Grace and Hope

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

Sunday, September 9, 2012

11 Months...Already?!?

Over the past few months, whenever I was asked how old the girls were I would report that they were “4 months, 6 months, 9 months” etc. Now I catch myself saying they are almost ONE! What…when did that happen?! It is amazing what a difference a year makes. This time last year, I was on strict bed rest and now bed rest seems like such a distant memory!! The girls have gone from 3lb preemies in isolettes to crawling, standing, and babbling babies!! Every day from first day they have been home to today has been “the best day of my life.” Jay seems to think it is funny that I say “this is the best time of our lives” almost every day. I just couldn’t imagine life without us four together. There is nothing like waking up in the morning and going to bed at night knowing that you have two miracles that call you momma.

This month has been a big month in development for Aubrey. She has learned how to go from a sitting position to a crawling position, how to pull up on her knees and play, how to pull up to a standing position, how to climb stairs, and how to feed herself the bottle. Avery this month is letting her sister catch up to her in development and is quite content with being a busy bee by crawling around everywhere, standing, cruising on furniture, and believe it or not—EATING! She loves eating solid food—in fact she prefers feeding herself and is really getting good at it. You know she is my daughter—she can pack buttered bread away and never think twice about it!

We survived a “first cold” this month. Aubrey unfortunately wasn’t feeling quite up to snuff this past week. She had a runny nose, was sneezing, coughing, low grade fever—the works. But she was a tough cookie. She played hard during the day despite not feeling well then needed some extra cuddling at night. While we really are thankful that they go to sleep so easy after we just put them in their cribs, it was sweet being able to rock her back to sleep after she was all goobered up with snot and needed someone to wipe her nose. Thankfully, Avery stayed healthy despite sharing toys, bottles, spoons etc. I give kudos to the breastmilk!

Both girls are now eating solids for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are enjoying trying new foods. We typically can give them what we are eating for meals, with the exception of egg whites, peanut butter, strawberries and other highly allergenic foods before the first year of life. Some of their favorite foods are anything “Mexican style”—meaning any combination of avocado, beans, cheese, and sour cream. Their favorite veggie continues to be eggplant and their favorite fruit is kiwi. Aubrey prefers being fed by the spoon and Avery prefers to feed herself. Aubrey prefers to get her bottle before eating and Avery prefers her bottle after eating. Speaking of—Aubrey now holds her bottle on her own with decent success. They both hold their bottles when in the highchairs, but Aubrey actually can feed herself while on her back on the floor. Some people say they miss it when their babies learn how to feed the bottle to themselves, but after all the struggles we have had with feeding the girls, it actually is quite a treat!! We are happy to see such progress with their eating patterns. Both are still treated with Prevacid for their reflux, but it is the hope that we can hopefully close that chapter in our lives in the near future.

The girls were at the pediatrician office about a week ago for their first flu shot. At that visit we were able to get weights for both girls. Aubrey weighed in at 16lb and Avery weighed in at 15lb. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter how big they get, momma will always hold them together from time to time! The girls know exactly how they “fit” when being carried together and we all love the cuddling. Speaking of size-both girls fit into clothes ranging from 6-12 months and Aubrey is in a size 4 diaper and Avery still squeezes into a size 3 diaper (at least until we finish the box! Hahaha!). We know they are itty bitty compared to other babies their age, but they are on target for their growth curves, so we are thrilled!

Every year my hospital throws a big NICU Reunion party at the Houston Children's Museum. All the families can come back and bring their kids for a fun night at the museum. It is a special night for doctors and nurses because they get to see how well the kids are doing because there are so many families we never hear from after discharge. I was working that night, but we were allowed to go to the museum as long as we were "flight ready"...meaning we had all our equipment with us and ready to leave in a split second. Jay was kind enough to meet us at the museum for a night of fun. Granted, the girls will enjoy it much more in years to come when they can play more, but it sure was a joyful moment showing off how beautiful the girls are and how far they have come. 
My favorite moments of the month are both girls saying mommma while playing, me being with them, or me leaving them and they call it out from their cribs (so basically…they say it all day long!). I love how when Aubrey gets upset when I’m wiping her down after a meal and she says “MOM” with emphasis, real abruptly! She really wants me to get the message!! They both are just starting to say daddada too. Daddada and babbaba are sometimes interchangeable, but we will take it! In the past, Aubrey was the one that really enjoyed the company of her sister and now it is Avery always wanting to be with her sister. Avery loves to crawl up to Aubrey and literally “ride” on her back while Aubrey army crawls away. Avery laughs and laughs and when she topples over, she catches up and gets right back on (Check out the video). Aubrey is a good sport and just carries on, even when Avery pulls hair. Speaking of laughing…Avery now laughs out loud all the time. It is so cute and adorable and definitely ranks as some of my favorite times this month. I also love that Avery now gives big hugs when you pick her up. She lifts her arms up ready to be held and then wraps her sweet arms around you...oh it is the best thing in the world. Daddy’s favorite moments of the month are when Avery sees the highchair tray and she kicks her legs and throws up her arms and gets a big smile and jumps all around in her highchair. It really is pretty cute seeing her get so excited over food (who would have thought?!). His favorite moment of the month with Aubrey was seeing her stand in her crib for the first time. We both heard them babbling on the monitor after their nap and you could hear laughter going back and forth from their cribs. We both assumed that they were communicating back and forth but it was much to our surprise when we walked into the room and we both saw Aubrey for the first time standing in her crib! Now, we are going through the phase that Avery did—learning how to get done on her own without us having to help! It really has been an exciting month watching Aubrey catch up to her sister and cruise their her milestones—literally!

Well…from here until the next blog, it is time to organize a twin birthday party!! Can’t wait to celebrate such a special day!!

I know these pictures are of both Jay and I when we were a little younger than the girls are now, but you can see the resemblence of who looks like who from our baby pictures. The first one is Jason as a baby, who looks like Avery, and the second one is of me as a baby, who looks like Aubrey. We just continue to be amazed at how similar they look to each one of us.


I was having so much fun in the laundry basket, but now I'm about to lose it!

I don't even have words for this expression!

These teeth have me chewing on things all day long.

Aubrey pulling to a standing position for the first time.

Hanging out in the blankets.

You call me?!

Why play in the playroom when I can climb on end tables? 

Two happy girls eating pancakes for breakfast.

So busy playing!
Cheap and fun entertainment...being pushed around in a diaper box! Got to take advantage while they both still fit together!

Time to eat!
Time to do some food shopping!
Another fun "train ride" together. This picture shows the two girls close together which is a rare photo ...guess it helps they are packed in tight!
Looks like someone stole their sister's hat!
I just love how her joy is contagious!
Thank you Kathy and Paul for our cute Labor Day outfits!
Aubrey has always had the best cheeks ever...I could kiss on them all day long.
Avery looks like she might be a softball player in the future.
Hanging out at the NICU Reunion at the Children's Museum.

We have so much fun playing together after naptime.
Videos: (Just one this time!)