Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year in Review




Today is the last day of 2008, which will always be remembered as the year our twins were born! And the year of the white Christmas but that's secondary.We started the year off still living at our friend's place while we waited for the construction of our house to be completed. Around the middle of January I started working fewer hours as I was 30-something weeks pregnant with the twins and very miserable. On the 24th we celebrated my 39th birthday AND signed the closing papers on our house! Moving was interesting, as all I could do was sit and watch and direct where things went.The next month or so was spent getting the new house in order, particularly the nursery! I was completely off work by then so I was home all day, but even so I could only do a little bit each day because it was so hard to move. I also started having twice weekly appointments at the maternal/fetal medicine clinic (high risk ob) so that got pretty hectic. Finally, on the 28th, our girls were here! The next several months were just a whirlwind of sleepless nights and adjusting to twin parenthood. Eventually we settled into a routine, although it seemed to change every two to three months as they grew and their nap and feeding needs changed. We made several trips to Crescent Bar over the summer which was always fun. The girls loved the baby pool and we got some breaks of our own to hang by the pool or take the boat out while the grandparents watched them. Also, I officially became a stay-at-home mom as to put them both in daycare would have consumed almost my entire salary. I had always wanted to be at home, anyway, I just didn't think I had the choice. But fortunatly it has worked out and it is both a huge blessing and a dream come true!They are now 10 months old and I'm starting to plan their first birthday party! Looking ahead to 2009, I think I will have lots of fun taking them to the park where they will actually be big enough to play on some of the equipment, taking them to the library for story time, and hopefully getting to know some of the neighbors better and having play dates with them. There will be many more trips to Crescent Bar, and one in which Paul and I will leave them overnight with the grandparents while we go wine tasting in Walla Walla or the Yakima Valley. In August we'll be spending a week at the Oregon Coast. Before you know it, we'll be celebrating Christmas again and the terrible twos will begin...









Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Twins' First Christmas!

As much as we all love Christmas, it can be rather stressful trying to get the shopping done, gifts wrapped, food bought and prepared, etc. Add to that two feet of snow (or close) and almost 10-month-old twins and, yikes! This was definitely my most stressful Christmas ever, but still very much enjoyed anyway. Christmas Eve was so chaotic! We hemmed and hawed (sp?) for several days about whether or not we could make it up to Mount Vernon for the family gathering, because of all the snow and icy roads. We finally decided we could, but then hemmed and hawed some more about whether we would have to spend the night up there or come home (depending on if we got more snow or if the roads were too icy, etc.). We really wanted to come back home so we could be here Chirstmas morning to enjoy a little family time before Paul's family arrived. But since we wouldn't be able to make that decision unitl we were already up there, we had to pack up as though we were going to stay. It took me from 5:00 am until 11:00 to get ready, pack for me and the girls, get them ready and everyone fed, make my fruit salad to take for dinner, etc. (and, no, we didn't stay). To add to the stress I had been snowbound since Friday the 19th so I didn't get to do my last minute shopping until the 23rd, but that was a bust, too. I started by going to the mall (HUGE mistake!) because I just wanted to pop into JCPenney to get my mom some earrings. It wasn't too bad until I tried to leave and it took me half and hour just to get out of the parking garage! (I also found out later that she can't even wear earrings anymore! All that trouble for nothing!) Then I had wanted to go to Target but the whole mall thing took so long that it was getting late, the girls were tired, cranky and hungry so I just went home. I had wanted to get a DVD for my nephew that I had already ordered online but hadn't shown up yet and some stocking stuffers for Paul. He only had one thing in his stocking becuase I never got the chance to get anything else.

Anyway, we left here around 11:00 with fed, changed and content babies due to nap anyway and luckily they did nap the whole way up there. First stop was Paul's cousins' where we hung out for about an hour, then it was on to my brother's house. We got there a little later than we wanted because some more of Paul's cousins had shown up right when we were about to leave. We got through dinner then had to rush to get the babies changed into their Christmas dresses and make it to church on time where they fussed and caused us to miss most of the service anyway. I would have just stayed at the house with them but I figured the car ride would be a great opportunity for a quick nap. After church we were finally able to relax a bit and just enjoy watching the girls open their gifts. Well, watch them watch us open their gifts! They had a ball but by the time we were getting ready to leave they were both screaming out of exhaustion and just being overwhelmed with all the new people (and/or people they just don't see very often). Luckily they fell asleep as soon as we were pulling out of the driveway. Unfortunately, however, in all the comotion of packing up all the gifts and two tired, screaming babies we left our camera behind, leaving all of the Christmas Day photo taking to Paul's parents and nothing yet to upload and post.

But in spite of all the chaos and stress, we had a great time visiting with seldom seen relatives and watching the girls play with Taylor, their second cousin (I guess--my niece's daughter) who is 11 months older. And Christmas Day was great in that we didn't have to go anywhere. Paul's parents and sister came over for the day, we had a great dinner, more gifts and lots of fun playing in the SNOW and building a snowman for the girls! I still can't believe we had an actual white Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snowbound

Well, we made it through the storm without having to pack up and go anywhere. We never did lose power but we sure did have stong winds and lots of snow. Paul was supposed to go to work Sunday morning (for storm related overtime) but couldn't make it out of our alley because the snow was too deep. The main road in front of our house is ok but he couldn't get to it. So Sunday evening he parked his car on the main road instead of the garage so he would be able to get to work this morning. I've never seen snow this deep, except at a ski resort. I have to say I love it, but that's because I don't have to commute in it! I am starting to get a little cabin fever, however. We all went for a walk on Sunday but today I only left the house to get the mail. And I haven't driven anywhere since Friday. I always have so much to do around the house, though, that it doesn't seem to bother me as much as some people. I'm also very excited to actaully have an official white Christmas! I don't know if I ever have in my entire life. I know it has snowed on Christmas Day before but it never sticks. So cool that the babies' first Christmas will be a white one!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More Snow

Things are getting interesting around here. We are supposed to get some pretty high winds tonight and there is a possibility of prolonged power outages in our area. Paul was worried about me and the girls being couped up here by ourselves with no power (he'd be working most of the time) so he thought we should pack up and head to my mom's just in case. Traveling anywhere with 10-month-old (almost) twins is NOT easy. At the very least we need both pack and plays, food, feeding supplies (spoons, bibs, bowls, etc.), clothes, diapers, wipes, toiletries, bottles, a bottle brush, burp cloths, changing pad, toys and the stroller. I spent the morning packing but then we decided that since the roads up there are so bad and it's kind of far (1.5 hours normally, probably a lot longer in these conditions) maybe we could stay at a friend's instead. So now we're just kind of waiting it out and we'll see what happens.

On the bright side, it's beautiful around here and we had fun the other day taking the girls for a walk and letting them play in the snow. We still want to go for a walk in the evening some time and see all the neighborhood Christmas lights. I really hope we don't have to take off and stay somewhere else between now and Christmas.


Our little snowbunnies

Sunday, December 14, 2008

First Snow and General Updates

We got our first snow this weekend and I just love it! It makes it feel so Christmasy. And since I've already been in full on Christmas mode making up for last year (see previous post), baking tons, watching lots of Christmas movies and listening to lots of Christmas music, it justs adds even more. The girls and I were all snuggled in our flannel pj's looking out the window at the falling snow and all the neighborhood Christmas lights (Paul, too, minus the flannel pjs). It was awesome.

In other news, it seems the girls have officially dropped to just one nap a day. I guess that's ok, because at least it's a pretty long one instead of the 20 minute naps they used to take. In addition, they've been sleeping in a little later, which is great, but then they end up staying up later, too, which is not so great. But they've been sick again (HOW do they get all these colds when they're not even in daycare? That's three since August!) so they've been waking up a few times during the night (usually within two hours of going to sleep, so it's not too bad. It's not like I'm getting up several times throughout the whole night) which contributes to their sleeping later, I think. So now instead of getting up around 7:00, they've been getting up at 8:00 or 8:30. This morning was the first morning in a year and a half or so (since before getting pregnant or at least early in the pregnancy) that I woke up fully rested. I was ready to get up and not just getting up because the babies woke up! It felt SO good!

This new routine, though, has thrown me for a loop. Their new nap time (11:00 or 12:00 to 1:00 or 2:00) overlaps their normal lunch time, so I'm trying to figure out if I should feed them lunch a little earlier and then put them down, or just feed them a late lunch and move their dinner time back a bit. I was just feeding them lunch when they got up at 1:00 or 1:30 or whenever, but the last few days they've slept in even later (8:30 today) so breakfast, nap, lunch--everything gets pushed back. Today Olivia took an extra long nap from 11:45 to 3:15 so I didn't give her lunch at all, just a bottle when she woke up, since it was so close to dinner time. I guess we'll iron it out once they get over this cold, start sleeping better at night and settle into a more consistent routine again.

Lastly, Olivia has finally pulled herself up! She's now all caught up to Kayley. Next stop: walking! Yikes!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Storm Before the Calm

Every now and then, we have a horrible, fussy, no nap, miserable day. Yesterday was one of them. Just when I thought Olivia was over the fussies because she finally started crawling, she was awful yesterday because she wanted to be standing all the time and she can't pull herself up yet! Then, they didn't take an afternoon nap and by 6:00 Kayley was a beast and Olivia not much better. We put them both to bed, and they crashed but then they were up until almost 10:00. The good news is that whenever they have a day like that, the next day is a dream! Today they went down for their first nap at 10:00, an hour earlier than normal. It's now 12:40 and they are STILL sleeping! That is unheard of. And look, I have time to blog! Anyway, they probably won't take an afternoon nap since they're sleeping so long, but I think that will be ok. They will probably just go to bed around 7:00 instead of 8:00ish. We won't be here anyway because Paul's parents are coming to watch them while we go do some Christmas shopping and go out to dinner. It'll be so nice to get out for awhile together!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmastime is Here

I am so loving the Christmas season already. Last year I kind of missed out. I was entering my third trimester pregnant with the twins and I was huge and miserable with horrible back pain. I could barely move or stand for any length of time so I didn't do any baking at all. Plus, we were staying at a friends house while we waited for our house to be built and he doesn't decorate and all of our stuff was in storage. So no tree, no lights, no baking. Luckily Paul's mom did lots of baking and sent plenty of cookies our way so at least we got our Christmas cookie fix! Anway, I'm really looking forward to making up for it this year. We already have our tree up and the house decorated (except outside) and I've already watched "Christmas Vacation" and "Serendipity" (not technically a Christmas movie but it has Christmas-y scenes). I can't wait to start baking but it's hard to find time during the day now that the twins are eating three meals a day plus several bottles and trying to get a walk in every afternoon. I'll get to it, though. And I'm going all out. I have several new recipes to try. Fun!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving and 9 Months

Thanksgiving was the twins' first, and my first hosting! It was so fun to finally be able to use all the wedding china and stemware. We had a small group--just us, Paul's parents, his sister and her friend. I made stuffing for the first time in my life and luckily it turned out pretty good! The girls got their first taste of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (of the non-pureed variety) and pumpkin pie. No turkey, though, as they still don't really have the hang of finger foods.

Friday we started decorating for Christmas, and yesterday we made what will be the annual Thanksgiving Weekend trip to the tree farm for the Nelson Family Christmas Tree. It was kind of rainy and the girls got a little wet and fussy, but overall we had a fun time.

Friday was also the girls' 9-month birthday. Olivia is finally crawling and is much less fussy--thank GOD! She's been pretty frustrated lately with her lack of mobility and her frequent whining was grating on my nerves! The last few days she's been much more content. Kayley, always one step ahead (this time quite literally), has mastered stair climbing. The other day I had run upstairs briefly to get something and when I came back down she was half way up! I about died. Good thing she didn't fall! Later that day I let her climb all the way up with me right there just so I could actually watch her do it. It was cute. So, now we gate the bottom of the stairs in addition to the top. But how we're going to keep them away from the Christmas tree we have yet to figure out!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bad Week

Last Saturday we spent the day at the In-Laws. When we got home around 10:00 pm, Olivia was shivering. I thought it was strange, but figured she must just be cold so I put her sleep sack on (which I was going to do anyway since it was time to go to bed). The shivering stopped and we all went to bed.

The next morning we had a wedding to attend at 11:00 am (the couple had availability issues with their site, thus the 11:00-am-on-a-Sunday wedding). As we were getting ready, I thought she didn't quite seem herself but figured I was just being paranoid. We went to the wedding, but while we were waiting for the ceremony to begin, I could tell she didn't feel well. She felt warm and went from fussy to really sleepy. So, when the ceremony was over I decided to run home with her to take her temperature (we were only 5 minutes from home--nice!). Sure enough, she had a high fever. I gave her tylenol, called the doctor and then had to go pick up Paul and Kayley, who were still at the wedding, since we were obviously not going back for the reception (damn--no cake!).

Later, I was trying to give her a bottle and I could tell she was hungry but she would drink just a little bit and then throw up. Luckily, though, when I tried again later she was able to keep it down.

Monday, she still had the fever so the nurse said to bring her in. Everything checked out ok, and they just chalked it up to a "virus". The fever was gone by Monday evening but after going to bed around 7:00, she woke up at 8:00 WIDE awake and HAPPY! Paul's mom was here and we were just amazed at how animated she was being, especially when it got to be 10:00. But then all of a sudden she got really fussy and cried for a long time. She finally went back to sleep around midnight.

Tuesday she was fussy off and on but otherwise ok. But again, she woke up around 8:00 after going to bed around 7:00 or 7:30 and cried practically non-stop until 10:30! 2 1/2 hours of non-stop crying! I called the doctor again but they didn't tell me anything different, just if she gets worse to let them know. Then Wednesday, still fussy off and on all day. She hadn't pooped since Monday night so I figured she was constipated, so after fussing off and on all day I called again and they said to bring her back in, even though we were already scheduled for their 9-month check up on Thursday. Again, everything checked out ok. Thursday was a little better, the 9-month well child appointment went well and today I think she's pretty much back to normal. Whew! It was a rough week.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Typical Trip to the Store

If you're wondering what it's like to have twins, I'll use a trip to the store for a small taste. First, when I decide I want to go out I start by making sure both babies are changed and fed, then I have to pack the diaper bag (mostly already packed but I fill bottles with water and pack the formula or might need to add a few diapers or whatever). Then I have to get myself ready, i.e, put on a little makeup, socks, shoes, pee, grab a coat, etc. This can all take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and a half. When that's done, I get the carriers out of the pantry, put socks (they would normally already be wearing socks but they never stay on) and a jacket on one baby and strap her in. Repeat with the other baby. Then, since it's too hard to carry both carriers and the diaper bag at the same time, I take one baby and the diaper bag and carry them out to the garage. Then I go back in the house for the other baby. I get one baby in the car, go back to the garage for the other, get her in the car, then grab the diaper bag and we're off.

Once we get to the store, I get out of the car, get the stroller out of the back, set it up, get one baby out of the car, strap her carseat onto the stroller, get the other baby out, strap her carseat on, hang the diaper bag on the handlebar and away we go. Once inside the store, I'm limited to what I can buy--it has to fit in the basket of the stroller because obviously I can't take a shopping cart.

When we get back to the car it's the same all over. One baby unstrapped and detached from the stroller, into the car, other baby unstrapped, detached and put in the car, fold up the stroller, put that in the car, and we're headed for home. What an ordeal. When I see the other moms with just one I'm so jealous!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween

Tomorrow is Halloween, and I've been looking forward to it for an entire year! See, I love being home on Halloween giving out candy to trick-or-treaters, but for the last several years I've lived in condo/townhouse communities that don't have many children so I/we haven't had any (or extremely few). Either that or I went to a party or had Bible study that night or whatever. This year we are in our new house in a very family-oriented neighborhood and are anticipating several. It was about this time last year that we were visiting this neighborhood frequently, checking progress on the house as it was being built, meeting with the loan officer, going through the model home for measurements and decorating ideas, etc. and as we drove around we noticed that many of the houses were decorated for fall/Halloween. It made me excited for this Halloween, knowing that we'd finally live in a neighborhood where we'd actually get trick-or-treaters and be able to hand out candy. We even carved a pumpkin for the first time in years. So, tomorrow night we'll be handing out candy, watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" and horror movies and eating popcorn (and candy!). Can't wait.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

8 Months

Today the girls are 8 months old! I can't believe it. It goes so fast. Kayley has started pulling up on furniture but Olivia still has yet to assume all fours.

Routine-wise, they have started sleeping later, until between 7:40 and 8:00. Great on one hand, but it pushes morning nap time back so late that Kayley often skips her afternoon nap and Olivia takes it so late that she ends up staying up until 9:30 or 10:00. It's too early for them to have only one nap a day (mommy needs a break!)! I'm wondering if I may need to started getting them up at 7:00, but I'm just not sure I want to mess with their natural body clock, so I'll give it a few more days and see how it goes.

The last week or so has been pretty tough as the girls suffered from their second cold (mom, too). One day in particular Olivia was very demanding of my time and attention, causing me to neglect Kayley somewhat. I felt horrible. That's one of the hardest things about having twins. You just do the best you can. Anyway, after a few sleepless nights (ah...memories...) everyone's doing much better. I'm just wondering how many more colds we'll have to suffer through before spring. I used to get one cold a season, two at the most. This year I've had two so far and it's only October! And they don't even go to daycare! We've actually been pretty lucky, though, because all they've had is two colds--no ear infections or anything worse--and while they were unpleasant they weren't horrible.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The First Few Months








The twins were born on February 28th, 2008 via scheduled c-section due to breech presentation. The surgery went fabulously, with both girls born at 9:09 am. Olivia Brooke was first and weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces. Kayley Renee followed and was 5 pounds, 15 ounces. Great size for twins! The next 48 hours were a sleepless blur with a constant stream of nurses and visitors. We actually let the nurses take the babies to the nursery from 1:00 am until 6:00 am both nights so we could get some sleep--we were SO tired! I never thought I'd go for that but I was desperate! Unfortunately, however, it didn't really help because nurses were still in and out checking blood pressure, etc. all night long.
On Saturday, March 1st we arrived home with our precious bundles, accompanied by Paul's parents, a family friend and her daughter, Paul's sister and her then-boyfriend. We all had dinner and then they watched the babies while Paul and I tried to get some much needed rest. Around 7:00 pm they all left, and all hell broke loose! The babies cried non-stop until 5:30 am! I have never been so tired in my life. Luckily my mom came the next day (Sunday) and stayed until Thursday. That helped some, but I was still up every 1 1/2 to 2 hours for feedings. When Paul went back to work a month later, we worked out a system where I would go to sleep in the guest room from about 8:00 pm until midnight-ish and he would stay up with the babies. Then I would relieve him and he would sleep from 12:00 or 12:30 to 5:00 when he would have to get up for work. This worked out great for the next few months and by the time the girls were 3 months old they were sleeping through the night!




Eight Months (almost)

So I finally decided to start a "real" blog (I've been doing a teeny bit of blogging on the Nest/Bump), although I'm a little leary that I'll be able to find time to keep up with it. But the twins are starting to sleep in even later (I thought 7:00 am was pretty good but now it's more like 8:00! Whoo-hoo!) which means I can stay up later so I should be able to find blog time after they go to bed.

Anyway, they are almost 8 months old now! Unbelievable. I guess I have a lot of catching up to do as far as pictures, etc. but I'll take my time. This is such a fun age. They are really playing and interacting with us and each other and they laugh and giggle and squeal when we "chase" them or play horsie. Kayley is crawling and Olivia has two teeth.

Their first Halloween is coming up and I'm not dressing them up. I hope I don't regret that later. I just can't justify spending $20, probably even more, a piece, on costumes that they will wear for a few hours when they obviously have no clue at this age what's going on. And we're not taking them anywhere, we're just staying home and handing out candy. But we did take some pictures of them with some pumpkins so that can count for something: