Saturday, May 30, 2009

finally, the winner!

I guess I should know by now that my blog promises will be hard to keep... We had a little contest a while back, and I'm just now announcing the winner!



All of your entries made us laugh - thank you for joining in the fun! I have a little giftie for all of you dear ones who participated, but the grand prize of some Stumptown Coffee goes to Knittah, for her entry:

M: Gee Shog, whaddya wanna do tonight?
S: Same thing we do every night, Max. Try to take over the world.


I'll be sending out your coffee this week, and will email the rest of y'all for your addresses. I have lost my address book, so I'll need to get em from you!


Thanks again - that was fun! As things get easier around here, I'm sure we'll be having more blog fun to share.

best foot (or hand) forward


Max has started crawling! Well, actually, he's scooting forward, but what progress! These kids are so different in their acquisition of skills, and it makes things very interesting. I love watching them each unfold in his own way. I posted about Shoghi crawling way back in March! But, of course, Max has been busy developing his linguistic talents, while Shoghi is just beginning to experiment with new consonant sounds.


Anyway, without further ado, here's Max. Korin let us borrow a play tunnel, and as I suspected, my fort-loving son used this as the setting for his first crawl:


video

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

random sampling

Here are a few random photos from this month that I don't think I've posted yet...

Max giving Shoghi a raspberry "kiss".

We've taken to hanging out with Ruby and Korin in the afternoons... fun abounds!
The boys will keep these bandanas on while they take off a hat the moment it hits their head.

Thanks to Joi for these blocks!
Max loves to take things out of them, and of course knock them over.

funny raspberry face Shoghi.

On Sunday, it looked like it was going to be another bad napping day. Rather than just drive around town, I suggested we high-tail it to the beach. Laurie and I packed up the boys and headed West to Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park for a really, really lovely day. The twins got their first taste (literally) of the beach, and we all had a blast. Oh, and there was a LOT of napping.


waking up from a nap in the ergo.


max sleeping in the meitai on laurie

shoghi loved the sand and didn't eat it....

max loved eating the sand.
For those who have known me a long time, please note the shirt....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

more and more again

Life sure does feel abundant right now... very full. After a hard week of disturbed sleep, Shoghi and Maxwell both have two new teeth to show for it bringing them each to four. Max has the two bottom middles and his two top incisors, and Shoghi has his bottom and top middle two. Not only that, but it's been a huge week of firsts! Here are some of them:

  • First time playing in a pool!
  • First trip to the zoo! We went with Ruby and Korin just today.
  • First sunglasses!
  • First eggs, turkey, spaghetti squash (not such a hit), and Cheerios!
  • First restaurant experience, involving first congee and some chow fun noodles, and a million laughs!
Max kept making this funny face upon tasting the congee!
It was so bland (just rice porriage), I still can't figure out what all that was about!


Shoghi sitting up in the highchair at the table.

video
  • First time the boys have laughed at each other!
video

and two events that really require much fanfare and celebration:

Shoghi pulled up to standing and Max started saying "Mama." My heart leaps for each of them - their new accomplishments are so aligned with their individual proclivities, and it's such a complete wonder to see them take those next steps. Shoghi takes such delight in his physicality - when he stood up, he laughed with glee! How lucky Laurie and I both were to be here for it.


video

Truly, hearing Max say "Mama" when I walked into the room yesterday was one of the most significant moments of my life... he does say "mamama" to convey a lot of meaning (mostly desperate desire), but when he says it to mean me, it is clear. And wonderful. And miraculous. I suspect that some version of "Auntie" and "brother" are likely on their way.

Video coming soon.

Friday, May 15, 2009

stroller expressions

Inspired by some funny flickr comments on this photo, taken by the boys' auntie, and wanting to re-set my blog's good juju, I'm going to do my first giveaway!!!

Simply narrate a conversation between M and S in comments (let's keep it nice. I will delete any inappropriate comments!) before Sunday night at 9 (Pacific time), and I will send the best entry a half pound of amazing Stumptown coffee! I'll have to keep this to shipping within the US - sorry to those who are reading abroad! Judging will be subjective, and will be done by me, Laurie, and neighborly best friend Korin. Have fun!!

(you can click on the photo to see the whole thing)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

stolen moments

Baby 1 is asleep for his second nap of the day. Baby 2, still fussing. It's been 20 minutes already, and I'm just sitting here on the floor, going over my list, talking and shushing him as he falls asleep. Occasionally I go to the crib to reposition and quiet him some more. When will he be asleep?? OK, finally. Both babies are sleeping. Baby 1 has been down for 20 minutes, and Baby 2 just fell asleep. I might have 10 minutes or an hour before Baby 1 wakes up. What can I do in 10 minutes, or 5? A shower? Breakfast that I won't forget in the microwave? Open and pay a bill? Do I need to make bottles? A shower. I'll grab a shower.

Over and over again, throughout the day, the internal conversations continue. What can I get done now? What should I be doing? There is no down time, no time to really sit quietly without all of the demands of keeping this household (and new business!) running weighing on me. It's a good thing I have always been the kind of person who would work on tasks a little at a time, jumping from one thing to another. In the past, I thought this a weakness, but now it is the key to my survival!

a day in the life... or was this just a morning?

With a ton of crafty mama friends with one or more children, I wonder how they do it. Time to knit? Quilt? Make baby clothes? All while keeping house, baking fresh bread and meals? It's a mystery.

I've learned that the most helpful thing is to keep a master list of all the things that need to get done, and break that down into daily tasks, no matter how small. Somehow I always think I can keep all of this in my minute-to-minute brain, only to find myself with 2 or 5 or 20 minutes, not knowing what to do or where to start. Then I end up refreshing my home page on Facebook or checking Bloglines, only to find that all my free time has gone the way of the dinosaurs.

* fill water bottle
* call dentist to schedule cleaning
* come up with list of questions for doctor's appointment
* split circular-knitted vest at armpits so i can continue knitting
* install Office upgrade
* make x, y, and z phone call
* pay monthly bills
* groceries
* print photos for grandparents
* send Mother's Day cards

OK, that was my list from last week, when I started writing this post. Most of the items got done! Sadly, not the knitting, the photos, or the cards. Better luck this week!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

disembarking

Quickly today (because you know it's going to take 10 hours to upload this video) - here is a video of Shoghi showing off his superb physical proclivity. It's a little long, but worth it in the end (at least I think so!). I have to keep the family happily checking in on the boys' progress, you know!

Enjoy!

video

Monday, May 11, 2009

well babies

I'm finding it very difficult to post as often as I'd like these days! I must have 3 or 4 posts that I've started, only to be distracted by one or another pressing matter.

We had our 9 month well baby visit this afternoon, and the kiddos are doing fantastically well.

Shoghi
height: 27.5"
weight: 19lb 8oz
he's climbed from being off the charts for low weight at birth, to now being in the 25th percentile for all 9-month babies.

Max
height: 26"
weight: 18lb
he's climbed from being off the charts for low weight at birth, to now being in the 12th percentile for all 9-month babies.

Excellent!
Max's eczema is a little more controlled now, except it's appearing on his chest and arms, which really makes me sad. It's the worst on his little hands. We are using the Weleda cream (thanks for the recommendation, none-such!) and hydrocortisone (not on his hands). Shoghi still has a persistent cough, so he was evaluated for asthma today, which they concluded he is not showing signs of at this point - hooray, that was wonderful news.

We also took a walk over to the NICU for the first time since their discharge. It was strange to walk those halls, and a little meditative, too. The last time I made the walk from the Children's Hospital to the Main Hospital where the NICU is, I was still pregnant, and was not in fact walking. Every other day, if I had a visitor while on my month of hospital bedrest, I would get my 30-minute break from lying flat, and they would push me through the halls, finding a terrace in this wing or that to get some fresh air.

Taking the boys there today was like a little graduation. I'd actually been meaning to go there for a few months, but the last time we were at the campus for a doctor's visit, the boys were too fussy. Anyway, it was good to go, to stand out in the hall (we weren't allowed into the unit) and chat with some of the nurses who cared for them for the four long weeks they were in the hospital. One of the nurses remembered that Shoghi had been readmitted for reflux that was causing him to stop breathing, and it touched me that she really remembered them after so long. They made all the appropriate oohs and aahs about thier robust, perfect, big bodies and said how cute they were. It was very sweet.

At the same time, the whirring and beeping of all the monitors, the sterility of the NICU pods... it was all right on the other side of those locked, swinging doors. The grieving parents, the ailing, growing, crying, sleeping, kangaroo care-loving babies.... it was all right there. That was hard. Remembering so viscerally that time of longing, fear, disappointment. I have been thinking a lot about that time lately, realizing that 9 months later, I still haven't written about their birth. Our nursing woes began in those rooms; their first hours were spent without me in those bright, open beds; our sense of triumph and amazement to wrap their incredibly small (but 5 pounds!) bodies in our moby wraps and carry them out, first through those locked doors, then down the elevator, through the lobby, and miraculously, outside, into the open air and sunlight....... that whole time was charged with more emotion than I can even bear to open myself to.

And now here we are. We spend our days exploring, crawling, chatting, reading, singing... doing all the simple things babies this age are meant to. Maxwell and Shoghi, thriving. It gives me pause. What an incredible, enormous, humbling gift to be their mama.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

growing, growing

This week, the boys will be nine months old. How astonishing is that? I know I've been putting up comparisons a lot lately (at least it seems that way to me), but really, their development is happening so quickly right now, I'm just constantly amazed. Laurie and I have been talking a lot lately about their growth, transporting ourselves back to the days when they were first born in amazement. I remember one friend asking how big their heads were - and my response that they were about the size of a big orange now shocks me... because of course their noggins are now probably the size of a big cantaloupe, and just as heavy, lol.

Soon after we moved to this house in February, I took this photo of the boys. They were just pushing up high on their bellies:


Yesterday I repositioned them at the door for a comparative photo:

this is a little deceptive... although they are obviously attracted to each other, Shoghi tends to be a little too aggressive for Max's taste, and we usually have to protect them from each other. Shoghi loves to screech and bite, and Max is very sensitive to the noise. As a result, they don't play "with" each other as often any more, although they are of course always together.


just 4 days shy of being 9 months old.

Now, as you can see, they are sitting unassisted, and Shoghi is not only properly crawling, he's also climbing under the exersaucer, pushing himself into a kneeling position, and starting to try to climb into things, like the bouncy chair.

Shoghi on his first successful under-the-exersaucer mission

Max, on the other hand, is now starting to get up on his knees and rock back and forth - so cute! It's a little sad, because he keeps pushing himself backwards when he wants to move forwards, but that's just part of the learning. While Shoghi is clearly a kinetic learner, Max is all about the words. Amazingly, he repeats syllable sounds, saying things like "this" and "dit" and "gook". He also tries to repeat the Dr. Suess rhyme: "dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum" by going "da, da, da" - it is incredible to realize what he's trying to do. The other day, we were playing peek-a-boo for the video so that I could capture him putting the silk over his own head, and realized that he was also saying "boo"!

video

I tell you, the acquisition of new abilities never ceases to amaze. We take such pleasure, such awe at the new things that emerge every day.

And now for Self Nurturing, Day 2:
Our napping schedule still isn't as pretty as I'd like it to be, and that means that we're still doing a LOT of car naps - particularly the last nap of the day, which is usually sometime between 2 and 4pm. In fact, the boys are waking up consistently between 5 and 6am, and that results in them taking THREE naps a day. This whole thing is a great frustration for me, and when they're car napping, I can't even stop the car for very long - maybe 5 or 10 minutes maximum. I listen to Fresh Air, or a book on CD, and drive the neighborhoods around Mt. Tabor. In this glorious spring weather, this drive isn't very much fun - I'd rather be doing chores around the house so that in other free and awake time we could be out walking.

Many days my sister ends up taking the boys for a walk just so I can get a half an hour to get something accomplished. I find that my post-pregnancy body is very much changed - one of the biggest differences is that my knees and my feet are always sore, probably from the pregnancy weight I am still carrying around.

So, yesterday was Tuesday, which is also chores day. This means that we spend several hours outside the house, doing groceries and other errands. Because it was raining, I knew that we wouldn't be likely to have the opportunity to be outside walking, so I planned our walk at a mall. This wasn't the most ideal way to get in a walk for my sore body, but it was important for me, and the walking with my sister and the boys was pleasant. We gawked at the store fronts and expressed our gratitude that there wasn't anything that we actually wanted! Although it was a pretty exhausting day, the walk was definitely the best thing I did for myself. :o)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

here and there

We have been mighty busy this past week! We had to catch up with household chores that had been neglected during our parents' visit, and I have started working from home in earnest. We also had social calls - our twin friends S and S had their first birthday party last Sunday, and yesterday we drove 50 miles to our south to visit the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival with our other friends M & L.

It is so much fun to accompany Shoghi and Max as they discover their world. We can now plop them down in the grass and hang out while they explore. It's brilliant! They had such a blast people-watching at the birthday party - there was a stream of kids bringing them toys, and twins S&S were cruising around, too. Cuteness was everywhere!

The big one year olds in their adorable matchy outfits!

Maxy takes it all in while he explores some new toys.

A little gaggle of kiddos.

Our trip to the Tulip Festival really couldn't have been better. We had full, beautiful sun (resulting in very bleachy photos), gorgeous flowers, three happy babies, a curious and delightful four-year-old, and three adults who couldn't have been happier about exploring acres of blooming tulips. Even the food at this tourist attraction was satisfactory, though our poor little friend was pretty crushed that they didn't have any allergy-friendly ice cream selections.

i think something's wrong with my camera - so many bleached photos!
here are Lanny, Moon, Max and Shoghi posing by the irrigation system in the tall grass.

me with the boys

Moon, jumping.


Max, flirting with Moon

The boys have grown at an incredible rate over the past six weeks or so. Whereas their drawers were packed with 6-month clothes and even some 3-month pants back in March, we've had to clear out clothes in at least two rounds recently! Max is up to wearing 6 and 9-month outfits, and Shoghi is wearing 9- and 12-month clothes! It's strange to have them in different sizes - it's just another way they are their own little people. Max has those chubby cheeks, and continues to be mistaken for the heavier baby, even while Shoghi is probably 2 pounds heavier by now! Here they are in 12-month outfits given to them by my former colleagues - I thought they would like to see them in their fancy boy duds. These are probably the most boyish things they have! :o) I must say, I've become a sucker for the coordinating outfits.

Their 9-month well baby visit is scheduled for the 11th, so I'll be sure to give you their new stats after that visit.

***
Just a last note: A friend of mine has declared a Self Nurture Challenge, and I'm jumping on the band wagon. Among the things I did to nurture myself today were going to the chiropractor (all three of us got adjusted, hooray!), and I made a point of drinking a lot more water than I have been getting. I know a lot of twin nursing mamas drink about a gallon a day, but I've been on a little of a coffee kick in the past sleep-deprived months, and my water intake has suffered. I feel so much better when I'm well hydrated! Oh, and this also lets you all know that I'm still nursing! Despite my seeming block on posting about nursing and eating, both boys continue to enjoy nursing many times a day. Hooray for us!

Wander on over to her blog and let her know how you nurture yourself! Better yet, let us both know!

Cheers!