Friday, October 21, 2011

Here's What's Up!

Oh boy, I have no idea how long it has been since I blogged personally, but due to all of the adorableness my kids have been overflowing with recently...I figured it was time for a quick update post :) Facebook just doesn't cut it sometimes, and anyway...I decided to spare you all of the heavy newsfeed clogging. Because certainly, with how silly, smart, adorable, and funny my kids are; I would be posting ALL.DAY.LONG about them :)

The twins are 15 months old now, and Kyle will be 3 in December. And let me tell you, 15 months old was my favorite stage with Kyle, and has proven once again with the babies to STILL be my favorite baby stage. I wish I could just freeze time and keep them 15 months old for about a year. Just to absorb a little more of them during this "phase". And so here I go, with random amusement provided daily by my boys :)

Today Kyle went up Devin and put his arm around him and said "You're my best friend".

Night before last we were doing our usual evening routine, where all 5 of us sit on the living room floor and let the kids mawl us until they get tired enough to go to bed, aaaaAANNNnndddd (sorry, long sentence, I had to take breath) Kyle was naming all of the animals on Diego and I said, "Kyle, how'd you get so smart?" And he said "Cause I love you guys!" with an adorable, handsome, cheeky grin.

Devin and Bryce love to dance. So does Kyle. He still loves the Fresh Beat Band, and always does the dances along with, so I think the babies picked up on that. And now when FBB or Diego comes on (their other fave) they run up to the TV and start spinning in circles and jumping up and down. And, just take my word for it, it's the cutest thing you've ever seen. Well, maybe the second cutest thing. See below.

Devin is a Kisser. He's a little lover. And a cuddler. And my husband says he obviously got that from him, because Duh, they share the same middle name! He voluntarily kisses each and every one of us, at least once a day, if not ten times. He will actually sit, content, on the couch in our lap's. Bryce, not so much...he hits the ground running and doesn't stop until he completely crashes.

Speaking of kissing, THEE cutest thing i've yet to see the twins do, is walk up to each other and directly give each other a big ol' kiss. THAT is the cutest thing ever. Ever. Take my word for this too.

And, speaking of walking...They are both walking now. Bryce started at about 13 months, and Devin at about 14 months. And now they are both running. Bryce runs just like a duck, with his chest out ahead of every other body part. And his arms down at his sides. SO funny.

I bet you've never seen a baby eat like these boys. I'm not kidding. They individually eat more than Kyle every single day. When we serve them up a plate, we serve the same amount for them to split, as we serve ourselves. They prefer veggies over anything else. Except maybe cheese sticks. They aren't big on sweets, HALLELUJAH!. Total opposite from Kyle.

They TALK. And talk and talk and talk. I'm not just talking Mama, and Dada, etc...Bryce is attempting sentences, they've both been putting 2 words together since before they were 1, and they just jabber about and repeat everything. If you ask them a question, and they understand it, they will answer you "uh-huh" (meaning yes) and nod their heads, or say "nah" (meaning no) and nod their heads the other way. They can name almost every body part. Nose, eyes, ears, mouth, teeth, butt, belly button, toes, and yes...they know where their peepee's are. When I change their diapers, they wave their hands in front of their noses and say "pee-you" followed by "Cah-Cah". Tell me your not at least smirking!

They know when its time to go, as they see us getting the essentials ready (diaper bag, sippy cups, purse, vodka, xanax...just kidding on those last two!) and repeatedly say "Bye-Bye" while trying to put their own shoes on.

Bryce thinks he's a lion. Or a bear. Or something. He started doing this thing, like he is trying to scare us. He will peek around the corner, trying to be sneaky, and let out a big "RAAAAWWWRRR" noise. And then when we act scared, he just laughs hysterically. Ahaha, it is quite funny, I don't blame him :)

They sing along to the abc's. And sway their bodies back and forth.

Kyle has learned a lot of spanish lately. Say what you will, it doesn't hurt any kid to learn about other cultures and expand their knowledge. And LEARN. Period.

We decided to keep Kyle out of school for one more year. Pre-school is good enough, he doesn't need pre-pre school. A lot of kids just go straight to K. AND, mostly, I don't want him to be the youngest in his class, and with how his B-Day falls, that would be the case. And that is not cool when you are a boy.

I asked Kyle what we should have for dinner tonight and he said, "Coyote's". Hmmm. Ok, son.

Kyle and I made cookies today. And I of course let him have one. And then two. And then I asked him if he liked them and he said, "Yeah, my tummy's full. I ate 2. It's too much". Hind sight is 20-20 sweetheart.



At some point today, my head count was 1 short and when I realized it was Bryce, I called for him and he came running at top speed down the hallway and around the corner toward me, with both hands up in the air. I swooped him up and said "Can I have a kiss?" Know what he said? " No no!". Haha.

And just so I don't dampen the "up-idy-ness" of this post, I will hold off on sharing all of the insane things that happen all throughout a day in my shoes. Or rather, slippers. Last Christmas's worn out, stinky, raggedy old slippers, to be exact. But that post will be next. And it will probably be borden-line gross. Because that is what you get with 3 little boys. Dirt, poop, grossness, messes, ANXIETY and hairloss, rapid aging...and most prominently among those things, you get more love, laughter, and joy than you ever thought you could experience. So, brace yourself!

Friday, July 1, 2011

1st Birthday

Ahhhhh. How do I even start this post? I'm tearing up already.

One year ago today, I was 3 1/2cm dilated and 37w 2d pregnant with the twins. Going in for another weekly routine check up. Discouraged and stressed that they might never come. Because WHO in the world sits at 3 1/2cm for over a week, with twins, and not on bed rest mind you. I was super active and wrangling an 18 month old all day, and still.....nothing. Anyway, I had to see the on call because my Dr. was on vacation (doesn't it seem like they vacation more than they actually work?). And soooo...I show up at the office where they usually just do ultrasounds, to see the on call midwife. The nurse came in, did the usual blood pressure taking, the 20 questions about your pee, swelling, and contractions asking, and ordered me to "undress from the waist down". So, she left and I did just that. Wrapped their dollar store brand little white sheet around my waist and proceeded to step up onto the table. As the first foot landed on the step, I felt a trickle run down my leg. Ahhh crap, now I just peed myself. And now I have to get down and go clean it up. (That's the state of mind I was in, because you see, when you are full term with twins...you slowly start losing control of all basic bodily functions. With bladder control heading up that list, and the ability to stand up and walk more than 5 feet at a time, coming in a close second.) So, where was I?...oh yes, cleaning up the pee. So, I stepped down and what.do.you.know....but more pee? Ok, all dignity has just disappeared ENTIRELY. So as I waddle over to the paper towel dispenser a GUSH of fluid starts running across the floor. OhhhhK! Unless my bladder is the size of a horse's, I do believe my water just broke! Hallelujah!!! (Sidenote, its 2:30pm) Go to the door, peek my head out and ask for help through my, crying-and-laughing-at-the-same-time, voice. So, they come in and check me...dilated to 3 1/2 still, babies heads low. Quick ultrasound to make sure they are still both head down. YES! They were! Call the husband, who on this particular day leaves his phone at home. Frick. Call the work line, someone else answers. Eventually he calls back and I get to tell him that ITS TIME! Call my Dad who is in the area for work. And, get ready to deliver these babies! So they basically tell me to, pack up your toddler and head over to the hospital. Oh, and congratulations. Ummm......       That's, it?  I'm in labor, and I just pack up my 18 month old, still a baby himself, kid and drive myself to the hospital?! This was not what I had seen on TLC's "A Baby Story". But ok, whatever. Go to the hospital and they tell me that all but one of the rooms are full, and that particular one is dirty and needs cleaned. So....AN HOUR AND A HALF LATER I get my irritated, painfully contracting, lard ass into THAT room.


4 PM. And, the most painful labor proceeds to take over my mind, and body. Maintaining OK, they check me and I'm 7cm. Labor getting worse, but I'm dealing. Barely. And then, Mr. Devin must have pushed his feet off his little brother like he was Michael Phelps pushing off the pool wall on the first turn of his Olympic swim race. And I swear he went from -1 station to +3 station in that VERY maneuver! It hurt SO bad, I could never even accurately describe it. It was loud too, I heard it. And that FREAKED me out. I totally went into a hysterical panic attack. There was NO way I could do this for 2 1/2 more centimeters! I was shaking, and crying, and BEGGING for an epidural. They tried to convince me that I was almost there and to try to make it, but at that point...they could all Go.To.Hell. So I got my epidural. And, it ended up being one of those that only work on one side, and then it only worked about 50% on that one side. But there was some relief, and that was huge. I was like 8cm by then. And about 15 minutes later the could see Dev's head coming. So they wheeled me to the O.R., threw my legs in the stirrups and told me to push.


2 push's later, at 7:38 pm, Devin Wayne Karnbach was born.


Weighing 6lbs 7oz


And then they told me that I could push if I wanted to, but I didn't really need to. So I gave a little half push. And at 7:44 pm, Bryce Kayden Karnbach was born.


Weighing 6lbs 1oz


Our boys are both finally here! Big, nice weights for twins, and healthy as could possibly be. And absolutely GORGEOUS!




I'm still in complete shock that it has been a full year since that day. The beginning was So hard, and So rough, and more challenging than anything I have ever done. And probably will ever do. But I can honestly say, IT WAS SO WORTH IT! To say that we are blessed is a huge understatement. Twins are nowhere in either of our families (even if our grandparents might tell you there were, back in 1814 or something - which has no influence on us, these many generations out), and there was no fertility help whatsoever. The chances of twinning, with and without fertility help, is 1 in 250. To have identicals is even less likely, and to be in the 20th percentile of "different sacs, different placentas, but STILL idenicals" group, is very rare. So all factors considered, our chances of winning the lottery probably would have been higher than having what we have with our twins. That is not luck. That is not chance. For some reason, that I have yet to discover or understand, this was part of God's plan for us. And I couldn't be more thankful. We have really learned a lot about ourselves and discovered what we were truly made of through this past year, and it is still a huge challenge. But we will cherish this blessing that is our twin boys, and never stop trying to be the best parents we can possibly be to them. They have changed our world, for the better no doubt, and we could never imagine life without them.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEVIN & BRYCE, WE LOVE YOU WILL ALL OF OUR HEARTS!




Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friday Confessional



I'm linking up with Twingle Mommy today for Friday Confessionals. You know that scenario when you are chatting with a group of Mom's, and one bravely decides to put all fear aside and admit her faults. And then her own honestly suddenly opens the floor for all of the other Mom's to say, "That aint' nothin'! Guess what I did?!". That's what this is. Sorta. In a blog, virtual, sorta way. So...here we go.

I confess....
Sometimes I let my kids stay in their jammies all day. Sometimes I stay in my jammies all day with them.

I confess....
I still wear maternity shirts sometimes. Sometimes. Not because I still have a terribly chubby baby belly, but because...have you noticed...maternity shirts are longer than regular shirts?! I have a long torso. Ok, I also like that maternity shirts are looser in the tummy area, which accommodates my twins induced muffin top, quite well. I just use the shirts that were like 1st trimester shirts. A little bit longer, and a little bit looser. Perfect.

I confess....
I have rough days here and there, at home with the kids. Yesterday was one of those days, and I was desperate for a 5 minute break from the constant whining, screaming, and pulling at my pants legs. So, with a sassy little attitude, I ripped open the tupperware cupboard, and then the dishwasher, and piled it all in there for them to play with. And it absolutely did, buy me 5 minutes. And then... it took me 15 minutes to clean up the mess. Swell idea!

I confess....
I can write about 100 times better than I can speak. I suppose because there isn't that element of facial expression and listener reaction that I have to witness in person. When you speak to someone in person, you look at them. Unless you are a complete social retard (that's me sometimes too), you watch their reaction. I find that often, people begin to react to what they THINK you are going to say, when in fact you were headed in a complete different direction with your sentence, or story. That changes your course of topic. Or your presentation of it, rather. Which causes you to stutter and stumble mid sentence. Writing frees all of that restriction up. It allows you to write, and therefore speak, however you wish. I much prefer to say what I want to say, and face whatever criticism may come, afterwards. I don't have this same perspective in person, because I don't like confrontation. But, aren't we all bolder behind the keyboard?

I confess....
My twins are going to be 1 a week from today. I'm feeling relieved, anxious, sad, celebratory. As INTENSE as it was the past year, it did go by fast. And its just really hard because they are my last babies, and its both of them. I know we are entering a new season with them, an easier one for sure, but the thought that they are almost no longer babies, saddens me. I've been planning to do a photographic video recalling their first year, but honestly...I am procrastinating because I know that I will be balling the whole way through. My babies are turning ONE!   :(    and    :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

2 1/2 Years

Today is June 17th, 2011. 2 1/2 years to the day, since my first child was born. My firstborn son. Kyle Phillip Karnbach. Born on December 17th, 2008 at 11:06 pm and weighing in at 7lbs 13oz. The day that life as I knew it, changed. My heart, changed. My outlook on life, changed. My whole world, changed. A new love that compares to none other, and cannot be explained to those who have yet to experience it themselves. A gorgeous baby boy, with big blue eyes, strawberry blonde hair, and beautiful ivory skin. My son.


We named him Kyle Phillip. Kyle because we loved the name, and Phillip after my Dad, his Grandpa. My Dad deserved to have a Grandson named after him. A great, honorable, and strong man. So, he was named after his Grandfather. We kept his name a secret until he was born. Here is the video that was taken on the day of his birth, as we announced his name.



Dear Kyle,

You are 2 1/2 years old today my sweet boy. I still want to call you my baby, even though you are such a big boy now, and hardly a baby. But, you will always be my baby. You might get used to me using that referral.

People use that saying "He's all boy" quite freely. But it applies to you, precisely. You are ALL BOY. You would live outside if we let you. Better yet, you would live in the dirt, or the water. Better yet, you would live in mud...the perfect mixture of both water and dirt. You arent content to just drive your trucks around your sandbox, you prefer to strip down completely naked, and plop right in the middle of it all. And then proceed to smother yourself in the dirt and/or sand. Rub it in your hair, on your legs....throw it in the air. At that moment I look at you, and I am convinced that you would not be an ounce happier if you were smack dab in the middle of free-for-all shopping spree at toys-r-us. I makes my heart so happy to see you in that state. Makes me feel like I am doing right by you, as your Mother. You are so awesome mister man!



 The way to your heart is through anything Cars movie. Mater and Lightning McQueen are your best friends. When you do something fast, you do it "fast yike yightning mkeen and mayta"! We can bribe you so easily with anything Cars related. Yes, sometimes we are not above bribery. 

You are so smart. You love to be read to, and ask for books all of the time. You are reciting your ABC's now, and can make it quite a ways through, with a reminder letter here and there. You love to sing the ABC's song with us. And you are learning to count, and doing well with that. 

You are Daddy's sidekick. It makes you feel so important and grown up to be a helper to your Dad. Getting band equipment out together is something you love to do. And you have such a similar passion for music. You are so going to be a great drummer. It amazes me how coordinated you are with playing already. Another special thing you share with him is your love for ice cream. That does not come from your Mother :) When we do allow you to have a special treat like that, you cant wait to share the experience with Dad. You always squish as close as you can to him on the couch, and you guys say "KEEM!" back and forth to each other. Its pure cuteness.



You do great on the potty, but are uncertain if you are ready to committ entirely to ditching the diapers. Its ok at the moment. I know you will let us know when the time is right. By the way, Mater and Lightning McQueen go on the potty. And dont wear diapers. Just sayin'. :)

You are growing and changing and developing, so swiftly that I wonder sometimes if you matured in your sleep. It seems like you wake up the next day, and are saying longer sentences, telling deeper stories, and being more inquisitive about life. There is a greater depth to your love for others. And an eagerness to explore the world more broadly. You inspire me. As you search for and admire bugs in the dirt, and rocks in the flower beds, you remind me to recognize and appreciate the small things. You are my pride and joy, son. I love you more than you will ever know and I am so proud of you. I am grateful, and lucky, and blessed, and proud...To be your Mommy.




Wednesday, June 1, 2011

11 Months and Counting!

Well here we are. 11 months since our beautiful twin boys were born. I'm a little bit surprised that we survived, but so incredibly proud of us for doing so! I wouldn't stretch so far as to say we did it gracefully, but we fumbled our way through ok. As insanely difficult and challenging as it was, and...I'm not going to lie, agonizing at times, it still seems like it flew by. I really cant wrap my head around the fact that they will be 1 in 1 month! The birthday party planning is in full swing right now, and its going to be a big blowout! :) We have a LOT to celebrate!

I remember with Kyle, that once the 9 month mark hit, things started getting so fun! And he really started changing much faster. Same goes with the twins. They are at an awesome stage right now.


DEVIN WAYNE

Dev. Devie-Doo. Dooskie. Debba. Deb-Doo, as Kyle says.

You are our easy going boy. You are pretty independent. You idolize your big brother, and are best friends with your twin brother. You are so silly with your feet. You like to kick them on everything. Your crib, the wall, the couch, US, your brothers, the bathtub. Silly man. You eat like no other, and have tons of chub to show for it. And I LOVE that! Your cheeks are so soft and squishy, and there isn't one instance where I pick you up and don't sneak a big kiss into those squishy cheeks. Twice this month you have drifted to sleep cuddled up with Mommy on the floor, and I will never forget those sweet moments. Being a twin has not allowed you many opportunities for moments like that, so we truly savor them when they happen. You are so tickle-ish! And when you get tickled, you let out a laugh that is terribly contagious. Its priceless! You are a great speed crawler. Especially after Mommy gets you out of the bathtub, and attempts to put a diaper on your chubby butt! And you LOVE the water. I believe we will be spending a whole lot of time outside this summer, wading in pools and playing in sprinklers. Your eyes are oh-so-blue. Gorgeous. Stunning. The ladies will never be able to resist. Just ask your Dad, they came from him. And you have long eyelashes, just like Kyle. And they compliment your blue eyes like you wouldn't believe. You give the best kisses. And on demand now too, which I LOVE. You almost always oblige us when we ask you for a kiss. You give high-5's too! You have 5 teeth as of this moment! 2 bottom, and 3 top. Teething was tough on you, but I believe the worst is behind us now. You've pretty much had it with bottles, and prefer the more mature option of a sippy cup. Free flowing even! You are attempting to use utensils now, which blows me away. So smart. You have a big heart, I can already tell. When your brothers take things from you, it doesn't generally upset you too much. Its like you are ok with it because you want to see them happy. You love to put things on your head, especially hats. I intentionally leave hats all over for you and your brother to find and play with. And I must say, you just look so handsome with a hat! Your hair. Ohhh, I have an obsession with your hair! Especially that spot in the back near the base of your neck. Its long, and light strawberry tinted blonde. So soft. You say Momma so clearly. I love it! You just started saying "Bryce" also, and you say that clearly too. You also say Thank You, uh-oh, no no, and All Done. And there are more, but...I just cant think of every single one at the moment. Your smile is contagious and heart melting. And every time I see you smile, I just think of how innocent and genuine you look.

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH BABY BOY!!




BRYCE KAYDEN

Bych. Bychie. Byce. Brycie. Wittle Bittie. Handsome Eyes.

You are so full of life, sweet boy. And spunk. I look at Kyle as a toddler, and I see a direct "before and after" connection between you two. You are going to be just as wild and crazy when you are a toddler! You are changing in huge leaps and bounds right now. You are crawling extremely efficient, and are pulling to a stand on everything, including your parents :) You are getting brave, and letting go to see how long you can freely stand before you lose balance and fall down. I see the daredevil in you already, and I am telling you mister man, please don't give me any heart attacks before the age of 30! You are my little Momma's boy :) You get jealous if I am giving attention to your brothers, and cry when I leave the room. I know it will pass way too soon, so I try to enjoy and absorb it. Your eyes are an amazing blue, just like Dev's. And like Kyle's. And like Daddy's. As daring and brave as you are, you have a shy side too. And when you get shy, or embarrassed, you use those blue eyes to make the most "handsome face" I've ever seen! You flutter your eyelashes and wrinkle your little nose, and promptly wrap me around your little finger. You too, LOVE the water. You could play and splash in the bathtub for hours. You are a huge talker! We were blown away when a few weeks ago you started putting 2 words together at a time. And even when we cant decipher the words you are saying, we know that you are talking about something for which you must have passion; because you talk so serious and intently. Like what you are saying is a big deal. I bet, if you get over your shyness, you would be a great public speaker. I bet you would demand the attention of your listeners. Or, at least the attention of your Mommy :) You have a remarkable sense of your surroundings. For example, you always sense when someone is about to leave, because you start waving good-bye before we even say it. You love to try to escape from me whenever I am changing your diaper! And half the time you succeed. Silly boy. You slept through the night, finally, 2 nights ago! 8 - 545. Oh sweetie, I thank you for that. You are completely infatuated with hats. You will be a hat wearer for sure. And whats better, is that you not only love to put them on, but you like to wear them sideways. If we put a hat on you, you immediately grab it and turn it sideways. Such a cool kid. I would name your favorite food if you had one, but you don't. You love anything we put in front of you. You are a fantastic eater, and that makes life way easier for us all. Its funny, that even though you are an identical twin, I look at you and think that you look identical to your Daddy. Its some very subtle features, that probably only your Dad and I notice...but I seriously think that of all 3 of you, you look the most like him. You all do, but you especially have an uncanny resemblance to him. You love to give us kisses! And when you do, you firmly grab each side of our faces and plant a big wet one right on us. It is the sweetest thing!

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH SWEET BABY!!





     

Monday, May 23, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Figured I would link up with Carissa for a little bit of the randomness that is
Miscellany Monday :)



1. I'm a notepad person. My life is channeled into notes and lists right now. If I saved them, I am sure that 20 years from now they would function perfectly well as old diaries of my life during this CRAZY time. I have 2 going at all times; a personal/home notepad and a business/photography notepad. To-Do lists, goal lists, ideas, reminders. It's the only way I can keep anything straight. Which leads me to another random thing...I am a list person. Nothing gets accomplished without a list. Period. If I don't see it, I forget about it. This applies to calling family and friends, doing laundry, remembering to get dish soap at the store, etc. My mind is so clogged up with just the daily duties of a SAHM (the whole toddler + twins factor), its a wonder my head is even still attached at the end of the day.

2. I FINALLY got my photography business website and blog DONE! I am so happy with it, and proud of myself. It took forever, dabbling 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there, in between diapers changes, feedings, story time....but it is D.O.N.E. Check it out, pretty please :) ---> MANDY KAY PHOTOGRAPHY.

3. I have a self admitted coffee problem. Borderline addiction. Cant function without it. Home brew doesn't cut it anymore. Although, I did recently discover Folgers Black Silk, and OMG its so yummy. Bold and smooth, exactly how they describe it. Its not a replacement, but can hold me over for a minute.

4. This is the longest winter eeevvveeerrr. And that SUCKS. My family needs time in the sun. My kids need to crawl around in grass, and catch grasshoppers. And swim. And pee in the dirt after they are done swimming. (I have boys, what do you expect? I pick my battles.) And I need photo sessions in the gorgeous evening sunlight, that aren't "rescheduled due to rain". And I need to stand on the shore of the lake, and the river, in my shorts....while my hubby teaches our oldest how to fish. I need that. We all need that.

5. My twins are advanced, I'm darn sure. Mentally. Bryce, says 2 words at a time, all the time. "Go Diego, Thank You, No Mom, Duck Quack". You think I'm crazy. That's fine. I know the difference between jabbering and actual phrasing attempts. And he plays catch. I have it on video, so HA! He will throw a ball back and forth with us. They can put balls in bowls or buckets, leggos together, hats on their heads. Ohhh they are so cute, and growing up way too fast. And just under 7 weeks away from being 1 YEAR OLD!

6. More profound blog posts coming soon! :) Even though I haven't been blogging personally much lately, the ideas never stopped flowing. Writing is such a stress reliever for me, and if anyone can benefit from it, if even just for a laugh, then that makes me feel wonderful!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A day with our oldest!

So this last Saturday was just one of those days where everything went smoothly. Can you even imagine that? Well maybe you can, but its hard for us to. With baby twins, and a total of 3 under 2, those types of days are few and far between. I had a photo shoot that day, and it just kind of worked out that my husband and my oldest, Kyle, went with. The twins stayed home with our routine helpers/sitters. It was actually so incredibly refreshing to just have a day with Kyle and ourselves. Not that we don't love the twins to death, and love being together, all 5 of us....but it was nice to be able to completely focus on our oldest for a while. He was only 18 months old when the twins were born. Still a baby himself. We felt like we absorbed every.single.tiny moment with him up until that point. If he burped, we noticed it and made a big deal of it. And of course we didn't mean to, and aren't bad parents because of this, but after we had the twins we stopped noticing every.single.tiny moment. It makes me sad. Because as hard as we try, and even if we spend every second that we aren't changing a baby diaper, or feeding them, or putting them to sleep, or whatever...with Kyle, some details are still lost in the hustle and bustle of things.

I am going to digress for a moment to say this: Parents that decide to wait 3 years before having another, I finally get it. At that point, the rapid growth and development starts to wane with your older child, and so you aren't exactly missing as much when you are knee deep in newborn duties. So half the age of your older child, and double the amount of newborns and you have our little equation. When we decided to try for #2, we purposely planned for them to be close in age. We just had NO idea we would have twins. If we had that little piece of critical information tucked under our hats, we totally would have given it another year or two. That's all. We have no regrets, because you cant plan for the unexpected. But it just makes it hard to swallow the fact that you will just have WAY less time with your precious first born.

Anyway, we took Kyle with us on Saturday and we all had the best time! We went to the photo shoot location like an hour ahead of time to scout certain spots out, and I of course had my camera in hand. So I unexpectedly was able to capture some shots of my endlessly handsome first born. I was also shocked to find that he had finally worked his way out of the "I'm 2 and refuse to look at the camera, or you, and actually will intentionally cringe and make a stink-face when you take your camera out" PHASE. Now, he so adorably sees the camera and smiles and says cheese. I'm so happy about this! Ham. I believe that's the word people use to describe their super cute little boys. So he's my little ham :) People always push how important it is to have adult, couples time with just you and your spouse, away from the kids. And they are 100% right about that. But you also cant forget that it is very important also, to have one on one time with each of your children. Where they feel like the center of attention and can be reminded that you love them individually, and uniquely, separately from their other siblings, who you love in the same special ways. (was that enough commas for one day? Sheesh, sorry!)

He is maturing so much right now. It melts my heart every time he voluntarily walks up to one of us and gives us a hug (usually followed by the statement "bear hug!") and a kiss (usually followed by the statement "bear kiss!") and says "I LuuuuB You Mom/Dad". Yes, he is calling us Mom and Dad mostly now (insert sad face). He is still our most awesome little helper. He loves helping so much that when we ask him to throw away trash, or help unload groceries or whatever, he says "Ok thanks Mom/Dad!" He is learning to count, and his ABC's and colors. He seems to be a very quick learner.

We were in a tough spot with him there for a while, and he isn't completely out of it yet. The terrible two's, I believe its called. Time outs turned into a joke. Spankings did nothing (yes we spanked him. I got my butt paddled as a kid and I was respectful partly because of it. Call me a bad parent if you want. But if you chose to do that, you can promptly shove it.) None of that was working, so I started trying something else. When he misbehaves now, I pretty much say something like this, "Kyle, come here right now, we need to talk". And that's just in an attentive tone, not yelling, or incredibly stern. It gets his attention better than anything else. And then I explain to him that what he did is unacceptable and why, and that he needs to apologize and not do it again. Of course it isn't the magic cure to every single occurrence, but it works more often than not, and better than anything else. I totally get it now, it clicked after I figured it out. Because he has always been what I consider "mature for his age" as much as that applies to a 2 year old. Mentally anyway. And I think he might be a lot like me personality wise. The oldest kid, the one who takes on most responsibility. The mature for their age kid. Anyway, I think this method just works best for him. I don't think it would/will for all kids. If someone told me this before I had kids, my reaction would have been something like this, "Ohhhhh, riiight. Now we are going to negotiate and reason with our children. Oh no, because a spankin' here and there is now considered child abuse. Whatever, "talk" it out with your kids and see how far that gets you.". But, I have been humbled. Do what works, every kid is different.

Back to the day alone with our big boy. The one last thing (I swear) that I just cant leave without mentioning is this: He is completely embracing his role as the child of a photographer. Completely! Throughout my entire photo shoot, he would imitate everything I did. When I would kneel down, and get in all kinds of weird positions, he would kneel right next to me AND hold his hands in front of his face and imitate like he was "clicking" and rotating a camera. It was SO Freakin' Cute!

Ok I'm done! Here are some pics I snapped of him/us throughout the afternoon :)













And of course, we had to end the awesome day with an ice cream cone :)



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

10-ish Months & Counting

Oh, look, I have a blog! I almost forgot! Not really, but there has been SO MUCH going on that the thought of actually taking 20 minutes to write a blog post is inconceivable. I literally don't even have 20 extra minutes a day. That sounds dramatic, but it is 100% true. Reminder, twin babies, 2 year old who is certainly SMACK DAB in the middle of his "terrible two's". (Please don't take this time to tell me that 3 is worse. I have heard it and it almost threw me into a full blown melt down. I cant even imagine! I'm just hoping that I am the freak case, and his 3's will be better than the 2's have been.) The other factor in the equation these days is my photography business. I never imagined it would take off like it has, and I am doing everything I can to keep up with it. If its going to go, I want to take it there. This isn't my photography blog, so I am not going to go into tons of detail on that, but yeah, it's moving along RAPIDLY. So every second I have, I am editing photos, or putting business things together, etc. Life is busy. ITS FREAKIN' BUSSSSYYYY!!

But, I wanted the focus of this post to be my twins. I was "supposed" to post an update when they were 9 months old, but like their 9 month portraits, I fell behind several weeks. So, this would now be their "10 month update". So yeah, on May 1st they will be 10.MONTHS.OLD! Is that even possible??! As agonizing as the first few months were, it still seems to have flown by. And now they are almost a year old. My babies. My last babies :( We witnessed with Kyle, that when he hit the 9 month mark, things started changing so incredibly fast. Like exponentially, all of the sudden. So the stage between 9 months and 18 months was promptly proclaimed my favorite baby stage. And that is where Dev & Bryce are. They are SO MUCH FUN right now. I cant believe the things they are doing. It is really rewarding, after all of that insane hard work we put in during those beginning months. So here's the scoop on whats happening with them....

We do plan do find out whether for sure they are identical or not, but I guess we are just waiting until we feel like we can justify spending the money. (ps...if you are asking how come we don't know based on the way I carried them...separate placentas, sacs, etc....you can read about it HERE, where I explained it in detail.) I will say this, when they were newborns we could easily tell them apart. And literally as they grow, every month gets harder and harder to tell. The older they get the more and more identical they look. Close family and friends who see them on a weekly basis, mix them up almost every time. And even we, as the parents, mix them up constantly. Never for an extended period of time, but for a few minutes. One of us will be chattering to a baby, saying something like "What's Devvy-Doo up to???" (yes, we talk like that to them) and the other one will say, "Umm, I think that is Bryce". "Are you sure?" Followed by the trick of holding the baby out straight in front of you, looking back and forth between them, turning them around to look at the back of their heads (at the hair -Dev has a little more). And eventually just saying "Oh, I guess it is". So, we are like 99.5% sure. Of course they look so much like Kyle too, and there are strong genetics in play, but they do look identical, and much more like each other than like Kyle's baby pictures. We also notice certain mannerisms now, like Bryce always crosses his feet when he is sitting (can you say adorable?!) And Bryce is our major jabber box. Yes, he got that from me. Sure, I will claim it. He just talks constantly. And really gets into it, like "ah bah bah da.da.DA DA DA!! AH BAH! YA YA!! YA!" Like that. Hilarious. So yeah, the mannerisms help us differentiate as well. But altogether, they really do act like identicals as well. People ask all of the time if they have totally different personalities. You would be shocked at how similar they are! Other than minor things like Bryce being more of a talker, and louder. And Devin a bit more of a thinker....they act so much alike too.

For instance, here we are, at 10 months old, and neither are "crawling"....based on the technical definition of the word. They crawl backward, in a circle, easily go from sitting to laying on the floor, and from laying on the floor to sitting themselves back up, roll all across the room in every direction, army crawl.... They do everything except power crawl straight forward. And now they are both starting to pull up on furniture. So I think they might both end up skipping that whole power crawling thing. Their pediatrician says that the crawling stage is one they really don't want kids to skip, because studies show that it makes them more coordinated adults, but as long as they do some form of crawling, they will be just fine. So technically what they are doing, is "some form" of crawling. Works for me! One step closer to 18 anyway. Just kidding!!

For the last like 3 months, they eat like toddlers. Seriously! They will completely refuse any mushy baby food, and I can barely get a bottle down them. I half a banana and give them each a half, and I don't cut it into bite sized pieces or anything. They just chow it down. 100% supervised, of course. They eat meat; chicken, turkey, hamburger. Fruit, cheese, pasta, rice, beans, crackers. You name it! Its actually so nice, because they eat what we eat. It makes meal prep a million times easier.

Oh side note, apparently I lost my marbles somewhere along the way (can you believe that?!) and didn't realize that the formula we were giving them wasn't "soy"...it was just lactose free, which is still "dairy". So they aren't sensitive to dairy, they are sensitive to lactose. And they can now have cheese, and yogurt. And probably by the time they are a year old, they will be over the lactose sensitivity as well. This revelation will make my Dad happy, because he hated the idea of them being on soy. I'm not going to say why. But he got his info from a Veterinarian. And duh, Vets know it all.

They weight 21 pounds each now. Big enough for a forward facing carseat, but just not old enough. We are close though. Big enough to break your back and require icing tired and sore muscles at the end of a long, baby holding day. And only 5 pounds lighter each than their big brother.

Talking. Devin really talks. Asks for me, and says Mama. Says it when he reaches his arms out for me, or when he gets stuck under a chair and needs rescuing. Says "uh oh" when he drops things. And drops them purposely, saying "uh oh" before he even lets go, and then quickly looking at us to see what our reactions will be. Its too cute to discipline right now :) Bryce really just jabbers, a lot, right now. He does say Dada, and Baba, and I think he says Bye sometimes too.

They are both great wavers! They wave without being prompted when people leave our house or when we leave from somewhere. The other day, Devin actually waved to me as I was laying him in his crib for a nap. So CUTE! Cribs, by the way, will be dropping a level this week, now that they are both sitting up in them, and grabbing the side rails.

Sleep. Crap. They sleep train and are wonderful during the day. Terrible at night. I'm not even kidding when I say I am lucky if I get 3 hours per night. I am just going to have to toughen up, and make them sleep train hard core at night. 3 days, right? Everyone tells me you have 3 bad nights, and then after that they are great night-time sleepers. Lets hope so.

Uhh, what else? Binkies. Still using binkies, but working on breaking them. I have a system of leaving the binkies in the crib when they wake up during the day, so that they only get them when its time to nap. But I don't want them to learn that they can only fall to sleep with a binkie. They fall out of their mouth's as soon as they fall asleep anyway. So, I have to make a new plan. But right now, we are just picking our battles.

So that's about it. I'm sure I will think of several more things as soon as I hit the "publish post" button, but that's the major scoop :) They are so fun right now, life is getting less difficult, and we love them to death! I will leave you with the one 9 month photo I took of them. I promise, to myself, and them, and family and friends, and blog followers, that their 1 year photos will be more plentiful!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Self Love

Today, my Mom shared something with me that I wanted to share with all of you as well. It is so true, that you have to love yourself before you can fully love others. It begins with you. Appreciate yourself. Acknowledge yourself as someone who has everything to offer. Forgive yourself. And LOVE yourself.

Remember that when you wake up in the morning, and everything seems to not be going your way, that a fresh start can begin at any point in the day. Don't say, well I woke up this morning to a screaming kid, the realization that I had started my period, and an empty pot of coffee; so therefore the whole day is ruined and going to suck. Perhaps the morning was indeed suck-ish, but do your best to deal with it, get a handle on things, and then say to yourself "OK, lets start over". There will always be bumps in the road, big and small. Remind yourself that you can overcome them. And in the grand scheme of things, do the little bumps REALLY even matter?

The following is an excerpt from the book "Each Day a New Beginning".

"The struggle to love one another may be a daily one for us, and it is made more difficult because we are still stumbling in our attempts at self-love. Many of us have lived our whole adult lives feeling inadequate, dull, unattractive, fearing the worst regarding our relationships with others.

But this phase, this struggle, is passing. We see a person we like in the mirror each morning. We did a task or a favor yesterday that we felt good about. And when we feel good about our accomplishments, we look with a loving eye on the persons around us. Self-love does encourage other love.

Self-love takes practice. It's new behavior. We can begin to measure what we are doing, rather than what we haven't yet managed to do, and praise ourselves. Nurturing our inner selves invites further expression of the values that are developing, values that will carry us to new situations and new opportunities for accomplishments, and finally to loving the person who looks back at us every morning.

Self-love makes me vulnerable and compassionate towards others. It's the balm for all wounds; it multiplies as it's expressed. It can begin with my smile."

Monday, March 28, 2011

SPRING IS IN THE AIR!

MMMMM.....AHHHHHHH! That was a big deep breath (of fresh air) in case you were wondering. That's what I got to do today, FINALLY. The weather has been so dark, cold, drab, and depressing lately that I was starting to think this day would never come. But it was so nice out today! The sun was shining, it was warm, and the outdoors were calling my name. So I loaded the twins up in the double stroller, and threw Kyle in his tennis and his imitation Ray Ban's and we rolled outta here! We were able to take a nice, long, leisurely walk, and it felt so good. Just the food my soul has been craving lately. And also, the first time I took all of the kiddos on a stroll by myself. I see MANY more of these in our near future. There's just something about a beautiful Spring day, that makes your brain open up and allow the thoughts to flow through with far more ease. And those thoughts seems to have more rationale and logic. Anyway, like I said....food for the soul. Here are some photos from our stroll today :)






The neighbor guy saw us stopping to smell the *flowers* and offered to cut us a few. So here is my little handsome with a beautiful bouquet. Come to think of it, I could see many more of these shots in my future as well. Strapping young son, bouquet of flowers pointed in my direction. And I have 3 sons, so YAY for me!




So cool. The coolest, in fact.


Bryce above, Devin below. I know it looks like I edited his eyes, but I SWEAR I didn't. Their eyes are just naturally amazing :)



HAPPY SPRING MONDAY :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Don't Forget to Remember

11:15 pm last night, I finally make it to bed. 11:30pm, one of the babies starts fussing and I realize that he isn't going to settle himself back down. So I get up and head to the nursery to tend to him. Put a binkie in his mouth, pat his little back for a minute, and he falls back asleep. Because I had only been in bed for about 15 minutes, I hadn't really even fallen asleep yet. The woman's brain is much different from the man's brain, in that a man can shut his mind off and fall asleep in about ten seconds flat. While a woman lays in bed for 30 minutes, or upwards of an hour, or more before her mind finally settles and she can fall asleep. So, after 15 minutes of being in bed, my woman's brain was still buzzing with thoughts and I was far from asleep. My mind was still somewhat sharp, and not in the "its 4am and I would be lucky if I have accomplished more than 30 minutes of sleep yet tonight" complete delirium mode.

As I stood over my youngest twin's crib, making sure that he had completely fallen back asleep, I felt a sudden overwhelming feeling of nostalgia. Something hit me, and I took a moment to look around the room and feel it. Everything felt whimsical. Like in a dream. The soft and gentle dim lighting that radiated throughout the entire space, highlighting every grove and curve on those sweet babies' faces. The cribs positioned at opposing sides of the room, directly beside their individual dressers. Dressers upon which their little stuffed animals sit and watch over them throughout the night. It was exactly how I had always pictured the room that my newborn baby would reside in. Only, I had 2 babies residing in this one. Exactly what I had never pictured. That fact, that there were two, amplified the feeling. The nostalgia. I thought in that moment, that I never want to forget this. Ever. Ever ever.

Of course we take pictures, and videos. But nothing can compete with a person's memory. A parent's memory. Because memory has the ability to record imagery, which cannot be captured in a photo or a video.

There's something about cliche's. They always seem to present themselves in abundance during times where emotions are magnified. "Don't forget to remember the small things". "You're gonna miss this". "It goes by so fast, and then you look back and ask -Where did the time go?-". That's why you cant forget to remember. To take in those little moments and bank them in your memory. Absorb every second, because its true, the cliches are so true. And you never want to forget. Never, ever ever.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sleep - So THAT'S what normal is!

I think I have made it pretty widely known that our kids are all bad sleepers. The twins at 8+ months old, are still insanely tough. As I said before, we see every hour on the clock throughout the night. Baby fusses...we let them fuss until we know they wont settle down and will wake the other baby, so we go to them. Put a binkie in their mouth, roll them on their side, pick them up, give them a bottle....etc. Its odd that the nights go so terribly, when during the day we sleep train them and they are champs through it! Devin has even gotten to the point where, when we lay him down, about 50% of the time he doesn't even whine or fuss or whimper....just rolls over and snuggles into his blanket and goes to sleep. So I know they GET IT. They CAN do it! At night, they don't "wake up"..they barely even open their eyes. They don't try to be "awake" and playful...just high maintenance! So, that's what our normal has been.

*BUT* last night......was a miracle! So big of a deal that I am actually doing a blog post about it! Here's how the night went down. Each baby had a bottle around 9 and they both went to bed at 9:30. Kyle went to bed at 10. The babies SLEPT ALL THE WAY UNTIL 2AM, without ever waking us once! And they woke at the same time, so I took Bryce and gave him a bottle, and Todd took Devin and gave him a bottle. They went right back to sleep and then SLEPT THE REST OF THE NIGHT UNTIL 7:15!!!! BOO-YA!

I know most every parent reading this is going...seriously? That's the big darn deal?? But it SO is a big deal. And I'm pretty well certain that by making a big deal of it all, I will completely jinx myself for this coming night, but I just couldn't keep it to myself. Besides, I know that most parents of multiples (with the exception of Samantha-who, lucky duck, has the easiest twins ever) COMPLETELY relate!

So, celebrate with us...It is a BIG deal :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

In God I trust

I grew up in a "non church-attending family". We didn't give thanks before every family meal, we didn't attend church every Sunday, and we didn't say a prayer before bed each night. My parents did however, instill in us the faithfulness of God. The fear of Him was always there. My Dad used to say something that will always stick with me, "I don't think that God is going to punish me for spending the weekend at a rodeo or a soccer game with my kids, instead of going to church". I couldn't agree more. To be honest, I am thankful for the way we were brought up, regarding "religion". We were given just enough information, but it was never crammed down our throats. It was that whole, "you can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink" idea. They guided us in that direction, but gave us enough space to explore, and calculate a notion for ourselves. It allowed us the space to have those moments, that even the most devout still have (even if they don't admit to it), where we are unfaithful. Where we question. Where 2+2 does not equal 4, and we want to know why! I've heard, in more faithful groups, that we are taught to never ask why, and just to know that He has a plan. But certain things, sometimes, don't fit into the plan. You cant imagine, how...your best friend dying of cancer, could be part of the plan. Or your neighbor's son taking his own life before he even had time to live it, could be part of the plan. Or how a serviceman, doing nothing but good for his family and his entire country, dying a slow and painful death at the hand of an enemy, could be part of the plan. Right? We all have to wonder.

For a split second when I was in college, I went through one of those unfaithful, questionable phases. I was all "Darwinism all the way!". My brain was in mathematical, numerical mode. There had to be a black and white answer for everything or I wasn't going for it. Not-one-bit! I look back at that time, and I don't feel like God is unhappy with me for experiencing that. Because I came back around. As He knew I would. And I am glad that I went through that as well. It gave deeper meaning to the things that did make sense.

In recent, post-college, times...I have found more solace in the unanswered and undefined things. And here is where I digress (forewarning). Shortly before my husband and I got married, I got pregnant. And while it was the right time for us to get married, it was not the right time for us to have a baby. But we were ecstatic and ready to rise to the occasion. I waited probably too long to make my first OB appt, because I had no idea what I was doing, and for some reason thought that you were suppose to wait until the 3 month mark was in closer perspective. So I went in, when I thought I was 11 weeks along. 2 days before our wedding. It was a Thursday. I went alone, because again, I didn't know! When the doctor did an in-room ultrasound, he discovered that the baby had no heart beat. It wasn't wiggling and moving around the way an 11 weeker should be. But I didn't know what to look for. All I knew was that I saw a little baby on the monitor, and it was mine, and I was going to be a Mommy! I was still grinning from ear to ear when the Dr. so coldly said, "This fetus doesn't have a heartbeat". First of all, how dare you call my child a "fetus". Secondly.......nothing. I got nothing. Just tears. I didn't even know what to ask. Didn't know what to say. I just wanted him to leave so that I could go sit by myself and let the feelings come. Cry, weep, curse, do whatever I needed to do. And then recompose myself to find out what I needed to do next. And, tell my husband. I thought I had myself together when I called him, but when he answered the phone, I just cried so hard that I couldn't even talk. Can you imagine what he must have felt? He was scared to death and didn't know what was wrong. I finally choked it out, and then he had to process the way I just had. Anyway, the next morning I had a D & C. And 24 hours after that I married the man of my dreams.

We got through that, and I am sure I don't need to go into how that was another one of my "unfaithful" moments. And then 3 years and a couple of months later, I went to my first OB appt (with a different, less heartless doctor) with what I thought was my second child. I had another in-room ultrasound, and when this Dr. said "ummmmmm...." with a questionable look on her face, my heart DROPPED and I could feel the tears start to well up. And then she said "I think there are two". THAT, those mere 15 seconds, was the most gigantic emotional shift, I have EVER felt. And once I was able to process that...I realized, that it all made sense. That this was indeed, all part of God's plan. He knew the timing was all wrong for us to have a baby the first time, and the result was a miscarriage. And then, when we LEAST expected it, He gave us back what we had lost, and we were having twins. TWINS. To become siblings to our gorgeous firstborn son, Kyle. To complete our family.

I still see the world as one big teeter-toter. Where equilibrium and balance is key, and without those things, everything else would get all out of whack. So that is how I make it make sense. You have to take the good with the bad. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction (thank you Newton). I'm very scientifically driven. But I have found a balance. Where I can calculate events, I can question them, and I might understand the outcome, or I might not. But I allow my brain to still look at the idea of God through scientific, mathematical, and numerical eyes. I understand it that way. I can be a better Christian that way. So I am thankful for what I have gone through, all of the good and all of the bad. And I plan to raise my kids the way I was raised. We will guide them, and they will know the Lord. We will introduce them to Him, and then we will let them each develop their own relationship with Him. As for my relationship with God....we understand each other. Its not exactly conventional, but it works and is desirable :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Five Things

Hellohellohello. I'm so sorry I have been MIA in the blogger world lately. You know when you have one of those weeks (or months, or even years!) where life seems to be throwing bucket after bucket of nails at you? And its all you can do to dodge them, but eventually you just get worn out and decide to let them stick, feel the pain, accept it, heal and move on.... Ok, that may have been the weirdest analogy I have ever come up with, but the point is.....the past week has been one of THOSE weeks. I could go on and on about it, and bore you to death with the whiney details, but instead you can just thank me for sparing you of them.

Anyway, just for the record....I write each blog as ideas or topics come to me. I do not sit around drumming up ideas for a new post (like I have the time for that!). Generally an idea will come to me while I am doing some mindless, mundane chore...ie. dishes, laundry, bills (yes I can daydream and pay bills at the same time. How's that for multi-tasking?!). So while I was doing dishes the other morning, with the sound of some obnoxious song by the uber UNtalented Fresh Beat Band blasting off in the background, I thought of a few things that I hated. I know, hate is a strong word. Fits perfectly right next to "The Fresh Beat Band". Its a phase. I hate it now. Next week or month it will be something else. Same goes for things that are currently making me ten-different-forms-of-GIDDY. Things I'm lovin'...in layman's terms. So here is my bright idea. This blog is about the top five things I'm lovin' and the top five things I'm hatin'....right now. Enjoy :-)

Oh...And, I would love to hear some of the things you all are lovin' or hatin' right now too! Do share!

FIVE THINGS I'M HATIN'

1) Strangers who pass us by when we are out in public with all 3 kids, and say "You've got your hands full". Nooooooooooo! You think??! And shut up. Because that is about ALL you can judge from the cover of this book! So there are like fifteen different come backs I have in my head for this remark. None of which escape in a single breath from my lips. But my hubby, the wise ass that he is in a situation like that, usually responds with a deeply sarcastic "We haven't hear THAT before!". I know. We are jerks. But there is no alternative when you've heard that statement 3 times in a 5 minute time frame, all in one aisle of a store!

2) The Fresh Beat Band. I have no idea why Kyle is interested in this show, other than the fact that it is all about music and dancing. And he LOVES music. But I am siiiiiiicccckkkk of it. I'm just not a fan of having the "there's no problem we cant solve" song humming in my head all.day.long. I feel like ripping those 4 obnoxious little peeps out of the TV and forcing them to tolerate a weeks worth of nights with my twins and then saying "Solve THIS Fresh Beats!".

3) The drab, cold, dark winter. I'm over it. Having a gigantic influx of spring fever. Ready to get the kids out and into the sunshine. I have been crammed within these 4 walls for the past 8 1/2 months, we all have....and I am over it! Bring on the light and the heat!

4) Daylight savings time. More importantly, loosing an hour of potential sleep (if the twins decided to have a major fluke of a night and allow us to even realize the prior extra hour even existed). But yeah. Such bogus!

5) Post babIES body. While breastfeeding twins, I never had to even think about it. In fact, all I really thought about in regards to this was how I could make myself eat more. Eat eat eat! Obviously that doesn't translate well to the non-breastfeeding body. I tell ya...it was the coolest feeling in the world to keep dropping pants sizes and not be trying in the least to do so! The butt just got smaller and the boobs just got bigger. YES PLEASE! But, newsflash...it all reverts back :(

FIVE THINGS I'M LOVIN'

1) PANDORA. Need I say more? Ok, guess so. Hubby turned me onto it a couple of weeks ago and now I feel like I cant live without it. Freakin' cool! Loving some Sugarland, Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Heart, and Joan Jett radio :) Plus more!

2) Blogging and Photography. My MAJOR outlets right now. Both things are making me feel like I actually possess some talent, that doesn't revolve around homemaking, horses, or academics.

3) White Mocha Freeze. I've never been a big coffee drinker, but if I'm going to have it...its gotta be this. And no I'm not partial to any particular coffee stand. Any wmf from any place will do. But, if the barista so much as forgets to amp the thing up with lots of caffeine, Ohhhhhhhh! She'd better!....Or Else! Well. Ok, so I probably wouldn't do anything. Not my style. I would just end up back down there with circles around my eyes two shades darker then they were the first time I was down there, a greater stench to the smell of my hair and shirt-now that I have had enough time to get a banana smushed all over me, and $3.75 less in my wallet. But sometimes, the caffeine...its sooooo worth it.

4) Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. They are the best shows ever-on-TV-period. So yeah, even though it takes me an entire week to watch them...and that's with fast forwarding through the commercials (thank you tivo)...I love them. Its my Mommy self indulgence right now.

5) Date Nights. We have been making a point to do everything in our power to make time once a week for each other, away from the house. To nurture our marriage. After all, that is where it all began. We wouldn't have all of this without every bit of that.

So. Notice that I listed the negative things first and the positive things last. Because I wanted to end the post on a good note. We need to remind ourselves to do that in our day to day lives too. You cant not complain. Everyone needs to vent and let the steam release and escape. But you still need to remind yourself of all of the blessings you have. The positives that are in your life. I assure you, the positives will outweigh the negatives. They WILL. And at the end of the day, that is ALL that matters anyway. The blessings.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Twin Talk Tuesday

8 MONTHS AND COUNTING!

So today is the first of March. Which means the twins are 8 months old! And it is also a Tuesday...so I just had no choice but to do Twin Talk Tuesday :)

Thinking of everything that has happened in our lives in the past 8 months really sets my heads spinning. Life has changed drastically, to say the least. At 8 months old, the twins really are doing amazingly well and are thriving little babies. I NEVER use that expression "its easier" because easy has NOTHING to do with it. I will be honest. It is still HARD. Really hard. But it is far less excruciating than it was in those earlier months. Maybe our "twins" experience would have felt a bit more comprehensible, had our little guys not had issue after issue. It took us the first 5 months to discover that they were cow milk *sensitive*. Not allergic...just sensitive. So I had to stop breastfeeding them and we put them on soy formula. And that changed our worlds so much for the better. And then they both started teething their bottom teeth. By 7 1/2 months they each had both of their bottom teeth. And immediately after that they both got colds. Just your regular, typical, seasonal cold. They had about a 2 day break from that and then they both got REALLY BAD colds. A different type of cold that was heartbreaking to watch them weather. Bryce had absolutely no voice. When he cried you couldn't hear a sound except heavy breathing. It was all just sooooo sad. But they are finally over that, and now they are teething top teeth. UGH....kiiiillll meeee nowwwww! So that's where we are. At the point where things should seem relatively normal. And normal is relative of course! But its our normal. As normal as it will get at this point for us. It means that, while so many things are still here-there-and-everywhere and occur according to nothing but randomness, there is some consistency and a few things we can count on and schedule around.

We felt like when Kyle hit the 9 month mark, things started changing rapidly and it was nothing but FUN. I can see the same pattern developing with the twins. Its Coming. They are doing SO MUCH now and we are enjoying them endlessly :) Here's what is happening with them....

DEVELOPMENTAL/COMMUNICATION: Just in this past week, Devin said his first 2 words. I know...your thinking "Oh riiiiiggghht, your 8 month old baby is talking -- ok, maybe you are as sleep-deprived as you say you are". And you are certainly right about the sleep deprivation part, But he IS talking. Remember, I have done this before...I am perfectly capable of differentiating between the babbling, muh muh muh and dah dah dah and bah bah bah, and actual words. And he said them. 2 of them. Mah-Mah and Dah-Dah. He said Dada first, I concede....so you win Dear. But just 2 days later he said Mama. I know he said the "words" because Devin is not as much of a talker and babbler as Bryce. When he says something he means it and doesn't want to talk unless he has to. Typical guy. He says Mama whenever he fusses and sees me. He reaches his arms out toward me and says Mama. He ALWAYS reaches when he says it and only says it to me. Same with his Dad. He says Dada when he wants his Dad's attention or just wants him period. So he said his first 2 words. Dada and Mama. AWESOME!!! All of the hard work we put into taking care of them in the earlier months was like putting deposits in the bank, and once you start having moments like the first smiles, first laughs, first words, etc....those are your withdrawals. When you really feel like you are getting paid back for everything you put in. We are having lots of those moments now :)

Clapping. They have been clapping for about a month and a half now. It is quite early for that so we are thrilled :) If we clap and tell them to "clap clap clap" they do it. Pretty simple. They also just clap randomly whenever they feel like it.

Waving. Devin started waving this week. ~Quick interjection: Devin is usually a couple of weeks ahead of Bryce on most things, so when Dev does something new we know its about 2 weeks before Bryce will start doing it too~ So if we wave at him and say Hi or Bye Bye, he waves too. The open-and-close-hand-repeatedly wave, not the actual wave wave. Adorable!

EATING: They are AMAZING eaters. On some days, they individually give Kyle a run for his money on food intake. I'm not even kidding! Its crazy to me because Kyle has never been a big eater. He wouldn't eat ANY meat until he was 15 mos old. And anything with a texture...even something as simple as oatmeal....he would gag on and regurgitate. Are you getting a clear enough picture? :) But the twins eat everything. Except the usual things you have to avoid until a year old (wheat, dairy, citrus, fish, nuts, strawberries, etc) and major choking hazards. They will eat any meat. Shredded chicken, hamburger, lunch meat. As well as things like pasta, rice, refried beans, green beans, bananas, etc. And the containers of baby food. And finger foods/snacks :) Like I said, Great eaters.

SLEEPING: Ohhhhhh...maybe I shouldn't touch on this topic :-/  Ok...here's whats up. Still having a miserable time with them at night. Let's just say that both of us see every single hour on the clock, and sometimes multiple times. As in, we get up when the hour hand is on the 11, 12, 1 ,2, 3, 4, 5, 6. You get it. Yea, its like worse than some newborns. 8 months later. Its all we can do to keep our sanity and THIS is why. During the day things go MUCH smoother. They nap consistently 3 times a day and at the same time. And usually Kyle naps along with them during their 2nd nap, around 12 or 1. Triple nap time! This is the only thing keeping my brain from turning to mush. Well, its already mushy like jello because of the lack-of-sleep, but this is keeping it from becoming mushy like soggy cereal. I have been doing sleep training, finally. I think this is why days go so great. I wait to put them down until they are totally rubbing their eyes and smashing their little faces into my shirt. Cuddling with them and loving on them while they are sleepy and getting tired, before laying them down, makes me more willingly and able to accept the sleep training. I feel like I am letting them know and understand that I love them dearly and this is just to make everyone's life easier. Having that sweet and tender moment before makes me a little more ok with actually letting them cry themselves to sleep. Even though it goes against my every instinct. I know it is practically mandatory for them and for us, but its still hard. They only cry for 5-10 minutes typically and then fall right asleep. So they are handling it magnificently.

TWIN INTERACTION: This is what people always want to know about. Its that whole twin thing, the thing we will be challenged by for their entire lives. People want to know more about what their interactions are with each other as twins, and are far less concerned with their individual accomplishments and milestones. There are no hard feelings...I'm sure people don't even realize they are doing it. And its neat...the twin interaction thing. It truly is. But we will always struggle to maintain a balance between respecting them as individuals and celebrating the gift of them being twins.

So anyway. Yes, we are starting to see a lot of Twin interactions.

If one cries, it sets the other one off and he cries.

If we pick one up, the other one will start fussing and reaching out for us too.

They fight over toys. If they are playing side by side, they always want the toy that the other one has. And of course, they cry when the other twin takes the toy. This is just a sibling thing period.

They still hold hands. And now they chew on each other's extremities. Well...mostly Bryce chews on Devin :)

So I know that as soon as we figure out the nights, things will seems like they made a huge turn around. It feels good now, other than that part. Its feels like the twins are really functioning as part of the family now. I know that sounds weird, because obviously they have been part of the family since they were born. But other than being cute and lovable, they didn't interact with all of us. And now, they are involved and taking part in everything we do. When we eat, they eat with us...the same things mostly. We play together with toys on the floor. They laugh at Kyle jumping around entertaining them while I cook dinner. Its less of us changing our routine, or forgetting it altogether, just to take care of their needs....and more of them now partaking in what we are doing and fitting into our routine. Hopefully that makes sense! They are the sweetest little guys and we love them to death. Its hard to believe that in just 4 short months, we will be celebrating their 1st birthday!

And lastly....we STILL do not know if they are identical or fraternal. They look soooooo alike its crazy. We just haven't determined whether its that they are identical or that its just strong genetics :) What do you think??....



Either way...they are adorable, gorgeous, 8 month old baby boys!