Sunday, December 30, 2007

You know you're in VT when...

Last night Penny was planning on watching the big Pats game and I knew I did not want any part of that. Sorry, honey! So, this gal checked into some options and guess who went out to her first movie in almost eight months (since the babies were born)? That's right, it's me. (Hold on. I lied. Penny and I went to see Harry*Potter for her birthday in July, while my mom babysat.) I love going to the movies. I love the previews. I love the seats (when my fat ass is not being pinched by them!). And I love being in the dark with strangers, all there with a common purpose. So, I have been sad to not go to the movies in so long. And I am someone who kind of enjoys going to the movies alone. I like going with others, too, but there is something cool and fun and relaxing about going alone. I can cry and laugh and do whatever without thinking the other person thinks I am weird or some sort of loony crying movie watcher. I tend to cry a fair amount at the movies.

Last night I saw Juno and it was fab! I am so glad that I caught it. If you have not seen it, and are able to, I highly recommend getting out there to see it. It was a poignant coming of age, teen pregnancy movie. It reminded me of Welcome to the Dollhouse, but it was not quite as painful to watch. But, I still cried...a few times.

Going to the movies in VT means:

1) Tickets cost a mere $7.50! (I heard another movie goer from out of town say, "I can't believe these prices! In Providence, tickets are about $12." I hear ya, girlfriend. Cali was the same!)

2) There is a theatre that plays first-run/current movies, but has just one screen and shows just one movie at a time.

3) The theatre is so small... (How small is it?) It's so small that after you buy your ticket from the single ticket agent, you have to stand outside in line until the earlier movie gets out and you have someplace to go! Oh, how I wished I had brought a hat!

4) People bring their own tupper*ware from home from which to consume their popcorn!

Seriously, can you stand the quaintness?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A manual of expectations

It's the holiday season and your kids go to daycare. Do you know the etiquette? I guess you are supposed to get your daycare providers holiday gifts of appreciation. But, as first time moms, we are confused. Or maybe a better term to use is clueless! Until this past week, the kids have gone to daycare just two days a week, since September. In the infant room, there are two regular teachers (I always feel weird calling an infant daycare provider "a teacher") and then there are other people who work in there as needed, some more regularly than others. Until today, we had not gotten them anything. When Penny dropped the kids off yesterday, she said she felt like she got a weird look and the vibe was kinda off. She called me and said, "I think we need to get them something."

They had sent home some little gifts for the kids, as well as some cute ornaments that they made for us with pictures of the kids. But, we (with our twinfants) are frazzled about, um, 99% of the time and days and weeks easily get away from us. In getting ready for weekend visitors and holiday festivities, we had not planned far enough in advance (which would have actually had to be by 12/21 because daycare was closed on the 24th and 25th), so the holiday came and went and we had not done anything for the daycare folks. Also, we are kinda broke right now! After a cross-country move and living on my new modest VT salary for the past few months, things are rather tight around here. Penny and I did not even buy each other Christmas presents! And the kids have everything they need, so we did not buy anything new for them either, unless you count bibs and little shoes that we recently ordered online.

Yesterday, I went to Dunkin*Donuts and got 4 gift cards: two for the main infant room teachers ($10 each) and two for the other most regular infant room providers ($5 each). Does this sound adequate? We did not get anything for the director of the daycare. Today I gave everyone a Dr. Suess holiday card, with their gift card, and a pic of the kids with santa at the mall. Any opinions on this? I hope it was good enough, even though they were not expensive or homemade or edible gifts. Well, they can buy DD edible goodies anyway! Honestly, it was the best we could do this year.

Sometimes we feel so clueless on this whole parenting thing. If only the kiddos came with a manual that told you real world practical information about stuff, including this type of holiday day care dilemma. Maybe I will write one, make my millions, and never have a lean Christmas again!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A lovely weekend

Our first Christmas back in New England was a lovely one! It started with a weekend visit from NH friends and their kids, ages 5 and 2. A million thanks to Nikki and Michael for bringing us so many hand-me-down toys, clothes, and gear. We got a 2nd high chair and a 2nd exersaucer that have already made such a difference! Nikki introduced us to the wonderful world of homemade baby food, and she cooked the moms some banana bread, Sheppard's Pie, and a chicken pot pie to nourish us after they were gone. Michael strapped on the ol' snow shoes and trekked out to the back 40 to cut us down a Christmas tree, after our efforts to get a tree were thwarted at 4 sold-out tree places. (I've got to get a picture of this tree up on the blog soon. To call it a Charlie Brown tree would be the understatement of the century. But, it was free and it was all ours!) Nikki and Michael also helped us to manage Jordan's asthma through steam follwed by cold air, when the nebs were not quite cutting it. So, a million thanks to N&M for an amazing visit, that was so filled with love and support. You are both truly amazing people and we are so lucky to have you in our lives.

The kids had a great first Christmas with their aunties, uncles, and cousins. We had the Penny's family over to our house on Sunday for a potluck and gift exchange, and then we went to Penny's sister's house for dinner on Christmas day. Our kids are so loved and supported by these guys and we are so lucky to live so close to many of them. Many thanks for the super cute clothes and toys for the kids. You guys are so generous! And thanks, too, for holding and playing with and loving our babies so the moms could get a little break. We are lucky to be back in VT, so close to you guys!

Thanks to my brother, Bill, and his wife Michelle, for the Target gift cards for the kids...even though it makes me want to kick your asses because we agreed we were not exchanging gifts this year. GGrrr! And thanks to Mimi (my mom) for the gifts for the kids: some great "1st xmas" ornaments, a cute barn with animals that make sounds, and an amazing Radio*Flyer wagon with built in seats and a canopy for transporting the kids around. We can't wait to use it this summer!

Penny and I are back to work today and the kiddos are back at daycare. Starting the 2nd week of January, I will be working a 4-day work week. Yay! This is so great because it means that the kids will only be in daycare 4 days a week, instead of 5. And it means that I get an extra day with the kids. After working so hard to get these little miracles into our lives, having them with us 3 days and in daycare for 4 days a week feels so much better than with us 2 days and in daycare 5 days a week. I know it is just a day, but it feels like a much better fit for us. Plus, it saves us a bunch of money in monthly daycare costs and we love that!

Hope everyone had a happy and healthy Christmas. Hard to believe that New Year's is right around the corner!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

And the seasons, they go round and round

December is in full swing. Big news: Penny got a job, working at the same agency where I work! Yay Penny! She is an Employment Specialist and will be helping support folks with mental illness in their employment endeavors. The babies start full-time daycare next week. Although, in a few weeks, this may be cut down to just 4 days a week because I am in the process of being approved to work 4 long days, rather than 5 days a week. Very excited about that, especially because it means that the babies will be with us three days a week!

Things here in twin land march on faster and faster each day. The days themselves often feel long, but the months fly by and milestones are happening everyday. We are struggling with colds, and asthma, and trouble sleeping due to stuffy noses. Ah, the first winter! But, we are enjoying the smiles, and the babbling, and the new experiences with food and toys and the whole world all around us.

Our big boy, Jordan, now loves to hold his own bottle. Often, however, he loses his grip and milk sprays all over him. Check out those chubby little hands.

During the time when I was working and Penny was staying home with the kids three days a week, they were always so happy to see me when I got home. Talk about melting your heart. Their little faces would light up as if to say, "It's you! We didn't know whether we would ever see you again, and yet here you are. Hooray!!" Penny snapped this picture of both kids holding my hands one day when I had just gotten home from work. Makes me such a happy mama!

Jordan and Taylor are getting so much more interactive with their environment. They love Bear, Cosmo, and Milo so much. And the animals are unbelievably tolerant. Here's our "killer" dog, Bear, holding court over her babies. She loves to be where they are and she just lets them maul, er pet, her whenever they want to. What a good doggie!

Look at these big babies sitting up and playing with toys. They love their crinkle books! People think they look so much alike, and sometimes I think they look a lot alike, too. But, in this pic, not so much. What do you think? Oh, and you can't imagine how many people ask us everytime we are out whether the kids are indentical or fraternal. If they are a boy and a girl, folks, they cannot be identical!

The conversation usually goes something like this: Person: Oh, a boy and a girl? Me: Yup...(trying to move on without making too much eye contact. Twin survival mode.) Person: Well, you have your hands full. Me: *Smile.* Yup. Person: Are they identical? Me: Nope, a boy and a girl? Person: I know, but are they identical? Me: What I actually say: Nope, they are fraternal. (What I really want to say: DAMMIT PEOPLE! DO YOU KNOW THE MEANING OF THE WORD IDENTICAL? A BOY AND A GIRL HAVE SOME SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES IN THEIR PARTS. THEREFORE...NOT FREAKIN' IDENTICAL!)

We now return you to your regularly scheduled, non-ranting blog post.

One thing Penny and I often lament is that we do not have the same down time with the babies that we imgaine parents of singletons have the opportunity to experience more often. We are usually busy busy busy with tasky things when the kids are napping. We are trying to slow down and cherish the times we have with these amazing little people while they are still little. This picture of Jordan sleeping on Penny was camera worthy, as these peaceful moments with each individual child are, unfortunately, more rare than we would like.

The obligatory first Santa pic is posted here in all its glory! It took a few tries to get the kids to look forward, stop grabbing Santa's beard, and have semi smiling looks on their faces. They sat with Santa for about 5 minutes or so, no one cried, and we got this pretty great picture. We were thrilled!

Hope the holiday season is treating you all well. We are in a winter wonderland today, with an excess of 18 inches expected. Penny is out shovelling now, and we will try to keep up with the snow throughout the day. Will try to post wintery pics later. We are excited to have a lazy Sunday, all cozy in the house, while it snows and snows and snows outside. I baked muffins for breakfast and we are gonna have some yummy soup for lunch. It's gonna be a greay day!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Time for more pics

Here's me with the babies at a recent visit to Northampton, MA to visit the alma mater, as well as visit with Jean who was in town from California. Ok, the real reason for the visit was to see Jean. We miss our Cali friends, big time!
A rare pic of the 4 of us. Note sleeping babies in strollers (if you can see their faces). Yeah!
Jordan and Taylor go swimming for the first time at the hotel in Northampton. We met Jude, Jen, and Gus from Judecorp. Cool to meet internet friends! In the above pic, I have Jordan, Jude (far left) has Taylor, and Jen (middle) has Gus.
Mama Penny and her babies rockin' out in the pool.
Babies were enjoying the lush bed in the hotel. Whoa, Jordan. Where ya headed?

We had brunch in Northampton with blogger/internet friends, as well as my long lost counsin, Jessica, her husband, Steve, and their daughter, Anna Louise.
Lookin' good in Sylvester's! While we were waiting for a table, a friend from grad school walked in the door. Whoa! Small world!
Here's me, with E and A from Two Moms blogging fame. E is pregnant with the same donor used to conceive Jordan and Taylor. They are expecting baby "Moon," the 1/2 sibling of J & T, in January. Creating different definitions of family rocks!

Jordan and Taylor lookin' dapper in their LL*Bean fleece hats and mittens.
Both babies love to pet the kitties and dog. Penny snapped this great pic of me and Jordan, with Milo. Good job, Pen!
Taylor loves tummy time, thanks to this activity mat that makes sounds and lights up. She can now roll from front to back and back again, with ease.
Loving their cowboy outfits from Auntie Ali on Thanksgiving. Jordan's face says, "These outfits rock. Why has it taken you so long to let us wear them?"
We enjoyed their first Thanksgiving as a family of four. So much to be thankful for this year, that's for sure! Note that the babies are about the same size as the turkey!
Penny's family came to join us for Thanksgiving, and brought lots of yummy food with them. Thanks everyone, for making our first holiday in VT so special!

We love snowsuits and we love sleeping babies. Do you just want to eat them up? I do...especially Taylor, the little pink marshmallow in her fluffy snowsuit! We are getting new carseats soon, as the kids are almost outgrowing these. Also, with the big snowsuits, they are especially tight for Jordan and Taylor. Jordan is bigger, but Taylor has a fluffier snowsuit. Jordan also needs a new snowsuit soon. So many changes all the time...and expenses!
Big snow here recently. Pictures of that to come. In other news, we are on to Stage 2 baby food, sitting up without being supported, and Jordan has two teeth poking through his bottom gums. Big kids all around!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Check us out!

Hello All-

We have been taking dancing lessons and thought you guys might want to check this out. Next stop: Dancing with the Stars!

Love, Chris, Penny, Taylor and Jordan