Friday, July 27, 2007


...slow and steady...but we're making progress. I started to say three nights in a row we've been in bed by 1am but it didn't quite work out last night. We were in bed at 1, but Katy woke up and as I picked her up to burp she spit up all over me and herself. It was obvious that's what she needed but it woke her up even more since I had to re-swaddle her. So alllllmost. I was asleep by 2am last night.

BUT we're are definitely making progress. We still have to give them one bottle feeding a day of formula (although we're not we need to since they're gaining weight so fast...more on that in a minute). We've moved that bottle feeding up to around 8pm since they're usually a little wild after the bottle. Then we follow it up with a normal feeding at 10ish and then off to bed. It is MUCH better then what we were doing before. We know it's not ideal but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

So how much do the girls weigh? Lisa weighs them every other Tuesday when she takes the girls to a twin support group at the hospital. It's been about a week and a half since their last weigh in but as of July 17th...

Alyssa is at 10 pounds, 11 ounces
Katy is 10 pounds even

That's almost a pound gain for Alyssa in two weeks and 8 ounces for Katy. We have an appointment with the pediatrician in a couple of weeks but last time we talked about their weights, he was very happy. It was okay that they were gaining at a different rate. They are both still well within the normal limits for their age...well, adjusted age.

Working is tough for me...mainly because I don't want to miss out on anything. The girls are getting more expressive all the time. Their favorite thing to smile at (besides their grinning parents) is the fan. Yeah, a fan. It's a ceiling fan over the couch that we usually sit on when we're feeding them and they just look up and every now and then let out the biggest grin. Sometimes they'll be in our lap on their back and we won't be paying attention to them and we'll look down and they'll have the biggest smile on their face. It's really funny.

They are also starting to talk more and more. We spend a lot of time talking to them and sometimes they'll just stare at our mouths and then open their mouth and try to talk. Most of the time, no sound comes out but it's obvious they're trying. That cooing is pretty new, I think the first time we noticed it was 2 and a half weeks ago.

Thanks again to everyone that checks this. I know of about 10 of you that check it periodically but we still get 20+ hits a day and I have no idea where that's coming from. So all of you that look, thanks for keeping up with us. Thank you Kara and Laurie especially. You two are great and you're support means a lot to us.

and every body's favorite

Their smiles are very elusive. Cameras seem to make them shy. I know it's blurry but you can see a partial smile.

They also think this book is pretty funny. It's a book of black and white patterns. Oh to be young and easily entertained.

Not sure who this is...but cute none the less.

Our good friend, Lisa, getting some baby time.

...and finally me showing Ben where you put the food.

So now it's 12:50am. Alyssa went down pretty quick. Katy wanted another turn to be wild again tonight. Lisa has been trying to calm her down but she was excessively agitated tonight and then it just happened....she pooped. Lisa's in there changing her right now. I guess I should go help. Okay, yeah I'll go help. No, one more, I should go.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

....and we're on our own.

My mom left on Friday...leaving us alone for the first time since the girls have been home. To say the least, it's a bit intimidating.

All those things our moms have been taking care of...without asking...are now up for grabs. I was working night shifts these last couple of nights so Lisa had to manage that on her own. She did GREAT! Friday night was tough...just because it was the first time and the girls were a little cranky but she was in bed by 2am and didn't need to get up until after I got home. Last night went GREAT...probably the best night we've had since they've been home.

Lisa called me at 1am to tell me they were both asleep and she was in bed...not too bad.

So the plan is to get into a routine. We're planning our dinners and trying to get the girls to bed earlier so we can get some more sleep.

Lisa is styaing very positive and doing very well. I tell her this all the time but I really am proud of her. She's a phenomenal mom. These girls really are lucky to have such a loving mom.

And now some more pics. My mom, before she left, took more than 100 pictures. I have another 60 or so that I haven't even downloaded yet off my camera. I'd love to share every one of them but there just isn't as much time to sit down at the computer now. I'll post as much as I can.

The other morning, Lisa got up at 8ish to feed them in the morning and neither one of them wanted to wake up. Lisa came out to show me both of them still sound asleep, even after a diaper change.

One of my favorite pictures of Katy to date. She is quite the ham.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Today was a BIG day! It was the girls' first road trip. We drove about an hour down to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage, Alaska...home of some beautiful animals rehabilitating in an amazing setting. It's also home of some of the worst weather in Alaska. Today was an exception. It was gorgeous! It was a balmy 68 degrees with a slight breeze, making it actually a little chilly for the girls. They didn't seem to mind, as you'll see. I linked the center's website if you want to check it out. It's an amazing place.

Here are some pictures of the trip down. If you ever visit Alaska, this is the road you will most certainly drive on. It's minutes from Anchorage and quite beautiful. It is loaded with tour buses and rented rv's...and scenery...and wildlife.

First thing, get the girls in their bjorns. Second...find the animals.
a bald eagle
our favorite, the grizzly bear.
We parked the car next to the grizzlies and had lunch...including the girls. After Katy had her lunch, I held her and was telling her about all of the exciting things we had already seen today. She was really into my story.
Mom holding Katy...notice the bear inclosure and mountains in the background.
Then we drove a little further to show Mom some of the Kenai Peninsula that she hasn't seen yet.

...and then the drive back to Anchorage.
When we returned, we found a moose walking down our street. He followed us back to the house and walked right through our side yard. This is him next door. We think he was a 2 or 3 year old boy.
And our favorite picture from the trip. The new family of four hanging out in Alaska. It was an awesome day!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Baby pictures!!

With some help from our parents, we got a few of our baby pictures to share with the world. It's scary how much our girls look like Lisa. Imagine that.

Me. Yes I was 10 pounds, 1 ounce at birth.

not much has changed, eh?

So we've come a long way this past week. The video that we watched that has helped is something called the Dunston Baby Language. It helps you understand what the babies are saying or asking for. Sounds fishy, right? Actually it's pretty effective. We can definitely distinguish between a hungry, sleepy, burpy, or "lower wind" cry.

That means we can get them to sleep MUCH faster in the evenings. We're probably averaging getting in bed between 1-1:30am...which is maybe an hour better than last week.

My mom is staying an extra week to help out with this next string of night shifts. I'm working 5 in a row and we were a little nervous about Lisa tackling that on her own right now.

Tomorrow we're going to try our first trip out of town. We're going to go for a car ride down to the Kenai Peninsula. We think they're ready and we're getting a little stir crazy. We'll post those pictures tomorrow...or Tuesday.

Now for some more side by side photos. I'll let you guess who is who.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

ok ok ok.....

It's not as bad as I may lead on. Don't get me wrong...we're tired...but the girls are doing great. We are trying to figure out their language...and we have made enormous strides the last couple of days. My mom read a book called "The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" and they watched a dvd called "Baby Language". It hasn't solved all of our problems or answered all of our questions but we have come a long way these last 3 days.

One of the biggest things we've learned to recognize is when they need to burp. Sounds like a easy thing, right? Well now that we know the signs, it kinda is and it has helped tremendously.

The problem that remains is they have a REAL hard time falling asleep and then staying asleep once we put them down. They prefer to be held...duhhh. I don't want to go into all the things we're doing and that we've tried but some of it works...some of it alllllmost works...but nothing works 100% of the time. We find ourselves often on the brink of exhaustion leaning over their crib trying to soothe them and convince them that it's okay to go to sleep.

I know. Every parent goes through this. We're not the first to do it and we won't be the last. Somehow that doesn't make it easier. What does make it easier is seeing them smile. It is the grandest sight I've ever seen. It melts my heart every time.

I re-read what I wrote the other night and think it may have come across a little harsh what I said about parents that have one baby at a time. The problem with blogs is sarcasm doesn't necessarily come across too well. Yes we're having a hard time and yes we occasionally wonder what it would be like to only have one kid...but we have never wished we only had one. I was just letting off some sarcastic steam. Now for the show.

My mom holding the girls for the first time.

...and mom's been taking some fantastic pictures of my girls.

me...with my hands full

Don't be alarmed if you strongly believe that we shouldn't dress our girls the same. We aren't. BUT. We received too many really cute outfits to not dress them up a couple of times.

Things got a little hairy after a few pictures.

Speaking of hairy. Madison, well we're still not sure what happened here but she laid across mom's legs on the recliner and then eventually picked up her hind legs so she was completely in her lap. We think she wasn't feeling good...and maybe wanted to be the center of attention. Either way, it was funny for a few moments.