Wednesday, December 24, 2008
And of course you can't forget Ms. Santa Claws herself:
Enjoy this time with your family and friends!! I must admit, having kids makes Christmas special again! And for all that have been following...here's to a completely and totally uneventful 2009, we need it!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
3) Explain the picture
I was pretty curious as to what was the 4th photo in the 4th folder on my iPhotos (and I am sure you are waiting with baited breath as well!), so without further ado -
::sigh of relief:: Thank goodness it wasn't one of my baby shower photos, because if I have any say, they are not going to see the light of day...EVER!
Anyway, this is a photo of Matt and I at our friend Steve & Wendy's wedding. From the look of it, this was taken prior to the copious alcohol that we consumed there. See, Steve & Wendy were nice enough to sit our table (a table of very social drinkers) right next to the bar! Good times, good times :)
I tag MJ at Now is not a Time, Megan at The Wilsons, Aimee at The Barbagallo Twins, and Laura at Taylo 2 Babies...but don't feel the need to do it if you don't want too, but I had to say I was intrigued with what photo would pop up under these rules :)
Quick Update - The boys had their 9 month appointment and Josh weighs 20lb2oz (50%) and Brody weights 21lb4oz (75%) Their height and head circumference is wonderfully average as well. These boys have quintupled their birth weight in 9 months! Way to go, boys!! Oh, and Josh finally sprouted his first tooth - so for those of you who are keeping track (I'm guessing this is information only a mother could care about) Brody has two bottom teeth, and Josh has one. All the better to eat their Christmas cookies with, my dear :)
Friday, December 19, 2008
Place: Our house (specifically, our living room floor)
Time: Not sure, it was daylight (give me a break, I'm lucky I still remember my own name!)
Witnesses: Me, Matt, Grandma & Grandpa H
Event: Both boys holding their own bottles together for the first time!!
Evidence: Photographic (kinda creepy how much that word can look like pornographic if you look too quickly!)
And it has been smooth sailing ever since....now I'm just flat out lying, but the boys holding their bottles is a very momentous occasion, even for a mom of a singleton! Baby holding their own bottle=free hands for all involved! In fact, I didn't even know what to do with myself those first few times in which they were holding their own bottles...I just stared in disbelief, knowing that (in the words of Jack Johnson) I was sitting, waiting, wishing for this day to arrive.
And it seems, just like every other milestone that I look forward to, it actually bittersweet. Because, it is one less thing the babies need me for. Look at these self-sufficient little guys. Soon enough they'll be changing their own diaper (which in reality would be fabulous, especially the really messy ones!), mixing their own bottles, and climbing into their own crib!
As much as I am NOT ready for my boys to up and move away to college...as a mother of multiples, I was more than ready for them to be able to hold their own bottles. As I am sure most people don't think about, the logistics of one person feeding two (or more!) babies is quite challenging, at least bottle feeding. Here's our methodology for feeding twins:
1) You have to find a secure (i.e. buckled-in) place to put the babies - when they were tiny, the boppies worked fine because there was no moving around, then we moved to the swings, because the boys sure as hell didn't enjoy them for the soothing motion, and the carseats were always perfect for this method when out in public, then finally we were using their bouncer seats.
2) When the secured area is located, you then need a prop - which can be a pillow, a blanket rolled up, a coat...pretty much anything that you can fold, roll, or mash up to hold up a bottle.
3) Once the little contraption was set up, you placed the bottles onto said props and then would sit and wait until one or the other's bottle would fall. And then screaming would ensue, especially those extremely fun times when both bottles would fall and you were just NOT quick enough and the world was crashing in because the boys didn't have their bottles.
4) And then you had to burp them, of course one at a time, which doesn't seem like a big deal, but when you have babies with bad reflux, this was a beat the clock kind of situation. Because as you were burping one, if you didn't get to baby 2 soon enough, he would then spit up half his bottle. And then more screaming would ensue (mostly me, as I remember).
So, although bittersweet, it is more so a sweet era in the Gillis household!! Now, if they could only use the toilet....
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Really??? My boys are 9 months old?? My little preemies that spent what felt like an eternity in the NICU?? I mean look at 'em, they think they are old enough to wear flannel and crowd surf! (Matt's contribution to the blog photos, if you didn't know he is obsessed with the 90's grunge movement and nothing makes him happier than flannels being back in):
Well, as you can see, they aren't so preemie in size anymore. We don't have their 9-month well visit to the doctor until tomorrow, but I'll make an educated guess based on their weights from their stay in the hospital...and we can see how close I am!
Josh - 20lb 9oz
Brody - 21lb 14oz
We'll see how close I came tomorrow, but I am guessing that I am not that far off. I'm so happy to have such strong, growing boys!
Speaking of which, my boys are now in full effect, 12 month clothing. Um, what happened to the 9-month clothing?? They kinda skipped over it, passing Go and collecting their 200 dollars. And the Gerber clothing?? Fuggetaboutit, they are in 18 month sleepers! They can't even fit into any of the uber cute "My First Christmas" clothing because they are too damn big. I guess the baby clothing companies have decided amongst themselves that if they are fitting in 12 month clothing, math predicts that they have indeed already had a "First Christmas" and are not in need of a "Baby's Second Christmas" getup. But to me that is just weight-ist, because although I know my boys are big guys, they are not by any means the most ginormous children out there and what about those other poor huge babies that can't fit into any of the Christmas clothing available?? It's a sad state of affairs, I'll tell ya!
Anyway, let me tell you what is up with my babies (sigh, more like little boys) - they are both sitting up on their own and have been for about a month or so. Of course, they topple over from time to time when there is a particularly fascinating toy (or dog) out of their reach. Their vocabulary has expanded and includes dada, baba, and gaga.....but, sadly no mama. I mean short of my life mimicking that famous scene in "Being John Malkovich" with mama being the only phrase we speak, I have no clue how to get them to say mama! I know, I know, someday I will rue the day that they can say my name and will wish that they could forgot it. But in all honesty, all I want for Christmas is my boys to call me mama (not that you have to take anything back for me, I'll use all the other gifts to numb my pain).
What else...they are obsessed with balls, which makes us obsessed with finding the lost ones throughout the house. Considering some of the toys they are playing with are meant to be Christmas gifts, it's kinda pathetic that we have already lost some balls prior to December 25th (and no family Christmas toys were included in this ball tragedy, I swear!).
Oh and the boys have now graduated to the big boy tub!! Here are some photos of the big event:
And finally (drumroll, please!)......THEY ARE HOLDING THEIR OWN BOTTLES!! Oh, happy day! But that is such news that it merits its own post, so stay tuned :)
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Two of them to be precise. Apparently all Brody wanted for Christmas this year was his two bottom teeth (so does that mean I can return the millions I spent on toys this year??). But now that he has them, all he wants to do is chew on everything, his favorite subject being his mother’s poor nose…and fingers. Apparently he has a taste for flesh, which leads me to believe that Brody is A) a zombie, or B) a vampire-in-training (although he has drawn blood, he has not learned the skills to actually suck it, yet).
His brother has yet to go over to the dark side, but I have a feeling it is really just a matter of time. I can feel a lump on his bottom gum, meaning there is a tooth under there just dying to burst through, but in the meantime is making Josh (and us) miserable. So I am not sure which is worse, having a baby with teeth that wants to gnaw on any body part that gets in his way, or a baby that is super grumpy-pants from his sore gums. I think I am leaning towards the super grumpy pants baby, because at least it doesn’t cause me physical pain…or loss of blood.
So I am guessing I need to find some good sturdy branches for chewing in order to dull down the honed blades on Brody’s teeth, unless anyone else out there has better ideas…
Sunday, December 7, 2008
(So here's a cute photo of the boys in their holiday card outfits to help you to forget your disappointment in my non-posting)
First off, as most parents dread, we had our 1st AND 2nd visits to the ER over Thanksgiving weekend (well, with twins, you get to do two of everything, right...even the crummy stuff). The first visit occurring on actual Thanksgiving day with Josh waking up with tons of gooey gunk in his eyes. Well, I say waking up, implying that the poor boy actually slept the night before, but in reality his sleep probably added up to about 45 minutes in total. So, my husband being the trooper that he was staying with Josh through the night, I took one for the team and took Josh to the Emergency Room while Matt stayed home and entertained a wide-awake Brody.
It was a very run of the mill ER visit with very little waiting, thankfully (I'm guessing not too many people have turkey frying burns at 9AM). We got our eye ointment and were sent on our way. Too bad it meant that we were now quarantined at home on the best food day of the year. And to add insult to injury (or is it injury to insult, sigh, mom brain at work here, ladies and gentlemen), we had to spend our day of cleaning. And not normal cleaning, nope, we had to sanitize every living thing in our house, every toy, every fabric, EVERYTHING. In hopes that said pink eye would not be passed on to me, or Matt, or Brody. We knew that this could be all in vain, our futile attempt at de-germing the house, but we had to at least try.
Needless to say, we ended up at the ER on Sunday night for Brody this time...his eyes had gotten all gooey after an afternoon nap. And Josh's pink eye never totally went away, so we decided to bring them both in to get checked out because they seemed a little on the wheezy side as well. So, we packed up and off we went to the ER, but unfortunately, there were many, many more people there than the last time, so we had a feeling our night would be spent surrounded by all sorts of sickness and injury. But unfortunately, we were wrong.
They took Josh back right away, which if you know anything about emergency rooms, that is not a good thing. Especially when there were 20-odd people waiting before us. Matt took Josh back to get looked at while I stayed in the waiting room with Brody who was apparently not quite as sick as his brother and could stand to wait a while. Minutes felt like hours until they finally took us back to be with Matt & Josh. I was expecting the worst after many flurried text messages back and forth with Matt (thank goodness for technology!) saying how it wasn't good what was going on with Josh, and he was right. Poor guy couldn't breathe well at all, so it was decided that he was going to be on oxygen while they were waiting for tests results to return. And then his brother had to go through the same torturous poking and prodding that his brother did, but unfortunately I was there to witness Brody's screaming, unlike Josh's. Long story short, both boys were admitted to the pediatric floor of the hospital to be monitored overnight.
But the overnight monitoring turned into a 5 day stay at Chez Lowell General, which is not what we were expecting in the least. And it was a tortuous 5 days, with lots of poking and prodding the boys, taking temps, suctioning noses (the WORST thing EVER), administering breathing treatments. And this happened AROUND THE CLOCK, meaning no sleep for anyone, worst of all no sleep for the poor sick little boys. Finally on our last full day, we had had it and told the nurses that while, yes, it was important for the boys to get checked out, it was JUST AS IMPORTANT for them to get their sleep! Thankfully, they agreed and our last night I think we actually got 2-4 hour blocks of sleep which is the most we had the entire time there.
And now we are home, glorious home, but still needed to administer breathing treatments, nose suctioning, and medication. Turns out the boys had RSV (click this link to read about it, it's not a fun thing for babies, but preemie babies, especially), Pink Eye, Ear Infections, and Pneumonia (just Josh had this). Poor guys, when they get sick, they REALLY got sick! Thankfully, they are so much better, although not 100%. We are still quarantined to the house because they could still pass on the RSV to other babies, so better to be safe than sorry.
So now, in order to keep our boys safe we have decided to cut way back on their exposure to other people. Which means; no big parties, no mall, no Santa (sniff, sniff), no sick people visiting. While our boys may not look like preemies anymore, their immune systems still are, and will be for the first two winters. So, I apologize ahead of time if there are times where we can't visit or have people visit us, but we gotta do what's best for our little guys. They are our priority now.
I have lots more to share with you regarding the boys and all they are getting into now a days, but that will be for another day. Just wanted to update you on Team Gillis and promise now that the sickness has subsided for the most part, I'll be able to update more frequently...I promise!!
And on that note, here are a couple fun photos of the boys that I took this weekend (they are getting so big and so fun!) :
Saturday, November 1, 2008
The good news is that we had more than enough candy for all the kiddies this year...the bad news is that we have so much candy left over that it is ridiculous!! And I've enough that just looking at the candy make my teeth ache. Anybody want some candy?? We gots the good kinds too, no Charleston Chew at our place!!
Here are a few Halloween shots of the boys...I think their costumes fit their personalities perfectly. Josh was a teddy bear and Brodyman was a monkey. Enjoy!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Yep, it's official...our boys have uttered their first dada's, and the amazing this is that the boys did it 12 hours apart! There was a big dada race going on in our house with a lot of close calls, but Brody is the official winner. Josh might be the big roller, but Brody is without a doubt our big talker :) We thought for a while that Josh might be the dark horse in the race and just up and say dada while Brody has been practicing his da's for a week or so, but Josh let his brother have the first to do award in this category.
And while I am absolutely thrilled with this new found talent, no one could be more proud than their dada. He has been completely beaming since last night at 7:50pm, and the lucky bastard got to experience that rush again this morning from Josh. What a thrill it is to experience such a fantastic milestone!!
Ok boys, now you got the easy word out of the way....start using those new found tongue techniques and start practicing those "mamas" because she will hit the roof if your second word is Lucy!! I didn't carry you for 9 (well 8) months and sit in a hospital bed for 3 weeks for our family pet to become the next part of your new vocabulary!!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Sorry it has been so long since I posted an update, but I have a lot of reasons for the lapse in postings:
1) I have twins!
2) My work has converted over to our parent server and I cannot access blogs from work
3) The only free time I have when I am home is used for catching up on sleep!
4) And finally, I have 2 seven month old twins - what do you expect :)
Anyway, the boys turned 7 months old last week! I shed a few tears thinking that my boys are closer to turning 1 than being born. I just can't believe how fast the time has gone!! I still can remember being as huge as a house still pregnant with them. Now they are talking up a storm, unfortunately not in the english language yet, but I feel that "dada" is just around the corner.
And Josh has officially rolled over!! The boys have mastered the belly to back roll-over long ago, but Josh again was first in the back to belly roll-over. He completed the full movement just shy of his 7 month birthday and we are thinking that Brody is soon to follow. Of course, once Josh rolls over , he is not quite sure what to do once on his stomach. So he proceeds to fuss and fuss until we pick him up or put him on his back. And you've guessed it, as soon as he is on his back, he's back on his belly screaming again. I'm sure it's amusing to someone, but it is quite tiring to be on baby roll-over duty!!
And in their seven months of life, it is amazing how different these two little men are! Josh is my observer, my cuddly guy, and my human bat. There is nothing that he loves more than being upside down!! I am convinced he would live that way if he could. On the other hand, Brody is my outgoing flirt, with the mischeivous smile. He is full of giggles and loves to get into anything that he shouldn't. But both my guys are such good natured boys, I can't help but feel like I hit the "baby jackpot". And the fact that they've been sleeping through the night since 3 months has been a HUGE help in everyone's santiy.
Speaking of sleeping, both boys are officially off swadles as well! I was convinced I would have to commission some seamstress out there to sew up some adult size swaddles for when they went off to college, but thankfully, I didn't have to cross that bridge! I was actually shocked at how easy it was because I had visions of tantrums and fights and major sleep deprivation, when in reality we went sans swaddle cold turkey and haven't looked back since. We were smart enough to do one at a time, though, and it worked in our favor. I hope that everyone out there in swaddle land has as easy of a time as us!
Ok, I'm off to go hang out with my handsome men (all three of them!), but here are a couple of outtakes from their 7-month "photo shoot":
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I do feel like walking around saying "I'm THIRTY!" in that Molly Shannon-esque voice from Saturday Night Live. And for anyone that is getting my reference, I can still "kick, stretch, and KICK"!
Of course I have a lot to show for my 30 years on this planet...I've got two absolutely adorable sons, an absolutely wonderful husband, an absolutely cute basset hound, and an absolutely generous and supportive family. Really, what more could I ask for?? There is no reason to be down about my life when I have so much to celebrate!!
So, I am taking 30 by the horns and running with it. You're only as old as you feel, and to tell you the truth...I still feel like my mom is going to yell at me any moment for getting pregnant, hehe.
And now I leave you with some photos of what I most look forward to seeing on my big day....oh, and GO SOX!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Here's to another 20 years, and I can only hope that my marriage is as good as yours!!
Monday, September 29, 2008
So three cheers for our new babysitter, Jess. Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray! And look at the cuteness that she gets to be a part of, I mean really, who wouldn't want to watch these cuties??
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
So for now, my free time will consist of trying to find ourselves some reliable daycare that doesn't completely put us out on the street due to cost. There is already talk of second jobs for us if need be, so although that would really, really, REALLY suck, we gotta do what's best for the boys.
If anyone knows of any good nannies or daycare in the Merrimack valley, feel free to leave a comment. If not, please keep your fingers, toes, and any other appendages crossed for us. We need all the good karma we can get. Hmmm...short of the boys being born, 2008 hasn't been the best year for us, huh??
Well there's only how many days left in the year?? 99 based on some website, so we are into double digits now, hopefully 2009 will be a little less dramatic than this year has been. Here's to some wishful thinking....
Friday, September 19, 2008
For those of you who (whom?) don't believe in Karma, I have a little story to pass on. You see, I grew up an only child, meaning, that I didn't have to share anything; toys, clothes, bathrooms, parents, etc. Well, I didn't have to share for the most part, but of course I did grow up with cousins and friends, which meant that I had to learn to share...and I was NOT a fan! So, as most only children do when they don't get their way; they whine, they whine a lot. I was a professional whiner and could pretty much out-whine any adult in a 10 mile vicinity. I had a tolerance for whining that was very impressive and could break down pretty much anyone that I came in contact with. To this day, I am still a pretty good whiner, but I have to say that I am not even a shell of my former self. My mother would always warn me not to whine, that it's not polite, it makes me look spoiled....blah, blah, blah. And my husband, well, he pretty much ignores me now when I whine, or, even worse, he calls me out on it. So, needless to say, whining isn't as big a part of my repertoire any more.
Unfortunately (and this is where the whole Karma thing comes in) for me, I am now inundated with whining, and none (well, most of it at least) of it is mine! Whining is now the boys' favorite past-times, and although they can't speak a lick, they've got whining down to a science (they are their mother's children, no doubt). They whine for their bottles, they whine when they are finished their bottles, they whine for their baby food, they whine when the other is being fed baby food instead of them, Josh whines when I am holding Brody, Brody whines when I am paying attention to Josh, and they both whine when I am holding neither of them!
It is a vicious cycle that continues day in and day out, to which I cannot even imagine how it will escalate when they are older. On top of the boys whining, we have the whiniest dog on the planet. Basset Hounds are known to be stubborn, and this girl takes the cake! You would think that she was an only puppy, but I know better. She is an only doggy in our house though, and was in fact the princess of the house until the boys came. And she whines like you wouldn't believe. She whines when she wants to be let out, she whines when she wants to be let in, she whines when you are eating something that she wants, she whines when you close the bathroom door and she can't get in, she whines when you close the bathroom door and she can't get out! She would sure give the younger version of me a run for my whining money, and just might win, because Lucy never gives up...it never fails to amaze me.
So, now I am filled with a house of whiners, and have no one to blame but myself! If one of my little men isn't whining, then it's the dog wanting to go out at the perfect moment where we just got ourselves tucked into bed. The truth is, I am quite jealous, because no one listens to my whining anymore! So now, I am left to resort to whining on my own blog where no one can tell me what I can or can't do...so THERE!!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
So, I realize that every month I elaborate on how hard it is to take ONE good picture of twinfants. This month was no exception, so the photos you are about to see are cute, but not smiley-cute, they are crying baby-cute. You see, Josh wanted NOTHING to do with getting into his cute picture clothes, let alone having to sit with his brother...all this man wanted was F-O-O-D and he let us (and poor Brody) know about it:
In the above picture, I can just see that Brody is thinking "Alright, Mom, not only did you get me in this STUPID outfit, but now you are sitting me next to this crazy guy that is screaming his head off! What on earth did I do to deserve this??"
And all in the name of a cute picture! I'm finding that I am taking less and less photos of the boys thanks to the giant interruption that is my job...so I am going to try and remedy that this weekend. My photo pool is getting smaller and smaller to draw from, and I want to have as much cuteness on record as I can! Hopefully we can bust out these outfits this weekend for their pal Jonah's 1st birthday party...we'll see how well they put up with them then :)
Friday, September 12, 2008
But, since all of you enjoyed my ridiculous baby items post - meaning I enjoyed writing the post and it's my damn blog - I figured I would do it again. This week's spin off will be baby bling. With all the famous people out there having babies (and twins are so in right now, dahling) there are companies that are trying to cash in on all this disposable income. Needless to say, these things seem ridiculous to us, but I'm guessing there is a market for outrageously priced baby items, or these companies still wouldn't be in business:
I'm not sure about you, but binkies are a treasured commodity in our house, but not because they are covered with swarovski crystals, but because we are forever losing them (i.e. Lucy steals them and buries them around the house) and they are an important part of keeping our boys calm and content during a "fuss session". And since we are forever needing to buy more, I just cant justify spending $120 on a pacifier that is just going to end up as a dog toy! But if this is right up your alley, they have coordinating items such as rattles for your favorite "aristabrat".
Alright, so if you think that a crib the price of a cheap foreign import is a bit too much...here is a "cheaper" version. When I say cheaper, I mean a bargain price of $5,000!! But, remember, all the other little girls' (again, these are babies) moms bought them the supped-up (sooped, souped??) model and that in buying this version, you are only 1/3 of the mom they are.
Really, I could go on and on with all the crazy stuff, but this is where I will stop for now...I need future material! And, since these options are for the female clientele (or maybe pre-metrosexual babies out there), I will do my due diligence to find some male-focused baby ridiculousness. If you happen to see any yourself, let me know!!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I will take their 6 month photos tonight - stay tuned for cuteness squared. But in the meantime, here is a photo from their first minutes of existence. Funny how newborns (especially preemies) and old men look exactly alike. You've come a long way, boys!!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
This is a sort of spin-off of the freak show post from a while back, but I thought that it would be fun to let you guys in on what happens when you take twins out in public. Along with the whole freak show aspect of being out with twins in public places, is the ridiculous (or downright rude) things that people feel the need to say to you. Here is a list of a few of my favorites:
1. Are those twins?? Nope, I just happened to have two babies that are the exact same age, size, features, etc., but they are most certainly not twins cause that’s impossible!!
2. Are they Natural? They are 100% spontaneous, but as far as I know, all babies are NATURAL.
3. I’ve always wanted twins!! Hmm…are you sure about that one? If you ever feel the urge, you are more than welcome to babysit for us, overnight.
4. Our children are only (insert numbers from 12-18) months apart - it’s just like having twins!! Um, not by a long shot…I am not saying “Irish Twins” are easier, but it is different…very different. Having two screaming newborns at 3AM is much different than only having one. Just like having one screaming infant and one toddler walking around at the same time.
5. So have you started tryin’ for that girl? First of all, is that any of YOUR business?? I love people that think that a family isn’t complete without both sexes represented. Who says all families HAVE to have a boy and a girl?? Maybe we are just happy with our two little guys. And secondly, we have just gotten over that newborn “hump”, so while we might be a little bit nuts, we ain’t that nuts!
6. Better you than me!! Yep, you are right on that one!
7. Whoa, Double Trouble!! Maybe, but what you are forgetting is that there is also double the love and double the fun!
8. They are going to eat you out of house and home!! Really?? Any more than any other family with two boys, but then maybe they have heard rumors about the Gillis boy appetite (and for the record I am terrified!!)
9. Those C-section babies are so much better looking! – Seriously, someone told me that a week after Brody came home and we went out to eat at Friendly’s. It was a man too, which totally threw me for a loop.
But then to be fair, we do get some positive attention and some really nice comments, although the people more likely to stop and comment are the ones that have the craziest things to say. Mostly, we just get a lot of smiles from the not so crazies out in public!
1. Twins!! What a Blessing! Yes, yes it is…is it easy – nope, but is it worth it – most definitely!
2. Wow, you must be a supermom! Now, I will never claim to be anything close to a supermom, but I will certainly not correct someone if they think that I am!
3. I have no idea how you do it! Me neither, but you do what you need to do to get the job done. I believe these are the most empathetic people, because they know how hard it was to do it with just one at a time, so I admit that I do feel a wee bit superior when I get those comments
I have heard from MOMs of twins that are older that one day I will miss the attention, and maybe I will, but for now I can't help but shake my head at most of society. And people as a whole should start using the filter between their brain and their mouth. On the other side, when someone is truly interested and curious to ask questions about the boys, I turn into "Proud Mama" mode and am more than willing to brag about my boys - Just don't ask me if they are natural....