So done with this....

I am SO over this temporary housing situation. I know that everyone warned us that building a house is a pain in the ass, but I was optimistic. Remind me of this mother in law was right. :) It's just one delay after another, little details....aaghhh!! We thought we would be in our new house by the beginning of April, and there is no end in sight. I really wanted to be in the house for the girls' birthday, but there is just no way. So we are getting by with almost all of our stuff in storage. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to take care of two 11 month olds without most of the stuff that makes life easier? I know, it's nothing to whine over, people get by with a lot less than we have every day. But it's getting to me.
We don't have high chairs. No, it's worse. We have two very nice high chairs, but they're in storage. The kids get more mobile every day, and we have no way to contain them. Meals have become picnics.

We don't have cribs. We have one pack and play, where Rowan sleeps, and one crib mattress on the floor of our bedroom for Saoirse. The mattress, of course, doesn't keep her in place. So if she wakes up, she can crawl and come try to find us. In the dark, half-asleep. I have found her on the floor, with her head butting against the plant that's near her, trying to go further and crying because she can't figure out what she's bumping into. Frustrating. For both of us.

We don't have about half of our clothes, especially spring/summer ones, because we thought we'd be in the house by the time we needed them. We're without our own dishes, our good knives. Our good towels, our wonderful pillowtop mattress. Our rocking chair that was so nice for putting the girls to bed. We're using things that the housing place furnished us with. I WANT OUR OWN THINGS!! I WANT OUR NEW HOUSE!!!

Busy days

Carrying on the tradition of Saoirse getting to have nights out with her parents, she hung out with Daddy on Sunday night and watched the Pistons. It was really nice having a night at home with just Rowan too. She got to take an extra long bath, and she was so funny, crouching in the water and splashing around. She was slow to go to sleep, I think she was milking it for all she was worth..:)

Here is an answer for a lot of people who say things like, "Well, in some ways it must be easier to have twins. They can entertain each other." Well...yes, they can. They can entertain each other by tearing every single wipe out of a container and then throwing them around.

So, since the girls have hair now, I decided it was time to start getting them used to accessories. :) Yay!! Another thing to shop for. I've had tons of fun buying some new hairclips lately on Etsy, which is such a fun site. Here's Rowan modeling one of our recent purchases. Doesn't it make her look like a girl?

Saoirse's a silly girl...

We call both of the girls by nicknames a lot. Monkey, peanut, jumper (Rowan), Rotini (Rowan), Bean (Saoirse). One of the common ones I use for Saoirse, though, is "smiley." She has this huge smile, and a belly laugh that is as contagious as any I've heard. When we take the girls out, and people talk to them in their strollers, Saoirse is always grinning away at them. She's just such a sweet, happy girl. I think it's her smile, actually, that makes people compare her to her daddy.

One thing that goes along with this smiley personality is a tendency to be goofy. She's a clown, and she'll do just about anything for a laugh. Months ago, it became clear that she understood when she was getting attention and making us laugh. When she hits on something that made people laugh, her face lights up and she just does it over and over, laughing away like she's so proud of herself. She does it with Rowan, too. It's so cute to watch her clown around, playing peekaboo, or putting things on her head like a hat, or splashing in the bath, and just squealing when Rowan giggles at her.

When we were staying with Mom and Bri (also known as Grandma and Grandpa Haack), Saoirse learned a new trick from her grandma. She has long since made it her own, though. When you say, "Oh Saoirse, you're so silly!" she jerks her head around and rolls her eyes. The more you laugh, the more vigorous it gets. Yesterday I got some of it on video and thought people might like to see it:

Letter to my daughters re: men

My sweet girls-
Here's my number one piece of advice about finding the man out there who will be good enough for you: Don't ever settle for anyone who's not as great as your dad. I know that's saying a lot. It may even seem impossible at times. Trust me, I've been a single woman out there as your 20's drag on and you think it just might not happen. But I mean it. Hold out. And by saying that you should look to your dad for your standards, here is an example of what I mean:

If you can't find a man who can leave the house before 7 am to go to his job and spend all day saving people's vision (and supporting the family by doing so) then come home 11 hours later and spend the next few hours taking care of his babies, his wife, and the housework, all with a smile on his face (most days...;) because he's doing it for love....Don't settle.

Love, Mom

11 months old...

Wow, the girls are going to be one year old next month. When I said that to Chris last night he laughed and said, "In some ways it's been the longest year of my life." Which is true, there have been nights that felt like they lasted about a month. But when I think that in under one month now they will be ONE...well, that's just crazy. Yesterday I took the girls to the bookstore to get out of the house for a while, and while we were there I bought them each a journal/birthday book that looked cool. It has pages for each b-day from 1-18, and spots for photos, letters, keepsakes. Then you give it to the kid. I was reading through it last night after the girls went to bed, and I got choked up reading the parts for when they're teenagers. Just for a second, I could imagine them being so grown up, and it was so bittersweet. My little babies...

So...what's going on around here at 11 months?

Rowan is so close to walking, but not doing it yet. She stands without holding on all the time, and climbs. Her latest thing is climbing up on the back of the couch while we sit next to her. All she really needs is someone to catch her occasionally, she doesn't need any help to get up there. She gets sillier every day, she's hilarious. She can wave hello/goodbye, she seems to use it to say hello mostly. I was so impressed last week when she spontaneously waved at a little girl we saw outside. She loves seeing little kids, yesterday we met some preschoolers at the bookstore and she crawled right over to play. She's such an interesting mix between social and shy, cautious and brave. Just when I think I have her figured out, she surprises me again. Her favorite activity these days is emptying things out of containers. Like opening a drawer and pulling everything out, opening bags and pulling everything out. You get the idea. She has started actually putting things back in, too, although I think that's really just so that she can empty it out again. She got her 4th tooth this week. OHH...and how could I forget? This month, Rowan started sleeping through the night. Halleluia...we now have one baby that pretty much goes to bed by 8 pm and doesn't wake us up again until 7:30 the next morning. One to go. It's a major step in our life as a family.

Saoirse, Saoirse, Saoirse...she does not sleep through the night. Oh, the sleep woes in our house. I don't even really want to get into it right now, because it would be a book in and of itself. And we're in a decent place with Saoirse this week, actually, she wakes up a few times a night, but she is sleeping. No 3 hour screamfests in the middle of the night for a week or two. But I'm afraid I'll jinx it if I say that. So on to other things. She has really been perfecting the tantrum, she's getting a head start on being a toddler. :) She screeches and flaps her hands if Rowan even looks at what she's playing with. She actually smacked Rowan a few times this week. When I told him, Chris said, "Where did she learn that?" Apparently, no learning is required to smack someone who's pissing you off. Saoirse knows how to clap and wave now, and she does this funny thing where she turns her hand around and stares at her hand, waving to herself. Very cute. She's a great eater, and she's definitely bigger than Rowan now. Still only two teeth, but she manages to gum a lot of food without a problem. It's pretty impressive how well she manages to eat without a mouth full of teeth.

Here are the girls in our courtyard yesterday, on their 11-month-old day:

Spring in Ann Arbor

Wow, it finally feels like spring today! It was warm and sunny, so Chris and I decided to take the girls outside. We got a new jogging stroller, which I have been meaning to buy since before the girls were born. I had big ambitions for last summer. I was delusional, clearly, when I had these ambitions. Becoming a mom does not, apparently, change who you fundamentally are. I am fundamentally lazy. Seriously. I do enjoy running, really. But have you seen those New Balance commercials that are on lately? One goes..."You broke up with running last week. But today, you saw running..and it's looking good." And then there's this little logo that says "love/hate" and the whole concept behind this series of ads is that runners have a love/hate relationship with running and they need a "new balance." Well..that's me. I have a love/hate relationship with running. And after a year and a half of not working out in any meaningful way, I'm intimidated by the whole thing. So I felt like a bit of a fraud even going into "Running Fit." Like they were going to see right through me, look at me and go...umm...when was the last time you ran? But I apparently fooled them. And I am now the proud owner of a jogging stroller. See?

Today was the first time the girls actually got down on the ground and checked out the outside. It was very limited, it was making me nervous. They've never actually picked up dirt before. And their knees are so soft, and cement is so hard. They seemed to like it, though. (the outdoors, not the cement per se). And is there anything cuter than a baby girl in a sundress? No. There is not. I know this picture of Saoirse only shows the back of her, but the back of head is damn cute. And she didn't feel like looking at the camera.

Wanna see our house?

So since we're in Ann Arbor now, we can stop over and check out how the construction is coming on the new house whenever we want to. Chris's parents were here today to see the girls, so we took them over to check it out. Luckily, some workers were there, so we even got to take them through the inside.

This is the outside, from the front.

Now I'm taking this photo from the foyer, Chris is walking from the great room into the dining room.

And this room is....ta library!! It's small, but it's a library, people. The left hand wall will be covered with built in bookshelved. Of course, at first all that will be in this room will be books, because we don't have any furniture for it. But I have visions of cozy leather club chairs or a very comfy chaise lounge. Cuddly throws, and a place to put your feet up, and TONS of books. :)

We can't wait to get in. It's a little weird living in a place that used to be the model for a condo place. It was furnished for looks, not function. The bed in the guest room has a headboard that's not hooked on, it just leans on the wall and LOOKS like a headboard. And the phone keeps ringing off the hook (or it did until we unplugged it) with people looking to rent a condo. And seeing the house again just made me more anxious to get in. Still...we're in Ann Arbor. :) I went to Shaman Drum today, and we ate Indian food. Goodbye Indiana!!!

55 hours

That's how long the girls and I survived alone this week. We've been staying in G.R. with Mom & Bri, but we joined Chris in Ann Arbor this Thursday. We're not in our new house yet, just temporary housing. Anyway, though, what I was saying was that this week, Tuesday through Thursday, Chris was in A2 and Mom & Bri were up North...and it was me and the babies. Now, I know this may seem like no big deal to most people...since they are my children and all. But this is the first time I'd actually spent a night alone with them, let alone two in a row. Three days of lunches alone...two nights of baths and bed with just one parent...nighttime waking?..just me. Anyway, I'm glad to say that we all made it more or less intact. Bedtimes were not so fun. Saoirse really does not like to EVER be left alone, which makes it hard to take care of Rowan. And I noticed this week that I'm actually beginning to have bicep muscles again, regardless of the fact that I haven't been to the gym since before the girls were born. It's hard work carrying around two babies who are about to become toddlers.

Here's what we were up to while we were alone. The girls know where their snacks are stored in the cupboard, and they got out this box of teething biscuits on their own and had a feast. Honestly, even when I caught them I let them do it. Eating off the floor (and wasting about 6 teething biscuits) is cool with me if it gives me a few minutes of peace to wash bottles without them hanging on my pantlegs. Ahh...the price of peace. :)

The girls have both learned how to climb stairs. Of course, I follow behind them to catch them just in case. They're pretty proud of themselves. I'm amazed that my babies can climb stairs (!!!)

This is one of the little faces I see so so often. :) I'm sitting on the floor, she's on my lap, and yet apparently, it's just not close enough.