Sunday, June 27, 2010

3 months!

That's right. My babies are 3 months old today!!
And of course, try as we may, we couldn't get a photo of them smiling at the same time again.

An Abbey smile...

A Luke smile...

And here's a bit of what my sweet ones are up to these days...

Momma headed back to work this week, which was a little sad but we all handled it pretty well. You two are so blessed to get to have TONS of Daddytime this summer! He is so creative and is just loving all this one-on-two time with you guys. You three have been having daily music and dance time while I am at work...jealous! =) My work day is only four hours, so we all still have lots of time together. We have been SO blessed this summer with our schedules, and I am still in awe of it. I am just loving how much time we are getting to spend together as a family. We've taken lots of mid morning walks to the park down the street. You two each hitch a ride in your Baby Bjorn's, enjoying the fresh air. Sometimes you'll take a morning snooze this way. We walk all around the park and watch the kids play in the water features and talk about how this time next summer you two will be toddling around down there.
We've also been watching an insane amount of soccer around here, thanks to the World Cup. I will forever associate the background noise of vuvumzelas with your infancy.
It became apparent you two needed to be put in separate cribs recently =(. Both because you were getting too long to lay vertically together, and horizontal put your faces too close to the bumpers for Momma's comfort, and also because you too are becoming wiggle-worms in your sleep! We find you in the craziest positions sometimes! Neither of you seemed phased by this transition at all, so I suppose it's good we did it before you knew any better. You both have started to have about 4 naps a day, and they vary in length between 30 minutes to an hour and a half (only one time have you napped that long!)
You both are in 0-3 months clothes, and size 1 diapers. You guys nurse pretty much whenever you want during the morning, and each take a four ounce bottle while I am at work.

Abbeygirl, you are so funny. You have been cracking us up lately with your chatter! You are so serious when you talk, and sometimes your "words" surprise even you =). Your facial expressions are just priceless! Your smile is to die for, and it's so cute how lately you have a sheepish grin. You pull your hands up in front of your face and act all embarrassed when you smile. Melts us. You are finally starting to fill out that long, lean body of yours, and I am proud to tell the world that you officially have a double chin! Hooray! It makes this Momma proud! You are sleeping pretty good these days, and going down for bed and naps really well, and that has helped us learn some new things about you...first off, you need your sleep!! You are like your Momma in that you just get cranky when you are overtired. Your poor daddy... when both his girls are overtired we are a force to be reckoned with =). Another way we are alike is we need some time to wake up on our own before we interact with others. When you wake up either in the morning or from a nap, we have learned not to pick you up and talk to you right just aren't ready! Instead we unswaddle you so you are free to move about and we touch your sweet face and say hello and then just let you be for a moment or two. Then when we come back to you, you are all smiles! I feel ya baby girl, I need my time to orient myself before I am really awake too. Although my "orienting" usually includes my one cup of coffee each day.
Sweet as you are, you aren't especially keen on cuddling. You like to interact just fine, but when you are fussy, it's the colic hold or no hold at all! Neither you nor your brother like to be held "like babies" in the traditional sense. You will tolerate the upright-over-the-shoulder hold for a bit, but usually are quick to make your request for the over-the-arm-tummy-down hold, and your daddy and I don't mind meeting your request =). You have been known to fall asleep in this position multiple times. Only problem is you have been known to seriously slime our arms in this position! You are a drooly little thing lately!
You probably aren't huge on cuddling because you love to wiggle so much =), you always are kicking your little legs and stretching and moving your long arms. Sometimes if you are fussy and we are holding you, all we have to do is put you down and you are like "thank God! I just wanted to be free to move on my own!" So funny.
You are showing tendencies of being a Daddy's girl, which bums me out a little (I wanted a Momma's girl!) but I just love how your Daddy loves you, and really I shouldn't be surprised because you come from a long line of Daddy's girls. Your Grandma Linda is a Daddy's girl, and so am I, so I guess it's in your genes =). We have some special times too Peanut, just me and you =). The last few nights your brother and you have been heading to bed about 8:00pm(ish), and you have been waking up anywhere between 1:30am-3:30am. I get up and bring you out to the couch and nurse you, and it's the only time that I nurse one-on-one, and it is special. I rub your hair and talk softly to you and pray over you and gently brush your sweet cheeks. You are just so darling I can't help but stare at you sometimes after you have fallen asleep.

Lucas, you are such a snugglesaurus. Seriously, if you are being held and have a binky in your mouth, we could take you anywhere. You are so content being up against someones chest, head over their shoulder. I am thrilled you are a cuddlebug, because I am too. You aren't as chatty as your little sister, but when you do have something to say, you say it! Your words are usually loud and long, and your eyes get all big and your smile wide once you have completed what you wanted to say. Your smile is just precious and you still have eyelashes for days. You have started to giggle, which just cracks us up! It's not quite a full on laugh yet, just the beginning of a nerdy (yet adorable!) little chuckle =). You make this one facial expression where you put your lips in a straight line and kind of purse them and it puffs up your cheeks and wow...never did a Momma want to kiss a baby boy more than those moments. Both your Daddy and I have been known to nibble on your precious little cheeks when they are at their best like that. You are not a fan of the nibbling though! Speaking of facial expressions, you have mastered the lower lip pout. It comes out shortly before crying starts, and to be honest it's so adorably pathetic that often we are so slayed by it we don't let the crying begin. Well played, son, well played.
You are totally out of your casts, and only have to wear your little "snowboard" 16 hours a day, which means for 8 hours a day you are free to kick and squirm as you please, and boy do you! You love to kick your little legs when they are free. But you also don't seem to mind your little special shoes very much. You handle them like a champ, and Daddy and I are so proud of you! You even seem to have some fun with them will lay in your crib and lift your legs and them slam them back down with a "thump!" on the mattress. It's like a whale flicking it's tail. You always have one arm up to your head too -just like in EVERY ultrasound we had- posing like a monkey =) You even kind of play with your hair sometimes, especially while you nurse. This just cracks me up because I totally play with my hair when I am reading, watching tv, etc, and I wonder if you inherited that trait from me.
You focus on things so intently now, and it cracks us up what fascinates you. The light fixture in the living room received your attention for a good 20 minutes the other day, and it wasn't even on! You love to look at the little frog hanging from your carseat, and will also hang out contently in your crib watching your friends on your mobile too. It's so fun to watch your eyebrows go up and down as you take things in. I get the feeling you are quite curious =)
You are a sleeper. I feel ya there, buddy. You could probably go down for the night around 5:00pm! But Momma doesn't get home until about 5:45pm and I gotta nurse you! That usually wakes you up and the four of us play for a bit, Daddy and I eat dinner, and then you guys usually eat again around 7:30pm (ish) and then head to bed about 8:00pm. You have made it all the way until 5:30am twice before! But last night I realized I was putting your sister back to bed at 4:15am after her feeding, and I didn't want to get back up again in 45 minutes, so I grabbed you out of your crib and fed you too. You went right back down after and both of you slept until almost 7:00am! Yahoo! Now Daddy and I just have to get on board and head to bed earlier! Ha.
Just like I wrote to your sister above, I loved our nursing session just me and you last night. You are growing so fast and I just can't believe how big my sweet boy is getting.

My sweet Luke and Abbey, you two are so dearly loved. And not just by your Daddy and I, but by so many. We are so grateful for you and the blessing that you are.

You are our joy.

I love you my sweet babies,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

And so it goes...

Today is my last day of maternity leave. As I type this, my babies are napping in their cribs, dinner (chicken breast supreme-yummm) is in the oven, and my husband and sister are sitting on opposite sides of me in the living room watching a movie.

I should be able to just relax and watch a movie with them, seeing as how the wee babes are asleep and the house is still, but my mind is maternity leave is over.

And I am sad.

Tomorrow I return to the world of "work", not that maternity leave has been any type of vacation, but now Monday through Friday take on an actual meaning, as opposed to just being another day like they have been for the last 12 weeks.

Luckily, I am blessed enough to only need to work part time. I am only going back 20 hours a week.

How some of you go back full time, I have no idea. My heart goes out to you! It must be SO hard and I am honestly IN AWE (now more than ever) of how those of you that are Moms and work full time can seem to do it all.

Luckily, I was blessed enough to be able to take a full 12 week maternity leave. I simply can not imagine how I could have gone back even a day sooner. Again, I am IN AWE of those of you that needed to go back to work at 6 or 8 did you do it?!?

But even though I am able to recognize that I was so blessed to get a full 12 weeks, and am so blessed to only need to be gone 20 hours a week, I am still sad.

Tomorrow I will leave my babies for the longest stretch I ever have. Four hours. Well, more like four and a half with the commute time. Thank God we live so close to my job, it shouldn't take more than 15 minutes each way. That's not so bad, really...four and a half hours.

God has been more than gracious to us in regards to the summer schedule for our family. David was offered two classes to teach this term, and they are both on Fridays. So, my babies will be in the trusty and loving hands of their daddy Monday through Thursday afternoons. That's right folks, the only day we need care outside of my husband and myself is Friday. And, Glory to God, my sister Natalie, my mother in law, and the babies "adopted grandma" from Church are ALL available on Friday afternoons. That means I can leave for work each and every afternoon knowing Luke and Abbey are incredibly well cared for.

But I will miss them.

Since their birth, this is all we've ever known...the three of us together all the time.

And that makes me sad.

I am saying good bye to maternity leave, and closing a door on a chapter of my life I waited a long time for. Yes, I still have two babies, but the phase of my life that included pregnancy and newborns is over.

And it seems like it's over in the blink of an eye.

This week included several projects around our house now that the shed is built. My maternity clothes were all packed up into totes and hauled out there. The twins' newborn clothes were all packed away in vacuumed sealed bags and hauled out there as well. For some reason, I didn't handle either of those transitions well. I became really emotional and sentimental packing it all up, to the point where I had to ask Emily to take over for me.

I know that a lot of my feelings can be chalked up to hormones, and sleep deprivation. Studies have shown that a person who is sleep deprived is equal to a drunk, you have close to zero coping skills.

And let me tell you, I have ZERO coping skills lately.

But I also know that my feelings are coming from a deep place in my soul that is being stirred as I say good bye to a chapter I have looked forward to all my life, and as I work on processing these feelings properly all the while not letting them require so much of my focus that I miss out on the present.

Maternity leave wasn't at all what I thought it would be, and of course I have feelings of wishing I could go back and do the last 12 weeks differently. I wish for impossible things, like that I could have been better rested, more patient, more willing to give of myself, and what I primarily wish is that I could have had the foresight from the beginning to see where we would get to. The ability to look into the future and rest easier at the time with the knowledge of the relationship and understanding my babies and I would establish with time.

But since those are just wishes, I will do my best to take the 12 weeks for what they were, and focus on the good memories we did make. I will do my best to make my mornings with my babies a priority. I will try and make quality time with them my focus. And when I head to work in the afternoons, I will kiss my sweet babes goodbye and remind myself that they are going to be just fine, and focus on looking forward to seeing them after having had the chance to miss them =).

While David ran to the grocery store today, and Emily ran some errands, I took the opportunity just the babies and I to have a little chat. I told them that this time tomorrow I wouldn't be home with them, but that they could rest assured that I was indeed thinking of them. I told them that I would hurry home as soon as my time at work was over. I talked to them about how they would be getting a bottle while I was gone, as opposed to just nursing on demand all day long. I made them promise me they wouldn't forget how much they love nursing even though drinking from a bottle is easier. And most of all I told them that my time away from them would make me miss them very much, and that means our time together could be even more precious...and the three of us agreed to focus on that =)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Professional pictures

Back when the babies were about 3 1/2 weeks old, we had some professional pictures taken. This lady did a FABULOUS job! She spent SEVEN hours with us to get all the "right" shots. I will say that it was pretty stressful at times (crying babies to calm, and they had to be nekkid all day for the pictures, so there was lots of bodily fluids flowing all in, on us) and seven hours made for a lonnnnng day, but it was totally worth it.

Like I said, the photographer was amazing. If you live in the Pacific NW, email me and I will give you her info. She even worked us a deal and let me pay one sitting fee for 2 sessions (a maternity session and then the newborn photos). Her pictures are spendy, but it's an investment I am SO glad we made. The babies already have grown and changed a ton since these were taken, but I remember them this way...precious, tiny newborns...and I am so glad we have these now to forever mark that time in our lives.

We had over 220 images to choose from, and we had such a hard time narrowing down which ones to purchase. Thanks to a very generous early Christmas present from my Aunt Kay, we were able to buy several prints that we really loved...

Daddy and little Luke

Little Abbey in Momma's arms

Our sweet little miracles

Our extremely blessed family

(That one is our favorite! We ordered a big 11x14 of it!)

We are getting these all framed this week, and soon they will be proudly hung around our house. I think they turned out just beautiful and I can't wait to have them be permanent fixtures on our walls, to serve as daily reminders of God's faithfulness, and how He is in the may remember I told you all earlier how that very week we had these scheduled for, we were randomly and quite unexpectedly given the gift of a week off of Luke's casts. Every time I look at his chubby little beautiful legs in these pictures, I can't help but think about how different they would have turned out if he had his big ol' casts on during the photo shoot. They still would have been great pictures, but it just would have been... different. It just feels like such a reminder of how He truly does care about EVERY detail of our lives, and loves to bless us, even in the little ways where we hadn't even voiced our request, but He knows our hearts desire.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What we've been up to this week...

It's been a fun week here at our house. David is off all week from teaching. It's my last week of maternity leave. So we have spent the week trying to soak up this full week of family time before we begin our new "normal"

We are SO lucky to have Auntie Em is here visiting for a week and a half! She is so fun and helpful, we just love having her here!(I love how it kinda looks like Lucas is saying "oh my, this Auntie Em is somethin'!")

David's dad (Poppa Bruce) came to stay for a few days so the guys could build us a shed...

(The trim is not painted yet, but other than that it's DONE, and they did a mighty fine job if I do say so myself!)

And of course there was some baby holding to be done in the evenings...

We've been taking it pretty easy,with lots of naps for all...

(I love how she naps with her bootie in the air!)

And some cuddling...

And just some good old fashion relaxing...

Ok, I'm off to do more cuddling and napping and relaxing!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


This post is WAY overdue!

On May 23rd - as in, almost a month ago- we had the babies dedicated at our Church.

For those of you that aren't familiar with this process, it's basically a public acknowledgment that we are dedicating our children to the Lord, and promising to do our best to raise them in the path of Jesus, knowing that they are really His children.

What I love about our Church, is that our Pastor also makes note of how the Church family also has a role in this. They are asked to pray for our children, and for David and I as parents. It takes a village =).

Our little family =-)

Abbey meeting Uncle Peter for the first time

Pastor Steve holding Luke and addressing the congregation

David and I each spoke a little bit too...

My daddy and his first grandson...

It was a very special Sunday for us. I had spent years dreaming about having children, and just like Hannah in the Bible, I promised the Lord that if He granted us this request, I would give them back to Him. I am praying He will help us daily to be good examples of what it means to live your life for Him, and that He will help us have wisdom and patience to raise these children. And most of all, that He will help us see what an honor it is to be Luke and Abbey's parents. He chose us to raise these children. We were His first and only choice, and I pray we are daily worthy of that calling.

David and I were so blessed by how many of our family members were able to make it there to mark such a special day with us. We all took up like 3 rows! Our babies are so blessed to have such a wonderful and loving extended family.

After Church we all went out to lunch, and had a fabulous time!

Part of the reason this post is so overdue is I never got any pictures of just the two babies in their outfits we had picked out for the day. And then Auntie Natalie (who was here to visit and help that weekend) somehow ended up with Abbey's headband in her purse and so it went back to Salem with her, so we had to wait until the outfit was "complete" again to do a photo shoot =).

And my very favorite one...
...I swear that is not staged, they hold hands quite often, and yes, it melts us every. single. time. =)

Friday, June 11, 2010


As I sit down to type this, there is a layer of dust a half an inch thick across every surface of my house. There is cat hair literally static clung to my curtains. My daughters 0-3 month clothes have been washed in Dreft, dried, and folded, and have sat that way on the kitchen table for over 24 hours now. The top of my stove has a dirty pot, frying pan, and baking sheet on top of it. My shower is in desperate, and I mean desperate, need of a deep clean. The hamper in Dave and I's room overfloweth. I have showered, but not done my hair or put on any make up, let alone brushed my teeth yet today.


Because I have 10 1/2 week old twins.

And because I have 10 1/2 week old twins, my life B.T. (before twins) is no longer.

And let me be clear, I would not have it any other way. I absolutely love my children. I would not trade them for anything. ANYTHING.

But, it's hard.

Motherhood is hard.

Having two newborns is hard.

Really hard.

When David and I were dealing with unexplained infertility, there were few things I hated more than mothers who complained about their babies. Whether they had legitimate reason to complain or not, I couldn't stand it. I would always think to myself "I would give my right arm to be up with a screaming baby at 3am! How can you possibly complain when you have everything I want?" I vowed to never be one of those women who complained and caused my friends who were still on the other side of infertility to think "oh how quickly she has forgotten..."

Friends, I have not forgotten. Just the other day Lucas was fussy and would cry his eyes out if I so much as motioned like I was going to sit down. He wanted to be held, and walked around. And that was that. And you know what? I didn't mind a bit. I said to him "oh my son, I cried tears just like that while I was waiting for you". And it's true. I often can be found leaning over the crib with my two sleeping babes in it, just staring over them, praying over them, admiring God's handiwork. I remember how much we wanted them, how long we waited for them. I remember how hard the wait was.

I know what I have. I am grateful for it everyday.

But that doesn't mean it isn't hard.

And a lot of what's hard about it is it isn't going how I thought it would. How I dreamed it would.
There can be danger in spending years building something up in your mind.

A few weeks ago I sat in front of my husband and sobbed the words "I am not the mother I thought I would be". I was exhausted. Truly exhausted. And my house -which I pride myself on keeping orderly- was a disaster zone. I hadn't showered in like 36 hours, and going to the bathroom felt like a luxury.

I was having a hard time.

I simply could not do it all.

Something had to give.

Well, lots of things actually.

Like myself. Gone are the days of my beloved 20 minute showers. Gone are the days of straightening and styling my hair. Gone are the days of putting on make up. Gone are the days of filing my nails. Gone are the days of wearing anything that I don't mind being spit up on.

And then my house. Gone are the days where my floors were clean, vacuum lines showing in my carpet. Gone are the days where my bed was made every day. Gone are the days when my hamper never filled above the brim. Gone are the days when my sink never saw dirty dishes for more than 5 minutes.

And you know what, it's ok.

I am learning to let it be ok.

It's not easy. I have to fight my natural urges to be distracted by the messes. I have to fight myself to focus on what's really important.

While there is peace to be found in order, I need to strike a balance that swings heavily the other way. Disorder. Disorder in my home and in myself so that I can enjoy my children more.
When I cried those words to David, what was at the heart of it was my sadness over my inability to just sit and enjoy my babies. I found myself wishing they would fall asleep or be content so that I could get things done. I would rock them to sleep and stare at the dust gathering on the entertainment center, just waiting for them to be out so that I could clean it. I hated that my house was in such disarray, and I couldn't force myself to focus on anything else, no matter how much I wanted to. I would find myself thinking things like "it'll be easier to stay on top of things once they are a little older and taking longer, more timely naps..." and then one day, I realized mid-thought, that I was essentially wishing away this time in my childrens lives. This time that is so precious. This time that we won't get back.
And I hated myself for it.

So, I have made it a matter of prayer and determination to be better about letting other things go. My email inbox is out of control. I am behind on phone calls and thank you notes. I don't have time to do my hair, and so won't like the way I look in pictures. My bathroom mirror is going to have spots on it awhile longer. But you know what? It's ok. I will have stared into my precious son and my precious daughters eyes. I will have talked to them and listened, undistracted, to them "talk"back. Years from now, it won't matter to me what my house looked like during these days, but it will matter that I spent time with my babies. I know I will regret feeling like I was not present with them for their early days, so I have to make some changes now.

I am aware that will things will get easier, and the babies will require a little less of me as time goes on, but I am also aware that this new mindset of letting things be less than I think they should be is gonna have to stick around for awhile, as in a few years at least. Luke & Abbey are only going to be little babies for awhile, and then only little toddlers for awhile, and on and on and on...

I am trying to lower my standards as to how things should look or how our day should go, because when I set the bar too high (or really, set it at all) I am only setting us up to fail, and that's not fair to the babies or to me. When I put too many things on my "to do" list for the day, I end up frustrated with myself, and feeling inadequate. I end up frustrated with my babies, for needing so much attention. And obviously, that's not fair to them. I do not want to allow this trend to continue. After all, it's not their fault we bought a house with white subway tiles for bathroom flooring that show every single speck of dust or dirt.

So if you plan on stopping by to visit, please excuse the mess, and my breath. I haven't had -or made- the time to clean my house, or possibly brush my teeth. I have been too busy playing with my sweet little miracle children.

**addendum added below**

An addendum

Thanks for all your sweet words of encouragement to my last post. If you want some truly inspired, wise words of perspective on motherhood, please read this post that my sweet friend Stephanie wrote last year. I wasn't even pregnant yet when I read it for the first time, but I remember my heart being moved by it, and I have been thinking of it often over the past several weeks.

Lord help me to recognize a messy house and yet happy, engaged, playful kids, as a day well spent.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Stats & pics

On Thursday the babies had their 2 month appointment (even though they were nearly 10 weeks). Everything went great and the doctor declared our babies healthy (Thank God!) and said she could tell they were loved =).

Abbey weighed 9 lbs, 9 oz, was 22.5 inches long, and has a head circumference of 15.8 inches.

Luke weighed 10 lbs, 6 oz, was 23 inches long, and has a head circumference of 15.5 inches.

Supposedly. I spend a good part of the day staring at their profiles while I breastfeed, and I refuse to believe her head is bigger than his.


The doctor says they are doing great, and that's all that matters! They got some shots at that visit, and were pretty unhappy about that. Luckily they are pretty forgiving, and recovered quickly.

And here's some pics of the last week or so...

An Abbey smile almost caught on camera...

Lucas wearing his little braces (his "snowboard" =) )

The big girl trying out her Bumbo

They actually look like twins here!

Got to meet two more Great Aunts!!!

Rockin' the sweatsuits =)

Two little burritos

With full arms, and an even fuller heart...

We actually had some sunshine here on Saturday, so we wanted to take the babies for a walk. We have a sun hat for Abbey (thanks Aunt Amanda!) but don't have one for Luke, so he sported Dave's hat from his travels in Mexico...

Happy Monday all!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cousins meet!

On Wednesday my older sister Amanda, brother in law Noah, & my nieces Cadence and "Jelly Bean" (Noah & Amanda's foster daughter) came over to visit and meet Luke & Abbey for the first time. They live in Nevada and made the long drive up to Oregon for a family vacation. We hadn't seen Amanda, Noah & Cadence since last summer, and had never met JB, so we were super excited!

Not only did we get to hang out with family for an afternoon, but Amanda brought a huge box of clothes she had been collecting for Luke & Abbey for the last few months...yea!

Cadence and I playing cars in our hallway

Abbeygirl taking a nap on Uncle Noah

Luke chillin' with Aunt Amanda

Noah protecting Lucas from some JB love =)

And then this series is hilarious. We were laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my face. All we wanted was one shot of Amanda and I and our 4 kids. This is what went down...

Abbey, Cadence, and Jelly Bean were having none of it. Lucas on the other hand, was a terrific sport.
Must be a chick thing. =)

My babies were totally spent after all that excitement...