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 :)