Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Recap

Whew! What a fast Christmas. Can time please slow down?

Well, the babes had two of the most fabulous Christmases any 11.5 month olds could ask for. Our first Christmas was spent down in Waverly, where Jake's family lives. They got a bunch of stuff from Aunt Jen, boyfriend Scott, Grama, JV,Aunt Nancy, Aunt Bennie, and MeMaw and Granddad. Among the plethora of gifts they received a fun new kitchen, lots of clothes, shoes, cutie-pie rocking horses, oodles of toys like a farmer game and bath toys and a laptop, tradition Christmas book from Aunt Jen, ruffle butts for Jules, and new shoes for both Josh & Jules. Ummmm, yes, you read correctly - this was just for ONE Christmas. Are you feeling like you were deprived as a child? I do!!

The second of Christmases was spent at our house in Brentwood and my family came up: Mimi, Grampa, Aunt Essie, Aunt Ginny, Uncle Jason, and Leslie's boyfriend Shawn. Among the fun things they received at this Christmas include even more clothes, more shoes (including some cool Converse from Ginny), more toys (including Sing-a-ma-jigs, the only thing we bought them), and a cool Red Flyer wagon built for two!

All in all, I think you can all go ahead and say that these babies have PLENTY to play with and are well on their way to becoming quite spoiled.

Oh, and did I mention that their 1st birthday is less than 2 weeks away?? Where are we going to put all this stuff? Thank goodness Jake's Mom and Dad got us some storage ottomans for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Remembering beginnings...

As I am approaching their first birthday, I wanted to blog about some things that reminded me of the early weeks when they were home. Do you guys have those? Here are a few of mine. I'm sure I have more, but wanted to record what I can remember (yes, I know, I am shocked too that I can remember ANYTHING during those first few weeks/months, hence the reason I want to record it!)

The Andy Griffith Show
I had never watched one episode of this show before. It came on at 10pm, and I would always watch either the beginning or end of it. It was always on in the bedroom for some reason, and 10pm was right around their last feeding of the night (of OUR night, they would get up a wee few hours later). I was either in my bedroom waiting on them to cry and wake up, or I would have just got done feeding them. I came to love this little sweet show, and now every time I watch an episode it reminds me of those early days.

Scrabble on
I got ADDICTED to playing Scrabble on my laptop while I would feed them. I would only play it while feeding them for some reason. And for some reason, I really haven't played it online since.

Law and Order
My mom and Jake's mom stayed with me most of the first three months, and my mom is obsessed with watching USA. I don't think its really because she loves all the shows, but she does enjoy them and sees no reason to change the channel, lol. Well, as you know they rerun Law and Order CI on there ALL day long, as well as their original shows, which I have never seen before. So, the TV was always on Law and Order. I got really into White Collar as well, which is a really good show!

Lipton tea and dry cereal
Before I discovered Soy Milk, I was devastated that I could not drink milk or have any dairy. (Babies could not tolerate dairy and I was breastfeeding) I MUST have my cereal. So, I would fix me a big glass of Lipton decaf instant tea and a big bowl of dry cereal.

Luna Bars
Early on, after I would breastfeed, I would be STARVING, especially in the middle of the night. I honestly could not go back to bed I was so hungry. So, then Jake's Mom started buying me LUNA Bars and I kept them upstairs in their nursery, and pretty much stashed them everywhere. It was a must-have.

The Education Connection commercials
I cannot tell you how many times I saw this commercial. It came on every single night during every commercial break in the middle of the night feedings. (I have a little TV in their nursery). It came on the other day and memories of the early days came flooding back.

Monday, December 20, 2010

11 Months - Update on the Babes

The walker caravan!

11 Months Old!

I have purposely put off writing this post because I refuse to believe that my babies are 11 months old. I'm sorry, I just can't accept it. And now, we are getting REALLY close to 12 months (AKA, 1 year old). With it being the Holiday Season, time is a-flying, and Mandy is a-sad face.

Feedings: What has happened to my milk supply? Seriously, does anyone know? My supply suffered DRAMATICALLY after I returned from Paris, but now its just pathetic. I think it's my body's way of telling me they need to wean. I have literally no milk, and its crazy. I went from pumping 50+ounces a day, to now maybe 18-20. Oh well, I don't have to do it much longer.

They are both doing really well with finger foods and eating. Jules will stuff anything (ANYTHING) in her mouth. She is the messiest child. (hmmm, her mother's daughter perhaps?) Josh, however, will only pick up certain things, and much prefers to be fed. He doesn't like to get his fingers really messy so he will only pick up "um-messy" foods. Nice, right? I am looking forward to their birthday cakes and see how they both do. Its going to be so funny.

Food is getting much harder to make, because I have to be more creative. It was so much easier to puree a fruit, veggie, etc. Now I have to do entire meals for them, that their little fingers can eat. We still feed them a bunch, but now its probably 60-70% finger foods. Mostly I make pastas with a veggie/meant sauce and keep it in the fridge. Its easy to make and keep, and they they'll also get fruit as well. Its a good way to give them the whole grain/veggie/meat combo, and they can pick it up with their hands. I also love to do toast with either hummus or cream cheese. and we still love avocado and yogurt! Another good thing to spread hummus or cream cheese on is a Baby MumMum wafer. Its easy for them to hold and crunchy!

I have been using alot more seasonings on their food. I have discovered Mrs. Dash and its the best thing in the world. Lots of good seasonings and no salt! I season most of their veggies with it, and add it to their pastas as well.

Waketime/Napping: Our waketime is still 2 hours, 15 minutes. We had a cold this past week, so our schedule got a bit thrown off.

Nightime: Doing great here. Going down at 7:30 and getting up at 7, sometimes even a bit later!

Our Schedule:

7:00- wake/feed 6.5oz each for Josh & Jules then cereal with pumpkin puree(wince we still have a ton) or bananas. I usually add cinnamon.
9:15 - nap (hopefully at least 1.5 hours)
11:30 - feed - 6oz each bottle, then they get a "snack" of cheerios or a MumMum with spread and some type of veggie, usually avocado and yogurt (their new favorite food, hands down). 1:00 - nap (usually wake at 2:30)
3:00 - feed 6.5oz for each + solids. This is either some of a pasta I have in the fridge, or toast with hummus and fruit. Their also might be cut up tofu, chicken, cut up veggies, beans, or rice. I try to keep some easy things in the fridge to grab.
6:30/6:45 - solids. Here I will do whatever opposite of what they have for lunch. I don't like to feed them the same exact thing for lunch and dinner. Plus, they are usually more fussy here, so if there was something that is harder for them to grab, or harder to eat, I will feed that to them at lunch instead of dinner.
7:00 - baths, then a sippy cup of milk
7:30 - story/bedtime

Outing/Events: I have already posted about our Santa Claus visits, and that was by far the most exciting event in the past month. We also attended a little girl's first birthday. The babes loved it because they got to play with all new toys. We also have been going to the gym some and they love it there as well for the same reason- new toys! Other than a couple of trips to Target, thats about it. I have discovered this time frame of them "almost-but-not-quite" walking is making it very hard to get them out. Its a hard age because now they are much heavier, the car seats are now much heavier, you have to take them out of the car seats to go anywhere, carry them, and to get one in and out while holding the other one.....well, just close your eyes and imagine.

Diet: I have missed working out so much. I got my gym membership, and am so excited! The babes love the nursery there. Although they got a cold their first time there. Oh joy.

Milestones: They are both toddling around!! Big, HUGE milestone! Jules took her first steps on Thanksgiving. She took four steps that night, and have since taken maybe 5-6 at the most at a time, lol. She is by no means a walker, but she is SO PROUD of herself when she takes steps. Josh actually, took his first steps two night ago as well. He has just started the process and is eager to go. He will turn anything into a personal walker: lego boxes, cardboard boxes, container of underwear, etc. So exciting!!! They are still talking and babbling. Josh has mastered "ByeBye", ands says Mama and Dada, but not necessarily to me or Jake. Jules also says Mam, Dada, Ga, and a couple of other nuances, but again, not necessarily to the correct things. Jules has taken up dancing and loves it. She sways back and forth to the music. She also loves to flip upside down. She is going to be a little gymnast. They have alos learned to climb the stairs, to my horror. They get into drawers, cabinets, plugs, cats, toilets, diaper genies, Christmas trees, etc-basically anything and everything they are not supposed to. But they are sweet and so dang cute. Man, I love being a mommy.

We're 11 Months Old!

I am really getting happy about the fact that these pictures are almost done. It is sooo hard to keep them together in the recliner!*

*If you believed that, you don't know me very well. I, sniff, sniff, cannot believe I only have one more of these pictures to go. It makes me so sad. What has happened to me babies and where have these pre-toddlers come from???? was, an usual, very hard to get these pictures, and what makes me upset about this is that I haven't actually taken a decent photo of them for quite a few months! I loved when they were around 4-6 months and would just sit there nicely and smile up a storm. Oh no, now now.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I wish I knew how to sew....

But, alas, I do not. It is one of those things on my everlasting, never-ending to-do list. So, I have to win giftcards so that I can buy stuff that other people sew. Thats what I am doing now! So, please go visit this really cute site with super cute stuff for girls. And in doing so, I am enetered to win a $50 gift card. And yes, you can win one too :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmastime is here...

I love this time of year. I always have. Even though I completely despise cold weather, I LOVE this time of year! I kind of also love that the babes' birthday falls right behind the holidays, so that will also be neat here in the Stribling household. In trying to establish traditions, the babes got to meet Santa Claus twice already. Although I think all they asked for was booby milk, cheerios and cats. Both times they met him was through my local twins group, POTATO. (Parents of Twins and Triplets organization). There were two breakfast events that you could bring the kids to and get their picture made with Santa. This was AWESOME for us, because of course, I was going to get their picture taken with Santa, and was not looking forward to doing the mall thing with 11 month old twins. I know, I know. Call me the Grinch, but you try taking them. So, here are come pictures of the little fam this holiday season!!

Our Christmas Card

Uh oh. Trouble is obsessed with the tree.

First snow of the season! Please forgive the hair, face, clothes and makeup.

First visit with Santa!!

If you'll remember, I bought these outfits last year, before I knew Josh and Jules!

They were obsessed with him! They did so good and didn't fuss in the least bit.

My sweet Jules. She actually was so distracted by all the other twins there, that she forgot she was wearing her hat (normally that thing wouldget pulled off in the first seconds its on her head)

"Mommy, I look ridiculous"

Second meeting with Santa. This time Jake came along, so we got a family shot.

They did great this time too. Although I wanted to put them in the exact same cutie-pie outfits, I thought I would go with red and green instead for this one, to change things up.

They were both very interested in him this time.

She was obsessed with him. We barely got any shots at her looking at the camera. (well, since I took 100 photos, I was bound to get a couple...)

Our sweet family in front of the tree.
Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays, and all that jazz!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Heavy Heart

This is a sad post, and I'm sorry for that. My heart is heavy and I just want to reach out to my readers to please keep the McGregor family in your heart, thoughts and prayers. They lost their precious boy Thomas on Friday. He was just a few months old. He has a twin brother, named James. Although born prematurely, and in the NICU for a while, they were both home and happy for an entire month before Thomas started breathing a little funny. Then their lives were turned upside down. There was a month of heart surgeries, eventually even getting sweet Thomas an artificial heart. Sadly, it all just wasn't enough.

I cannot explain to you how sad I am for this poor family. I cannot imagine going through such a loss and to have him happy and at home thinking life was beyond blessed, then lightening crashing down on you.

I am so lucky and so grateful to have two happy healthy children. Although I never have, and never will take them for granted, I know I get frustrated in day-to-day things that come with having twins, and children in general. I hope that when those frustrations come up, I will take a small moment and think about Janna McGregor, and all those other moms who have lost a child, and say a small prayer of thanks.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

More colds...

Hello all! Sorry for the delay in posts! We have yet another cold in our household. Oh joy. I have finally decided to join the YMCA here. I have been dying to, because I can go and work out and take the babes with me, because they have free child care - YAY!! Well, I went for the first time on Wednesday, then went again on Thursday. Well, guess who got a cold Friday night? I just can't believe it. Do people not clean things? I know that its always possible for kids to get colds when they are exposed to other kids and all, but literally THE FIRST TIME I went, and two days later? Its ridiculous!! What am I supposed to do? Not go work out? Are we going to be forever susceptible to colds if I do take them? Thats not fair to them. mad....

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Our Favorite Things - 10 Months

Here is our update on our favorite things at 10 months old!

Books! We are still loving books. Jules loves them more than Josh, but more so because every time Josh tries to come around and read books too, Jules starts whining because she wants all the book attention... *sigh* poor Josh. So, he usually finds something else to do. I have also learned in this parenting thing what a huge difference there is between books with paper pages versus books with thick cardboard plastic-y pages. HUGE difference! Why? Well, you put a book with paper pages in the hands of a 10 month old and see what happens. So, now that this little tidbit has been discovered, there is only so many books they are allowed to play with at the moment. (I have now taken away the really cool books that I talked about last month, b/c they have already torn one up - and they were expensive!) Their favorite now is "Where's My Nose"? They LOVE IT. So much so that I now have most of it memorized, and will just start to say some of the book to them (without the book), and they are confused and start looking for the book :)

Another little thing I would like to bring up is how cool our fabu state of Tennessee is. In fact, Where's My Nose was given to us free through Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. It is a program she set up that gives each child (birth through age 5) a new, free book each month. It's shipped to us each and every month. All for free! It's really a wonderful program. Where's My Nose is one of those books. The only problem with this program, is that it send us two of the same book each month. I wish they would send us different ones, but oh well.

Songs! Our favorite songs are still Itsy Biotsy Spider, and Wheels on the Bus. They also like BINGO and Where is Thumpkin? They are still loving Taylor Swift and The Band Perry, even though those songs don't come on as much. I am also trying to play more Christmas music now that we're "in the season". We have decorated the house now, so I'm in the mood! Funny (although not really) story: last weekend we drove over to Knoxville for a UT football game, and there was a wreck on the interstate. NOT good with 10-month old twins. What is usually a 2.5-3 hour drive turned into a 5.5 hour drive. AWFUL is not even beginning to describe it. It's one thing to be moving in the car, but to just be sitting on the interstate strapped into a carseat...not good. So, anyway, I had to pull up the youtube video of The Band Perry's song and letting it play over, and over, and over, and over again. So, yes, I don't really want to hear that song anymore.

Toys! They are still loving Their "scooter" They now can walk behind it so well. Just loves it and will walk behind it for days. He just doesn't know how to turn with it yet, so he fusses when he gets stuck.

Other favorite toys for the moment are the classic wooden blocks. I'll stack them up high, and they both get a kick out of knocking them over. Also, the stuffed Baby Einstein blocks have made a comeback too, for this same reason. I also got them those oversize leggos and they like those too, even though they just eat them now. They also love the Leap Frog Learn and Groove Station. I bought this at a consignment sale not too long ago, and I love it too. Its really good at teaching numbers, letters and colors. They can flip the book page in the center to make it be a "teaching" station, or a "musical" station. It's awesome!

More favorite toys are mixing spoons. They now will come in the kitchen if they know I am in there and they love playing with the spoons. Another exciting toy for them is the refrigerator. They go NUTS when I open the door. And both take off for it and will play with everything on the bottom shelf, and take things out. Yesterday the mustard and ranch dressing bottles kept them very entertained. Good for energy conservation???...nope, but what can you do? They love it!