Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas 2011 / Christmas 2012

To tell the truth, I hardly remember last Christmas. It's times like these that I am grateful that I keep a blog. I went back and read over the posts regarding Christmas and thought, "Oh yeah. THAT happened." The twins were less than four weeks old last year, and we had just entered their colicky phase.They have grown so much in 12 months, and my heart aches to think about how tiny they once were.

That being said, they are the cutest toddlers ever. I am so glad Nathan and I aren't waking up every two hours for feeding and that I actually will remember Christmas this year :) The pictures were a real reminder that a lot can change in a year.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

These past few weeks, I have been too anxious and busy to blog. Moving boxes, daily discussions with our loan officer, faxing documents daily, trying to work, preparing for Christmas, and mothering three children has kept me pretty busy. Today, though, it was easy to forget about all of those worries and simply enjoy my family.

I am so grateful for the Christmas season. I am blessed to have my family here and my family in the Carolinas. As I looked at my babies, it was easy to remember what Christmas is all about. It is about a precious child. I am thankful for Him, my Savior, and for His birth. 

Joy to the world, the Lord is come.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Nutcracker

Tonight, we went to the local production of The Nutcracker. One of Eliza's cousins was dancing, and Cheryl and I thought she would enjoy the performance. For the first hour, Eliza hardly moved as she watched the ballerinas dance. She was absolutely mesmerized. (The second hour, she became somewhat delirious with fatigue because she was up way past her bedtime.)
She couldn't stop asking questions about the various costumes and dance moves. Her favorite parts were the Waltz of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Waltz of the Flowers.
Afterwards, we made sure to take a picture of Eliza and her cousin Isabelle. Eliza was starstruck.
 On the way home, she asked if we could build her a stage so she could perform a dance of her own. She said she needed ballerina shoes and a tutu immediately. I think we have a future ballerina on own hands...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Double Trouble-- Now Understood

Two toddlers.

It's crazy. You should see our house.

Now that Elliott is walking and Ezra is climbing into everything and opening any door he can find, I am constantly in motion. There are two sets of stairs in the house and only one baby gate, so I often find myself grabbing a giggling Elliott from the stairs and then rescuing Ezra when he gets to the second step and suddenly becomes terrified. The boys have learned how to escape the little barricade I made in our playroom, so I am scared to leave them for any amount of time (even if it is just to cycle the laundry). My arms ache from constantly lifting them and moving them to safety. Recently, their favorite antics include crawling behind the couch together, leaning on the bathroom door at the same time (this somehow causes the door to open), and opening the spice cabinet and taking out every single container (and no, this cabinet cannot be baby proofed). 

They are definitely a team. However, every partnership has disputes. Elliott is fascinated with eyelashes and tries to pull Ezra's anytime I am changing his diaper. I have to use a leg to keep Elliott away from Ezra's face and then try to wrestle Ezra from escaping at the same time. Both boys hate diaper changes because they would rather spend their time doing something interesting. 

When it comes to toys, Ezra can be fairly possessive. They have a hard time sharing certain toys, and I often break up baby fights. Elliott is fairly calm if Ezra steals a toy, but Ezra loses it if Elliott even looks at his toy. It's pretty funny. Ezra is particularly fond of the Camelbak water bottle we have. Nathan left it on the floor one day, and Ezra drank half the bottle. Fortunately, we have several bottles, so Ezra never has to part with his beloved blue Camelbak. He cries when anyone else has it.

Although our days can be pretty hectic, it is amazing to see how close the babies already are. They look at each other and burst into laughter, they reach out for one another when eating, playing, and taking baths, and they really are an inseparable pair. I love how they open doors together, play with the tupperware side by side, and take on any new obstacle (like figuring out how to steal Eliza's glasses off her face) as a team. 

They have a built in best friend.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It Happened!

One of our boys is a walker! For the past few days, Elliott has been standing without any assistance. We have been practicing walking and tonight, he took several steps on his own! It was pretty exciting. I can't wait for Ezra to start walking, so he doesn't feel left out. Walking or not, Ezra definitely keeps up with big brother. He is always busy and into something!
Elliott also learned how to wave today. Grandma was saying bye-bye and waved, and Elliott promptly returned the gesture. Two milestones in one day!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Typical Ezra and Elliott

I love this video. Elliott shows off his "no, no, no" trick, and Ezra shows that he can patty-cake and rock furiously in his high chair. That little boy has so much energy!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Twins with Twins with Twins

When Nathan and I learned our boys were sharing a placenta, doctors immediately informed us that this meant the children would be identical twins. For a few weeks, we thought the babies could be high-risk monoamniotic twins, but we eventually learned (to our great relief) that each boy had his own separate sac. I had wanted twins my entire life, and I always fancied how cute identical twins were. Nathan had grown up with several sets of twins in his family (all identical), so he wasn't too surprised when we learned Ezra and Elliott were identical.

After doing a significant amount of research on twins, I let Nathan know his genes had nothing to do with the single egg dividing. According to research, identical twins are not genetic. I suppose it is just a coincidence that Nathan's grandmother had identical twin daughters and that Nathan's aunt, the sister of identical twins, also had identical twin daughters. Further back in Nathan's family, there are other sets of twins (I believe his grandmother's grandmother was a twin) and they are all identical. I don't know what the statisical probability of these random egg divisions is, but I find it intriguing. Who knows? Maybe in 30 years we'll learn that genetics do, in fact, play a role in an egg suddenly dividing. Perhaps all of us mothers shared a desire for twins and willed our bodies to have two babies rather than one (that sounds crazy, I know). Several times, I have jokingly stated, "I willed that egg to divide!" Of course, I know that isn't possible, but I can't wait to tell our boys the story about how we knew we were going to have twins.

Here is a picture of the identical twins in our family. Baby B's are on the left and Baby A's are on the right. Our family loves twins!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's Been a Year

I can hardly believe it has been a year since the craziest day of our lives.

As Nathan and I were getting ready for bed last night, we both expressed the similar thought that time has gone by so quickly. The nights of never sleeping felt endless, but looking back, those days seems like a lifetime ago and just yesterday simultaneously (I'm not sure how that happens). 

Parents often say things like, "I cannot imagine my life without my children" and I am undoubtedly one of those people. Life before Eliza and then the twins was certainly different, but envisioning a life without them is impossible. I love knowing there will be three little faces to greet me every morning. I love seeing the boys watch me cook breakfast from their highchairs and always expecting to hear Eliza ask, "Can I help?" I love knowing that the babies will greedily eat their raisins and that I need to watch Ezra because he may steal food off of Elliott's tray. I look forward to the fake cries for attention if we leave the room for a minute, and I can't wait to have a few seconds of snuggling when my tired babies awake from their afternoon naps.

Of course, I can imagine not washing cloth diapers every day, pumping, constantly cleaning high chairs, and vacuuming stray Cheerios from every room in the house, but I am grateful those little tasks are really just a small portion of parenting.  Nathan and I joke that we are in a constant state of exhaustion, but it's worth it.

(And I could probably write 10 posts alone on my emotions regarding the past year, but I will refrain. I just really love these boys!)


A year ago this very minute, Elliott was born. His little brother arrive 8 minutes later. Those were the most intense minutes of my life, but they were quickly followed by indescribable, overwhelming joy. I've been pretty emotional this morning thinking about our precious sons and that miraculous day. I am still in awe of God's tremendous blessings. Happy Birthday to our little E's! We love you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dr. Seuss Party for Thing 1 & Thing 2

I think I am a little obsessed with Dr. Seuss. We watch The Cat in the Hat most mornings on PBS, and Eliza really enjoys Green Eggs and Ham and other Dr. Seuss books. Additionally, we bought The Lorax last week watched it and How the Grinch Stole Christmas several times with the nieces and nephews. I decided to do a party based on all of our favorite Dr. Seuss books/movies, and I was pretty pleased with how our Dr. Seuss decorations turned out.

 My sisters-in-law, Danielle and Jenny, spent most of Friday helping me get everything together. Lucky for me, Danielle and Jenny are creative and good at baking. Jenny made the most delicious cupcakes I have ever eaten and two little smash cakes for the boy (and an extra big sister cake for Eliza so she wouldn't feel left out. Thoughtful right?). Danielle made the Grinch cookies (sugar cookies rolled in green sugar with Santa Hershey Kiss Santa hats on top) and helped me set everything up. It took a while, but everything looked great!
Our Cat in the Hat table had goldfish in a tea pot, red velvet cupcakes with blue icing (little Thing 1's and Thing 2's) and little fish in blue jello.

The Lorax and Green Eggs and Ham table was my favorite. We had Lorax Nutter Butter cookies, Sunkist soda with a Lorax face, colorful Twizzlers reminiscent of Truffala trees. No Dr. Seuss party would be complete without Green Eggs and Ham, so we made sure to have a full platter of those treats.

Lastly, there was a Grinch table. We had Grinch cookies, marshmallows (Christmas-y, right?) and candy cane striped Hershey Kisses.
Of course, my favorite part about the party was that the boys were dressed like Thing 1 and Thing 2. In an effort to save money, I made the costumes myself (or tried). Cheryl helped me sew feather boas onto hats, I bought cheap candy cane striped Baby Begs, and ironed Thing 1/Thing 2 logos that I made onto onesies. Unfortunately, the logo did not have a white background (which I didn't notice until after one had been ironed on). I've thought of a way to fix it, but for the party, we just taped on a little sign and didn't worry much about it. The boys looked cute no matter how they were dressed.
They loved the croissant rolls and ham, and their cousins enjoyed all of the other goodies.
Before the boys dove into their cakes, we tried to take a few pictures with them wearing their amazing wigs (Try being the operative word here).

After a few attempts, we eventually managed to get a couple of cute pictures. Elliott even smiled for a few of them!

 Ezra was less interested in the hat, but we did get one get picture and ended the baby torture.
Finally, it was time for the fun part: the cake eating! We sang Happy Birthday and gave each baby their very own cake.

At first, neither boy knew what to do with the cake. They looked at it and then they looked at each other, watching to see what their brother would do.

Ezra was brave and decided to try his cake first.
After a tentative bite, Ezra decided the cake was good and dove into it face first.

Meanwhile, Elliott was still scared of the cake and uncertain what to do.

Nathan gave him some encouragement and he finally began to eat the cake.

He was still a little scared, but he eventually got over it and decided that he also liked eating cake.

Ezra definitely destroyed every last piece of his birthday treat.

I'll have to post the video of the cake smashing, but the pictures do a good job of showing who enjoyed their cake more :)
Overall, it was a great party! We were pretty exhausted afterwards, but the majority of refreshments were eaten and everyone seemed happy.

The boys received several gifts (clothes, money, and toys), but their favorite things have been a little musical airplane from our friends Jason and Natalie and Poppity the Musical Dino from Great-Grandma Robbins. You know you are a parent when a new toy that plays new songs is literally music to your ears.

I'm thankful for our boys, for our friends and family who came to the party, for my family members in South Carolina who always remembers to send a card for every special occasion, and for the memories of a really wonderful day.

Ezra and Elliott will be one tomorrow! Crazy!