Monday, September 29, 2008

Go Tigers!

We may have lost this weekend, but we're still fans of our Clemson Tigers! Anna Claire's initials are ACC, after all!
...and I think Mallory pretty much sums up how we feel about those other tigers. Shh...don't tell Walter!

...To Grandmother's House We Go

Mommy's first day back to work.
The girls' first day at "Granny's Daycare." ;-)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Missing You Already

Sorry this post is all over the place; I'm a bit emotional.

Monday I go back to work and while I love my job, I certainly love being a mommy to Anna Claire and Mallory much, much more. I've always known that I would have to go back to work, but now that the day is right around the corner, I am really struggling with my emotions. Tonight Walter and I went to dinner for the first time since my birthday, May 29th, five days before the girls were born. I was looking at the pictures on his cell phone and there was one of Anna Claire just a few days old and her head was resting in the palm of Walter's hand. She was SO SMALL. I burst out in tears right in the middle of dinner because I just could not believe how much she has grown. It's already hard to remember them so small and what it felt like to hold two such tiny babies in my arms, and that breaks my heart.

I have been home with the girls for four wonderful months and I have no idea how to leave them come Monday. I keep telling myself that we are in the best of situations! The girls get to stay with Granny four days a week and Grandmom one day a week (yay! we are so blessed the girls don't have to go to daycare), and everyone knows teachers have it best for raising a family! But it's still going to be so hard. They are growing up so fast; I can't yet imagine not being there for every single minute.

And that's the one thing I've learned in my short time as a mom - time flies by. In the first four months of their lives, the girls have grown and changed more than I ever imagined they could, but I've been right here with them for all of it. When I look back over the last few months and think of everything I have been here for I am so thankful - the first time they made eye contact with me, cooing for the first time, their first smiles and giggles, the middle of the night feedings, the cuddling and kisses, all the little memories that are created everyday. I just can't stop thinking about all the moments I'm going to miss not being with them during the day.

Lately I've been worried about how to "get it all done" once I'm back to work - laundry, cleaning, cooking - and what I've come to realize is that those things aren't going to be that important once I'm home in the afternoon. That time is for Anna Claire and Mallory and the rest will have to take care of itself. The last thing I want in the afternoons is to be stressing out because dinner isn't cooked when I should be enjoying my baby girls. They will have bottles to drink, clean clothes, dry diapers, and a mommy and daddy who love them with all their hearts. And if we go to bed at night with dirty dishes in the sink - so be it.

Every day I look into their eyes and am in absolute awe over how beautiful and amazing they are, how different they are, and how much I love them both. I can't yet imagine what I will feel like Sunday night and especially Monday when I trade in my "stay-at-home-mom" hat for the "working mom" hat. Right now, though, I'm doing everything I can to preserve the memories we've already created together as well as the new ones, but the fact is, I can take all the pictures and video I can, make all the scrapbooks, and blog all day, but none of these things can truly capture the emotions of the moment, the sweet smell of my babies, the feeling of cuddling a warm, sleepy baby at 2 AM, the lump I get in my throat when they smile their great big smiles at me. So, in the end, I am determined to do everything I can to hold onto every memory, to create new ones with every moment we are together, to hold them closer, hug them tighter, and kiss their little angel faces until they can't take anymore.

They will always be my babies and I will always be their mommy, and even though I have to go back to work (and even more so because I have to go back to work), they will know now, more than ever, just how much I love them.

Gearing Up

Adorable Halloween costumes - check
Personalized jack -o-lanterns for trick-or-treating (which we won't really be doing; this year Halloween is nothing more than a photo op) - check
Babies' first Halloween cards from Hallmark - check
Halloween story books - check
2008 Halloween Beanie Babies - check
Babies' first Halloween pj's - check

I think we have everything we need for the girls' first Halloween. I've been reading them Mary Englebreit's The Queen of Halloween for weeks. We're ready; we're excited. Now we just have to wait for October 31st...and so do you! That's the problem with being over-prepared!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Daddy Time

In an effort to get Walter and myself in more pictures with the girls......Here's Walter working with Mallory on her head control. She is doing so much better! No more bobble-head baby! She's still not quite where Anna Claire is, but the doctor checked her out Wednesday and is not worried at all, so neither am I. She said to keep up the tummy time, which Mallory is enjoying more these days, and continue working with her to pull herself up without letting her head flop back just like she's doing in the picture. Good girl!!

Granny Time

After a day of shopping for Christening gowns, both the girls got some lovin' from Granny. Anna Claire and Mallory did great on our little shopping outing. Everyone oohed and ahhed over them and, of course, they were happy to turn on the smiles!

The gowns, by the way, are beautiful and I cannot wait to try them on the girls. Their Baptism will be November 9th, so we bought size 6 months. The dresses will be a bit big now but should fit perfectly by November. Stay tuned...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pictures of You...Pictures of Me

I've heard that it is rare for moms to end up in pictures with their children because they are always the ones actually taking the pictures. So, since I want the girls to know that I was, in fact, present for their lives, I went on a hunt today for pictures of me and the girls. Other than the pictures from the OR, a few pictures of the four of us in the hospital and a couple more on the day we came home, none of which will be shown to the public due to my appearance, ;-) this is all I could find...

At least that's one with each of the girls. We need to do a better job of getting both Walter and myself in some of the thousands of pictures we're taking!

Shhh...Don't Tell Mom

Yesterday I caught Mallory whispering something into Anna Claire's ear, but they wouldn't let me in on their little secret...already keeping things from Mommy! I wonder if this is something I'll have to look forward to when they are older?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Weighing In

Today has been two weeks since we started concentrating the girls' formula to get them to gain a little weight. I'm sure when they're older they'll love us for that! We had our doctor's visit and they have indeed gained sufficiently!

September 10
Anna Claire 11 pounds
Mallory 11 pounds 6 ounces

Anna Claire 11 pounds 12 ounces
Mallory 12 pounds

The doctor also said we can stop waking them up for the 2 AM feeding and start trying to get them to sleep all the way through the night again - just when I'm about to go back to work! So, I guess tonight we'll let them sleep and see what time they wake up on their own.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Don't they look precious in their night gowns? This was they first night they slept in something other than a onesie. It's been getting cooler at night, and since Anna Claire (aka Houdini) has been finding more ways to wriggle those arms out of her swaddling blanket (aka straight jacket), I'm worried their arms will be cold in a short sleeved onesie (plus, I'm not so well stocked on the long-sleeved onesies quite yet).

The gown served double duty for Anna Claire. Notice her left hand. I was able to fold over the sleeve to protect her little finger which had a Band-Aid on it - this was the same night I snipped the tip of her finger while cutting her nails. :(

New Sleeping Arrangements *updated*

The girls have had a rough few nights. I had been waking them up at 2 AM for a scheduled feeding since it was decided two weeks ago they weren't eating enough with their dainty little girl appetites. The two o'clock feeding was kinda nice. I set my alarm, got up and warmed the bottles, fed Anna Claire, burped her and put her back in bed without a peep. Then I would feed Mallory, burp her, rock her for a few minutes to make sure she was asleep because she would generally open her eyes to feed, then place her next to her sister - all in under 45 minutes! The girls were then sleeping until 7:30 - perfect!

Since about Friday, all that has gone up in smoke. They have been waking early, screaming, unswaddled. I'm sure you can guess how difficult it can be to calm and feed two screaming babies anywhere between 11:00 PM-1:00 AM, which is about the range of times they were waking early - and not going back to sleep quite so easily as before. Last night, for example, we fed them at their usual 7:30 PM, put them to bed, only to have them both awake again thirty minutes later. Then, up again at 12:30. We fed them then, and put them back to sleep. They were awake again at 5 AM. Another bottle and back to bed, but Anna Claire was right back up. After getting her to sleep, they both finally slept until 9AM. Wow! I'm sure they were exhausted. I know I was!

I think it may be time to separate them at night and nap time. They have been sleeping together since we were in the hospital and I do believe they are a source of comfort for each other, but I think Anna Claire is waking up Mallory. I tend to find her unswaddled more and more frequently, and I'm not sure she isn't knocking Mallory in the head with her arms and waking her up.

We have such a great bedtime routine that I hate to change anything, but maybe it just isn't working anymore. I knew the day would come when they would be too big to be swaddled and too active to sleep side by side, I am just frightened to change anything for fear that the great sleep habits they have had up to this point will be lost!


Last night was much better! We repositioned the girls in the SAME crib so instead of sleeping "long-ways" quite close to each other, we positioned them "short-ways" in the crib and moved them farther apart. The girls peacefully drifted off to sleep at 8:00; I fed them quietly at 2 AM; they each slept until 7 AM. Back on track - for now! ;-)

Oh yeah, just one problem. Here's how we found Anna Claire this morning...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ouch! I Did It Again!

I snipped the tip of Anna Claire's finger for the second time today (the second time!!) as I was trimming her nails. This time it was totally my fault. She was sleeping so soundly, not moving at all. As a matter of fact, she didn't even flinch as I snipped, but I know it hurts; there's blood.

Poor baby. Bad mommy.

I didn't mean "the second time today," but for the second time, the first being several weeks ago. Misplaced modifiers - I should know better; I'm a English teacher!

September Favorites, Part Three

I won't even try to recount the events of the girls' first portrait session. Let's just say there was a great deal of crying and we're lucky to have the beautiful pictures below. Believe it or not, we have 73 more pictures on disk with no tears. I never would have thought with how upset they were.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

September Favorites, Part 2

Three Months Old!

September Favorites, Part 1

I can't get back those posts I so hastily deleted, but I had to repost some of my favorite pics...Remember, who needs a soothie when you've got a sister?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cold Snap

Okay, so it isn't exactly cold outside, but today's high has only reached 81, it's overcast, and the house is cool; so I couldn't resist dressing the girls in outfits with feet for the first time today!

Where Did You Come From?

Today Anna Claire realized she had a brother. I wonder what the expression on her face will look like when she realizes she actually has two?? After 3 1/2 months of living together, the girls still don't pay much attention to the boys, and the boys don't pay much attention to the girls, either. But today when I was giving Cody some much needed affection, Anna Claire could not take her eyes off him. It was like she had never seen him before.

We're Back

Just call me a paranoid rookie mom. But I am thinking of going invitation only.