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

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."