Hard to believe we are starting a new year. 2014 brought lots of changes to our family. We found out we were pregnant in March and found out we were expecting twins in April. In June we found out the twins are boys, put the house on the market, and sold it the same day. In July we found our new home and ramped up the packing. August brought us the start of kindergarten for Parker and moving. September was rather quiet but October brought us hospital bedrest and the final two additions to our family. It’s been a whirlwind of a year but so much good. God is good!
This week/weekend was Christmas with my side of the family. Nana and Grampy came up and Uncle Paul was already back for work so we were all able to enjoy good food, swimming, opening presents, and being silly together. Unfortunately Auntie Jane wasn’t able to get time off for work and we missed having her with us. She is hoping to come up for her birthday/Mercedes birthday in February which will be great!
The boys had their two month check-ups this week and the doctor is so pleased with their growth and development. She was most impressed with their ability to hold their heads up and keep their necks straight when they are sitting. Anders weighed 10lbs 10oz (5th percentile) and Cade came in at 11lbs 10oz (25th percentile)! They are both following their growth curves and are doing amazing. Poor guys got three shots and one oral vaccine and were pretty miserable for the next couple days, though.
What a big week! It was Christmas and it was so special spending our first Christmas at home as a family of seven. We didn’t have to rush to be anywhere or need to remember to pack this or that. We had a lazy Christmas Eve of watching Christmas movies in our pjs while Micah was at work and then made all sorts of appetizers for dinner. Christmas morning was so special because the older boys are now big enough to read the names on gifts so they did the passing out and each of the big kids were so excited about their presents. They spent the majority of the day playing with all their new toys, mostly emerging only for food.
Anders and Cade have been getting into a little bit more of a groove with their sleep schedules. They wake up between 7 and 8 am and are usually back down about an hour later which is my time to get the kitchen chores done. Morning nap usually averages about 1.5 hours then they eat and play for a bit before going back down for a nice long afternoon nap, about the same time the big kids nap.
Their longest stretch of awake time is in the late afternoon/early evening which can be challenging because I’m also trying to prep dinner and help the other kids at this point but we are figuring out how to handle this. I’m learning to prep as much dinner stuff as I can earlier in the day and save more hands on dinners for the weekends when Micah is home.
The boys will usually take another short nap around the time I put the big kids to bed and then give us an hour or so of play time later and we all crash between 10 and 11 at night. They seem to be doing an average first stretch of five hours which is glorious when there are two of them to get up with during the night and significantly better than a few weeks ago when they were both getting up every two hours but alternating hourly. Please pray that never happens again!
This weekend we are celebrating Christmas with Micah’s parents. Lots of yummy food, silly games, and good times are had by all.
I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and pray for a wonderful new year.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Holy buckets are you a happy boy! You love to smile at anyone and everyone. You are finding your voice and are starting to use it to make all sorts of sounds for us.
Sleeping is starting to get better and you have even given us a couple six and seven hour stretches recently! If you could keep that up (and teach your brother!) we would be ever so grateful. Of course we don’t expect this but would appreciate it all the same.
You are an excellent nurser and it definitely shows. We are guessing you are about 11-11.5lbs right now but we will find out for sure next week at your two month appointment. You can no longer wear newborn clothes and are fitting the 0-3month sizes nicely. If you keep going at this rate though you will be out of those soon too!
You have discovered a new love – being worn by Mommy! Some days you just need a little extra cuddle time and it always lands right when Mommy needs to be making dinner so into the carrier you go. Being close brings you so much comfort and you tend to fall asleep quickly.
You have learned to roll to the left and right when on your belly and so far we haven’t noticed a preferred direction. It’s probably whichever way gets you off your belly the fastest!
You make some of the greatest serious and confused faces for us. You throw in an occasional smile but mostly you love to give us looks that are full of eyebrow raises and side glances. Your little personality is already coming out and it’s so fun to see who you are turning out to be.
Not much new in the McGowen house this week. Sometimes it amazes me at how normal having twins and having five kids is becoming. We’ve fallen into a routine and it’s easy to forget how things were before. People ask how we are managing, how we seem so calm, how we do this without help. Part of that is just who we are. We like doing it on our own and so we find a way. We aren’t struggling, we aren’t desperate for naps or a hot meal. We’ve found a rhythm and we like how things are going. We both do things around the house. We each contribute to keeping everything running smoothly and we don’t take the other for granted. Micah is an amazing husband and father and I can’t imagine doing this (life, kids, twins, etc) with anyone that was even a tiny bit less amazing than he is. God knew what He was doing ;)
But its also our personalities. We are both laid back and go with the flow people. Yes we panicked a little when we first found out it was twins but then we took a step back and figured out how to make it work for us. We put our house up for sale and found a new place that would fit our family. Is it our forever home? By no means. But it works for us right now and that’s what we needed. We know that with five kids, two of whom are infants, that we need to accept that not everything we want can happen on our time. Dishes will pile up, laundry will pile up (either dirty, clean, or both), dinners might not be as elaborate as before, but we do what we can and save the rest for another day. If the kitchen floor doesn’t get swept for a week or two our world will not end. We just keep loving on these kids and take life day by day.
Next updates will be single updates for Anders’ and Cade’s TWO MONTH milestones!!
What a fun week! On Monday Anders gave us his first smile. Not a simple gas smile or sleep smile but that real first smile. Be still my heart! And on Wednesday he rolled over the other direction from last week! So now if he’s on his belly he can roll either right or left. Wow!
Not to be upstaged, Cade gave us his first heart melting smile on Thursday. Two first smiles just days apart? Wow. And two babies smiling at us? I’m not sure we will get much done coming up because we will be parked on the couch waiting for more. So incredibly sweet. And finally this morning Cade rolled over for the first time as well! He is not a fan of being on his tummy at all and usually just lays there yelling until someone grabs him but he figured out how to get to his back so hopefully he won’t mind tummy time quite as much anymore.
We are gearing up for Christmas around here. I spent much of the last two weeks baking all sorts of treats. Lots of them went to work with Micah to spoil his co-workers but plenty (probably too many) stayed here at home. I think my favorite new cookie recipe is Cookies and Cups recipe for Puppy Chow Cookies. They are amazing! The only thing I did differently was that instead of dunking the cookies in the chocolate coating I just spread it on top of the peanut butter cookie and then dipped them upside down into powdered sugar. They were phenomenal and I’m already trying to decide when I want to make them again.
We had our first really big milestone at the beginning of this week. On Sunday afternoon Anders rolled over! I thought it might have been a fluke, that I might not have put him completely on his stomach but sure enough, I set him back on his tummy and over to the right he went. Crazy kid! Cade has a serious dislike of tummy time so he could roll over at any moment just to get off his stomach or he may take longer since he usually just yells when he’s on it but we will see.
After having Micah’s parents, their foster boy, Micah’s brother and our niece here for Thanksgiving we had a few days of quiet and then on Tuesday his mom, sister-in-law, and niece came up. Our sister-in-law hadn’t met the boys yet but she had to work over Thanksgiving so she couldn’t join the rest of the family. We made some Christmas cookies and other treats, went shopping, and ate lots of yummy food (again). It was great having some more extended family time!
On Thursday night I had a MOPS event and I was feeling great while there but on the 15 minute ride home I started feeling extremely cold and felt my neck and upper back get incredibly stiff. By the time I arrived home I was shaking from the chills and my right breast was feeling incredibly sore. I knew that feeling as I have experienced mastitis in the past so I immediately got the babies into bed with me and just let them nurse as much as they wanted. Micah brought me tylenol and a heating pad and I tried my best to get sleep while feeding the babies overnight.
Friday morning was no better and I alternated between chills and sweats. Micah kept the big kids out of the way so I could rest as much as possible in our bedroom with the babies. I pushed fluids, took hot showers, hand expressed, slept, and most importantly let the babies nurse. I needed them to get rid of any plugged ducts so that this didn’t turn into a full blown case of mastitis.
By this morning I was feeling slightly better but I still plan to spend the day in bed just to continue doing the same thing I did yesterday. Thankfully the chills are mostly gone and the achy neck is lessening. Hopefully by tomorrow I’ll be back to normal. Yay for babies doing what they need to keep their mamas healthy!