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The adventures of Vicky & Norm, their twin girls, and their Super Cat Charlotte
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Dec. 29th, 2008 @ 08:36 am Holiday visitors
Current Location: home
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Hey everyone... Long time, no post! 

Well, a lot has happened over the past month, starting with the move into the new house!  On a whirlwind Thanksgiving week, we closed on our new house and moved in the very next day.  Vicky and I absolutely love our new house... it's still hard to believe that we actually own this place!  Sure, we're still in the midst of a bunch of boxes, and yeah, the place could use a coat of paint and some landscaping, but it really is about as close to our dream home as we could ask for.

The Christmas holiday brought a slew of visitors to our house... that's right, Vicky and I decided it would be an amazing idea to host Christmas this year - just a few weeks after we moved in.  Prior to my family's arrival, Vicky did double-duty: In between feedings, burpings, and diaper changes, she managed to unpack most of our boxes, decorate the house, and even do some Christmas shopping.  She's quite a super mother and wife!  Anyway, all of her hard work paid off, because when my family arrived, the place was immaculate!  A good time was had by all.  Just this morning, I took my mother -- the last of our visitors -- to the airport.  It's back to just the five of us (Charlotte included)!

Claire and Grace turned 5 months old last week, and they've been growing and developing in new and exciting ways.  Both of the girls are interacting with their environment a lot more... reaching for toys, watching the world around them, and examining one another.  Grace, who rarely broke out a smile, is now grinning from ear to ear most of the time, and we've even heard a few laughs out of her.  Claire continues with her happy nature, but she's also added a new skill to her repertoire: rolling over.  Yes, she's mobile (in a sense), so we have to keep our eyes on this little one!

Claire and Grace had the pleasure of meeting their brand new cousin, Lauren, who is two months old.  Our girls seemed very interested in the new addition to the family, and rightfully so: Lauren is totally cute and certain to break some hearts.

Anyway, here are a few photos of the girls from the last few weeks:

All decked out in their reindeer attire... Claire on the left, Grace on the right:


Claire has strong little legs... we're scared that she'll be walking soon!


Grace (on the right) just loves to smile:


Well, that's all for now.  We'll try to be better about updating our blog!  Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
About this Entry
Norm
Nov. 25th, 2008 @ 04:57 pm Hotel California
Current Location: hotel
We have been in some sort of hotel with the girls for the past 8 days and I am near losing my mind.  The girls are getting crankier by the day and I don't blame them.  There is only so much fun to be had in hotel room when you are 4 months old.  We are blessed with easy babies but I think they have just about had enough of our vagabond lifestyle.  They miss their activity gym, their swings, their Baby Einstein and their routine.  I miss all those things too.  We go on walks a lot (Norm is working and needs the only car we currently have) and that seems to calm us some.  Still I am excited that we check out of the hotel and into our own house tomorrow.  Yay!!  

I saw the house for the first time yesterday (yup, we bought a house I never saw) and I am just in love with it.  It's an amazing house.  I would say it's more than we deserve, but it's been a rough few months, so we probably do deserve it.  :-)  My new project is going to be decorating it and doing all the things we never did at our old house.  We walked around our neighborhood on Sunday and I was just in awe that people lived like that - in such a pretty place, with such nice weather.  I had no idea that while I was freezing in NY, there were a bunch of happy people here enjoying the good weather.  I used to think that no one should live where it's nice all the time.  "Bad weather builds character!" I declared.  But good weather makes me happy and in the end I guess I'll take happy over character.  
About this Entry
Vicky
Nov. 24th, 2008 @ 10:35 pm Four months old!
Current Location: San Francisco Bay area
Current Mood: proud
Tags:
Our girls are four months old, and cuter than ever... if I do say so myself.  We'll be writing more about the girls in future posts, but here are a few photos to tide everyone over!

Claire:




Grace:



About this Entry
Norm
Nov. 24th, 2008 @ 10:17 pm California dreamin'
Current Location: San Francisco Bay area
Current Mood: crazycrazy

Where to begin? Well, our lack of blogging over the past couple months is definitely NOT an indication that life in our household has been “business as usual“. In fact, things haven’t been busier or more frenetic than the past two or three months!

The big, big news is that Norm recently accepted an amazing new job! The opportunity is so great that he had to accept it, despite numerous obstacles. If you haven’t heard, the biggest obstacle is the fact that the job is out in the San Francisco Bay Area. So the job change has meant a lot of changes… putting our current house on the market, buying a new house in the Bay Area, and trekking all the way across the nation with twins and a cat in tow.

Saturday was the big day… the one-way trip to California. Now, if I told you that we were traveling with Claire and Grace, you’d probably feel a bit of empathy for our situation. But we’ve traveled with the girls on an airplane on two trips already, so that’s beginning to be “old hat”. However, this time, we also had 5 suitcases and 3 carry-on bags! Now you’re beginning to understand how things were a bit more complicated than usual. But when I tell you that one of the carry-ons was our cat, Charlotte, you’re beginning to understand just how insane we are. Try to imagine the logistics in the security line… The car seats, the Double Snap ‘N’ Go stroller, the infants, the cat, and the cat carrier… with the shoes, carry-ons, jackets, and laptop. Fortunately, everyone was understanding and we made it through security in a reasonable time.

The actual flight was a lot of work, but we are most proud of our cat, Charlotte. She had to endure the cat carrier for a 90-minute car ride to JFK, a 2-hour wait in the terminal, a 6-hour flight, and another 2 hours before arriving at the hotel. She held her bowels for over 12 hours, which for Charlotte, is a small miracle. Now she’s here in California and wondering why we downgraded to a small hotel room! :) Soon, Charlotte will be rewarded by being released into our new house.

Oh, did I forget to mention that we purchased a new house? Rather than spending a couple months in temporary corporate housing, we decided to find our California home and push for a quick escrow. After a few stumbles and stalled offers, things finally started falling into place. We found a great house that met nearly all of our “must-have” and “nice-to-have” criteria, and it’s just 10 minutes away from Norm’s work! How cool is that? The house is brand new (just finished this morning) and we’ll be closing escrow tomorrow. Talk about an exciting time for us! Yes, it’ll be a lot of work to turn the house into a home, but we’re up for the task.

Things have been quite stressful for both of us over the last couple of months, but we feel confident that this move will be for the better. Things always have a funny way of working out for us, and this will be no exception. Wish us luck as we begin our new chapter together!

About this Entry
us
Sep. 24th, 2008 @ 03:07 pm 2 months old
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: amusedamused
Tags:
It's been two months since the dynamic duo came into our lives.  If you have one baby, you get to marvel at everything that baby does.  While we do our fair share of marveling, there is also some comparing that goes on.  It's hard not to compare two babies.  Why does one baby smile more?  Why does one cry more?  Why is one more alert?  See, we'd never ask these questions if we had one baby because we really wouldn't have anything to compare it to.  When people have a child and then have another baby they tend to compare the baby to the older sibling at that age, but those comparisons aren't always accurate because our memories play tricks on us.  But two babies, side by side, practically beg for a comparison.

So here are the girls and how they differ, since they aren't much alike at all.

Claire
Claire remains our feisty girl.  She is quick to smile and quick to get frustrated and cry.  It amazes me how quickly she can go from smile to frustration and vice versa.  She continues to battle acid reflux which accounts for a good deal of her crying.  She smiles when she wakes from a nap or is getting changed and she is very interactive.  Claire has the wonderful quality of being able to fall asleep on her own.  If you put her in her crib awake she will stay there quietly for a good long time until she finally drifts off to sleep. Physically Claire is the smaller of the two girls.  She is more long and thin while Grace is more stout. 



Grace
Grace is a very vocal baby.  She loves to grunt.  We are not sure what her grunts mean, but she grunts constantly.  Grace loves to stretch.  Upon waking or during a feeding, she stretches nonstop ...while grunting of course.  Grace is also quite gassy and farts up a storm.  She is very alert and loves to look around and take in the world.  Grace almost never smiles.  I think she has smiled once or twice and even those have not been the big smiles that Claire gives.  Grace's main look is one of suspicion.  She will furrow her brows and look at something curiously.  Grace is more aware of her surroundings than Claire.  Grace is a bit tougher to put to bed.  If she is not dead tired she will grunt and cry and fight to stay awake. 



We have a lot of nicknames for the girls.  A few have even stuck.  We call Claire Bunny because of a bib she had one day that said "bunny."  It just seems to fit her.  We call Grace "Grace Face".  Creative, I know.  We usually shorten that to Miss Face.  Norm pointed out a while ago that Claire looked like Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley because of a receding hairline - except for the middle.  So we started referring to them as Lenny and Squiggy.  You be the judge.

Grace and Claire


Lenny and Squiggy
About this Entry
us
Sep. 2nd, 2008 @ 02:22 pm Moving on up
Current Location: home
Current Mood: happyhappy
Tags:
We have been keeping busy here as you might imagine.  We are adjusting more to our new life each day.  Having a schedule has helped us out tremendously.  We recommend it to all parents of multiples.  Don't let people tell you that you can't put twins on a schedule.  You can and you must to preserve your own sanity.  Our nights have been getting better as well.  The girls will get up once during the night to eat, usually around 2:30-3 am.  They will they eat again at 6:30-7am.  This has been working very well for us. 

The big news around these parts is that Claire and Grace have moved into their own room.  Yes, that carefully planned nursery is finally being put to use.  You know, we thought we had everything we needed for the nursery but when we actually moved the girls in there we discovered some very practical things we'd overlooked.  Like a wastebasket. The other thing we were lacking was a shelf.  We had no place to keep tissues, hand sanitizer and our cool pink CD player.  We got a great deal on a shelf at Target, on clearance naturally.  Grace and Claire have been doing great in their new room.  Norm and I like it because if we are not on a feeding shift we can sleep in peace without hearing crying.  We still have the girls sharing a crib because they look so tiny in a big crib and we think it helps them to be close.
Don't worry, the bumper will come off once they can move around.
New digs


We had a very busy weekend.  Our friend JJ came to visit and help out with the girls.  The 5 of us went out to eat.  It was pretty exciting for Norm and I to realize that we can still dine out with the girls.  It was funny to be seated at a table for 6.





Norm and I took the girls out for a big day all by ourselves.  We went to Kohl's, Babies R Us, out for lunch, Target and Costco.  This was the first time we fed the girls while on the road.  Norm had the great idea to stop at a local unpopular mall (if you're a Simpsons fan there was an unpopular mall where most of the stores were closed - this is exactly like that) and feed the girls there.  It was perfect.  We sat in the mostly boarded up, uncrowded food court area and fed Claire and Grace.  The girls did great and it made us feel like we have more freedom to be able to go about our normal activities.

Some pictures of the little darlings
A family shot


Claire's first smile or Claire passes gas, you decide


More Claire


Grace enjoys her Boppy


Grace, not wearing pink.  Shocking, I know
About this Entry
Vicky (Simpsonized)
Aug. 17th, 2008 @ 02:34 pm Double Trouble?
Current Location: home
Current Mood: tiredtired
Tags:
How long has it been since we posted here?  We didn't mean to neglect the blog but we have been busy traveling to exotic locales, dining in the finest restaurants and attending various, shows, concerts and movies.  Um, wait...No, we haven't done any of those things.  We have been raising twins and are expecting to resume all of those fabulous activities in about 5 years when they go to school.  Our days are very busy and pretty monotonous and routine driven.  We are trying to get the babies on a schedule and think we have been pretty successful so far.  Every three hours we attempt to feed them both, keep them awake for at least 10 minutes and then put them down to sleep.  Feeding both babies takes about an hour (more if one person is doing it alone) and that leaves us with 2 hours of "free time" each cycle where we take care of household- and baby-related chores, eat and try to stay sane.  Some days are better than others.  We have managed to get out a bit during their sleep time.  Yesterday we went to Target and the other night we went out for ice cream.  The girls did just fine home alone.  JUST KIDDING! 

What is up with all the spit up?  Yesterday Norm went through 3 shirts.  I wore a new (non maternity shirt) today and quickly put it in the laundry after it became the victim of a simultaneous spit/pee attack.  We gave the girls their first big girl baths yesterday.  Claire responded really well, but Grace spent the majority of her time crying. 

Twins can really wear you out


Mom and Grace


Dad and Grace


Claire


More Claire



Check out the spit up on Norm's shirt
About this Entry
us
Aug. 13th, 2008 @ 11:05 am Testing
Tags:

Hi guys... Ignore this post. I'm just testing something out!
-Norm
123

About this Entry
Norm (Simpsonized)
Aug. 7th, 2008 @ 06:21 pm 2 weeks old!
Current Location: home
Current Mood: tiredtired
Tags:

We would love to update this more frequently, but time is not something we have had in abundance.  Things are going well at Twinville.  The girls continue to amaze and at times exacerbate us with their cuteness and lung capacity.  I am feeling a LOT better and I cannot believe I had major surgery just 2 weeks ago.  I know some people have had horrible c-section experiences but I was very blessed with a good one and a quick recovery.  I didn't even have enough time to develop an addiction to painkillers. 

Nights are a fun time for us.  Fun fact about having 2 babies: when one stops crying the other will often start.  So just when you have managed to calm a fussy infant and think it's safe to climb into bed again the other one decides it's their turn to fuss. 

To those friends who we have been neglecting, we apologize.  We'll catch up on your lives at some point.  Anyway, here is the reason we have been neglecting you.


Claire


Gassy Grace

Grace


Claire, not sure if she's enjoying her bouncer


Boppy express

About this Entry
Vicky
Aug. 1st, 2008 @ 06:15 pm Post baby update
Current Location: home
Current Mood: gratefulgrateful
Tags:
We realize it has been a while since we updated.  What can we say, things are busy with two babies.  It's interesting because things haven't been difficult (unless you count sleep depivation), just busy.  Our days are packed with mostly repetitive baby caring activities.  The girls are doing great.  Norm's mom says they have grown but I haven't noticed.  Norm is proving to be an amazing father, just as I knew he would be.  I am happy to report that I am a fairly laid back mom which is cool considering I am laid back about few things.  In our brief time as parents we have learned to go with the flow and not stress about too much. Being a mom is more fun than I could have imagined.  I love schedules and routine so this is right up my alley.  I don't feel it has been difficult to have two babies, but I have no other experience so what do I know?  There are challenges for sure but most of those are of logistical variety and I'm sure we'll figure them out.  I am recovering nicely from the c-section and each day I feel better.  I feel a lot better than I did for the last two months of the pregnancy, that's for sure.

Claire and Grace have their own distinct personalities.  Claire is like our little drama queen.  She can get easily irritated by things and spends a fair amount of time crying.  Grace is just the opposite.  She rarely makes a peep and is very mellow.  We find this very interesting as in the womb Claire was always quiet and Grace was crazy.  They both remain the cutest things we have ever seen.  A lot of people have asked us how we tell them apart.  We don't have a problem with that actually.  We think they look pretty different.  Grace has chubby cheeks while Claire has a thinner, longer face.  Claire has dark hair and Grace's is a light brown.  Oh yeah, one of them cries a lot so that helps us tell them apart. 

You knew there would be some baby pictures.

Baby wearing is all the rage





Our sentiments exactly Grace
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Vicky