Friday, December 31, 2010

Babies' First Christmas

We had a wonderful first Christmas with Miles and Vivienne.  Christmas was on a Saturday, and we arrived late on Wednesday night.  On Thursday afternoon, Brian (my brother), Mary (his wife), Tori (my 13-year-old niece) and their beautiful 6-month-old daughter, Elizabeth, arrived.  They live in California, so it was our first time to meet our little niece and our first opportunity to introduce Miles and Vivienne to their aunt, uncle and cousins.  Baby Elizabeth is incredibly cute and has the biggest blue eyes you've ever seen.  She's a very happy little baby.

Tori and Elizabeth

Tori and Vivienne

Smiling Cousins

Beautiful Tori

Superbaby Elizabeth

She has eyes like a bushbaby.

One of many cute outtakes.

Elizabeth just might be the happiest baby ever.

Grandma was VERY happy to have all her grandchildren together.

Naps on Granddad are the best.

Christmas Eve was a relaxing day with the babies.  It was fun to see how different they are.  Elizabeth is only about a month and a half ahead of Miles and Vivienne, but she can do so many things that they can't do yet.  She is such a strong little baby.  It's neat to think that our babies may be doing these things in just a couple months, too.

We "went" to the Christmas Eve service at my parents' church.  The service started at 6 PM and lasted until around 7:30 PM.  When we got to the nursery to drop the babies off, there was only one worker there.  Our family alone brought in three babies (our two and then Elizabeth).  Very soon, other babies started pouring into the nursery and there were two volunteers.  Needless to say, a lot of the parents (including us) ended up watching our babies in the nursery instead of watching the service.  It was still fun to try to be at church all together, though.  We brought the babies into the sanctuary for the candlelit Silent Night at the end.

Christmas morning was relaxing.  While Jason and I made our breakfast oatmeal, Brian, Mary and Tori took Vivienne and Miles upstairs to surprise us with some ridiculously cute Christmas outfits.  Miles was the cutest helper Santa's ever had and Vivienne was the perfect Miss Santa.

He has the perfect elfish grin.

Vivienne was a huge fan of her little Santa outfit.

Granddad with the Christmas Gang.

This hat might be a tad too big, but it sure is cute!

I won't even pretend that I'm not the sweetest little biscuit that Christmas has ever seen.

After making coffee, everyone went into the living room to open presents.  It was fun to see the babies "open" their first presents.  Of course, they seem completely unaware that it's Christmas or that there are presents, but the grown-ups still thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  After presents, we ate a delicious turkey, dressing and fixins.

All tuckered out from too much Christmas action.

Sometimes elves aren't so happy.

Beautiful Smith Family

Elizabeth loves her mommy's Maya wrap.

Mary pretends she has twins.  I don't think Elizabeth is too excited about having a twin.

Tori and Miles

Miles flashes his winning smile with Grandma.

First Fox Christmas Photo

Christmas 2010 was a wonderful time with family.  We know that we probably won't have too many Christmases with everyone together, because we would like to start having the holidays at our own home, so it was such a special time to all be together for the holidays this year.

I have even more pictures on my camera that I can't load right now because our hard drive is full.  I might post more once we figure out how to free up some hard drive space.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

To Grandmother's House We Go

Sorry that it has been so long since my last post.  We have been out of town, and I don't like releasing that information until we get back to our house.  This post is about Wednesday, December 22.

This Christmas, we loaded up Miles and Vivienne for their very first road trip.  We went to Georgia to visit my parents.  I have to say that I was not very excited about the "road trip" part of this.  Growing up as an airline baby, we usually didn't drive for vacation unless it was less then 4 hours away.  My babies, however, will probably have a very different childhood.

Packing for a family of four (two of whom are less than 6 months old) is very different from packing for a family of two adults.  We practically spent all morning getting everything together and checking our lists of "don't forgets" and "to do's."  We had so many bags - suitcase for the babies' clothes, diaper bag, extra diaper bag for Jason (so we could each change a baby when we made pit stops), bag of toys for the babies, reading materials, snacks for the road, breastfeeding pillow, Christmas presents, bags for Mommy and Daddy.  We packed the little Rav-4 to the brim, but somehow it all fit.

We started a Fox Family tradition of praying before we hit the road.  We left the house around 2 PM.  The babies magically slept through until about 5:30 (don't ask me how that happened?).  Then we stopped at a Chick-fil-a, changed the babies, ate some dinner, fed them in the parking lot (never thought I would tandem breastfeed babies in a Chick-fil-a parking lot!!), gassed up the car and hit the road again.  They fussed a little bit, but then they settled down and slept all the way to my parents' house. 

We arrived around 10:30 that evening.  Jason and I were pretty exhausted, but overall the trip went much better than I would have ever expected.  We went 445 miles and only had to stop once.  The babies were amazing in the car.

More posts to come with details about Miles and Vivienne's exciting first Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy 5 Months!

How in the world can Miles and Vivienne be 5 months old already?  It is so hard to believe that 5 months have already passed.  They have grown in so many ways over this time.

Miles was particularly cute today.

Miles is now 16 lbs. 1 oz.  When he was born, he weighed 6 lbs. 10 oz.  He's gained 9 lbs. 7 oz. in 5 months (and that's if you don't count from his lowest weight - somewhere around 5 lbs. 13 oz.).  He is rolling from his tummy to his back all the time now.  He seems to have truly mastered the skill of using his weight (mainly his big ol' head) to get him rolling.  He isn't able to go from his back to his tummy just yet, though.  He is babbling and getting better with his hands every day.  Today, he was sporting a wee bit o' plumber's crack...

Baby Plumber

Viviene is also growing like a weed.  She weighs 13 lbs. 11.5 oz.  When she was born, she weighed 5 lbs. 14.5 oz., so she has gained 7 lbs. 13 oz. since her birth weight.  She is really teasing us by not rolling over at all yet.  We can't wait to see her learn to flip herself over like her brother.  Vivienne loves to laugh!  We tickle her frequently, and she just squeals in delight.  It's a sound that brings joy to my heart.  Here is our baby girl just this afternoon:

I think I might keep these blue eyes!
I had been looking at doing some hand print ornaments for the babies' first Christmas, but I couldn't decide whether I wanted to give it a try or not.  After reading a friend's blog who made some for her twins, I decided I couldn't resist.  These are a great way to commemorate their first Christmas (outside the womb, at least) and have something to help us remember just how tiny their hands once were.  *sniff, sniff*  Here are our ornaments:

Friday, December 17, 2010

Peek-a-boo Miles (Video)

Miles has just recently been getting into playing peek-a-boo.  He'll start giggling when I pop my face up or pull the burp cloth off of his face.  It's so cute!  Here is some video of our first time with him really responding.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pam's Last Day

Our Superdoula

This past Tuesday was Pam Diamond's last day here as our postpartum doula. 

Pam was an absolute savior to us when we brought the babies home.  Having a new baby can be overwhelming (and especially having two!), and Pam made the entire process so much smoother.  She was an enormous help with caring for our babies, giving me the encouragement I needed to be a happy, healthy new mother.  Her guidance and support made all the difference in my first months as a mom.  Pam helped me with breastfeeding and understanding the babies' sleep cycles, and prepared meals while I got to get some extra sleep - such a precious gift!  She has a clear gift for working with babies, and I always had complete confidence that Miles and Vivienne were safe and happy in her care.  I cannot thank her enough for all she has done for us.

If you're looking for a good gift for a new mom, some postpartum doula hours would be an amazing gift.  Pam at First Daze is an angel.

Thank you, Pam, for everything you've done for us!  We love you!

Thumb Suckers

Miles and Vivienne are both thumb suckers.  They didn't really start sucking their thumbs until around 3 months.  I was honestly glad to see them start sucking, because we haven't given them pacifiers.  When they first started sucking their thumbs, they didn't have the coordination to reliably keep them in their mouths, so they would get frustrated when their thumbs suddenly decided to go away (with involuntary arm movements).  Now, they can find their thumbs very easily, and they use the sucking to pacify themselves and help themselves sleep.  We have even found that they don't seem to like the vertical shoulder holding position (like a burping position), because it's harder for them to get their thumbs up to their mouths.  Their little hands (especially the right thumbs) are a little chapped from all the sucking. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sleeping and Feeding Update

Luckily, the babies have been sleeping much better lately.  They are finally starting to get over their colds, though they do have coughing fits every now and then.  The coughing has been really hard, because it wakes them up - both during the night and during their daytime naps. 

Now, they are back to their routine.  They generally go to bed around 6:30.  Then they eat again around midnight.  Sometimes they have a 4 or 5 am feeding, and then they sleep until about 8 am.  This is a huge step forward from a couple weeks ago where they were waking up every 3 hours all night.  We take them to our life group every Monday night, and we can usually just set their infant carriers up in one of the spare bedrooms (with the babies awake), and they will fall asleep and sleep until we get home.  I never would have dreamed of this even a month ago. 

I've gotten much bolder about taking them out and about.  We go out almost every single day, often running errands and sometimes going to play dates or getting together with friends.  Miles has toned down his crying a lot.  When he was in his younger months, he would frequently have crying fits.  They don't occur nearly as often now.  This is a great relief to me, because it was hard to watch him get so frequently upset (and often for no apparent reason). 

The babies are also going for longer stretches in between their feedings.  They still eat about every 2.5 to 3 hours, but sometimes they go for stretches greater than 4 hours.  I very rarely feed them in public (and never feed them in tandem in public, in case you were wondering!).  I usually try to schedule things so that I can be home to feed them.

Physically, they have changed so much.  Miles is still rolling from his tummy to his back, but he doesn't roll the other way.  Vivienne is not a roller yet.  They both have excellent head control and can sit up with assistance, making it easy for us to have them at the dinner table with us or tote them around the house without worrying so much about their little necks and heads.

Their eyes are still very blue.  They could still change to another color, but we very well may have two blue-eyed babies (which is not very likely with 2 parents with brown eyes and both sets of grandparents with brown eyes).  Jason's sister and my niece have blue eyes, so we do know that each family has some "little b's" hidden in their genes.

Miles and Vivienne really talk up a storm now.  They make more consonant sounds every day.  Sometimes they will look at each other and start babbling to each other, which is ridiculously cute.  We love tickling them and hearing their precious little giggles.

When they're eating at the same time, they always hold each other's hands.  I wish I could post a picture of this.  It is so incredibly sweet.

Melissa's Baptism

Last Sunday, we went to our friend, Melissa's, baptism.  It was a really special afternoon at church.  Our entire life group was there to celebrate along with her.  We also snapped a few shots of the babies with some of our other church friends:


Jason has a talent for forgetting to button the babies' onesies before he pulls up their pants.  Now, Daddy can have the endurance and determination to do an Ironman, but he can't be asked to pull their pants back down and properly button their onesies.

A week or so ago, he brought me this...


Vivienne's First Bath in the Big Tub

On Wednesday night, Vivienne had her first bath in the "real" bath tub - not the baby bath tub on the counter, like we usually do.  Daddy volunteered to get in the bath with her.  It was really hard for him to hold up a slippery baby.  She can sit up if someone helps her, but she can't sit up on her own yet.  We put a towel in the bottom of the tub to give her more traction, but she was still a slippery little sucker.  I think we'll wait until they can sit up on their own to try this again.

But it sure made for some cute pictures...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sick Foxes

About a month ago, Vivienne started having a lot of nasal congestion and coughing.  I took her temperature (NOT my favorite thing to do - can't wait until she can take an oral or armpit thermometer), and confirmed that she did not have a fever.  I called our pediatrician and took her in for a check-up even though they suspected it was only a cold.  The pediatrician looked her over and checked her ears to be sure she didn't have an ear infection.  He said that this could linger for a few more weeks, but that it would slowly go away.

Her cold slowly started to go away, but she had a cough.  Miles started to also get congested in the past couple weeks.  Last week, Jason was very congested and had a sore throat.  This past week, it hit me with fatigue, congestion and a sore throat.  Needless to say, it's not fun when all of our family is sick.  Luckily, though, it's just a cold and nothing major.

However, the babies' colds have been affecting their sleep.  Little Miles was waking up every 3 hours again.  Now, he's usually asleep by 6:30, wakes up at 9:30 (sometimes coughing and crying very loudly, poor little guy), then wakes up around 2-ish and then sleeps until morning.  So he's really only waking us up one time in the middle of the night.  I feed him every time, because I figure it soothes him and should make his little throat feel better.

We all seem to be on the mend now, so hopefully the babies will start sleeping through again.  We were so spoiled by those few weeks of sleeping bliss!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Miles and Vivienne's First Snow

I can't believe it.  Today, it actually snowed in Cary.  It wasn't an Indiana snowstorm, but we got some accumulation.  Unfortunately, it will probably be gone tomorrow.  But, we definitely count this as the babies' first snow, and we took some Christmasy (is that a word?) pictures outside.

Miles loves the Christmas tree!

He strikes a more subdued pose.

Mommy and Miles

I think I like this powdery white stuff!

Ok, I'm starting to get get cold, guys.

I'm cute even when I'm not smiling.

Don't you like my super cute bear trapper hat?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving Visit with Grandma & Grandad

Over Thanksgiving week, my parents came to visit.  It was so much fun to watch them play with the grandbabies.  They were wonderful babysitters, and they thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Miles and Vivienne.  Mom cooked a great turkey and fixin's and the week ended with decorating our Christmas tree.  We even sneaked in a date to the Irregardless Cafe and to check out the Christmas lights of the house at the intersection of Penny and Huntingwood (fun and free!).  Here are some highlights from the week:

Oh, he's just too cute.

Seriously, how could I just put one picture of him?

Ok, I know this is getting ridiculous, but he's just so stinkin' cute!

Grandad makes a great pillow.

Miles is not the only cute one around here.  Do you like my diaper hat?

I'm not so sure that I like this exersaucer thing...

I'll fly with Grandad any time.  Good thing he's a pilot!

Mommy and Daddy go on a date - so nice to get time away!

Miles and Mommy check out the tree from all angles.

Vivienne loves neck tickles!

Grandma has her eyes closed, but you can see the babies' first Christmas tree.

Pajama time!

I think I really like this exersaucer thing!