Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We had a fabulous first Christmas with the babies! My parents and brother were here and we spent the morning opening presents and enjoying a family breakfast. Then we went to Aaron's brother Jonah's house for lunch (a much bigger affair than the 5 adults gathered at my house. I think the number there totaled 24). We opened presents and Lola and Jackson enjoyed lots of playing. Then we came back home and had dinner with my family. It was a wonderful family-filled day. The kids got lots of fun new toys, books, stuffed animals and most of all TONS of attention. Our first Christmas certainly lived up to my magical expectations!
Jonah tries to put together Lola and Jackson's new walking toy while the babies try and help.The kids enjoying their new toys at Aaron's family Christmas. Jackson enjoying he and Lola's new giant stuffed turtle and ladybug pillows.All their new toys and Lola and Jackson are having a blast with a ladle.

Monday, December 15, 2008

9 month check up

The official news is that Jackson and Lola are doing great! The doctor is pleased with both Lola and Jackson's growth and development. Both babies seems to be right on track. I absolutely love it when the doctor says, "You would really never know they were preemies!" I feel so lucky and proud and thankful and well...happy.

Even though I was sure he had, Jackson still hasn't reached 20 pounds. He weighed in at 19 pounds 4 ounces, which puts him in the 25th-50th percentile. He is 27 inches long (10th-25th%) and his head circumference is 17 3/4 inches (50th %). He seems soooo big to me but he is either average or just below on the growth charts. His eyes, ears, mouth, lungs and heart all sound great and despite a lingering cough was pronounced to be in excellent health.Jack has 2 teeth poking out on the bottom. He crawls (everywhere), pulls up (on everything) and protests when we take away a toy (or the remote, cell phone, close the dishwasher or freezer). He stands freely but not for long and is beginning to walk along furniture. He doesn't say "da da da" like Lola but is very verbal (as some of you have heard, he screams and squeels plenty).Lola seems to have had a growth spurt. Even though she is still small, she is now much closer to average, especially for her length and head circumference. She weighs 16 lb. 5 oz. (10th-25th %), is 26 3/4 in. long (25th % up from 5th-10th %) and her head circumference is 16 3/4 in. (10th-25th % up from 3rd-5th% at 6 months). She grew 2 1/2 in. in length since September! And like Jackson, Lola's eyes, ears, mouth, lungs, and heart all look and sound perfect.
Lola has 3 teeth showing, 2 on the bottom that have been out for a while and 1 on the top that just popped out. Like Jackson, she is crawling everywhere we let her, pulling up on anything available, and trying to stand on her own. She is getting better at it and has managed to stand freely for 4 seconds. She says "da da da da" with varying inflections although I'm not sure exactly what each one means. Sometimes she looks right at you and says, "Da!" which is appears to have a different meaning from the "da da da" she says to herself as she's crawling around the house or hanging out in her crib. I keep waiting for Jackson to pick up on it but that hasn't happened yet. So far their verbal exchanges consist of her saying da da da and him yelling back at her. Lola has also started clapping which is really adorable. She isn't all that great at it yet and only gets a couple of good claps in before missing her hands or hitting herself in the face. Doesn't bother her, though. She seems quite pleased with herself.
The doctor asked me if the babies were waving. I had a small moment of panic as I said, "No. Should they already be waving?" "It's a milestone we look for but kids don't all progress at the same pace. They are hitting all their other milestones and if they aren't waving there is no cause for concern." Very diplomatic of her but c'mon, I'll admit it...I freaked a bit. And so in true ridiculous crazy mommy style I have been waving at my kids whenever the come and go. I also wave at the train, at the cat, at Daddy, at the Christmas tree, and pretty much everything else we see. Neither of them have waved yet, but I'll be sure to keep you posted so you can rest easy :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Today in church the Minister, as he always does, called for the congregation's joys and concerns. After some are shared publicly he asks for us to have a moment of silent prayer. This time is for us to pray for those we've heard about and share our personal joys and concerns privately with God. When the Minister called for this moment of prayer this morning immediately to my mind came "Thank you thank you thank you thank you." I repeated it over and over for the entire period of silence. "Thank you thank you thank you thank you." Blessed, privileged, fortunate...I have an awesome life. I have an amazing family. I am healthy. I have all the material possessions I really need. And I am grateful.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lola and Jackson's First Snow!

Who would have thought Lola and Jack would have experienced their first snow in New Orleans even before their first Christmas! I like to think that it snowed just for them since today is their 9 months birthday! Here are some great pics of the the kids in the snow:

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Aren't kids supposed to thrive on consistency? At least that's what everyone says (you know, that allusive "they" who say so much). Kids like routine and structure, or at least that's what "they" say. So we wake up and have our bottles, go down for our nap around 8(sounds early but not so when you wake up between 5 and 5:30), eat breakfast about 30 minutes after waking up from our nap, eat another bottle about 1 hour after breakfast... and so goes the day. We might go to the mall, hang out with a friend, take an afternoon walk, or run a few errands. But by afternoon we're right back in to the routine. We eat dinner at 5, baths at 5:30, bottles at 6, and bed around 7. Sounds pretty consistent right? Even a little like the movie Groundhog Day when Bill Murry wakes up to the same thing over and over and over.

So I am providing routine and structure with a few changes of scenery and new experiences mixed in for fun. I am doing the right thing, right? But now I'm left wondering WHERE THE HECK IS THE CONSISTENCY FROM THEM!?!

"They" say kids thrive on consistency. So why are they so darn inconsistent? Yesterday morning both babies napped for an hour and a half. That's awesome for Lola and a downright miracle for Jackson. How did it go this morning? Jackson slept for a whopping 30 minutes and Lola never fell asleep at all! One day Jackson likes to eat, the next he only wants bottles. One night both babies sleep (or at least mostly sleep) through the night. The next night I'm up every 20 minutes. Lola used to go to sleep and stay there. Recently she has been waking up at some point before 11 pm wanting to play. Not every night, though. That would be too consistent!

It's not like I expect them to fall asleep at exactly the same time and stay asleep for exactly the same duration every day. I guess I just expected all of my consistency to rub off a little on them. But that doesn't seem to be happening.

Just when I think I've got them figured out Jackson stops liking apples or Lola doesn't want to nap. The only pattern I can find is that there is absolutely no discern able pattern. So that gets me to thinking... is all this effort to provide structure and consistency for their benefit or for mine. Am I trying to make reason out of chaos? Are "they" just grownups like me trying to impose structure where there are really only the whims of inconsistent 8 month olds?

Friday, December 5, 2008


I guess baby proofing is more a process than a task to be completed. I know my house isn't totally Lola and Jackson-proof. And everyone talks about how babies this age (crawling and pulling up) are in to everything. But like other things us new parents believe either won't happen to us or everyone else is just exaggerating about, I didn't really think everything meant EVERYTHING! Well, here are Lola and Jackson with a couple of thier new discoveries from the past couple of days.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Teething biscuits

The largest bib in the world couldn't protect their cloths, the high chairs, or the floor from the giant disgusting mess that teething biscuits produce. The one good aspect (other than the obvious one of the kids learning to self-feed) is this activity keeps them occupied for at least 10 minutes.
Click on this picture of both kids eating to enlarge it. You really have to see it bigger to appreciate Jackson's face. Notice the bruise on Jackson's eye? He lost a fight with a chair. Someone suggested that I wrap him in bubble wrap. Maybe this is not such a ridiculous idea...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I haven't forgotten....

Please don't think I have forgotten about my bolg! The contraption that loads my camera memory card to the computer is broken so I can't post any new pictures. Plus life has been so busy with the Thanksgiving holiday and Aaron being crazy busy at work (Black Friday and all). But in the absence of new news (except to say that Lola and Jack are adorable and amazing), enjoy a few older pics and know that I'll be back with a real post by Monday.
Their little behinds are so cute!Fabulous Jackson faces:What do you do with a fussy Lola? Stuff a pacifier in her mouth and have Dad carry her around in a baby back pack! I promise it's far more humane than it looks.Look how hard Mom is laughing at Lola in that cutie pie hat!

Friday, November 21, 2008


The Petition for Preemies

I have added a link to the March of Dimes' Petition for Preemies on the left side of the page. Please take a second and sign this petition that will urge our government to dedicate more resources to combating prematurity. The number of babies born prematurely in the country is staggering and (no big surprise here) Louisiana ranks among the worst.

Lola and Jackson benefited so much from the treatment we received in CO and here in NO. If they would have been born when I first went in to pre-term labor (at 25 weeks) our lives would be immeasurably different. Because I was able to hold on until almost 34 weeks Lola and Jack seem indistinguishable as preemies. They are hitting their milestones and certainly aren't off-the-charts small.

But this is not always the case. For some women the various blood pressure and asthma medications that are used to stop contractions do not work (there are currently no medications approved by the FDA specifically for stopping contractions and preventing pre-term birth). Some women are afflicted with preeclampsia much earlier in their pregnancy and are forced to deliver their babies as early as 23 weeks. These are only a couple of reasons for premature birth (the ones that affected our family). Unfortunately there are many more.

The March of Dimes is doing amazing work to combat the many causes of premature birth. Please take just a second and help let our government know how important education and research are to the health of our babies! Mom and Dad, Lola and Jackson, and families everywhere say thanks!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Jammie-time workout

The kids are getting soooo active! Last night I was trying to put pajamas on them and they were literally crawling all over me. And I mean it... literally. Imagine me sitting on the floor with Lola lying in front of me trying to get her dressed. Jackson is working hard to climb over his sister and in to my arms, cackling as he steps on her . And of course Lola isn't helping with all of her rolling and squirming. So after 10 minutes it's finally Jackson's turn. Lola is a cross between really aggravated and jubilant at her freedom so she makes getting Jackson dressed even harder than she was. After both were jammied I sat on the floor and they crawled and climbed all over me. What does a mother of twins need a gym membership for! I was actually winded!

Since I couldn't take any pictures of my "jammie-time workout", enjoy these great ones instead!
She doesn't understand that we all benefit when Jackson gets his rest.Lola finds yet another way to play with the excersaucer.One of those "Awww" moments of parenting twins.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

8 Months old!

Lola and Jackson are 8 months old today! 8 months ago this morning I had no idea we were going to see Lola and Jackson for the very first time. Here are some pics from the first night:
Dad looking in on Lola the night she was born.Dad smiling with his new son Jackson.
The morning of March 11th, 8 months ago, I was trying to force down yet another protein shake (on order of the hospital nutritionist) and watching the Golden Girls. I already had my morning visit from the nurse to check the babies' heartbeats and my vital signs. My blood pressure was high (again) and the nurse reclined my bed all the way and told me to lay down on my side and drink the rest of my delicious shake (every drop of it) through a straw. "Another lame day waiting for nothing," I thought. Yeah, right.

8 months ago today around 3 pm my doctor came for a routine visit before she left town. It was Tuesday and she would be back on Friday. We discussed whether I would be discharged for home bed rest after she returned and decided that was not such a good idea. She would get back on Friday, check in with me at the hospital, and then we would wait out yet another boring weekend. That was the plan. But before she went, "Just one more liver enzyme check, in case..."

8 months ago today at 5:30 pm the very sweet but firm Nurse rings through the intercom, "Honey, when was the last time you ate anything." Thinking she was about to scold me for not finishing my delicious lunchtime protein shake, I lied "Not too long ago I had some milk and sting cheese."

8 months ago today at 6:00 pm I called Aaron and told him "Not to rush or anything, but you might want to come on over cause we're gonna go ahead and have the babies." People have a funny way of minimizing big scary things. Like when my mom used to tell people "We had a little house fire" when the entire attic burned, a large portion of the roof fell in onto the second floor, and the whole house had to be re-done. I meant it when I said to him, "Finish your emailing and just come on whenever." Of course he was in my hospital room in what seemed like seconds.

At 6:30 pm I was pumped full of some IV liquid that flushes out any food and drink before I get an epidural (a fitting punishment for exaggerating my food intake for the afternoon). My night nurse had just arrived (she was 8 months pregnant herself) and we joked about how different our situations were despite being the same gestation.

8 months ago today at 8:00 pm my hysterically funny pregnant nurse and I walked down the hall to the operating room (the first time I had walked down ANY hall in weeks) and Aaron took a final picture of the 2 of us belly to belly, laughing our way to deliver Lola and Jackson.

At 8:35 and 8:36 pm 8 months ago today we got our first glimpse of Lola Belle and Jackson Forrest before they were whisked off to the NICU. They are perfect and amazing and I could not image, at that moment, how wonderful and terrifying and joyous and trying and absolutely amazing our lives would become.

A little perspective on how far we've come:
Mom feeding Jackson in the NICU, less than a week old (fyi, the IV is in his head because he kept pulling on it; feisty little guy from the beginning!). Jackson feeding himself at 7 months old.Lola asleep in Mom's hand, 4 weeks old.Lola with her head on the arm of the couch, 7 months old.
Jackson sitting in his bouncy chair at 3 weeks old.Jackson climbing into his bouncy chair at 7 months old.
Lola all wrapped up after her very first bath, 3 weeks old.
Lola playing in the bath tub, 2 days before turning 8 months old.
Dad holding Lola and Jackson in the NICU, 1 week old.
Mom holding Lola and Jackson on the way out of the hospital, 2 weeks and 5 days old.Mom holding Lola and Jackson at 7 1/2 months old.
8 months ago today Aaron and I met our kids for the first time and boy has it been a wild ride since!