Monday, May 31, 2010

Tonight Will Be The First Time...

... that I won't be tucking my babies in. However, it's for a very good reason because today is Kidney Day.

No, not World Kidney Day, but a very special day nonetheless.

11 years ago today is the day one of my best friends received his second life saving donor kidney. I first met Padrin in 2003 when we both worked for the same company. He invited me out to celebrate Kidney Day the first year I worked there and I've been inviting him and his kidney out to celebrate ever since. BTW, I named his kidney Squirtle that first year and it kind of stuck.

So wherever you find yourself today, give your kidneys a hug. Take them for a walk, treat them to a cranberry juice, make a donation to the Kidney Foundation or sign up to be an organ donor. And don't be shy! I know you're out there, so take a minute and drop Padrin and Squirtle your good wishes in comments. : )

- L.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Bath Saga

A few weeks ago it became obvious that it would soon be time to transition Nate and Seth's bath time from the kitchen sink to their baby bathtub, especially if I was going to be bathing the babies by myself. Even babies that really like their bath in the kitchen sink are surprisingly squirmy and at 12+ lbs. each it was just too much to hang on to a wet slippery baby with one hand and wash said baby with the other.

For whatever reason I decided to try the tub we purchased by myself for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It seemed like a pretty standard tub and our babies have always been pretty calm at bath time so I figured it would be no big deal. I have to tell you, even in a worst case scenario I didn't expect SO MUCH SCREAMING. They both hated it. So. Very. Much.

Like, a whole lot – and my words aren't doing this justice. I don't think Nate cried as hard when I nearly dismembered his wee toe, just to give you an idea.

Both Nate and Seth hated it so much that we went back to bathing them in the kitchen sink while I scrambled trying to find a tub they would hate less. I thought part of the problem was that the basin of the tub we had originally bought was quite shallow when filled with water and left more of the baby exposed than covered – which had not been the case with the kitchen sink.

For your reference, this is the tub we originally bought. Looks pretty standard, no?

In the end, after much research, reading of user reviews and thinking about how much I didn't want to face Round 2 with the original baby bath, I broke down and purchased this instead:

Yep. It's a bucket.

Well, a bucket meant for bathing your babies in that is. It's a spa bath. Pretty fancy, huh?

There are various models that range from $30 to $50. Which one did I get? Oh, the $50 one of course because it could be delivered and none of our local retailers carried one. La-dee-dah!

Since the babies hated the bucket less than the baby bathtub I was at least able to get a few pictures so you can gauge for yourselves how it was received.

Well, OK. I've added a little commentary. ; )

– Well, dis is new. I wonder what I think of it?

– Oh, right. I hate it!

– I'm with you brother. Dis is stinkeroo! Why mommy? Why???

My poor babies!

In the end, it wasn't as miserable as the other style, but no one liked it either. I will say that I had an easier time bathing them in the bucket though, so I'll give the new tub a few points for that at least.


- L.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Save Us!

– Oh, won't someone please save us?
I fear the end is near my friend.


– Well, hello there.
Oh noes!

– Don't mind if I do.
– Aiiiieeeee!

– You sure are tasty mister bear.
Oh, the agony!

– I think I keep you.
Well, maybe this isn't so bad if you ignore the drool.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the couch...

– Well, hello there YOU!
Oh no.

– My mouth is busy but I just noticed my hands are free. That seems like a shame. Let me fix dat.

– Oh, much better. You taste good mister kitty cat.

– I could do this all day.
Oh, the humanity! Won't someone think of the teething toys?

Mommy note: Well, Nate and Seth might not be teething quite yet, but these toys were a big hit nonetheless as you can see. Thank goodness they're washable since they got pretty drooly by the end of the day.

- L.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer Is Here!

And it's time for Nate and Seth to model their cute new summer togs!

– How cute are we Nate?
– Oh, 'bout this cute I'd say.

– Mine has a whale.

– I like dis whale a lot!
– Dat's pretty neat Seth. I look like I'm holding my breath for some reason.

I also thought I'd try to take some pics of the boys trying out their new Bumbo seat. It got mixed reviews though as you can see:

– I think I like this.

– I do not like this at all!

So I snuck in a few more shots after they fell asleep.

Don't forget to check out Nate's chubby little wrists! I can't believe how my little guy has turned into my big guy. Remember when he looked like this? He was mostly all eyes back then and now he's my chunky little monkey. I never would have guessed when we brought them home from the hospital that Seth would end up being the skinny one!

- L.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sometimes The Pictures Just Choose Themselves

Well, after the last post, let's just clear a few things up:

All present and accounted for. Good!

Now that we have that out of the way...

Yesterday I thought I would put the boys in these cute outfits I bought on my last mission to try to keep ahead of them in the "clothes that fit" department. I figured they would still be pretty big on Nate and Seth and it would be sort of cute and funny to take some pics of them floating around in their spacious jammies – but they are not so spacious actually as it turns out.


These babies just keep growing, but I digress...

One of the hardest parts of taking baby pictures is trying to decide which ones to post out of 20 or 30-odd photos. I thought this was a pretty nice shot:

I like the way Seth looks all casual resting on his elbow. Or, maybe this one where both the boys are sitting up a bit more:

Or this one where...

Oh. Well then. I think we have a winner, don't you?

Nate's expression pretty much sums it up:

– Dat was really stinkeroo, Seth.
– Yup. Oh wait – was that me? Well, you know what they say: if you can't barf on your brother...

Of course, I had to add a new category because of this: Instant Classic. Because, you know, it just sort of is.

- L.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Life Lessons With Nate & Seth: Hurt Babies Make Mommy Cry

First: Everyone is OK.

Second: There is no guilt like mommy guilt – period.

Third: This was entirely a life lesson for me.

Here's what happened:

It was Saturday night and M. had already changed Seth. I had just taken Nate into the nursery to get him ready for bed before their nighttime feeding when I noticed a hair (very likely one of mine) loosely wrapped around one of his toes. I reached down quickly to remove it and in an instant all I was holding was a piece of the hair that snapped off – the rest was suddenly coiled around Nate's toe so tightly that it started swelling immediately. In less than two seconds that coil of hair had virtually disappeared between the puffiness on either side.

And then it started to bleed. : (

My poor baby! He was crying so hard, and I get a big, fat fail for what happened next because I was not a calm, cool mommy at all. I was a scared, shaky, quivering mess!

I scooped up Nate and yelled for M. – who fortunately was a pretty collected daddy – and he managed to fish out the hair that was cutting off the circulation to Nate's wee toe. I thought only the sight of my own blood freaked me out that badly, but apparently the sight of my baby's blood does the same thing. I'm really going to need to grow a much thicker skin before my babies start running around and the scrapes and bruises start or I'm never going to make it.

Here are some pics I took the next day. You can still see how deeply that piece of hair cut in. : (

Of course, Nate was fine almost right away and hasn't made any complaints since. I, on the other hand, am continuing to slather his wee toe in Polysporin and thinking about how I spent too long baking those ten perfect toes to lose one. I swear I thought it was going to pop right off.

Ugh. Mommy guilt is the worst.

- L.

Monday, May 10, 2010

One Whole Week!

As if I didn't already have enough reasons to think my babies are awesome, we've officially enjoyed one whole week of our babies sleeping through the night! In fact, they even slept in this morning until 7:30 – but typically our routine has been getting Nate and Seth to bed around 9 PM and them waking around 6 or 6:30 in the AM.

It's been wonderful, but it turns out I could use a crash course on sleeping through the night myself since I'm still waking up at all the usual times and then having a hard time getting back to sleep. I do look forward to getting used to this new schedule though and I know it will sort itself out. : )

In the meantime, I'm very much aware that M. and I are the luckiest mommy and daddy on the planet to have been blessed with two amazing sleepers at just 14 weeks.

I took some pics of my well-rested boys this morning modeling new shirts I bought for them over the weekend. I had to retire quite a few outfits once again which is always so bittersweet to me. I love watching my babies grow, but does it have to happen so fast?

My little guys are getting so big!

I think Nate is teaching Seth about feet in the last picture. As usual, Seth looks totally intrigued!

It was quite funny watching them progressively slide down the couch and/or topple over a little – I had to keep propping them back up – although for the most part they're getting very good at keeping at least their heads upright without support. I'm sure it won't be long before they're sitting up all by themselves, but for now I'm loving my floopy babies.

- L.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day To Me

To my beautiful sons,

Last year my life was incomplete in ways I couldn't have imagined and I didn't even know it. You are and will always be the best gifts I could ever hope to receive on this day or any other. Thank you for being so awesome!


- L.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Since You Asked: The Naming Of Babies

People asked us shortly after they were born how we chose the names we did for Nate and Seth – so here it is at last (and a little more coherently than I managed to stammer out in those first few whirlwind days) – the story of how we named our babies.

If you know me at all then you can bet I had a long list of criteria back when I was making my list of names. Choosing the perfect name for just one baby is a big enough undertaking, so choosing two perfect names for two perfect babies was an onerous task indeed.

In order to be considered, the following (in no particular order) applied:

• It had to be a name that is easy to understand when spoken.
• It had to be easy to identify in print and without "creative" spelling variations.
• It couldn't be anything trendy or made-up.
• It couldn't be overly popular.
• It had to sound good with M's last name.
• It could not be a family name.
• It had to sound good as a baby's name, a boy's name and a man's name.
• It had to be something not easily made fun of on the playground.*

In addition:

• The names we chose had to sound good together.

When I was around 20 weeks pregnant I finally gave the list I'd been painstakingly poring over to M. I say finally, because of course I'd been working on it for awhile – partly because I'm a planner, but mostly because I was about to be a mommy (and a first time one at that) and that's just what we do. I'd honed the list down to around a dozen or so names by that time, but the two I loved best of all were at the top:

Nate and Seth.

I included other names too so it wouldn't look too suspicious. Names like Henry, Charles and Gabriel were on the list and while I think they are lovely, I had my heart set on Nate and Seth – more than I wanted to admit actually which is why it took me so long to share my list with M. I was so worried he wouldn't like the names I felt so strongly about and I was trying so hard not to be too obvious over how much I was already attached. However, to my surprise and delight, M. agreed pretty much immediately – and so it was that we knew fairly early on what we hoped would be our boys' names. We still called our babies Baby A and Baby B since we considered the possibility that the names we had picked wouldn't suit the babies we were about to have – and of course we didn't know who would be Nate and who would be Seth even if the names did fit.

Or did we?

Not long after we decided on names, I slowly started to think of Baby A as Nate and Baby B as Seth. I couldn't help it. It just felt right, but I didn't tell M. that until a few hours before we were being wheeled into the OR to deliver because it sounded a little flaky on my part – especially since we had already agreed we would wait to see the babies and decide who would be known as Nate and who would be known as Seth. I think it only took us about a minute to make up our minds once we saw our boys though and we both agreed very strongly – Baby A was indeed Nate and Baby B was definitely Seth. No question about it. Score a point for mother's intuition.

The thing is, I think their names suit each of our babies so perfectly and did right from the start – they weren't interchangeable at all. Trying to picture it? I can't either, and here are the two reasons why:

Seth William is so completely a Seth William, he could be no other.

It's rather obvious really.

And Nate Oliver, of course, could never go by a name other than Nate Oliver. It was his destiny.

Clearly so.

And there you have it – the story of the naming of Nate and Seth. I hope they will grow up loving their names as much as we do.

- L.

*I realize the playground can be a tough place and children are far quicker at this sort of thing than adults often are, but just in case you've thought of the flaw in this particular criteria, I'm already painfully aware. Granted, a little too late since it was well after Nate was born that I innocently called him by a cute nickname one day and realized it rhymed with something a little naughty (in the minds of children anyway) and therefore taunt-worthy**. It wouldn't have changed my mind about his name had I realized it sooner – kids will always find something after all – but it was an eye-opener that things are never foolproof no matter how careful you think you've been. And Seth? Heaven only knows what the wee ones will come up with, but I'm no longer as sure he'll dodge that bullet either even though I've strained my brain thinking about it and come up with nothing so far. The minds of adults are just not cut out for this sort of thing as it turns out.

**No, I'm not telling you what it is. Go ask a kid. ; )

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Important Discoveries With Nate & Seth

Well, even if we're not sure who that other guy is, we know we like him. We like to smile at him and check him out and we like talking to each other, and even though it sounds like babble to mommy we're busy getting stuff done.

– Psst... want to hear a secret?

– See this thing here that I'm holding? It's your hand. I have one too. It's in my mouth.

– No way! This is exciting news. Are you serious?

– Yup. See? I have one hand here and... whoa! – yours looks gigantic! What's up with that? Better bring it in closer.

– That's better. See? I have one hand and you have one hand.
– Whoa... cool!
– Totally cool. And check this out...

– I have another hand over here. And... SO DO YOU!!!
– This is fascinating stuff Nate. Does anyone else know?
– Nope, just us.

– Oh no, Seth! Where did that camera come from? Was mommy there the whole time?
– I think our cover is blown Nate. I'm outta here.

Mommy note: Life around here is full of important discoveries lately and I loved catching this one on camera. The boys are spending more and more time alert and playing after a feeding and it's so incredible to watch their awareness of each other grow day by day. This morning they really did have quite the conversation with Nate in his Boppy and Seth on my knee. They took turns babbling at each other with thoughtful pauses, smiles and hands reaching out to touch and explore – and even though I couldn't understand a thing somehow they made perfect sense to each other.

- L.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Imitation Is The Funnest Form Of Fun

It's our new game and whether it's just a little bit...

... or a medium bit!

... or the entire thing!!!

... sticking your tongue out at mommy when she's sticking her tongue out at you is the most funnest thing ever!

Seth even looks a little amused – probably because he loves this game just as much (even though I couldn't get him to do it on camera).

- L.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Who IS That Guy?

For the most part, Nate and Seth have appeared to be quite unaware of each other until very recently. They don't do it all the time, and almost never at the same time, but there are these little occasions now and then where one or the other will just be totally agog at the other baby-person and it's clear they are thinking, "Who is that guy?".

Once in awhile the Noticer will tentatively reach out to touch the Noticed – usually on the face, but also sometimes on the hands. I like the way there are no sudden moves at all – just a look of awe and amazement with everything in slow motion because we are not sure yet who that other guy is.

Nate is quite oblivious here that he's being studied so closely by Seth:

... even though this went on for quite some time!

– until finally a little smile from Seth at the end. It is good. : )

- L.