Friday, April 30, 2010

Picture of the week: 17 weeks



We had our four-month checkup yesterday. The girls are finally meeting the standards for a "normal" four-month-old (since they were preemies, we've been playing catchup). The doctor said everything else looks good. But he did about laugh us out of the room when we (read: me) asked if we should be waking them overnight because I think they are sleeping too long. Apparently we should just be thanking our lucky stars.

Caption Contest #3 Winner!!

And the winner is ... Lyndsay Stauble!



Claire: "They see us rollin', they be hatin'"
Grace: "Word."


Runner Up: April with "Which one of us is the O.G.?"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

LOL



It was gone as fast as it came.

A chuckle.

Two, actually.

This weekend, we heard the most glorious sound. Claire laughing. Twice. And then nothing. We tried all weekend to get her to do it again. We replayed the circumstances — Scott very loudly kissing her cheek. Nothing. I tried silly faces. Silly sounds. Peek-A-Boo. Nothing.

And when I did all of these things, she looked at me like, "Lady, what's wrong with you?"

But I can't stop myself. I want to hear it again. It was such a funny little chuckle. Huuh, Huuh, Huuh.

Sure, she'll smile at me from ear to ear on demand, and that's great. When I see that smile, it makes my day. But there's something about laughter that just makes your heart explode with joy.

So, I'll just keep waiting.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Caption Contest: April 28



We provide the picture. You write a caption (in the comments section below). The winner will be showered with fame and glory. Ready. Set. Go!

Izzified

When we're out and about, people look at our two car seats and say, "You must really have your hands full." They don't even know the half of it.

We're actually a family of eight. Two parents. Two babies. Two dogs. Two cats. We started our family nearly five years ago with our cat Rocko. That led to our cat Lily. And we lived happily as a family of four until about three years ago.

On a very fateful Valentine's Day in 2007, Scott gave me Izzy.



Cute puppy, right? Let me walk you through just how cute she is.







She's part St. Bernard, part Great Pyrenees, part terror. And a few days ago, as I was closing the sliding glass door behind me, she tried running inside before I closed it. Not only did she probably break a rib or two, she broke the door. Took it right off its track.



Are two babies a handful? Absolutely. Add in two dogs, two cats and Scott, and I have about seven hands full.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Don't Worry, Be Happy





Yesterday, the girls turned four months old. Wow, that makes them sound so old. So less fragile than the previous three months. When I hear four months, I think sturdy.

I worry less about them in some ways, and more about them in others. Less about if they are eating enough, more about if they are developing on schedule.

When I was pregnant, I was constantly worrying. I worried they weren't kicking enough. I worried they weren't getting proper nutrition. I worried they were being strangled by their umbilical cords. My doctor bluntly told me to get used to it because, "You're a Mom now. It's your job. My Mom still worries about me."

How true. But there's a fine line between worrying about the health and well-being of your child and driving your husband (and yourself) crazy because you want to write down every mL your child is eating. That's right. I kept track down to the milliliter.

I know I will worry on their first day of kindergarten, when they graduate to middle school, when they get a car. I think I just had a mini heart attack thinking about that moment.

But for now, I feel pretty good about things.

Well, at least until they wake up. Did they sleep enough? Did they sleep too much? When will they roll over? Sit up? Are we doing enough tummy time? Are they being stimulated enough? Being stimulated too much?

And on and on my worries go.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bullies



They ganged up on me this weekend. Bullies.

It was Friday night. We had just finished feeding babies and Scott left to go help his Mom. I was burping Grace when someone flipped the switch from calm and peaceful to SCREAMING CRYING MADHOUSE.

It started with Grace. She was very obviously in pain, but I couldn't figure out what was wrong.

I'm trying all of my soothing tricks: burp her, pat her, hang her by her toes. Nothing's working.

But I got this. I'm a determined woman. I can figure out what's wrong.

Cue Claire crying.

This is where parenting twins really has its disadvantages.

With Grace in tow, I check on Claire. Grace still crying in my arms, Claire crying in the crib. Think, Katie, think. I can do this. I can figure out how to soothe both girls. I got it. MUST. GROW. MORE. ARMS.

I try to put Grace down. BAD idea. I try to put in Claire's binky. WRONG choice.

So, with only two hands and no good ideas left, I do the only thing a good Mom would do. I call mine.

She, being cool, calm and collected, instructs me to put Grace down while I put Claire in the swing. The swing calms Claire. I calm Grace.

Twenty minutes later, the girls are sleeping in their crib. And I'm crashed on the bed. Face down. Exhausted. TGIF.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Picture of the week: 16 weeks



Our little pioneer girls wearing their new bonnets. My Mom scored these at the consignment sale we went to last weekend. Freaking hilarious.





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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Caption Contest #2 Winner!!

And the winner is....Mrs. Jenny Davidson Maciaszek for her excellent Lord of the Rings reference.



"NONE SHALL PASS!!!!!!"

Twin Magnets

We put the girls to sleep each night like this:



And most nights when I go to get them up, they are still in those positions. But a few nights ago when I walked in I saw that Claire had turned 90 degrees and had pressed her little bald head up against Grace's mouth. Grace was less than pleased about this. So, I moved Claire back to her regular position and they fell back asleep.

I have heard from more than one person that sometimes twins will instinctively move closer to each other as they sleep. I have noticed this on a few occasions, but I was never sure if they were moving closer to the other one or just moving.

But this morning when I walked in, I saw they had kicked off their blankets in favor of a little body heat.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Caption Contest: April 21



We provide the picture. You write a caption (in the comments section below). The winner will be showered with fame and glory. Ready. Set. Go!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chatty Gracie

Recently, Grace discovered she has access to more than one octave. And thank goodness for that. My ears are still ringing.

She has started talking. Well, as much talking as a 4-month-old can muster. To you, it may just sound like ridiculous babble. But to see this child communicating in a way other than screaming is like seeing K-State make it to the Elite 8. It's a freaking miracle. And it didn't even cost $7!

video

Monday, April 19, 2010

A $7 Miracle

Sway left. Sway right. Sway left. Sway right. Pat. Pat. Pat. Repeat.

This is the routine that Claire and I go through almost every morning as she struggles to fall asleep. You can tell she's tired. She's sending all the signals — a little fussy, yawning, limp arms and legs. But she can't seem to soothe herself to sleep. So, without the luxury of a swing, I sway back and forth until her eyelids close. And then for at least another five minutes to make sure she's really asleep.

Sway left. Sway right.

I'm a human swing. And it's breaking my back.

We meant to buy one before the girls were born. But we didn't. And now I'm paying for it — two advil at a time.

Sway right. Sway left. Sway right.

But this weekend, I was on a mission. My Mom, Dad and I go to this HUGE consignment sale every spring. On Saturday, we drove up about five minutes before the sale opened. And there were already about 200 people in line. Ugh. But as soon as we hit the front door, we rushed in. Two swings left. One looked like a pit bull had been snacking on it. The other looked like this:



For $7. SEVEN DOLLARS!

Is it fancy? No.

Does it sway side to side? No.

But does it soothe Claire? You betcha.

That's what I call a $7 miracle.



Friday, April 16, 2010

Caption Contest Winner!!

And the winner is....Carrie Lane for her apt description of our servitude.



Grace: "Servant! This shirt has snowflakes on it. It is no longer winter. Where are my cute spring clothes??"
Claire: "At least you don't have to wear brown."


Runner-up: Nick Diegel
Who is this "Todd" and why is he in our house?

Picture of the week: 15 weeks



We're all about our hands this week. Well, actually for a few weeks now. There are few things that can capture Claire's attention like those five fingers. Believe me. I've tried.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Meet Claire



She's our social butterfly.

She HATES being alone.

Some may call her clingy or co-dependent. But we'll go with social. She would much rather sleep next to a kicking, squawking Grace than in peaceful solitude. She would much rather nap in the kitchen with us banging pots and pans than in her quiet room. She would much rather me carry her all around the house than sit in her bouncy seat alone.



So, the other day when she was feeling lonely, I carried her with me to switch out the laundry. I bent down and precariously balanced her on my thigh as I used my one free hand to transfer the clothes from the dryer to the laundry basket. Accomplishing this task made me feel especially proud of my multi-tasking abilities. But then I look down at the basket. Over at Claire. Down at the basket. Back over at Claire.

There is no way I can carry both of these upstairs at once.

Or can I?



Plus 10 points for ingenuity. Minus 30 points for putting my three-month-old in with the laundry.

Hey, at least it was clean.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Caption Contest: April 14



We provide the picture. You write a caption (in the comments section below). The winner will be showered with fame and glory. Ready. Set. Go!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Abnormal



I'm about to get personal. Really personal. Enter at your own risk.

About four weeks ago, I got a call from my OB/GYN. My pap smear results were back. And they weren't normal. They stressed they weren't "abnormal." But they weren't normal either. So, we scheduled an appointment to retest them.

At the next appointment, about two weeks ago, the doctor was throwing out statistics about the likelihood of my new test coming back as "abnormal." Throwing out words like dysplasia. Which when googled, I saw, "Left untreated, dysplasia sometimes progresses to an early form of cancer."

Cancer.

I asked the doctor when we would know the results. 7-10 days. 7-10 days!?!?! I can't possibly wait that long.

But I waited. And waited. And cried. And worried. And waited. And spent hours lying awake wondering what I would do if it came back "abnormal." Scared, not for myself, but for these beautiful, happy, innocent little girls.

This morning I got the call. The results were normal.

Relief. So. Much. Relief.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Suckers Anonymous

We suck.

Literally.



These girls are like Hoover vacuums when it comes to their thumbs. They found their hands awhile ago, but finally mastered the whole thumb-in-the-mouth thing last week. They are like addicts looking for their fix. Once they get the thumb in there, everything is right in their world again.





It makes me a little nervous. What if they are 14, having sleepovers and still sucking their thumbs? What's a mom to do?

I can't take their thumbs away. Not that I really want to. It soothes them, and who doesn't want that for their little one?

So, we'll just go on sucking. And hopefully, someday — preferably before they are 14 and need an intervention — they will choose to stop.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Picture(s) of the week: 14 weeks





We're all smiles this week. But because they have already learned defiance, it's next to impossible to get them to smile at the same time. So, you get double the pictures. Lucky you!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Nerd farm



I'm sure most parents think their children are the funniest, cutest, most precious babes on the block. But we're cornering the market on the smartest. That's right. I said it. We're going to have baby geniuses.

Each night when we put them to sleep (in their own room), we turn on the classical music. We've all heard the studies proving the effects of listening to classical music as a baby. And then there's the hard evidence collected by Scott during a fourth-grade science experiment involving genres of music and plants (How do Plants Rock and Grow, 1993). So, already, our girls are on track to being intelligent.

But I know what you're thinking. A lot of parents play classical music for their babies. How do you expect to have the smartest babies?? Here's our secret weapon:

NPR.

Every morning when I walk in to get the girls, the evening's classical music has been replaced by the soothing voices of NPR's Morning Edition. The babies are getting the exclusive on the recently formed interim government in Kyrgyzstan or the arms treaty just signed between the U.S. and Russia.

So, do we have the cutest, funniest babies? I think so. But will we have the smartest babies? I'd bet our newly signed arms treaty on it.

(Editor's note: The preceeding blog was tongue-in-cheek. We're really not THAT arrogant.)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Spring In My Step



Spring is by far my favorite time of year. Flowers blooming, trees blossoming (ACHOO!), birds tweeting. After such a long, cold, snowy winter, I am so ready to see those green blades poke up through the ground.

But Spring also means we're approaching our worst season of lawn care. I could blame our lawn mower's occasional breakdowns, but then I would just be lying. The honest truth? We suck at mowing our grass.

I'm ashamed to admit that in the three summers we have lived here, there have been multiple times where the grass has reached my knees.

And yes, I recognize that I'm short. As a random man in Lowe's pointed out, I'm "knee-high to a grasshopper."

But enough about my height. Back to what I was saying.

We suck at mowing. And weed-eating. And just about everything lawn care.



But I'm determined that this year we will do better. Are you reading this Scott?

It's all about the baby steps. Last year, we planted a tree and did not kill it. This year, we will mow our grass. At least on a semi-regular basis.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Scott and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

Yesterday sucked.

And apparently I'm supposed to blog about it. NOW! Our readers are waiting! (This is what happens when you marry your college newspaper editor and then agree to start a blog with her.)

I wanted to do two things yesterday.
  1. Take a nap
  2. Watch the Royals' game. Potentially at the same time.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those guys that asks the crying baby to get out of the way so he can see the TV. Really, I'm not.

But for serious, is it so much to ask to time the sleeping schedule from 3:10 p.m. to 7?

Claire's response? "What is this sleep of which you speak?"

Neither Claire nor I did a lot of sleeping on this day. Ok, neither Claire nor I did any sleeping on this day.

Mr. Mom (Gender roles be damned) spent his day pausing the Royals game (thank you DVR) to attend to -- not a fussy baby, not a crying baby -- a SCREAMING baby.



From 1:00 until about 7:00, Claire did not downshift from SCREAMING to crying or even fussing for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Burp? Check. Walk around for 20 minutes? Check. Change diaper? Check. Feed? Check. Well, sort of, apparently this bottle of formula didn't taste very good. Binky? Um....Claire doesn't really "do" binkies. Change her position/sleeping surface? Check. Change the position of Saturn relative to the Moon? Check.

Nothing worked.

And then...she stopped crying. And continued to stop crying. The silence was deafening, and it lasted all evening. No explanation. Certainly no apology. She just stopped.

I give up.

Oh, and so do the Royals.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Parents' Day Out



It's been three months. 98 days. 2352 hours. 141,120 minutes since Scott and I have done anything fun without the babies present.

We love our babies, as I'm sure you can tell, but that's a long freaking time. In fact, it's even longer than that. Go back to the last trimester.

"I can't eat there. It will give me heartburn."

"I can't stay up past 8 p.m. I'm too tired."

"I can't go to a movie. It's too sunny out."

But this weekend, we broke that streak. (Thanks to Grandpa Rod and Grandma Sue for babysitting!)

And it was awesome — like a high school girl sneaking out to see her boyfriend. I haven't felt that carefree for, well, about a year.

What did we do on our date? We ate at HuHot. Because there are no relationship woes that can't be fixed with a Mongolian buffet. And then we went to Lowe's. Because in our late(r) 20s, we've become excessively cool.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Picture of the week: 13 weeks



Thanks to Uncle Cook for these sweet bunny hats. We'll be celebrating Easter in style.

Runner up picture for this week:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April 1, 2010

Today is a big day.


And not just because it's April Fool's. Or because it's the day before my birthday. (Wink, wink to all of you who forgot).


Today, the girls started the transition to their own room.



So far, so good. At least for them. I have butterflies in my tummy thinking about them being out of arm's reach at night, but I know it's time. And if I'm saying it's time, that probably means it was time about two weeks ago.


Think of the possibilities. We can watch TV in the bedroom past 7 p.m. We can talk above a whisper after they have nodded off. And when Scott's alarm goes off at 4 a.m., I won't have to stew angrily for a few hours because it woke the babies up.


No angry stewing? Today is a big day.