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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas picture out-takes

Life with twins is always fun and interesting and getting the family Christmas pictures taken was no exception....we had to take multiple pics in order to capture a few good ones for the Christmas card this year. Here are some of the out takes where the girls are looking less than thrilled to be dressed up and posing! Allison, in particular, often has a look of mild disdain for the whole process and seems a little more expressive. Happy Holidays!

"Seriously, mom??"
"You're lucky I'm looking at the camera- asking me to smile is just too much to ask"

"Alright already, how many times are we going to do this pose?"

"I've been looking at that camera for the past 15 sister is way more interesting"

" Bored doesn't even begin to describe how I'm feeling right now- are we done yet?"

"This is really not any fun anymore... "

"Ahh, that's better. A little more relaxed, and we finally got to get rid of those ridiculous hats!"

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving- so much to be grateful for!

Grandma and the girls on Thanksgiving Day
The whole fam!

Me and my sweetie pies!

Reflecting over the past year brings tears of joy to my eyes...we have sooooo much to be thankful for this year. We've had births, illnesses, and losses in our family but there is something to be thankful for in all challenges. Last Thanksgiving I was just recovering from my ectopic pregnancy and subsequent emergency surgery, and wasn't sure if I would be able to get pregnant again. It was just a couple of weeks later that I did get pregnant with the twins. They are of course the biggest and best blessing of my entire life and I'm so grateful to have them. All three of us were so blessed to make it through the pregnancy and birth with only minor complications and we're all happy and healthy now! Andie's mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer this past year and has successfully gone through treatment and is now cancer free- a huge blessing! Andie's grandfather passed away this past year but we choose to believe he is one of our special angels and that he had something to do with us getting our "bonus baby". We both have wonderful families who are a phenomenal support system for us. I am especially grateful to my mother who has kept me sane and provided more help with the twins than seems humanly possible! I am also so thankful to have a wonderful, helpful, and supportive husband, and a strong marriage. We are blessed to have stable jobs with steady income, especially in this shaky economy. There is not one thing in my life that I can complain about and that's something to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Where have I been???

I've been working is the unfortunate answer...I know I've been bad about updating the blog but when I get home from work all I want to do is spend time with the girls. They are 15 weeks today and time goes so fast! I can't believe Halloween is when I last blogged and Thanksgiving is next week! The girls are getting so big- about 15 pounds each. This is a picture grandma took of them hanging out in bed! They are pretty much always happy and content, which makes for a happy and content mommy and daddy!

They are getting more and more interested in each other. They will actually look at each other and smile and coo like they are trying to have a conversation. Both of them want to talk so bad, they constantly coo and babble to anyone who will listen. They have also developed the "sympathy cry". When one starts crying the other does too...this is the not so fun part of twins.

Addison has gotten pretty good at holding her bottle up by herself- Daddy taught her that cool trick! Allie is working on it but doesn't quite have it mastered as well as Addie. Addison is consistently sleeping from about 9:30 at night until 8 or 8:30 in the morning. Allison still wants a little snack around 4 a.m. but otherwise sleeps through. This is awesome!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hi-ho, Hi-ho, it's off to work I go...

I dragged myself back to work this week- YUCK!!! I only had to work Thursday and Friday but I hated every minute of it and never want to go back. I miss the girls so bad when I am away that long. I have absolutely zero motivation to do my job. In fact, I don't even want to talk about it.

The girls didn't wear costumes for Halloween this year but we did have some cute t-shirts from Grandma with witch hats on them!

The girls are 12 weeks old and have both learned to suck their thumbs this week. They have been trying real hard for several weeks but couldn't quite get it at the right angle until this week. Addie can almost sit up unsupported and Allie is not far behind her. Allie's doctor is weaning her off the steroid and she seems much less irritable already! She is sleeping much better too. In fact, both girls are sleeping very well. They consistently are sleeping 5-8 hours at a stretch. Sometimes after 6 hours they will want a snack and then go back to sleep for several hours. Last night Allison slept for 6 hours, took 2 ounces and then slept for 5 more hours before I finally decided I better wake her up! Addison slept for 6, took 2 ounces and then slept for 3 more hours. Then when she woke up she only took 3 ounces before falling asleep for another 2 hours when I woke her up at the same time as Allie so their schedule wouldn't be too far off. It is so nice to get to sleep for a minimum of 5-6 hours at a time! Now we will be working on weaning off of the middle of the night snacks to see if they can go straight through the night! Allison's birthmark has faded significantly which makes us all soooo happy!

Here's Allie sucking her thumb. Look how faded her birthmark is and much less swollen than just a few weeks ago.
Here's a picture of Allison several weeks ago to can see how much better her birthmark is looking these days!

Addison sucking her thumb!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bath time, nap time, mommy has no time!

The girls are 11 weeks old and growing like weeds. They are eating non-stop it seems like, especially Allison. She is still taking the steroid for her birthmark and it makes her very hungry and very irritable...I will be so glad when they take her off of it because she is so fussy and has a hard time staying asleep at night which totally messes up her daytime sleep schedule. In fact she fell asleep sitting up in the bumbo chair while I was busy putting Addie down for a nap!

Addison is sleeping 5-6 hours at night pretty consistently but Allison is having a hard time going back down after a feeding and she is very fussy. She sleeps 4-5 hours after her evening feeding but then wants to stay up after the middle of the night feeding and then only stays asleep 2-3 hours. I think it will get better once she starts weaning off of the steroid. I'm really hoping they can start sleeping a little longer through the night and have been experimenting with their feeding and sleeping schedule to try to get this done, but I haven't found the magic combo just yet.

We went and visited with my cousin who had a baby a month after the girls were born. The girls got all dressed up so they could impress baby Jake but I'm not sure who had the bigger crush- the girls or Jake!

Here's the girls during bath time wearing their favorite hooded towels- aren't they the cutest!

I'm shopping for a slipcover for the couch. In the past 24 hours both girls have spit up on the couch and had leaking poopy diapers that got on the couch! Yuck, I've cleaned and cleaned and can still smell the poop if I sit in a certain spot! Oh the joys of having twins...they have to one up each other all the time. If one has a poop disaster the other is sure to follow!
The back to work count down is on...I go back on Thursday and I'm not happy about it :(

Thursday, October 15, 2009

2 month check up!

The girls had their two month check up and they are both growing very well. Both were 22 inches long and at the 25th percentile. Addison weighed 11 pounds and Allison weighed 10 pounds, 4 ounces. They are healthy girls and both have more than doubled their birth weights!

Yesterday the nanny came to get acquainted with the girls. It is going to be such a blessing to have her. She will take care of the girls twice a week and have dinner ready for Andie and I on the days she is here! We are all going to love having her!

This week we are working on establishing a strict routine that will help them sleep through the far so good. They are consistently sleeping 5-6 hours at a time but we are working on getting to 8 before I go back to work. We using the book Babywise to guide us and it seems to be helpful so far. I'm enjoying getting a few extra hours of shut eye!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

9 weeks

9 weeks old and time if flying maternity leave will be up in 3 weeks and I'm dreading going back to work. If anyone out there would like to supplement my income so I can stay home I will gladly take you up on the offer!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

8 weeks old!

The girls are 8 weeks old today and they are smiling more and more...of course the minute we started taking pictures they either cried, fell asleep, or looked at the camera like it was from outer space! Nonetheless, we tried to get some cute pics...

Allie a little preturbed
"Not sure what this camera thing is in my face"

Addie in one of the more content moments!

They are looking more and more alike every they are sleeping together. Their profiles look really similar these days.

This week Andie and I celebrate our 6th anniversary. I got my anniversary present a little early and I'm so proud of them. Not one, but TWO diamond and pink gold anniversary to celebrate each of my girls! Isn't he the greatest husband ever!?!? I love the pink gold- it is so different and unique and such a great way to celebrate girls! It's hard to see the color of the gold in the picture but I like wearing them stacked together! I can even wear them as wedding bands when I don't feel like wearing my big ring. He is so awesome!!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

7 weeks old

The girls were 7 weeks old on Tuesday and I feel like time is flying by. They are getting so big already. Allie's medicine is working like a charm and the swelling on her eye has gone down considerably. She is opening her eye all the time and is very curious about everything around her. I can tell that she feels much better these days! The girls are both starting to sleep between 4 and 5 hours at a stretch and I'm having to wake them up to eat instead of the other way around- this is awesome!

Allison's MRI and MRA results were completely normal- there are no brain or vascular abnormalities! We were so relieved to hear those results yesterday. She also saw an ENT to make sure the hemangioma was not growing into her throat or airway- no problems there either! We saw the opthamologist and everything was fine there too.

When the girls were born we sent their bloodwork off to be tested to see if they carry the same genetic mutation that I have that results in my heart condition. Unfortunately the results came back positive...they do in fact have the same genetic mutation. However, the positive side is that when their aortas and hearts were looked at in the NICU both of them were completely normal. We will be able to monitor their cardiac status and hopefully prevent their aortas from ever dilating through preventative medicine. While I am disappointed that they even have to worry about this condition, I feel really great about the fact that we know so early and can closely monitor them. I didn't find out I had the condition until I was a teenager and by then my aorta had already dilated, so I am positive that we can prevent this for them with regular cardiac check ups.

Luckily the bulk of the doctor appointments are done and Allie won't have many more check ups to go through. Maybe we can all start a more normal schedule soon!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Answered prayers and miracle drugs!

The girls were 6 weeks old yesterday and I can't believe I'm halfway through my maternity leave already! I'm not going to want to go back to work at all. Allie rolled over all by herself today- she's getting so grown up!

Allie went to the pediatrician on Monday because she was spitting up all weekend long- sometimes up to 3 hours after she ate! He put her on Zantac to help with acid reflux so we are hoping that will help her keep her food down. She saw the pediatric dermatologist yesterday and got her first dose of the beta blocker last night. We can already see a difference!!! Her birthmark is not near as dark red and the swelling has decreased so much that she is opening her eye really well today! I am so excited that we have seen so much improvement after just one dose, I can't imagine how dramatically it will change in the days and weeks to come. The dermatologist prescribed a corticosteroid to help wth the swelling which she started today so we should see an even more dramatic decrease in the swelling by tomorrow. She will stay on the beta-blocker for about 8 months and it should totally resolve the birthmark with no lasting damage!

The dermatologist did tell us there is a syndrome called Phaces that goes along with facial hemangiomas and has other associated features involving the brain, heart, eyes, and some other things. In order to rule the syndrome out he ordered an MRI and MRA to look at her brain structure and the vascular nature of the hemangioma. Once again we were very worried that there could be something wrong with her brain but later in the afternoon the doctor called and said he reviewed the MRI that was done while Allie was in the NICU and everything looked good with no abnormalities. We were so relieved!!! We will still have the MRA done but otherwise Allie does not have any of the symptoms of Phaces. All of her brain, cardiac, and eye tests have been normal.

Here are the girls in their game day gear!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lots to blog about!

The girls are 5 weeks old and staying awake quite a bit more. They are getting curious and like to look around a lot. They have finally slept in their big girl cribs and we are working on transitioning them into sleeping in there full time. They really seem to enjoy it and sleep well while they're in's me who is nervous about not hearing them when they are all the way across the house. Yes, we have a monitor but I still worry. We are getting better at establishing a schedule and keeping their feeding times spaced out, but sometimes they are both hungry at the same time and we have to do double fisted feedings...check out Grandma doing it like a pro!

This is the day they were 5 weeks old...I loved the cute matching outfits. They are finally getting big enough to wear some of the adorable clothes they have!

Allie saw a dermatologist last Friday and an opthamologist on Tuesday. The birthmark can be treated with lasers if need be, but the dermatologist recommended that we consider a relatively new treatment of beta blocker medicine first. New research has shown that when kids take this medication the blood flow to the birthmark is significantly reduced. So now we have to consult with a pediatric dermatologist who is familiar with this treatment next week and see if he can treat Allie. Coincidentally, I take beta blockers for my heart condition and I took them throughout the pregnancy. Andie theorizes that the reason the birthmark did not show up until a week after she was born is because she was getting some of the beta blocker I was taking in utero and it kept the birthmark from flaring up, but then once she was born and it was no longer in her system the birthmark appeared. Makes sense to me, and if this is really then case then treatment with beta blockers seems promising!
The opthamologist did not see any indications of eye problems or glaucoma but because the birthmark is on her eyelid and causing significant swelling he is concerned that she could develop a lazy eye because she cannot open that eye all the way. If the swelling is not treated soon her eye muscles will not develop properly since she's not using them when she keeps that eye closed. So he referred us to a pediatric opthamologist who specializes in lazy eye treatment and we will see her in two weeks. Poor Allie is having to see all sorts of doctors and specialists, but it's great that we have so many good doctors who are willing to work together to get her treated as soon as possible so there is no lasting damage to her eye. Hopefully we'll see some improvement in the birthmark very soon!

The girls went to the lakehouse for the first time over the holiday weekend. They got to see aunts, uncles, cousins, great grandparents, and friends. They were the stars of the party and got passed around and held quite a lot! They behaved quite well and slept through all of the commotion!!

Addie with her cousin Lauren, and Lauren's friend Michaela- they were great babysitters!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

4 weeks old already!

The girls are 4 weeks old today and we had a check up at the pediatrician's office. He was very pleased with both of them as they are growing like weeds-more than an ounce a day! Addison weighed 7 lbs. 4 oz. and Allison weighed 6 lbs. 8 oz. They are both eating 4 ounces at a feeding which is a whole ounce more than recommended for their age, but the doctor said it was great for them to be catching up and to keep on doing exactly what we're doing. Later this week Allison will see a dermatologist about her birthmark and she'll see an opthamologist next week to make sure it's not effecting her vision.

They are both getting more curious and love to look around. They seem to be discovering there is a whole world around them and are focusing on things better. Both of them are starting to stay awake a little bit after eating instead of immediately falling asleep. I can't believe they will officially be a month old on Friday- they have already changed so much! They both love tummy time and Allison loves to scoot herself around. She scrunches up her legs like she's gonna crawl and pushes herself around. Addison hasn't mastered this technique yet, she's pretty content to just stay in one spot. They both hold their heads up really well and have very strong necks.

They both like to grunt and squeal a lot! I'm convinced they have their own language and are talking to each other because as soon as one makes noise the other one gets going too- almost as if they are mimicking each other. They are more vocal than any other babies I've been around which is really cute except in the middle of the night when they want to make noises to each other and keep the rest of us awake!

Everyone says the girls look just like Andie but mom and I found some pictures of me as a baby and there is a lot of similarity between the girls and me. They seem to have my eyes and nose and Andie's mouth and lips

Here's a rare shot of Allison awake
Addison finally looking towards the camera- a little curious about what mom was doing
I caught her starting to smile!

Allison smiling in her sleep...must be good dreams!

Addison was captivated by the sun coming through the window

The girls in matching outfits!

Monday, August 31, 2009

The girls played together in their play yard for the first time a couple of days ago. They had lots of fun looking at all the bright colors and toys. They played for about 15-20 minutes and then fell asleep together in the play yard. They would scoot themselves close together and I kept moving them apart because their faces were touching, but they would scoot themselves right back together and they even held hands some of the time. It is so cute to seem them be so sweet! After sleeping for about 20 minutes they both started crying and when I went to check on them they both were pushing each other in the face...and so it begins! One minute they love each other and the next minute it's the proverbial "Mom, she's touching me!"

Last night we took the girls for their first walk around the neighborhood in their stroller. They loved it and Allison smiled almost the whole time. I'm definitely gonna get in shape if I continue to push that double stroller's pretty heavy especially going up some of the hills in our neighborhood.

Here's a picture of Addison where you can really see the red in her hair...wonder if that will stick around. Both girls have a reddish tint to their hair and their eyes are a dark bluish gray. I hope their eyes stay blue.

Asleep together in the play yard...sweet angels!

Addison holding Allison's hand

Addison snoozing on the Boppy pillow. Looks just like her daddy!

Dad and his girls. We honestly did not plan for them to all be dressed in yellow but it turned out kinda cute!

Andie caught this shot of the girls reaching for each other in the pack n play- isn't that the sweetest thing!