Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Full with Pictures. :)

Zach obviously thinks he has somewhere better to be.

Zach is looking, but I am too busy tickling Max to look at the camera.


There he goes again... Photoshop anyone?


Although our kids are busy and our hands are full, our hearts are fuller.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Frustrated Daddy

It's been a while since I've blogged. Welcome me back, thanks.

There is a lot of things that people don't understand about raising twins (or trips, quads, etc. .) That's not to say that I was enlightened with any of this information before having boys of our own but rather things that both Sara and I have learned along the way.

Raising twins is not the same as singulars. Multiples have an unwritten and unspoken bond that unless you are one, it can never be understood. They play off of each other in how they interact with us as parents, and everybody else for that matter. That can't be "parented out," nor should it be. It's simply a part of their neurological makeup and can not be changed.

Max's speech is slightly delayed for two reasons; he couldn't hear for the first two years of his life and Zachary, his TWIN brother, answers for him all the time since he is the big brother by all of one minute. Zach is literally one minute older and the "big brother" mentality is already programmed into him. I have no doubt that if Max had come out first, this situation would be exactly reversed. It is what it is and, as I've already said, this can not be changed.

Part of the reason for me blogging again is that I want people to understand that our boys, as twins, do not react, interact or converse in the same way as "normal" children do.

I get extremely frustrated when parents try to throw their dictating tactics for discipline at us when in reality they have no idea what it's like raising multiples. Two children, separated at birth by one minute, who could not be more different in their personalities but couldn't be any more connected for the rest of their lives. If one is crying, the other instantly stops what they are doing and investigates the cause. If we put one in timeout, the other one waits outside the door until they know that their "brudder" is OK and not harmed.

Christmas is a joyous time of year but the nuances of making all the appointments work really drains the life out of you sometimes. Sara and I want to make everything work for everybody but that just never happens. There is so much more involved in getting two active and sometimes defiant two year old twin boys to places that by the time we get there, it just isn't fun for anybody anymore. Add to this the various challenges presented by different households in keeping their little hands off various knick-knacks, rocks, ornaments and candy and no one can truly enjoy themselves in the spirit of the holiday season.

We know this will get better as they get older and we get more accustomed to meeting these challenges with the information that we have accrued in two and a half years of being new parents.

All that said, Sara and I both wish the best for everybody this holiday season. May your next year be better than this one.

Dustin

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tired.

Today wasn't a good day. It was a combination of a tired mommy, two tired boys, a messy house, a huge pile of laundry and a mile-long to-do list. And it didn't end well.
The boys woke up in fairly good moods, I made breakfast and we migrated towards the family room. We had a bit of snuggle time and then I started my "to-do" list.
The boys love to help and I need to learn to let them do what they can, even though it makes the task longer and harder for me. I had put the car seats back in the car after cleaning them last night, and Zach only ran out of the house once when the door was open. When I got a load of laundry out of the dryer, the boys decided to "help" by drying 2 packages of fruit snacks and 6 cans of Pepsi Max. The fruit snacks melted a bit, but thank God the soda made enough of a racket that I pulled them out of the dryer before they exploded.
Zach was obsessed with climbing on things today. He climbed on a chair to be able to reach higher on the Christmas tree and he started pulling down the "good" ornaments. The rest of the tree, from 4" and below is empty, as they have all ready cleared it off and thrown all the balls down the stairs. When I "shooed" him away from tree, he ran into the kitchen, and again climbed on whatever he could (a Tupperware, a chair, his brother) and started pulling things out of the cupboard. He opened a package of Ramen and crunched it on the floor, as well as dumped out a Costco size container of Craisins.
I encouraged nap time, which was a no-go and after an hour of insane yelling, I got them up. It started a cycle of kicking, hitting, biting, pulling back and forth at the tree. Not to mention that during that one hour of yelling, Zach managed to get the closet door open and pulled out ALL of his drawers and the clothes in them.
They also managed to take all of the little containers of Jell-o and smoosh them into the floor. And then, cue the hitting, kicking, biting.
Max gets so tired, he can't walk. He just sobs. You can't put him in his room, you can't get him to do any type of activity. He just sits on the floor, chews on his blanket and sobs. Zach gets tired and he gets rowdy, and naughty.
At one point, I asked Zach if he needed a spanking and he turned around and stuck his butt in my face. Kind of defeats the purpose of that threat. The kid has never had a spanking, maybe a swat on the behind once or twice. Today, he should have been swatted at least 50 times if I was going to tell him NO every, single time.
I try. I know that they want discipline, but sometimes, I am just tired of talking. I am tired of saying no. I am tired of redirecting. I am tired of yelling, tired of picking up toys. I am tired of laundry. I am tired of a messy house. I am tired of pine needles from the Christmas tree.
I am obviously missing the boat on the whole holiday thing, because I am tired and so are the boys. So, why won't they sleep?!
I made dinner, Max screamed the entire time because he wanted to push the buttons and I wouldn't let him up by the stove. I tried to cook and keep the boys safe while I was making dinner. Then, I open the oven and find a AAA battery on the bottom of the oven. No clue HOW that got in there or WHEN. I didn't get a look inside the oven before I threw the green bean casserole in it...
Max refused to eat dinner, he wouldn't sit in his chair, kept climbing on the table. Zach wouldn't eat off his plate, only mine. Dustin was mad because I was being quiet and I was so tired.
I cleaned up the kitchen, living room and vacuumed up some of those damn pine needles and went to bed.
Did I mention I am tired?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Big Boys

Well, I guess it feels like it is getting "easier" as the boys get bigger, some moments are more difficult (temper tantrums!), and the sheer fact that the boys are getting bigger, it makes me a little sad.

Dustin and I decided when we first found out we were having twins that we wouldn't have more children. Those feelings were cemented with return thoughts of miscarriage, infertility and pregnancy complications. For the most part, I am ok with just having the boys and our angel. But, watching them get bigger and needing their mommy's help a little less puts that ache in my uterus.

Last week, I made the impromptu decision to separate the boys and get them their own rooms. They had been sleeping in their cribs, which were converted to toddler beds, with the open side facing the wall (I have no idea how this "fooled" them for so long) but, Zachary had began to climb out of his crib, into his "brudder's bed." This would cause insane amounts of anger for Max, who would be so tired and then, Zach would jump into his bed. And not only did Zach climb into bed with Max, he also bit him. One day, he had over 8 bite marks on his back. Bitten 8 times in the span of time from Max screaming to me pulling Zach off. Zach wasn't being malicious, just "playful."

On Friday, the boys were exhausted and had settled down for nap time. I got them in their beds and sat outside their room, listening, just in case Zach tried to bite Max. Within one minute, I heard Zach climb out of his crib and into Max's. I went into their room, separated them, did the "goodnight" routine again and waiting outside the door. After the 3rd time of pulling Zach out of Max's bed and Max getting angrier, AND no nap in sight... I had enough.

I unplugged the computer from the wall and drug the desk into our bedroom, without moving a thing. I threw the mattress and box spring for the guest bed into the hallway. I frantically searched for the allen wrench and started disassembling a crib and pulled that into the hallway.
Dustin got home and seemed a little shocked. I had texted him earlier and asked, "are you ok with own bedrooms?" I don't think he understood the seriousness of my message, nor the determination to get these children to nap.

That night bedtime went without a hitch for Max. He climbed up into his big boy toddler bed, chewed on his blankie and fell asleep. It wasn't so great for Zachary. He sat in front of the bedroom door and sobbed for over an hour, crying for his "brudder." When he finally quieted down, we moved him to his bed for the night.

The boys woke up in great moods Saturday morning. However, Zachary woke up with the reddest face I have ever seen. He must have broken every blood vessel in his cheeks when he was screaming for the hour I made him cry it out. Of course, we had Christmas card pictures scheduled for Saturday morning. And although pictures went well, Zach looks ridiculous. If anyone asks, my excuse for his red cheeks will be that he got trapped in a nursing home with hundreds of little old ladies who pinch cheeks. Truthfully, he cried hard enough to get a red face.

He has never cried at bedtime again. And on Saturday, after pictures, they EACH took a FOUR HOUR NAP. Alleluia.

They wake up happy and the boys are actually happy to see each other. I know emotionally that separating them was more difficult for me (once I got past my initial crazy mommy moment of disassembling the guest bedroom). It was the same when the twins got their own cribs at 6 months. They shared a bed before that and when they each went into their own crib for the first time, I cried. They slept through the night and late into the morning. That transition was definitely harder for me than them.

I have a sneaking suspicion that is how watching your babies grow up feels. They hit transitions and adapt without issue. While the transitions will be harder for me. And as they continue to get bigger, needing less help from their mommy and my uterus will ache a little more. ;)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Halloween Pictures






Smiles!


Zachary: Elmo; Maxwell: Cookie Monster

Elmo off for trick or treating!

Z.C.

Zachary is a child with personality. There is simply no other way to put it. He does the craziest things, says the funniest things and will never be accused of being dull.

Zach has a very independent, dominate personality. He wants to do things "my self." Today, he went upstairs, into the fridge, pulled out the apple juice, got a cup, brought it downstairs, and then when he brought it to me, he said, "self." Zach wants people to see him independent. Maybe he thinks he will get even more lee-way. He is very much the "big" brother. He speaks for Max (which certainly has attributed to Max's speech delays). When ever Zach gets something, without blinking, he then asks, "for Brudder?" While trick-o-treating, after Zach got his candy, he would put his bag out a second time, "for Brudder" even though Max was standing right behind him.

Zach is growing and developing faster than I can keep up with, they both are really. He is learning so much. We have new fish, and Zach fed the "fishy supper" on Friday, dumping the entire bottle of fish food in the tank. Then, in the most dramatic voice, he yelled, "Oh no!" Followed by, "No No!" (in a scolding tone.)

He likes Calliou, even though we really don't love when he watches the show. That kid is ridiculously whiny. Zach doesn't have one thing that he fixates on (like Max's love for Cars), but he does like to do whatever he isn't supposed to. He imitates a lot. He will often "fix it" and use his tools to fix the baby gate, his crib, the heat vents, anything he can.

When he is naughty, he says, "sorry" in the most sarcastic voice. It almost makes you madder at him. The child is a wonderful climber (he mastered the rock wall at the elementary playground late last summer.) He likes to climb onto the TV stand, the table, the counters, the toilet to the sink, anywhere really. When he gets up there, he will usually get into some type of mess (pull out cords, pull pictures down, get into food--i.e. dumping out the entire bottle of salt, pumping a bottle of soap into the bathroom sink) and then he will yell, "oh no!" Followed by, "No! No!" and then he throws out a sarcastic, "sorry" and I can't get him to clean up his mess and march into time out fast enough.

He does like to help, and he is good at it. Zach's job is to put the silverware from the dishwasher into the drawer. He doesn't organize the silverware yet, more like just throws it all into the drawer, but I am not going to discourage him from helping! He LOVES to wash windows. Last weekend, he even helped my mom give the turkey a bath and break up bread for dressing. :) When you ask him to help, he is very quick to quip, "K!" and jumps right in.

He doesn't really have any special comfort item like Max. When Zach goes to sleep, we always have to put footie jammies (with the feet cut off) on him, backwards. Otherwise, he is naked before I can shut the door. He likes his little bunnies. Today, while getting the boys ready for bed, I was trying to clean their room. I had set up some stuffed animals on the book shelf, all sitting up... Zach went behind me, laid them all down and asked me for a blanket. He preceded to tuck them in to go "nigh night."

And, he is a flirt. Dustin and I joke when we take the kids to store and split (one with each kid), who will take Zachary, because he always HAS to say "Hi!" to EVERYONE. If someone doesn't respond, he continues his greeting and gets progressively louder. He points to women and says, "oh! Cute girl!!"

He is sweet. He will snuggle up and read a book. He loves to paint. He LOVE to dance. He likes to run, jump and play. He loves the park, his bath, anything with water. He likes puppies, girls, and dirt.

He tests our patience and fills our heart.

Besides having Transient Tachypnea of Newborn (when he breathed too fast and the reason he spent 2 days in the NICU), he is fairly healthy. Respiratory colds stick around a little while longer with Zach. He has allergies and gets sinus infections, but other than that. Healthy. He is the same height and a little smaller than Max.

The Christmas I was pregnant with the boys, we were planning on naming them Maxwell and Mason. I had read an article if one twin is to have a nickname, the other should also. The child without the nickname (in this case, Mason) could grow up and feel that he isn't as special. We received a Christmas card from Dustin's (ex)step-sister and she has a named Zachary. I had never considered the name before. Since the name Mason was to be for Baby A... I gave it some thought and since Z was the opposite of A in the alphabet and the name could be shortened. I bounced the idea off Dustin. He liked it, and so, Mason became Zachary. Because Baby A was always going to be 1st born, he was to have the middle name Clifford, after Dustin, who is named after his Grandpa.

He's my little baby Z.C. :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Maxy Baby

Two year olds do the craziest things... Especially our two year olds. I swear, people don't believe some of the stories I tell, and in order to remember those stories, I am going to dedicate the next few blog posts to some stories and notes about each boy to help myself remember these little moments.

I am going to start with Max. Even though he is younger (by one minute) and nearly never gets to go first. We've often said "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" and our Maxy is definitely not a squeaky wheel. But, we do smother him with grease. ;) (Also known as attention.)

Max has no patience. None. He wants what he wants, now. He doesn't throw all-out-fits though. If he doesn't get what he wants, he will let out a scream and usually bite something. He has gotten better about biting people, but he will gnaw at the couch, a blanket, etc. during a frustrated moment. He only has a few frustrated moments a day, he is very quiet and deliberate. Easy-going and rarely has an "I want" moment.

He is smart as a whip, both "book smart" and "street smart."
Example of "street smart": On Sunday, the boys were eating dinner at their table and they were fighting over a cup. They had gone round and round, fighting over the cup, etc. Zach had gotten up from the table, and Max used that opprotunity to get up as well. Max grabbed a spoon and the cup and started running towards the kitchen. About 5' from the table, he dropped the spoon and kept running. Zachary began to follow him, but stopped when he noticed the spoon, thus, giving Max a few more seconds to enjoy the wanted beverage in the coveted cup.

Max loves cars. Cars, the movie, cars that drive, Matchbox cars. This child will sit still for hours and run his little Matchbox car over ever inch of the house making "Vrooom" noises. He has a red, "Cars" shirt that we got in a bag of hand-me-downs and I can barely get him to take it off. He will often pull it out of the laundry and wear it while dirty.

He also loves "ChooChoo" trains. He is very into Thomas. Not so much watching the movie, but items with Thomas on them. He is a dream come true for the companies who use Thomas/Cars to market their products. We have Thomas swimming trunks (that Max sleeps in), Cars fruit snacks, ChooChoo cups, you get the idea.

Max loves to count. He is very good at counting to 10 and can say all of his ABCs. He is working very carefully on his colors and still is terrified of cows. We have a farm puzzle, and one of the pieces is a cow that mooos when you get the piece in the correct slot. When that happens, Max is terrified. Yesterday, he cried for nearly 10 minutes, wanting mommy and daddy and needing his blanket for comfort. He now refuses to work on any puzzles.

He still uses his blanket for comfort. He chews on one corner, which is now black and nasty. He sleeps on his tummy, like he always has, with his butt in the air and his blanket in his mouth.

He has come such a long way since getting tubes in May. He had a special ed. eval last Spring for delayed language development, now that he is able to hear, his words have really blossomed. He is more careful with his speech and puts a lot of thought into what he wants to say and how he will enunciate letters and syllables.

He loves to sing. Some of his favorite songs are: "Twinkle, twinkle, little star", "I love you" (Barney song), "Barbara Ann" (Beach Boys). He has the sweetest little singing voice.

He likes to pretend he is on the phone and is almost always taking to his papa.

His fingernail is starting to grow in and he still has occasional issues with staph bumps and herpes sores. Each time he breaks out, I am heartbroken. Our pediatrician is amazing though and is an excellent resource and quickly treats his skin issues.

When I was pregnant, at 9 weeks, Dustin and I went to Omaha for a Metallica concert (I swear I felt the babies move at that concert) and on the way home, I was determined that we needed to name the babies. We were driving through Iowa and passed a sign for the town, "Maxwell." I said to Dustin, "what do you think of Maxwell?" He liked the name and it stuck. However, I was so terrified that people would call him Maxy. I did not want him to be made fun of and called "maxi-pad." Several people reminded me that kids will find a way to make fun of any time, yet, I remained determined NOT to call my son, "Maxy." However, the first time I held that sweet baby and as I watch this boy grow, he is no doubt, my "Maxy baby."

Such a little stinkin' cutie piiiiee. :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pictures

We had every intention of taking the boys to get their pictures taken today. Actually, we were going to do it last Sunday. I picked out what they were going to wear, ironed their shirts and pants. Set out their good socks, looked for shoes. Planned to get Max's hair cut... when I tried to make an appointment, the time slot I needed was booked and Max fell on his firetruck and got a black eye.
Plan B: get their pictures taken this weekend. I have been needing to do this for a loooooooooooong time. These are their two-year pictures. Yeah. My mother-in-law gave me a gift certificate for portraits in July.... I need to get this done, but I just have not been able to muster up the courage to get it done.
I don't mean to be such a pain about it, but Dustin hates activities such as these. I do too. I usually end up sweating like a pig, crabby and hungry, all while sneezing--hoping to get the boys to smile, or at least sit still. They don't like to sit still. Or together. They are much more interested in taking the "peecture."
I have no idea what Plan C is. When the boys were 1 month, the only reason the photo shoot got completed was because my sister, Betsy, came over to help. Same thing when the boys were 6 months. Hmmmm... I am seeing a pattern.... BETTTTTTTTSSYYYY!! ;)
Either way, I will get their portraits taken. Hopefully before they are old enough to drive to the studio themselves.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mommy Musings

I usually use this blog (well, I need to use this blog) as a way to keep friends and family informed about our ever growing boys, also, as a way to keep track of the milestones the boys achieve as they grow. Life in general is so hectic, that I often fail to write down all the little things.

But, today, I am not going to do that. I am going to just write to get a few things off my mind. I have had a heavy heart lately, full of sadness for parents who lose their children. My Facebook feed has been full of stories and prayer requests for people who have lost their infants to cancer, SIDS, and stillbirth. My heavy heart brings a lump to my throat that I can not swallow.

I just don't understand why. Why do parents have to endure such heartache? One story: a couple marries, struggles with infertility, is finally successful with IVF and conceives twins, a boy & a girl. She loses the boy on a Wednesday and the girl dies on Friday. Both stillborn. When she lost the boy, the heartache must've been so intense, but the glimmer of hope was still there. The baby girl was alive. But, then to have to deliver two stillborn babies? To have a funeral for your twins, whom you prayed for, wished for, hoped for. Certainly IVF isn't cheap and there is no price for a human life... I just don't understand why it happens.

I believe in God. And I know that these things all happen for a reason. I know that. I understand that. But, I still don't think it's fair and it doesn't stop the heartache I have for these parents who are grieving the loss of their babies.

And, Michelle Duggar is pregnant with her 20th child. Really?... I won't watch their show, but at one point, there was an interview with Jim-Bob and someone in a restaurant had bet him $100 to name all of his children's birthdays, and all Jim-Bob did was opened his wallet and gave the man $100. He couldn't start to list their birthdays. Imagine, not being able to name the day of your child's birth.

The parents whom lost their children, they will never forget the day they discovered they were pregnant, brought their babies into the world, the first night home. The way their child looked, felt, smelled. Never. Yet, Jim-Bob Duggar won't even try to name birthdays.

I don't understand why you would continue to bring children into this world if you can not give them the attention they need. I am certain that the Duggars' love their children, but there is no possible way that they can meet the emotional needs of 20 children. I'm not sure what Michelle is waiting for? Her uterus to fall out? Exhausting every possible "J" name in the bible? It infuriates me that those parents stretch themselves so thin between 20 kids and then exploit them on television, and the mommy's & daddy's whom have lost babies will never see the 1st smiles, watch their children go to school, get married, and have children.

It makes me sad. I have been following the Penn State child abuse case too. The fact that the coach pried on these children whom had a poor home life and then used his money, his position within the college, his money to molest young boys. It's beyond disgusting. And sad.

I just feel like their is so much sadness in the world. So much disappointment. So much exploitation. I worry about the parents who lose their babies. I worry about the children who have been exposed to horrible, unthinkable acts and will grow up to be parents. I just can not get rid of that lump.

I can focus on being the best mommy to my boys and I do. But, I have to admit, I am terrified to have to send them into a world with so much hurt and heartache.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Saturday Night Dance Party!

I promised I would keep this better updated, and I failed. I am juggling a lot, loving it all. The boys are growing, healthy and happy. They are both the same height and weight (36 lbs.) I'd have to double check their heights, but it is certainly over 36".

I am attaching a video of some "Saturday Night Fever." Last night, the boys climbed up and turned on the radio (a daily activity), but last night, I had my smartphone ready to record. Their favorite song is Michael Jackson's "Thriller" but, this country song came in a close second.

Zach put on my socks and he has his shirt over his jammies. He needs to wear jammies for naptime, or else he ends up naked with God knows what smeared in his crib. I am not taking that risk every day, so, he sleeps with his jammies on, backwards. Normally, he is dressed a little more stylish. ;)

Maxy makes a camo appearance, sans pants.

video

Sorry it's sideways. ;)

Much love always.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Two.

New post... April 18, 2011. What is wrong with me?! I haven't updated this blog since April!!?? I will tell you what is wrong with me... I have twins.

Yep, that's right. I have two toddlers. Two two-years olds. The terrible twos times two. I have this dilemma. It mostly has to do with my job as a nurse. I take care of very sick babies. I have watched beautiful babies pass away way before their second birthday. I have followed the stories of baby, after baby, dying in their mommy and daddy's arms. How can I ever even begin to complain about my life?! I have twins. Two healthy, boisterous little boys. Two little boys that we had trouble conceiving. Two. I feel horrid even whining about my situation for a second, but I do anyway.

It is difficult seperating home life from work life. I have a hard time sometimes shaking off the sadness that comes from work to come home and enjoy the life my little boys have. The biggest feeling that I struggle with is guilt. I feel so guilty that I have been so abundantly blessed. I feel guilty that I carried the boys to 35 weeks, that we were home in 4 days, that we didn't have months and months in the NICU.

But, right now, the NICU is behind us. My uterus is closed. We are blessed, we know it and APPRECIATE it. But, at the same time, we have two toddlers. Two. And sometimes, I just need to whine about it.

The boys turned two on May 6th. I had to request the same presents for both children. If you were to buy one a truck, buy the other one the EXACT same truck. Don't try to get all cutesty-twin-like and buy one a red truck and one a green truck. This will lead to a fight. One that I don't really want to do deal with. See, as the boys are getting older, they are noticing things. That not EVERYTHING they have is the same. Mainly, this unfolds during playtime. Our fights used to consist of Zachary taking whatever Max had, Max crying or getting sad, but quietly going to another toy/activity. Not anymore. Now, if Max gets upset. He bites. Oh yeah... we had this problem before with Zachary. Biting. But, he wasn't nearly as strong, nor had nearly as many teeth as Max does. Holy shit. That kid bites and it hurts. He will send Zachary running to tears. When Max gets mad, he bites whomever is close... not always Zach. And it hurts so bad that you can't even properly discipline because you are in tears. Keeping things the same helps this and keeps me less bruised.

One of Max's issues stem from a language delay. He couldn't hear, followed by ear tubes on May 10th. He can hear now, he is catching up amazingly well. But, he still hasn't quite grasped the "use your words" concept.

Two toddlers. This means two tantrums, usually simutaneously. Two little hands reaching into the fridge. Two kids pouring all of the salt on the floor. Two kids pulling the clean laundry out of the basket. Two kids washing their hands in the bathroom, while one is overflowing the sink, the other is putting the entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet, causing overflow from the toilet and the sink. Two kids running in opposite directions outside. Two kids arguing over what to watch on TV. ("Arney...No Elmo, ARNEY, ELMO!!!") And one mama trying to be fair and stay sane.

I am blessed. I don't take a second for granted. I know how lucky I am. I see it every second of every day. But, I am tired. I let things slide... possibly too many things. (Yeah, I let them wash their hands in the bathroom while I sat outside the door reading through the mail...) I don't want to raise horrible, out of control children. But, hey, they're two, right?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hippity Hoppity!



Easter is on it's way!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Christmas Pictures.

In the tub, with their clothes on... Very excited for bath time! (Zachary (left) is obviously obsessed with eating things, don't worry, he didn't get any toothpaste. I haven't had to call poison control since the magazine eating incident when they were 6 mo. old.)


New wagon and new sweatshirts for Christmas. They have their names on the back, Zach (right) is "Thing 1", Max (left) is "Thing 2."
(Notice the attempt to climb out of the wagon and the little brush in his mouth--one of the reasons we have few pictures of them together, we can not get them to stay still long enough!)


Our Maxy Baby


Of course Zachary would wear the Santa hat. This kid has cried at bedtime until he got his fisherman's hat and wore it all night long!


Maxwell with Baby Brinley's pacifier. (Then I wonder how we got sick after Christmas!)


Zachary LOVES cranberries. He is sitting in Brinley's BRAND NEW high chair. (Sorry baby, we kind of destroyed your things... but we still aren't used to not being the babies at Grandma and Grandpa Hoheisel's!)

Our beautiful family.
Dustin, Max, Sara & Zach

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sammie Kaelin

Three years ago today, our first baby's heart stop beating. We didn't know yet... and continued our hopes and dreams, while my body held on.

I found this poem and I know our angel is with Jesus, waiting for her mommy, daddy & twin brothers.


I'm just a little baby
who didn't quite make it there,
I went straight to be with Jesus

but I'm waiting for you here.


Don't you fret about me mommy
I'm of all God's most blessed
I'd have loved to stay there with you
but Heavenly Father knows what's best.

Many who dwell here where I live
waited years to enter in,
they struggled through a world of sorrow
and their lives were marred with sin.

So sweet mommy don't be sad,
wipe those tears and chase the gloom,
I went straight to be with Jesus,
from my lovely mother's womb.

Thank you for the life you gave me,
it was brief but don't complain,
I have all of Heaven's glory
suffering none of the worlds pain.

I would have loved to stay with you,
and lived a life by your side,
but the Lord has called me home,
I know it's hard to understand why.

Thank you mommy for making me,
You made me out of love,
I can't wait for the day I see you again
so you can see what I've become.

I'm an angel here in heaven.
The Lord's here by my side,
He wants me to let you know
He's sorry he made you cry.

He has a plan for me up here,
And a plan for you here too,
Someday we'll be together again,
and this I know is true.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mommy Time

I really don't have anything magnificent to say. Usually it is something like, "do you want a snack?" "be nice." "don't hit your brother." "we love each other." "nigh night." etc.

Last weekend I got a chance to spend a little time alone. I love the boys with all I have, but I was starting to look like I had been hit by a truck, not to mention that Max broke my glasses over 3 months ago and I was wearing the incorrect prescription, leading to headaches. So, I headed off for a day at the beauty salon and the optometrist.

The thing was, all I wanted to do was be with the boys. It was a rare day that Daddy was home too. And I wanted to spend time as a family. I enjoyed the adult conversation, but I missed my babies.

I spend a large majority of my time with them. I still work nights, which means I sleep right away when I get home and then through the boys' nap time. We are up together in the afternoons and then we have dinner as a family when Dustin gets home from work after 5 p.m. He gives them a bath, I clean up dinner... We get them dressed, watch "Wheel of Fortune" (which I rock at--just thought I would throw that out there. I answer puzzles with one letter on the board, I always know it before the contestant does. I also play on Facebook. I am on level 28 or something, with a cool 2.5 million dollars.) I go to sleep for a bit after that and then get up and go to work.

I see my husband for approximately 40 minutes a day. We communicate via text message. We share a bed, but I sleep in it during the day, him at night. It works for us. We've never fought, we certainly aren't screamers... But, being apart makes us enjoy our time together a little more.

We rarely have time, just the two of us. We would rather spend it with our boys. But, tomorrow night will be an exception. We are going bowling (I am hoping to break 50) for Dustin's work Christmas party. The Packer's are also playing in a play-off game. I am not sure Dustin will be able to handle me kicking his rear in bowling AND watching the Packers, I might need to load on him on betablockers before hand. ;)

In all seriousness, we are thankful for the time we spend together. Even if it is only 2400 seconds a day. And I enjoyed my day to myself, and look forward to the next one, in 100 or more days... as soon as I look like a rodent under a Mack truck.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

"herre"

The newest word in our house, here, which sounds like "herre." Zachary is giving us whatever he has and says, "herre." It is adorable. He is mellowing out a little bit and becoming quite caring.

Tonight, Max fell off the coffee table (I knew that damn "babyproof" post was going to bite me in the ass), and Zach ran over to him and gave him a toy. If Max is sad, Zach will find a blanket or sippy cup. It is SOOOOOOOOOO cute.

They are really into puppies lately. They notice puppies in books, on TV, out the window, etc. It is adorable to watch them point and say "puppy." We have thought about getting a puppy, but I am sure I want them potty trained before we try to potty train a puppy.

And speaking of potty training, Max has been grabbing at himself when we ask him if he went poop. All potty functions are poop so far. Today I asked if anyone needed to go potty. First Zachary sat on the potty. He didn't go, but he did wipe. lol. Then, Max went pee! Yay! They love the potty, and so far, no more splashing in the toilet, so we are getting somewhere.

We seriously are loving each stage they go through the best. Dustin's mom, Nancy, wrote him a book when we got married. I was reading it last night and there is a part that says,

"When you were very small, I often thought that I couldn't stand to see you grow older. When you first started school, it broke my heart that those baby days were over... then you delighted me with the things you learned and I was so tickled with how proud you were of every accomplishment. As you continued to grow up, I realized that I loved you best at each age you suddenly were."

I couldn't describe my feelings about watching the boys growing up "herre" any better.

Sara

Thursday, January 6, 2011

BabyProof

I got an e-mail from a dear cousin who commented on the blog. It was so nice to hear that people still read this, so, I shall keep typing.

I haven't been stellar at keeping baby books. I have them, I wrote in them before they were born, but since then, I haven't been as faithful as I want to be. I remember when I would look at my own baby book and couldn't believe that my mom hadn't filled in every page, like the guest list for my 2nd birthday. I believe I know why she didn't now!

We are all getting over the Christmas cold. The windows in the house haven't been open for two months, germs breed like rabbits, and we all get together & hug. We might as well lick the toilet bowl! Speaking of toilet bowls, I finally bought a child lock for ours. The boys seem to love splashing in the water and besides the initial safety aspect, it is nasty. I did a bunch of research on-line, posted a status about it on Facebook. I ended buying the only kind that Target had. It is effective. They have even tried to "double team" the lock (which is effective for most of the kitchen cabinets), but they couldn't get it open, so instead, Max moved onto something else, while Zach decided to stand on top of the toilet seat and climb onto the vanity. I wonder how I baby-proof that?!

Our house is safe now. I feel like they can't get into anything that I don't want them in. I have locks on nearly everything. I can always buy more though. The latest trick is pulling out the drawer on the stove to get a little closer to the top. Don't worry, our range does not have the burners or the covers on them. ;) It has locks on the controls and if I cook, I take the control right off.

Pretty clever, I know!

My youngest sister, Emma, is getting married in June and I am all ready nervous for what the boys will get into. They will be 2 then, and will hopefully have a better understanding of the word, "no." Which I was informed at Christmas time that they need to hear more of... really?! They are 19 mo. old, oh wait....ACHOOOO! Sorry, did I not cover my mouth? You want to talk smack about my parenting skills, I will get you sick. Hahahaha--evil laugh. At any rate, my other sister, Betsy (mother of 3) offered for us to stay at her house, which I am so grateful for. My comfort level rises knowing that her house is baby proof too.

I don't make New Year's resolutions, but I do like this blog thing. I may try to blog more. Sleep more. And I promise to try to keep my children as safe as possible. Even if that means all the chairs are turned on their sides to prevent climbing on the table. Even if I have so much junk crammed into the one space in the living room that they can't reach, it looks like I am auditioning for Hoarders.

I am fully aware that they will still get hurt. They will fall down, chip their teeth, cut their fingers... but, I am going to try to be more aware of my actions which could prevent injury to them, but still allowing them to explore and learn.

Until next time, with 20 fingers, 19 fingernails, 20 toes, and 20 toenails-- which need a trimming--

Mama