Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas 2010

I know, I know, Christmas was almost a week ago already and I am just not getting around to posting about it. Better late then never, but we have had two sick kiddos at the house all week and I have spent most of the week worrying about them. They have been sleeping nonstop, finally today ate something, but still not feeling completely up to par. It is so hard being a parent and not being able to take the hurt away.

Alright, on to Christmas. This year we were lucky enough to be able to celebrate five different times with the girls and I think they loved all of it. Our first Christmas celebration was with the Ward side of the family. It isn't often that the whole family is able to get together, so it is always crazy and exciting when we have the opportunity. We all were able to enjoy lunch before opening presents. I think it is safe to say all of the little ones had a blast opening up all the packages. Claire got so mad at me and threw a fit when I took away presents that were not hers, but she wanted to rip the paper right off them.

Lillian and Claire received this fun new kitchen and they love it! Lillian is so funny, she likes to go over to the sink, turn the knobs of the faucet and then pretend she is washing her hands.
After paper was thrown about the living room and all the presents were open, all the littles went upstairs to take some much needed naps. The adults were finally able to sit back and relax and enjoy each others company.
Our next Christmas celebration was at our house, as a family of four. Since we were not going to be home on Christmas morning we decided to celebrate early before we left for our trip. When the girls were napping, I set out their gifts, filled their stockings and got everything ready so when they woke up everything was set.

We didn't go crazy on gifts this year for them, just some fun little things that could keep them busy while we traveled or items that could be enjoyed at home.
Claire took turns with each item she received and cuddled it up to her cheek with a happy little grin. Moments like that are what puts a smile on my face.

Our next adventure started on the girls birthday, December 22nd when we took off for Wisconsin at 5:45am. We loaded the car the night before so we had little as possible to worry about or forget the next morning. We got everything ready and put the girls right from their beds into the car, jammies and all. They slept the first few hours before we made a breakfast stop in Des Moines.
In order to keep them busy and not getting too upset while we finished breakfast and changing them, I gave them each a few creamers and they stacked them. This kept them busy for about 5 minutes which was plenty of time to start getting them ready to get back on the road.
(sorry they are so blurry)
After changing out of jammies and into their special birthday shirts we were back on the road. We were hoping to make as few stops as possible so we stocked the car with plenty of toys and snacks and the girls did great. Oh and I think the endless hours of Olivia on the dvd player also helped.
We stopped in Dubuque for a special birthday lunch at McDonalds and the girls had a blast running around the play place. They had so much fun chasing behind the older girls (they were probably around 10 years old). Lillian stood at the end of the tunnel slide and laughed with glee as the girls slide down, Claire tried climbing up behind them and they both ran countless circles around all the equipment.
Finally around 4pm we arrived at our first destination; we spent the first few nights of our trip at my mom's house. She bought a delicious birthday cake for them and we sang Happy Birthday to them. I think it is safe to say that they are not fans of the song. Both at their party and at my moms they both hid their faces and turned on the tears as soon as we started to sing. Odd.
They may not have enjoyed our singing, but they sure did like the cake.

On Christmas Even we went over to my Grandparents house to celebrate Christmas with them, it is always so nice being able to spend time with them, I just wish we were able to see them more often. It broke my heart when my Grandpa said he wishes he could see the great grandkids faces. He said he knows what all of us look like, but he has never had the chance to see the faces of the little ones. He could hear the laughter and chatter of Coy, Lillian and Claire, but cannot see the shades of their hair, the button noses and the happiness on their faces.

After visiting with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, we went back to my moms so the girls could take a nap. They decided they didn't want to sleep, but they still played quietly upstairs and relaxed. That evening we opened more presents, ate too much food and enjoyed good company again.
Christmas morning after breakfast we loaded everything back into the car and headed north. This was our final stop on our trip to my Dad and Sandy's house. The girls were instantly drawn to the Christmas tree, all of the lights and ornaments were torture for them to look at and not be able to touch. They each had their favorites picked out and always looked at the same few.
That afternoon, after naps, we all bundled up and went outside to play in the snow. I was a bit worried about this. The girls enjoy looking at the snow, but being in the cold playing in it is completely different then watching it through the window. Well, they were not fans. I think there were a few different things that factored into this, the snow was almost as deep as they are tall, it was cold, very cold, and they were so bundled up they could hardly walk. Boy did they look cute though.

I am hoping next year they will have more fun running through the snow and laugh as they go down the sledding hill my dad builds in the backyard.
We came back inside to enjoy hot chocolate, for the little ones, luke warm chocolate and then dinner. After some fun running around with the cousins and dancing, Santa came to visit. The living room was filled with presents and happy children as they tore open packages Santa brought for them. It took awhile, but the girls slowly warmed up to Santa, I think it helps they realized he was the one handing out their gifts.
We had a wonderful Christmas this year and thank you to everyone who helped make it a magical experience for Lillian and Claire.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Two Year Check Up

Last night we arrived back home after 6 days of being away to visit my family in Wisconsin for Christmas. We had wonderful time, but we were all ready to be back in our own home and our own beds.
Monday morning Lillian woke up at 6:30am vomiting; never a fun way to start a day, much less a day you have to spend traveling in a car. We quickly got her cleaned up and since she only wanted Daddy, they cuddled on the couch while I went to lay back down. Around 8am, Claire woke up vomiting. Yay, it really was going to be a fun day!
Around 10:30am we had the car loaded and ready to head home. Lillian and Claire both fell asleep soon after we got in the car and slept most of the way home. However, they both woke up many times vomiting, thank goodness we put their pocket bibs on them.
We arrived home around 8:30pm and as soon as we got out of the car both girls had their last vomit of the night.

This morning Lillian woke up around 7am. Josh and her cuddled until he had to go to work and then I got up and we cuddled and fell asleep on the couch together. I thought it was going to be a long and tough day with two sick girls, but I was wrong.
We took them to their two year check up this morning and the girls were not too happy about being there. Lillian repeatedly said "no" and "bye bye" to the nurse, Claire fell asleep on my lap. Both girls are doing well and he didn't seem to be worried about their current illness. Just told us to make sure they are staying hydrated.
We also asked about Claire's feet turning in and he said it is common in little ones and generally works itself out. The problem is because of her hip placement and a foot brace or anything like that would not do anything to correct it because it is not an issue with the foot, but the hip.

Here are their stats for the day:

Weight - 23lb 11.5oz
Height - 35 inches
Weight - 25lbs
Height - 36 inches

I think it is safe to say that their weights are off since they had not had anything solid in their stomachs for more then 24 hours before being weighed. When we took Lillian to the doctor for her eczema in November she was weighing in at a little more then 25lbs.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Two Years Ago...

Two years ago I met the itty bittys who spent 9 months snuggled up and warm in my growing belly. That was a day I will never forget and still looking back it all still seems so unreal that Josh and I are the lucky ones who were chosen to become parents of two beautiful and amazing little girls.
Lillian and Claire have changed our lives in more ways then we could ever imagine and not just the obvious ways. I now believe in love at first sight, I cherish every moment, laugh more times in a few hours then I did in a day, I fall in love a little more each time they say "mommy" and wrap their arms around me in a tight squeeze.

This picture was taken the on December 21, 2008, the night before we met Lillian and Claire. Josh and I headed out for one last dinner before the big day. We did not sleep a wink that night.
We arrived at the hospital at 5:30am to check in, start fluids and prep for my c-section. It was 5 below zero, the coldest day of the year an I was shivering from nerves and cold. At 7:30am I walked into the operating room, received my spinal and the show began.

Lillian Faith arrived at 7:48am weighing 6 lb 4 oz and was 18.5 inches long.
Claire Elizabeth arrived at 7:49am weighing 6 lb 4 oz and was 19 inches long.

This picture is from December 22, 2009. Lillian and Claire turned ONE!
Now my babies are TWO and I am still not sure where the time has gone. I know I say that all the time, but I am still waiting to figure it out.
My girls still amaze me every single day. Claire started singing a Fresh Beat Band song at the lunch; the first time I noticed one of them start singing randomly and without the song playing in the background. It was the cutest thing, but of course she becomes all bashful once I tried to catch her on video.
Lillian is talking up a storm and I love hearing her say new words and saying phrases. Pretty sure one of my favorite words to hear her say is broccoli.
They love each other so much. They hug, kiss, hold hands and cuddle all the time. Of course, there is also a fair share of pushing and fighting, mostly over a toy or when they don't want to share mom or dad.

Happy birthday to my beautiful baby girls. I love you both more then words could ever express.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Celebrating Two

On Sunday we invited family and friends over to our house to celebrate Lillian and Claire turning two. We had a great turn out, about 25 people in the house. We served lunch, mingled, opened gifts, played and sang. I hope everyone who attended had a good time and I am pretty sure Lillian and Claire did as well.

We served the girl their lunch earlier then usual, because we have learned when other are around they become distracted by what is going on and will not eat. By the time guests started to arrive they were finished with lunch and ready to party. Claire discovered the chocolate dipped marshmallows on the table and sat there eyeing them up for awhile before I finally gave the girls one each.

They were a chocolate mess the remainder of the day, their crisp white shirts turned rainbow from the sprinkles.

They had so much fun opening gifts. Their favorite was ripping the wrapping paper off the boxes, but the tissue paper was also fun the throw up in the air.
Halfway through gift opening, Lillian had a bit of a melt down and didn't fully recover until the house was empty at the end of the party. We had a very busy weekend with not much of our normal routine, that combined with all of the people and attention they received, I think was a bit overwhelming for her. She was happy playing down in the playroom with all of the other little ones after we opened gifts, but when it was time to come upstairs to sing Happy Birthday she was set off again.
They both enjoyed their cupcakes, especially licking the frosting off the top (that was my favorite part too). After cupcakes we started to say our goodbyes and then it was time for much needed naps.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Oh No, Kitty.

Last week Wednesday when I went to get Lillian and Claire out of their cribs at nap time, Claire had a surprise for me. I walked into their room and found some cotton filling on the floor in front of her crib. This is not a huge surprise since they have these pink cats that they love, but have found little holes and pull out the stuffing. There was a little more then usual on the floor and a little round disk with a heart on it. I then look up and see Claire holding out handfuls of stuffing. Ah oh. I look in her crib and find the hold right side covered. While asking Claire what happened, Lillian is standing in her crib, saying "oh no, kitty" over and over. Claire hands me her now floppy cat and I am able to see exactly what she did.
These cats were made for them by a friend of ours from a Build-a-Bear type place. After they were picked out, stuffed and have a special heart added just for them, they are closed up with a very small zipper. Miss Claire has recently discovered that zippers can be pulled up and down and that is exactly what she did with her favorite cat. The thing is, once the zipper came down, the stuffing came out. Luckily, we were able to stuff the kitty back up, zip her shut and it has not happened again.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas In the Park

Last week we loaded the girls up in the car and headed to the park, Christmas in the Park. One of the local parks in town sets up a giant light display every winter that draws people from all of the city for a spectacular display. We went during the week because on the weekends you can want hours in line just to enter the park; it's like the best roller coaster at the amusement park, you wait and wait for a short but worth it ride.
Lillian and Claire loved it! They were commenting on the lights, colors and animations and had a look of pure joy on their faces as we wove through the display. I wish there was a way to capture the beauty of the lights in photos, but the only way to really appreciate the wonders is by visiting them yourself.

Many of the lights were animated, but of course a photo only catures the still.
This bear blew bubbles that grew bigger and bigger until it popped. The white circle beside the bear is a bubble.

This faris wheel was made to look like it was spinning.
The gingerbread people went up and down on the teeter toter

There was a man that looked like he was skiing on the mountain then jumped off the ramp and landed across the driving path.