Saturday, September 10, 2011

Gwen and Chloe!

Well, my baby girls are a week old today.


After being put on complete bed rest a week and a half ago, and switching to a stronger medication to stop contractions, I still ended up going into labor on Friday night (the 2nd).  Long story short: We went to the hospital, I was dilated to a 5, they couldn't stop my contractions, my Dr. was out of town so the other Dr. from her office who was on call came over to the hospital, decided he didn't want to attempt a breach delivery of a twin that early due to very high risks (34 weeks 5 days along), so I agreed to a C-section.  It was quick and felt very strange with all the tugging and pulling, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, other than the part where they were trying to push Baby A out by pressing really really hard on my upper abdomen/lower ribs.  That part was quite painful.  Spinal block took care of all the other pain.  It was very weird not being able to move my legs and feet at all for several hours.

So, at 12:18am, Saturday the 3rd of September, Gwen Van Dusen was born, weighing in at 5lbs 5oz, and at 12:19am, Chloe Van Dusen was born, weighing in at 5lbs 6oz.  They went straight to the NICU, of course.  Gwen was on a CPAP for a few hours on Saturday, then was doing fine and was switched to room air.  Chloe was on the CPAP for several days, then very suddenly apparently decided she desperately wanted to bottle feed, so they switched her to a nasal cannula delivering oxygen, which she was on for several days, and just got off of yesterday.  Both girls are eating well now, though Gwen tends to be a little pickier and sometimes won't eat much, and Chloe is generally a little chow hound.  They are both finally gaining weight again instead of losing weight.  Gwen was on phototherapy for one day but has been fine since.

They let me stay at the hospital until Wednesday since the girls were in the NICU.  It was very hard emotionally going home while leaving them there, but I've been trying hard to rest and recuperate and spend a bit of time loving on my boys since getting home, so that I will have lots of energy to take care of the girls once they're released.  Recovering from a C-section has been drastically different than recovering from either of the boys' births.  I am really looking forward to being able to twist, bend, and pick things up off the floor again at some point.  My feet finally today just stopped being swollen.  I spend most of my time sitting on my bed, a large portion of that time is spent pumping, which has been going surprisingly well.  I am just barely managing to keep up with how much the girls are eating every day.  I get my walking in on our trips to the hospital every day, twice a day.  It wears me out, and I'm generally ready for a nap as soon as we get home from seeing the girls.  Mike put reminders into the calendar on my phone for when to take my pain meds, which has been very helpful, and has kept most of the pain at bay.

Gwen and Chloe have both been doing really, really well, and might get to come home as soon as Tuesday, assuming they don't have any more episodes where they "de-sat" (significant drop in their oxygen levels in their blood).  I am starting to feel a bit more confident about taking care of them.  It's harder than taking care of a full-term baby.  Despite being a really good size, especially for their gestational age at birth, especially for twins, they are still little itty-bitty girls who require extra-cautious care.  I love getting to hold them and snuggle with them, and they are doing better for me at eating from their bottles.  I'm still working on burping them, I'm not very confident with that yet.  And is daunting trying to swaddle someone so little bitty.  I think I need one of their nurses to talk me through it one of these times.  They are currently allowed to try nursing up to a couple times a day, we've been doing it once a day in the mornings the past few days.  It doesn't take more than a few minutes before they're completely exhausted from the effort, but they are doing marvelously well overall and have impressed all of the lactation consultants that have come in to help us.

They both have lots of dark hair, and look a lot like their brothers to me.  Gwen is a bit more on the petite side, and Chloe has adorable chubby cheeks already.  We still have no idea whether or not they are identical, and will probably just have to order a DNA home test kit (cheek swabs) sometime to find out for sure.

And now for the best part: pictures!



 Together (Gwen on left, Chloe on right):

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I've got a month left, hopefully, before the babies get here.  We've got the third bedroom cleaned out ready to move them in there whenever I decide they need to be in there instead of in my room.  We've got two cribs.  We've got clothes, and blankets, and a twin nursing pillow and a nursing stool, and bottles, and baby soap, and washcloths and towels, and hangers, and wipes, and so so so many diapers.  I've ordered a stroller that should be getting here in not too many days now, the Valco Baby Tri-Mode EX Twin.  It's a very nice, very expensive stroller.

Let me talk about the stroller for a bit, because I'm pretty excited about it.  It's a double, side-by-side stroller.  Both seats can recline completely flat, and the reclines are independent of each other, as are the sun shades, which are nice and large.  There are storage pockets on the backs of the seats that can zip off revealing a mesh peek-a-boo cooling window.  There are two attachments we are planning on getting as soon as they're not backordered anymore: a toddler joey seat, and a hitchhiker board.  The joey seat hooks onto the front of the stroller, higher up than the other two seats.  The hitchhiker board hooks onto the back and provides a nice place for an older child to stand when they get tired of walking.  So with both of those, all four children will be able to ride on the stroller!  So, I'm psyched.

I'm particularly psyched about the stroller because I'm really, really looking forward to going on walks, out of the house.  After a whole bunch of contractions a few weekends ago (and a trip to the hospital for monitoring when one bout wouldn't stop despite the terbutaline), I am now on a regular every-six-hours dosage of terbutaline.  It's working really well, I haven't had any bouts of contractions since I started taking it regularly, but I do still have sporadic contractions, sometimes painful, particularly if I do, oh, pretty much anything other than sitting on the couch or in bed.  I've read several great books, I've beaten quite a few iPhone games, I've done a bit of crocheting, but lately I've been feeling lazy and have mostly played a lot of solitaire.  Oh, and basic child care like diaper changes and potty training, and the occasional load of laundry, and sometimes I get fed up and pick up all the toys off the floor, but that's pretty much it.  I've had a cold the past week and a half, so I haven't gone to church, so the only time I've gotten out of the house in the past two weeks is to go to the doctor's.

Everything is looking good though.  No signs of the babies coming excessively early (though I'm 33 weeks now so they'd do okay most likely if they were born soon).  Baby A is still head down and likely to stay that way, which bodes well for birthing.  She's 4lbs. 3oz. right now, based on my ultrasound on Thursday.  Baby B is currently head up, and also likely to stay that way, though she sometimes flops over sideways I think.  She's 4lbs. 14oz. right now, quite a bit chubbier than her will-probably-be-older sister.  So, they're growing well, and will both hopefully be over 5lbs. when they're born, which is what I was aiming for.  They gave me ridiculously bad heartburn for a couple of weeks, but that seems to have subsided a bit, so they must've shifted around.  They kick and move around a fair bit.  It's rather odd feeling one kick my pelvis while the other kicks my ribs, though that doesn't happen terribly often.  Baby B gets hiccups sometimes, I haven't noticed Baby A having any yet.

Aiden likes telling me that he likes my belly.  He comes up and puts his hand on it sometimes and says hi to them, and occasionally will play with his baby doll after, and put her down for a nap on a pillow.  He's started preschool and seems to be enjoying it as far as I can tell.  He gets to ride to and from with a girl he knows from nursery.  He now knows what a lowercase letter "a" looks like, and has been particularly excited after having gotten to use glue (am I a bad mommy for never letting him use glue at home?) during one class, and getting to paint (on purple paper!) another day.  He's doing reasonably well with potty training.  He still has small accidents most every day, and occasionally big accidents when he gets caught up in what he's doing and doesn't want to stop to use the potty.  Overall he's doing much better though.  He has been growing, growing, growing, particularly his feet.  We need to get him some new shoes, I think size 10's now.  He likes running around the house with his church shoes on, and likes having socks on both his feet and his hands.  He really likes playing with his foam "Thor" sword, and we have been trying to teach him to hold it with two hands so he has a little more control over it.  He and Caleb will occasionally sword fight and whack each other's play swords repeatedly while making sounds effects and laughing.  Aiden also loves pretending to fix things, and helping cook, and playing with PlayDoh, and all sorts of normal 3-year-old activities.  He's particularly enjoyed watching Kung Fu Panda most every day lately, as well as InterStella 5555, and My Neighbors, the Yamadas, and Lion King.

Caleb has also been growing a lot.  He's got three canines now, two of them just came through a couple days ago.  He absolutely loves watching My Neighbor Totoro, and is starting to enjoy watching Baby Signing Time again after disliking it for a couple of months.  There are some things things where he is exactly the same as Aiden was at this age (like the obsession with shoes, and hats), but I'm frequently amazed by how different they are from each other.  Aiden has always been very independent.  Caleb is a snuggler.  He climbs up onto my lap all the time to give me a snuggle before running off to play again.  Aiden has almost always been a very good eater.  Caleb is sometimes picky and will refuse to eat half the food I offer him.  Aiden never had any problems with nursery, he didn't ever suffer from separation anxiety when we left him there, but Caleb generally cries for at least 10 minutes at the beginning of nursery every week, and frequently breaks down again sometime before it's over.  He also has a hard time with going over to other kids' houses to play without me there, and cries for 5-15 minutes before he'll get distracted and start playing.  Aiden is a bit nervous about heights and falling, whereas Caleb has absolutely no fear, and absolutely loves getting tossed up into the air and falling back down.  Aiden started talking on the early side, and Caleb is just starting to seem interested in talking.  Speaking of talking, here's a lovely list of signs Caleb does regularly, followed by words he tries to say sometimes:

Wash hands
Brush teeth
All done

Cracker (gager)
Water (wa)
Wash (awsh)
Baby (baybeh)
Hat (ha)
Reggie (my in-laws' dog, he says JiJi)
Milk (ilk)
Eat (ee)
Please (eeesss)
Banana (nana)
Bubble (buhbuh)
Book (ook)
Me (memememememememe)
Daddy (da-eee)

That's all I can remember right now.  He sometimes clasps his hands for a few seconds when we say prayers.  He loves sitting and "reading" his books to himself, turning all the pages and looking at the pictures.  He likes to dance, which consists of spinning around in circles until he falls over.  He likes clapping and saying Yay.  He's started noticing his reflection in shiny surfaces around the house and will put his face right up against it and say Baby and smile and touch it.  He sometimes will try to give kisses, which consists of him pressing his whole lower face against your cheek and going "mmmm".  His teeth have continued their trend of coming in ridiculously slowly, causing him weeks of suffering, crankiness, and runny noses (and the occasional fever).  He loves stacking things, like stacking cups and stacking rings, and Duplos.  He also really really likes throwing things all over the ground.  He uses utensils quite well, and is probably better at it than Aiden was at this age.  He loves playing with his brother, and absolutely adores his Grandpa and cries whenever anybody that isn't Grandpa comes to the door.  He likes doing anything Aiden is doing, including coloring, painting, PlayDoh, sword-fighting, throwing balls, and sometimes throwing tantrums too.

Both kids love playing outside, and love playing in the water in their kiddie pool and making mud and digging holes in the dirt and driving their little play cars.  They both love baths, and going for walks in the stroller, and playing in the sand at the playground.  They like hitting things and drumming and playing one loud shrieky note on their recorder and whacking keys on the piano.  Aiden sings sometimes, and Caleb sometimes tries to sing a little as well.  They like pushing their tiny plastic kid chairs all over the house, which makes a very loud noise that they both love.  They like chasing each other and playing hide-and-seek, and completely adore their daddy.  When he comes home they both run up to him and jump at him until he picks them both up at once.  They love it when he runs through the house holding both of them, and when he drops them out of his arms onto the couch, and they love rough-housing with him before bed.  I have been the more "threatening" parent lately, which has its pros and cons.

Mike continues to be ridiculously busy all the time, running extra training sessions at work, attending lots of church meetings, and taking care of me, the kids, and the house whenever he's home.  His grandfather (FarFar) passed away and Mike will be going to the funeral in California this weekend.  I wish the kids and I could go with him, but I'm pretty sure my doctor would nix any ideas of me traveling anywhere, and I am not going to foist the kids on him by himself again.  He took both of them on the Ward Campout last weekend by himself.  They had a lot of fun and came home ridiculously dirty, and all three of them were completely exhausted from it.

We continue to be blessed extensively, receiving help from family and ward members without asking for it.  People have brought us food, babysat the kids so I could rest, cleaned my house for me, and have been very generous with gifts for the babies.  I am continually grateful for their service and kindness, even if I am really behind on writing thank you notes.

Knowing myself and the infrequency of my posting, the next post you read will probably be after the twins arrive.  If you want any info before then on how my life is going (sitting on the couch, contractions, etc., absolutely riveting updates I tell you!) I update FaceBook regularly and just started using Google+ as well.

The End.

P.S. My belly is bigger than it has ever been before.  Just in case you were wondering.

P.P.S. The title of this post has nothing to do with anything.  It's just the first thing that popped into my head when I was looking at the text field.  Now you can spend the rest of the day thinking about starfish and how they relate (or don't) to everything else.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Couch potato

I've officially gained 30lbs. so far this pregnancy, and still have 3 months left to go (hopefully) before the babies arrive (and that will still technically be early).  I've also been having contractions for the past month, with several bouts of regular, slightly painful ones, so after my visit to the doctor today, I've got a prescription for Terbutaline to take as needed, and orders to be a couch potato for the next week until I have another (extra) appointment.  I'm honestly kind of looking forward to having such a great excuse to not do any housework or cooking or anything and just sit and read the pile of books I've got that I haven't read yet.  My cervix still seems fine, so that eased my mind quite a bit, and I've got an ultrasound tomorrow which will hopefully show that everything (and everybody) is still doing fine in there with no signs of coming yet.  Of course, if the contractions start getting really frequent and regular, then we'll switch to a consistent dosage of Terbutaline, and if things still don't calm down, then I'll start getting daily steroid shots to boost lung development of the babies.  Hopefully things don't go there.  My belly is huge already, so I think my uterus is a bit confused and thinking it's about time to get things started because it's almost as big as it was full-term with the other kids.  Hey, uterus, take a chill pill, ok?  Could be over-activity/dehydration/etc. too.  It has been over 100 every day here for the past couple of weeks (107 right now), and I do tend to get more contractions if, say, I do the dishes, or pick up my kids, or whatever.  Luckily, Mike is being fantastically helpful whenever he's home, and my in-laws have been wonderful about watching the kids and helping out around the house regularly.  And my ward is full of really great and wonderful people who I'm sure would be very happy to help with whatever if we need them to.  My hormones have been kind of crazy for the past week, too, and I've broken down crying at around dinner time almost every day since Sunday.  My poor family.  It's going to be a long, tough summer, I think.

This last weekend, we went with my in-laws to California to see Mike's FarFar and FarMor (grandparents), and visit with his brother and family as well.  We stayed at the Lawrence Welk resort, which was very fun. I got to try putting on a real golf green for the first time ever (I'm terrible at it, but probably not as terrible as I am at all the other not-putting parts of golf).  We went fishing, catch and release, in a pond, with hotdogs and American cheese for bait, and I caught three fish, which was very exciting.  And I de-hooked two of them all by myself, another first for me.  I haven't gone fishing in a long time, so I really enjoyed that.  And we went swimming at the pool, which the kids loved.  And we went to a family party, and Mike's grandparents got to see Caleb for the first time (and have all their great-grandkids there at once), so that was nice, and Aiden absolutely loved getting to play with his cousins again.  All in all, it was a very enjoyable trip, except for the contractions in the middle of the night our last night there, and the contractions all the way home in the car, and Google Maps telling us to not take the freeway but to take a little mountainous (beautiful) curvy swervy hilly road instead, which led to me feeling very carsick for half the trip, and Aiden throwing up.  Minor negatives though.  It was most definitely the last trip of any sort that I'll be taking for probably the next six months at least.

My parents went in to the MTC today, and are off to Guatemala in a couple of days.  I'm excited for them, and am sure they'll do wonderfully, but I already miss being able to call my mom whenever I want to talk.  I will probably be a hormonal emotional crying wreck when the babies get here and she's not here (then again...I would probaby be a hormonal emotional crying wreck after the babies get here even if she was here...I don't do well on not enough sleep).  I'm hopeful that we'll figure out some way to go down and visit sometime during their three years there, though I looked at airfare the other day, and holy cow, it's ridiculous.  Maybe that'll be what we spend our tax return on in a couple years.  Ooh, tax return should be extra big next year with four kids all of the sudden instead of two.  I'm sure we'll need the extra, diapers are expensive enough, let alone buying all-new baby clothes for two babies at once, and all the other incidental expenses associated with having children.

Lets see, other things of note since my last update...Mike and I went on a date to the ballet, which was fun, and led to lots of kicking from the girls in my tummy (did I ever mention they are both most definitely girls?).  I think they liked the music.  We went to San Diego where Mike shot a wedding (I assisted), and that was fun, though I got sick for several nasty hours the day of the wedding, and missed some of the time when I normally would have been helping him take photos.  At least I made it for the surfing, the wedding, and the reception.  My computer unexpectedly stopped booting up while we were there too, which led to some interesting hijinks trying to offload the photos from the memory cards to free them up for more photos the rest of the day.  Booting into safe mode ended up working eventually, and then I fixed all the broken file permissions, and then my computer decided to work again, yay.  We also stopped by a baby stuff store while we were there that weekend and got to try out a bunch of different double strollers.  Unfortunately, they didn't have the one stroller I'd really, really like to see in person, but they did have all the others I'd been considering.  For now, I have decided to hold off on getting another stroller until I determine whether or not I'm ever actually going to go anywhere ever again by myself with my kids.  We had our 5th wedding anniversary, my 28th birthday, and Mother's Day all within a week, which was fun (for me, at least...).  I got lots of lovely presents, like a (complete surprise) shed to expand our storage space so we can finally turn our third bedroom into a bedroom rather than a storage room, a beautiful green KitchenAid stand mixer, which has already gotten lots of use, several books that I've been wanting to read (The Way of Kings (fantastic), Cooking for Geeks (also fantastic), and Godel, Escher, Bach: The Eternal Golden Braid (a bit difficult for me to understand various parts of, but very, very interesting so far)).  I also acquired this week a copy of Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians, which I'm excited to read.  For Father's Day, I decided we should replace our waffle iron, sandwich cooker, griddle, and mini George Foreman grill, and got Mike a combo CuisinArt Griddler (and the optional waffle plates), which so far seems pretty fantastic, and will free up a fair bit of room in my kitchen cupboards.  Multi-purpose kitchen appliances are amazing and wonderful.  I sorted through a bunch of our stored junk, and have a decent sized pile to sell, and a smaller pile of stuff to toss out, and some stuff to move into the shed, and some stuff to move into other parts of the house, to make room for babies.  I wanted to sort through a bunch more stuff this week, but can't now, due to all the contraction stuff.  I think that's likely what Mike and I will be doing on his days off for the next month or so.

Oh! I bought window crayons for the kids.  They're pretty awesome and I love having colorful scribbles all over our sliding glass door.  I can't believe I've never used them before.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

To summarize (or not...very long)

Easter was quite lovely, with some of the most delicious ham ever.  My children both ate way too much candy, between three different Easter Egg hunts total, and two pinatas.  They had a fantastic time.  We watched one of our church-produced films about Christ twice, and tried repeatedly to explain both death and resurrection to Aiden, but I don't think he quite gets it yet.

We went to Virginia Beach for a family reunion with my family, which was fabulous, other than the traveling there and back, which was terrible.  There were no direct flights, so we had scheduled a flight with a layover/plane-switch in Cleveland for the way there.  But, after an hour or so of hanging out at our gate for our second plane, they announced that there were tornado warnings in Virginia.  Eventually, our flight ended up being cancelled, and since it was due to weather, they only gave us a discount on a hotel for the night, and then there wasn't a direct flight from Cleveland to Norfolk with three open seats on it for the next day, so we got to fly to Newark, and from there to Norfolk.  Since the storm the day before had apparently smashed the entire East coast, the Newark airport was dealing with the aftermath of loads of cancelled and rescheduled flights, and the flight we were supposed to be on ended up being delayed, and Mike got us switched to a different, earlier flight, which also ended up being delayed so we got to Virginia almost exactly 24 hours after we were originally supposed to be there.  And our one checked bag didn't make it until later that night, and so we had to go pick it up from the airport the next day.

We went to Busch Gardens our first day there, which was nice, but I didn't get to hang out with my family as much as I would have liked, since everybody split up for most of the day to take their kids to all the different age-appropriate rides.  Aiden got to meet Grover and Elmo and Abbie from Sesame Street though, which he loved.  He gave Grover a flower that he had picked a few minutes before from a nearby planter.  It was unbearably cute.

The next day we went to the aquarium, which would have been fantastic if my children had not been fairly grumpy due to extreme fatigue still from all the traveling and missed naps and hunger from a very delayed lunch-time.  Aiden really liked it all until we got to the tunnel of fish, which seemed to terrify him for no apparent reason.  He also thought the sharks were a little scary, but I think realistically he was just so tired by the time we got to them that he wouldn't have liked them no matter what.  Watching the Harbor Seals out front was very fun, though, and I loved seeing all the different fish.  That evening we did a family photo, since we won't all be together again for over three years.  Mike was taking the photo, so he was busy all afternoon and evening getting all his gear ready and prepped and figuring out where to take what photos, etc.

The day after that was check-out and go-home day.  We all helped clean up the beach house and packed up all our stuff, then the kids did a pinata and we said good-bye.  I haven't let myself think too much about the good-bye part or how long it will be before I see any of my family again.  Caleb threw up that morning right before we left the beach house, so that was fun.  We had a plane change in the middle of our trip back, in Charlotte this time, and our first flight ended up being delayed so they switched us to an earlier flight so we could make our connection.  We still only had half-an-hour to deplane, get all our gate-checked items (2 carseats, one stroller, one suitcase), and make a mad dash from one end of the airport to the complete opposite end.  We ran about halfway, and then caught an electric cart for the second half, and ended up being pretty much the last people on the plane.  Caleb threw up again partway through the last flight.  My "Mommy reflexes" are getting pretty good when it comes to keeping vomit off of clothes.  And, of course, to top it off, our two checked bags on the way back didn't make it home to Arizona until an hour or more after we did, so we had them deliver them to our house the next day.

I really did love getting to see and hang out with my family, though!  But we have determined to not fly Continental or United or U.S. Airways again for as long as we can.

My Mom and younger brother came to visit us about a week before our trip, which was lovely.  My mom came to my nuchal translucency screening ultrasound with me, where they informed me that both babies seem perfectly healthy, and that they are guessing they're both girls, although we won't know for sure until my next ultrasound in May.  So, that was exciting.  We also had a birthday party for Aiden's third birthday while they were here.  He got way more presents than any 3-year-old needs, including nine different toy dinosaurs, a toy leaf-blower with goggles, a super-hero cape, some new clothes, and some other stuff that I can't remember right now.  He loved all of it.  I made him a cake that looked vaguely like a dinosaur.  He likes to wear his goggles and cape and run around being a super-helper or Super Grover or a space ranger sometimes when it's just the goggles.

Caleb is learning to talk, and in addition to MaMa and DaDa now says "Iiiii" for both Hi and Bye, and Uh-oh whenever anything drops.  He is almost walking, he loves holding onto our fingers and walking all over the place, and will take up to about six steps on his own without holding on to anything before he falls over generally, and has started crawling with all his limbs straight because it's more like walking. He got his first hair cut on Saturday, which didn't really make him look different at all because all his hair is still pretty much invisible, but we feel better that he doesn't have a mullet any more.

I got some new maternity clothes from Ross, which has been really nice.  They're light and comfy and should last through the summer pretty well (I hope).  And, they're cute too, so that's always a bonus.  I felt one of the babies moving a little on Sunday during Relief Society.  Still waiting to feel the other one some time.

That covers pretty much everything!

tl;dr: Things overall are great, kids are growing up, twins are doing well, airplane travel can suck.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This and that

The kids have been sick (Aiden has had a stomach virus for the past week and a half, and Caleb's got ear infections in both ears), I have been sick (a cold and morning sickness), and I am tired of everybody being sick.

A couple of weekends ago we went to Disneyland with Mike's family.  We drove there in our new (used) minivan (2007 Honda Odyssey, I love it so far, remote open doors are fantastic), which was quite nice.  Aiden came down with his stomach virus in the middle of the night after our day at Disney, which was kind of terrible.  I will spare you the details.  But the kids really enjoyed the park, though Aiden thought the Nemo subs were a little scary.  They were both entranced by It's a Small World.  Aiden also really liked the Casey Jones train, and I think he enjoyed Autopia quite a bit as well.  We probably won't be back to Disney for quite a while due to the logistics of so many small children.

My stomach is growing ridiculously large.  I have already switched to my maternity pants and will soon need my maternity shirts.  I want to buy a maternity swim suit, I never purchased one with the other two pregnancies, but I am waiting to buy anything baby-related until after my next appointment, as I must admit I'm still a bit nervous about how well things are going in there.  Aiden is convinced that both babies are girls.

My mom gave me a really pretty bird feeder for Christmas.  I've been filling it up with bird seed ever since, but only recently have we started to actually get birds using it.  Mostly it's doves and sparrows that come to snack.  We've also got a couple of little birds that I think are probably a type of flycatcher that stop by occasionally.  And there's some big old black birds that come eat things off the patio and lawn, probably bugs.  I've been enjoying watching the birds and trying to identify them.  It would probably be easier to do if I cleaned my sliding glass door so that I could see all the little markings on the birds.

I've been letting the kids watch ridiculous amounts of movies and TV lately while I've been sick and they've been sick.  I am really sick of all three Toy Story movies, as those are Aiden's favorites lately.  I discovered there's Sesame Street episodes on Netflix, so we started watching that yesterday.  Much more enjoyable.  Also, we have been watching Shaun the Sheep which is hilarious.

My family is having a family reunion next month in Virginia.  I'm really excited to see everybody again, I've been missing my family lately.  And it is probably the last time I'll get to see my parents for the next three+ years.  I find it somewhat funny that I will be pregnant again.  I was pregnant at our last reunion, and very newly pregnant at the reunion before that.  I also seem to be running into the problem of being pregnant every time we go to an amusement park and being unable to go on any of the rides.

Lots more cravings with this pregnancy than the previous ones.  Mostly for protein, like steak.  Yum.  Occasionally chicken.  I seem to have an aversion to fish at the moment, as well as milk.  Cheese is good though, along with basic carbohydrates, especially if they're smothered with butter and, well, cheese.

It's been beautiful weather here lately.  We would be spending a lot of time outside if we weren't all sick.  Though we did go out last week and I pulled the weeds from our front yard and side yard (of which there were a lot, mostly very, very large).  My cilantro, arugula, and basil plants are all flowering.  The garden's quite pretty with all the little white flowers.  I'm giving up on the garden for the summer, I just don't have the energy to take care of it properly this year.

We went to the zoo awhile ago.  I got to see the face of one of the visiting koalas, and oh my goodness, they are freaking adorable in real life.  Aiden really enjoyed trying to touch the stingrays in their pool, and absolutely loved brushing the goats.  He was running from one to the other, touching their heads or ears with the rubber brush for a split second, then running away laughing.  It was so cute.

Caleb just woke up from his nap, so that ends this post.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011



I'm due Oct. 9th.  We're incredibly excited!  There's no history of twins in my family, so we weren't really expecting two, though I had thought about the possibility several times.  My life is going to be crazy, with four kids under the age of 4, plus my mom won't be able to come help because my parents are leaving this summer to go be mission presidents in Guatemala (which we're also very excited about), so, it will definitely be crazy.  But, I'll survive.  Everything is looking good so far with the pregnancy, it feels quite a lot different than my previous two pregnancies.  Here's hoping it all continues to go well and without any complications.  What a fabulous start to March!

Friday, January 28, 2011

1 year! LOTS of pictures

Okay, so I'm really, really late posting up about Caleb's birthday.  But!  I'm going to include pictures!  So, worth the wait, maybe?

We had a little birthday party for him.  I made him a triple-layer small tall chocolate-frosted chocolate cake with colored frosting spots, just for him.  Very much like Aiden's first birthday cake.  Then I made a double-layer cake for the rest of us.  It turned out pretty tasty.  Caleb really liked it once he decided to try tasting it.  Though, he didn't eat very much before he was done.  Because, I made my family eat dinner before cake!  Amazing parenting right there, I know.  He got lots of lovely presents which he likes a lot and Aiden likes more and has stolen pretty much all of them from his little brother already.

At his one year check-up, Caleb weighed 22lbs, 10oz. and was 31" long.  The doctor said that puts him in the 90th percentile for height, and 50th for weight.  He's still fitting perfectly into the 12-18 month clothes that he's been wearing for quite a few months now.  He still looks pretty bald.  He's got hair on the sides and back of his head that's actually getting pretty long, but it's so fine and so light that it's pretty much invisible.  He's not really chubby anymore, but he's still fatter than Aiden was at this age, so it's kind of fun seeing his little round belly poking out over his diaper when he's sitting up.  He's still got just the seven teeth, number eight is taking its' sweet time.

Caleb got kind of sick after his immunizations, on and off for a couple of weeks.  Light fever, not sleeping well, constantly cranky, not eating well.  It wasn't terribly enjoyable.  His next batch of shots shouldn't be so bad though.  It made me glad we scheduled his appointment for after his birthday rather than before, so he could enjoy his little party.

He loves and adores Aiden still, and of course he still loves his Mommy, but lately he has started adoring on his Daddy.  Whenever Mike gives him a kiss before he has to leave for work or church meetings, Caleb reaches out and grabs onto his shirt until Mike holds him for awhile.  And he always has the sweetest smiles for when Daddy gives him goodnight kisses.

Caleb still isn't walking, though he's started standing up without holding on to anything for a second or two occasionally.  He's still taking side steps while holding onto the couch cushions or our coffee table, and he's gotten pretty good at walking in his walker.  He's very fast at crawling now, so I don't think he sees much point in walking.  I need to start making a bigger deal out of it.

He loves drumming on things.  He loves throwing things, and I've been trying hard to dissuade him from throwing food from his high chair.  He likes trying to stack things and nest things in other things and other typical one-year-old activities.  Aiden has continued to teach him how to spit, though Caleb mostly just says a long "ffffffffffff" noise when he tries.  He likes trying to brush his non-existant hair with my extra hairbrush.  He still loves baths, though he really doesn't like his head getting wet.  He sticks his face in the water regularly trying to drink the water in the tub.  He likes music with a beat, and tries singing along sometimes.  He likes babbling, but does so a lot more often when we don't have movies or music on.  He loves his sippy cup of milk, and that is the most reliable way of calming him down usually when he gets upset, although if he's full, or really tired or really really upset, he refuses to drink anything.  He loves sugary foods and fruits, likes crackers and Cheerios (which he eats for breakfast every morning), doesn't like refried beans or avocados or things with similar textures, though he does really like bananas.  He doesn't like spicy foods or peanut butter.  It's been awhile since I tried giving him something sour, so I don't know about that.  He likes a lot of savory things.

Aiden gets jealous of Caleb frequently, and usually doesn't like sharing with him, and says "No!" to him a lot when he thinks Caleb is trying to get whatever Aiden is playing with.  Caleb loves trying to play with whatever Aiden is playing with, of course.  We are still working on getting them to play together better.  They do like to explore the house together, and pull all of the kids books out of the bookcase together, and frequently play games together full of silly noises and giggling.  I'll need to write a post all about Aiden sometime soon.

That's about all I can think of to write about Caleb right now.  So!  Time for more pictures!


1 month:

2 months:

3 months:

4 months:

5 months:

6 months:

7 months:

8 months:

9 months:

10 months:

11 months:

1 year: