Friday, February 27, 2009

Officially "full term"...

Well, yesterday was Paige and Garrett's 40-week due date. So they are officially full-term! Paige is still growing slowly and we're looking forward to seeing what she weighs on Tuesday. Because she's smaller, she doesn't have the longer periods of wakefulness that her big brother has. And she also tends to be fussier and prefers to be held. She's definitely a dainty little girl and as cute as a button.

Garrett on the other hand is a chow hound. I swear he's probably gained a pound over the last week and can easily eat 4 oz at a time. He's definitely all boy, and is amazingly strong. He can easily lift his head up for a decent length of time. But for all his strength, he is extremely mellow. He sleeps like a log (which is the opposite of his sisters) and will self-soothe himself to sleep. He'll even stop feeding for a moment to "burp himself" before continuing to eat. He's officially my easy baby!

Molly is doing alright. She's still struggling a little with touching the babies gently and loves them a little too vigorously at times. She's having fewer tantrums, but is still not back to herself. It's compounded by the fact that she's got the sniffles still, which she has passed on to myself, both babies and her Nani. Steve is the only one that's healthy. I suppose it was inevitable that she would get something from one of the kids at school. We did take advantage of some of the recent good weather and took a trip to the park... our second outing. Molly loved being outside and the twins stayed asleep the entire time, thanks to Nani walking laps with them in the stroller!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The first outing...

Well, today the twins are 2 weeks old and we ventured out of the house for our first outing. It's pouring today so mom and I decided that the mall was the best bet. I had plans to take my camera to take some pictures of us with the giant twin stroller but not surprisingly it was forgotten amidst the work of packing up the car. I don't know if I will be able to take all three kids out alone for a while because it is quite the ordeal. Thank God Nani is still here until Saturday. Anyway, we survived the adventure and I even was able to buy a couple of things I needed.

Quick prayer request... Molly ended up coming down with a cold last Thursday and I seem to have gotten it today. Please pray that the babies stay healthy. We're in high alert hand washing mode now! The good thing is that at least they'll get my antibodies from nursing.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Weight check...

Well, yesterday the twins went to the doctor for a weight check. Garrett surpassed his birth weight and is now 7.0 pounds! Paige on the other hand is packing it on a little more slowly and tipped the scale just under her birth weight at 6.3 pounds. It's interesting to note that they look very different from each other now, particularly because any swelling has gone down. Paige looks SO much like Molly did as an infant. I'll have to dig through Molly's old pics and show a comparison. And Garrett is the only child of mine that looks remotely like my side of the family (lucky child)! Anyway, I found time to edit one more photo. Can Paige be any cuter?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Our Anniversary...

Thanks to everyone who sent anniversary wishes our way. This Valentine's Day was our 5 year wedding anniversary. It was a little difficult to celebrate with our crazy life right now... but we did take some time to watch our wedding video which was such a treat. Molly insisted that we watch it twice! It was such a wonderful reminder that we are more in love now than we could have imagined, despite the current craziness. What a blessing to marry your best friend. I love you Steve!

Hanging in there...

Hi everybody! Hope you're all doing great. Things are a bit of a blur around here. I have learned some new skills in the last little while, including nursing one baby while bottle feeding the other and burping two babies at once! Can you say "multitasking"? Things are going really smoothly with my mom here, but once she leaves it is going to be difficult. She's literally doing all the cooking, cleaning and laundry. To all my friends out there who have been offering to help... March and April is your chance! Clear your calendars! Can you tell I am totally fearing my mom's departure?

Anyway, I found some time to edit two more pictures. Sweet, quiet Garrett is on the top. He's definitely my mellow baby and only fusses if there's a reason. And then little, dainty Paige is on bottom. She's still growing much slower than her brother, probably because she's much sleepier than him and passes out consistently in the middle of her feedings. We're hoping she has packed on some weight for her doctor's appointment tomorrow! Anyway, we continue to appreciate your thoughts and prayers!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Big sister Molly...

Hi everyone. Thanks for your support and prayers over the last week. Things are starting to get a little bit more normalized around here. I'm finally feeling human after my C-section and Steve and I have worked out a sleeping schedule at night. I go to bed at 9:00 (or earlier if I can) and he takes the feedings until 2:30'ish and sleeps with the babies out in the TV room. Then I get up and take the morning shift and he goes to bed. That way we all get a decent chunk of uninterrupted sleep. Molly is getting used to the idea of having the babies around and we're seeing little improvements in her behavior every day (although she's far from being back to her "normal" self).

One thing is for sure... Molly loves her new brother and sister. She constantly wants to hold them and kiss them. But the cutest thing is that every half hour or so she goes and rests her cheek on one of them and closes her eyes in her form of a gentle cuddle. It's very endearing and melts my heart. And DeAnna captured that perfectly in this photo. Molly definitely loves her new babies! By the way, if you haven't figured it out yet, that's Paige on the bottom and Garrett laying on top of her.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Picture Day...

Today was picture day. I was completely thrilled to have the help of my friend DeAnna, and was more than happy to turn it over to her hands because I hardly had the energy to stay awake. She also just happens to be extremely talented! Anyway, I've only had the time and energy to edit one photo between feedings and Molly time. But here it is... can they be any cuter? (P.S. - that's Paige on the left and Garrett on the right)

Anyway, quick prayer requests. First, please pray for Molly. She was kinda sniffly today and EXTREMELY temperamental. I'm dreading the fact that she may be getting a cold because it would not be good for the twins to get a bug. So pray Molly stays healthy and that we have the patience and wisdom to deal with her miserable attitude with love and grace, while maintaining discipline. Secondly, please pray for sleep. We could literally stay up all night between both babies and it's wearing. Thanks!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Life in the van Riessen household...

Today, the twins turned 4 days old and had their first appointment with their pediatrician. Getting out the door for the appointment was quite the ordeal, and I quickly realized that for someone like me who's anal about being on time for everything, we're going to have to get ready for outings at least an hour before (including feedings and packing the diaper bag). Anyway, the appointment went well, although they're still losing weight. Garrett has gotten down to 6 lbs 5 oz and Paige is now 5 lbs 13 oz. So we were instructed to continue supplementing every nursing with formula. This makes feeding the babies take at least 1 to 1.5 hours. They're too floppy to nurse simultaneously so they each nurse for about a 1/2 hour and then each get a bottle after as well. Then 3 hours later we do it all again. This particularly sucks in the middle of the night. Needless to say I'm constantly feeding someone, and therefore haven't had much opportunity to break out my camera for more than 5 minutes. I hope to make up for that this weekend!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sweet, sweet babies...

Hey everyone! We're excited to announce the arrival of Paige and Garrett yesterday. Paige was born 6 lbs 6 oz and 18.75 inches long at 11:59 a.m. Garrett was born 6 lbs 13 oz and 19.25 inches long at 12:00 p.m. They look a LOT alike and all of us keep commenting that it's a good thing they're different genders because they're hard to tell apart sometimes. Garrett is the first picture and Paige is the second photo!

The C-section went relatively smoothly after a couple of tries at the spinal. The babies were both born screaming and healthy as can be. Little Paige had a little trouble thermoregulating at first, but she's fine now. She's the good eater, particularly because Garrett is having a hard time staying awake to feed. Big sister Molly came by for a visit yesterday evening and was fairly enthralled with the babies. Molly has been a real trouper and has been surprisingly easy going about not being with Mommy and Daddy. She's at preschool this morning, and will be napping at Auntie Paige's house before coming back to the hospital today. Mommy is missing her terribly though!

Recovery is going alright with the aid of some good drugs. We'll definitely be here until tomorrow, and possibly until Thursday. Thanks for all your prayers and well wishes!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Can you believe that I got even bigger?

Well, I made it to my scheduled C-section date (which is tomorrow) and I'm now 37.5 weeks pregnant. It's amazing to look back to the last profile shot and see that I actually grew more. My goodness! I guess that's good and the babies should definitely be a decent size now (hopefully both over 6 lbs). The question is, will my body ever look normal again? Probably not...

Yesterday, I got to celebrate the end of this pregnancy with a few friends! First we went for pedicures, which was particularly nice considering:
a) I can't reach my feet.
b) People will see my toes at the hospital.
c) The pampering was divine.
After our pedicures, we went out for Mexican food and enjoyed some time laughing over the trials and tribulations of being parents.

So tonight my mom arrives, and then tomorrow we finally get to meet Paige and Garrett. Our surgery is scheduled for 11:00 a.m., and they asked that we be there two hours early. We'll send out a quick email when we're able with details of their arrival and, as soon as humanly possible, we'll update the blog with some pictures. By this time tomorrow, we'll be a family of five! Whoo whoo!

Friday, February 6, 2009

A trip to labor & delivery...

Well, today was my last antepartum testing appointment. And during the appointment they had some concern about some mild heart decelerations that Baby Paige was having. So... they decided to send me to labor and delivery for some more intensive monitoring. I figured it was no big deal, until they said to me that I should bring my overnight bag and not eat or drink anything "in case" they decide the babies are at risk and want to move forward with a C-section. Soooo... I had to find some potentially "long term" care for Molly in case I ended up being admitted for surgery. After a little running around I made my way to the hospital. And after about an hour and a half of monitoring they sent me home because the babies were just fine. What? I felt like saying, "I'm here now! Let's just get the show on the road!" Oh well... I guess I have to wait until Monday. Special thanks to DeAnna and Paige who split "Molly duty" today and were full of grace and flexability admidst my flurry of activity.

A quick side note... the new Kaiser Labor & Delivery is definitely amazing. My triage room had a TV in it so I could watch HGTV while they had me hooked up to the monitors! Not to mention all the computerized medical equiment with nice flat panel monitors. AND they put me in my triage room and had a admittance clerk come to me and admit me right in my room! Talk about the Hilton of triage.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The princess conversion...

Those of you who have spent a lot of time with Molly may have noticed in the past that Molly has never really been into "girly" things. She has her Daddy's technical mind and loves to figure out how things work. However, this may be changing. She has recently become quite passionate about dressing up as a princess. Now the irony of this is that she only has a handful of princess gear because in the past she refused to put on anything that was remotely frilly (which was fine by me). Now this same stuff has a whole new allure. I think it started when her friend Isabelle loaned her a pair of princess shoes and she figured she had to have the matching outfit.

Molly has also been counting down with us the days until Garrett and Paige arrive. I put together a 7-day calendar for her that had little pictures on it depicting each day. For example, on preschool days there is a picture of her teacher. On the day that Nani comes, there's a picture of Nani. And on the last day, there's a picture of two babies. And every morning we wake up and put a sticker on the day we're on and talk about our plans for the day. This has been good for her considering we've been talking much more about the arrival of the twins and I feel like it's helped her conceptualize a time line for their arrival. Which is 4 MORE DAYS!

I'm now 37 weeks pregnant and as big as a house. I had a little pity party last night and cried over my lack of ability to do much, coupled by the guilt that my sweet, helpful husband comes home from work and does everything. Just in case you guys don't know... I'm married to the best man on the face of the planet. Anyway, 4 days may not sound like much but for some reason it just feels like an eternity to me right now. Please be praying it goes by fast...