Monday, August 30, 2010

The last weekend

I start back to work officially tomorrow, but we enjoyed some nice family time on this last weekend of the summer.

At Sophie and Michael's four-month well visit, their pediatrician gave us the green light on starting solids.  She said to start with rice cereal.  A friend sent us a copy of Super Baby Foods , and we do intend to make some of our own baby food, but since babies less than six months old aren't ready for homemade rice "porridge" as the author calls it, we chose a boxed whole grain brown rice cereal for the time being.  Gerber's was on sale at Kroger, so we went with that one.  After three to five days we'll introduce some orange or yellow veggies, probably some sweet potato on Friday.  Our pediatrician and the book both encourage waiting that time to watch for food allergies.

Here's their first meal that we gave them on Saturday morning:

Mike fed Michael, and I fed Sophie.

They did really well.  Starting solids usually occurs between four and six months, and I feel confident that Michael is ready for this step (he's waking often at night after previously sleeping through, has doubled his birth weight, and ate very well).  However, I'm not certain we would be starting Sophie this early if she was our only baby.  She has just about doubled her birth weight but not quite, she still sleeps soundly at night, and she got a little fussy during her first feedings.  She doesn't seem to like waiting for the spoon, preferring the steady stream of milk she's used to.  I had to stop feeding her each time, concerned she's literally going to inhale the cereal while crying.  One concern with starting solids too early is respiratory problems, possibly caused by this kind of issue.  So we're taking it slow with her, just feeding her until she fusses.  Solids right now are just snacks between meals to get the babies used to the taste and texture, and a little trial and error is to be expected.  By six months the pediatrician expects Sophie and Michael to eat two solids a day, and I feel we're on track for that. 

Mike took the babies to his parents' house for a few hours on Saturday, and I stayed home to get some cleaning and organizing done around the house.  Michael and Sophie got some good Grammie, Grandpa and even Great Grandma and Grandpa time!

Mike and I enjoyed some good feedings of our own this weekend with the babies watching from their stroller.  We went for another pizza on the patio at The Pizza Cutter in Northville on Friday night followed by ice cream from Kilwins in downtown Plymouth (thought we'd change it up from our usual Rebecca's in Northville).  On Sunday we took the babies to Ann Arbor for the first time, eating on the patio of Grizzly Peak and walking around downtown. 

I can't resist dessert these days so we finished our A2 visit with some iced coffees and dark chocolate covered pretzels from Shokolad (we got some dark chocolate peanut butter cups and clusters to go!).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Is this life or a Michael Moore documentary?

With the ranting I've been doing over the last 24 hours, Sophie and Michael's first words are likely to be "Single Payer."

At their 4-month well visit yesterday, I gave the receptionist our new insurance card when I signed in.  Up until July we had HAP coverage, but apparently during my maternity leave my school district didn't renew that option, and we all now have Blue Cross Blue Shield.

I was under the impression that there wasn't much difference until the receptionist enlightened me.  He knew right away that I was about to get blindsided; he sees it a lot. It turns out that unlike HAP with it's unlimited coverage on preventive care, only $500 worth is covered by my BCBS. We used that up on three vaccines yesterday and there are more to come in October. And January. And April. And October again.  Parents of young children are the ones who typically run up against this problem as $500 goes pretty far for your average, healthy adult.

I know preventive care is part of the new health care act, but from what I read that doesn't apply to plans that begin before Sept. 23, 2010.

Fortunately, even now there are shots provided by the government (Wait, isn't that socialism? Run for cover!) for the us.  We can get them from the pediatrician and pay for the administrative cost, about $17/shot, or go to the health department.  Underinsured?  Health Department?  With three degrees between us and two good, full-time jobs, that was an unpleasant conversation for Mike and me to find ourselves in.  We can certainly afford $17/shot, but the principle of not just covering immuniztions recommended by the CDC blows me away.

By the way, you really should watch this if you haven't already.  The new health care act is a start, but our babies still deserve better.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Daycare Day One

Today was Sophie and Michael's first real day at their child care center.  Here's the email their caregivers sent half-way through the day:

Good afternoon Infant families!

We’re having a wonderful day learning about veggies, fruits, and ways to stay healthy. To begin our day, we all got together for a healthy breakfast which included Cheesy eggs! Cottage cheese was mixed in with our eggs to make them fluffy; they looked amazing! We also enjoyed whole wheat toast, organic pears, and a glass of milk.

In our primary groups we continued to have a blast with our favorite fruits, veggies, and teachers! Ms. Amy’s group pointed to a carrot. Ms. Kim’s group rolled a cantaloupe, and Ms. Carrie’s group explored with grapes in a bag!

Then we got ready for a story! Eating The Alphabet by Lois Elhert was the perfect way to learn more about fruits and veggies. This appetizing alphabet book shows fruits and vegetables so juicy and alive, we wished they could jump off the page and into our mouths. We sure love fruits and veggies even more after this wonderful book.

Everyone loves to listen to their teachers sing, especially us! We enjoyed listening to the song “The Healthy Train” it is sung to the tune of “The Wheels on the Bus.” Here are the lyrics so we can enjoy your voices too:

The Healthy Train needs

Food to go, food to go, food to go,

The Healthy Train needs food to go

All through the day!

(Now add a food and sing the next verse)

The Healthy Train needs low fat milk,

Low fat milk, low fat milk,

The Healthy Train needs low fat milk

All through the day!

Add each of the following to the foods to the song and sing the last verse.

Fruit to go, fruit to go, fruit to go

Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables

Cereal, cereal, cereal

Lots of bread, lots of bread, lots of bread

Beans beans beans, beans beans beans, beans beans beans

Water to drink, water to drink, water to drink.

Then we pushed our sleeves up for art! Apple stamping was a great time, our teachers cut the apples in half, and we used our hands to move the apple all around on our paper.

Our little bellies were pretty hungry, so we got ready to have BBQ Chicken sandwiches for lunch! Homemade BBQ sauce and diced chicken were served on a whole wheat bun, along with organic apples, carrots, and milk. Snack this afternoon is sure to be a hit! We will enjoy animal crackers and applesauce! While we enjoy the applesauce, we plan to explore with it too! This will be a great sensory activity!

Enjoy the rest of your day!

They included these photos of Sophie and Michael as well on their first stroller ride around the center:

The center recently switched to a fully organic menu (they provide breakfast, lunch, and two snacks).  Once Sophie and Michael are onto table food, there's better stuff in store for them than we'll probably be giving them at home!  I watched the little infants finger paint some pink piggies when we did a pre-visit, so I'm sure Sophie and Michael participated in everything else in the day's activities.

It's certainly been challenging to leave the babies these last two days (yesterday with my mom) as I get ready for the school year.  Mike and I trust their caregivers completely and know that their safety and care is the top priority, so the struggle is just about missing them and hoping they're happy.  It helps tremendously that everyone seems to understand how tough this is for Mike, the babies, and me and is very patient with us as we adjust. 

I was told that Sophie was fussy for her first nap today and Michael had some trouble drinking from his bottle.  Their caregivers think she was overtired and that he was just distracted--sounds about right, and they did great and had fun otherwise.  I picked them up about fifteen minutes earlier than I will during the year and enjoyed feeding, playing, cuddling, and just generally caring for them in the hours remaining at home.  If we're protective of this time each day, there will be more than a good chunk of time to spend together.  Since quantity is limited now, we just really have to focus on the quality of the time we share.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

More baptism photos...

Mike's dad shared the pictures he took of the babies' baptism with us.  Here are some of my favorites!

The priest raises all the babies like this--a touching and humorous moment for each family. Check out Gail's face.  That's one proud Grammie/Godmother! 

This is right before Sophie's lip emerged in a pout and she cried.  She did great in the bath that morning, but apparently she'd had enough of water by this point.

I loooooove my baby's shoes.  I'm thinking of displaying them in a shadow box once she outgrows them.

Mike Sr. captured a great guy moment here:  Michael being annointed by the priest with my brother, Mike's grandpa, and my dad behind him.

Ok, the hats were a little much.  But what can I say?  I like accessories.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Spinach of the Week: than v. then

I've decided to let the English teacher loose. I'm going give anyone who cares to read it a little weekly grammar lesson on a common mistake. I'm not here to judge. I just suspect people are less likely to correct someone's ongoing mix up "your" and "you're" than they are to tell them when there's spinach in their teeth.

This is one of the issues that inspired this part of my blog.  I hate seeing simple mistakes made by intelligent people who just never learned or realized there is a "there," their," and a "they're" or a "your" and a "you're" or a "then" and a "than."

Here's how I distinguish the difference.  I think a teacher of my own showed me this, but I don't remember who--thankless job, that teaching.

then = time

The "e" in both words helps me remember.

Sophie and Michael played on their tummies.

Then Sophie got tired.

Michael lasted longer than Sophie this time.

As you can see, "than" is used for comparisons.

You might think of the "greater than" and "less than" symbols (> and <) as sideways A's to help you remember to use the word with the "a" in it for that purpose.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The 4-month wakeful period ain't no joke!

Sophie is the champion sleeper she's been all along.

Michael, however, has been very, very, very wakeful.

For a couple of months both babies had been sleeping from 7 p.m. until 3 a.m. when they woke for a feeding and then sleeping again until 7 a.m.  Recently, however, Michael's been waking up more during the night again. 

We've suspected teething as the culprit since both babies have become little drool monsters, but he doesn't seem to be in pain.  Usually I go in and he smiles up at me, takes his paci, and I rub the top of his head until he zonks out again. 

Over the last week or so, though, it's gotten trickier.  He's been waking up every.single.hour.  Not only am I feeling like the sleep-deprived mother of a newborn again, but I know this is rough on Michael (I've been letting Mike sleep through this for the most part).  It's probably keeping Michael from getting those deep Z's needed for development. So, as is typical, I've been stressing over it a bit.

Consulting my sleep books and message boards once again, most of what we've been doing has been confirmed as "right."  I get them down for naps after less than two hours of awake time.  I feed them in dark, quiet spaces, especially for that middle of the night feeding.  In general, we've been respectful to Sophie and Michael's need for routine sleep.

I did, however, find some things we could be doing better.  Here's what I'm working on:

1.  Making sure they're eating enough at each feeding.  They're getting curious about the world and tend to stop eating to smile at me, look toward any sound they hear, and feel around for anything in their reach, particularly each other's ears and noses.  I'm giving them more attempts to finish like I did when they were newborns learning to feed.  This way I know they're not underfed if they awake crying.

2. Pushing them to take longer naps.  Good sleep during the day, as we know, gets better sleep at night.  Unknowingly, though, I've been giving in to the "45-minute intruder" and getting them from their naps too soon.  My favorite tip:  a well rested baby wakes up happy, and one who needs to keep napping cries. So far soothing them back to sleep even during the day is going well--over the last two days they're up to two hours for both their morning and afternoon naps!   Oh, the projects I could have finished if I'd known this was possible sooner...

3.  Being less reactionary when they do wake up.  I'm not ready to give "crying it out" a try and hope to avoid it.  I definitely can't listen to them cry right now wondering if they think I no longer love them (even just for increasing five minute intervals) with returning to work so close on the horizon.  I'm plagued by enough self-inflicted torment.  What I am willing to do is give them more time before I go in to help them get back to sleep.  A couple of times in the last two days they've settled themselves back into naps when given the chance.

I've really only made a strong effort to improve Michael's sleep over the last two days.  He had a tough time going to sleep last night (I ended up feeding him an extra time), but he slept for longer spans.  Mike deserves credit for finally getting Michael to slip into unconsciousness last night.  After going at the current late night disruptions alone, mistakenly thinking this temporary bump would smooth out easily and soon, Mike and I have had to team up again a little better...and what better timing than just before I join the early rising workforce again?

Hopefully we'll get through this 4-month wakeful thing without developing any new bad habits (like routinely feeding an extra time at night...) and without adding too much to my already blossoming mommy guilt!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Painted Living Room

We refinished our hardwood floors in the spring of 2009, and as part of the project Mike upgraded the shoe moulding and painted the living room.  Previously the living room was a medium-toned beige with light beige carpet.  Pair those colors with our greenish-beige couches and the room was very sad. 

As part of the floor refinishing project I decided on a light gold color for the living room walls, determined to bring in color.  This decision was made before we chose a dark stain for the floors and before we moved the black living room curtains to the bedroom and replaced them with green ones.  I didn't like the wall color once it was up, so Mike repainted it a darker tone for me.  I still didn't like it, but having tortured Mike enough, we chose to go with it.

Fast forward to last month.  I was out at Marshall's with the babies in their big ol' DSNG when I finally found some pillows for the couches (I've been browsing for them since the floor project).  Shopping isn't what it used to be, and I had to flag down a sales person restocking the housewares section and request that she take my three pillows to the checkout for me.  Although discount stores don't typically offer this sort of service, she seemed happy to help once she saw the adoralbe cargo that limited my shopping haul.

I liked the pillows when I got them home, but as these updates tend to do, they made me want to make another change in the room: the macaroni and cheese walls I've been staring at daily for five months.  In the last month of my pregnancy I was pretty  much grounded to the couch, and since the babies were born we have really been living in the living room.  To my delight, Mike agreed to repaint (or should I say re-re-repaint). 

We prepped on Friday night, my mom and I took the babies to a mom-to-mom sale on Saturday morning, and Mike got to work (he never seems to want my help, and I'm not complaining).  I camped out in our bedroom with the babies for most of the weekend, and we put the room back together again on Sunday night.

Mike wasn't totally thrilled with the color I chose (Quail Egg by Valspar) until he saw how the rest of the room popped when it was complete, no longer competing with the walls. 


In person there is a stronger contrast between the wall and ceiling/trim color.  To some people this may be a litte too "beigey" once again, but I am in love with how soft and creamy the walls are and how the white coved ceiling, dark floors, green curtains, items on our shelves, and our new pillows are the stars of the show as they should be.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tummy Time Tip

I read a great tip recently about tummy time.  It was in response to a MoM wondering how to keep her four-month-old twins entertained.  It caught my attention as this is a pretty tiring phase when it comes to keeping Sophie and Michael happy since they're very alert and craving interaction but pretty much immobile and unable to amuse themselves for more than a minute or two.

The tip was to set up a mirror against a wall or a piece of furniture for the babies to look into during tummy time.  I know Sophie in particular gets a kick out of mirrors, so I gave it a go.  I took down my full-length mirror from behind our bedroom door and laid it sideways against our couch. 

I set Sophie there first, and her smile was huge when she saw both of our faces smiling back at her.  The excitement inspired her to roll onto her back within seconds.  Michael was also pretty amused, especially when I moved my face back and forth over his shoulders behind him.

I didn't set up my camera for this until I saw what a hit it was that morning.  Next time I'm going to get it ready to go before I bring Sophie and Michael onto the floor in hopes of catching their initial smiles.  It may be my chance to get a picture of them both smiling at the same time!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Four months old!

Instead of taking pictures right after a nap or a meal when they were smiley and alert, I neglected to take Michael and Sophie's 4-month picture yesterday until it was nearly bedtime.  Here are the best of the bunch.
Maybe I'll have the hang of this by their 5-month birthday?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Time with my babies is (sort of) priceless

Meet Mommy.

She exclusively breastfeeds, smooches toes and cheeks like an addict, and spends at least 30% of each day singing "Skinnamarinkadinkadink."  She's loving every second.

Meet Mrs. Liberty

She's attends school improvement meetings, enjoys the challenge of teaching Shakespeare and correct comma usage to grumpy hooligans, and is even starting to see teaching art this year as an unexpected opportunity.

Now, these two ladies may look friendly, but they are in a constant, raging cat fight.  I try to send them to separate corners, but then Mommy flings one of Sophie's mid-morning smiles at Mrs. Liberty, and Mrs. Liberty fires back with two hard-earned degrees and a savings account.  They're ruthless.

I found myself on the floor this morning smiling into a mirror with Sophie and Michael.  Immediately my brain started doing the math again.  What if I take one year off?  My contract allows that.  I could sub on the two days my mom comes and bring home, what, $150 a week?  Would that be enough?

This is where Mommy really lays into Mrs. Liberty.   Mommy sees her time with the babies as priceless.  There will never be another time like this with Sophie and Michael, so isn't even one year of getting by with no disposable income, no hair appointments or golf outings or contributions to savings worth it?  This family can get by on Mike's salary.  It would be very tight around here, but Mrs. Liberty doesn't HAVE to work.

But those two words "getting by" really make Mrs. Liberty cringe.  She's put a lot of energy toward building a career and getting finances set up for her family to enjoy a lifestyle that includes spending time on vacations and family outings and buying what is needed when needed without the threat of debt.  She can see how she may even be more energetic for her babies in those concentrated hours after work and on weekends, snow days, holiday breaks, and summer vacations with everyone's time divided into richer experiences. 

Mrs. Liberty won the round this morning.  The final blow was the bi-monthly home cleaning service she whipped directly at dust circling Mommy's feet.  Mommy just stared at it longingly, speechless for the moment.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Spinach of the Week: affect/effect and cause/because

I've decided to let the English teacher loose. I'm going give anyone who cares to read it a little weekly grammar lesson on a common mistake. I'm not here to judge. I just suspect people are less likely to correct someone's ongoing mix up "your" and "you're" than they are to tell them when there's spinach in their teeth.

Mike asked me the other day what this week's Spinach would be and suggested I explain the difference between "affect" and "effect."  I guess that one is bugging him.  I had another idea in mind, but since they're all commonly confused and related words, I thought I'd make this a super-sized serving of the dark leafy green.

Click on the words to see their definitions.  Sometimes just realizing the two words both exist is enough to end the confusion. Below each pair you'll see a tip for how to keep them straight.

Effect is a noun, a thing. 
Affect is usually a verb (affect=action). 
Affect can also be a noun (meaning feeling or emotion), but teachers and psychologists are pretty much the only people who need that usage.

Sleep is one of the effects of the swings. 
Swings affect the babies by helping them sleep. 
You can observe a change in their affect after a good nap.

Notice that "cause" is not short for "because."  It has a whole other meaning.  It would be better to use "cuz" in my opinion than to use the completely wrong word for what you intend to say.  If you wish to use "cause" to mean "because," use an apostrophe to show that you have dropped some letters from a word.  But only do this in informal situations like when writing dialogue or updating your FB status.

The cause of one of Michael's first smiles was the little piggie. 
He smiled because the little piggie was silly. 
He thought it was silly 'cause it jingles.

More Spinach

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Gearing up for going back

I took the babies in to visit their child care center again today after visiting last week for about an hour and a half.  On that day Sophie and Michael met two of their three caregivers, drank expressed milk from their bottles, and had some floor time with their new, gigantic friends.  The other babies currently in the infant room are all six months or older, sitting up, crawling, and occasionally tackling anyone in their paths.  Sophie and Michael did great that day with all of that excitement and even better today.

I planned today's visit so the babies would be ready for a nap while there, and they both slept for about 30 minutes in their assigned cribs.  Those aren't very long naps, but I'm thrilled Michael and Sophie were comfortable enough to fall asleep, even with the noise of their classmates playing just outside a curtained wall.  Sophie was a little unhappy when I first put her down in her crib, but in her Swaddle Me with her hands at her face like she likes and with a little soothing she dozed off.  Michael fell asleep in his primary caregiver's arms, but he woke up when transferred to the crib (pretty typical of him).  He didn't really fuss, just stared up at us with big, bright eyes, telling us that method just wasn't gonna fly.  I sat in a rocker with him, patted his back like we do at home, and Michael too drifted off.  He didn't stir at all, even with all the noise nearby, when I wrapped him in his Miracle Blanket in his crib.

I hung out with the three caregivers and the other babies while Sophie and Michael slept and felt a little nostalgic for my own child care work experience.  I worked for two years at a similar center in high school and college.  I started there as an assistant in the front office but spent most of my days there as a travelling sub and summer camp teacher.  By the time I left to work privately for a local family, I knew every kid and family there, was a highly requested sub in the building, and I knew I wanted my kids to go to a center like that one day. 

As much as I cringe at the portion of our income that will go to Sophie and Michael's center, I'm glad it is one with educated and professional caregivers and where they emphasize play-based learning, age appropriate curriculum, and lesson planning even at the infant level.  The super cool playground and organic meals that Sophie and Michael will enjoy soon enough also make us happy with our choice.  The fact that this is the only center in our area open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. allowing me to drop off before work when necessary is also key.  I've considered in-home centers and nannies, but I'm most comfortable with the flexibility, reliability, and professionalism of this option. 

When the babies woke up, I fed them again from bottles to get them used to eating that way there.  We left shortly after that, stopping in at the front office to confirm the details of their enrollment.  They'll be attending three days a week with my mom coming to care for them at home on the other two.  Generally with twins there's a rate for the first child and a discounted one for the second (like with any siblings), but back when we visited in December I negotiated to get the discounted daily rate for both.  It's not a huge savings, but every little bit helps!  I left today knowing that when I'm sitting through a full day of professional development back at work, as much as I'll long to be with my little buddies, I'll be able to fully picture what they're experiencing and will breathe easy...probably.

Back at home, Sophie and Michael have been napping quite a bit, making up for what they lost at the center.  I took advantage of that time to goof around on FB, return some emails, blog, my DVR'd episodes of General Hospital.  They did a sort of retrospective on Soapnet last night to gear viewers up for the return of Brenda today. 

Having spent several hours in a child care center and then some time watching GH from 1997, I'm feeling a bit like a time traveller.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Baptized Buddies

Michael and Sophie were baptized yesterday.
When we returned to my parents' house for a luncheon, I fed the babies, and they fell into their milk coma pose, made even sweeter by their white attire.
(They're on their EZ 2 Nurse pillow on either side of my waist.)

Like I did before getting married in a Catholic church, I did some soul-searching before the baptism.  I was raised Catholic, but I don't really identify with the religion beyond that.  I know it's not uncommon for people like myself to participate partially in a religion, but I was raised to see that as inappropriate.  For a long time I felt it was best for me to let go of my connection to my family's religion completely, but starting my own family has made me question that total separation.

The conclusion I've come to is that the line between faith and culture is a little blurry when it comes to religion.  Although Mike and I don't really practice any religion, we'd like to share some aspects of Catholicism with Sophie and Michael since it is a part of their family's culture.  Getting married in a church and having the babies baptized were not givens for us, and where we go from here is something we'll continue to feel our way through, hoping our openly one foot in/one foot out approach isn't terribly offensive to the truly faithful.

I've spent time with both my mom and my mother-in-law since the babies were born discussing our beliefs, and I feel they fully respect my appreciation for my religious upbringing and what my spirituality looks like today (there's certainly more to it than what I'm sharing here).  Mike and I chose our moms as the babies' godmothers - my mom for Sophie, Gail for Michael - since they will naturally model the faith for the babies.  We were pleased to learn that Gail's Grammie was her godmother as well.  My brother Joe is Sophie's godfather and Jeff (Mike's best friend since childhood) is Michael's.  We know these two guys love our babies deeply, they know our values well, and they will always be part of Sophie and Michael's lives.  Our babies are lucky to have these four people as their godparents. 

Although Mike woke up with a miserable summer cold yesterday, we enjoyed the ceremony and the gathering with family and my mom's church friends afterwards. My aunts Rose and Janet came down from Marysville, and my Aunt Sharon and cousin Gary drove in from Pennsylvania. Aunt Sharon mentioned that it was hard for her to imagine my mom as a grandmother, my brother as an uncle, me as a mom and so on. Gary called it the changing of the guard. These gatherings help us all to see the joy and changes that Sophie and Michael have brought to our family. I found myself really looking forward to the holidays!

I keep finding myself too preoccupied with the babies to get many pictures at events like this, but here are a few I did manage to get.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Today's walk was sponsored by...

the ladies of MHS!  Thanks again, co-workers.  This stroller  (Baby Jogger City Mini Double) turns like a dream, rolls over big bumps in the sidewalk smoothly, and the seats fully recline for my little nappers!

I still love the used Double Snap and Go that our carseats snap into and will continue to use it for adventures outside of the neighborhood for as long as we can.  (With Graco Snugride 35's, that will be when the babies are 35 inches or 35 pounds.)  We've also taken the DSNG for many walks around the neighborhood since Sophie and Michael were newborns in need of the support of their carseats.

We made use of the DSNG just last night when we went out for pizza and walked to get ice cream.

 However, last week a power outage left us without a sound machine for the babies or a DVR for me, and two consecutive nap times were spent on two long walks.  I decided that day that the DSNG wasn't really meant for the bumps and turns of our neighborhood sidewalks, and since the babies are bigger it was time to break out the fancy schmancy stroller my co-workers gave us at our baby shower.  

Today was it's maiden voyage, and it was smooooooth. 

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