Monday, December 28, 2009

Santa's Little Helpers

Merry Christmas! I hope you had a great time with family, as we did. In fact, we had so much fun that I only got one picture of the twins in their Christmas outfits before they started losing pieces of it to spit-up, diaper changes, and general dislike of the hats. :) (Dad's family, close your eyes ... you'll probably see a repeat of these outfits on Friday. Looking forward to seeing you!)

I may be biased, but aren't they just getting cuter and cuter? (Hadley / Leila)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Let's Get Physical

Here's an update on the twincesses health! We had our six month checkup yesterday, and a big thank you to Grandma (my mom) for going to the appointment with me. You know I couldn't have done it without you!

Leila is turning out to be our "chunky" baby, at 14 lbs 10 oz! That's the 25th percentile, not adjusted for prematurity. Everything looks great with her, although she is still a little behind developmentally because they were premature, but no worries! Leila's favorite thing to do right now is lay on her back with her feet straight up in the air. :)

Even though I call Leila fat, I don't really mean it, since Hadley is running a close second at 14 lbs 5 oz. She's a little farther behind than Leila, but again, no worries. I don't think I've mentioned on the blog before that Hadley was born with torticollis, which is just tightening of the neck muscles on one side because she was in a funny position in the womb (a.k.a. growing for 7 months with somebody sitting on her!). This is probably the reason that she's developmentally behind Leila. She's been in physical therapy for three weeks now, and the P.T. says that she is already showing signs of being ready to graduate! That's my overachiever! She really loves to play on the exercise ball at therapy.
Oh, and did I mention that the twins are still sleeping about 18 hours a day? That's to make you other moms out there jealous. :) Even the pediatrician was surprised! I don't know how it's happening, or how I got lucky, but I'm thankful for a little time to myself!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weeping for Willow

At Thanksgiving, in a move that I'm sure you all saw coming way before we did, we decided to give Willow away to Tony's brother and his family. Once again, it was an effort to reduce my stress at home, so our pet family is down to only one, Roxie, our Shiba Inu. We love Willow so much, and we miss her a ton, which is why we made sure we gave her to a family that would treat her right, and who we get to visit all the time!
Here's just one of the things we'll miss about Willow:

Also at Thanksgiving, we got the six VanHorn granddaughters together for a picture for the first time! It was so fun to pick out their coordinating outfits and go to the portrait place. The three in the striped sweaters are the new owners of Willow! I see lots of tea parties in her future.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

On Solid Ground

My beautiful baby girls started solids last weekend! They're doing awesome already, and we've done rice cereal and sweet potatoes so far. Is there anything cuter than a baby with cereal all over her face?

Leila

Leila/Hadley
Doesn't this one just steal your heart? (Hadley)

On a related note, for all you moms out there, I'd like to give a glowing review to our amazing highchairs! These Chicco 360 Hook-On highchairs are one of the only things that we have purchased new instead of used, and here's why: they save us a ton of space in our little house, the chair seats up to 35 lbs and rotates 360 degrees (which is handy for a hundred reasons), and it has a snap-on tray (most hook-on highchairs don't). AND the whole thing fits into a little mesh bag for traveling!

Oh, and as long as I'm reviewing things, I'll mention something else. Many of you know that I am making and freezing my own baby food, instead of buying jarred food, to save money. I figure that I'll save about 50% in the few months before my girls can start eating finger foods. To help me in my efforts, I purchased a used Beaba Babycook. You should check it out -- it's a European all-in-one baby food steamer/blender/defroster. I can honestly say that I can survive without it by using the stove to steam and our blender to puree, and I wouldn't recommend paying full price for one by any means. But I really enjoy the easy set-up and clean-up of having everything in one product!

Enough commercialism ... we see enough of that at Christmastime as it is! :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Very VanHorn Year

Yes, exactly a year ago today, we found out that we had not one, but two, buns in my oven!

What a year it has been ... endless doctor's appointments, getting two of everything, generous baby showers, bed rest for five weeks, finishing my employment from the couch, waking up to my water breaking six weeks early, giving birth both ways, two weeks in the NICU, eight weeks on oxygen, breastfeeding exclusively, sleepless nights, screaming car rides, first smiles, first giggles, thinking "I can't do this!" and "I am so blessed!" within minutes of each other on several occasions ...

And I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

I wrote about the moment when Tony and I found out earlier this year, so I won't repeat myself, but if you haven't had a chance to read that posting, click here.

Also, I've had my blog for a year now. If you're bored, go back and start from the beginning ... see how my belly grew, check out ultrasound photos, and see how big the twins have gotten!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chipotle Cuties

There's a new shopping center open in my area of town! We're so excited to have some shopping, grocery, and restaurant options a little closer to our house. Feeling like Panera soup-in-a-breadbowl? Well, there's one about two minutes away!

There's also a Chipotle in the shopping center, and on the night that it opened, it was giving away free burritos to the first 100 customers. Tony and I packed up the girls after naptime and headed over, hoping to score big time ... but by the time we got there, the cashier said we were probably about 200 people too late. Oops! We bought burritos anyway and headed home, hanging our heads in "I've missed a deal" shame. But wait! There was an employee stationed by the door, and apparently the first 100 customers were not babies, because they still had lots of free Chiptole bibs and onesies to give away! We'll take free clothes anytime!

Here are my little burritos in their Chiptole clothes:
Hadley modeling the front
Leila modeling the back

Monday, November 30, 2009

Mommy's New Job

I have to apologize ... it's been a long time since I sat down and really wrote an update for my faithful blog followers. But, let's be honest, most of you probably just want to see the pictures anyway! :)

The BIG news this week is that I'm getting back into the workforce! Starting tomorrow, I'll be event planning the National Day of Prayer in Washington, D.C., which is on the first Thursday of May. The organization has used me for the last two years through Focus on the Family, and has generously offered to let me work part-time from home to do the job this year! I'm so, so excited to do the two things I love the most without sacrificing much: being a mommy and being an event planner!

There are plenty of other things for me to share with you, but I'll save those for another day. And, since I don't like to leave without pictures, here's a couple from a brisk fall walk recently. We took the girls out in their front packs and adorable pink stocking caps. :)

Hadley, about to fall asleep

Leila, pondering life

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hello, Sister!

Do I know you from somewhere?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Own Your "C"

There's a commercial on television that encourages teenagers to "own your C", which stands for Choices. Leila has embraced her "C" at an early age, even while sleeping. :)

And here's Hadley, sleeping with one eye open, like always! So precious...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Exersaucing

I'm LOVING this phase. I can't get enough of my baby girls! That is, until they need a nap ...

Hadley
Leila

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lending a Hand

I caught the girls holding hands this morning as I was changing their diapers! I know, it's just because they'll grasp anything that comes within their reach now, but I'm choosing to believe it's because they love each other. Here's Hadley asking Leila to hold hands, while Leila seems more interested in Mommy's camera...

And here's Leila, really really excited that she gets to hold hands with sister!

Monday, November 2, 2009

My Burrito Babe

Tony went to get a free burrito from Chipotle on Halloween night -- you had to dress like a burrito to get it. (I stayed at home with the girls, since we didn't know how long the line would be.) We didn't want to put in too much effort, and figured everybody would be in foil .. so here's what we came up with. It still makes me laugh!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Hadley
Leila
Hadley / Leila
(The strawberry costumes are from Tony's aunt and cousins. Thanks, Carole, Brad, and Gina!)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Post a Caption II

It's been about four months since I've asked you to post a caption ... way too long. Here's a great one of Hadley in the bathtub. Let's see what you've got!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Getting Crafty

With the help of my amazingly creative sister, Melissa (I'm not neglecting to mention the rest of my creative family, either!), I just finished this wall hanging for our bedroom. I had the idea, and Melissa created an Iris Folding pattern for me to do it! The whole picture is made of little folds of paper (see the bird), which gives it great texture. Those of you who have been to my house will notice that the walls are a new color, too. Even though there's a pack 'n' play in the bedroom (you can see that the bed is off-centered to make room for it ... and the girls only use it for naps), we're on our way to claiming "Mommy and Daddy's space"!



Monday, October 26, 2009

Thumbsucker, Part 2

Oh, did I say we had one thumbsucker? I must have been mistaken. Here's Leila, caught in the act!

Also, here are the girls in their "Boo!!" outfits from Grandma. Scary, huh? (Leila/Hadley)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thumbsucker


We've got a thumbsucker! At first, it was just when Hadley lost her binkie at night, but it's developing into an all-the-time habit. I know it's not the healthiest habit if it continues long-term, but right now I'm okay with it ... and I think it's pretty adorable. :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Two Little Pumpkins

See the theme? Don't tell Tony he's the fat one ...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How Do I Do It?

A lot of people have e-mailed me since my last post, asking how I saved so much money on my last grocery trip. The answer is simple(ish): I don't do the work myself. I owe all my grocery success to http://springsbargains.com/. It's a local blog, run by a lady in my church (although I didn't know that when I fell in love with the site!). Every week, she takes the sales from all the local grocery stores (at least six last time I counted), tells you what coupons to use with the sale item, and rates the price 1 - 5 on how good the deal is. So:
  1. I subscribe to the Sunday edition of the local paper (and I'm thinking about getting Denver's paper on Sundays, too).
  2. I label the coupons from the paper with the date and stick them in clear page protectors in a 3-ring binder.
  3. I read springsbargains.com and decide what my family needs for the week, or what we should stock up on for the future. Stockpiling when the price is good is a major rule!
  4. I use hotcouponworld.com to find exactly what date a particular coupon came out in the newspaper.
  5. Sometimes I print coupons from coupons.com or groceryguide.com if they have something that my insert coupons don't.
  6. Cha-ching! My favorite grocery store also puts how much you saved at the bottom of the receipt, so I don't sit around adding up how much I saved, just so you know. :)

For those of you who don't live in my town, maybe there's a local blog for your city. There's lots of good stuff out there on the internet if you look for it!

On another note, I dropped our camera a couple of days ago -- which isn't surprising, considering I was trying to take a picture of one baby while nursing another baby. :) Thankfully, we had planned on getting a new one since ours was 4 years old, and we actually already had some money set aside for it! However, that means you might not get some new photos for a little while. Sorry! I guess that means you'll have to look through my archives to see just how far we've come. Happy reminiscing!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Goodbye Grey and Giant Grocery Gains!

Even though I won't be writing her a memorial like our other cat, we did decide to give our cat of 2 1/2 years away this week. On an especially stressful day, I looked around the house and realized 1) we feed her; 2) we clean her litter box; 3) we clean up her hair from everywhere ... and what do we get in return? Constant meowing, which had started to wake the girls from their naps. In her defense, she missed Copper, and we weren't giving her the love she needed, which is why she had started meowing. Hopefully the family that we gave her to can give her what she needs!
Also, I have to brag on myself a little bit. Combining coupons and sales at the grocery store, I spent $60 and saved $110 this week! Definitely my best grocery week yet. It was so exhilarating! :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Leila's Look

I just walked outside for a second and saw some snowflakes coming down. I'm not ready for winter! You would think I lost my summer because I gave birth to premature twins or something. :)

Leila has always concentrated really hard on what she's doing, even since birth. I got a classic picture the other day and thought I would give you a few of "Leila's Looks".

You'll remember this one from a few days after we got home from the hospital. Leila (right) is thinking really hard about whatever she's looking at (look how big those pants were!) ...
...August...
...September...

...and October (left). Hadley's funny in this one too. :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fall Festivities

We got all bundled up for a day outside at the Harvest Festival this weekend! We went with two of my sisters and five of their kids. We had so much fun! It was about 60 degrees at the warmest, but the girls snuggled with us in their front packs and did great! We tried to get a picture of them in a wagon, but you can see the result of that. This is actually the best picture, as Leila digressed into crying more and more for each additional picture. :) (Leila / Hadley)
And here's my favorite picture of our whole family so far! It seems like there's always a baby crying, or a baby looking like she's really uncomfortable, but we all look pretty happy in this one! (Leila / Hadley) Happy Fall, everyone!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lookin' Good!

Yesterday, when I realized the girls were going to take a long nap instead of their notorious 45-minute naps, I decided to take a nap, too. It was amazing. :) When I woke up, I realized just how exhausted I am, based on this mental picture that I will draw for you:

I was laying on the couch with one leg hanging off. My hair was damp from being washed but never dried or styled. I was wearing purple and orange argyle socks, blue capri sweatpants, and a gray t-shirt. I had covered myself using the nearest pink baby blanket, and for a pillow I was using the Boppy. Next to my head was a pile of clean clothes that I've been meaning to put away.

Ah, the life of a stay-at-home mom. Let's hope the girls start sleeping through the night soon!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dueling Hiccups

When we remove our pictures from our digital camera, the videos don't come off automatically as well. I finally downloaded the videos today, and thought I'd give you a little flashback to when the girls were in the hospital. They had the hiccups at exactly the same time -- which they also got when they were inside me, and still do to this day! It's also a reminder of how far we've come, since they're covered in tubes and so, so tiny! (Hadley left / Leila right)

Monday, September 21, 2009

All Smiles

I finally got a couple of pictures with both of the girls smiling!
(Both pictures Leila left / Hadley right)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Girly Girls

Well, I never thought I'd like putting bows on my girls' bald heads, but let's admit it -- they're adorable. :) Plus, I think it helped the nursery workers at church remember which was which.

Yesterday I put the girls on the same blanket for a little bit of tummy time. They have both rolled over a couple of times, but nothing regularly. As soon as I laid Leila down, she rolled over ... right on top of Hadley. They clunked heads and both started crying ... I guess that's the end of a shared blanket!

Anyway, I moved Hadley, and when I came back, somebody else had taken her place. I really think Willow loves Leila. Or she thinks if she hangs out with the girls, I might give her some attention too ...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Man Who Lets Me Dream

The girls just finished up a major 3-month growth spurt. Wow, they should warn you about that when you sign up to be parents! They were eating every two hours for a few days, and nights were no picnic either. From the time they were born, Tony has wanted to be as involved as possible with the girls, and since he can't feed them :), we made an agreement that I would only get up in the night to feed the girls, and he would get up with them when they were being fussy. I think he regretted that agreement this week! There were a couple of nights that he took a pillow into the nursery and stayed with the girls so that I could get some sleep. Thankfully, I think they're done with the spurt ... until the next one.

So, here's to Tony -- the man of my dreams who lets me dream. :)

Tony and Hadley in the hospital

Tony and Leila in the hospital

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Master and The Student

Leila: "Oh, Willow, I have so much to learn from you about moving on four legs and eating things off the floor!"

On another note, we put the girls into their own cribs for the first time last night. They also slept worse than they have in weeks. I'm starting to think they missed each other!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Namesakes

One of the perks of having twins is that Tony and I didn't have to choose whether to use a name from his family or my family for our first child -- we just used one of both! This weekend, we traveled back to Kansas, where Leila got to meet hers for the first time.

Here's Leila Elaine with Great-Grandma Myrna Elaine (Tony's grandma). Elaine means "bright light", which we think is perfectly fitting for both of them, and we hope that Leila will have her great-grandma's love for life, which everyone around can see. (Happy 60th anniversary, Max and Myrna! We enjoyed getting to spend time with you!)

Hadley Luella, on the other hand, got to meet her Grandma Mary Luella (my mom) on the day after she was born. Luella means "female warrior" or "famous elf" ... and even though we know Hadley is our more dominant baby, those are not the traits we wanted to pass on to her! Instead, we hope she takes after her grandma's patient spirit and thoughtful heart.