A couple of book lovers

I don't think it probably surprises anyone that I've thought a lot about whether the girls will love books. As much as I read, I think it would be fair to call it an obsession. And although Chris doesn't read as much as I do, I do like that he's a reader. Honestly, when I hear that most Americans don't read a single book in a year...it astonishes me. I really can't imagine that. So I really want the girls to like reading. For a long time, trying to read to them was really discouraging, because they didn't want to sit still at all. They'd squirm and cry and grab for the books when I would try to read them. Lately, though, I've been seeing a change.

Here's Saoirse:

And Rowan? Well...she loves books too. You might say she devours them.

oops...he did it again

Guess who dressed us today????....

J. Lo and Me....

So, did any of you check out the People magazine article and photo shoot this last week of JLo's twins? Yeah, I know all of you want to deny it, but People magazine is a guilty pleasure. So I'm going to assume that at least some of you saw it. Well, you know all those pictures of their life with their one month old twins? Yeah...that's pretty much what our life was like when the twins were teeny. What? You don't remember seeing any photos like that? Well...we only post the ones where we're slumming, we don't want anyone to feel bad.

But the TRUTH is...I spent a lot of time back then lounging around in very expensive silk gowns in tasteful pastels. (And Chris wore color coordinating sweater sets). I did NOT spend most days in Chris's pj's with puke stains on my shirt, pants, in my hair. Oh no, not me. We'd lay the babies on piles of plush blankets and lie there, gazing at them adoringly, never a hair out of place. Our REAL nursery had two gorgeous, very expensive cribs with piles and piles of bedding. That one crib, tucked in the corner of our bedroom, which neither child ever touched for months?...that was just for effect. And Chris and I spent lots of days frolicking around outside with the twins in their huge, multi-thousand dollar carriages which would have held five babies but really just held one each. Yeah, I'd race along with him in my heels and everything...c-sections don't bother me!!

And here's my favorite part...the part about bonding with Marc Anthony over 3 am feedings. Yeah...that's just what it was like with Chris and I. In the middle of the night, we'd be awake together, just loving the fact that our babies wanted to eat every couple of hours and not at the same time. It was so sweet....we never snapped at each other or complained about who was doing what. I never cried from sheer exhaustion. It was just one big lovefest...:) Like the time I turned over in bed, and Chris leaned over and started patting and shushing me without even fully waking up. Or the time I went to go put Saoirse to bed and passed out right along with her so that when Chris came to wake me up to pump he was unable to rouse me even by taking my hand and calling my name. Yeah.....good times. :)

Yep...life with twins. J. Lo and me. It's like looking in a mirror.

Finger food

One thing that's funny about having twins is that you always have a built in comparison group. Sometimes that's fun, sometimes it can cause anxiety. But it's kind of cool just observing the differences. It definitely reinforces for me how much of who we are is inborn. Each of the girls was so different from the very beginning, I feel like it's very obvious that the job of a parent is to spend time learning who they are, and helping them learn it, rather than make them someone you envision.

Eating is an area where already they have clear tendencies to be different. When I first offered them solid foods, at 7.5 months, Rowan wasn't ready yet. Saoirse loved it, from day one. But Rowan turned her head away for about 2 weeks, refusing to try much of anything. Finally one day, Ashley (our babysitter) tried sweet potatoes and making the spoon an airplane...and Rowan was off and eating. Still, though, she's much fussier than Saoirse about food. Saoirse refuses only a few things...green things. Broccoli and cheddar, peas (at first completely, now on and off), green beans, avocado (at first, now she likes it). I haven't even tried spinach, or anything strong like that. But Rowan turns down lots of things...and it's inconsistent. One day she loves carrots, then she hates them. Usually yogurt with fruit is a sure thing, today she even turned that down. And lately she really wants to touch her food and try to eat it herself. Cheerios...fine. Yogurt...not so good. She can't use a spoon accurately, so it's just a way to make a mess.

As much as I thought before solid feeding about the kinds of things I wanted the kids to get from me about food (healthy foods, no eating disordered kind of emotiona hangups..), it's hard when they're actually there. It's easy to get caught up in getting them to eat what you made, for instance. Or get stressed because they seem to want to eat only fruit and Cheerios...well, who can blame them, really? I'm really working on remembering this sentence from a book I read a while ago. "It's your responsibility to provide healthy food for them to choose from, it's their responsibility to choose what and how much to eat."

Umm...Rowan, you've got a little something on your face...

Mama's girls

Lately there have been a lot of comments about how the kids look just like their daddy. Kate even went so far as to ask if I'm sure that I had any part in creating these "gorgeous creatures." So....just to set the record straight, I thought I'd show a few photos.

Here's me, Christmas 1977

Here's Rowan. I know this photo is a little fuzzy, but look at that face...:)

Here's me, fall 1977

Here's Saoirse.

I mean, seriously, people. These are MY daughters...:) And they are gorgeous creatures, if I do say so myself....

Girls' night out

Last weekend our friend Kate, from NYC, came into Chicago for business. She has a little one close to the same age as the girls, and we had dinner with them when we went to New York in September. So she invited me to come see her for dinner and to spend the night in the city on Thursday. Since Chris is busy studying, I didn't feel right about leaving two babies home with him, especially given how Saoirse is sleeping lately (that's a whole other post). So I took Saoirse with me. We've talked a lot lately about finding ways to spend time one on one with each girl, especially as they get older. It's hard to give them a lot of attention when we're all together, I worry about them getting shortchanged. It's also fun for us to just have one sometimes, it's SO much easier. One kid is so much more portable, and easier to keep happy one on one.

So Saoirse got to hang out with Mommy in the big city. We went to Nordstrom's shopping, had dinner with Kate at The Grille, and spent the night at the Westin. Aww...Saoirse's first Heavenly Bed. She was a very good baby, everyone was impressed, I think, when we were out to dinner. She's a night owl, I think she wishes she could stay out until 10:30 every night. Especially if she gets to share chicken pot pie with Mom and try whipped cream for dessert. She loves her food. I loved it too, it made me think of all of the fun trips we have in the future, all the girls' nights out that I have to look forward to with my gorgeous daughters.

Here's our girls' night:

Whipped cream!! Where has Mom been hiding this all my life?

Daddy's help

Chris is a fantastic dad. I tell him that when I first met him, even though he was only 20 years old and a LONG way from ready to settle down, I knew he would be a great husband and dad. And it's why I fell in love with him. Um...well, that and his legs (soccer does GOOD things...;) But it's true, I did know it even then. And I love seeing, all these years later, him being the husband and father that I envisioned back then. He does everything I do for the girls...changes lots of diapers, bathes them, puts them to sleep, feeds them...he's amazing. And the girls are as crazy about him as I am. And, most importantly, he's an invaluable support for me. I have no idea what I would have done without him through the infertility treatment, the tough pregnancy and bedrest, having twins...if I had some husbands I hear about, I'd be in an asylum by now.

Here's his one flaw....this is what happens when Daddy dresses Saoirse:

A few more pictures...

Here are the little monkeys...getting into stuff as always.


Time for a bath!!

yeah....I'm a procrastinator

Okay, you know how sometimes you have a task to do...and you just keep procrastinating. And then the task grows and grows until it seems impossible...which only makes you procrastinate more? Yeah...that's the blog lately. I think every day about updating. But it never gets done. So I'm going to make an attempt here to catch everyone up on the last month or so.

Teeth: The girls have started teething. They each have three now, two bottom and one top. Rowan really seems to not be bothered too much by getting teeth. They just kind of appear there. Saoirse, on the other hand, was unbearable while she got her second one. Crying and whining and no sleep. Her 3rd one came in only yesterday and didn't seem to bother her nearly as much. It's very strange to see their little mouths with actual teeth, it makes them seem so grown up. It has also changed the way we deal with the next topic...

Food: Purees have been pretty popular, but the girls have decided just lately that they enjoy eating actual solid foods. I make most of their food, so they've been getting quite a variety. Blueberries, peaches, yogurt, broccoli and cheddar cheese, etc...They have a few big faves. I stewed cherries with vanilla bean, pureed them up and mixed them with plain yogurt. Both of the girls went nuts for it, and it required an immediate bath afterwards. They looked like little vampires, sitting in their highchairs. This past weekend we found a new favorite for Rowan. We were having grilled filet mignon and started feeding them teeny pieces of it. Saoirse ate it, but Rowan loved it. She scooches forward in her chair, pats her hands on the tray and squeals for more. And screams if she doesn't get it fast enough. She's turning out to have quite a temper. Hmm...I wonder where that came from?...

Getting around...Rowan is so close to walking I can't believe it. She crawls everywhere very fast, she's into something if you turn your back. She cruises and lets go to balance no-handed for a few seconds at a time. Her balance is really pretty impressive, she squats, kneels, climbs. Saoirse can crawl...but she doesn't want to. Whenever we refuse to pick her up and force her to get herself anywhere, she whines the whole time she's crawling. She had surgery at the beginning of February to release her Achilles tendon in her right foot, and was in a cast all month. It was a tough time for her to have a cast again, while she's trying to get mobile. So we help her, and pick her up, and stand right by her to catch her if she falls. It's funny, because we don't even realize sometimes that we tend to baby her more. Part of that is because of the casts and braces, and part of it is that she cries so pitifully when she falls. Rowan just keeps going.

And our big move...Some of you know already, but we have relocated. Chris took a job in Michigan, with a group ophthalmology practice with offices in Monroe, MI and Toledo, Ohio. Our biggest reason for deciding to go there is that we can live in Ann Arbor. It does mean a commute for Chris, but we've been talking about where to live as a family for all the years that Chris and I have known each other...and Ann Arbor is the one place we both love. We both are really looking forward to living there, and say to each other every now and then, "Can you believe we're really going to live in Ann Arbor? It's really happening." We're in the process of buying a house there, we found a great house that's in the process of being built. So we're working with the builders to customize the house, and we're hoping to get in the house in April. Until then, we are all staying in Grand Rapids with Grandma and Grandpa while Chris takes the month of March off to study. It's a very busy time, lots of changes. The girls have been adjusting pretty well, really. They love the extra attention.

We are all anxiously looking forward to spring, it's tough being cooped up inside with these girls. They need to get outside and play. Also, they struggled with colds and ear infections in January and February, which they of course passed on to me. If there's anything tougher than taking care of sick infant twins...it's doing it while you're sick yourself.

okay....I think that's the major things to catch up on. More to come.