Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dodging three bullets

    What a long month this has been... what am I saying, it's been a long 1 1/2 years!  I think the sleep deprivation is finally catching up with me, because I nearly maimed or killed each of my three children this week (unintentionally, of course!).  I almost blinded Quinn, almost killed Sierra in a car crash, and almost scalded Kelsey.  Thankfully, the key word here is "almost", but still...
     My 17+ month old identical twins have only recently started to sleep "mostly" through the night - that's not to say that they don't still awake, fuss for a minute, and sometimes go back to sleep without my assistance.  But, for most of their life, they've either woken to be nursed regularly throughout the night, sometimes as often as every two hours for the first few months of their lives, TIMES TWO BABIES, or once I stopped nursing, they've still usually required some amount of tending on my part during the night.  Even before they were born, I didn't sleep much in the last two months of pregnancy, either from not being able to get comfortable or having to pee every five seconds as the growing babies took up every last bit of space in my body (don't get me wrong, I loved being pregnant, even with it's various trials and tribulations).
     I've been able to function on 3-4 hours of sleep per night (interrupted sleep, mind you) for awhile, but that's not to say that my mind is entirely there at all times.  I definitely forget details, names, appointments all the time; I have Lists everywhere; I rarely know what the date is; I walk around the house with my hands on my head saying "I'm thinking, I'm thinking..." when I'm trying to complete a task or remember what I went to that room for in the first place; I've taken to talking to myself, a lot, and am really okay with that and accept it (hey, it's good for the girls to hear conversation and language, even if it's one person, Right?).  But, when my children could literally suffer because of my distraction, I know that it's gone too far.
     Over the past 6 weeks, all three of my children have had various sicknesses - ear infections, colds, stomach flu's, returned ear infections, a strange rash and fever infection...  We had a line-up of med's on the kitchen counter, from prescription drops, antibiotics, motrin and tylenol.  It was a lot to keep track of: who was getting what medication, what time it was last given, how often they needed it, and for how many days... for each of three children!
      Quinn, my beloved 4 year old boy, had been well for over a week (though the youngest twin, Kelsey, was still having ear drops for a returned ear infection), but suddenly on Wednesday, he came down with some weird eye gunk.  It was yellowish-green, and way more than the standard just-wipe-it-on-my-own-jeans sort of gunk.  His eyes were not pink, but there had been at least one child at his preschool who had pink eye, so I called the doctor.  Thankfully they prescribed drops and didn't require me to make another trip to the office, so we started the eyedrops that night.  The next morning, I grabbed his drops from out of the line-up, put them into his eyes with the usual amount of fighting and squirming, and we went about our business.  About three hours later, I was cleaning up the kitchen counter when I noticed that Kelsey's ear drops were out next to Quinn's water and the Kleenex's - and I realized what I had done... I had put Kelsey's EAR drops into Quinn's EYES!!  I started the "I'm thinking", hair pulling walk around the kitchen.  I rushed over to where Quinn was playing and looked at his eyes - they looked fine, no reddness, no apparent issues, and he said they felt "much better Mommy".  I got the girls and Quinn buckled safely into their chairs for a snack, and called the doctor from the back hallway, so Quinn couldn't hear how horrible I was, what I'd done to him, so none of them could see Mommy crying.  I was so worried that I'd blinded him, that he'd have irrepairable damage, but thankfully the doctor (and then poison control) assured me that the antibiotic for the ears is sometimes prescribed for eyes, too, and that if he did have redness and irritation since my mistake, everything should be fine.  Crisis 1 averted.
      My sweet, darling little Sierra.  So, Quinn dodged the pink eye bullet, but Friday morning, he started crying about his ears hurting, so we ended up back at the doctor's office Friday afternoon (double ear infection returned).  I hauled all the kids back to the car after the appointment.  Got Quinn buckled into his carseat, while the girls crawled up into their own carseats, which they love to do.  I got Sierra situated, or so I thought, got Kelsey buckled in.  Got into the driver's seat myself, and pulled out.  Driving through the large, wrap-around parking lot, I glanced into the rearview mirror - "Hi Mama", Sierra said, as she leaned upright in her carseat and started to turn around and climb back out of her seat.  I tried to stay calm and tell her to sit down, as I pulled over and rushed back there as fast as the self-opening door would allow.  Sure enough, I had forgotten to buckle her in!  I don't know how I missed it; I guess since she was already sitting in her seat before we left, I missed it somehow.  I hugged her tightly and told her I loved her, and promised I would take better care of her.  Crisis 2 averted.
      Precious, dainty little Kelsey.  She is playful and likes to explore and get into things.  She wants whatever her Mama has, which in this case, was my coffee.  I sat my coffee cup down long enough to pick up some toy or book or something, and in that split second, she pulled my coffee over, spilling it out all over her legs.  Luckily for her, I haven't enjoyed a hot cup of coffee in about 2 years, so it was lukewarm at best, so she wasn't scalded, but the cup fell on her foot and the whole situation scared her (probably my reaction more than anything else), and she was soaked from head to toe (tears on the upper half, cool coffee on her lower half).  I changed her pants and dried her tears, hugging her close to me.  Crisis 3 averted.
      Thankfully, my errors didn't amount to any permanent damage, and my babies were all perfectly fine.  No harm, no foul.  If nothing else, it taught me that I need to slow down and pay more attention.  I need to focus on one thing at a time, well, as much as possible when my attention is divided by three, and double check things if needed.  And I need to get more sleep... that one is easier said than done!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bat invasions

    In theory, I'm not afraid of bats, but in my house, well, that's a different story.  I was putting away the baby stroller tonight after dark, after the kids were in bed, and something swooped out of the trees lining my driveway and dove toward me, before zinging out of sight.  We have mosquitos the size of birds here <dramatization>, but I heard definite wing action and saw jerky movements - it had to be a bat.
    Thankfully, it's been a number of years since I had to deal with a bat up close, but I have several childhood memories of being too close for comfort, all while living in Pennsylvania. 
    The most recent, and least lively, was while in college, a bat somehow got into the apartment that I shared with my female roommate Angela.  The apartment was connected with the main house where our 4+ male roommates lived.  One of their windows was perpendicular to mine outside, so after being awoken to the flapping and turning on lights, we were able to yell to our roommate John, who came to our rescue. 
     The very first time was while living in Carlisle, PA.  It must have been around 1991 or so; my birthday is in December, but I was having a half-birthday party that year so we could have it at a pool (yes, very teenage girl of me, I know).  It was a hot and humid summer night, when I remember hearing my Mom yelling.  I was upstairs in my bedroom at the front of the house, my brothers each in their bedrooms upstairs, too; our parents and our baby sister had their rooms downstairs.  I remember thinking, even in the dark of that summer night "oh no, what did I do?", as I left my room, my brothers sleepily joining me at the railing overlooking the stairs.  Our mother was scratching and clawing as she tried shakily to climb the stairs, yelling "get her!" and "Go in!", my brothers and I staring at her blankly, no idea what she was talking about.  Finally she cried "Baaaat!", and seeing how freaked out she was, we were instantly scared, too, as she ushered us all into my bedroom (the only room in the house with a locking door, and my brothers' rooms had only vented bifold doors).  My Dad rushed into the room as we were closing the door, our sleeping sister in his arms, and we slammed the door closed and locked it (as if the bat could open or unlock a door...).  My Dad left the room to investigate, my Mom slamming it shut behind him and putting a towel along the bottom of the door.  My Mom filled us in on the story - they had been sleeping in their bed when she felt something brush her knee.  She thought maybe it was the curtain blowing from a breeze at the window, but there was no breeze and then she heard flapping.  My Dad flipped the ceiling light on, and sure enough, the black bunch was flapping right over the bed.  My Mom screamed, my Dad ducked and crawled out the door.  My Mom was frozen with fear, laying on the floor with the sheet over her head, crying, yelling.  My Dad told her she had to crawl out, and fast - he didn't want to open the door much further until she got over there, hoping to keep the bat in one place.  Unfortunately, when they left their room and moved the party upstairs to my room, the bat must have flown out under their bedroom door, because, as my Dad said when he returned to my room, he couldn't find it.  We ended up calling the police from the pink, teenage girlie phone in my room; at 3 a.m., animal control was, of course, not available.  After all was said and done, my Dad finished out the story for us - once the officer arrived, they found the bat in the bathroom.  They attempted to channel it out the open front door, both of them chasing and swinging badmitten rackets, my Dad in his boxer shorts and a skin-tight Hersheypark Tee that was mine, the Officer just as scared as my Mom had been, letting out a girlie scream that I liken to the burglar-tarantula scene in Home Alone, as the bat doubled back and flew at him - quite a funny mental picture that I have to this day.  The bat ended up flying into the screen at one of the kitchen windows, so they closed the window and were able to pull the screen out from the outside.  The bat got away the following night, but what an interesting memory of my first encounter with a bat.
        The second encounter was much more traumatic for me, and PETA supporters, I apologize in advance for my brutality.  It happened at the same house, probably the following year in the early summer, because it was much cooler that night.  We'd been away from the house all day, not sure where, and got home well after dark, turning in as soon as we got inside.  It wasn't long before we were awoken again.  This time, my Dad was calling my name from the hallway outside my bedroom.  My brother, Andrew, was standing in the hallway, too.  The light was on in his room, as well as in my youngest brother, Jeff's room, though Jeff was still sleeping in his bed, and my Dad seemed to be standing guard.  "Jenny, go get the shovel", he told me.  Andrew said sadly, tearily, "there's a bat in my room".  I ran down to the basement - trying not to look over to the unfinished side, which we referred to as "the bodies", dark, dirty, scary even in the middle of the day - but couldn't find the shovel where it should have been.  I remembered we had been using it in the compost bin out back, but it was even darker out there.  My heart raced as I went back upstairs, my knees shaking as I went out the back door, with the tiny dim light into the huge, open backyard; thankfully I could see the shovel sticking up from the ground.  I could hear barking or howling, as I ran the 8 yards to retrieve the shovel, which felt like miles, and raced back to the house, scared having my back to the dark night behind me.  Phew, inside, shovel in hand, safe.... except for the bat in my brothers room. 
        I ran back upstairs, where my Dad and brother were still in their same positions (I can't remember where my Mom and baby sister were).  My Dad took the shovel and held it in front of him, shovel end pointing upward.  I peeked into the room and saw a furry black ball handing on the tab-top part of the curtain.  I had actually never seen a bat before; this thing didn't look so bad.  "What are you gonna do?", I asked.  My Dad said he was hoping to flick it out the open window; it had apparently broken through the screen, which I could see was hanging out of the window, and thankfully didn't go far from there.  But, the de-batting plan didn't work out - as he flicked the bat, it floated for a second in mid-air, until my Dad caught it again, this time with the end of the shovel, pinning it partly between the top window trim and the glass itself.  Unfortunately, it wasn't a good position to do much of anything.  My Dad tried to let loose of the shovel a few times, but the bat would flap it's wings and make clicky, pitchy sounds.  Andrew was crying, I don't remember what Jeff was doing, I was just standing there.  I could tell my Dad was trying to figure this out, solve this puzzle.  He had me get a pillowcase ready, thinking perhaps that he could flick it into that to capture it.  But, every time he loosened the shovel, it seemed it was going to fly away, and pinning it again was getting harder because of the uneven surfaces of the window behind it; plus, it was probably feeling pretty threatened at this point, there was no way to know what it would do if it got free. 
      My Dad sighed long and hard; "Andrew, go get a hammer".  Andrew returned minutes later, with a hammer.  My Dad took it and tried to reach the bat, but with the long shovel handle, it was holding him at bay.  "Andrew, you're going to have to tap it...", my Dad started to say, but my brother cried out "No, Daddy, don't make me do it!", and he ran from the room... which left me.  I took the hammer in my right hand and slowly walked to the window.  The bat was pinned there under the shovel, all black but two little white-gray teeth sticking out and red on its body where it met the shovel.  I raised the hammer, not breathing, knowing I had to aim high to hit against the wood of the window and not the glass, hoping this would be over quickly.  I cocked the hammer and struck, not very hard because I was shaking so hard, so scared - the bat looked right at me and hissed, screeched a tiny sound, gave a flutter to it's wings.  Tears streamed down my face, as I hit it again...  I don't remember the next steps as they happened - I vaguely remember that the flapping didn't happen, the screech didn't come like it had before, my Dad was able to let loose of the shovel and put the bat into the pillowcase; I'm pretty sure it was dead.  My Dad squeezed my shoulders tightly, kissed me on the head, and left the room.  The sun was starting to rise as I went back to my room, light slowly filling the room, birds starting their songs outside our house, taking the skies back from nocturns.
       I will never forget the sound the bat made and the look that it gave me when I struck.  To this day, I always think back to this particular encounter every single time I see a bat, no matter how close the bat gets to me.  I think I did what had to be done that night, for that particular invasion, though I do feel sad that it happened that way.  What I can take from it is to remember to face my fears head on, stare it in the face, and squash it (sorry, Bat).  To put it lightly.  But really, I think I earned my fathers pride that night.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Global warming?

      The above picture was taken about one year ago.  Quinn is standing on a pile of snow off the walkway in our yard, where it was piled up almost as high as our 6-foot fence.  He loved to climb that pile, look over into the neighbor's yard, slide down on his bumbo. 
      It's amazing to think that just one year ago, we actually had that much snow.  As it stands now, the spot where that pile of snow once lie, is green and springy, flower stalks pushing up from the earth, and lilac buds forming on the bush just over the fence.  This early springy, summery weather has been amazing this week, but surely we'll go back to winter weather soon, right?  It can't be over already, can it? 
      Don't get me wrong - I love the change of the seasons.  I'm done with winter and cold already, and am ready to watch my children play in the yard outside, watch my son ride his new bike, watch the girls run around the lush green grass in their bare little feet.  I'm ready for grilling and sitting outside, the smell of flowers in the air, listening to the birds and laughter by day, the crickets and peepers by night.  The past five days has been almost a seasonal time lapse photograph - what was brown and lifeless last weekend, is now becoming a vibrant green and budding and blossoming.  It's beautiful and promising, but I don't think I can put all my easter eggs in the basket just yet.  It is only March, after all; most years we still have snow on the ground and there can still be frosts, at least into April, or even May.  I don't want the weather to change back and kill the flowers and buds that have already answered the call of spring in the air.  And I definitely don't want to be cold again. 
     Not sure what to expect in the coming weeks; only time will tell.  Until then, guess I'll just embrace the warmth and enjoy the preemptive summery days.  I'll leave the discussion on global warming for another day...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Kicking and screaming

    Wow, it must be really hard being a 4 year old boy.  At least, that's the way it seemed when I attempted to retrieve him from preschool today. 
    Quinn attends a great little preschool here in Sudbury - wonderful teachers, great surroundings, and so many little friendships.  I picked him up as usual, lined up in the hallway outside his classroom, with a 19+ pound twin in a Baby Bjorn front carrier and the other twin, 20 pounds, balanced on my left arm.  Quinn came out of his classroom, dropped his backpack at my feet, and burst through the doors, where he preceeded to run around the school's front yard and up and down the handicapped ramp. 
     This running and playing was now part of our "normal" exit strategy, and I expected it now, had come to accept it.  I scooped up his backpack with my one free arm, and rushed out the door to make sure he stayed away from the road and parking lot.  Two other boys from his class burst past me and joined in the frenzied running and chasing.  Soon there were over 15 boys and girls doing this; we parents stood on the sidewalk and edge of the parking lot, admitting a temporary defeat, hoping we might regain control of our child if we just allowed a few minutes of freedom.
      I chatted with other parents, talking about recent illnesses, younger siblings' sleeping schedules, upcoming playdates and such.  After about 10 minutes, my left arm was numb, having to hold a 20 pound baby on it (I didn't dare put either of the girls down, and there was no such thing as letting one down and not the other, because pure chaos would surely insue!).  I gave Quinn a 2-minute warning as he ran by, smiling and shrieking, and following another boy under a bush.  I gave him a 1-minute warning; the fingers on my left hand tingling.  On his next trip down the handicapped ramp, I stopped him to say that it was officially time to walk back to the car.  He dodged the grab from my free hand, and ran away.  I followed him around a tree, between some bushes, back to the ramp...  next trip down I tried again, and caught him, but he again broke free...  I wanted to scream "Boy, come to your Momma, NOW!!!!", but we were in public, surrounded by lots of parents, some a bit uppity, and I didn't want to make a scene.
      Unfortunately, I had parked our <regretable> minivan too far away - I contemplated putting the babies back in the car, but then I worried that he would think I was leaving him, and that he'd run across the parking lot to catch me; I couldn't take that chance, so I had no choice by to make sure he left with me.  One Mother offered to hold the baby who was on my left arm, but of course, that baby was not having any of that.  I caught his coat on his next trip by and said <through clenched teeth> that it was 'time to go' - at first he completely freaked out, thrashing his body around, taking swings at me like a boxer, trying to get free of my grasp, which wasn't tight to begin with.  His hat fell off and another mother carefully placed it back on his head; he almost got free, but I told him that this was enough, we were outta here...  and he went limp.  Heavy, dead-weight, limp, very heavy.  I told him that I would drag his <lifeless> body back to the car if he didn't stand up right now, and I started to, noticed everyone watching me, wondering if I shouldn't be doing that, but I couldn't very well pick him up without a good arm to hold him with; then, my fingers got twisted and he fell free anyway. 
        Somehow I got him to stand up enough to walk back to the car, where I tossed him inside, and then set the "free" baby down inside the van, and shook my arm out.  I was sooo angry, completely pissed off, utterly embarrassed.  He let out the wildest, loudest, oddest scream when I told him "no tv, no snack before lunch" - I thought he'd been possessed by the devil.  He sounded like a wild animal: I honestly don't think I'd ever seen him like that before. 
         We were both so exhausted from that display, that the drive home was completely silent.  Even the baby girls knew not to even think about fussing or crying, they could sense the tension in the air. 
        I got everyone's lunch made and underway, but I couldn't let that whole debacle go yet.  I took several hours to be able to talk to him again without feeling the anger rise up or remind me of what had happened.  I know there will be displays like this one again, probably even worse <though that doesnt' seem possible right now>, but wow, this was a pretty rough experience.  I hope I can learn to deal with them better next time, keep my cool, help him to transition and acclimate better. 
        Serenity now!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Happy St Patty's Day

    So, I never got around to writing last night, but I was thinking about St Patrick's Days past.  The most memorable one was back in college, at Penn State, in 2000. 
    My roommate, Angela, and I, and some other friends, arrived at Cafe 210 on College Ave right when they opened at 11 a.m.  I had to stop by chem lab to drop off a lab report first, since I wasn't going to make it to class that day, but we were there to open the restaurant.  It was a beautiful day - sunny, not a cloud in the sky, though a little chilly even at that time of day, but hey, it was March, so for Pennsylvania, we really couldn't complain.  We scored three tables together on the patio in front, right on the main drag of town, right across the street from the offiial campus.  I'm sure we started out the day with green beer, and continued that way into the afternoon.  The place was hopping all day, a buzz in the air with St. Patrick's day celebraters, and in our heads.  We were there all day long, some leaving for a class and coming back afterward, some other friends stopping in between classes, some meaning to only stop in, but "losing track of time" and ending up staying there.  Angela had gone to a class, and returned afterward, showing us her notes that she had taken that looked like a kindergartener had drawn lines up and down the page.  I remember smiling a lot, having so much fun being young and carefree, living in the moment, being surrounded by friends, feeling important and loved.
    I went to one class that day, around 2 p.m., because we were discussing "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson (which, coincidentally, was written 50 years ago this year).  I remember the walk to class, just up the hill and a few blocks from the restaurant, along a tree lined street, the sun beaming through the branches, lower in the sky.  I definitely had a buzz going, but not totally gone, not even slurring, still in control.  I could hear myself breathing loudly in my head, as I walked I remember the scenery seemed to shake with each step, my green plastic St. Patrick's Day beads jangling around my neck.  This class was great, as always, though I was faintly aware that people might be looking at me funny; maybe I smelled of beer, or they could tell I had been at the bar, or maybe it was the beads, or the shamrock painted on my cheek.  Nonetheless, I recall the discussion of the book being inspiring, making me aware of the way the world was changing, how humans actions had consquences, that I could be involved in making it better, for myself and for generations to come. 
     12 years later, here I am with three little people who ARE the next generation.  It amazes me to think of how much has changed in the past 12 years, who I was then, who I was along the way, who I am now, who my kids are growing to be.  My St. Patrick's Day this year was not quite as carefree as that particular one back at Penn State, but we did celebrate in a much more low-key fashion.  I did dress the kids in green shirts, and tried to explain to my 4-year old, the meaning of the Day - ultimately, he took from it that we wear green clothes and go out for an irish dinner; so be it.  I had a debilitating migraine all morning, but was able to rally so we could take the kids out for dinner at John Brewer's in Waltham. 
     We went early thinking that it would be packed, because years past when we've gone when the holiday fell during the week, there was usually a line out the door, and I did not see us standing there with three kids waiting to get in.  We arrived at 4:30 and it was...empty... crickets were dancing to the irish music on the sterio.  But that's what it is when you have kids - you spend an hour packing (food, diapers, change of clothes, toys) for any outing, race to get anywhere you're going, go to dinner before the early birds, and leave when things are just getting going.  We were even too early for the live music, but it was this rather than risk having the kids out too late and pay for it with three screamers the whole way home (I can only sit in the backseat of a mini-van, squeezed behind Quinn's carseat and between two girls' carseats, singing "Wheels on the Bus" or telling lies about seeing doggies out the window, for so long).  But, we enjoyed it nonetheless, because we were out, we were together as a family, and it was St. Patrick's Day, damnit.  All I need these days for a celebration is a reason to do it, and now I have three reasons to make every day special, three little faces that I just want to see light up with smiles : )

Friday, March 16, 2012

My First Post - Yay!

      Wow, so I finally started this blog... I've only been thinking about it for about three years, and I'm not even sure about the name (perhaps I should have gone with something more directed toward my babies? my family?), but here we are, finally "alive". 
        I decided on the title "Pennsylvanian At Heart" because that is where my roots are, where I came from, the place I miss the most.  Just the thought of going back there, seeing the mountains, the sunrises and sunsets, breathing the fresh air... all the wonderful, life-affirming memories, uh, how I crave Pennsylvania and all it means to me.         
       I lived in many different towns in PA while growing up.  My father worked for the railroad, and we moved many times for his job location at the time; at the time, it was hard starting over so many times, but now I know it helped me to be able to start over more easily, regroup, come out happy and adjusted on the other side of whatever change life throws at me. 
       But I'm getting ahead of myself...  Here's a little bit about me, and I'm sure my posts will get more in-depth on these areas, as I go:  I was born in Lock Haven, PA, in December 1977.  I lived in Renovo, a small railroading town where my parents were born and raised, for a couple years.  Whenever I return to PA now, it's to Renovo, where my grandparents live.  We moved to Jersey Shore, PA (nope, no beach nearby), where we lived until after 6th grade, where my earliest memories are from, with so many wonderful friends, a great neighborhood full of kids, the 80's!  Then we moved to Carlisle, PA, which was the hardest move for me, leaving my very best friend at such a young age, but I very quickly found myself and where I fit, where I became a band geek (color guard, actually), became a part of something bigger than I could understand but felt and still feel so much pride in, where I started high school.  In the middle of my junior year of high school, we moved again, to Chippewa, PA, outside Pittsburgh, where I found myself again, with so many new but close friends, for the years that "really mattered".  I attended, first, Penn State's Beaver campus, where I really came alive, met some great people, before moving, with some of them, to State College, PA.  College was everything college was supposed to be- new, thrilling, difficult, life changing, amazing, mind altering - academically, emotionally, and socially.  I majored in Earth Sciences, and minored in geography, GeoScience, and meterology; I just loved the outdoors, nature, the seasons, the ground and water, thinking about how it had all formed, which made me appreciate Pennsylvania even more.  After I graduated, I worked as a surveyor, after talking my way in the door, never believing that would ever be possible, that I had the negotiation tactics in me!  In June 2000, I moved to a tiny town in Vermont to write an Environmental program for a talc mining company.  I met my husband, Doug, who had grown up in that tiny town in VT, and together, in May 2001, we moved to Crofton, MD together, so I could take a job, essentially, with FEMA, to embark on a life together.  We were married in May 2002, in Renovo PA, in my grandmother's church that I had grown up attending whenever I visited her, which was often, with our family and friends around us.  In August 2002 we moved to Watertown, MA, just outside Boston.  I worked for a Banking compliance company, eventually managing their flood compliance operations, downtown, in the city, which was exciting.  In May 2007, I found out that I was pregnant with our first baby, a little boy. 
           Being pregnant was the best experience of my life.  I was one of those annoyingly happy pregnant ladies, enjoying every little milestone, pouring over books and websites and anything I could find to see how my baby was growing inside me, the science behind it but also the emotion journey we were on together, this little baby and I.  On January 9th, 2008, the love of my life, Quinn, was born - it was the most life altering experience of my life, in all the most wonderful ways.  I left my office job to be with my son, and I do not regret that decision in the least.  Being with him has taught me so much about love, about life, about being a mother, a woman, everything.  In February 2010, I found out I was carrying twins - yes, two babies, identical twins, at the same time!  It blew my mind, but even with all the questions and uncertainty, the bottom line was that my heart was overflowing with love and joy, and I was ready to welcome them into our lives.  It was Quinn and I against the world that summer, as we sold our condo in Watertown, packed up the house to rent in Concord, looked for houses, had frequent prenatal appointments for the twins, found a house, packed up the apartment, and finally moved to our little green house here in Suddbury, MA in late August  A few weeks after moving, the day I unpacked our last box, cleaned the house from top to bottom, and made 6 different meals for in the freezer, my water broke when I was putting my little boy to bed that night.  I was laying in his bed when I felt a "pop", and I remember holding him a little longer that night, thinking that it was the last moment it would be just he and I, that life as he knew it was about to change; though we were adding two little blessings, Quinn and Mommy time was forever changed.  That night, October 1st, 2010, we welcomed our identical twin girls, Sierra and Kelsey.  They were 4 weeks early, so tiny, but healthy and pretty and mine; well, ours.  The little girls that every mother wants, and I was doubly blessed having them. 
      And here we are, still in Sudbury, MA, several hours drive away from PA.  Quinn is now 4 years old and in preschool, and the twins are currently 17 months old, running, learning, exploring, such wonderful times (though, not really sleeping...ugh).  We travel to Pennsylvania twice a year, and I so look forward to those trips.  Seeing my babies with their grandparents, who drive from Atlanta, GA, to meet up with us there, at my grandparents house in Renovo, the house I've always known them to be in.  As the "Welcome to Pennsylvania" sign comes into sight, my heart feels so open and awake.  I breathe deeply to take in the air, see the ridge and valley landscape all around, the mountain ranges that rise on either side of the road, the cut-outs of rock along those mountainsides.  We'll be heading back there in a few weeks, for Easter, and springtime.  It will be such heaven for me, to have Quinn, Sierra, and Kelsey in my favor place in the world, where I know that my grandparents remember fondly when I was their sizes, toddling around their house and yard...
     I just feel so at-home and comfortable there.  That's why I'm Pennsylvanian at heart!  I think that maybe, after all, that is the perfect title for me to have chosen for this blog.  Everything comes back to that : )

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned!