Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chick-fil-a Daredevils

I almost forgot to write about this.  A couple weeks ago, after lunch at Chick-fil-a with some friends of ours, all the kids went into the play area to let off some steam.  The other children were about 9 months, 3, 4, and 5 years old.  The 9-month old just practiced his pulling up on the floor, and the big kids climbed on up into the play structure.  Well, within about 5 minutes, Miles and Vivienne were climbing to the stop of the play structure on their own.  Before I knew it, Vivienne was SLIDING DOWN THE SLIDE with the older kids. 

How did this happen?!?  Just a few days ago, my babies couldn't even crawl.  And now they're climbing up two stories and sliding down slides in play structures where they can't even really see me on the ground.  (Well, Miles just kept climbing up and down, but he wasn't ready to slide on his own yet.)  Vivienne is typically a bit more adventurous than Miles, though neither of them are afraid of much at this point.  I'm sure they will experience an automatically flushing toilet someday and suddenly be afraid of all public toilets or something like that.  But for now, not much makes them uneasy.

It's fun to watch my babies turning into little children.  I think it's easier knowing that another baby is just around the corner.  Now, when THAT baby starts growing up, we might have a problem.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Back on the Move

Well, I feel officially back on the move this week.  I jogged/walked the kids every weekday this week, and totaled 20 miles.  I probably jogged 8 miles of it and walked the rest, usually going just over 4 miles per day.  Some days I run a couple miles, then walk a couple miles home.  Some days I jog the whole thing.  Some days I only walk.  Every day, I have the double stroller. 

I'm trying to focus on just getting moving and getting the miles in, regardless of my speed.  I would like to keep this up for as long as I can throughout the pregnancy.  I'm honestly a little disappointed, because I had hoped that I would be able to keep up running at a higher speed and distance further into the pregnancy.  But my cardiovascular and respiratory systems are clearly being overtaxed when I run at my usual pace.  My breathing and my heart rate escalate too high too quickly, and it's clearly not sustainable.  I'm trying to just listen to my body but still get some sort of workout in.

I'm trying to enjoy my little victories.  =)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Starting the Second Trimester

We officially moved into the second trimester on Saturday.  I'm about 13.5 weeks now.  I feel much better than I did during most of the first trimester.  I still feel tired and take one nap a day (when the kids are sleeping).  I have been able to do a little jogging and walking again.  My goal is to do 16 miles per week, regardless of whether I'm walking or jogging.  Last week, I think I did about 12.  I have done 8 miles this week, and it's only Tuesday, so that's looking pretty good!

So far, there isn't a huge difference between this pregnancy and my first.  My stomach is already popping out, but I think that's because it was so stretched out from the first pregnancy.  I don't look pregnant yet - just look like I've been eating too much.  I'll be glad when my belly is round and more obviously pregnant looking.  =)

The OB visits have already been different.  We got an ultrasound at our confirmation appointment and our first official OB appointment.  At the last visit, they just listened to the heartbeat.  We are used to seeing our babies on an ultrasound machine at almost every visit, and we won't see this baby again until around 18 weeks when they do the anatomy ultrasound.  That just feels so weird.  Also, in my first pregnancy, they never measured my belly - not one single time.  Some people consider that measurement to be unimportant when you're dealing with twins, but the midwife who saw me at my appointment last week said that she still measures twin moms.  I'm not sure why I was never measured.  Anyway, they said that they would start measuring me around week 20.

So far, so good.  I have lots of cravings this time around:  Chipotle (of course!), Papa John's (which I usually have even when I'm NOT pregnant), pickles, McDonald's Filet-o-Fish meals (I think of you when I'm in the drive-through, Katie H.), and really anything salty.  So far, I haven't had any sweet cravings, which is COMPLETELY out of character for me.  I'm not sure that replacing ice cream with a Filet-o-Fish is really an improvement, though?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I Gotta Get My Sister!!

Yesterday, I was taking a nap while Jason was downstairs.  Miles and Vivienne both woke up from their naps at about the same time.  Miles was making a bigger fuss, so Jason went to get him out of the nursery first.  He swept him up and bopped down the stairs with him.  Miles started crying.  He started crying hard.  I heard Jason asking him, "What, Buddy?  What do you need?  What's wrong?"  I sort of mumbled from our bedroom upstairs,"He wants to come upstairs."  I knew he wanted Vivienne, but Jason didn't hear me because I wasn't loud enough.

After asking Miles what he wanted a few times, Miles walked over the gate at the bottom of the stairs and shook it, crying.  Jason took him upstairs and put him down, and then Miles ran over to the door where Vivienne was sleeping.  He needed his sister.

They melt my heart.

Words! Words! Words!

For our 18-month appointment, we had to fill our a survey about their development.  One of the questions was whether they each can say 8-10 words, besides Mama and Dada.  We had to think about it for a second, but we eventually came up with this list of words that they each say.  Of course, their enunciation could use some work, but these words seem to be pretty standard these days.

  • Dog
  • Cat
  • Bird
  • Fish
  • Bubble
  • Bath
  • Uh oh
  • Baby
  • Moo
  • Meow
  • Mama
  • Dada
  • His version of "Cocka-Doodle-Doo!!"
  • Milk
  • Ball
  • Miles (my favorite)
  • Dog
  • Cat
  • Nose
  • Mouth
  • Eye
  • Mama
  • Dada
  • All done
  • Throw away
  • Uh oh
  • Baby
  • Baa (sheep sound)
  • Moo
  • Meow
  • Bath
  • Bubble
  • Milk
  • Piggie?  I think she calls him "Bee"?
  • Ball
  • Plane
  • No

Happy 18 Months!

Miles and Vivienne had their half birthday on Wednesday.  We would love to take on the tradition of our friends, Kristi and Ian, and take our kids out for doughnuts on their half birthday.  I honestly forgot about the doughnuts this year, but coincidentally, I picked up doughnuts on our way to visit our friends, Jessica and Alex.  So they DID get doughnuts on their half birthday!  (And that was the first time I have bought doughnuts in at least a couple of years probably.)

On Friday, we took the kids for their 18-month appointment.  It went very smoothly.  The kids are healthy and thriving.  Miles' stats were:
  • Height:  33 in (71%)
  • Weight:  27 lb 8 oz (88%)
  • Head Circumference:  19 inches (79%)
Vivienne is still our little biscuit.  Her stats were:
  • Height:  30.25 in (9%)
  • Weight:  22 lb 13.5 oz (54%)
  • Head Circumference:  18 inches (35%)
We both have some short women in our families, so it's not entirely surprising that Vivienne is in the lower ranges for height.  I think it's probably still too early to tell how short or tall she will be, though.

Miles and Vivienne are at such a fascinating age - learning new things every day.  They build with their blocks and enjoy putting their puzzles together.  They are learning to solve problems (though very simple problems at this point, obviously).  They add words to their vocabulary every week.  They also really enjoy playing with one another, which provides a welcome opportunity for me to get things done around the house during the day.

It's a joy being their mother. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Big Shoes to Fill

She has some mighty big shoes to fill.  Literally.

(For the record, she puts these on by herself.  It's adorable.)

Cutest Dress EVER

My mom got Vivienne this dress for Christmas.  I'm sad that she has already outgrown it, but if this next baby is a girl, she will DEFINITELY be wearing this a lot.  Super cute.  We got lots of compliments on it at church.  Now if she would only let me put a bow in her hair...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Day in the Life

I haven't posted a "day in the life" posting in a long time.  I want to be able to remember what these crazy days were like.

The babies wake up right around 7 am.  They will usually babble and chatter with each other for 15-30 minutes before they start really complaining that we need to come get them.  I roll out of bed, dazed and confused, throw on my robe and drag my feet into the nursery with Jason (who is usually much more chipper than me).  (I've been having some sleep problems lately - more on that later.)  Jason picks up Miles, who is holding Pooh, and I pick up Vivienne, who is holding Piglet.  We carry them downstairs.

Jason starts breakfast - oatmeal and toast, shared with the babies.  The babies are usually pretty thirsty in the morning and eager to get their cups of milk.  We all sit down to eat together.  Well, I actually usually start eating when everyone else is done, because it takes 10 minutes to microwave my steel cut oats.

After breakfast, I usually do the first diaper changes while Jason cleans up the kitchen.  Then, I sit in the recliner with the remote and turn on Sesame Street.  Miles and Vivienne both crawl up into my lap with their lovies (Pooh and Piglet) and we cuddle and watch Sesame Street together.  I love this time.  Sometimes I even fall asleep for a minute or two here or there, but the kids usually move around too much (or decide to explore my facial features) for me to really sleep.

After Sesame Street, the kids usually play together - playing with their kitchen or doing puzzles or getting on their riding toys (motorcycle or horse) or reading books... all sorts of things.  During this time, sometimes I try to get things done, like put in a load of laundry or wash some dishes.  In the morning, we often either go run errands (groceries) or we go to play with friends.  On Tuesdays, I meet with a group of moms from my church.  On Thursdays, we get together with Kristi and her kids and Lindsay and her son (usually going to a park and having a picnic if it's not freezing outside or Marbles or the science museum or lunch).  On Fridays, we often hang out with our friend Pam, going to the Farmer's Market or playground or some other adventure.

After our errands and/or play time with friends, we come home and eat lunch.  I feed the babies first, and then put them down for their naps.  Then I eat lunch and try to take a nap while they're napping.  I used to use this time to get things done around the house, but I have been so tired lately with the pregnancy and sleeping issues.  If I don't nap, I am usually a complete zombie (versus a partial zombie on napping days) by the time Jason gets home.

These days, the kids are napping anywhere from 1.5 hours to 3 hours.  Unfortunately, they rarely BOTH decide to sleep 3 hours, so that is an unusual luxury when it happens.  When they wake up, we usually go for a run.  Before I got pregnant, this was a 6-mile run at least 4 times a week (around 9:30 minute pace, usually 5 times a week with long runs on Sundays).  Now that I'm pregnant and exhausted, it's a 4-mile "something" (running at an 11 minute pace, or even just walking), and it usually only happens 2-3 times a week.  I'm hoping that this gets better as I round the corner into the 2nd trimester.

After our run, we usually play outside, waiting for Daddy to drive around the corner.  When Jason gets home, the babies get SO excited.  They usually run to him (almost like "Thank God someone is saving us from this boring lady we hang out with all day!").  We come inside and play a bit more.  Jason loves to make Mega Blok airplanes and cars and the babies like to crash them.  Sometimes he does this "blanket monster" thing where he gets under a blanket and catches the babies under the blanket with him.  He's a very engaged, fun, loving father.  I am a lucky lady.

We feed the babies around 6, and then take them straight to the bath.  They love bath time, especially when it involves bubbles.  Jason washes them while I get the pajamas ready, set out the towels and usually sneak in some laundry work.  When baths are finished, we play some more.  We're trying to teach the kids to help us clean up.  They usually do a pretty good job, but it's definitely still a learning process.  We read books, and then the kids go to bed at 7 pm.  We usually don't hear from them at all during the night.  It has been months and months since we actually had to go into the nursery to check on them after bed.

After the babies are in bed, we clean.  This includes laundry, cleaning the kitchen (dishes, cleaning up the high chairs, sweeping up all the food on the floor, etc), finishing cleaning up all the kids toys, etc.  This usually takes about 30-45 minutes, depending on the night.  On Fridays, Jason vacuums the entire house, including the stairs.  Did I mention that I'm a lucky girl?

We usually either eat dinner with the babies (just sort of snacking on whatever they're eating) or we eat after the cleaning.

When the cleaning is done and I have had a chance to eat something, I lie back in the recliner and transition into a vegetative state.  We usually go to bed at 10 and then start it all again.

"Mi. Mi" (Translation: "Miles. Miles.")

Vivienne has finally started trying to say "Miles."  It comes out more like "My," but I'll take it.  A couple days ago, she woke up from her nap first.  I was downstairs playing with her, and we heard Miles start to stir up in his room.  She said, "Mi.  Mi."  Then she went over to the baby gate at the bottom of the stairs, pointing up the stairs and saying, "Mi."  I opened up the gate, let her crawl all the way up, and she went straight to the nursery door.  I opened it and they squealed to greet each other.

Miles doesn't try to say "Vivienne" yet.  I think that one is going to be a bit trickier.

Having twins is such a blessing.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Back-up Lovey Fail

I ordered back-up loveys for the kids, because their loveys get really disgusting after they sleep with them for about a week.  Vivienne actually sucks on Piglet's ears and face.  It's pretty gross.  He really smells awful.  It's difficult to figure out how to wash him without her needing him (for naps during the day and then for sleeping at night). 

Tonight, we tried to give her the back-up Piglet.  It completely failed.  She was totally disturbed (yes, that's the right word) by the impostor.  She tried to put his ear in her mouth, and then she got this disgusted look on her face.  She kept throwing him on the ground and running around the kitchen and dining room looking for the real Piglet.

Jason and I are debating as to which one of us needs to suck on Impostor Piglet's head for a few hours so that she'll accept him next time we try.  I say Jason should do it.  I'm pregnant.  There has to be something bad about sucking on a furry pig's head when you're pregnant.

First Day Running

Today was Jason's first day back at work.  It was sad to be home without him.  We have gotten spoiled by the past 10 days that we have had with him home. 

Luckily, I was feeling really good today - almost completely normal.  *insert Hallelujah Chorus*  It was a little chilly (high of 45 degrees), but I decided to try to take the babies for a jog after our 2-hour nap.  (Yes, you read that right.  A TWO HOUR NAP.  It was life changing.)  I ran 4 miles.  Well, I basically jogged (something like a 10:30 to 10:45 pace) for 3.5 miles and then partially walked the last half mile.  My overall pace was something like 11:15. 

Even though today was crazy slow, I was glad to be back on my feet and getting my blood pumping.  I could totally tell the difference being a pregnant jogging momma.  My breath is shorter and my heart rate rises more quickly with less exertion.  I can definitely sense the changes in my respiratory and circulatory system.  It's surprising, because I don't really look very pregnant yet, but I sure feel pregnant.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Why I Blog

I guess there are quite a few reasons why I blog.  Neither of our families (actually not a single person in either of our families), lives in North Carolina.  Our families are mainly in Indiana, Georgia and Florida.  I like having a way for them to stay up-to-date on the kids, and the grandparents especially love seeing pictures of them.

I also blog because I enjoy writing about our day-to-day lives.  I enjoy writing about how my children are learning and growing and blossoming into the unique little people that God created them to be.  I have never been able to keep a written journal for more than 3 days, so I am proud of myself for keeping this up for so long.

The main reason that I blog is that I want my kids to be able to look back and read about their milestones, see pictures of themselves growing up with their siblings, know what their mom was thinking and feeling, read letters that I have written specifically about and to them.  In this age of digital photography, I worry that many of our photos will either be lost or that there will be so many photos that we could never sift back through them, so it is important to me to save them somehow.

I guess you could say that this blog is my love letter to my children.  I have printed two books from the blog so far - one of the pregnancy and one of the first year of Miles and Vivienne's lives.  My intention is to keep doing this for as long as I can (or until blogs become obsolete and there is some newfangled way to record thoughts and photos).

(My books have come from - they do all the formatting for me.  It makes these books relatively effortless to create.)

Christmas Day

Christmas Day was wonderful.  My parents were here visiting, so it was fun to spend time with them.  This was the first time that they have seen Miles walking around so much. 

On Christmas Eve, the kids each opened up a gift, and it was matching red pajamas from Grandma & Granddad.  They looked ridiculously cute in them.  We tucked them in their beds, and then started assembling the play kitchen that we bought for them.  Grandma and Granddad did most of the assembling, because we went back to church to help clean up after the Christmas Eve services.  Thanks for the help, Grandma & Granddad!

On Christmas morning, the kids enjoyed playing with their new kitchen, new table and chairs, big toy car track thingy and other toys.

Our Little Elves Behind Their Kitchen

Miles enjoys some hot tea.
Our friends, Jason, Pam, Brad and Melissa came over for brunch after they served breakfast at the Durham Rescue Mission.  We made homemade cinnamon rolls and my parents bought a Honeybaked Ham.  The rest of the crew brought frittatas, sausage, fruit and juices to share.  It was delicious.  We were stuffed after that.

Practicing Using a Fork with Grandma
The kids enjoyed playing with the wrapping paper, boxes and packaging as much as the toys.

Melissa, Brad and Vivienne

 My dad has a knack for finding extremely entertaining gadgets/gizmos/games/toys at Christmas.  This Christmas, he did not disappoint.  We were sitting in the family room, and I heard this swooshing sound.  I looked to my right, and an enormous clown fish (about 4 feet long and 2 feet tall) "swam" (flew?) around the staircase.  Dad bought two helium-filled mechanical fish - one shark and one clown fish.  The babies were a bit timid at first, but by the second day, Vivienne was requesting that we bring the fish into the great room so that they could swim (fly?) around.

Vivienne feeds Eddie (the shark) with her fork.

Keep in mind that that Christmas tree is actually 9 feet tall.
It was a great Christmas with family, and so nice to be home, sleeping in our own beds.  It's hard to believe that next year, there will be five stockings hung from the mantle.  I hope Granddad has room for one more wee one on that lap of his.

Christmas Service

Thanks to lots of great friends' hand-me-downs, the kids had some really cute outfits to wear for the Christmas service at church.  Miles' little pants, black velvet blazer and dress shoes were from the McKay's.  Vivienne's little Christmas dress was from our dear friend, Kylie.

Our church has 8 Christmas services, which is great for us, because we can choose the day and time that is best for us and the kids.  We went to the Christmas Eve 1:00 service, and it worked out well with nap time.  Miles and Vivienne sat through the entire service with us, and they did a great job.  Vivienne got a little squirmy, but Miles just sat in Grandma's lap for the entire service, staring at the stage.  I guess bringing a tired toddler to church is sometimes an advantage.  (He's either going to fall into a terrible tantrum or just fall into a daze.)

Our church is very modern - lots of awesome music and really great artistic things to watch (and a ridiculously hilarious video of the kids in the church saying what they want for Christmas).  It was a great time.  They even gave the kids a goody bag with something to color, Crayons, a little twisty polar bear to play with and a glow stick (instead of a candle for singing Silent Night). 

Hope This One's Not Breakable

Luckily, it wasn't...

Liz & Jessica Visit

A couple weeks ago, my friends from California, Jessica and Liz, came to visit.  Jessica now lives in Wilmington and Liz just moved back from Tanzania.  It was so wonderful to catch up with them both and to hear what's been going on in their lives.  We also took a quick trip to Southpoint (my only trip to the mall this holiday season) and ate some really awesome P.F. Chang's.  I forgot how good P.F. Chang's is!  I ate way to much and enjoyed the dinner conversation thoroughly.  Thanks, Liz and Jessica, for putting up with my "morning" sickness funkiness while you were here.  And thanks for visiting!

Painted Shutters & Front Door

Gosh, this is LONG overdue, but a couple months ago, we painted the shutters and the front door of our house.  They used to be this faded country blue color.  Now, they are a modern, crisp black.  I LOVE it!  Thanks to Lila & Keith for watching the babies while we painted.  And thanks to Jason for holding the extension ladder while I painted we painted.

The beautiful Christmas wreath that my mom made last year looks great on the new black front door.

Vivienne is Ready!

When we get together with our friend, Jill, Vivienne is all too eager to hop into her little baby's infant carrier.  I think she's ready to be a big sister.  Or at least she's ready to kick her little sibling out of their infant carrier so that she can play.