Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Caption Contest: June 30

You've had a two-week break ... I expect nothing but your best! (Claire is wearing white, Grace is wearing polka dots)

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!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Screamer Screams Nevermore

Grace has been screaming from the moment she was born. It's a fact of life that she is, let's say, a tad more delicate than Claire.

But last week we reached the peak of Grace's screaming. It was happening at every feeding and for up to 30 minutes after each feeding. She would wake during her naps screaming and even during the night.

Something was very wrong. We just had no idea what it was.

So, we saw the doctor, who diagnosed acid reflux and prescribed some meds. But by the weekend, I was on the verge of losing it. The medicine wasn't supposed to start working for a few days, and I couldn't take the screaming any longer.

With very little sanity left, no answers and two long days until we could see the doctor again, we took a stab in the dark.

We switched her to a soy formula. And within two days the screaming stopped. Stopped. Like completely stopped. Just. Like. That.

I don't know if the reflux medicine kicked in or if the soy formula was the solution. Or if it was something else entirely. But the point is, the screaming has ceased.

And The Screamer has been smiling ever since.

Six Months in the Making

Six months ago, I was scared, exhausted, overwhelmed and experiencing the most profound joy I have ever felt. They came into this world four weeks early as tiny, gorgeous little babies, and they have grown into beautiful, funny, giggling little girls.

I'm looking forward to the next six months! Here's a look back at their life so far.

Happy Birthday, baby girls!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Picture of the Week: 25 weeks

Tomorrow we will celebrate six joyous, exhausting, exhilarating, frustrating, inspiring months.

I have been experiencing these moments lately where I will walk into the room, see the girls and realize that I have twins. Sounds ridiculous, I know. But you have to understand ... I spend my days head down, pushing forward, just getting through the day. Feed babies, wash bottles, make bottles, change diapers, feed babies, wash bottles, make bottles, change diapers. And then I walk into the room, and I will see them — really see them — and it takes my breath away. I have to be the luckiest lady on the planet.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Double The Fun

It's Thursday morning, and I just finished feeding Grace. She burps a nice hearty burp and then dribbles some spit-up down herself, down me and a little on the floor.

I clean her up. Change my shirt. And spray some Resolve.

No big deal. What's a little spit-up? It happens from time to time.

I lay Grace down, finish feeding Claire and put her on my shoulder to burp. She burps. And then UNLOADS on my shoulder, down my back and all over the bed.

It's 7:30 a.m. I've been puked on twice, scrubbed the carpet, washed the sheets, and I'm already on my second wardrobe change. Be jealous. Be very jealous.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cry Babies

Hungry. Wet. Tired. Poopy. All good reasons to cry. And, believe me, my girls know how to cry, especially Grace.

At first, it really bothered me when they cried. But six months down the road, I'm a little immune to their screams. Don't get me wrong. I still jump up the moment I hear the first wail, and my eyes still pop open when it happens over night. But my stomach doesn't tense up with the fear of not knowing what to do. I feel so much more confident that I can tell what the cries mean and fix the problem.

But they have thrown me a curve ball.

Real tears. REAL. TEARS. Big, huge, fat tears welling up in their eyes and rolling down their chubby little cheeks.

They have found my weakness. I stand no chance.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Father's Tribute

I meant to write yesterday about all of Scott's qualities that make him such a good dad. But Grace had other plans for us.

When we finally laid down Saturday night, my body ached all over and my patience was shot. Grace spent the majority of Saturday screaming every time she ate. And I mean SCREAMING. There wasn't a position we could put her in that made her feel better. We tried every trick we knew. Nothing worked. After a very long day, we went to sleep and hoped that Sunday would bring better things.

Sunday morning came. Grace was smiling when she woke up. Things were looking up. We fed her, burped her, fed her again and then SCREAMING.

I lost it. I started crying right then. My baby girl was in pain and had been for two days, and there was nothing I could do for her. I felt completely helpless.

But Scott got up, gently took Grace, cuddled her, rocked her and sang to her. And she screamed. He was persistent though and after awhile, she calmed down.

In this moment, when I was feeling desperate and worthless, I was reminded of how great of a father he is. Always helpful. Always patient. Always loving.

Although I know it wasn't the ideal way to spend Father's Day, Scott jumped right in. Just like any great father would do.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Pictures of the week: 24 weeks

In honor of Father's Day. They have some pretty big shoes to fill!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Full House

This week my five-year-old niece Bella is staying with us.

She's been here since yesterday. And I'm freaking exhausted.

Keep in mind, this is one of the most well behaved five-year-old kiddos I have ever met. And I am a former preschool teacher trained to handle five-year-olds. And I love her to the moon and back. But I'm still freaking exhausted.

Last night before bed: "I want to sleep on the couch. No, wait. It's next to a window. That's too scary. I want you to sleep with me. Ok, I will sleep on your floor. Oh! Oh! Or in your bed. Ok, ok. I will sleep on the bed in my room. But can you bring a night light? And my drink? And my Sammy? And my blanket?"

This morning during the girls' breakfast: "Can I feed them? Why not? Are you burping her? Why does she burp? How many times do you burp her? Oh! I heard her burp! Maybe I could feed them. Ok. Why is she crying? Does she need to burp? I'll pat her back. I could probably feed them, ya know."

And the questions just keep on rolling. Add in two fussy babies — one who won't eat, and one who won't sleep — and you can understand why I'm freaking exhausted.

But after the exhaustion passes and the babies stop fussing and the questions dwindle, we will all look back on this time with happy thoughts and fond memories.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Split City

Independence is a sweet, sweet thing. And after five and a half long — yet wonderful — months, the girls have finally been introduced to it.

This weekend we started using our second crib. No more intertwined feet or near suffocation experiences. No more kicking or holding hands during the middle of the night. No more body heat blankets.The girls officially have their own space.

Claire seems a bit indifferent to the whole thing. And Grace couldn't be happier. Grace loves to sleep ... have I mentioned this before? And when Grace reluctantly wakes up at 4 a.m to Claire kicking her, she is pretty peeved.

So, we decided it was time. And although from the very beginning of this journey I insisted they would grow up being distinct and unique people, splitting them made me a little sad. It's hard to admit they aren't itty bitty babies anymore.

They have been together for over a year now (most of that in utero), rarely separated for more than a few hours. But they are growing up, and I suppose it's time for me to let them.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Joys of Living in the Midwest

It's 11:30 p.m. And I wake to the sound of the phone ringing. Scott reaches across me and answers it. It's his mom.

A quick, frantic exchange before he hangs up.

We're in a tornado warning.


Let's get the babies, he says.

Are you certain? Because they are sound asleep. I mean I know tornadoes are dangerous and all, but they are SOUND asleep.

He fills me in on the rest of what his mom said: a funnel cloud spotted a couple of miles south of us.

You have never seen someone half asleep run so fast. Scoop up one baby. Scoop up the other. Run across the house and quickly down the stairs.

Scott follows a few seconds later with dogs in tow.

My heart is racing. Claire is asleep on my shoulder. Grace is wide awake and smiling.

The weather radio comes on. The funnel cloud has passed us.

Breathe, Katie. Breathe.

Caption Contest #9 Winner

And the winner is ... Brandi!!

Claire: "Dude I told you if we cried we would get what we wanted...HI FIVE!"

Grace: "Nice work sis...nice work"

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pictures of the week: 23 weeks

I don't know what it is about the outdoors, but our girls just love it. A breath of fresh air cures their cranky in no time. Which, in turn, cures my cranky. Which makes everyone happy.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pond hopping

7:15 a.m.

That's what time I woke up yesterday. And it was fan-freaking-tastic. Keep in mind, there was a period of about three consecutive years that I only saw 7:15 a.m. from behind my eyelids. How things have changed.

It was rainy and dark yesterday morning — the perfect conditions for sleeping. And this got me thinking. If these girls are willing to sleep an extra 30-60 minutes because it's storming, maybe they would like to spend their childhood in England.

Hmmm ... Live far away? Sleep in? Live far away? Sleep in?

I think I'll go pack our bags.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Caption Contest: June 8

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!


So, a good friend of ours is in town for the week. A friend who hasn't been here since before babies were born. When he came over this weekend, I got a glimpse of how other people must see us. And it hit me just how much things have changed in the past five months.

A trash bag full of smelly diapers sits next to the front door waiting to be taken out. Dirty bottles lay strewn about in the sink. Cans of formula pile high on the counter. Car seats overtake the dining room table. Swings, bouncy seats, bumbos lay scattered in the living room.

We are three hours past when we originally agreed to meet.

And the first 10 minutes of our conversation was dominated by the one true priority in our lives — Grace and Claire. And their poop.

It amazes me to think how much has changed. It used to be when friends came to visit, the house was always clean (or at least cleaner). I was always showered. The dishes were always done. The piles of mail and junk mail filed appropriately. Life was organized.

These days, unorganized is an understatement. Yes, it drives me a little crazy to live in a state of messy. But despite the dirty laundry, dishes and toilets, at the end of the day, when I look at these girls, my heart swells with a kind of happiness that I never knew existed.

And that's a change I can totally live with.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Friday I was in one seriously foul mood.

The end of the work week was near, and I was exhausted, irritable, and just downright grouchy. Everything in life: work, laundry, dishes, husband, babies seemed so overwhelming. I had to go to work early that day, so I was rushing around the house trying to get everything done, worrying about things that really didn't need worrying about, and oh ya, taking care of babies.

So, I put Claire in her bedroom for some floor time and went to grab something from the other room. On my way back by her room, I noticed she was laying on her side. Which she does quite frequently. She's been about to roll over since, well, it's been a long time.

But for some reason, on this particular day, I stopped at the doorway, watched her lay there and decided to grab the camera.

Can you freaking believe that?? How amazing is it to watch your child roll over for the first time? I was crying and laughing all at the same time.

That's all it took. Watching one of my little girls take one roll toward growing up. And my seriously foul mood was gone.

Editor's note: In the interest of full disclosure, this is not the video of the first time she rolled over. That's a five-minute long video, the first four and half of which are her being THIS close to doing it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Caption Contest #8 Winner

And the winner is ... James!

Claire: "I'm telling you, if we both just squeeze tight, eventually we will become Siamese twins. Everybody loves Siamese twins."

Grace: "Keep it down. I can't hear Lefebvre."

Pictures of the week: 22 weeks

Ready ... set ... go!!

Hey, she got a head start!

I don't think I'm gonna make it.

Victory is mine!

Tummy time is hard work.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Rejection is a tough pill to swallow. Just ask Grace. She chokes on it every day.

Every day she gazes at Claire like she is the best thing she has ever seen. Mom and Dad are still pretty neat, but we don't hold a candle to the way she looks at Claire. I don't know if it's those big hazel eyes or the cute little nose or just the fact that she is her size. But today, when I had them facing each other, after about two minutes of looking at nothing but Claire, Grace smiled her really big smile.

And Claire responded to this affection in the only way she knows how.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Caption Contest: June 2

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, June 1, 2010

To the Zoo and Beyond

We took the girls to the zoo yesterday. And, miraculously, lived to tell our story.

The thought of taking two babies out in public scares the bejesus out of me. You may think I'm overreacting (and to your credit, I might be), but picture this:

Two parents sit down at a restaurant with two little car seats. Awhh, how cute! They have twins. That is sooo sweet. They open their menus, decide what they want and order their food. They are quietly chatting, but just as they sit back to relax, one starts SCREAMING. Which startles the other, causing her to SCREAM. And before you know it, there are two SCREAMING babies and several dirty looks.

In a matter of minutes, we've become those people. Those people who don't quite understand that their kids are holy terrors. Or they do, and just don't care.

I fully understand the terrorizing ability of my children, which is why we don't often take them out in public.

But yesterday, after a weekend full of crying babies and cranky parents, we took a walk on the wild side. To the zoo.

They cried a little, slept a little and smiled a lot.

And the good thing about the zoo? Instead of getting dirty looks when Grace started crying, nearly every person there looked at the two car seats, back at us, back at the car seats and completely understood.

Maybe next week we will try a sit-down restaurant. On second thought ...