Monday, December 20, 2010

Life Home From the Hospital:)

The last 8 weeks...

24+ diapers and 8 45 minute feedings a day, spit-up... lots!, snuggles, LAUNDRY, smiles, sleepless nights, lots of friends and family, laughs, tears, successes, adventures, joy, overwhelming gratitude, successful family outings and not as successful family outings, wonderful home-cooked meals, near-disasters and some peaceful moments ... unforgettable to say the least:)

... and through it all I sit here in this rare quiet moment reflecting and am overwhelmed with gratitude: beautiful life - thank you Lord for bringing life and so much love to our home. With each day promising lots of work, joy and many unknowns, I continue to focus my eyes and secure my heart to your promise of strength and provision, Jesus. I rest in you and thank you for breathing peace and eyes for the beauty you've blessed us with into my heart amidst the business and often chaos of our days. Thank you for walking with us, strengthening us and providing everything we need from day to day.
Provision: My mom and Paula spent the first week and half with us to help out (we were - and still are!- SO thankful). This week was WONDERFUL! ... restful for us all and amazing time for me to recuperate from a tough pregnancy. With four of us, there was always someone free to play with Caleb, someone free for each baby and someone free to "man" the house... laundry, dishes etc.

Here Nana and Caleb are having a fun afternoon playing in the leaves:)

Nana and Caleb built and decorated a fort!
... and went on basement adventures. Caleb resurrected Dustin's old yellow CSU wig:)
Lots of people have asked how Caleb is adjusting. With family here for all but this last week, I don't think he noticed much change as he always had a buddy to play with... thanks again moms!
Getting Nana with leaves:)
First baths... neither one a huge fan of baths that first week.
Teaching the meaning of gentle has been some work, but Caleb is starting to catch on. He LOVES to hug and kiss the babies:)
Moriah at their 1 week apt: back to birth weight plus 1 pound (as of last week - Dec 13- she was up to 8 pounds 14 ounces)
Ethan at 1 week was up to 7 pounds (3 ounces short of his birth weight). As of last week, he's 10 pounds 5 ounces... amazing how quickly they grow:)
Doctor Drysdale checking them out:)

Ethan makes the same "rose bud" lips Caleb did:)
We've enjoyed taking the little guys with us everywhere these first few weeks. Although a bit more challenging, we've found carrying on "life as usual" to be doable:)... here we are visiting friends at Starbucks:)
... we've enjoyed visiting our works, church, the club and friends' houses... we are proud - it's true:)... and SO thankful!
Up until last week they slept together in the same crib. We've now moved them into their own cribs (they started waking each other up).
Fireplace naps:)
Out to lunch:)

Paula left the 7th of November. My mom was able to stay with us through Nov. 19th. We were SO grateful for her help... I'm not sure we could have made it through the long nights and exhausting days without her. Thank you SO much Ma!

D ran with his buddy Reza in a 1/2 marathon Nov. 7th. We came to cheer them on:)

Nursing outside... now THIS is my kind of nursing:)...what a beautiful day!
So, nursing... I'm SO thankful - so far so good. The babies are eating together every 3 hours during the day and about every 4 hours at night. I wondered how feeding two babies at once would work... and sure enough it just has ... so grateful and feel very blessed.
Nana with all of her grandchildren:)
Jeff, Kelly, Sierra and Lily have visited a few times. It's been SO good to see them - so thankful we live so close... 5 kids is a lot more than 2... :):)
Caleb jumping with Sierra.
Caleb LOVES jumping:)

We visited MCR with the twins... fun to see everyone again!

Feed and pit stop:) outside MCR... we've had a beautiful, warm fall... LOVED soaking up late November sun!

I have this picture framed sitting by my bathroom sink. I glanced over at it as I walked by on my way to our 1 a.m. feeding last night and saw D. I love him so much. He's been such a trooper through this whole life-change: getting up with me for every feeding, changing a majority of the early weeks' diapers, coming back for more burping after having already been plastered with spit-up from "Missy Pigpen" (we affectionately call her - she's always a mess: spit up, boogers, poo... she makes us laugh) 5 times that day, hauling around bags and car seatswith me, emptying diaper pale after stinky diaper pale, holding a baby while doing dishes and "playing" with Caleb, giving up Saturday afternoon naps to watch the twins while Caleb naps letting me get work out / coffee breaks like these, and working (and getting workouts in - he's signed up for Iron Man Arizona next November)... the list goes on and on and on. How blessed am I. What an incredible teammate. Thank you D! You're an amazing dad and husband:)
The two arm hold we're all getting good at:)
Having Mom here allowed me to spend some quality one-on-one time with Caleb... library time, music class, playing outside - more limited than before, these are times I treasure!
Got him with a snow ball. Here he's saying, "Hey Momma"... love this boy!

Personalities: this picture says it all. A friend shared a cute acronym - describes Moriah to a T- FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out. I have it too... hate naps. She naps, but fights it... wants to take in everything that's going on around her. Ethan: likes sleep and has a need to be close to people often. He snuggles next to Moriah when he's near her, and lets us know (crying) when he just simply needs to be held and snuggled (whereas Moriah is quite content on her own on the floor or bouncy chair... thankfully! Two snugglers may seem cute for a moment, but with a two year old and only two sets of arms, we're thankful for her indepenence... now anyway:):))

Caleb says, "Hold disMoriah peas" ... loves holding them
... and more feeding:)... precious moments I know
Fireplace time:)

"hold disEthan peas"

My Mom left the 19th and we ventured to Arizona for Thanksgiving that same day.
Hard to decide if riding in the bus (shuttle) or airplane was more exciting for Caleb that day. Life through the eyes of a two year old is so beautiful. EVERYTHING is so exciting... especially BUS rides! :)
Feeding before going through security... decided bottles may be the easiest route:)

Along for the ride
eepane (airplane) Momma!
Greeted in AZ by Caleb's cousin Raegan:)
and Papadolf (Papa Golf)
... and Great Grandma and Grandpa Rollins
... and Aunt Kelli
... and Caleb's buddy Uncle BEAR!
... and Great Grandma Oma
... and Grandma ... and SO many others:)
Watching Polar Express with Auntie:)
We celebrated Christmas together the Sunday before Thanksgiving. What fun watching the kids:)

Just finish their dinner... :)
So although I know Caleb enjoyed opening gifts, I'm pretty sure the highlight of his trip was playing with his cousin Ansley. Just the right age, these two had so much fun together... they were so silly! ... fun to watch!
SILLY I tell you! :)
All the cousins: Caleb, Raegan, Ansley, Moriah and Ethan (Liam was born YESTERDAY!!! Congrats Erin, Ryan and Ansley! I'll post pictures when we get some:)
Plodoh (play doh) with Uncle Bear :)
The whole family
We all did the Turkey Trot Thanksgiving day. D ran and took FIRST! trot this year was a walk... next year faster, like a run or something hopefully:)
The whole fam... was a cold (really it was, Minnesotans - like 30's and really windy) morning.
All the kids were troopers and did well despite the cold weather:)

Bedtime books with Papa Golf

Out to lunch with the fam... man we have lots of kids...
More reading with Papa

Kelli and Kevin dedicated Raegan while we were home as well. What a neat ceremony!
A restful trip it was. Lots of hand to hold and care for the babies, D and I were able to take naps, hike, and do some shopping... thank you all for a great trip home!

Grandma flew home with us and stayed the 28th - Dec. 10th. Again, SO grateful for her help... not sure what we would have done those weeks without her.

Grandma watched the twins one evening while we took Caleb to see Seaseme Stree Live and ELMO! Fun evening! Thanks Paulie!
Early December evenings at home: snuggles, play time and some wonderful home-cooked meals brought over by such wonderful friends. Thank you all!

Time for at-home hair cuts, Mister! :)

Playing with Grandma... what a lucky boy!
Then, Kelli and Raegan came to visit for a few days the second week of December. :)
So, all in all, a great 6 weeks... then came the 10th (the day Paula left)... the day that promised to bring reality... just the 5 of us on our own until Christmas.

Writing today after 10 days of being on our own, I can say... well, we've made it. Busy, busy... but I think overall successful! Some of you have asked what a normal day looks like (I'm pretty sure normal doesn't exist... yet), but I thought I'd add what our days have generally looked like the last week or so.
Caleb still goes to school Mondays and Tuesdays, so Monday and Tuesday I was on my own with the twins. I went to a Wee Steps apt. at MCR with the twins Monday and out shopping Tuesday... both were great, easy actually, days. Leaving the house around 9 and getting home around 4, I just stopped to feed and change the kiddos and along they came:).

Wednesday through Friday were going to be the more challenging days: at home alone with all three kids. To pull it off with some sort of sanity, and peace maybe?, I needed a schedule.
Being a bit of a structured person by nature, getting us all on a general routine was something I looked forward to... I knew it would take time and patience (and it has). Thankfully the babies have fallen into a routine of their own that meshed well with Calebs... our days look something like this:
6:30 a.m. twins wake and feed.
change twins and lay them by the fire for "wake" time
7:15 Get Caleb up. MORNING CALEB!! Head upstairs for hugs and kisses for our Mister:) (the last few days we've taken the twins up with us and Caleb's enjoyed waking up to "playing" with them in his crib:)
7:30 Breakfast for all down stairs - Twins still pretty content by the fire
8:00 Twins get fussy so we swaddle them and bring them upstairs for a nap in their cribs. For the most part, they're both asleep within about 10 minutes of taking them upstairs. D leaves for work.
8:15 Play time with Caleb, dishes, get ready... the twins then sleep until 9:30 (their next feeding) so depending on the day, I get some GREAT play time with Caleb. The weather's been nice, so I pocketed the monitor and headed outside to play with Caleb... so fun!
9:30 (i'm ready, Caleb's ready for the day) I feed the twins, change them, get them and Caleb in their car seats and head out (Wednesday Library, Friday Music class). By the time we get to library, twins are ready for nap so they sleep in their car seat - music days I've dropped the twins off at Dustin's office for some one-one-one time with Caleb at music. Pam and Deanne (work with Dustin) cuddle them while they're there... thanks girls:)!
12:00 home by 12:00 to feed caleb and put him down for a nap by the time I need to feed the twins again at 12:30/45ish
1:15 my play time with the twins :)
1:45 twins down for nap
2:00 I have about an hour and a half for laundry, pick up, dishes... and whatever else:)
4:00 everyone's up - Dustin's home ... made it! :)
(up to feed twins at 12:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. ... not bad:)
So most days we stick pretty close to that timing and leave room for and prepare for lots of unknowns and surprises... flexibility is the key, but the general framework of a schedule sure is helpful.

All in all, it's busy, filled with great moments and stressful moments... and SO BEAUTIFUL! :)

This is on my bathroom mirror... NEED the daily reminder!
"Lord, YOU establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us. It is your name alone that we honor. You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. We trust in the Lord forever for the Lord is our rock eternal!"
- Isaiah 26:3 - 4, 12 - 13

Family comes out this week to celebrate Christmas... looking forward to seeing everyone!

Here are some misc. pictures from October I didn't get around to posting earlier.
Fall FUN:)


Bev said...

Heather - I can't believe you had free time to post the pictures and write besides! But you know how much I LOVE THEM! Only a few more days and I get to see you all - pray for good weather! Love you all!
gma Bev

Grandma Paulie said...

You are seriously are the BEST blogger ever!!!!!! Just love reliving the special moments and hours I got to spend with my loves. You are wonder woman. I think when you had your knee repaired they gave you bionic powers lol..
Love you all and miss you all so much.
Merry Christmas

Sans said...

You are amazing Heather!! Congrats...your family is beautiful!!

Jeff said...

When I see all these pics I'm reminded how much I miss you all. Can't wait for Friday...