Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Babies' First Christmas . . .

. . . and frankly, they could care less.

Dave's sister and her family drove the entire Eastern seaboard to spend Christmas with us. I crafted a complicated menu (none of which I knew how to cook. Has anyone ever made a roux? I couldn't even pronounce it properly . . . much less perform it.). Luckily Dave's sister stepped in and saved Christmas by cooking everything to perfection.

And because one set of infant twins did not provide enough chaos, we invited Max & Ollie to join the festivities. The house is still standing and we're pretty sure the neighbors all think we're lushes (our recycle bin was 95% beer, wine and champagne bottles).

Here's some pictures from the big, beautiful day:

Apparently these don't come with gift receipts . . .

How To Enjoy Christmas Dinner:
Step 1: Insert 'educational' DVD
Step 2: Press Play
Step 3: Silently walk away

It's a BB gun, Folks!
Plan to start practicing my best Clint Eastwood 'Get off my land'

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's Not the Ritz, dahling . . . but it'll do.

We spent most of last week living in hotels. Also learned (the hard way) never turn your back on a roly poly Finn (hence the pillow gate). Mirabelle liked the hotel provided cribs, Finn preferred the comfort of a Mommy heater and Mommy preferred a sleeping Finn.

Things I've Learned So Far . . .

  1. Finn likes shopping in Victoria's Secret and Mirabelle likes her feet.

  2. It's mind-numbingly painful to realize halfway through a series of errands (with babies in tow) you forgot your wallet at home . . . again.

  3. When you're having a bad day call Lily; her day was probably much worse yet she isn't complaining to you about it.

  4. Wilmington is full of super friendly, baby-lovin' old people always ready to lend a helping hand when out shopping (must mail 'thank you' note to person responsible for sending these beautiful living Angels my way).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Dave's 'Grammy' passed away last week. We took the babies to Pittsburgh for the funeral (say what you will but babies are great for funerals).

From the few stories I've heard over the years it's safe to say she was a legendary woman and a few weeks shy of her 94th birthday. She raised 5 boys and loved on 13 grandbabies as well as a few great grandbabies (including our two sugar drops). She will be missed.

Grammy's in blue sitting next to my lovely Oma

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This Is How We Roll

Here's a pictorial review of last week's events.

We like to:

Attempt to escape the confines of our nightly prison . . .

Cause our parents mild cardiac arrest in the morning . . .

Then apologize by smiling pretty for the camera . . .

Cheer for Team Daddy while he does outside chores . . .

Help Daddy look adorable at holiday parties . . .

Remind Mommy & Daddy how fast we grow . . .

Monday, December 14, 2009

DecK The Front Porch With Boughs Of . . .

Glitter . . . lots and lots of glitter?

Today the babies helped me decorate the front of the house (helping is defined as not crying). We got a good bit accomplished, lights on the bushes and larger-than-life ornaments hung with care.

My 'first-born baby' (sweet, sweet Lavender) was not so helpful. Ancient swamp spirits from the wetlands behind our house softly called her name. I let her roam the front yard (my mistake). Instead, she bolted for the woods behind our property. Thirty minutes later she nonchalantly showed up at the front door . . . completely wet and covered in mud.

I opted not to photographer her (one wouldn't want to encourage this behavior).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just In Case

I've been on the fence about babies with Santa photos. Why start a tradition of bad paid for photos with some old stranger? It seems just a tad odd to me.

Plus, I'm not 100% certain how much Santa lying I plan to allow (fear not dear Reader, if my lovely kids are actually reading this some day than 1) thank you sweet peas for caring about Mommy's babble and 2) if you are reading this than you are old enough to know the truth about Santa . . . if not, than there's no time like the present).

Alas, we decided to give it a shot. Better to capture the memory and not want it than to want it later and not have it. Without further ado here is the season premiere of the twins with Santa!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Correspondences Via Text Messages

Yesterday Lily convinced me to join her at the gym for Body Pump (you see where this is going).

sent 7:20a by Emily
'Can't move. Come over and take care of my kids.'

sent 7:21a by Lily
'Sure, be over in 5 minutes . . .'

(Note to Reader: I was not foolish enough to fall for this blatant lie)

sent 7:26a by Emily
'Does Angelina Jolie ever get to sleep in?'

sent by Lily
'No. She wakes up early and lets the nannies sleep in . . . '

Here's a few things I've come to learn:

  1. You don't need Body Pump when you've got two 14 lb. weights to cart around town.
  2. Never trust someone named Lily if they tell you the gym will be 'fun'.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rotten Dog Part 2

In August, Lavender tried to escape our screened-in porch to chase the Great Unknown (as documented by the original episode of Rotten Dog). Today, Lavender tried to escape the newly (and expensive) fenced in backyard for the comfort and peace of the now partially screened-in porch.

Time to begrudgingly fantasize other ways to have spent $4,000, instead of a beautifully useless fence (much needed vacation . . . granite counter tops for kitchen . . . twin college funds . . .).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

5 Month Update

Belle & Finn are 5 months old today! Here's what I've learned so far:
  • Everyone who said caring for babies would be easier (even fun) at 4 months was right!
  • Matching sleepers are fun stuff.
  • Find yourself another desperate twin mom and latch on to her like there's no tomorrow.
  • Bedtime routines are sacred events; revere them.
  • When Mirabelle is hungry, feed her . . . asap.
  • Finn requires a burp cloth at ALL times.
  • Teething sucks (yet still a 1000 times better than newborn two-hour feedings).

Finnlay is 14 lbs 2 oz of pure kung fu love. His current crowning achievement involves sticking an entire fist in his mouth and gagging on it (so proud). He's also mastered rolling with intention (his physical therapist made that one up) and is ready for crawling, walking and talking at any given moment. We're asking Santa for a helmet, elbow, knee and shin pads for Christmas.

Finn would like to remind everyone he declined his nomination for the World's Most Handsome Man of 2009. He will not accept this award until someone finds a cure for annoying little sisters.

Mirabelle is 14 lbs 12 oz of pure, natural spring water. She doesn't 'roll with intention' . . . not when others are available to fetch for her. She enjoys working her core and abdominal muscles with belly crunches and seated curls. She'd rather chew her toes than fingers and religiously partakes in 15 hours of beauty rest each day (she enjoys reminding us Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is perfection).

Monday, November 30, 2009

Where's My T-Shirt?

I survived a week-long out-of-town trip with the twins--I deserve a t-shirt that says as much (wait, that's selling myself a bit short . . . I deserve a spa day and yes sweet husband you can have one too).

We had a wonderful time visiting my family. For the most part, the babies were fabulous (they get that from me, of course). Their bedtime routines were disrupted and we reverted back to middle of the night feedings during the trip, both were sleeping through the night before we left town.

Overall, the trip was a success and as long as our destination has at least 10 adults ready to care for the babies we should be fine for future travel.

Here's some highlights from our grand adventure:

Oma-ma & Finn reunited

This year's Christmas card photo (kidding . . . or am I?)

Mirabelle's one and only girlfriend, Naomi
(her Mama and I go WAY back . . . embarrassing high school photos and all)

My three favorite ladies posing for a photo at South of the Border . . . of North Carolina.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

So Very Proud

Our social calendar perked up once we had kids (who knew!?!). We've had back-to-back events over the past few weekends--a birthday party in Myrtle Beach, potluck at our own house and Thanksgiving with my family.

Yet through this bevy of activity, one thing has remained constant: Mirabelle's ability to sleep through it all (a girl after my own heart).

Exhibit A:

Mirabelle sleeping at Cullen's birthday party

Exhibit B:

Mirabelle sleeping (in the middle of a very loud living room) at our pot luck.

Exhibit C:

Mirabelle sleeping while Uncle Charlie watches the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

I, myself, have been known to sleep through wedding receptions and rock concerts (it must be genetic).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thankful Part 2

We survived our first house party. Nothing caught on fire, broke or needed medical attention (clear indications of success).

We had 19 adults and 12 children invade the homestead. Three sets of twins roamed the house (hired a babysitter to help out . . . so worth it). Most importantly, a beautiful mixture of old and new friends helped us celebrate our first Thanksgiving party in a new town, with new babies and a new house.

It was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season.

Finn & Cull-pepper kickin' it exersaucer style.

Lady Belle showing off her mad napping skills in the middle of the party.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Brave Or Just Plain Crazy

A few weeks ago we decided to throw a Thanksgiving Potluck/ House Warming party. Seemed like a good idea at the time. It's tomorrow.

What was I thinking?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Picture Perfect

Ever seen those magazine photo shoots of garden parties with 'how-to' tips on throwing your very own? Ever thought to yourself 'who in the world actually throws parties like this?' Well, I know who: my dear, sweet friend Sarah.

Her baby boy just turned 1 years old. She threw an amazing backyard birthday party that put Real Simple and Southern Living to shame. Dave and I packed up the kiddies and headed to the party on Sunday.

Here's some highlights:

Of course she wore heels
(this is the same woman who wore heels at 7 months pregnant and on semi-bed rest . . . and I'm sure who's already specified in her Will which heels she'll want to be buried in)

The birthday boy and happy family

The first birthday cake made to look like an owl.
(no owls were actually harmed in the making of this photograph)

Attempted family photo
(interrupted by the photographer's son)

Finn & Belle enjoying the great outdoors
(from a safe, well padded distance)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Good Times!

What do new parents of infant twins do for fun on a Saturday night . . .

. . . they drink wine and play Guitar Hero while the babies all sleep.

We packed the babies up and had 'game night' with Max & Ollie's parents.

Then, like the horribly cruel parents we are, woke them up and took them home. Honestly, they didn't seemed phased by it and slept the entire night once we got back home (insert sigh).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Letter In The Mail

Earlier this week we received a letter in the mail from the fertility clinic asking us if we wanted to renew our annual storage on the remaining embryos from last year's IVF (holy cats, it's been a year already?). We ended up with 7 embryos, 2 of which are Finn & Belle, the remaining 5 are in cryopreservation (here's a link to last year's embryo update for those wanting some nostalgia).

To be honest, last year we were pretty cavalier about the whole storage process opting for the 'cross that bridge when we come to it' philosophy (currently staring at said bridge). At the time our embryos felt oddly scientific, clinically alien blobs that were neither here nor there; but now two of them are DEFINITELY here (all pensive stares and goofy smiles).

If we want to keep the remaining embryos we send a check immediately. If we don't want them, we complete a form regarding our wishes for disposal. Clearly this is the not-so-bright side of a successful IVF treatment.

Personally, I think dressing the babies for the appropriate day's weather is still most challenging.

Here are some recent pics of the love bugs:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thankful Part 1

There's a lot to be thankful for this year so instead of waiting till Nov. 26th I've decided to get an early start on things.

Today I'm grateful for my 'not-so-old-but-infinitely-wise' sister (Aunt G). She's known me all my life and is the one person who can give me truly tough-love advice (there's no fooling an older sister).

Just yesterday she let me vent about my horrible might-be-teething-or-just-bored-wouldn't-stop-crying-both-needed-holding twin day (it's not always roses for Clan Donovan). And just like magic, after our conversation, I felt cured (we've evolved from the teen-ridden pity parties on 'why do boys not like me' to much more sophisticated 'why do my babies not like me' conversations).

So 'Aunt G' I'm grateful you are my big sister and even more grateful you answer the telephone while in the middle of making sandwiches.

me and my sister playing in a sand box at Oma and Opa's house

(Germany 1979)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Like Peas & Carrots

The babies are four months. Which means we can introduce solid foods whenever the babies feel ready (how does one know when a non-verbal baby is 'ready'?). Our pediatrician said when they (a) begin showing interest in people food and (b) have good head control--to prevent choking when swallowing.

On the menu for their first feeding: peas and carrots (in honor of Forrest and Jen-A). They love it when Daddy feeds them (he sings . . . always worth a good laugh).

Lady Belle loves peas, carrots, bananas, sweet potatoes and squash, but still hates rice cereal (so we sneak it in her bottles when she's not looking). Daddy fed Mirabelle (worth remembering when you see Finn . . . who was fed by Mommy)

Finn loves it all: rice cereal, peas, carrots, bananas, squash, and sweet potatoes.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Welcome To FinnCam & Bellevision

Decided to see what the world looks like from Finn & Belle's perspective. They took a few pictures from my camera today.

Here's the world according to FinnCam & Bellevision:

View from my car seat. There's my goofy brother.

Looking at my pretty feet.
You like my shoes? I do too.

Sitting on the front porch with Mommy while Finn takes a nap.
The way life was meant to be.

Playing on the floor. There goes Bailey . . . again.
She stinks and makes funny noises all day.

View from my double-wide, low-ride, pimp-daddy Caddy (aka stroller).
Mommy took me for a walk in the park.

There's my whiny sister, Mira-hell.
We're playing with Mommy on the floor.

See my feet? I didn't think so!
I'm like lightening, by the time you see me I'm already gone.

Ceiling Fan . . . they ROCK!

Lavender gettin' all up in ma grill.

'Aunt Teppie' came to visit and brought her dog Max.
He's on the back porch and I'm chillin' in my exersaucer . . .

I bet you wanna lick me, Doggy Max.
But I'm too fast for you!
(you can't see it, but I'm kickin' my legs super sonic-like)