Tuesday, April 28, 2009

8 weeks old!

It's been a busy past week here - you'd think with Ava gone there would have been lots of blog posts. But life didn't seem to slow down even without her extra energy to keep me going! We had a great quietER week although it was good to have Ava back. I missed her snuggles.

It seemed the girls changed so much this past week and a half. We get smiles pretty easily these days and we're starting to get coos and half-giggles on a rare occasion. It's been so much fun to see them start to respond so much.

Thursday night, Alisa came with Addy and Brynne to give Ryan and I a date night out. I don't think Kate and Olivia lacked for any attention while we were gone. : )

Addy snuggling Kate
Brynne and Olivia having some fun
Don't you just love these cheeks?!?!?!

8 weeks old today!
I've given up on getting a snapshot of them smiling on my own. By the time I get diapers changed and things picked up after a feeding, I have to soak in the smiles on my own. If I run to get the camera . . .it too often seems one baby is done with playing! I'll have to enlist Daddy's help to get some smiling sweetness for you sometime. These hints of a smile will have to do for now.
Kate (left) and Olivia (right)

And they say a picture is worth a thousand words?

Here you go. : )

(how come plumber's butt is so much cuter on her than me!!! : ) )

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

what is it with us girls?!?!?

Beware boys . . .some girl talk is about follow.

So I just got home from the doctor's for my 6 week check up (technically it's 7 weeks but such is life).

It was nice to get out of the walls that are my house and see some of the outside world.

Not so nice? That thing they call a scale.

I was almost tempted to grab one of the girls out of her carseat quick so I could still claim an extra baby.

Now before I continue I feel a need for a disclaimer. I almost didn't write this post. I was afraid it would turn into one of those "SILENCE" conversations.

You know the type.

You run into someone who promptly begins to lament how gross they feel that day which is then followed with a ginormous pause and huge silence in the conversation.

And you know that in the said silence, you are supposed to quickly (and quickly is the key here), respond with, "OH NO . . . .you don't look gross. " ; )

That isn't my goal here.

I've just had this on my mind for a while and felt the need to express.

This time around post-partum has been a completely different experience - combine double baby weight and recovery from a c-section and at 7 weeks, I find myself with the total amount of baby weight I gained with Ava . . .still to lose.

Before I continue, please know that I know this is all realisitic, appropriate and normal. And while I don't expect to be back to my prebaby self anytime soon, that isn't saying it wouldn't be nice : ). But I don't have any unrealistic ideas or unhealthy plans in my head that my life should be different.

It's been alot harder for me this time around, though, as I've found myself in such a different situation with so many more limitations regarding my activities and MUCH less time to do something about it.

Last week were the first real walks I took as it was the first time I could so without abdomen pain from my c-section. I'm so excited to finally start being active again.

But what I've been thinking about alot lately is the fact that I find it so sad that in the midst of such an amazing time, that I can so easily focus on the flaws of my body. . and not the miracles (and I don't think I"m the only one out there like this).

Many of you know the journey I've been on with my body image in the past. I spoke a couple years ago to our church's high school girls and know one part I shared with them was my journey in embracing and believing the verse of Psalm 139:14:


God's taken me on an amazing journey and while it took a while, I thought I had embraced that verse as much as I could and really worked to live that truth out in my life.

This post-partum experience has shaken that up a bit.

It's easy in today's world to define ourselves by our outward appearance. It's easy, even as I work to improve my inward woman . . .to find security in the outer. God's been showing me that there still is an inbalance in my life and while maybe I had made huge improvements with my body image overall . . .I had made the mistake of placing far too much confidence in its strength and ability and what "I could do."

The reality of today?

I think I may give Kate from Jon and Kate plus 8 a run for "beautiful stomachs" right now (cough - think of Kate's before surgery belly people, not the AFTER surgery belly).

I could maybe run from my chair to the stairs without gasping for breath.

And after about 5 lunges, I could easily be done for the week. : )

There are days dressing can be quite a chore (as in figuring out what to wear . .not the act itself ; ) ) and I find myself too easily emotionally defined by what I see in the mirror.

And whoever decided that NOW was the time our church should do a photo directly obviously didn't check with me on the timing. : )

I know . . .the last bit is shallow and self-absorbed, but if we're being honest here . . .oh how I've thought it. : ) I guess better me than you - right?!

But as I've fought the lies satan so easily wants me to embrace day to day, I find God whispering some truths to my heart.

Like why is it that I, as a woman, can't marvel at a belly that has stretched beyond comprehension to safely carry two perfect babies into this world and thank Him for the marks that are daily reminders.

There are days I still can hardly believe my two perfect daughters both came from within me.

Why is it that I can't stop and, with grace, enjoy a time in my life where time allows us nothing but to soak in the new lives I brought home and not lament the activities I should be doing to erase such phsycial reminders.

Why is it I can't praise God for the two limbs that carried me and our babies around for 8 1/2 months . . .and that weren't limited to bed and to couch.

When that happens . . .when I can worship the works of the Creator and not the works of the created . . .my perspective suddenly changes.

I relax and enjoy my girls a little more.

I can be thankful with small changes that do occur . . .and not wearing myself out for the next 5 to come.

The walks become more restoring to my heart.

Returning strength is enjoyed and not hurried.

I see my God more . . and me less.

Sometimes I think I just still need to go back to the truth that is in the passage of Psalm 139. I like how the Message says it:

"Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day. "

You know, no where in that whole passage is its truth limited to one specific time in our life or that one picture we have of ourselves that we feel most comfortable with.

The truth is . . .that it's truth, regardless.

Not when I'm this.

Not once I'm that.

Not if only.

It is.

God has laid the burden on my heart that I need to make choices to choose His truth . . and not the "truths" our world loves to sell us.

I want to honor Him in what He has done . . .and I want my daughters to see that in the way I treat myself . . .both in words and in actions. I want them to see their lives as the miracles they are . . .and not the changes they brought.

I know I need to make some choices differently in the days ahead and I"m praying I can begin today.

"I will praise thee my God, I am marvelously made."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

lots of random . . .

Brace yourselves folks . . .it's been a while!

Life has been constant at our home these weeks . . .the other day I had to go to my "sent" folder of my email to double check some info, and over the course of a week, I think there were maybe 10 sent emails. Considering a while back that could easily have been ONE afternoon, that kind of puts things in perspective! : )

So here's some of our latest!

Ava headed off to Michigan to spend the next week+ with Grandpa and Grandma Bahr. Every time I connect my daughter sounds like she's having a blast. I was a little relieved when my mom did tell me she was making a concentrated effort to have Ava play on her own too . . .her life is quite different when she comes home! But it's fun for me to know she's having so much fun . . .even if it does seem like a long time.

I shed mommy tears . . .but have to be honest saying that I have loved being able to get out for walks every day so far for pretty much the first time since these girls have been born and the pure simplicity of just me and the babies. It's fun to be able to soak them in some.

I often smile thinking that the same things that I miss so much about our little tornado when she's gone will probably have me exhausted within a day of her being back home. Isn't mommyhood grand!

Here's Ava and Grandma at the airport waiting to leave - doesn't she look SO sad to go?! ; )
For part of Ava's "Easter Basket," Barb made these little chick cupcakes for Ava. She thought they were pretty cute and I must agree!

Here's Ava trying one out!

Since she was little, Ava has been obsessed with putting either her drink or some object that she's eating in the little cupholder of her high chair. She'll often rotate what item is so priviledged to use that spot during a meal. It makes me laugh.

Easter sunday was a crazy whirlwind at our house. Ryan went to the sunrise service with Ava and I came a little later with the girls. So needless to say, I don't have a picture of all three of the girls in their easter sweetness. We'll have to do a "pretend" shot some day. But here is one snapshot of the twins all ready to go . . .another glimpse at my life? My sister had to take it as I quickly rushed around getting ready myself before we headed out the door. Otherwise, this picture might not have happened either! : )
Olivia (left) and Kate (right)

The girls got individual bible story books as a baby gift from some friends of ours. I was telling Ava that Kate and Olivia had their own bibles now. Ava promptly took them from my hands and went and put one on each of the girls' laps. If you tried to removed them, she got quite upset. So here's Kate starting her devotion habits early in life.

Monkey see, Monkey do.

My high school friend Jill sent two adorable blankets that she made herself as a baby gift this past week - they are so sweet! Not only do I love them, though, but Ava thought she needed them too. So all three girls are putting them to great use - thanks Jill!!

And here's Olivia and Daddy having some bonding time.

Until the next time! : )

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ahh, the sweet words of a child.

Picture have you curious yet?!

Last night Ryan had singing practice with his group.

So I loaded up the girls and they visited Aunt Alisa's house for the first time.

My sister's family just brought home a goat and two baby goats last week to their place. Ava has loved getting to go watch, pet and play with them.

So after getting to Alisa's, I decided to head out to watch Ava have fun with them.

We had only been out for a little bit when Braden asked, "Why is her belly so fat?!" (ie. the goat's?).

Don't try and pretend like you know where this is going. : )

Alisa went on to explain to Braden that the mom had just had her babies a week ago and it takes time for her belly to get smaller.

Brynne, ever being helpful, hurried on to help with the explanation.

"Just like Amber's big belly Braden!"

The pure sincerity and helpfulness she said it in only made it funnier.

It's a good thing she's 5 and not 16. : ) Then it might have not felt very funny.

Well I'm off to take care of my kids . . ..MAaaaaaaa.

Friday, April 3, 2009

You know you've just had twins when . . .

You get a doctor's bill that is 4 pages long.

The silver lining?
We also got an insurance claim that is EIGHT pages long.
Praise God for insurance!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

2 1/2 days down, only 6540 more to go! : )

Can you believe we're all still in one piece!?!

My mom left at naptime tuesday . . .Ryan and I have been trying out afternoons/evening and nights on our own and so far, so good (yikes, I"m a little nervous now that I put that!).

This past month would have been hugely different without the help of both our grandma's. Ava got lots of love and fun at Gpa and Gma Prevo's and my mom was a superwoman taking on nights, babies, and a sleep-deprived, hormonal, post-partum daughter for one month straight.

That last bit is no small thing I tell you. Only a mother's love. : )

We are so blessed.

Thanks for all you did Mom . . .we love you!

Settling back into a "little" of a new normal has actually been really nice. We could not have made it without the help we had, but it's been so neat to be reintroduced to our new family as it is and to take some of the reins back ourselves.

Don't get me wrong.

I have had my moments that all 3 girls are serenading eachother with their tears.

I have glanced at the clock every 5 minutes on a given day to see how much longer until Ryan gets home.

I have craved a nap when a grandma wasn't around to give me the chance to take one.

But such is the life that now awaits us - and it's been such a gift to enjoy our little girls and the craziness they've brought to our lives.

That all said - I'm not sure if it's all your prayers combined with the mercy of God, but we've also had 2 of our best nights with the girls while on our own - they went 4 hours two nights in a row!

So getting some sort of "reasonable" sleep has made these past couple of days so much easier to handle as they come.

Please note that I just called a 4 hour stetch (which usually would entail about 2 1/2 hours of sleep) REASONABLE. :)

Gotta love life's new definitions with newborns.

Then there is this tiny additional factor that every morning, Grandma Prevo comes in to play with Ava and let me get a nap in. I'm not niave enough to think I"d be doing this well without my easy mornings.

I couldn't do it without her help in the morning.

It allows Ava to get some attention that isn't fully shared and me to gear up for the rest of my days.

Ryan is just working on scheduling meetings with himself at work so he can take a nap in a back room.

I"M KIDDING (not that he probably hasn't thought about it).

And my sister just came and took Ava for the rest of the day and for overnight. That provides a much more restful and relaxing evening and lets me have some time to just soak in the two girls.

I laugh at the times when I think, man . ..just having twins seems kind of simple.

The day I thought THAT would ever enter my mind! (It also helps that it's not 2:00 in the morning with two screaming babies).

I'm holding my breath and waiting for the night that completely takes the wind out of me. But mostly, I'm working on enjoying the good days and thanking God for them!

And as a little update, my thrush is HUGELY improved thanks to some diflucan and a great remedy of grapefruit seed extract (thanks Jen!!). I'd recommend it to anyone! So that helps in the day to day as well.

Well I"m off to enjoy a quiet house while I have one . . .here's a few more pictures.

My ready and able helper when it comes to ANYTHING needing washed.
I mentioned Ava likes to snuggle her sisters by laying on them? Case in point. At least in this shot she wasn't entirely crushing Olivia.
(disclaimer: no babies were harmed in the making of this picture)

During Ava's naptime, if the girls aren't eating, I'll often put them on their stomachs for this nap on the floor. Ava's ritual when she wakes up is she has to snuggle down in between them ("by you") and just lay there. It's pretty sweet until she then start harassing them after an inevitable while.


Ava is fascinated with the girls' swings. She'll push her baby dolls in them, and loves to "push" her sisters (as I hold my breath). The other day, I was getting some info off the computer and could hear her playing with the swing behind me. I didn't think too much of it since that isn't anything new and a baby wasn't currently occupying it.
That was when I turned around and saw this:

Ava had somehow managed to get herself up and FULLY into the swing ON HER OWN. Ryan and I have made the decision we're going to look into getting a gate to section off the office - we thought the safety of Kate and Olivia might be worth it as we can't leave the girls in their swings without being vigilant of where Ava is. and it helps protect them when I'm nursing one and the other girl is a sitting duck. She keeps us hopping!