the homepage of gregory and ann kline

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Big One

My two little guys celebrated their first birthday today!! Hard to believe that a whole year has gone by, and yet I can't remember life without them either. A year ago I never would have thought that we would be where we are now. In just 365 days, we went from this:

to this:

I have heard more than once parents of twins say that the first year just flies by in a huge flurry of craziness and there is no way of pausing long enough to figure out how you made it through that time. It certainly was insane! But I was able to pause. A lot. I was able to soak up those moments holding one of both of these wee tiny little people. I am sad I never got to experience those newborn moments with Marcus and Will, which I think made me appreciate all that time when all I could do was hold sleeping babies, even at 3am. This past year I was able to spend time surrounded by all these boys in my house and feel how truly blessed I am. Through all the craziness of this year, I have never felt so much love or felt so much gratitude for the life I have been given.

Sean was the first born of the two. Born 6 weeks early, he was taken to the NICU right away. He never had any respiratory problems and was only put on a feeding tube briefly (24 hours I think). He had some brachicardia issues where his immature nervous system would forget to tell his heart to beat and lungs to breathe often enough. It never turned into an emergency and he would always get himself back on track without intervention. But it did land him with a 13 day stay in the NICU. Then he was home for good. Apart from a couple colds, he has been very healthy. (He did receive a fever for his birthday though and has an appointment first thing tomorrow since there has been some illness in our family.) In the womb, I could tell he was a wild man. He continues to be a wild man. I call him Dozer because he just plows over anything and everything. As soon as he learned to crawl, he was gone. He world expanded from a small area wherever I put him down, to anything and everything he could get his hands on, which was usually things he shouldn't have his hands on. Meal time is a wild frenzy of picking up handfuls of food and shoving it in the vicinity of his face in hope that something ends up in his mouth. He still doesn't have any teeth but that doesn't stop him! He is pretty easy going and often doesn't even care if Aaron grabs a toy out of his hands. He is friendly and loves to play with other kids. However, he doesn't like to be too far away from me either. He has to check back in often by crawling over, getting some hugs and kisses. And then he is off to play again. He is not a happy kid at all if I he sees me leave the room or he suddenly realizes that I am not around. He loves hiding in his crawl tunnel he just got for Christmas, playing peek-a-boo, and chasing after his ball. He also likes to "help" load and unload the dishwasher. He is a happy baby who loves to cuddle and give kisses. And I love to receive his cuddles and kisses.

I still call Aaron "Pinenut" sometimes. Just like when he was born, he is still smaller than a peanut. For such a little guy, he was very healthy when he was born. It just took him a long time to catch on to how to eat and to eat efficiently enough that trying to take in calories didn't burn up more than he was getting. His lungs and heart were healthy from the beginning, but his feeding issues meant he had to stay in the NICU for 18 days. I was scared to death when they told me I could bring him home. In part because then we had two new babies, but mostly because at the time he came home he only weighed 4 lbs 2 oz. It took him a couple weeks at home to catch on to nursing and for us to feel confident that he was getting enough to eat. Then there was a little health setback when he had to have hernia surgery when he was about 2.5 months old followed by getting his tongue tie fixed. After all that, it has been smooth sailing. Aaron is such an easy baby. He is independent and doesn't want anyone to help him with something he can do himself. He just smiles all day long, until you make him mad. If that little guy doesn't get his way, you can see the definition of a redheaded temper flair up! He might be a lot smaller than Sean, but that doesn't stop him from putting Sean in his place, taking his toy, and protesting loudly if Sean attempts to take something from him. His favorite toys right now are doors. Yep, doors. Bedroom doors or doors to cabinets or really anything that he can swing back and forth. The big heavy front door is the best. He is also a big lover of music and starts bouncing and dancing as soon as he hears it. He is happy to smile at anyone he comes in contact with, but prefers not to get too friendly. He is a little sensitive. He is quick to startle and often is not a fan of new people/places/situations. Aaron pays attention to detail. He finds every tiny piece of fuzz on the carpets (which go right into his mouth) and takes his time picking up his food carefully and neatly putting it in his mouth. Up until 2 weeks ago, he has been perfectly happy to sit and observe the world or whatever toy was within arms reach. He didn't seem to have much interest in learning to move about the world, but instead liked inspecting and observing. Then he learned to crawl. A few days later, he learned to pull up. He still uses his mobility mostly to find new things in the world to inspect and observe. He smiles. He smiles all the time. He smiles ear to ear when he is doing something he isn't supposed to be doing, all the while shaking his head back and forth to signify, "no no no!".


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from my Family to Yours


Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday Will!

Today my big boy Will turned 5 years old! Although he was pretty excited about it, his poor old mom (that's me) can't believe my little boy isn't so little any more. Over the weekend he had a birthday party filled with lots of tacos for his guests and a Star Wars cake. Will had a great time and got some really cool gifts.

As always, I think of Will's birthmom on his birthday. I don't imagine to understand how she feels, but I hope that somehow she has a calm in her heart and somehow knows that her son is loved by so many people and Greg and I are giving him the best life that we know how to.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Logistics of Twins

I'm coming up on a year now of having four kids, including my twins. Yep, they are almost a year old. So hard to believe! As with any baby, things around here are constantly changing. What it was like to have 6 month old twins is vastly different than what it is like to have 11 month old twins. My life just feels like a constant flow of ever changing challenges - all of which are worth it to have so many people around me to love. I did my best while pregnant not to day dream too much about what life would be like with two more children. I knew that it was pointless because no matter what I thought or expected, it would be how it would be. It turns out that the most difficult thing about having twins is just the logistics of it all.

First of all, as I expected from the day that the ultrasound tech said, "I see two sacs in there," everything has to be done twice. I don't just change one diaper. I change two. I don't just bathe one baby, I bathe two. I don't just get one kid in the car, I put two coats on two babies, strap two babies into car seats, carry one baby down to the basement, go back upstairs to get the other baby to carry him down to the basement, carry one baby to the car and snap the seat into the base, and then carry the second baby to the car and snap his seat into the base. (I break a sweat every time.)

Although sometimes backbreaking, it is not double everything that is the most exhausting. It is the logistics of having twins that wears me down the most. There was a time about 5 years ago that I only had one kid. It was hard. Really hard. I was exhausted. I really do know what it is like to try to accomplishing things that need accomplished when you have one baby. Despite this, I see people out and about now with one baby hanging out in their car seat perched on the grocery cart, and I think they have it so easy. The logistics of one baby were so much easier. You just pick that baby up and do it - in those few minutes you have between naps and feedings and that constant feeling of being overwhelmed.

I've been taking Will to preschool with two babies in tow for the past 4 months. His preschool requires parents to come into the building to drop off and pick up their kids. Lots of other moms come in with their other children or their babies. They look exhausted. It is hard work to get those car seat carrier things in and out of the car and carry those awkward things in and out of the building. But they only have one. I have tried pretty much every combination of things to get Will to preschool. I tried carrying two car seats. Once. At which point I decided that just sucked. Then for awhile I would get one baby out of the car seat and wear him in my Ergo while I carried the other little guy in his car seat. That was awkward but it saved me from having to unbuckle/re-buckle two car seats. Babies got bigger and heavier and I changed to wearing one in the Ergo and pushing another in an umbrella stroller. Then it was mass chaos of unbuckling and re-buckling and in and out of the car. But you do what you have to do. Then it started getting cold. In order to get a baby into the Ergo, I have to take my coat off, insert baby, and put coat on. One more step. So recently I ditched the Ergo. Double stroller it is. Two babies - and Will - buckled in, unbuckled, into the school, back to the car to be buckled up again. And the double stroller is wide. I can't even get in or out of the preschool doors unless someone is around to hold one for me. And the halls of the preschool are narrow so I am always blocking the hallway and running over toes.

And then there is the logistics of shopping, grocery shopping in particular. That will be a whole other post. I have to go change a diaper. And then another diaper.


Thursday, December 08, 2011


Both my little guys are decent cuddlers, but Sean has always been the one that is a little more affectionate. He has been giving hugs for months and months. Recently he started giving kisses. He is a bit stingy with them, and so far has only offered them up to Aaron and me. Don't be too jealous though. Sean's idea of kissing is to grab you as tight as possible so you can't possibly escape, open his mouth wide, and rub it all over your face/ears/hair/mouth/eyes. I am hoping for his sake that his technique improves before he is a teenager.


Monday, December 05, 2011

Little Musicians


Friday, December 02, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a lovely Thanksgiving. There was a fabulous feast that was shared by Pilgrims and Indians.

There were a couple little turkeys there too.

We had a lot to be thankful for this year. Health. Family. Food. And these adorable hand knit sweaters my friend made.

In hopes that our kids would start to understand the true meaning of Thanksgiving - apart from just eating turkey - we assembled a "thankful turkey".

Each night from the beginning of November until Thanksgiving, we all came up with something we were thankful for. Marcus and Will helped come up with ideas for Sean and Aaron. We did our best not to edit any of their ideas or repeat things. Here is what our family was thankful for this year:

Ninja Turtles, Food, Mommy, Chair, Cup, Baby Toys, Family, Pumpkin, Daddy, Car Seat, Veggie Straws, Facebook, "Plug" (pacifier), Ice Cream, Dino, iPhone, DS, Marcus, Surfboards, Maya, Bed, My Job, Trick-or-Treating, Shakin' Bear, School, Cookies, Beer, God, Clothes, Bib, Nap, Cars, Animals, Face, Brothers, House, Sunshine, Socks, Neighborhood, Bedtime, Swing, Caffeine, Jumperoo, Sean, Cake, Instruments, Kitchen, Grammy, Cake, Therapy, M, Doggy, Aaron, Flannel, Grandpa, TV, Crawling, Indian Summer, Boppy Pillow, PJ's, Ritalin, Football, Going Outside, Will, Scott, Nutella, Ice Tea, Car Table, Pants, Bathtub, Vegetables, Medicine, Cage, Pizza, Wipes, Socks, Pie, Thanksgiving, Nursing, Apples, Spoon, Candy, Freedom, Coupons, Car, Roger Clyne, Teeth, Toaster, Ergo, Grammy, Sunglasses, Homework, Friends, Puffs, Computer, Grill, Computer, French Fries, Spaghetti, Meatballs, Pasta, Music, Love, Money, Cheese, Grandma, Grocery Store, Meat, Dentist, Toilet Paper, School Bus, Books, Pooping, DMB, Darth Vader, Dollar, Obi Wan Kenobi, Underwear, Anakin Skywalker, Slippers, Bacon, Sunglasses, Pancakes, Pizza, Shoes, Steelers, Uncle Jeremy, Trooper Helmets, Cheddar Bunnies, Chores, Notebook, Beyblades, Rain, Movies, Yoda, Crosby, Laughing, Books, Race Cars, Stroller, Babies