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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Six Months

Guess who is 6 months old now?

I really can't believe that Sean and Aaron have been with us for six months now. I look at my little guys and still am in disbelief that they have blossomed from the tiny, sick little babies they were when they entered this world, into these completely normal (just a bit small) babies. They are still a bit behind developmentally which is completely normal since they were preemies, but they are doing wonderful and should be caught up by the time they are 18-24 months old. At this time last year I had just spent what was supposed to be my vacation in the Outer Banks Hospital and was beginning to get an inkling of what was in store for me with morning sickness. I was convinced at that point last year that one or both of these babies wasn't going to make it. They did make it. They are healthy. And they are amazing.

Aaron is such an easy baby. He cracks me up with his expressions and melts my heart with his angelic face. His red hair gets him all kinds of attention. Since he is still so small for his age (still wearing 0-3 month clothing), it just seems crazy that he can do all the things that he can do. He loves to "stand" and can do so on his own with just a little support for balance. While he stands, he looks around with such confidence on his face, as if telling the world, "Look at me! Look what I can do!" He is generally a quiet guy. He doesn't do much babbling, but prefers to spend his time observing and listening. But he can be quite the complainer. (No idea where he gets that from...) Once he is not satisfied with the situation, he makes all these noises that sound more like they should be coming from a kitten than a child. He has overcome the feeding issues that he had early on. He is a big fan of the jumperoo that we borrowed recently from a friend. Although he needs a big step under so his feet touch, he can already get that thing bouncing with his little legs! Aaron loves music and smiles so big when I sing to him and do finger games with him. He is a great sleeper and sleeps more than his twin brother. Getting him to sleep is a cinch as well. He has been rolling over from belly to back for quite some time, which is good for him since he hates tummy time and can roll himself out of it to avoid participating. With all the wonderful attributes to his personality, his one downfall is his temper. (No idea where he gets that from either...) When that kid gets made, man can he scream! He goes from zero to crazy in no time and you better attend to his demands or else!

Sean is a bit more of a high maintenance baby. He likes to be held most of the time. He is also quite the talker. He babbles on nonstop and has perfected words like "igloo" and "egg noodle". He probably thinks his name is "egg noodle" at this point because we say it to him so much in hopes he will repeat us. He loves to be sitting and is working hard and gaining the strength and control to hold himself in that position. He is so close to rolling over but isn't quite there yet. He enjoys being on his tummy during a lot of his playtime. Sean doesn't do too hot in the sleep department. He fights sleeping every bit of the way and insists on licking the shoulder of whoever is holding him in order to fall asleep. Once he is asleep, getting him to stay that way can sometimes be a challenge. But even with just a small nap, he becomes quite the happy baby. He laughs out loud and has been known to get a bad case of the giggles, which just might be the cutest thing in the whole world. Whether it is because he is 8 minutes older or just because he is bigger, Sean does seem a little more mature than Aaron does. Sean is reaching for me when he wants to be held and starting to put his arms up as I go to pick him up. He also holds on when I am holding him and give me hugs. Overall, Sean is a happy, giggly, loveable, hug-able little man.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Mostly Healthy Lunch #4

I made this for a poolside lunch. I thought that an entire bagel sandwhich was going to be a bit much for Marcus and Will so I made an adult version and a kid version.


Ham and cheese on a whole wheat bagel, grapes, half a banana (for the kids), carrots, red peppers, sugar snap peas, Sun Chips



Monday, June 20, 2011

Breastfeeding Twins - 5 Months

Now that I have over 5 months of breastfeeding twins under my belt, thought I would post an update to my breastfeeding post I did when the little guys were just 5 weeks old. I can now say that I am exclusively nursing both my babies. Sean hasn't had a drop of formula since he was about 2 weeks old. Aaron hasn't had any formula since he was about 7 weeks old. Go us! There is so much that I love about nursing my boys. Mostly, I love having that secret weapon available to me. One crying baby I can deal with. Two crying babies, I just nurse them to make them happy. I am so glad that I am able to provide the "perfect food" to my little guys, particularly since they weren't the healthiest of kids when they made their entry into this world. I love having the opportunity to just sit on the couch and relax several times a day because that is something that I really need, but wouldn't do for myself if it weren't for breastfeeding. I love being able to leave the house and not worry if I have enough bottles packed. I love the way Sean and Aaron sometimes look up at me after they are done nursing and just smile. I love those rare times when the two little guys hold hands while they are eating.

All this bliss has come with a lot of pain and frustration. I have had almost every possible breastfeeding problem. It started off with low supply, latching issues, sucking issues, and nursing babies in the NICU. Once I got everything rolling, I have faced four episodes of mastitis, plugged ducts that were caught early enough to self medicate my way out of getting mastitis, and three milk blisters. All that has added up to a cycle of having a great nursing week, followed by two painful weeks of nursing issues. If it weren't for how great that good week in there was, I probably would have seriously considered quitting by now. In addition, Sean developed a sensitivity to a protein in cow's milk that gets passed through breast milk, which means for at at least the next several months there will be no milk, ice cream, butter, cheese, yogurt, or lots of other yummy stuff that I love in my diet. Oh, the things we do for our kids.

We are off the nipple shields now. I started trying a couple feedings a day without it with each boy. Then one day Aaron refused to nurse with it anymore. So, I stopped using it with Sean too. So glad I had the choice of using the shield in the beginning because I don't know if either of the babies would have been able to latch without it early on. Now it is so nice to not have to worry about dealing with it anymore.

Then there are the things I hate about breastfeeding. The no ice cream thing is up there. Because of all the blockages and plugged up things, the pain that goes along with that just plain sucks. (I'm currently taking a Lecithin supplement which is supposed to help prevent plugged ducts and such. We will see how this works out.) I tandem nurse almost every time I nurse at home during the day, but started nursing them individually at night. I hate that tandem nursing in public is not a possibility because there is just no way I can do that discreetly. I have no problem nursing in public, but it is a bit stressful because I always fear both babies are going to meltdown simultaneously and I'll only be able to take care of one of their needs at a time.

We will be starting solid foods here in just a few weeks. On days when I am really sick of having to whip out the girls yet again or deal with the horrible pain that goes along with whatever nursing related ailment I currently have, I get so excited that someday soon I won't be nursing nearly as often as I currently am. I believe that most of my nursing issues are just because I am nursing two babies so I have to produce so much milk that it is inevitable that things get backed up. I get sad about the future when Sean and Aaron won't be nursing as often. These boys will inevitably grow up, not need their mother for such basic of things as a food source, and I won't have nursing as an excuse to snuggle them.

I am sure it is no surprise that I have no plans on quitting this journey that we are on. Sean and Aaron don't seem interested in quitting at this point either. I guess we will all give it up eventually, like at least before they head off to college.


Mostly Healthy Lunch #3

Peanut butter and banana on a whole wheat hotdog bun, fruit salad (leftover from a picnic), red peppers and carrots, jello squares (leftover from a picnic), and organic dried fruit strip



Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Living it Up

Sean likes to live up the life of being a baby. There are certain things that only babies can pull off, both of which he demonstrates in this photo:

Being a baby means it is (1) still awesome to show off your love of your mommy and (2) socially acceptable to go without pants.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Five and a Half Months

The little guys are hitting that magic age of five and a half months. It is probably not a magic age for anyone else, but it is a magic age for me. The first time I ever met Marcus, he was five and a half months old. The first time I ever met Will, he was five and a half months old.

I got to know my friend Cara while Greg an I were in the process of adopting Marcus and she was pregnant with her first child. She said once (although she might not remember) that there were a lot of similarities between my adoption process and her pregnancy. I just kinda smiled and nodded at the time but now, having been through both, I have to admit that she was right.

Both ways of bringing a child into your life is packed full of unknowns. Adoption has certainly got the upper hand in the unknowns though. Whether pregnancy or adoption, you don't know what the health of the baby will be. You don't know when the baby will show up. And you never know what you are doing when that child does come into your life. Mostly, you just have to have faith that it will all work out. There are those horrible times when it doesn't, but most of the time it all does work out.

Going through the adoption process twice was good practice for pregnancy. Almost no one expects to give birth to their child and then leave the hospital without them. I had a pretty good inkling from the beginning of the pregnancy that this would be the case. Leaving Sean and Aaron in the NICU while Greg and I pulled out of the parking garage to head for home, I had almost the same feelings as I did when we visited with Marcus and Will at five and a half months in Guatemala and then hopped on a plane and headed for home without them. I left all four of my babies in the hands of virtual strangers and could do nothing other than trust that my babies would be taken care of.

Now that Sean and Aaron are five and a half months old, I can't imagine missing their lives up until this point like I did with Marcus and Will. I was so sad every single day I knew that Marcus and Will were in Guatemala and I was home waiting for them, not knowing when they would arrive. Now that Marcus and Will are 5 and 4 years old, I don't feel that I ever missed a day of their lives. I haven't had to miss a single day of Sean and Aaron's life here on Earth.

I was telling Marcus and Will stories about the first time we met them, when they were the same age as their baby brothers are now. Marcus loved hearing about the joy he got from bouncing up and down and how he kept his mommy and daddy awake that first night and made them walk laps up and down the hotel hallway with him. At five and a half months Will was such an easy baby, just smiling all the time, drinking his bottle, and falling asleep without a complaint. It is hard for me to believe that my big kids were ever so little.

At five and a half months, I have drastically different stories of my kids' lives up until this point. No story is any better than the other. Just different. I am just as close and connected to each one of my kids, no matter their story.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Mostly Healthy Lunch #2

Peanut butter on a tortilla, blueberries and strawberries, and Cheddar Bunnieshttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif



Saturday, June 11, 2011


Aaron helping me with some laundry


Thursday, June 09, 2011


Wednesday, June 08, 2011

To Answer Your Question...

Jennifer asked a few days ago in response to my post about going to the pool, if I took all four kids to the pool alone. No! I did not. I just left out the pictures of my mom and Greg who were both there too. Since that pohttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifst Greg and I have taken all four kids to the pool without the help of my mother, and even that was a lot of work. Maybe in a couple years Marcus and Will will be better swimmers and Sean and Aaron won't be running off in different directions and I'll feel confident enough to take all four of them alone. Until then, all my pool going will be with an entourage.


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

That's What Brothers are For

Aaron would like to give a warm thank you to his brother Sean for attacking him in his sleep and leaving him with this lovely trophy.

Something tells me that this is just the first of many similar presents to be exchanged between these brothers.



Monday, June 06, 2011

Mostly Healthy Lunch #1

Summer is here. It is time for picnics and fresh produce! I was inspired by this website and found these containers made by Ziplock at Target. With all our eating poolside this summer and Marcus heading ofhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.giff to Kindergarten this fall (where he will either need to purchase gross cafeteria food or pack his own lunch), I decided to try out some lunch ideas on my kids. Figured I would share them here too.

First lunch:

Leftover mac 'n cheese, ham roll-ups (flattened, crusted whole wheat bread with cream cheese, spinach, and ham all rolled up and cut into thirds), red peppers, carrots, and brocoli with ranch dip, and orange pieces.



Sunday, June 05, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Yes, I know I am really behind on my blogging.

Happy Mother's Day!!

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Friday, June 03, 2011


Who's there?




Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Marcus and Will decided to put away their soccer shoes for a few weeks and give baseball a try this summer. A bunch of 4-6 year olds playing baseball turns out to be nothing more than organized chaos. There are no rules, or very few. Everyone bats. Everyone plays in the field. There are no positions, no out, no score, and everyone gets a single. The coaches pitch to the kids and if they don't hit the ball after the first 5 or so pitches, they hit from the tee. When the ball is hit, every single player in the field goes running for it. Greg said it reminded him of feeding the carp at the spillway. But, the kids have fun and that is what it is all about. Marcus has said a few times that he prefers playing soccer over baseball. I think there is just a little more action in soccer.

These pictures are from early May when it was still a bit cool out, hence the sweatshirts. Go Will!

Here is the mass of kids/carp going after the ball/bread. Sometimes there is even tackling involved.

Go Marcus!

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