Grace and Hope

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

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Merry Christmas (2012) and Happy New Year (2013)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Thomas family!! We hope everyone enjoyed their holiday celebrations and have had a great kick off to 2013 already. For those of you who received our annual Christmas letter and are viewing the blog for the first time, I hope you will enjoy my monthly updates on the girls (blog posts are typically completed by mid-month to keep a better track of the girl's age). For those who have been following the blog over time, welcome back! I hope you enjoy the previous blog post of the photobook we made for our families for Chrsitmas presents...check it out if you haven't yet seen it.

This month we enjoyed holiday activities and Christmas. The celebrations aren't even over yet because we get to celebrate Christmas again with Nana and Grandpop in just a few days. In the month of December, we went on a Christmas train ride with the girls. We doubled up with our friends who have a daughter similar in age and grabbed some BBQ and then headed to the train ride after dark. Aubrey just relaxed in my lap sucking her thumb and enjoyed all the lights. Avery loves the thrill of a ride and had her hands up in the air like it was a rollercoaster ride. The girls also enjoyed their first funnel cake too...they are girls after my own heart. We also went to the Festival of Lights which had over 2 million light strands (no, not light bulbs, but strands!) on display. It was--well--lit up! We enjoyed spending this time with Gramma and Poppy, Aunt Aimee, and Israel as we sipped hot chocolate along the walk. This year I made Christmas cookies for Santa, because we all know how important it is to feed Santa on Christmas. Our neighbors, Pam and John, got us this adorable cookie plate to serve cookies to Santa. I'm excited that in years to come that the girls and I will be making cookies during the holidays forSanta:) We enjoyed our visit with Gramma and Poppy, Aunt Aimee and Israel during the holiday time and can't wait for a visit with Nana nad Grandpop soon too.

This month more than ever I feel like the girls are "all grown up" at 15 months of age. Of course there are a handful of things that I miss about that cute baby stage, but we surely are enjoying our time so much now, it is hard to be missing anything. The girls are starting to understand so much and actually respond. It is so neat to see them learn. Right now, they can wave, stick out their tongue, and clap when asked to. Avery has started to imitate "please" in sign language and Aubrey is just starting to pick it up as well. Jay taught them that when he says "oh my" they put their hands on their is a riot. I'm trying to teach "so big" and to get more than an "uh" out of "uh oh!" Now, when you ask them some questions, they will also shake their head no or yes appropriately. While they only say three words (momma, dadda, dog), they sure do understand a lot.

The girls still sleep very well and we are so happy that they have such great sleeping habits. They sleep 13 hours at night (yes...that is not a typo!). One nap (either morning or afternoon) is 2.5 hours and the second nap ranges from 45 minutes to 2.5 hours. Aubrey has always slept less than Avery, but she still manages to squeeze in at least 16 hours of sleep throughout the day. They are enjoying just about every food that we put in front of them. Avery is a big eater and shovels the food in and Aubrey, who used to be the bigger eater when it came to bottles, eats less volume now. Aubrey weighs 18lbs and Avery weighs 17lbs...yes, they are lightweights for sure. They both continue on breastmilk and I'm starting to add some whole milk to their sippy cups to increase their fat intake. Speaking of breastmilk--I have now stopped pumping. While starting out pumping 11 hours a day and producing up to 85oz/day the majority of the time that I pumped (typical production is 25-30oz/day), nursing/pumping was definitely a full-time job. I was reluctant to forgo the benefits of fresh breastmilk  but after 14 1/2 months, I was ready to regain the time to my day and not have to plan everything around pumping. I was so blessed to have a large supply (after countless hours and work) and not only did I supply 14 1/2 months of fresh breastmilk, but I have 4 months supply frozen to get through flu/RSV season AND I donated over 10,000 ounces of breastmilk to other babies. The world record was 11,000 in 18 months from a mom with one baby. While I didn't enter for any record holdings, it looks like I would be the second largest donater (second place currently is 7,000 ounces) and the first largest donater as a mom of multiples. I'm very proud of that because it was so much hard work, but I pushed forward knowing that I not only could supply for my girls, but for other babies as well.

Jay gave me the best gift a mom could ask for the past two Christmases. He created a hard-bound book of the blog for the year past. So far we have Volume I and Volume II and look forward to many more volumes as the years fly by. The blog was origianlly created to keep family and friends informed during our journey to parenthood but it has evolved into a "modern day scrapbook" documenting all of Aubrey and Avery's milestones, progress, and of course pictures to ohhh and ahhh over!! We hope you enjoy keeping up with our happenings.

I want this ONE toy....I'll get it...I'll get it!
Mom, I got the toy I was looking for...this is so much fun being in here!
Mom, I'm ready, now push me around the room!
You said what?!
Slightly more cozy quarters in here for me and my booty!
Enjoying the Christmas Train. We hope to make the train ride a Christmas tradition.

Avery riding the train with hands in the air!

Spaghettio time
The aftermath....Seriously--how does this happen!?
Enjoying our trip to the Festival of Lights.
Christmas photos at the tree.
Check out this "Dennis the Mennace" hair-do.
Christmas Day 2012
Christmas Day with Gramma and Poppy
Christmas Day with Aunt Aimee and Israel
Thank you Gramma and Poppy for our  kitchen--we are busy making something good as evidenced by all the dishes in the sink!
Thank you Gramma and Poppy for our table and chairs...Aubrey loves to sit on the chair (especially backwards!)
Thanks Aunt Aimee and Israel for our letter magnets...We are getting smarter by the day.
Avery at the Children's Museum.
Aubrey at the Children's Museum. Thank you Jen K. for our cute outfits.
Thank you Liz and Ron for the great birthday gift--We love visiting the Children's Museum.
Even from the back, they are still so cute!
The girls learned how to wave on command this past month. BYE-BYE...see you next month!