The minutiae on our miniatures

10 New Year’s Resolutions I wish my 19 month olds would make

Yeah, it’s March, but if Nora and Bryn end up being anything like their mother, they’ll balk at the cliché-ness of New Year’s resolutions, and refuse to make any in January because they’d be insincere and forced. Then in March they’ll come up with a few changes they’d like to make, and justify making those cliché New Year’s resolutions because they’re not REALLY “New Year’s resolutions” anymore—they’re just commitments they’re making to themselves, and because they didn’t make them when everyone else did in January, they’ll be much more successful at keeping them! Ha! Another mom blogger I love did something similar with her 1 year old, and it got my wheels turnin.’ A little hopin’ and a wishin.’ And yeah, N + B are their own people, blah blah blah, but they get to share all their resolutions this year. Mama didn’t make separate lists. Oh and can you swear in “Mom with a View?” Because in this mom’s view, there tends to be some swearing—just a heads up [note to blog readers--I originally wrote this post for the Minnesota Valley Moms of Multiples newsletter...recycling here so n + b can take note in 18 years!].

1. We will accept that gravity is no longer a novelty. You’ve had your exploration time, ladies. You’re 1 ½ years old. Dropping shit off your high chairs while mom and dad dutifully ignore you (per all the parenting advice) is getting really old. And your pregnant mom is getting worse at nonchalantly picking it all up off the floor. I know you think it’s a funny circus act down there now, but you get it now—if you let go of something in the air, it will fall to the floor. Weeee. Now quit it.

2. We will show our gratitude during diaper changes by not bucking like baby broncos. As far as I see it, you guys have a choice. You could sit in your own waste all day, or you could cooperate, smile and blow kisses at us while we wipe the poo off your asses. I promise you when you’re changing OUR diapers when we’re old and incontinent, we will not act like you are trying to brand our butt cheeks with a red hot branding iron, so a little help here, eh?

3. Likewise, we will recognize that getting strapped into a car seat means FIELD TRIP (read: fun & exciting!) and is not a hostage-taking situation. Remember how it’s winter? And you guys are preemies? And when we’re not quarantined by 2 feet of snow or the polar vortex, we’re quarantined anyway because of all the viruses out there that would cripple your tiny little bodies? Well you’d think the ONE time a week or so that we load up the diaper bag with Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer and take you out of our little South Mpls jail, that you’d pretty much strap yourSELVES into your car seats you’d be so ready for a jailbreak! What’s with the arching and screaming?!

4. We will recognize the difference between weekdays and weekends and adjust our mornings accordingly. Granted, you do stay in your cribs fairly contently until 6:45 or 7am, and we realize that’s pretty good for your age, but maybe you’d want to come quietly cuddle with us in our bed for a little bit after we come get you? Let us chill a little longer on weekend mornings? We’d even consider turning on a cartoon once in awhile, eh, eh? No? You’d rather keep your routine of stepping on our faces to get to all the goodies on our nightstands, dumping glasses of water on cell phones, squeezing mom’s hand lotion everywhere and tearing pages out of magazines? Sigh. Ok.

5. We will stop summoning up Siri on mom’s phone in the presence of others. At one point (pre-kids), mom somehow convinced Siri to address her as “Sexy Bitch” and mom can’t figure out how to undo that. Not only is it pretty embarrassing when Siri says that in front of company (or strangers, really), but mama really doesn’t want one of your first phrases to be “I don’t understand what you mean, sexy bitch.” Thanks.

6. We will temporarily curb our enthusiasm for helping to unload the dishwasher and fold laundry until we are old enough to discern if they are clean or dirty dishes we are unloading, and if it’s clean or dirty laundry we are pulling out of a basket. We’ve been very careful to offer you nothing but praise in these situations, convinced we will someday reap the rewards and you’ll beam with pride as you sort silverware and match up piles socks, confident that you’re the best in the world at these jobs! But for now, maybe just happily bang on the one pot we offer you and do that cute thing where you run around with a pair of mommy’s undies on your head while we do the rest, mmkay?

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7. We will make 2014 the year of the hug-and-kiss greeting. You guys give great hugs and kisses…but you’re pretty damn stingy with them. What do we say this year we shoot for a hug-and-kiss combo when we pull you out of your cribs in the morning, when we get home from work in the afternoons, before bed, and maybe some just-becauses sprinkled in between? Too much? We really do enjoy the aggressive face grabs and push-aways when we go in for hugs and kisses, but maybe we try something a little different this year? Yeah!

And since this year will include the birth of your younger sibling, here are a few resolutions we’re hoping you make in advance.

8. We will continue to be really decent sleepers when BW3 comes (Baby Windschitl #3). Thank you for recognizing that you’ve had your middle-of-the-night time with mom and dad and now it’s time to respect your baby sib’s nighttime attention needs. We hesitate to tell you this, but nothing scares us more than 3 babies awake at the same time anytime between the hours of 10pm and 6am. So thanks for being awesome. In advance.

9. We will DEFINITELY stay in our cribs until the end of 2014, but most likely until we’re 4 or 5 years old. Yeah, we know it’s inevitable you’ll probably launch yourselves out of them at some point, but I’m almost certain that the day one of my offspring is able to WALK OUT OF HER ROOM in the morning and WALK INTO MINE, pretty much deciding what time our day starts, is the day all my hair turns gray. At once. We could come up with something really cool… like bunk bed cribs! It would be so fun! Whaddya say!?

1o. We will teach BW3 only the cutest of our habits: how to “read” books aloud using different voices just like daddy, splash and roar like wild animals in the tub, sign “more, please” when mom or dad give us a bite of their food, and play peek-a-boo using our own feet. Just pass it down, ladies. You got this.

Love,

Sexy Bitch (aka Mom)

Happy half-birthday N + B!

I always thought it was weird that parents talked about their babies’/toddlers’ ages in terms of months for so long. Seventeen months? Um, can’t you just call it 1 and a half? Close enough. But I get it now. Yeah, babies change a lot from month to month, and there is a big difference between a 15 month old and an 18 month old, but honestly, I think I speak for all parents when I say that the age-in-months thing is more to emphasize how many months you’ve been able to keep a baby (or babies) alive. “Eighteen months” sounds a lot longer than “a year and a half.” EIGHTEEN MONTHS. Eighteen! That’s a lot of months.

But poor BW3…

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And here we are. N + B are a year and a half, eighteen months..whichever one sounds more badass to you–go with that one. Granted, I started writing this post when they were 18 mos…we are now 4 days away from 19 months. Such is life.

We’ll start with the stats.

At their 18 month check up, the ped couldn’t have been happier with their development. Bryn dropped off the growth curve for weight a little after her little stint with RSV, which was to be expected, so the current gap between her and her sister is now almost 4lbs! So I guess technically she only weighs 80% of what her sister does–crazy. She’s currently hanging out at the 1st percentile for weight, but little peanut is back to shoveling in the grub like a linebacker, so we expect that she’ll make a comeback here any day now.

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Also, both girls are overachievers in the head circumference category. Nora was in the 75th percentile. Whoa, nelly.

Doctor visits are getting more interesting now that the girls are mobile and INTO EVERYTHING, and trying to keep them corralled onto one small exam table for an hour+ is literally like herding cats. I gotta give it to these peds offices though–they keep it pretty bare in there–no clinical supplies laying around, everything’s pretty much nailed down, and there isn’t even a blood pressure cuff or ear scope thing hooked to the wall. Smart people. But never underestimate the creativity of toddlers in a prison cell. Between the nurse leaving and the doc coming in (and pretty much continuing throughout the doc’s exam–they are not shy), our little cats were licking bacteria-laden walls, pulling all the tissues out of the box, tearing the tissue paper on the exam table to shreds, throwing snacks all over the floor… Either nothing surprises our doc anymore, or she did a great job feigning non-judgement, because she barely batted an eye when she walked into our little 8×10′ disaster cell. She just crunched right over all the puffs and did her thing.

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On the eating front, the girls continue to be pretty much game for anything, following in their father’s footsteps. Thank goodness they don’t eat like her mother when she was a baby (which Grama and Grampa never stop reminding us about). But in an expected twist of karma, they only eat well for mom on occasion, but double-fist food into their pie-hole whenever dad or the nanny feeds them. Well played, ladies.

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Yep, that’s a ball of kale and spinach.

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To our delight, the girls have been pretty portable when it comes to eating out lately. In our last 5 restaurant experiences with the girls in tow, only once did we have to ask the waitress to box up everything before we even started eating so we could make a quick escape with our miniature terrorists. We’re gonna call that a win. Here are some shots from our more successful outings.

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For some reason Bryn decided she would ONLY eat this meal with an adult-sized fork.

Speaking of dancing, have we told you about the girls’ obsession with music? They take it VERY seriously, and whenever a song comes on, they drop everything, and (usually with very straight faces) dutifully start rocking out, which for Bryn means busting out her signature move–The Chicken Wing. (Note: lots of bonus Nick footage in the next 2 videos–sweaty Nick, Nick in tube socks, huge-hole-in-my-boxer-pants Nick… eat your hearts out!)

It’s gotten so extreme, that waiting between songs on the radio has at times resulted in mini tantrums.

If you’re reading this from anywhere in the continental United States, we probably don’t have to tell you that this winter has SUCKED. Yeah, we’ve been pretty much quarantined anyway because of the flu season+preemie combo, but in our general anger toward winter 2014, we feel a responsibility to place at least some of the blame on this sh*tty weather. So the few times  we’ve taken the girls out into the GDP (great dirty public), we’ve felt a little extra rebellious, like we’re giving old man winter the bird (while we frantically clorox wipe anything the girls might touch…our apologies if we clorox-wiped your kids).

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Last month, this lucky mama got to go on a girls’ spa weekend trip with her BFFs in New York. It was nothing short of ahhhmaaazing, and while I would have liked to think that things were falling apart without me at home, rather the opposite was true, and the girls were well fed, bathed, and entertained by Super Dad Nick. Grandma and Grandpa W even came up to witness the single-dad magic (and get some twin time).


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Here are some other randoms from the last [insert amount of time since last post here]:

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Transitioning from 2 naps to 1 has meant some really sleepy lunches

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The iPhone obsession continues. “She’ll never find me in here…”

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Cheers,

Sara

PS–Little update on BW3: Little babe is doing everything he/she is supposed to be doing, including constant backflips and karate chops, and so far hasn’t thrown us any curves! Tomorrow is our 24 week ultrasound and check up, and our doc has told us she’s cutting us off from ultrasounds after this one. Say what?! This is super weird for us, considering we got used to almost weekly ultrasounds with the girls. Oh well. No more paparazzi for you, b-dubs. We’ll see you on the outside! (Preferably on or around June 23rd–thanks).

9 Ways Pinterest has saved us from Polar Vortex Quarantine Hell

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potato flakes

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Bryn makes a visit back to her alma mater

This almost seems like old news now, but mandatory that we document it here for little Miss Bryn.

A few weeks ago, both girls came down with a cold. Nora started off the fun with a few days’ worth of fevers and crusty boogs. Bryn followed shortly after and a visit to the ped revealed double cases of RSV. Now if you recall, a year ago, our trusty home health nurse, Nurse Mike, was still coming for weekly weigh-ins for the girls, and every month was giving each of them a $1,500 shot to help prevent them from getting RSV. Yep–that’s right. It was so important that they didn’t get RSV, that our insurance forked over roughly $15,000 in preventative injections last year. This RSV season, however, insurance decided to play a little RSV roulette with n + b and denied coverage since they’re not tiny preemies anymore and didn’t have any other complicating lung or heart conditions. Well, joke’s on you, Blue Cross Blue Shield. Have fun with that hospital bill you’ll be getting from Children’s!

Yep, little Bryn landed back at her alma mater with her RSV. =( After a couple really lethargic days,

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her breathing became a little too rapid for our liking, and our ped sent us to the ER. We thought we’d get some oxygen, fluids, and maybe a couple nebs and be on our way, but 4 days later we were still residents at Chateau Children’s. Get ready for some sad, sad pics, folks–most pitiful little face you’ll ever see.

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Waiting in the ER

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The hospital was so full of flu and RSV, we couldn’t get admitted for almost 8 hours. Long day in the ER!

Little comparison shot: now vs 17 months ago.

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After a couple days of fluids, saline nebs and deep suctioning (not fun–mom and dad always left the room for this), little mouse started to get some of her spunk back. Photo Jan 13, 11 09 49 AM Photo Jan 13, 10 41 13 AM IMG_7109

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“Whatcha doin, Dad? Making sub plans again?” Yes, Bryn, we are… for the 4th. Day. Straight.

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Let’s blow this popsicle stand

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I could make it a lot farther without this O2 monitor.

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Finally, on Day 5 (which, for the record seemed longer than the 98 days we were at Children’s the first time!), we got sprung! While waiting to be discharged, Nurse Margo saw the crazy in my eyes and gave us the green light (ok it might have been more of a wink and then turning a blind eye) to sneak out on a wagon ride around the hospital. We were both giddy with excitement. Photo Jan 16, 10 18 04 AM Photo Jan 16, 10 15 39 AM

We couldn’t really go back into the NICU to visit our old stomping grounds, so we headed over to the new Mother Baby Center, where all my old antepartum nurses were now conveniently located right in Children’s Hospital! It was so crazy to introduce Bryn to them “on the outside,” since they all spent 5 weeks chasing spastic n + b around my giant belly 2 times a day with fetal monitors.IMG_1201

Lana, Kristy and the gang just all happened to be working that day–jackpot! Bryn turned on the charm and immediately gave them an unsolicited round of applause. Atta girl. Photo Jan 16, 10 34 13 AMMeanwhile, everyone was curious how things were going on the home front–did Nora miss Bryn? Was she sulking around without her other half? Oh hells no. Girlfriend was living it up–happiest she’d ever been. She had full attention from the nanny during the day, and whichever one of us was home with her at night, and grandma and grandpa W even came up for a couple days to dote on her (and help take care of mom and dad!). We’d facetime her into the hospital, hoping that she’d give Bryn some screen kisses or SOMETHING, but she was usually too busy playing with Bryn’s stuff to care about seeing her on the phone. We were sure the homecoming would be something more of a kodak moment–maybe she just needed to see Bryn in person. Mmm…not so much. She immediately toddled over to Bryn in her carseat, but the minute we unstrapped her, Nora was pretty irritated she had to start sharing her world again. Sigh.

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The good news is, that almost immediately upon return home, Bryn was back to her feisty little self (albeit a pound and a half lighter :/.  She even started eating and drinking again, which she kind of took a hiatus from in the hospital, and what probably kept us there an extra day (flashbacks to NICU days once again!). We didn’t even have to go home with a neb machine–woot woot!

So, thanks for the excitement, Bryn, but we’re good without another (inpatient) visit to Children’s for awhile (or forever). We love you, Children’s, but we don’t miss you…you know what we mean, right?

xoxo

Sara

Merry Christmas…and that time I got trapped in the shower

Huh? What’s that?  That’s the sound of regular music in the house again and NOT Justin Bieber’s Christmas station on Pandora! Yes, the holidays are behind us.  It really was a fantastic Christmas. Sara and I flew down to Rochester with the girls in no time. No, we didn’t FLY down there; we learned our lesson with that, but we did make it there down there quickly and didn’t experience any PTSD. :)  Upon arrival the girls were immediately spoiled and ended up getting way too many presents that they won’t remember.

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This is the best family picture in front of the tree we could get

Sara and I decided to give them a few presents that we know they would enjoy; like this book shelf of books I wrapped up, which they will love pulling books off of.  

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We also gave them this hole in the floor, IMG_5001

my belly button, and Sara’s dirty underwear, all of which they have become quite fond of.  In fact, if we took these said items away from them, they would immediately throw a tantrum.

It’s crazy to think about how far they have come, how their likes and dislikes, sleeping patterns, foods, etc, have changed.  All different since last year. This Christmas we once again had a lot to be thankful for.  Not only the celebration of the birth of Jesus, but a year of immense growth.   I remember last year about this time, they couldn’t hold up their heads.  Now they are walking around the house and playing tag.  Don’t get me wrong, these girls now present new challenges and yes sometimes we feel like leaving them with Jesus for a bit to take a break. Jesus is a great sitter and He comes highly recommended by God.  Parents, don’t pretend as though you don’t leave your children with Jesus whenever you take a shower, use the bathroom, make lunch or take the trash out. Yes, I probably leave them with Jesus more than most, but I also have irritable bowels, so there.  Okay that was TMI, but we all need those breaks and those breaks are the “excusable” ones, which I take advantage of when times get really tough or my stomach feels weird.

When I think about some of those times when I left them with Jesus, I feel pretty lucky that He was there.  Did I wish that He was there that time I was trapped inside of the shower? Yes, but that wouldn’t make for a good story.

It was one day when the girls were about 7 months old, and I decided that I needed to take a shower.  Sara was out grocery shopping, so I put Bryn and Nora on the floor of the bathroom with some toys while I jumped in.  Shortly after that, both of the girls climbed up the swinging glass door.

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and didn’t know how to squat back down. They were trapped with no escape just as I was.  I could open the door enough to get out, which would push them backward onto their heads, or come up with a better idea.  I remember saying a quiet and naked prayer on the floor of the shower. Before I got in the shower I should have realized that this would be a problem, but new parents are dumb and I am no exception.  FYI, all logical thinking ended shortly after the girls’ birth (see last blog post where we disclose the fact that we are having another child).  Anyway, there I was naked as a… jailbird, cowboy or any other noun that you can think of.  I honestly couldn’t think of the naked cowboy and so I searched “naked.”  I am naive and thought that guy playing the guitar on the streets of NY would immediately appear.  Uhh, let me assure you that that didn’t appear. Anyway, I tried to open the door slowly, but that just made them freak out even more.  They knew that the more I pushed the door open the closer they were to going straight backward.  I stood there and tried to show them what to do.  Imagine a 35 year old man trying to teach a 7-month-old to sit down for the first time.  Yes, dumb, but what else could I do?! Yep, scream.  For the next 10-15 minutes I screamed with my children for Mom who was not there, but who I was convinced was just entering the house because I heard noises.  Sara did finally come home and rescued all three of us from our predicament, with a well-deserved “seriously?” look. Let this be a learning experience for all of you out there.

Anyway, back to Christmas. Here are some more pics from our last few weeks.

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So excited to meet Santa

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IMG_6856IMG_6849IMG_6871God is good and I am so blessed that He sent his only son so that we could live through Him and experience all of the good, bad and just plain naked ugly.  I hope that you experienced God’s love during this season!

Much love!

Nick

 

 

Big News!

The girls are ambulatory! Bipeds. Upright. Real humans. Ok, we know they’ve been real humans for awhile now, but walking definitely makes a baby more human, wouldn’t you agree? It’s no secret that Nick and I have never really been “baby” people (Nick is reading over my shoulder right now cringing–says he’s adding a rebuttal below). We endearingly refer to those early months as “The Blob Stage.” In the last few months we’ve really started to LIKE our girls. We can hear you gasping and grabbing your chest–I know–it sounds like we’re saying we haven’t liked them up until now. Don’t be so dramatic. Of course we’ve LOVED them since they were tiny little NICU nuggets, but we’re not afraid to say that we found it hard to “like” The Blob Stage. I think a lot of people are lying when they say they enjoyed taking care of their infants. Diapers, feeds, sleep, no sleep, lying there… call us selfish, but we like to be entertained. And lately, the girls are downright entertaining! I mean, how is this not entertaining–they’re like tiny little drunk people!

Bryn is definitely walking better than this, but we haven’t gotten any other good footage. #2ndchildproblems

Whoa, whoa, whoa… Sara, you are my perfect match, but we’re about to have our first blog fight.  I’ve gotta say that we ARE baby people.  You’re not saying much when you say that we don’t like poopy diapers or screaming babies, BUT during those first few months we did love those moments when they fell asleep in our arms.  Our favorite moments wouldn’t mean as much if they weren’t screaming their guts out 5 minutes prior to melting in our arms.  Those poopy diapers wouldn’t….. Okay I’ve got nothing for that.  That pretty much stinks..  Pun intended.  Lack of sleep, yeah that’s no good either, but when we made it past that stage we realized that we can do this!  We felt accomplished to know that we could function on just a few hours of sleep and do it well.  I LOVE feeling n’sync with you while each of us provides time for the other to take a break from the babies.  Baby, bye, bye, bye!

We didn’t drop a baby during the night or accidentally suffocate one of them because we put them in bed with us.  We are “Baby people” by default because we survived and we loved.  We LOVED so much about that stage!  That being said it’s easy to bury those memories  beneath the really horrible things like lack of sleep.  I mean, people have babies, even twins and then have another one shortly after that.  People do crazy things like this because the mind allows people to flush their memories.  This is harder for us because we have documented all of it.  Maybe we should just delete the last year?  Nope, it’s my Red Badge of Courage.

Well, kumbaya, Nick. I see the baby-nesia has gotten the best of you. And it seems like a good segway to tell everyone that it’s PROBABLY for the best, because we caught Nora reading this a few weeks ago:

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Needless to say, it freaked us out a little, and long story short, here’s our Christmas card:

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Now, to answer your questions:

1. No, it wasn’t (completely) an oops. We always envisioned a 3rd nugget…at some point (!)

2. Yes, it’s definitely just one this time. I damn near gave MYSELF the ultrasound to confirm.

3. No, we’re not finding out the gender. If it comes out with a penis however, it will be wearing a LOT of girl clothes.

4. Yes, we realize we will need a larger vehicle. And a larger house. And a lot more booze than we currently have in our home. But we’re in denial about the first 2 things for the time being.

5. Why yes, you can take the girls for a week sometime this summer! We’ll be setting up a sign up sheet soon.

What’s that? You have more questions? WELL JOIN THE CLUB, BECAUSE SO DO WE!

But here’s what we do know: So far this pregnancy seems fairly uneventful, and besides being on the verge of tossing my cookies daily (small potatoes in comparison to all the complications last go round!), the 800 ultrasounds and prenatal checkups I’ve had all show that nugget #3 is planning to stay put a little longer than his/her older sisters. As a precaution, I’ll have another cerclage placed (if you’d like to take a little walk down memory lane, here’s a flashback to my first experience with this lovely procedure). Here’s what else we know. Since my little stint on bed rest a year and a half ago, the PDAU (Pregnancy Doctors’ Association of the Universe…ok clearly I made that up, but only to emphasize that it’s a REALLY important/smart group of doctors) has released new research that shows that bed rest does NOTHING to prevent preterm labor. Meaning, if your baby’s gonna come early, he’s gonna come early, and if he’s gonna stay in, he’s gonna stay in. Hanging upside down by your toes will not buy you time. SO, my nightmares of being sentenced to bed rest again, but this time while Nick’s working AND having to single handedly keep 2 other small humans alive, ultimately suffering a mental/physical breakdown and leaving me, are no longer haunting me! If all goes according to plan, I will be chasing around two 21-month-olds with a giant 40-week-old baby in my belly! That sounds amazing!

Despite common belief, the above news hasn’t stopped us from doin’ our thang, keepin on keepin on, etc, etc. Here are some other recent happenings.

The girls were recently initiated into the annual “Windschitl Extended Family Christmas Gathering,” which meant cousin Cathy teaching them how to drink wine the classy way.

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And also meant we never had to hold them the entire day thanks to all the little minion cousins!

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At one point, we went upstairs to find n + b in the middle of what seemed to be a rainbow loom sweatshop staffed by 7-10 year olds, their arms covered in their masterpieces from wrists to shoulders. We always hoped they’d learn a useful trade early on…

The girls continue to look like they’ve killed a wild animal with their faces after most meals.

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My 3rd cousin, Natalie, here as a high school exchange student from Norway, came and entertained the girls with some Norwegian Peekaboo. They thought their 3rd-cousin-once-removed was the coolest!

Our regular old American peekaboo is getting more and more interesting, too.

Tomorrow we head down to Rochester for immediate-family-Windschitl Christmas (it’s a Skype year for Hansen family Christmas!). We hope wherever Christmas takes you this year that you are surrounded by family, love, and only as many babies as you can handle. =)

Merry Christmas!

Cheers,

Sara

The 5 Stages of Traveling with Twins

As some of you know, we recently undertook the exciting adventure of air travel with our 16 month old twins. Nick and I are no strangers to flying. Not being a MN native, my family and friends are spread out all over the county, so we’ve hopped many a flight, footloose and fancy free with everything we’ve needed neatly packed away in rolling carry-ons. We’ve been known to cut it pretty close to departure time getting to the airport, belly up to the bar pre-flight, and paper-rock-scissors it for who gets the window seat. And if you’re facebook friends with Nick, you probably know how the rest of the flight goes. If you’re not, here’s a little flashback to our 2011 Christmas card:

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We were just CrAzY.

We’re not naive, however. We knew flying with babies would be different. What we didn’t expect was the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder we would suffer for weeks after the experience. Every time we sat down to attempt a written account of the event for the girls’ blog, we’d break out in a cold sweat and start having flashbacks. So 3 weeks later, we’ve decided it’s time to just do it. Hell, there could be other twin parents out there getting ready to fly somewhere for the holidays. They MUST KNOW THE TRUTH! WE HAVE TO PREPARE THEM!

As part of our responsibility to the Twin World, we’ve identified 5 stages of Traveling with Twins, which we will share with you here and now.

Stage 1: Preparation

Ha! We already have you fooled with Stage 1. It’s a trick! There is little you can do to fully prepare for the experience of flying with 16 month olds. Our preparation started months before, when we started waking up from nightmares about entire plane-fuls of passengers leaning over their seats and giving us stink eyes as N & B kicked seat backs, tried to play peekaboo incessantly with unwilling row-mates, and flicked puffs into people’s hair. After several brainstorming sessions, we came up with a goody bag idea that would hopefully start off the flight on a lighter note, or maybe even garner some sympathy?? Who hasn’t walked onto a plane, seen a little kid/baby sitting within a 10 foot radius and instantly started dreading the next 3 hours? But if someone handed you a bag full of chocolate, could you really be mad?

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Goody bags, done (oh, and we had extra special goody bags for the flight attendants). Next step was packing. We had lists, we had packing apps, we had piles all over the house. We kept having to remind ourselves that there were stores in Tucson. Since our carry-ons were now 2 babies, we actually had to *gasp* CHECK bags. We did each carry a backpack, strategically packed with battle gear: sanitation supplies at the ready for hosing down every surface a child could possibly touch, lick or chew (you’d be surprised what this includes), food–LOTS of food. Favorite foods. Easy foods. Not-too-messy foods. Entertainment supplies packed in order of L.O.D. (level of desperation): simple toys first–wrapped in tissue paper for extended enjoyment, all the way down to iPads–i.e. last resort–at the bottom.  We won’t tell you how quickly the iPads came out. But lest we get ahead of ourselves, we’ll share this adorable pic of babies “helping” pack. At this point, it seems impossible that this trip could be anything but a joyous jaunt at 35,000 feet with strangers ooh-ing and ahh-ing over our cute, well-behaved girls.  Amiright??IMG_6623

Stage 2: The Airport

Remember when you used to hop a cab to the airport? Or ask a friend to drive you? Well try and logisticate your airport drop off now that there are 4 of you, and half of that foursome has to be strapped into car seats that have to be attached to car seat bases, that have to be attached to the seat of the car. So that pretty much narrows down your choice of airport transfer vehicles to your twin friends’ vans/full cab pick-ups. Oh, and tack on an extra 45 minutes just to schlep your shit into said vehicle (small humans included) and bungee your massive double stroller down to the bed of the truck. Luckily, we could just freeload off of the twin carseats that were already installed in our neighbors’ truck (score!), so we didn’t have to install carseats and then uninstall them upon airport arrival.

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neighbor airport

My twin mom underground information feed (i.e. my Moms of Multiples Facebook group) clued me into the family security line at MSP. This little hidden gem definitely saved us an hour’s worth of hell. Every other line was wrapped around itself 13 times with lane ropes; Thanksgiving Traveler Cattle being corralled into the terminal, stripped down to their underwear, liquid bags in hand. NOT OUR HERD! Nope–we wheeled our baby calves right down to the family line, got to LEAVE OUR CLOTHES, BELTS, SHOES, ETC on, and DIDN’T HAVE TO REMOVE OUR LIQUIDS. It was a dream. Except for the part where we had to take the girls out of the stroller (which they love) and then put them back in 30 seconds later (which they HATE). That little scream-fest should have tipped off the poor, unsuspecting Delta employees that we were about to bring 2 little human shit bombs onto the aircraft.

IMG_6642Stage 3: Pre-Flight Drinking

Yeah, we have babies now, but we weren’t about to give up our airport tradition. We bellied up to the bar (ok…it was a booth with 2 high chairs this time), and dutifully ordered bloodies (seeing as how it was before noon…we’re not total alcoholics, you know). Nora was really excited and ordered Nick “The Weekender” bloody Mary, because she read that it came loaded with snacks.

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bloody mary

Stage 3: Boarding the Aircraft (aka The Jetway to Hell)

This is when you’ll be glad you had that pre-flight drink. Because the reality that you’re about to be locked into a giant metal tube with your babies on your lap for 3.5 hours along with 200 other people in VERY close quarters, 7 miles above the earth, is starting to sink in. You also are remembering that your babies HATE sitting in laps (which they’ll be forced to do) and LOVE crawling around and exploring (which they will not be able to do). That, and you’re running a man-to-man defense. No extra hands. It’s also at this point that you start to rethink your feelings about your babes gettin the ol’ “bennie” treatment (drug our children when they’re not sick? we would nev…er….?). You desperately grab your backpack, making sure your liquids bag with the baby Benedryl didn’t get left at the security checkpoint. Whew. It’s still an option. But wait! They’re getting sleepy. It’s a LITTLE early for nap time…this could be bad…but hey–maybe you’ll get lucky and they’ll just sleep the whole way! I mean, they ARE their mother’s daughters, right!?

IMG_6646No such luck. You hand off your double stroller to be thrown beneath the plane (i.e. they pry it from your death grip). Both girls are awake, and have found all the AWESOME reading material in the seat back pocket! This should be at least 30 mins of entertainment!

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What can I get you from Sky Mall?

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Safety first, dad–put your oxygen mask on first before helping with mine. Says it right here.

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You give the flight attendants their gifts; they fall in love with you. You pass out your passenger goody bags, people give you sweet smiles and assure you that nothing could make them hate your children. They are SO cute. the plane begins to taxi. There is no turning back.

Stage 4: The Flight

The reading material lasted 2 minutes, then all hell broke loose. We gave them snacks at take off to help with the ear popping thing. We gave them bottles. We gave them toys. But it seemed like they left their sweetness on the ground. There are no rules at 35,000 feet when it comes to babies I guess. N & B have never been overly fussy babies–they’ve always been easily distractable during mini-tantrums. A raspberry on their belly can pull them out of a tizzy in seconds. But this was a new breed of crazy. We had no strategies for dealing with this. Arching. Screaming. Purple-faced screaming. Biting. Flailing. Clawing to get down to the ground. Grabbing the faces/scarves/reading material of neighboring passengers. Throwing anything we tried to give them. Since we now had an “in” with the flight attendants, they let us walk around the kitchen area with them. This worked for awhile, then Bryn got pissed when we wouldn’t let her grab the hot coffee pot and fling it at the wall. The INJUSTICE! More screams. We only had one weapon left in our arsenal. Yep, the girls had to get “bennied” midflight. Really it was for their own safety (or maybe it was for our own safety??). Ten minutes later, our bearcats were passed out in our arms. We both cried tears of relief/joy/disbelief. And then Nick flagged down a flight attendant, ordered, and shotgunned a beer. I, however, was afraid to move, so I sat, frozen, having to pee, for the next hour, holding my sleeping bearcat.

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Pregnant seat mate is reconsidering going through with it.

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Yes, I am sweating.

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Little background on the family history of Benedryl reactions: I was once attacked by red ants at my parents’ house in Florida. It was Christmas Eve. I wanted to scratch my flesh off. Not wanting to miss Christmas Eve Mass with the fam, I popped a Benedryl, and off we went. The next couple hours are fuzzy, but I remember wondering why it was raining inside and how strange it was that the acolyte’s hair was on fire. I’m also told that when everyone else went up for communion, I opted to lie down in the pew and catch a few winks. The last time Nick took Benedryl, he couldn’t feel his face for 8 hours and kept asking people to slap him. In light of these reactions, we totally intended to test drive the Benedryl on the girls before the trip. But shit got busy. We forgot. After the flight to AZ, we felt like we were in the clear as far as the girls’ (non)reaction went. The flight home…different story. Being ever the wiser, we started out our return flight with the baby bennie. This time, however, it made the girls OUTRAGEOUSLY tired, BUT unable to fall asleep. Say WHAT? So now we had crabby, scream-y, flailing, etc babies who were ALSO tired out of their minds and had not napped all day?? Add some turbulence to this steaming hot pot of awesome, and now we were ordered to stay in our seats–no aisle/kitchen walking allowed. *sob*

Stage 5: Arrival

Best. Part. Ever. The end.

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The 75 degree sunshine got a smile out of mom.

The peanut butter and jelly of the trip (between the 2 slices of flight disaster) was glorious. We finally got to meet my chubby little nephew, Parker Roy, in person!

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And quickly tricked my brother and Lindsay into a baby swap. IMG_4732But it was gassy little Parker who had the last laugh, tricking Auntie Deety into the best Korean massage ever.

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“She thinks she’s burping me.”

There was warm weather, beautiful mountains, amazing sunsets, revitalizing hikes, injury-free turkey frying:

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All 3 parties walked away with their eyebrows

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Lots of cousin lovin (which started out mostly as face poking and fat roll grabbing, but eventually morphed into sweet, naptime head-petting).

IMG_6692And there was even a bar within walking distance for Nick when I passed out at 9pm every night!
IMG_4757Grama and Grampa were in hog heaven with all the grandbabies, and we even got to SLEEP IN every morning while they got up with the girls. Best. Thanksgiving. Ever!

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Bryn and Uncle Joppy


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So the moral of this story is, if you’re about to haul your twins onto an airplane, there’s nothing you can do to fully prepare. Nor can you predict how your babes will behave in flight. The only thing you can truly do to make your experience awesome is make sure the peanut butter and jelly is REALLY good. Sunny destination good. Sleep in good. Family good.

xoxo

Sara & Nick


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