Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Official Announcement

Check it off my to-do list!  Announcements have been ordered.  They are actually magnets which I'm excited about. Just something different this time around (and the last time around).
I still, of course, have to write all my thank yous and address envelopes and get these announcements in the mail- but hey- lets take baby steps here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

One of the ways we made our road trip doable was adding a zoo stop!

Saturday morning we hit the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.  It was bigger than we anticipated and not exactly set up in the most practical manner but we had fun and saw some great creatures!  Ben and Laura's family joined us as well which thrilled my boys.  Proud to say Lucas and Landon slept the ENTIRE time and never even encountered a single animal :)

Of course we couldn't get one of the whole group looking. And Pop-pop is taking the picture so he's not in it either.

People are looking to their left because there was a radio station there putting on this big show. Obviously they did a good job getting people's attention!!

One of our favorite exhibits was the butterfly garden. Basically a mini Frederick Meijer Gardens!  Grant, Gina, Grammie, Auntie Laura and myself actually walked through it twice.  No butterflies landed on us (bummer!) but we got to see tons of them fluttering about.

Here are a few pictures of the animals we don't have at JohnBall that we really enjoyed.

Grant loves maps and had to keep a few from our trip.  After we were home he was looking over it and said
"Mom- we really missed a lot of things at this zoo!"
Sadly its true and I'm not sure when/if we'll make it back. Maybe another trip to John Ball is in our future to make up for it!

Some MIGHT call us crazy...

Last week we went on a real adventure.  Some people might actually qualify our adventure as torture... meh.. tomato/tomato.. (does that saying work in text?  You get my drift!).

This year my grandpa turned 80.  He thought it would be a great idea to have a family reunion to celebrate this life milestone. What a good idea! He had been to a family friendly hotel/inn with 3 pools and a family style restaurant a few years prior that he thought would be perfect. What a great idea!  He invited everyone and paid for our room and board and most of our food. What a nice idea!
Book this hotel/inn which is located in Bird in Hand, Pennsylvania.  Which is located in Lancaster. Which is CLEAR on the other side of the state.  And in case you didn't know.. Pennsylvania is a pretty long state.   A 10.5 hour drive to be exact (which of course does not include any gas/potty/food/sanity stops).
(* please note * everyone who went on this trip- outside of my immediate family- lives in New Jersey.  For them it was a 2.5-3 hour trip).

Robb and I went back and forth for MONTHS trying to decide if we would be able to go.  When we first learned about the trip we knew we were pregnant but did not know we were having twins, so we thought we could possibly make it. Yes we would have a newborn but we thought it might be doable.  Then we found out we were having twins and pretty much left our attendance as a big question mark; dependent on if they were born premature and needed lots of medical attention or a long hospital stay, dependent on whether they were good babies or colic-y or cranky, dependent on if we were in the right frame of mind/getting any sleep to attempt this kind of road trip.  Well our twins were born full term, are mostly happy/content babies and Robb and I get enough sleep to function properly.  
There were actually a lot of other factors as to whether or not this trip would be doable for us but in the end- we decided to go.  Along with Granpa, Gramma Alida, Dad, Mom, Uncle Bob, Aunt Gail, Uncle Jim, Aunt Deb, Uncle Jeff, Aunt Kathy, cousins Kristin, Kevin, Ryan, David, Lindsay, Megan, Anna, Scottie, Katie, Tommy, siblings Ben, Laura, Doug, Kate, nieces/nephews Abraham, Abby, Sofi, Austin, Cody, Gina, Kelly, Bryce, Trevor and of course my family Robb, myself, Grant, Tanner, Lucas and Landon.
All in all folks that is 23 adults and 16 kiddos.   We were a pretty impressive crew!

According to my calculations, out of our 96 hour trip- we spent 30 in our van.  To some people this might not seem like that much.  But when you have a family of 2 boys who are ALL BOY and 2 5 week old twins... I repeat- some might consider this torture. 

HOWEVER- PRAISE GOD- it really went quite well.  We strategically planned our stops so we didn't ever have longer than a five hour stretch stuck in the van and we purchased a headrest dvd player for Grant and Tanner.  I even had the older boys make up their own "fun box" - filled to the brim with books, toys, car friendly markers, etc. 
We had a lot of fun catching up with family we don't often get to see, we enjoyed the pools and playground, we loved the breakfast and supper buffet (never had a fresher, doughier, yummier donut in all my life!) and we were thoroughly delighted by the play- JOSEPH at the Sight and Sound Theatre

We are very glad we decided to go and are so thankful for Grampa's life and God's goodness, faithfulness
 and presence in our family.

(picture of the whole gang COMING SOON!!)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Twinkies = One Month

This phase of our lives is probably just best described as crazy. The daily emotions are so conflicting! One minute I love that I have little kids running around, filling our home with happy sounds.

The next minute the sounds become something much less than happy and I'm SO ready for them to older and more independent and POTTY TRAINED and know the difference between right and wrong
 (it is WRONG to throw mud from the sandbox at your little brother's face. It is WRONG to pee on the floor less than one foot away from your little potty. It is RIGHT to be so helpful with your baby brothers, wanting to help carry them and put their pacies back in when they cry. It is RIGHT to apologize -unprompted- when you accidentlly drop a book on mommy's foot).
And the next minute I want everything to slow down because it really all goes way too fast. For example: the twins are already over a month old. I really do love the baby stage when they are completely dependent on you for everything. I love their snuggles and the way they smell, I love their bobbly heads and when their arms flail for no reason.
I want to remember all these little things so that when they are 16 and completely INDEPENDENT- I will have these memories to cherish.

(as of 4 weeks 5 days)
9 pounds 7 ounces
22 inches

 He was SUPPOSED to be having awake time in this photo. He was COMPLETELY out and chillaxed.

9 pounds 3 ounces
21.5 inches

Both boys are SOOO close to smiling. I know they recognize my voice and are working on focusing their eyes on my face. They are generally very content babies. Of course they have their fussy times and gassy times (when mommy eats something they don't like) but they are really good sleepers and we are getting closer and closer to being on a schedule. Their schedule right now consists of sleep, eat, awake time, sleep, eat, awake time (except for at night- skip the awake time please ;)). The are becoming more and more alert during their awake time which is so fun.
They eat every 3 hours during the day. At night we have had stretches up to 6 hours but usually it's 4-4.5. They still sleep in our room in a pack-n-play swaddled and snuggled into boppies.
Still fit into newborn clothes for the most part. Jammies are good but a few onesies (especially the ones that shrunk in the wash) are getting snug. Might have to haul out the 0-3 month clothes and start pilfering those.

Speaking of a schedule.. I'm off to make sure they stay on theirs.

Friday, August 5, 2011

"We are HERE, We are HERE, We are HERE!" The Whos (From Horton Hears a Who)

That's right ladies and gentlemen.
Our miraculous, surprising, beautiful twin boys have arrived. Here is the story:

Saturday morning around 730 am Daddy and Mommy went to Zeeland Community Hospital. Walking into our room was definitely more of a wake up call than the alarm that morning. TWO OF EVERYTHING!! Our room was packed. They even had to take out some of the normal furniture to fit everything. I was hooked up to the pitocin and antibiotic through an IV. Bummer that I was now tied down to the bed for the rest of the day (you REALLY would think hospitals could afford a little bit more comfy beds!). Auntie Laura joined us around noon and brought Daddy some Subway for lunch. I however, was not allowed to eat anything. So I watched and waitied.
The waiting continued for quite some time. Around 2 Dr DeWitt came and broke the water for Lucas. My contractions were fairly strong at this point but rather spaced apart. Now they started picking up as did my pain. The contractions were really high in my ribs which was making it hard for me to get full deep breaths. They called the Anesthesiologist
(who seriuosly was 4 foot NOTHING! Shortest little thing but I soon came to love love love her :)) and around 430pm I was officially epiduraled. Ahhh bliss. It was the best epidural I had (outta 3). Not too strong that it made me pass out/drop my blood pressure, not too strong that I had no idea what was going on in my lower half, but strong enough that I was not in intense pain and was able to rest.
Around 845pm Dr DeWitt came bakc as it was time for these babies to enter the world.
902pm Lucas David was born weighing a WHOPPING 7lbs 5 oz and 20 inches long.
He snuggled on my belly for a few minutes (his cord was rather short so he couldn't reach my chest). We ohhed and ahhed and marveled at his size and how perfect he was. Then Dr DeWitt broke Landon's water. Robb cut the cord for Lucas and he was weighed.
Landon's turn!!
917pm Landon Jonathan was born weighing a WHOPPING 7lbs 4oz and 18 inches long.
We all laughed as he was weighed.. almost exactly the same. I really was hoping for a six pound baby. I don't know why but something in me mentally wanted a "little peanut" (even though they ARE ALL peanuts at birth!!). No such luck. This mama carried almost FIFTEEN POUNDS of baby inside her- making it full term to 37 weeks and 4 days.

I will, admit I say this with pride. Not the kind of pride that I actually had anything to do with it.. but pride in the gift that this is what my body was made to do. God graciously gave me the ability to carry full term healthy, beautiful baby BOYS. I absolutely know what a blessing this is and reflecting on how effortless my pregnancies really were makes me all the more aware and GRATEFUL.

Neither boy needed any special medical attention. We were able to shower them in love and kisses from us, friends and family immediately. We came home Monday afternoon.
Grant and Tanner were in a bit of shock seeing them at home in "their" setting for the first time. They stared and stared.

James 1:17
"Every good and perfect gift is from above."
Lucas and Landon- you ARE good and perfect. I know that things in life will try and change that. Remember that this world is also a good and perfect gift. Love it, care for it, make your imprint on it. We cannot wait to walk with you on this journey.