Sunday, December 28, 2008

A fabulous Christmas!

Well, the van Riessen family thoroughly enjoyed our first Christmas waking up in our own home. What a wonderful holiday and it was a real blessing to spend it with my parents who flew down from Canada. On Christmas Eve we celebrated Jesus' birthday with a cake and Molly watched the old claymation Christmas cartoon "The Little Drummer Boy". Then we put out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer, and Molly begrudgingly went to bed.
On Christmas morning, we were all up before Molly. In fact, she didn't arise until 7:30 in the morning. She was pretty shocked to see the cookies and carrots gone and was more than willing to start opening her presents. She really savored her presents, and preferred to play with each gift for 5 minutes before opening up the next one. In fact, she was so slow and methodical that we had to take a break from the gift opening to eat breakfast to prevent the pregnant Mommy from passing out with low blood sugar. We scarfed down a rather large breakfast casserole and then finished opening our gifts.

Molly had many favorite presents, but the biggest hit was definitely her pink guitar that she had been asking for over the last 2 monthes. She loves it (as your can tell from her picture below)!

It was really special to share our Christmas with my parents, who were an AMAZING help to me. My energy level and mobility has basically tanked, and not only did my mom do most of the cooking and cleaning while she was here, but my parents went on a cooking marathon and filled our freezer with casseroles. Molly LOVED having them here and after dropping them off at the airport she shared that she was very sad Nani and Papa left on the airplane. Thankfully, I was able to take some portraits of my parents while they were here, including some with Miss Molly!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Christmas Festivities...

Well, we have definitely enjoyed a fun string of Christmas festivities over the weekend. Saturday Steve had to work, so I decided to take Miss Molly to the Sacramento Santa Parade downtown. It was Molly's first parade, and she definitely enjoyed it. She loved all the horses and the fact that people would throw candy at her. At the end of the parade I asked her how see liked the Christmas parade and after spouting off a list of things she saw she said, "Where's Jesus?" Good question Molly. Anyway, here we are together watching the parade, and then there's a picture of Molly waving to the people going by.

And then on Saturday night, we went to one of our friend's annual Christmas party (leaving Molly with Emily... thank Emily!). They do an ornament "white elephant" exchange every year and the ornaments range from traditional to tacky to creative. I recieved one of the more creative "homemade" ornaments. How ironic is it for a woman who's pregnant with twins to recieve a condom ornament? (photo taken from Andrea's blog) I think we'll leave that one off of our Christmas tree...

Then Sunday night we attended Steve's staff Christmas party, once again leaving Molly with a sitter (thanks Paige & Oscar). Two nights out for Mommy and Daddy in one weekend! Whoo whoo! Anyway, his company hosted a wonderful meal at a nice restaurant, and then held a Christmas raffle with gifts ranging from Home Depot gift cards to a flat screen TV! Steve won a $100 gift card to the Sportsman Warehouse, so we'll be using that to get him a new winter jacket!

The last couple of days have been busy preparing for Christmas and the arrival of my parents who will be flying in this afternoon. Molly and I have kept busy getting groceries, planning meals and cleaning the house. Here's some classic pictures of Molly assisting me with the laundry by donning every pair of underwear from my drawer.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Twins... and Christmas parties...

Hey everyone. A quick update on the twins. First of all, we have finally named them! Baby boy is going to be Garrett Steven and baby girl is going to be Paige Denise. We had our 30 week ultrasound yesterday (our 5th one so far), and both Garrett and Paige are doing great. They are about 3.5 pounds each, which is right on target. Unfortunately they're both breech now (feet down) so it's starting to look more and more likely that we'll be having a C-section. No big surprise really. Anyway, here's the 30-week profile shot (yikes... I should have put some lipstick on before this one):

And then tonight was our last Life Group (Bible Study) meeting. Actually it was more of a Christmas party then a meeting. They are such a fabulous group and it has been a hard decision for Steve and I to step down from leading and hosting, but with the twins coming... it was time. It's hard to believe that we've been leading this group for three and a half years now! Each and every one of our group has impacted our lives in some way! Anyway, here's a classic picture of our group from tonight.

One of the highlights of the evening (other than the awesome food) was our annual White Elephant gift exchange. And one of the most hilarous gifts of the evening was definitely the "Jesus Action Figure".

We ended up stealing this particular gift for Molly and by the end of the evening she had Jesus and Cinderella paired up. I just had to get a picture...

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's Christmas!

Well, this Sunday was our church's annual Christmas service and it included a really cute children's program. All the little kids got dressed up and Molly was a "townsperson" decked out in pink. She looked pretty stinkin' cute! Here she is with her buddy Ava.

Unfortunately I missed the entire thing because I was up on stage behind the kids playing keyboards with the band. But Steve snapped pictures and took video. He didn't have a great angle of Molly from where he was sitting, but you get the idea. Like most of the kids (the majority of whom are under the age of five), she wasn't exactly singing out at the top of her lungs, but I was proud that she at least sat up there in front of everyone without freaking out! Not bad for a two year old!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Fun with Puppies...

If any of you follow my photography blog, you will have seen that I recently did a photography session with a family that had NINE golden retriever puppies. Molly and Steve were with me for this shoot (it was a coworker of Steve's) and Molly was in total puppy heaven. Just imagine her running in circles INSIDE of the puppy coral with nine furry bodies chasing after her. She was completely joyous. Since I had my gear set-up we shot a couple of photos of her with one of the dogs. Obviously she wasn't dressed for a photo session, but she was more than happy to pose with her new friend...

I had a doctor's appointment today and everything is going great with the twins. My blood pressure, glucose tolerance and protein levels are perfect. My doctor even commented that usually twin moms are anemic by now, and my iron levels are great. The babies are both healthy and measuring within an ounce of eachother. My uterus is pretty much measuring the same size as someone who is full term pregnant with one baby (I'm measuring at 38 weeks)... so that explains my lack of comfort. The scary part is that I'm going to get bigger! Ack! Anyways, at least the babies are doing great!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A quick twin update...

Just thought I'd jot down a quick update on the twins. We're at 28 weeks pregnant now... which means we have about 7 to 9 weeks to go. The babies each weigh around 2 1/4 pounds now and are around 15 inches long. I haven't taken a recent profile picture, but here's the 28-week diagram from My tummy is measuring around 36 weeks pregnant so let's just say that I'm definitely getting "uncomfortable".

I've had some interesting comments lately from people that I thought I'd share:

1. A boy and girl? How exciting! Do you know if they're identical twins? (I've been asked this MANY times.)

2. Are you sure there's not three in there? (Ummm... thanks. I'm actually not even as big as I was full term with Molly.)

3. I would shoot myself if I found out I was pregnant with twins. (Thanks for the encouragement)

4. Twins? You didn't make your babies in a petri-dish, did you? That stuff is nonsense. (Ummm... when is it okay for a total stranger to ask this?)

I actually find all the comments kind of funny. A LOT of people have asked me this week if I'm having a Christmas baby and it's really fun to see their reactions when I tell them that I'm not due for 2 more months and I'm just big because it's twins. People get really excited for you. And with Christmas just around the corner, it's inevitable that time is going to fly by and the babies will be here before we know it. I'm getting more and more excited. Now if only I had more energy...