Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009...

My New Year Babies.

I have conflicted feelings about this past year.

On the one hand it gave us our two amazing babies...finally.
But getting them here was so easy feat.
So on to 2010 & all it has to offer.

I've been thinking about some New Years goals. Perhaps I'll think some more and share them later.

Eating Bananas...

Emerson has been showing signs of readiness in regards to food so at almost 8 months old we tried some bananas a few days ago. She loved every minute of it. She's funny she kept grabbing the spoon so she could try to feed herself.

She's eagerly waiting for the food.

She's got her spoon and bib, she's ready.


She smiled the entire time we were feeding her.

Eli, on the other hand was another story. Since he's been sick we waited a few days before trying food with him. Today he seems a lot better so we decided to test it out.



Are we done yet?

Looking at his dad for help.

Haha, it's so funny how differently they responded. Eli makes the same face when we put just the spoon in his mouth with nothing on it. He seemed relieved when we offered him the bottle. Crazy kid. 

Monday, December 28, 2009

1st Trip to the ER...

Eli has an ear infection. Last night he screamed and screamed and screamed for hours and was pulling at his ear. So after a call to urgent care they recommended we take him in to be seen, so at 1 am off we went to the hospital. Luckily in our small hometown we were the only patients so we were in and out pretty quickly.

When the doctor looked at Eli's ear he just about jumped out of my arms and he kept hitting the doctor in the face with his fists.

We didn't get any sleep last night (well Emerson did), but Eli continued screaming all night poor baby. He's been napping on and off today and we had Emerson go to my mom's house since we're exhausted. It's nice to be home to have some help. It's been kind of strange having just one baby to deal with today. Even taking Eli to the hospital last night without his sister seemed like such a breeze. We could focus all our attention on him, and it was nice for one of us to have our hands free.

Hopefully, he be back to his crazy, happy self soon. Poor baby.

Exhausted after we got back from the ER

At some point I'll post about their first christmas and their baptism but for now I need a nap.

What my MIL counter looks like. We're not used to sick babies.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Flying with twins....

Our cross country flight with two 7 month babies went surprisingly well. We made it, the babies made it, and I don't think we annoyed anyone too much during our flights. What we did learn however was how incredibly awkward and difficult it is to maneuver through an airport, with luggage, carry-ons and babies.

Our day started at 2:30am and the babies are pretty well natured at that early hour. A friend drove us, and our million pieces of luggage to the airport an hour away (babies have so much crap). She helped us into the airport and then we proceeded to wait in the longest line ever to check-in. Already things were complicated. Our double snap in go while handy does not really handle that well, especially one handed and Marcus and I awkwardly tried to manage all of belonging and the babies as we moved through the line.

After checking our luggage I realized our first mistake. Too many carry-ons. I knew that we had too many but I like to be prepared. When flying during the winter months, especially when connecting through Chicago we wanted to be prepared for any possible delays. Last year it took us 23 hours to get home. So, I wanted to have enough bottles, formula, diapers, clothes etc. to last the babies should we have the bad luck of a million delays. This resulted in a diaper bag and small rolling suitcase, plus my backpack with my laptop, books etc. since my semester was not yet over. So yeah, too many carry-ons.

The carry-ons became an issue at the gate when we forfeited our stroller and struggled to walk down the narrow aisle of the plane with the babies car-seats (which do not really fit) and our bags. I literally hit every single person in an aisle seat as I awkwardly staggered down the aisle, and rather than anyone offering assistance everyone just looked at us. As Mark stood in the aisle helplessly and I said, "Sorry, sorry, sorry" as I made my way down. Then I had to leave Emerson, in her carseat, and go back and help Marcus with the bag so he could bring Eli down.

The other thing I learned is that when you're traveling with two babies people have a tendency to over share. I learned the entire life story of at least three people on our way here, all the while trying to feed/calm/ the babies.

Overall, the babies did great on the flight and during our lay-over. Emerson had a bit of a meltdown on our second flight but she eventually calmed down.

All was well until we landed at our final destination, we struggled to leave the plane and retrieve our stroller from the gate only to learn that they had lost the wheel. Leaving us stranded with two car-seats, a broken stroller and far too much carry baggage. And nobody cared, except a really kind pilot who went back to look for our wheel, and the offered to try and help us get our babies and belongings down to the baggage claim area.

The airline was completely unsympathetic about our plight, and clearly had no concept of some of the difficulties with twins. As the woman said, "We're not responsible and you're here and it's snowing what do you need the stroller for?" um... everything. We literally can't go anywhere without our stroller. We take it grocery shopping, we often take it to the doctors, we take it any time we have to the leave the house with both babies.

I calmly tried to explain to her that the stroller was not merely used to take the babies for walks but that it was a physical impossibility for us to navigate an airport without having somewhere to put both babies. (The car-seats and babies are heavy).

We were able to call the maker of our stroller so hopefully we'll have a replacement wheel before we have to travel home. Overall, it could have been worse. I'm glad it's over and I'm not really looking forward to doing it all over again in a few weeks.

(Oh, and changing babies on a plane is ridiculous).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Just in case you were wondering...

which was harder..

a). Finishing the semester while pregnant in the first trimester
b). Finishing the semester from the hospital on bedrest
c). Finishing the semester with two 7 month old babies and jet-lag

The answer is hands down C. I have never been more exhausted in my entire life (well maybe when they were newborns) but this is right up there. I have no idea how I'm actually going to finish and I keep having more work thrown at me. In addition to the last few papers and a final exam I was also asked to write an article about the Australia trip for the school... okay that's fine. Except I found out today, Wednesday, that they would like it by the end of the week. Great, thanks for the notice.

And we're leaving tomorrow at 3:30am to go home for the holidays so laundry and packing must also get done.

This too will pass it always does. I wonder how it will be to finish the semester with two one year olds. I'll report back on that in May.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Shots and teeth...

The babies had an appointment this morning to get their second synagis shot and both flu shot boosters, and what should have been a quick appointment with just shots turned into a 2.5 hour wait because of a miscommunication.

We originally made the appointment over a month ago and at the time didn't know that Marcus had a final exam at the same as the appointment and I can't manage both babies getting shots by myself at their current stage and age. So Marcus called to see if there was any way to reschedule. There wasn't so we kept our appointment and left it at that.

This morning I had a friend go with me to the appointment and assumed all would be well, except it seems that they decided that Marcus cancelled our appointment, when he called to inquire about the possibility of changing times. (He didn't actually cancel it was a misunderstanding with the new receptionist).

Anyways, because the appointment was for the synagis the other receptionist made it clear that we had to be seen today and so we were told to take a seat and we would be seen when they had a chance. So we waited and waited and waited some more. In fact we waiting so long that Marcus was able to take his final, drive from his school to the doctor, and arrive before they even had their shots.

Oh, well I suppose these things happen I just have so much work to do for school and to prepare for our trip home that I really didn't expect my entire morning to be spent in the waiting room of the doctors office.

Eli weighs 17lbs 6oz and Emerson weighs 16lbs.

The other funny thing we discovered today at the appointment is that Emerson has teeth... yeah... somehow we missed this occurrence.

I was standing above her head as she was getting the shots and as she was screaming I noticed two tiny little teeth poking through the gums on the bottom and in my surprise said, "Emerson you have teeth!"

The nurse gave me a perplexed look and commented, "Is this the first time your noticing this?"

Yes, in fact it was. I really have no idea how we missed the whole teething and breaking through the gums experience. Apparently it was pretty non-traumatic for her since we didn't notice any unusual behavior. Weird.

I did give Eli's mouth a quick check just to make sure we didn't miss his teeth coming in and so far I think we're safe on that front.

Fun times, shots, teeth, and a morning spent at the doctor. And now I must attempt to do some school work.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Scenes from the Parliament (part One)

I had such an incredible experience at the Parliament of the world's religions in Melbourne Australia and to do justice to the experience I feel as though I need to share a little over several posts. So I'm starting with some pictures from the indigenous population of Australia.

Over the course of the conference the indigenous people shared their music and traditions. Each plenary session featured didgeridoo players, and there were several smaller sessions dedicated to preserving sacred sites, traditions, etc of indigenous people all over the world. I think one of the most unique learning experiences that I think the United States should adopt from Australia, is before any person from the country started speaking they first payed honor and tribute to the indigenous people. I wish I could remember their exact wording but it was a recognition that there were people who lived there first and the government and others did not to right by them.

In 2008 the prime minister issued a formal apology to the aboriginal people and those affected by the stolen generation (a period when they were forcibly removed by the government between 1869 and 1969). The United States with there own horrific history in regards to the treatment of the indigenous people could take a lesson on some of the efforts being made in Australia in relation to this area.

(Photo also by Graeme Sharrock)

And a video I took of a quick performance. I learned while there that woman aren't suppose to play the didgeridoo because they believe it is linked to fertility and will make one infertile, but only the woman.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I should have said no...

A few months ago I was asked to preach on December 13th. I said yes, knowing full well that I would be;

1.) Jet-lagged
2.) In the midst of finals and papers
3.) exhausted

I had such high aspirations of getting the sermon written before I left, but alas no, and now here I sit at 11:59pm without so much as a sentence. I have nothing to say, my brain can't function. I really should have said no.

Friday, December 11, 2009

7 months old...

I'm home (finally) and a bit jet lagged but the trip and the conference were amazing (more on that later). But first while I was gone my little babies turned 7 months old. How the heck did that happen?

Gone are these days.


This piece of paper is very interesting...

So we may need to re-think our strategy.

No sign seems to have much better results.

I love this picture of Eli, because this smile, as huge as it is, is how he always smiles (and we finally got it on camera). He doesn't laugh often, but he smiles as wide as his mouth will open.

At 7 months Eli can:

* Roll from his back to his tummy (a very recent discovery). He however doesn't roll from his tummy to his back, so there is a lot of flipping him back over.
* Does a modify scooting on his back. He arches his back and then uses his feet to move around the room. So he can only move in one direction (whatever way he's facing) and he gets stuck a lot.
* Loves to put things over his face. He always puts his blanket over his head, or his bib, or the uh... couch.

While I was gone Marcus went to brush his teeth and Eli had "back" scooted himself under the couch. He was very content, kicking his legs and hanging out. (We can't leave the room without him contained anymore).
* Can tri-pod sit very briefly but he hates it. I think it's hard for him to breath and he whines. So no real sitting going on yet.
* Still eats 5.5-6 oz each bottle.
* Can bear weight on his legs.

I think that's pretty much the new things he's doing.

Emerson at 7 months:

* Easily move things from one hand to the other
* Laughs at every thing, all the time. Even her stretches for EI sends her into a fit of giggles.
* She loves to play with her tongue and her spit. She also loves to blow raspberries when she's eating which sends a spray of formula all over our faces.
* She is fascinated by cell phones and loves to grab at our faces.
* And she loves to be held and cuddled. Especially by her dad.

I think that's about all. I can't believe they're already 7 months old.

I try really hard not to compare the babies to each other but obviously it's hard not to. Emerson compared to Eli seems so far behind. She never rolls, no attempts to move, no bearing weight, still pretty poor head and muscle control. I know it will come with time and the physical therapist isn't really worried yet, but it's hard not to be a little concerned. I guess we'll see what the PT has to say next week when she comes.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I made it...

And I'm exhausted. We arrived yesterday morning (which was Wednesday Dec. 2nd). So we somehow managed to miss Dec. 1st completely. It's a bit like time traveling. Now it's Thursday morning (I think) I'm so confused and I'm blogging from a McDonald's because they have free wifi. The conference doesn't start until this evening so we're going to register and then go to the beach I think.

I had a middle seat for the 14.5 hour leg from LA to Sydney and I sat between I guy who liked to crowd my personal space and a woman who kept coughing into the air. I so badly wanted to yell at her. Now I'm feeling a little sick and hoping that after adjusting to the time for a little longer that will go away.

It's crazy because it's summer down here. I have on shorts and it's suppose to be 85 degrees today. Last night we went to an outdoor market with music, tons of food and different booths. Way too many people, and way to far to walk with little to no sleep, but I'm trying to push through the exhaustion and experience Australia.

It's hard to communicate with marcus because of the lack of internet and phone situation, but finally I found this McDonald's. Thus far all is well. I miss Marcus and the babies. In fact when I was packing I tried to bring them with me...

But that didn't work out too well.

I'm excited for the conference to start and too see what the next few days have in store. Thus far Australia is actually a lot like the United States except they drive on the left and say G'day and mate.