Grace and Hope

Grace and Hope
Wait for God. Wait with hope. Hope now; hope always! Pslam 131:3

Saturday, March 10, 2012

We Are Ready for Lift Off!

With each passing month, the girls are becoming more interactive, fun, and sweeter by the day. It is just amazing that you can fall more in love with them every day, every hour and every minute. The girls are now almost 5 months old (3 months corrected age) and it never ceases to amaze me that their personalities are identical to what they were in the womb. Let me assure you—the only thing similar about these girls is that they share the same birthday! 
We have had some big milestones for mom and dad this past month! The girls dropped 2 feeds in the middle of the night, which means the last feed is at 11pm and the next feed starts the following day at 8am! Woooo hooo!! Notice that I didn’t say that they are sleeping through the night, but dropped their feeds—we are working on perhaps the more important step for mom and dad—SLEEP! Avery for the most part sleeps through the night most of the time. Aubrey is just a few steps behind her and we know it will be any day until mom and dad can get a little more rest at nighttime.
Many moms comment that their favorite time of the day is the bath time routine. I would have to say that my most favorite time is the first feed of the day at 8am. Words cannot explain the joy I have when I am greeted by two smiling babies. It doesn’t matter how crazy they were during the night—all is set right when I walk into their room at 8am for their first feeding and I have two bubbly, happy babies to let me know that I am the most blessed momma on the planet!
I have returned to work this past month and the transition has gone amazingly well. We had lots of people praying for us during this time and I know that the prayers were heard! I really do love my job (or this would be a completely different story all together) and it feels good to be taking care of babies and families again. Being a part of a flight program again isalso very exciting and makes my job interesting and dynamic. Finally, after a 6 month leave from work, momma here is ready for lift off!
We have hired a nanny that is here while I’m at work until Jay returns home and then helps out the day after work for a few hours so I can get some much needed rest after my 24hr shifts. She also helps out on weekends when I work so Jay can do errands like restocking our pantry! Believe it or not…she also will give us evening time so we can have a date night in the near future! With extended bedrest, babies in the NICU for almost 2 months, and having two newborns at home-it has been quite a while since we have had time together. This month we are spending our “date night” shopping for a second car—fun times!

This past month, we learned that my sister and her boyfriend, Israel, will be relocating to Houston for an internship which is part of my sister’s PhD program. I can’t tell you how unbelievably excited I am to have my best friend in life live right down the road from me. I welcome them both to Houston with big open arms and I’m sure the boys will enjoy the benefits of us teaming up making some delicious baked goods too! We can’t wait to have them here starting in July and I’m sure after moving in the middle of blasting heat and humidity that they might change their mind—but hopefully they will chose to stay for a while!
Here is what the girls are doing this past month:

Avery Grace- Weight: 4540 grams  10lbs

**Avery uses her skinny little body to her advantage and has really developed a lot this past month. She now rolls from front to back and back to front. I’m just waiting for her to learn how to put a couple rolls together so she can actually be mobile. I have no doubt that we are not too far away from chasing babies going in two different directions!
**Avery loves tummy time and lifting her head and chest off the ground. Let me assure you…Avery is ready for lift off!! Avery now loves to be on her tummy, head lifted high, legs kicking up in the back and watching everything that goes on around her. She is very busy learning these days.
**Avery’s favorite thing to do this month is being on her belly “people watching” or being on her back and listening to mommy and daddy sing songs. While “twinkle twinkle little star” is probably still her favorite, “the itsy bitsy spider” is also climbing up in the ranks! We love to see her smile, laugh, and even coo during song time.   
**Avery’s reflux is well managed now with her Prevacid medicine. We started adding some calories to the breastmilk this past month to help with weight gain and we have noticed great improvements, both in weight and development. Avery now eats anywhere from 4-5.5oz every 3 hours during the day.
**Nursing has been challenging on many different levels, but Avery continues to nurse 1-2x a day. While she hasn’t quite transferred a full feed yet, she is getting much closer. We also enjoy the time together—momma and daughter.
**Avery talks with an “OHHH” noise and sometimes when she gets really excited she will suck in and make a squeal of delight. Her other noises are a ‘razz’ where she gurgles in the back of her throat. Avery sure is becoming more vocal as she matures. Just this morning, Aubrey was playing on the floor talking up a storm and Avery was responsively “ohhing” back to her…at the same time she was eating. I have a feeling these girls are going to be quite chatty!
*Avery has some amazing “gross motor skills.” She loves to swing her arms up and down keeping the beat—sometimes to her own drummer! Avery has learned that she can hit buttons on toys to make them play music and light up. Thank you uncle Joel for your great toy with lights and sounds. She also has learned how to pull the middle dangling butterfly on her bouncy chair to make music.

Aubrey Hope- Weight: 4680grams  10lbs 5oz

**Like Avery, Aubrey has made major leaps in development this month. She rolls front to back and back to front as well. She does well on tummy time, lifting her head and chest off the floor…and just like her momma and sister, she is ready for lift off!  She doesn’t seem to quite have the love for tummy time like her sister, but we continue to encourage it for her development and we also love the fact that she chatters basically non-stop while on her belly.
**Aubrey’s favorite thing to do this month is chewing on her toes. While she can’t quite get her feet to her mouth on her own yet, she loves us giving her a little help to reach her cute little feet. You would not believe the smiles and laughs we get when her feet are in her mouth—it is one of the most precious things that I will remember this month.
**In just the past few days, Aubrey has found her thumb. While some don’t encourage this…it sort of makes me do the happy dance! If she can figure out how to self-soothe herself (especially in the wee hours of the night), I’ll be cheering her on! When she isn’t sucking on her thumb, she generally has the bulk of her hand or her fingers in her mouth. Needless to say, we do some pretty good washing of those hands during bath time!
**Aubrey has struggled with reflux more than her sister. We changed her medicine to Nexium and found it to work better for her than the Prevacid. We continue to try different strategies to make her most comfortable.  We recently started adding some calories to Aubrey’s feeds (every other feed) to help her with weight gain as well, and like her sister, we have noticed her tipping the scales and also making strides in her development. Aubrey eats anywhere from 4-6oz every 3 hours during the day.
**While Aubrey appears very serious in most of her photos, I can assure you that she is a very happy, smiley baby. One of her favorite silly moments is when we lay the burp cloth on her all neat and ready to go for her feeding and she sweeps it up and tries to eat it. We reposition it and before we know it, she has it in her hands and has it all crinkled up. She seems to think it is pretty funny too because she often gives us big smiles like she is playing with us.
**Aubrey is starting to actively participate in her feedings and likes to have her hands on the bottle. She actually is quite good at removing the bottle from her mouth when reflux strikes. I think before I know it she will be feeding herself her own bottle. (Avery on the other hand, has no desire in holding her bottle…and sometimes no desire to eat either—I’m not quite sure where she got that gene from!)  Aubrey was on a "nursing strike" for an extended period of time, but just within the past day or so, she has decided to try again. This makes me a happy momma!
**Aubrey is just starting to swing her arms as a “gross motor skill” like her sister. She too has learned how to hit toys to make them play music and light up. Like her sister, she is learning how to pull on the bouncy chair hanging butterfly to make it play music (I think she surprises herself every time it plays!). Just recently, when she is on her back, she sometimes grabs for a rattle (thank you Nana and Grandpa for our rattle) and then bring it to her mouth.

I hope you enjoyed catching up on what the girls have been up to this past month. Now, here are some pictures....see you next month!

My two angels.
Happy 4 months old--Valentine's Day 2012.

I think we are about to lose Avery! Looks like Aubrey tried to tip her over!

Pretty darn cute is all I have to say!

Mom holding her two litltle Valentines.

Dad holding his two little Valentines. I have to be honest--the girls were done their photo op when dad had his turn for photos...hence both girls trying to wriggle away! Daddy has his arms full!

And now you can see how the photo session ended!

Aubrey posing after her bath.

We are ready for summer--how about you?!

The girls listening to a book from Aunt Aimee that has her voice recorded--they love it! Thank you Gramma and Poppy for our cute outfits...we match the nursery!

Aubrey hanging out in her bouncy chair (thanks great Grandmom and Grandpop). Thank you great Aunt Donna for the cute outfit.

Avery hanging out in the bouncy chair. Thanks again to great Aunt Donna for the adorable clothes.

Sleeping beauties.

Avery is ready to lick Aubrey--watch out!
This is the best shot I could get in these adorable outfits.
What a gorgeos gal. Thanks great Aunt Donna for our outfits.

Look what I do while I'm supposed to be napping!

Do I need to say more? Whose team are you on?

Big girls in their bumbo seats...I think they are waiting to watch Twilight.
Thank you to our favorite neighbors Pam and John for these fun blocks. Do you know that Pam and John have delivered us a meal EVERY weekend since the girls have come home...and before that, it was probably even more frequent! They sure have us spoiled way more than we could imagine.
Like I said...the only thing similar about our girls is that they share the same birthday!

Where's Waldo? Can you find the babies?!

My two favorite Love Bugs. Thanks Aunt Aimee for the cute outfit.

Aubrey is worried I won't stop taking pictures!
There Avery goes with that tongue again!

I kid you not...Avery did this about 10 times...she was not into picture taking this day!
Taking a photo shoot of both girls together is getting harder and harder...but they are still pretty darn cute even without posing!

My Two Favorite Pictures of the Month