Monday, July 28, 2008

The boys were four months old last Sunday, and I can't believe it has been that long! They are so sweet (usually) and really add to the happy tone of our home. Here are some of the latest pictures: Usually after their 6 am feeding, we put the boys on their tummies and let them go back to sleep for a few hours (I know, I know, they aren't supposed to sleep on their stomachs. This is usually the time of the morning that I am in and out of the room, getting ready for the day, so they are being supervised.). On the particular morning that I took this picture, they had worked their way to the middle of the crib till their heads were touching, and stayed like this. They slept for five hours this way. It was so sweet to see the "twin bond." And I know you aren't supposed to bottle prop babies, but I do that, too. Am I totally giving you incriminating photo proof of what a bad mom I am or what? It is like this, though: when the boys werenewborn and still in the NICU, we were told to hold them facing away from us to eat. This way they didn't have to work too hard, trying to make eye contact with us, and they could just focus on the task at hand: eating. So, now they eat much better if we lay them on their sides and prop their bottles. We do stay by them, burp them halfway through, and make sure they get burped at the end. Besides, I think that the person who came up with the "No Bottle Propping" thing never tried to feed two babies at once!

And because boys always love to wear beads... The next two pictures are so funny. The boys were crying while I was trying to get their bottles ready, so Emma decided to do something to make them happy. She went and got some of her dress up necklaces and put them on the boys. Jonathan with his green necklace and bottle... And William who obviously didn't want the purple necklace. The funny thing about this is that he was crying and I left him to cry while I ran to get my camera so I could take a picture!

More results of a "big helper" big sister: Again, one day while Jonathan was fussing, Emma went and got her pink bear for him. It makes her happy when she is sad, so of course it would make him happy, too. She was so excited that he was "holding" her bear and smiling while he did it! I love his little laugh! Is he going to be so mad at me when he gets older, for posting pictures of him holding a pink teddy bear all over the internet? I hope not!

And the final big helper picture of the week: Yes folks, this is what I found when I heard whimpers coming from the crib. "Oh, William must be waking up," I thought. My next thought on my way to my bedroom was, "I haven't seen Emma in the last couple of minutes...she is awfully quiet. I wonder if she is in her room." Imagine my surprise when this was what I found (yes, she got in there all by herself)! "But he needed his binky, Mom." Good thing I had my camera in my apron pocket. We are going to bless the boys this Sunday at church. These are the gowns that my Nannie got for the boys to wear. Aaron and Russell say that boys don't wear "bonnets," even if it is their baby blessing. I say that Aaron and Russell aren't very into baby blessing fashions. What do you think? Bonnet or no bonnet? Really, why am I even asking-they are going to wear them anyway! And finally, on to me: My tomatoes! I took a picture of the whole plant, but it wasn't nearly as pretty as these pictures, so I left it off. I got one cherry tomato plant, and planted it in the large concrete planter outside. I thought it would be fun to have a few tomatoes. The plant is now taller than me, and is loaded with the most delicious tomatoes! Emma likes to go "check on the tomatoes" several times each day. She and I love picking them together-and somehow we never make it inside with them. They are just too yummy! Mmmm, lots of little green ones mean lots of little red ones in a few more weeks!

And one last thing that has been on my mind...I hesitate to even write anything about it because my words can't do it all justice. I recently became friends with a girl who had been trying for six years to start a family with her husband. After turning to adoption (and not becoming parents that way), they found out very unexpectedly that they were pregnant with twin girls. (That is actually how I met her-she was a friend of Aaron's family in California, and a mutual family friend told her about my blog since I had just had twins.) Well, they found out several weeks ago that their babies were experiencing Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, a condition that sometimes affects twins sharing a placenta. After a surgery to attempt to fix the TTTS, my friend developed an infection and the babies had to be delivered at 20 weeks. One was stillborn, and the other lived an hour. My heart aches for my friend and her husband. Even though I have never met her in person, her story has changed my outlook on my own life. She and her husband have been such a great example to me as they have gone through this situation. They have remained steadfast in their testimonies that families are forever. I am grateful to them for being willing to share their thoughts and feelings with others. My testimony has been strengthened and my perception on motherhood has changed. Middle of the night wakings aren't as annoying as they once were. I have learned to cherish the quiet moments with whichever of the kids is awake in the middle of the night. I have spent more time just watching them and being thankful for the time I have with these precious little ones. I just want to thank my friends for their examples, and I hope that they will continue to have the peace and comfort that they need during this time.

That is all for now. Have a good week.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Two weeks of adventures

I guess I am becoming an "every two week poster", mainly because it takes me so long to make a post. (I guess it wouldn't take me as long if I just did one every week...right?) We have been really busy the last few weeks, tackling projects around the house, traveling to Tennessee for the fourth of July week, and getting back into the swing of things.

The boys had a doctor's appointment on Monday of last week, and William weighs in at 10 pounds 15 ounces, and Jonathan weighs 11 pounds 2 ounces. They are both 22 inches long, and Jonathan's head is 15 1/2 inches, still half an inch bigger than William's. They are smiling and cooing at us most of the time they are awake now. It is so sweet!

We went up to Tennessee on July 2, since Aaron took the week off work. (Well, the firm let everyone off for the 3, 4, and 5, and Aaron still has some paternity leave from the firm, so he took the entire week off. ) When we go to Tennessee we divide most of our time up between the lakehouse and the nursery. The picture above is my dad, holding Jonathan while taking a break from the heat and catching a little nap. The picture below is my dad holding William. It is fun to watch him with the boys! We had a lot of fun in Tennessee. My birthday is the third, so Aaron and I went out to eat to celebrate, and I made a George Washington cake for myself. It was so good! We spent time playing in the river mostly. Emma finally got up the courage to get on the tube behind the jet ski, and once she got on, we couldn't get her off! She would stand up on it and pretend that she was wakeboarding (which made her daddy so proud). There is talk of getting her a wakeboard next summer! Russell is still living with us, which means lots of goofing around! Not really, it means some goofing around. I have a roll of velcro tape that I use to tape our tomato plants to bamboo stakes (I will have to post pictures of our tomatoes another time-they are HUGE!) and Russell thought it would make a funny hat for William! He looks like one of the munchkins in the Lollipop Guild on the Wizard of Oz. Seriously, I just You Tubed it, and he looks like the one in the green! And this is what happens when you let your daughter loose with her ballerina dress ups! My cousin, Bonnie, let Emma borrow some fun "dress ups" and Emma wanted to share with the boys! I just had to put this one in because Emma looked so pretty in the picture! Well, the Tour de France is going on, and with Russell living here, that means, it is Tour time in our house. He even changed our dish package for the month so that he could watch it. I honestly think it is about as entertaining as watching golf or sitting through an entire NASCAR race-but he likes it. When he was babysitting one day, I came home and found William parked in front of the TV. Not really, we just staged this picture. William was laying on the couch next to Russell, but he was still watching the Tour. Here are my handsome boys before church today. I love how huge their cheeks look in this picture! Emma was the same way as a baby. I remember taking her to the doctor one time when she was a few months old. It was winter and she was all bundled up in a little fleece blanket-coat type thing. I told the nurse that I was worried that Emma wasn't gaining weight, and she laughed at me and said, "Look at those cheeks! What are you worried about?" After taking off her suit, and weighing her and finding that she hadn't gained any weight, the nurse said, "Wow, those cheeks are deceiving!" Looks like the boys have the cheeks, too! Here are all the kids on my bed for their pre-church pictures! Can you tell the boys apart? William is on the left and Jonathan is on the right. Aaron has discovered a new secret in parenting. He was helping Emma pick up all her stuff from the Living Room and Kitchen while we were cleaning house yesterday. Instead of just making her pick it all up, he got her shopping cart and helped her go "shopping" in the Living Room and Kitchen. When she picked up her brown sandals, she was getting "potatoes" and her red book in the floor wound up being a steak. It was great! She cleaned her stuff up without complaining about it, put it all away in its place, and even had a little fun in the process! Here is Emma in her trash bag box. This is the box to the Costco trash bags that we bought. It holds two hundred trash bags... Or one two and a half year old girl! We have spent the last few weekends in some home improvement projects. The first one we undertook was painting Emma's room. We painted the walls light pink, and the little entry wall (to the left in this picture) light green. Then the next weekend, Aaron's dad brought down shutters and he and Aaron installed them throughout the house. They look great! While Aaron's dad was here, he and Aaron cut a hole in the floor of the bathroom closet and built me a laundry chute, which prompted a laundry room project. Here is my new and improved laundry room! Aaron's mom brought down a piece of furniture that she used as an island in her kitchen and I use as a folding table. Then, Aaron built a table (with a top that matches that folding table) to hold the laundry basket that holds the clothes that come down the chute (its the green laundry basket). Aaron also put up a shelf for me on the wall behind all the clothes in the right side of the picture. (Those are Aaron's normal clothes. His closet is full of work clothes-button up shirts and dress pants.). I am also organizing the storage shelves to the right of the folding table to hold all my crafting supplies so that the folding table can double as a crafting table. I am going to paint the walls... eventually.

Hope you enjoy our latest adventures. It was good to get to see some of you while we were up in Tennessee. We hope you are having a great summer!