Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Charlie and Lily made the most of their first Memorial Day weekend! The weather was warm and sunny, so on Sunday they kicked the holiday off by breaking in their brand new Lil' Squirt pool. Our next door neighbor Cameron joined us as we cranked on the water and got ready to splash.

No one was sure of the fountains at first.
But relaxing in the water was fun.
After drying off and taking a nice nap, Charlie and Lily got dressed in their picnic finest and headed over to Crackers' house for her annual turkey fry. They were happy to be part of the festivities!
Lily wasn't quite ready for fried turkey, so she played in her booster seat while we ate.
Charlie, however, was worn out from all the fun in the sun!
On Monday, it was time to celebrate Nana's 80th birthday with a nice family dinner at one of Nana's favorite restaurants.
All dressed and ready to go.
"Hey, Mommy, this restaurant is serving the same sweet potatoes we have at home!"
Thank goodness they had a bread basket!
Our attempt at a picture with the birthday girl was kind of a fail, but Nana didn't mind. Happy birthday, Nana! We love you!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

11 Months!

Next stop - 1 year!!!!
I had to include two pictures of Charlie because I love this new expression of his. He does it all the time now.
And just in time to celebrate 11 months, both Charlie and Lily have started sitting on their own. Yay! Such big babies!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Playing the day away

This evening Joe and I decided to detour from our usual evening walk and stop at the playground around the corner from our house with the babies. We've never taken them there before and were excited to let have them try out the swings and slide for the first time.

Charlie and Lily loved the swing. (I think I may have loved it most though.)
Lily, surveying her kingdom.
We made it down! "Hello, down there!"
Daddy's girl.
Group picture taking is easier when there's not a group of loud boys on the swings being distracting.
Oh well. Maybe next time.
After a hard evening of playing, it's important to stretch.
The playground put both babies in a great mood. They were totally goofy when we got them home.
The playground wasn't the only fun Charlie and Lily had today. This morning my friend Jill came to visit with her daughter, Maya. Maya has been promised to Charlie since they were both in the womb, but this was their first time meeting. But see? They love each other so much already that they're holding hands.
Say cheese! Anyone? Anyone?
Uh-oh. Charlie and Maya's first fight? Charlie, you better tell her that you're sorry...
This post is dedicated to Justice Wayne "JW" Blakey, who was laid to rest today after just 20 short months on this earth. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers, and hug your babies extra tight tonight.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

NICU Reunion

Today we attended the St. Peter's NICU Reunion, held at the Busch Campus of Rutgers University. We were very excited for the reunion, as we were looking forward to seeing all our old friends. We've said many times on here how much we adored St. Peter's, and the nurses and other patients there have come to feel like family to us. So we were really looking forward to catching up with everyone.

We had a great time! Charlie and Lily were good as gold the entire 3 1/2 hours we were there. They loved checking out all the people, and catching up with the nurses who took such amazing care of them during their three month NICU stay. It was also great to see some of the friends we made during our time there and to see how amazing their babies are doing, not to mention the pure wonder of so many little miracles together in one room.

We saw two of Charlie's nurses, Cyd and Sue, and Lily got to snuggle with one of her favorite nurses, Linda. We spent some time with the wonderful Dr. Hiatt, and caught up with lots of the other fantastic nurses who looked out for Charlie and Lily in the NICU. We also got to visit with many of the families we came to know in the NICU. We were excited to see Gary, Ping, and their adorable twins Vivienne and Connor (born at 24 weeks) and sweet Caitlin (a 26 weeker) and her mommy Donna. We caught up with Elena and her beautiful triplet girls, who were in the NICU a year before Charlie and Lily and who we met through this blog. And of course, we saw Charlie's isolation roommate Ethan and his parents Jovana and Bill. Ethan was born last May at just 23 weeks gestation, weighing 1 lb 1 oz. He and Charlie shared an isolation room in the NICU for two months, so we grew close to him and his parents. He is doing fantastic today and it was so great to see him!

After a busy day of visiting, posing for pictures, and just being a part of all the action, Charlie and Lily were exhausted - but very happy. We can't wait to do it again next year!

(Joe and I are quoted in an article about the reunion! You can read it here.)

All ready to party!

The jungle-themed reunion.
Charlie was super happy to see Nurse Cyd.
Getting snuggles from Cyd and Nurse Sue.
Lily loved seeing Linda, one of her very favorite nurses.
Our beloved Dr. Hiatt. Charlie and Lily would not be here today without him.
Charlie and Ethan got some time to catch up. They miss the late night guy talk they used to share in the NICU.
"Mmmmm...this nametag is delicious!"
Since it was a party, we decided to let Charlie and Lily try some vanilla ice cream for the first time. Lily thought it was okay.
But Charlie just couldn't figure out why it was so cold!
"Yay! This party was fun!"All partied out and ready to go home.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

In memory of JW

Today a fellow Mom of Multiples friend of mine had to say goodbye to her 1 1/2 year old son Justice (JW). Our hearts are broken for her and her family. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers tonight. May JW meet our Annaleigh in heaven.

Learning new things

We have some busy babies around here! Charlie and Lily have become so active and inquisitive, every day is so much fun! We're working daily on sitting. They both have the concept, they just often forget to maintain their balance. One good reach to the right and - boom- they're down! They are definitely getting the hang of it though. They're also working on scooching/crawling. I think they have a little ways to go before they will be ready to crawl, but right now they are great at getting up on their knees and rocking. And they both scooch really well, although it is always backwards!

Lily can do "So Big!" and "Bye Bye!" Nana taught her "So Big." At first I didn't believe that she could to it, but sure enough on Mother's Day Nana asked Lily, "How big is Lily?" and Lily grasped her hands in front of her and raised them over her head. Now she does it ALL THE TIME. She knows that she gets cheers and praise when she does it, so why would she want to stop? (We're trying to get a video to post.) The other night Joe taught her "Bye Bye", so when you say it to her and wave she waves back. She is so smart! Charlie so far has no interest in doing those things, but he does give kisses! If you lean over to him and say "kisses?" he opens his mouth and sort of sucks on your cheek. It's so funny and sweet!

The babies are also moving forward with their eating too. They now get four bottles and three solid meals a day. We've gone through all the fruits and veggies. Charlie has a sweet tooth. He loves sweet potatoes and all the fruits. He'll suffer through the peas if he must, but bring on the applesauce! He is definitely my kid! I've been offering them sippy cups of water with meals, but so far they don't really understand how to use them. I'm also trying to show them that they can hold their own bottles, but unfortunately neither seems interested in that.

Say cheese!

Picture taking fail. Ooops.
"Yay, it's Roy!" (Roy is yawning in this picture, not hissing. Charlie, however, IS hissing. But it's a happy hiss.)
The other day I put the babies on the play mat and went in the kitchen to wash bottles. This is where I found them when I came back. They sure get around!
We still love playing on our mat!
"Hey, penguin! Get out of my shot!"
"Mmmmm...wonder if this tastes as good as it looks?"
There is really nothing cuter than a baby in pajamas! Here's Charlie all nice and clean after his bath.
And Lily in her princess jammies. Smiling at Daddy, of course.
We may not drink from them, but they're fun to play with!