Daddy's away: Day 1

Chris left for Chicago this afternoon, and won't see us for a week. He's taking an exam next Sunday, and we're all looking forward to it being over so he can stop studying so much and see us more.

This morning, before Chris left, the girls and I got up and went for a run while Chris mowed the lawn.

Then we all went together and watched Chris play soccer. Here the girls are eating a snack of pita bread on the sidelines.

Once he left, the girls and I played, ran errands, and started our dinner/bed/bath routine a little early. We miss Daddy already. :(

funny stuff they say

Yesterday Chris went to study for hours. When he got home, Rowan was the first one to hear the garage door opening. She said, "Daddy!" I said, "No, baby, I think it was the laundry." A second later, I heard the garage door closing, and said, "Oh, I think actually it is Daddy." She ran for the door, yelling, "Told you!"

They're TWO!!

Two years ago this morning, I arrived at the hospital around 4:30 am and found out, much to my chagrin, that you cannot actually get an epidural within minutes of walking in the door. Two years ago I pushed like crazy for more than an hour before finding out that it would be a c-section after all. I fought my teeth chattering for a couple of hours, until the epidural wore off and the morphine really kicked in. I stayed awake for over 40 hours, even after the girls were delivered and in the NICU, and I could have slept the day away, just from being wired.
And two years ago this evening, I actually got to meet my baby girls. The baby girls that I had waited my whole life for. And they're even better than I ever imagined.

Here are some pictures of them from today.

Rowan can read!! ;)

Sister stuff

One of the common things that people talk about with twins is that they always have a playmate. They will entertain each other, keep each other company. A lot of times it has not worked out like that. But as they get older, it does more and more. They pretend to read to each other, both squeeze into the leather chair in the library at least once a day. Occasionally there are shoving matches because the books overlap, but more than not they figure out a way to both fit and still read. They "chase" each other, trade and share toys.

This is a sight I see about a dozen times a day.

The other day they were playing, and Saoirse was "getting" Rowan. In the first picture here, Rowan is still playing along. In the second, she's screaming, "Stop!" (I did save her right after I took the picture.) But a year ago she would have bitten Saoirse. Screaming takes the place of that most of the time now.

And here they are in my bed in the hotel when we spent Monday night in Clare for the funeral. The three of us shared a King sized bed. Out of a long several days, the time spent snuggling with Rowan on one side and Saoirse on my chest while they fell asleep was the sweetest part of the trip.

time with friends

This last week the girls also got to spend some time with friends. It's fun seeing them get to the age where they can enjoy playing with other kids.

We went to a bounce party for our friends' Milin and Rohin's birthdays. It was a total madhouse, as you would expect with about 40 children between 0-4 playing on bouncy things and eating pizza and cake. The room heated up to about 80 degrees, I couldn't hear myself think. The girls enjoyed themselves, though. At first they weren't so sure about the bouncing. The first time in, Rowan was enthusiastic until we actually got in. Then she started shaking her head, saying, "Much. Much!" And we had to climb back out. They got used to it and started having fun soon, though.

Then we all hung out in Muskegon for an afternoon, visiting Tim and Lisa (and Ava and Abe). The get-together was in honor of Reg and Kerry's visit home with Ella. Very cute. The girls had a lot of fun playing with Ava in the backyard. They loved the playhouses. Rowan spent a long time "cooking" some bacon for Chris and then running over and taking it to him. Saoirse loved "washing" her little play baby in the sink.

their grandparents...

And so it goes on. My last post reminds me all over again of how lucky Rowan and Saoirse are to have all of their grandparents, and to have such great relationships with them. Over this last week and a half, they've spent quite a bit of time with family. They especially loved their visit to Grandma Betty and Grandpa Brian.

They got a new tool set, and Grandpa rigged up a cardboard box and showed them how to "fix" it.

And although it's been chilly on and off, they got to spend lots of time outside. They love exploring in the woods behind the house, and they're really looking forward to getting fish in the pond this spring. It was hard to keep them away from the water.

And here they are just looking cute.

Hard to believe they'll be two in only a few days. This week both girls started pronouncing Rowan's name as "Wo-wan" rather than Wo-Wo. They learn new words every day, and constantly narrate our everyday activities. I've been taking them for runs in the morning after breakfast, and it sounds like this, "Squirrel!....Boodie (bird)! Boodie fly!....Truck! Big truck! driving. Lello (yellow) car! ...." I love their talking. Speaking of talking, as I was writing this, Saoirse crawled up on my lap, and this is her commentary on the picture above, "Wowan! Wowan there! No Sha-Sha. Wowan. Steps. Up steps, Wowan. Up steps." It's nonstop, it really is.

Miss you

My grandma Hales died this afternoon. She was 78, and she outlived my grandpa by 5 years, which I'm sure surprised her as much as it did me. She'd been declining for years, so it didn't come as a shock. Still, I find it hard to imagine that I will never see her again. Never see them again. Somehow, it seems more final now that they're both gone.

Grandma asked to go home, as she got less coherent and closer to the end. Two days before she died, when her sister reminded her that the dr had said she had to stay, she said, "Get Ray! Damn it, he can come and take me home." As sad as it made me, knowing that she had slipped far enough to forget that my grandpa was gone, I couldn't help but laugh. That was my grandma.
I remember, and will for the rest of my life, spending the night with my grandma and wearing her "silky nightgowns" to bed, even though they dragged the floor. And I'm so glad I remembered a few years ago to ask her for her recipe for Spanish rice. Although she was confused by the request, because there was no recipe. Instead, she made it for me and let me write down what she did as she did it. Looking at old photos, I remember her smile, and her throwing her head back and laughing. It breaks my heart that I don't remember the last time I saw that in person. Years ago. But there was another time, back when I was a kid, when my memories of her and my grandpa revolve around camping up North, summers in their pool, ice cream from the scary basement freezer, Grandma making us spend all day outside so we didn't waste the day in front of the TV. Happier days with her.

Not to say that they were easy days. My grandpa told me when I was around 14 that the reason my grandma and I "butted heads" so much was that we were alike. And oh, I was even madder then. She was not an easy woman. But I loved her. And I am so, so grateful for the time we had.

My grandma and me