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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Friday, May 23, 2008

Weird Weather

California generally has 2 seasons: summer and something that kind of resembles winter. Over the past couple of years, winter has gotten shorter and shorter. It is almost indiscernible from any other season.

This week, in particular, has been very weird. On Sunday and Monday, the babies were wearing just onesies and having sunscreen slathered on them. Grandma and Grandpa made themselves helpful by blowing up the baby pool. It was so hot that we actually put them to bed wearing onesies!

Fast forward to yesterday and today.
Yesterday, there were thunderstorms and, today, it poured rain on Sonia and the babies while they were out for a walk. Both babies were in warm onesies and either sweatpants or denim overalls. Both were wrapped in blankets. Tonight, I dressed them in fleece footie pajamas and put blankets over them. I turned the heater on too!

The news is reporting there were tornadoes in Riverside County and snow in Big Bear. In May! Now that is weird!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Triplet, Triplet, Twins Playdate

What do you get when you put two sets of triplets and a set of twins together? Eight babies and lots of fun!


The Back Story:


When I was in the hospital, I met a mother expecting triplets. At that point, I had been there for 8+ weeks and Eddie and I had finally decided the real names for Hermie and Iggy (remember those nicknames?). Anyway, the nurses encouraged me to meet other moms who were going to be stuck in High Risk for a long time. Graciela was expecting triplets! She and her husband were desperate for babies and could not afford IVF. So they traveled to her native Argentina and had IVF done for a fraction of what it costs here in the states. Wonderfully, 3 of the embryos implanted and after staying in Argentina for 12 weeks, she returned to the United States only to be placed on bed rest at 28 weeks. When I met her, she had already been there for 5 weeks. I remember very vividly when the nurse introduced me to her. Eddie and I had decided to name Hermie Graciela partly because I knew of only 2 others I had encountered in my entire life.

Lo and behold, Graciela came from a family in which the first born daughter was always named Graciela. Her mother's name was Graciela and she was a Graciela, and the one girl triplet would be Graciela, too! Other than Eddie, no one else knew what our babies' names were, but I had to tell her when I heard her story. We laughed so hard! We were both excited because the chances were slim to none that our daughters would ever encounter another Graciela and here there would be 2 within 20 miles of each other and the same age to boot!

Grace and I clicked right away. Her husband, Eric, and my husband, Eduardo, became good friends while visiting us. They loved that Eddie spoke Spanish. Grace's mother visited every day, all day, and she loved Eddas well. We talked all the time about how we would remain friends after our babies were born.

My babies were born in September, and Grace was able to hold out until 35 weeks to deliver her triplets, William, Connor and Graciela in October. We emailed a couple of times and our husbands spoke by phone, but we were not able to get together. Completely overwhelmed, we just focused on the day to day life of having newborn multiples.

I have been lamenting the fact that we had never seen the triplets. I kept bugging Eddie to call
Eric and Grace so that we could set something up. So, he got a hold of Eric and found out that they were planning on getting together with another triplet family. In fact, the mom of the second set of triplets took over my room after I had the babies and moved out of high risk.

The Playdate:

We met at a park in Pasadena. Gracie and Eric's triplets are William, Connor and Graciela. They were born 4 weeks after my babies and each weigh between 17 and 21 lbs. Seeing them beside Gracie and Luke was amazing! They are so much bigger!

The other triplet family was headed by Craig and Sarah. Sarah was hospitalized at 28 weeks and had her triplets at 30 weeks. They stayed in the NICU for 7 weeks. I am amazed! The 2 weeks my babies were in the NICU, as traumatizing as they were, are nothing compared to what her babies went through. Sarah and Craig's babies are named William, Benjamin, and Samantha. Samantha is the largest of the 3 and Benjamin and William both wear helmets because of their torticollis.

We set out several blankets and towels to create a blanket island for the babies to play on. Gracie and Luke shared their toys with the 2 sets of triplets. We rotated babies on and off of the blankets depending on who fell asleep. We talked about how the babies are developing, fed babies, played with them.

The Mommies and Daddies ate the tamales Eddie and I bought. Yum.

Eventually, the triplets got tired. Sarah and Craig's fell asleep first. They have worked hard to get them to fall asleep on their own, so they are used to it. Grace and Eric's triplets needed to be fed and then the Nap Walk began. Grace put her babies in the Quad stroller they use and I put Gracie and Luke in our Duo Glider. We walked in circles around our picnic tables until the 5 babies fell asleep.

After 4 hours of playing, eating, sleeping, crying, and many changed diapers, we called it quits. We had a great time and promised to do it again soon. None of us felt comfortable with the Moms of Multiples groups in our areas, so we decided to be each other's Moms of Multiples. We hope to meet one another once a month or so to let the babies play and to catch up with other parents who understand what we are going through.

Here is a slide show of some of our favorite activities:


Note: Any errors in the dates I've typed here are my own. If you read this and know I made a mistake, please let me know!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

She's almost there!

Gracie pulled herself up to a standing position today! According to Daddy, she grabbed a hold of the ottoman and pulled herself up. She was very pleased with herself.

But this led us to think "Holy Moly! We need to baby proof!"

Until today, she has been the Roller of America. She managed to roll all the way down to the bottom of our bed. Completely freaked Daddy out!

Luke is getting closer. He can scoot himself backward and can rock back and forth on his knees.

Daddy still thinks Gracie will be walking first. I think I agree.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I have the cutest kids on the planet!

I'm sorry, but it must be said: My babies are the absolute cutest babies to ever walk Planet Earth. They are just too cute for words. Between the two bottom teeth (a piece), Luke's dimples, and Gracie's smile that could launch a thousand ships, they are amazingly sweet!


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Playmates

There is much ado amongst Twin Mommas and Daddies about whether or not their twins "acknowledge" one another or whether or not they play "nicely." Gracie and Luke have been aware of one another since the very beginning. In the NICU, if one would cry, so would the other. When we brought them home, they would be comforted by just lying next to one another. Over the first few months of their lives, they would touch and even hold hands when we put them on a blanket. Often, the hand holding occurs when one is upset and the other is not.

Now that they are sitting up and more interested in toys, watching them play has become a favorite pastime. Last night, while they were playing with their little singing farm toy, things got a little intense. They are very good at sharing, but eventually, Gracie started getting a little aggressive. She will often take advantage of a distraction to snatch Luke's toys away from him. Most times, Luke looks a little sad, but then something will catch his eye and he will move on.

Every once in awhile, you get Wrestle Mania 17. You may have seen the video I posted last month, but there is nothing like pictures to truly paint the picture of what happened. Last night, Gracie won. Well, "won" may be too strong a word. Let's say she ended up on top of the situation. Luke was uninterested at this point. He moved on from Gracie's drama rather quickly, don't you think?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Lukie's Haircut

Luke needed a haircut.

It is a fact. No one disputes it.

While Daddy was gone this past weekend, I decided that the situation was desperate. I got out Daddy's electric clippers, turned them on and moved them around until Luke got used to the sound and then SWIPE - SWIPE! I trimmed his hair on both sides.

I think he looks handsome!

Monday, May 5, 2008

8 Months Old!

Luke and Gracie are 8 Months Old!

If anyone had told me prior to January that I would eventually have FUN with Gracie and Luke, I would have rolled my eyes at them. Back then, all they did was eat, sleep, and need diaper changes. They weren't fun, plus, I was sleep deprived.

Today, I am still sleep deprived, but spending time with them is so different! Both Gracie and Luke are sitting up and have been working very hard at trying to crawl. Daddy thinks Gracie will crawl first and, before yesterday, I would have agreed. Luke is doing everything he can to get moving.

They eat so many things! Pears, green beans, sweet potatoes, apples, prunes, carrots, and fruit in their mesh Popsicle feeders. Grandma Rosi makes them all kinds of food and they especially love it when she makes something new.

I think in the next few weeks or so, we will have some mobile babies. Or, at least, some new teeth!