Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Baby Elephants

Well, here it is, Halloween night. After a very un-Halloweeny day at work, I picked up the girls at daycare. Our daycare mom helped me dress the girls in their costumes so I could go straight to my sister's house for a surprise trick-or-treat. My sweet sis and her hubby live out in the middle of a bunch of gravel roads, so I knew they wouldn't get any visitors unless family showed up.

We settled the girls into their little costumes and our daycare mom sent home little goodie bags for my DH and me. What a sweetheart!

Since daylight savings time changes don't mean squat to my daughters, they were quite ready for bed by the time we got to my sister's. Needless to say, we didn't get the pictures I'd hoped for. But I did get one of Breanna before she climbed into her pjs.

What do you think? Cutest baby elephant you've ever seen or what?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween Fun

We had a lovely weekend. On Saturday, we went to church in the afternoon and then to a pumpkin carving party. The girls were sort of good at church. The ushers were both in their 70s I'd guess, and notified me on our way out that they're twins. And that twins are always the luckiest people in the world. How nice!

We dressed the girls in their little elephant costumes and off we went. Our friends who hosted the annual party were in great spirits. The Mrs. is expecting a baby in about a month, and was dressed as a talking mime. Her hubby was Strong Sad from Home Star Runner - voice and all. The rest of the party was in costume, so DH and I used our quick wit to explain that we had dressed up as each other. Yup, our costumes were so good that you'd think you were talking to
Sweet Mary Sunshine, but indeed, it was Darling Husband. I'm not sure anyone bought it. So then we pointed out that we were zoo keepers with our elephants. They left us alone after that one.

Anyway, it was a really fun night. DH and I co-carved a great big pumpkin once our little ones fell asleep. Then once all the pumpkins were done, we all headed outside for pictures. I'm already putting it in my calendar for next year. Good people, good memories. Here's a link to the hosts' blog - complete with pictures. (The pic of the elephant and the zookeeper are Lillian and DH, dressed up as me.)

As far as Halloween fun goes for tomorrow, several people have been asking if I'm taking the girls trick or treating. I keep thinking it's silly, because, for one thing, it would be close to bed time. For another thing, the girls aren't eating solids. Not even mushed up cereal yet. Isn't the whole purpose of trick or treating to load up on sugar? Anyway, we'll see what kind of mood the babies are in. If they're up for it, we might don costumes and make a couple very quick visits to local friends/family. After all, they are darn cute in their costumes. But if they're ready for bed, heck, no one likes a cranky elephant.

My favorite things to hear

Especially on a Sunday morning...

...honey, you stay in bed. I'll take the girls upstairs so you can sleep in.

...I hope you're hungy. No, don't get up. I've brought you bacon and eggs. I'll be right back with some juice.

...you're sexy when you change diapers. And do laundry. Thanks for being sexy.

...I really miss you when I'm not here. It sure is great to be home with you.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

First wedding

Last Saturday, we attended our first wedding as a family of four. And of course, we forgot to get pictures of all of us together until after the girls were sound asleep in their carseats. This wedding was in DH's hometown, and he knew quite a few people. Of course, I knew a total of four. Including the bride and groom and my husband. Still, it was a lot of fun.

This wedding had more babies there than I've ever seen before. DH's single pal, Aaron, was there too. (Actually, I consider him to be one of my pals, too.) He said he was horrified that there weren't any prospects there whatsoever- every woman either had babies or looked like she was about to have one.

I'd been worried about our girls causing a commotion and the last thing I'd want is to detract from someone's wedding. Surprisingly, it all went very well. We were the traveling freak show, once again, but what else is new?

At one point, a lady who worked at the reception hall came up and lifted the blankets off the girls to get a good look. I wasn't sure if DH knew her or not, so I didn't pull the babies away in horror and give her a sharp tongue lashing. I have a little spiel that I've memorized when it comes to rude strangers thinking it's ok to touch other people's kids. After all, a touch of the wrong germs and our little preemies could wind up in the hospital in a blink. Turns out, DH did know the woman, but doesn't particularly care for her. She's lucky.

Other than that, it really was a fun night. DH and I even got in a dance - the first one in a long, long time. Ahh, the little snippets of romance. What would I do without them? Probably cut off all my hair, stop painting my nails, and quit baking plain brownies just the way DH likes them all the time.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Babies at Bathtime

Check out these clean little cuties! Breanna is close up and Lillian is on her back. They just love bathtime! My mom embroidered their names onto their little hoodie towels, and though you can't see it in the photos, they are just adorable.

Monday, October 16, 2006

DW no longer

Don't panic - I didn't give him the boot. But I am changing the way I reference my husband on my blog. He apparently started reading it not too long ago and realized that DW stands for Darling Wacko. He asked me to please, please, please stop saying that. He said it was like him referring to me as his Sexy Psycho. Taking that into consideration, I guess I'll just call him my DH, my Darling Husband. (Even though he is quite wacky at times.)

Not much is new on our homefront. We decided to wait to break ground on the new house until spring so that my DH can be home more with us over the winter. It's been great to have him home again, and we've really been enjoying each other's company. He goes up north next week for the whole week again, and then that's it. That house will be completely done and I get my hubby back full time. Yippee!

I've had several requests for more photos of the girls. Well, I have to admit, I'm a dummy. I was messing with our camera settings about a week ago to try to use the video recording function, and somehow, I messed everything up. I can't get photos off the thing and when I take a picture now, it's all manual, so things are blurry and the flash doesn't go. Needless to say, I need to take the time to check out the instructions or else just ask someone to fix it for me. That said, sorry, no pictures yet.

The babies are both really growing along nicely. They're both getting pretty pudgy, but really are long more than anything. It's hard to imagine DH and I would produce tall people, but it kind of seems that way based on how they're growing right now. I suppose it will change completely now that I've put it in writing.

We watched TV last night - the first time in months. The Extreme Home Makeover show that helped a family in Minot was on and we wanted to watch it. Lillian was trying to go to sleep through the first half of the show, and so I missed chunks of it, but got the gist of it anyway.

During the last half, DH and I cuddled up on the couch and it felt wonderful - like back in the days when we were dating. We haven't had much physical closeness during awake hours lately, as we often each have a baby in arms. I'm going to make a conscious effort to get in at least two nice, long hugs with him a day.

As I watched the struggles that family on TV lived with, I was reminded of just how good we have it. Whenever I start feeling sorry for myself for my face not being back to normal yet or for not getting much sleep due to babies, I'm going to remember that Minot family. We really are blessed with an abundance of good things and good circumstances.

While we watched TV, it felt good to cry again, to release such a mixture of emotions that I've apparently been hanging onto for a while. Sadness for the Blivens. Gratefulness for healthy babies. Fear for the status of the world our girls will grow up in. Love for my family. Pride for our community who jumped in to help that family. All at once, it was a powerful wave of emotion.

Now in the quiet hours of the early morning, it's still dark out and a perfect time to reflect a little bit. Friends, I ask you to count your blessings today. Life really is good.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Head Case

I just got off the phone with Lillian's neurologist. Thumbs up!

Miss Lillian had an MRI on Wednesday to see why her head is asymmetrical in the back. The results are in and looking good.

She has a mild enlargement of a ventrical in her head and a slightly larger-than-average space between her brain and her skull. It's all benign and nothing to worry about. I guess it occasionally happens with itty bitty preemies. In other words, she needs to grow into her head.

We're going to continue to monitor her over the upcoming years, but don't expect anything to come of this. Whew! A relief for all of us.

O What A Night

Guess who slept all through the night, do da, do da.

BOTH of my babies slept ALL night long. For real. At five months, three days, they finally made it. I credit it to the little chat my sister had with them before she left last night. Yay for all of us!

In fact, I slept so many hours in a row that I woke up with a stiff neck - not used to being in the same spot for so long, I guess. It's totally worth it, though.

DW is out west hunting "pantelope." He and his pal went last year for the first time. At one point, his buddy commented that every time he hears the word antelope, it makes him think of panties. (Insert eye roll here.) Ever since, they've become pantelope in our world. DW is hunting with a bow and lost six arrows already yesterday. It sounds like they're having fun, and that's the main thing. Too much work and no play makes a crabby husband and an even crabbier wife.

Speaking of play, my family is coming to stay with the girls and me this weekend. I'm going to take them out to the lot that DW and I just bought. We're probably going to break ground in the next week or two, depending on when we finalize our construction loan.

I'm quite excited to see my folks. And I know they're really excited to see the babies, too. While I have in-house help, I'm finally going to get the girls' laundry put away, cut the dogs' toenails, and bake the almond scones that I've been trying to get done for almost two months now. Big plans, I know, but when you don't even get to do the basics during the week, the little things count.

P.S. On a side note, welcome to the newest member of the Baumann family. Congratulations, friends!

Monday, October 02, 2006

My favorite time of year

Let it begin! DW and I went to his aunt and uncle's house in northern MN yesterday and the leaves were already changing like crazy! Fiery reds, blazing oranges, vibrant yellows. I can hardly wait to get out of the house and drive into MN in the next week or two to check out autumn.

Now all we need is a bonfire and some s'mores some evening and I'll be thrilled. For some reason, the smells of fall make me feel like home. I get sappy. I reminisce about childhood. My past constantly drifts into my present - both when I'm awake and asleep. I'm not sure if we spent more time outside in the fall when we were young, or if I just like the season that much more. Either way, this cool weather is refreshing my spirit.

I had a really nice weekend, and despite having the worst cold I've had in years, I really enjoyed myself. My auntie and sister came over for brunch on Saturday and then stayed for a few hours of visiting. I think we all enjoyed ourselves. The babies got lots of attention from their aunt and great aunt, and I got a chance to cook a little bit. My aunt was in town for her class reunion.

It's rare that anyone seems to want to come to Moorhead/Fargo. Outsiders always ask, what's in Fargo? I want to shout "We are!" Who cares if there aren't a lot of trees or a lot to do in some people's minds. Don't come up for the scenery - come up to see us.

While DW was up north working on his cousin's house this past week, that cousin's fiancee came to my house. She and I wouldn't appear to have much in common if you looked at us on paper, but somehow, we really seemed to connect. It was lovely to have her at our house and wonderful to get to know her better. We both commented that we wished we'd spent some time together sooner. Deep down, we have a lot in common within us. It's fun to finally have someone in DW's family to feel close to. (Even though she's not technically family yet.) And it's always fun to have a new friend.

Their wedding is set for Dec. 2 at Lake of the Woods. DW is going to be a groomsman and I'm going to be a program passer outer. We've been hemming and hawing over what to do with the babies for the wedding. Should we bring them with, along with a pair of nannies, who can take them back to the hotel once they fall asleep? Should we bring them down to my folks' house for the weekend? (This would mean an awful lot of driving.) Should we call on my dear sister (and pray that she doesn't get burned out with helping) and see if she would be willing to give up sleep and take them? Should we have someone come to our house and stay with them there for the weekend? Should we bring them with and I'd just go back to the hotel? (This is my last choice - as I'd miss out on most of the fun.)

Yesterday DW came up with the wonderful idea of dropping the babies off at his Uncle Duck's house on Saturday, on my way "up north." Duck and his wife hosted us yesterday and we had a lovely time. They don't have kids of their own, and they handled the babies really well. DW asked if they'd be interested in babysitting and they excitedly said yes. So, easy enough! I strongly encouraged them to call in reinforcements, though, as it's often a lot of work even for two grownups. I'm so very excited to get to dance again!