Friday, July 27, 2007

The best I can do for now....

We are having major camera problems, thus the miniature pics below! All of the sudden the pics from my phone are bite sized and I can't figure out how to fix it...anyone?!

So, just be patient with me until I can get one of our cameras to cooperate. Until then....
Here is Amelia lifting her head up and looking like such a big girl!
Our friend Uai came over to hang out with the babes. Here he is with little man Sam.We are pretty sure Sam was thinking, "Wow, now that's a big dude!"
Here is Joelie being Super Papa....
Burping one and carrying the other...
Feeding one and pacifying the other...
Taking a break at the Target eating area...

And lastly, here is Amelia checking the e-mail and drinking her daily diet coke....oh wait, that's part of my morning ritual:)

Hopefully I'll be back soon with some pics that you don't have to use a magnifying glass to see! Love to you, Jen

Monday, July 23, 2007

At the heart of it....

This evening I found myself walking in circles around the back yard. For almost an hour. "Why?" You might ask. Well, I wasn't alone you see. I was pushing two little babes in their stroller during meltdown hour. "Why didn't you take a nice stroll around the block?,"may be your next question. Well, I was heading in that direction, I was actually zooming down the driveway until I paused to take note of my appearance. Uh oh. I was wearing bleach stained capri jogging pants, a white nursing tank with a fresh milk circle from our last nursing session, flip flops and stringy, oily hair pulled half way up. As the babes started belting it out again I almost just decided I didn't care, but a glance down at the fresh milk circle stopped me in my tracks and I quickly made an escape into the back yard. And their we walked. And we talked. And we sang. And as we walked around and around and around I giggled to myself and thought, "This is hysterical! What am I doing?!" And really, I was asking myself "What is this Mothering thing all about?" I mean nitty, gritty mothering like this. Why do we do it? Why did i quit a lucrative (just kidding:), fulfilling, impactful, ESL teaching career for this? How am I helping society by walking around in circles (which is what parenting infants,and beyond I'm sure, often feels like)?
Nurturing souls. That's what came to me. I looked over the edge of the stroller and saw two pairs of eyes looking up at the sky and I thought "Nurturing two little souls." That is what it's all about. Two little souls that will grow and blossom and impact their world in many ways. Two little souls that are already teaching us about selflessness and patience and compassion. And I pushed a little stronger and I felt a little more understanding and I looked over the backyard fence at the mountains and thanked the Lord for evenings like this. After all, I'm sure in the years to come I'll wish that a little wind on their faces and a look at the sky above was all they needed to quiet whatever it is inside that won't allow them rest. Jen

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Today was yet another first. However, this one was a big one for us, and for the babies but they didn't know it.


Yep, that's right. We finally ventured out into the Other World today. We put them in their little (actually rather large for their little sizes) carseats and drove out of the driveway, got on I-215, and headed to Target. Before we went into Target we ate at a place called Cafe Rio and the babies did great, not a peep. (If you have an incredible and almost scary memory you will recall from earlier posts that Cafe Rio is the name of the restaraunt where Jenny's water broke, pretty weird how things come full circle.) We wore them in their little slings and they did great, and so did we. A great thing about wearing babies, especially twins, in slings is that people are musch less likely to arbitrarily walk up and poke and kiss OUR babies. People lose their minds with babies, especially twins. There were a few people who caught that we had twins when we were walking together in Target and made comments like, "Twins!!! Oh my gosh!" One lady said, "You have babies in there (talking about in our slings)? That's not fair, you have two and we can't even see them!" Another lady said, "Whew, better you than me!"
We agree:) We got all kinds of looks and stares and a couple more comments asking if slings were comfy and how the babies like them and such, it's quite the show when we go out I guess. Had we had them in the stroller I have no idea what kind of mayhem would have ensued. Thank goodness for slings, the babies love them and they conceal your baby from "The Stranger".

We had so much fun, all four of us. Just the four of us. As if we were a regular little family out and about on Saturday. That was a great piece of normalcy to achieve, I assure you. Having the shackles of "home arrest" unlocked has been wonderful. We still are going to adhere to the rules of no kids, no dirty hands touching them, and nobody kisses their hands and faces except their parents and grandparents for now. That's what the doctor said, and we agree. This freedom came about because Amelia had to go get checked out because she was having a hard time swallowing and kind of choking. The pediatrician said that was absolutely normal and to expect it to get worse before it gets better. Wonderful. We asked him about taking the twins out and he said it was A-OK, so we did. How fun.

Here are a few random pictures for ya...some of the new house's living room, dining room and kitchen and a few new ones of little Amelia that just make us smile:)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


It was about 4:40 am this morning and I was listening to my new ipod (yes, brothers, I finally got one--only because it came free with our new computer:). I thought maybe if I listened to a little music it would help tune out the little grunts and post-eating sighs from the babes lying next to me and I'd get a little sleep. Anyway, there i was listening to a little Jack Johnson when suddenly I was back in Hawaii again. More specifically, I was in a little cafe underneath the language school where I did my ESL training. The cafe was playing Jack and I was eating a tuna sandwich and having a conversation with a very interesting classmate. At one point in the conversation she asked me if, in my evangelical Christian perspective, she, as a lesbian Jew, was going to hell. She wasn't one for shooting the breeze. I loved that little cafe. It was a break from the intense, often intimidating, learning I was going through upstairs. It was urban and it was full of internationals and it had great sandwiches.

Upstairs. Classrooms full of Japanese and Swiss and Korean students...full of language games and complicated grammar lessons, full of eclectic student teachers whose only similarity was our desire to teach English. A classroom where I finally felt " ahh, this is something I could do forever. this is something I love." A classroom that had a beautiful view of that blue, blue water that I miss dearly.

So, anyway, I was back in that little cafe talking, listening to Jack, eating my tuna, when suddenly I heard a little cough and thought "Was that a spit up?". I took my earphones off, October of 2004 quickly disappeared, and I turned over in my current moment to see this.....

Such a different, wonderful reality. Two little babes next to me. One with his eyes wide open, looking at me so intently and one behind him with her arm over her eyes like "C'mon guys, can't a girl get some sleep around here?!" I hear ya, babe. And yet, I wouldn't trade either moment for anything. To everything there is a season, and I have to say, this one is pretty great.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mozart Meltdowns...

We took the babes on their first stroller ride tonight. Sam wasn't buying it at first but soon calmed down and they both conked out. When we got home and the soothing ride was over they promptly woke up and began their evening meltdown. Yes, even these cutie patooties do have their moments of unhappiness...and it seems to happen most often around 7-9 in the evening (which I have read is common....mommies out there?)Usually nursing or walking around outside does the trick after a bit and then we start bath time but neither of them would have it tonight.

I have learned that if I stay calm they usually calm down much quicker. But how to stay calm with TWO screaming babies?! I can feel my heart start to race just thinking about it. One trick I use is turning on our baby Mozart CD. It doesn't make them stop crying, but it calms my heart and actually makes me smile in the midst of chaos because it makes the scene quite comedic.

Tonight as soon as I put Sam in the sling he calmed down (duh!why didn't I try that earlier?!) and Joel and I got Amelia in her bath and she calmed down as well and went into her bath time zen state. The key is finding the right soother for that never know what it'll be. Anyway, after they were bathed and swaddled and binkies were in, the music was still playing and all was truly calm. Ahhhh, a couple of hours of quiet to get some house work done. I never knew washing diapers and loading the dishwasher could feel so relaxing...but it does. The calm after the storm is always so lovely, don't you think?!

Thanks for all of your birthday was a fabulous day! Jen

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Best birthday presents ever...

What more could a girl want for her 27th birthday than moments like these...

Monday, July 09, 2007


Dressed and ready for the day...

Sam wanted to show you how cute he looks in his cloth diaper and leg warmers....yes, boys wear leg warmers too!

Amelia loved her white bunny outfit and though the hat is still a bit big we just had to get a picture.

After lots of eating and tummy time and spitting up, Amelia takes a little nap with her papa...

Sam holds on tight for his ride in the sling...

Clean and fed and ready for bed...

Goodnight all!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

These are a few of my favorite things...

Fresh stacks of blankets....we have been given blankets of all shapes, sizes, and colors. I have my favorites for swaddling, my favorites for pallets on the floor, my favorites for wrapping up to snuggle...I always love to see them stacked under the changing table looking so cute and cuddly and ready for use.

This is my nursing corner. I do lots of reading in this cozy corner. I am reading through all of my Mothering magazines...I started getting them during pregnancy but now the articles take on a whole new meaning and I just eat them up. Of course I love all of the bonding that goes on in this rocking chair as well...gazing into those little eyes while they eat are some of my favorite moments of the day.

I love this little shelf. I love the boots waiting to be worn and I love seeing Joelie as a little cowboy in the pictures. It always makes me smile.

What is cuter than little, clean babies wrapped up in hooded towels after a bath?

Baskets of yummy toys waiting to be played with....

Zaky's hands are a great creation designed by a mommy that had a baby in the NICU. She wanted somehow to leave something of her with the baby in his isolette while she was gone and eventually came up with the idea to create a hand that is about the wieght of a human hand that can comfort the baby when you can't be there. You can wear it around your neck to get your scent on it so that they feel like you are with them. Our babies love them!

Slings have been a lifesaver. Having my hands free to comfort another babe or get some dishes or clothes washed has been wonderful. The babies, especially Sam, absolutly love their time cuddled next to mama or papa and usually fall right to sleep.

Of course these are my absolute favorite things....

Hope you are all doing well,Jen

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Fourth

The Fourth is about freedom. It is supposed to be a reminder of our forefathers’ and foremothers’ declaration of, and subsequent fight for, freedom. I’ve always had a twinge of patriotism in me and have loved history and certainly all the war stories of our country, at least the ones where we win. As I grew older war became the place where boys became men and adventure was everywhere. It was a place to make a mark for yourself and your country. Then as I got older still and joined the Army the idea and presence of war took on a whole different face. It is where fear grips you; it makes these boys-turned-men soil themselves because they are so afraid. It is where death lurks and preys everywhere. War is where friends die. Where loved ones die. Where heroes die. Where future minds are snuffed out in the blink of an eye. It is a place where parents are made childless and where children are made parentless. War, I have learned, is not glorious, is not a proper place to turn children into adults, and is utterly horrible. I am not saying all this in regards to our current situation in Iraq, though it is apt, I say this with our countries history in mind. I saw yet another side to war I had not seen until today.

I was lying in bed with my two beautiful babies and was reflecting on the Fourth and what it is supposed to mean. You know how fast thoughts whiz through the mind and it would take a canon to explain a 5 second thought process, well that happened to me. I ended up thinking of what it really meant back then in General George Washington’s day to fight with rebels for a cause they knew they would probably loose their life for. What occurred to me and hit home like never before, was the fact that those men and women thought so much of the ideal of freedom that they would leave their families, their newborn twins, to go off and fight for a cause that would most likely not see victory and they would most likely see death. I thought of myself having to do that and I do not think I possess the strength to do such a thing. When I left for Colombia, where I was very unlikely to die, I wept and that was without any children. I was scared. I have seen death, breathed its horrible stench, and seen young men die for no real cause because of war. I think of that and am unbelievably moved by the strength of those who paid the price so that we may have freedom. Another thing struck me, the price willing to be paid for freedom. We have not suffered under a regime that does not allow freedom so we have no concept of the true value of freedom, except from what other say and from history. Our forefathers and mothers thought so much of the idea of freedom that they were willing to surely give up their lives, break apart families, and forever leave their newborn babies to ensure that they could grow up in freedom. I saw war through the eyes of a parent today and it scared me. It made me hurt for parents today who have children fighting. It left me in awe of those who willingly gave up what I enjoy today in order that others could experience freedom. I hope I never forget this.

All this talk of family and loved ones also got me to reflect on the past 3 months. Today is Sam & Amelia’s 3 month birthday, we’ve had them in our lives for that long, can’t believe it. Along the way we have learned a lot.

I’ve learned love like I never knew it before. I have seen so many new faces of love. I have seen the love of a mother for her daughter and a daughter for her mother with an intensity that is something to behold. I experienced brand new love the first time I saw our babies, again when I first held their teeny-tiny bodies in my hands, again when I first kissed their heads, and everyday when I come home and see them. I see love when I see them. There is still nothing bad about them, they don’t know how to be bad. All they know how to do is to try and survive by crying, eating, and sleeping, we have to do the rest. They are so helpless. I have seen a new side of the love I have for Jenny, the mother of our children. I am experiencing love anew.

I’ve learned the value of a binky. If you don’t know, it’s a priceless value.

I’ve learned how to receive help. We would never have been able to make it without help. We’ve had so much help from so many people, some of those people I am sure we will never thank but their help most assuredly gave us peace, if only for a moment.

I’ve learned that no matter how bad you may have it, be thankful because someone else has it much worse than you.

I’ve learned about stress.

I’ve learned a whole new priority list; things that used to be important have now been replaced. I’ve learned that things, material things and accomplishments, are not what are important.

I am learning about family; how it works from this end. I am trying to figure out how to juggle a very demanding school load, a very demanding home load, and a demanding things-to-do-around-the-house load. So far, all I can tell you is that I have a lot of learning to do.

I’ve only just begun to learn how to be a father and a daddy; and how to be a husband all over again in this new setting.

I can tell you that it is hard and challenging but I would not trade it for the world, the joy I get from a simple look from our babies is worth it all.

I hope you had a wonderful Fourth.

Monday, July 02, 2007


So, mom left this morning. I would say that "my pillow was a little wet last night as i went to sleep", but heaving sobs would be a more accurate description of the scene! Neeedless to say she will be sorely missed by all. Everyday.

Shari and I had a loverly time with my ELI work pals at a shower for the babes.Thanks girls for all of the work you put into such a special afternoon...what an intellegent, interesting, well traveled group of women you are! Miss you guys...

Here is grandpa Jim with Sammy...he's going to teach Sam all of his handyman skills real soon:)

Amelia would like to tell you all that she has grown out of these teeny preemie clothes and has moved on to newborn size...our little girl is growing up:)
That's all for now....there are babies to be fed/burped/changed/rocked....:)Jen