Saturday, June 30, 2012

Better Than Christmas

You know what's better than waking up on Christmas morning?

Waking up at 7 AM and realizing your children (and you) have SLEPT ALL NIGHT.

I planned on waking up and nursing Ezra and Elliott at 3 AM or so when they cried, but it never happened. They slept through the night, and we couldn't be happier. They were so alert and energetic today, and I can tell they are feeling the effects of resting well. They went down amazingly for their naps and now they are back in bed.

I am so happy that I could cry. Actually, I have cried. I am so relieved and hopeful. I feel like I can be an even better mother now that I am resting. Our prayers have been answered, and I am thankful. 

Ezra did have a rough time falling asleep tonight, but we stuck with our routine and reassured him that he was okay. I know that they may not fall asleep immediately each night and that they may need one feeding, but simply seeing results is changing our world. 

Oh, to sleep again! 

When Pigs Fly

I never thought I would live to see the day when a panel like this went up on my wall:
Yes, it's true. We (meaning my in-laws) got a security system. From Vivint--my archnemesis.
After working three years for Vivint's largest competitor, I am well aware of the corruption within the security system industry. Sales representatives are often dishonest and customers end up locked into awful contracts with terms they were unaware of (because the fine print is very small and they trust the friendly salesman). So, when a man wearing a Vivint shirt came knocking yesterday, I politely told him I was not the homeowner and slammed the door.

I didn't expect he would come back again today. And I certainly did not expect that my father-in-law would listen to his horribly rehearsed spiel and be interested! After our car was broken into last month, Rex realized protecting our home might be a good thing. That, along with a couple of burglaries in our neighborhood, made him feel like an alarm system was actually a necessity.

Fortunately, I was able to use my security system based knowledge for doing good today. My favorite part of the afternoon was when I told the sales representative that I had worked for a security system and knew the contracts in and out along with their sales tactics. Essentially, I told him to cut the crap, and he read my message loud and clear. My in-laws ended up getting a great deal and will hopefully be happy with the system.

As strange as it sounds, I actually do feel safer in our home. When I thought about someone going into our minivan (which was parked 10 feet from our door), I began to think: "What if they had come into our home? What if they had hurt our children?" Obviously, your mind jumps to the worst case scenario.

So, even though I said I would never get an alarm system, I am glad for the peace of mind it provides (and it technically wasn't me who signed the contract!).

I can't believe I just typed that last sentence. My former self is dying inside. This is proof that being a mother really does change things. You are willing to accept security systems because they will make your children safer (in your mind, at least). I feel like I just aged 10 years. I hope all of my former coworkers who read this blog forgive me for passively advertising for Vivint!

Friday, June 29, 2012

It Gets Better

Yesterday, someone told me that letting my children cry it out was "incredibly cruel." My immediate reaction was to feel guilty and sad, but then I remembered that we are already seeing great results from our efforts and that Ezra and Elliott were incredibly happy today after resting well last night.

The second night of sleep training went terrifically! The boys went down at 8 PM and didn't wake up and eat until 3 AM. That is seven hours of sleep! They then slept until 6 AM, cried for just a little while, and had to be woken up at 10:30 AM. If that isn't success, I don't know what is!

I responded to this mother, who explained that her children have been sleeping through the night since they were two months old, telling her that I initially thought crying it out was cruel. However, crying it out (to me) does not mean placing your child in a crib and abandoning them for the night. 

Nathan and I established a routine, which calms the babies down and helps them realize they are about to go to sleep. The first night, we did go in and check on them. Last night, they were nursed when they woke up at 3 AM. Tonight, Elliott had a hard time falling asleep (Ezra fell asleep immediately), but we went in and checked on him every 10 minutes. We comforted him. It was hard to hear him cry, but I do not feel like we were being "cruel."

I also let this woman know that I would never have resorted to letting the babies cry if I wasn't on the verge of a complete nervous breakdown. They have been waking up every 1-3 hours since they were born, and they are 7 months old and weigh a healthy 20 pounds. The constant dizziness and vertigo were huge red flags that I needed to take control of the situation. Hopefully, establishing a firm routine will allow the babies to feel secure. It seems that some children naturally sleep well and others need to be taught sleep patterns. Obviously, this lady had been doing something right, while I, on the other hand, needed to play catch up. I just want the same thing she has: sleeping, happy babies and a well-rested family

So, thank you for the encouragement and for not making me feel awful about wanting sleep. And a big, huge thanks goes out to my friend and fellow twin mom, Becky. Lots of my friends had great advice, and Becky even sent me an amazing book that reinforced all of the things you all had said. Sleep Sense explained why letting them cry for a couple of nights is okay and made me feel like I could actually change our current situation. 

Thank you so much, Becky!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

7 Months

The little giggles are 7 months old today! (except they aren't giggling here because they were denied nursing all night and are angry with me!)
They are growing so much and were nearly 20 pounds when we weighed them on Friday. The past couple of weeks, they have tried desperately to move their weight around. They roll around and scoot backwards constantly. They haven't mastered how to sit up or scoot forward just yet, but they are definitely working on it! They are mildly interested in food and are much better eaters than their big sister. 

Ezra makes me laugh. He has such personality. His loves playing with his tongue and constantly has it sticking out of his mouth. He loves playing with Nathan and gives smiles to most people. He is impatient when it comes to eating and nursing and will scream if he is not being tended to quickly enough. He still loves his jumperoo and could bounce all day if we let him. Recently, he has discovered how to spit and enjoys the sound pursing his lips makes. I love him, and I can't get enough of his playful expressions.

Elliott is a sweetheart. When he first wakes up, he will snuggle for just a minute and that one minute is heaven. He babbles and also enjoys making spitting sounds (although not as much as Ezra). He can remain calmer for longer and is fine with letting Ezra go first with most things. Elliott loves watching Eliza play and giggles anytime he sees her dancing or singing. He has a peaceful energy and is a little bit more reserved with his smiles. For instance, Grandpa can always tell "who's who" when he gets home from work. Elliott takes a little longer to smile, but Ezra always flashes him a grin. Elliott is coming around, though! And check out Elliott's cool faux hawk!
The boys are now aware of each other. They laugh at one another, look for their brother, and exchange smiles. They are so lucky to have each other, and I still feel amazed and blessed that we have two little guys. 
We have three kids (it's still strange that we never had two). I think it will sink in sooner or later. Won't it?

It Didn't Go So Well

As you could tell from the earlier post, sleep training didn't go so well the first night.

The boys finally fell asleep around 2 AM and then woke up at 3, 5, and 7. Usually, they are incredibly happy during the day (despite their lack of sleep), but today they were sluggish and not so smiley. I could tell they were exhausted. They went down easily for their naps and then Nathan put them to bed while I read to Eliza.  Rather than me nursing them to sleep, he fed them each a bottle, sang to them, and left the room. has been three hours now, and they haven't made a peep!

We are going to continue to be consistent with the routine and perhaps Nathan just needs to put them to bed for a while. I really don't mind nursing them at least once during the night, but them waking up constantly is not okay for anyone. I thrilled to see any results whatsoever. That is progress!

Something really clicked in my mind earlier this week and I kept thinking, "Why is this happening AGAIN to us!? Why are the twins having the same sleeping problems Eliza had?" And then, after hearing all the input from my friends, I realized it is because I ALLOW it to happen! They are babies, and I need to teach them that they cannot nurse all night and fight sleep. If I fail to do that, then everyone in the household has to deal with the consequences, which is especially unfair to Eliza and my in-laws. By trying to coddle them and save them from crying, I am doing everyone a huge disservice.

I still think co-sleeping is wonderful, but that is co-sleeping--not "co-staying up all night." Hopefully, Ezra and Elliott will be champion sleepers in the near future!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sail Away, Sail Away

First off, I want to sincerely thank all of you for the various suggestions. After reading your comments, I decided to establish a firm routine and let the boys learn how to self soothe. I have no problem continuing to nurse them at night--I just don't want to nurse them every hour. I set a goal for 4 hour stretch tonight, which I thought would be somewhat realistic. As it turns out, that goal was pushing it a little much.

I have explained what is going on a little, but here is a quick recap: Ezra and Elliott are still receiving breastmilk. I can nurse them during the day as long as I am laying down, but they prefer just to have a bottle most of the time. At night, it is a different story. Nathan takes one boy and goes to the basement bedroom with a bottle of milk, and I sleep with a baby in our room. If that baby wakes up, I feed him and then try to put him back in the bed. Nine times out of ten, he screams if I move him, so he typically sleeps with me. Nathan usually ends up cosleeping with the other baby as well. They hate their cribs for some reason, and they hate being alone. I keep reminding myself that, as twins, the boys have never been on their own--not even in the womb. Thus, their separation anxiety is understandable, but they are just too wiggly to sleep in the same crib. Back to eating habits, they drink plenty of milk and eat solids at least once a day (typically). Mostly, they just want milk. They sleep about 6-7 hours total during the night (after waking up 3-4 times and going to sleep between 11 PM -1 AM). They can't possibly be hungry every time they wake up. After assessing this situation, I realized this has to stop. We need structure here!

So yes, enough is enough. I decided to put my foot down tonight. Nathan and I have been sleeping in separate rooms for over a month, and I miss my husband.

I washed, lotioned, rocked, fed, and sang to the boys. I put them in their cribs and gave them their lovies and blankets. I gently encouraged them to consider taking a pacifier (they haven't used them in months), sang one more song, and then turned on Enya.

We let them cry for two hours (checking on them every 15-20 minutes). They were okay at first, but then they started really screaming. Finally, Grandpa could not stand to hear his boys crying any longer and stepped in to rescue them. Nathan and I went in to check on them (and we actually share a room with them for now) and Rex, my father in law, was already in there, comforting Elliott. This is what it sounded like, FYI. You may want to turn down your volume :)
I must admit that I am glad Rex caved in and got the boys out of the cribs. I was having a difficult time listening to them cry, but was trying to stay "strong." We changed Elliott and put them back in their cribs. We sang more songs, decided there was no way we could go to sleep in that room until they were at least a little quieter, and put Enya back on.

Does anyone want to come over and hold them? Take them for a night? They're really cute! I think I need a twintervention!

In all seriousness, I hope things will improve over the next few days. I didn't expect the problem to be solved overnight, but I was hoping for a little less hysterical screaming. I hope the video made you smile though. I know I'm still laughing at the ridiculousness of it all!

It's not even midnight, so maybe the night will get better. Sail away to sleep, little ones. Please!

We Need Sleep

As I've said many times now, none of our children find sleep an easy task. Today, Ezra and Elliott were awake from 4 PM to 1 AM. They then woke up at 2:30 AM and now 3:00.

Nathan and I are feeling a little defeated. And by a little, I mean immensely. Would any of you be so kind to share what you do for your little ones? Schedules? Tips and tricks!?

I've read nearly every sleep training book, but I am desperate for anything. The twins are such good babies as long as sleep isn't involved. I can't help but think I am simply doing something wrong.

Please shower me with your wisdom. I need something new to look forward to and hope that it works.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Vertigo Revisited

Apparently, when I am exhausted, I develop vertigo. Ezra and Elliott have been going to bed at midnight and waking up every hour (instead of every 2 hours) the past few days. Eliza continues to fight sleep, and Nathan and I are beat. This is probably the 50th post where I have spoken about our lack of sleep, so I do apologize for complaining. 

Yesterday, I felt like I had weights on my legs and arms when I lifted them. I was dizzy and tired, but I tried my best to keep up with our busy schedule. Today, I woke up and knew I had vertigo. I was laying in bed and the room was spinning. I also felt dehydrated (which I learned can cause vertigo during my hyperemesis phase last year), so I stumbled into the kitchen to get water.

Eliza was awake and trying to get herself cereal out of the cupboard. She saw me and said, "Hi, Mommy! Oh, you're still sleeping? I say shhhh. I be quiet." I love that girl.

She told me to go back to sleep because she was okay watching "Super Why!" alone as long as I gave her some chocolate milk. Instead, we sat together on the couch while Elliott bounced in his jumperoo. Fortunately, Nathan had the day off of work, and I was able to take a nap with Eliza later on in the afternoon. She went down without any argument because she knew I was sick. I usually play with her hair while she is falling asleep, so she tried to comfort me by stroking my head and rubbing my face.

Tonight, she went to bed again with no protests. She told me to feel better and made sure I had plenty of water before going to bed herself. She handed Nathan her own cup of water and said, "Mommy needs this because she is sad and grumpy." How observant.

I am so fortunate to be Eliza's mother. I'm glad she loves and accepts me even when I am tired and stressed.
I'm feeling a lot better tonight (thanks to Eliza's water), and I am optimistic that our children will sleep better than they have been. One can hope, right? It's bound to happen sooner or later!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I May Have A Problem

I really enjoy drinking Coke.

When I was pregnant with the twins, I only allowed myself a sip of Coke every once in a while because I was terrified of being dehydrated and going into preterm labor. Once the babies were born, I tried to maintain my limited Coke and caffeine intake. Coca-Cola definitely isn't recommended for nursing mothers.

Well, my "sips" of Coke have snowballed into a can of Coke every day (sometimes I can go two days). I am not proud of this, and I know it can't be good for me. The fact that I have a "problem" was confirmed when I went to the grocery store and saw this:
16 ounces of canned Coke! AMAZING. Cans are the best way to drink soda and sometimes 12 ounces isn't enough.

Thoughts like these made me realize that I should work on walking away from Coke and all forms of soda. I know it isn't good for me, I know I don't want my kids to drink it, and I know I need to set a good example.

So, I'm going to put my Coke cans down and walk away from caffeine.

Wish me luck?

Nom, Nom!

While in South Carolina, we decided to give the boys a little taste of mashed banana. They each had a bite, and Nathan and I agreed that we should wait a little longer. On May 17th, they finally had their first "meal." I have to remember all these exact dates for milestones!

Ezra enjoyed the food, but wasn't as desperate as Elliott was for bananas. Since then, we have made prepared a number of courses for the boys: avocados, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, and apples are a few of the things they have tried. As it turns out, making baby food is a lot easier (and less time consuming) than I  previously thought. 

For the squash and sweet potatoes, we stick them in the oven, let them cook, puree them, and then store them in ice cube trays. We simply mash the avocados, bananas, and apples, which takes no time at all. The carrots involve a little more effort because we peel and steam them, but overall, it is easy! 

The best thing about homemade baby food (other than all of the obvious factors) is the texture. It is thicker than store bought food and the babies have no problem eating it. With Eliza, I remember the food constantly trickling down her chin because it was so thin and watery. Another additionally bonus to homemade food is that it is delicious! It may say sound strange, but I think pureed sweet potatoes are the best thing ever!

Although they have been eating solids for over a month, they aren't in love with food just yet. Most days, they only eat one little meal and some days, they refuse food in general; they just really love their milk. Nathan and I aren't pushing them to eat, and they are more than welcome to take their time with wanting solids.

On our to-do list for tomorrow is "make more baby food!" We're going to add green beans and mangoes to the mix.  Maybe they are looking for a new food to get excited about (although I don't think they'll go crazy over green beans).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Twin-Life Crisis

When I was pregnant with the twins, I jokingly said that Baby B wanted "all the womb to himself!" (I'm so pun-ny).  He constantly kicked me and moved about furiously while Baby A just relaxed and gave an occasional kick to let me know he was okay. I predicted we would have an Eliza, part II on our hands.

Sometimes, I hate being right.

Over the last two weeks, Ezra has made it abundantly clear that he would like to be the only baby around. He doesn't want to be overlooked, and he doesn't want us to give Elliott attention when he is in the room. I guess he is having a bit of a twin-life crisis early on in life. 

For instance, if I am feeding both babies at once, Ezra refuses to share his spoon--even for a moment! (Yes, I use one spoon, one bowl most of the time). He will scream until the spoon is back in his mouth, where it belongs. If I walk into the room, he will smile at me and expect to be picked up--Elliott will have to wait. And, if for some reason, I go to Elliott first, Ezra loses it. He found his voice last week and will let out an ear piercing shriek if he is left on the floor or in the jumperoo. It makes me feel so guilty! Of course, I want to make him happy, so I find myself putting Elliott down more frequently in order to attend to Ezra. Today though, I decided Ezra could complain for a little bit while I snuggled Elliott. Fair is fair, right? Elliott needs loving, too...even if he doesn't ask (or yell) for it.  Because of this issue, them being on opposite schedules for most of the day is actually a good thing.

Thankfully, Cheryl and Nathan are usually around to help, so both babies receive equal amounts of attention. Elliott is fine with entertaining himself and has comfortably settled into his life as a twin. I hope Ezra realizes he is loved equally as much as his brother. But really, how can I allow this sweet little face to cry? It's heartbreaking! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Like A Revolving Door

My life is a series of constant activity. Many seasoned mothers have recommended that I find time to rest during the day and sleep while my children are napping. Although this is great advice, it is not possible with the schedules my children are on. They refuse to all sleep at the same time and even the boys nap at different moments.

Someone is always awake, it seems, regardless of the hour.

Yesterday, I put Eliza and Elliott down for a nap right after I took a waking Ezra out of the crib. Instead of begrudging the lost opportunity to finally have a minute (literally, a minute) alone, I enjoyed some one on one time with my youngest little one.
When Elliott woke up, Ezra was ready to go back to sleep, so I used all the same tricks and songs a second time around. Elliott didn't even realize I was doing an encore performance for him and giggled just as much as Ezra during our playtime. These boys demand attention and lucky for them (and me), they are surrounded by three adults most days.

The hardest part of my day, though, is making sure I have interacted with Eliza one on one. She is full of energy, and I often feel completely worn out after chasing her around outside for an hour. I do my best to keep up with her because I want her to feel like she is getting the attention she needs. I admit there are days when all I want to do is lay on the couch, turn on Nick Jr, and rest if both boys happen to be sleeping, but I have really been trying to get out of the house now that the weather is nice. Yesterday, Cheryl watched the boys while Eliza and I played outside and jumped on the trampoline. For the first time in months, I felt energized after jumping around with her, so maybe my body is getting used to physical activity again after months of bedrest.

Constantly going has become the typical day for us, and I am coming to terms with never having any "down" time. At the park today, a woman saw me pushing the twins and holding Eliza. She remarked, "You've got your hands full!" (I have heard this phrase a million times, but it doesn't bother me). I laughed and said, "You've got that right!"

I wouldn't have it any other way. Full hands, happy heart.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day

I love Nathan, and he is a wonderful father. That about sums up this post.

I'll never forget how happy he was the first time he held Eliza and how he cried the first time he saw her. Since that day, he has devoted himself to our family and fatherhood.
 Before the twins were born, our original plan was to move to Portland in January...which would have been just a month after the expected due date of the boys. I was very nervous about the thought of taking care of three children while Nathan was a full time student, and I cannot even describe the relief I felt when he approached me and said, "I think I should defer classes until the fall. I want to be with the boys and get to know them before I am in school for four years."

I've been blessed to have him home the past year, and I am trying my best not to think about life in a few months. We are all going to miss him.

Ezra and Elliott definitely know their dad. As soon as Nathan walks in the room and begins talking, they both turn to look for him and smile instantly.
 And Eliza--well, Nathan is her best bud. They have the cutest bilingual friendship, and they enjoy making up songs together and making silly faces.
Nathan has handled the transition from a father of one to a father of three in style.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Thelma and Louise

Nathan and I saw these lovely pictures while visiting Grandma Robbins and couldn't help but smile. Apparently, Thelma and Louise are continuing their friendship and doing watercolors together at the nursing home.

I guess it is a little strange considering how the movie ended.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Baby Wearing

I know I've said it a few times, but we really love our Moby Wraps. Yesterday, I made pancakes, washed dishes, and played with Eliza while wearing Elliott. I even carried Ezra around for a while. It allows me to take multitasking to a whole new level.
Now that the boys are older, they can face forward in the wrap, which has made a world of difference. They love seeing what we are doing and particularly enjoy watching their sister. Today, Elliott giggled for twenty minutes as he watched Eliza and me jump on the trampoline (Nathan was wearing him--not me!). 
I'm pretty sure we have two more extroverts on our hands. They just LOVE people-watching!

Monday, June 11, 2012

He Did It!

Last weekend, our friend Cynthia stopped by with these adorable onesies:
Don't you just love them? The babies and the onesies? I do.

One of the best things about having a twin brother is that there is always someone to blame when something goes wrong. My dad loves to tell the story about how I blamed breaking a vase on my little brother.  I insisted Hudson had run into the room and knocked the vase over, but my dad wasn't convinced. This was most likely due to the fact that Hudson was just one at the time and couldn't walk yet. I guess I could have used a twin! And apparently, Eliza could use a twin, too. She is already blaming things on the babies, and I have to fight a smile every time she accuses Ezra or Elliott of spilling popcorn on the couch or leaving her princess gowns in the middle of the floor. It's so funny how her little mind works!

I'm sure Ezra and Elliott will get into their fair share of trouble in the future, and I fully expect to hear, "He did it!" a thousand more times. Right now, though, Eliza is the only one saying those words. I am going to continue enjoying these babies while they are still sweet and snuggly.

Here is Elliott looking pensive and then innocent.

Ezra looking serious and then completely disinterested.

They didn't understand that they were supposed to be funny at first. 
But by the time we finished the photo shoot, I think they got the joke :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Eliza Robbins--A Name That Will Live in Infamy

Something that is true about me is that I love definitions. Throughout elementary school and middle school, I prided myself on my ability to memorize large quantities of information. It came easily for me and involved no real thought. Memorize fifteen definitions? Easy and fun! Understanding fractions? Boring and anxiety inducing!!

I had favorite words (most normal people do, right?) like litany, rhapsodic, vestige, peripheral, and fortuitousness. I also had a list of words whose definitions were firmly emblazoned (yes, a word I like) in my mind. For instance, in 5th grade, we learned the definition of wan (a pale, sickly color) when my friend Lauren was out sick with mono. Our teacher explained, "Lauren has mono. She probably looks wan because she has been ill for so long." Fifteen years later, that definition pops into my mind anytime I see someone who is sick.

But to the subject of this post: Eliza. She is now forever associated with another one that continually bounces around in my mind--infamy, meaning ill-fame or honor (according to my 5th grade Wordly Wise book).

Eliza is now infamous in these parts after a stunt she pulled earlier this week.

Cheryl, my kind and amazing mother-in-law, tries to take Eliza out on errands as often as possible. Eliza loves leaving the house, and it is great to know she is out doing something rather than staying indoors with the twins and me (it is still too cold to go outside here during the day, which is another post entirely).  One of Eliza's favorite places to go is the local nursing home. Her great-grandmother Robbins lives there and spoils Eliza with cookies and other treats.

On Wednesday, Cheryl left the house with Eliza and the two set off to visit Grandma Robbins. About an hour later, Cheryl called. Eliza had pulled the fire alarm at the nursing home and had sent the entire facility into a state of chaos and panic.

I know you are thinking, "How did she reach the alarm in the first place?" Well, because so many people are in wheelchairs in a nursing home, the alarms are lower to the ground and right at eye level for a two year old. A red lever right at your fingers? Definitely too tempting to pass up.

Eliza pulled the alarm and immediately fell to the ground, covering her ears as the loud siren began going off. All of the doors in the building automatically shut (in order to prevent a draft from fanning a potential flame) and the elderly residents began scrambling to get out of their rooms. Cheryl said old men and women in wheelchairs and walkers were moving as fast as they could. One man stood outside of his room repeatedly yelling, "IT'S TOO LOUD!", with his hands covering his ears, while others screamed in panic. It was pure pandemonium (yes, another word).

Cheryl ran to alert the workers that it was a false alarm, but the fire chief had already arrived by the time she reached the front desk. It was quite the drama for the usually tranquil environment. After all, another name for a nursing home is a rest home.

Word spread that a two year old was to blame and everyone couldn't help but smile because Eliza is just so darn cute. As you can imagine, it was the topic of conversation for the residents of the nursing home for the rest of the day (Grandma Robbins said people were still talking about it today, too!). Random people know the story by now, and when I go to Walmart with Eliza, I expect someone to say, "Oh! You're the mother of the little girl who nearly gave every senior citizen in Othello a heart attack!"

I'm so proud.

And in case you are interested, here is Eliza's version of events:

(Let me just add that she found this random binkie (one the boys refused) and decided it was hers. Glad that only lasted a day!)

It's a good thing Grandma Robbins appreciates a good laugh. Eliza most likely inherited her inner jokester from this funny lady.
Two peas in a pod.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Roll to Me

In just a week, Ezra has gone from nearly rolling to practically scooting. He rolls back and forth on his blanket and Elliott casually watches him. He hasn't been too motivated to move. Nathan and I will cheer him on and encourage him to roll toward us, but he just smiles as if to say, "I love you, but I am fine here. Thanks for asking, though." He has such a pleasant smile, that little Elliott.

Well, last night (while I was working in the office, might I add) I heard Nathan exclaim: "You did it!"

And I knew I had missed it. It's official: I missed all of my kids "rolling for the first time" milestone.

As soon as I could go downstairs, I went to congratulate our little champ. I assumed Elliott had rolled to reach Nathan, but was informed he had found the strength to roll thanks to this guy:
Who wouldn't want to roll towards this face?
A Buzz Lightyear action figure was placed an arm's reach and a roll away from Elliott, and he just had to have it. Nathan said he used all of his strength to finally lift his head enough to complete the turn. He made it to Buzz, and he was happy.

To infinity and beyond, little guy.

Friday, June 8, 2012


I had a lot of things that I thought about writing about this morning (our upcoming yard sale, Elliott trying to roll, Elmo being awesome, and Eliza loving to jump on the trampoline to name a few), but all of those things can wait because I cannot stop thinking about Jaws. And when I say Jaws, I am speaking about the shark rather than the entire movie (although Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Schieder are awesome). OK. So maybe not the actual animatronic shark, Bruce, from the movie, but the idea of a huge predatory shark who enjoys hunting people!

Last night, I had a dream I was swimming in the ocean. I grew up in South Carolina, so I spent my summers on the beach and near the water. Please note, I said near the water--not in the water. I have had a fear of the water (and what I cannot see in the water) for as long as I can remember. Even in my dream, where I should be safe and wonderful things should happen, I was terrified because I knew there could be a shark lurking somewhere in the ocean surrounding me.

Somewhere in my subconscious, I realized I was sleeping and willed myself to wake up (have you done this before? It's always a strange experience).  I was in that semi-sleep state, where you are almost asleep/almost awake and you feel just really out of it. However, I finally fell back to sleep and had the same dream again. I was frantically swimming and woke up with my arm flailing, nearly hitting Ezra who was sleeping beside me. This happened twice, meaning I had my shark dream three times! Every time a baby cried, I woke up and thought I was swimming away from a shark. My nerves cannot handle that kind of stress! I need to get a few hours of down time during the day/night and now my sleep isn't even safe.

And now I'm afraid to bring a baby to bed in the middle of the night. All I want is to feed my baby, comfort him, and get some much needed sleep. However, I don't know if I can trust myself (and my moving arms) if I continue having dreams where I am swimming (or running or moving my body at all).

I guess I shouldn't watch Jurassic Park for a while.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Best Laid Plans

I have been trying to figure out what to get Nathan for Father's Day. I had originally planned on selling all of our outgrown baby gear (swings, bouncers, strollers, car seats), pregnancy paraphernalia (body pillow, maternity clothes), and bags upon bags of baby and toddler clothes in order to come up with the cash needed for an iPad. I knew he definitely wouldn't be expecting such an expensive gift, but I could see the value of him using it while in chiropractic school (and let's face it--I would enjoy using it, too!).

The plan was going great, and I had already sold $70 dollars worth of baby gear by last Saturday. A woman was coming later on in the week to buy several larger items, and I knew I would be able to buy the iPad. I felt amazing! I kept thinking I would earn "The Best Wife Ever Award" for decluttering our house in addition to earning some money. Nathan was pretty clueless that I was even selling stuff, so it would be a great surprise. I love surprising people with gifts :)

On Sunday, I left my wallet in the minivan for some reason. Maybe it's because I always have a huge diaper bag, two infant car seats, a stroller, and a toddler to get inside the house...or maybe I am just scatterbrained. I didn't intend to leave my wallet in the car, and I certainly didn't mean to leave the doors unlocked. Long story short, though, our car was broken into that night and everything was taken...everything down to the GPS and my breast pump power chords. 

I was distraught. I should have locked the doors. I should have brought the wallet (with the $70.00 inside). Nathan was so nice about everything and wasn't upset with me at all for leaving the door unlocked. He made sure to point out that it wasn't my fault that someone targeted us and stole from us. I guess that is true (to a certain extent). We filed a police report, and I let Nathan know about the cash I had been saving to buy his gift. My plan was ruined. I would be short some money for the gift I wanted him to have.

Again, he assured me that he didn't need an iPad, I hadn't ruined Father's Day, and that there were probably a number of other gifts he would enjoy. In fact, he told me exactly what he wanted: Sassy spoons. 
He loves feeding the boys with these spoons, but I think he deserves a little more than dining utensils for our children.

Nathan is such a great guy. I feel lucky everyday to have such a good friend. When I was crying over my lost wallet, he reminded me that I had won $200 to DownEast Basics--on of my favorite stores. We went and got a couple of dresses that day to cheer me up. I loved them and loved that they were free! 
See? Doesn't he look nice with his crazy hair and little vest?  And doesn't DownEast have cute dresses?!

So, I would welcome any and all ideas for Father's Day gifts. I love giving gifts, but I am not creative in the least or good at finding "the gift" on my own. Care to help me? Please?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Rolling...At Last!

For weeks now (months even), the boys have been on the verge of rolling over. They can roll from front to back, but rolling from back to front has eluded them. They couldn't seem to figure out what to do with their left arm once they started turning so it prevented them from completing the roll.

Based on his interest in moving, we assumed Ezra would roll first. He is certainly a kinesthetic baby. He loves his Jumperoo and has found a way to move without rolling. He lays on his back, flaps his arms, furiously kicks his feet, and manages to scoot backwards. It's rather impressive. He has been more motivated to roll and finally, it happened! On Saturday night, we placed the boys on their backs on their playmat while we tucked Eliza in. Ezra was on his stomach when we came back downstairs. I was so sad I missed it!

The next day, Ezra showed off his new trick during Sunday School. I tried to restrain myself from clapping with excitement when he looked up with a smile on his face. One day later, he is practically crawling. He army crawled this afternoon and is no longer happy simply laying on his playmat, staring at the various stuffed animals; he needs to move!

 Upon seeing Ezra move around, Elliott has suddenly taken an interest in moving himself. He is able to roll if we assist him just a little bit. He does most of it on his own, but still cannot get his left arm out of the way. He also scoots on his back and loves turning around in the crib and kicking Ezra.

I think it's time to put up the second crib.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Definition of Insanity

Albert Einstein famously stated, " Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

By this definition, then, Nathan and I are insane. Every night, we go through our routine with Eliza and the boys. And every night, we hope that at least one of our children will go down without a fight and stay asleep throughout the night.

Even though I am complaining (just a little), Eliza has come so far these past few weeks, and I feel incredibly proud of her. Although she goes to bed without a bottle of milk, she thinks of every trick of the book to get us to stay with her longer. She wants eight songs, three prayers, and ten books read to her before bedtime. She wants a sip of water and to sleep with her Foofa--no, a pink Barbie car--no, the paperback copy of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms! It's obviously out of control. We have finally learned to say "no" to her, which is undeniably hard. Some nights, she is satisfied with only a couple of songs, three books, and a prayer, but other nights (like tonight), she cries herself to sleep. It is heartbreaking! I sit at the bottom of the stairs listening to her sobs, and I all I want to do is run up and comfort her. I know she is capable of falling asleep alone, so I try my hardest not to give in. 

Once asleep, Eliza can usually go a solid 9 hours before waking up. This started a couple of months ago, and it is so nice! However, Ezra and Elliott are a different story altogether. 

They are six months old, weight eighteen pounds, and are incapable of sleeping longer than three hours at a time. Several people have told me, "Breastfed babies just don't sleep as long" which I know isn't necessarily true. I have two three month old nieces who are breastfed, and they both are able to sleep a seven-eight hour stretch at night. We've done the sleep training, and it did work for a couple of weeks. We've tried it a second time now, and we are not having good results. The boys want to nurse all night, and I am desperate for sleep, so I let them. Last night, Ezra woke up every hour, so of course he ended up in bed with me (and Nathan took Elliott and a bottle and went to a different bedroom). 

So many people have recommended that I let them cry it out; it just doesn't work for me. I'm trying to stop comfort nursing them at night, but when they wake up, they are definitely hungry. I really don't understand. We introduced solids last week, but it made no difference whatsoever. I think they are just in the habit of waking up. In South Carolina, they mercifully slept a four to five hour stretch each night. The first night back in Othello, they were back to their old ways. It's like they knew they were home and could do whatever they wanted. Silly boys. Lucky for us, they are happy during the day and seldom fuss or cry. They are the cutest little guys ever.

So yes, I may be insane, but I am convinced Ezra and Elliott will sleep through the night sooner or later. It only took Eliza two and a half years....

And on an even crazier note, I am glad Eliza's horrible sleeping habits prepared us for more sleepless nights with the twins. We would have been in for a very rude awakening! :)