Have Questions About This Twin Thing? Me too.

As my mind continues to spin from the shock of finding out we are having twins, I am getting a LOT of questions. And I don’t blame any of you because it is a whole new world for me too. But seeing as I get a lot of the same questions, I thought I’d answer them here, like I’m an important person or something. Ha!

1. Why didn’t you know at your 8 week ultrasound?
Because I didn’t have one. I didn’t go to the doctor until I was 16 weeks-ish along. After going through this five other times with no complications, I really felt that driving half an hour away just to be asked if I have any questions was a waste of my time and the doctor’s time. I still don’t regret that choice. Blood panels and urine samples can be done at any time, really.

2. Didn’t the doctor hear two hearts on doppler?
Nope, just one. I am assuming that if you hear a heartbeat as soon as the wand is on the stomach, you don’t just go searching for another one for no reason. If you recall what Doppler effect is from remedial high school science, it makes sense. Everything else is background noise.

3. Do twins run on either side of your family?
Nope. We have racked our brains thinking of a distant blood relative, but no. My mom’s mom is missing half her medical history though, so there is that…

4. How did the kids take it?
They were in the room with me and were just as shocked as I was at first. But then I heard, “Mom, it will be okay. We are going to help you.” I’ve got tremendous kids.

5. What kind of twins are they?
Fraternal, which is more common. One boy and one girl. They are in separate arrangements, but dear brother was smooshing his spine against his sister, which follows Franklin sibling protocol. Annoy, pester and smoosh if possible.

6. How are you feeling NOW?
Still tired. Still big. Still achy. Less sure.

7. When are you due?
40 weeks is June 4. I did a little research on twins, and they typically come a few weeks early. My nurse said we will come up with a better idea as we continue to monitor these cherubs. Which we will. As a matter of fact, I will be making up all those doctor appointments I tried to skip. Irony can be cruel.

8. Wow! Twins!! What about homeschooling? And you’ll need a bigger vehicle. Better hurry and get that house sold! How are you guys going to manage double everything?
These are exactly the first thoughts we were thinking. But then, I stopped. Jesus said not to fret over tomorrow, that we need to take each day as it comes. That doesn’t mean we don’t prepare, but I need to focus on one thing at a time, and it needs to be what the Lord shows as the next priority. If I think of it all in one chunk, I start to get woosy. And that’s not good for the baby… babies.

9. Are you guys trying for a reality show?
Nope. We only intended to have four. Things outside our control keep happening that have us still makin’ babies. I know this is God’s plan for our family, but, for reasons maybe I’ll talk about in another post, we haven’t intentionally planned this. We just give thanks and accept the new life, or lives, God gives us.

How This Pregnancy is Different (6th time’s a charm?)

Right this moment, I am lying in bed while my kids make dinner. Am I taking advantage of child labor? Maybe. Resting from a difficult day? I’ve had worse. Lack of sleep? Yes….

The real reason I am in bed here is because I can. There’s enough semblance of order in my house and excitement about cooking, that I can rest at 5 in the evening while people less than half my age do my job for me. For free. 

When I found out about children no. 4, 5, and 6, I googled “# pregnancy”. I wanted to know what to expect to be different from each pregnancy. Information was sorely lacking. And then, I realized something: pregnancy is different because of the various factors that play in to any pregnancy, not just a higher quantity. 

But for those out there, like me, I want to fill the google void with how this,  my sixth time expecting, is different.

1. I’m tired-er.

Is it my advanced years or the amount of kids already vying for my attention? I don’t know, but I am exhausted. Every pregnancy chart says I should be full of energy, but not so much for me. So, I’ve changed some habits. I am conscientious about getting enough protein daily, starting to exercise more intentionally, and being consistent about taking my prenatal vitamin. These things have helped me tremendously.

2. I’m bigger. 

The joke before we announced at 16 weeks was, “She’s just a little chubby.” I was popping pretty early on. The great thing, though, is I love tunics. Tunics hide baby bumps or at least put you in that grey area of “is-she-preggo-or-is-it-just-the-shirt?”. And they even look cute when the baby is obvious. Tunics, people. Save your hard earned $$. 

But seriously, I am only a little smaller than I was with Natalie (my firstborn) full term. Being big makes maneuvering difficult, whether it is turning in bed, or climbing stairs, or getting out of the car. I’m not sure how this will end in 20 more weeks. I’ll keep you posted.

3. I’m surer.

Don’t be deceived. I still am not a child expert. I am confident that this child will throw us curveballs that the others never thought to throw. God will give us wisdom to handle whatever comes our way. He hasn’t failed us yet.

My older children are capable and happy to help with the little ones. I keep my feelers on for signs that I am over loading them and adjust accordingly. But watching your girls sweetly helping their baby sister? Priceless. 

I was very nervous telling our children about no.6. “Not another one!!” was the response I was expecting. But in disbelief, I watched them get excited about another child. Excited. At that point, I knew we would be okay, that there was still plenty of love to go around. 

So I’m more relaxed. People can think what they want. I know what we need and don’t need for the baby. Our other five children are thriving despite our lack as parents. It will be okay.

4. I’m achy-er.

Once again, this could be my age or the fact that I was overweight before I got pregnant. It could be because it is winter and I have the bones of an arthritic knitter. I was raised to suck it up and get over it, so I haven’t started a pain reliever regiment or anything like that. Motion is lotion, so I try to stay moving. See 1 & 2 for reasons why I stop. 

So, for the google searcher out there like me, take heart! You will be just fine. Now is a great time to start teaching your younger kids to help out more. You will be surprised at how much they want to help you. 


Now, I finished writing everything above right before heading out to my 20 week ultrasound. At said appointment, I discovered that we are having twins. Twins. So, I am going to leave you with that cliffhanger, and ask you to stay tuned for “What it is like to discover twins living in you.” 

Merry Christmas!

I have never been consistent with Christmas cards. It isn’t because I don’t want to be. I love getting cards from friends and family. I especially love the extra little note that shares about their year, their family, etc. The favor should be returned by me, shouldn’t it?

Guilt riddles me every year that I don’t get a card out. I stopped feeling guilty this year though. Instead, I will issue a Christmas Blog post. And you are now reading it. And, of course, in true Franklin fashion, it is a week late. *Ahem* So… What HAVE we been up to?

I couldn’t find a decent picture without me in it… I guess I help him behave.
Stephen is still in cahoots with my dad, running the family business. He has a reputation among his peers for being even-tempered and a problem solver. I am so proud of him! He’s created a lot of neat signs this year and the last 3 months found him ridiculously busy.  God continues to teach us lessons on His provision through this endeavor.

Trademark Natalie!
Natalie is now 12 and turning into a lovely young lady. She reminds me of myself at her age (quirky), except she is much more confident. She loves playing soccer for the club team in town and loves anything weather related. She’s also turning into a fabulous babysitter!

Meredith loves a good selfie… I find them on my phone all the time!
Meredith just turned 10, and enjoys being “mature”. She’s taken a fancy to basketball and likes crafting and doing whatever Natalie is up to. She loves fashion and perfume…. our girly-girl.

Sophie. Sugar. Smiles. That about sums her up.
Sophie is 8 and is an interesting mix of eclectic tomboy with flower child tendencies. She will beat you at any game you play with her, much to the frustration of all her siblings. She will play legos with her brother and can often be found twirling and dancing instead of walking anywhere.

 

That red hair and cute grin… it’s hard not to love!
Ethan is 7 and loves his legos and anything construction related. He spends his summers digging with his best friend, Dominic. Torturing his sisters and doing crazy stunts is also high on his list of favorite past times, much to his mother’s chagrin.

Evie is always cooking up something and usually wearing jammies to do it.
Evelyn is 2 and really runs the house. She is shy with non-family, but loves everyone secretly when they are gone. She likes to watch “moobies”, footie pajamas and to play kitchen. She’s always “making dinnah.” We love her Boston accent, but are baffled as to where it came from.

At the office, drinking Black Waters Coffee. I may or may not have been taunting my sister in this photo…
As for me? I’ve enjoyed working more on my blog this year than ever before. I still home school my four oldest and have the added responsibility of helping with office work at the family business. So, sometimes we “business school” instead of “home school.” I continue to teach Bible clubs and Teen Sunday school as well. Life is busier than ever before, but I love the life God has made for our family.

As if all this was not enough blessing, God has decided to add MORE to our family… as in another child! Franklin no. 6 will be joining us in late May/early June of 2017! I’ve made it through the first trimester with much nausea but a lot of help from our children. Stephen and I concealed this little one until just recently when I could no longer explain why I look so “plump.” It has been a lot of fun! We do not understand why God continues to bless us, but we take His gifts and praise Him for them!

So what does 2017 hold for the Franklins? Well aside from a new child, we are trusting God to provide a bigger house for our growing clan. (Pray that our house will sell!!) We are planning a trip to the Northeast this year to visit my sister’s new home, as well as Stephen’s brother’s new ministry. Sporting events, sign installs, and more legos and blog posts…. I’m sure other surprises as well! We are so thankful for another year of health and family. God is good!

Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years!

It has been a long time since I last posted, yet a lot has happened. So now I will fill you in on things you want to know, or maybe didn’t want to know.

First of all, I had an ultrasound at the beginning of March. Baby #4 is in good health- 10 fingers, 10 toes, 4 chambers, everything there. Oh, and Baby #4 is a boy. Stephen is relieved, and Natalie is ecstatic. So while still outnumbered, Stephen will have a little bit of back up when our little one arrives in the middle of July.

We were able to travel to Pennsylvania for Stephen’s brother’s ordination. The break was wonderful, and we really enjoyed seeing everyone. Natalie had a wonderful surprise in seeing her friend, Hailey. We didn’t see her much the entire trip, for she was too busy playing. Meredith and Brielle played together quite a bit as well. The family was able to sing together for the ordination service, and the guys sang and played together as well, which was a treat for everyone.


In PA, the ladies even got a few hours to go shopping with no kids. It was lovely, even though I didn’t buy anything.


Sophia turns a year on Thursday. We will be having a “safari” at the zoo for her on Saturday, granted the weather stays nice. She’s still tiny for her age – only 18 pounds! The doctor says she needs more calories in her diet… how often do you hear a doctor telling you to eat more ice cream and cheesecake? That’s Sophie. There was a dedication service on Sunday for Sophie and our neighbor’s son, Dominic. She did very well having Pastor hold her while he prayed. We do praise the Lord for her, and have acknowledged that she is the Lord’s child, to do whatever He wants with her life.


Natalie and Meredith have gotten stir-crazy with all the cold weather. We’ve had a few nice days, and they certainly take advantage of playing outside. I am just thankful that we are not in a 2 bedroom apartment still… can you imagine?


The Lord has sustained us once again this winter, and continues to bring in work for our business despite the recession in progress. He truly is Our Great Provider, and we praise Him for that.

Saved from Creativity, at No Cost to You

My Ray of Sunshine

I think for all moms with little ones, Valentine’s Day is a long-awaited reprieve from the normalcy of life. For one day, or even a few hours, you get to forget about all the little things and focus on the love of your life. You may get all dressed up. You may stay home and send the kids out. There are endless combinations that can be made for Valentine’s Day, but two things remain constant: 1- No children allowed… this is grown up time. 2- Money should be spent.

I have no problem with number 1 BUT with number 2 comes the problem. We are in a recession. Money is tight, and I would hate for Stephen to spend loads of money on a nice dinner or expensive flowers that will die. At least this year. I asked Stephen what he was planning for V-Day, if anything. He said, “I don’t think we can do anything… we don’t have money to spend.” I said, “Well, that’s when we get creative, right?”

Just in the nick of time, Stephen is saved from having to “get creative.” I happened to be on my former college’s website when I saw that they are having a concert on Friday with one of Stephen’s favorite groups. And it is free. I called Stephen, who heartily agreed that Foundation Brass is a go. So we get to go to an artist series together. We did not attend the same college, therefore we never got a chance. Now we get to pretend we are in college again. Except I will be wearing maternity clothes… okay, maybe we will not pretend. (I always seem to be pregnant when we visit MBBC.)

So, if you have no plans with your honey yet for Valentine’s Day, let me give you SE Wisconsinites a suggestion. Go to Maranatha Baptist Bible College for their concert featuring Foundation Brass. They are tremendously talented, so you will not be disappointed. Besides, did I mention it’s free?

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