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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Monday, June 30, 2008

A Monumental Night

Note the date: Saturday, June 28, 2008
Babies' Age: 9 Months, 3 weeks and 2 days old

This was the date that the babies had their very first Slumber Party. No Daddy. No Mommy. All Nana!

Nana (God Bless her!) offered to have a slumber party with Gracie and Luke so that Mommy and Daddy could get some work done for their jobs. So, packed down with everything babies could possibly need, Mommy and Daddy delivered the Twinsies to their Nana. They even stayed for an hour setting out all of the babies' food, filling bottles with water and pre-measuring formula so that Nana would have everything at her finger tips. Aunt Becca even came down to help Nana get the babies to sleep (although, we suspect that Nana Poppins did not need her).

Kisses were pressed onto little cheeks. Hugs, hugs, and more hugs were given to sweet little ones. And then, Mommy and Daddy walked out the door and got into the car.

Until they reached Pasadena, Mommy suspected that Daddy might just turn the car around and go collect the babies. He was so sad! She kept telling him that they could. But he continued driving and they arrived home to a very quiet house. And for the first time in 9 months, 3 weeks, and 2 days, Mommy and Daddy slept through the night without a baby's arm in their backs, a hungry cry in the night, or a leaky diaper. In fact, they did not wake up until 8 am! (Mommy woke up at 7:30 because the babies have her trained! She just read a book until Daddy woke up.)

As for the babies, Gracie slept in the Pack 'n Play through the night, while Lukie slept in the bed with Nana waking up for his usual bottle. On Sunday, they played with Nana at her house, hitting their hands on her coffee table and following her about the house. They came to an understanding with Nana that a) she will come back when she leaves a room and b) she can still be seen while in the kitchen, so no crying is necessary. At 3 pm, they headed with Nana to Aunt Bec's where they played with their cousins until it was time to come home.

Nana met Mommy and Daddy at Spaghetti Factory to pass the babies back over to their parents. They had dinner at Spaghetti Factory (at least Mommy and Daddy tried to) and the Twinsies even got to try Spumoni ice cream!

Nana did such a good job tiring the babies that they slept in their car seats and Lukie did not even wake up when Mommy took him out to go to bed.

We LOVE Nana!

(P.S. This picture is from 12/7/07 - Nana doesn't like to let us take pictures of her with babies. She couldn't say no this time. She had her hands full!)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Saying Goodbye to Sonia

Gracie and Luke are lucky to many people who love them. In the 6 months since I returned to work, they have had Grandma Rosi and Grandpa Al who come to help Daddy during the week and in February, they met Sonia. Sonia came to us by way of the DOLLS, a charity group who donated her services so that when Grandma and Grandpa could not be there to help, Daddy would not be alone. Sonia fell in love with Gracie and Luke right away. She often told us that she loved them like they were her own grandchildren.

Sonia would take the babies for walks, could get them to sleep for 2 hour naps (wow!), and taught them all kinds of songs in Spanish. She was an expert at distracting the babies when they would cry and getting them to laugh.

Today, we had to say goodbye to Sonia. She was so wonderful to us and we are grateful for the time she spent with our family. We feel lucky to have had her as a part of Gracie and Luke's life.

In a few weeks, Sonia's son and daughter-in-law will be welcoming their own twins to the family. They are expecting a boy and a girl! Hopefully, she will enjoy them as much (MORE!) than she enjoyed spending time with Gracie and Luke.

Thank you, Sonia!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ta Da! Go, Luk-a-loo Go!

Gracie has been crawling for a month. Everyday, she gets better and faster.

Lukie, on the other hand, wasn't very interested in crawling. That is, until he saw how quickly his sister grabbed the toys he wanted or made it to Grandma Rosie or Mommy. It was then that he started his Commando Crawl: an amazing feat whereby he pulled his body along the ground while incorporating his arms (especially his elbows) and his upper torso. It was rough, but it got the job done.

A few weeks ago, he started trying to get up on his knees. He started rocking back and forth. We knew it was only a matter of time until he was crawling. He's managed a few crawl "steps" forward over the past few days.

And then today,

TADA! Lukie crawled from one side of the room to the other to reach Daddy and his bottle. Yay! Go Lukie! Go!

Oh, just one thing: You forget that with mobility comes the possibility of casualties. Casualty #1: Luke's nose. Having crawled to and OVER Mommy, Lukie went nose first into the Twinsies' bear playset. Here's the result:


And just for fun, here are a few videos for some giggles.

Gracie wants my camera.
video



Luk-a-loo the Stander? Yes, that is the bear playset that hurt his nose. Can you hear him "talking?"
video

And this picture is just because I thought it was cute (Click on it to view it larger. Can you see Gracie's teeth?):

Can you tell our house is the place to be?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Somber, yet Joyous Anniversary

Today is exactly one year to the day that I went into pre-term labor. We "celebrated" with the following thought: If Dr. Hartford and the amazing nurses hadn't done such an awesome job, today might have been either Gracie and Luke's first birthday, or a very sad day remembering babies that once were. It's a sobering thought, but to make it happy, we had a very busy day.

We took Gracie and Luke for their 9 month check up. Gracie is 15 lbs, 2 oz and Luke is 16 lbs, 13 oz. They are both up 3 lbs in the last 3 months, but are just barely on the curve. I think our biggest percentage was Luke's head! He's in the 5th percentile for his age. Dr. A is very impressed with Gracie's crawling and, not to be out done, Luke decided to crawl forward about 8 inches to impress Dr. A (aka his girlfriend). They were very cranky after their immunizations, but we forged on to visit Dr. Hartford (our OB).

At Dr. Hartford's office, we delivered 2 of Eddie's pecan pies and a card thanking him for making our 9 month check up possible. He looked stunned, but happy that we came. I gave him a card with a very long "thank you." That night one year ago, my Dr. Hartford stayed with me until 2 am, making sure the nurses in L&D took care of me and monitored me closely. He was there when I was admitted to the Perinatal High Risk Unit and was put on IV Magnesium Sulfate. For the next 12 + weeks, he visited me in the High Risk ward. His conservative treatment and straightforward personality helped me keep my babies growing inside until 35 weeks 6 days.

After letting Luke flirt with Dr. Hartford's nurses, off we went to visit the nurses at the High Risk Unit. There, we delivered Eddie's Rustic Apple pies and Toffee Cranberry cookies. We saw several of the nurses who took care of me and some of the PAs as well. In addition to my OB, the nurses in the High Risk Unit held my hand, encouraged me, talked me down off of the ceiling when I had a bad day of too many contractions, made me laugh, brought me shredded wheat when I was craving it and my Eddie was in another hospital room recovering from surgery.

While we were there, we met up with another lady who had had a very long stay in the High Risk Unit along with me. She brought her twin boys and we had fun trying to get them to smile. James and Jonathan are adorable.



The Twinsies were not too excited about all of the transferring into and out of the car seats, but in the end, we felt like we had done what we set out to do:
Say Thank You to those who made our 9 month check ups with the Twinsies possible. Instead of being their 1st birthday yesterday, it was just any other day to them. What a gift that is! We have so much to be thankful for today!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Finally alive Longer than they were in Mommy's tummy!

Today, Gracie and Luke are 9 months old. Their Nana pointed out that they have been out in the world longer than they were in my tummy. We love Nana, but she comes up with the strangest things!

Gracie has been crawling for the past 3 weeks or so. She is very fast! She has this unique way of crawling with one bent knee and one straight leg. Don't laugh! She gets around very fast. If you hold her hands, she will try to walk for you. She uses her tippy-toes, but is starting to get the hang of it. She officially has 3 teeth: the 2 bottom ones and one up on top in the middle. I don't know who she inherited her teeth from, but if the 3 she has are any indication, braces are definitely in her future! Gracie is a talker. She has lots of words that mean something to her, and perhaps, something to Luke. Unfortunately, they have yet to mean anything to her parents. She is an expert at the jumperoo, loves eating Baby Mum Mums and is stuck on stage 2 foods. She hates sippy cups, but will hold her bottle if she is hungry enough.

The best thing about Gracie is her hair! The back is growing pretty slowly, but is shiny and smooth. The hair up top is something else! It is growing straight and diagonally in the air. She looks like she either put her finger in a light socket or she is carefully applying hair gel before we get up in the morning. Either way, her headbands are doing very little to help at this point. Her desperate parents have purchased some leave-in conditioner in hopes that it can tame the crazy hair!

Luke has been growing much faster than Gracie. If the scale is correct, he weighs over 16 lbs. He is a hefty boy and is finally wearing 6 - 9 month clothes. Luckily, some of Daddy's cousins bought him some Chicago Bears' wear so he has plenty to work with! Luke has been off of the steroids for his hemangioma now for 3 months. His nose is pretty swollen and can get pretty purple. It doesn't deter from the amazing cuteness he has going on! He already has a tan and looks ready to jump on a surfboard at any moment. He has 5 teeth! Two on the bottom and 3 new teeth on top. He has a gap between two of them, but they are growing in very straight. He is a great eater and in addition to his Baby Mum Mums, he loves eating Gerber Puffs and Stage 3 foods. Like his sister, he does not like his sippy cup. He would rather have someone hold his bottle for him! We need to work on him. This does not bode well for homework in a few years!

Luke isn't crawling quite yet, but any day now, we'll have 2 seriously mobile babies. Instead of traditional crawling, Luke has his Commando Crawl down to a science. He uses his arms to pull his body along the ground. He is pretty fast, but now where near the speeds his sister can maintain. He has gotten up on all fours several times over the past few days. Hopefully, this is a sign that he will join the Crawling Crew soon.

I wish we could spend time with all of you so that you could see how very different Gracie and Luke are from when they were born. They are so happy and they LOVE each other. Put them on the floor together and they will laugh at each other, hold hands, steal toys, and roll around. It is so amazing to see them interact.

Just think: In 3 short months, we will celebrate their first birthday! How time flies!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Gracie is on the move!

Not soon after the Triplet, Triplet, Twin Party, Gracie got seriously mobile. She has this strange little crawl - kind of a crawl on her right knee and a shove forward with her left foot. It makes us giggle, but it gets her on the move pretty fast.

Here's something I forgot from watching my sister's kids crawl: when they want to be, crawlers are FAST! Gracie can go from one end of the room to another before I even notice that she started moving. What's more, she is insanely curious and will grab anything she finds and shove it into her mouth.

You can only imagine the things I've yanked from her grasp:
  • paper
  • her brother's binky
  • dried up Baby Mum Mums
  • pencils (not intentionally left on the carpet)
  • electrical cords
  • discarded toys
  • Mommy's shoes (carelessly left about the floor)
  • kitty food
Needless to say, the baby gates are going up as fast as they can. We've rearranged the living room to keep Gracie from getting to Daddy's cookbooks. We even put acrylic covers on the DVD player and Tivo. I just wish they worked better. Gracie has already figured out how to get around the covers to get the DVD drawer to open. She's so smart!

You can only imagine the places we have found Gracie (the video is kind of dark - sorry!):


Luke is working on his mobility. At first, he just lay there on the floor crying as Gracie sped from one end of the room to another. Recently, though, he is getting his Commando Crawl down. On his tummy, Luke puts his left elbow forward and uses it to pull his entire body forward. If he wants to, he can make it across the room using this method. However, it isn't fast enough to make him happy. Usually, he'll stop mid-journey and start to cry, hoping against hope that one of us will pick him up. We are trying not to. We want him to want to crawl. Today, he got up on his hands and knees several times and rocked back and forth. He wants to crawl! Any day now and we'll have 2 babies on the move.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mommy's on Summer Vacation! Yay!

Finally, after 6 long months of school, Mommy is on Summer Vacation. We are ignoring the fact that she still has to teach Summer School.

We have so many plans! Mommy is working on a schedule so that we can start having 3 solids a day. She plans to walk 2 miles with us twice a day and take us to the park. Yay!

Mommy and Daddy bought us a sprinkler pool and a wading pool. We love water so we plan to spend hours in the water. We might even take a nap in there!

So many wonderful things to do with Mommy home! How long is Summer Vacation?