Another Week, Another Great Ultrasound

Another Week, Another Great Ultrasound

On Friday we went to another ultrasound, at this point, I have no idea how many we’ve been too. Every ultrasound I get a little bit nervous the night before because you just never know what is going on in there. I usually wake up early and send a few emails and keep my self busy with some house chores till time to go to the doctor’s office. When the technician starts I have no clue as to what she is looking at but my favorite part of the scan is when we hear the heartbeat, that is when I can first relax. The other things after that are gravy until they tell us the size and the twins are within 2 oz. of each other, which is great. Apparently, baby A is in the 95th percentile and baby B is in the 84th percentile as far as height and weight go. This time we got to see their faces and I might be biased but they are some good looking kids! As we wind down to the delivery date each ultrasound is looking more and more like actual people and it is an awesome feeling! As my father-in-law, Mark said, “Most of the time you send me those pictures I can’t tell what I’m looking at, but these look like little people!”

Friday we also continued to get the nursery ready, I broke down the bed in there and took it downstairs, vacuumed and cleaned the carpet and now it is ready for the crib and dresser delivery this Friday, February 1st. Is it amazing to anyone else that it is February already, it feels like we just celebrated the New Year! February is the shortest month of the year and then we are into March, that is when the babies arrive. I did find out some great news today the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament are that weekend and as Erin said, “At least we will have something to watch on TV while we are at the hospital.” That was Erin that said that not me, I would not dream of saying that for fear of repercussions! I am really glad we are thinking on the same plane though.

My wife is a trooper she had a stuffed up nose on Friday that turned into a sinus infection on Saturday and on Sunday she finally called the doctor who called her in a prescription. She is feeling better now but was she feeling miserable on Saturday and I was away at our conference middle school wrestling match, which we did awesome at by the way. I hate sinus infections and I couldn’t imagine having one at 27 weeks pregnant. She hardly complains at all. Here is to hoping she feels better and can finish the pregnancy strong.

Hope everyone has a great week, we love you guys and want to thank everyone for their support of the Peters twins. We know they will have the best life ever because of the people they are surrounded by. It takes a village to raise a child and we feel they will be surrounded by the greatest family and friends any two kids could have. Thank you and God Bless.

Update: Two Months To Go 27 Weeks

Update: Two Months To Go 27 Weeks

What a weekend we just had! As we embark on our 27th week of pregnancy, we had our baby shower. First off, Erin and I were overwhelmed by the love and generosity shown to us by our family and friends. Not only did we get a ton of stuff that will prove to be invaluable when the twins come, but at the end of the shower, we had neighbors offer to load their cars up to help get the stuff home. There were 60 plus people in attendance at Market in Rocky River, which is a tribute to the type of person my wife is and was before we met. Erin is the type of person that has always put others first and it shows by the way people come out to support her. Most of our “fights” have occurred when I am questioning why she is taking on another family project whether it be the organization of family vacation, Christmas Eve Party (that’s not at our house) that she sends out the email for because she knows how busy her sister is, or helping family members find gifts that she knows will make their significant others feel special, my wife is a saint. It’s funny as we lead up to an event like we had on Saturday, she always says, “let’s invite everyone, but they’re not going to show up!” Sure enough, the RSVPs start rolling in and we have 69 people coming and she is freaking out because she is going to be the center of attention. Not only did we have a ton of local people at the shower, but we also had relatives fly in from Louisiana, Arizona, and Boston and friends from D.C make the trip, to say the least, it was an awesome weekend. Erin and I have been laughing at each other’s little quirks for five years now and will continue to laugh at each other for the next 50! Here’s to laughing at whatever gets thrown at us, babe!

The shower was put on by two of the most selfless people that I know Catherine Peters, my mother, and Barb Cunningham, my mother-in-law. These two women are amazing with the things that they pull off. These two are two of the most caring, helpful, and selfless people that I know. On Saturday, they threw the most beautiful baby shower I’ve ever seen, my sample size isn’t exactly extensive but it was truly amazing. We had a beautiful cake, cupcakes, breakfast buffet, great decorations, and tons of friends and family. It was a perfect day and I cannot thank these two ladies enough. Erin and I constantly talk about how we hit the jackpot with in-laws. I think the world of my mother and father-in-law and I know Erin feels the same about hers. We are beyond blessed to have these four individuals in our lives and it gives me great comfort knowing that they will be influential in the twins lives as well. We can’t thank you enough Mark and Barb, and Mom and Dad you guys are the best!

I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to the owner and the great staff at Market in Rocky River, Ohio. They were fantastic, the owner took care of our every need including helping to carry out the gifts at the end. The valet guys helped make sure everyone got to their cars safely as the snow started to fall pretty heavily by the end. I cannot say enough about them and the job they did, when we have another event you better believe they will be at the top of the list of venues we will call. I heard today we may be having another event there pretty soon!

Today is Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and as we celebrate this man we must not forget the lessons that he taught us during the civil rights movement. Those lessons are as prevalent today as they were during his day. One of his quotes that I love is this:

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

I love this quote because it was from a man that had every reason to hate the people who oppressed him, but he was better than that and chose to fight their hatred with love rather than hate and violence. In a world with so much division, fear and hate mongering let’s try to live the dream Dr. King had for the world and drive that hate, fear, and division out by loving each other a little more, saying “Hello” to a complete stranger, listening to each other, and having empathy for that person’s situation. Be the best version of you!

Let’s make this world a better place one day at a time when you feel yourself about to lose it and respond to a situation without thinking, press pause, stop and think about what outcome you want and how your response will influence that outcome. I love you beautiful people have a great week looking forward to a great 2019 and there will be two new beautiful humans coming at you on March 22nd!

We Are Ready For 2019!!

We Are Ready For 2019!!

As the year comes to a close I reflect on our family’s one word for 2018 which was simplify. We chose simplify because we felt that our lives became too hectic. We needed to slow down and reflect on what we were doing and how what we were doing affected us and what we wanted to accomplish. Simplifying did not mean that we became bored and did nothing, we were still spontaneous remember Zach Brown Concert?!?! We just decided as a couple that instead of agreeing to do something and then telling the other person we would say, “Let me ask Erin/Charley and I’ll get back to you?” This allowed us to take a breath and see how the other was feeling and if it was something that we wanted to do we would do it and if not we wouldn’t. This had a great impact on Erin and I’s health we were not as stressed because we had talked out what we were doing and found there were very few things we felt we had to do. This also indirectly lead to other improvements especially in communication because we talked out everything before we committed to it. This allowed us to let each other know how the other was feeling and also talk out why we wanted to do it. The communication aspect has been especially great for our relationship. Part of the deal was that we were not to agree because we thought that’s what the other wanted we had to be honest and open with each other. We learned that we could be raw with each other and that it was OK. The one-word technique really worked for us in 2018 so we are going to continue that into 2019. The 2019 word for the Peters family is positive. We chose positive because that is the type of people we want to be and the type of people that we want to surround ourselves with. Erin and I both believe that there is enough negativity in this world and that we do not need to contribute to that. I have made a pledge to unfollow anyone on my timelines that is negative. We are expecting twins in March and I want to bring them into a household that is positive and grateful. Part of being positive is being grateful for what you have.

Last night Erin and I watched Jack Ryan on Prime Videos and one line that stuck out to me was from the bad guy, Tony, that was helping Jack in Turkey. Jack did not like that they needed him to help them because he ran a brothel. Tony told Jack, “You see me as the bad guy and you are the good guy, but maybe if I was born in a nice city in America, like Cincinnati, I could be a good guy too. Geography is destiny, my friend, the world is the kiln and we are the clay.” This struck us and Erin and I looked at each other and both agreed that Tony was 100% correct, we got to be Americans because we were lucky and should feel blessed to have received that gift. It is my job to make sure that my children understand that they are being born into the greatest country in the world. When they work hard they have a chance to be whatever they want to be, but every day they wake up they need to be grateful that they were given an opportunity that millions of other kids around the world would die to have. 2019 is going to be the year of positivity for the Peters’ family and I encourage you to be as positive each day as you can. Smile at people, say hello or good morning to perfect strangers, hold the door for people, or pass out a compliment to someone. You never know what someone else is going through and what a small act of kindness can do for that person.

On Christmas Eve Erin and I went to church at St. Raphael in Bay Village. Fr. Tim gave one of the greatest most powerful homilies that I have ever heard. He showed a 4 minute and 30-second video about these guys singing “The Little Drummer Boy” at a pediatric cancer hospital. If you know what the song is about, it’s about a little poor boy who plays his drum for the king because that is all he has to give him. When the video was done Fr. Tim walked around with a big board that said, “What is your drum?” This went hand in hand with One Word for 2019, our drum is positivity.

Next week we have another ultrasound as we approach 26 weeks Saturday the 12th of January. Unfortunately, I will miss that one as we will have been back to school for just a couple days and I can’t miss since we are coming off of break. Over break, my father in law Mark Cunningham and I painted the nursery, alabaster which is just a cleaner white than it was when it first got painted. It took about 6 hours, we started about 9 am and finished around 3 pm. Thank goodness for Mark, as you can probably figure out I am not very handy, so thankfully he is. He has helped me with numerous projects around the house, in fact, if we do not call him first to help he gets about half pissed off at us, it’s kinda funny. I couldn’t have asked for a better father in law he helps me around the house and is a good drinking buddy we like Manhattans. He is retiring this year and I can’t think of a guy that deserves it more. Although he may want to rethink that as I think his daughters are going to keep him busy during retirement.

Let’s make 2019 the best yet! Be positive, grateful, and the best version of you. Here is to a fun, exciting 2019, Love you guys!

Perfect Time to Count Our Blessings

Perfect Time to Count Our Blessings

Yesterday we started our 23rd week of pregnancy and we had another ultrasound on Friday. This is a case where the Lord knows exactly what he is doing if Erin had one or two ultrasounds instead of the number of ones we have had, she would have driven herself crazy not knowing what is going on down there. The babies look great, they are each 1.3 lbs. so they are still sharing well, we are not quite out of the woods yet with regards to twin-twin transfusion but we are nearing the clearing of the forest. Dr. Kouhry told us the latest that he has seen twin-twin transfusion was 26 weeks, in fact at the beginning of his career he couldn’t understand why they followed the pregnancy so long and then he got one at 26 weeks. So we are nearing the clearance of that hurdle which is pretty exciting that they are doing so well. This Christmas break will be a busy one, not only do we have plenty of plans with family and friends but we are also going to make a major push in getting the nursery ready for the babies arrival. This week I need to paint and get the basement organized before the shower. Our basement is a place where things go to never be heard from again, so my goal this break is to have a section marked off for everything that is down there. We’ll see how much I get done but that is the plan.

As I was sitting in church the Deacon delivered a very apropos homily today especially with the usual hustle and bustle and stress of the Christmas season. What the Deacon said really hit home for me, especially with what is going on in our country right now. He said that there are three things that we should reflect on and do during this holiest of seasons. First, is be content with what you have and do not be jealous of your neighbor and what they have. Too many times Christmas has become a race about how many presents did I get and did I get as many as my sibling but that is not what Christmas should be about. Presents are a bonus and should not be given with the expectation of one in return, the present itself is a symbol of someone caring about you and showing that care with a gift. As the old saying goes and it is true, “It is the thought that counts”. Second, we should share the gifts that God has given us. We have been blessed and should feel privileged to share those gifts with others and to help those left fortunate than us. The most precious gift that we have is time since we all have a finite amount of it this Christmas season we should all find a way to spend a little bit of our time for the betterment of others. Lastly, we should care for those in need. We live in the greatest country in the world and the fact that there are homeless and hungry people in our country is absurd. These people are still people and if you can we should be helping to make their day a little bit brighter. As I was listening to the homily I was thinking about my future children and my only hope is that they are good people and take care of those less fortunate themselves. That is the only expectation for Baby A and Baby B in March.

Hopefully what Jerry Tillery will be doing top Trevor Lawrence next Saturday in Dallas

This week is the week that I have been waiting for since the end of November. Notre Dame is in the College Football Playoff with a shot at the National Championship, their first in 30 years. Notre Dame plays Clemson in Dallas, Texas at 4 pm on December 29th. A large sentiment of people are saying that ND has no chance against a seasoned Clemson team that 90% of its roster has already played in CFP, but I think that ND has a punchers chance because they play great defense and can run the football effectively. When you can do those two things you always have a chance as long as you do not turn the ball over. Another advantage I believe ND possess is at QB. Trevor Lawrence is a great QB but at the end of the day has never been in game pressure and is a 19-year-old freshman. Ian Book, on the other hand, has been in ballgames where he needed a game-winning drive or led his team back from a deficit. With that being said in my biased opinion I see ND moving on to the National Championship game in Levi Stadium with a 31-28 victory.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone enjoy this time with your family and friends and get ready for an awesome 2019!

Serious FOMO!

Serious FOMO!

On Friday something happened that I hope never happens again, but I know it is going to be unavoidable.  Erin had an ultrasound and I couldn’t go.  Being mono-di twins puts us in the high-risk category so we have to get ultrasounds every two weeks from now till we deliver. Friday the appointment was at 1:00 pm and my planning period at school start at 1:30 pm, so I was expecting a call on how everything looked shortly thereafter or at least by 2:00!  I have never been so nervous in my life.  I called her at 1:45 and then again at 2:00 she finally texts me that ultrasound was over and that everything was fine.  I almost threw up I was so nervous! I was so mad at myself because in my mind Erin was getting bad news and was on her own and I wasn’t there.  I think I get that from being around Erin, although she blames her mother for being so high strung. The babies are continuing to share and grow together.  They are 14 oz. each and she got to see all of their anatomies, save for their sex.  I was so proud of her, I was sure that her mother had gotten to her earlier that day and convinced her to find out since I wasn’t going to be there but she held strong.  At this point, you can put it in sharpie that we won’t know the gender until they arrive. 

One thing that comes with pregnancy that no one warned us about are unwanted comments from basically strangers.  On Friday we were in Parma and an elderly lady came up to Erin and said, “Wow being 36 I bet you were shocked to find out you were pregnant!”  This was funny because we really don’t know the lady, she was a friend of Erin’s grandparents, so we really relish her input.  Erin’s belly is also growing as the twins get bigger and the old lady’s friend feels the need to tell Erin, “You sure there aren’t three in there!”  Thanks for your concern lady, but three has been ruled out by a couple of doctors.  You never know what you are going to hear on a random Friday night in Parma!

This weekend was the greatest game of the year Army vs Navy.  I ran a poll on Twitter and it had two choices, best game of the year Army vs Navy, or any other game.  I’m pretty convinced that whoever did not vote for the Army/Navy game has no understanding about what that game really means.  This game is not about individuals and looks at me athletes, this game is about the Midshipman and Cadets playing a game that they love and getting a break from their everyday grind they endure every day.  The pageantry at this game is awesome from the Midshipmen and the Cadets all being on the field for the national anthem, the President of The United States doing the coin flip, flyovers, and the winning team singing their alma mater second this pregame will bring a tear to your eye. The game in itself is well played, players are all fundamentally sound, you don’t see anyone showing the other side up, there are no cheap shots it is very refreshing to see athletes legitimately giving all they have for the guy next to them.  There is a brotherhood on the two teams before the game and there will be a great brotherhood between all of them as they embark on to their next duty station.  This is the only game where all of the players are willing to die for all of the viewers.  That is why this is America’s greatest game. Oh and by the way, Army has no won three in a row, I’ll be collecting shower weekend from Michael.  

In two weeks we get to see the twins again so look forward to another update then.  Until then Merry Christmas and have a great week.  

20 Weeks! Holy Sh** Time Flies!

20 Weeks! Holy Sh** Time Flies!

On Saturday, Erin and I hit the 20 weeks thresh hold and we couldn’t be more excited, although we still have a ton of stuff left to do before the arrival of Baby A  & Baby B.  We have picked out the cribs and the stroller that “we” want, I kid it is a great stroller Erin told me and that is why it is the one we want.  I really am kidding good thing she is in Dallas because Erin would strangle me with that sentence.  I’m going to brag about myself here for a second, we went to look at cribs and strollers the Saturday of the OSU and Michigan game, I missed the entire second half, I should get some husband of the year votes for that.  Admittedly, I’m not an OSU or Michigan fan but that is not the point.  I’m sure everyone has, but have you noticed how small baby’s clothes are, we have started to get some clothes to our house and these things are tiny, but when you have two of everything it starts to take up space.  We have a walk-in closet in the room we are using for the nursery and it is getting filled with diapers, clothes, and other baby stuff we can barely open the door.  It is coming fast and we are enjoying this whole process.  

Erin traveled to Dallas today for work till Wednesday, her last bit of travel until the babies are born.  I have a feeling these babies are going to be huge!  They were 8 & 9 oz. at the last ultrasound and that is the size they are supposed to be if they were a single baby, being twins and supposedly sharing everything theoretically they should be smaller.  No medical experience here just an armchair observation.  Although Saturday night a couple of my neighbors and I were talking about them getting us a lodge when they are linemen in the NFL.  Let’s Hope!  Not revealing anything here but after seeing their bone structure and feet size plus watching what Erin is eating and not gaining a pound these cats are boys and they are going to be biggins.  When I was born I was 10lbs 12oz and Michael was 10lbs 10oz, right now most of you reading this just gasped and said, “your poor mother” and I agree with you God bless that lady we were pains from the beginning!   Honestly, I do not care if they are boys or girls as long as they are healthy, one day one of my co-workers told me they are going to be girls and they will have me wrapped around their finger, all probably true.  Then she said that one day when they are about 3 or 4 they are going to want to have a tea party right in the middle of a college football game.  I told her that is fine as long as they understand that Daddy’s tea comes from the green bottle.   

This Friday will be the real test as we have started the ultrasound’s every two weeks and I won’t be able to make everyone, by the way, I am so jealous!  I think it will be tough for Erin especially when the technician tells her that she can tell her what gender it is to hold strong and not find out.  I hope she holds out, we’ve made it this far might as well go the distance.  I am coming around to the idea of being the guy that gets to walk out of the room and announce to everyone whether they are boys or girls.  I think that will be really cool!

A lot of times we classify people as courageous or selfless, but what I witnessed the last four years was one of the most courageous and selfless things I’ve ever seen.  This week one of Erin’s favorite Aunts, Martha Kappa died from a prolonged battle with breast cancer.  Aunt Bitty, as she was affectionately known put up a fight against this awful disease not for herself but for her family.  She exhausted every option she could to hang on for her husband, three daughters, 8 siblings, and numerous nieces and nephews. Admittedly I did not spend a whole lot of time with Aunt B, but I’ve gotten to know her daughters pretty well and also a lot of people that she has obviously touched during her life and if what they say is true that a person’s legacy is defined by those left behind Godspeed and rest in peace Aunt Bitty you’ve done great.  

This weekend we lost another national treasure in 41 George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States of America.  I read this weekend as everyone was memorializing his death on Twitter that, “You may not have agreed with his politics, but you knew for a fact that he loved his country.”  The man was a Navy pilot, Vice President of the United States and President of the United States he spent his life in service to our country.  The letter he wrote as he departed the oval office to Bill Clinton was a reflection of what he was about and who he was as a man, he was humble and grateful to a country that elected him to lead the country. Godspeed 41 as you and Mrs. Bush are united, we can only hope that the next President of the United States is as humbled by the awesome responsibility as you were.  

This week was also a historic week as Notre Dame made the College Football Playoff and that means they get the Clemson Tigers in AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. This has been a turn around of epic proportions as the Irish were 4-8 just 2 short years ago.  Since that time ND is 22-3.  Brian Kelly the Head Football Coach made some organization changing moves after the 4-8 season in 2016.  The leadership that Kelly showed by making those tough decisions showed that he is the best man for the job.  Notre Dame routinely plays the toughest schedule in the country and to be able to navigate that to a 12-0 record just two years after going 4-8 is nothing short of remarkable.  Here’s to the Irish making a run at ending their 30-year national championship drought.  Go Irish!

20 weeks in 16 at most to go.  That’s just four short months.  Thank you to everyone for your support, I appreciate it as does Erin.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  

Halfway there and Loving Every Minute of It!

Halfway there and Loving Every Minute of It!

Today was a huge day, the eighteen-week ultrasound we saw arms, legs, hands, fingers, feet, kidneys, brains, all kinds of stuff.  Erin and I were both nervous as heck last night as we are going into every ultrasound, but this one we felt was huge since it was the first one since our “scare” about 4 weeks ago.  They did kind of give us an idea about what the scare was, he saw a blood clot on the ultrasound so that was probably what it was and a good thing that it is clotted.  Again I am beyond amazed that they can tell what they can see on those ultrasounds.  To me, it seems that there are a bunch of parts floating around in a blob but somehow these amazing people at the Cleveland Clinic can see and tell the difference, amazing!  At one point during the ultrasound, Erin looked at me and said, “Can you believe that this is going on inside of me?”  It truly is miraculous how the creation of human beings happen.  The babies are progressing quite nicely as we again heard their heartbeats and were so thrilled. The babies are weighing in at 9oz and 8oz so they are sharing already, which is a good thing.  We are still not finding out the gender, today was the first day we could have, Erin did waffle a little on the table today but I am proud of her she held strong.  I am no expert but by the looks of the size of the hands and feet on the babies, they better hope they are boys.

This is an amazing journey that I love being on with Erin, I could not imagine missing one of these appointments and not seeing our family growing right before our eyes.   We have been through so much on this journey from miscarrying two years ago through IVF shots round one then the first egg not taking and then insertion of the next two eggs with one taking and shots round two through five weeks of pregnancy.  Now we are where we are 18 weeks deep, we have to go to ultrasounds every two weeks until we deliver in March.  Our due date is still the same, April 20th but that is the full 40 weeks and we will not go farther than 36 weeks which will put us around March 23rd.  My wife is as amazed as am I when people tell her that they love reading the story of our journey. 

My father’s birthday was November 8th and it allowed me to reflect on what a fantastic father and grandfather he is and will continue to be when the twins get here.  First off there is one thing about my father that he is proud of he is an Irish, Catholic, Democrat and if you ever talk to him you will know that within seconds.  This pales only in his pride in his four sons and his 6 soon to be 8 grandchildren, we know that he loves us and would do anything for us.  My Dad is a giver he gave of himself as long as I can remember, he volunteer coached football at St. Joseph grade school for 19 years and among other things a few years ago he announced to us that in lieu of Father’s day, Christmas, and Birthday gifts he wanted us to donate to Christ The King School in Chicago.  The school is located in a section of Chicago call Austen, it is poor and violent and the Jesuits went in to try and help so my father wanted to help the cause so that is what we do in his name.  There are times when it scares me to death about being a father to these two coming in March, but knowing that I have a mentor and a role model in my father to help me along the way eases my fears.

Now that I got all of the sappy stuff about my father out of the way here are some of the best memories that I have of him.  When we were younger the state championship games were held in Massillon, 20 minutes from where we grew up.  He would only take us if there was a Catholic school playing because as he would say he needed someone to cheer for.  Another time there was a situation happening and one of my cousins asked him what he was going to do about it and he responded with “Pray and Drink Beer” which remains his email to this day.  Growing up he told us that God put us on the earth for two reasons, “Have a good time, and help other people.” He is the greatest guy that I know and am happy that he will be ever present in my children’s lives.  

This week the Avon Eagles will be playing in the state semi-finals against Akron Hoban.  It has long been my goal since I started coaching to practice on Thanksgiving morning and finally in my 15th year we are accomplishing this feat. Here’s to one more week playing together, let it rip Friday and see what happens!  Avon is a special place and this is a year that I will always remember in my football life.   

Happy Thanksgiving from The Peters

This is for sure a glimpse into the future