Monday, September 27, 2010

What's in a name?

Choosing a name for your child is hard.  It's not only a personal choice, but it is also something that you want to make sure fits the child and, in my opinion, is timeless.  When we were "shopping" for names, we decided to first consult the Bible.  We only wanted first names that were Bible names.  We felt that those were classic, timeless names.  From there, it was choosing names that either we liked or had special meaning to us.  

Telling people the name (or names) you have chosen for your child before the birth is a personal choice.  Some people choose not to so that they don't have to listen to the opinions.  Me, I am a strong person.  I didn't care.  I was proud and excited.  I couldn't wait to tell the world.

We chose the name Abigail because it is something that both of us really liked (after dismissing a lot of names that one of us liked, but not the other).  Her middle name is a family name.  Her middle name comes from Adam's side.

Elizabeth's middle name came from my side of the family.  Her first name, that was a little harder.  More so for me, than for Adam.  First, it is a Bible name.  From there, it is not only a name that we like, it will always hold a special place in my heart.  Elizabeth is the middle name of Godmother/Aunt Jane.  Sadly, my Aunt lost her battle with cancer two years ago.  Today is her birthday in Heaven.  I had really wanted to tell my Aunt that I was pregnant before she passed, but didn't have the chance.  I am sure she would have been happy for us.  

A year and a half after choosing those names, I am still in love with them!  Not just the name, but the person holding them as well. 

Bear Down!

Are you ready for some football!

Daddy found Bears shirts for the girls the other day, so of course they had to wear them!  Unfortunately, they had to wear them on Sunday even though the Bears play tonight.

Here is a look back at last year, opening day:

What a difference a year makes!

And finally, here is a quick shot of how things REALLY occur in our household:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The hardest part

The hardest part of the girls having epilepsy is the worry.  I don't worry about the life they will lead or having limits in the future.  The "perk" about diagnosing early is that they will never know any different.  Also, we are determined to ensure that they live a life as normal as possible and never feel like they have to miss out on something because of this.  No, I worry about every day, every movement, every noise. Did they get their medicine? Are they on the right dose?  Is the medicine the right thing?  Even more, I worry about the root cause.

Unfortunately, as of right now, we have no answers for their epilepsy.  Neither side of the family has a history or seizures or epilepsy.  Neither of the girls have anything going on in their brains that would disrupt the "flow" causing the seizures.  And because I have a habit of over-thinking, analyzing and worrying, I can't stop thinking about their birth.  They were 6 weeks early and did not need any oxygen.  Did not giving them oxygen cause the epilepsy?  Should they have gotten it?  I know that I can't go back and get a do-over or any answers.  I also know that I have to trust the wonderful NICU doctors and nurses at the hospital.  But hey, I am a mom.  They are my babies.  I worry that I did something wrong that caused this.  If only I could have left them cooking for longer, maybe they wouldn't have to live with this.

A and L have what is called "drop attacks."  So, when I say that they have seizures, it is not what you see on t.v.  The fall to the ground and shake.  A's have always been really slight and L's a little more dramatic.  But, many people probably wouldn't have noticed them.  Shot, for awhile I didn't recognize them as seizures.  Because of this, I feel like we are very sensitive to every movement they make.  If they had the stereotypical seizure, maybe it wouldn't be so bad.  Maybe I wouldn't be second guessing every movement they make.  As it is now, every time I see them move their head or stare into space I wonder "was that a seizure?"  

And oh my goodness, when they are sleeping, forget about it!  I can hear them on the monitor and I hear them move or make a whimper.  Immediately I freeze and listen.  Is everything o.k.?  I know in my head that they are just tossing and turning.  Tell that to my heart and my irrational side. 

Right now, we are just kinda stuck in limbo with their epilepsy.  They continue to take the medication twice-a-day.  That in itself is an adventure.  They continue to be, what we think, seizure free.  We will continue on with the medication until the Spring of 2012 (that's so far away!) then wean them off and see what happens.  That is scary.  

These are my babies.  I want to make sure I can give them the best of everything and give them the best life possible.  If could take this away from them, I would.  But it is part of who they are. I may not always be the best mom and I may not always make the decisions that others may think I should, but I am their mom.  I will always do my best for them. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Toys = I need a bigger house

The girls are getting so bored with the toys that they have.  They have been playing with many of the same ones for at least 6 months.  I have added a couple of things over the summer, but nothing major.  I feel bad for them.  But, I have no idea what toys to get them.  The other issue is that I have a small house with limited space for toys while still allowing room for the girls to run around. Since Christmas is approaching fast, I don't want to go out and buy toys now.  But, I have been trying to do a lot of thinking about what toys to ask for them. 

At daycare, they love playing with the baby dolls and little doll strollers.  Recently, they wrapped the babies in blankets, told them "ni-ni" and put them to bed.  I think they would also enjoy a toy kitchen, but it needs to be a narrow one to fit against the wall in a small space.

Help!  I need lots of suggestions for small, but fun, toys for two year olds.  I say two because their birthday is shortly after Christmas.  

Let's see, what else do they like.  They love talking on the phone.  They love books.  Puzzles are so-so at this point.  They really just enjoy dumping all the pieces off. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Will you read to me?

We have two little girls who LOVE to read books.  Actually, love is a gross understatement.  Given the opportunity, they would sit there and be read to or read on their own all day.  Our little book worms.

What was your favorite childhood book? What is (or was) your child's favorite book?

The current favorite in my house which is seriously read four or five times, by each of us, every day:

Other past fav's:

Mommy's favorite book of the girls:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

From love to takedown!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Apples, peaches, and pears OH MY!

We are on a quest to visit all of the apple orchards around here.  No, not really.  But I am addicted to visiting them!  We have only been to two, but I get excited and start planning in my head when I see an ad for a new place.  The girls always have so much fun and I love seeing their excitement as they run around plucking apples from the trees.

This past weekend we went to another orchard that had not just apples, but also peaches and pears ready for picking.  It was fun.  We took a little train to three different stops to do picking.  On one of the stops, they also had a play area with a little park, farm animals, and a bbq.  Aside from the animals, the girls were in love!

First, we took a train ride to the pears.

Then we headed to the play area to see some animals and have some fun.

Finally, we ate some apples and rode some pigs.

I have so many plans for the pounds and pounds of apples that we picked.  More applesauce (unfortunately the girls don't like the previous batch), apple muffins, and maybe this recipe for apple granola that I was sent tonight.  I am so excited!  I hope the girls like this batch of cooking better!  Ya know, I wish I would have thought to do apple pancakes when I made a double batch yesterday!

What else should I make?

P.S. Seriously, how cute are my girls in their little piggy tails?

Christmas Countdown

Wait, did I just say "Christmas Countdown"?  YES!  Christmas is by far my most favorite holiday.  I love Christmas because I am such a little kid inside, I love buying/giving gifts and being around family.  But, now since the girls have been born, I have a whole new appreciation for Christmas.  I love being able to see the world through their eyes, and this is no different.  Last Christmas was a lot of fun, and this will be even better!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Finger Painting

Did you know that September 12th was Grandparents Day?  A lot of people didn't.  According to Wikipedia, Grandparents Day was established as a way to honor and recognize the importance of seniors.  A and L decided they too wanted to honor and recognize the importance of their grandparents by making cards for them using finger paints.

I never knew how exhausting finger painting can be!  All I can say is wow.  But, the most important thing is the girls had a lot of fun and the grandparents all enjoyed their cards.  This also gave us the opportunity to see the girls different personalities in full swing.
  • L had no problem grabbing handfuls of paint and throwing it on the paper resulting in a paint loaded and soaked paper
  • A doesn't like having her hands dirty, therefore she preferred the one finger method.  One finger at a time she dipped into the paint and wiped on the paper.  
  • But, A has no problem at all taking the same finger, loaded with blue paint, and shoving it into her mouth.  (Thank you Crayola for making your products non-toxic!)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Put your left foot in

I hate buying shoes.  I really do.  Seriously, what girl hates buying shoes?  For anyone that knows me, they know that I prefer to be barefoot as much as possible, and if I can't, it is flip-flops all the way.  I buy a few new pairs of flip-flops at the beginning of summer, wear them ALL THE TIME and then toss them when the snow starts flying.  It's not that I don't like shoes.  I see some really cute shoes that I would love to have, but they end up uncomfortable or not practical for me. 

Take these, for example. So cute.  I would love to be able to wear them.  But, I am afraid I would probably fall down and break something.  Ya'll, I am not as young as I used to be.  


But, I have to set all of that aside and get new shoes for the girls.  It is getting colder out, they can't keep wearing sandals.  This is stressful!  Why do they have to wear shoes?  Now I am tasked with not only finding practical shoes, but shoes that fit these tiny feet and are comfortable for them.  Ummm.....yeah.  Like they are really going to tell me if they are uncomfortable.  At the very least, I need to get a pair of sneakers for each and a pair of boots for winter.

And oh yea, my girls are shoe lovers!  They are obsessed with shoes.

Here are some that I am thinking about.

I also really like the Timberland sneakers and think that they would hold up.  But I have an issue spending $60 on a pair of sneakers for them when I know they will be out of them soon.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Playground Protocol

Apparently there is some secret protocol for playgrounds.  I obviously do not know about it.  Some place, it is stated that a child can forget all manners and respect for others when on a playground.  Unfortunately, no one told my girls this either.  Yup, I am going to be the "no fun" mom when they are older.

Seriously though.  I have taken them to two different playgrounds and the results have been very similar.  There are always older kids running around and, in my opinion, being rude to the other people there. No, I am not a stuffy person and I understand that playgrounds are places where kids can go and have fun.  But, does that mean all boundaries and manners have to be forgotten?

Why is it acceptable for a bigger kid to push a smaller kid out of the way to climb up the slide the wrong way or to use a piece of equipment?  Yes, I know you are bigger, but that is just plain rude.  Wait your turn.  I expect my girls to be polite, wait their turn, and use play equipment properly.  This doesn't mean they are not having fun.  It just means that they allow others to have fun as well.  What gets me even more than the kids acting this way is that no parent comes forward to say anything to their child.  In my opinion, a park is not a place to just drop your child off and forget about them.  Be active!  Take part in your child's life.

Twice now this has happened.  The girls have been "accidentally" kicked, pushed, or hit by another eager child wanting to use a toy.  I don't always think that the child is doing it on purpose.  I think the other children get excited and have fun.  Lord knows, my girls do not always act the best.  However, I do try to make sure that when we are out, they are respectful of others and use their manners.  This can only help them later in life.

OK, I will step off my soap box now.  Here are some fun pictures of our park experience last weekend.  The girls loved it!  I can't wait to go back. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

18 Month Check-Up

We had our18 month check-up yesterday afternoon.  Ok, first.  I can't believe they are 18 months old!  Seriously?!  How did that happen?  

Boring stuff now.  L is 31 inches long and weighs in at 22 pounds.  A is 30 3/4 inches long and weighs in at 20.8 pounds.  I am not so sure about A's weight.  They eat like pigs!  That means she only gained 3.5 ounces in the last 3 months.  This child has drank 3 glasses of milk in the last 4.5 hours and eaten lunch, samples around Costco and a snack.  I think I will re-weigh her on our scale at home.  However, they are both staying right on their curves, so nothing to worry about.

A did have to have some extra blood drawn yesterday.  We are testing to see if she is allergic to strawberries (thanks Bompy!), green beans and peas.  She has had reactions to all three, but not 100% sure if they are allergy driven.

On a side note, I can't wait for the girls to be old enough to explain to them what 9/11 is and why it is so important.  I also want them to know how it impacted all our lives.  The day may be gone, but it will never be forgotten.  So many people lost their lives that morning.  I am forever grateful to the fireman and soldiers who have and continue to make a difference.  If you see a soldier today, or any other day, stop to give them thanks. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Memories to last a lifetime

It has become so important to me recently to concentrate on making memories.  Yes, having a job and a paycheck is important, but family, in my opinion, is so much more important.  No one goes to their grave saying "I wish I worked more."  Most people end up saying "I wish I spent more time with family."  I don't want to be one of those people.  I want my girls to experience life, not just live it.  

If I have the opportunity to give A and L something to hang on to, I jump at the chance.  Now that they are getting older, those chances are much more frequent and enjoyable!  They are such a joy to be around.  Seeing the excitement and life through a child's eyes is truly amazing.  It makes you feel young and like a child again too!  We all know how much I enjoy the "simple" things in life.  Besides, being a child again gives me an excuse to carry my blanket around!  (Not that I really needed one.  It lives in a box next to my bed.)  

You want an instant smile on your face, ride in a car with my girls.  It doesn't matter where you are, as soon as you get there, both of them get very excited and get wait to get out and conquer the world.  Recently, we took the girls on a few adventures.  We went apple picking, did finger painting, and went to a new park.  I don't know about the, but we were beat after all of that!

Apple picking was a blast with the girls.  It was also yet another opportunity that showed us how different their personalities are.  We took a hayride out to the orchard and as soon as we were on the ground, L was off and running.  She was grabbing the apples on the trees and pulling like she had been doing it for years.  A was more interested in the easy ones, the ones on the ground.  We ran around out in the orchard for awhile and filled up a bag of apples.  A even walked around eating an apple all by herself!  Now, mommy has a bag full of apples and yummy applesauce on the brain!