Sunday, June 29, 2008

They're ONE!

Happy First Birthday, baby girls!!  I can't believe this day has arrived.  Technically, I'm writing approximately 14 hours before their official birth times of 2:31 and 2:32 p.m.  At this time last year, I was laying in my bed, wide awake, nervous and excited, and extraordinarily uncomfortable from the weight of almost 13 lbs of baby in my belly.  And I didn't sleep a wink on the night of June 28, 2007 - while Joey soundly slept next to me - so I figured it would only be fitting to not be sleeping a year later.  

And though a severe lack of sleep may appropriately describe the past 365 days of our lives - it can be better be described as the most joyous, amazing, beautiful year of our lives - filled also with heartache, worry, and doubt, as every first parent feels - but overwhelmingly full of happiness.  I'll take every good and bad thing about being a new parent and do it a thousand times over to experience being a mother to Anna and Margaret.  Little girls, you have made my life.  

We have an exciting day ahead of us - a princess themed party with family, complete with adorable little birthday cakes with pink and white icing, party balloons and streamers, presents galore, and pink birthday hats with pink pom poms on top for the ladies of honor.  And although the girls are sure to melt down from the exhaustion and pressure of being the center of attention long before the presents are even touched - I'm positively giddy with excitement.  Isn't that the best thing about being a parent?  Getting the opportunity to relive the happy parts of childhood all over again, like the nervous anticipation of a birthday party -  but through their eyes.  

I have pictures and stories from this past week of being in St. Louis - from a mini birthday celebration for Anna and Margaret hosted by my own two best childhood friends, with whom I used to play Barbie dolls and hide and seek (and now all 3 of us are each parents of 2 girls!), to the girls' first carousel ride in the park and a giddy exploration of a jungle gym.  But I haven't uploaded any of those photos to my computer.  And so, for now, I leave you with this.  

June 29, 2007

Summer 2008

My how you have grown, Anna and Margaret!  You are beautiful both inside and out, and you make me so very proud.  Your Dad and I are so blessed to call you our daughters.  I cannot wait for this next year - we're going to have so much fun together.  All our love, hugs and kisses to our birthday princesses, from a very proud Mom and Dad.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How to make us laugh - Anna edition

Walk around the kitchen with a plastic colander on your head and covering your face, bump into the wall head first, and then laugh hysterically. You're a goofy one, my girl.

** sorry about a lack of pics so far this week - I forgot to bring my camera to St. Louis. Doh! I'll borrow my parent's camera and get some pictures posted soon. **

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's just a matter of time before something gets broken

We've been at my parents' house in St. Louis for just under 12 hours - and in that time, Anna and Margaret have managed to do the following:

- Called 3 people on my parents' call list on their phone and probably left some interesting "breather" voice mails. What is it with the fascination with the phone? Of course, minimal interest has been shown to the Fisher Price play cell phone that we purchased for them.

- Broke a piece off of the vacuum

- Made several loops around the kitchen island while pushing the step stool

- Attempted to swipe 3 breakable items off the table

- Made a very valiant effort at climbing on top of the fireplace and throwing themselves headfirst into the fireplace screen

- Climbed up and down the stairs about 9 times (Nana and I are getting a workout following them)

- Roped my father into the "let's see how many times you pick up my sippy cup after I throw it off this highchair" game. He lasted about 11 pick-ups - what a patient grandpa.

- Nearly successfully knocked down 2 end tables

- Placed fingerprints all over Nana's bathroom mirrors

- Banged the remote control repeatedly on the glass top coffee table

All of the toys that Nana bought for them? Untouched. My parents' belongings are going to be stacked up vertically to the ceiling by the time we're out of here.

I can forgive them for all of this, though, after sleeping soundly for 5 hours straight as we drove here last night, without as much as a peep. That, and the cute thing they did yesterday while watching "Clifford the Big Red Dog" (they both stuck their tongue out simultaneously as they watched Clifford lapping up a big bowl of water) gives me enough energy for Round 2 of house destruction when they get up from their morning nap in the next half hour. Off to get a shower and take advantage of the quiet time!

Your cuteness saves you, my dears

Monday, June 23, 2008

A few photos from the weekend

Just a few snapshots from this past weekend. The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed a lot of time outdoors!

Mom and her little ladies at the park

Dad and Margaret

Anna checks out the playground

Funky hairstyles in the bath

An unsurprising revelation: kids totally love popsicles. Check out the purple lips on Margaret!

Friday, June 20, 2008

If only I could freeze these moments

For the past year, I've kept a document saved on my computer with little notes about Anna and Margaret - funny little things they'd do, milestones they hit and when they hit them, little mannerisms and expressions that were unique to each girl, and just little things they did that made me laugh. I've never done anything with those notes - and their baby books remain sadly incomplete - but I some day (hopefully soon) plan to put those notes in writing and document the unique things about each of them that have made me smile over the past year. I think it's important to do - not only because I won't remember these things years from now, and probably won't have time to do much with those notes - but also as a reminder that even though they're identical twins, they're two unique people with oftentimes completely different behavior. It's so easy with twins to just lump them together so closely that they're almost one child. They've always been "the girls" to me - they've never spent more than an hour apart from each other, and they're entire lives have been choreographed in synchrony, eating together, sleeping at the same time, dressing almost exactly alike, same pediatrician appointment times, etc. I have to imagine that as they get older, that will be hard for them, and we'll have to make an extra effort to treat them as individuals with different needs, wants, and desires. They certainly have already shown us that they have very different personalities!

Even though I haven't put those notes together about the girls' unique traits, there are some things that Anna and Margaret have been doing over the past few weeks that I wanted to share. Lately, when Anna wants to get our attention (and that seems to be often...she's a little bit of the attention hog), she does this funny little thing. She cocks her head to the side and gets as close to your face as possible, and then flashes this huge grin. It's so completely adorable and makes me laugh every time. She's done that to me numerous times while I've been holding her in one arm while surfing the web - it's like she's saying, "hey! Look at me! You're not paying attention!!" The other night, Joey was playing with the girls in their bedroom, and he was laying on his stomach on the floor. He was playing "peekaboo" and had put his head down on the floor (or maybe he was just playing "Daddy needs a nap"). Anna came over to him, took her little fingers and put them under his chin, pulled his head up off the ground, and gave the head cocked/big smile look. I love it.

Margaret has this completely funny way of showing excitement, which she displays daily as her Daddy carrys her down the stairs in the morning. She swings her hands around wildly in this Kung Fu chopping motion, almost like she's intending to clap but the excitement is so great that she misses her hands and just keeps going. While she's swinging her hands around, she sucks air in through her mouth and makes this funny gasping/squealing sound. It's so Margaret - always showing such pure joy and excitement for life.

I was telling my friend the other day that I finally feel like I've gotten the hang of maintaining this blog, and though I'm not a very good or entertaining writer, I'm still glad I'm doing this. And she pointed out that some day, I'll love looking back and reading about what the girls were doing at a certain point in time. I hope that I'll look back and read about these little funny things they did and laugh - because I know these moments don't last very long. Have a great week! Countdown to the Twinskis' First Birthday: 7 days!

My beautiful girls, as photographed by a dear friend

My friend and a very talented professional photographer, Kim, came to our house bright and early this past week at 7:30 a.m. to take photographs of the girls to mark their first birthday. I am so grateful for Kim's patience and willingness to be there that early. As always, she was fantastic with the girls and captured some absolutely beautiful photos, a few of which she posted on her website. I'm truly in awe that she managed to get these photos in the first place - between all the crawling, walking (and falling), picking up dirt and grass and God knows what else they found on the ground (and attempting to eat all of the above) - there were very few opportunities for "Kodak moments."

Perhaps it is because I'm feeling a little emotional about their upcoming birthday - perhaps I've just become a very sentimental person - or just because Kim has such an amazing way of capturing beautiful moments - but when I look at the photos, I get a little teary eyed. Not only out of pride and adoration for what Anna and Margaret have become - two lovely, little girls (Girls!) who make me smile and laugh every day - but for missing, in a way, what is now behind us, their infancy. Then I remember that the girls are sleeping 12 hours per night, with relatively few interruptions, and then I feel okay about moving on. Ha. I'm looking forward to this next year of their lives - I think it's going to be fun. All of you parents who have dealt with whining, tantrum-throwing toddlers can now laugh at my naivete and bright-eyed optimism.

Kim and her wonderful and very smart husband, Anthony, are moving to New Jersey at the end of July because Anthony is attending Princeton University for his PhD. I'm incredibly sad to see them go. Kim has such a kind, fun-loving nature, and I will truly miss her. Thank you, Kim, first and foremost for your friendship, and also for sharing your immense talent with us.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Random Thoughts

I can barely remember what Anna and Margaret were like as newborns. Those first few sleep-deprived months are a total blur to me. I wonder if God intentionally programmed us to have total memory loss of the early days of taking care of a baby, so that we forget just how tiring those days were. When our niece, Claire, was born in December, I held her just hours after her birth, all tiny and swaddled in a hospital blanket, and felt terrified and clueless, like I had never held something so little and helpless before. I can't believe I was responsible at one time for taking care of two tiny little newborns.

There is, however, one thing about Anna and Margaret's early infancy that I vividly recall, and that is the endless demands of nursing 2 newborns. It's hard not to forget how challenging it was to breastfeed 2 infants every 3 hours around the clock, especially when each of those nursing sessions took an hour. It took me weeks to figure out tandem nursing (photo of that here), and so when you add that up - 2 infants, 1 hour session each - that left me exactly 1 hour to regroup before the cycle restarted. I lived by the clock and our strict schedule of feed, nap, feed, nap, repeat. Though we had a parade of visitors and non-stop family help for the first 10 weeks of our girls' lives, I feel like I spent much more time on my bed in my room, remote control in hand, nursing a baby and flipping through useless daytime television. Speaking of which, Tyra Banks is completely bizarre, and watching America's Next Top Model is like watching a train wreck. Horrible, but you can't turn away.

When the girls were about 4 weeks old and I had reached what felt like a rock bottom of exhaustion, I recall (sort of) jokingly telling Joey that I wish the girls could just go into the kitchen and find themselves a snack to eat when they were hungry, instead of relying on me for their only nutrition. Well, good things come to those who wait, right? The other day, I was playing with Anna in the living room while Margaret was, presumably, doing her daily emptying of the Tupperware cabinet. I heard a soft crunching noise, peered around the corner of the cabinet, and noticed that she had gone into the snack cabinet, pulled out a bag of cheerios, somehow managed to pry the chip clip off of it, and was helping herself to a huge handful of cheerios.

They're helping themselves to snacks, drinking whole milk out of cups, and walking to where they need to go. And while I revel in their independence, my heart still says - stop, slow down. Don't grow up yet.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The recipe for warming our hearts =

Saying "bye bye, Da-Da" while waving your tiny little hands goodbye as your father walks out the door for work in the morning. Keep that up, girls, and he'll buy you anything your little hearts desire.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Happy Monday! To brighten your start to the work week, here are our goofy little gals. Our living room is a Fisher Price wonderland, filled with toys that sing! and squeak!! and flash!!! (and don't turn off when you want them to), but yet they decided this power adaptor cord was far more entertaining. My funny, weird girls.

Oh, and as you can see from the video, Margaret is quite mobile now as well! Their new little walk is pretty funny - they both hold their hands either out to the side or in front of them to balance themselves. We call it the "Frankenstein walk." A drunk Frankenstein, more appropriately.

So, they're walking, and babbling more, and tearing apart our drawers and cabinets faster than I can keep up with them, and the newest lovely behavior is throwing themselves on the floor and screaming/kicking their feet when I take away something they want. Like the bottle of floor cleaner that I confiscated from Anna's hands this morning, after she so quickly swiped it from the under sink cabinet (time to put on cabinet locks, dumb parents!). Seriously, tantrums already? Hello toddlerhood, here we come - yikes!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

With all our love

Happy Father's Day, Joey! We love you so incredibly much for all that you are and all that you do.

With love,
Kate, Anna and Margaret

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Someone always manages to get hurt

When I was pregnant (and we had time on our hands to think about these things), Joey and I took a look around the house and realized that certain pieces of furniture were going to have to be moved once the babies got mobile to avoid any serious injuries. One of those items was our coffee table - a rather heavy wooden table with a glass table top with very sharp corners. So we invested in a not so pretty but very cushy leather coffee table instead. That table seems to have quickly become Anna and Margaret's favorite thing to stand next to, walk around, pull magazines and remote controls off of (and a full cup of coffee one morning - quite a scary moment), etc. The space in between the couch and the coffee table also seems to be a frequent location for wrestling matches - which start off with giggles and always seem to end with someone in tears. I therefore spend most of my day acting as a referee. Here's how I found the girls one day:

On an unrelated note - Anna is walking! Well, walking in the sense that she's taking about 6-8 very clumsy steps forward before flying face first into the carpet - not the most graceful move. She seems incredibly proud of herself as she walks around with this goofy little grin on her face (I have yet to get a video of it, but I'm trying!), and she remains undeterred in her progress, even after dive bombing the floor several times. I'm particularly proud of her since she was the one who crawled a good 2-3 weeks after Margaret. Talk about evening the playing field!

Now with video!

I finally figured out what I was doing wrong with trying to upload a video - and I can't say it took pure genius to figure out my error. I think being a stay at home mom is turning me into a technology dinosaur. Next thing you know, I'll be asking Joey how to turn on our television.

I had this co-worker in my last job who had an irrational fear and hatred of computers. It never failed - at least twice a week, while trying to upload photos to his computer - I'd hear him screaming in his office, "Where's that darn UBS cord?!!! What do I do with a UBS cord anyway?!!" And I'd sit in my office, clench my fists, and mumble, "USB, you idiot." He also - and I swear I'm not lying - asked me how to highlight a word to change its font.

I think I'm becoming that idiot.

Anyway, I digress. Here are just a few videos from last month. Two of the three involve the girls only in diapers. I swear to you all, we haven't turned into total rednecks while living in Tennessee, and our children do wear clothing - 75% of the time, at least.

While we were at my parents' home, the girls developed a strange obsession for pushing around this little stepstool.

Nana teaching the girls how to go down the stairs (or attempting to change their tendency to propel themselves down the stairs head first)

My ladies on the swings at the park (featuring a bonus "Look Ma, no hands!" move by Anna)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

True Determination

Well, I guess I have to give them credit for their perseverance. Earlier this week, we joined a group of about 6 moms and their kiddos, all about the same age as our girls, for a playdate in the park. While the other babies played happily under the shade on a blanket filled with toys...

Anna and Margaret spent the majority of the time pushing their jogging stroller up a small hill. Go Team Twinski! I need to start using that energy for my own benefit - perhaps I can teach them to do the laundry?

Team Twinski hard at work in the 90+ degree heat

Margaret really putting some muscle into it

Margaret, taking a break from her mission for a photo opportunity.

Her new nickname is "Rosy"

Poor Margaret has had a rough couple of days, with 2 trips to the pediatrician's office for a recurring ear infection and a 4-day fever. We thought we were only dealing with said ear infection, and treating accordingly with antibiotics until she woke up this morning from her morning nap, covered in red and white spots. Another trip to the pediatrician (thank goodness for Sunday hours) gave us a diagnosis of roseola - from which, apparently, cousin Natalie recently recovered, and so I hear it's quite common. Though her new hue of red and white polka dots was a little alarming, the break in the fever and the return of our sweet, fun-loving Margaret is really a welcome change from her mood over the past few days. We've felt so sorry for her - she's been lethargic, exhausted, has had no appetite, and most of all, wants nothing to do with her quite energetic sister Anna - perhaps the biggest sign that something was wrong. Margaret rarely sits still - so to see her lay down in the middle of the floor with her face on the carpet for minutes at a time was both sad and worrisome.

Thankfully, the fever broke yesterday afternoon, just in time for a quick dip in the new whale-shaped baby pool in the backyard. I've never wanted to jump into a baby pool so bad as I have the past few days - it's been incredibly hot here in Nashville, with a high of 95 degrees today. What's with the hot weather so early in the summer? Anna and Margaret acted as if they'd won the lottery as soon as they saw Dad inflating this thing - and went completely bananas as we were filling it up. All intentions were to get them back into the house and in their bathing suits before letting them take a plunge - but they were so excited to try it out (i.e. attempting to throw themselves in headfirst from the sides of the pool) that we just let them go straight in, fully clothed.

Good friend Tony was in town from Louisville and the girls loved the extra attention from him. Here he entertains:

Margaret expressing her sheer joy

It was a bright day!

Anna had another opportunity to splash around today, while Margaret took a marathon 3 hour afternoon nap (I guess roseola is an energy drainer!). I thought she'd enjoy the individual attention - but she seemed to miss her sister. We loaded up the pool with various toys, and her best buddy Dad even jumped into the frigid water with her - but guess what she was, by far, the most enamored with? The garden hose, of course.

We had such a great weekend - hope you all did as well!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I wonder if anyone still reads this...

I'm amazed by the bloggers out there who successfully pay their bills based off advertising from writing their blog. Clearly they are dedicated to continually updating and maintaining their site, and capturing a large audience of readers in the process - a skill at which I'm clearly quite deplorable. I apologize for letting almost 2 months go by without updating this site with some pictures and videos of the twinskis! The days seem to disappear and weeks melt away while chasing after these little gals. Excuses, excuses, excuses, huh?

So what have we been up to lately? Well, we spent a week at Nana and Grandpa's house (my parents) and loved the time in St. Louis, catching up with family and friends. Having help and companionship all day was a dream - although chasing after 2 quite mobile 11 (!) month olds around a very beautiful, very breakable, and very non-babyproofed home was a full-time job. Thanks to Nana for never losing her patience or smile while Anna and Margaret bulldozed through their home, tipping over tables, placing their fingerprints on every glass surface, and opening every drawer and cabinet in the kitchen. There was also a peeing on the carpet incident - done by a certain 11-month old girl whose name I will not mention.

The girls are changing every day. Some new things they can now do (which never, ever can be captured on demand, of course):

  • Waving goodbye (and we even caught Margaret saying "bye bye")

  • Clapping hands

  • Sticking their tongue out (perhaps we shouldn't have encouraged that one)

  • Taking a few steps at a time

  • Standing unassisted

  • Putting up quite the fight for a sought after toy that of course, they both want at the same time

  • Opening up cabinets and drawers

As for talking, the major two words in their repetoire are "Da-Da" (repeated over, and over, and over, 90% of the day) and "Ma-Ma" (only muttered while crying and whining). Then there is a lot of nonsensical babbling that comprises the rest of the day, and from the looks on their faces, they know exactly what they are saying, so I think that given some time, that jibberish will turn into real words. I never really believed the whole "twin talk" phenomenon - the idea that twins have their own language. But judging from just how much babbling the two girls do to each other all day, it often appears that their independence from their parents is growing - once again proving that Anna and Margaret have successfully shoved their parents out of their world. It's never more apparent to me that they hold each other as number 1 friend as when I come to retrieve them from a nap and they look at me - boring old mom - with minimal interest - but, when they see each other, their faces light up and they start giggling and babbling like it had been days since they last saw each other. It's pretty darn cute.

I have a few videos from the past few weeks - but I'm currently having a hard time posting them. So - in the mean time - here are a few photos that I took yesterday while we played on the front lawn. We are truly loving summertime.

Giddy Margaret

Goofy Anna

Can't keep her away from dirt

Making Mom very nervous by insisting on climbing up and down the concrete steps

Anna wielding the broom as her weapon

A fuzzy shot of the 2 of them sitting on the rocking chair

Anna really dug the chair