Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

We are excited for what is to come in 2010. Minus our house catching on fire, 2009 was a pretty terrific year. How many people get to welcome two beautiful babies into their lives at the same time? We really are very lucky. The trying times we have had in the last few years with our home and Neal's health have made us really appreciate the great things we do have. I know, cheesey, but it is the truth. Here is a recap of the year.


Babies in belly


Daddy on the way to the hospital.


Grady Ryan and Gwen Marie arrive.


Mom's beach vacation after delivering.


Mom begins the twins sweat.


Gwen meets her future boyfriend!


First babies in history visit the moon on a nightly basis.


Boys watching football!


First bath in the tub. It did not go so well.



Beautiful 6 month old babies.



I am excited to see what 2010 hands us.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

6 month stats

Today was a busy day. First we had to take Daddy to the rental house to let the movers pick up the rental furniture. At noon we headed to the photo studio to get some pictures taken. I got suckered in to more than the $9.95 package, but did not do too bad. Of course the babies WOULD NOT CRACK A SMILE while we were there. I was making weird noises, I pretty much did everything short of jumping around on one foot. Wait, maybe I should have tried that, they do like when I hop around. Anyways after the shoot (with one outfit change of course) we headed to Ichiban for lunch with Grandma and Aunt Stacy. Gwen screamed when the guy did the fire show. I am guessing she thought the guy was making a joke about fire. Of course Gwen said (in her own blabbering words), "fire is no joke, my house burned down when I was 3 weeks old". Once we got that straightened out it was all SMILES. No napping, just smiles. Why do they not smile during the photo shoot? Oh well.

Next the doctors office. They caught a 20 minute nap in the car on the way over. We waited in the doctors office for over an hour before the doctor came in. Again, the babies were all smiles. It is like they are saying haha mom we know when you want us to smile and we will not do it. The doctor did not think it was a big deal to leave 6 month old twins waiting for over an hour. I told her they should at least have given us the courtesy to tell us they were running late. Regardless we will be changing doctor offices. Now down to the important business, the 6 month stats.

Gwendolyn
Weight 15 pounds 6 ounces 25-50%
Height 25.25" 25%
Head 16" 25%

Grady
Weight 16 pounds 6 ounces 25%
Height 26.5" 50%
Head 17" 25-50%

FOUR MONTH STATS
Gwendolyn
Weight 13 pounds 3 ounces 25-50%
Height 24.25" 25%
Head 15.25" 5%

Grady
Weight 14 pounds 14 ounces 25-50%
Height 25.25" 50%
Head 16.75" 50%

In summary, Gwen is no longer going to be a midget and brain growth has really kicked in to high gear. They are both on schedule to be average sized geniuses. Other than that everything looks good. We are starting more food, hopefully tomorrow if I can get to the store and figure out how to cook it. I also got a new piece of equipment I learned about from a fellow blogger to make my own apple sauce. I will get on that over the next few days as well. We are opting for the new approach. No purees, just soft foods. Apparently there will be a lot of gagging, but it seems to be the direction of teaching babies to eat. I told the doctor I thought Grady was leaning his head one way and slouched a lot. She sat him up and he held himself up with perfect posture and moved his head from the left to the right. Big surprise! Next time I will use reverse psychology when speaking in front of the babies.



Such a cute little boy!


Beautiful baby girl!

4 shots in total and this was just the beginning...
video
video

Saturday, December 26, 2009

6 months!!!

It has gone by too fast. Every day the babies are more and more fun.

Sleep
Babies are sleeping a good 11 hours at night. They were going 7:30-7:00 and recently started waking up at 6 so we are trying to keep them up to 8:00. We will see how it goes. They take 3 naps a day. We find they can stay awake for about 2 hours at a time. Sometimes naps last 45 minutes, sometimes 3 hours. You just never know what you are going to get. Gwen is definitely the better sleeper. When Grady wakes up early he usually talks in his crib for about 15 minutes, then starts to whine. Gwen will sit quietly in her crib and play with her feet for a while.

Food
The babies are eating on average 6 ounces four times a day. They moved to a four hour schedule in the last month. It is really nice. It makes going out of the house so much easier. They have cereal for lunch. This is hit or miss. Gwen will hold her bottle for a little, but they tires out. Grady has no interest in holding his bottle. When Gwen sees the bottle coming she gets excited and opens her mouth and holds out her hands. Grady eats quicker that Gwen.

Activities
They both absolutely love the Jumparoo. I am pretty sure either of them would sit in it for the whole day if we let them. Grady is rolling over. Gwen is closer to sitting up than rolling over. Tummy time is still a challenge, but we work on it every day. They love sitting in their bumbos and playing with toys. The Johnny Jump is also a hit. Currently we are using it as more of an indoor swing. We still use the bouncy seats, but not really to bounce, just to eat cereal.

Names
We have a couple of nicknames for the kids. Gwen is pretty much Gwen, Drama (although she is not so much) or Baby Girl. Grady is G-man, G-Rady, or Bubbie. Grady absolutely loves his name. Just saying his name will usually make him smile.

Personalities
Grady is a very happy easy going baby. He may whine here and there, but rarely ever cries full force. Gwen has no whine, she pretty much just has full on scream. She usually only screams when she is hungry. She has started smiling more. When she smiles she sticks her little tongue out. Grady still smiles the most. They both wake up smiling, that is after the shock of the lights being turned on. Neither of them are attached to anyone yet.

They have moved up to size 3 diapers. We are leaning toward Grady being a lefty again. We will just have to wait and see. COSI is our next adventure. Doctors tomorrow, including more shots! Pics tomorrow too! Today was a funny night, only one baby awake at a time. It was nice to spend some one on one time with each of them.

We have a busy week coming up. Pictures, doc, New Years Eve dinner, visits with Dawn and Suzy and the Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl gives us a chance to bust out our Buckeye gear one more time. Whether it fits or not is another story!

Dinner


We had our first dinner at the table together. It was nice, but short of course. I have loved being home with the babies the last few days. I actually think I could stay home with them full time. Unfortunately we are not rich. The older they get the more fun they get. We are a very lucky family. Grandpa got us our high chairs, so once they ship we should all be able to sit at the table. I can't wait! Tomorrow we are hoping to start some sweet potatoes. Yummy!

Merry Christmas

I promised I would take more pictures of the babies and the family and I sucked at it. I got a few, but not what I wanted. The babies made out this Christmas. Grady sat with Grandpa while we opened gifts and Gwen sat in C's Jumparoo and watched. The babies got clothes, ornaments, toys, bath toys, bath seats and swings. I am hoping to get the baths rolling asap.












Grady is ready to drive! You are probably wondering where his shirt was. Well he drooled so badly I took it off. We were about 15 minutes from pajamas time so he rocked his Christmas vest muscle man style.


Another Kothe on their laptop!


I am not sure who loves the new toys more the babies or us! It is nice to have some new things in the mix.

Roll Over Roll Over

Grady gave the family quite a surprise on Christmas. He rolled over for the first time, well the first time anyone witnessed it. Unfortunately, we did not record it. The entire room was clapping and cheering him on. Since then he cannot stop rolling over. Soon he will be rolling all over the room.


video

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

BABY #3 ON THE WAY

It is the only explanation for my belly. I am guessing the doctor left a baby in there!


Note: I am not to be held responsible if I just gave anyone a heart attack.

Christmas with C

Neck = Neal
C = Connor

This is my texting decoder. I am too lazy to type full names. Connor is now known as C. Anyways, R, L & C came over for Christmas last week. C had a big gift for the babies. He gave them his pacifier. C is now two and has decided he is ready to part ways with his sleeping buddy. Good luck C!

Look Mom, No Hands

The babies focus in any given day is to get as much stuff into their mouthes as physically possible. If I put my big head too close to them they will try to fit it into their mouthes. Gwen managed to eat her toy without even having to pick it up. Some would say this is lazy, but I say it is smart. That a girl!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Car ride from hell

We made a day trip up to Cleveland on Sunday for Christmas. We timed it so the ride up would be during nap time and the ride back would be bed time. 4 hours in one day is a lot of time for the babies in the car seat. On the way up we all did fine until the last 15 nminutes, but it was manageable. On the way home, Grady was not happy at all. He screamed so loud, he threw up. Poor little guy. We had to pull over twice. After a lot of shushing Grady finally gave up and mommy passed out.

Roll Over

Grady finally rolled over and I missed it. I put him on his back while I ran upstairs to put Gwen to bed, when I came back down he was on his stomach! He looked at me like I was crazy when I picked him up and started screaming YEAH at him.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Twins Sweat

This is the one thing no one told me about before having twins. The sweat, oh the sweat. I guess when you think about it, it all starts when you are carrying the babies inside your belly! There are many different sweats that you have as a twins mom.

1) Stand up sit down - This is the sweat that happens when you find your self on the ground playing with the babies at a comfortable temperature. Next thing you know you have a poopy diaper, so you are up. Change the diaper, crawl back on the ground, then you smell something. You guessed it, up again. Then crawl back on the ground only to realize you have been holding it for an hour now because you did not have a free moment to relieve yourself, so you guessed it, up again.

2) The hustle - You are playing with a baby only to realize you hear a funny gurgling. You quickly search the room for a burp cloth so you can catch whatever it is that comes up.

3) The indoor/ outdoor - This sweat occurs when you are outside in the cold, then go inside someplace and try to get the kids settled. You still have your coat on and cannot help but sweat.

4) Let's get outta here - This one occurs when you decide on a limb to go someplace. You quickly bundle both babies, cage the dogs in the basement, carry the babies to the car. By the time you get into the front seat, you guessed it, sweat.

5) Embarrassed sweat - Everyone has been there. You are in public and you have a screaming baby. You pick them up, get them calmed down and back into their seat. Next thing you know you have another screaming baby. Repeat. Not only are you tired from holding the babies, but you are completely embarrassed. Pretty much immediate sweat.

That about sums up my baby sweats! I am sure you are happy to have read this. I am guessing my husband loves me just a little bit more right now.

Second visit with Santa

More to come, but here are the pics


Gwen was watching tv!








What a hunk!

Home Sweet Home

As of Wednesday the 16th we are officially back home. The fire happened almost 5 months ago. Things look pretty good overall. Best of all, we are borrowing Connor's Jumparoo and Gwen loves it. I was too lazy to move it to the rental, then turn around a month later and move it home. I will get a video up as soon as my husband sends it to me. So far every day has been met with a challenge. Day 1 I went to take my first long hot shower only to discover our drain was clogged. The water in the toilet started to rise. Luckily I ran downstairs and the plumber was there. Took Roto Rooter a couple of hours to fix. Day 2, I ask Neal to hook up the washer and dryer downstairs until the guys come to move it up to the second floor. After doing a load, I realize the agitator is not working. I decided it is not the best idea to put a 10 year old piece of equipment on the second floor and we go drop a load of dough to get a new set. Day 3, cable tv goes out in our bedroom. Cable guy spends 3 hours on a Sunday only to tell us the thing is really screwed up and someone has to come out again. It is really hard to keep 2 Beagles quiet outside in the cold. Ok, have I complained enough. I am happy to be home, but not sure I should go to bed, what will happen tomorrow?????

Monday, December 14, 2009

White Elephant Gift

Neal remembered on Sunday night at 8pm that he needed a white elephant gift for work. I told him I would take care of it. My first thought...



I heard they were on clearance on the radio and I am a bargain shopper. I doubted I would be able to find one so my next thought.....a photo ornament with Neal's picture. Not just any picture, the new crazy smiling Neal. It is impossible to put it into words, so I will simply show you.












Trust me, you cannot see his face, but he has his new found silly dad grin on.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My Little Fashionista

Aunt Stacy brought Gwen some leg warmers from Chicago. She is so adorable in them. As soon as I put them on her she jumped up (for the first time ever) started dancing and said her first words...."She's a maniac, maniac on the floor". I guess Gwen just needed some inspiration to start walking and talking.

The Dogs

The dogs continue to do good with the babies. They are not overly interested. Tippy just started to play with their toys a little more, but he stops when you tell him no. Tippy enjoys baby cereal way more than the babies, although that is not saying much, he also likes dog poop. The babies on the other hand love the dogs. They watch them all of the time. The dogs actually distract the babies when they are eating. The babies like to pet the dogs too, but the dogs do not quite appreciate it yet. Luke loves to give the babies kisses. This week he wanted to hang out with the babies, Santa and the snowman.

Breakfast with Santa

This past weekend the local twins club hosted breakfast with Santa. We may be a little premature for this, but I liked the idea of being able to take my own picture and not get ripped off at the mall. Not to mention I would not have to wait in line forever and I would get to eat. Pretty much two of my favorite things. So Neal took the pictures and claimed we had a great one. There was only one picture where both of the babies were kinda looking at the camera. So without further ado here is my kids first picture with Santa and some other ladies behind.



I was also hoping to meet another couple that Neal and I both got along with and had twins about 5 months old. Well, let's just say we will try again next year.

MINE

That is what the babies would be saying if they could talk. They started having their first tug of war over toys last week. It has not gotten that ugly yet, they are still smiling.


And yes, my little fashionista is rocking her Halloween bib in December. She cannot always be on.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

5 months old!

I cannot believe the babies are already 5 months old. Time goes by so fast.

Sleep
Both babies are now sleeping through the night. Gwen started around 3.5 months and Grady around 4.5 months. They were sleeping 7-7 then started waking up at 6 so we are trying to keep them up until 7:30 or 8 and that seems to be working. 6 is a little too early for us on the weekends! The babies started napping in their cribs this month. I wish I would have started that sooner. There is still some crying involved, but it has gotten way better. We have resorted back to swaddling during naps and it seems to be helping. At the first sign of them being tired we immediately put them to bed. If we wait to long it is a struggle.

Food
The babies eat about 5-7 ounces per bottle. They are still eating every 3 hours. We were letting them snack too much before, so we stopped that. They both adapted rather quickly. We have been doing cereal for about a week now. The babies still make funny faces, but they seem to be swallowing a little more.

The twins favorite toy this month was a balloon Grandma brought over. They cannot get enough of it. They are eating everything. They have even tried to eat the balloon. Basically their main goal for each day is to get as many things into their mouthes as possible. They are both laughing more and more all of the time. Grady smiles all the time. He is the happiest baby. Gwen is starting to smile more every day. Gwen is going to be sitting up real soon. She holds herself well and has good posture. She is also showing a lot of interest in holding the bottle by herself. Grady has a hard time holding up his noggin, but is getting stronger every day. No one has rolled over yet, but we are working on it.

We headed to Cleveland for Thanksgiving Day. Luckily the babies sleep in the car. I think the trip went pretty well. It is easy now, they are not mobile yet! Next year will be more challenging.





It is amazing to think one year ago we had just found out we were going to be having twins. We are so very lucky to have these babies. I cannot imagine life without them.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

You Had a Bad Day

Gwen had her worst day ever today. Well she may say the day she was born was the worst, but in my mind today was the worst. Her eczema flared up. I tried to control it during naps with Vaseline or aquaphor, but today it did not work. I actually think it made it worse. I think she rubbed the Vaseline in her eyes. Regardless we are going to the doctor tomorrow. I hate seeing my baby cry. Next up, I will tell you how I made my other baby bleed and cry! I am having a bad mommy day all around. Hence the trip to Kroger after bedtime for some mommy juice!


There is Something About Mary

Our plant, we will call it Mary, short for Marriott. Neal bought me this plant after we were living in the hotel for a couple of days after the fire. I needed a pick me up. He tried to buy me flowers, but realized we no longer had a vase. I laughed and said we would kill it, like we do with every other indoor plant. Much to my surprise, Mary is thriving. I did not even want to take Mary to our rental home, but I am glad we did. It reminds me how great Neal and I balance each other out. When I need him he is there and when he needs me I am there. You cannot ask for much more than that our of a marriage. Thanks Mary for reminding me what is important.



We will see if Mary survives the transplant to a bigger pot back home! Less than a month, supposedly!
video

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cereal

Since I am off of work for almost 10 days straight, I figured we would throw a little cereal into the mix. It was enjoyable to say the least. Gwen pretty much spit it all back up. Grady hated it at first, but then swallowed some eventually. I cannot wait to start fruits and veggies in January. I am hoping to make a lot of my own baby food. We will see how long that lasts! Unfortunately the video will not load, so all we have is pictures.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Parenting

My thoughts on parenting change every week. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but I have so much to learn. It is the biggest challenge of my life. Trying to raise a human being to be loving, honest and independent. I know, they are only 4 months old! We have a new hurdle every week. Last week was sleeping through the night and we did accomplish it, but it was hard. This week we are working on our schedule, naps and bottles. Babies really are habitual, so it is your job as a parent to help them to form good habits. Unfortunately you do not realize the bad habits until they are formed! Then it is painful to make the change, but deep down you know it is the best thing for them. We went to the lights at the zoo tonight and heard a woman couting to get her kid to stop something and she said I am only going to count to ten. I know that will happen to us someday, but I will do everything I can to teach these kids we can have much more fun if they listen. Easier said than done, everything is! That is my two cents, take it for what it is worth. Here is a picture of the babies bundled up at the zoo.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Photo Shoot

I am going to miss this when the twins get older. We have had a couple of photo shoots in our house. They are by no means professional, just me, a white blanket, two cute outfits and two adorable babies. The most recent was for Christmas cards. The twins have a Santa and Mrs. Clause outfit that we bought from a fellow twins mom down the street. It was the most adorable shoot yet. The babies were even holding hands. You will just have to wait until you get your card to see the pictures.

In the meantime the babies have really been doing good in their bumbos. They are still a couple of months from the high chair. Do you ever have a picture you just cannot get enough of? Here are two of my favorites.


I had a dream

And unfortunately it was just a dream. After going to our real home on Friday evening we saw some progress, albeit small, the light fixtures were up in almost every room. I had that little bit of hope inside of me come alive again. We will someday be back home. I still do not think the fire has truly set in. I am not freaked out by fire. How can that be if my house caught on fire? Is it because we made it out ok? Because I did not even know our house was on fire? Whatever it is I am glad. I hope the fear does not set in when we move home. Let's just say my video monitor will be set up at home. The life of my children is way more important than mine. Have you ever heard of any one's house burning down not only once, but twice? I think our odds are pretty good that we are safe, although we do tend to defy the odds on just about everything. My dad reminded me on Friday that it was Friday the 13th. That does not scare me at all as we tend to have bad luck on any give date. 7/22/09 the house burnt down (ok not completely burnt down, but it adds some drama), 10/5/07 Neal was put into a medically induced coma and we would be unsure whether he would return to us for weeks, 1/17/08 we found out not only that our best friend had cancer but that it was transplanted into Neal. I know whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! But seriously, what the hell else could happen. Anyways, back to my dream, I woke up and just knew I was in my bedroom back at home. Unfortunately I looked around and realized I was still in our mint green rental house. Oh well, could be worse. Good thing is I know that someday my dream will come true and I will wake up in my freshly painted bedroom with brand new windows and my first ever matching bedroom set.

Monday, November 16, 2009

And the Jay-Z song was on

I really did not think I would be shushed for a teeny bopper Miley Cyrus song until my daughter was at least 10 years old. Sadly I was shushed the other day in the car when her popular song came on, but not by my daughter, by my 32 year old husband. Why couldn't he have jumped on the Britney and JT train with me 5 years ago!

And the Jay-Z song was on.
And the Jay-Z song was on.
And the Jay-Z song was on.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hi my name is Grady Kothe and I am a thief

After being stuck in the house last week with Daddy being out of town, I decided it was time to get out. The store of choice is typically target. I found some really cute tights for Gwen. When I got to the check out I specifically checked the basket on the stroller to make sure I did not forget anything. I then went to the parking lot and picked Grady up and there were Gwen's tights sitting on his lap. I gasped at my son not believing he could do this. I am typically an honest person and considered going back in, but Gwen was crying. I rationalized in my head that I spend tons of money at Target and the $3.99 tights were not going to break the books, not to mention they were overpriced. Anyways, I did not steal anything, it was Grady! They would not send a 4 month old to prison, would they?.


He does not look guilty.


Have any of you moms ever had this happen?