Monday, January 31, 2011

First Day

I started my new job today.

And I'm exhausted.

It's not a labor-intensive job. But it did require all of my focus and attention, and that's a tall task when you have two little ones who are used to being your only priority.

Not to mention both of our babysitters (read: Grandmas) have had to cancel due to impending bad weather. We wanted to ease into this new life a bit more slowly, but I guess we're just going to jump right in.

So, if you don't see me here much this week, just know I'm either training for work, changing diapers or passed out on the couch.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pictures of the Week: Jan. 28

My sister, Cassie, gets the credit for capturing these incredibly cute moments. And that is what most of our moments are starting to look like. Smiles, walking, giggles. We do still have crying and whining and bonking heads and all that good stuff, but a majority of life these days is fun and good times.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Claire Update

Just a week ago, she was too afraid to attempt this. Look what a little confidence and courage can do.

A Grace Update

Last time I shared, Grace was walking just a couple of steps at a time. Now, she's crossing whole rooms. Where does the time go?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Geek Squad

I wouldn't say that Scott and I are on the cutting edge of technology. We still don't own an iPhone or an iPad and we still read our books the old-fashioned way, but we couldn't live without our computers or the internet.

We shared this obsession with our girls at an early age. REALLY early.

We had a couple of old laptops that we gave to the girls so they could type and bang and open and shut all they wanted. This was a HUGE hit. But then something weird happened. They developed this unspoken agreement that they would each use their own laptop and then when one is ready to switch, the other complies.

Most of the time.

When a disagreement arises (usually Grace not wanting to give up her computer), this happens.

But as quickly as the problem arises …

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Weird Things My Kids Do: Jan. 25

By now, everyone knows that Grace cries. A lot. And has for most of her life. We have become accustomed to most of her cries, except one.

This is the face she makes every time she sees Scott and I hug, kiss, hold hands, stand near each other. She starts with the scrunched up face, then it leads to tears welling and then big, fat cries of pain. She usually crawls over to us, moaning the whole way, and then raises her arms in the air asking to be picked up.

How dare you two leave me out.

Monday, January 24, 2011


The Top Five Ways You Know You Have Strep Throat
(Even though your husband claims it's post-nasal drip irritation because "I had that last week and it's no big deal.")

1. You start spitting your extra saliva anywhere other than down your throat.

2. You ask to go lay down during prime baby playing time.

3. You start using sign language, which is especially fun for your husband, since you don't know sign language.

4. You hop in your car, race down the icy driveway, hoping to make it to the minor med office before they close.

5. The doctor looks at your throat and winces.

So, when I replied to Scott's theory that it was no big deal, I said, "But you weren't spitting your saliva into a cup."

He said, "That's because I have a higher pain tolerance than you."

Pain tolerance? Really? We're going there? Fine. Boom.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Bite me.

P.S. Please, oh, please, please, please cross your fingers these girls have strong immune systems. Or else have mercy on my soul.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pictures of the Week: Jan. 21

If I had to choose one word to describe our week, it would be peaceful. Now that Scott's working from home, we have really settled into a nice routine. The girls LOVE having him around (so do I, for that matter) and his presence has just calmed everything down a bit. That may all change next week or the week after, but I'm grateful for this lovely, peaceful week.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sealed With A Kiss

Dear Winter,

I love you.

You're beautiful.



You give me paid days to stay home with my little lovies and drink hot chocolate.

But I wouldn't mind you taking off a little early this year. Like in the next week or two? When the phrase "snow day" is no longer in my vocabulary?

Yours truly,

P.S. Is this too much to ask for?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nature vs. Nuture

You have met my sister Cassie.

And my sister Carrie (sorta … more on her at a later date).

But I don't think you've been properly introduced to my brother, Johnny.

I love him to the moon and back, but he is a very straightforward person who tells it like he sees it, which at times can make you feel like you were just punched in the gut.

So, last week when I wrote a post seeking advice for Claire's napping problems, he very bluntly wrote this, "Let her cry herself to sleep. Period. You are enforcing a bad habit. It worked excellent for Bella."

I know he didn't meant to, but at first, it hurt my feelings. I started wondering if Claire's problems were because of something I was doing. Maybe I have screwed her up and she'll have lifelong problems soothing herself.

But then I changed my thinking. For Johnny, and probably many others, the crying-it-out-method works. In fact, it has worked for us before, too. When Grace cries out at nap time or during the night, she puts herself back to sleep within a few minutes.

But Claire is different.

We have tried method after method, including cry-it-out. She stood in her bed and cried off and on for an hour. Gagged herself. Made herself vomit. Had snot and tears and slobber everywhere. It was not pretty. And it didn't work.

But here's my point. I have two kids born on the same day, to the same parents and they are dramatically different. What works for one, doesn't work for the other. If I only had Grace, I would think it was easy to get kids to sleep. And if I only had Claire, I would think it was easy to get kids to eat.

But since I have them both at the same time, I'm able to see that my parenting style isn't what's dictating these girls' behavior. Does it have an effect? Absolutely. But at the end of day, Claire and Grace are exactly that. Claire and Grace.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Weird Things My Kids Do: Jan. 18

Last week, I posted a blog highlighting the weirdness of my kids. I love that they're weird. It makes me giggle.

So, this weekend when we were laughing at all the weird things they do, it made me want to share them with you. But then every post would be about how strange my kids are. And that would be boring. When would you ever hear about how Claire won't sleep or Grace won't eat?!?

So, I'm starting a weekly "Weird Things My Kids Do," and I'll share all of their oddities until I run out. Probably around 2017.

We'll start with Claire.

This kid cannot stand to have anything on her feet. Ever.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pants Are Optional

Scott and I are about to embark on one huge adventure. Probably as life-altering as having the girlies. Okay, maybe not quite that life-altering. But it's a big change.

After many months of weighing our options and figuring our budget and scheduling babysitters for the girls, we decided we needed a change.

I could have started working full time and put the girls in daycare, but then nearly all of my paycheck would go to daycare costs. I would essentially be working to take care of other people's children so other people could take care of mine. That didn't make much sense.

So, we looked elsewhere. And we stumbled upon an opportunity that would work for us both professionally, the girls and our bank account.

But here's the life-altering part. It's a work-from-home kinda deal. Which is great for so many reasons.

1. We live in the boonies, so it will save on gas.
2. We will be home with the girls all day long to love and snuggle and watch them grow.
3. Scott and I will see each other more.
4. I don't have to shower as much.
5. It's a cool company that will harken back to my journalism days.

But it has its challenges, too.

1. We live in the boonies … hello, cabin fever.
2. We will be home with the girls all day … no break if they're having a bad day.
3. Scott and I will see each other more.
4. I don't have to shower as much.
5. I will miss my little kiddos at work, their great parents and my co-worker friends.

Making this decision was so hard. Will we end up hating each other? Will I end up selling the girls on eBay? Will I disappoint my soon-to-be bosses if the girls end up being more of a challenge than I think?

I hope not. I'm taking a leap of faith and trusting that we can make this work. Hoping the challenges aren't too much to overcome and getting excited for the perks of working from home.

Wish me good luck.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Picture of the Week: Jan. 14

So, technically this is from last week, but I've been so busy this week, I didn't even snap one shot. I remember the days when they just stayed wherever I put them and I would have time to take thousands of photos. Now, I'm just constantly on the run, trying to keep up. But I promise more updated photos next week. Probably of Claire fighting her nap.

Also, I love how monochromatic the girls look. I really wasn't going for this look. I just pulled out what was clean. But I'm kinda digging it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Two Things

1. I love, love, love my husband. Yesterday, when Claire was refusing to take her only nap of the day, and I was preparing to have a mini-meltdown, he swept in, took Claire downstairs and gave me a much-needed break. I went down to check on them, expecting to find them playing, and I found them both asleep in the recliner, giving them both a much-needed nap.

2. I'm taking ALL advice and suggestions on what to do about a baby who still fights her nap about every other day. Have you had or do you know of people who have had one-year-olds who sometimes refuse to lay down? Please. Help. Me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On Being Unique

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." 
~Dr. Seuss

Monday, January 10, 2011

When It Rains, It Pours

Claire had a rough weekend. It started with a case of the measles. (Or some kind of viral infection that has similar symptoms to the rage virus.)

And then yesterday mid-morning, Claire stumbled and hit her head hard twice on the side of her crib. The fall left two welts and bruised up a nice purplish color.

Then when it was time to lay down and take a nap, she just stood in her crib and screamed. Mostly atypical for that time of day. It took a car ride to finally get her to zonk out.

Then mid-afternoon, she stepped on her pant leg and fell straight over (like a tree being chopped down) and took a bite out of the bottom shelf on the changing table. Our first ever injury with blood.

After she finally settled down, and I promised her she was going to be okay … that she could let go of my shirt … that I wouldn't let anything bad happen to her, she relaxed a bit.

I got up to change Grace's diaper and made sure Claire was stable as she stood next to me. I cleared all the toys out so she wouldn't trip. I laid her pillow pet behind her in case she tipped over. And I gave Grace my phone to look at while I changed her diaper.

Claire was just standing there, recuperating from all of her bonks and bruises and tumbles and trips and rashes and fevers and missed naps, holding on to my pant leg, knowing that I was there to save her if something bad was going to happen, when out of nowhere, a cell phone conks her on the head.

Some days, you just can't win.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Pictures of the Week: Jan. 7

What a week! It was topped off last night with both girls getting fevers and a rash all over their bodies. So, this morning when they also (loudly) refused to eat, we gave in and called the doctor. The doctor said he thought all of it was a reaction to the immunizations and although he chose his words carefully, he basically said they have a slight case of the measles. Awesome.

We're hoping this reaction is gone by Monday and to help us make it through, we will be hitting "refresh" on these cuties all weekend.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Snot, Vomit And Other Fun Parenting Stuff

We are one sick household. Scott is sneezing and coughing up a storm. Claire has a perpetual runny nose that is causing her to snort while drinking her bottle. Grace threw up twice yesterday. And I'm downing Vitamin C like it's my job and crossing my fingers I can stay healthy.

Oh, and two nights ago Claire woke up crying at 11:00 p.m. and I wasn't back in bed until 12:45 a.m. And when I got in bed, my arms felt like they were ready to fall off. Just imagine what your arms would feel like after holding a 20-pound bag of flour in the exact same position for an hour and a half. Now imagine that your bag of flour has arms and legs and a head and if you move your bag of flour so much as an inch, it will start screaming at you. Scary thought.

So basically, my point is, it's lots of fun around here.

Got milk?

Last week, I mentioned that we saw the doctor for our one-year checkup. I also mentioned how terrified the girls were of, well, everything. But what I didn't mention was how terrified I was when I left the office.

The doctor said it was time to switch from formula to cow's milk. If this change doesn't seem scary to you, you must not have a Grace. I have a Grace.

And Grace hates change.

She fought us when we changed her from preemie formula to regular formula.

She fought us when we wanted her to eat baby food.

She is currently fighting us on table food.

And yesterday when I tried to get her to drink milk, she looked at me like with eyes that said, "Are you drunk? You know I'm not going to drink that. I don't know why you even try."

But I tried anyway. And she gagged on it like it was the most foul substance I could give her.

I immediately went to the internet for help. Just about every site I went to said to gradually transition them with bottles of part formula, part milk. That made complete sense to me. The Internet's smarter than doctors, right?

Tempting fate

**The following post was written by Scott.**

I really screwed up yesterday.


If you're a West Wing fan, perhaps you remember Toby's rant from season 1 about tempting fate. That's what I did.

I tempted fate.

Yesterday, when conversing with some co-workers, I said two things that would come back to haunt me.

1) My girls sleep through the night and have since they were four months old.
2) When one wakes up screaming, they go back to sleep on their own within a minute and never wake up the other.

Fate 2, Scott 0.

Last night, Claire woke up round about midnight, which isn't altogether unusual. She has this thing she does where she cries out for 10 or 15 seconds randomly several times a night and then goes right back to sleep.

Surely that's what she was doing this time, right? Right?

Well, after a few minutes where that obviously wasn't working, Grace starts crying in a "Claire-why-don't-you-shut-the-hell-up-so-I-can-sleep" sort of way.

This is not a drill folks. We have a full-on, two-baby, middle-of-the-night wake-up. This is what we've trained for. And by we I mean Katie.

You see, I don't know how it happened, but we have developed pretty clearly defined roles in this whole parenting thing. Some of them are good allocations of responsibility, others aren't. This is one of the ones that isn't.

When babies wake up, Katie tends to them. Not because I'm not willing to or don't want to or anything like that. It just sort of happened.

And while I'm sure it's a burden she'd rather not have, there's a problem: she's really friggin' good at it.

So while Katie spent 45 minutes rocking Claire back to sleep last night, I laid in bed, wide awake, crossing my fingers so hard they were starting to cramp.

Obviously, my position is infinitely better than hers. She can't go to the bathroom. She can't get a drink. She can't blow her nose. If she makes one wrong move, she'll wake *it* up.

But I can't shake the feeling of complete and total helplessness. I can't go in to check on her, because that would wake Claire up. I can't bring her a glass of water, because that would wake Claire up. Not to mention being unable to help my screaming kid.

After what seemed like forever, Claire did finally go back to sleep (and stay back asleep) but the whole ordeal has given me a newfound appreciation for how awesome my wife is and a newfound reliance on superstition.

Next time someone asks me how my kids sleep, I need to come up with a better answer. One that doesn't tempt fate.

But, next time someone says to me "Wow, twins. How do you do it?" I know exactly what my response will be.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Noteworthy Event

So, Claire took three completely unassisted steps this weekend. No hand-holding. No walkers. Just Claire. Taking her first steps on her own.

And although I'm a lame mom and didn't have my camera ready, I was beaming with pride.

I've tried to get her to do it again, but she just isn't quite ready. She stands there, considers it and then decides she'd rather be safe than sorry. I can't really blame her. It's a dangerous world out there.