June 30, 2009

At the Beach

We are on our first family vacation! Every year we have been vacationing with our friends from seminary (this is our 5th year!), and this year is no exception. So we packed up (a much bigger task than it used to be), loaded the twins in the van, and took our first trip! The twins did amazingly well on the 4 hr. car ride (we stopped in the middle for everyone to eat). There was only one crying spell, and it lasted for about 2 minutes! What a blessing!
We have been enjoying the last few days at a beautiful beach house thanks to the generosity of some friends of our friends. It is right on the Long Island Sound, and we literally walk off the patio onto the beach!

The twins have been enjoying many firsts: The first time they put their feet in the sand (initially an accident, but they seemed into it so we let it go...until daddy wasn't paying attention to Allie and she also got her hands in the sand and then in her mouth!), the first time they played in a pool (click on the title "At The Beach" to view the video on YouTube), the first time they have worn their adorable swimsuits and sunglasses (because it's been cold and rainy every day since we got them), and (drumroll please) the first easy bedtime nights!!!

I don't know if it's all the fresh air, the exhaustion from trying to keep up with our friends 4 yr & 18 mon. olds, or that we're turning over a new leaf, but bedtime has been relatively easy every night! They have been fussing after I put them down, but for 15-20 minutes max!! Naptimes have been similarly easy! It has been really wonderful, and I'm trying to figure out how to make sure it keeps going once we get home!

Our vacation ends soon, and we will begin the sad trip home, but once we get there Aunt Loralee and soon-to-be uncle Grant are coming to visit! So more adventures await!

June 15, 2009

Bedtime Battles

So, I'm going to be real. Because I always appreciate it when moms are honest with me about difficulties they are having. It makes you feel less alone and less like a failure when someone else is having the same, or similar difficulties (really,any struggle, related or not, helps you feel better). So, although I would like to present the perfect front and make myself look like supermom, here is the reality:

They don't want to go to bed (which I know is difficult to believe since Ryan is sleeping in this picture)! We were spoiled because they were born early. We had about 3 weeks that they were home before their due date, and during those 3 weeks they slept like angels! I wondered what all of those moms who complained about babies not sleeping had done wrong. We had to WAKE THEM UP for almost all of their feedings. We had no clue what was coming. Then, around their due date, everything changed. Suddenly bedtime was a battle, and there was no problem with them waking up for a feeding (especially at night) - the problem was getting them to sleep after...

Now, Allie is a better sleeper than Ryan. Somehow, Allie got the best of Lucas and my sleep patterns. Like Lucas, she falls asleep fairly quickly. Like me, she sleeps like a rock once she is out. Poor Ryan got the worst. Like me, he has difficulty winding down and falling asleep. Like Lucas, he is a light sleeper that is easily awakened by minimal noise. And thus we have The Sleep Wars.

Every day is different. 2 days ago no one wanted to nap, but they went to bed easily at night - and then woke up every 3 hours...something they haven't done in over a month. Yesterday every nap was a battle. I spent half of the day rocking babies (often 2 at once), and we were all in tears by bedtime. Bedtime was a small battle, but once they were out they slept most of the night (only waking once around 4). Today, every nap time was a dream. They practically put themselves down for their naps. I actually was able to do the dishes and fold laundry! But bedtime was a gigantic battle. There were screams of protest reaching frequencies that almost couldn't be heard (but we're not that lucky...). And Lucas is, this very moment, going for "Bedtime Take 2" with Ryan.

"Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" has been my constant companion. I have read and re-read every chapter pertaining to our situation and stage. Unfortunately, with twins it seems to take twice as much effort, and it sounds like it will also take at least twice as much time - and mine seem to be especially sensitive to the slightest schedule change - so we'll plug along. I am determined for my children to get the quality and amount of sleep they need - hopefully they'll make it easier soon!

June 13, 2009

Then & Now

I have heard there have been requests for updates on the blog. My apologies for taking so long to finally post! When they were in the NICU, I had the time but couldn't write becaue I was too emotional. And then they came home...and I got caught up in the daily rhythm of changing diapers, feeding bottles, washing dishes, laundering laundry, soothing crying, and so on...that I didn't realize how much time has passed!

It is crazy to me how it feels like a lifetime since the twins were born (someone pointed out to me the other day that it has literally been two lifetimes since they were born!), but it somehow seems like time has stood still. I keep track of the days that pass, but it feels like there is no way so many days could have gone by. Also, even though I see the twins grow and change every day (some mornings they literally look bigger than the babies I know I put to bed the night before, and every day they do something new), but my brain has trouble believing that they are all that different from the babies we brought home from the NICU 11 weeks ago (yes...it has been that long!). Which is why I decided last week to take a picture that would help me compare then and now.

For the most part, while I know they look different, it is difficult to compare the actual change in size because many of the pictures don't have something specific that can be a benchmark for change. However, when we first brought them home from the hospital we took a picture of them in their car seats - swallowed up by the gigantic seats and snuggled in with blankets to fill in the extra space. So I decided to take a picture of them in their car seats now to see the change. As you can see, they have grown a LOT in those few weeks! And I think they have actually grown a noticeable amount in the week since the car seat picture...

I'm going to try, from now on, to update the blog more regularly. Daily might be a stretch. I think I can guarantee weekly, and hopefully surprise you with posts more often than that. But, since you followed me, and prayed for me, all those weeks in the hospital, I want you to be able to follow the blessed outcome! Plus, I love any opportunity to gush!