Things I Love Thursday: My Babies

On some Thursdays, I’ll share something random that I’m really liking, enjoying, or appreciating. Just a little post to share a little snippet of life right now. I’d love to know if you also like these things, and what you’re randomly into these days!

 

IMG_6495Last night as I was putting the twins to bed, I started singing “You are my sunshine.” In the middle of the song, I started crying and couldn’t finish the song. (The song also made me cry in those commercials last year, so it’s not a huge surprise.)

Really, I am so blessed. I am pretty sure I’m a mostly-mediocre mama (ooh, that would’ve been a great blog name!), but these two little creatures are pretty wonderful. They’ve recently started to give kisses, on demand but also sometimes on their own. Their little faces light up when I come get them, they touch me and say, “mama” in those adorable little voices. They love getting tickles and playing games and singing songs and being silly–and getting cuddled. They still back up and sit down in my lap to read a book, and sometimes their little hands rest on my arm, and I snuggle in to their thick hair and give them kisses and hugs.

They are amazing. And a handful, and overdramatic. And the cutest, most incredible things. They really do make me happy when skies are gray. Or blue, or any other color. I love them so much.

Coast Vacation 2014!

After last year’s successful trip to the coast, I have been so excited to do it again! This year we decided to go for two nights, to give us more time to play.   IMG_6265_WEB

We stayed in Seaside this year, to be closer to more action. (As opposed to last year in Tillamook, where just the dairy was nearby.) We missed out on the sunshine…but that actually ended up being really nice. We didn’t have to worry about sunscreen and shade and all that jazz. It wasn’t cold but it wasn’t hot; it was actually quite pleasant.

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We brought a ton of stuff with us, as always. Mainly food and food-related equipment, but also toys and books. It’s like we moved in or something. We had a king room with a sitting area (a couch). We moved the couch to be a divider and set up the pack and plays on the other side. The babies quickly found the dresser drawers (and slammed their fingers a few times) and the AC/heater unit flap thing (which they kept playing with). NOTE TO SELF: Bring painter’s tape next time!!

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Seaside is a pretty small beach town. They have a carousel in a little ‘mall’, and then a little main drag with restaurants, gift shops, candy stores, and arcades. Our guys loved the carousel–we stayed on for a second ride and they wanted to stay longer!

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We had to stop in at this huge candy store with racks upon racks of taffy!

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We visited the little aquarium. At the front is a little seal enclosure. The dudes definitely loved watching them! Even though we got splashed a bit by the seal antics.

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BIG BAD NEWS: My camera got broken on Thursday. :( :( One of our curious and handsy toddlers pulled it off the dresser and apparently it messed up the shutter mechanism. So I was then left with only my iPhone to take pictures for the rest of our time. Cue a very sad and stricken face. I felt a little naked and panicky at the thought of no real camera, especially since I was really looking forward to doing another family beach photo!

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By the end of the day, the sky was clearing a bit. We went to dinner in Gearhart (just up the road from Seaside) and went to the beach there. It was nearly empty compared to the very busy Seaside beach! The light was ah-maz-ing…and I didn’t have my big camera! Sob. I set up the iPhone timer app and got this one above, which is a good sister photo to last year’s.

I got a few other decent shots with the phone too, so it wasn’t a total loss. (I mean, not like the pictures are more important than the experience, erm, right?)

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Friday was our last day (just the morning): more beach! We went back to Gearhart again to have a nice quiet time playing in the sand. The babies would have probably stayed there all day with their buckets and shovels.

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I saw some big animal prints on our walk in, and then on the way out, saw more…and then looked up and saw this! A young elk, I think?

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The drive home was a little longer than it was ‘supposed’ to be, but isn’t that how it always happens? Overall it was a really good time–we loved seeing how much the babies loved the beach and playing in the sand. Plus it’s always a good adventure to explore new places. We hope to do a daytrip or two in the fall, and come back to play some more!

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Things I Love Thursday: Family Visits (and AC!)

   On some Thursdays, I’ll share something random that I’m really liking, enjoying, or appreciating. Just a little post to share a little snippet of life right now. I’d love to know if you also like these things, and what you’re randomly into these days!

Last week, we spent a couple days in Seattle. It was a short visit, but always a good adventure. The Northwest was in the middle of a heat wave, and while our house in Portland has central air, neither of my parents’ houses do. Oh man, it was really hot. The twins were quite sweaty, especially after sleeping.

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But! The heat meant that I could let them run around sans clothes in the evenings! Oh my goodness, it was so adorable!

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One great thing about this visit is that my little brother and sister got to see the twins and hang out with them a bit. It was wonderful to see them all bond!

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But oh boy, it was so amazing to come home to our own beds and our air-conditioning! Phew!

Things I Love Thursday: Rompers

On some Thursdays, I’ll share something random that I’m really liking, enjoying, or appreciating. Just a little post to share a little snippet of life right now. I’d love to know if you also like these things, and what you’re randomly into these days!

We have declared this the summer of the romper!

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See, we are folks who still prefer onesies for our little toddlers, instead of tshirts. Tshirts do not stay put, and they’re baggy and boxy, and they’re just not cute. Now, a little one wobbling around in a onesie? Freaking adorable. Plus, they never move.

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Unfortunately, babies this age have to wear complete outfits. With this hot weather, we’ve of course been putting them in shorts. Baby shorts are also freaking adorable. But shorts over onesies means that changing diapers is a pain.

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The romper solves all of these problems! Mainly because it’s ONE item of clothing, with ONE set of snaps. No moving things up or down, diaper changes are super easy (well, easy access–wrangling a wriggling toddler is never easy), and the whole thing stays put. Plus they are super cute! Lots of adorably chubby toddler legs on display. :) I imagine they’re really comfortable for the kiddos, too–seems a lot more breathable than a shorts waistband.

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What are you loving this Thursday?

What It Means to Have Two Babies at the Same Time

DSC_7951-18_WEBOnly one pregnancy but two babies!

One pregnancy but a lot more risk, worry, and monitoring.

Both mom and dad get to hold and hug a baby. No jealousy.

If multiple visitors come over, there are two babies to hold and snuggle. Babies all around!

Every time I give one baby a big hug, I feel the need to give the other baby a hug too, lest he feel left out. Same with saying I love you, cooing over cuteness, etc.

When one baby is making developments/meeting milestones, I worry about the other one if he’s not.

When I need to take them upstairs to nap and can only take one at a time, I have to think who I carried up first last time. I don’t want to always do one first and make the other one feel left out.

Same thing when they wake up from a nap–who to take first and make sure I’m alternating. (Our nanny has the same thoughts on this one, by the way.)

It is quite a feat to feed and burp two babies at once. Especially if you’re simultaneously pumping.

I worry about posting pictures unevenly, and as a corollary I often purposely alternate individual shots of them.

As another corollary, I’ll take similar shots of each and make a diptych so I’m not showing photographic favor of one over the other.

I don’t always like listing out their developments (even in my head) because inevitably one does something first and I don’t want the other one to feel bad. You know, in fifteen years when they’re reading internet antiques through their mind chips.

When they were itty bitty newborns, I could put both of them on my chest at once. Holding one baby on your chest is awesome. Two is exponentially more awesome.

I can’t pick up both of them at the same time (or at least not without hurting myself). So if they’re both crying, I can’t equally comfort them both.

I can sit down and hug them both. As they’ve gotten older, though, they’ve gotten not just bigger but also squirmier, so it’s tough to keep them both in my lap.

They will now try to comfort their upset brother: Hugs, gentle pats, fetching of lovey or bottle.

It’s a calculated risk to change one diaper because the other baby/toddler is now free to get into mischief.

They fight over toys. Even if they are both holding identical toys, each wants brother’s toy.

Every time you go to buy something, you have to decide if you should buy only one, or if you really need two.

The cost of most everything doubles. And/or, things last half as long.

Sometimes things come in sets of two already, which feels like a secret hat tip to twin parents.

Double strollers, though they can be great for what they are, will always be way more unwieldy than single strollers.

You can’t–well, I can’t–push a double stroller and a grocery cart at the same time. Therefore going shopping before they’re old enough to sit up in a cart is pretty much a no-go.

Once they are big enough for the cart, only one baby can sit in it, while the other baby has to be stuck in a carrier. (Except for Costco with their double carts!)

It’s really hard to take two babies to a class or solo outing. For one, you have to make sure that you can take one out of the stroller and leave the other one safely. Then, you have twice the work and twice the weight to carry/adjust.

They crawl and walk in opposite directions.

They entertain each other and themselves.

They will play by themselves, independently.

If they’re both into mischief, you can’t carry them both away. Once you move one, the other has gone back into the mischief, so you move that one, but the first made it back again…etc etc.

If one wakes up crying in the middle of the night, he might wake up the other one. If so, you can only pick up one at a time. Which then means a terrible cycle of pick one up and calm him, listen to the other cry. Put first one down, pick up and calm the second one, first one starts crying again. And so on.

If one makes some noise in the middle of the night, you may not know who it is unless they’re still actively crying.

They may not nap at the same time, or for the same amount of time. Which means that you can’t always bank on naptime for things like cleaning, reading, tv, or mama naptime.

If one is sick, both have to stay home from daycare.

The pediatrician co-pays really add up fast with two babies who rotate getting sick.

You don’t always have time or brainpower to use their names, and refer to them as ‘this one’ and ‘that one.’

When you pick up two babies from daycare, that means two sweet faces to light up, and two sets of little legs to crawl or toddle over, and two sets of little arms to hug you.

Nothing is ever easy with twins.

Life is never boring with twins!

20 Months Old

DSC_9340-002_WEB Dear sweet babies,

Wow, another fun month! You continue to explore and learn and generally be interested in the world. Here’s what you did as 19-month-olds.

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These are the words you know, as of this month: Mama, Dada, no, yeah, uh oh, bye-bye, hi, all done/all gone, yay, ball, basketball, bubble, light, more, outside, fish, car, eyes, nose, trash, bike, baby ( https://flic.kr/p/oaGPq1 ), apple, elbow, bunny (which really sounds like bubbee), up, Elmo, shh, wow, whee, let’s go. You also seem to say or whine, “Whyyyyy” when you’re upset and don’t want to be taken away from something fun, and we think we’ve heard you say, “Mine” too.

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You can do animal sounds on cue too: caw caw, baaaa, roarr (for lion and for dinosaur), woof woof (really more like hoo hoo), ooh-ooh (for monkey)

Now that you say mama and dada, you like to ask about one of us (apparently especially with the nanny). You point upstairs and say, “mama?” Then someone might say, “She’s sleeping” and you go, “Shhh,” with your finger up to your lips (kind of inside your mouth). You’ll do the same if one of you wakes up before brother, and we say, “Brother is still in bed,” you go, “Shhh.”

That also means that when I come downstairs, one or both of you looks over at me and says, “Mama!” in this little happy voice with a smile. Makes my heart happy every time. :)

Emmett, you have become the littlest litter patrol.(video: https://flic.kr/p/oaHZUH You were looking at the truck outside that has been working on the yard next door) You notice ANYTHING that might be “trash? trash? trash? trash?” until we both acknowledge and move the offending item. Maybe this means that you will be a very tidy person when you grow up! In the meantime, it’s very cute. (Except when we’re out in public, like at the playground, and there’s no trashcan. Hard to explain to you that we can’t go put it anywhere.)

One day we sang you guys Row Row Row Your Boat, and you LOVED IT. You can actually say “row row” (which is ADORABLE in your little baby voices) and you get a big smile and sometimes we do a ‘rowing’ motion (which is just clasping hands together and moving them back and forth).

You’ve gotten super interested in water play and pouring with cups (video: https://flic.kr/p/oaHYpP ). Malcolm, you can line up those little cups and pour them quite accurately from one to the other!

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We let you discover escalators this month. This is an excellent free activity on afternoons when it’s too hot to play outside for long.

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We had a daytrip adventure that included cherry picking! You loved picking the cherries from the trees, and putting them into your buckets. You also wanted to pick up all the cherries off the ground for your buckets.

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Generally buckets are a fun thing for you; you love dumping out your wooden pegs and art flash cards, putting them into a bucket, and repeating.

We showed you this fishing toy that Grandma got for you last year. You’re finally ready to play with it, and you really like it! The ‘fish’ are made of fabric that the velcro fishing pole will ‘catch.’

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Mama and Daddy finally tried and mastered the back carry in the Ergo. All four of us like it better!

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At long last we allowed you on the big slide at one of the nearby playgrounds–with parental help, of course.  https://flic.kr/p/oaH13T

You started having Toddler Opinions about socks this month. We have lots of plain white socks, so it’s not surprising that you started noticing the few more colorful socks in your sock bin, and requesting to wear them! (By holding the socks up to one of us and nodding expectantly. Occasionally pointing to your foot or holding it out for us.) (This also means that–for now–it’s no longer a battle to put shoes on you. Phew!) So I found a few sets of colorful socks online, and you now have a whole array of colors, stars and stripes to choose from! Whee!

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You still love being helpful. You like to help unload groceries; you can put yogurt containers away in the fridge, and Emmett, you like to help ‘sort’ the laundry.

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For a few weeks, you slept late in the mornings–til around 8, instead of 715/730. Then of course, you suddenly started waking up at 615. Mama and Daddy say No, Thank You to that. Too early! Not just for us, either; you were cranky and sleepy all morning when you woke up that early. So we’ve been attempting to tell you that it’s too early, to lay back down, and we’ll back soon to get you. We’ve also started putting a water bottle and a book in your crib with you, so that you can sip and entertain yourselves if you need to. Occasionally we’ll hear you reading a book to yourself when we’re not there–hopefully this becomes a fun, sweet habit. :)

You guys are seriously fun and sweet right now in general. We love playing with you and hugging you and telling you that we love you. You are so seriously CUTE and we can’t even take it.

love, mama

Things I Love Thursday: Sunhats

On some Thursdays, I’ll share something random that I’m really liking, enjoying, or appreciating. Just a little post to share a little snippet of life right now. I’d love to know if you also like these things, and what you’re randomly into these days!

At the end of May, I was at Target and bought myself a white floppy sunhat.

Oh my god, how did I not know that sunhats were the best thing ever?

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I’m a fair-eyed gal who prefers wearing glasses. The Portland days are long, with the hottest, sunniest time of day at the end. We go outside pretty much every night after the twins’ dinner, when the sun is out and fierce and in my eyes. The playground near our house has no shade cover, and the sun seems to be EVERYWHERE. Even if I happen to have contacts in and can therefore wear my sunglasses, it is still not enough. Oh, the squinting, the sweating, the hand trying to shade my eyes and face in vain, the misery.

Enter the sunhat. No more squinting! I can wear my glasses and be very comfortable. My face is kept sun-free! What a revelation!

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Sunhats have always seemed like a thing for older ladies, or for stylish younger women who can get away with effortless and whimsical things like hats, hoop earrings, and strappy shoes. But now I’m proudly pro-hat, even if I may not be cool enough to carry it off. (Or maybe I’m just old now. Whatevs.) What a happy difference it makes!

What are you loving this Thursday?