Saturday, April 30, 2011


Last week Dave and I took the babies to Story Time at the Library for the first time. It was really fun, and a great free family activity.

When we first walked in, Abbey clung to me like a spidermonkey, which is her standard M.O.

I talked to her in a calm voice and told her we were all staying there as a family, and that we were going to have so much fun together. After a short while, she relaxed and warmed up. She really is a friendly little soul...once she is comfortable.

As my daughter was clinging to me, I found myself carried away with the inner dialogue I often am in when we experience this...I wonder why she is so timid...what did I do wrong? Why is she so scared of new people and places? What should I have done differently? It's because I was so high strung the first few months of her life, if only I could have been different...more relaxed...this is my fault...

Luke on the other hand left David's lap almost immediately to crawl around and explore. At one point the teacher put some toys down in the middle of the room, and he just rolled around and played in the center of them. Fearless. Totally comfortable.

It was in that moment that I interrupted my own thoughts.

They are being raised exactly the same.

They have been through pretty much the same experiences.

They shared a womb.

Perhaps...perhaps Abbey was just born with a more timid and shy disposition. Perhaps Luke was just born with a more comfortable one. I'm not saying she doesn't "get" it from me (from my genetics...I am high strung after all...) but it was the first time I was able to recognize that it just maybe it wasn't my "fault". Maybe it wasn't something I had done - or was doing- wrong.

Motherhood is so funny that way. The guilt can just be endless. The pressure we put on ourselves- and often, each other- is intense. And most of the time useless.

I made a commitment to myself in that moment to be better about catching myself in the middle of those runaway thoughts, stepping back, and asking IF there is something I can do differently (better, even) to help the situation, whatever it may be. And if there isn't, then giving myself a break. I don't want to have molds I expect my kids to fit into.

If Luke all of a sudden decides he doesn't like meat (which happened for a short time... he went vegetarian on us randomly for a bit, he's crossed back over since then), I will try to do better to recognize he is an individual making a choice, and perhaps it has nothing to do with the way I introduced meats, or the speed or variety of it. Maybe it has nothing to do with me at all.

I sense a freedom coming already =)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Who needs Babies R Us?

We've got wooden spoons and strainers up in here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I thought I was a baby person

But it turns out I think I am much more of a toddler person.

The other evening after my own kids were tucked in their cribs for the night, I went and visited a friend who has 9 week old twins. It was the first time since her babies had been born that we had been able to actually connect in person.

As I sat on her couch, each of us holding a snuggly babe, I listened to her talk about her days.

"It's so hard" she said.

"I know, I really do" I empathized.

I watched her as she stood up to rock and sway a suddenly very fussy babe while we chatted, and took note of the giant grey bags under her eyes.

The kindest and most helpful words I received when my babies were tiny was "you are doing a hard job", so I repeated them to her in person, as I had many times prior in text messages. I listened to her talk and tried to offer reassurance that it really does get easier.

I watched as her face made a quizzical expression as one of her tiny babies did something unpredictable, and she didn't know what it meant or what he wanted, or the best way to handle it.

And I smiled.

Oh how I remember those days.

Newborn babies are so precious, and I could marvel for hours at their tiny features. My heart melts as they curl into you and contented noises come from their adorable little mouths.

But they are So. Hard.

And while you will never hear me refer to raising two one-year-olds as easy, I will say it's a different kind of hard. Dare I say, a more manageable kind of hard. I am not naive enough to believe that rough patches aren't coming, as I know we have plenty of challenges and tough times ahead of us, (terrible two's x 2 anyone??) but I just find them simply more fun these days.

Sure, we're seeming tantrums as they are acutely aware of their desires and wants, and yet unable to have them met constantly. Sure I still have plenty of moments where I have no idea what to do...but as a whole, they just seem so much more knowable at this age. My babies were rarely - and I mean rarely - predictable as newborns. They didn't fall into a predictable schedule until they were almost 11 months old. And although we are still daily learning new things about them (which is not apt to stop anytime soon), we've learned a lot already. Like how Abbey gets hyper right before bed time, and that actually is a tired sign for her. Or how Luke truly prefers to put himself to sleep, and rocking him much before bedtime is not want works best.

I still have moments of extreme frustration where I want to pull my hair out. Like the other evening, when I had spent sweet forever making pizza from scratch (dough and sauce!) and even though they had inhaled it the last time, both of my darling offspring flat out refused to eat more than two bites on this night. Grrr.

I still find myself often wondering what is acceptable to expect out of a one year old.

Life today is not void of challenges as we help them understand their wants vs their needs, and as we gently help them realize they can not always get what they want (side note - am I the only one whose Dad sang that song to them while they whined for something they wanted as a child?). But overall I feel a little more sure of my footing, sure of the fact that we've spent their first year building a strong foundation of trust.

And honestly, they are wayyyy more fun now. They crack us up all the time. They have these budding personalities that have their challenges (oh boy do we have some stubborn children!) but also hilarious senses of humor. They'll duck down behind the coffee table and pop up with an excited roar in an attempt to surprise us.
They'll sing to themselves as they play.
They give unprompted affection.
They understand what "I'll be right back" means, and don't scream and cry when I step into another room. Huge.
They get so excited when they try and accomplish new things. They are so proud when we praise them for doing this.

They are awesome.

It turns out, I am much more of a toddler person. Who knew?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Glimpses of my past life...

Most days, I am incredibly grateful for my life.

I am grateful for my gorgeous, healthy, funny babies.

I am grateful I only have to work 15 hours a week, thus leaving me so much time to be home to play with them, watch them learn and grow... just be with them.

Most days I truly enjoy my life where it is at this moment.

But every once in awhile, when we are having one of those days...where both babies are ridiculously fussy, I am exhausted to the bone, the house is in disarray, where when what worked yesterday is so not working today, and we just can't seem to find our groove...I find myself remembering my past days. And not necessarily longing for them, but remembering them...fondly. I remember the sleep and the order and the quiet and the sleep and the way the house stayed clean for days on end and the sleep and the way I just went to work each day and rarely felt inadequate or felt the weight of questioning if how I was handling a situation was going to seriously impair someones ability to be a functioning member of society later in life.

This term David is home a lot more, which is not great for the paycheck, but fantastic for the family time. And last week it allotted me some time for some things that haven't happened in over a year.

Monday morning when the twins awoke, I got up and nursed them, and then went back to bed until 10:00am.


Then he took them for an hour and a half long bike ride, while I stayed home. It was only the second time I have been alone in our house.

I cleaned our house from top to bottom. I scrubbed it good, and restored order to areas that had been neglected over the last few months.

And then I sat, unsure of what to do with myself.

Around the one hour mark from their departure, I found myself looking out the front window to see if they were coming home.

I smiled as I realized, I missed them.

The quiet just didn't suit me like it used to.

On Wednesday my company had a very important 8:00am meeting that I really wanted to attend. I only work afternoons on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, but since David was home Wednesday morning, I was able to go. I got up and nursed my babies, got ready for work, and kissed them goodbye.

As I sat in 7:40am freeway traffic with so much of the world on their morning commute, I drummed my work-lady (painted) nails to the song playing on my favorite radio station. I glanced down at my giant coffee tumbler in the cup holder and thought how much this felt like old times. Like the past Kendra. I hadn't connected with her in so long. It felt kinda good. This I knew how to do.

I worked my usual 5 hour work day, and as I walked the distance to my car to leave that afternoon, I couldn't help but realize I was smiling at the thought of returning to my house. To my home. To my family. To the clutter and the noise and the frustration. To the minutiae of sippy cups and diaper changes and re-stacking the books on the bookshelf for the 10th time in one day. To the role that feels so pressing so much of the time.

I couldn't help but think of the gift that I had just been given.

There is so much beauty in knowing that I'd choose it all over again.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Have you seen her?

Where is Miss Abbey Mae?

There she is!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

On breastfeeding

Here we are, a little over a year later, still breastfeeding.

And I couldn't be more grateful.

How much longer will we continue? I have no idea. Honestly, Luke could probably take it or leave this point. He's SO busy these days, his patience for my slower letdown wears thin sometimes. He pretty much has two good nursing sessions a day (first thing in the morning and right before bed). He would probably be totally fine to completely wean if I wanted to. But, I'm not ready, and he seems willing to indulge me awhile longer.

And Abbey is not ready at all. She still very much likes to nurse, and that's just fine with me.

Whenever the time comes where they are both weaned, I imagine I will have very mixed feelings. On the one hand, I can see how it will be liberating, as other mothers have told me it will be. No more short leash. No more restrictions on certain foods, alcohols (not that I'm looking to attend any keggers), caffeine, or medicines. No more thinking about what I'm wearing and making sure it will be easy to nurse in before I go anywhere. A lot more freedom.
On the other hand, I know I will miss it. I am sure of it. I get sad -sometimes teary eyed- just thinking about it. I have loved the cuddle time. I have loved the bonding as we look into each others they play with my hair that hangs down in their they give me a half smile while they eat. I have loved providing for them in this way, and knowing that what I am doing is important and nurturing on so many levels.

But, when the time comes, I will try my best to just be grateful for the time we had and appreciate the season for what it was.

And that shouldn't be too hard, seeing as how in the early days I never thought we'd get here.

Breastfeeding. It's the hardest thing I have ever stuck with in my entire life. Hands down.

And that was something I never saw coming.

My high school best friend had her two kids while we were in our early 20's, and so I got to watch her bring home babies and thought I was getting a good perspective on how things "went". She had no trouble breastfeeding, at all. Never once took a class or saw a lactation consultant. Babies came out, went right to the breast, and nursed successfully until all parties were ready to wean. Never a supply issue. Never a latch issue. Nothing.

I just assumed it would be the same for me.

Let's just call that thing number 1 on the list of 1,327 things I was naive to about new motherhood.

I did have some inkling that breastfeeding twins might be a little challenging. But I read books, consulted websites, and attended a class, so I figured I was just about as prepared as I could be.

Oh, and I had A Plan. A Plan as to how my labor was going to go, and how I was going to breastfeed each of my babies within minutes of delivery, and how that would get us off to a great start. Also included in My Plan was lots of pumping during my luxurious hospital stay where I basically just laid around and watched TV and stared at my precious newborns while nurses took care of me and I caught up on sleep. Let's mark that down as thing 2 on my list.

As those of you who have read this blog for sometime know, my labor did NOT go as Planned. It went horribly awry from any Plan. And there was a serious aftermath from it. Yes, we are very blessed and grateful that all of us are alive and healthy to tell about it, but that doesn't mean it didn't leave some marks. My doctor diagnosed me with PTSD shortly after. Not to the degree that War Veterans suffer, but the kind that people suffer for awhile after they are going about their day and suddenly they get a call where in which they learn a love one has died. For awhile after, they tense up anytime the phone rings, anticipating it also is going to bring bad news. I'd jump when the timer on the stove went off or the doorbell rang.The times that I actually could fall asleep, I'd wake up constantly hearing phantom baby cries. I couldn't drive, because it'd throw me into an absolute panic if someone tried to turn in front of me. I couldn't watch the news. Hyper-vigilant doesn't even begin to describe it.

In short - I was completely cuckoo.

And that lasted for weeks - if not months.

But that was only one hurdle. We had so many. I had an allergic reaction to the anesthesia I was given, which caused me to vomit and dry heave for about 36 hours after delivery, which bought only IV fluids during that time and then only a liquid diet for 24 hours after that. Not exactly gonna cut it for producing milk. Not to mention the other ways in which my body was working overtime. I am told that while I was under my blood pressure hit the floor and I had to be filled with fluids. I was SO SWOLLEN for days after delivery. My body was so taxed trying to get rid of the excess fluid. I also had to be intubated at one point, and I had a residual cough left over from that, which killed my c-section incision every time I did so. A lot of my body's systems were still on slow down mode from surgery. Without getting too graphic, there are certain things the doctors usually like your body to do before they discharge you post-operation, and my body still had not done them even after a 6 day hospital stay and an army of medicines to help move things along. Nor did it happen right away when we came home. My body was just barely hanging on, trying to recover from all it had been through.

And when we came home from the hospital? I had so much guilt over missing Abbey's birth and feeling like I had failed to give my children a "good" entrance into this world that I was severely overcompensating. I didn't want anybody to do anything for them. I wanted to do IT ALL. I was desperate to prove to everyone, myself included, that I could do this twin-momma-thing. So I pushed myself way beyond what I should have. We had family here to help our first few weeks at home, and I let them help, but then I helped too. When my mother in law did a load of laundry, I unloaded the dishwasher. When my sister cleaned the bathroom, I made lunch. Why? Because I wanted SO much to feel like I could do it all. Like order and routine would be restored quickly to our home. Like our days would have be as calm and organized as they were pre-babies, and I was not only SuperMom but SuperWoman.

Ridiculous, I know. And I can't tell you how many times I have replayed these days in my mind and yelled at That Kendra "for the love of all that is Holy woman, go TAKE A NAP! You'll have plenty of time to do it all on your own in due time!!"
But you can't speak sense to the insane.

And there was another reason I was so insistent on making breastfeeding work. I'm about to confess something to you that I have to only a handful of people... my bond with my children was not instant. Don't get me wrong, I thought they were beyond adorable, and I felt a love for them, but it wasn't this overwhelming since of those are my babies that I had just assumed it would be. This came as a complete surprise to me (thing #53) because while I was pregnant I felt like I knew them both so intimately. What I understand now that I couldn't at the time was that it takes time to learn them and their personalities. And at the newborn stage, those personalities and temperaments are apt to change often. Anyways, since I was completely cuckoo, I was unable to accept that this was not only common, but that it was ok. I just assumed it made me the worst mother ever. I was SO overwhelmed and still so stunned at how our delivery had gone. Add in severe sleep deprivation and a sharp hormone drop, and I was ridiculously emotional about my abilities to be a mother. Everything felt so unnatural. I would watch others with my babies and they just seemed to know what to do better than I did. I felt like everyone else could stay clam and relaxed and I was a giant stressball. At times I found myself even wondering if perhaps I had been wrong...perhaps I really wasn't made to be a mother. These thoughts made me fight all the harder to breastfeed my babies, because it was the one thing only I could do for them. For quite awhile, it was the only thing that made me really feel like a their mother.

But pushing myself so hard wasn't really working for anyone. I pushed so much that some of the stitches on my incision popped at 8 weeks postpartum. Seriously. If that wasn't a sign to slow down, I don't know what was...but I barely listened.

I broke out in hives for weeks from stress.

I could not sleep, and at my six week postpartum followup my blood pressure was higher than it ever was during pregnancy. I had wicked, horrid nightmares and even some hallucinations during the middle of the night. My doctor labeled me with anxiety induced insomnia, and gave me something (that was safe for breastfeeding) to help me sleep.

For those of you wondering, I was never diagnosed with Post Partum Depression. My doctor watched me very closely, but was careful to diagnose me correctly, and I am indebted to her for it. While I do absolutely believe PPD is a very real and very serious, and it takes a brave woman to speak out about it and get help, I am grateful I was not lumped into that category and thus treated incorrectly.

She kept telling me a good sleep stretch would make a big difference, but I fought her on this for a long time because I was so worried that if I missed even one feeding that my already low milk supply would diminish even more. What took me weeks to finally listen to, was the truth that you need sleep to make milk. Sure enough, once I started taking one feeding off a night, and getting a 5 hour sleep stretch while someone else fed the twins a bottle, not only did I start handling life better, but my milk supply increased.

Rest. It's SO important.

So those were my physical and psychological limitations for breastfeeding.

Now lets talk about the twins.

They wouldn't latch. They'd fall asleep two minutes into a session. They were small at birth (or at least Abbey was, and then Luke dropped more than 10%) so we had to keep them on a strict 3 hour feeding schedule for a lonnnggg time. And even when we did have a good nursing session, I didn't have enough milk for them fully until they were about 11 weeks old.

We saw lactation consultants twice weekly for the latching, and after one session, Luke go the hang of it. It took Abbey another session or two, but she finally got it.

As for the drowsy babies, we were advised by the lactation consultants to strip them down to a diaper. So we did. Here's how a feeding session would go in the early days: we'd strip both babies down to their diapers, and wrap one up in a blanket to be held by someone else while I nursed the other. I'd nurse about 20-30 minutes, and then pass that baby off to someone else (David, my mother in law, my sister) to be fed their supplement (either formula or pumped milk), while I'd then nurse the other one for 20-30 minutes. Oh and we had a special bottle that we fed them from which was supposed to make a little more difficult to drink from so they didn't get too "spoiled" by how much easier it was to drink from a bottle. Then the second baby would get supplement while the first baby was getting redressed. Then I'd pump for 15-20 minutes. Then clean my pump supplies. The whole process took about an hour and a half. Each time. Only to start up at the 3 hour mark from when we'd started the session. That's right. A 1.5 hour break in between to sleep ourselves, 24 hours a day. And let's not forget the need to eat, shower, or complete other household tasks.

It was insane.

I was insane.

But, I really, really, really wanted to breastfeed my babies.

Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of days where I wanted to quit. Days where it all seemed too hard and just not worth it. Especially in the very early days when they wouldn't latch, and they'd scream bloody murder when I'd try and get them to, and then I'd pass them off to someone else to bottle feed them while I pumped, and they'd totally calm down and be comforted in that other person's arms while having only screamed in mine.

Honestly? If the birth hadn't gone the way it did, and if I didn't have so much guilt over it at the time, I am pretty sure I would have given up on breastfeeding very early on. So, see...there is good that came from all the drama.

I am so glad I didn't quit. I am so glad I kept at it. For our family, it has been the right choice. It has been SO rewarding. I feel so blessed that I actually get to do it, because there were many, many moments in the beginning where I didn't believe it would ever be possible. In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit there have been times where I've resented it, like when I had the stomach flu last fall. Oh how I wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed (between puking episodes) and lay there uninterrupted for hours on end. But I couldn't, because I was a breastfeeding mother whose twins nursed every 2-3 hours during the day and at least once if not twice at night. But we powered through, and I am pleased we did. Like I said, most the time I am just so grateful I get to do this, that I don't mind the short leash that comes with it. On the afternoons I work (4 or 5 hour shifts) I often get asked to go somewhere with a coworker after work, which is not an option for me because I have already missed (and pumped through) one feeding that day, and missing another, especially the bedtime feeding, is not something I want to do. The same with dates. Dave and I are ridiculously blessed with many people who offer to watch our babies for us so we can go to dinner and a movie some night. But I am just not ready to miss a bedtime nursing session yet. Why? Because I recognize that this is just a season. Before I know it, Luke and Abbey will be wanting to have sleepovers at friends houses, or spend their evenings at basketball games and movies, and Dave and I's freedom will return. I enjoy nursing my babies before they turn in for the night. It allows for some wonderful cuddle and wind-down time before they go to sleep and we don't see each other for hours and hours. Those last nursings of the day make me the most grateful I never gave up.

I know it's not for everyone, and hearing things like this make my head want to explode. To me, that just screams ignorance. As if it were that easy. Believe me, I wish it was. I wish every mother WANTED to breastfeed and COULD breastfeed. The benefits to both mother and baby are incontrovertible. Flat out. For some women, like my friend, it might really come naturally and they may never encounter any trouble. For others, it may not. And if my situation had been much different, I don't think I would have been able to stick with it...

If it hadn't been for David, my sister, and my mother in law trucking me and the babies to twice weekly lactation appointments and weight checks for weeks on end, then I wouldn't have been able to do this. If it hadn't been for my doctor spending so much time with me and working with me - as opposed to just throwing prescriptions at me, I don't think I would have been able to do this. If I would have had to go back to work full time (and I believe some women really do, it's not a matter of being unwilling to sacrifice luxuries), I know I wouldn't have been able to do this. I am a terribly inefficient pumper, and if I would have had to be away from my babies 8+ hours a day and rely on that much pumping, there is no doubt my supply would have diminished and probably disappeared.

And most importantly, if I wouldn't have had the kind of support that I did (and do) I know I wouldn't have been able to do this. My sister Amanda set the example that ANYTHING was possible when she re-lactated in order to pump so her daughter could have breast milk before her open heart surgery. I clung to this fact many times as I felt discouraged while I hardly had any milk my first few weeks.

My husband was incredibly supportive, even though there had to have been many, many times where he thought that just giving up and formula feeding would have been 1,000 times easier on all of us. But he knew it was important to me, and so he lovingly encouraged me without ever pressuring me.

My mother in law Donna and sister Natalie, who came to our house a night or two each week and took the night shift. They tended to babies in between feeds, so all I had to do was get out of bed and nurse, and then go back to sleep, getting the rest I very much needed to make more milk.

I've spent hours on websites like this one and this one.

My friends Amy and Sarah are experienced breastfeeding mommas who have been a wealth of knowledge, support, and encouragement to me. I owe these ladies so much. I can't tell you how many times I was ready to beat my head against a wall over low supply, or battling a nursing strike (Lucas, twice), or thrush (I think we've fought that six times now??), and these friends have given me advice and helped me through.

So many of you encouraged me and told me stories about how breastfeeding had seemed impossible for you in the beginning, but had gotten much easier over time. I clung to those!!

And today? I am a Mommy-Mentor to new breastfeeding mom's in my Mom's of Multiples Group. I signed up to do this because it's something I am passionate about. I so want to be encouraging new moms who want to breastfeed but may be struggling. I want to encourage them to all the benefits and wonderful things that come along with sticking to it. I want to encourage them that if I can successfully breastfeed twins for an entire year after every obstacle we faced, I feel like anyone can!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I don't mean to get all John Denver-y on you, but sunshine on our shoulder's sure makes us happy...

Hooray for Spring!

Friday, April 8, 2011

12 months

I know. They are technically "one year". But I have days now and then where I am not quite ready to acknowledge that fact, and today is one of those days. I promise though, I will not be someone who refers to my 4 year olds as "48 months"...ha!

There have been lots of changes this month as we officially make the cross over from Babyhood to Toddlerhood. I'm still nursing, but we introduced whole milk as well. They weren't huge fans of it, but they did drink it. I don't know if they'll ever chug the stuff, but that's ok with me. They do drink some, and they also LOVE yogurt and cheese, so I know they are getting enough of calcium and vitamin D.

We've also started to offer the binkie less. (Word of warning - I have NO interest in debating when is the "right" time to take away binkies.) We are in no hurry around here. Our kids like their binkies, and we are ok with that for now. But, we've started to ask them to leave them in their cribs when they wake up in the morning and from naps, and so far they seem fine with that. They are still welcome in the car and we still strap them on when we are out and about as well. And earlier this week Luke was not feeling well, so we had binks laying around most the day if they so desired - which he did most the day.

Both Luke and Abbey are now in convertible carseats. Rear facing, and will be staying that way for another year. I'll admit, I was sad to see the infant carseats go. They were so handy - ya know, given that they had carrying handles - and it also means we had to say goodbye to our trusty duo snap and go. I'll miss you old friend, you got us through some tough times. But the babies seem happy in their new seats, and I'm sure they love having more room and being up higher to look out the windows.

Their cognitive development has just exploded recently. Their understanding and comprehension of things we say to them or ask of them is amazing us every day!

Another change occurring -that is not our doing- is a real decrease in appetite. Both kids just seem to be eating less at mealtime. I had been a little worried about it, since both kids are still on the smaller side, but at their one year check up, our doctor reminded me that at this age that is TOTALLY normal. Never again in their lifetime will they grow as rapidly as they did this last year. Duh. As soon as she reminded me of this, I remembered that I've read this fact at least two times in my book. I swear, motherhood has completely diminished my short term memory. It's like a new form of dementia. Momentia, maybe. I digress. Dr. M reminded us it's important not to push the babies to eat more than they seem willing to, as we need to teach them to listen to when their bellies say they are full. This eased my mind greatly and was a good reminder.

At 12 months:
-Both still wearing size 3 diaper, although Luke is ready for size4
-Eating 3 meals a day, and usually 2 snacks
-Tried peanut butter, both love it.
-Both going to bed around 7:00pm
-Still taking two naps a day (and Momma is hoping this sticks around for awhile!) One at about 9:00am, and the other at about 2:00pm. Both for +/- an hour.
-Both cruising around one-handed on furniture
-Both sign "more" and "nurse"

Luke -
Weight: 21 lbs (? %)
Height: 30.6 Inches (70%)
Head Circumference: (92%)

Weight: 17.88 (6%)
Height: 28.75 (35%)
Head Circumference: (99%)

Sweet Abbeygirl, you are just such a delight. Your smile is electric...
You are SO silly. And such a ham. You love to make Daddy and I laugh! You will duck down behind the coffee table and then pop up quickly with the biggest grin on your face =). You love to entertain and are quick to show off your skills. When we say "where's Abbey?" you cover your eyes, wait for a few seconds, then remove your hands with gusto to reveal a giant grin. You love to blow kisses and wave bye-bye. You can sign "nurse" and "more" and you just beam when we praise you for it. It's so cute.

You also love water, and you have so much fun in the bath. Your adventurous little spirit really shines in the tub as you knock down towers of bath toys and splash around wildly=)

You LOVE books. One of your favorite things to do is go sit by the bookshelf in the living room or in your room and just flip through book after book...

And along with books, you also really love music (see video below). You will often camp out next to the radio on your house and press a button, dance to the song, and the minute it stops (or sometimes before =) ) you press another button to hear a different song. When we were in Church on Sunday I kept you and Luke in the service for the beginning part so you guys could hear the worship music, and you just stood on Daddy's equipment counter (he runs the sound) and swayed to the were loving it!
You also love rhymes and silly songs, especially if they have hand motions or finger plays. You have loved those since you were about 4 months old =). Your favorite is The Itsy Bitsy Spider.

You are still wearing mostly 9 months clothes - even some 6-9 month stuff!- but we've moved on to 12 month footed jammies because you were growing too long for the others.

When you wear shoes, you are in a size 3, although they're still a little big.

You continually impress us with your crawling speed!

Your favorite toy is pretty much still whatever your brother is playing with =), but we are working on this. You are better about backing off with a warning, and also throwing smaller fits when we make you give back whatever you stole from him.

You really mastered standing unassisted within a matter of days, and have taken 10+ steps!

Action shot...mid step!

You've got 4 teeth on the top and are working on your 4th on the bottom.

You are a great little eater! Always willing to try anything and *so far* not very picky. Your favorites are mac and cheese, yogurt, peas, Kix cereal, yogurt pancakes, blueberry muffins, bananas, chicken nuggets, cinnamon raisin bagels, and your very favorite food is pineapple. You would eat pineapple all day long if we let you! You are the daintiest little eater there ever was, and hardly need to be washed after meals!

You are a barrel of joy, and nothing makes your Daddy and I happier than seeing you loving life...

You are a pretty good little sleeper for the most part, although you often try and start your day around 5am, or before. Sometimes you'll take to Daddy coming in and comforting you, and you'll go back to sleep for a little bit, but sometimes you are just AWAKE and that's that. I will say that twice this week you have slept until 6:40am, and it's been glorious!

You love your little melodies soother that Auntie Nessa got you, and you are often standing up and playing with it when we go in and get you in the morning or after nap.

You sleep with a blankie and a lovie, although you really aren't particularly attached to either.

A few times recently Daddy and I have watched you play "catch" with yourself for long periods of time. You'll bounce a ball, watch it roll until it stops, then go chase it down. Repeat over and over again. It's so cute to watch!

Daddy and I were just talking last night about how passionate you are, sweet girl. You have a zest for life that we both admire. You get SO excited about things, and have so much fun doing the things you enjoy.
Of course, with this passion, we often see a flair for the dramatic. You have given yourself countless marks on your forehead from theatrically throwing your hands and face to the ground when you don't get your way. Meryl Streep would be proud.

You are such a pretty little thing!
Your hair is finally getting longer, but only in random places, like the back and straight down the middle. It's still not growing much longer on the sides. But I do my best to sweep it to the side and let's face it, you're cute no matter what your hair looks like...=)

We love you sweet girl! We are so proud to call you our daughter.

My sweet Lukey, what a happy boy you are! Even though a few of those one year old tantrums I read about have reared their ugly head, they are still pretty quick and mild... so far. You just have an easy going, smiley disposition about you. We often hear you singing a happy little tune to yourself as you play, and you return smiles quicker than anyone I've ever met. Your eyes light up when you grin, and it just slays me.

You've also mastered the pout. And ohhhhh this momma's in trouble, because it pretty much breaks my heart. Your bottom lip comes out, your eyes look down, and your brows furrow...and I have to fight hard to hold my ground! Luckily you can't read this, so hopefully you'll never know that I'm really about 2 seconds away from giving in!

You have been reaching for your Daddy more and more these days, even when you are on my lap. You love it most when he carries you on his hip all around the house while he goes about his business. You are SO curious, and you love to take it all in. Daddy and I laughed out loud when the doctor asked us at your check up if you are pointing at things. Um, yes. All the time. All day long. You point, and we tell you the name of whatever it is you are pointing at. Then you immediately point to something else. Over and over and over again! =)

You looovvvee to give kisses, a lot of the time unprompted...

You are mostly in 12 month clothes, although we also have a handful of 18 month stuff you fit into. You are in a size 3 shoe, but it's a little big still.

You are becoming a little bit pickier eater. You will shake your head and turn away from us when we offer you new things. It takes some coaxing, but most of the time - albeit begrudgingly- you will take a bite. Your favorites are yogurt, cheese, blueberry muffins, green beans, peaches, pineapple, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Ritz crackers, and your very favorite is mac and cheese...mine too =)

You LOVE doing anything Big Boys (like Daddy) do...
You have been the best little sleeper lately. Man oh man it seems like you've inherited your Momma's love of sleep. You never give us any fuss when going down for naps or bedtime. In fact, sometimes you ask for it. You'll come over to us and lay your head down on us, and we'll ask you if you want to go to sleep and you'll grunt or wave your hand to let us know yes. You go to bed around 6:45pm-7:00pm each night, and have been known many times to sleep until 7:30am!! Glory Glory, Hallelujah! You have been a pretty good little napper too. You love your crib and are so happy in there. Sometimes we'll go in to check on you and you'll be just laying in there, playing with your lovie and blankie. We joke that you probably are just enjoying the alone time where Sis can't steal your toys =).

You are still very attached to your bear lovie at naptimes and bedtime.

You are just the happiest little one year old I've ever seen!

You gave us a scare earlier this week (well, me really, Daddy is the calm one, if you hadn't noticed) when you spent a few days with a pretty constant fever that at one point spiked to 104.2. We called the doctor right away, and she said as long as you were still taking fluids (which you were) and not acting listless (which you weren't), then to just stay on top of the Ibuprofen and watch you closely. You were still a sweet cuddly little guy even when you were fussy.

Recently Daddy took you to your one year appointment at the orthopedist for your clubfoot check up. The doctor said your feet look FABULOUS and he was very pleased with them. He still wants you to wear your braces when you sleep for up to another year just to confirm the correction and make sure the feet don't turn back in. Luckily you are so used to sleeping with the braces on, this news doesn't phase you in the slightest =).

And oh, so handsome!
I know I've said it every single month, but we can hardly take you anywhere without people commenting on how long your eye lashes are!

And these cheeks that I just want to munch on!
You love to have something small in your hands while you move about. Like a chapstick container, for example. You just love that you can grip it in it's entirety and you will carry it around with you all over the house.

Your favorite toys are stacking blocks and balls. And anything you can bang together =). You absolutely love opening and closing doors, cupboards, and drawers!

You are SUCH a curious, busy little guy, always wanting to explore......which has gotten you in trouble a time or two (or twenty). You KNOW you aren't supposed to go back behind the arm of this couch, yet time and time again you make your way over there, ever so slowly, flirting with us the entire time.

You are working on getting in 3 new top teeth right now.
You have a silly new trick lately - you run your tongue across your upper lip back and forth. You do it while you move around and play, and it just might be the most adorable thing we've ever seen! Even Sis wants to play your new game!

You are so silly sometimes! And nothing makes you act sillier than when we laugh at you. You love to crack us up, and then your adorable belly laugh makes us laugh even harder!

We love you so much, baby boy. We couldn't be happier God chose us to be your parents!

Oh, and before I forget, you both LOVE music. It has a Pavlovian effect on you both...

One year old is SUCH a fun age, and we are really enjoying playing with you two and watching you interact with each other as you explore the world. These last 12 months have been a lot of work, and were often exhausted, but we truly wouldn't change a thing. We are so blessed to have you two in our lives.

We just love you both SO much!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Then and Now

Sept 2010
6 Months old

Sept 2010
6 Months old

April 2011
One Year Old!

April 2011
One Year Old!

(Don't you just love their shirts? They were a birthday gift from my sweet friend Heather. I pretty much don't think they could be any cuter!!)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A thank you note of sorts

To all of you who went in on The Melting Pot giftcard for my birthday...

...this happy couple thanks you for the date night!!!