two times, Mason blew out each of your candles for you.

You were extremely cranky, so less than two hours after getting up for the day, it was nap time.

Grandma Jackie came to visit for a few days. You were both shy when she first showed up, but warmed up after a short while.

"Helping" Grandma unpack a suitcase.

We ate leftover meatloaf and roasted broccoli and cauliflower for dinner. Beans and rice was what we had for supper.

You played at the water table with Mason and the neighbor boy. The water was pretty dirty, but Finnley, you did your best to try to drink some. Elliot, you were covered with mud.

There was a necessary bath.

You took an afternoon nap. Thank goodness.

We went to the park. You played in the grass, on the swings, and climbed around. Also, there was a lot of bark eating.. as usual.

Grandma Jackie brought along a birthday cake (made by Grandma Kim) for you gals. We sang to you again after supper, this time Dad was there. Mason was nice enough to blow out the candles again.

We let you each have a slice. You weren't impressed. I was, I ate two slices.

We ended the night with some teeth brushing, a couple of books, and falling to sleep with mama's milk.

A happy birthday, indeed.

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Like my new Facebook page: Growing Like Weeds to follow along.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Twin Birth Story

Tuesday, September 25th, we went to my 37 week appointment. My parents met us there (on a whim) to hang out with Mason in the waiting room. The doctor measured my belly, it was around 42cm and then pulled out the doppler. Baby A's heart rate sounded great. Then he moved on to find Baby B. When he did, it was beating around 60bpm (normal is at least double that). He looked worried and asked if I could hear it. I asked if it was my heart, he checked my pulse and it was not.
The doctor yelled out to a nurse to get a wheel chair and then he quick check my cervix and sort of stirred things up in there to see if it would help baby's heart rate go up. I got dressed and the nurse started pushing me to Labor and Delivery, a long trek through secret passageways to another side of the building. We stopped by the waiting room so Tyler could tell my parents where we were going. The doctor saw we had stopped and yelled at the nurse to GO! He ran up and took over pushing the wheel chair. We left Tyler in the dust. While this was a scary situation, I stayed pretty calm, I was in the right place after all.
Once they got me to a room (Tyler made it, too) I got on the bed and they worked so fast. There were several doctors and nurses in the room just waiting for us to arrive. Within 5 seconds, my shoes and socks were taken off, I had three monitors hooked up and Baby B's heart rate was back up in the normal range. Phew!
One of the doctors did an ultrasound to check on things. She couldn't get a good fluid level reading and the ultrasound machine they had available in the hospital was not fancy and new like the ones over in the clinic so she couldn't check the blood flow through the umbilical cords. They decided I should be monitored for three hours, sent home and come in the next morning for a more in depth ultrasound to check on the fluid and blood flow.
I was kind of worried and after Tyler and I talked it over, we asked to stay and be monitored through the night. If we went home, I was afraid something would happen and we wouldn't know. I wouldn't have been able to sleep and would have just stressed the entire time. So, we stayed with the plan to get the ultrasound done first thing in the morning.
Tyler headed home to get some things for our overnight stay and also to get ready for his sub at school the next day. My parents took Mason to our house to spend the night with him. While I was left alone, my mind was anything but quiet. We were fast approaching the 38 week mark, the time in which it is dangerous for mono-di twins to stay inside. They were sharing a placenta, and because of this, it deteriorates at a much faster pace. Since I had previously had a c-section with Mason, I had decided induction was not an option for me, due to the risk of rupturing my uterus. That meant, I was either going to have a repeat c-section the following weekend or go into labor, which I was so rooting for!

The final twin belly shot.
I had to get up to pee after receiving 3 bags of fluid in a couple hours. 3!

While Tyler was away, Baby A's heart rate had a significant drop, just as Baby B had done earlier. It went back up, and things seemed fine. The nurse (oh how I loved this nurse and her enthusiasm in VBACs!) explained to me that while the heart rate may return to normal now, we didn't know how many times this had happened and if it happens too much, eventually babies can't bounce back anymore. That was scary and I was so glad I had decided to stay and be monitored! After talking with a couple doctors, we decided if any more decels took place, I would be going in for a c-section immediately after. And they had just finally let me eat supper. Talk about poor timing.
I let Tyler know of the decision, he was getting stuff together and would be on his way. Of course, Baby B shortly after had another heart decel and fate was sealed. As soon as the OR was all cleaned up (from another twin delivery, nonetheless) the babies would be born. Tyler got back way too fast, ahem, after hearing surgery was happening soon. They began prepping me and eventually I was wheeled to the small operating room. They still weren't finished cleaning the big one from the previous twin birth. All I remember thinking at this time (well past midnight) was how I just wanted to take a nap. I was not in the mood to go through this whole ordeal, I was beat.
Tyler was not allowed in the room until after I received my spinal. I don't know why, it would have been nice to have him there for it, as it was the worst part of the delivery. It took over 20 minutes to place the needle in the right spot, I kept having to tell them where the shooting pains were when they poked me so they could make sure they were placing it properly. Something I don't want to do again. Like, ever. Thankfully there was a wonderful nurse with a pretty Irish accent letting me squeeze her hands and telling me how awesome I was. That was nice.
Once laying down on the operating table, my lower body becoming numb, I started to feel a little more excited about my babies being born. Probably the extra drug cocktails they snuck into my IV. They did the poke test to make sure I was numbing properly. The two anesthesiologists gave each other worried looks when the numbness came all the way up to my shoulders. So of course I started freaking out in my head that I'd stop breathing because every part of me was going to become numb. That didn't happen.
Tyler joined us and since my doctor wouldn't answer his phone or pager, a lovely new doctor (who I wish had been our OB from the start) came to deliver the babies.

Those who have never experienced a c-section (and I hope you don't have to), there is no pain involved. However, you can still feel tugging and pulling going on. It just doesn't hurt. Soon they cut through my uterus and Baby A (a girl!) came out, Baby B tried to come out with her. I could breathe again! Then seconds later they pulled out Baby B (a girl, but we drew that conclusion from her sister's gender). I could really breathe now! What a relief to have those babies out, holy cow. 2:41 and 2:42 AM were the "official" times of birth. It was nice of them to assign different minutes, when actually they were born at the same time.


Baby A, Finnley Maxine, needed some oxygen to get her breathing, but Baby B, Elliot Olivia, was pink as could be. I had thought they would be girls, but we had decided to wait to birth to find out gender. I am so glad we did, it was well worth it for the surprise and excitement. All the staff was excited as well, since no one waits to find out anymore, especially multiple pregnancies.
We figured out why the girls had been experiencing heart decels. Their umbilical cords were tangled together into a pretzel-like knot. When they moved, it would tighten the knot and consequently cut off blood flow to either or twin. Scary stuff! Still gives me goosebumps. I desperately wanted a vaginal birth after my last c-section, but I have never questioned the way God played this one out. If we wouldn't have gone to our appointment and the doctor hadn't put the heart rate doppler on my belly at the exact moment, we could have possibly went home for the next week and who knows how that would have turned out. I prefer not to think about it.

Best picture I have, see the doctor holding up the pretzeled cords. Elliot crying in the background.

Elliot and Finnley were supposed to be in separate sacs so it was a complete surprise that their cords were knotted like this. They always were able to see a membrane separating them during ultrasounds, although it was extremely thin and hard to find. Everyone was wondering, was it a mistake? Were they truly mono-mono twins (delivered at 32 weeks usually due to dangers of cord entanglement, only 50% of mono-mono twins live). My placenta was sent to the lab to find out some answers.

The girls and Tyler were sent to the nursery while I was put back together. We declined vitamin K shot, hep B shot, and delayed eye drops, so they were just getting weighed, checked out, and staying warm. The doctors cut out my old c-section scar and stitched me up, to make things a little prettier.

Elliot Olivia
5 pounds, 4 ounces. 18 inches long.

Finnley Maxine
5 pounds, 9 ounces. 18.5 inches long.

A seemingly short while later (who knows how long, those darn pain meds make the first few weeks fuzzy in the memory) we were reunited and we started our breastfeeding journey. Tandem nursing started off without a hitch. My doula, who wasn't allowed in the operating room, was there to help and take pictures.

The girls had very different coloring the first couple weeks, that was very helpful in telling them apart. They looked so similar at the beginning of their lives. It was nice to get to know them for a while before their main distinguishing feature vanished.

We found out at my first appointment after birth that they were in fact mono-di twins. At some point in the last three weeks gestation the membrane separating them had ruptured. While this wasn't the birth I had been hoping for, we are so thankful everything happened the way it did.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Name Change

Looking for Just Another Day? Don't fear.. you are in the right place. The blog naming contest has ceased and I selected a new title (like you haven't noticed).

Growing Like Weeds

Suggested by my own mother.. at the last minute, nonetheless. Seriously. This was a really hard decision. I thought I had one picked out and then another would come along and I'd have to start from scratch. This happened more than once. I made lists, crossed things out, penciled in my own ideas. I was maybe even stressed a little by how many great names I had to choose from. Some of my other favorites:
Half Pint Chronicles
Playing Zone
Five Strings Attached
The Clothesline
Pioneer Parenting

There were more good ones, those are the ones that made it to the semi finals though. Thank you all for giving me such wonderful suggestions! I appreciate the time and thought you put into it.

I thought Growing Like Weeds fit very well here. My gardens have always had their fair share of them. My kids are getting bigger/smarter/cuter/funnier/awesomer every day. My husband and I are growing in our own ways (parenting, our relationship, individually). Plus, I think it is a cute name.

See? Isn't he bigger/smarter/cuter/funnier/awesomer than the last time you saw him?

So, what do you think? Do you like it? Did you have another favorite?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five Links Friday

How to Recycle All the Things: Going Beyond Bottles and Cans. Hey, before you throw out that old pair of shoes, check out this article to find out how to recycle them and many other things you may not be thinking about.

11 Reasons Why Flu Shots Are More Dangerous Than the Flu Itself.  I will not be getting a flu shot this year and neither will my kids. How about you?

50 Unbelievable Facts About Earth.  Did you know Earth is smoother than a bowling ball? How about that there are 22,000 man made objects orbiting the planet. There are lots of other interesting things on this graphic.

Fast Food: They Don't Make It Like They Used To.  Wondering what has changed in the fast food biz over the past few decades? What used to be an acceptable meal has turned into Frankenfood crap. Rethink that next trip to the golden arches.

Chicken Nuggets. Last but not least, I guest posted on Barb's blog The D's and the Dog today with an easy chicken nugget recipe. Frankenfood-free. Check it out.

Have a fine weekend!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013


Sometimes I like to look at pictures I have saved on various Pinterest boards. They make me feel happy. I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you. Happy Friday!

What kind of picture put a smile on your face?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Miscellany Monday

First off, have you entered my blog renaming contest yet? Use your creativity and you could win a $50 Amazon gift card. Go {here} and throw out some titles!

Our kids are short. Like they always measure in the 1 percentile at checkups. That's okay, my husband and I aren't tall people by any means. Well, the two shorter shorties have reached a milestone recently. They can now reach the piano keys from the floor.

Check out those cool bowl covers we got a couple weeks ago. They cover a bowl you already have and suction to the tray. I love them. Finnley has got hers loose a couple times, but for the most part they have been great to have. You know if they weren't suctioned those bowls would be on the ground in a matter of minutes. You can find them {here}.

I checked Frontier House out at the library this weekend. I remember watching it when it first aired and I don't know if I liked it more then or now. They should really do this again. So much better than all the reality crap on now.. not that I know, since we don't have cable.

Last week I ate cheese for the first time in months. It was awesome. Elliot and Finnley had a milk protein intolerance so I went off dairy right before Christmas time since I am breastfeeding. The changes we saw in them were phenomenal, so I stuck with it. Within the last few months I had started eating butter again. And decided since they were doing alright on it, I'd start adding more dairy products. They've now had mac 'n cheese and yogurt and seem to be doing fine! Yippee! Ice cream, here I come.

The gals have been mobile for quite some time now, but just recently Elliot has started to walk. For a couple weeks she would take 3 steps and then sit down. Now she can walk halfway across the room and she seems so excited about it! I will have to share a video soon. Not much is cuter than a baby learning to walk. Well, besides a baby laughing. Or.. a baby smiling in their sleep. So pretty much everything a baby does is cute.

And some raspberry fingers. For good measure.

Have a good week!

lowercase letters

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Help Me Rename My Blog.. Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Once upon a time, way back in the year 2010, I began this blog. I had just found out I was pregnant with Mason, and keeping up on things via blogging was the cool thing to do. So I started blogging, because I obviously follow the crowd often (ha!). I sat and stared at the screen while setting things up trying to think of a name for my space. It was hard and I didn't want to put too much thought into it, so my sarcastic title of Just Another Day was born. Like, oh I just found out I am pregnant.. just another day. Get my sarcasm? Yeah, not too profound.
I've put a lot of thought into it over the past few months and have decided I want to rename my blog. But, I can't come up with a good title! That is where you come in. I need your help, brainstorming, creativity, yada yada.. and all that thinking might just pay off. The person who suggests the title I end up choosing will win a $50 Amazon gift card. That's right, folks, this is a big deal.

Perhaps you are new here or don't know me all too well. That's okay, I am going to give you a little insight on my life, which is what I mostly end up writing about. Some of this may be irrelevant, but perhaps it'll spark an idea for you. You can also go back and look through some of my older posts to get a feel of things.

My name is Melissa Morris.
I am a wife to a basketball coach, Tyler.
I have three kids. Mason who will be 3 in November and identical twin girls Elliot and Finnley who will be one towards the end of this month.
I have Danish blood  pulsing through my veins and am quite proud of my heritage.
I enjoy sewing and crafting and have an Etsy shop called Dejigle.
I have many dreams and love to daydream. Some of those dreams include:
Homesteading. Faming, self sufficiency, in the country.. the whole shebang
Owning a store with stuff I've refurbished (think furniture) or crafted
Unschooling our kids
Paying off all our debt
Buying an RV again and doing some heavy duty traveling
Actually, those dreams maybe shouldn't be called dreams, because they are going to happen! Someday.

I love looking at houses and took a class to become a real estate agent.. but didn't follow through with that.
Peanut butter, coffee, butter, chocolate, bread.. all foods I'd have a really hard time giving up.
I went to a small, private college and earned a Bachelor of Music degree in music education. I taught 7-12 band and choir for a year. I am 100% sure I do not want to be a school teacher ever again. Private lessons, perhaps.
I enjoy doing activities with my kiddos and also sharing about them.

I am very passionate about certain parenting/lifestyle choices such as:
Peaceful parenting and non punitive discipline
Using reusable products (cloth diapers, family cloth, glass storage, cloth napkins, etc.)
Limiting plastics in our house, especially in the kitchen
Being educated about all the toxins in our lives (flame retardants to vaccines, kitchenware to tap water, building materials to lawn care) and making good decisions on related choices
Natural birth, breastfeeding, baby wearing, baby-led weaning, bed sharing, so on and so forth
I am human and slip up/slack off. Like, my kids wear disposable diapers to bed. We also have plenty of plastic toys.

My house looks messy lived in most of the time. I wish it were clutter free, but with three small children and being home majority of the time, that doesn't happen right now. At the end of the day, I need some time to relax.
While we aren't sure what God's plan is, our plan is to be done having kids. 3 is our number.
I love spending time on the internet, mostly reading and researching, but I definitely waste some time on Facebook and sometimes Pinterest.
I am a stay-at-home-mom.
I take a lot of pictures and enjoy doing so.

I really like to cook. I also enjoy not cooking and eating out sometimes.
My happiest times are those spent with family, close and extended.
I'm a sucker for a good food/health documentary. I think we relate most to the WAPF diet out of all the different ones out there.
I was raised a Christian and while we don't belong to a church yet, we'd love to find one we like.
Mama is what my kids call me.
Being a mom is the highlight of my life right now.

{{End of my life in a nutshell}}

Here is how you can enter to win this $50 Amazon gift card.
Leave me a comment on this post or my Facebook page {here} suggesting what you think would be a good title for my blog. That's it! And you know what? You can make as many suggestions as you want.. so long as you don't recite the entire dictionary. Because, well, that would be annoying.
On September 23rd, the contest is over. I will have chosen a new name for my blog. And perhaps, you will be $50 richer? In Amazon money, of course.
You may want to follow along with me via email, Facebook, Twitter, Feedly, etc. (whatever floats your boat), so you will see what the winning title is. If you are too cool for that, ahem, be sure to leave your email address so if your bright idea wins, I can get you your Amazon gift card.

Now, get those creative juices flowing! Name my blog, I'm counting on you.

*Have a question about me that would help you out? Ask! Or email me.
**If you suggest the winning title and someone else suggested the same thing.. the person who suggested it first wins.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

New Things

When we are out and about, many people stop to make one comment or another, most used as I've mentioned before is, "You sure have your hands full!" Well, we heard a couple new ones this weekend. While eating out with my in-laws a woman came up to tell us how great it is that we aren't afraid to get out of the house. She shared she had four grown kids and just thought it was wonderful that our small children didn't hold us back from getting out and about. That was nice to hear, considering none of our kids were happy and everyone was staring at us the entire time.
We also met a lady walking down the street who simply asked, "What do you do in your spare time?" I have to admit, that was a good one.

Another new thing, I had my in-laws pick up a new (to us) outdoor toy for the kids on their way down to visit us. A water table! I've been wanting to get one the past year or so, but finally tracked one down. Glad they picked it up for us, I see a future of fun with this thing. Well, I also see a future of water being dumped on baby heads, crying, unwanted splashing, fighting over the cup, etc... but let's not focus on that.

Elliot's new thing is the fold herself onto the floor whenever she is really upset. It looks really uncomfortable, she just flops her top half onto her bottom half like a book closing. She and her sister are.. very.. spirited. Passionate. They don't hold back any emotions, those two.

While we are on the subject of new things, I am planning to rename my blog. When I first started writing here, I did a 10 minute brainstorm and came up with the sarcastic title. It worked, I suppose. But, I want something new. Something more appropriate and creative. I am going to need your help though because mommy brain and my three young children are sucking every once of creativity out of me. So, be brainstorming. I may or may not be having a blog naming contest in the near future. And it may or may not involve an Amazon gift card.

Have a great holiday!