Monday, May 31, 2010

Gas, poop and baseball

So, I changed the layout a bit this weekend. Still a work in progress, much like my parenting skills.

In other news, I'm fairly certain I have the gassiest babies on the face of the earth. Our "relaxing" Memorial Day weekend involved burping Claire every 20 minutes and praying for Grace to poop. We're still waiting on that one.

Oh ya, and we're preparing to take the girls on a Memorial Day outing. Have mercy on our souls.

On the bright side, they finally fit into their Royals outfits, just in time to cheer Luke and the boys on to victory with dad today!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Caption Contest #7 Winner

And the winner is ... Mom!

Katie: "Are you sure you want to do this?"
Scott: "Absolutely I do."

Runner-Up: Gina
Katie: "You know I want kids right?"
Scott: "OK but no twins..."

Thursday, May 27, 2010

No. 1 Choice of Choosy Moms

One of these days, I swear I'm going to learn my lesson.

As you know, Grace is a professional sleeper. And Claire is still in the minor leagues when it comes to falling asleep. But last week, we finally found a napping routine that was working for both girls.

No swing. No glider. No swaying mommy. I would just lay her in bed and she would fall asleep on her own. The trick? Making sure she was laying down before she was overtired.

This morning, though, someone removed my brain and replaced it with peanut butter. Creamy, of course.

Stupidly ... so, so stupidly ... I decided I would try a little different routine after breakfast. I kept them up just a bit longer than I would normally.

Don't ask me why. Peanut butter doesn't need logic or reason.

So, naturally, Claire got overtired. She cried. I swayed. Patted. Shushed. And finally she fell asleep.

Lesson to be learned?

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Love & Marriage

I met my soul mate about seven years ago. Started dating him about six years ago. And married him three years ago. What a wonderful, rainy day it was. Here's a look back.

We are a perfect fit. Despite our differences. You are tall, and I'm not. You are loud, and I'm quiet. You are squiggly lines, and I'm straight.

Despite all of those differences — I love you more than you'll ever know.

I love the way you can look at my flaws and turn them into quirks.

I love the way you kiss my forehead when I have a headache.

I love the way you smile slyly when you're up to something.

I love the way the freckles dance below your eyes.

I love the way you know exactly what I need after a bad day.

I love the way you let me be silly, and sometimes, when I'm lucky, you will be silly with me.

I know that we will face challenges that threaten to swallow us, but I have faith that our love will be our strength.

When we've grown old and you have lost your hair and mine is gray — I will love you more that day than today. Because each day I spend with you, I discover more reasons to fall in love. The depths of your patience, kindness and love still surprise me.

Scott, I swear on this day to love and cherish you forever.

Never in my life have I been so unbelievably certain of my decision than this moment.

I know in the deepest caverns of my soul that you and I ought to spend the rest of our lives together.

Your kindness, your laughter, your intelligence and your beauty are truly unmatched.

It is for all these reasons and many more that I stand here today, before God, everyone (and Bella) to profess my undying love for you.

Today, I promise to love and to cherish you, to protect you and be protected by you, to serve you and be served by you and to exist in an equal partnership now and forever more.

Caption Contest: May 26

Today, we are celebrating our third wedding anniversary. So, this week, you get to make fun of us. :)

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, May 25, 2010

Our third wedding anniversary

Tomorrow is our three year anniversary.

May 26, 2007.

It was a truly wonderful occassion, shared with some of our favorite people in the world.

Three years later we've come so far and been through so much, and I have never, not for one single moment, felt even a hint of regret.
To our friends, thank you for supporting us, putting up with us, and sharing great moments with us.
To Katie, thank you for being an exceptional mother, a terrific wife, and a great friend. I love you.

Motherhood Survival Kit

The number one question people ask me when they find out I have twins is, "Aren't you tired?"

Tired? Nah.

Exhausted, bleary, drained, wearied, frazzled, spent, depleted? Absolutely. Here are few must-haves for any new mom.

1. A good ballcap.
When a shower is just out of the question, a good ballcap will get your through. Worried about the smell? See below.

2. Febreeze & deodorant.
When you don't have time to actually freshen up.

3. An electric razor.
Summer is approaching fast, which means you can't hide your hairy legs under your jeans any longer. A quick touchup is in order — break out the electric razor.

4. Toenail polish.
When your toenails are looking dingy and the polish is starting to chip, another coat will give you a few more days.

5. A ponytail holder. Or 13.
When styling your hair gets outranked by a screaming baby.

It's all about the shortcuts. What we used to spend hours perfecting, we now have to squeeze into 10 minutes. Be advised though, if you see a mom in a ballcap and a wrinkled shirt, you may not want to stand too close.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Road Tripping

This weekend we were feeling particularly brave and took the girls on their first road trip.

We woke up at 7 a.m., fed babies and then spent the next two hours trying to get everything ready. How is it possible that such little people need so many things? Diapers. Wipes. Balmex. Bottles. Formula. Extra set of clothes. Extra, extra set of clothes. Blankets. Bibs. Binkies (not that they use them anyway), Burp rags. Toys that make noise and might distract them from crying. Infant gas drops. Tylenol drops (for them). Tylenol capsules (for us).

The trip there was fine. We arrived no worse for the wear. They ate, they burped, they played and they met aunts, uncles and cousins.

So far, so good.

Here's the tricky part. The whole reason we went on this road trip was to see my little sister graduate. (Go, Cassie!!)

I know, I know. You're wondering how I could possibly think it was a good idea to take five-month-old babies to a graduation ceremony where you are expected to be, ya know, quiet.

Just call me brave. Or stupid.

But the girls did remarkably well. Other than a few cries at the beginning (probably because they were listening to a high school band play pomp and circumstance 60 times over), they behaved like sweet little babies.

We finished celebrating 13 years job well done and hit the road again. When we got back home, we all crashed.

We survived out first road trip. And we didn't even need the tylenol.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Picture of the week: 20 weeks

Enter at your own risk ... your Friday is about to get sappy.

I read something earlier this week that reminded me of the innocence of a child's love. Having babies isn't all about smelly spit-up, endless crying or poopy diapers ... although those are some pretty sweet perks. Having babies is all about love. And the love between babies and parents is some of the most pure, beautiful love in this world. Once you feel that love, it makes the rest totally worth it.

Caption Contest #6 Winner!!

And the winner is ... Sue!

Grace: "Moooooooom!!!!!!!!!!!"
Claire: "I don't know what she is talking about. I did nothing. I am the good one.""

Runner-Up: Katie (not me, by the way)

Claire: I'm used to it.

Special recognition goes to James for finally posting a caption and for his creativity this week! To read all of the great captions from this week, go here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Oh, What A Night

Grace woke up right as we were heading to bed last night. And not "Oh, hey guys, I'm up, and I'd like to coo." It was "HEEEEEEEEEY, I'M BEING MAULED TO DEATH BY A PIT BULL. COME! GET! ME! NOW! OR ELSE I'LL DO IT. I'll WAKE HER."

So, we oblige. Because we're scared to death of our own daughter. Claire, that is. Scared to death she'll wake up and not be able to fall back asleep. That's sorta her shtick.

We spend the next 30-45 minutes trying to figure out what is paining Grace, with no luck. And finally decide to lay her back down.

That worked. For about 90 minutes. Then she woke up screaming again. This time it was a Rottweiler.

Another 30 minutes of patting, shushing and we're all back in our beds, drifting off to sleep. We wake up a couple more times during the night, and then for good at 6:45 a.m.

We eat. We sing. We yawn. Back to bed for all three of us. Grace fell asleep. I laid down. And the heavens opened up and smiled down at me ... Claire fell asleep. All on her own.

For the first time in a very long time, the girls are both sleeping and I have about an hour before I need to get started on my day. I think I'll take a nap.

It was about 20 minutes later, I was just easing into sleep, curled in my blankets, listening to the rain on the roof.

This time it was a German Shepherd.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Caption Contest: May 19

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, May 18, 2010

Pay It Forward

It's an unwritten rule in the baby world. Much like the underrated movie starring Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment, the concept is simple — someone does something kind for you, you do something kind for someone else.

When we found out we were having twins, we were exploding with happiness. We had dealt with miscarriages and felt so thankful to have double the joy headed our way.

However, once the initial shock wore off, we also realized we had double the expenses headed our way. Double the formula, double the diapers, double the clothes, double the gear.

We were lucky enough to have good friends, family and friends' families that donated or lent us a lot of the stuff we're still using. And now, as we grow out of some of our stuff, we're trying to do the same.

Paying it forward. One onesie at a time.

Monday, May 17, 2010

She's Baaaaaack

Things are THIS close to being back to normal. Phew. We saw the doctor on Friday after Claire began her hunger strike, and he took one look at her throat and said "Oh, welp, that's the problem." She had huge white canker sores from the virus, and the poor little girl just didn't want to swallow. Which also explains why she was drooling ALL OVER THE WORLD.

So, we doped her up over the weekend (doctor's orders) and she ate like normal, and even smiled once the Tylenol kicked in. Which really beat the heck out of the full blown screaming we had been experiencing .

So, now we're just sitting, waiting, hoping, crossing all of our fingers and toes that The Screamer doesn't catch it.

Cats Rule, Dogs Drool ... literally

On Thursday, my cat Rocko turned five years old. And when I say my cat, I mean my cat. Scott has disowned our little buddy. So, in honor of the birth of my first baby, I give you this.

Top 10 reasons cats are better than dogs (at least our dogs):

10. They are clean freaks. Rocko "takes" at least four baths a day. And occasionally forces our other cat Lily to take one, too.
9. They purr when you pet them.
8. They will cuddle on your lap. Ya, ya, I know some dogs cuddle. But imagine this curling up in your lap:

7. They will catch the mice, spiders, flies, drawstrings, Christmas trees, in your house. And then leave them at the door as a gift.
6. They are mostly independent.
5. They have personality. Yes, it may be annoying, but it's uniquely annoying.
4. If you forget to set your alarm, they won't let you forget to wake up. EVEN ON SATURDAY.
3. When they need to go to the vet, there is no worry they are going to scratch your leather interior because they are too friggin' big to fit into a carrier.
2. When they are mad at you, they will poop in the bathtub — not on the carpet. Would a dog ever be that thoughtful in her vengeance?
1. They will love you forever even when you bring two babies home and ignore them for four months ... and counting.

Happy Birthday, little buddy!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Caption Contest #5 Winner!!

And the winner is ... Heather!!

Claire: Do u think it will taste different this time?

Grace: Absolutley I do :)

Picture of the week: 19 weeks

You're looking at the previous pictures of the week, and you're thinking "Wow, look how cute they always look. Twins must be soooooo easy."

Here's a small piece of our reality.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Perfect Storm

It has taken me about all day to recover from last night's events. I'll start at the beginning.

I get a call about 5 p.m. that Claire feels hot, threw up her formula and the kicker... slept for 4 hours straight. Claire!? Ok, there must be something seriously wrong with her.

So, I jump in the car and race home. Temp is 100.2 and she is very obviously not feeling well. But she took a few more ounces of formula and crashed.

Fast forward three hours. Her temp is now 101.3, she's throwing up, and it's hailing. Did I mention this was all taking place during a thunderstorm? So, not only is Claire crying because she doesn't feel well, Grace is crying because she's Grace, the dogs are running around inside because of the storms, the cats are rattling the door because they feel left out, and I'm sitting in the closet rocking back and forth because this is all just too much to handle.

So, we call the on-call nurse at our pediatrician's office. She says because of her age, we need to take her to the ER.

We ask Scott's parents to come and sit with Grace while we trek to the torture chamber ... I mean hospital.

We spend the next four hours wincing, crying, holding her hand as she screams and screams and SCREEEEAAAAMS. No one could blame her. She had an IV in her head, a catheter to get a urine sample, X-rays taken of her stomach and chest and snot sucked out of her nose. On top of feeling sick in the first place.

Surely they have done every test possible. Surely we will know something. Surely we didn't just put her through all of that to walk out of the hospital empty-handed. Surely.

All results are normal. Probably a viral infection. Call your doctor in the morning.

You've got to be kidding. Our baby just went through hell. As the anger and guilt start to build inside me, I look down at our baby girl who hasn't had a proper meal in 14 hours, been tortured with needles and tubes and spent her evening screaming, and she looks back at me. And smiles.

If she can remain calm after all of that, surely so can I.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Caption Contest: May 12

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!

Sugar and Spice


Dear LOST,
I have spent six years watching you. Six years worrying about The Others. Six years wading through the confusion. Six years hoping you would make it off that loathsome island. But yesterday, yesterday was a disappointment.

A light? That is what needs to be guarded? A light in a cave is the answer to everything? C'mon!! Yes, I love that you brought in West Wing's Allison Janney. Yes, I love that we know more about Jacob and his nameless brother. And yes, I love that they were twins. But really, people. You could do better than “the warmest, brightest light you’ve ever seen or felt.”

But back to the twins part. The distinct differences of these TV boys got me thinking about my own twinkies. They have from the very beginning shown their differences. Physically, they are different, as many of you have pointed out. One looks like Scott, one like me.

But what's even more fascinating than that is how different they are developing. One is more vocal, one is more visual. One hates to be alone, the other prefers it. One cries at the smallest injustice, the other doesn't. Sugar and spice, I call them. Both very valuable ingredients, both very different.

But let's just hope that Claire never sends Grace down a river into a cave full of light only to have her emerge as a black smoke monster. Oh, LOST. So loveable, yet so ridiculous.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Girl Talk

I know they are coming. And there is no way to stop them.

The fights. Fights over toys. Clothes. Food. Blankets/stuffed animals. Pets. Seats in the car. Chores. TV. Clothes. Friends. Boyfriends. Space. Money. Sharing. Opening gifts. Books. Did I mention clothes? All sisters fight. Add in the fact that they are the same age, and we will be battling twice as much.

This is a part of life. One I'm mentally trying to prepare for. But I'm hoping that with a bit of luck and some loving guidance, in between the fighting will be moments like this:

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Magic Box

Sometimes it's 30 Rock. Or Law & Order. Occasionally LOST. Or
Parenthood. Which, by the way, have you watched? It's
FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC. Even if you aren't a parent, it's still a great
show. One that Scott and I fell in love with from the first episode.
One we are terrified they are going to cancel because that's what
happens to shows we love. But back to what I was saying.

Grace loves TV.

I didn't intend for it to happen. But during our early morning feeding
this weekend, we switched on Law & Order to help keep us awake and I
could not get her to turn her head away from the screen. She was glued
to it. Can you blame her? That Lupo is one good-looking fella. So when
she started crying 20 minutes later (big surprise, right?), Scott
stood up with her and walked closer to the TV. Silence.

He looked at me. I looked back. Did that really just work? Did the TV
just calm the Screamer? Note. To. Self.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

One more thing...

Today is Katie's first Mothers' Day.

Happy Mothers' Day to my beautiful wife.

A Mother's Job

To kiss your knee when you fall down.

To hold your hand when you're scared.

To make you ask politely.

To ask how your day was.

To soothe you when you have a nightmare.

To show you the importance of family.

To love you always even when you make a mistake.

To make you brush your teeth.

To hug you when you're sad.

To cheer you on.

To teach you how to love.

Thanks to our Moms for doing their jobs so well. Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Picture of the week: 18 weeks

As Mother's Day approaches, I couldn't feel any luckier.

Caption Contest #4 Winner!!

And the winners are ... Ashley & Anonymous!!

That's right. It was a tie. It's all about the dancing this week.

Claire: "Grace, look how I can shimmy!"
Grace: "I'm clearly amused" =)

Grace: "Claire, you look ridiculous. What are you doing?"
Claire: "Isn't it obvious? I'm dancing!"
Grace: "Oh Claire..."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

And the little one said ...


Claire has almost mastered rolling over.

Am I excited for her? Absolutely. Am I terrified for us? Completely. Rolling over is a gateway to crawling, which leads to walking, which leads to running, which leads to moving away and going to college.

Now you understand why we are on high alert.

She has been working on rolling over for a few days now. I have just been watching and waiting. Waiting for that moment when she flips over and realizes that she has just landed on her tummy. Did I mention she HATES laying on her tummy? The doctor said she will eventually grow out of that. Ya know, once she sees that tummy time leads to crawling. But I just picture her being 26 and still laying on her back, begging Grace to bring her some food.

But maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Caption Contest: May 5

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, May 4, 2010

Good Night, Sleep Tight


Grace does it. Claire doesn't.

In fact, Grace LOVES to sleep. She will sleep in between each feeding for at least two hours and then sleep 11 hours at night. She is a baby after my own heart.

This girl knows how to do it. She can put herself to sleep, UNLIKE SOMEONE ELSE I KNOW. And she pretty much stays asleep until it's time to eat again. Claire, on the other hand, naps much like a cat. 15 minutes here, 7 minutes there. And don't even think about quietly eating marshmallows while sitting on cotton balls in a sound-proof room. That kind of racket will wake her instantly!!

But there is a catch to all of this. Yes, Grace sleeps long stretches at night. Yes, she takes good naps during the day. But on those occasions that she is upset and can't go to sleep, she will scream until your ears bleed.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tag Team of Torture

This has to be short. I'm currently being tortured. Slowly, methodically tortured. I'm guessing this is some sort of experiment to test how I withstand extreme distress and sleep deprivation.

If they found out I was writing this blog ... shhh! I think they are stirring.

I watched as her eyelids fell heavy. I thought I was in the clear. Finally, a moment of quiet. And then BAM! The other lets out a deep-belly cry from the next room.

They have been doing this for days. Taking turns torturing. Understandably. It must be exhausting to have someone hold you, rock you, walk with you, feed you, burp you, hold you, sway you, pat your back. Of course you need a break from that. But for the past couple of days, it was one on one. Team Parent vs. Team Baby. We were evenly matched.

But now I'm outnumbered. And I think they smell the fear.