Can y'all believe it's almost 2010?  For a lot of us, 2009 will be remembered as the year our baby/babies came along and turned our worlds upside down.  What a year it has been!  For now, I'm looking ahead and thinking about what 2010 might look like. 

I love the start of a new year, for many of the same reasons I like moving into a new house-it's a blank slate, a fresh start, wide empty space waiting to be filled.  This year, being the end of the decade (or not, depending on how you want to look at it), feels bigger, more important somehow, than most.  Has it really been ten years since the big Y2K non-catastrophe?  I was a senior in high school back then...my, how times have changed.

Anyway, I've mentioned before that I don't do very well making specific resolutions, but this year I do have some general goals in mind.  (And by the way, I did alright with the two goals I mentioned in last year's post;  my house was a little cleaner than the year before and we wasted a little less food.  Not bad, I think.)  So here goes...my list for 2010:
  • First, a repeat from last year... the house.  With the babies quickly becoming mobile and a fresh, new house waiting for us, improving my housekeeping skills is more important than ever.  Jeremy has promised to help me in this area, and I think between the two of us we can keep the clutter under control.  The specific goal in this area is to catch our laundry up every week.  Laundry is pretty much the bane of our existence in this house.  We let it pile up entirely too much, and it's got to stop.  One thing that might help this goal is the fact that our laundry area in the house we are buying is right off the kitchen and contains the door to the carport that we will use for coming in the house most of the time.  Meaning...it will have to be fairly neat or I won't be able to get in the door!
  • Secondly, another food-related goal...I have to start cooking more, and specifically, more healthy, well-balanced meals (as opposed to the hot dogs I've had for dinner two nights in a row).  As the girls begin to eat more and more table food, I realize how much I don't want them eating the junk that I sometimes resort to.
  • In 2010, I want to read more.  With all the extra housekeeping and cooking, I'm not sure where this goal will fit in, but I fell way behind in my annual book count in 2009, and I would like to rectify that situation next year.  (I'm kidding, by the way...I don't actually count my books during the year!)  In the next few days, I hope to narrow down a list of the books I really, really want to read this year, so at least the reading I do get done will be worthwhile.  Any suggestions for my list?  I'm a ficiton-lover at heart, but I'm trying to encourage myself to read a little non-fiction occasionally.  It's good for my brain to actually think about what I'm reading on occasion.  (Wait, most blogs are non-fiction!  That totally counts, right?)
  • A baby-related goal for next year is to get out for special activities with them as much as possible.  Being home mostly on the weekends, it's tempting to fall into a habit of staying home and being lazy all day, but I want us to get out and about as a family and make some fun memories in the process.  As they grow up a little over the next few months and start noticing more things about the world around them, it should be easier to find activities they will enjoy.  I figure one of the first stops should be the zoo...and they should be ready about the time the warm weather gets here!  Besides things like the zoo, though, we can do lots of free things around town.  The point is just to get out and do something a little different.
  • I don't do the whole work out three times a week, lose 10 lbs. kind of goals, but I can easily resolve to get more exercise.  I can easily do that, because almost any exercise is an improvement over what I do now!  : )  If the soft, post-baby tummy firms up a little in the process, all the better. 
  • There are two relationships I want to focus on strengthening and improving over the next year:  my relationship with Jeremy and my relationship with God.  Both relationships have suffered a little in the craziness of the past 8 months (although I have had many a late-night chat with both of them during those months!).  These relationships are definitely constant priorities in my life, but I need to focus more on making them what they should be.  (Along those lines, I'm thinking a once-a-month date night with my husband might need to be added to the list!)
  • Lastly, I think, but importantly, I want to practice more patience.  I need to have more patience with the girls, with Jeremy, and often, with myself.  I need to let go of things I can't control and focus on what I can...which are my actions and reactions.  I have a feeling my two little princesses will find constant new ways to challenge me as they grow, and I'm going to have to deal with it better than I have at times in the past.  I'm thinking that working on my relationship with God will come in handy for this goal as well.  : )
Well, that turned into a mighty long post, didn't it?  What are your goals or resolutions for 2010?  If you're doing a post on it, let me know...I might be missing something on my list!

Happy New Year, everyone!


Merry Christmas

We hope you have all had a wonderful holiday this year.  We spent the morning at home together as a family, then the rest of the day at my mom's house with more family.  It's been a great day.

Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a fabulous 2010!


Still Here

I haven't been able to post all week, but we are still alive and kicking here!  We moved out of our house and into the rental house last Sunday, and life has been pretty crazy since then.  We are so, so grateful to have a place to go until we decide where we are headed next.  While we are in the rental house, we are living out of boxes as much as possible to avoid having to pack so much again.  We have a potential house that we hope is going to work out, so our fingers are crossed to be in it by mid-February! 

We had a few nights of interrupted sleep during the house-transitioning process, but things seem to on the mend now (I'm hoping!!).  Actually, I shouldn't even say we had interrupted sleep, because once they got to sleep, the girls did okay...it was just the going-to-sleep part that was frustrating for a few nights.  I'm incredibly spoiled by babies who have gone to bed without issue at 7:00 pm for the last four months, so I was frustrated to have to wrestle with them until 9:00 or later some nights.  Thank goodness they stayed asleep pretty well once they got to sleep, or I really would have thought I was suffering!  We are incredibly lucky in the sleep department...it just goes back to my lack of patience, which the girls are helping me work on.

Needless to say, between the babies and the house being in upheaval, Christmas preparations have been a little different this year.  We did not put the tree back up after we moved, and I have just started wrapping gifts (which I usually love and can't wait to do).  It's quite a different Christmas, for sure, but we will enjoy it all the same.  I can't wait to see my babies on Christmas morning, looking all sweet and snuggly in their holiday pajamas!  I know they won't care that they have gifts, but Jeremy and I can't wait to play with show them their new toys.  : )

We finally got Internet hooked up at home today, so maybe I can get back to my regular posting and reading habits...I have felt so disconnected without cable OR internet!


It's not exactly how I pictured our first Christmas

It looks like we will officially be homeless on Christmas this year!  Okay, not really, since we have a rental house to go to, but we won't be homeowners for our first Christmas as a family of four.  Our house is under contract, and we are set to close on December 21 (assuming everything goes as planned...we pray that it will!).  When the house had not sold by the middle of November, we assumed we would be here at least through the first of the year.  (Did I mention I put my tree up earlier than EVER?!)  Well, wouldn't you know, a lady looked at our house the week after I put my tree up and immediately made us an offer.  We came to an agreement, and oh yeah, did we mention that she needs to close on or before December 21?  What a mess...  But I will be SO glad to get it sold that I don't even care.  The girls won't remember that their first Christmas was spent in a rental house, without a tree (cause I am NOT putting it up again), and living out of boxes. 

Thank goodness for an amazing family who can provide us with a house to live in for as long as we need it.  My aunt has just finished remodeling a house to rent, so we will be moving in there until we get something else.  The other option was staying with my mom, and with my sister home from college and a friend of hers visiting from Brazil for the holidays, that would not have been a happy situation AT ALL.

The depressing part of the situation right now is that we thought we had found the perfect house for us.  It was built by an older couple and the man apparently passed away last year.  The house is empty and it was going to work out just right so that we would only have to spend about a month in the rental house while we painted, etc. in the new one.  It was an unbelievably perfect fit for our family, and I couldn't believe our luck in finding it so easily.  We settled on a price and had a contract...then my dad crawled underneath to do his inspection of the foundation and crawl space.  And so began our breakup with the perfect house.  The whole neighborhood is in a lower section of land, not a flood zone, but the dirt underneath the house was basically moist clay mud.  It was a bad situation involving water, rot, and mold.  Bah....   Of course, we couldn't go through with it after finding that.  As much as it sucks, I will not risk my babies' health for a house we like love.  Back to square one we go.

The worst part of the whole falling-through on that house is that now we compare every other house to it (and did I mention it was perfect for us?).  There is a house that we liked a lot before we found this one, which we will probably end up buying in the end, but I can't help but see its shortcomings now.  I just hate to feel like we are settling for second best on such a major investment.  We are going to look at the probable new house again this weekend, and you'd better believe we will be sending Dad under that crawl space immediately!  I am going to try to put the mold-infested house out of my mind and just try to imagine our family living in this house.  We'll see if it's a fit. 

As crazy as it sounds, the little OCD, neurotic part of me loves to move.  It's a messy and chaotic time, but I love the chance to start fresh, to organize and arrange our household all over again.  Each place we lived has been a little more put-together than the last, so there's hope for the next one.  Maybe it will actually get painted, decorated, and organized by 2011!  : )  (Although I guess we have to find it first....)


8 Months

8 Months

Dear Addison & Mackenzie,

The fact that this month's update is over a week late is testament to how busy our lives are these days.  e are preparing to celebrate your first Christmas, and although you won't remember it, your daddy and I will treasure these memories forever.  Christmas with you girls is going to be so very, very cool.  I can't wait to watch you figure it all out over the next few years, as we create new traditions for our little family.

This first Christmas is going to be a little crazier than usual, since we have sold our house and will be moving just a couple of days before Christmas!  We didn't plan it to work out this way, but at least you won't remember the chaos our lives will be for the next month or two.  I am so excited that you will get to grow up in my hometown and go to the same schools I went to as a child.  I think you will love it there, although you will probably get tired of it at times and wish you lived in a bigger city where there is more to do and where everyone doesn't know your business all the time.  We all felt that way at some point, particularly during our teenage years, but I hope you will come to love our little town as much as I do.  I am very excited to cut out our 45-minute commute each morning and evening.  Your daddy is taking on a commute in this move, so remember to thank him for it when you're older!  : )

This last month has been full of fun and new discoveries for you girls.  You have become steady, expert sitters, and you can roll wherever you want to go.  You are both showing signs of getting ready to crawl soon, but I'm okay with it if you want to hold off a little longer, since I have no idea how I'm going to keep up with the two of you moving in opposite directions!  Food has become a major source of fun and entertainment for you both.   Addison, you particularly LOVE your food and you are very vocal with your appreciation when you are enjoying a meal.  You tried some new foods this month, including turkey, lima beans, broccoli, and small bites of my cinnamon toast-which you would devour if I let you.  As a food lover myself, I am having a blast introducing you to new and exciting tastes.  It blows my mind that you are now big enough to begin eating off my plate...soon there will be little hands reaching over for a bite at every meal. 

Your Auntie Laura was home from college to celebrate your first Thanksgiving with you.  We went to church, as has been the tradition in our family for four years now.  Our church cooks a meal and serves it free to anyone and everyone who would like to eat with us.  It is a real blessing to those in our community who have no place else to go, and I was so excited for you to spend your first Thanksgiving there with our chruch family.  Auntie LJ will be home again soon, and I know she is excited to spend some more time with you. 

I am looking forward to a lot of time off work during this upcoming month, and it will be fun to spend the extra days hanging out with my two best girls.  Some of my favorite moments come from the normal moments spent at home, just being with you.  All week long I look forward to Saturday mornings when I climb up in the recliner with the two of you in my lap and we take a good nap together.  The cuddles and giggles every evening when we get home are truly the highlight of my day.  We sing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and go over all of our animal noises, and you two just laugh and laugh.  I love those moments...and I love you girls more than you will ever know.

Love, Mama


Strike a Pose!

8 Months

LJ and girls



Although we still have a few moments like these-     (who doesn't???)

Fussy Mackenzie

some days...

things have been much better for Miss Mackenzie over the last few days.  The culprit behind all the attitude last week may have been a second bottom tooth that made an appearance on Wednesday!  I hate this teething stuff...I tend to attribute the signs to other problems, then I feel bad when a tooth shows up and I think they may have been in pain for days.

Maybe eventually I will realize that EVERYTHING can be a sign of teething, and they are just going to pop up when I least expect it.  Some photographic evidence of the recent teething:


drooling Mackenzie
Can you see the drool on her shirt?

The tooth count is tied again at 2 each!  Addison got hers about two weeks apart-first the left, then the right bottom tooth.  Mackenzie followed the same pattern, except her right tooth came first.  I'm beginning to wonder if we don't have a couple of mirror-image twins on our hands.  Their hair patterns do swirl in opposite directions.  Hmmm...  It's so interesting to watch all the similarities and differences emerge as they grow!

The last two posts have been mostly about Mackenzie, so here's a picture of my Addie-bug...demonstrating one of my favorite Addison expressions...



Patience...Yeah, I need some

So, yeah, for about 6 months now, my babies have been AWESOME sleepers.  They were sleeping through the night by the time I returned to work, even if we sometimes got up for the day at 4:30 am.  They gradually extended their sleeping hours, and for the last several months have been sleeping basically from 7:30 pm-6:30 am.  (I know...I am UNBELIEVABLY lucky in the sleep department!)

Getting them to go to sleep has been pretty easy too.  For a long time, they would fall asleep on Boppies while eating their bedtime bottles, and I would just transfer them to bed. Then, they began to stay awake through that bottle.  They were tired though, and we started to work on putting them to bed awake.  They were doing pretty well with falling asleep on their own fairly quickly. 

Fast forward to last Thursday night...  The girls and I stayed the night at my mom's, which is not unusual for us to do every couple of weeks (and in fact, we had stayed there the night before and had no issues).  My mom, sister, and I went to a movie while my aunt and cousin put the girls to bed.  They were asleep when we got home, but Mackenzie started fussing about 30 minutes later.  I cuddled her for a few minutes, she went right back to sleep, and I went to lay her back down in the pack and play.  She was NOT having it.  Every time I would go to lay her down, she would start screaming.  After several tries, I ended up falling asleep with her next to me in the bed.  Mackenzie got to sleep with me for the third time in her life (she spent two nights in the bed with me when she had a cold a couple of months ago). 

Friday night-back home, back to our normal routine, right?  Not so much.  Again, lay Mackenzie down in the crib and she screamed.  Frustrated, I brought her to the couch with me.  When she fell asleep, I laid her in the Boppy, which is how they both take their naps.  Finally, she stayed asleep.  Eventually, I moved both Mackenzie and the Boppy to the crib and she slept ok the rest of the night.

And that is pretty much how every night has gone since then.  I wondered if Mackenzie was sick, maybe with an ear infection so that it hurt to lay flat.  But she's FINE when she's up playing, and that includes lots of laying down and rolling around.  It's been very frustrating, to say the least.  Occasionally, Addison has gotten in on the screaming action, but she pretty much settles once Mackenzie gets quiet.

I really don't know what the issue is...  Both babies are beginning to get a little more clingy to me, so I don't know if it's that, if she really has felt bad, or what.  I have tried letting her cry for a few minutes, but it just gets louder and more frantic.  I have had to rock her to sleep every night since this all started.  In the grand scheme of things, it's really not that big of a deal.  Even if it takes awhile (and some tears on both our parts) to get them to sleep, they stay asleep all night.  It's not like I'm up at 2:00 am rocking crying babies (thank goodness!).  The real problem is me, and how much I'm letting it stress me out.  I get frustrated so easily when I have had to go in there repeatedly to quiet a crying baby (mostly Mackenzie).  I end up frustrated with myself for being mad at them, and usually in tears because I feel bad for losing my patience. 

Maybe that's what it is...a test to help me realize that I need to have A LOT more patience than I have at times.  I am so incredibly blessed to have two beautiful, amazing, healthy little girls, why do I let the little things get to me so easily??  Any suggestions?  I know Mackenzie will work out these little issues (whatever they are) eventually, so in the meantime, I will keep praying for patience.  Jeremy and I have also made it our early New Year's resolution to have more patience with the girls and with each other in general.  (I'm guessing we will need it even more, since it looks like we will be moving into a new house pretty soon!!  More on that later.)

Maybe I can get some pictures up tomorrow...I've been slacking on both posting and pictures lately.


Randomness, and some pictures

I haven't posted in awhile, so I thought I'd check in.  Nothing too exciting around here...we're just enjoying the holiday atmosphere!  I put our Christmas tree up over the weekend-earlier than I ever have before-and I'm already enjoying the glow of the lights. 

My incentive for putting the tree up was to get a good picture of the girls for our Christmas cards.  Hopefully they will turn out well.  I can't wait to see them!  Here are a couple from our photo session:  (none are edited; these are some we didn't use)

The little ones are waking up from a nap, so that's all for now.  Hopefully I will get a Thanksgiving post up sometime this week!  We also may have a contract on our house, so maybe there will be some exciting news to report soon!! 


Wish List Wednesday: Books

I always have a mile-long list of books I want to read, and since my girls arrived, I've naturally had less reading time than ever.  Most of my reading these days is in the form of blogs or magazine articles-I can finish them quickly if something comes up and I don't have to struggle to remember what was happening the last time I read.  I am currently reading both Firefly Lane and Julie and Julia, but neither is outstanding in a can't-put-it-down kind of way (which is probably good, considering I have two nearly-mobile babies to keep an eye on!).

Assuming I will eventually be able to complete a book within a reasonable amount of time, here are a few that are on my list:

1.  A Change in Altitude I generally enjoy Anita Shreve's books, even if they aren't memorable, all-time favorites.  This one is about a couple taking off to Kenya, reminding me a little bit of The Poisonwood Bible.  I tend to gravitate toward anything Africa-related, so I'm thinking I will enjoy this one.

2.  Handle With Care Similar to Anita Shreve in some ways, Jodi Picoult can certainly weave an emotional story.  I have skipped some of her books, especially the more out-there, fantastical sounding ones, but this one sounds pretty good.

3.  The Help  Sounds like a good story, which is the essential element for me.

4.  Happens Every Day  I actually found this book when I was gathering links for the others, but I'd be ineterested to read it.  The author is the actress that played Stabler's wife on Law & Order: SVU, and it's a personal story of her divorce after she followed her husband to Ohio. 

What books top your wishlist?  Head over to The Foster Family to play along!


Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

Pictures seem to be consuming my thoughts this week.  I'm consumed with trying to get a decent picture for our Christmas cards at the moment.  We don't really have time in our schedule to go have professional pictures made, so I'm hoping to get a couple of decent ones I can edit enough to come out with some cute cards. 

Speaking of editing, have you tried Picnik?  It's a great photo-editing site, and the best part is that plenty of features can be used for free.  I don't know anything about Photoshop or any program for serious editing, and Picnik is easy enough for even me to use! 

I've also been trying to get all of our pictures copied over to DVD and somewhat organized.  Lots and lots of picture-related chores this week.  Here are a few from the beach that I've played around with on Picnik...

I love Addison's face in this one...she's probably about to let out a screech because she can't reach her toys!

I think this is Addison again, but to be honest, I'm not sure.  One more reason I need to do better about organizing/labeling pictures!

Mackenzie, being her usual happy self.

Addison finds something pretty funny...

drool face
My little drool-face (Mackenzie).

silly girls
My funny girls.  I love watching them discover one another and learn to play together!



Since we all had a day off yesterday, Kelly and Wyatt came over for an afternoon playdate.  The babies all had a great time rolling around in the floor (well, at least my two rolled; Wyatt's not quite there yet) and bouncing in the jumparoos.  I am so thankful that these three get to grow up together!

We laid all three babies out in the floor, and Kelly and I couldn't help but think of the first time they all played together in our floor:

We have come SO far since then....

Best Friends

I only got a couple of pictures of the three of them together, since two-thirds of them move pretty fast these days.  : )  Addison and Wyatt seem to gravitate toward each other the most, and he often smiles and stares at her.

Hopefully she will stop that before they are teenagers.  -so, so wrong, I know! : )-

baby smiles
Aren't they sweet??


A "Me" Day

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day, which means I have a day off work in the middle of the week.  Wednesday is also the day Mackenzie and Addison stay with my mother-in-law, which is pretty much the only time she gets to spend with them on a regular basis.  So....I decided to do something I have not done much at all since the girls were born....I'm going to have some ME time. 

When they get up in the morning, I will be taking the girls to NiNi's house, then coming back home to spend several glorious hours ALONE.  Am I a terrible mother for being very excited about that??  (Just so you know, I'm kidding-I'm actually a proponent of getting a little time away every once in awhile!)  I have left the babies with family to go shopping or run errands, and Jeremy and I have been on a couple (as in TWO) dates since they were born, but truthfully, I'm pretty sure this will be the first time I have had a few hours to myself with no expectations of getting any sort of task accomplished and no plans to be anywhere. 

What am I going to do with this blissful, unscheduled time?  Most likely, I will end up back on the couch, in my pajamas, watching some tv.  (Hard to believe that less than a year ago, I spent an entire day on the couch watching Bones for 14 hours straight) I might even get ambitious and watch one of the netflix I've had laying around for going on three months now. If I'm not too busy being incredibly lazy, I might pick up a long-neglected craft project that I haven't had a chance to work on since the girls arrived.  That probably won't actually happen, though...I'm pretty sure I will be a couch potato all morning, and I will enjoy every single minute.  Sometime after lunch, I will go get my babies and I will kiss and smooch and squeeze them because I missed them SO MUCH all morning long.  : )
What would YOU do with a day to yourself??


A Little Something for My Bama Fans...

she doesn't really like auburn

How Addison feels about wearing the Auburn outfit AGAIN...

I thought y'all might enjoy this picture...sure looks like Addison is getting tired of Auburn, huh?  : )

Actually, we were taking pictures for a photo contest (more on that later, as I will probably be asking for your help soon!), and she got scared by our dogs barking on the other side of the fence behind her.  Addison has the saddest little pout just before she cries, and she was about to let out a big wail here.

Bama will be facing the "other tigers" in a tough game tomorrow.  I think both girls should wear crimson and white to cheer on mama's team, don't y'all agree??


7 Months and a Surprise

Seven months...over halfway to one year...how did we get here again?  I may have said it before, but I tell all my friends that are having babies to enjoy every.single.moment.  Try to find the beauty even in the hard moments, because it truly goes by SO fast.  Everyone tells you that, but you don't really get it until you experience it with your own babies!

7 Months
Mackenzie in polka dots, Addison in the stripes.
Addison and Mackenzie are developing more and more personality every day.  They laugh and smile at everything.  Mackenzie, who has always had such a quiet, sweet voice, has suddenly taken to yelling as loudly as she can all day long.  It's not an unhappy yell, more like exercising her voice.  It's hilarious!  Addison has been yelling for awhile, but now she yells until you look at her, then she will break out a big smile because she's gotten your attention. 

Developmentally, there is a lot going on as well.  Both girls have mastered sitting alone quite well this month, and they are rolling all over the place.  Mackenzie didn't start rolling until this month, but once she did, she really took off.  They both are now pretty much tummy-sleepers, which still makes us paranoid sometimes, but they look so sweet all curled up...and it's exactly how both their daddy and I sleep, so it's to be expected.  They are eating very well-a good assortment of fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, cereal, and now we have added pureed meats to the list.  The favorite addition this month:  yogurt!  Addison especially loves it, and sometimes cries when we stop feeding her.

sleepy girls

Can you tell they just woke up?

It is so fun to watch my girls discovering each other.  You can really tell there is a bond between them.  Sometimes they just look at each other and laugh or shriek.  I love it!  There is lots of pacifier- and toy-stealing going on, with much, much more to come, I'm sure.

There was a little surprise waiting for me when I got home from work yesterday...Addison has a tooth already poking through her gum!  I was shocked.  We mentioned a few times last week that they might possibly be teething, but it's so hard to know for sure.  For some reason, while I was playing in the floor with them, I decided to check her gums to see if anything felt different.  Well, that sharp little tooth sticking out sure did feel different!  Bless her heart, she has done well with it.  She was fussy during bathtime, so I gave her a little tylenol and she went off to sleep without much of a fight.


Seven months and a tooth...it's been a big week!  : )


Halloween, Finally

Addison and Mackenzie's first Halloween was pretty low-key, but that's pretty typical for Halloween in my family.  It's never really been my favorite, and I was never very creative with costumes and such.  I admit, it is a little more fun to think about costumes for my sweet little girls, but instead of spending money for expensive costumes this year, we went with something already in their closet:  Alabama and Auburn cheerleaders!

Halloween 2009

I said our family costume was "A House Divided."  : )  I thought it would have been cute if I had been able to cut a house out of cardboard so that Jeremy and I could each wear half, but of course, I didn't think about it until Saturday afternoon! 

We went to a carnival at our church (a "Hallelujah Carnival," isn't that cute?), with costumes, trunk-or-treat, games, and lots of candy.  We got there a little after 6, and the girls were never really feeling it.  They would look at someone and just all of a sudden burst into tears.  I don't think it was the costumes; it had more to do with being out past their bedtime!  After an hour or so, my mom and cousin took the babies to her house to get them ready for bed.  Jeremy and I stayed for a hayride with the youth, then went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant-ALONE!  Happy Halloween to us. : )

I just realized yesterday that I only ate two pieces of candy on Halloween, and we didn't bring any home with us.  What were we thinking?!  (Wait, I know what I was thinking...I enjoy weighing less than I did when I got pregnant!!)


Mackenzie says, "Roll Tide!"

Addie & JenJen

Doesn't Addison look like my mom?


Update and Best Picture Ever

Well, we survived our first family vacation.  Let me tell you, "vacation" takes on a whole new meaning when you bring two six-month-olds along for the ride!  Of course, when we decided to bring the girls with us we realized there would be no sleeping in, no late dinners (maybe not even dinner at all, for that matter!), and no laying by the pool all day.  It was definitely different from our beach vacations in the past, but all in all, we had a great time spending the week together as a family of four.

The girls had a lot of "firsts" on this vacation:  first time in a swimming pool (pretty cool), first time to see the ocean (they weren't impressed), first time putting their toes in the sand (that was a little more fun), and first time sitting in a high chair other than ours at home.



There was also a first that we weren't so crazy about...for the first time ever, Jeremy and I were unable to finish our meal together in a restaurant.  To be fair, we knew we were pushing it.  The girls had been a little fussy all afternoon, but we had skipped lunch in order to eat an early dinner at one of our favorite restaurants (it used to be called the Bayside Grill, but the name changed to Harbor-something-or-other).  Bless her little heart, Mackenzie was NOT having it!  Nothing pleased her at all, so Jeremy and I took turns sitting outside on the patio with her.  Thank goodness Jeremy eats fast, and that Addison was behaving.  : )  We got dessert to go, and it was still just as good at 10:00 that night.  I guess making it nearly seven months without a restaurant meltdown was pretty darn good, especially considering that we eat out with them at least once a week! 

We played it safe every other night and Jeremy called in our order to one of the nearby restaurants, then brought it back to the condo.  Still tasted just as good!  (Another upside of the beach in October:  the food was ready in 10 minutes or less, so it was nice and fresh when he got back with it.)  It really was a great trip.  We had great weather-not too hot, not too cold.  We shopped, ate (a lot!), and just enjoyed being together.  The girls slept great in their pack and plays, and even did great in the car on the way there.  It's about a 6-hour drive, so we left around 2 a.m., and just put them in their carseats asleep.  Crazy, I know, but it worked!  They slept until we were only an hour away, both there and back.  By that time, we were ready to stop for breakfast anyway, so it turned out just perfect.  I definitely recommend it if your kids will sleep in the car!

We took lots of pictures of the girls on the trip (though none really on the beach...we were distracted just watching them see something new), and I am sure I will share more once I am finished editing them.  But I just had to share this one of the girls on a bench at The Wharf...I do believe it might be my favorite picture so far!  (Mackenzie is on the left; Addison is on the right, looking sneaky)



100th Post=FAIL! (how about a cute picture instead?)

So, yeah, I totally failed at something creative for my 100th post.  We're at the beach, though, so that makes it somewhat special, right?

I love the beach this time of year.  At first, I was a little disappointed that our conference was held in October instead of the middle of summer like some of the others.  Now I see the beauty of it...great weather (75-85 degrees all week), no wait at any restaurants, and absolutely no crowds anywhere.  It may not be the best weather for lying on the beach all day, but let's get real, Addison and Mackenzie aren't going to let that happen!  That's not really our thing anyway...we enjoy the beach and the pool, but we like to get out and go too, which suits the babies just fine.

So far, we've done a lot of eating and a good bit of shopping at the nearby outlets.  (Carter's, The Children's Place, Gymboree, Hartstrings...I'm in baby clothing heaven!)  Tomorrow is supposed to be pretty, so I'm hoping to get some beach pictures.  For now, I'm going to enjoy the view from our balconies...we lucked up and got a corner unit with amazing views in every direction!

A few random pictures:

Game faces
Game Faces

Mackenzie is finally rolling!

Playing together

watching tv
Watching tv on vacation


My Favorite Things-Baby Edition

So I'm a day late, but this is a post I've been wanting to do for awhile, so I'm playing along.  The Question of the Week at Multiples and More is -What are the top 5 items that every parent of multiples needs?-

Here are my recommendations:

Boppies---This has probably been the #1 most-used item in our house.  At six months, my girls still use the Boppy every day.  They have been used for breastfeeding, lounging, naps, bottle-feeding, and now, for cushion while learning to sit.  I use one each night when I'm feeding both babies together before bed.  I recommend getting two or more Boppies...definitely one for each baby, and maybe an extra!

Swaddle Blankets--These were a MUST for nighttime use during the first four months.  We got a lesson in swaddling at the hospital, but after a couple of weeks we bought the Halo version, and never looked back!  The velcro makes it so much easier to get a nice, tight swaddle.  Bonus:  if your baby outgrows the swaddle too quickly, you can remove that part and still use the sleepsack.  (Which reminds me...I need to get some fleece sleepsacks for winter!  Little toes get cold.)  Definitely get at least two per child, because they WILL eventually spit up or pee through one, especially in the first couple of months.

A Good Stroller--I love my Combi Twin Sport stroller, but a lot of people really like the Graco Double Snap n' Go at first.  When they were tiny, we did use our Eddie Bauer stroller that the carseats snap into, but it was a beast to load and unload.  I really did not feel comfortable going anywhere by myself with that stroller...at 50 lbs. and a tight fit in my trunk, I was not able to get it in and out easily.  The Combi is a mililon times better!  The seats recline all the way, so I was able to use it pretty early (I think we got it around 4 months).  It weighs less than 15 lbs., fits in the trunk with room to spare, and fits through standard doorways without a problem (one of my concerns about a side-by-side stroller).  Whatever kind of stroller you choose, make sure it's something you're comfortable with.  After a long day, just a walk around the block can work wonders for you AND for your babies!

Microwave Sterilizer--Especially if you use bottles, a microwave sterilizer is one of the most handy items to have around in the first several weeks.  I don't know if everyone else was as obsessive as we were, but for the first few weeks, we sterilized everything.  After each washing, we sterilized all the bottles and nipples, which I now only do every couple of weeks for a "deep cleaning."  We do, however, still use it on basically a weekly basis for sterilizing pacifiers, new toys, etc.  (Do be careful though, I did melt a set of rings a couple of weeks ago!)  The Avent was super easy to use...just pop everything in, add a little water, and microwave for 4 minutes.

Lastly, the single piece of advice that has come in MOST handy for me in adjusting to life with multiples...
Schedule!  Even more important (for us, anyway), the SAME schedule.  Your multiples will likely come home from the hospital on a 3-hour feeding schedule, and I recommend sticking to it.  Feed the babies at the same time whenever possible.  I never let ours go more than an hour apart.  My babies don't necessarily nap at the same time (still don't), but they eat and go down at night at the same time.  Speaking of nighttime, until you know one baby is capable of sleeping through the night, wake the other when one wakes to eat.  I know it sounds crazy to wake a sleeping baby, but trust me...the other baby will most likely be up 5 minutes after your head hits the pillow.  For us, the schedule was absolutely a life saver.  We know what to expect, the babies know what to expect, and if we need to do something different, they are fine with it, as long as we stick to the same basic routine.

A few other things worth mentioning:  burp cloths (we used a TON in the first few months when they couldn't suck fast enough to keep up with their bottles), bouncy seats (essential for getting a shower some days!), and a womb bear or other comforting sound (we found our babies love the rainforest crib attachment by Fisher Price).  Also, add a babysitter (family or otherwise) to your list, because a night out once a month or so is AMAZING...even if you can't wait to get home and kiss your babies.

So that's my list!  I hope someone finds something on it helpful.  In other news, my next post will be my 100th.  It seems like it should be something special, but I don't have any ideas right now!  If I don't post for the rest of the week, it may be because I'm frozen under the pressure.  : )