Archive for December, 2007

Giant End-of-the-Year Meme

A meme is essentially a survey/Q&A type of thing. I did a lot of them when I was pregnant and bored, but I haven’t done one in a very long time now. So, I will do the same one I did last year at this time.

What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
A lot of things. This whole year is just one big new experience for me. The short list would be…living in a hospital, giving birth, breastfeeding, healing from major surgery, having a dog hair removed from my foot, feeding babies, changing diapers, bathing babies, being a mom, etc.

Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I would say I kept about half of them, and I plan to make more for 2008. I tend to do better when I actually have a written list of goals.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yeah, me! Also, several of my high school friends…Chalna and Mandi immediately come to mind.

Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, my grandfather Papa.

What countries did you visit?
This was not the year for world travel. We stayed in the state and made little trips to Houston, Dallas and San Antonio.

What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
New bedroom furniture, a bigger car, a vacation with Mark, getting a full night’s sleep every night, and some time to exercise.

What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Feb. 12…my babies are born; Mar. 15…my babies come home from the hospital; May 16…closed on our new house; Jun. 26…worst day of our lives; Oct. 16…Papa dies

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Motherhood! I think I handled it very well especially if you consider my total lack of baby experience and the hell we went through this summer.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Hmm…pre-eclampsia (pregnancy induced high blood pressure), C-section recovery, a few colds, an ear infection, and strained back muscle in August.

What was the best thing you bought?
Our new house, my Nikon D80 camera and our Jeep double stroller. I use it everyday and love it. It’s light-weight and fits in the trunk of the car.

Whose behavior merited celebration?
My mom. She did so much to help us this year.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I could get in trouble if I answered this honestly. So, I will simply pass on this one.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
When my C-section was scheduled, when the twins came home from the NICU, and buying our house.

What song will always remind you of 2007?
I suppose “Soulja Boy Tellem” because it seemed to be on every time I turned on the radio and every one and their dog was doing the dance.

Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder, b) thinner or fatter, and c) richer or poorer?
a) Probably the same as last year at this time. I was so excited being pregnant, and I am just as happy now. b) technically thinner, but that’s only because I am not carrying the twins. I am fatter than I usually am though. c) Not sure. We are a one-income family now, but things are fine.

What do you wish you’d done more of?
Had more time with Mark.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Hmm, the first thing that came to mind was bottle washing. For whatever reason, I find that the most tedious thing I do every day. I am so ready for cow’s milk and sippy cups.

How did you spend Christmas?
With my family. It was wonderful. The best Christmas I can remember.

Did you fall in love in 2007?
Yes, with our twins.

What was your favorite TV program?
I don’t watch much TV anymore. It seems like the only TV I do see are Higglytown Heroes and Elmo in the morning with the twins, and the local news.

What was the best book you read?
The only book I read this year (due to time) is Jennifer Weiner’s The Guy Not Taken. It was a series of short stories. I’ve always been a fan of Weiner’s work.

What was your greatest musical discovery this year?
Thanks to Baby Einstein, I re-discovered Mozart, Bach and Beethoven. 🙂

What did you want and get?
Healthy, perfect babies.

What did you want and not get?
A bigger car, and the opportunity to return to work.

What was your favorite film of the year?
We didn’t see any movies in the theater this year, and we didn’t see too many DVDs either. The ones I do remember seeing were Sickos (Michael Moore), Borat, Knocked-Up, and Super Bad.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
My mom, Aunt Cindy and Uncle Gil baby-sat the twins — who had only been home for 2 weeks — while Mark and I had dinner at Truluck’s. We were planning on seeing some stand-up comedy, but opted to sleep instead. I turned 30 this year. Oh, and the twins (with some help from their Granny) had a birthday cake waiting for me when we got home.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I wish Mark and I would have scheduled a date night once a month. We could never find a sitter and we didn’t want to leave the twins, but every marriage needs some adult time.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
Ha…whatever was clean and fit. I’m afraid my days of wearing high heels and pretty jewelry are over for a few years.

What kept you sane?
Tuesdays and Thursday when the twins go over to Miss Jennifer’s for the day. I need that time to clean house, do laundry, go shopping and just have some time alone.

What political issue stirred you the most this year?
The usual stuff…the Iraq War, finding out that Iran stopped it’s nuke program 5 years ago (more lies), etc.

Who did you miss?
My dad, my Granny, and my Papa.

Who was the best new person you met?
Kate and Carson, of course! It has been such a joy discovering their personalities. I’ve also enjoyed some of my blog buddies (none of whom I have actually met in person!). I can’t begin to tell you how much I needed the words of encouragement and advice during the early weeks.

What valuable lesson have you learned in 2007?
Always, always, always trust your gut instinct…and…There is nothing I can’t handle.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“I’m a little teapot short and stout. Here is my handle, here is my spout. When I get all steamed up, I will shout. Just tip me over and pour me out.” — For those of you who have been round me or the twins this year, well, you know how much the babies love that nursery rhyme and how often I had to sing it.

Big Fun in Big D

First of all, isn’t Kate just as cute as a button?

We got back this afternoon from our weekend trip up to Dallas to visit Mark’s family. With the exception of his mom, this was the first time the rest of his clan had seen the twins in person. Here are some photo highlights…

There is Mr. Carson with his cousin (Mark’s niece) Erica.

Mr. Carson with his cousin (Mark’s nephew), Dakota. Dakota was the ring bearer in our wedding, and we can’t get over how much he has grown and changed since we last saw him in July 2006. He has gone from a boy to a teenager. Dakota was great with the twins, he even taught Carson how to sit unsupported — it’s a miracle!

Mr. Carson with his 2nd cousin Brooke (Erica’s daughter). She is as cute as a bug too even though she only wants to eat donuts for lunch! 🙂

So, I know you are thinking…‘But Shannon, where are the photos of Miss Kate?’

Well, as usual, she did a good deal of sleeping. Mark’s mom (Dorothy) has the magic touch with Kate. Every time Dorothy held her, Miss Kate would be snoring within minutes!

I guess I should explain that photo a bit. The long standing joke is that Dorothy ALWAYS has her eyes closed in photos. Honestly, I don’t have a single photo from our wedding with her in it and her eyes open. So Mark was telling her to open her eyes open like a crazy person; see above.

And then Erica decided to assist by holding up her eye lids; see below.

Anyway, we had a great time. Dorothy cooked a wonderful roast, and we had some good family time. We also got to meet our new brother-in-law, Bob, for the first time. Mark’s sister Tammy remarried this past summer, and this was our first chance to meet the newest member of the clan. I didn’t get a photo of them with the twins, so here is a wedding photo. (I’m jealous they got married in Hawaii. I’m trying to convince Mark that we need to renew our vows on our 10th anniversary on a beautiful beach somewhere.)

Last night we met up with my good friend Amanda who lives in Ft. Worth for dinner at Humperdink’s (a sports bar & grill that Mark and I used to go to when we lived in Dallas). The last time she saw the twins was in the NICU a week after they were born. Afterwards, we went out to see her new house that she bought this summer. Her pad was gorgeous and spotless. After seeing her house, I truly realized how badly I need to step-up my house cleaning efforts.

We didn’t get a photo of her with the twins either because they fell asleep in the car going over to her house. 😦  But here is a silly photo of a hyper Kate outside of Humperdinks…

It was too short of a visit. We could spend a full week in Dallas and still not see all of our friends there. We need to plan something again soon.

The twins did pretty good on the trip. Carson is a car sleeper; Kate is becoming an insomniac (except when I pull out the camera, of course). Neither got fussy, and given the amount of travel, new people, new places, etc., they did fantastic.

Tidbits

  • Yes, I got bored and changed to look of the blog. I can’t help it. I am trying out this one in the hopes that I will write more content and start moving away from this just being a massive photo album. We shall see, eh? 
  • For those of you who subscribe to this blog’s feed, sorry for all of the crap you must be getting. I am importing a few posts from my old blog because I want to get everything print-ready for when I have the blog professionally printed for the twins’ birthday.
  • We are heading to Dallas tomorrow to visit Mark’s family. I am looking forward to it, but have done absolutely no planning or packing! Tomorrow morning is going to suck.
  • For a week now, Carson has been afraid of bath time. When I say afraid I mean shaking and looking at me like ‘get me out of here!’ I have no idea where this new fear is coming from. He has always enjoyed bath time.
  • Kate has learned how to “give 5” and clap her hands. It’s her new trick that she now does all the time…even when she hears an audience applaud on TV. It is so cute!
  • Carson’s new trick is to Army crawl after a rolling Nerf football. I need to get this on video.

Merry Christmas

We had a nice, mellow day. Perhaps it was mellow for me because I was so sleepy for a good chunk of it now that Kate has started sleep protesting. She falls asleep (with the aid of a bottle), I carry her upstairs while she is sleeping, I place her in her crib and suddenly her eyes pop open and she starts laughing. What is this? Anyway, she did this three times between 11 PM and 3:30 AM. I tried letting her cry it out twice — both for almost 30 minutes a piece — and both times she won the battle. She is also skipping naps. I don’t know what is going on with Kate, but I am open for suggestions.

Mark made a yummy breakfast, and we opened stockings. The twins seemed more into it since they are usually hyper and happy in the mornings and the contents of the stockings were more on their scale.

 

My mom has always loved doing the stockings. She always puts something funny yet practical in one of them. This year she put a bottle of Oil of Olay in Kate’s stocking. That just cracked me up. You see, my mom is a notorious skin care junkie. Junkie isn’t the right word — she is obsessed. I guess some folks collect stamps; my mom collects lotions and potions. Anyway, she said she wants Kate to start a skin care routine early. 🙂 Kate enjoyed chewing on the bottle.

Notice the Oil of Olay on the left?

After mom left, Mark and I took turns napping. I attempted to clean the living room and kitchen a bit. We had planned on going out the my cousin Jil’s house (way out in the Hill Country), but no one was answering the phone. So, we hung out, played with the twins, watched VH-1 Classic, and went out for Chinese food instead of cooking another big spread. All and all, it was a great Christmas.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas…

We did things a little different this year. Since this is the twins’ first Christmas and they don’t understand the concept of Santa or Christmas traditions yet, we opened gifts today. Tomorrow my mom is heading back to Houston rather early and we are going out to my cousin Jil’s new house. So, we thought we would get the party started early.

My mind (and living room) are swimming with the amount of toys Kate and Carson received from friends and family! Seriously, OMG! We bought them the ball popper and baseball swing thingie, but everything else is from our wonderful and generous kinfolk.

The day started out with my Uncle Mike coming over to install the new wood blinds in the twins’ bedrooms. He took my mom out shopping, Mark went fishing, and I hung out with the kiddos at home (and tried — in vain — to do some cleaning).

I don’t know what the babies think of all this stuff in their living room. They must be overwhelmed. Naturally, they enjoyed the sea of paper and bows more than the actual gifts.

 

Yes, those are all of Carson, but once again Miss Kate needed a mini bottle and cat nap during all of the activity. One day she is going to ask me why there are more photos of Carson on holidays or family gatherings, and I will have to tell her she simply slept through them.

Here are our two best gifts. Life doesn’t get any better than this…twins 1st Christmas, time with family, good health, laughter, restaurant-worthy food from Mark, and finding the magic of Christmas again.

Now it’s on to our Christmas Eve tradition…surf & turf. Mark is doing a fest of lobster, steak, garlic mashed potatoes, shrimp cocktail, asparagus and wine. Tomorrow we will do the traditional Christmas Day spread. I’m never going to lose this baby weight living in this house! 🙂

Christmas Eve Eve

Carson and his cousin Bailey. Is it just me or is his hair getting lighter?

This afternoon we went over to Uncle Gil and Aunt Cindy’s house for our big family pre-Christmas gathering. It was also cousin Brayden’s 4th birthday. When all of us get together it’s always fun, and today was no exception.

I’m exhausted and still trying to get over this cold — that has now traveled south to my lungs. Ugh. — so here are some photos and I am off to bed.

My cousin’s twins Wesley & Walker (15 months), cousin Bailey & Carson. Kate napped during most of the photo taking today.

When she was awake, she was in a great mood. Here she is with Uncle Gil and my mom.

Carson trying to get Mark’s beer.

Holiday Letter 2007

Dear Friends & Family,

Wow! What a year 2007 has been for our little family. On February 12th, our precious twins decided to make an early debut — two months early! They spent the first 32 days of their lives in the Seton NICU. It was tough for us to visit them at the hospital and not have them home with us, but they needed some extra time to grow. We were blessed that neither have any health issues from being born so prematurely. It has taken us several months to get into the groove of life with twins (and extreme sleep deprivation), but life has been wonderful!

Kate — who was only 2 lbs, 11 oz at birth — now weighs 15 lbs, 11 oz at 10 months old. She has come a long way! She has dark blue/hazel eyes, takes after Mark’s side of the family, and has a feisty personality. Miss Kate keeps us on our toes! She is getting ready to crawl in the next few weeks, is saying “dada” and “mama,” and enjoys anything involving music.

Carson — who weighed 4 lbs, 4 oz at birth — is now tipping the scale at 20 lbs, 6 oz. He is our funny little guy — always smiling and laughing. Carson has Shannon’s light blue eyes and wavy hair.  He definitely looks like the Patrick side of the family, but has many of Mark expressions. Carson isn’t crawling yet, but that’s just around the corner. He has a sweet personality, and loves picking on his sister!

Mark is still representing independent school districts around Texas at [omitted law firm name], and he loves it. In his free time (haha), he does some fishing and watches sports. Now that the twins are getting a bit older, he might be able to squeeze in a round or two of golf.

Shannon is staying home full-time with the twins, and spends her free time (haha) getting back into an old hobby — photography. She is also blogging about life with twins on the Internet — [this blog address].

In May, we bought a beautiful 4-bedroom house in Round Rock.  Our expanding family needed an expanded house. We celebrated out 4th wedding anniversary in October, and have started planning a trip to the Virgin Islands for our 5th anniversary. But for now we are busy chasing twins and coping with teething x 2.

With all the joy of this year, we did have some sadness. Shannon’s much loved grandfather “Papa” (Gibby Bailey) died on October 16th.

Once again, we’ve had a tremendous year and look forward to all that 2008 has to bring. We hope you and yours have a joyful holiday season, and enjoy much health and happiness in the new year.

-Mark, Shannon, Kate & Carson