Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mug Shots

The babies had their first school pictures a few weeks ago.  Apparently Mirabelle was not feeling the love from the photographer and refused to sit for her solo portrait.  They did manage to get a sibling photo of the two.

We opted not to get the photos this time, they'll do them again in the spring.  But since these were their 'first ever' school portraits, I at least digitized the proofs for your viewing pleasure (and my growing book of embarrassing baby photos meant to torment my children at some far future date).

Alright.  Mriabelle, look on the verge of tears
for the camera; and Finn, look clueless. 

Great!  Now, Mirabelle, look bored; and Finn, don't move.

Who's Happy And They Know It?

Happy, right?  You remember . . . don't you?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How To Build Self Esteem

Every Christmas, my Oma sent each of us chocolate-filled advent calendars.  I'd put mine on the wall above my bed and every day open the little window and eat a small piece of chocolate (thus reinforcing my lifelong addiction to chocolate).

It's one of my favorite holiday memories, and now that I've got my own little munchkins, I want them to enjoy this same tradition.  I've been searching the internet to find an advent calendar I can reuse every year.  I love the ones at Land of Nod; however, I don't love the price.

So, today I went to the craft store and priced out materials to make my own felt advent calendar.  By the time I reached $40--just in basic materials, I decided to cut my loses.  After telling Dave we'd be better off just purchasing the super cool Land of Nod advent calendar than having me spend over $60 to make a lesser quality one from scratch he replied:  'Honey, you couldn't make that regardless of what it cost'.

Safe to say I'll be purchasing the 'Christmas Countdown Calendar' from Land of Nod with a guilt-free conscience. . .

Da, Da, Da

 The twins call each other 'Da'.  I finally learned this the other day while putting their names on the wall above their cribs (been wanting to do this for a year and a half).

I found a pretty cool website, Wall Written, with a super easy online tool to create custom phrases.  Of all the sites I researched, this one was by far the simplest to use while providing a great selection of font and color choices.

At first, I was nervous about installing the decals, but the instructions were pretty idiot proof (phew).  After I'd placed the stickers on the wall, Finn & Belle ran into the room and demanded I put them in their cribs.  Then each proceeded to point to their names, turn to each other and squeal 'Da!'.

Now it all makes sense.  Like homing pigeons, they shout 'Da' throughout the house when one is trying to find the other.  After nap time, I'll hear the first one wake up and 'quietly' say 'Da', until the other one wakes up, or responds.

If I'd known this sooner I could have saved some money on the size of my lettering by simply ordering two different colors of 'Da'.

Monday, October 25, 2010

What A Difference A Year Makes

Around this same time last year we took the babies to a mini photo shoot with our favorite photographer, Katie Matthews (here's the post).  This year we visited a pumpkin patch at Indigo Farms and I managed to get a similar picture of the twins by a random wall of hay.

We've come a long way in one year.  For starters, they can actually sit up, even walk.  They can almost smile on command--but the blank stare is still their go-to expression.  We're hearing a lot of 'Momeee' and 'Dadeee', Mirabelle even said 'up' yesterday instead of 'unnnhh'.  They can hold their own bottles--too bad they don't drink them anymore.  Oh, and Mirabelle actually grew some hair, while Finn's turned blonde.  It was a pretty busy year. . .

October 2009

October 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Whaz' Up, D!?!

Our virtual friend, Dexter, has been hitting the chocolate pudding pretty hard (via a recent blog post).  Dexter is a super sweet baby boy we've never met, but enjoy keeping track of on his blog.

For those of you who don't know, his Mom started a blog journaling their fertility struggles, Allison, Daniel & Dexter's Journey.  A mutual friend recommended I read this blog, and possibly start my own, while Dave and I struggled to face our own fertility challenges.  Two years, and 350 posts later, we're still chronicling our journey and you're still bored enough to read it.

Here's our own version of dinner with chocolate pudding:

We didn't mind they played more than ate their pudding.  It will be another 90 years before that's consider socially acceptable anyway.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Handy-capable Man

Ever since we learned you couldn't remove pee stains from concrete (thank you, Bailey), we've been wanting to put patio tiles on our back porch.  Porcelain tiles are moisture resistant and won't immediately stain--even if your stubborn dog refuses to use the dog door you installed so she could relieve herself on God's green carpet.

This weekend, Dave (love of my life, father of my children, handyman of my home, etc.) invited a friend over to help him install the tiles.  It took three full days just to lay the tile and set the mortar.  He still needs to seal everything (so Bailey can eventually christen it).

In case you're wondering, paying for a professional to install this would cost close to $1000.  Luckily, Dave found a friend (and potential new golf buddy--double bonus) in the construction business willing to spend his weekend doing home improvement projects on someone else's house.  Don't worry folks, we fed him well (Nana was in town).

Here's the big reveal:



Monday, October 18, 2010

It's Gettin' Hawt In Here! Part 2

Many thanks to Nana for lugging her sewing machine across the eastern seaboard just to make a thermal shade for her grandbabies.

For my part, I provided crucial supportive services like selecting and purchasing all the necessary supplies, ironing, straightening fabric for cutting, reading directions thoroughly, and general moral support.

We've had them up for two nights.  I think the room feels warmer, it's also much darker . . . one would think this might help the babies sleep later in the morning (one would be wrong).

Ta Da!  Here's the finished product.  It's fastened to the window using strips of Velcro so the shade can be removed every morning and placed back at night.  There's a layer of plastic sheeting sandwiched between quilt batting and then the fabric cover.

The babies were mesmerized by Nana's magical white machine.  

The loyal sidekick

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's Gettin' Hawt In Here! Part 1

Our eternal summer of heat has finally left.  I've just swapped out all the twins' summer clothes for the latest in 2010 fall/winter fashion (sounds more chic than 'forced to buy new clothes because we got's none').

We also decided to preemptively address the temperature issues in the nursery during the winter months.  Last winter was our first in the new house.  We have electric heating and air, which I'm told is more efficient for warmer weather (i.e. utterly useless during the winter).

Our electric bill nearly tripled during the coldest months last year--due to my obsession with a particular space heater for the nursery (hello, new mother and irrational anxieties towards all things infant).  This year, we decided to make a (pretty) thermal window shade for the nursery.

Granted, this was Dave's suggestion last year, but irrational Emily didn't think it would look pretty, or actually work.  Approximately $2,500 later (just in diaper purchases alone), it's a brilliant idea--mainly because we're in super cost savings/cutting mode coming off our expensive new babies high from last year.  I found a website, Mother Earth News, with instructions on how to custom make your own thermal shades for under $50 (just realized the article was written in 1983--somehow this should make it hip and new again, and totally explains the 'how to' photos).

Nana was in town and on board with Dave's-turned-my-brilliant idea of making these thermal shades.  Luckily, she just happened to bring her sewing machine on this trip.

To be continued . . .

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Playground Confessionals

Now that Finn & Belle are established walkers, an hour jaunt to the playground has become part of our daily routine.  Thus, our quest for The Ultimate Playground Nirvana has begun (imagine thunderbolts and lightening, and the dude who voiced He-Man echoing this in the distance).

There's an amazing toddler playground up the street from our neighborhood.  In fact, Finn has begun routinely pointing it out whenever we drive past it (i.e. his eyes light up and he begins eagerly grunting . . . his joy so great he's rendered speechless).

Since Mommy likes to keep the twins guessing, we make a point to try new playgrounds on a regular basis (quests typically require this).  However, this experimentation does present a few challenges.  In fact, earlier this week we went to a playground more suited for school age children, or so one 'well meaning' mother felt compelled to mention (I'll overlook the fact her home-schooled child was wandering the playground constantly complaining no one would play with him, while she continued chatting with her 'sister wife').

 Here's some pictures of the twins hanging at our current 'favorite' playground.

Lady Belle investigating this cool plastic wheel with metal 
beads that move as you turn the wheel . . . very, very fascinating.

Our dapper daredevil attempting another death 
defying feat of physical skill (i.e. tempting the ER gods)

Let's just go ahead and admit, this does not end well . . . at all.

Yup, that's right, you know what's about to happen.  What's worse, 
you all now know Mommy was too busy taking 
the pictures to actually 'catch' the child . . .

. . . make that children . . . safe to say, everyone is fine . . .

PS:  For the record, I am neither against home-schooling nor sister wives.  Though, actual sister wives do freak me out a bit.

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Favorite Photo

Every once in a while you stumble on a moment and happen to have your camera ready at the perfect time.  Dave's family came down to celebrate the 'big twins' birthday this past weekend.  Here's one of my favorite pictures from the weekend:

Uncle Dan and Mirabelle playing with a water fountain at the Arboretum.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Increasingly Difficult

We tried shopping for patio furniture this past weekend . . .

In all honesty, it wasn't 'that' bad:

Yes, Finn.  We'll buy it; but only if you promise 
to break it in the next few years.

Mirabelle is revolting against society's shoe wearing requirements . . . 
but not against kisses from Daddy . . . she LOVES those!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Life In A Test Tube

Today the winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to Robert Edwards.  I don't know this man, but he has profoundly affected my life.  He pioneered the science behind In Vitro Fertilization and thus made it possible for Finn & Belle to call me 'Mama'.

I struggled early in our IVF process with the moral principles of fertility treatment (check this post).  Did science overstep it's boundaries by making it possible for humans to birth 'litters' of children?  Did we defy God's will by conceiving through 'unnatural' measures or was it God's will for Dr. Edwards to develop IVF?

I don't know these answers and really could care less where the truth lies.  One thing I do know, now that I've experienced motherhood, is that life is the real gift.  Whether you adopt, foster or create, raising a human life is a beautiful thing (well, at least today it is . . . while they're napping).

So, thank you Dr. Robert Edwards for giving Dave and I the opportunity to love Finn & Belle.  

My Best Friend Ever!

Dave and I love this commercial!!  We're pretty sure if Finn & Belle could talk they'd agree their Granddaddy, Oma-ma, Nana and Pap-pap are their 'best friend ever'.

PS:  I feel the same way about my Oma and Grandma!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Just Say Gnome

We spent the better part of September debating what costumes to buy the babies for Halloween (this is what happens when an over-thinking wife stays at home to raise the children).

Last year they were Star Wars characters.  This year we were going to pay homage to the Flintstone's 50th Anniversary with some Pebbles & BamBam action but didn't like the store-made costumes (unfortunately, I'm not known for my sewing, cooking or cleaning abilities).

Instead we've chosen Garden Gnomes!  During the month of October, for a limited time only, the twins are available for photographing inside yours, or a loved ones, garden.  This rare photo opportunity (forget it's with other people's children) make great souvenirs, holiday gifts, and/or special keepsake memories.  It's only $9.99 for one photograph, or $89.99 if they happen to smile.