Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Answer to Prayer

I had been excited about the 9+ hours of sleep my boys performed last week. And honestly, I was alright if that hadn't been repeated for a while (though I prayed they would!) Sleep is so much more a staple than a luxury. But, as the Lord would have it, they're doing well!

After that night, they slept their normal 6 hour routine. But last night, they slept 8 hours. And 8.5 hours the night before last. I still don't expect it each night, but man, I welcome it each time!

I'm sure the boys had a conversation like this:
Ben: "Hey Jack, did you notice how happy Mom is today?"
Jack: "Yeah. Do you think it has anything to do with the fact that we slept longer last night?"
Ben: "No, it can't be. Something that small?"
Jack: "Well, let's do it again a few more times. Just to see if that's it."
Ben: "Good idea. I'm game."

God really does answer prayer!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

God's Amazing Grace

Amy and Chris have been praying for a baby since they were married more than four years ago. On Saturday, God delivered. It was a beautiful baby girl, appropriately named Grace.
Grace Elizabeth was born at 8:57am on October 24, 2009. And even though she was a full month early, she weighed a perfect 5 lbs, 13 oz and was 19.75" long. Healthy, too!

The proud daddy holds his little girl

Good friends, now mommies! Not only was Amy a bridesmaid in our wedding that occured on her birthday, but Jack and Ben were born on our second wedding anniversary... very special!

Praise God for this perfect little gift, this long-awaited answer to prayer. Congratulations, Chris and Amy!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Fluke? An Accident? No... JOY!

Call it a fluke. Call it an accident. Call it luck. I don't care.


Daddy with his boys, Jack and Ben, last night before bedtime

Jonathan has, more recently, been the first one to wake up. And since I try and keep them (roughly) on the same schedule, I'd have to wake up Benjamin, too. I always felt guilty doing that, feeling like he would have slept for a few more hours. I had come to the conclusion that Jack just needed less sleep than Ben. If Jack woke up early from a nap during the day, I'd let Ben sleep a few more minutes before going in to wake him.

I woke up through the night... 3:30... 4:30... and each time, I'd think, "Wow, they haven't gotten up yet. Just a few more minutes..." and then I'd go back to sleep. When I woke up at 7:07, I stared at my alarm clock in disbelief. They still weren't awake! I shook Andy (twenty minutes past when I normally would have woken him up for work) and explained the situation. "They never got up through the night!" I exclaimed. He didn't seem as excited as I was, though. His face was concerned as he jumped out of bed to check their breathing and be sure their cribs were dry. Oops. Should I have been more concerned? I was so ecstatic about the extra sleep that I hadn't even thought they might have been in danger! He reappeared in our doorway after what seemed like an eternity and gave me a look that said, "Yeah. Wow. They're still asleep and I think they're alright."

As Andy turned the water on for his shower, I heard one of the boys stirring. And do you know what? It was Ben! As with most things lately, the moment I try and label one of them, they switch it up!

I don't even care if this was a fluke and if it doesn't happen again for another six months. They slept for more than nine hours last night and THAT is worth celebrating!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Learning Curve

Since having the boys, I have to learn to do everything again. It's not that I didn't know how to do these things before, but with two babies at once - or even if I only had one - you just can't do things the same way. Here are some examples:
  • Taking a shower: This task is different depending on what time of day I'm able to do it. In the evening, it is a beautiful way to relax after the boys are asleep. I can take as long as I want (and I often do,) enjoying the warmth. In the morning, however, it is purely functional. Get in, get out, keep moving. I'm proud to say that I can be completely ready in exactly five minutes... showered, dressed, and out the door (but that's because Andy usually drives and I put my makeup on in the car.)
  • Doing my hair: I've never been one to spend a great deal of time with my hair, but I spent a lot more time than I do now! After I showered, I would blowdry it straight and then curl it with hot rollers. I almost always left it down. Now, that's something I only try to do on Sundays and special occasions. Now, I brush it and let it airdry. Then it's back into a ponytail for the day!
  • Getting ready to go out: I suppose this one goes without saying. I'm no longer concerned JUST with making sure we have our wallets, cell phones, and keys before going out the door. Now, I have to be sure I have at least three onesies, sleepers, outfits, socks, and hats as well as plenty of diapers and wipes. In the diaper bag, there should also be plenty of toys (including teething rings) to keep them occupied and an extra nail clipper, nose-sucker-outter-thing, and cotton swabs. I usually try and pack these things the night before we go anywhere to make the mornings a little easier. Obviously, that also includes getting the boys dressed and in their car seats, a task that Andy assists with, too. On Sundays, he usually showers first so he can get the boys dressed while I shower and do my hair (see above.)
  • Making dinner: I used to put food in the CrockPot the night before, or start dinner as soon as we got home from work. Sure, I tried to plan my menu so I'd have the groceries I needed, but it was also a lot easier to make a quick trip to the store if I forgot something. Now, it's a process that requires even more planning. I plan my menu by looking through the sale ads and more recently, Taste of Home, my favorite cooking magazine (I'm *trying* to try different recipes.) Then I make a complete grocery list, adding every little thing that pops into my head that I could get at the store. After all, my time away from the boys is limited - but thanks to my mom, does exist - so I have to try and make the most of my time. When I'm home, dinner preparation starts in the morning. I make sure the meat is defrosted and start chopping any vegetables or any other prep-work in the afternoon during the boys' nap or if I'm able to steal away. Then, when Andy comes home, he watches the boys while I finish putting everything together. It's ideal to eat by 6:30pm because the boys' nighttime schedule begins shortly after.
  • Doing laundry: I am SOOOO grateful Andy put in a front-loading washer and dryer on our floor. Living in a double and living on the top floor, this is quite a novelty. And I absolutely love it. I used to do about two loads a week. Now, it's more like two loads a DAY! I try and coordinate it so the washer is running while they're awake and then I fold everything on the dining room table while they're awake and where they can see me. I have found it to be demoralizing to try and clean while the boys are sleeping, so I try and do as much as I can when they're awake.
  • Washing the dishes: My husband is such a great support to me and a great help around the house. The dishes (including bottles) has become a job that he does with great joy... and much appreciation!!! After the boys are asleep, he unloads the dishwasher, loads it again and handwashes each of the boys' bottles. Uh. I am so grateful. This is such a blessing since I could spend a great deal of time with this each day. Other wives would understand, too, that this is an exhausting task especially after doing the work to create a nice meal! Thanks, Andy!

Having twins has literally changed my life. But five months later, I'm grateful to have found a sort of routine that works for us. It is a routine that is constantly changing as the boys grow, but I think we're getting the hang of the new flux our lives have begun. Next to meeting and marrying my best friend, having Jonathan and Benjamin has been one of the BIGGEST blessings of my life. True, I haven't slept more than six hours at a time since they've been born and I may not have a chance to do my hair anymore, but hearing the giggles of my little men when their daddy walks through the door gives me an enormous amount of joy. I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Great Pumpkin Farm

On Sunday, 10/18, we decided to visit the Great Pumpkin Farm at the last minute because my uncle had some free tickets since they had been working there all week! So Mom, Ellie and Matthew, Marissa and I met Grandma and Aunt Lilly there! I only stayed 15 minutes because it was so cold, plus the boys couldn't really participate in everything they had to offer. But for the time we were there, it was great!

Jack and Ben stayed warm in their many layers

Benjamin, in his hat from Aunt Carol (who bought them in Peru!)


Sissa, Mom and Ellie
Grandma, me, Aunt Lilly

Jack and Ben playing in the pumpkin patch

Mommy and Jack

Mommy and Ben

Mommy with Ben and Jack

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Scott & Leah

Andy's cousin, Leah, is getting married to Scott in August 2010. We are so excited! So in preparation for their upcoming nuptuals, I took some engagement photos for them. Aunt Patti watched the boys and we spent a few hours around Orchard Park getting some neat shots! Congratulations, Scott and Leah!