Looking Back

I knew it was this time last year that we found out I was pregnant, and I began scrolling back through old posts, remembering. Turns out, it was a year ago today we made the announcement on the blog. What a year it's been! It cracks me up to read that post and see myself saying, "the baby...." I only used that phrase for about two weeks before it became "the babies," then "the girls"!!

What sweet, sweet girls they are. My mom got them out to meet me for lunch today, and naturally, it came a downpour while we were eating. (She doesn't venture out with them too often during the day, so it figures that it would happen on the day she does come out.) Addison was so funny. I guess she thought our drinks were supposed to be her bottle or something... whenever we put a cup to our mouths to take a drink, she would shriek and get mad! Addison is actually turning into a little screamer this week. Not screaming as in mad, just yelling. I guess she's just learned she can do that. Let's hope the new wears off soon. : ) Mackenzie is her usual laid-back, content self. She slept through most of lunch, then woke up to people-watch for a little while.



I am so glad it's Friday, so I can spend the whole weekend smooching on these beautiful faces!!



There were a couple of firsts in our house this past weekend. One was good; one not so good. The good first-Addison rolled over! Too bad none of us saw it...she was in her crib while Jeremy and I both changed clothes after a shopping trip. I heard her start crying and thought she was just mad because they were left in the nursery alone (how is it possible that they already hate to be left alone in a room??). Turns out, she was crying because she all of a sudden found herself on her tummy! Even though she was thoroughly ticked off about being on her tummy, I had to snap a picture before we picked her up.

Both babies are starting to enter the stages of mobility. I'm sure it won't be long before Mackenzie is rolling as well. Addison can also push herself around on her back, using her heels. Life is getting a little more conmplicated now that we have to make sure they are contained every time we turn our backs. It was so easy when we could lay them on the couch to run and take care of something else! : ) But I'll take it, because they are also entering the stage of being able to entertain themselves for short periods of time, which is really nice!

The other first this weekend? That would be the babies' first colds. Addison was the first to show symptoms, on Saturday. She was sneezing, stuffy, and had watery eyes. She was a lot better on Sunday, but poor Mackenzie had it in full force by then. And of course, I took my turn with it beginning yesterday! We are all recovering pretty well, after a day home for all of us yesterday, but it was a rough weekend. Mackenzie slept in the bed with me two nights, because she cried every time we laid her down in her bed. I was afraid she might not want to go back to her bed, but she seems fine with it.

Other than that brief setback, life has been pretty good...just busy as usual. I'll end with a couple of pictures of my sweeties after church last week. Aren't they adorable in their Feltman Brothers outfits? : )

I love Mackenzie's face in this one, while Addison chews her hand, as usual.

The happy family.



So, I've had this plan since shortly after the girls were born that I could make their baby food myself. Everything I've read talks about how easy it is to make, and I was definitely tempted by thinking about the money we could save. Knowing they would be starting baby food soon, I made my first batch the weekend before last. Surprise, surprise...it actually WAS pretty easy! I made squash, zuchinni, and green beans to get started. I steamed the squash and zuchinni and cooked the green beans in the crock pot. I used my Tupperware manual food chopper for some, but the green beans required the blender. I'm using the ice-cube tray method to freeze the food for about 48 hours, then transfer to a ziploc freezer bag to store. I think it's working well! My homemade version may be slightly chunkier than a jar of stage 1 food, but I think that's okay, right? There are no big chunks that I think they could choke on or anything. Anyway, yeah, Miss Undomestic is actually doing okay with the baby food-making thing!

At the girls' four-month checkup, the pediatrician asked if we had been feeding them cereal from a spoon yet. We have started playing around some, and although they don't seem to be eating much at all, it's going pretty well for our first attempts. The doctor gave the go-ahead for them to eat fruits, veggies, and most anything else as we get ready to feed it to them.

Tonight, we decided to try peas for the first time. The results:

Mackenzie is not so sure (picture above),
but Addison thinks they're pretty good! (picture below)

Maybe my cooking isn't TOO bad!!

I guess eating big-girl food inspired Mackenzie to show Mama a new trick tonight...
We've been working with them since about day 4 (literally), trying to teach them to hold their own bottles. Tonight, Mackenzie did it for longer than ever before! Note the stack of burp cloths helping to prop it up...you do what you gotta do. ; ) I was so proud of her, and she actually did it long enough for me to run and grab the camera. Now, if she will just keep it up and teach her sister how to do it!


One of THOSE nights

I've been telling lots of people lately that life with a baby (or two!) gets a lot better after about 10 weeks or so, at least in my experience. (And for other preemie parents, that timeframe will surely vary based on adjusted age.) Tonight, I am reminded again how far we have all come in four months.

For the first couple of months, evenings were pretty tricky around here. Even when my mom stopped staying with us, she came back in the evenings because the girls were so fussy. Remember, Jeremy works 2nd shift so I am home alone in the evenings for bath, bedtime, etc. My girls love their bath. No matter how ill they are, life is good when they are in the bathtub (is it bad that I have most definitely considered hanging out in the bathtub all day?!). But for many, many weeks, as soon as bathtime was over, they needed to be held and fed...IMMEDIATELY. That made it nearly impossible for me to handle alone. I can cuddle and comfort one baby while she eats her bedtime bottle, but how do I bathe the other and get her ready for bed?? Thank goodness for mom (again).

Those weeks when mom would come in the evening were all fine and good, but I knew that when I went back to work I had to do it myself. I practiced a few times in those weeks between the time Jeremy went back to work (when the girls were 4 weeks old) and the time I went back (13 weeks). How did it go? Um, I don't really even want to think about it! Seriously, it was pretty bad. I was stressed all evening trying to keep both babies happy, and it didn't work too well. By bedtime, I was absolutely exhausted. Needless to say, I was TERRIFIED of what evenings would be like once I returned to work.

I went back at the beginning of July, and guess what? The evenings with just me and my girls are my favorite part of the day. As they have learned to entertain themselves for a few minutes at a time, bathtime has become much less stressful. Thank goodness for Baby Einstein...Jeremy calls it baby crack!! I was skeptical that they would pay any attention at this age, but since they love anything on the tv, I tried it. They are captivated. Because it's at least educational and has classical music, I feel a little less guilty about parking my babies in front of the tv for about 30 minutes in the evening. I have come to treasure the few hours in the evening when I get to hang out with my girls, reading books, playing with toys, snuggling on the couch...just enjoying them in general. (When we move and I'm not commuting to work anymore, I will have one extra hour in the evening...I can't wait!!)

I tell all of this to illustrate how far we have come in just a little over a month. Tonight, though... tonight was a little rough. I had a horrible headache all afternoon and took a short nap at mom's, so we were a little late coming home. The girls almost always take a nap on the drive home, and tonight they woke up horribly ill. Addison did not want me to put her down, and screamed every time I did. I fixed some cereal that we've been working on eating from a spoon, and that didn't last long AT ALL (although they are doing much better keeping it in their mouths!). I ended up feeding Addison a few ounces of a bottle before the bath, which I hate to do because it can mess up the schedule. I'm all about the SCHEDULE...It helps me keep my sanity. The bottle helped her calm down a little, though, and didn't get us off too badly tonight. Sometimes I just have to deal with a little rearranging. I thought Addison was happy watching Baby Einstein in the living room (safely buckled in her bouncy seat, of course) while I bathed and dressed Mackenzie. WRONG. About halfway through the bath, I heard her start screaming. It was not pretty. On top of everything else, the girls have gotten close to rolling over a few times, so I can't leave them on the changing pad to run and get the other like I used to...just to make life a little more difficult. : ) I finally got Addison calm and Mackenzie dressed, and what do you know...Mackenzie decided she was done being patient for the night also! It was quite a loud and unhappy hour until we finally settled down to eat the bedtime bottle at 8:15. Luckily, the feeding went smoothly and both babies were in their cribs fast asleep at 8:45.

Tonight prompted me to think back on those early days, and how stressed out we all were (the babies and me). Some nights, I cried right along with them as I tried to do anything I could to bring us all a little peace. Tonight, although a little reminiscent of those days, was so very different. Tonight, I know it was just a bad night...everyone is entitled to those, right? The crying doesn't stress me out like it did for awhile. My kids don't cry much at all, and I've realized that if I can't run and grab the one who is crying immediately (like when the other is in the bath, for instance), it WILL be okay. I hope my girls never resent that as twins, one always has to wait her turn...but it's a fact of life. Even though there were more tears than usual tonight, I kept my cool and even still managed to enjoy the time with my girls. I remind myself that when they wake me up in the morning, it will most likely be with squeals and smiles. The slate will be wiped clean, and we will begin again...hoping for an easy, pleasant day, but making the most of even the bad ones.


Three Years Ago

My favorite part of my wedding-besides the groom, I guess!- was the flowers. They were absolutely perfect...far beyond what I had imagined. I wish I could have one of those arrangements in my house at all times.

Finally Mr. and Mrs!
Then we rode off into the sunset...

A perfect end to a perfect day.


Four Months

Finally, the four-month post! Everyone says how quickly time will fly and the infant stage will be gone. I realize now exactly how true that statement is! It seems like a blur sometimes... I am trying my best to write down everything I can, because I know now how quickly things change. I am keeping a book of letters to the girls each month (trying to anyway!), and I thought I would post the four-month letter here....
Dear Addison & Mackenzie,
This week you turned four months old. I say it every month, but it's so true...it's really hard to believe it has been four months since you came into our lives! These past four months have had their share of hard times (particularly the first month), but they have also been full of more love, laughter, and pure joy than I have ever known before. Watching you grow has been so much fun, and we rejoice with each new milestone you reach. At times, I'm sad to see you move on to new things, because it reminds me how quickly the time is passing. Then you do something incredibly cool or funny, and I remember that you are getting more and more fun every day. Your daddy is so happy you will finally laugh at his silly faces and noises. It's like you finally know who we are, that we are the ones who love you most in this world.
This month, you have become such happy, smiley babies. You can finally entertain yourselves for a little bit (which takes a little pressure off me and daddy!). You love to lay in your bed and watch your mobile, and tv time seems to be one of your favorite treats. This morning, I listened to you giggle and squeal watching Baby Einstein. It was truly one of the sweetest things I've heard. We separated you for the first time this month, so you now sleep in separate beds. It seems you both rest a little more peacefully that way, and I for one am loving the extra sleep! You are sleeping about 9 hours a night, and sometimes taking two 2-hour naps or more during the day. I think your Jen-Jen will have you on a nap schedule soon! You have tried cereal from a spoon this month, and although you aren't really sure what to do with it, I'm sure it won't take you long to figure it out. I'm also working on making you some yummy vegetables to try soon!
Four months is an amazing time to be your mama, sweet girls. You are such a blast to be around, and you get more fun every day. Instead of being sad when the next stage gets here, I will try to remember that it will probably bring even more fun things than this one has. : ) Your daddy and I love you so, so much, and we feel incredibly blessed to call you ours.
Love, Mama
Because I'm late on this post, I have the four-month health stats also:
Addison: 12lbs, 2oz., 23 1/4 inches (just about average for her adjusted age)
Mackenzie: 13lbs. even, also 23 1/4 inches (just above the 50th percentile for adjusted age)
We have to continue trying to keep Addison from laying down flat too much, because her head is just a little on the flat side. It's a common problem for multiples, and the dr. said there's a good chance it may work out on it's own. If not, we may have to do a cranial band (baby helmet) for a little while. We're going to try hard to keep her off that head!
Everything else looks good, and we have the official go-ahead to experiment with food as we feel they're ready. That should provide some good entertainment!
It is getting increasingly hard to get the girls to sit still for a picture together. The official four-month picture up top is the best I could do at the time! Then they both got interested in staring at Mackenzie's pajamas, and Addison decided to love on Mackenzie a little. I love these girls!

(I apologize if this post looks like one long, run-on paragraph...it's not recognizing my line breaks, and I'm not technical enough to know what to do about it!) : )


An easy, kid-friendly meal

Obviously, I don't cook meals for my girls yet, but in my family it has always been abou quick and easy. I am the first to admit I am not much of a cook, but I'm learning to branch out a little (homemade baby food post coming soon!). I plan to get into a routine of cooking at least 4-5 nights a week by the time the girls start eating meals with us.

Anyway, pizzaburgers have been one of my favorite "fun" meals since I was little. Now that I am making them myself, I appreciate how quick and simple they are to throw together. Here's what you'll need:

4 hamburger buns (will make 8 pizzaburgers)
1/4 lb. ground beef
small can tomato paste
1pkg. mozzerella cheese
chopped onions and bell peppers (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Brown hamburger meat. Separate the tops and botoms of hamburger buns and spread a layer of tomato paste on each. Top with lots of cheese, and onions and peppers, if you're using them. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bread is slightly toasted. Goes great with potato chips and baked beans!

Another tip: I like to brown a pound or two of meat at a time, then separate it into smaller portions. I put them in ziploc bags, then freeze. When you're ready to use it, just toss the frozen meat in a skillet for a couple of minutes. It's great for something like this, or spaghetti sauce (you can put it in the sauce frozen and just let it thaw as the sauce cooks).

For more family recipes, check out today's blog at Multiples and More!


What have we been up to lately?

I am working on a four-month (!) post that will hopefully be up later tonight or tomorrow. I want to include pictures, so I will have to get them off the camera at home (or maybe take the 2-day-overdue four-month picture??). Anyway, in the meantime, here are a few things on my mind today.

--I am loving the Multiples and More website. There is so much fun stuff going on over there, and I love having a fun new post to read every day. If you're a MoM and you haven't joined, check it out. It's great to have access to an entire community of parents who have been in your shoes (some more than one time around...yikes!). The new bright yellow button to the right is advertising the Summer Blog Party the website will be hosting in September. They are encouraging members to host giveaways on our own blogs, and I am considering doing it. I'm thinking about maybe giving away a personalized painted canvas...if I can get my act together in time! (Even if you're not a member of the network, check out the blog party...you don't have to be a member to win giveaways on the personal blogs, and I'm betting there will be lots of great stuff to win!)

--On the same subject (no, I'm not doing a sales pitch for Multiples & More today, promise!), the product that was mentioned on the blog today is pretty neat. It's a new set of books called Scenarios for Girls. Remember the choose-your-own-adventure books from when we were kids? It's kind of like that, but these deal with moral issues for girls. I know it will be a long time before my girls are ready for them, but I am really interested in seeing what these books are all about. A set is being given away, so I'm entering my first giveaway contest on the blog...maybe I'll have some beginner's luck and win them! : ) There is also a website that goes along with the books: www.scenariosforgirls.com. Check it out!

--I don't think I mentioned it before, but we have officially put our house on the market! I am hoping it sells quickly and easily, because I sure can't deal with too much added stress right now! We have decided to move back to Scottsboro, which will cut out my commute to work and put us close to my mom, who keeps the girls while I work. Jeremy will have to commute, but since they will be in Scottsboro, he can see the girls when he gets up before he goes to work. I'm seeing the plus side for everyone! : ) We have found a couple of houses we are interested in, now I'm ready to get ours sold.

I guess that's enough randomness for today. Happy Tuesday!