12 months old.

It is so hard to believe, but you really are 12 months…gasp, one YEAR…old!  We are so proud of all you’ve accomplished in the past year and so thankful to the Lord for how far he has brought you since those NICU days.  You had your one year checkups today & you are doing great!

You’ve gone from this:

Cullen, 7.26.09

Lane, 7.26.09

Two tiny  3 1/2 & 4 lb preemies, struggling to even breathe on their own… to this:

Two thriving toddlers who don’t even need an adjusted growth chart, and who are meeting every developmental milestone a typical one year old should meet at this age. It blows our minds… God has been SO good to us – and we are amazed by you both!

At 12 months, you both:

  • Go to bed around 7:30 and usually sleep about 12 hours (a little longer for Lane, sometimes a little shorter for Cole), take 2 naps at 10 (long one) & 2:30 (shorter one).
  • Have graduated to using straw sippy cups of whole milk during the day – only bottles in the morning & night
  • Are eating everything we eat – I’m cooking for 4 now!
  • Are absolutely addicted to your walkers/push toys – you can steer them anywhere, do u-turns, and fight over them often! (you also chase each other around the house on them – we have to keep it from becoming bumper cars!)
  • Have both taken a few steps… C-man tries it often, Laner tends to do it when he doesn’t realize he’s doing it!  You can both walk very well next to us just holding one of our hands.
  • say “mama,” “dada,” & “baba” (this one can be used for several things)

Cullen Wayne, you:

  • weigh 20 lbs even (10th percentile), are 29 1/4 in tall (25-50th), and your head is 19 1/2 in around (off the charts again – but no concern, just funny 🙂 you’re going to be a genius, obviously! )
  • are becoming very needing of mommy – do not like when I leave the room.  eek. (but I LOVE how you wrap your hands around my neck so tightly before bed & when I pick you up when you wake up… SO sweet)
  • are a speed racer with your push toy.
  • love to clap your hands and make the “yay!” sound I make. You have also developed some hilarious faces.
  • crawl very fast on all fours now, but still like to use your army crawl here & there – we call it your stealth mode.  It always makes people laugh because you are SO fast at it!
  • Have woken up a few times lately because of teething, etc… and all you want is for me to come in there, hold you tight for a minute, & put you in your crib & pat your back for a few times – then you’ll go right back to sleep.  It’s almost like you just missed me & needed some reassurance for a couple of minutes & you’re fine, so I let you do it… at least, that is what emotional me thought when I was needing extra cuddle time leading up to your birthday… you might find things going back to normal now, ha.

Lane Davis, you:

  • weigh 19 lbs, 12 oz (10th percentile), are 28 3/4 in tall (10-25th), and your head is 18 in around (25-50th).
  • have become a big daddy fan this month – you’ve been wanting him more & saying “dada” all the time.  You’ve also just started getting upset when Mommy leaves the room too.
  • have become much more assertive – you do not let Cole bully you around anymore!  In fact we often catch you pulling his hair or taking a toy, and laughing hilariously as you do it!
  • still love to follow your brother around though, wherever he’s going.
  • crack yourself up – if we smile at something you do or start laughing, you die laughing like you KNOW how funny you are!
  • are probably still one of the best sleepers ever… I can’t remember the last time you woke up in the middle of the night.  If you were our only child we’d be SUPER spoiled!  Good thing we have your brother to keep us semi-honest 😉
  • have become a snugglebug when you get sleepy – you didn’t use to snuggle much, but we are loving it right now!

We never knew we could love two little boys this much – we are SO blessed!

party time!

We had a wonderful birthday weekend with the boys – including a big party on Sunday with family & close friends.  Of course this weekend ended up being the HOTTEST weekend in Charlotte (it was 101 on Sunday – a RECORD high. of course!), so we had to stay completely indoors and even so our A/C was struggling to keep up – but it was still a great time and we really enjoyed it.  Thank you to everyone who joined us!

We had a yummy BBQ dinner and then the boys WENT TO TOWN on their cake smash.  They LOVED it – it was hilarious!  On Monday we had a pancake breakfast with the grandparents, and Daddy took a half day off which was wonderful!  We topped off the evening grilling burgers for dinner & having a tiny bit of cake & their “1” candles so we could sing, since we somehow forgot to sing happy birthday at the party!  It was a great weekend celebrating an amazing year.

Happy first birthday to my favorite little men in the world.

{click pictures to see them bigger}

1 year old – not a typo

I’m still in shock.  I cannot believe that my little boys are a year old.  It’s been the most exciting, challenging and and eventful year of our lives.  I still tear up thinking about the moment that I first met these guys…  I remember the nights in the hospital hoping and praying that they would hold off being born until steroids could build their lungs and help them develop.  I remember waking up early on Sunday morning and Lauren telling me that something wasn’t right.. getting encouragement that she and the boys would be ok and that we would just be stuck at the hospital for the remainder of the day… and then returning with some movies to pass the time only to find out that we had to do an emergency c-section.  These images are burned into my memory and will never leave.  They are the last few moments before we became a true family.  I remember seeing just how tiny the boys were and I can still hear the cheers when Cullen weighed in over 4lbs… I remember holding Lane in the OR and feeling the pride that can only come from fatherhood.

Boys, I’ll never forget the first time seeing you both in the NICU… with wires everywhere, your little chests heaving in and out struggling to breathe on your own, wondering what was happening and wishing for all the world that I could trade places with you both… that I could give you my strength and take your weakness.   Your mommy and I cried a lot, prayed even more and worried far too much about you.  Those 38 days in the NICU made us a stronger team… our marriage was fortified by the struggles we saw you having… and we were more and more prepared for a life of loving you and raising you.  I’ll never forget the night we “roomed in” with you both and the day we brought you home… FINALLY our family was home, safe and sound.  There were many sleep-deprived nights and learning moments for me, adjusting to being a dad and trying to feed both of you at once.  There were lots of doctor’s appointments for you both and schedules to figure out, yet throughout all the chaos, our love for you continued to grow.

Before we knew it, you were rolling over… Lane first with Cole (and his huge noggin) lagging a bit behind.  Then Cullen decided to start army crawling around and Lane was left in his proverbial dust for a little while… but he caught up rather quickly.  Then you started pulling up and “driving” your push toys around… where was the time going?  What could I do to slow it down?  How could you be getting so big so fast?  In the blink of an eye, Cullen starting leaping from standing and decided to take his first steps… Lane’s still a bit cautious, but certainly has the balance to do so any moment now.  Where has the time gone?  What has happened to this first year???

There are so many things I still want you to know… life lessons that still need to be learned.  Not that it’s too late, I realize this… but if your second and subsequent years go by with the same quickness as the first… I don’t know how I’ll let you know all that you’ll need for life.

First and foremost, your mommy and I love you more than you’ll ever know.  We love you more than life itself and want you to have the best life we can possibly give you.  However, no matter how much we love you and care for you, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ loves you immeasurably more.  His sacrifice and love has given us a model by which we will try to live our lives and teach you how to live.  BUT, we will fail.  You see, we aren’t perfect… which means that mommy and daddy will have disagreements, we will be short-tempered from time to time, we will let you down… but God never will.  This is the most important lesson you can ever learn and I promise that we will do our very best to always let you know this.

Second, your mommy is an amazing woman.  You’ll do very well in life to find someone half as great as her.  She is the epitome of “Wonder Woman.”  She is a jack-of-all trades and masters them all.  She’s a gourmet cook for you, an expert diaper changer, takes you to all kinds of fun places, plays with you and makes you laugh like no one else can, and is an inspiration to other moms who don’t know how she can do what she does.  Remember this always.

Third, you have wonderful families and friends.  This was well-evidenced yesterday at your birthday party.  You have SO many friends already.   You have grandparents willing to travel any distance to see you, willing to scour craigslist to find you great toys, willing to watch you so mommy and daddy can have date nights and all-around think you’re the best stuff on the planet.  You have unbelievably loving aunts and uncles… related and otherwise.  They spoil you like crazy and have such a blast with you.  Your mommy and I are thankful for them and probably don’t give them enough credit.

There are many other things you’ll need to know (the importance of rooting for all Cleveland sports teams regardless of win-loss ratio, Ohio State football, camping, golfing, the art of the cornhole toss, perfect pitching form and the list goes on and on), but we’ll have plenty of time to work through those.  At one, more than anything you just need to know how much you’re loved and how grateful we are to God for you.  These last couple weeks your mommy has been more emotional and has had a hard time accepting you turning one.  Dad has tried to remain strong and just celebrate your life… but with tears streaming down my face, maybe it’s time to admit that your daddy is just a little emotional about this as well…

Happy Birthday Cullen and Lane!

-J

HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY BOYS!

Cullen & Lane are ONE YEAR OLD today… so many mixed emotions about this day – but so proud of how far they’ve come, how healthy, strong, & amazing they are, and how much God has taught us over the past year.

We love you boys – Happy Birthday!

I made this video for Jeff & I to look back on & remember snippets of their first year, and figured I’d put it on the blog as well.  Just a warning though-it is 8 1/2 minutes long.  So many memories!

{We all had a great time with family & friends at their birthday party last night – pictures to come later, we’re enjoying family time today :)}

Thanks everyone for all of your love & support over this past year – we are so grateful!

love these faces.

ps – the last one is Cullen’s new “face” he is currently making about 376 times a day and thinks it’s hilarious. 🙂

Things I have learned.

Things I have learned over the past year being a mom of twins–something I didn’t ever expect to know much about before the infamous ultrasound day!

  • Your life will (eventually) seem totally normal to you – until someone comes to visit and can’t stop commenting on how crazy it is, wondering how you do it, and laughing.  Then every single time, I’ll think to myself – “it’s not that crazy, is it? I mean IS IT?!”
  • Having twins is basically just Pete & Repeat, constantly. Groundhog Day.  If you do something once, you do it twice.  What’s the big deal about changing another poopy diaper right after you’ve changed the first one? Or wiping another face? Dressing another baby?  OK, guess it can get a little redundant after a while… but hey, more now, easy later. I’ll have two kids out of diapers at once by the end of this gig.
  • I constantly find myself reading Facebook statuses about someone who has 2 under two, 2 in diapers, etc. and think “that must be crazy! poor thing!” and then it hits me – HELLO, you’re in the same boat.  In fact, you had 2 under two HOURS at one point.
  • You will constantly wonder how much simpler/easier/etc. life with just one baby would’ve been – but slowly but surely you’ll realize that this twin thing is pretty neat too.  Sure it’s more challenging, but it’s something most moms will never get to experience – and you’ll feel blessed to be a part of the club.  90% of the time.
  • I am 100% positive that God knew EXACTLY what he was doing when he gave me Jeff for a husband.  I honestly don’t know how I’d do this without him.  He is just perfectly suited to be a dad of twins and a supportive husband to a mom of twins.  Our marriage has gotten so much stronger & I appreciate him infinitely more than I used to–and I was a pretty big fan of him before!
  • My poor husband will never think of the phrase “double football hold” the same way again.  And I still can’t really believe that I mastered it – the circus act of simultaneously nursing twins.  I have to say, 9 months of that is probably one of my proudest achievements.
  • There is nothing like watching your two babies reach out to hold each other’s hands or hearing them laugh at each other.  It’s something I never even knew I wanted, but now can’t imagine not having experienced it.
  • My softball & gymnastics days have come in handy – nothing like stretching out to catch one tumbling baby on one end with your arm, and another far away on the other end with your pointed toe!
  • I understand my own parents so. much. better.  I finally get how much they love me, what they went through in raising me (well, only the baby part – I’m sure it just gets even better!), and already regret so many things I did growing up. ha. I know they’re getting their laughs in now.  But in all seriousness, I am SO grateful for them.
  • Whichever baby YOU choose when it’s changing time WILL have the massive poopy diaper.  It never fails.
  • Raising two babies at once requires you & your partner to become a team unlike you’d experience otherwise.  You don’t get a lot of breaks, but you learn to work together & support each other in such a deep way.
  • Living with 3 boys is loud & stinky sometimes… there are times I honestly have NO idea who passed gas – it would be so loud I’d swear it couldn’t have been a baby – but it was!
  • A big time pro of having multiples – instant fan club.  I feel super popular & cool – hello, my peeps love my corny dance moves, made-up songs, & faces; they want me more than anybody else (for now), and they even scream my name. I’m a star!
  • Carrying 40lbs of baby around all day does have its advantages – my arms have never been more toned!
  • You can love two babies more than you ever thought possible.  and then love them some more. Also, being a mom makes you emotional. I’m not used to all this crying!
  • I have to logistically think through everything we do beforehand while they’re little.  Going out to eat – if I need to go to the bathroom, someone has to stay with the other one while I go.  Going to the pool – not by myself this summer, maybe next.  We frown upon drowning. How do you get two babies into Wal-mart?  It’s simple: Park next to the cart corral, strap one baby into a regular cart (we can’t use these!) & carry the other inside to where the massive double child carts are, then strap your carried baby in & unstrap/restrap the one in the regular cart.  And NOW you can BEGIN shopping!  It becomes so second-nature after a while (after you come to terms with the fact that there are certain places you CAN’T go without using a double stroller) that you don’t realize it until you take just one baby with you somewhere… and all of a sudden things are a piece of cake! You mean I can just tote this baby right in there?  Oh, I just have to laugh.
  • There is something so amazingly neat about watching two individuals grow up at the exact same time.  We raise them the same way and treat them the same, yet they are SO different & unique.  God has truly designed us each specially!
  • I absolutely love my surprise family of four and can’t imagine life any other way.

more cell phone pics.

I may not have an iphone, but we can still take pictures… 😉

our little race car drivers enjoying a shopping trip to the Teeter... thank you whoever invented the double race car shopping cart.

sweetness - Lane & Neha (my friend Megha's daughter) out to lunch with me & my teacher friends! so fun. (Cullen was enjoying some QT with Aunt Ash) They were so cute together.

love my BABIES

…they won’t be BABIES much longer 😦  This is going to be an emotional week for me leading up to the big first birthday! Good luck Jeff! 😉

my new favorite picture

love Cole's laughing face in this one.

gotta love a good outtake!

...and they're coming for mama!

Cullen & Lane – let’s make this week go by as SLOWLY as possible, ok?!  I’m not ready.  Love you SO much!

first steps!

Very exciting night… Cullen took his first steps! We’re so proud of him!   Here’s a short video of the 2nd or 3rd time he did it, once we’d grabbed the camera.  Of course once he realized how much cheering he got, now this is all he wants to do 🙂

Later on, Lane actually let go & took about 3 steps – we’ll see if he really tries to take some more tomorrow!  He is actually more stable than Cullen, but also more cautious.  C-man is the risk taker & loves the attention he gets when he learns a new trick 😉

Wow – we are on our way to WALKING!

just some pictures

We’ve had a lot going on around here, so here are some pictures to tide the grandparents over. (3/4 are out of town right now & need their fix!)

fish face!

almost fish face!

HANDSOME.

comin' to get ya!

cheese

cuddling before bed - bunny in hand, thumb in mouth - instant snugglebug.