Our little Bryn is ready for the X Games! She handled her 2 HOUR helmet fitting well, waiting patiently between cuttings, shavings and adjustments (on the helmet, not her head).
we tested it out with some off-roading around the lake (i.e. the paved walking path full of potholes).
She did great with it on, but when we took another ride the next day during her 1-hr/day helmet break, I guess we got a little too crazy, because both girls got KO’ed! Whoops!
Nora’s newest thing is chewing the $h!t out of everything.
We thought she might be cutting teeth, so we asked Bryn to check for us.
Nope, nothin. Along with the chewing has come the disappearance of The Holy Grail of Parenthood–The Sleeping Through the Night.
We don’t want to talk about it.
But as long as we’re talking about it, we’ll tell you this: it sucks. We felt like we hit the jackpot when the girls started sleeping through the night pretty early on, including falling asleep the second we put them in their cribs. Nowadays, we have to strategically stagger bedtimes, locations and white noise volume to allow for Nora to fit in her new bedtime routine, which goes something like this:
-Get last evening bottle. Chew the bejeezus out of the nipple and do very minimal actual eating.
-Let mom and dad read me Goodnight Moon. Look at the pictures, coo at the fun parts, start to look sleepy at the end. Get em’ excited.
-Pretend like I’m gonna go down quietly like I used to–when I was a “baby” (ha! suckas!)
-Wait for them to start eating dinner, then pivot 90 degrees, log roll up and down the length of the crib a few times as a warm up (I am sooo good at log rolling), then either bang my head into the rails or get my foot stuck between the crib and the wall.
-Scream bloody murder until someone comes in to rescue me.
-For an hour.
“Doesn’t this wake up Bryn?” you might ask. Little Miss Bryn, our baby who used to cry during baths, diaper changes and costume changes alike, now sleeps like this:
But because we’re too scared that she might join the demon bedtime club with her sister, we let her fall asleep in a remote, undisclosed location and sneak her back in on the sly once Nora is done with her nightly performance. So far it’s only backfired once, and that was mostly due to premature baby transfer on mom and dad’s part (amateurs! psshh!).
Oh and then Nora wakes up at 3am to eat.
This too shall pass (is what they tell us. But we know they’re lying).
We’re also on to solid foods, and so far bananas and carrots have been a hit, and only half of our furniture and clothes have orange stains on them.
Some other crazy food-related tricks we managed this month were taking our first long-ish road trip and managing to not have to stop and feed. Tandem backseat bottles!
Nick, our Kitchen CEO, has gotten the girls off to an early start with their sous chef training.
Our big exciting event of the month was the Children’s Hospital Star Gala. We were asked to share the girls’ story at the event, the goal of which was to raise $2 million to fund the new Mother Baby Center. On top of it being the fanciest function Nick and I will probably ever go to, it was also the girls’ first big debut in The Great Dirty Public (not including the brunch adventure), and they even got all gussied up for the occasion. The grandparents all got to come, and we got to see all the girls’ former neonatologists from the NICU and show them the big, fat fruits of their labor. Thanks to our parents and their awesome photography skills, we have a bunch of phenomenal blurry photos of the floor, ceiling, and backs of peoples’ heads.
Our biggest health milestone this month was “graduating” from home health care. The girls are so dang healthy that Nurse Mike broke up with us. =( We gave him an inflatable neck pillow as a parting gift so he can (more comfortably) sleep in his car between patients. It was also a subtle suggestion that maybe he wanted to stay a little longer…maybe take a night shift?? Eh, eh??
I mean, how could he say no to these faces?
Hang on to the end of this one. You won’t be sorry.
The minute RSV season (i.e. preemie quarantine season) was officially over on May 1st, you better believe Nick and I celebrated with an adult beverage…then threw the girls in their buckets and drove them to Target. That’s right. Germs. Carts. Little kids everywhere. We also took them to baby storytime at the library, where 30 other kids under 2 tried to share their saliva-laden toys with them. We drew the line before any spit was swapped, but we DID let them breathe the same air. Look how crazy and carefree we are! Weeeeeeeee!
And now, at the time of this posting, an hour after we put the girls down, this is a live shot of our baby monitor:
Someday we will sleep again.
The weeks leading up to the girls’ 8 month birthday have been full of excitement (and excrement–as Nick eloquently illustrated here). We went on our first overnight trip to Rochester to Nick’s parents’ for Easter. Although both of us are vehemently resisting ever purchasing a minivan, we did discuss possibly buying a UHaul. Packing for 2 infants gave us new appreciation for baggage handlers at the airport and those grocery baggers that always remember to put the eggs on top. In our excitement to Get the Hell Outta Dodge, we forgot to get a picture of the madness that was the back of Nick’s Saturn Vue, but here’s a little peek at about 1/10th of the stuff unpacked at our destination.
Grandma had fun dressing up the girls in Easter dresses.
Nora was a little jealous of all the attention Bryn was getting, so she crapped her pants, earning herself her first public bathroom diaper change. Weeeeee!
The girls got a visit from Nelena Rausch, the cah-YUTE 1 month old daughter of Sara’s friend and coworker (yes, the one who abandoned her with a class full of Kindergartners in order to go give birth…but all was forgiven after seeing this beautiful little chubster!). Added bonus: N & B looked like GIANTS in comparison!
The girls have been getting a little more stingy with their smiles. They refuse to smile for cameras,
Yesterday, on their 8 month birthday, the girls made their television debut on the Kare 11 Saturday show to help promote the new Mother Baby Center at Children’s Hospital!
Here is a link to the segment!
It was really fun to see Dr. Bendel-Stenzel with the girls, now that they’re about 8x bigger than when she last saw them. =) She’s quite the lady, and we’re forever grateful to her and the other neonatal physicians at Children’s!
In a few short weeks, the girls will be sharing their story at the Children’s Hospital Star Gala, using their chubby cheeks to entice rich people to open up their wallets for the Mother Baby Center. The event is sold out, but if you’ve got a couple million to spare (or even just a couple bucks =), we can think of no better place for you to put it than here.
Hard to believe it’s been 8 months. Those pictures of tiny raisin babies are starting to look almost foreign to us. Nora and Bryn have come so far. Thank you Children’s, and thank YOU for following our little ladies on this journey!
I’ll close with a picture of baby butts.
It’s hard to believe that our babies will be 8 months old on Saturday (corrected age 5 months).
All of the OT (occupational therapy) PT (physical therapy) that the girls receive (due to their low birth weight ) continues to show that our girls are doing everything and more for their age (corrected age). That being said, as I watch these occupational therapists and physical therapists stretch and prop them in different positions, I often find myself wanting to ask them questions about this so called “normal for their corrected age” kind of statements.
For example in October (when still in the hospital), I remember picking Nora up and carrying her to the tub for a bath. Normal right? But about 3 steps into carrying her, I remember being surprised, no—shocked/horrified–to find that my daughter had just shot red-hot poop into my hands. –Not Normal right? Honestly, if it hadn’t been Nora or Bryn that I was holding, I absolutely would have dropped it. In fact, when I came to my senses and my heart stopped racing, I had to keep looking down at her to make sure that I hadn’t dropped her. She was wide-eyed and smiling. I on the other hand, had no idea what to do. Should I just sit here and wish it away? Should I throw her in the tub and have her bathe in her poop? Is that normal? I don’t know, I am a new Dad. Maybe that’s what you do when your child shits in your hand. By the way, not only was it red-hot, but there was also a lot of it and I could feel it making its way through my fingers, which were pushed together so tight that I began to think I could turn it into diamonds. Or is it coal that turns into diamonds under pressure? Ughhh the pressure to make a decision was at hand.. Literally. Should I hand her off to a nurse and say that I have an appointment to get to? Luckily, Sarge wanted to get a few pictures of this moment, which gave me a few more minutes to make a decision (Sarge, not sure what you’re planning on doing with those pics, but I still want them!). I decided that the most logical idea was to rinse both of us off in the sink. Recently I checked the internet for a “My child just pooed in my hands” device and there is no such thing. Feel free to take that idea and run with it folks. I am not about to patent the idea.
Now the reason I am rehashing this 5 months later is because I was pooped on for the second time just last week. Is this normal? I wanted to ask the OT and PT if that was normal for her age (corrected), but I decided to check the most reliable source for information about what is normal (the internet). Apparently, it is VERY normal for a child to poop in the tub, which by the way, our girls have not done yet. I guess they like to mark their territory, which they clearly have. There are a ton of stories about babies pooping in the tub, but I couldn’t find one story about a child pooping in their father’s hand x 2. You know there’s a saying, “Poop on me once, shame on you, poop on me twice shame on me.” I don’t know what it means if it happens a third time. The only way that I can stop this is to have Sara change all diapers and carry them to the tub every time. Sorry babe, It’s the only way to stop the madness. =)
That being said, there are other questions that I want to ask the PT and OT, like is it normal for their age to only drink their milk if their parents are doing high knees (the ones from the INSANITY workout that Sara and I are doing) while feeding? If that doesn’t work, is it normal to find it necessary to sing insanely stupid songs? Songs which we have made up I might add. The normal songs like twinkle, twinkle do NOT work. Here is a song that I made up that works 87.4% of the time. Sara uses it too, which is a sign that yes it must work. This song is sung to the tune of “Skip, Skip, Skip to my Lou” and it goes a little something like this: Drink, drink, drink the milk. Drink, drink, drink the milk. Drink, drink, drink the milk, cause it’s good for your body. Imagine singing this song over and over for upwards of 40 minutes. It’s just insane. Not as insane as doing the Insanity High Knees, but pretty insane. I wish there were cool songs that worked. There is one song that I try to sing to the girls, and every time I do it, the girls scream louder and Sara finally told me about 2 weeks ago that she absolutely hates it when I sing it. I caught her at a bad time and she clearly had had enough of the song in order to tell me that not only is the song horrible, but that I always sing it out of tune. Ouch. My ego was hurt, but it still doesn’t deter me from trying to sing it in hopes that it will calm them. Sara is now less abashed in expressing her feelings and if her nonverbal feedback was verbal, it would be full of cuss words. I bet you’re wondering about the song huh? Well here it is.
Big girls don’t cry by the Four Seasons.
Dad, was this the “quality” music you were referring to when all I wanted to do was listen to Michael Jackson in early elementary? I cannot believe you wouldn’t let me go to Michael Jackson Skate Night at Skate Country. I’m not letting that one go. I heard it was epic. =)
Anyway, the girls are doing awesome. Sara and I are continually blessed by two amazing little girls. They continue to grow. Bryn is 11 lbs 9oz and Nora is 14 lbs 5oz. They might do a few abnormal things, but then again they have an abnormal father, so can we blame them? We love them with more than we will ever be able to express. We continue to thank God for these miracle babies.
Their story still touches people, so we have been asked to share it again as well as some information about a Gala for The Mother Baby Center, which Sara and I (and the girls!) will be speaking at in April. Belinda Jensen wants us to show them off on her Saturday morning show on KARE11. Watch for us sometime between 8-9am this Saturday. I will do my best not to bring up anything poo related. I’m hoping that she will also give a shout out to Sara’s Grandpa Stan who watches her faithfully. Almost every time I am over to his place for happy hour, he says “That Belinda Jensen is a good looking gal,” and every time he says this to me like it is the first time he has ever said it.
Watch for that and more on Saturday morning.
Here are a few other pictures!
Thank you again for all of your prayers! They continue to be answered.
Much love, Nick
On Saturday mornings, Nick and I usually sleep late, take our time waking up, and enjoy leisurely breakfasts in bed.
Ok, that’s a lie. Our Saturday mornings look like this:
We joked about how funny it would be if we threw caution to the wind and went out for brunch with the girls in tow. I’m not sure who gave the other the “I’m kidding–wait–am I kidding? Are you kidding? Maybe I’m not kidding” look first, but we decided to ask the girls what they thought.
Twenty minutes later, we were loaded into the car, babes passed out in their buckets, half in our pajamas, wild-eyed with the thought of Hot Plate’s pumpkin buckwheat waffles dancing in our heads. We took the responsible route and called ahead (i.e. from the car, like a block away) to ensure we wouldn’t have to wait in their tiny foyer, surrounded by what was sure to be rampant respiratory illness. We rushed the girls to a booth, hovering over their bodies as if we were running through a land mine popping with explosives, with the added protection of their bundle me’s over their faces. Restaurant booths always look so big…until you try to wedge 2 carseats into them. It wasn’t happening. As we tried to body slam their seats onto opposite sides of the booth, the waitress looking concerned (“no really–we’re fine–this is great–JUSTBRINGUSSOMEEFFINGPUMPKINWAFFLESKTHANKS”), a 2 year old with large, cartoon-like, green bacteria crawling all over her nose and hands leaned over from the booth behind us and started to ogle the girls and blow raspberries at them, a fine shower of saliva slowly misting down on their faces. Ok, it might have not happened exactly like that, but we both started to feel a huge wave of parent-guilt for potentially exposing the girls to godknowswhat, all in the name of pumpkin waffles (but they’re sooo good). Luckily, just in the nick of time, a larger booth opened up (out of 2 year old sneeze-range) and we jumped on it. Here we are in all of our unshowered glory, being total rebels in the Great Dirty Public.
Just to be safe, we came home and gave them both baths.
You can look as close as you want, but none of those appendages are Nick’s goods. I promise. Then we thought we’d just make sure our swim suits fit. I mean, summer has GOTTA be just around the corner, right?
Leslie and Paul, don’t ever leave Nick in charge of more than 2 babies. Sorry, Alex.
We knew it had been an overstimulating day when they both fell asleep…like this:
Some other random pics:
Most of you have already seen this by now (along with several members of the clergy we never intended it to reach–thanks dad–OMG). And now Grandma W is lobbying for us to post it ON THE POPE’S FACEBOOK PAGE. Out of respect for the catholic church (and in fear we might end up on Dateline), we’ll probably just keep it right here, tucked safely into our private facebook pages, and now our blog.
For the second time on the internet, we present, A Pair of Pooping Popes.
25-year-old Nora and Bryn–here’s the back story. A new pope was elected in 2013 and he was from Argentina. On the day it was decided he was to be the new pope, you both just happened to have your Argentina onesies from Cousins Nate & Cathy on! Crazy! Mom needed an excuse to skip day 3 of Insanity on account of her hamstrings being broken, so she threw together some very ornate pope hats and got out the camera to document this day in history. You’re welcome.
Snow day, bitcheeessss!! Weeeee!
No, we didn’t make that ourselves–don’t be ridiculous. We are still in our PJs. Thanks, google images. We couldn’t have said it better.
Nick is SARS-masking it today. Booo. My school closed in the wee hours, but Nick was up typing sub plans for an hour before I spotted Eden Prairie Schools scrolling at the bottom of the screen. It’s been a hot minute (or.. a cold one?) since we’ve both had a snow day–we’ll TAKE IT!
This got us reminiscing back to this time a year ago. Let us paint you a picture…
It’s leap day. It’s snowing like a banshee. I get a wild hair and decide to pee on a stick before work. I leave it on the bathroom counter and get in the shower. Five minutes later, I’m yelling at Nick from the shower, threatening him with his life for yanking my chain with his really realistic “OMG you’re pregnant” shtick. Then, upon seeing the 2 pink lines myself, I continue to threaten Nick with his life while looking for the pink sharpie he no doubt has hidden somewhere on his person. Nope–it’s for real. I’m halfway out of the garage and my boss texts–school is closed today. Great–now I have all day to google myself into a paranoid tizzy. I head in for a blood test (let’s make this official) and 3 days later my pregnancy hormone levels have tripled (say whaaat?). Fast forward a few weeks, and Nick and I are exchanging wide-eyed glances in front of an ultrasound screen (we may not know how to read ultrasounds, but we’re fairly certain we see 2 of something in there) and wondering why the ultrasound tech is so quiet.
What? How? What some of you may know, and other may not, is that a few short months before, I was on a different ultrasound table–in the ER–getting the news no newly-pregnant couple wants to hear. Ectopic pregnancy. Ruptured tube. Massive internal bleeding. Emergency surgery necessary. And a few months later–a test–confirming tube irreversibly damaged by scar tissue from surgery. Nonviable. Busted plumbing. We’re really sorry.
But yep–twins. It would have taken awhile for any spontaneous pregnancy to sink in, but TWINS? Were we being punk’d?
Hard to believe this was all a year ago. Some days it feels like it was eons ago, and some days it feels like we blinked and 2 chubby babies showed up on our doorstep (ha–it was a little more complicated than that, lest we forget what happened)…
We’re pretty thankful for this snow day, and the extra few minutes it’s given us to think about that snow day 1 year ago this week. =)
We’re ALSO thankful for the extra time it gave Nick to make THIS today, as he played with iMovie:
We’re also crazy excited that Uncle Phil and Cathy are going to babysit soon! Luckily the girls were on extra cute behavior when they visited a few weeks ago, so they agreed to come back.
Even if the Good Lord didn’t bring you a snow day today, we hope we’ve made your workday go a little faster by monopolizing your computer with Twinschitl posts.
Sara & Nick
Now if that title doesn’t just scream “cute baby,” I don’t know what does. It’s true, though–Nora is now a hefty 13lbs, having gained 11oz in the past 8 days. This is a record for our little cow, who has earned herself the new nickname Chunky Soup. Little Miss Bryn has chosen the slow and steady route, gaining a respectable 5oz this past week, weighing in at 10lbs 5oz. We’re convinced that her thick new comb-over is responsible for at least one of those ounces. Girlfriend is growin’ quite the fro the last couple of weeks! Nora probably has the same amount of hair, but it’s lusciousness is dwarfed by her massive cheeks.
This has made bathtime a lot more fun for mom and dad.
After Chunky Soup’s heavyweight status declaration on Friday, she promptly went on a hunger strike, tricking us into believing she was drinking half her bottles, but actually storing it in her cheeks like a little milky squirrel and then releasing it in an oozing milk volcano 10 minutes later. This did NOT bode well for her stats in the baby tracker app, nearly driving her data-whore mother off the edge.
We usually have only a week between visits with the home health nurse, but since the girls are kickin so much @$$, Nurse Mike said it was time to start weaning the girls (ok–mom and dad) off the comfort of the weekly weigh-ins. So Nora now gets to taunt us with her eating shenanigans for another week before we get to survey the damage. Lil shyster.
Speaking of Nurse Mike, yeah–he’s pretty awesome. Children’s Home Care, if you’re reading this, give this man a raise!
Nora and Bryn especially love Nurse Mike on the weeks they DON’T have to get RSV shots. On shot weeks, they’re not very big fans, but luckily their long term memory hasn’t really developed yet, so Nurse Mike still gets free smiles every time he walks in.
The girls have also been getting visits from Mpls Public Schools occupational therapists and physical therapists, or as N&B like to call them, the ladies who bring free toys.
The fat hairy ladies are usually pretty pooped after their workout sessions, so mom and dad trick them into sleeping in the boppies.
OR we just pass out on the floor in a pile of toys.
In other news, it was mom’s turn for the SARS mask last week. After 3 days back at work, the kindergarten scum infiltrated her mucous membranes, rendering her helpless and snot-rocketing out the driver’s side door at stoplights. Sexy.
Oh and yes–you heard that right. We got TWO kindergarten teachers up in this house! I ended up taking over for our kindergarten teacher who was going on maternity leave upon my return. We had planned a comfortable, week-long overlap to ease the transition for all, she envisioning a leisurely transfer of duties with her eyes on the baby prize, and me, envisioning ample time to grab naps in the staff bathroom my first week back. But wouldn’t you know–after ONE DAY together, she went into labor and threw me to the 5-year-old wolves–alone, scared, and tired beyond what I thought was humanly possible. Amanda, if you’re reading this, I forgive you–but only because Nelena is the 3rd cutest baby on the planet. You’re welcome.
THIS well-rested face, however, is the face of a dad whose babies slept through the night for the first time!
We can’t wait until they do it again someday.
And now, since it’s way past mama’s bedtime (but fingers crossed for a snow day tmw!!), here are some random pics of our 7-month old babes from the last month!
a new cousin on the way! Congrats, Uncle Jop and Aunt Linzr!
So we’re not the organized, pinterest-y parents who manage to wrangle their babes into the cute month-by-month onesies for portraits. Sometimes I feel guilty that we’ve let month “birthdays” go by without even noticing, but I guess the nature of the preemie beast is that you spend so much time celebrating things like no more IVs, first time getting to wear real clothes, getting feeding tubes removed, and finally coming home from the hospital that we let the monthlys slip by. Preemie land also involves a lot of math when it comes to birthdays. If you’ve ever asked us how old our girls are, you probably had to wait for a sec as we looked skyward and counted backwards to August 6th. There’s very few things we use this “age” for. Then there’s adjusted age, which is based on the girls’ due date (Nov 5th!), and drives all of our developmental milestones. As far as Bryn and Nora’s little bodies, brains and sleep patterns (grr) are concerned, they are 3 months old today! But the reality is that, as of tomorrow, our little chickadees will have officially been out of my belly as long as they were in it. Nevermind that it took looking at our baby app to tell me that, as I was checking out Bryn’s weekly poop graph, and noticed that she was going to be 27 weeks old tomorrow, which I guessed meant that Nora was going to be 27 weeks, too. As I was telling Nick about this this morning, both of us in kind of a foggy daze, he just stared at me in amazement. What I thought was amazement at this crazy factoid, however, was actually his reaction to watching me, one by one, take BOTH sets of our morning vitamins right before his very eyes. So 4000 IUs of calcium, a men’s multi, a women’s multi, and 4 fish oils later, it seems I’m still going to be alive to celebrate N&B’s 6 month “actual age” birthday tomorrow. Whew.
Happy 6 month birthday, Bryn & Nora! Sorry about the onesies. Mama loves you. I promise.