The minutiae on our miniatures

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

 

 

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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).

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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

1 year (adjusted)!

So our girls turned 12months adjusted age a few weeks ago! This is exciting on many levels, but the coolest part is that they’re no longer compared to kids 3 months younger than them on the growth charts. That’s right. They’re rollin with the BIG KIDS now. Compared to other 15 month-olds, Nora is now kickin ass and takin names at the 25 percentile, and Bryn is kickin exactly 3 percent of those 15 month olds’ asses. We’ll take it, baby girl!

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Hitting the one-year-from-when-they-were-supposed-to-be-born mark also meant their first annual NICU follow up appointment. When we walked into the testing room and saw 2 little tables and 2 little chairs, Nick and I just about busted a gut–did they really expect them to SIT in CHAIRS at TABLES and take TESTS?? Bahahaha. Our visions of Bryn playing endless table-peekaboo and Nora trying to flip the chairs over like a mini WWE wrestler were quickly silenced by…. our 2 babies sitting at the tables and taking tests for 30 minutes–like tiny little grown-ups. There might be nothing cuter.

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After that magical 30 minutes, not surprisingly, Nora went rogue with the testing materials. She even yanked her socks off first as if to give us all fair warning (or maybe because she wanted better traction for her stunts).

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We tried to get Bryn some extra points by showing the therapists this video, but no dice:

Both girls checked out at about 12 months in all their developmental areas (fine & gross motor, language, cognition, ability to exhaust their parents, etc), which was amazing news, and we are humbly aware that not all preemies are as fortunate. We were super surprised after the testing to have The Famous Dr. Hoekstra, Children’s Neonatal Physician extraordinaire, evaluate the girls.

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Thankfully, our girls were never “critical” enough during their NICU stay to warrant a visit from Dr. Hoekstra, but after spending 3 months there, we had heard his legendary name a few hundred times and seen pictures of his tiny NICU patients and their accompanying (healthy!) senior photos lining the long hallway we walked daily to go see the girls. He also wrote this amazing book,

that completely changed our view of the preemie world and the medical professionals who care for these tiny humans. How often is it that a doctor walks into your exam room and starts off by telling you that your children’s great health and development is a testament to the power of God’s love, even though he’s dedicated his life to doctoring sick babies, and probably ALL of his patients’ families consider him a miracle worker? Huge chunks of this blog are dedicated to extolling the virtues of the NICU and the doctors and nurses who cared for our tiny nuggets outside the womb, when they should have been inside it for 3 more months. But Dr. H never once mentioned any of this during our leisurely, warm, not-at-all-like-a-doctor’s-appointment, appointment. He talked about how excited he was to finally meet the girls, made “famous” amongst the neonatologists from their appearance at the Star Gala, asked if we would take HIS picture with HIS iPhone holding Nora and Bryn, and said he couldn’t wait to see them again in a year. He showed us pictures of a wedding he recently went to of one of his NICU patients who was born at 24 weeks (25 years ago!) and talked about his son who’s a teacher like us, and how he has so much respect for teachers. I’m sure he doesn’t have a lot of play time to keep up with patient blogs, but we’ll go ahead and apologize for this not-so-awesome picture we’re posting of him here–I used all my good iPhone photographer talent on the one I took with his phone I guess–gah!

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We also got to celebrate the girls’ second Halloween this year. Their first one was a little different than this one, so we were really excited to get them dressed up (and Nick was really excited to eat all their candy). Grandma W hooked them up with some practice costumes that they wore to the Halloween Parade at the Mall of America.

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And also contributed several pieces of our costume brainchild for this year (which in hindsight, may have been a little overzealous for 15 month olds). Here’s what it was SUPPOSED to look like:

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And here’s what it looked like in the what-they-could-actually-handle stage.IMG_6318

We had higher hopes for the homemade walkers,

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but they were clearly not built to code, and resulted in several crashes in the test drive phase, and an eventual refusal to use them come Halloween night. No big deal. They were easy to carry around the neighborhood in addition to 20lb babies wearing dresses 3 sizes too big, while trying to pick up the foam rollers they were pulling out of their hair and tossing all over the street.

The girls have enjoyed their first fall OUTDOORS. With our doctor’s recommendation that we keep them semi-quarantined for one more flu season (sob), we’ve been pretty much living outside, even if it’s meant we’ve had to wear our bear suits.

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Pic Collage: the only way to get both babies smiling in one picture.

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We’ve had lots of fun fall visitors, too!IMG_6152 IMG_6134 IMG_6333

Bathtime in the big tub has become quite the adventure, and we’ve somehow managed to avoid any concussions thus far. We usually start out each session with a reminder lecture on the importance of staying seated in the tub, especially since when we walk on DRY LAND we’re about as steady as little drunk monkeys.

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Nora is like a bath addict, and is drawn to the water like a drunk monkey to banana schnapps.

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God forbid we put Bryn in the tub before her.
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And here are some other randos from the month!IMG_6355

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Skype sing-a-long with Grama and Grampa Hansen. Nick’s new favorite song is the “Uh-Huh, Uh-Uh” song with the sock puppet chorus.

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Eating out a little more often now. Yes, this picture was taken at a meat raffle. At the American Legion.

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It would appear that mommy got tired of hearing Nora telling stories in the car… but I swear that she pulled her own sock off, stuffed it in her mouth, and conked out without my assistance.

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Blackberry massacre

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I just can’t get enough of Bryn’s hair in this pic. What the hell??! HAHAHAHA

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Our newest thing: scream like a banshee and fight tooth and nail when mom and dad try to put us in our car seats, but play in them constantly.

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I’m happy to report that we’re slowly getting better at Peekaboo.

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I’ll close with this video. Somebody get this girl some glowsticks.

Cheers!

Sara

PS–one more video.

We wouldn’t need the big, scary animal Dyson if you weren’t such dirty little animals.

Titty twisters from my 14 month olds

Hello, it’s me again– Nick, Sara’s hunk of man love.  Yes, I know that I have taken a slight hiatus from writing, but hopefully this post can explain why.  Since going back to teaching this fall, my brain no longer works after 7:00pm, which just happens to be the time we put the girls to bed.  Oh by the way, the girls are doing great with their sleeping!  They of course decided to start sleeping through the night again on our first day back to work.  Thank you girls, for once again reminding us who is in charge here.   Anyway, since my brain no longer works after 7:00 anymore it makes it really hard to sit down and write a blog post.  Honestly if I did, it would sound something like this… I picked up toys.  That’s about as far as I could get before sleep would slap me in the face.  Today however, I feel different because I took an afternoon nap with the girls and I feel amazing.

Since I am well rested and don’t feel that I need to be sleeping before 8:30, I figured I could write about the girls a little bit.  My goodness, do I love these little animals.  It’s kind of crazy!  I of course love their mom more, but my heart lives outside of my body for these amazing girls.  These two little nuggets still control my heart.  I love making them smile, feeding them, running with them, pushing them on the swings and just playing with them.  I just love being a dad!  It’s a lot of hard work, but as any parent of non colicky children knows, it’s totally worth it.  I was a colicky child and I still think that my mom harbors some ill will towards me when she talks about my first year of life.  Her face gets all red and she starts talking out of the side of her mouth.  You know that the pain is pretty deep when you see anyone talk out of the side of their mouth.  You might want to look into getting some help for that, mom.  I can however say, that I am very grateful that my cousin Nate Windschitl was worse than me because that is the only thing that softens her attitude on the topic.  She always starts talking out of her mouth in a normal way when she says, “I guess it could have been worse.  Nate was just awful!  I just don’t know how Windy and Donna had Brady after having Nate.  That boy would just scream the entire time that we were there.  Thank you, Nate, for being worse.  Side note, Nate is one heck of a financial planner.  If you find out you’re having twins, call Nate, and he will advise you on what to do with all the extra money you’re (not) going to have.

What was I going to write about?  Oh yeah, playing with the girls.  I just love it!  Our girls have a ton of toys.  We’ve got a lot of cool shit.  Pretend iphones and iPads, things that light up, beep, bounce, roll.  We’ve got toys that do all of that at the same time.  Those toys are super annoying, but if I was a 14-month-old, I would love them.  We have a million books that I am super glad our girls are interested in, but right now they are really not interested in any of the cool, light up, beeping, bouncing, rolling toys.  No, our girls like paper, boxes, spoons, spatulas and of course anything else they shouldn’t, like plastic bags, outlets, the water in the toilet,

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anything that we think is out of reach to them AND one final thing… My nipples. I feel weird talking about this, but if I’m ever laying on the floor or pick the girls up and I am shirtless, I am almost guaranteed to get one of the most painful titty twisters possible.  I mean,  can you blame them for wanting to play with these?

You wouldn’t think that little girls would be capable of such excruciating pain but they are.  I have flashbacks to the 8th grade boys locker room and guarding my nipples like a prison guard at  Alcatraz.  I don’t know if this is normal for other dads but it is for me because like I said, If I come in contact with them shirtless, both of them instinctively go straight for my nips.  You would also think that I would have learned from my previous horrors, but each time I simply think that I will be able to push their tiny hands away and outsmart a 14-month-old.  Yet I fail each time.  They are so cunning and sneaky!  They have even tag teamed me a number of times when I have been on the floor.  Nora will distract me by pulling my hair and then Bryn will pull a sneak attack on my nips.

I guess I will never know exactly why they do this, but I am hoping that this is a phase that will soon pass.  It’s cute to see them play with pots and pans, but I can’t wait for them to pay more attention to their toys AND leave my nipples the hell alone!

Much love,

Nick

Here are some of the latest pics of my nipple-crazy ladies.

 

Not really sure what's going on here.

Not really sure what’s going on here.

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Baptized!

Baptized!

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Bryn kicking ass and taking names at the indoor playground. Yeah, that’s a 2 year old she’s schooling.

We have a shoe fetish. It's slightly out of control. Especially considering we hate wearing shoes.

We have a shoe fetish. It’s slightly out of control. Especially considering we hate wearing shoes.

Here’s a minute and a half of the best belly laughs you’ve ever heard.

And an hour’s worth of a Sunday afternoon (condensed into a minute for your own sanity).

 

Haircuts and a cousin

Couple exciting things N&B wanted to add that hadn’t quite materialized at last press time.

The girls are little lighter than they were yesterday–that’s right–HAIRCUTS! We strolled their little mop tops down the road a couple blocks to a neighbor who cuts hair.

On the way to the salon (aka our neighbor's front yard).

On the way to the salon (aka our neighbor’s front yard).

Having never taken a child for a haircut before, we didn’t realize how grossly unprepared we were for the experience. Poor Jess earned her keep yesterday, chasing babies around her lawn with a pair of shears and snipping locks from whichever baby was closest/stillest/not screaming.IMG_1003

Several times she ran into her own house for some of her own kids’ toys (yeah…we forgot to bring toys), snacks (duh…why didn’t we think of that), and even pulled up PBS Kids videos on her iPhone (genius) while Nick and I stood there worthless, wondering who let us become parents. Oh, and we even forgot to bring something to put the girls’ little hair snippets in (what?!) . Luckily some of our other neighbor friends had come out to witness Jess running around the yard pruning our babies like Edward Scissor Hands, and one of them took pity on us and went and grabbed us a couple ziplocs.

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Scroll to minute 1:06…yep, that’s about right:

I love that you can see Bryn’s hair flying around in this one.

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In MUCH bigger news, Nora and Bryn were super stoked to welcome their little cousin, Parker Roy Hansen, into the world last Friday!

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Home less than a week and they already got that baby drunk.

N & B (along with mom, dad, and a carry-on full of baby benedryl) will be taking their first flight to Tucson to meet this little cutie at Thanksgiving. “Meet” is probably a pretty tame verb to use there–it will definitely be more like “grab chunks of face flesh and squeeze really hard, then lose interest and start looking for toilet bowl cleaner in their under-sink cabinets.” You know. A true family vacation. On the upside, we’ll be helping them childproof their house long before it will actually be necessary (Merry Christmas, you two), and they’ll have 2 little Goldilocks to sleep in his pack and play, eat in his high chair, and play with baby bear’s toys. Break it all in. Now if we can just convince them to spring for the double jogging stroller now, (…in anticipation of baby Hansen #2, of course…) then we’ll be all set.

In closing, we should probably document here (since this IS N&B’s baby book), that we had our first bath tub sanitation incident tonight. Yep, that’s right–we had to go fishin’ for brown trout. Nora, Bryn–we’re not sure which one of you released it (it was actually more like a school of brown minnows), but it happened. And it was gross. And you’re both grounded.

Cheers!

Sara

 

 

We’ve totally got this one-year-old thing down

So it’s September, which means our amazing summer adventures with the girls have come to an end. Nick and I are back to work teaching other people’s kids now, but counted our blessings each of the 68 days we got to spend with Nora and Bryn this summer. Being away from them all day now is tough, but coming home to this everyday is pretty much the best. sight. ever. IMG_5506 IMG_5570 IMG_4377 The girls got to spend our first few days back at work with both sets of grand-nannies, who followed the rules completely, and didn’t give them any refined sugar, screen time, or otherwise spoil them rotten. IMG_4326 IMG_4322 photo (80) IMG_5546 At their 12 month check up, after little painless, vaccination-filled butterflies kissed their thighs, IMG_5460the ped told us that Bryn was gaining so well we should get her on an exercise program. We went with a classic Fonda routine. IMG_5496Ok, kidding. Bryn is still truckin along at like the 3rd percentile. But the ped was thrilled with both girls’ growth. Nora was about 17lbs and Bryn was about 14, but Nora took a giant poo right after, like some kind of high school wrestler after a pre-match weigh-in, so we don’t think the gap is quite as big as the scale says. Just to keep their BMIs in check, Nick (single-handedly!) took the girls to an indoor playground one day after I went back to work.  Nora quickly established herself as the playground bully, pushing kids to the side as she crawled the wrong way up the slide. Bryn distracted all the bullied kids’ moms by crawling into their laps and doing her new signature Miss America wave, complete with elbow and wrist action, making the moms swoon and check Nick’s left hand, hoping he was some kind of single, twin-dad hero. IMG_4312Back off, ladies, This one’s all mine. IMG_5593Speaking of heroes, remember those heroes at Ronald McDonald House that fed us for 3 months while the girls were still in the NICU last summer? Well, we always said we’d be back to pay it forward when we finally made it to the other side. And here we are, a year removed from that crazy, harrowing beginning, finally getting a chance to stand on the other side of the counter and hand a meal to families that are in the same shoes we were a year ago. IMG_5554 IMG_5553Thank you RMH! We even met a couple whose 27 weeker twins were in the NICU–but they lived in ALEXANDRIA–hours away. The 15 minute drive back and forth to Children’s that we did twice a day for 98 days all of a sudden didn’t seem that bad. Wow.

Our last days of summer were spent naked in the front yard (the babes, not us). IMG_5548 IMG_5547 IMG_5549 doing WWE-style twin smackdowns IMG_5684 and going out nightly for “walking happy hours” (open containers included) with all the twins in a 2 block radius. (Yep, that’s right. There are 3 sets). photoWhen it got too hot outside and we needed an air conditioned field trip, we headed to Target to cruise around in their amazing made-for-twins carts. I swore these were mythical creatures that the moms on my Moms of Multiples club Facebook page only fantasized about. But low and behold, they finally made their way to our neighborhood Target! IMG_4353 We used to do our shopping like this IMG_4286 but that was SOO July 2013. Now we now shop big-girl style. IMG_5597This new upright position is also much more conducive to Bryn’s Miss America wave (which is also a mythical creature that disappears everytime we whip out a camera).

As they become more and more mobile, N & B continue to explore their surroundings (read: get into shit), despite our (really really horrible attempts at) childproofing. Seriously–we supervise our children–we swear. They’re just so damn fast!

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We’ve also let them start snacking in the exersaucers, so finding 2 day old rogue cheerios has become an exciting new game. For an added challenge, they like to go for the ones that have been chewed up, spit out, and are now cemented to the bottom of the exersaucer.

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Speaking of food, the girls’ daily menu now consists of 3 meals and 4 bottles. They will pretty much eat anything, but one of their favorite foods is Grampa Greg’s pickles!

IMG_4289And as a 1st birthday present for mom and dad, they did THIS:

3 words: HA. LE. LUJAH.

Another big milestone hit this month was taking baths in the big tub (yeah…we milked that infant tub as long as we could–13 months!).

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“Hold still…you’ve got some schmutz in your hair.”

And speaking of hair, ours is getting pretty out of control. We’ve been waffling on whether or not to cut it–it still seems so short??–but little baby mullets seem to be taking shape, so it might be time.

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Both girls have been experimenting with language, trying to decide what their first words and signs will be. Bryn has decided her first word will be in ASL. She has added her signature Miss America flair to “ALL DONE” and uses it all. the. time.

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Yo. Mom. I’m ALL DONE with this stroller ride. And ALL DONE with Nora looking at me. And ALL DONE with this thing in my hair. ALL DONE, mom. AAALLLLL DONNNNNE. Got it??

Nora chose English as the language of her first word. And while Nick and I BOTH KNOW her first word was “mama,” spoken clear as day in the car on the way home from church last week, of course (to Nick’s delight), this was the only thing we caught on camera:

Whelp, time to go finish the cabinet lock installation. Which began last week. And almost ended our marriage. There’s got to be an easier design out there somewhere. Two models later, the interior of our cabinet looks like swiss cheese and if the girls double team it, they can still get at the Windex with relative ease.

@(!&%)^*,

Sara

PS: I’ll leave you with this: