Thursday, October 29, 2009

Amazing Babies!

Every parent thinks their kid is wonderful and brilliant, and Steve and I are no exception to that rule!  I am amazed every day at the leaps and bounds the boys make, ESPECIALLY since they were born premature (35 weeks, 3 days) and should, therefore, be a month behind the developmental "milestones" all the books say.  But they're not!

Matthew and Nathan now recognize and smile at each other!  They've recognized Steve and myself for several weeks now, but when we put them in the "washing machine" and the Jumparoo facing each other, they stare and laugh and giggle at each other.  That's another thing they started doing this month: laughing out loud and giggling.  It's the best sound in the world!

This photo is about a month old, so Nathan's not diggin Matthew in Jumparoo quite yet, but it's how we set them up during playtime.  Matthew is looking at Nathan, though, perhaps thinking, hey, there's a baby in my toy!  Now they love to jump, jump, jump and spin, spin, spin!

The boys are also recognizing their names.  If I were really smart, I'd be able to upload the video of Nathan jumping in his Jumparoo, and turning toward me when I call his name.  It's so sweet!

When I nurse them on my twins nursing pillow, they hold hands.  They've been doing it for months and it's a really special time.  I know they won't do it much longer because it has advanced to poking each other in the eye and pushing the other off of  The amazing part is that the pushed one just keeps right on eating and pushes back!

We give them each a fortified baba at bedtime and they've discovered they can hold it.  I swear if Matthew could talk, he'd be saying, "No, Mama!  I do it myself!"  I KNOW that's coming in the future!

The boys love to imitate speech.  They seem to do it most when we are talking to each other, even though we talk to them!  I guess they want to be part of the conversation.  The boys were lying together on the play mat while Steve and I sat on the floor with them and talked about his day after he came home.  Both of them started jabbering away!  We stopped to talk to them, and they quieted back down.  Then, last night, Steve was playing 'airplane' with Matthew - they love that, too - and making funny sounds when he came down to 'land.' Matthew would then imitate the "aaaaaaOOOOHHHH" sound Steve was making at landing.  So sweet!

Both boys love their bathtime and have figured out that splashing Mommy and Daddy is quite hilarious!  To give you an idea of how big they've grown, the next two pictures are Steve and Nathan at about two weeks, then again about 4 1/2 months:

They are not yet sitting up on their own, so we still have time to bathe them in their whale tub, thank goodness!  It's a back saver.

Today's last picture is their 'five month' photo.  It's just an everyday shot on our big overstuffed chair.  I thought I'd start using that for their monthly phots so you can see how big they get each month.  The T shirt is from Aunt P. and it says, "This IS my costume!" (Maybe we'll 'do' Halloween next year).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Airport Field Trip

As a kid, I loved going on field trips.  It was so fun to do something different, see something new, and best of all, to hang out with your friends.  As a teacher, I, um, disliked going on field trips.  Doing something different, doing something new, and worst of all, kids hanging out with their friends!

We had a family field trip to the MSP airport today, and I must admit, I felt like a teacher!  I had to take a detour, the nap schedule got messed up, and I would up in pain!  What happened?

Steve and I had to get our flu shots at the Health Expo!  This, on top of getting a painful filling yesterday - woo hoo for me! 

Okay, it wasn't all that bad.  The boys were wide awake and taking it all in; we had a bird's eye view of Delta's check-in counter.  Nathan got a little squaky after sitting in his car seat, so we watched the people check in.  It was a slow day, according to the employees waiting in line behind us.  Nevertheless, the boys were fascinated watching the people go by.  They love to watch people.

Matthew was pooped from keeping his eyes open all morning, so he sacked our after lunch the rest of the afternoon.  Nathan's been feeling a little funky, so he wanted to snuggle with mama instead. 

When dad got home after work, the fun began again!  We went for a walk because it looks like the last nice fall day (I know I've said that before, but I mean it every time) and played after dinner. 

Matthew has been battling a pesky sock all week.  I finally figured out why!  When we put him in the washing maching (the exersaucer with a seat that goes back and forth, then round and round), he's able to get some serious traction with a bare foot!  While we were eating dinner (the one thing I managed to get done this afternoon), he wiggled that sock off and started spinning!  Round and round he went.  It was hilarious!


We are planning some more field trips and will report on those, but rest assured we can make our own fun at home, too!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Shutterfly Site

For those of you who don't know, I've created a Shutterfly site that's full of recent pics of the babies and our family.  I update it about once a month, when I upload pictures to print out.  Shutterfly also sends out a monthly email to you (I'm pretty sure) if you're in my Yahoo inbox.  Here's the link, hopefully it will work.  If you know me, you know I'm no technology whiz, in fact, it's a miracle I can even post this blog.  Anyhow, here goes:

Aulds Shutterfly site

Woo hoo!  I think it worked!

Kim: 1, Computer: 0


Friday, October 23, 2009

This Week in Numbers

1 golden shower from Matthew, on me!
2 high chairs were moved into the dining room because I promised Matthew I would if he slept through the night after having cereal.
3 nights of uninterrupted's getting better all the time.
4 times I've left the house - not bad!
5 poopy diapers changed on Thursday alone.
6 twins were at the Moms and Muffins meeting on Tuesday

Loads of fun with buddies G and A in their scary costumes, and girlfriend M, whose sister Z took a nap.

7 loads of laundry done (so far!)
8 baby baths are given in our house each week
12 yellow roses were given to me from my wonderful husband
20 baby fingernails are clipped each week
36 degrees is the temperature right now, with periods of freezing rain and snow.  Gosh I love Minnesota.
40 minutes it will take to bake the Poppyseed Chicken, a favorite recipe from Steve's family.  Can't wait for dinner tonight:

Poppyseed Chicken
4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
8 oz. sour cream
1.5 sleeves Ritz crackers, crushed
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1-2 Tbs. poppyseed
1 stick butter, melted
Mix shredded chicken, soup and sour cream and spread into a 9 X 13 pan.  Mix crushed crackers and poppyseeds and sprinkle on top of chicken mixure.  Drizzle butter over pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until crackers are slightly browned and mixture is heated through.  Serves 8

42 naps are taken each week...ah, so peaceful.  I use that time to blog and cook (and do laundry, clean the house, take out the dirty get the picture).
60 minutes is how long it took to bake Oatmeal Cake, an old family recipe passed on to me from my mom.  The boys helped:

Mmm...can't wait to eat the cake!  What?  How many more months till we can eat real food?  Dang.

Oatmeal Cake
 1 c. oatmeal
1.5 c boiling water
Mix and let stand.  Meanwhile cream together:
1 c. margarine or butter
1c. white sugar
2 eggs
1 c. brown sugar
Then add:
1.5 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
Add oatmeal and mix well.  Pour in a loaf pan or 9 X 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes (I needed 60 for the loaf pan).  

126 diapers used per week, approximately!
200 smiles and laughs!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Crackpot Happiness

When Hubs and I got engaged, I became terrified.  I realized that I didn't know how to cook!  I'd been watching my mom cook my whole life, and, of course, EATING my whole life, but until I got engaged, I'd never thought much about actually COOKING (heaven forbid)!

So, my marvelous mom and fabulous mother-in-law took pity on me and threw two INCREDIBLE bridal showers!  For one, people had to bring their favorite recipes on cards mailed in their invitations, and the other was a Pamperd Bride shower, where the guests bought Pampered Chef cooking gadgets for ME.  It was an incredible way to start out married life, with a kitchen full of high-quality products and a boatload of recipes.

That being said, I must confess that hands down, my all-time FAVORITE kitchen gadget is my Crock Pot!  Seven and a half years ago, Mrs. K and Mrs. M bought me a Crock Pot and a "Fix it and Forget it" cookbook.  They look like they are about 20 years old and have been through a war, that's how much I use them!

At first, I thought it way too old-ladyish.  What can you cook in a Crock Pot besides meatballs?  I don't even like meatballs (except for Grandma P's homemade meatballs, mmm...)!  But then, I got desperate.

I was teaching.

I was WAY too tired after a whole day of herding cats to make a meal, and I was sick of eating quick-fix food.  So, I dug through the closets and cabinets and pulled out the Crock Pot and "Fix it..." book.  (Perhaps it's more PC to say "slow cooker" but I like to say Crock Pot, mostly because in one of my cookbooks [CCC 2003, page 60] , my mom's recipe has a typo that says "May be put in crackpot to simmer or stove top," which makes me laugh so hard!  Crackpot!)

The experimentation began.  My husband, bless his heart, will try anything I cook (at least once).  I'm not sure if because he's an adventurous eater or he just knows what's best for him, but I love him for it.  After the meal, I'd ask him if the recipe was a "keeper," and if it was, it would get entered into our special cookbook.

The special cookbook was a shower gift from Aunt J.  It cost her very little, but its contents are priceless.  She wrote on the front page of a blank journal:

Dear Kim,
This book is to fill with your favorite recipes.  Whenever you come across a good recipe, be sure to write it down on an old receipt, scrap paper or even a napkin.  Then write it in this book.  You will find that you will use this book most of the time.  I sometimes take mine to the grocery store with me.  Love to you and Happy Cooking!

And she was right!  It's bulging with my favorites cut from magazines, rewritten from other cookbooks, snipped off of boxes, newspapers and all taped in there, along with several of the recipe cards from my shower. 

It's FULL of crock pot recipes.  Honestly, I sometimes think I could write a book about crock pot recipes.  But then I realize it's already been done.  Because many of my recipes came from it.  So I don't.

I LOVE smelling a roast cooking in the Crock Pot on a cold Minnesota winter afternoon, after coming home from a hard day of middle school.  All you have to do is set the table and make a salad, and voila!  a hot, homemade, healthy dinner.  There's nothing like it! 

Except for chili.
And Chicken Tortilla Soup.
And Chicken in a Pot.
And Sour Cream Beef.
And Slow Simmered Beef Stew.
And Chicken Cacciatore.
And Wild Rice Hot Dish.
And Golden Glow Pork Chops.
And Pork Chop Dinner.
And Violette's Lasagna.
And Homemade BBQ (Mom's Crackpot recipe!)
And Spiced Cider

I'm getting hungry.

My friends found out I'm an old crackpot lady and have been asking me for recipes ever since.  Here's the easiest and yummiest, all-time favorite crack pot recipe I have (from Fix it and Forget it):

Chicken Tortilla Soup
4 chicken breast halves
(2) 15 oz. cans black beans, drained
(2) 15 oz cans Mexican stewed tomatoes, or Ro-tel (I like diced tomatoes with green chilis better than stewed, but that's just what I do)
1 c. salsa
1 Tbs. cumin (DO NOT SKIP THIS INGREDIENT!!!! Trust me.)
(1) 4 oz. can chopped green chilis
(1) 14.5 oz can tomato sauce (I've used tomato soup before, too)
tortilla chips and grated cheese

Combine all ingredients except chips and cheese in Crock Pot.  Cover, cook on low 8 hours.  Just before serving, remove chicken and slice into bite-sized pieces.  Stir into soup.  Serve topped with cheese and chips.

Here's one we just did two weekends ago, when it was chilly here:

Hot Spiced Cider (from
1/4 c. brown sugar (I reduced it to 2 Tbs. based on reviews and it was good)
1/2 tsp. of whole allspice (okay, I used ground, but it still was good)
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp. of salt (can anyone tell me why?)
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 large orange, quartered with peel
2 quarts of apple cider

The recipe says you can make it in your coffee pot, but I'm not into cleaning coffee pots, so I dumped it into my crackpot and turned it up on high for a couple hours.  Delicious!

I'll write some more recipes for you later.  Gotta try a couple out again before I pass them on to you! 

Love to you and Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Enfamil Rewards

I don't play online games.
I don't like the $15 price tag for Enfamil Enfacare even more.
I signed up for Enfamil Rewards today in hopes of getting some free formula.

It's kind of like an online game.
You earn points by entering Enfamil codes into your account.
Then you can win stuff.
I want the formula.
(Yes, I'm nursing, but they are hungry little fellas and are taking more and more formula supplements)

So help me play this game.
I'm signing ten of you up to receive some e-mails from Enfamil.
I'll earn points.
You'll get an email.
If you get a 15 digit code or coupons, save them for me.

Or just delete it.
I'll never know.
I just want to see if I can get some free formula out of the deal!
I don't like online games.

But hey, you never know.

I'll share my winnings with you!

Getting ready for church!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Little Pumpkins

Yesterday seemed like it was going to be last nice fall day, so we decided to take a family outing to Applewood Orchard in hopes of snapping a few cute fall pics.  I dressed the boys in their new "Mommy's Little Quarterback" outfits from grandma, and Steve brought his high school football jersey and a ball!

I should have worn a clown wig because taking these guys anywhere is like being a sideshow circus act!  As you can rightly imagine, the orchard was busy, being 60 degrees and sunny on a Sunday afternoon.  There were families and children everywhere, climbing on a hay bale pile, weaving through the pumpkins, lining up for hayrides, eating apple brats (our soon-to-be-lunch) and, it seemed, they were all STARING AT US.

We tried to be inconspicuous.  No one was in the pumpkin section, so we started there.  They looked so cute sitting in the pumpkin patch, holding the football!  But of course they wouldn't smile.  And anyone who's tried to get one baby to look at a camera can imagine what it's like to get TWO babies to look at a camera!

But we got one!

The pumpkin section got full as onlookers watched our performance and others just wanted to look at the pumpkins we were using.  So we decided to try some shots in the sun on the hay bales, which had emptied of children because the hay ride was loading up new riders.

I should have known it was a bad idea.  The second, and I mean, the SECOND we tried posing the boys, a kid ran to the top of the bales, screaming at the top of his lungs, "MOM! DAD! COME HERE! TWINS!  TWINS!  THERE ARE BABY BOY TWINS HERE IN THE HAY!  THEY'RE REALLY CUTE!  HURRY!  THEY'RE TAKING PICTURES!"

Steve and I tried to take a couple shots.  They look like this:

Matthew thinks it's pretty fun.

The light was poor (it's about high noon, after all...any photographer in his right mind wouldn't shoot then), the blanket was ugly, and we noticed there were bugs buzzing around their heads, so we aborted the haystack scene.  With even more intensity, the kid started screaming "MOM! DAD!  HURRY!  THE TWINS ARE GOING AWAY!"  I finally looked up at him. He was  maybe 7 and cute as a bug.  He asked politely, "Are they twins?" 

We had just 15 minutes until their regularly scheduled naptime, but we felt we hadn't taken the shot we were hoping for.  So back to the shade and the pumpkin section for a few more. 

Here's our best shot of Nathan...future QB for sure!

Needless to say, the boys were running out of steam and it was getting chilly.  We wrapped up pretty quickly and went inside to purchase a 'harvest' of Honeycrisp apples and cider.

All in all, the entire outing took less than an hour, but it was well worth it for a few cute photos and a bundle of memories.  But we're not going to start a new photography business anytime soon!

Added bonus: they were pooped and slept all afternoon and through the night again.  Can't wait to do this again next year!

Matthew loved it!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Stinky Boys

After tucking them in tonight, I checked on the boys.  A foul odor wafted by when I opened the door.  It could only mean one thing: someone had a big poo.  Matthew was snoozing quietly, but poor little Nathan was tossing and grunting.  Sure enough, the stink intensified near his crib.  I took him downstairs to daddy so I could finally take a shower *smirk*.  

Tonight's anecdote reminded me of something that happened when they boys were less than a week old.  They were staying in the NICU, each of them in their own little mini crib.  Matthew and Nathan were occupying two of the seven cribs in the Level II NICU and their corner was partitioned off with a curtain.  It was the Sunday after they were born and we were in a rush to get to the hospital to see our babies because it was heartbreaking to be at home without them.

Because of their prematurity, their little gastrointestinal systems were immature.  They weren't exactly working very efficiently, so when they had gas, they had GAS!  Seriously, their little "pooties" were as potent as a trucker's after Old Country Buffet.  The NICU nurses, who had seen it ALL, were even holding their breaths and commenting, "Wow, little fella!" when they changed their diapers.  Whew, we had stinky boys!

(Granted, it could have been the prune juice, Mylanta, Senokot and fiber muffins I passed on to them through the breast milk.  But the nurses say no, so I will no longer take responsibility for the smelliness.)

That Sunday morning, we were anxious to see our babies, anxious to hold them and snuggle them and most of all, to bring them home.  We walked ever so s.l.o.w.l.y from the parking garage, as my feet were swollen like footballs.  I think that may have been the morning that a nurse(!) saw me waddling down the hallway, holding my belly up so as not to pull on my recent incision, and say, "better keep that baby in there a few more weeks!"  What?!  I had no energy or sense of humor to give her a piece of my mind at that moment, so I tried to give her a dirty look.  It's kind of funny now!

We flashed our badges to get in, greeted the nurses and asked for a recap of the night, even though I already knew how it went because I'd called during the night, and walked over to our little corner.  Pulling back the curtain, we were slapped in the face with a wall of sewer stink!  The whole corner of the room reeked!

We couldn't help but laugh out loud that we had the stinkiest babies in the NICU.   To this day, we wonder if the nurses remember them as The Stinky Aulds Boys? 

Our last moment in the NICU, packing Nathan up to take him home on June 4.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Happiest Morning of Our Lives

One year ago today was a very special day for us.  Here's the excerpt from the scrapbook I'm creating for Matthew and Nathan:

October 15, 2008
"The Happiest Morning of Our Lives"

About 4:30 am, I woke up to use the bathroom and take a home pregnancy test.  You have to pee on a stick!  Maybe when it's time for you or your wives to get pregnant, they will design something less icky to tell if you're going to be a parent.  I lay back in bed, trying not to be too nervous because we'd already had several negative tests.  A few minutes later, I got up and saw...a plus sign!  Was I imagining it?  It was very early, after all.

I ran into the bedroom with it and shook your dad awake.  He turned on the lamp to get a better look.  "It's a plus sign.  That means..."  he looked up at me and I nodded.  We laughed and hugged and kissed.  Excited and elated, we couldn't get back to sleep.  A blood test that day at my doctor's office confirmed the results.  You were on the way!

Your loving father is a thoughtful and generous husband as well.  He bought me a dozen roses the day we learned we were pregnant.  He bought me another dozen the day we learned you were twins!

Today was also a good day at our house.  Daddy got to stay home and play in the morning before leaving on a business trip and then Matthew helped him pack.

Then our buddies A and G visited. The boys are all 4 and half months old now.  Look how big they are!

And last but not least, I put both boys down to bed BY MYSELF for the first time.  Whew!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Poopsplosion and More

Three things happened all at once:

1. I was outside in the rain STILL trying to install the Evenflo car seat base and getting drenched.  While I'm glad for the replacement seat, otherwise we'd probably still be in Flint, I'm fairly certain I will never buy an Evenflo seat after last weekend. I went inside to retrieve the seat, sans baby, to see if I'd finally installed the darn base correctly when I found

2. My husband on the floor changing Nathan, who'd not JUST pooped.  He'd had a POOPSPLOSION!  Evidently, the previous night's poops on the airplane and at midnight were just a precursor of what was to come that Friday morning.  Holy smokes!  It was not contained in the diaper, it was everywhere: all the way up his back, almost to his neck, seeping out the legs and onto the blanket!  Steve was calm and controlled, but gagging, and asked me to get the backpack diaperbag for extra clothing when I found

3.  One of the 'snack' bottles I'd prepared for the guys had leaked into the diaperbag, soaking mostly a blanket and the bottom of the bag.  I knew I had to clean up that mess, too, or I'd have a stinky, sour-milk diaperbag forever.  Fortunately, the one extra sleeper I'd tossed in at the last minute was on top and Steve was able to continue working on problem number two.  I shot up a prayer that Matthew wouldn't play the same trick because of course I'd only packed one outfit (but never again). 

So I ran back outside, FINALLY installed the stupid base, only to go back inside and rinse out chunks of poo from Nathan's onesie, then empty out the contents of the diaper bag, wipe it out as best I could, Febreze the bag and place all wet stuff in front of the the fan.  Whew!  What a morning!

Steve entertaining Nathan on the plane Thursday night, before everything went haywire.

Friday, October 9, 2009

55 Easy Steps to Traveling With Twins

1. Wash, dry and fold all human and baby clothes the day before your trip.
2. Pack one carry-on bag for the babies containing 4 sleepers, 8 outfits and onesies, 2 blankies, 2 types of diapers (overnights and daytime), 1 Fisher Price Rainforest Waterfall Soother, baby bottles, formula, and equipment.
3. Pack one carry-on bag for the humans containing loungwear, sleepwear, churchwear, and high school reunion wear.
4. Pack one diaper-backpack-bag full until the zipper is busting, including bottles for the airplane, diapers, wipes, toys, backup clothing, burpcloths, bibs, 1 Snugli carrier, 1 Babybjorn carrier, a digital camera and the contents of my former purse.
5. Pack one breast pump and accouterments. 
6. Prepare the 'traveling' (read: secondhand) carseats with the JJ Cole Bundle Me covers and linky toys.
7. Repair a tear in one of the Bundle Me's with your oh so handy sewing kit.
8. Feed the babies, change them into size 3 overnight diapers for the long flight in hopes you won't have to change them. 
9. Put the cute airplane sleepers on the boys because it's just adorable to fly in them.  Wait, Matthew outgrew his since you flew 2 weeks ago, so
10. Find Matthew a sleeper that a)fits b)is not dirty in the hamper and c)is not already packed.
11.  Husband opens up suitcase, tells you all the things you forgot to pack for him and re-packs his side of the suitcase.
12. Load aforementioned equipment into minivan; don't forget the stroller!  Or the babies.
13. Put out the garbage can because tomorrow is garbage day.
14. Back out over the garbage can.
15. Eat your Culver's butterburger dinner at 70 mph on your way to the airport, thanking God that the babies are quiet.
16. Wait patiently in the airport with a double stroller and its babies, a breast pump, 2 suitcases and a backpack-diaper bag while hubby parks the van. 
17.  Take babies out of carseats and insert them into the Babybjorn and Snugni before heading toward security checkpoint.
18.  Babies dazzle the security checkpoint (female) staff while mom and dad unload all aforementioned equipment onto the x-ray belt.  Don't forget to take off your shoes (thank you God that I remembered to wear slip on shoes this time), take out your 1 quart ziploc bag (containing hand sanitizer, 2 oz. emergency formula bottles, antibiotic baby eye drops, baby Tylenol, and desitin, among other things) and claim your 2 8 oz babas for dinner.
19.  Put everything back together again on the other side of security, but decide to keep the babies in the carriers for some odd reason.
20. Stop at Starbucks and try to explain to the person who speaks English as a second language that no, you don't need 2 cups stacked together with hot water, you need 2 cups with hot water in each of them.  Lady sees mom walk up behind dad with the second baby and gets it.
21.  Be nice to the paying Starbucks customer who has 11 year old twin girls, shows you their picture, and tells you they will start ganging up on you in 3 years. 
22.  See that the tram is not working.  Your gate is at the end of A gates at MSP (read: darn near a mile away). 
23.  Walk your tiny little sideshow circus all the way to your gate, trying not to spill the hot water every time you get on and off the 10 or so moving sidewalks.
24. Upon reaching your gate, warm up the bottles in the Starbucks cups while you get the boys out of the carriers, find the bottles and burp cloths, realize you put the wrong nipples on the bottles, change the nipples without spilling anything (thank you, God!) and feed your babies.
25.  Try not to make a scene when Nathan belches like a linebacker in the middle (literally!) of the gate area.
26. Snap Nathan into his carseat, humans take turns going to the bathroom, load up all of your junk back into the diaperbag, dump out the still-hot Starbucks water, and wait for boarding.
27. Learn that you're only getting 3 seats on the plane, so load Matthew back into the Babybjorn, take the Bundle Me, toys, and headrest off of carseat so you can gate-check it with the stroller.
28.  Take your seats in the very last row on the airplane and thank God again that the boys are still pretty happy, considering it's now past their bedtime.
29. Small talk with the nice man next to you who is a father of 5 and seems to enjoy baby Matthew, who has challenged our neighbor to a staring contest.
30.  Dad tries entertaining Nathan who's sick of his carseat while Mom is glad that Matthew has fallen asleep while we wait for takeoff.
31.  Matthew wakes up as soon as we're at cruising altitude because people begin using the bathroom located just 18 inches away.
32.  Matthew is wet.  He leaked.  Change Matthew in the smallest bathroom designed by man; thank goodness it's so close!
33.  "Is Nathan poopy?"  sniff Nathan's butt because husband just lifted it to your face.  Sniff. GAG!  Yes.
34.  Daddy changes Nathan in the tiniest bathroom ever.
35.  Begin descent.  And turbulence.  Mom feels nauseaous for the next 30 minutes.
36.  Whew, we made it.  Say goodbye to the nice flight attendant who has twin granddaughters.  (See, everyone has twins!)
37. Pick up the stroller at the gate and load Nathan (in carseat, remember) into it.
38.  Ask gate agent, where is our gate-checked carseat?
39. Go to baggage claim like agent suggested, collect 2 bags but no carseat.
40. Call mom (our ride), load crying Nathan into backseat, 2 bags, 1 backpack, 1 pump, and one stroller (minus one screw...did I forget to mention it was broken at the gate?) into the trunk.
41.  Wait with Matthew (still in the Babybjorn on my chest) in the front seat while Steve runs around the airport trying to find our carseat.
42.  Answer my cell, I don't know where the claim ticket is.  Give Matthew to mom, in the driver's seat, and rifle through the back pack looking for the claim ticket.  Call Steve.  No ticket, meaning we have no proof that we ever checked the carseat.
43. Wait some more, thinking, gosh, I'm glad we used our traveling carseats today.
44. Answer my cell phone.  It's a Graco car seat.  Dang, I hear my husband say.
45.  Steve arrives with a brand new Evenflo carseat and base.  The agent who helped him was a former coworker who gave him a replacement seat.  Thank God again for angels in disguise, because he didn't have to do this for us since we were technically not paying customers.
46.  In the rain, take out old base and try to install new base.
47. Give up and just buckle Matthew into the new seat.  What's wrong with these stupid straps?  We need to adjust them to fit him.  Buckle the seat into the car with the shoulder belt.
48.  Steve begins the long drive to Auburn from the Flint airport. What?  I didn't tell you?  No, of course we couldn't get seats on the Saginaw flight. 
49.  Whew, that's done.
50. Wait, no it's not. Change babies into clean diapers and put them down to sleep.
51. Matthew falls straight to sleep in his pack and play in his new room
52.  Nathan is fussing, crying, escalating to screaming.  It's 12:30am.
53. Nathan has pooped again.  Change him again.
54.  Still crying at 1 am, so nurse him to sleep. 
55. The end.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What's in a name?

Naming our boys was a very difficult task for us.  In fact, we easily chose 2 girls' names when we discovered we were expecting twins, but couldn't find even one boy's name that we liked.  I joked (but suspected) that we'd have boys because we couldn't think of a single name, so we tabled the discussion and 'named' them Righty and Lefty.  Sure enough, at our 20 week ultrasound, we learned that we were carrying two boys!  That was in February.  We spent the next three months thinking, talking, and praying about their names.  It's a big deal, and difficult when you, meaning me, have a long list of names you WON'T name your children: a) no ex-boyfriends b)no irritating students c)no first names already in the families d)nothing trendy.  We sat on the couch one night and flipped through a baby names book, each of us making a list of names that we liked.  When we were finished, we compared our lists and kept the names that we'd both noted.  There were about 6 names we'd both written down that met the above criteria.  Then we checked our names on the Social Security website, to see how popular the names were for babies last year.  Nathan's name came in at #66.  We decided that there probably won't be as many Nathans in his life to share his name as Matthew might have (his was #6), so that was another plus.  And we just liked the sound of it.  Oh, and it had to be Biblical, too.  See how hard we made it?

The middle name was easy: we'd already decided to use great-grandfathers' names for both boys.  We couldn't very well name one of them after Steve and the other after me!  So Nathan got John, his paternal great-grandfather's name, simply because we didn't want to give Matthew half of the Gospels!

After we'd chosen the names, I discovered that Nathan is VERY popular!  In my MVMOM's subgroup, Moms and Muffins, consisting of JUST the pregnant women and moms with babies under age 1, there are THREE other Nathans that I know of!  And a dear old friend with whom I've made contact again has a two-year old Nathan as well.  Wow! 

Today is the day I just couldn't believe my eyes, though.  On the Today Show, they featured a couple who gave birth to identical triplet boys on Sept. 30.  They were making a big deal about it because it was the couple's third anniversary, 3 boys, on the 30th, and the odds of having identical triplets are about one in two million (not three?). I was amazed for a different reason: the boys are named MATTHEW, NATHAN, and Michael!  Wonder how long it took them to come up with those names?

And what about Matthew Wilfred?  Since we'd decided to name them after their great-grandfathers, and we wanted to use my grandpa Perry's name, we could choose Wilfred or Perry.  I like the name Perry.  In fact, I know my other siblings do, too, but no one has used it yet.  I just didn't want Matthew to spend the rest of his life explaining that he's NOT named after the Friends actor Matthew Perry!  So that's how they became Matthew Wilfred and Nathan John.
Others have asked how we knew to name which one.  We started trying out the names when we talked to them in my belly.  For whatever reason, Lefty became Matthew quickly.  Righty, who eventually became Nathan, tried out several names for awhile.  Nothing quite fit until we tried out Nathan.

I suppose there are other ways to do it.  My friend A decided to let her husband name their girl twin and she named their boy, but he told her he was going to name her Cinnamon or Sparkle.  So my poor friend A was drugged beyond belief in the operating room and says the doctors held up her girl and asked what her name was, and A said, "Cinnamon Sparkle!"  Thank goodness her daddy came to rescue with a more respectable name just then! And thank goodness it wasn't MY husband who came up with that idea!

How did you name your babies?  Tell me your story!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I knew I was going to have to make some babyfriends if I was going to survive staying home with the boys for a year.  What's a babyfriend?  Well, I don't know.  The word is not in the dictionary so I guess I made it up.  I will define it as: a friend whose baby is close enough in age that your babies could be friends, too.  So I guess it's kind of like a play date...for moms.  She doesn't know it, but my friend E was an answer to prayer when she entered my life.  I met her at the first Minnesota Valley Mothers of Multiples (MVMOM) meeting I attended in February.  It turned out she was pregnant with fraternal twin boys, due just a few weeks before I was!  It was so nice to call or email her when I was having a pregnancy pain because she assured me that she, too, was feeling miserable and not sleeping, either.  She made me feel completely normal.

Our boys wound up being born just 3 days apart because Matthew and Nathan decided to enter our world 3 weeks early.  We were even hospitalized just 2 rooms away from each other.  It makes me understand a tiny bit how soldiers can become friends for life after fighting in the trenches together.

Like me, she's decided to stay home with her little ones for the time being.  So we agreed to get together on a regular basis; not for the boys to have 'playdates' per se, but to keep each other sane!  In the beginning, they were nice and peaceful; you can see in the top photo where they are just a month old how quiet and calm they were at one month (Matthew is wearing light blue and Nathan green stripes).  At two months, all the boys took turns being fussy for our get-togethers.  It was like a game of hot potato!  Normal people wouldn't call that fun, but just getting out of the house and surviving it was considered a real accomplishment for us!  Nathan is cashed out in blue bouncy chair and Matthew is eyeing the camera with contempt on the far right.

Three months, below, showed a lot of improvement as all 4 boys were beginning to smile, coo, and laugh.  Nathan is baby 3 in this photo and Matthew is aptly labeled 'lil' stinker'!  Now that the guys are at 4 months (photo coming soon) and E and I are working on regular naps, maybe just MAYBE, we'll get them all to sleep at the same time.  Hey, a girl can dream!

And you'll see our newest babyfriend in our last photo.  Taken yesterday, a dear old friend of mine had her first baby girl a week ago.  This photo stuns me because Baby E weighs 5lbs 14 oz in it.  That's 5 more oz than Matthew weighed at birth!  Check out Matthew now, chillin' on the left next to his new girlfriend.  Can you believe he was smaller than her?  I'm shocked.  Now I understand why so many said my babies were small.  I didn't think they were!  Anyhow, Baby E. is sweet as can be and we are so happy to have another babyfriend!

I wonder what would happen if E, E, and I got all 4 boys and 1 tiny girl together?  Would they beat her up?  Will they ignore her?  Will they all fall in love with her?  Only time will tell!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Baby Curves

What do you do with two curious four month old babies during a rainy October week?  You set up your living  room with circuit training stations and call it Baby Curves!  I had to evict the dust bunnies and rearrange the furniture (can you believe they slept long enough for me to do that?  Me neither!), but by mid afternoon, the boys were working out at their stations.  Here's Matthew, left, and Nathan working hard at tummy time.  They've become quite fond of frog eyes and monkey legs, so expect to see these tummy time friends in their mouths if we visit you soon.    Another very popular station is called bouncy seats, where the guys work on digesting food and kicking wildly.  Pictured in our previous post is the famously Pink Bumbo station, where the boys work their midsections practicing sitting up.  The Bumbos are parked under the endtable when not in use; where else would they be?  Another popular station is located in our dining room, the papasan swing.  Previously for relaxing, it's used for hand-eye coordination exercises now that they can reach the toys. Most challenging, as well as the most entertaining station is the Jumparoo/Exersaucer station.  There's so much to do there!  The hardest part is, of course, reaching your toes to the floor...but if you can do that, oh, the fun you can have!  Nathan is in the saucer in this was the day he learned that the seat spins around, but he can only spin it counterclockwise!  Maybe he'll get that left foot working to un-spin himself someday.  Matthew likes to stare at his brother while working the Jumparoo.  He gets it going side to side right now...can't wait till he figures out how to go up and down!  The boys work out at Baby Curves a couple times a day, so next time you see them, they'll be bigger and stronger fellas!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

4 months, 4 shots, and 2 pink Bumbos

We've got the shot appointments down pat now: Tylenol, snuggles and snacks.  The boys were real champs at their appointments!  They giggled and cooed, laughed and kicked, showing off their stuff for the doctor.  She was quite impressed that they are doing all normal 4 month old stuff: drooling, sucking their fists, placing their feet and of course all the cute smiling and laughing.  Since they were born at 35 weeks, they've done an excellent job catching up to 4 month olds! 

Matthew tipped the scale at 13 pounds even, and a solid 2 feet long!  Good thing, too, because that's what his passport says he is!  Nathan's catching up to him slowly but surely; just a half pound shy at 12 lbs, 8 oz and a half inch shy at 23.5 inches.  His passport says he's two feet tall as well.  I figure that someday he'll be what the passport says, just like someday I'll weigh what my licence says!!  Ha!

They were so brave: neither cried at the first poke.  Then the second poke came along with one big wail!  But Daddy and I were prepared with an early dose of Tylenol and a little snack to pop in their mouths as soon as they caught their breaths.  By the time the little baba was gone, they were just fine.  Whew, don't have to do that again for two months.

Why the pink Bumbos, you ask?  Well, you all know that I am a bargain when a fellow multiples mom was selling her two LILAC Bumbos for 15 bucks, I snapped them up.  You moms know those puppies sell for almost 40 bucks!  Steve wasn't thrilled when I told him I'd bough two LILAC Bumbos, but convinced him with my supermom reasoning powers: they'll never know their colors until after they're done using them, it's 80 bucks worth of stuff for 15 bucks, your neice Lily loved hers, they're cute and fun, and most of all, I WANT THEM!  So we drove out to the previous owners' house, I enter and give the mom the cash and she hands over 2 CARNATION PINK BUMBOS!  What could I do?  What could I say?  It would be rude to tell her she's color blind, right?  So I take them.  And you should have seen Steve's face when I loaded those pink Bumbos into our minivan (maybe I'll write about THAT day, minvan day, for you sometime)!  Oh, boy!