Monday, January 23, 2017

Family Selfie-Stick Pictures

I am not of the generation who understands "selfies."  I have taken selfies before... but to get group pictures with friends -- like "groupies" instead of "selfies."

In fact, I'm old enough to remember actually turning the old fashioned film camera around to try to take a group picture only to have to wait days, weeks, or months to have the film developed to find out if you positioned the camera even close to correctly so that anyone from the group is actually in the group shot you were trying to take.  I am that old.

I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have taken a true "selfie" of myself, and it was usually because I was about to get a haircut, so I wanted a picture to show the "before" hair... and even those pictures just make me laugh because they look so fake.

All that being said, when the "selfie-stick" first came out, I scoffed.  Why did people need longer arms to take even more self-obsessed pictures of themselves?

No, I admit... I get it, and a selfie-stick was the only thing I wanted for Christmas this year.

With a family of three, we were still able to take cute family pictures of the three of us using a cell phone from the distance of my hubby's arm.  With a family of five, suddenly we didn't all fit in the picture -- and when I was home alone with the kids it was really hard to take a group shot.

So my wonderful hubby bought me a selfie-stick for Christmas.  It took a little while to get here due to some shipping issues, but finally, a few days ago, we got a selfie-stick and can now all fit in a cute cell phone picture again.

Here are the old selfie family pictures:

Here are the selfie-stick family pictures:  

Tracey wouldn't sit still for a picture... but we were able to snap a show while she was running by


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Nursing Wallhangings

I never took great pride in the nurseries I created for my babies.  When Tracey was born, we lived in a two bedroom rental house, and one bedroom was our master bedroom, and one bedroom was our guestroom.  The nursery was our guestroom until Tracey was about 8 months old.  When I finally created a nursery, it was cute, it was fine... but it wasn't a massive labor of love full of pintrest crafts and gender-specific curtains and painted walls.  I have LOVED my newborns, but the measure of that love is not reflected in the perfectly executed nursery.

Then, when the twins were born, we had just moved into our new home, and we didn't know if we were having boys or girls -- their nursery took some time.  Even now, it's a simple nursery -- white walls, brown drapes (that were there when we moved in), two cribs, one chair, one bookshelf, one dresser, and several carefully chosen pictures and wall decorations.

All of that said, each child does have two frames hanging above their beds of which I am very proud.

Tracey's bed:

Caroline's bed:

Howard's bed:

I always wanted to find a picture frame that would allow me to display how my babies changed each month for their first year, but I wanted the pictures to be square, not rounded.  I have seen many picture frames with circular frames to display children's pictures, and they just look a little weird -- the baby's round face takes up the entire frame, and you can't really see how the whole baby changes each month.  It took until Tracey was 18 months old for me to find a frame display I liked... and I am SO glad I waited so I could get exactly what I wanted.

In finding the beautiful twelve-month picture display I wanted, I also found a sweet hand-and-foot print display that I bought for each child as well.  So, above each of our children's beds hangs two framed pictures -- one showing their picture and prints as a newborn, and one showing their growth progression over their first year of life.

I LOVE these two artifacts that I've done for each of my children and seeing them on their bedroom walls brings me joy every day.

Now, I will admit, since Tracey was 18 months when I bought these frames, I had to copy her hand and foot prints from her baby book... and they were pressed over the words "hand-and-foot prints" in the baby book, so they are not perfect.  But, it was either copy the prints from her baby book, or take hand and foot prints of a nearly 2-year-old, and I opted for the newborn prints.

Now that the twins are both over one year of age, all the frames are complete, and I can officially share these beautiful wall hangings:

Tracey Ann

 Caroline Christine:

Howard James:

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Mathematically Impossible

I'm pretty sure it is mathematically impossible that all of these socks have missing mates... and yet ALL of these socks have missing mates.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Does It Get Easier?

Just about one year ago, Hubby and I became a part of a fun and inclusive group... parents of multiples.

This is a worldwide club that once you're in, you're in... and if you're not in, you're not in.  You either have two or more babies you birthed and are raising at the same time, or you don't.  And if you do have twins or more, you have a lot in common with other parents of multiples.

So, when Hubby and I joined the parents of multiples club a year ago, we often began to notice other parents of multiples, and other parents of multiples began to notice us.  As we struck up new conversations and friendships with these fellow parents (most of these were done through Hubby, as I was home 24-7 with babies, not out making friends), 
we always had one question,
"Does it get easier?"

And they all always had the same answer,
"No -- it just changes."

Well, now I am over a year in with my three little ones... twins and our toddler.  Remember, we went from one child to three -- that's another club of its own, but I digress.

I am excited for that day ahead when we meet new parents of twins and they ask us that same desperate question, because I have a different answer.

Go ahead... ask me.

"Does it get easier?"

"Yes, it does."

It does get easier.

This is not to say that chasing two toddlers, or worrying about two mobile children, or chasing two runners at the playground or baby proofing for two toddlers working as a team isn't still very hard -- it is.  Two babies, two toddlers, two preschool tuitions, two bicycle helmets, two, two, two is our/your new life... but it DOES get easier.

One year ago, I was nursing two babies around the clock separately, and pumping so that each baby could get additional bottles of breastmilk.  We were struggling to make Tracey feel special and loved and important in her new role as big sister given that she was now outnumbered by newborn babies.  My parents were staying with us, and yet somehow with the extra hands no one was sleeping enough.  Simply put, life is easier now.

I nursed our twins exclusively for six months, and their feedings didn't really space out all that much during those six months because they were two growing babies -- they pretty much ate every three hours all day every day, and then about every five hours through the night.  Leaving the house for anything was very difficult for those entire six months, and nursing any location other than on our king-sized bed was very difficult.  Entertaining Tracey while I was nursing every three hours for six months was very difficult.  Simply put, life is easier now.

Today, one year later when I'm nursing the twins twice a day instead of eight times each day, life is easier, simply put, without a doubt, no question, life is easier -- logistically, technically, and practically.  It has changed, and it is still hard to raise twins... but it is easier than those first six months.

In addition, we didn't know our babies during those early days.  Their personalities were still mysteries to us as we held them, rocked them, fed them, changed them, and managed to keep them both alive.  Life is easier now because I know these two little people incredibly well.

I know that both Howard and Caroline are going to make a bee-line for upstairs if the gate is left open.  I also know that they both can climb the stairs pretty well at this point, and if the two of them get a fifteen-second head start on me heading upstairs, they will be okay.  They will also stop on the stairs when they see I'm not chasing them and wait for me.  Then, when they see me coming after them, they will shriek with delight and resume climbing the stairs as fast as possible.

I know that they are both going to start walking any day, and, knowing what I know about them I have predictions surrounding their first steps.
Caroline, I predict, is going to take her first steps when she isn't thinking about it.  She is going to just take off after Tracey or Lexie and not realize that she's walking.
 Howard's first steps, on the other hand, I predict will be perfectly calculated, and I think he thinks about walking every day.  I think he will carefully get his balance, and tentatively try out his walking legs, all with deliberate purpose and concentration.
Life is easier now that I know the little people my sweet babies are -- its easier to be the mom to children I know than it was to newborns I had just recently met.

Parents of multiples -- you will be parents of multiples for the rest of your lives, and you will have different challenges than singleton parents for the rest of your lives... but, parents of multiples with newborns and infants -- IT GETS EASIER!

Hang in there because it really does get easier.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

In Some Ways

While we're on the subject of recreating pictures... in some ways, the babies were a lot easier in pictures a year ago...



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Recreating Pictures

I don't see this becoming a regular thing... but in the past few months we've found ourselves soft of recreating a couple of old pictures, and the old and new are pretty cute.

December 2014

October 2016

January 2016 (6lbs 0oz)

January 2017 (21lbs 5oz)

January 2016

January 2017