Meet Gracie and Luke, our six-year-old twins!
We waited for them forever and can't remember life without them.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Pumpkin Patch

Every year, the Cook-Arteaga-Uribe-Uribe Clan heads to Cal Poly Pomona for the Annual Pumpkin Festival. Ten years ago, it was just Hailey in her tiny onesie and a bunch of adults asking her if she liked the pumpkins (she was all of a month and a half old). Today, there are six grandchildren: Hailey, Bianca, Brandon, Nathan, Gracie, and Luke. For Nathan, Gracie and Luke, it was their First Pumpkin Patch and their mommies were taking pictures like crazy.

What is it about a holiday, some cute outfits, and some props that turns the most mild mannered mom into a crazed amateur photographer? You should have seen us propping up babies on pumpkins, arranging all 6 grandchildren in a circle of pumpkins. We were crazy. Between Aunt Bec, Auntie Kristen, Nana, and me, we must have 200 pictures. And let's be clear: it's only kids and pumpkins. For crying out loud! I must really be a Mommy now if I feel the need to take thousands of pictures.

Gracie and Luke have 2 different Halloween outfits, but they wore Nana's Halloween outfits today along with Jack-O-Lantern hats that our friends Ida and Olivia gave to them. Gracie's outfit has a witch on the long sleeve onesie and orange and white striped pants. Luke's outfit is one I have seen on countless boys lately: a tough guy shirt with black fleece pants. The shirt says "Daddy's Little Monster." It was pretty warm out there in the field, so the babies wore the outfits while we were looking at pumpkins and then we stripped them and put them into comfy cool onesies.

In the end, we did not buy any pumpkins (although, everyone else did). We did, however, buy a fabulous funnel cake and some fantastic pumpkin bread. Now I just have to find another reason to wear the second set of Halloween outfits!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Who switched my babies?

Something mysterious has happened in the past week or so. My babies have switched personalities. Either that, or someone came in the middle of the night and switched them.

Gracie, the smaller of the Twinsies, has been, since birth, the more anxious of the two babies. She screams like a banshee and goes from quiet and happy to inconsolable in less than a second. Luke was my laid back baby. Gracie could scream and scream and scream and Luke would continue sleeping like nothing was happening. His cries were half hearted at most.

This past week, Gracie has really changed. Not only is she growing like crazy, but her movements have smoothed out and she takes longer to agitate. Her big eyes are staying a dark blue-gray and her eyelashes are so long! She no longer looks like a preemie, instead, she is starting to look like a baby. Even her preemie clothes are starting to be snug! Don't get me wrong. She can still scream louder than the engine of an F18 fighter jet, but it takes longer for her to get upset and she responds more quickly to the sound of Ed's voice or mine.

Luke's face has thinned out and he is the smiler. Even in the NICU, he was the laid back one. When Gracie got a reputation for being "feisty" (read high maintenance), Luke was the baby the nurses enjoyed working with. Recently, he has started to be easily agitated and needs to be held constantly. His cries are heartbreaking! He often cries so hard that he makes himself throw up. He is guaranteed to get the hiccups from crying as hard as he does.

I'm just trying to figure out what happened. Who switched my babies? And who do I have to talk to in order to get them switched back?

Seriously, it is so much fun watching them change. The bonus, of course, is that all this change presents a challenge for Mommy and Daddy. We love challenges. Especially ones as cute as these!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Two by Two is Easy...Two by One is Hard!

For the 4 weeks that the babies have been home, Eddie and I have been pretty much confined to home. We've attempted a few outings (trips to the doctor, one harrowing trip to Target, trips to visit Nana, a long day at Grandma and Grandpa's house), but for the most part, we have been at home. We've really been enjoying watching the babies grow and interact with one another.

While Ed is still in his wheelchair, we've worked out ways for us to tag team baby care. Ed is an expert baby holder and putter-to-sleeper. I am a master at diapers and pumping (don't get me started on that). When the babies wake up in the night, Ed goes to prepare bottles and I change the babies. It has been working for the most part. We are both pretty exhausted, but we are able to function better now.

The key to our success thus far has been that there are TWO of us and TWO babies. Two parents by two babies is not simple, but totally doable. When isn't it doable? When there is ONE parent with TWO babies the chances for success are slim.

This past weekend, Ed had to run an errand in preparation for the Aloha Babies Party coming up on November 3. His plan was to be gone for a few hours and return by the evening. I wasn't worried. The babies had been sleeping for most of the morning and chances were, they'd stay asleep. I could eat my lunch and maybe even take a nap! This is where I made my critical error: assuming anything when it comes to tiny babies.

As soon as Daddy left, Gracie started to cry. She got Luke going and for the next 3 hours, I could not put them down without the babies crying so hard I thought they would hurt themselves. As the hours past, my stomach seemed emptier and emptier. I did not have any snacks I could just eat. Everything had to be heated. I tried to spread a blanket out on the carpet and pretend we were in bed. This did not work and so I continued to go without food and held babies for 4 straight hours. I started crying with them around hour 2. I couldn't take it anymore....

Ed finally called about 4 1/2 hours after he had left. I had one sentence for him: "When are you coming home?" I must have sounded desperate enough for Ed to hear the hysteria in my voice. He told me he was stopping to get me some dinner and then he would be home.

Of course, the moment I hung up the phone, the babies stopped fussing and I was able to put them down. They slept for the next 1/2 hour and were still asleep when Ed came home and for 2 hours after that. Honestly, what did I do to deserve this?! Ed knew I wasn't making up the hours of crying babies, but it doesn't support your claim when your babies are sleeping peacefully.

The moral of this story is this Two by Two is Easy, Two by One is Hard (or at least challenging).

Saturday, October 13, 2007

You have to see this!

Luke found his thumb the other day! It is too cute. (Sorry about the picture quality. I took it with our digital camera)


Gracie had to take bubblegum flavored antibiotics. She got so excited about it that she would make little piggy sounds when Daddy tried to give her the bottle.

Friday, October 5, 2007

One Month Old!

Can you believe it has already been a month?

I am sorry that we haven't been better about updates, but WOW! I was prepared for the lack of sleep, but Eddie wasn't. We are both walking around like zombies but we are loving every minute of it.

Since Gracie and Luke came home, we have been working on some sort of schedule for the babies. In the beginning, we stuck with the NICU schedule, but Gracie and Luke decided after the first week that that wasn't working for them. We still haven't found the best option. We're working on it though.

My mom (a.k.a. Nana) came to stay with us for a few days. We wish we had had her longer. Just as we figured out how to use her (why I did not ask her to take care of the babies one night so we could sleep, I'll never know), she had to head home. Eddie and I have been on our own for the last week and a half. For the most part, we are doing okay. Frozen tv dinners and McDonald's are getting old though!

The babies made their first public appearance at the Diabetic Walk on September 30th. Eddie was a very proud papa and everyone seemed happy to meet the babies. The only bad thing was that Eddie caught a cold, which he passed to me and I passed to the babies. We all have stuffy noses, coughs, and are generally feeling yucky. Gracie ended up with an ear infection and we have to give her bubble gum flavored antibiotics. I can't believe she's already having to have antibiotics. I am hoping this is just a fluke. I was very sick as an infant and eventually had my tonsils and adenoids removed when I was 2.5 years old. I also had to have tubes in my ears. I don't want Gracie to have to go through that!

Both babies have been changing very quickly. Every day they look a little different. Gracie has been gaining weight like crazy and now weighs 5 lbs! Not too long ago, she weighed 3 lbs 7 oz! Luke is just shy of 7 lbs and is starting to look like a Cabbage Patch Baby (he has those adorable cheeks). Gracie's face is filling out and she doesn't look like the same baby. We've gone on a few driving adventures and both babies seem to like riding in the car. My mom and I worked out a game plan for any trip and it seems to be working well. If we feed the babies right before we leave, we have 2.5 hours before we have crying, hungry babies.

The babies are very excited to meet everyone. If you would like to come hold babies, please give us a call. We'd love to see you!