Monday, September 26, 2011

Diaper Removal

Twice last week, I went in to get Vivienne after her nap, and she had removed her diaper.  The first time this happened, she had not wet her diaper.  The second time, unfortunately, she had wet her diaper and the bottom of our pack 'n play.

Yesterday, when I went to get Miles from his nap, this is what I found:

For the record, when I put him down for his nap, he DID have a diaper on.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Wolves Are Coming!

On the way to life group last week, Rhonda told her daughter, Madalin, who is 5 years old, that Miles and Vivienne and Miss Leslie and Mr. Jason were going to be at life group.  Madalin responded,"Oh, you mean the Wolves are going to be there?"  Wolves, foxes... whatever.  Rowr!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Painted Hutch

I painted my grandmother's hutch a little over a month ago, but I forgot to post it.  Here is what the hutch looked like before: 

I needed a better place to store my piano music.  I used to have it on an open bookshelf, and it was kind of sloppy and cluttered:

I removed the hutch top and then sanded, primed and painted the base.  I think it is a major improvement from the original hutch and it looks way better than my old music bookshelf.  I don't have a great picture of it (because it's hard to get a photo with the piano in the middle of the room), but here it is underneath my new book wreath:

Book Wreath

I don't remember where I first saw a book wreath online (Pinterest?  Blogs?), but I knew I wanted to try making one as soon as I saw it.  I know the first blog tutorial I read was at Living with Lindsay.  So, this week, I finally gave it a go.  It was very easy to do and ridiculously cheap.  I think I paid maybe $5 total for this (just the cost of the wreath form, which I bet you could find a lot cheaper than that).

The only thing that I might do differently next time is to be sure that I have a book with enough pages to make a complete wreath.  I started with a book that was too small, then had to use an additional book to finish it out.  That's why the outer "leaves" are brighter white than the middle.  I think it turned out really well, though, and the two-tonedness (is that a word?) actually looks kind of cool.

Happy Birthday, Jason!

I am so lucky to have married a man who is such an amazing father.  He works hard at his job, works out hard every day (training for an Ironman or a marathon or some other race that makes me exhausted just thinking about it) and then comes home full of energy for me and the babies. 

He reads to them.

He plays outside with them.

He always has lots of kisses and hugs.

And he's not too manly to snuggle up with Vivienne and her Piglet.

Happy birthday to the man of my dreams!  I love you so much!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Boston Marathon

Jason has never ceased to amaze me with his athletic accomplishments.  He has been a swimmer since he was a young child.  He swam all through elementary, middle and high school, winning numerous awards.  He swam for THE Ohio State University for four years (as Captain of the Men's Swimming Team and graduating with basically a 4.0 in Computer Science).  He has done 4 Ironman triathlons, finished with times that I could only dream of (being top 20 in his age group).  This year, he qualified for the Boston Marathon when he ran the Tobacco Road Marathon here in Raleigh (with a time of 3 hours 21 seconds... 21 heart-breaking seconds for him, but I still think he ROCKS).  He just found out this past Sunday that he got a slot to compete in Boston next April.  Jason and I are going to make it a trip without the babies, and we're staying in a great hotel in downtown Boston.  My parents have offered to babysit Miles and Vivienne while we're gone.  I'm going to enjoy cheering him on and spending some time with my amazing husband.

Boston, here we come!


Vivienne stopped nursing a couple weeks ago.  She has never  taken cow's milk in any form - in a bottle, in a sippy cup, nothing.  She would try it and as soon as she figured out it was milk, she would spit it out and push the cup away.  Yesterday, she finally drank milk for the first time.  I went to meet up with Lynn and her sweet twins, Will and Claire, at a Chick-fil-A.  I poured Miles a sippy cup with milk when we left the house.  By the time we got to the restaurant, the milk had warmed up to almost room temperature.  Vivienne gulped it down.  I was in awe.  Apparently, it just needed a little heating up (not to the point of being hot, but just not ice cold).

The trick now is that we have to guess how much she is going to drink and heat it up.  We can't refrigerate it again, because that doesn't seem like good food safety.  I'm also not sure how long it can stay at room temperature before we empty it out.  I've only been keeping it up to an hour or 2.  After that, I have to dump it.  (With Miles' sippy cups, I don't mind putting them back in the fridge for the next meal, because his milk is kept pretty cold the whole time.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Good Life

After meeting another twin mom and her sweet twins for lunch, we stopped at Harris Teeter to pick up a few groceries before heading home.  I pulled into my parking spot (leaving one spot between me and another minivan), and hustled over to grab one of the car-shaped double shopping carts.  I pushed the cart into the empty space between me and the other van and unloaded the babies, my coupons, my purse and 2 sippy cups.  All the while, I was talking to the babies, buckling them in, reminding Miles that he has to "keep his eyes on the road" while we're in the store (these shopping carts have a steering wheel for each baby, so that they feel like they're "driving" the cart - Miles loves to steer). 

At that point, the woman who was in the driver's seat of the van beside us(with the window rolled down) said, "I'm sorry for staring.  I was just watching you and thinking,'Where does the time go?'  They grow up so fast."  She had tears welling up in her eyes.

I responded,"I know what you mean.  They are already a year old, and it has flown by."  I told her, choking back my own tears, that on the days in the beginning, when I had 6-week-old twins and I thought I was going to pull my hair out... that I would try to remember that someday I would probably do anything to have one of these crazy days back.  Thinking that way helped me make it through the times that were really difficult.

She smiled at me and said, "That's so true.  You're a great mom."  I responded, "I'm sure you're a great mom, too."

I want to remember to spend as much time as I can with my children.  They are gifts.  Each minute and each hour of each day that I get to spend with them is a gift from God.  Yes, I get tired.  Yes, I get frazzled and stressed out and there are days that feel like are spinning out of control.  But even those days are a gift.

In my running playlist, I have recently added Good Life by OneRepublic.  Here are some of the lyrics:
I feel like there might be something that I'll miss.
I feel like the window closes oh so quick.
I'm taking a mental picture of you now
'Cuz hopelessly
The hope is we have so much to feel good about.

Oh this has gotta be the good life.
This has gotta be the good life.
This could really be a good life, good life.
They're right.  This has gotta be the good life.


We are in the beginning stages of some discipline with the babies.  In the past, we have firmly said "no" to things that could be dangerous - playing with electrical cords, putting their hands in the toilet (ok, maybe not dangerous but definitely disgusting), things like that.  Miles has long had a gift for throwing all of his food on the floor of our kitchen.  After each meal, I have to sweep the floor and wipe it with cleaner, and we still have ants coming into the kitchen foraging for his leftover crumbs.  Over the past week or so, I started firmly saying "no" when I would catch him in mid-drop (hands over the edge of his high chair with a chunk of food in them).  I don't scream it at him and I don't do anything aggressive - just a firm, "Miles, NO."  He looks at me for a few seconds.  His little lip starts to tremble and then he goes into the most pitiful, heart-breaking cries.  He slowly pulls his hands in and puts his food back on his tray - so at least this is working for now.  This is not fun, but it is necessary.  I think I'm going to be using the word "no" a lot more in the future, but I'll try to add in a lot more "yes"es and "very good"s and "I love you"s to compensate.  I just don't want my children growing up thinking that their name is No Fox.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Another Night Terror

A couple nights ago, we had yet another night terror.  We put the babies to sleep around 7:30 - slightly later than usual, but nothing too noticeable.  At around 9:30, we heard Miles shrieking in the nursery.  It is the kind of sound that you imagine your baby would only make if they were in extreme pain.  We both immediately dropped what we were doing and ran up the stairs going 2 steps at a time.  When we got into the nursery, we saw Miles, face down, crying uncontrollably into the mattress.  I picked him up, but it was obvious that he was still asleep.  His head was flopping all over the place and his eyes were rolling back in his head.  He continued to scream and cry.  I took him into our bathroom and splashed cold water on his face.  That did nothing.  I laid him down on our bed and lightly smacked his cheeks.  Again, that did nothing.  Jason took him, and he continued to scream and cry as if he were in pain or terrified.  We took him into the nursery and he eventually started to wake up a little, but I don't think he ever completely came out of it.  Jason set him down in his crib and he eventually put his thumb in his mouth, lied down and fell back asleep.

Of course, by this time, Vivienne was wide awake and started crying that we left her in the nursery.  Luckily, she fell asleep after only a couple minutes.

They say with night terrors that it is best not to pick them up.  But it is so contrary to my gut instinct.  I feel that - at the very least - I must pick him up and assess whether he is somehow hurt or in some other state of emergency.  I swear you would think he's having a seizure or some internal pain (like an appendix burst or something crazy like that) when this is happening.  It's a horrifying experience as a parent.

They also say that the kids don't remember it.  I sure hope that that is the case.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Happy Fourteen Months!

Miles and Vivienne turned 14 months old yesterday.  They are such happy, joyful babies.  They have huge smiles and infectious giggles.  Even on days when I feel exhausted, I am so encouraged by their grins and snuggles. 

Reorganizing the Tupperware

Breakfast with Daddy

Vivienne took her first steps yesterday.  She was so proud.  She took 5 steps in a row, and she kept trying to repeat her performance.  She has 4 teeth on top and 2 on the bottom.  She fits well into her 12 month clothing.  She still has blond hair and steely blue eyes and eyelashes to die for.  Vivienne is petite, but she has a good appetite.  She loves pears, plums and bananas.  She also loves her little Piglet.  I think if Piglet and I were on a sinking ship, she would save him first.  =)  Vivienne loves to hand things to us and to offer us her food, which we usually gladly accept (unless it's pre-chewed prunes).  She is my beautiful baby girl, and I love her to pieces.

Miles loves to move.  He crawls at the speed of lightning.  Many, many strangers have commented that he's like the Energizer Bunny.  He has 2 teeth on the bottom and 2 teeth on the top with 2 more coming in on top.  He has ridiculously beautiful eyes and silken hair.  He loves milk (which his sister will not touch with a 9-foot pole), pancakes and bananas (which he shouldn't eat because he already has... ahem... regularity issues).  Miles loves to watch the trees sway in the breeze.  He likes to be outside and watch the airplanes fly over to land at RDU.   When he's tired enough, he will let me rock him in the recliner for a few minutes.  He is sensitive and gutsy and mischievous and wonderful.  He is my little tiger, and I love him so.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

First Family Run

Somehow, Jason has managed to go fourteen months without ever running with the kids.  Today, on their fourteen month birthday, we finally went out for a family run.  Jason pushed the BOB and I ran beside him.  We went 6 miles at an 8:48 pace.  The weather was brisk - perfect for running, and it was great to have my "coach" encouraging me to run faster.  I'm glad we took a family run.  Hopefully we can do more of these in the future.

(Jason considers a run like this to be a "recovery day."  I love that my "intense run" is his "recovery day."  Show off.)

Vivienne's First Steps

Vivienne took what we consider to be her first real steps tonight.  For the past few weeks, she would take maybe 2 steps and then fall down.  Tonight, she took 5 steps in a row!  We were up playing in the floor of our bedroom after bath time.  The babies were in their little footed jammies and were crawling all over the place.  Vivienne stood up next to the bench at the foot of our bed and took 5 good slow steps toward me!

I guess our baby girl is now officially a toddler.  Her brother doesn't show any interest whatsoever in walking yet.  He's still getting the hang of just standing up.  I have a feeling that he will probably follow quickly in her footsteps (no pun intended) once he sees her walking by.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


 Vivienne loves Piglet.  This was a gift from her Aunt Michelle and Uncle Jason when she was teeny tiny.  Piglet brings her more joy and comfort than perhaps even her own mother.  She cannot sleep without this little guy.  Miles has a matching Winnie the Pooh that he sleeps with, but he doesn't have quite the same obsession that his little sister has with her Piggy Wiggy.  Thanks for the great gift, Jason and Michelle!  It's quite the hit around here with the little lady!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bedtime Fun

Before bed tonight, I took some pictures of the babies playing in our bedroom window.  We had never raised the shades in there for them, and they enjoyed the new view and practicing walking by holding onto the window sill.  Vivienne walked back and forth at least 5 or 6 times, maybe more.

You can see her crazy teeth in this picture.  She kind of looks like Gollum (from Lord of the Rings), only much cuter.

Ok, yes.  Definitely cuter than Gollum.

I love my new PJs.

I don't know why he makes this face so often, but it's adorable.

Farmer's Market Saturday

Yesterday, we went to the State Farmer's Market to buy some fresh vegetables.  It is always fun to see what fruits and veggies are in season and to support the local farmers.  I also like looking at the plants, though I don't have any business buying any more plants for our yard (having planted over 50 plants this summer already).  There were sweet potatoes, corn (though it's almost gone), tomatoes, beans, onions, cantaloupe, watermelon, and peppers.  The peppers looked amazing - so many varieties and vibrant shades.

Our cuties enjoyed rolling around and checking out all the produce.  We bought enough to fill up the compartment on the bottom of the stroller.

After we got home, I cut up a fresh cantaloupe (our babies can eat some cantaloupe like nobody's business) and put a locally grown NC green pepper into our baked spaghetti.  We'll be looking forward to more fresh cooked veggies this week.

Little Old Lady Saves the Day

Last week, Grandma bought the babies their first pairs of real shoes.  These are the cutest, most awesome shoes ever.  Vivienne really loves her shoes, but she also loves taking them off and inspecting them.  While I was running on Friday, on the way home (on a 6 mile run), Vivienne decided to take one of her new shoes off and throw it overboard.  Of course, I did not notice for a few minutes.  I looked down and saw her little sock with no shoe!  Ahhh!  So we turned around to try to find it on the trail.  I was hoping that she hadn't dropped it at the end, because that was about 2 miles back and it would be a 10 mile run with a double stroller if she had dropped it all the way back there.  Luckily, as I turned a corner, I saw a little old lady (at least 80 years old) walking her little gray terrier.  She had Vivienne's tiny pink shoe in her hand and she was shuffling quickly towards us.  She said that she saw her drop it and she was trying to catch up with us.  I thought it was so sweet that she took the time (and effort) to try to catch this running mommy with her baby's shoe.  From now on, no nice shoes during our runs - at least until Vivienne learns not to throw them overboard.

No Nursing

Today was my first day without nursing either of my babies.  It makes me sad.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Involuntary Weaning

Well, at least it's involuntary on my part.

I have had 13 wonderful months nursing my beautiful babies, but they have become less and less interested in nursing over the past couple of weeks.  Miles hasn't nursed in 3 days now, and Vivienne is only nursing for a couple minutes each morning before losing interest.

I have to admit that this makes me sad.  I loved breastfeeding my children.  It has been such an amazing experience to bond with them - like a language that only they and I speak.  I guess this is one more step in the many, many steps that they will take in growing up and becoming more independent. 

A part of me wishes that I was able to have a clearly defined "last nursing session" with them so that I could embrace the experience and let go of it on my own terms.  Of course, that's not how things work, though.  There aren't a lot of "my own terms" happening these days with parenting.  I don't think Miles will ever nurse again, and at this point, I probably won't keep trying to have Vivienne nurse in the mornings.

It is interesting how quickly Vivienne lost interest after Miles.  I think she doesn't like nursing without him.  They almost always tandem breastfed.  Twins are an amazing phenomenon.

I am proud of myself for pushing past the first two months of discomfort and uncertainty.  I'm proud that I persevered through mastitis and pain so bad that it would make me wince.  I'm proud that I pumped after every single nursing session for weeks after my twins were born (even in the middle of the night when I thought that the sleep deprivation was going to kill me).  After the first couple months, breastfeeding became one of the most incredible experiences of my life.  I'm trying to focus on being thankful for this experience, even though this chapter is coming to a close.

I would like to think that letting go will get easier as I get more years of motherhood under my belt.  Something tells me that will not be the case.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Evening Outside

We like to go out on the front lawn (with the new sod... oh, how I love our grass!) and lie down on a blanket with Miles and Vivienne.  Last night, I snapped some pictures of our cuties while their day was winding down.  All that shoe shopping is exhausting!

I also wanted to share this picture of Vivienne checking her email this morning.  She already has 392 friends on Facebook.  Sigh.

First Shoes

Over the past week or so, Vivienne has really been interested in our shoes.  She will crawl over to my shoes or her daddy's shoes and try to put them on her feet.  Of course, they are about 10 times the size of her feet and she can't come close to wearing them.  I have one pair of shoes that I bought for her at a consignment sale, but they are about an inch too long for her little feet.  She still loved to put them on her feet and try to walk around.  She was tripping on her enormous shoes, and this was just not going to work.  We gave her the Native American name "Little One Shoe" because she would put only one of these shoes on and wear it for hours.

Little One Shoe

Enter Grandma.

My mom saw Vivienne's clear love for shoes (in addition to the sores that she was getting from dragging her bare toes on the concrete sidewalk when she walked) and decided that something had to be done.  We took the babies to Southpoint Mall and Grandma bought them their first real, appropriately fitting pairs of shoes.  They are ridiculously cute.  Vivienne's little pink shoes are the perfect fit, and Miles looks so grown up in his little polo and his new sneaks.

Grandma and Vivienne at Stride Rite

Vivienne was still wearing her shoes that evening when Daddy came home.  (Notice no clothes, but still shoes.)

He looks like a little man in his shirt, shoes and socks.
Thanks for the new shoes, Grandma!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I Heart Cat Toys

Yes, that would be a cat toy... in my baby's mouth.  Vivienne has some sort of weird thing for cat toys.  We recently moved an old hutch and found a treasure trove of cat toys that had been lost underneath it.  Both the cats and Vivienne were thrilled with this discovery.  I think her breath is starting to smell like Fancy Feast.

First Real Haircut

I have trimmed Miles' bangs once before, because they were hanging into his eyes.  Last night, I gave him his first real hair cut while we were sitting out on a blanket in the front yard.  I just trimmed up around his ears and cut a bit off the back, because it was getting pretty long and scruffy.  It was sad to cut my little guy's hair, but he really needed it.


We spent Labor Day yesterday at Marbles. This was Granddad's first time, and we all had a blast.

We started with some crawling in the infant area.

And, of course, what crawling adventure would be complete without putting your pants on your head?

Miles also took a moment to perfect his rock star face.

Vivienne loved watching the fish in the aquarium.

The rain stopped long enough for us to check out the outdoor water table fun.

Miles LOVES bubbles, so he was very excited about the enormous bubbles that one of the staff was making.

We came home with some happy and exhausted babies.