raising twins,momo twins,monoamniotic,premature,identical,multiples The good, bad & the ugly...real life!: 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

Preschool Update

This post has raised a lot of eyebrows, not to mention blood pressure, so I decided to give you all an update on the situation.  Hudson finished out last two weeks of the school year at the preschool where he escaped.  I can't say that it went great or even good, but it was ok.  It was a bit unsettling dropping him off each day and I would hold my breath and say a lot of prayers until I picked him up. Every time I would drive close to the school I would see another hazardous scenario that could have happened when he escaped.  I have some serious doubts about him going back to the same preschool in the fall.  Not only is the safety issue a big factor, but a couple of other issues have come up:
1. If he stays at this preschool it is not likely that he will be in the same class as his brother.  The teacher informed me that the principal has some very strong feelings against twins being in the same class and if they do allow Nick to go to that preschool they boys will be there on alternating days.  I have very strong feelings about keeping them together, as does the school psychologist.  At some point I am sure that they will need or want to be in separate classes, but I am not about to start them out that way as three year olds because the principal had a bad experience with a set of twins being in the same class 25 years ago.
2. I have discovered that the same type of preschool that neighbors the boundries of the preschool that Hudson has been going to has an average of seven students each day. Occasionally there are ten students in the class with one teacher and two aides, but most days they have six or seven students.  Much better than 27 students with one teacher and three aides.
With all factors involved I am going to be doing a little bit of homework over the summer involving the school district and/or the state or federal department of Special Education and hopefully getting things ironed out before school starts in August.

All of these pictures were taken on the same block as the school where my little boy 
was wandering around by himself and missing for 40 minutes before it was noticed that he was gone.

Construction Site-when he escaped it was just a foundation that went down approx. 15 feet.

Creek #1-running very high & fast
Creek #2

Creek #3

Highway-Not real busy when this was taken.  The speed limit is
 50mph and it is a main thoroughfair into the city.
The school is the building toward the back.

Creepy looking trailer park
Another stream in the trees

Abandoned house

Behind the school

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Twin Friars Die on same Day at age 92

By CAROLYN THOMPSON, Associated Press – Fri Jun 3, 9:39 pm ET
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Identical twins Julian and Adrian Riester were born seconds apart 92 years ago. They died hours apart this week. The Buffalo-born brothers were also brothers in the Roman Catholic Order of Friars Minor. Professed friars for 65 years, they spent much of that time working together at St. Bonaventure University, doing carpentry work, gardening and driving visitors to and from the airport and around town.
"It was fun to see them, just quiet, gentle souls," Yvonne Peace, who worked at the St. Bonaventure Friary for nearly 21 years, said Friday.
They died Wednesday at St. Anthony Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., Brother Julian in the morning and Brother Adrian in the evening.
Both died of heart failure, said Father James Toal, guardian of St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, where the inseparable twins lived since moving from western New York in 2008.
"It really is almost a poetic ending to the remarkable story of their lives," St. Bonaventure spokesman Tom Missel said. "Stunning when you hear it, but hardly surprising given that they did almost everything together."
Julian and Adrian Riester were born Jerome and Irving on March 27, 1919, to a couple who already had five daughters. They took the names of saints upon their ordination in the Catholic church.
"Dad was a doctor and he said a prayer for a boy," Adrian once said, according to St. Bonaventure. "The Lord fooled him and sent two."
After attending St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute, the brothers were turned away by the military because of their eyesight, the university said. One had a bad left eye, the other a bad right eye.
Eventually they joined the friars of Holy Name Province in New York City. They received separate assignments before reuniting at the seminary at St. Bonaventure from 1951 to 1956. After serving parishes in Buffalo for 17 years, they returned to St. Bonaventure in 1973 and spent the next 35 years there.
They had separate rooms in the friary but one telephone extension that rang into both, Peace recalled. It was usually the more talkative Adrian who answered, though Julian possessed a quiet authority. They never said who was born first.
"Brother Julian was like the big brother. Brother Adrian would defer to him," Peace said. "They picked up one of our friars at the airport one time and the friar said, `Can I take you to dinner?'
"Brother Adrian looked at Brother Julian and said, `We aren't going to dinner?' `No, we'll go home,'" Peace said. "So that was it. No discussion, no contradicting. `No, we aren't going today.'"
Funeral services are scheduled for Monday at St. Mary Our Lady of Grace Church in St. Petersburg. Afterward, the brothers' bodies will be flown to Buffalo and buried Wednesday at St. Bonaventure Cemetery, across the street from the university.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Remembering those we love and those who have served our country...

 We attempted to teach our kids about their ancestors and those who have selflessly served our country on Memorial Day.   It was a nice thought, but didn't turn out exactly the way I thought it would.  I think the girls learned and enjoyed it, but we have got a long way to go in terms of teaching respect.  Our little lovelies were stepping on the headstones, stealing flowers, scaling fences, and at one point Nicholas was wearing some rosary beads.  Fortunately my husband put them back where they belonged before I had a chance to snap a picture.  I also just pulled an entire handful of flowers out of a couple of pockets while sorting laundry.  I'm sure they were meant to be souvenirs.

Grave Robbers (Above & Below)

Sorry, mourners of Mr. & Mrs. Roach, but this is my worst nightmare.  I'm really fine with my children never coming to visit my grave, but I am not fine with them decorating it with plastic flowers, especially not the entire plastic flower department at Walmart.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A look at basic baby economics

May 16th, 2011 @ 5:58pm
By Kim Vatis, NBC News
CHICAGO — What costs more? Raising a child or buying a home?
There's no doubt that a bundle of joy brings a bundle of bills. Online calculators will help you anticipate the costs from groceries to insurance to a bigger car.
"All of those things really add up, and it's something you don't think about when you are picking linens for the crib," says Sarah Tims.
Tims is a financial planner and mother of three. Just as "how to" baby books are required reading, Tims says parents need a "financial baby formula." She has a suggested five-step plan:
  1. Find out what your pay will be while on maternity leave. If it's reduced, live on that lower amount while you're pregnant as a test.
  2. Save for health care costs — higher premiums and more doctor visits."It could be something between $200 and $300 a month, depending on your premium," Tims says. "And the ‘well baby' co-pays could be anywhere between $15 to $30."
  3. Research not only life, but disability insurance as well.
  4. For savings, investigate dependent care tax credits for child care. It's up to 35 percent of expenses with a maximum of $3,000 per year per child.
  5. Consider a Roth IRA for triple duty savings. Sims says you can take out contributions if you need them for living expenses or emergencies. You can use that money for college without paying a penalty and ultimately it's there for you when you turn 59 and a half and need it for retirement.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

One Grumpy, but Grateful Mama

My little Hudson is developmentally delayed.  In our state children with developmental delays receive services through a non profit agency until they turn three and then turned over to the local school district where they are required to start preschool on their Birthday or the first school day following their Birthday.  He recently turned three, which means that he also started preschool.  I usually comply with the things that I am asked to, as I have with this preschool thing, but I have not been all together happy with it for a couple of reasons. (1) There are only three weeks of school before summer break.  Why not just wait until school starts in the fall? (2) The program is 1/2 special needs and 1/2 "normal" kids.  I really like that idea, but the Federal Government has recently lifted the 15 person per class cap and there are now 25 kids in his class 25, 25!!!!  Not only is that an insane amount of children in the class room, but the class is full of three year olds with special needs.  Since the class is so big that means there is not room for his twin brother because they are only allowing the special needs kids that they are required to by law.  Even though I have been a little grumpy about it I have done what I am supposed to and taken my little guy, all by himself to preschool.  I have actually been enjoying the one on one time with Nick, Hudson has adjusted well and I have been very impressed with his teacher and the program.

This morning things have been a little different.  About an hour after I dropped Hudson off at preschool I received a call from his teacher informing me that he had "gotten away from them".  She said that he had gotten from the classroom, which is in a separate building behind the school, through the parking lot and across the street.  That is not even the worst part.  Someone found him (not sure if it was someone that stopped their car to keep from hitting him or someone came out of their house and just happened to notice him).  Whomever found him had enough time to go around to three or four daycare center/preschools nearby to see if he belonged at any of them and called the police all BEFORE the school noticed that he was missing.  His teacher said he had been missing for about 20 minutes  20 minutes!!!!  There is a busy highway less than 100 feet from the school where the speed limit is 50 mph, which could have been deadly, not to mention if the person that found him could have been a kidnapping pervert, he could have been attacked by a dog, etc...  As you can tell my mind has gone crazy with this one.  My husband was very skeptical of him ever even going to preschool in the first place.  He is young and does not talk well enough to tell us if someone is doing something to him that they shouldn't be or to even know if someone is doing something they shouldn't for that matter.  I assured my husband that the preschool is done through the school district, regulated, background check checks are in place, etc, etc..  It's pretty much as safe as we are going to get and I feel like we need to get our little boy all the help we possibly can.  With that in mind I convinced him that our little boy was going to be safe and we sent him off to preschool.  He was not a happy camper when I called him with the news this morning.  He made the drive from his office to the school in record time where we "hashed things out" with the principal and his teacher.   As for now we came up with a plan of items that are going to be done in order to prevent this type of thing from happening in the future and they are going to let us know when they are all taken care of, we will check it all out and then take him back to preschool.  I really don't blame the teacher.  I think she is doing things as well as she possibly can with the class size that she has.  I would really like to share my concerns with the state or federal government somehow without getting the teacher in trouble.  In the meantime we are very thankful that the situation turned out the way that it did and are certain that he was being watched over.

I received the incident report from the teacher stating that I dropped him off at 9:00 AM and they discovered that he was missing at 9:40 AM.  They are assuming that he "escaped" shortly after I dropped him off as other parents were bringing their children into the classroom.  The 20 minutes just went to 40.  Not settling so well with me.  I also spoke with the police officer who said that a man driving by saw him and stopped his car.  I'm not sure if he had to stop suddenly to keep from hitting him or if they just noticed him wandering.  I will be forever grateful for this man.  Not only was he not texting or distracted in some other way while he was driving and actually saw my little boy rather than hitting him or just driving past him, but he took the time to get out of his car and take care of my helpless little boy.  I also have no doubt that my baby was being watched over from above.  I think we will be taking a break from preschool while we wrap our minds around this situation.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Study: Twin Moms Live Longer

www.harktheherald.com  May 10, 2011

Karen Ellingson got a couple of surprises when she found out she was pregnant with her second child.
One surprise was her third child.
The other was how healthy her second pregnancy was, even though she was pregnant with twins, which typically see more problems than single births.
"For whatever reason, my cravings were for things like vegetables and strawberries, whereas my first baby, it was like, give me a Big Mac and french fries or I will die," the Springville woman said.
Ellingson's twins didn't come early, as twins are prone to do; she actually was induced at 40 weeks and two days, which is about as full as a full-term pregnancy can be. She was never on bed rest; she said she walked consistently throughout her pregnancy.
She could be the poster mother for the results of a study from a University of Utah professor that found mothers of twins tend to live longer than mothers who only give birth to single babies.
It's not that having twins makes you healthier, family and consumer sciences professor Ken Smith said. It's that healthy women are more likely to naturally conceive twins and then continue to be healthy.
"Whatever the mystery ingredient is, that's what's leading to the association between twinning and longevity," he said.
Smith looked at almost 60,000 Utah mothers born in the 1800s, during a period without modern birth control or in vitro fertilization, who lived to at least 50 years old. About 4,600 of those women gave birth to twins, which is one of the largest samples available. Twin moms averaged about a 5 percent lower chance of dying each year after age 50 than single-birth mothers.
The significance today is that something made those women healthier and more robust, and it's possible that something is still floating around in Utah families.
"If it's this innate healthiness that is what the mother of that twin had, that's the ingredient that we're kind of circling around, that could be and probably is being passed on to her descendants," he said.
The study does not extrapolate toward women who have undergone fertility treatments. It also didn't take into account those mothers who died young; the researchers looked at those who made it past menopause.
The good news is, most mothers did make it past 50 years old, and from there those who gave birth to twins had an edge on moms of singles.
In some ways that seems counter intuitive, since having a newborn is stressful and having two newborns increases that stress exponentially. Smith admitted he was surprised, especially since these pioneer women were likely to see their longevity decrease as the number of children they bore increased.
"That was probably the most stressful time of my entire life because I was so sleep deprived," Ellingson said. "There's always somebody who needs you."
Springville resident Janette Weakley, a mother of 3-year-old twin girls, found the conclusions interesting, although not exactly surprising. She spent the last couple of weeks of her pregnancy in bed, and the twins came five weeks early, but mother and babies were fine. Weakley said she actually recovered more quickly after that pregnancy than the two before it or the one after it.
Part of that, she suspects, is in addition to two newborns she had two toddlers to chase. But she also started running sooner. She also, however, considers herself fairly healthy; she runs frequently, which both serves to keep her fit and helps to relieve pent-up frustration, and she and her family eat healthy foods.
But she also could see a correlation between wrestling twins and longevity.
"It's definitely a lot of work, and I believe hard work can you make live longer," Weakley said.
She's 31 -- "who knows if I'm really going to live longer?" -- but said she constantly talks to people when she takes the twins out who have a twin or know twins or are related to twins; she's intrigued by the variety of people who experience double birth.
Smith would like to look into whether this trend is still continuing, but the numbers are much harder to see today than they were 100 years ago. He suspects the natural robustness and the tendency toward twinning is there, but the rate of women having twins has dropped as fewer women have children and those who do don't have seven, eight or in one woman's case, 22 live births.
It certainly poses a number of questions about life span and health, he said.
"People age different, people survive at different ages and there's lots of variation," Smith said. "What are the contributing factors?"

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Heavenly Angels

As my eight year old was playing Wii Sports this afternoon I couldn't help but over hear her cheering for Grandma Jorgensen.  Grandma Jorgensen passed away in December, along with two other Grandparents.  It was not one of our favorite months.  I later discovered that my daughter has formed a team for all of our family members that have died called the Heavenly Angels.  They are winning.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Or maybe just the lives we moms live...and love!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Break 2011

A couple of my friends decided to leave town together with their kids for Spring Break.  They invited us, but I declined.  Every party has a pooper, right. I just couldn't imagine myself with my four children, two of them two-year-olds, swimming, hiking, etc. and having fun or bringing all of us back alive.  I don't think my husband would have appreciated it if I had come home with a kid or two less than what I had left with.  I am also saving my pennies for a vacation later this year, but I didn't want to be the lame-o mom that's child replies to the big, "What did you do for Spring Break?" question when they return to school with a, "I went to the library." as the most exciting thing that we did.  I'll admit, I didn't want to take the heat from my kids when their friends were all away having fun, so I thought it would go over much better if I had an exciting plan up my sleeve.  My kids are still young enough that thrills are pretty cheap, so I decided that we would go somewhere close, find a cheap hotel room and let them swim.  My mom told me about a hotel that is located in the "armpit" of our state.  I would mention the name, but I don't want to get a bunch of hate mail!  Every state seems to have one, so just imagine the armpit of your state and you will be there.  I looked at it online.  Looked pretty good to me and we ended up having hotel points for it, which made it free.  Even cheaper than I imagined!  It was about 40 minutes from our house.  We didn't spend enough on gas to keep track of and my kids only asked when we were going to be there once.  Many people take their kids to exotic, tropical locations for Spring Break.  We prefer Armpit, USA!  My kids absolutely LOVED it and ask at least once a day when we are going back.  I am quite sure we will be "vacationing" there again soon.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Types of Twins

During my pregnancy I felt like we were educated a little more than I ever cared to be regarding different types of twins.  For some reason I was fascinated when I read all of this:

Zygosity is the degree of identity in the genome of twins. There are five common variations of twinning. The three most common variations are all fraternal (dizygotic):
  • Male–female twins are the most common result, 50 percent of fraternal twins and the most common grouping of twins.
  • Female–female fraternal twins (sometimes called "sororal twins")
  • Male–male fraternal twins
The other two variations are identical (monozygotic) twins:
  • Female–female identical twins
  • Male–male identical twins (least common)
Among non-twin births, male singletons are slightly (about five percent) more common than female singletons. The rates for singletons vary slightly by country. For example, the sex ratio of birth in the US is 1.05 males/female,[9] while it is 1.07 males/female in Italy.[10] However, males are also more susceptible than females to death in utero, and since the death rate in utero is higher for twins, it leads to female twins being more common than male twins.

 Fraternal (dizygotic) twins

Eight month old fraternal twin girls napping
Fraternal or dizygotic (DZ) twins (also referred to as "non-identical twins", "dissimilar twins", "biovular twins", and, in cases of females, occasionally sororal twins) usually occur when two fertilized eggs are implanted in the uterus wall at the same time. When two eggs are independently fertilized by two different sperm cells, fraternal twins result. The two eggs, or ova, form two zygotes, hence the terms dizygotic and biovular.
Fraternal twins, like any other siblings, have an extremely small chance of having the same chromosome profile. Like any other siblings, fraternal twins may look similar, particularly given that they are the same age. However, fraternal twins may also look very different from each other. They may be of different sexes or the same sex. The same holds true for brothers and sisters from the same parents, meaning that fraternal twins are simply brothers and/or sisters who happen to be the same age.
Studies show that there is a genetic basis for fraternal twinning. However, it is only their mother that has any effect on the chances of having fraternal twins; there is no known mechanism for a father to cause the release of more than one ovum. Dizygotic twinning ranges from six per thousand births in Japan (similar to the rate of monozygotic twins) to 14 and more per thousand in some African countries.[6]
Fraternal twins are also more common for older mothers, with twinning rates doubling in mothers over the age of 35.[11] With the advent of technologies and techniques to assist women in getting pregnant, the rate of fraternals has increased markedly.

Identical (monozygotic) twins

Comparison of zygote development in identical and fraternal twins. In the uterus, a majority of identical twins (60–70%) share the same placenta but have separate amniotic sacs. In 18–30% of identical twins each fetus has a separate placenta and a separate amniotic sac. A small number (1–2%) of identical twins share the same placenta and amniotic sac. Fraternal twins each have their own placenta and own amniotic sac.
Identical or monozygotic (MZ) twins occur when a single egg is fertilized to form one zygote (hence, "monozygotic") which then divides into two separate embryos.
There are an estimated 11 million sets of identical twins and triplets in the world today.


Regarding spontaneous or natural monozygotic twinning, a recent theory posits that identical twins are formed after a blastocyst essentially collapses, splitting the progenitor cells (those that contain the body's fundamental genetic material) in half, leaving the same genetic material divided in two on opposite sides of the embryo. Eventually, two separate fetuses develop.[12] Spontaneous division of the zygote into two embryos is not considered to be a hereditary trait, but rather a spontaneous or random event.[11][13]
Identical twins may also be created artificially by embryo splitting. It can be used as an expansion of IVF to increase the number of available embryos for embryo transfer.[14]


Monozygotic twinning occurs in birthing at a rate of about three in every 1000 deliveries worldwide.[13]
The likelihood of a single fertilization resulting in identical twins is uniformly distributed in all populations around the world.[11] This is in marked contrast to fraternal twinning, which ranges from about six per thousand births in Japan (almost similar to the rate of identical twins, which is around 4–5) to 15 and more per thousand in some parts of India[15] and up to 24 in the US,[citation needed] which might mainly be due to IVF (in vitro fertilization). The exact cause for the splitting of a zygote or embryo is unknown.
In-vitro fertilization techniques are more likely to create twins. Only about three pairs of twins per 1,000 deliveries occur as a result of natural conception, while for IVF deliveries, there are nearly 21 pairs of twins for every 1,000.[16]

Genetic and epigenetic similarity

Identical twins are genetically identical (unless there has been a mutation during development) and they are always the same sex. On rare occasions, identical twins may express different phenotypes (normally due to an environmental factor or the deactivation of different X chromosomes in female identical twins), and in some extremely rare cases, due to aneuploidy, twins may express different sexual phenotypes, normally due to an XXY Klinefelter's syndrome zygote splitting unevenly.[17][18]
Identical twins actually have only nearly identical DNA, and differing environmental influences throughout their lives affect which genes are switched on or off. This is called epigenetic modification. A study of 80 pairs of human twins ranging in age from three to 74 showed that the youngest twins have relatively few epigenetic differences. The number of epigenetic differences between identical twins increases with age. Fifty-year-old twins had over three times the epigenetic difference of three-year-old twins. Twins who had spent their lives apart (such as those adopted by two different sets of parents at birth) had the greatest difference.[19] However, certain characteristics become more alike as twins age, such as IQ and personality.[20][21] This phenomenon illustrates the influence of genetics in many aspects of human characteristics and behavior.[citation needed]

Phenotype similarity

Contrary to common opinion, identical twins are not always of the same phenotypical sex. There have been described cases where monozygocity resulted in 46,XO (i.e. female with Turner syndrome) and 46,XY (i.e. male). This is thought to be due to unequal distribution of zygotic protoplasm. However, as a rule, traits and physical appearances of MZ twins are very similar.
Identical twins look alike, although they do not have the same fingerprints (which are environmental as well as genetic). As they mature, identical twins often become less alike because of lifestyle choices or external influences. The children of identical twins would test genetically as half-siblings rather than first cousins.

Half-identical twins

Half-identical or semi-identical twins (also referred to as "half twins") are the result of a very rare form of twinning in which the twins inherit exactly the same genes from their mother but different genes from their father. Although examples of half-identical twins have been found, the exact mechanism of their conception is not well-understood, but could theoretically occur in polar body twinning where sperm cells fertilize both the ovum and the second polar body.
This situation is not the same as the common form of fraternal twinning, in which two genetically different ova are fertilized by two genetically different sperm. In this case, the ova are genetically identical.


There are two mechanisms by which this might happen:
  • Polar twins (or "polar body twins"), where two sperm fertilize an ovum, one of the two fertilizing a polar body;[22] or where an ovum splits into identical copies, one containing a polar body, prior to fertilization, allowing it to be fertilized by two different sperm.[23][24]
  • Sesquizygotic twins, where two sperm fertilize the one ovum, forming a triploid, and then splitting.[25]


A 1981 study of a dead triploid XXX twin fetus without a heart showed that although its fetal development suggested that it was an identical twin, as it shared a placenta with its healthy twin, tests revealed that it was likely a polar body twin. The authors were unable to predict whether a healthy fetus could result from a polar body twinning.[26] In 2003 a study argued that many cases of triploidity arise from semi-identical twinning.[27] In 2007, a study reported a case of a pair of living twins, one a hermaphrodite and one a phenotypical male. The twins were both found to be chimeras and to share all of their maternal DNA but only half of their father's DNA. The exact mechanism of fertilization could not be determined but the study stated that it was unlikely to be a case of polar body twinning.[28]

Degree of separation

Various types of chorionicity and amniosity (how the baby's sac looks) in monozygotic (one egg/identical) twins as a result of when the fertilized egg divides
The degree of separation of the twins in utero depends on if and when they split into two zygotes. Dizygotic twins were always two zygotes. Monozygotic twins split into two zygotes at some time very early in the pregnancy. The timing of this separation determines the chorionicity and amniocity (the number of sacs) of the pregnancy. Dichorionic twins either never divided (i.e.: were dizygotic) or they divided within the first 4 days. Monoamnionic twins divide after the first week.
In very rare cases, twins become conjoined twins. Furthermore, there can be various degrees of shared environment of twins in the womb, potentially leading to pregnancy complications.
It is a common misconception that two placentas means twins are dizygotic (non-identical). But if monozygotic twins separate early enough, the arrangement of sacs and placentas in utero is indistinguishable from dizygotic twins.
Type Description Day
Dichorionic-Diamniotic Normally, twins have two separate (di- being a numerical prefix for two) chorions and amniotic sacs, termed Dichorionic-Diamniotic or "DiDi". It occurs in almost all cases of dizygotic twins (except in very rare cases of fusion between their blastocysts[29] ), in 99.7% of all pregnancies,[30] and in 18–36%[31] (or around 25%[29]) of monozygotic (identical) twins. DiDi twins have the lowest mortality risk at about 9 percent, although that is still significantly higher than that of singletons.[32]
Dichorionic-Diamniotic twins form when splitting takes place by the third day after fertilization.[29]
Monochorionic-Diamniotic Monochorionic twins share the same placenta. Monochorionic twins generally have two amniotic sacs (called Monochorionic-Diamniotic "MoDi"), which occurs in 60–70% of the pregnancies with monozygotic twins.[31] Monochorionic-Diamniotic twins are almost always monozygotic, with a few exceptions where the blastocysts have fused.[29]
Days 4-8
Monochorionic-Monoamniotic Sometimes, monochorionic twins also share the same amnion. This situation occurs in 1–2% of monozygotic twin pregnancies.[31] Monoamniotic twins are always monozygotic (identical twins).[33]
The survival rate for monoamniotic twins is somewhere between 50%[33] to 60%.[34]
Consequently, if twins are monoamniotic that means that the two babies will be sharing a placenta and as a result, due to the small capacity of sharing a sac, the umbilical cord has an increased chance of being tangled around the babies. Because of this, there is an increased chance that the newborns may be miscarried or suffer from cerebral palsy due to the lack of oxygen.
Monoamniotic twins occur when the split takes place after the ninth day after fertilization.[29]
Conjoined twins When the division of the developing zygote into 2 embryos occurs, 99% of the time it is within 8 days of fertilization.
Mortality is highest for conjoined twins due to the many complications resulting from shared organs.
If the division of the zygote occurs later than the 12 days then conjoined twins are usually the result.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I have discovered I have a thing for pictures of sleeping babies/kids. I thought my days of sweet, little twins sleeping together were over. My boys haven't slept like this since they were babies and I thought they were getting big enough for this sort of thing to be dangerous, so I put them in separate cribs. This picture is part of the silver lining of them being sick for 13 days straight. I just love it, even though they were in between my husband and I in our bed, one of them sideways with his feet in my face!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

$100 Visa Giveaway and an awesome Recipe!!!

This is one of my absolute favorite recipe blogs and here's a giveaway to make it even better!!!
Lemon Bundt Cake and $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway
 To enter the giveaway you have to give suggestions for getting kids to eat fruits & veggies.  There were some great ideas for that also!  Here is my response:
Fruits & Veggies have never been an issue at my house. I have always started them with frozen veggies when they have started eating solids. A few other things that I think have helped my kids to like fruits & veggies are:
1.Having them easily accessble, a plate of fruit or vegetables on the table for them to grab as they walk by.
2. Try new things-branch out a little bit from oranges, apples and grapes. My kids all love fresh mangoes, papayas, berries, celery, asparagus.
3. Don't assume they won't like it.
4. Let them help with the produce shopping. My kids love it when they find something new for us to try.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

When did it get "easier"?

One of my good friends had five kids within three years (a set of twins in the middle) and I remember asking her when it would get easier. Her reply was, "It doesn't get easier, it just changes."  In many ways I agree with her, but as I am sure she would agree there are as many things to love and enjoy about each phase as there is chaos.  For me things have gotten a lot easier since my boys turned two.  The first year I am pretty sure we were at the pediatricians office at least once a week many times more along with several specialists, therapists, and the childrens hospital.  The fun and joys of prematurity!  The second year was a little easier, but not much.  When they turned two it seemed like we were still swimming up stream, but could come up for air from time to time.  In the past few months life has seemed that much easier.  I think both of them walking makes things a lot easier.  Now we are having lots of fun chasing them!  Honestly, I have to say that twins hasn't been the hard part for me.  My boys have been such easy babies.  Both of them together have been easier than one of my girls were.  I love my girls just as much as my boys, but they both very VERY hard babies.  I think the thing that has been so overwhelming for me has been having four kids within five years and working through all of the prematurity issues.

Yes, they were both sufficiently scrubbed down and sanitized immediately after this picture was taken!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Are you kidding me, Wells Fargo???

Pardon me for a minute as I vent some frustration regarding one of the larger financial institutions in the country.  If anyone reading this is an employee or fan of Wells Fargo sorry, sort of.  For a majority of my adult life I have done my banking at a credit union and been very satisfied.  Well, a few years ago we refinanced our mortgage and Wells Fargo happened to have the lowest rates and they offered us an even lower rate if we would open a checking account.  Sounds pretty harmless, right?  If hindsight were 20/20 we would have opened that account, kept the minimum balance in it and continued banking with our friendly credit union.  They are occasionally attempting to sneak in some random fees even though we have a "free" checking account, then take several weeks, sometimes months and several phone calls before reversing the fees that never should have been there in the first place.  I have thought of switching back to our favorite credit union, but oh what a pain.  I am sure at some point in the near future it will be worth the chaos of making the change.  I live in chaos and love it, isn't that right!?!

Today my mom and aunt offered to watch my kiddos while I ran some errands.  Of course, I took them up on it and ran like the wind to get to as many places possible.  I went to Target, Costco, and Hobby Lobby.  I spent $18 at Target, $90 at Costco and $8 at Hobby Lobby.   At Hobby Lobby the clerk very casually informed me that my debit card DECLINED.  With my stomach now in my shoes, knowing that there was plenty of money in my account to cover the transaction I asked him to try again.  Still DECLINED.  Fortunately I had some cash in my wallet, which is a miracle since I usually don't carry much if any cash.  Not very smart, I know and if my dad happens to read this I am pretty sure I will be getting a little bit of "loving feedback" and concern for my safety on the subject.  I paid for my purchase and prayed all the way home that the thieves that stole our identity a few years ago hadn't drained our entire bank account in the twenty minutes between Costco and Hobby Lobby.  I was quick to hop online to check the account only to see that, yes there was plenty of money available.  With that information I assumed there must have been some tehcnical difficulties with the credit card processor at Hobby Lobby and went to the grocery store.  I quickly got all of my groceries.  It's amazing how fast grocery shopping can be done when a couple of cute two year olds are not throwing groceries out of my cart as fast as I am putting them in.  I got to the check out and once again my debit card DECLINED....Ugh....My five year old was very upset to be leaving her Peeps (Easter treat, not friends) at the store and I was so mad I didn't even think to just give the clerk $1 for them.  We went to the car and I called the phone # on the back of my debit card to see what the heck was going on.  After entering my 16 digit card #, 8 digit checking account #, SS#, and all of my deep dark secrets I was finally connected with an operator.  She very sickningly, sweetly said, "I am assuming you are calling about the block on your debit card."  My response, "You're right, why is it on there?"  She very slowly explained that my $8 purchase at Hobby Lobby triggered the fraud department and they placed the block on my account.  I said, "Are you kidding me?"  "No, ma'am, we like to make sure that we are always keeping our customers safety as one of our top concerns."  I can appreciate that, but wouldn't it make more sense for the fraud department to be concerned about a large purchase from an electronics store, or maybe online shopping being shipped to a strange address.  No, no, no  Wells Fargo has got my back and apparently my $8 worth of craft supplies is very suspicious.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that the whole grocery store adventure happened with three sets of neighbors, one of them in line behind me and two others close enough for me to see, and possibly hear.  I am pretty sure I have never been that close to so many people that I have known at the store at the same time.  Maybe they will all start "anonymously" leaving money on my porch or something.

Baked Omlette-Easy Breakfast Idea #1

No matter how much I try...setting all of the clothes out, getting backpacks ready the night before, getting myself showered and ready before anyone else wakes up, etc, etc...  Mornings still=CHAOS at our house!   I can only handle so many mornings of sending my offspring off to school on a cold cereal, sugar overdose so many days in a row without feeling guilty, so I have been attempting to figure out some breakfasts that I can just put together the night before, refrigerate, and pop in the oven as I am jumping in the shower.  This is a very simple idea that came from my dear mama!  There are really no specifics to this and it's more of the idea than the recipe.  If you decide to give it a try experiment a little on the ingredients and cooking time.   Just blend up your eggs, milk, add meat & veggies spray your pan with non-stick spray and bake it!

This is what the one in the picture has in it.   My fridge was running on empty, so I didn't do any veggies.
8 eggs
milk (approx 1/2 cup)
Season Salt
Lean Ham

I baked it for 30 minutes, covered with cheese and cooked it for another 10 minutes.
*Cooking time will vary depending on altitude, amount of eggs, and other items you add.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Two of a kind: Twins share love of aviation

www.harktheherald.com  April 4, 2011
By Andrew Van Wagenen
It was a classic twin moment. Located hundreds of miles apart, two twin brothers thinking the same thing at the same time, yet completely independent of each other.
It happened 11 years ago, while Mike Patey attended an air show with his father-in-law. Mike's brother Mark, who didn't know Mike was attending an air show, called to tell Mike he found a good deal on a plane and wanted to know if Mike would be interested in learning to fly, which of course he was.
"By the time I got back, Mark was already learning to fly in it," said Mike Patey. "We both got into it and never looked back."
Since the Patey brothers bought their first plane, a Cessna 172, they have custom built five planes, flown to over 350 airports around the country and acquired just about every type of aviation license from commercial plane to sea plane to helicopter.
"We do everything aviation. If it goes up we can pretty much fly it," Mike said.
Their latest creations are two Lancair Legacy single-prop planes built from kits. Mike has a twin-turbo, 550-cubic-inch, six-cylinder engine and Mark has a twin-turbo, 580-inch, six-cylinder engine.
"It's kind of stupid big," Mike says, referring to the plane's engine.
Both brothers work in pharmaceuticals and travel constantly all over the country for their business. Rather than fly on commercial jets, the twins use their personal aircraft to commute between appointments.
"This is why we've built them to be so fast," Mark explains.
Originally the goal was to build planes that would get them home from work faster, but as they got halfway through the project they realized they could break a few speed records.
In March, the twins decided to put their super planes to the test by challenging the transcontinental world air speed record for fastest single engine internal combustion aircraft.
In their separate planes the twins took off from San Diego hoping to break the record on two routes. After flying side by side to Texas, where they stopped to refuel, Mike flew the northern route to Charleston, S.C., beating the record by 19 minutes. Mark flew the southern route to Jacksonville, Fla., also setting a record.
Afterwards Mike flew down to Jacksonville to meet up with Mark and the next day turned around and broke the east to west transcontinental record flying from Jacksonville, Fla. to San Diego.
Currently the twins are designing a new, one-of-a-kind, two-seat jet from scratch.
"We want to be the first civilians to go supersonic," Mike explains with a large grin on his face. "We want to go after some military world records next."
For those who know Mark and Mike, these kind of projects come as no surprise. Jim Robinson owns an air hanger next to the Patey's at the Spanish Fork Airport.
"They are very entrepreneurial-type people," Robinson said. "They create things and they get out and do things."
Robinson, the twins, and other pilots at the airport spend a lot of time trying to solve problems by bouncing ideas off each other.
Six years ago the twins began volunteering for Utah County's search and rescue team. Mark flies a helicopter, co-owned by his brother, Mike, and their friend Dr. Bryan Trapnell, during search and rescue missions.
Lieutenant Dave Bennett, of Utah County Sheriff's Search and Rescue, flies with Mark on most of the missions as a spotter.
"There has been a number of times where someone's life was saved because of him," Bennett said.
Raised in Utah County, the twins had 11 brothers and sisters in their family.
"We grew up really, really poor," Mike said, "but my dad and mom are the greatest people on the planet. They always told us we could accomplish anything, and that we didn't need money to do it. You just had to have a drive and a willingness to go out and try."
Together, the twins started building go-karts at age 9 and rebuilding cars, boats, motorcycles and ATVs before they even had their driver's licenses. They had a small business by the time they graduated high school.
"Always having someone who is like-minded and excited with you no matter what is awesome," Mike said about having a twin brother. "I don't know how much we would consider doing something without the other one involved."