Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Where Has the Time Gone? And other updates

Max and Harper have been growing, changing, and learning so quickly! They are over 14 months old. Seriously. It seems like they should still be like this...

But, really they are toddlers like this...
video

So, our house is a lot louder. It is filled with giggles. Blocks banging. Screaming from fighting over toys. Furniture being moved. Doors of our TV stand being ripped by the hinges. But gosh, it is so great!

Our house is also a disaster area. We now need new floors and refuse to have people over until it is done. (We needed new floors B.B.-before babies-but now we really need them!)
When can they start helping clean up??
They are learning machines, I tell ya! They literally can repeat anything we say. I told them "dangerous" when trying to rip the safety outlets out for the 100th time. Pretty soon, anytime they go near the outlets and we say "no", they say "dangerous". It's adorable. They talk all the time. We don't always understand their babbles but for the most part we can communicate pretty well. They sign "more" but also say "more" now when they sign. They say and sign "all done" and "milk". They say "uh-oh" for everything. Here is another list of their words: night-night, bye-bye, hello, hey, ball, dog, momma, dada, no, thank you, diaper, toothbrush, Bella, Grampa.

Many other words they can repeat but they don't really use when they are talking to us regularly.

They are not only walking, but running. So that's fun!

They climb like champs. On furniture. On us. On each other. In fact, Max has now started this aggressive hugging. I know that seems like an oxymoron but seriously, he starts hugging Harper sweetly and then winds up tackling her to the ground where he holds her down. All while appearing to be a loving brother. Poor Harps! She also gets the brunt of his biting. Although, I think he is getting better with this the more he learns to communicate.

We started a Timeout Corner. At first, I thought they were too young for this. However, daycare is teaching us a lot about what they can do! They sit at a big kid table, sleep on cots (not cribs!), and play on playground equipment.

The daycare teacher sent us proof that they sleep on cots when I didn't believe her.



Grandparent's Day at their school (All four of their grandparents were there!)
Big kid activities mean they get in big kid trouble too. Harper nearly fell off the slide on the playground and a teacher had to try and catch her and wound up scratching her cheek. Poor girl got a nasty scratch but I will take that over a head injury any day!
Harper's scratch

Max impresses us with his engineer mind. He inspects everything to figure out how it works. Then, this happened!
video

How the heck does a 14 month old make block towers?! That just seems crazy to me. Such a smarty pants! He thinks everything through...you can see the wheels turning. Usually, he is plotting his next move to get around the barriers we have in place or to do something he is not supposed to do. But he is such a lover. He gives the best smooches and hugs. But he also has a cry that breaks your heart. (Along with an ugly cry face to boot!)

Harper is the sweet, cuddly girl. She melts your heart with one glance. Her eyes smile from deep inside her soul. She is such a Momma's girl too! I love that. When she is sick or tired, only Momma can make it better.
Loves Momma and Me Selfies

They love this tub! No idea!




















Both have been cutting multiple molar teeth. How awful for them?! They are handling it like pros. Harper still only has two top front teeth, three bottom front teeth, and now FOUR molars! Max has four top front teeth, four bottom front teeth, and now TWO molars! They are both working on more too. Thank goodness for teething tablets. They have made all of our lives better.


I have no idea how much they weigh or their height. We go to the doctor in October for their 15 month checkup. I would guess around 21-22 pounds. They wear size 4 diapers now and 12-18 month clothing. They are short so we usually have to roll their pants so they fit them. My shorties!


The twins have had their ear tubes in their ears for a couple months nearly...but we see their doctor that did the surgery this week. Max has an ear infection now but the tubes just let the infection drain out. It is gross! We put in ear drops a few times a day and wait to see the doctor. Hopefully, that will make it all better.

They eat everything in sight. Heck, they ate chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant last week! They are going to eat us out of house and home. And our dog is loving cleaning up the food they purposely throw on the floor.
No more ravioli in the middle of the day!



They sleep really well. There was one night last week that Max woke up at 2am. He didn't ever go back to sleep. He didn't cry, just thought it was play time. He didn't nap until 12:30!!! It was insane. And Jeremy and I were exhausted too! But normally, sleep is great. Although, I miss the rocking and soothing a bit...we just lay them in their cribs. They go to sleep on their own and self-soothe for the most part. Max still MUST have a pacifier to sleep. But he is pretty good about finding it in his crib in the middle of the night in case it falls out of his mouth.


Our lives are so busy. Between my two jobs, Jeremy's job, my parents' anniversary party, Halloween costumes, organizing closets, Zumba classes and trying to keep an organized chaos with the rest of the house...I am exhausted! But it is so much fun!
New Classroom before school started


Now some other random pics of the last two months. I have not been great with taking too many pictures so I am sorry!


They love bath time and splashing us. 

Max is now obsessed with his Tickle Monster hands

Pigtails!!!!!!!!!

Watching Dada mow

Dinos



See you soon!
-Lisa-

Friday, August 29, 2014

Marriage is Hard

Instead of apologizing for my absence, I will just say life has been busy and grand all at the same time. July 31 I started my new job in a new school district. It has been a great change for me and I am loving it! August 13, school started and then my professor (yes, professor! I love saying that!) job started August 19. So I am still trying to navigate and juggle everything. Some days I am not quite sure how I have managed to keep all of the plates spinning on those teeny, tiny poles.

One of the reasons I have been able to do everything and come out fairly unscathed is because of the topic of this post...my husband, Jeremy.

Tomorrow marks SIX years of wedded bliss marriage. August 30, 2008, I resigned myself to be forever known as Mrs. Sickel and committed my life to loving Jeremy.

Notice that I didn't say wedded bliss above. I would be lying if I said that the last six years have been blissful and perfect. In fact, I am convinced that the last six years have been by far the most difficult, scary and sometimes ugly moments of my life thus far. And I am sure Jeremy would agree.

My parents are getting ready to celebrate 50 years of marriage in October and Jeremy's parents are getting closer to 40 years of marriage. What awesome examples of unending love, huh?

Marriage today seems to be an act or commitment that is taken for granted. It is so easy to change your mind mid-marriage or in some cases, minutes into the relationship. I am not saying that Jeremy and I deserve some kind of fancy award for making it six whole years. A small feat, really. Six years is just starting this journey really. (Although a gold star on the sticker chart or a blue ribbon with 1st clearly displayed is always appreciated.)

The events that occurred between August 30, 2008 and August 30, 2014 weren't abnormal to so many, but they were hard. Life didn't deal us the best hand to play with, but we did our best. I was willing to give up on everything at least a dozen (ok...more than that) times. I wasn't always rational in how I viewed our sucktastic journey through infertility. But I didn't need to be. Jeremy found a way to ensure that when I was losing my freaking mind, he was keeping it together for the both of us. I, of course, did the same for him ALL (maybe twice) of the time.

Any marriage that makes it through the throngs of infertility deserves some kind of reward. (Like, paying off fertility debt is just a start! No really. I am not kidding. That should be a thing!)

I never thought anything in life would be harder than surviving those years of fertility treatments, denial, blame, doubt, hatred, hurt, depression and disappointment. That was until the last 14 months presented itself.

The last 14 months proved to be pretty dang hard and even more challenging to our marriage. Now these months were MUCH different from our infertility times. We experienced amazing, undying, unconditional love...for two little humans that we created. So yeah...Max and Harper are great! We love them in a way neither of us expected. A way that makes our hearts literally want to burst out of our chests.

But our marriage has been anything than ideal the last year or so. We both would agree. But the best part is that we realize this and haven't given up. Nor do we (or at least I) have plans to. (Jeremy, you better not either!)

Parenting is SO hard. This goes for any parent no matter how many kids you have. Although my experience is twins, it doesn't change the fact that being a parent is a hard job. Two different people have two different ideas of what is right for the kids. Different ideas on how to feed them. How to dress them. How to play with them. How to discipline them. How to teach them. How to put them to sleep. How to hold them. How to change them.

Pretty soon those two people who were so in love and so involved in each other's lives are now devoting every waking moment to raising the kids. We may have a good 5 minutes at the end of the day to discuss personal feelings and thoughts but by then, don't you just want to sleep? We start to schedule conversations. Remember the time when we could talk whenever we wanted? Sleep deprivation sets in and then the 'whose turn is it to get up?' turns into a whisper-shouting match at 3am. (yep, that happened!)

So if we are honest, our marriage has suffered since becoming parents. But the good thing is that we have realized this. We need to make more time for us. This means...date nights. We don't do them. Mainly because we feel like our two are a handful for anyone who watches them. They are so busy and into everything. And...I want to spend as much time with them as possible. But I am seriously doing a disservice to Jeremy and my relationship.

I am certain that we love each other more than we did 6 years ago. We have seen the worst of each other. We have experienced some really awful things that are unfathomable to some. But we have also experienced overwhelming joy and blessings. We have seen God work in our lives in miraculous ways.

It really is crazy to see us as those young, anxious newlyweds. We had no idea where life would take us but we were going to do it together so it didn't matter. It still doesn't. We are in this together. I couldn't ask for a better partner and father to Max and Harper. I am so fortunate! Happy Anniversary, Jer! I love you!





-Lisa-

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Max's First Haircut

On their birthday, July 11, we took Max to get his first haircut from my sister, his Aunt Carrie. We brought his Bumbo seat and that worked pretty good. He did better than I expected! They also BOTH got to experience their first lollipops.


The before shot with his Aunt Carrie




Harper carrying around her new purse and hanging out with her cousins


Mmm...lollipops!


After picture with Aunt Carrie




He was pretty proud of himself




-Lisa-

Friday, July 25, 2014

Randomness

Since I have waited awhile to blog. A lot has happened since...

Let's start with the babies:
We had their shots last week. They did great. No issues. Max was on the smaller part of the scale (10%) again. He weighed 19 pounds, 11 ounces and 28.5 inches long. Harper was right in the middle for her charts (48%). She weighed 20 pounds, 12 ounces and 28.75 inches long. Both seem to be doing well meeting all of the required milestones already.

Today, they had their tubes put in. They have been suffering with ear infections for months (poor babies). They did awesome! I couldn't have asked for better babies. They were starving I am sure since we had to cut off food at 6:30am and clear liquids at 11am. Their surgeries were at 2pm.


I will post some more of the cute babies later on too.

Update on me: My thyroid seems to have regulated a bit. I haven't GAINED any more weight. But I haven't lost any either. I guess I need to actually start working on that!

I had jury duty for the first time ever on Monday. I have had to call in all month but was never actually asked to report. It was kind of neat. I liked seeing the process. I knew I wouldn't be chosen as soon as I walked in the courtroom because I knew one of the prosecutors through mutual friends and of course had to declare that.

I have started putting my new classroom together at my new school. It is a tedious task but after a couple afternoons, I have made headway. I have attended a few PD meetings too. I don't really have to start my required meeting until the 31st. So I only have a few more short days of my summer. Sigh!

I have also started preparing for my second job. I will be a literacy education adjunct professor for University of Central Missouri this semester. I am teaching an online course that I actually took myself in my Master's program.

Now....


Babies!















Harper eating a lemon is so cute!!
video

-Lisa-

Very Hungry Caterpillar Party (Late Post)

Better late than never. Their party was over two weeks ago now. I worked on crafts and such for the week before the party so I will highlight my handy-work...but fair warning...I am not a crafty person. Thank goodness for Pinterest! Ha!

I ironed on their customized transfers from Etsy. Adorable and affordable!
I made this banner out of cardstock, printed caterpillar and month labels, ribbon, hot glue, and clothespins. I saw the idea on Etsy and shamelessly made my own.
I printed out the many labels of what the Very Hungry Caterpillar ate in the book and glued them to colored cardstock. I put this around the food table. 
The clothespin banner turned out really cute. I printed their monthly picture collage that I have done all year. 
My attempt at this great Pinterest idea that I saw. 
They didn't quite hang the way I wanted but worked. 
We had their party at a great park in our city. It has a huge shelter house. We reserved the shelter house back in April. My worst nightmare occurred as I pulled up an hour before the party to decorate. There were a TON of people in the shelter. It was posted that we reserved the shelter but people apparently joined in anyway. I am not a confrontational person so going up to MULTIPLE (yes, about 5!) birthday parties and telling them we reserved this and they needed to leave. It was awful. A few people were angry. I explained and showed my proof of payment. I started off nice and cordial but the people that wanted to challenge me, I was probably less than nice to them. They eventually left and we had a lovely time.


Our favors! I just printed a thank you message (with caterpillar, of course!) and glued them to lollipops and favor bags.
We also had a bin of candy and bubbles.
The way I displayed the lollipops required some engineering. I had the plastic pails so filled with rocks from our flower beds. I then hot glued a half sphere of styrofoam. Then could just slide them in. 

I didn't get a close up picture of the cupcakes or cakes! Ugh! I made the cupcake toppers. I again, printed messages with caterpillars, 1, and their names. I then cut them out and glued them to colored popsicle sticks. Their smash cakes and cupcakes were done by our local grocery store and turned out great.



Some hotdog and watermelon before the festivities. 

We brought their wagon to the park to do their presents. Otherwise, they would have ran off a few minutes into it. 


Max loved the tissue paper. 

Great friends got them these Cozy Coupe cars. I love the personalized plates!

Definitely a favorite gift!

Harper refused to wear the hat.



















 It was such a fabulous day with family and friends. We loved it. So did they!

video


-Lisa-