Thursday, December 23, 2010


I took a bunch of pictures for our Christmas card this year. Here are some of my favorites!



The bottom three were on the card.

Happy holidays from Mike, Carrie, Sophie, and Michael!






Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why, yes, I am a domestic goddess.

That's the thought that was going through my head as I started taking pictures like this one today:

It all began when Mike woke up not feeling well enough to hit the gym before work. Being the remarkable guy he is, he got our grocery shopping done at 6:00 a.m. instead. Knocking that out in the morning rather than after work made it possible for me to bake a double batch of marbled biscotti today (needed a few ingredients).

Mike headed to work, and I gave Michael and Sophie a couple of toys to play with in their high chairs after breakfast to buy myself some time to mix the dough. Melted chocolate, orange zest, toasted hazelnuts--no scented candles needed today!

Once Michael and Sophie were down for their morning nap, I assembled the biscotti loaves and did the first round of baking and clean-up.

When the babies woke up, I found that Sophie had a fever again (it keeps coming back--teething ?). I gave her some Tylenol, and we all played in the living room and playroom.
When it was time to cut the loaves into cookies and lightly bake them again, I was nervous about how it would go between Sophie not feeling well and Michael's desire to put his crawling skills to use at every moment. I was pleasantly surprised when they sat happily in their Bumbos in the entryway by the kitchen entertained by rattles. I sang and danced for them as well while I worked and couldn't help but think how their giggles have trained some reasonably cool adults to behave in very uncool ways. Michael and Sophie will surely regret this in their tween years.

We played some more once I got the cookies back in the oven, and when the timer went off to take the cookies out, I put Sophie in the Exersaucer and made sure that Michael was engrossed in sucking on and banging blocks together. I grabbed my camera and headed to the kitchen.
I was feeling pretty proud of myself for juggling mommy duties and not completely screwing up my baking project as I took a few pictures of the final product.
Then I peeked out into the living room to check on my little buddies and saw this:



Never a dull moment!

I was thinking that "Double Batch" might be cute name for this blog...if only I had more time to bake!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas, here we come!

With a lost voice and snow on the roads, I felt it was time to take a day off on the Friday one week before the holiday break. I captured this little video knowing it was how my weekend and my upcoming time off was likely to look for the most part.

video

That Sunday we woke up to major snowstorm. It was Michael and Sophie's first glimpse of a significant snowfall, so Mike and I bundled them up in their snow suits. For obvious reasons, our time outdoors didn't last long.

Poor Soph! I love how Michael is looking at her.


I was thrilled to cap that weekend off with an official snowday on Monday. Four days home with Sophie and Michael was glorious...and a major teaser!

After a few days back to business as usual, the babies' child care center had a Christmas party on Friday evening. Sophie and Michael sat with Santa for the first time, and the center gave us a photo in a keychain (not their best picture, but no tears either!). The center also gave us two children's books, a healthy dinner, and their caregivers--I mean, Sophie and Michael-- gave us adorable framed pictures of the babies in angel wings. Mike's parents joined us for the whole occasion and back at home for the babies' dinner and some play time. The evening was a nice start to our real break!

Ahhhhh, this is good stuff....the thought of these two weeks got me through the last 20! I'm not getting much wrapping or baking done so far, but such is life. And life really is good.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

8 Months Old!

Every month I mistakenly think these pictures are going to get easier to take, but it's quite the opposite! Oh, well. Here's the best I could do!





Monday, December 13, 2010

Where's Sophie?

Michael and Sophie have been enjoying blanket time lately. We all play under one like a tent, and they giggle the whole time. Just bringing a blanket out to play with makes them smile with anticipation.

After playing like that a couple of days ago, I noticed Sophie lifting the blanket up covering her face as if she was trying to build our little fort by herself. After repeating "Where's Sophie?" a few times and saying "Peek-a-boo!" every time she showed her face again, we had a new game. Maybe I'm a little biased, but this struck me as pretty smart and independent of her!

She and Michael both tend to freeze up when they spot the camera, so I had to sneak up on her to catch this on video.

video

Michael has been a milestone maniac lately, scooting on his belly, getting into a sitting position from laying down, pulling himself up on furniture to standing, and now crawling! I haven't caught these tricks on video yet. I have to work on my sneakiness!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Babies' first Thanksgiving





 We took this opportunity to recreate some baby pictures of my Uncle Ron and Aunt Rose, the previous set of fraternal twins before Michael and Sophie.




My mom and brother introduced the babies to the piano.  And I got carried away with the b/w.



Michael rockin' out...
video

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The thanks we give

One year ago on the day before Thanksgiving, Mike and I sat in a dimly lit room staring at blobs on a screen and were asked, "Did you know you're having twins?"

We didn't.

Neither of us passed out, or swore, or cried....initially. 

I said, "Nope.  We didn't know that."

Mike squeezed my hand and asked, "Are you serious?  Are you sure?"  He might have said that a few times. 

We were shocked, but I think we took the news pretty well. 

The ultrasound tech double-checked what she was seeing and left to let the receptionist know this appointment was going to run long...twice as long.

In that brief time alone, Mike and I had a rapid-fire chat that laid the groundwork for many conversations to come.  "Two babies?  This is amazing.  How are we going to afford this?  Two babies?  This is unbelievable.  Holy shit. Two babies."

We were thrilled to learn that I was carrying a boy and a girl, that both looked perfect, but the shock was still there.

I had an appointment with my OB/GYN in that same office immediately following the ultrasound.  The nurse  who weighed me and took my blood pressure made the first thoughtless comment.  "Better you than me," she said.  We've learned from experience and from other parents of multiples that these statements are ridiculously common. As well-intentioned as they may be, in the days when the news is fresh, comments like, "Good luck with that," cut deep. 

The doctor was somewhat apologetic, having missed one of the babies in the internal ultrasound she'd performed 10 weeks earlier.  We discussed how this changed a few things, like how the babies' positions could make a c-section necessary, how pre-term labor was likely.

We spent the rest of the day sharing the news via cell phone on our way up to Birch Run and Frankenmuth.  Both of our moms squeeled.  Mine said she knew it all along but tried to convince herself otherwise everytime she looked at the first ultrasound print-out.  Her mom had a set of boy-girl twins, my Aunt Rose and Uncle Ron.

The intention of that mini-roadtrip plan was so I could hit the Pottery Barn outlet and pick out nursery decor now knowing the sex of "the baby."  Instead Mike and I wandered those aisles in a fog, less sure than ever about how that nursery was going to look, unable to clearly envision much about our future.  "Two babies," we repeated, hoping the news would sink in and that the apprehension would slip away.

Since we were in the area, I wanted to get a Christmas ornament in honor of this big day.  At Bronner's we found a baby bottle, then a pink bootie, a stork, and finally a blue bootie.  The pink bootie and blue bootie were the winners. 

Before heading to the checkout, we stopped at the bathrroms, and as Mike took his turn I stood alone in the chaos of the day-before-Thanksgiving crowd looking at that blue ornament and that pink ornament.  My boy and my girl.  And it sunk in.  My emotional equilibrium righted itself, and I knew there was only one feeling that was true, like true north--gratitude. 


The next morning I cried on the phone with my mom, nagged once again by apprehension. Over the weeks and months to come, Mike and I attempted to plan financially to ease those fears.  Then the babies came, and, although they were few, we had some moments where we felt pretty overwhelmed.  But on all of those days, and on the ones in between, the emotions that have come and gone have all seemed to orbit that big ol' gratitude.  It never goes away. 

And I'm glad we had today to honor it once again.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Life in the seventh month

It's been a while since I've mentioned what the babies are up to, so here goes...

Both babies have been sitting up unassisted.  We still set their Boppys at their hips on occasion just in case they get tired, forgetful, or unexpectely wobbly.

Due to the above, there have been a few instances when Mike or I have had to kiss a bumped head, repeat "you're ok" a couple of times, and find distractions for a startled baby (they're always on carpet and a soft blanket, so any pain has hopefully been minor).  One of their daycare teachers pointed out a tiny bump on Michael's head one day that was due to a tumble, and I asked if she thought we should be concerned.  She smiled, shook her head, and said the more mobile babies bump their heads pretty regularly, and he seemed just fine.  I certainly don't love seeing my babies experience any pain, but they can't have Boppys around themselves forever, right?

Both babies also loooooove standing up.  My mom was trying to help them learn to lay back without banging their heads and showed me this little game they played.  She laid Sophie on her back, gave her her thumbs to grab, and lifted her into a sitting then a standing position.  She then slowly guided her back on her butt and then back to laying down.  We've done this a lot with both babies, and at this point they both push right past that sitting part and love looking at the world completely upright.  Their faces show such pride when we do this!

Our house is filled with giggles lately as well.  Combine the standing up game and a rendition of "Who let the dogs out? Woof, woof, woof, woof-woof!" while bouncing his arms to the beat and you'll hear Michael's.  See the last post for Sophie's.

Michael and Sophie have progressed from sharing one jar of baby food in the morning to getting three meals of solids a day.  At this point in a day we go through about nine small baby food jars.  To help with the cost and just because he's that kind of dad, Mike has been making some food for them as well (avacado, sweet potatoes, carrots, bananas, and so on).  This book has been really helpful for this phase.

The babies still nurse four times a day at around 6:00 a..m., 11 a.m. (I pump on work days), 3:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.  Do you notice what is now missing?  They no longer eat during the night.  They still wake up needing pacifiers, back rubbing, and general soothing back to sleep here and there, but that 2:00 a.m. feeding appears to be history.  As crazy as it probably sounds, especially since working our way out of that feeding has been a big goal of mine, it makes me a little sad that my babies have grown to this point. Sad, but a little less sleepy.

On a similar note, Mike and I now trade off on baby duty on a nightly basis.  We used to divide the night in half, but lately it's made more sense to take it night by night.  Now that there's no feeding involved, we both stand a good chance of getting a full night's sleep with this arrangement.  It hasn't happened for me yet, as I still wake most of the time whenever they do, but that night is near, I'm sure!  (I should do a post on all the lies we've told ourselves along the way...)

Michael and Sophie play in a more traditional sense these days.  They push buttons and swiches on musical, light-flashing toys.  They love their stacking rings, and suck on them, bang them together, and are getting some experience with sharing.  Peek-a-boo style games crack them up, especially when the game is with him- or herself in a mirror.

The most heartwarming development over the last month or so is that Sophie and Michael have really noticed each other.  It took a long time, but these days they are big fans of one another.  When they catch glimpses of each other after being apart to sleep, they usually smile and squeal in ways that seem reserved only for themselves.  When laying together in a crib or sitting face to face to play, they reach for each other, swat their arms with excitement, babble back and forth, and show us that these former wombmates really share a special bond.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Giggle Monster

If there is anyone in your life whom you suspect to be an undercover robot spy, show him or her this video.  If that "person" fails to smile, you do indeed have some sort of heartless machine in your presence. 

However, if the video does produce a smile, keep in mind that robot technology may be advanced enough to include some kind of emotional response programming.  I really wouldn't know.

Humans and highly advanced robots, get ready to grin...


video

This was the first time we witnessed Sophie laughing so heartily without being physically tickled.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

First Halloween

 
 
 Below is Sophie in the outfit I bought for her at a recent mom-to-mom sale for $2 before finding the butterfly and monkey costumes. 







Sunday, October 24, 2010

Trick-or-trick-or-treat-treat!

We took Sophie and Michael to my MoMs (Mothers of Multiples) club Halloween party yesterday.  Here are a few pics!

I thanked Sophie for being a girl (to the tune of Golden Girls theme song) before we headed out.  In her long-sleeved pink onesie, matching pink tights, and black Mary Janes, she looked like a little dancer.  Throw on a crocheted hat and bow and the cuteness was overwhelming. 
  
I believe our little Monkael broke the needle on the cute-o-meter as well!

 A decent photo of one 6-month-old is tough to get, so you can imagine the challenge of two in puffy costumes.  Here's the best I could do at the party.  I'll try for more this week!

As precious as these two were, the identical 13-month-old twin cowboys and the school-aged triplets dressed as Princess Lea, Luke Skywalker, and Darth Vadar topped the list of my personal favorites at the party.  We didn't go for a matching theme this year, but I probably should try that before Sophie and Michael want to pick their own costumes!

Our little Sopherfly!

 
Grammie met us at the party!


 Michael was verrry curious about the stick in Mike's mouth.

Maybe you can have a lick next year, buddy!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

The first annual orchard adventure!


After a chili dinner at Mike's parents' house that included a visit with his grandparents, the six of us headed to one of the nearby orchards.  This was such a nice afternoon that we all hope to make it a yearly tradition. 










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