Friday, June 27, 2008

Three Months

Today the boys are three months old. I have spent some of the day thinking back about the last three months and this is what I came up with.

Three months ago, I was meeting my boys for the first time, some twelve hours or so after they were born. Three months ago, I was only able to touch William the first time I saw him. I didn't get to hold him. He was attached to monitors and under a heating lamp to warm him up since he wasn't regulating his temperature.

Three months ago, I was learning about things like body temperature regulation, oxygen saturation and gavage feedings.

Three months ago, the boys were fed with a tube. Jonathan was doing a little better than William so I got to hold him on my first visit to the NICU. Three months ago, I was told that they would most likely be in the NICU for two weeks at the very least. They came home after only 8 days. Happy three months my sweet little guys! The last three months have been the happiest months of my life. To be at home, with my little guys and my Emma, brings me more joy, peace and happiness than I have ever felt otherwise. Last Sunday after church, Aaron and I piled all the kids onto our bed and we all took a nap together. Does it get any better than that? Here are some pictures of William. He and Jonathan have been so cute the last couple of weeks as they have started to smile and laugh and interact with us. William was in such a good mood when I was taking these pictures, but I missed him smiling. We got video of it, though! Here is William again, just after his bath. The boys love their baths-they are so laid back and calm afterwards! Here is Jonathan's sweet little smile! I love it! Here is Jonathan smiling again. Last night, he was asleep in his bouncer, and he started making gooing sounds in his sleep. It was so loud and clear, I was sure he was awake, but when I looked over at him, he was sound asleep!

Sorry for my mushy, gushy post this week. I am just feeling some tender emotions as I look back on the events of the last three months. It has been a very special time for me. It has been really hard, and super busy, but there is nothing like taking a nap next to the babies, or having one of them fall asleep all snuggled up in my arms or the middle of the night feeding, when I am half asleep and they look up at me, wide eyed while they drink their bottle.

I just felt compelled to share a little bit with you all.

So Emma!

Since my main post today was more about the boys, I wanted to do a separate one about Emma. These are the pictures I took of her last Sunday before church. You may be asking yourself why I take pictures of her before church so often. This is why: she's clean, dressed cute, and her hair has been fixed. Not that she isn't usually clean, cute and groomed, she is just more so on Sundays! I made her hairbow that she is wearing. Cute hairbows are expensive so I bought all the things I needed to make them myself. This is the first one that I made! Don't you love the purple bracelet she is sporting? She got it at Chuck E. Cheese's the night before with all the tickets that she (and Aaron, Russ and I) won. I told her to make a cute face and this is what I got. Obviously she hasn't practiced "cute" in the mirror! So I just thought I'd go with it and told her to make a crazy face (although I think the other one is more crazy than this one!). She is so much fun!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Two more weeks in the life of the Hale family

Since today is Father's day, I want to wish all the dads out there a Happy Father's Day! I got Aaron some new shirts and socks for work. Boring, I know, but he needed them!

We took the boys to church today! Well, we really just took them to Sacrament Meeting and then Aaron stayed home with them while I taught the lesson in Relief Society for the second Sunday in a row. The boys were really good and they had many adoring fans who have been waiting to meet them. I thought they looked so cute in their little outfits today. My cousin, Kelly, sent them to the boys. Emma kept saying, "Ohhh, they are so cute in their little church shirt." Here is William in the blue plaid shirt: And Jonathan is in the green plaid: The boys had a doctor's appointment last week (well, two weeks ago-the day after my last post). Jonathan weighs 9 pounds, 12 1/2 ounces, and William is 9 pounds, 7 ounces. They are really doing great and they both smiled at me on Friday. It wasn't just one of those random smiles, but the first time that I said something to them, they smiled, I said something else, they looked at me and smiled get the picture. It was so exciting for me, especially since they were born so early. From what I understand, when babies are preemie, they usually hit the milestones at their adjusted age (their age based on their due date, not their actual birth date). That means that if they are supposed to smile at 2 months, then it wouldn't be unusual for the boys to smile at 3 1/2 months since they were born 6 weeks early. Does any of this make sense? So, if you understand all my rambling, then you can understand why I am so excited. Smiling is a milestone that is usually reached around 2 months so the fact that they are pretty close to that is amazing! (It takes so little to get me excited!)

This is the new "park" that my parents got for Emma and the boys. We have been having friends over to play several days a week, and we hosted a church playgroup last week as well. The park is awesome-it has a climbing wall, two slides (one tube slide and one wavy slide), two swings, a trapeze kind of thing, and a glider. There are also monkey bars across the place where the swings are. And, in case you can't see it in the picture, there is a picnic table and benches in the lower part of the tower.

My dad is quite proud of his method for acquiring said park. He traded it for plants. The whole thing. He even traded out the cost of delivery and set up. Is he awesome or what! Thanks, BB and Jefe! As you can see, the park is big enough and sturdy enough for adults to play on, too. I burned my elbow going down the tube slide. It is small enough that Aaron and I have to lay down to go down it, but man is it fun! The wavy slide is also a lot of fun. It is a fast slide! I have been working on my monkey bar skills, which are currently non-existent. I need to get some upper body strength! We learned very quickly that we needed to come up with some rules for the safety of the park goers! One being, no standing up in the swings. Another being: Don't go to the park without telling Mommy or Daddy or Russell. Good thing you can still have fun while obeying the rules! (My camera lens was dirty when I was taking some of the park pictures and I didn't realize it until I had already taken them.) Can you tell that we have gone from talking about the boys to talking about Emma? Here is last week's outfit for church. I got this dress from a consignment store for $5, and it is one of my favorites! I am so jealous of Emma. She has the greatest complexion-I have never put her in a color that doesn't look good on her. (Is it wrong to brag about how cute my kid is?) If you don't know this about Emma, she LOVES books. She is always looking at a book or making Aaron or Russell or me read to her. Lately I have been sending her up to her room 20 minutes or so before her nap for some calm down, reading time before I go in and read to her. On this particular day, she fell asleep before I got in there. You can see that she loaded up on books that day, but never made it past the first Dora book. My cousin, Bonnie, had a big swimming party at her neighborhood pool on Friday night. Emma chose to wear her new swimming rash guard top with matching bottoms and hat that BB got for her. She was so fun to watch at the pool! She also had on her "cool girl" Liquid Force kid's wake boarding life jacket. She started out swimming in the pool with Aaron holding on to her, but in a matter of a few minutes, was swimming around all by herself. She thought she was so big. It was so fun to watch how excited she was...but somewhere inside me a little piece of my heart was breaking. She is growing up way too fast. And then she swam up to the side of the pool where I was waiting to take her picture, and spit a mouthful of water on me. Ahhh, that tender feeling lasted but a moment...

Russell's birthday was on Monday, and I asked him what kind of cake he wanted. He asked for a "Funfetti" cake with vanilla icing. He also told his friends that, and he got two cakes. Lucky guy! I also got him some Panda Express for lunch (I asked him what he wanted to eat, and out of all the places to get food, he chose Panda.). He spent the evening with some of his friends going out to dinner and going bowling...I think.

This is a new dress I got. I thought that it showed how skinny I have gotten (I reached my goal weight through Weight Watchers and am the skinniest I have been since before I was pregnant with Emma) until I saw the pictures that Aaron took. Emma tells me that the dress "lets my tummy out." Don't know what that means exactly, but when you want to look skinny, that can't be a good thing! Anyway, I really like the dress, it is comfortable, and works for nursing. So, here are some better skinny pictures: This is Emma and me last Sunday before church. I haven't worn this skirt in three years (or more), and it is one of my favorites! I was so excited to be able to just zip it up! I don't want anyone to think that I am trying to tell you how great I look, but I think that anyone who has had a kid knows the post pregnancy weight struggle. I am just really glad that it isn't as much of a struggle as it has been in the past. And, it is always nice to fit into the "skinny jeans"-you know...those ones that are lurking somewhere in the back of the closet, that you take out and sigh and gaze at longingly, just wishing for the day...well, my day is here! (Don't worry, I have some skinny jeans that I still can't fit into, and I am working on getting into those...but I am starting to think that it is a lost cause). Here is a front shot. I was having a bad hair day. The humidity is crazy down here! This is a picture of my blue hydrangea that is right outside my kitchen/office window. This thing has been blooming for quite sometime, and I love it! I enjoy it so much that I thought I would share! Oh, and my project that I tackled this week. I bought a lot of strawberries the other day and made some freezer jam. Last year, Aaron's grandparents gave us a good amount of strawberries two days before we left for Hawaii. (I hope I don't sound ungrateful-I was so glad they did!) I wanted to use them to make freezer jam, and I had never made it before. I called my mom who told me her recipe, then went to my local Wal-Mart to get jars, pectin (is that what it is called) and the other stuff I needed. When I got to Wal-Mart, I found this little package next to these cute little plastic "jars." I called my mom and told her what the package said (1 1/2 cups sugar to 4 cups crushed strawberries) and she and I debated over how well this would turn out. I decided to give it a try, and it is the best freezer jam I have ever had! It tastes so fresh! We thought at first that it must be a low sugar recipe, but it doesn't say that anywhere on the package. Now, I know this qualifies as cheating when it comes to freezer jam, but it is so fast and easy, that if cheating on this is wrong, then I don't wanna be right! (You have to imagine me saying that last sentence in my thickest southern accent to get the full effect!) Here are the pictures of my strawberry freezer jam. So delicious!

Since my last post, some other exciting things have happened. Our friends Lindsey and Jeph had their baby girl! We are so happy for them, and I wish so bad that I could hold their baby (they live in Utah). Grandma Hale sent me a book that I have been wanting to read, called "I Am a Mother," which was first recommended to me by my friend, Lexi. And my friend, Marci had a birthday, and we (with several other people) went out to eat at Olive Garden. Yum!

I am going to try to do a better job of posting weekly so I don't have a million pictures to post each time I make a new post. We will see how that goes. Oh, and in case I haven't said it, I really love all the comments that people leave. Sometimes I feel like I have totally lost touch with some of my friends, and I am glad to know that you guys read the blog! Have a great week (or two, depending on when I post again)!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Long Time, No Post!

Has it been two months already? The boys were two months old on the 27th, and they have their two month check-up and shots tomorrow. I can't believe how fast the time has gone. (I want to thank Lindsey for pointing out that I skipped a week of posting. I will do better from now on!)

Anyway, to start off this week, I have a picture that I forgot to put on my last post. It is so fun to watch the boys. I don't know if all babies do some of the same things, or if this is just coincidence, or if it is a twin thing but see if you can figure out what I am talking about in this picture:Yes, they are sleeping in the same position. Heads turned the same way, same arm out, and in almost the same position. This happens pretty often. It is so funny to see them together in the bed, sleeping the same way. I still can't believe that we have twins! So what does a dad do when both his babies are crying? Why strap them both to his chest in a Baby Bjorn, of course! We were getting ready for our weekend trip up to Tennessee when Aaron came strutting in with this get up. I don't think the Baby Bjorn people intended for their product to be used this way. Here are the boys, just chillin' on my bed. They have both had some problems with acid reflux (a common problem in preemies) so they have been on some prescription medicine, and we are supposed to keep them propped up for at least 20 minutes after feedings. That is where the Boppies come in handy. Man, I love those things! (Jonathan is on the left and William is on the right) They fell asleep together in the same Boppy. They are growing so much that they are really too big to fit in the same Boppy together anymore! (Jonathan is on the left and William is on the right.) This picture cracks me up! We call it "Jailbreak." The matress in the boys' crib is angled so that their heads are above their feet (to help with the reflux), which hasn't really been a problem until the other day. I was nursing William and Jonathan was getting super fussy. Well, I just had to let him cry. And my thought was that since he was in his crib, what could really happen? So, when I went in to get him, this is what was going on. He wiggled his legs out of his swaddle, squirmed around and got his legs through the crib slats. No wonder he was so mad! He was totally at the bottom of the crib. I thought it was so funny-him in his striped jail bird outfit, trying to escape the bars of his crib! This is Emma and Jonathan on the bed at my parent's lake house. I thought that Emma looked so pretty in this picture! Just another Jonathan picture. My dad said that William is going to be so mad at me one day when he sees all the funny pictures of him that I have posted all over the internet. I love how little babies sometimes go cross-eyed when they try to focus on something! Okay, okay. Here is a better picture of William. He is so sweet! Lately he hasn't been feeling well, and so I have been holding him quite a bit more. He is really snuggly! For the Memorial Day weekend, we went up to Tennessee. It was the first big outing for the boys, and the first time that some of our family has met the boys. Here we are at the nursery with my dad and their dog, Killer, me, Jonathan in my lap, Emma, my Papa, William, and my Nannie. Emma loved being on the farm, and the boys can't say anything, but I know they really liked their first Gator ride with Papa! (Since this picture I have gotten a little bit of sun and don't look quite so pale!) Now, on to the Emma pictures! Emma likes to get in the crib with the boys sometimes. It helps her to remember that she really is too big to sleep in the crib anymore. Emma watched Aaron do some wakeboarding while we were in Tennessee, and so she rigged up her own way to wakeboard, in the safety of the lakehouse garage! We call it lawn boarding! (And just for the record, they don't really go anywhere, just in case anyone is thinking about how dangerous that looks!) Emma is giving Aaron a pull on the lawn board. She is such a good driver! My dad's nursery catalog has a picture of Emma on the front in a washtub full of flowers when she was a year old. Throughout the catalog, there are pictures of Emma on the farm, so while we were there we took some pictures of her for a new catalog. Here she is, posing. They were too cute not to post! This picture is so hilarious! I laugh everytime I see it! Man, I love that girl!

Those are the pictures from the last two weeks. I may be posting again sometime this week, since the boys have their doctor's appointment tomorrow. I am hoping that they will be about 10 1/2 pounds. I am going to wait another month before I really start taking them out anywhere. There are still things going around (pink eye, fevers, etc.) that I don't want to expose them to, so just to be on the safe side, we are going to chill at home a little longer.

Have a good week everyone!