Sunday, June 26, 2016

Harrison Turns 3!

In some ways I can't believe Harrison is three but in other ways it seems like he has been around forever!  I had big plans for a party this year for him but he really wasn't interested. Finally he said he just wanted to do a family party. Great with me!  

He was in summer camp at preschool and I promised we could make cookies together to take.  Why I didn't do the box kind I do not know. 
This is my mom's homemade cookie recipe- brings back so many memories from my childhood making them with her!
By the time I got the other three to bed and finished these cookies with him he got to stay up till almost 10- whew! 
The told me he really wanted some black on his cake, I couldn't handle more than just the "3"
On Harrison's real birthday we were at the beach with my family so we had a small celebration with my parents, David, Greer, and Georgia.

My dad got these balloons at the grocery store and the boys loved them!
I let him pick out whatever plates he wanted from Walmart and Paw Patrol it was. Funny thing is that he hardly ever even
watches that show. 
Listening to Tia read his new book 

His special card from Nene. He has been waiting for it! 
James helping him build his Lego set 
A couple of weeks later we got to celebrate with the Holland side as we also celebrated Davis's first birthday.

I can't believe Davis is one!

The babies loved the big bubbles!

The present he had been waiting for- a real leaf blower!  Whitney and Rod got him the ear muffs- a perfect addition 
Dear Harrison,

You have been looking forward to your birthday for so long and now you are finally three!  However when people ask you how old you are you always say "Five."  You want to be like your big brother in every way. You are quite possibly one of the funniest people I have ever met.  You make your dad and I and anyone who knows you laugh ALL the time.  Our family would be a much quieter and duller place without you sweet boy- you are the life and laughter of this party.  Some of your favorite things to do are build and fix things with tools (preferably with real ones, not pretend), you love to help me cook and bake, you love to do art (especially paint, glue, and glitter), you love music and playing instruments, and you really enjoy riding your balance bike.  You love to talk and talk more than anyone else in the family.  The things you say and the way you say it is hilarious.  I often say you march to your own beat and I love that about you.  Over the past year since you and James started sharing a room you have both become much closer.  You play together often and love to play fight and wrestle, and I live in fear of the possible broken bones ahead. You had a big year as you went from the baby of the family to the big brother to the babies.  I worry sometimes about you as you have the "middle child" label.  Always know that being our middle child means you are surrounded by love on every side.   You are so special and loved by your mommy and daddy and so many others.  Happy Birthday sweet boy. We hope this next year is the best one yet!  

Friday, June 24, 2016

Andrew and Kate 9 Months

9 months old, 6 months adjusted, 3/4 of the way to the first birthday. I cannot believe it!!!

Andrew: 20 pounds, 12 ounces, 28 inches long

Kate: 18 pounds, 2 ounces, 26 1/2 inches long

It was time for an official check up with the dr, and we were happy to hear that both babies are officially on the growth chart for their real age in height, weight, and head circumference! Developmentally they haven't quite caught up but they are making great progress, and the doctor is very pleased. I say it all the time but it truly is amazing how far they have come from those tiny fragile babies that they were!

Andrew, you have been changing so fast this past month! You can now roll both ways and you can get to a sitting position from laying down.  Every time I go in to get you you are sitting up in your crib like a big boy.  Also I am writing this post a week late and in the past few days you have started crawling!!!!  Your mom is not ready for you and your sister to be mobile but ready or not here it comes!  You have the biggest, gummy smile.  You and your sister both love bath time and have almost outgrown the baby bath tub.  You have continued to give us a run for a money at bedtime and you have developed a bad habit of waking up WAY too early (as in 5 a.m. some days)

Kate you have been my rock star sleeper lately.  You go down so easily. One night you slept 13 hours- that is unheard of in this house!  Andrew was waking you up with all his crying at bedtime so you have been temporarily moved into the laundry room in a pack n play.  Seems a little unfair but since you are the only girl you will one day get a whole room to yourself while the boys share so it will even out. :)  One of your favorite things to do is eat. You get SO excited about food.  Neither you or Andrew is really into baby food so we have started tiny finger foods and y'all love them.  I wish I could write your favorite foods but honestly you both eat whatever I can find at that moment and you always seem happy with it! I am looking forward to when you both can feed yourselves because meal time is very stressful trying to feed you both at the same time.  One of your latest tricks is saying "bah bah."  You love to say it over and over and the boys get SO excited thinking you are talking lol.

A few other things that have happened this past month:  Both babies recently have developed a lot of mommy attachment which is sweet but very frustrating at times for me.  We have officially cut out all milk in the middle of the night and they are sleeping through the night "sometimes."  They both adore James and Harrison and the big boys do a great job of entertaining them for me.  Still no teeth for either.  We also discovered this past month that neither baby is a fan of the beach or the pool.

For the monthly pictures this month I chose two special outfits. Kate is wearing a dress that my mom got in Nicaragua way before I knew I would ever have a daughter.  Andrew is wearing one of Ryan's first outfits that his grandparents gave him.  I'm a little biased but they both looked so cute to me!

Harrison REALLY wanted his picture taken too

The pictures in the crib with the card didn't go so well this month 

We also forgot to buy cupcakes so a muffin had to fill in. We don't sweat the small stuff these days!!!

Earlier this month a friend's nanny stopped by our house and shared with me her story of her daughter who was born at 25 weeks this past winter and who died after a month in the NICU.  My heart felt so burdened for her. As we talked about various NICU experiences we both had experienced a flood of emotions came over me as I relieved those months and experiences with her.  It is really hard for me to think back to that time in our lives. The reason I even bring this up is that each month on the babies' birthday yes I take pictures and celebrate and feel grateful for where they are today but it is also always a really hard day for me because it is also a reminder of the day they were born and the circumstances that surrounded us. It is hard for me for me to think about the reality that our outcome could have easily been very different and that many babies I have met, even born after ours, fared much worse. The statistics and possible complications that were presented to us when these babies were born were very intimidating and overwhelming.  I will never understand why our babies have done so well while others unfortunately have not but I am so so grateful.  Happy 9 months Andrew and Kate!  You are a daily reminder in this family that miracles still happen, and we love you so so much!  

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Big Brothers

One of the main questions I have been asked since having the babies is "how have James and Harrison adjusted to being big brothers of twins?"   My go-to answer is that one of the benefits of me having a rough pregnancy, bed rest, and then the babies being in the hospital for so long is that when Andrew and Kate finally got home James and Harrison were so thrilled to have some sense of normalcy again that they did not have a huge adjustment period.  There was very little jealousy.  I truly think that everyone in the family was so thrilled to be together and life was so much easier once we were all under one roof that the boys just jumped right into their new roles in the family.   I have been so proud of how they have handled it!  

When your babies are born 11 weeks early you don't have the big brother shirts ready and packed.  There was no hospital picture of the boys holding the babies while meeting them for the first time; it took almost 2 months before all four kids got to even be in the same room at the hospital, 10 weeks till we got to be together for the first time as a family of six.  Well Ryan's mom bought the boys these shirts and one day I thought "I'm going to FINALLY take that big brother picture that I had wanted."  Better late than never!!! :) 

I had to include this one since Kate was smiling!
Best big brothers ever!