gobble, gobble

We had a wonderful holiday weekend!  Thanksgiving was great.  Jeff got up early on T-giving morning to play football with the guys – “Foul Bowl I.”  (he played in the Gobbler golf tournament on Friday morning too – tough life!).  I was up to feed the boys and captured this lovely photo:

This game was so serious that when he got his new cleats in the mail the day before, we had to pack up the boys in the jogging stroller and walk to a nearby field so I could throw to him & let him break them in by running routes.  What else is a wife for other than your own personal QB whenever you need it? (…or rather, back-up QB when your guy friends aren’t available, more likely)

Daddy's biggest fans - they liked watching!

halftime photo op

Thanksgiving was fun & delicious… after we realized the oven had somehow been turned off & we got it turned back on so that turkey could cook!  My mom & family made all the traditional delights for the meal (she even added sweet potato casserole at the last minute by special request for Jeff & dad- thanks mom!).   I was in charge of desserts & made pumpkin pie, Jeff’s favorite choc-PB rice krispie treats, and a new recipe called apple butter apple pie – a cross between apple pie & apple crumble – yum!  I’ll definitely make that again.

Dad was pretty excited about the pie... a little too excited, maybe...

 

We went to town taking pictures – I love these first holidays with the babies! (I also love all the family members who want to hold & play with the boys all day – they get spoiled & I get some down time!)

so thankful for our 2 new blessings this year!

Aunt Ashley & her nephews

Lovin' on their grand-turkeys

enjoying the last few fall days

Cullen getting some love from Uncle Kyle

And this is how we spent Friday afternoon recovering from all that Thanksgiving fun:

My aunt, uncle, & cousins came up Thursday night & stayed with us for the weekend.  They’re getting ready to go back to Asia as missionaries so it’s one of the last few times our whole family will be together for a while.

On Saturday we took the boys to see some friends, including 2 of our friends from college who were down from PA, Nick & Kelly, and met their sweet new baby girl, Josephine.  Lane was eyeing her up – wish I had a picture! 😉  We really enjoyed seeing everybody & catching up.  Then we went to pick out their first Christmas tree!  Cullen slept through it all but Lane was pretty interested in all the trees.  We quickly realized that Christmas tree-trimming & decorating isn’t quite the same with twin babies to care for!  Hard to hear Christmas music and drink egg nog when babies are crying to be fed, ha.  Turned out it worked better after the boys went to bed. 😉  Now that we’ve got it up, they love to stare at the lights on the tree.  We’re excited for their first Christmas!

 

four months old.

Happy Thanksgiving – we have much to be thankful for & celebrate!  Cullen & Lane are FOUR months old today!  I can’t believe how time flies with little ones.

We are so in love with these boys!  Thank you, Lord, for our sweet sons.  They made us a family.  Sometimes I look at them and wonder what we did before they were born?  It just seems like they’ve always been a part of our lives.  They’ve made it so much richer!

At 4 months (10 weeks adjusted age), you both:

  • eat 5-6 times a day, take 3 or 4 naps, and sleep through the night from around 8/8:30-6:30 or 7.   Oh sweet sleep!
  • are smiling & laughing like crazy – and love to look at yourselves in the mirror.  You crack yourselves up!
  • definitely want more attention & entertainment – I’m learning how to make you both happy when there’s just one of me!
  • like when we read you books
  • are babbling and imitating us – sticking out your tongues, etc.  So cute!
  • now love to lay on the activity mat, watch that crazy sun toy light up, & grab at the things hanging above you

Cullen Wayne, you:

  • Have been a little more needy this month – mostly just wanting extra snuggle time, you’re pretty snuggly!  If you wake up early from a nap though, you want to be UP!
  • Hold your head up much better and are getting close to rolling over, but not quite yet.  That’s probably because you HATE tummy time – we call it torture time because 9 times out of 10 you scream bloody murder.  Funny because you used to LOVE being on your tummy!
  • Have discovered your thumb & love to suck on it – though it’s still hard for you to work it out & it frustrates you until you get it in there!  Your other chubby little fingers spread out & smother your cheeks when you do it, it’s adorable.
  • Are finally getting some hair on top of your head  – no more male pattern baldness.  We love that peach fuzz head!
  • Give the biggest full-face smiles.  You don’t give them quite as often as your brother, but when you do, they’re huge!

Lane Davis, you:

  • Have changed a lot this month – your independence means you entertain yourself really well & you are pretty happy on your own most of the time.  You LOVE your sleep & it’s now you I have to wake up, not Cullen!  You are constantly smiling & cracking yourself up.  I think the reflux issues you had have calmed down a bit and you’re eating so much better that everything is easier!
  • Are still a very active baby who likes to be moving.  You snuggle when you want to & when you’re tired, but when you’re awake you’re using those muscles!
  • Have hair that keeps getting blonder & eyes that keep getting bluer.  Where did you come from?! Just kidding.  We love it.
  • Are our little flirt with your never-ending grins & those eyes – definitely still a social butterfly!

We love you!

thankful thursday, thanksgiving edition!

There is SO much to be thankful for – but today on Thanksgiving, I am grateful for:

  • Jesus who loves us, provides for us, and knows what’s best for us.
  • Jeff as a father, who works so hard every day so I can stay home with our boys, then helps me in any way he can once he’s home.
  • Jeff as a husband, who loves me no matter what, always makes me laugh, and is my best friend
  • a warm home during cold days – and a house that can now be decorated with pictures of cute baby boys 😉
  • getting to spend extra time with my Grandpa while he’s been in Charlotte for an extended time
  • family – we are excited to spend Thanksgiving with the Zaepfel/Pullen clan for the first time in a while, but we’ll be missing the Pyles crew & thinking of them too!
  • friends who are always there for us & love us and our boys so well.
  • that my husband’s fantasy football season is almost over… wait, did I say that out loud?!
  • all the delicious pumpkin treats we’ve been enjoying lately – I love fall desserts!
  • not having to wake up to feed the boys in the middle of the night anymore (for the most part) – I love sleep.
  • Thanksgiving food. enough said.
  • and of course, the biggest & most important thing we’re thankful for this year – these turkeys!!! SO thankful for my sons.

I just read this about how powerful it is to have a grateful heart & thought it was worth sharing.  Happy Thanksgiving!

just call us tree huggers.

So it seems the Pyles casa is starting to go “green” lately… not that Jeff & I were ever super into that sort of thing (though it’s great if you can do it!), but we’ve been finding several random ways to save money by getting into it.  I’ve long been teased for my cheap ways (I prefer the word frugal) -thankfully it is now paying off since adding twins to your family and losing the second income will make you learn to stretch your budget!

First… we’ve been making our own laundry detergent.  Simple. Super Cheap.  Here’s a link to the recipe we used (this is a great local website for frugal ideas!)  Jeff actually made the call to try this & made up the first batch.

Second… we haven’t bought any new house cleaning products, we’re just using staples from around the house to clean our home.  There are a million to try – look here (ps, love this website for DIY house decor!).

Third… and the biggie – yes, we are doing cloth diapers.  Before you laugh/gasp, they have changed a ton – you don’t have to use pins or diaper services or anything like that if you don’t want to.   When we saw how expensive it would potentially be to buy diapers for 2 babies… I started researching the internet for other ideas & found out that cloth diapering is becoming pretty popular again.  These new versions are honestly just about as easy as disposables now and who can resist these cute little baby bums?

And we are saving a ton of money.  Plus, for any future kids we have (we do want more… but not for quite a while! ha!) we can reuse them, so we won’t have to buy anything for them!  We just started using them this past week.  Until now, we’ve had a stash of disposables that others so kindly and generously gave us.  We figured we should give ourselves some time to get settled & adjusted to newborn twin life first and then try it out.  We just ran out of the size they’re currently in so it’s good timing.  We’ll use the leftover few boxes that are in bigger sizes for traveling, etc.  So far we’ve been using mainly two brands – The Flip system by Bum Genius and Smartipants.  They’ve worked great so far & a couple of extra loads of laundry a week is really not a big deal – small price to pay for the thousands we’ll be saving!

Now – I am definitely still shaving my armpits, the boys have been getting their vaccines, and currently we can’t afford to feed them 100% organic food (though we are planning to try making their baby food when the time comes from the delicious fruits & veggies we get from our produce co-op!)… however, we did finally plant some beautiful new trees in our backyard for added privacy, and I’m so happy about them I do kind of feel like hugging them.  So there you go.

packed weekend of firsts!

We had a great (& very busy!) weekend, but man did it fly by!  I can’t believe it’s Monday again – hurray for Thanksgiving week.  I love getting more time with Jeff when he’s not working, and we’ve got a lot of fun planned with family & friends!

On Saturday Ash & I took the boys to the park to watch their Daddy, Uncle Kyle, & some of our friends play football – the first of many times, I’m sure.  They also sported one of their Ohio State outfits that they’ve finally grown into – and they beat Michigan so they must be good luck charms! (Aunt Dee – I’ll try to take a better picture next time)  Go Buckeyes!

a little flag football action

Aunt Ashley & C-dubs

Mommy & Laner

this is just funny - it was SO bright & beautiful outside! clearly my son takes after me in sun squinting.

That night the boys got left with their first “babysitters” (outside of our family) – so we could go out to eat with my entire family for my mom’s birthday!  Maggiano’s, mmmm…. thanks SO much Brian & Jenn – the boys love you! (and they slept for 10 hours straight that night, so we’ll be hiring them regularly – haha)

On Sunday we finally took the boys to church with us!  We won’t be putting them in the nursery for a while, but I just couldn’t keep them home any longer… we carried them in baby carriers & they behaved wonderfully through the whole service.  They slept right through the sermon & the ending music (and our church is pretty loud!).  It was so great to finally have our whole little family together – made worship even more meaningful!  And of course they got a lot of attention from church family, who have been so sweet praying for us & waiting for them to make their debut.  Sadly, we didn’t get a picture – how did I forget?

Sunday night we had our monthly “Dinner Club” with my teacher friends.  We each host it one month during the school year and this month it was at our house.  It was extra special because everyone got to meet the babies – including my friend Megha’s precious little girl, Neha – born just a couple of weeks after the boys!  We had fun being pregnant together at school, and have been so excited for our babies to meet!  So the boys had their first date – they had to share the girlfriend though, ha.  Neha can have her pick!

Culen & Neha checking each other out! I think they were pretty interested in each other. 😉

Jenna, Megha, & me with Lane, Cullen, & Neha - so fun!

Neha & Lane holding hands - cuties.

Neha is beautiful & all three of the babies were so good, we actually got to sit down & eat dinner together! (and who can whine when you have 14 people giving you attention) It’s even more fun to get together with my teacher friends this year since I’m not working – I miss them!  Thanks for a great evening, ladies! (& husbands/fiances/boyfriends!)

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend too!

3 1/2 month mom thoughts

Caring for two babies can be exhausting… but what a joy at the same time.  It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had – but also the most rewarding.

Since the boys are sleeping so well at night now (8 hour stretches consistently) we’ve started to work on more consistent naptimes in their cribs instead of just falling asleep whenever and wherever they are like newborns.  It’s so odd to me that they don’t really cry at all when we put them to bed at night – maybe a little whimpering but they fall asleep right away – but during the day, not a fan of their cribs!  So I made it my mission to work on naps this week.  They’ve just gotten to that age where if they don’t nap well during the day, they’re cranky & fussy & have a hard time falling asleep at night.  It’s been a tiring week but they’re getting better at soothing themselves to sleep in their cribs now, and it does make them happier during the day.  Sadly, I think I’m going to have to try to cut back on the pacis though – when they wake up in the middle of a nap they have a HARD time falling back asleep without it… even though this doesn’t happen at all at night?!  With two babies it’s just hard to console two fussy babies at once sometimes… the paci was a nice little helper.  Oh well. Everything in moderation?

And what do you do when babies are at the age where they want to be playing or “doing” something constantly when they’re awake, but they’re not really old enough to do much? ha.  I feel like when they can sit up or at least hold themselves up in a bouncer/exersaucer it would help.  And perhaps this is just because I’m trying to entertain two babies at once.  When my mom comes over to help or Jeff gets home from work and we can go man-to-man it seems a thousand times simpler. 😉  They do love my singing though – God bless them, I’m not sure anyone else would!  There’s nothing like two little babies smiling & laughing at you when you sing them a made-up “Lane & Cullen” song, kissing their little cheeks at each break (I still remember my dad’s made-up “Punky Pie” song he sang to me!).  Times like that are where I know that no matter how much more demanding twins are, I now wouldn’t trade it for anything.

fight for preemies

November is Prematurity Awareness Month & March of Dimes is having a “Fight for Preemies” day.  I’m so thankful for all the medical advances in care for premature infants – without them, I wouldn’t have my sweet boys and that’s a hard thought.  They are miracles and we praise the Lord for them!

Tiny little Lane then…

July 26, 2009 with Daddy

And now:

Little man's chunking up! So cute.

Cullen then (compared to Uncle Kyle’s arm):

And now:

Look at that chubby boy! Love him!

L+C mini-update

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cute little hoodlums

Our babies got their first RSV (Respiratory Syntactical Virus – very dangerous to infants, esp. preemies) shots yesterday… we are blessed that our insurance approved covering the cost of this series of five shots (most don’t), as the shots are THOUSANDS of dollars PER shot PER child.  There’s a pretty hefty copay/out of pocket cost to us, but thankfully through a preemie forum online I found a foundation that covers the out of pocket costs!  Praise the Lord – we could not afford them otherwise.

They get weighed each time to figure out the dosage they need – Cullen now weighs 12 lbs, 5 oz. and Lane weighs 10 lbs, 13.5 oz!  Hard to believe that a mere 3 1/2 months ago they weighed 3 & 4 lbs.  At night they are consistently sleeping 6-7 hour stretches (8 hours last night!), waking up to feed, then sleeping for 3-4 more hours.  Yay boys!  We’ve definitely figured out that these guys need their sleep – when they get good naps during the day & sleep well at night, they are content, happy little babes… if not, get ready for fussypants!  You’ll pay the price. We’ve started getting a good little (flexible) schedule figured out & it makes life easier on all of us.

Jeff’s parents came down for the last week… it was nice to have some extra hands to help out.  I guess I’m  just used to two, so I don’t even realize how nice it can be to only worry about one now & then!

We had an early mini-Thanksgiving with Jeff’s family while they were down since we won’t be traveling up to Ohio this year.  I am SO thankful for these two amazing blessings God has given us this year!

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