Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Weekend Extravaganza

This past weekend, Poppy and Olive went to our twin cousins' 7th birthday party. Happy birthday, Nicasia and Olivia! The party theme was "Carnival," and the kids got to play lots of fun games. There was also a trampoline. How cool!

Olive with cousin Sara

Blondie Marcello and Shaefer's head--on the trampoline!

Cousin Gianna in the hula-hoop contest

Nicasia, one of the birthday girls, in the hula-hoop contest--I thought I took pictures of Olivia, but I guess not. Send them to me if you have them!
Olive and Grandma Jo

Poppy, Shaefer, and Olive

There's your nose!
Sister Maria and Olive
Poppy and Grandma Rosalie

Sister Maria with her son, Shaefer

Shaefer Says, "Bye!"

Shaefer Talks

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Our 100th Blog Posting (or Identical Vs. Fraternal)

Last year, Jill started this blog to keep friends and family informed of events happening in our lives. The first posting, dated April 27, 2008, consisted of 3 things: Jill and I becoming godparents to our nephew, Shaefer Cade Garrison; hardscaping and landscaping the front of our house; and our chihuahua, Penelope. Ninety-nine posts later, so much has changed. Most notably, we have two beautiful daughters, Olive Rose and Poppy Jane, who were born on June 28, 2009, the birthday of their great-grandmother. They have brought such joy to our lives over the past 11 weeks. There is just no way life will ever be the same. These girls have stolen our hearts and we are more in love with them and each other than we even knew was possible.

This post was intentionally delayed for a few days because we were waiting for the results of the twins' DNA test. We wanted to make our 100th post a very special tribute to our girls. It is with this post that we can confirm whether Poppy and Olive are identical or fraternal twins.

As you may know, Jill's pregnancy was the result of IVF, or In Vitro Fertilization. We had two embryos transferred into Jill's uterus on October 20. If memory serves me correctly, the chance of a singleton baby was 60%, the chance of twins was about 20%, triplets was 5%, and quads, quints, sextuplets, septuplets, octuplets, etc., was practically 0%. We fell into the 20% that got twins!

But that's not the end of it. The chances of fraternal twins was 20%, but the chance of any egg splitting in any pregnancy and creating identical twins is 0.4% (that's less than half of one percent for those of you who aren't good with decimals). We found out yesterday that we do not belong to the 20% group, but to the very exclusive 0.4% group. That means that Poppy and Olive are indeed identical twins! Then, it hit us... what if both embryos implanted successfully and one split? We could have just as easily ended up with triplets or no babies at all! I can't imagine either of these alternatives, although we were closer to it than we first let ourselves imagine.

We will more likely than not spend the rest of their lives celebrating their similarities and their differences, but for this small moment, we are focusing on their similarities. We feel like these little girls are our little miracles. They will experience things that only a very select few will ever be able to understand. They have a life ahead of them filled with experiences that they will be able to share with another human being with a very similar perspective, with whom they love and respect. Hopefully this will allow them to avoid so many of the insecurities young people face these days because they will go through life together -- not together in childhood like most siblings; and not like married couples who go through their older years together -- but life -- from beginning to end and everything in between. It is an amazing experience that so few people will ever know. Although we will not be able to feel what our beautiful, wonderful little girls are feeling and experiencing, we will be able to watch and learn and look on with amazement as nature reveals itself through OUR babies. We feel happiness, awe, gratitude and excitement all at once. We feel the feelings that all parents feel for their children two fold. It is, for lack of a better word, awesome!

Here are some pictures of our beautiful identical twins which may fool the eye...

(That was Poppy.)

(That was Olive.)

(That was Olive.)

(That was Olive.)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Snuggling in a Bouncy Chair

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Favorite Toy

When Poppy and Olive are changed in the nursery, they love to play with Mrs. Duckie who quacks...
No pictures of Olive with toy at this time.

Diaper Boxes

Olive in a Box #1
Olive in a Box #2
Poppy in a Box
Poppy as Conan O'Brien in a Box

Labor Day

On Labor Day, we took the girls to the mall for the first time. It went surprisingly well! Here's a picture of them in B.O.B. near a bench.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sleeping Arrangements

During four of the last five nights, Poppy Jane has slept for 7+ hours at a time! And, last night, Olive Rose slept 6 hours for the first time! Hopefully, this is the beginning of a regular schedule. This is in sharp contrast to the 2-4 hour sleep stretches that have been the norm since birth. The general schedule is:

5:30am--Begin to wake up; usually eat a meal.
5:30am-7:30am--Groggy; maybe nap; then eat again.
7:30am-8:30am--Play time*
8:30am-10:30am--Morning nap
10:30am-5pm--Mix of play time, naps, eating, and juice.
5pm--Begin nighttime routine, including bath, dinner, time with mommy (weekdays).
8pm-9pm--Lights out!
9pm-5:30am--Sleeping and eating

*Play time includes Jumparoo, bouncy chair, listening to music and dancing with daddy, listening to a story, walking in the park, watching Brainy Baby or Baby Einstein, staring at things, babbling with an adult, eating hands, etc.

Note: Times are approximate and subject to change at the whim of either child.

The most recent addition to what used to be the living room (now the playroom) is the Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumparoo. Just like with the mobile, the girls were a bit overwhelmed and confused the first time they used it.

Olive multitasking---the cradle chair under the hanging toys!

Look, Ma, no hands!
Daddy needs a break.
Beautiful outfits from Nonna CJ. They tried their hardest to eat the bows!

The rarely seen Jill-in-the-Park!

Olive in the harness.
Their tree in Bellevue Park.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

As you may know, Poppy and Olive like to take walks in the park. They have already started tagging trees (with the help of their grandmother)!

On Tuesday, we took a long walk from Rockwood Park, through Bringhurst Woods, into Bellevue State Park where we found a playground. We had so much fun that we went back again today!Olive stares into oblivion.

Cute Chick
The Thumbsucker
Poppy in Jill's baby clothes
Poppy's turn in the Bumbo

We got a mobile for the crib. I tried to upload the video, but I am having trouble. However, you can see the video on my Facebook page. If you enlarge the photo below, you can see part of the mobile in the mirror. It's the Tiny Love Nature Soothing Serenade.
Grandmom Rosalie spent some time here this week after her trip to Myrtle Beach. Here is a picture after a long night. She'll probably kill me for posting a picture taken first thing in the morning! I love you, Mom!
To send you off, here is a random picture of my cute babies!