Monday, February 28, 2011

The twins go to the nursery!

Sunday we left Cole and Ellen in the church nursery for the first time. Since they were premature, our pediatrician recommended that they stay away from the nursery at least until cold season ended. For seven months we have kept them in church with us. Most of the time they behave, but they don't just sleep through it anymore like they did in the early days. Now they want to "talk" and play. Even though their talking is pretty darn cute, I have a feeling that others in the congregation would appreciate not hearing them try out all sorts of sounds throughout the sermon. And, truthfully, Cole and I have been craving a bit of a break. Just a small window of time that we can focus on something other than the drool twins.

Even though they're really cute:




All along I've said that around March we will put the twins in the nursery. The spring-like weather of late helped me go ahead and get it over with (even though technically it was still February).

I never, ever thought I would have a hard time leaving them in the nursery. They have stayed in the nursery a few times before for Bible study (it's a smaller nursery, so our Dr. ok'd that), but other than that they have been with me or another family member pretty much every minute of their lives. If we have ever used a babysitter, Cole and Ellen have been in bed before we left. Even still, I just knew that I wouldn't be bothered by leaving them.

But on Sunday I started feeling a little anxious about leaving them. I even considered staying home with them so Cole could go to church and actually pay attention to the service and listen to the whole sermon - something we haven't really been able to do since July. Cole encouraged me to come to church too and leave the babies in the capable hands of the nursery workers and volunteers.

When we got there, I could feel myself become more and more anxious about leaving them. I wasn't expecting to feel this way at all, so I was completely caught off guard. As we were walking out of the nursery, I felt tears welling up. Thankfully they didn't fall, but goodness...mommy emotions are serious business.

I pulled myself together and actually enjoyed being able to focus on the service. And, the Lord seriously knows what he's doing - the sermon was on anxiety. Ha! How's that for a direct message to me?

When Cole went to get the babies from the nursery, Ellen was in someone's lap laughing and talking. Little Cole had been great as well, so all that worry was for nothing.

I'm totally letting myself believe that since they did well the first time, every time in the nursery will be as easy. Please don't burst my bubble.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Productivity is exciting!

Big things are happening in the Gresham house!

I have been productive 3 days in a row!

This weekend I worked on cleaning out the office and putting up Christmas presents and decorations. Yes, I know Christmas was in December and it's now February, but let's just focus on the fact that I crossed things off the to-do list. :)

Today I got the babies ready, and we went to Bible study. I love the group of girls in our Bible study group, and I have missed getting together with them. I've missed the last three weeks because of a life insurance physical and sick babies. These girls are such an encouragement to me, and it's just a great way to start off the week.

And, to top it all off, I went to the grocery store and cooked dinner. It hasn't happened much around here since July, but it happened tonight. Granted, it was just spaghetti, but still.

If I continue to be productive for the rest of my pregnancy, our house might actually be clean and organized before New Baby comes. Imagine that.

Since the last few posts have been light on baby pictures, here are a couple I took while playing around today.







Sunday, February 20, 2011

We have a splasher!

The babies had baths today, and Ellen learned a new trick...

Splahsing! She was having so much fun I almost didn't want to take her out of the tub. She was kicking her legs and slapping her hands into the water and loving every minute. It was absolutely adorable!

The bad news is that Ellen's splashing happened so fast and unexpectedly (and we were trying to hurry to get everyone ready) that I didn't get a video. I'll be more prepared next time.

Until now both twins have been pretty sedate in the tub. For a long time Cole would even get nervous and concerned when I poured water on him. He has started smiling when he gets wet now, but he still clasps his hands right in front of his mouth, takes a deep breath when the water pours over him, and chews his fingers for comfort while I bathe him. He's pretty cute.

It's pretty insane how big Ellen and Cole are getting. Cole can now pull his paci out and get it back in his mouth all by himself. They are both reaching and grabbing for everything in sight (including my hair...ouch!), and Ellen has even stolen Cole's paci twice! Each time he tries to get it back it results in a 7-month-old version of Tug of War. Cole and I have broken up the competition both times, but I'm already having visions of fierce fights in the future.

Pray for me... :)


Thursday, February 17, 2011

If I had a million dollars

Ok, so I don't have a million dollars, but I do have Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket. I promised myself this year that I would think about what I wanted to get before I just started spending. I've already bought this great bag:

Photo Courtesy of mybagaholicshop.blogspot.com

It came today, and I love it!

Yesterday I registered for a 6-week long photography class. I got my camera last year and have been meaning to learn how to really use it. I don't want to become a professional or anything, but I'd like to be able to take great pictures of my kids. My sister is taking a class next weekend, and she really inspired me to go ahead and take a class. Hopefully you'll get to see my pictures improve.

After registering for the class, I got excited about photography and found this on etsy.com:
Photo Courtesy of knittybittie's shop on etsy.com

It's a camera strap slipcover. They make slipcovers and actual straps. I don't know if I'll actually get one or not, but they're super cute. My sister-in-law got one for her birthday, and I loved it.

I still haven't quite decided what else to buy. I've thought about an iPod Touch because I'm dying to beat my brother-in-law at Words with Friends.

This storage ottoman has also caught my eye:
Photo Courtesy of Amazon.com


I think it would fit great in our bedroom. We need a little extra storage and a place to put the decorative pillows (instead of just on the floor).

Speaking of storage benches, here's the one we put together last weekend:


Sorry it took me so long to get a picture of it. We still need to get more drawers to go in it, but I really like it. I think it'll be the perfect place to store toys when the babies get a little bigger.

So, there's the wrap-up of my Christmas. Is there anything you've found lately that you think I need to have? Please share!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hormones, hormones go away

Don't come again another day.

It's no big secret to those who know me that I don't love being pregnant. Yes, there are some wonderful/miraculous things that happen while you're growing another human, but overall I could live without this process. Just give me the baby, please. :)

This pregnancy has been easier than the last, primarily, I think, because I'm not having twins this time. I was far less tired during the first trimester (it might have helped that I didn't even know I was pregnant until the first trimester was almost over!), and most of the time I forget I'm even pregnant.

However...this time around I'm also much more hormonal. I can have a perfectly good day, but by night somehow I'm in a terrible mood. Some days little things send me over the edge. And some days I'm just in a weird funk. Ugh...

Hopefully this will pass soon. Cole and I are getting more and more excited about meeting New Baby, so I'm going to focus on that and pray this yuckyness goes away.

Pictures of the storage bench and van coming soon...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Why I love my minivan...

After we found out we were expecting New Baby, Cole and I started searching for a minivan. We knew we needed it, and we were actually excited about it. I know some parents do anything they can to avoid it, but, seriously, just do it. Minivans are amazing for so many reasons:
  • I can open the sliding doors with my remote.
  • I can close the sliding doors with my remote. I love not having to fight to close the door after getting a baby in a car seat out.
  • I don't have to worry about hitting cars parked near me with my door while trying to pry my children out of the car.
  • There is tons and tons of room in the back for all of the crazy paraphernalia two tiny people require.
  • I can easily get my double stroller in and out of the car.
  • I am hopeful that all three of my children in car seats will fit across the middle row leaving plenty of room for all that stuff. (I know I talk about "stuff" a lot, but babies really do come with a lot of it.)
  • Have I mentioned the sliding doors?????
So, get over yourself. Yes, a minivan will make you look like a mom.

But guess what...you ARE a mom. Embrace it. Get a van.

Nesting for New Baby

My nesting instinct has apparently finally kicked in. I'm not sure if it's super late from my pregnancy with the twins or super early since I'm only 18 weeks along. Either way, it's consuming my life, thoughts, and time.

I'm in uncharted territory since I didn't experience this the last go 'round - mainly, I think, because I didn't know how much my world was going to be rocked by the twins. I kept thinking I had all the time in the world to get things done. And that's why my mother-in-law and her best friend had to finish the nursery while I was still in the hospital. :)

This week I've been unable to stop thinking about the long list - that continues to grow by the second - of things I want to get done by the time New Baby arrives.

One of the major items on this list has been neglected since we moved in - the playroom. We finally got a rug for the room and rearranged some furniture to end up with this:


While the rug warms the room up considerably, we are still in need of a few things. First, storage. This is going to be baby/kid central. We need a place to hid all of their toys and paraphernalia.

To solve that problem we headed to Home Depot today. There we picked up a Martha Stewart storage bench and put it together tonight. I think I'm going to really like it. It will provide a small space to store some toys, and it also will double as extra seating. I took a picture tonight of it in the space, but it didn't turn out well. I'll take another in the morning and post it tomorrow.

The next item on my list for this room is to get the cable fixed. I have been dragging my feet on this because I have to call and cancel our current service and then call to order new service. I'm excited about changing providers, but I loathe confrontation. I guess one uncomfortable phone call is worth it in the long run, but still.

Then we will need end tables (since we may eventually move the coffee table out of there to provide more play space for the babies), window treatments, and some art above the couch. I'm thinking about something like this:


The only problem is that our windows are different sizes. We have three window in a row, but the middle one is a different size than the other two. I have no idea why, but it is incredibly irritating. And I have not been able to find anywhere online that makes roman shades (which is what I think I want for that room) in a size that will fit the middle window. Awesome. I may look into getting someone to make them for us, but I'm worried that will end up costing more than I want to spend. Hopefully something will turn up.

So, that is just one of the items on my to-do-before-New-Baby-comes list. All of the other items are just as involved at this one, so I'm glad that I've actually started working toward completing the most important task.

Stay tuned for more stories of nesting.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Consignment sale season!

Consignment sale season has officially begun!

Last year I feel like I wasn't able to fully take advantage of the consignment sales in the Birmingham area. The babies were still very young and very, very small, so I didn't know what sizes to buy. This year, though, I knew exactly what I wanted.

The first sale was at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church. My lovely sister Sara was able to get passes to get in early for my sister-in-law and me, and I racked up.

Here are the play clothes and sleepers I got:


And here are the nicer jon-jons and dresses:


As you can clearly see, I ended up with much more stuff for Cole - mostly due to the fact that the selection was just better for boys. But don't feel too sorry for Ellen just yet; there are many sales yet to come.

I'm most looking forward to the BAMOM (Birmingham Area Moms of Multiples) sale in a couple of weeks. They will have boy/girl coordinating outfits grouped together. I have had a hard time finding cute coordinating outfits for the twins, so I'm hoping I'll find lots of good things.

My cousin Katie is the pro at consignment sales, and she taught me a few things during the last round of sales. The best tip she gave was to grab everything you think you might want and then reevaluate before you check out. During this reevaluation, you should look closely for stains or signs of wear and tear. You should also pay attention to the types of things you are getting. Did you grab too many of one type of outfit? Did you get the right sizes? Did you get too many outfits of the same color? In other words, be more critical of the outfits at this point.

So to recap: First, grab everything that catches your eye, and then scrutinize.

Another thing that helps you decide if the price is worth it is to know what brands are the nicer brands. For instance, Feltman Brothers outfits are generally fairly expensive, so an outfit of that brand selling for $15 in good condition is actually a pretty good deal. The more you know about the brands and what they normally sell for, the better. That way you don't buy something used for $8 that you could've gotten new for $11.

To find consignment sales in your area, you can usually just do a Google search. If that leaves you empty handed, try asking around, especially at the churches. I have found that in Birmingham many of the better sales are organized by churches.

Anyone else have any tips for shopping consignment sales?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

You might be a control freak if...

Lately I have realized that I have some control freak tendencies. I have always thought of myself as laid back and very go with the flow, but that may not be true anymore - especially when it comes to the babies.

During the day, I mostly stay home because I like minimizing the risk of a baby meltdown. If we are in the grocery store and one of the twins starts crying, it's not very easy to comfort them. What if the other one starts crying right after I get the first one out of the car seat? Then I'm stuck in the middle of the store with two screaming babies. Not cool.

To be fair to the twins, this has never happened. But the fear of it happening is enough to get me to stay home.

I'm a homebody anyway, so this isn't a great sacrifice for me. I think, though, that this has contributed to my becoming more of a control freak. Since we're home most of the time the babies can eat when they need to and go down for naps when needed. I don't push them beyond their limits during a normal day. I do this both for them and for me. I believe that babies need their rest, so I make sure they get it. I also believe that I need for them to rest, so I can have a minute to shower or wash bottles or just be.

Being home also means that I take care of the babies 95% of the time. My mother-in-law is very sweet and offers to keep them. For a while she would come over about once a week so I could get out and run errands by myself. My aunt has even kept the twins on several occasions, but day-to-day I am in control.

I know exactly what Ellen and Cole like (or at least what I think they like) and how to feed them both at the same time and how to keep everyone as happy as possible. Sometimes when other people keep them I worry that they won't do things like I do them. I never, ever worry that the twins won't be taken care of or loved on. I never, ever worry about their safety or that they'll miss me. I just worry that whoever is taking care of them won't know which bouncy seat is Cole's (the seats are basically identical, but there is one I always put Cole in...don't ask me why) or that they won't know how I usually feed them and how often I burp them. The list goes on and on and gets more insane.

I need to let go of this. New Baby is on the way so soon I won't have time to worry about trivial things such as which seat Cole gets put in. And I just need to let it go because it's a little nuts.

I'm hoping to have someone come to the house a couple of times a week to help me out so I can get more accomplished, and I'm hopeful that this will help me relax about ridiculous things. And maybe it will allow me to see and believe that things don't have to be done exactly like I would do them. Ellen will live if she sits in Cole's seat. They will live if they aren't burped the exact number of times that I always burp them. I can say these things, and I know they are true.

But things are just better my way. :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Our rice cereal experience

Several weeks ago, the twins got to eat rice cereal from a spoon for the first time. Here's a play by play:

Watching Daddy get the video camera ready


Ellen: Ummm...Mom? I'm not so sure about this.


Cole: This is pretty tasty.


Cole: Keep it coming!


Ellen: Yeah, this is seriously gross.


"I can't believe you just made me eat that."


"Please no more!!"

And this is how we ended up:




Since then, they've become much neater eaters, but Ellen still makes faces at least during the first couple of bites. It's hilarious to watch. We tried peas tonight, and, of course, Cole ate them without a problem, but Ellen was made a face the entire time.

I'm afraid that even though she's like her dad in most respects, she might have my taste buds.

Monday, February 7, 2011

How do I look?

My new blog design is up! And I love it!

Laura Edwards from Laura Edwards Design created it all for me, and I could not be happier. I'm terrible at describing what I want and what I'm envisioning, but she figured it out and made something beautiful.

I hope you like it too!