Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tricks of the Trade

Ideally, there would be a 1:1 ratio of responsible adults to babies at all times. 

Since that is not the case, we are required to be a little creative...
 
1. Rocking baby = easy. Rocking baby x 2 = not as easy. Despite how many times I've tried to explain to the boys that our #1 household rule is that they are NOT allowed to cry at the same time -  they don't always listen. This oversized comfy rocking chair and ottoman serves as the easiest way we've found to trick the boys into thinking they're actually being held and rocked at the same time. MUCH easier than trying to wrangle two in your arms at the same time. I tell myself it will be easier once they can hold their heads better but by that time they'll be so darn heavy it won't work either!


2. Feeding baby = easy. Feeding baby x2 = not as easy! After only a few nights in the NICU nursing them separately (and spending 1 1/2 - 2 hours each time doing so) I quickly learned to feed them at the same time. Tanja plans to bottle feed them one at a time if at all possible when I go back to work. But once again - they are sometimes hungry at the exact same time (with not even seconds to spare!) People seem surprised that I nurse them at the same time - but I've tried it with bottles at the same time and think that is much harder!!


3. Need a free hand with 1 baby = easy! Need a free hand with two = not as easy. Let's say by chance that I ordered something online. When the UPS man arrives I have to be ready to answer the door. Even though it's not obvious I actually do have a free hand in this situation.

PS - don't be fooled by the title of this post. I am NOT an expert!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mom - you're doing WHAT?!


This was the look on Prior's face when I told him I was going back to work soon... I'm not sure what is cuter - the big bottom lip or the neck rolls!

And you'll be there HOW many hours?!
(Mason)

Mom - when you're working hard at the office, I'll be working hard too. I need my beauty sleep! (Prior)

This was the look on Mason's face when I told him he gets to meet his cousins this weekend for the FIRST time! The boys are being baptized this weekend and so we are very excited to have everyone up to our house to see the boys again! The boys loved Miya's chair so much we had to buy another one. We got this one from a fellow mother of multiples - a family with triplets.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

11 Weeks


Mason

Prior

Life is Good - Prior

Life is Good - Mason

The boys turned 11 weeks on Friday! One week closer to 12 weeks...and we all know what that means. I am looking forward to being back at work and into a routine but very much dreading the transition period as I know it will involve lots of tears. Hey - I'm allowed twice as many, right?! 

Life isn't fair - I know that...but why is it that right when they are starting to do fun things it is time to go back to work?!

The boys have been extremely good babies. They are sleeping well, napping well, eating well, and very cuddly. I am having a blast.

Tanja has met several other au pairs already - two of which are from Serbia and Bosnia. The culture/language/etc. is very similar to Serbia so she is very excited about that. They both drive which is great because Tanja doesn't and they are also very close (St. Louis Park area). It really is a small world.

Tanja and Mason

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Daddy's Home!


Someone named Mason was very excited that his daddy was home from work last night. How cute is this smile?! Mommy is definitely going to need a few smiles like this after her first days back at work. Each day I fall more and more in love with these two little boys. Let me tell you - now that Tanja is here I could probably handle the "stay at home mom" thing. I think there's a book called "I'd trade my husband for a nanny" or something like that. Now I get it.

On a different topic before I forget to write it down...from the day they were born these boys have loved to arch their backs - to the extreme. It looks so uncomfortable. Maybe it's the only way they could find room inside me before they were born. Maybe they're just weird. Anyway - I had to take this picture of Mason in their crib this morning in his swaddle blanket to capture how crazy and uncomfortable it looks.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Early Networking

Now that we have a college plan squared away (well, all but the savings) it's time for the real world - a job. Future customers of Hays Companies. Thank-you again for these adorable onesies! For those of you that don't know, Hays is our insurance broker at MMC, where I work. The funny thing is that the boys' uncle is a partner at Holmes Murphy in Des Moines - a competitor of Hays. Sorry, Uncle Brent!   


Plotting...

The smiling and 'cooing' is in full force and we see and hear more and more of it each day.

(Mason/Prior)



Can we talk about our careers after my nap?

(Prior/Mason)


(Prior/Mason)


Mason apparently has the 'hand down the pants' thing mastered already. I am so outnumbered... Ben was right when he said we should have put a urinal in the basement bathroom.

Our New Hats


Check out our new hats that mom bought us for Easter on etsy.com. They are a little big but we will grow into them. Mom has been trying to figure out the stitches so she can make us more.

Mason

Prior


video
A video of us in our new hats.

PS: One of my first smiles (Mason!)



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

First Chair


Cousin Miya is letting us borrow her cool chair. We LOVE it! Mom says it is good for us to practice holding our heads up steady. (Prior)

Look at my sweet hair do and my BIG blue eyes! Don't worry - mom used lotion, not gel.
(Mason)

video
Here's a video or Mason showing off in his chair.

Monday, April 20, 2009

3rd Mortgage?

Boys - when you are reading this someday let it be known that unless you find yourself a baseball or academic scholarship of some sort, you will be attending a state school. Your mom and dad both attended state schools and turned out just fine. Last week I met with a financial planner. The average cost of state college for one year today is approximately $18k. The average cost of a private college in todays dollars is approximately $38k. Seriously. Seriously?

So he ran some numbers assuming a 5% annual increase in tuition and apparently if we start saving today we need to put away approximately $1,000 per month so these boys have enough money to attend a state school (not a private school) for four years. Hello - that is 18 years away! 

If these boys could talk they would probably tell me that a onesie, sleeper, fleece coat with hood, and a hat is plenty of gear for a walk on 60 degree day. 

Still here...still not very interested...

No, we did not get a cat. 
(Prior)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Brotherly Love

video

My sister and I never fought growing up so I could be wrong....
But I think this might have been the boys' first fight! Prior (right) is not very happy with his brother! Check out the video clip.

Friday, April 17, 2009

3 Bens


Prior / Mason

The boys are 10 weeks old today. Here are the 2 1/2 month overall pictures. I can't believe how much they've grown in 10 weeks. This week we graduated from the "N" sized diapers to the "1" sized diapers.

We are also wrapping up our first week with Tanja and things are going well. She adores the boys...but can you blame her!? Tanja says there are "3 Bens" that live in this house!

Her very first flight ever was to the US and she's already going on another. She's flying to Chicago for the weekend to visit some family. It is Easter this weekend (she's Eastern Orthodox) so it is nice that she can be with family for the holiday. We think it is great for get out and explore this world.

Tanja tells me that in Serbia women typically take 2-3 years of maternity leave. Oh - it gets better. They get paid 50% of their salary for the whole time. I thought for sure this discussion was a classic case of misunderstanding as a result of our language barrier but she insists this is the case.

Prior, Tanja and Mason

I can yawn too, says Prior!

Uggghh...I think I...


(Prior)

ATE TOO MUCH.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Property of...

The boys have several onesies/outfits that I love but this one is probably my favorite:

Yes boys, 21 is too young to date. Damn right.

Prior

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sibling Rivalry

DSC_0353 DSC_0354
DSC_0355 DSC_0356

Prior must have heard me talking about Mason's post last night. This morning he pulled a post-worthy trick out of his hat. Smiling. Smiling enough times that I was able to snap some pictures. It's official - Prior's first smiles were at 9 1/2 weeks old on April 15, 2009. Tax day. Maybe it is a sign...he wants to be a CPA!? I'll tell you what it's not a sign of....a tax refund check for Mom and Dad.

Panther Cubs




Thanks aunt Cara for our sweet University of Northern Iowa Panther hats. Mom and Dad's alma mater - where it all started. Also Kurt Warner's alma mater (probably the only way you Minnesotans would have ever heard of it). Scary to think that these boys will be starting college in 2027. By that time college will have gone from ridiculously expensive to completely unaffordable. Once we get that 529 plan opened up I'll be sure to post the routing number/address for donations...

We heard the news that Professor Andreessen, one of my UNI accounting professors, passed away. Professor Andressen was instrumental in helping me (along with thousands of others) pass the CPA exam on the first try. That man was hilarious and made learning accounting fun (I know what you're all thinking). Few teachers leave an impression like he did. I wish I had all of his "sayings" written down - pure classics. I hope he knew how influential he really was...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Masonater

In the spirit of individuality (or because Mason was more cooperative with pictures today) - here's a post dedicated to little Mason. Ever since Prior took over the lead weight-wise Mason feels so small compared to his brother. It's hard to believe that it is only a 5 ounce difference. Mason continues to be the less patient one (you're welcome, kid!)

Why do I think disciplining might be tough?

OK Mason - you can have whatever you want...

I spared everyone pictures until it was completely healed over but here is what Mason's leg looks like. It's his NICU tattoo.

A day in the life...It is too bad that people don't remember these glory days as a baby. Life is so simple and innocent.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Etsy Bitsy Hats

If you have not seen this website you must check it out...


It is a site where people post handmade anything-you-can-think-of. It is similar to ebay only you don't bid - everything has a set price. Check out this collection of handmade knit hats. I have come to the realization that my hat-knitting hobby was short lived (at least for the next 18 years) so I have ordered two for the boys. How cute are these hats!?! The jewelry is incredible too. I wish I had known of this site when I was on bed-rest...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Our First Easter



Happy Easter! I must say that it is pretty neat to get to share all of the boys' "firsts" with them. Absolutely everything is new to them and it is a blast. It truly is the little things in life.

Today their firsts also included church and a restaurant. All of which were experienced meltdown-free. Both boys were being good at church and I looked over at Ben (who was two car seats in the pew away) and he mouthed the words "borrowed time". I laughed. There will be plenty of other opportunities for tantrums in the months/years to come. One woman looked at me and asked if they were twins. I thought to myself - do the math, lady! If you think I popped out two kids (both of which are the exact same size and dressed alike) at two different times in the last 20 months you're insane!


Thank you to all of the Easter Bunnies that helped make Prior and Mason's first Easter a spoiled success! Ben says the boys would get beat up if they wore these sweaters to school so I'll have to get my fill of "cute" stuff when they're little...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Welcome Tanja



Tanja made it...and even better yet she hasn't left yet! 

Her flight arrived early and so we were a little late picking her up - I'm sure she was scared to death. It was funny - it happened to be sunny yesterday when we picked her up and she thought that was neat because Europe is dreary....

I admire her - I can't imagine traveling to another country for an entire year and moving in with total strangers. I know what it was like when I went to Japan but it was for a shorter period of time and I was with other Americans so I wasn't forced to learn the language. It must be very mentally draining to be submersed in a new culture and language.

Thanks Kristi for our monkey suits! Don't we look handsome?!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

First Walk

Today we went on our very first walk. It was very nice out - 50's.. but mom thought it was chilly so first we got bundled up in out hats we got when we were in the hospital (which are getting very tight!) and our coats we got from Theresa for Christmas. With a hat and plugger we are impossible to tell apart! Oh - and we finally gave up on the pacifiers from the hospital - these are much easier to keep in our mouths.


 We don't look happy here but once we started walking we were very happy.


video
Then we worked on tummy time!
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