Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Tree Complex

Sunday November 17th, the weather was crazy!  It was in the upper 60s with a lot of rain, thunder, lightning, chance of tornadoes, and very very high winds.  We had a normal Sunday, which included a visit to my parent's house for dinner.  When we returned home, after dodging (both successfully and unsuccessfully) fallen branches, limbs, and whole trees on our way home, we surveyed our house to make sure everything was fine.  All seemed well until I opened up the curtains to our deck.  There, hanging all over the place, were pieces of my favorite tree.  Josh went out with a flashlight to see if maybe some branches fell or if it was worse.  He found out it was indeed worse.  The tree trunk was split and the tree was completely destroyed. 

We were thankful it didn't hit the house, thankful we had power (because many around us didn't), and thankful there was no other damage.  However, tears still rolled down my cheek as I mourned the the loss.  It was special, this tree. 

I had taken every single one of my belly bump pictures by that tree...something that I waited for almost three years to be able to do.  Every single one of those pictures was important and memorable and had meant that we (the babies and me) had made it through another week. 

It turns beautiful in the fall and even more gorgeous in the spring with white small flowers.  So through the winter, my belly and I happily froze our butts off taking pictures in 0 degree weather because I loved that tree so much.  I couldn't wait to have a huge belly taking pictures out there in the spring before the twins were born. 
Fall beauty
One week before my boys were born!
In our basement, I have framed photos of that tree and its blooms in spring. 

That tree is also where we took some of our first family pictures with the boys as little as one week old. 
Family Photo: Nolan and Judah are 1 week old
It shielded our view from our next door neighbor's broken above ground pool that hasn't been fixed or removed in at least five years. 
Can you see a disgusting broken above-ground pool?! No!

As I mourned the tree, Josh put together something I had never thought of before.  This was not the first time a tree I loved was destroyed.  In fact, that has been going one since I was younger. 

It all started when my dad cut down my favorite tree in middle school to make room for an extra garage stall.  I used to read under that tree and again, it bloomed beautifully in spring with pink blossoms and a wonderful smell.  I cried then too.

Last fall, my beloved willow tree from my cottage was destroyed in the same crazy weather that brought the Northeast Hurricane Sandy.  That tree was home to many pictures and special moments and also is framed in our bedroom.  I took a picture of it in all four seasons. 

Summer 2010: Josh and me with the willow and Lake
The Willow adds beauty to an outdoor dining experience :)
I guess any tree I love is doomed :(  Good thing I'm a Camera Nazi so I can always see those trees at their most beautiful. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Before 10am on a Saturday

I continue to be in amazement of how little time I waste now-a-days.  Today is an example of what I could consider to be a typical, normal Saturday for our family.  Here's a window into all that was accomplished by just me (Josh could fill an entire other list) before 10am (in no particular order):

  • woke up
  • changed two diapers
  • put Nolan into his second, and then his third outfit of the day
  • fed babies
  • ate breakfast
  • played with babies
  • went to school to clean, work, catch up, email, make copies, etc for an hour
  • drove to school and back
  • made a phone call
  • wrapped birthday presents
  • changed twice (into running clothes, into clothes for the day)
  • ran a 5k
  • stretched
  • showered
  • painted my toe nails
  • watched a bit of TV
  • wrote this blog
AHHHH Saturdays...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Six Month: Reflections

My darling boys are a 1/2 year old!  Are you serious?!?!

What we Learned About Nolan Gerard:
Nolan had discovered a new friend in his life this month: Primrose the cat.  My boys and Prim have mostly avoided each other and stayed out of each other's way over the last six months, but Nolan is starting to notice and he likes what he's seeing.  Now, if he catches Prim walk into the room, he smiles real big and usually calls out to her in a loud yell and kicks his feet. He will follow her with his eyes and sometimes his body, and will reach for her to "pet" aka grab her.  Prim has also noticed him, they have stare downs, but Prim continues to keep her distance while at the same time being nearish to him.  This has been very cute for Josh and me to watch since we know there will come a day in the very near future where both my boys will be so into her. 

Nolan has two teeth coming in right now. One came through the surface about a week ago and the other is just cutting through. At first, he was a total disaster dealing with this. For almost a week he was up every couple of hours in pain and took a long time to console. 

This month Nolan has also mastered being on his belly and has begun to spin himself around.  No crawling yet, but he will follow people and objects and spin himself around to see them.  He is slowly becoming an independent sitter and makes gains on this every day it seems.  

He is also way into his high chair and likes being in it.  I think it's nice for him to be raised up a bit so he can see more and because he always want to be near his family, this gives him another avenue to do that. 

Because Nolan doesn't like change, we were a bit worried how he would do as we introduced food.  Rice cereal was not for him.  He LOVED putting the spoon in his mouth, but once he got the taste, the face he made was not a happy one.  As soon as we switched over to baby oatmeal, it was a whole other ball game.  He is obsessed with oatmeal so much so that he will cry when the spoon isn't in his mouth.  He likes to try and 'help' you feed him, will lean way forward, and also tries to suck on the spoon to get the food in his mouth.  He ends up very, very messy when we're done: food in his ears, clothes, up his nose, all over his mouth, etc.  We'll see how he does with other food. 

At our 6 month appointment, Nolan weighed 17lbs, 2oz (40th percentile) and was 27.25 inches long (70th percentile)

What we Learned About Judah Matthew:
Judah has always been a phenomenal sleeper, but this month, we saw a slight change in him.  For a few days recently, he's been getting up between 3:00-5:00am.  We are much more accustomed to this behavior from Nolan and have mastered how to handle it to get him back to sleep.  Judah is much more a wild card.  We have that he will either be fully awake and alert or inconsolable unless he gets a little food in his tummy.  I have had to figure out how to get him some food without screwing up the schedule necessary to breast feed two babies.  I give him a few minutes on both sides and this has seen to work to help him get drowsy again and fall asleep eventually.  As I've mentioned other times, Judah is TERRIBLE if he's tired so getting him back to sleep is priority number 1.  Thankfully him getting up like that is not consistent because I don't want him needing food in the middle of the night to be a habit if he's not actually hungry.  In addition to this, if he does sleep through the night, he has become an early riser, which is so fine unless your teething brother has been up most of the night.  Again, with my trying to keep them both on the same feeding schedule, it is all about entertaining from 5:00 or 5:30, when he's been waking up, until around 6:30 when their first meal usually is. 

Judah is getting mighty close to crawling these days.  He will scoot backwards and can also get up on his hands and knees, but hasn't quite mastered moving forward yet.  He is realizing that he can roll to a preferred destination instead of just rolling around randomly. 

Judah does not like cold weather.  With cold weather comes more bundling up, which he is very against.  He hates hats, hates jackets, hates blankets.  It's going to be a loooooong winter my dear. 

Judah, not surprisingly, does not care for his high chair.  As usual, he does not want to be confined in any position.  He'll tolerate it for a bit and then will need to be simultaneously entertained and fed.  He will try to throw himself out of just about anything and now we're adding the high chair to that list.

Although Judah gave more of the signs that he was ready for food, it's been more of a struggle to get him used to it and liking it.  He too much preferred baby oatmeal over the rice cereal.  Because he loves his tongue so much, he tries to get the food on his tongue and get it in his mouth like that.  He, unlike his brother, also hates getting dirty and messy while eating.  He much prefers a bib free, clean face while eating. 

At their six month appointment, Judah weighed 13lbs, 13 oz (1st percentile) and was 25.5 inches (7th percentile)

Some Firsts:
  • 10-15-13~ First Power Outage: see other blog ;)
  • 10-12-13~ First Tailgate...GO STATE!
  • 10-20-13~ First Trip to Uncle John's Cider Mill
  • 10-31-13~ First Halloween
  • 11-1-13~ First bite of food...rice cereal
  • 11-3-13~ First time change...NOT an extra hour of sleep for any of us. 
  • 11-6-13~ Baby Oatmeal!
  • 11-7-13~ Being in their first commercial..yes, that's right!
Twin Moments:
One thing I'm continuing to notice about my twins boys is how stinking different they are.  It shocks me sometimes truly.  They both have different strengths: Nolan being stronger and much more into getting himself ready to walk than anything else, Judah being super mobile and having to move and move and move all the time for example.  They are such different sleepers, they react so differently when frustrated for upset, and they have both taken to the journey of eating solid foods so differently too.  I think that's one of my favorite things about having twins is being able to see them as such individuals all the time.  I can't loop them together in any category except that they're the same age and they're both boys.  Oh, and they're both absolutely adorable :) 

Josh and I are also loving being able to have fool-proof ways to make them laugh....there is nothing like baby smiles and baby giggles.  In almost any instance, if you can make fart noises, tickle them, bounce them up and down, or play a 'get you' type of game, it's guaranteed laughter.

Also, the other day, we caught them making each other laugh.  If Josh or I are around, they are more inclined to focus on us rather than each other so we have to sometimes hide around the corner to really be able to watch them interact together. 

Reflections About Being a Mom:
I feel like this month was trying to figure out the whole solid food thing and that consumed a lot of my thinking and planning.  As a mom, of course, I want to do everything right, everything perfectly.  I found myself frustrated how many different theories are out there on how to do solid food.  My personality wanted a plan: you start food at this time, feed them this first and this second, and this third, etc.  Well that's now quite how it has worked. 

I knew I wanted to wait until they were showing me they were ready, but even that I second guessed all the time.  Are they really following my spoon or are they looking at it because it's shiny?  Do they seem like they want more food or is that my imagination? 

I got paranoid about how they would react: what if they hated eating?  What if I thought they were ready and they really weren't?  What if I picked the wrong time of day to feed them foods?  You people who read these blogs know how crazy my mind gets. 

So we decided to wait until they were just about six months and so far we are happy with that decision.  I knew I wanted to stick with cereal/oatmeal for a bit to get them used to eating before introducing other things.  Now we just have to figure out what foods should come next ;) 

Also this month, Nolan and Judah were asked to be in a commercial. Our neighbors across the street help fun a women's specialty store called Front Room and they needed babies that were young enough to still be nursing.  We jumped at this opportunity, how cool right?!  Of course they were filming on one of the TWO days that I work.  Josh got home early and took the boys with my dad to the place.  Next thing I knew, it was 4:00pm and I was getting a text that they were already done.  As I talked to Josh on my way home from work, he told me that the boys were in the commercial just like we thought, but he was also in the commercial too.  Then I found out they had to use A RANDOM LADY TO POSE AS MY CHILDREN'S MOTHER.  Seriously?!  So now, you might see cute little twins with Josh shopping for nursing bras with some other women.  I'm still trying to get over this, can you tell? :)  Do not be fooled...that lady is NOT their real mom! 

I continue to be in awe of these miracles.  When they see me walk into a room and smile, when they reach for me, when their crying stops because I am snuggling them, how can I not just want to fall to my knees in praise?  I have never for one second forgot how much we went through to get these boys and how much I wanted, hoped, and prayed to be a mom.  Motherhood far exceeds my expectations on a daily basis :)