Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Christmas



To all of those who read this blog and have not gotten a Christmas card from our family, we had the best of intentions but alas this will have to do for this year. Since just about everyone who reads this blog is on our card list, we figured this would be the most efficient way to say Happy Christmas and send our love to all our loved ones out there! We love you all and wish we could hug each and every one of you during this holiday season. For now please accept this humble offering of.. a digital photograph on your computer screen and know that it was uploaded with much love :) We love you guys and just so you  know.. Oliver is in the picture too.. just sitting like the patient big brother he is by Stephen's feet so we couldn't quite get him in the shot but he sends loads of puppy kisses as well. 

PS. Today marks the one year anniversary of a very positive pregnancy test.. where did the time go? 

Monday, December 15, 2008

Seven



Today marks the seventh anniversary of my marriage to the man in the above picture, greeting one of his daughters. This year has certainly seen the most changes. In fact, last year on this date, we had dinner with our wonderful friends and neighbors, Matt and Lonna and I was a little down and depressed because the other couples there had kids and I felt like my life lacked direction. Little did I know that itty bitty Ada and teeny tiny Margot were already with us. It seems like a thousand years and a million miles away from where I sit now. Where I sit now is a messy orange couch in a messy living room with a view to the kitchen where there is a basket of baby laundry to be done and not a single clear inch of counter space. The bed is unmade, the blinds are closed and no (shock) I have not had a shower and I smell like spit up. This is where/how Stephen found me two hours ago when he came through the front door and surprised me with a beautiful card, a box of Clementines (my favorite!) and a new pair of Smartwool knee socks (7 is apparently wool). Though he did chuckle at the fact that I smelled of sour milk, he didn't sigh or moan or say a word about the rest of the disaster that I have learned to exist in recently. He snuggled and kissed two happy little girls who lit up at the sight of him. He hugged me close and wished me a happy anniversary and told me how much he loved me. This is the man that I chose. The man that I married and he never ceases to remind me of why I made that decision. Some days he comes home to a freshly scrubbed me in a house that is organized, smells of dinner, and is humming with positive productivity and happy, well rested babies. Other days he comes home to this.. the afore described mess. I can predict what he will do when he comes home today. He will come in the door, go wash his hands and come straight in to be with the girls. Then he will change clothes, take the dog out, and go see if there are any dishes to be washed.  If so he will wash these and watch the girls while I take a shower and later he will figure out what to do for dinner (if I have not already done so) while I feed the girls and put them down. He will have it ready by the time I finish with the girls and we will sit and eat together. And I will be so grateful. So grateful for a helping hand, for a hot meal, for a comfortable silence. So grateful for a man who is so patient with me, who understands me, who looks past my ineptitude and shortfalls. A man who works hard all day to support us, then comes home, rolls up his sleeves and starts his next set of tasks with a calm face and a sweet demeanor. He changes diapers and washes babies and helps to soothe me and the girls when our evening nursing goes amiss. He is our hero, our champion, our rock and we love him more each day. May the next seven years be as phenomenal as the last seven have been.  

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Solid


Last night, dressed in our favorite bibs from MKD and L, we started a new chapter in our journey to be big girls. 


Since we have been practicing taking our vitamins from a spoon for awhile now, we swallowed the cereal right down and though this was a new texture for us, most of the new food stayed in our mouths. 


I think Ada enjoyed the experience a little more than Margot. 



Though she ate pretty well for a first try, Margot just didn't seem to be as into the whole idea. 

Fun fact about their personalities. Both can roll over now and Ada can roll from front to back and back to front. Yet during tummy time, Ada, in moments of frustration will cry and remain on her tummy flapping her limbs and protesting. Margot, on the other hand, when frustrated with tummy time...will roll over and hang out on her back :) She has figured out how to put her new skill to a practical use. I think it's just so funny how differently they think. 

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Welcome to the Club House Margot!!


MARGOT ROLLED OVER YESTERDAY!!!! It happened pretty much the same way that it happened a week ago with Ada. Stephen and I took the girls to a JV Basketball game last night and then to Target. When we got home and were getting ready for bedtime, I wanted to show him that she had been pushing up on her arms during the day's tummy time so he put her on her tummy in her crib while I was changing Ada and she pushed up and rolled right over! 


Here are the sisters enjoying some tummy time together this morning. 


Look at that happy Margot :) I knew she would do it this way.. just make up her mind on day to do it and just do it! We are so excited at how fast the girls are growing up :) How do you like those 80's colors? Looks like they should be on Punky Brewster.
 


Ada watching me calm a sleepy (fussy) Margot.

Update on the evening feeding stuff... We gave them the formula that next night and they sucked it down and went off to sleep like a charm. The next night we gave them the pumped milk from the night before and they screamed bloody murder and would have nothing to do with it. Sigh. So Stephen comforted one and I fed the other and then we swapped. We ended up doing that for a couple of nights and then I attempted to feed them both at the same time again and for the last few nights it has worked just fine. So we are back to our old routine and have put the bottles in the cabinet again. I know they can take one, I know that they can and would eat formula if the mood struck them so those are good things. I sort of wish that I could leave them with a baby sitter and a bottle and maybe I will try that someday but for now all that I am concerned with is that they are eating and that is happening so.. we march on right?

Planning to start feeding them cereal tonight... wish us luck!

The apartment should be ready for us to move right about the time we head to Florida. Oh well. We are working on strategies for the most efficient way to accomplish the move when we return from our trip. One way or another we will be moved out of here and into our new place in the next 30 days for sure so there is hope for a future with few space frustrations and less tripping over baby seats, activity mats, bumbos.... the list goes on. 

I am feeling a bit like a zombie with lack of sleep and at the same time as though I am coming out of a fog of sorts. Out of one and into anther I guess. I feel more capable with the girls and so that lets me put my mind to work on other things but I have been too tired to land on anything specific yet so... maybe I will find a good book to start over the holidays... or something. Sleep deprivation wears on you no matter now good you are at handling it. Even when Stephen and I do get time together alone in the evenings we don't have a whole lot to day to one another.. gotta find a way to get those neurons to start firing again. 

Anyway.. happy Saturday everyone :)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Gotcha!!

video

We finally caught her in the act ! What a pro ;)

Friday, December 05, 2008

This just in...



ADA ROLLED OVER TODAY!!!!!!! When Stephen came home from work today I plopped Ada and Margot back down on their tummies to show Stephen Ada's new trick and within a split second she just rolled over!! Then we put her back on her tummy and she did it again!!! Then we got the video camera to try and capture the moment but she decided she had rolled over enough for the day :) How exciting!!!! We were over the moon and I was particularly excited because she did it when both of us where there!!! It's about time Ada was first at something :) Margot was the first to smile, the first to giggle and the first to roll on her side. Can't wait for Margot to catch up to Ada on this one though :) 

In other news, I got desperate tonight with Margot's evening feeding woes. I fed her alone like I did last night but after about 15 minutes she started fussing and getting angry that the milk wasn't coming fast enough.. so ... (gulp) I had Stephen give her a bottle of formula while I fed Ada and VOILA!!!! She sucked it right down and went off to sleep without a peep!! Now to develop a strategy for the nights from here on out. I think that I might give them both a bottle of formula tomorrow night - then pump after they go to bed (a la Erin's method) then give them that milk the next night and just decide to try giving them bottles at night. Ada has no problems with taking her time at the evening feeding so if she doesn't care for the bottle idea then I will just keep nursing her and pumping for Margot... I know I could just give them formula at night (and I might do that) but I would really like to try to keep it consistently breast milk. Anyway.. I have my strategy for tomorrow and it is such an answer to prayer!!!! Stephen and I feel SO relieved!!!! Now to celebrate with burgers and chocolate shakes :) 

Happy Birthday Nana!!!!



Happy Birthday to you Nana!!! We are extra happy today because today is your birthday!!! We decided to wear two of our favorite outfits that you got us last weekend. We were so excited for Mommy to take our picture that we giggled and smiled super big. This is the first time Mommy has been able to catch both of us smiling at the same time :) 


Hi Nana it's me, Ada. In honor of your birthday I am demonstrating my feats of strength during my morning tummy time. Look how high I can hold my head! Aren't you proud of me Nana? I am trying SO hard to turn over... any day now I think :)



Look at me Nana!! Hi Nana!!! Can you see me? I can see you!

Hi Nana! It's me Margot. In honor of your birthday I am demonstrating my feats of patience during tummy time. See how patient and quiet I can be? I thinking super hard about how to do what Ada is doing, I did it first by the way... just  didn't feel like doing it while Mommy had the camera. I am sorta ready for my nap. 

Hi Nana, it's me Mommy! I was not ready for my close up this morning so you will just have to imagine my smiling face. I wish I was there to wish you a happy birthday in person and whisk you away from work and straight to a spa for the day of beauty you deserve. Alas, this delight will have to wait until another day. Thank you for being my Mom all these years. As a tribute to you here are a few of my favorite memories: 

- waking up from my nap in the house at 311 to the hum of your sewing machine. You were listening to the radio (Chuck Smendal - I don't know if that was the guys name but that's how I remember it). You greeted me with a hug and helped me get settled on the blue green shag carpeting in your room with my own sewing card and big plastic needle and yarn. I always felt so special getting to share those post nap moments with you. 

- baking in the kitchen with you in the "new" house. You always gave me my own little bit of dough when you were making biscuits or a pie. You showed me how to use my tiny rolling pin to roll the dough so that it would fit my little pie pan. I always kneaded the dough too long and it always baked up to be as hard as a cracker but I couldn't wait to present it to Dad when he came home from work. Dad was always very pleased with my surprise and would dutifully crunch away at his "treat" while I looked on, beaming with pride. 

- trips to the library. I can still remember the smell of that old building. I couldn't wait to get to the children's section to see the pet gerbils that lived there. Remember the time we got to buy a gerbil for the library? I was sad that it couldn't come home with us but happy that we got to visit it so often. I loved that we got to spend as much time as we wanted choosing books and wandering through the rows of bookshelves. Remember the time I got to put my rabbit collection in the display case? And when I won the poster contest? And the reading summer reading contest? I guess I was a pretty nerdy kid huh? :)

- this past August.. on that Wednesday afternoon when you came to Rex Hospital. Do you remember my face when you walked in the door ? I remember yours. I sat there holding Margot and when I introduced her to you for the first time, I remember the pure love on your face as the joyful tears spilled down your cheeks. Love for your new granddaughter and love and relief at seeing your own daughter had made it safely through the surgery. I remember that first week at home and how hard you struggled to let me take the lead and follow my instructions on the care of my new babies. How eager you were to help and give advice. How stubbornly I clung to my own ideas only to abandon some of them days later and gratefully adopt what you had previously suggested. Most of all I remember seeing you walk down the sidewalk to your car after the week was through. How my heart felt broken and I couldn't understand why. How surprised I was at the bond that was created in those few days and the pain I felt at your leaving. How much I missed you in the weeks that followed and how grateful I was when you were able to visit again. How my heart soared (and still does) watching you care for and love on Ada and Margot. 

Thank you, Mom, for loving me the way that I am with all my faults and stubborn tendencies. I love you so much and am so glad that we are close enough to share our lives with you and Dad these days. I hope your birthday is the best yet. 


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Little Monsters


Our good friend Malani gave the girls each their own "Little Monster" before they were born. The girls have started napping with the soft little friends. Here is Margot clutching SunDrop's ear/antenna. 



Ada snoozing with Nehi.. yeah.. I named their little friends after vaguely southern soft drinks. 

Things have been a little crazy since we came home from Thanksgiving. Napping is getting better but our evenings have taken a turn for the bizarre. Margot has taken to screaming at the top of her lungs 5 minutes into the pre-bedtime feeding. She sets off Ada and then neither baby will eat. This has been going on since Monday with varying degrees of intensity. It reached it's peak last night when both babies were going full blast after just starting to eat. I ended up trying to feed separately but it took awhile to talk them into eating. Tonight I fed Margot first, then when she started fussing and screaming I put her in bed and went to feed Ada. Margot never settled and after I put Ada down I got Margot back up and fed her again. I am this close to trying formula. Tonight I even put the powder in the bottles and boiled a kettle of water. It seems to be Margot's issue though since with nursing Ada alone I found that she behaved as she normally would. I would say Margot has become sensitive to noise or something but even in a super silent room she fusses and pulls away without getting much to eat. My poor little girl :( Really don't know what to do. My pediatrician said that I would "know" when they were ready to start eating solid food.. is this what they meant? I am trying to wait until they are closer to 6 months. I have stated practicing with a spoon to get them ready for the big day.. they get 1/2 of their vitamins in a spoon and the rest in their dropper. Anyway.. if anyone out there has had the same nighttime fussiness issues and has any suggestions I would love to hear them. 

In other news, we don't have room or the time to put out anything Christmas this year :( SO sad! We love Christmas in this house so it's sad to have such a plain living room this year but it would surely push us over the edge to attempt to set anything up in here. Oh well.. there is always next year. Can't wait to get to that new apartment!!!!! 

Man I love Thursday nights.. Kath and Kim, The Office and 30 Rock all in a row - oh my!  I am currently washing a mountain of baby clothes and watching Stephen work on some tiny paintings he is giving as presents to his students. And on that note of everyday life.. goodnight! 

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Home Again


We are home again and trying to put everything back in some semblance of order. Trying being the operative word there :) The picture above is of Margot and her new fascination with her own hands. I call this look her "patient hands" because it seems to be most prevalent when she is waiting to be picked up, getting her diaper changed, ready to move on to a new activity.. in other words ..being patient. 


Here the girls are playing with Daddy.. Ada is grabbing Margot's ear. Margot doesn't seem to mind too much. 


I got almost no pictures at Thanksgiving. I was so busy with various things that the day just got away from me so.. oh well... there is always next year. Here are Gram and Margot enjoying some snuggles. 


Aunt B and Ada were enjoying some snuggly time as well while we waiting for the magical meal to make it's way to the table. 


Margot and Mom playing through some fussy time. 

We arrived at Mom and Dad's late on Tuesday night, and left on Saturday afternoon. We figured it would be easier for the girls to go down in a new place if they were already drowsy from riding in the car after their last feeding etc. Ada went down like a dream and Margot took about an hour or so to finally settle in.. I think I ended up just feeding her again or something.. I can't remember. We had a great time visiting.. or what passes for visiting when you  are juggling twins. The girls napped and slept better in their new cribs than I thought they would so that was great. Still, they did not sleep as well as they do here at home. So every nap time was just as intense as their wakeful times. Stephen and I hovered around the door to the upstairs listening for cries. It seemed that every naptime one baby would nap well and the other had trouble.. it varied as to which one got more sleep. The nights were pretty rough. I feel like I got about 3 hours of sleep a night - if that. They would go down ok..then wake up earlier than they usually did plus Mommy, Daddy, one baby and Oliver in a double bed makes for a tight fit. Still we survived and arrived home on Saturday to crash. Still recovering though I feel much better today. It's just hard. If they got any rest I was grateful and I felt hopeful for our coming trip to Florida. I am continuing to have them nap in their cribs and with no props, though I may invest in a white noise machine for traveling naps because it just might be helpful for them. We shall see. Anyway.. all in all it went better than I had expected so I  feel blessed. I have to admit though, I haven't been that tired since they were born. First times are usually tough right?

Enough about babies. I feel like all I talk about lately is baby naps and baby poop and baby everything. I do still exist outside these little ladies. 

Winter is here I suppose. It is grey outside and all the leaves have gone. I feel like fall passed us in a flash. Now Christmas is approaching like a freight train. We had all but decided that we will be driving all night to get to Florida for the holiday. While this seems the easiest option the thought is exhausting at the same time, for obvious reasons I am sure. We are officially getting the new apartment - yay - but the woman who lives there is taking her sweet time getting out of the place. So though we thought we might get to do some moving in before we left for Tallahassee, that idea is slipping away. Please pray she gets out and they get it ready before we leave..that would really be amazing. Another exhausting thought. Get back from a lovely Christmas and have to move our home in the space of a few days before Stephen goes back to school. I would love to be packing now and I will hopefully get to start on that a bit.. but there is no where to put the boxes. We can hardly walk in here as it is. I have given up taking the girls for walks because it is just too much to get the stroller put together and get it out the door into the cold.. etc etc. I will be able to leave it assembled in the new place and that will be heavenly (Ada is screaming right now btw, still getting readjusted to napping at home, my poor baby). We need every penny we have to get moved into this new place and it is going to work out just great.. but that means a super lean Christmas. This is fine with me since I can't think of anything I would really like anyway.. other than a full night's sleep or a weekend away with Stephen and that won't be happening for a while so..I am content to just get to see all our family. 

I have always been pretty comfortable being at home for long periods of time. This is starting to come to an end I think. While I enjoy the solitude some days, it starts to wear on me other days. I am so used to talking to other adults during my day. I try to talk to Stephen when he gets home but he is so tired. I know I could go out and meet up with various friends and I need to be doing that I think. Sadly most of the time I just feel so drained that I don't have the energy. Ellen invited us to dinner last night and though I knew it would be a stretch I decided to make myself go and it was a wonderful outing. Dinner was great and even though we were only there for about an hour or so, just that small amount of adult interaction was great. The girls were very well behaved as well. The funny thing is that raising twins is really not all that difficult. It's all the other things that you have to keep up with that wears you out. The girls are a joy, even with the ups and downs of napping etc. It's making sure the house is livable, that we have food to eat, that I get a shower every day.. some days I feel completely on top of it and Stephen comes home to a 50s housewife with a pot roast in the crock pot. Then there are other days where he comes home to a greasy haired frump who doesn't have a clue what we can eat for dinner. Those are the days that I feel like a failure. It's my job  (right now) to raise the girls and keep the home fires burning. I keep telling myself that life will be a little more manageable in our new place, that feeling like the walls are closing in on me isn't helping anything. I know that has a little to do with it, but I know that isn't everything. Need to get my head on straight. 

Sorry for running on and sorry for the lack of pictures... will do better next go round I hope :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Messing with Perfection

The last few weeks have seen a marked improvement in the napping around this house. By marked improvement I mean to say that it has been completely predictable, scheduled and organized. The girls have slept like a dream, right when I wanted them too. They have been well rested and happy and playful as a result. Why then, you might ask, would I want to mess with the system I have going? Two words - The Holidays. Yes, the holiday season is upon us and that means we are all looking forward to loads of good food, good visits and a general all around good time to be had by all. On the flip side, we are heading into uncharted napping/sleeping territory in unfamiliar beds and rooms with unfamiliar smells, sights and sounds. Thus I have thrown my perfected napping system out the window in order to retrain them to expect the unexpected. This means that in the next couple of weeks, Ada has to learn to nap in a crib instead of the swing, they both have to learn to nap through the other's cries and the white noise maker on the swing in their room is out of commission. I started this new training yesterday, yes I know this was a little late but seriously folks... I had to get some things done last week! So I just went with what worked until I could get my house/self/life put back together. My normal routine is to put Ada in the swing and then rock Margot until she get's drowsy, then put Margot in the crib where she settles into her napping posture , turn on the white noise and that's that. They are both out like a light for the full nap time. What bliss this has been. Bliss that was not present in this house yesterday morning. 

I decided to hold one child while the other finished their tummy time so I started with Margot while Ada attempted to roll over on her blanket. Margot got sleepy as she usually does and I put her down with her blankie and binkie. Then I held Ada for a few minutes until she was sleepy and put her down with the same equipment. That lasted about 5 minutes. Ada just doesn't sleep as well in the morning as she does in the afternoon.. this is the reason I started using the swing with her in the first place - desperation. Crying ensued and I made my trips back and forth comforting and replacing binkies. Soon they were both going at the top of their lungs. I sat on the couch reminding myself of why I was doing this to myself. Ada finally cried herself to sleep about 5 minutes before she was supposed to be up for her next feeding. Margot went the whole time in tears. Fabulous. Exhausted I got both girls up and fought their flailing limbs and red faced screams to change diapers and we all sat down for a nice long feeding. They were super cranky afterwards ..hmmm.. wonder why that could be. I used the same routine when I put them down at one and this time I only had to go in once for Ada. They were both so exhausted that I even let them sleep an extra 30 minutes. So what have we learned? Ada still doesn't like to nap in the morning and if they have poor morning naps they will most likely make up for it in the afternoon. I may decide that Ada gets to stay up when Margot goes down in the morning. I think I may try to get her to go down but if she won't them I may not push the issue too hard. When she is ready to nap in the morning I guess she will do so. She has a different sleep cycle than Margot anyway. She doesn't need as much it seems. I say that but when I go in to replace the paci and rub her tummy she calms down and her heavy eyes close. Anyway.. it was much better in the afternoon. This morning it is better than yesterday morning and I hope this trend continues. I would be having them nap in their new travel cribs  but they are already set up at Mom and Dad's house awaiting our arrival this evening. We are spending Thanksgiving there and this will be the first time the girls have spent the night away from home so... crossing our fingers. We are praying this all goes pretty well. If they don't really have it down by the time we come back home, I will be having them sleep in these quite a bit until we head to Florida for Christmas. That's right, we are driving to Florida with 4 month old twins to spend Christmas with Grammy Mary and Grandpa Larry. As much as I am looking forward to spend all that time with everyone and getting to see everyone.. I .. am .. a little.. terrified. I mean.. I still haven't figured out how to get there! Meaning, when to leave for the drive.. should we drive all night ? Leave after their last feeding and just go through until morning? That seems nutso.. but so does trying to find a place to stop and nurse twins! Can't just do it in the car.. it will be packed to the brim.. and if I do stop to nurse them both.. where will we change diapers? Car again.. packed to the brim. McDonald's ? One of those Koala Care stations? I nurse while Stephen run's babies in and out changing diapers? That could take at least an hour.. what a circus :) I figure if I can at least get them super comfortable sleeping/napping in their new cribs that will take some of the stress out of the whole endeavor right? And no, bottles wouldn't help, just trust me on that one. We will figure it out but we are still figuring :) Ok.. gotta go start getting things ready for this trip tonight.. wish me luck!

PS.. the girls are both sleeping..in cribs.. no white noise.. with 80s music playing outside their door... things may be looking up :) 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Domesticity


Well life did not stand still after I was able to fit into my green pants.. thought it must seem like it as I have not posted since that moment. The truth is that aside from being a little busy, there have been so many happenings that I felt overwhelmed when considering how document it all here so I just stayed away. Anyway, I am back now. These are a few recent (as in yesterday) shots of Ada and Margot. Aren't they getting big?!



These adorable little sleepers are from Aunt Sheila and Uncle Lewis. Thanks guys!!! 


Boy do these girls love to smile. They smile when they wake up in the morning, after a feeding, while they are getting dressed for the day, when they get up from a nap.. in the bathtub.. the list goes on and on. They seem to get happier and be more content with each passing week. 

SO much has happened since my last post..and some even happened before that but I didn't get to post about so here is a laundry list of highlights:

- Went to dinner with my Dad's good friend Don and his wife Nicki at Don's daughter Wendy's home. She made a fantastic dinner and we got to meet her family and we all juggled cranky babies and generally had a great time visiting. I have been hearing about my Dad's friend "Barker" ever since I can remember and it was such a treat to get to meet the man behind the stories. I only wish I had been able to take more time to visit and one day I hope we can pack up our little family and head out to AZ for a visit. Wendy's sweet daugher, Kendall, even gave the girls one of her dolls for them to take home with them. Such a precious visit. 

- Grammy Mary and Grandpa Larry came to visit!!! We had a blast and took advantage of their being here by heading out on our own in the afternoons and leaving them with the ladies. We had a great visit as always but I got about 4 pictures and none of them are very good :( Mary was there with me when Margot giggled for the first time which was pretty special. 

- My Mom came over and cooked us a full on turkey dinner - early Thanksgiving. SO good and we had loads of leftovers.. can't wait for the real deal next week!

- Aunt Margie came to visit the girls while she was here with Uncle Gavin for a conference in Raleigh. She brought a bag of goodies as well :) It was so wonderful to visit with her and I must add a bit surreal to have her in my home .. I mean.. she is the grown up..I  am the kid.. right? I still feel that way.. felt sort of like I was inviting her into my play house :) Fun house is more like it these days :)

- Stephen turned 28.. yay!!!

- We have already had snow flurries twice this week..I hope this means we are headed for a cold winter around here. That would really make Stephen happy :)

there may be things I am forgetting but that should at least catch us up a bit..


Normally I go grocery shopping when Stephen gets home from work (or sometimes after the girls go down at 8). Usually I come home to the scene above or similar. This week I got the bright idea to take one of them with me to the store. Why didn't I think of that before!? I got to spend one on one time with Margot while we roamed the aisles together with cart and Baby Bjorn, and Stephen and Ada got to hang out while we were gone. I think I will definitely do that again. 


It never ceases to amaze me the way one baby  can cry right next to the other and the other may join in or may just ignore the ruckus. 


Ada is getting VERY strong.. yes Ollie is bathing himself in the background of this picture but it was the best one I have of her demonstrating her feats of strength so.. I think her cuteness outweighs his lack of decorum in the moment. Margot is getting strong as well but in this picture she was taking a break. 


Ada considering Grandpa Larry. 



My one pathetic picture of everyone together from the recent visit. Gotta get the whole picture taking thing together for the holidays!!!!

Ada and Margot - The Latest

They have both laughed several times and are THIS CLOSE to rolling over. They are going down like clockwork each night at 8pm and each wake only once.. Margot slept right through the night without a single peep one night this week. Margot is my amazing sleeper. She really seems to get it. I can put her down for a nap and even if she is not falling asleep yet she will lay there and smile and talk to herself before she drifts off. Ada is still working on it but naps faithfully in the swing on those days that Mommy needs to get things accomplished around the house. I am going to be more strict about training her to nap in the crib in the coming weeks. They have both napped so well this week. I can almost set my watch by them. They get a little fussy about 10 minutes before 9am and 10 minutes before 1pm and by 9 and 1 respectively they are fast asleep and stay that way for the full 2 hours until their next scheduled feeding. They are reaching for the toys dangling from their bouncy seats and kicking and splashing in the tub. They are growing too fast!!!! The older they get, the more sure Stephen and I are that we want a big family. Having kids is just so incredible. 

Parentals - The Latest

We are doing well but (of course) missing New York in this cold season. We sit around the dinner table reciting memories and stories from this time last year. I am getting a handle on the cooking and shopping in the house - I actually made  a pot roast tonight with carrots, potatoes and onions.. green beans on the side.. it was so good. It's nice to feel domestic for the first time in about 5 years. 

I am sure I could go on and on with this but I need to get to bed so I am going to stop here and hit the hay. 

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Booya!!!!


I had made myself promise not to try on any of my old pants again until the girls were six months old.. still.. periodically I can't help myself. Yesterday was one of those days and lo and behold.. THEY FIT!!!!!! I tried on my Citizens first and when they buttoned I just about screamed!!! I pulled out all my fall cords and started trying them all on as well and they fit too!!! Granted, there is still a bit of a muffin top, but they are totally wearable and that means I do not have to go out and buy new clothes for the winter with $$ that I don't have. I am super psyched!! I have been wearing the same pair of stretchy jeans since April or something.. this is a much needed development around here. Now I feel like busting my tail with walking and pilates to get back to my old self despite any exhaustion I might feel on a daily basis. The task no longer feels insurmountable. But enough about me..


Margot woke up earlier than usual this morning and was super exhausted (read cranky) as a result. Here she is sleeping it off :)



Ada too woke early this morning and played with her keys until quite worn out (again read cranky). She too is sleeping soundly in her crib. 

Stephen and I went to look at a potential new apartment yesterday. We have been trying to choose between one floor plan and another, the difference being a few more square feet and $100 more in rent. We plan to live in our next abode for a few years at least so we want to make sure we make the right decision for the long term. The cheaper apartment was the one we went to see and though we liked the apartment itself, it is on the outskirts of the community, facing a busier street. Turns out the more expensive place is on the same street as the two other couples from our church who live there (one of which is expecting twins in April - crazy right!?) and I think that will end up being the one we go with. It's bigger and I just have a gut feeling that we will really need the extra space. There are pros and cons to both places but when I made a list yesterday there were and equal number of each for both places so.. location wins out it seems. 

I will leave you with this humorous story from Stephen and one of his students:

Student handing Stephen a brochure for a ski resort in Colorado: "You should really come on our ski trip Mr. Shingler!!!"
Stephen: "Thanks man but there is no way I can afford that!"
Student: "What do you mean? All you have to pay for is the plane fare and the lift ticket - come on.."
Stephen: "That's not all I'd have to pay for man! Where am I gonna sleep?" 
Student brandishing the brochure: "Here!"
Stephen: "Right.. can't afford it."
Student: "You wouldn't have to pay for that part!"
Stephen: "What do you mean?"
Student: "We own it. We just have to give them a couple weeks notice."

Ah the joys of teaching at a private school :)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

13 Weeks and counting..


Only 13 weeks and already the girls are ready to take the family car for a spin :) 



Ada says, "Please Mommy? I promise to be back by nap time!"

Things are picking up around here. I know it is only the 5th of November (Remember remember the 5th of November.. anyone ? Anyone..? Go here if you are having trouble) ..but I broke down during play time this morning and started playing Charlie Brown Christmas.. oh how sweet it is. I can not WAIT until Christmas this year!!! Snuggly babies on Christmas morning!?!?!? Fresh hot cinnamon rolls?!?! It's gonna be amazing. 

We have just emerged from 4 weeks of very trying times. The days have had their ups and downs the but nights have been consistently difficult. The girls got into a habit of waking every hour after about 12:30AM to eat. You can imagine how tired the two of us have been. After the 3rd week of this I started to suspect that this was not the growth spurt that I had previously thought but instead a habit forming. So, I devised a plan to break them of this killer (after consulting the web and several of my baby books). I decided to see if they would take a binkie instead of food since they only were eating for a few minutes when I fed them and then falling back asleep. I started getting up on the hour with them and giving them the binkie. I found it easier to just stay in their room during this whole process so I made a bed next to the crib and settled in. I watched when they squirmed in their sleep and when they stared to wake up. I watched to see if they showed signs of hunger and was pleased to see that they did not. The next night I felt confident that they didn't actually need the food and that they were perfectly capable of sleeping for longer stretches. So when they woke I would get them up and hold them like they were going to be fed but give a binkie instead and they would snuggle down and suck and drift right off. Then I moved to just giving them the binkie while they were in crib when they woke. The waking was getting less and less frequent. Monday I started them napping in separate cribs and they did so well I decided to do the same at night and .. VOILA !!! Suddenly my waking babies are sleeping 8-9 hour stretches again!!! They go down around 8 and don't wake until 4 or 5 at which point if they are truly hungry I give them a snack and they go back to sleep until 7 when I get them up for their first feeding. This morning I actually had the energy to get a shower before Stephen left for school, I didn't feel like a deflated balloon like I have been feeling in the AM. Sigh of relief. Hope they keep this up. 

They are growing so much. Smiling all the time in response to being smiled at. They love to play and listen to Mommy talk her head off and sing songs to distract them when they are cranky. Ada still really loves to observe her world and seems to be so sensitive. There are times when she screams and I can't do anything to help and I really feel like that is her just needing to get her emotions out. So I hold her and she kicks and wails and before long she settles down for a snuggle. Margot loves to be held and feel like she is participating in whatever you are doing. She loves to be talked too and isn't as much a fan of the toys as Ada is. She is more interested in your face and interacting. Ada does this as well but I can tell Margot is really into it. 

Stephen and I are doing well despite the recent lack of sleep. I do feel a little trapped some days but lack the energy to get myself up and out. I think that will be changing very soon. Sleeping at night is heavenly. 

I must admit, moving the girls into separate cribs has been a little tough. I love seeing them snuggled together and I felt like they were happier that way. But apparently, that time has come and gone. Aside from the waking up, they were also doing a little traveling in their sleep so I am sure it feels better to get sleep without your sibling smacking you in the face with a runaway arm or having your sibling squish you with her diaper butt. Sigh. Maybe they will start liking to sleep together again when they are older. I don't know why this is so hard for me!? They look so alone in that big crib on their own. I suppose it will just take time for me to adjust. It is obviously better since they are sleeping so much better. 

Yes, I voted yesterday... and no I don't want to talk about it here. I have never brought up politics on this blog and I don't plan to start now. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Morning People

video

Ada and Margot are at their brightest first thing in the morning. Looks like we have a couple of morning people right now! Good thing Mom is a morning person too :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Proof..


.. that beautiful Aunt Linda came to visit us recently..


.. and that her equally beautiful daughter Leah came with her..


..that we had a fabulous fabulous visit with Elsie while she was here and really enjoyed getting to spend time with Linda and Leah as well..


..that Margot loves Great Grandma's kisses..


..that Ada still loves to be held upside down and on her side..


..that Margot still loves being snuggled upright..


..that crying is contagious.. 


..that Ada started it :) ..


..that we persevered through the crying and dressed up and took the girls to see Cinderella and the set that Daddy designed anyway.. we all hung out in the "cry room" so we could still see the play but make sure that we didn't distract any attention from the actors :)..


..that Ada has a beautiful little smile..


..that Margot has an equally beautiful little happy face..


..that Mom actually ordered a pizza for dinner on Saturday.. kinda hard to cook when a certain Margot won't let you put her down..


..that Ada can think deep thoughts..



..that Daddy doesn't scare her.. yet :)

... proof that our days have not been all bad and that I was just venting when I posted yesterday. We love these little guys so much and they are so sweet these days.. they don't mean to be difficult. Parenting is just difficult.. whether you have 1 baby or 12 teenagers. Thanks for the prayers.. we got much better sleep last night and are ready to face the week with a smile. 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Help

Hello everyone. Missed me? Well I can tell you I have loads of fun and cute pictures to post and fun and cute stories and events to recount but right now I am just sending this out to ask for prayer.. please ya'll.. pray for us. We are worn thin.. worn very very thin. Stephen is out walking Ada right now who has refused to stop screaming at the top of her lungs for most of the morning. Margot is sleeping in the swing but when she wakes up she will be screaming again too I am sure.. they have been cluster feeding in the AM .. as in... the early AM.. every hour or so..for the last 2 weeks.. and not napping very well during the days.. unpredictable... shower? What is that? No rest during the days ..no rest during the nights.. I am venting here but seriously.. it has been a rough time. That coupled with the fact that we are crammed in our living space and have no time to look for or apply for a new place to live just makes life that much more difficult.. life with twins is sort of kicking our tails at the moment. So all of you worriers out there.. please don't worry.. please just pray. This is normal.. we know this.. this too shall pass and all of that.. I am just trying to be as real as I have always been on this blog and right now that means asking for some serious prayer. We need patience, wisdom, and rest.. rest.. rest.. again.. no worrying.. please.. this is normal.. put that effort into prayer. I promise to try to get it together enough to show everyone the most recent bright moments and cute photos we have very very soon.. sorry to be a downer but.. I am feeling pretty down at the moment. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Night Swimming


The girls and I look forward to Stephen coming home in the afternoon. They have usually just finished eating and are full and happy and ready to play and visit for about 30 minutes before the evening fussy time begins. 


This afternoon, Margot decided to show off for Daddy and prove just how strong she is becoming. She is lifting that noggen all on her own :)



Ada was helping me with the dishes in the kitchen and Oliver was standing watch over us all. 

Sleep training has lately felt like treading water. Working really hard to keep afloat but not seeming to make much progress for the work being expended. For the last two nights in a row, I have knelt by the crib on my knees and sang the girls to sleep, while rocking their little bellies with my hands as they work their binkies and stare up at me with heavy eyelids. I am not sure who has enjoyed this more, me or the babies. I remember my Mom singing and reading to me until I fell asleep at night. How safe I felt when I drifted off knowing that I was not alone. Aunt B used to sing to me in the dark of my room at the little white house at 311. Hearing her voice in the dark used to calm my fears about my parents being absent. I have been faithfully following this whole sleep training thing for 2 weeks now and yesterday I realized I might have been too rigid and possibly even misinterpreted something. There is still that initial bout of crying after their last feeding, and I am not letting them fall asleep in my arms, but I think comforting them while remaining next to the crib.. no matter how long it takes for them to drift off.. is more my speed this week. They slept for a longer period of time last night too. This is one of those moments when I really feel like a mother. Having those girls stop their crying to listen to my singing makes my (lately easily discouraged) heart soar.