Thursday, May 31, 2012


5/31/2011: We found out we were having twins.
It really was one of the best days of my life.

When things were crazy today (feeding two babies, chasing a toddler, playing with nieces and nephews), I remembered the emotional high of seeing this picture for the first time. What a miracle.

I think I had a smile on my face most of the day.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Flower Child(ren)

Eliza and her cousin Ellie love to dress up. Usually, they raid the pile of princess gowns and end up looking like a miniature Cinderella and Belle. Last weekend, though, they tried on various outfits and ultimately resembled a couple of free-spirited, hippie children.
I loved it.

This needs to be an album cover or something.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Half a Year

The boys turned six months old yesterday.
Elliott on the left and Ezra on the right
Can you believe it? I can't.

They are such happy babies. They laugh and coo constantly and they light up as soon as you look at them. Because they are so stinkin' adorable, Nathan and I can more easily tolerate the fact that we never sleep. For some reason, neither boy can go longer than two or three hours without waking up. We're hoping they grow out of this soon, but in the meantime, we've resorted to sleeping in different rooms with a baby. This way, Nathan wakes up when his baby cries, and I wake up to nurse when my baby awakes. The boys don't disturb each other this way, so we only have one fussy baby to deal with. We have been trying this method for a few days now, and it seems to work better for everyone involved.

Regarding milestones, neither boy has teeth or can roll just yet. Both of these accomplishments are in the works, though. They have been drooling furiously for weeks and are so close to rolling; they just need to work on tucking their arms and they will be in business. I keep joking that they are too fat to care about rolling.

They are chunky babies, which makes me proud. Ezra weighs in at  17 pounds 2 ounces, and Elliott weighs a full pound more at 18 pounds 2 ounces. We made it to our goal of exclusively breastfeeding for six months, which I believe earns me (and Nathan who was very patient with having a wife who was always nursing or pumping) a whole book of gold stars. I haven't given myself a new goal, and I don't plan on stopping for a while. Things have gotten so much easier, and I only hope they continue to get better with the introduction of solids.

Even though Ezra and Elliott don't sleep well, I think they are wonderful babies. They are content as long as they aren't in their crib and seldom cry. And although they are similar in a number of ways, they definitely maintain their own distinct personalities. After my dad first met Ezra and Elliott, he told me he knew how to tell them apart. He explained that Elliott was a "Republican" and that Ezra was a "hippie." When he looked at Elliott, with his wide eyes, long eye lashes, and jovial smile, he couldn't help but think of a happy, go-lucky politician (thanks, Dad).

And when he looked at Ezra, the impression he had was, "Hey guys, let's just relax. I'm here to party."

Nathan and I couldn't help but laugh because it was such an accurate observation. Both babies love to interact with people, but Elliott really thrives off of being constantly engaged. He has a harder time falling asleep because he wants to be with someone all the time. Just tonight, Nathan joked that Ezra's lullaby was the sound of Elliott screaming: it puts him right to sleep! So yes, there is an obvious need to have the babies sleep in different rooms at this point.

Ezra is intense, but a bit more relaxed. He could stay in the Jumperoo all day if we let him. He gets into a groove and seems so happy that it is always kind of sad when we take him out. He has a look of being mildly entertained throughout the day (regardless of what we are doing) and really comes to life when we try to make him laugh. He has the cutest giggle, which makes it okay that he prefers to sleep in bed with me and nurse most of the night.

We know this phase won't last forever, which relieves me as much as it makes me sad. They are growing up so fast (too fast!). When I told Nathan that the boys were six months old, he quipped, "What? Only six months? But we have had them for for-EVER."

Don't worry, boys. He'll forget about never getting any sleep in a few years. He never held it against Eliza :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Bottle Fairy

Last weekend, the (seemingly) impossible happened....Eliza willingly parted with her beloved bottle.

For over a year, Nathan and I have encouraged, begged, bargained, and pleaded with Eliza to give up her bottle. We managed to get her down to only one a day, but we could not convince her to change her nightly routine. She used it as a kind of security blanket to fall asleep and would cry and refuse to get into bed without her glass bottle. Yes, it had to be glass. She is a milk connoisseur; she likes her milk cold.

Once we were back from South Carolina, we decided it really was time for Eliza to kick the habit. Nathan, being the genius that he is, came up with an excellent idea. As he was putting her to bed, he told her that her bottle was needed by other little babies and that it would be her last night to have a bottle before bed. In the morning, he told her, they would go to the mailbox and put the bottle inside. The Bottle Fairy would come and leave a present in exchange for Eliza's generous donation.

Eliza was excited! I could hardly believe it when she she asked questions about the fairy rather than crying. She proudly told me she was going to be "a big girl" and give her bottle away. It seemed almost too easy.

Eliza went to bed and remembered about the mailbox first thing in the morning. Nathan and her walked to the mailbox and placed the bottle inside. Eliza wasn't sad at all as they walked away.

A few hours later, she ran to the mailbox with her Princess bag in order to gather her loot.

Much to her delight, the fairy had left fruit snacks and a bunch of "big girl drinks" aka Caprisuns. 

Sipping from a straw? How novel!
Eliza was so happy and proud of herself. 

The real test was that night, though. Sure, she had happily given away her bottle, but would she regret it that first night without one? The answer, surprisingly, was no. She went to bed just fine and kept reassuring Nathan and I that she didn't need milk because she is a princess and not a baby. 

As it turns out, it seems as though Nathan and I relied on the bottle more than Eliza.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I'm Okay with E. T.

For years, I would think about E.T. and want to cry. The particular scenes that were forever burned into my mind were Elliott's first encounter with the lost little alien (in a cornfield of all places) and then Drew Barrymore and E.T. screaming at each other.

The eyes widening. The neck moving up and down. And let's not forget E.T.'s terrifying scream. It was just too much for a little kid to take in. Even watching the first video (which, please notice, has not been altered by CGI unlike the second one) gave me a mild panic attack when I dared to watch it a few minutes ago.

 I remember my grandfather giving my sister and I matching E.T. dolls. The doll was supposed to be cute and cuddly. All I could think of was E.T. screaming. I conveniently left the doll at my grandparents' house. It's probably still there.
When we were at Universal Studios a couple of weeks ago, we saw the larger version of the stuff toy.
Because of my less than favorable memories associated with the film, I refused to watch the movie again for at least a decade. What could change? How would it benefit me? I somehow gathered my nerve (and strength) and watch the remastered CGI version. Somehow, E.T. was slightly cute because he was no longer real looking. The computer animation kind of ruined the authenticity of the film, but allowed me to feel like E.T. really wasn't an actual alien who would come into my house if I left Reese Piece's outside.

I watched and was moved to tears the second time--the "this-movie-is-so-moving-and-amazing" kind of tears. I loved it. Even so, I never expected to name a son Elliott.

When we found out I was pregnant a second time, I immediately knew the name of our future child. A daughter would be Hazel and a son would be Ezra.

But then there were two boys.

At first, I thought we would use our second boy name, Bennett. However, it just didn't feel right. I knew Baby A would be Ezra, but Baby B lacked a definitive name (Ezra would actually end up becoming Baby B after the boys did some acrobatics in utero). For weeks, we struggled with what to call him.

Sometime in July, I woke up with the name "Elliott" on my mind. I went through the list of Elliott's that I knew: T.S. Eliot, Elliott Smith, Elliott Stabler (Law and Order), and then there was El-li-ott from E.T.

That kind of ruined it. I worried about him being teased, but then decided it wouldn't really be an issue. Kids these days don't watch classic movies from the 80s, right? My close friends assured me that the name was wonderful and encouraged me to stick with my instincts. I finally felt peace about the decision (naming children is a huge deal) and decided I would celebrate the occasion by watching E.T. again sometime before the boys were born.

On November 27th, I went to bed with my usual aches and asked Nathan what Netflix movie we had sitting around; it was E.T. We watched the movie, cried together because it really is so good, and I fell asleep. I love that Elliott and Ezra were born less than 10 hours later.

Nearly every day, I find myself telling Nathan (or muttering it to myself): "I can't believe we have two babies, but I can't imagine only having one." I am so glad there was a second baby to name. I am so glad we have Ezra and Elliott.

As for this generation not making any "El-li-ott jokes", I think I underestimated the youth of America. When the babies were just a few days old, my in-laws went to visit my nieces and nephews in Portland. My father-in-law, Rex, told my nine-year-old nephew, Mason, that Ezra's nickname was "E-Z" because he was such an "easy" baby. Mason looked at Rex and said matter-of-factly, "Well, can Elliott be E-T then?"

So, without further ado, here is Elliott celebrating his name by wearing a red hoodie like his namesake (not really his namesake, but name-sharer, I should say).

No, this was not planned. I couldn't stop laughing when I noticed the similarities, though.

I must admit that it feels kind of wrong to devote a whole post to only one of the twins, but I think Ezra will understand. We love him (and his name) just as much as his brother.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Christian Bale would be proud. Look at these hats!
I love having boys, and I love little boy clothing.

 When I first found out we were expecting twin boys, I was surprised by the number of people who said things like, "But dressing two girls would have been so much fun!" And while that may be true (to a certain extent), I have found happiness in robot clothing, dinosaurs galore, and now these little hats. 

On a side note, these pictures were taken (obviously) with the boys in their stroller. I am loving the Contours Tandem Stroller.  It is perfect for walks, and I like how Ezra and Elliott can face each other or both face us if we want.

 Family walks are the best.

(Sometimes) I Laugh at Technology

A year ago today, we were told I was growing one healthy baby.

We were even given a photo to prove it.

Call it mother's intuition or call it just lucky humor, but I vividly remember asking, "Are you sure it's just one?"

The doctor laughed and assured us that the picture was all the proof we needed to confirm the fact that there was only one baby inside of me.

Just two weeks later, though, Nathan and I were the ones laughing (hysterical, "I-can't-believe-this-is-happening-to-us-but-I-am-thrilled-out-my-mind kind of laughing) when the picture suddenly changed to show twins.

(And if we needed any more proof that ultrasounds aren't 100% accurate, I will just remind you that my sister had a boy and not a girl after five ultrasounds)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Home Again

It seems too good to be true.

As of Tuesday afternoon, we are HOME.

And after driving a staggering
 7, 424 miles, 

I make the solemn vow to never leave our little town ever again.  

(well, at least not for a few months)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I'm Not Ready For a Real Vacation Just Yet

While in South Carolina, Nathan and I decided we would escape to Orlando for a few days while we had access to excellent and willing babysitters (my mom and sister are the best). We discussed the details and invited my little brother, Hudson, and his girlfriend, Lindsey, to join in on the fun. Hudson and I have been obsessed with Harry Potter for the last 15 years, so I knew he would love to tag along to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Speaking of Hudson, he graduated from college this Saturday with a degree in engineering. He already has a job at a prestigious power plant and will be a nuclear engineer just like Homer Simpson. We're proud of out little smarty pants. 
My brother, sister, and dad.
Isn't my mom cute?
I love how happy Ezra looks.

We went to graduation and as soon as it was over, we packed our minivan and drove straight to Orlando. Nathan and I were excited to get away and bond with Hudson and Lindsey. But as soon as I shut the door after kissing the children goodbye, I felt a huge lump form in my throat.

How could I leave Ezra and Elliott so soon? Would there be enough stored milk to last the three days? Would they sleep okay without being able to nurse during the night? Would Eliza cry for us? Would my sister (who was alone with them for several hours) lose her mind with FIVE children under the age of 2? 

I was worried and feeling a ton of mixed emotions. The first night at the hotel, I cried myself to sleep while Nathan tried not to laugh. He was so relieved to be able to sleep longer than a three hour stretch that the thought of me missing the babies and having no sleep was laughable. He tried hard to be sympathetic, but his laughter actually cheered me up (rather than infuriating me). He was right. The children would be fine without me. I would be fine without them, too.

The next two days were AMAZING. We went to Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios, which meant our days were extremely busy.

It's not surprise that my favorite places were the Jurassic Park rides and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

We were able to try Butterbeer, which was absolutely delicious. In case you were wondering, it taste fairly similar to a Vanilla Bean Frappucino from Starbucks.

The rides were fantastic and the shops were just like I imagined. From the sorting hat and Gryffindor flags to chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Bean in the Honey Dukes Candy shop, everything was there!

My brother was the most excited about the wand experience. He had to have a wand and thought long and hard before deciding on Voldemort's prized possession.
Nathan felt "evil" just touching it, but Hudson thought it was too cool to pass up.

Of course, we couldn't leave Ollivander's wand shop without having a duel.
I really wanted Fred and George's matching wands for Elliott and Ezra (they need them, right!?), but we decided 80 dollars was a little much to spend on 5 month olds.

 I also loved the Time-Turner necklace, but it was a little pricey. My brother and Lindsey surprised me with a Time-Turner keychain, which I loved! It was the perfect gift.

We rode rollercoasters, watched 3D shows, and enjoyed the sights. Unfortunately, Nathan was unaware that he actually doesn't like rollercoasters. He had only been on a couple of rollercoasters before going to Orlando and none of them had 3D effects or did crazy spins. I felt so bad that he didn't go on most of the rides, but he assured me he went for "the experience." (Hudson and I both agreed that whether or not you like amusement parks and rollercoasters should be on a pre-wedding uestionaire.)

Another highlight of the trip was seeing the movie "The Avengers." We loved it, and it was especially entertaining after wandering throughout the land of Superheroes for a day.

The only downside to the trip was worrying about the kids and how my sister and my mom were doing in addition to constantly pumping. I continued to pump every three hours (yes, I brought my pump to the amusement parks) and keeping the milk frozen was an adventure on its own. I refused to let it go to waste, though!

 Oddly enough, I pumped nearly 40 ounces more a day. That's over a gallon of milk a day. As soon as we returned to South Carolina, my supply was back down. I think this goes to prove that everyone could use a little vacation. Stress really does affect you!

After two and a half days of partying without children, I was grateful to be back home and holding my little ones.