Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday... that's my fun day!

Here's a little recap of what we've been up to lately:

Thursday was probably the toughest day I've had yet with the girls. Wednesday Tamsie did a lot of crying, which was really unlike her, but Thursday she took it to a whole new level of intensity. And when she starts crying, Evie generally chimes in (and vice versa). At one point, I called my mother in tears (yes, we were all crying at that point) because I could not figure out what in the world was wrong with her, and nothing I tried was helping. Then I called the pediatrician, who said it could be anything - teething, ear infection, gas, etc. - and that we could take her in if we thought we needed to. Germaphobe that I am, I wanted to avoid that unless it became absolutely necessary. But it was pretty hardcore - like she'd cry for food (or so I thought), and then, once it was given to her, she'd cry and force the bottle out of her mouth and barely eat anything. Thursday night we decided to take her in to the doctor on Friday morning, and Chris even worked from home so he'd be handy if I needed him. And then she wound up sleeping soundly through the night and woke up feeling great, so no doctor visit was needed! That said, her hands are always in her mouth, and she's always drooling. Basically she looks like this 24/7:
Other than that, she's seemed perfectly fine though and back to her cheery old self (I realize she doesn't look particularly cheery in that picture), so I'm guessing she was just particularly gassy that day. The verdict is still out on the teething issue too. It's likely she just discovered her hands and can't get enough of them. Really I have no idea! At least she seems happy again!

Yesterday Chris watched the girls in the morning so I could take a nice long nap and then in the afternoon so I could get my hair cut. They always seem to love time with their Daddy, and I think they enjoyed having him all to themselves! Vickie also came to visit yesterday, which was so much fun! Last night we picked up some Chuy's and stayed in with the girls, and I snapped a few pictures of their playtime:
I always wind up with so many pictures of Tamsie's fist in Evie's face! It started back during their ultrasound days and continues to the present....

Tummy time! The socks had long been kicked off by this point.

This was the part of tummy time when they officially gave up and stopped trying....

When we flipped her back over to her back again (she wasn't feeling the whole rolling-over thing last night), Evie wasn't shy about telling us how she felt about her tummy time experience.

Tamsie and Evie looking suspicious. I think this picture really shows off their mirror-image-ness.
Today we made it to church (still quite the feat with 2 small twinnies) - although we were embarrassingly late - and now I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my old roomie Jenny Duke, who is flying in from Dallas to visit for the next few days!!! In honor of her visit, I rounded up a few classic photos of us from Facebook:
JJ, me, and Jenny in the OBU Student Center back in 2001, back in the days when I apparently thought the faux-fur-collar look was a good one for me.
Headed to Planet Ouachita during TWIRP Week in fall '04, dressed as Barbies, as I recall, and standing in front of a dorm that has since been condemned and replaced with the type of luxury that we could only dream of in our college days! (BTW - does anyone else remember Perrin West AKA the ghetto of OBU? Did that really happen?! Was that real life? ;) 
Back for OBU Homecoming 2006, the first time JJ and I saw her after Jonathan proposed! We were doing some serious gushing!
And with the lovely bride herself in Vail, Colorado, in 2007. I'm sporting a lovely sunburn, and she's looking glamorous!
Here she is helping me get ready when it was my turn!
I can't wait to see my old roomdawg, who is now expecting a baby boy in May!!!! Speaking of babies, BabyWatch '12 is upon us. Carissa's boy was due a few days ago, and I'm predicting he will wait to show up until the day he's supposed to be induced, which will be Leap Day. McKenzie also seems to be gearing up to make her grand debut, so I'm thinking we'll have some news from Sara sooner rather than later. Next weekend I'll be back in the Big M, so I'll be reporting on at least one new baby very soon! Lots of excitement to come!!!! :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

We heart mail time!!

Around the Vafi House, the highlight of our days lately (besides, of course, spending time with each other) has been mail time! It all started on Friday, when this lovely shirt came in from what is arguably one of my favorite places to shop online:

Seriously, my love for DownEast Basics is nothing short of embarrassing. I discovered it several years ago when I heard it described as "Anthropologie style on a Target budget," and I just keep coming back for more. If we've ever had a conversation about unique places to find cute clothes, I've probably told you about it before. (If only they were paying me to say this!) Anyway, Chris let me pick something out from there for Valentine's Day, and this is what I found.

Then on Monday, the FedEx guy dropped off a set of dolls on our porch, from Mom and our dear friend Gigi.  This is what Evie immediately did when we handed her doll to her:

 And Tamsie enjoyed some time with her doll too:

Yesterday the girls received yet another treat in the mail: some gorgeous hats from Carissa's mom Betty, who is amazingly talented! The girls were able to debut their hats last night, because we had to make a run to Babies 'R' Us to spend the Valentine's Day money that YaYa sent the girls. Here's Tamsie all strapped up in her car seat and ready to go:

It really is impossible for that little lady to be in her car seat longer than about a minute and a half before going into a deep sleep. Evie modeled her hat in this picture I took once we got to Babies 'R' Us:
One of the best things about these hats is that they perfectly represent what has come to be my ideal twin-dressing philosophy: Dress them alike but with a twist.

When we left Babies 'R' Us, this is what we came back with, thanks to YaYa's Valentine money: 

 A portable mobile!! Does that sound redundant to anyone else? Portable mobile? Not sure what else to call it, but it's pretty cool because not only does it strap onto a crib, but it can also attach to a car seat or pretty much anything else you need to attach it to. (Oh wow - glad I caught that typo! I accidentally typed "crip" instead of "crib" - don't want it attaching to any gangstas out there!!) This way the girls also have a mobile to play with, now that their original two are no longer as glorious as they used to be - although we do still continue to get mileage out of them. They are now attached to the other crib, and I spin them around manually while singing to the girls. We call it "the poor man's mobile." Haha! Our portable mobile definitely has that set-up beat!! :)

Then, as I was typing this blog post, look what our friends at UPS dropped off:

A gorgeous photo book put together by Melissa McMasters!!! I would take more pictures, but I'm afraid my iPhone is diminishing the brilliant quality of the actual pictures. You'll just have to ask me to see it in person (and of course this proud mama will gladly show it to you!).

So we have certainly been spoiled by some special deliveries over the past few days.

One more little note to share: The girls have always loved their taggies that Vickie's mom made them. They are rarely without them, in fact. Well in the past couple of days, they have really started playing with them more than ever, and it's the cutest thing to watch. Tamsie was spinning hers around and biting on it so much earlier that she knocked it clear off her bouncy seat:
Look at that sad little face she made once she kicked it off! (And check out those cute little chubby legs!)
And here are some action shots of Evie enjoying her beloved taggie:

Well Tamsie is letting me know she's awake and hungry early, so off I go! Thanks to everyone who sent us such lovely surprises this week!! :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up

Happy Monday! Can you believe another one has rolled around? Speaking of rolling around, Miss Evangelyn Rose accomplished yet another milestone just last night: rolling over from belly to back! Now Tamsie has apparently been performing this little trick for her dad for quite some time, because I just saw her do it last week and he seemed rather unimpressed and informed me nonchalantly that she has been doing that for a while now. Well, now Evie has joined the elite "we-can-now-roll-over-when-we're-in-the-mood-to" club. (The key words here are "when we're in the mood to" - which, of course, is not always the case!) In my estimation, it's pretty noteworthy that they're doing this, considering they're only about 2 months old from an adjusted-age standpoint. Go Twinnies!

Something truly unfortunate has happened to both mobiles this weekend: they just up and broke. Now the girls look up at them expectantly and enjoy the only 10 seconds of excitement they can get out of these contraptions before they just sllloooow down and ... s t o p ... altogether. Then the girls burst out in tears. Very sad. I've considered making a video of the whole tragic affair and sending it to the mobile company so they can see first-hand how devastating it is when their products break. And so they can send us nice new ones. 
The bird dangling at the top of this pic is part of one defective mobile.
Better yet, I'll just sic Burma Grayson on 'em. My mother can file a complaint with the best of them! (Not sure that's a skill to brag about, but hey, it comes in handy on occasion! For example, when we moved to Louisville, the house didn't close on the day the bank had told us it would, and it was the bank's fault. So Mom somehow swandangled the bank into paying for our hotel rooms and a U-Haul for us to contain what the movers had already brought. I, however, am quite the pushover, so when it comes to things like this, I rely on her mad skillz.)

This weekend we had the distinct pleasure of hosting a visit from Royal Burmar herself, as well as my dear Dad. There was a lot of this going on:

I think she likes them!
and a lot of this too:

They arrived in the 'Ville on Friday night and watched the girls for us so we could go out on a Valentine's date, which was fabulous, by the way. Then Saturday we all went out for lunch, and my parents got their first taste of what it is like to take twin babies out in public. As soon as we walked into the restaurant, there was a collective "Awwww!! Twins!" followed by the onslaught of the usual questions and comments: what are their names, how old are they, are they identical, they are sooo small, they are sooo cute, etc.

One of the best parts of having parents come to town is putting them to work! ;)
Saturday night, Mom and I took the girls out on their very first mall excursion - quite the rite of passage in the life of any baby girl, of course! Once again, Mom got the full-out twins-in-public experience. All I can say is that it's kind of like if there really were an Easter Bunny (not that there's not one, but you know what I mean), and if he came to town and escorted you to the mall. I'm not talking about walking around with the mall Easter Bunny, I'm talking about walking around with the actual Easter Bunny, were he to exist. People would probably stare at you, and you might not really know how to respond. When you're with the girls, you can hear everyone around you talking about them, sometimes to you and sometimes not, and it presents an interesting social dilemma. Do you acknowledge that the two women behind you are talking to each other and saying your girls are precious and look just like baby dolls? If so, how? It feels rude to ignore all the comments if they're not directly addressed to you, but then it also feels odd to walk around saying "thank you," "thank you!" the whole time, like you're on parade or something. And forget shopping! It's nearly impossible. With everyone you pass staring at you and your girls and talking either about or to you, it's really hard to concentrate on anything else. I mean it's fun, but the whole thing makes you feel equal parts proud and creeped out... if you can imagine! Usually I just wind up trying not to burst out laughing the whole time. I wanted Mom to see what it was like, and she agreed that it's really just bizarre. I also concluded that taking the twins out, for now at least, is still a two-man (or woman!) job. I can't imagine handling all the logistics of getting them in and out of car seats and strollers and such all by myself right now without losing at least one of them. So for the time being, there's nowhere I need to go so badly that it can't wait until someone else is able to go there with me.

A few episodes that stand out from our mall visit:
- I wanted to take pictures to record their first trip to the mall, but the whole thing was so circus-like what with escorting the Easter Bunn twins around that I did good to capture these two blurry ones:
Here are Mom and the girls visiting one of the friends I made at Motherhood Maternity back when I had to shop there in my prego state!

The girls, who managed to stay awake to take in everything around them the whole time. They were wearing little blue jeans, but we had them covered up in blankets since it was so chilly in the mall.
- The girls couldn't get enough of everything. I kind of expected them to fall asleep, like they do on most outings, but they were wide-eyed and taking it all in the whole time. They lasted pretty well, too - we were there about 45 minutes or so before they started telling us they were ready for naptime.
- At one point, a group of women for whom English was obviously not the first language even came up to us and asked us how old the girls were and what they weighed.
- One lady who was on the phone saw us walk by and said to whomever she was talking, "There are twins at the mall!!!"
- We did meet a sweet old man who loved seeing the girls.
- It never fails that, regardless of how girly they look or how much pink they're wearing, someone always asks whether they're boy-girl twins. Umm, seriously?!

Sadly for the girls, we did not leave the mall that day with anything directly for them. In fact, what we went for was actually quite boring, but very much reflective of our lives right now:
Bath & Body Works Hand Sanitizer!! Can't have enough of this stuff, with the girlies around! 5 for $5, baby! Plus, their sweet grandparents brought them some precious dresses when they came to town, so it's not like they didn't get totally spoiled by their grandparents this weekend. And I just took full advantage of the buy-one-get-one-free Carter's sale online last week (must have been designed with twinnies in mind), so they'll be getting some new little outfits soon. (It was actually kind of fun picking out little clothes for them to wear, because ever since they've been wearing clothes, they've been wearing things that were given to us. Huge blessing for sure, but it will also be fun to select some little outfits for them myself! :)

By the way, I tried Tamsie in a 0-3 month outfit for the first time this morning just to see what would happen:
Surprisingly, it's not enormous!

We loved having my parents come visit. We also loved getting to see our friend Diana on Thursday night! She came and brought dinner, and it was so wonderful getting to catch up with her.

That's it for today's weekend update! I'll leave you with this sweet (but blurry) picture of Evie's cute little post-dinnertime smile:

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Check out what the old girls have been up to around our house this morning:

Hanging out in PJs, sleeping in swings in mirror-image positions, which is fitting since they are mirror-image identical twins. (I'm aware you're supposed to have them sleep in their nighttime sleeping locations during daytime naps, but as much as they sleep during the days, I can't stand for them to be away from me for so long! Looks like I could be the one with separation anxiety issues later on, not them, right? ;) Plus, they are sleeping like.... um... babies at night, so I'm not too concerned about it!) 

OK, to be fair, they had a nice exhausting playtime after breakfast, consisting of the usual - mobile time, playtime on mats, watching the fan, talking with me, listening to Goodnight Moon. (And I'm also aware that Goodnight Moon is probably not the ideal book to read to babies in the morning, but let's be honest - pretty sure they don't know that just yet! The real reason I chose Goodnight Moon is that I just read an article about some good books to read to babies under six months, and this book was on the list. Clearly I could not wait until bedtime!) Playtime did not last as long as usual though before the meltdowns signaling the start of naptime commenced, because the girls are probably still worn out after yesterday's 4-month check-up and the scheduling disruption it caused.

Waiting for the doctor to come in. Chris tries to get Tamsie to smile.

Evie eyes her daddy suspiciously (probably for good reason), while Tamsie is enamored with the lights.
Back when they were still in the NICU, I did a lot of research to find a highly recommended pediatrician with lots of preemie experience. Not only does the one we picked fit this criteria, but he also has a set of twins of his own! However, he has been on medical leave following knee surgery every chance we've had to see him thus far, so until now we've seen another doctor in the practice whom we have also come to love. But yesterday we were able to see him for the first time, and he was totally worth the wait! As soon as he walked in, he said, "I completely understand what your last four months have been like, and let me tell you, it gets MUCH easier from here! Just wait til they get to be 6 months - life will be so much FUN!" He proceeded to answer my 1.5 million questions and then gave the girls an excellent report! In fact, he said that if he didn't know any better, he'd just think they were little happy, healthy, full-term babies. He also informed us that:
- Evie's newborn screen results from last week (and Tamsie's too, from a while back) were perfectly normal!
- The girls can now get 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep before we wake them up to feed them! That means one more hour for us too!
- When we take them on trips, we can keep them in their car seats for 2 hours without stopping to get them out. I'm hoping this means another trip is in order for us in the very near future!

We also learned that, sans diapers, Tamsie is 8 lbs 14 oz and Evie is 8 lbs 4 oz! They are both in the same weight range - yay!! The doctor was very pleased with their growth and showed us a graph indicating that they really are making great strides in catching up with their 4-month peers, even though they are such little fellas! Evie is now only 1/4" shorter than Tamsie, too. She is working her hardest to catch up!

So it was an all-around outstanding visit... until shot time, which, of course, is the saddest time ever. Tamsie actually took it better than Evie did, probably because she's been through those awful kidney tests and knows that it could be much worse! We had to administer some Tylenol once last night, but that was all. While there was some crying throughout the evening, it was nothing like the inconsolable cryfest we had after the 2-month check-up.

And then something amazing happened right before bath time last night that made me laugh and cry at the same time: EVIE LAUGHED! It wasn't the grunt-laugh she's been doing, the "HAAAAA" with the wide smile - it was an actual, full-out laugh that kept going and going and going!! It was the sweetest thing I've ever seen. Chris had her in her crib, watching her mobile, and then he came along and spun it around really fast - and she just burst out laughing! Of course we started laughing too, and then I started thinking about how far she's come in the past four months, which made me rather emotional. Maybe it has to do with rehashing everything by writing these blog posts, but I couldn't stop thinking about how there was seriously a time not that long ago when Evie's life was very much in jeopardy - and now, here she is, getting great news at the doctor's office and wrapping up the day with a great big belly laugh! It was too much for me, friends. I am so thankful. Praise the Lord!! We've really had a great living example of the tenderness of His love in the way He has taken such amazing care of these precious little twins.

Now we're thinking it won't be long before Tamsie graduates from the grunt-laugh to the real laugh, so stay tuned! :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here are some fun photos from my Valentine's Day with my two little twin Valentines, along with a few random photos from the past few days.
I was trying to get a picture of the two girls in their Boppys in Evie's crib. Tamsie, however, would much rather sleep! That girl would not stop stretching.

This was my attempt at an aerial shot. The stretching continues.

Evangelyn is a little Tri Chi in training in her pink and green hearts. (My computer is not letting me rotate this picture for some reason!)

They'll have to be each other's Valentines this year.

This is Evie a few days ago, modeling her ruffly cap.

Tamsie having fun with her bouncy seat toys, probably saying, "Agoo!"

This was the closest I could get to smiles from them at picture time today

Tamsie had just woken up here and was contemplating the ceiling fan

Tamsie was still not done stretching, and Evie just looks mildly confused

Naptime a couple of nights ago, sharing a blanket. Tamsie has a little smile!

Another interesting sleeping position from Tams

Tamsie in Valentine apparel (still not letting me rotate, argh!)

The face of a Valentine's Day champion

Or is she really just bitter about the whole thing? Is this about Singles Awareness Day, Tams?
Do you see the irony in this picture of Evie?

That's a little better!

Tamsie, there will come a day when it's not so cute to have writing on your booty. But that day is a long way off! ;)

Stretchy, stretchy, stretchy! Evie would appreciate some space!

They are serious about celebrating Valentine's Day!

I know the background is all wrong for this shot, but who can resist that little smile? She was talking to me when I snapped this one.

Happy Valentine's Day from the Vafi girls!