Friday, May 28, 2010

Hide and Seek

Life right now is just a game of Hide and Seek!

Hide: Hadley's favorite thing to do is put anything cloth over her head. (Or, apparently, my lotion bottle will do the trick, too.) She wears it like a hat, or covers her face and plays peek-a-boo with it. She also likes to chew on anything fabric -- especially her socks, and wet washcloths.

Seek: Leila is a true adventure seeker now that she's crawling. Her favorite places are inside boxes, looking out the window, laying on the dog bed with Roxie, and under anything that will fit her. She's also pulling up onto her knees, so it won't be long before she pulls up onto her feet.

Can you believe my babies are turning ONE in a week? You can look forward to some birthday posts from me -- I'm thinking about doing one a day all week, but you aren't allowed to complain if I don't. :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Saved

By now, you know how crazy I've gotten about couponing. In fact, since I talked about it on the blog, it's gotten worse (or better?). Remember this post, where I was so proud that I spent $60 and saved $110? I now spend $60/week total on groceries -- and that includes baby food, diapers, cleaning products, health and beauty products ... basically everything but clothes, and maybe I'll get there someday, too. And the amazing part is, in the coupon world, $60/week isn't that good, so don't go thinking I'm some sort of grocery savant! :)

The other day, I was brainstorming about how to make trips to the grocery store with the twins less stressful. I thought maybe I could invite a retired friend of mine to do our grocery shopping together -- then we could each be responsible for one baby, we'd both get our shopping done nicely, and have some time together as well! Then, my mind took it one step further: maybe, if she goes grocery shopping with me, and sees how much I save, I can convert her to couponing!

The moment that I had that thought, a realization hit me. I talk to people about couponing all the time. I constantly tell people about Springs Bargains, my all-time favorite website (which happens to be run by a friend of mine). I list all the things that I purchased on a grocery trip and make them guess how much I spent. I'm really fun to be around. :)

Here's the realization: never, not once, have I gotten as excited about inviting somebody to church as I just got about inviting somebody to the grocery store. Never, not once, have I thought that maybe if I got them to go to church with me, I might be able to talk to them about Jesus.

Wow! If I want to justify myself, I don't know many people who aren't Christians. Raised in the church, Christian college, Christian workplaces, great Christian friends. But that's not an excuse. I need to get my priorities straight. Like my friend Carrie says, instead of talking about saving money, I should be talking about the greatest saving story ever told.

Is there something in your life that you are more eager to talk about than Jesus? Just a thought.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Staycation

Tony and I have both been feeling the need for a vacation lately -- who hasn't? Unfortunately, our last NICU bills just made it through the insurance process, and because of that, we officially won't be going anywhere for a while (except my Grandma's wedding in June!).

So this weekend, we planned a "staycation" for ourselves -- a vacation at home! Turns out, it's actually a whole lot less stressful and a whole lot more relaxing, too!

I started our staycation by making Overnight Pecan French Toast. Oh. my. goodness. It was so good! Seriously, try this recipe. I took a picture, but the picture didn't make it look very appealing, so I'll leave that out.

After breakfast, we headed to Columbine Trail to do a little hiking. We have a backpack for one of us, but haven't found another one for a bargain yet, so I carried Hadley in the front pack, which is definitely getting too small. Please don't make fun of me for this, but it was the first time (other than traveling) in more than 6 months that we haven't napped the girls in a crib. We're pretty religious about naps! So, both of the girls took a short nap during the hike, which was the cutest thing in the world, of course.

(Hadley)(Leila)
By the way, Lower Columbine Trail is beautiful -- a true Colorado hike -- and it's easy for families with kids. There are also Mid and Upper sections, which are quite a bit longer and harder.
We planned to go out again after lunch, but the wind started blowing really hard, so we postponed it until Sunday.

For dinner, we had a "picnic" -- hot dogs, beans, chips, watermelon, and soda. The best part of the evening was making s'mores over a fire pit (which we borrowed from Tony's coworker) in the backyard after the girls went to bed.
After church on Sunday, we headed off to Memorial Park, where Tony had never been. It's such a great park, with a big lake, two or three nice playgrounds, a nice walking path around the lake, and several other things that we didn't visit. Hadley and Leila got their first ride on Daddy's shoulders -- Leila loved it (top picture), and Hadley wasn't so sure (bottom picture).All in all, a very rewarding "vacation", and a great way to explore our own town! We'll definitely do it again ... maybe next weekend. :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hadley's Happenings

I was reminded that you haven't seen a picture of Hadley's teeth yet. Yep, teeth -- she has two! Quite frankly, I have had incredibly grumpy babies lately, so I'm wondering if their teeth are going to continue popping through as quickly as they have been. I also think the grumpiness is because mobile Leila will stalk immobile Hadley, steal her toys, and crawl away. I'd be grumpy, too! :)

Also, Hadley is "saying her name"! I posted this video on Facebook, but thought I'd post it here, too. Really, she just repeats what I say, but it's the only thing she repeats, so that's fun!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Locomotive Leila

We have a crawler! Go, Leila, go!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Seeing Double (with new eyes)

I've always been thankful for my girls, but lately, I have had several reminders on how incredibly thankful I am to have twins! Yes, it's true: I have realized that I would much rather have twins than single babies. I would do it again if I had to ... but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. So, for those of you who just have single babies (ha!), here is my list of reasons why I'm glad to have had twins first!
  • I don't have to discuss my choice to have my babies in the hospital, rather than using any of the numerous alternatives. That's just how you have twins. (Not to mention that Leila literally wouldn't have survived if we hadn't been in the hospital, but that's another story.)
  • Twins are actually better for routine and predictability. I feed my girls at the same time, every time. They nap at the same time as each other every day. And with a (flexible) routine comes happy babies, and an incredible sense of freedom, not imprisonment!
  • Twins have a built-in playmate. If I need to start a quick load of laundry, for example, I can be gone for a moment, and they'll never miss me because they are having so much fun together!
  • Twins don't know what it's like to be an only child. I visited a friend whose baby had a very hard time welcoming other babies into her house -- she wanted her mom to be all hers, and the noise was too much for her to handle. My girls never got a chance to be selfish. (But I'm not saying that they don't fight with each other over toys already!)
  • I never had a chance to encourage habits that eventually need to be broken. Nursing to sleep? Forget it. Holding them at every whimper? Not possible. Attachment parenting? Yeah, right! Making the house totally quiet while they sleep? Not gonna happen if sister wakes up crying (or if the cousins are visiting)!
  • I was on the accelerated learning track. I think some new parents get away without being incredibly educated on child-rearing, at least initially. Eat, sleep, potty, right? :) This is probably partially because of my personality, but when I had a problem with my girls, I read, developed a solution, and implemented it. A parent of one might be able to deal with chronic 45-minute nappers who are obviously still tired, but not a parent of twins! My favorites? Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and Baby 411. I also just discovered How to Have Your Second Child First, and haven't read it yet, but wish I had.
Okay, this got a little longer than I expected. Can I make it up to you by posting pictures of my beautiful babies from our hike last weekend?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again

I just got back from six days in Washington DC, where I event planned the National Day of Prayer Observance on Capitol Hill. What an amazing time! There were five events in 48 hours, and I can honestly say that I was only seriously stressed for about three of those hours. (And that might be because I was too busy to eat for about 24 of them.) You can read a little about the event as a whole by clicking here. I was involved in the observance at the Cannon Building, not the Capitol steps.

One random thought about my time in DC: I accidentally got through security at a government building with a box cutter in my purse. I'm not entirely confident in our national security if somebody who isn't even trying can get away with something like that. :)

Back at the ranch, Tony was a stay-at-home dad for the week. He did such a great job, and he truly enjoyed himself! I think the girls doubled in size while I was gone. I missed them so much, and I've been soaking in the minutes since I arrived at home.

Here are the things the girls accomplished while I was gone:
--Hadley: got her first tooth
--Leila: got her second tooth, can get to sitting up from laying down, and crawls/scoots backward ... but not forward :)

Hadley is still behind. I'm thinking that might be from the torticollis that she had for the first six months or so. I'm not worried, though. Here's my firstborn, using her latest pose. Maybe she's concerned that Mommy is away ... or maybe she doesn't want to eat her carrots.

And here is a good shot of Leila's first two teeth.
Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers who read my blog! Know that you are a blessed woman if you have even half as much joy in your life as I do.