Valentines 2015

Valentines 2015

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

14 & 1/2 months!

I just realized that I am majorly slacking. I don't think I've done a girl status update in several months. Eek! These girls are little sponges and are learning SO much every single day that I need to write it down!

The biggest accomplishments for both girls over the last 6 weeks or so are:
Eating entirely on their own - i.e. - they won't let anyone feed them with a spoon or fork- they want to do it all on their own.

Walking around with shoes on - this is a big accomplishment as they were SO rebellious with the shoes...screamed every time I put them on for the last several months! Of course any child of mine MUST love shoes, so I'm pleased that we have moved past that =)

Following simple instructions - if mommy says to go get in our highchairs to eat, we walk right over there and get in them; if mommy says to bring her the bottle, we bring the bottle to her, etc..

Learning general cause and effect - if mommy asks if we want to go outside we will go and get our shoes and coats and bring them to mommy so she can put them on us...I'm so impressed! We are also learning that if mommy or daddy says no 3 times and we don't listen that we get 1 minute of time out in our cribs. Definitely not our favorite place to be!

They understand exactly what we are saying to them - I'd say they pick up at least 80% of what is said, if not more. Crazy! A couple weeks ago I think they were maybe at 40%?

Rapidly expanding vocabulary - Livvy now says - thank you, Bailey, baby, ut oh, mommy, daddy, yes, yep, papa, Bri, hi, hey, tummy, I love you; and will sign: "more", "milk", and "all done" on a regular basis. Bri now says - thank you, yup, yes, ut oh, up, mommy, daddy, hi, please (she is a bit more selective on her speech apparently!) and will sign: "all done" on a regular basis and "more" occasionally

Learning how to brush our teeth - Every night in the bathtub the girls get their toothbrushes and mommy sings the "Brush your Teeth" song by Raffi while the girls brush their little teeth. They think it's so fun, and they love the song =). Speaking of teeth, I know that Livvy has 3 of her 1 year molars most of the way in, and Bri has 2 partially in. Yikes...these molars must really hurt coming in!

Now, specifics, per girl:

Your smile can light up a room peanut! So bright and vibrant. Everyone notices you first because you are almost always beaming when we are out and about. One of your new things is you love to mimick us! You are so adorable when you shake your head "no" at us with "that look"! I have got to capture it on camera because it is so precious. Your new favorite thing to do is take cups and bowls and spoons (or toothbrushes) and use them to stir whatever is in your cup/bowl. Ever since you helped mommy and Aunt Denise stir when we were making Rice Krispie bars a couple of weeks ago you have wanted to do it over and over again! You are going to love to help mommy and Aunt Denise in the kitchen, I just know it.
You love the bath. You could play in there for hours I think! Every single night we have to tear you away from your bath tub time because you are turning into a prune. And every night you fight it and want to go back in =)
You are always trying to figure out how things work. For Christmas Miss Whit got you a lock puzzle - you are so intrigued by it! You also love to read. Not only do you love for us to read to you, but you also like to sit on the floor and read to yourself outloud. Precious!!
Favorite Foods - Graham crackers, spaghetti, bread and butter, pancakes, bagels, cheese


You are absolutely precious! You love to play hard-to-get...shy and reserved while people are paying attention to you, but as soon as they stop, boom! You want to smile or play or talk to them. Momma loves this as usually she gets extra snuggles while you are playing your hard-to-get game =).
You love music! You are perfectly content to play music on one of your toys or on "Scout" your puppy pal, and you will just swing back and forth and smile from ear to ear. Your favorite activities include playing outside (you cry every time when we have to come back in), and playing with the household electronics. You are a TV remote magnet, you LOVE laptops, and you are absolutely obsessed with cell phones and the home phone. If it's electronic, you want to play with it!
You also enjoy reading, but you prefer quick books that don't have a lot of words. One of the cutest things you do right now is, you think that everyone else has body parts (currently a nose), but you don't think that you do! You walk around pointing to mommy's nose, daddy's nose, Livvy's nose, Aunt Denise's nose, but you won't point to yours! Same with ears, eyes, and mouths!
You also like to play in the bathtub, but your favorite part of the bath is playing in the water from the shower just giggle when you get wet =). You also like to squirt and be squirted with the rubber duckies...daddy has taught you well!
Favorite foods - Bread in any form, spaghetti, fruit (pears, bananas, strawberries, clementines), cheese, graham crackers

One obstacle that we still haven't overcome is a full transition to sippy cups from bottles. Not because they aren't ready, they totally are! I tried to go to full sippy cups last week and they did really first anyway. Livvy did perfectly throughout, but Bri started taking a drink from her sippy cup then spitting it out (on the floor, highchair, herself). I would tell her no and take the cup away from her, but then she would take Livvy's cup instead and do the same thing. Then I had to take Livvy's cup away too (totally not fair to her!). I tried again later in the day and Bri was fine at first, but after 20 seconds did the same thing all over again with the spitting of the milk on the floor (carpet...ick). So repeat of above...take away Bri's cup, then Livvy's, then the cups all together. Any ideas on how to fix this problem? They are totally ready for sippy cups instead of bottles, I just can't have Bri spitting out her milk all over the house. She doesn't do anything like that with bottles! Help please mommies!! Thanks!

Until next time -

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What a wonderful holiday!

We had a nice low key holiday this year and it was really quite refreshing! Normally we are running back and forth between Kearney and Omaha, trying to fit time in with both families for Christmas festivities, and really just stressing ourselves out.

This year was different. It was even, dare I say, slow? Christmas Eve we spent at home with the girls...having meatballs and fried potatoes, and watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (a Hollibaugh family tradition!). Christmas morning Si was up before the girls (and the sun!) and just couldn't wait for the girls to get up so they could open all of their gifts. Silly daddy! True though, Christmas is so much more magical now that we have kids. It's like we can be kids again too!

Once the girls got up they opened up their gifts and stockings and we had brunch. The girls have started feeding themselves ENTIRELY (holy buckets right?!), so they had fun chowing down on eggs, hashbrowns, toast, and cinnamon rolls. Once we were done eating the girls got a chance to check out their new ball pit - they LOVE it!

After a bit of playing we decided to go down to the Gene Leahy Mall in downtown Omaha for some fresh air and go down the big slides!

It has been unseasonably warm here in Omaha, so we thought we would take full advantage of the sunshine and warm temperatures (warm being 45 degrees that is=)). What fun we had! Mommy, Daddy, Aunt Denise, Livvy, Bri, and Bailey and Jameson pug all went to the park. Livvy LOVED the slides. LOVED. She just giggled and squealed when she went down. Bri was a bit more tentative. She was fine the first time we went down, but after that she fussed every time. Ah well, she will grow into it. =)

Christmas evening we went to Aunt Bridget and Uncle Jon's house for my side's Christmas. We had a wonderful supper and then some very tasty "Better than Sex" cake for my mom's birthday. The whole experience ended up being WAY too overstimulating for the girls! By the time we had eaten and actually got around to opening gifts they didn't want to open anything OR play with the toys. They got a ton of stuff (thank you all!) and have had fun over the last 24 hours taking everything out of the big box we brought them home in and discovering them all over again. Better late than never, right?

Si's parents made the trek down to Omaha to visit on Sunday night, right before bed, and the girls were so excited to see them! Monday morning we had a low key brunch, then Monday evening we had a good old fashioned turkey dinner (like Thanksgiving all over again!). Aunt Denise had a frozen turkey from Thanksgiving that she hadn't used yet, so she decided Monday was the day. We had a wonderful meal with wonderful people and it was the perfect end to a lovely holiday weekend! Thanks Gramz and Grandpa for making the trek down to see us! Merry (belated) Christmas!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well! For those of you that have blogs, it appears as though you definitely did =).

Until next time,

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The "leaving others behind" guilt

I know we all have some feelings of guilt....being a parent is filled with guilt, right?

I swear that is one of the first things my mom told me after I gave birth to the girls. Her logic/wisdom went something like this: "From this point forward you are going to feel guilty about nearly everything you do or do not do for your children. You will question your decisions constantly. But the best thing you can do is make the decisions to the best of your ability at the time, and not look back or question it later." She was right. I have felt guilty about a lot of things! Some seemingly important, and some not so important.
- Some days I feel guilty that I have to work outside of the home to support my family instead of being able to stay home with my girls and raise them myself...
- Other days I feel guilty that I would actually prefer to work outside of the home to staying home with my crazy toddlers...=)
- Sometimes I feel guilty that as hard as I try, both girls don't get exact equal treatment...
- Often I feel guilty that on my day off with the girls I spend way more time managing them then I do enjoying them...

Sound familiar?

Then there is other, non-toddler related guilt...
- I feel guilty that sometimes I neglect my marriage in favor of spending more time with my children...
- I feel guilty that I have lost touch with several of my friends, especially non-mommy friends...and I don't have the time or energy at this point to work on re-establishing contact...
- I feel guilty that every once in a while I want to think about myself, a massage, shopping, and a pedicure, instead of spending time with my family....

But there is an infertility related guilt that has been eating away at me since I found out I was pregnant with baby #3...the "leaving others behind" guilt.
Let me explain.
Some of you had a long road with IF and fertility treatments on your path to parenthood and you will understand exactly where I am coming from with this. Others of you though didn't have to really try to start your family...getting pregnant and maintaining pregnancy wasn't difficult.
Way back in 2008 after we had tried unsuccessfully to get pregnant "the old fashioned way" for a couple years, we sought out the help of my OB. He decided to try clomid as a first line treatment for infertility. The day I started clomid I sought out support from the online IF (infertility) community. It was AMAZING to find this sort of support. Loads of people in the exact same boat and all with the same goal; to have a baby. I made a lot of close friends on these infertility boards. We went through everything together. We were there for each other through all of the failures, and through the joys as well (although admittedly there were way more failures than successes, and we went through years of treatments together - clomid, IUI's, IVF's). These girls have a piece of my heart forever...literally. I swear they could feel my pain and I could feel theirs...and I still can.

When IVF#2 worked for us and we were finally able to maintain a pregnancy (instead of miscarrying AGAIN) I felt relieved, yet incredibly guilty. What about my IF ladies???? I knew how much it hurt for someone to announce a pregnancy...I remember how much it hurt to hear people talk about (and especially complain about) being pregnant....I remember crying every time I got invited to a baby shower and trying desperately to come up with some excuse why I couldn't go. I never wanted to hurt people the way that I had been (unintentionally) hurt.

I have two people close to my heart that started trying to concieve very close to the same time we started trying to concieve, and who are still trying. They have both had multiple miscarriages and no live births.
When we got pregnant with the girls, I felt we "deserved" it. We had been through years of heartache and tears....maxed out credit cards, more tests on my lady bits than anyone should ever have to endure, hundreds of shots, piles of blood draws, multiple surgeries, probably 50 was my turn to have a successful pregnancy and a take home baby.

But this time?

We thought we were probably done having kiddos.
We were perfectly happy with our girls.
We had no intention of using our frozen embryos...I mean, we had considered MAYBE in 5 years trying a FET...but really, we were happy just the way we were. We spent so much time thinking that we may not be able to have any kids. We would have been thrilled to have just one. But two? And absolute blessing from God! How perfect!

But this? Baby #3? We weren't even trying....
Our girls are still little....
Why us?
Why now?
Why not Catherine? Why not Mo? Why not one of my friends that had decided to go the adoption route and has been patiently waiting for YEARS to get their baby? They have been waiting SO long. It is their turn. It broke my heart to post that I was pregnant. Literally. That's why it took me a while into my pregnancy to post. I didn't want to offend anyone. I didn't want to be THAT girl....
Yet that seems to be exactly what I am....
And I feel SO guilty...
Mommas with a "natural" pregnancy after infertility, or any pregnancy after infertility, is this normal? Anyone have any insight???

I know I don't like it one bit. I want to enjoy being pregnant. I want to show it proudly. Instead, I spend more time trying to hide it than anything, almost like I am ashamed. But I shouldn't be ashamed. I have nothing to be ashamed of. What am I doing wrong that is making me feel this way? Why can't I move on and live my own life?

So this is my guilt...sorry for the long and heavy post....I needed to say it though and get it has been eating away at me for months.

On a happier note, the girlies are cute as ever! 14 months is SUCH a fun age!! I love it! And they are loving this Christmas chaos...the tree, the presents, the sparkling lights...their eyes just light up. It's precious! I just want to bottle them up and store them for later! I love their innocence =)

A picture of Daddy and Livvy

A picture of Brianna

I love them so much!!

Anyway, I hope you all are well and are ready for a fabulous Christmas! I know we are!

Until next time-

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's official!

We are expecting a baby BOY in June!

My OB is 100% certain (and at 14 weeks!). We saw the full "package" today via ultrasound (see below). And HE looks great! He is measuring exactly where he should be. My OB is absolutely amazed and says that this little guy is absolutely a miracle. He was quite sure at 6 weeks that the pregnancy was doomed and I would miscarry. But not this little guy....he wouldn't give up. Such a little fighter!

If you look at the ultrasound picture, what you are actually looking at is his little legs, spread open kind of in a U...then, in between the legs is said "package" can't miss it!

We also got our NT scan results back:
Blood work - well within normal range for all tests
NT measurement was 2.1 (1.8-2.2 is normal for 13 weeks) - so normal

No indication that further testing is necessary. YAY!

Here's a picture from the NT scan of the little man:

My OB has decided to keep me on prometrium at night for another 3 weeks, then he is going to switch me over to 17-P shots (I did this with the girls, it's to prevent pre-term labor) until 28 weeks (or longer if indicated because of cervical changes). I tried to stop my progesterone at 13 weeks, and within two days I was a crampy mess. The OB immediately put me back on the prometrium. I suspect I may have a progesterone issue throughout pregnancy, not just in the beginning. I had similar issues with the girls and had to go on 17-P shots at 17 weeks. We assumed we had to do the extra medication because they were multiples, but now we are thinking probably it's more of a problem with my body than with the girls being a multiple gestation. Learn something new every day!

Otherwise all is well here! Trying to get the rest of the Christmas shopping done. Eek! Christmas is only 10 days away! The girls are done, or I always think that until I find one more thing that could go in their stocking! But I haven't even really started shopping at all for anyone else on my list. I feel like such a slacker...=)

Okay, that's all I have for now! We have received many blessings this holiday season! Hope that you and yours have too!

Until next time -

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Holiday baking

Other than decorating the Christmas tree and putting up Christmas lights there's nothing that gets me into the spirit of the holidays more than holiday baking! Last year I admit I skimped a little; understandable as the girlies were only 2 months old, but this year? Oh no, I'm back! Today I made the candy coated pretzels and the peanut butter kisses cookies. It felt so great to bake!

I'm exhausted now of course as I used the girls nap time to do my baking, then since I made a massive mess baking (and then making lasagna for dinner), I felt that I had to know, wipe down the counters, do the dishes, vacuum and swiffer the floors. Whew! I'm pooped! But I feel like I accomplished something. I can't believe it's only two weeks until Christmas...still so much to do!

I did sit down (for like 30 seconds) right after the girls got up from their nap this afternoon. I snapped a couple of pictures of them just being their super cute selves. They are so happy after their naps!

And one with Daddy (they are SUCH Daddy's girls!)

Oh, and the GAP shirts they are wearing...yeah...those were supposed to be for Christmas. I am SUCH a sucker! How do you keep this stuff actually for Christmas?! I had them upstairs in our room and when Si was getting the girls dressed this morning he asked what I wanted them to I spout off that I want them in their new GAP jackets and pink pants...really?! Why Megan, why??? Good thing the girls are too young to have any concept of Christmas or Christmas gifts or how many they should get! I keep giving their gifts to them well before Christmas day! HA!

So, how far are you in your Christmas planning/shopping/baking? All caught up? Way behind? I'm always envious of those people that can shop throughout the year then never have to set foot in a mall during the Christmas season. Are you one of those awesome people? Or are you envious of them and way behind like I am too?!

Until next time,

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The first snow of the season!

We got our snowsuits just in time! It snowed 4 inches of wet and heavy snow today - our first real snow of the season! The girls watched the snow fall most of the late morning from the doorway, perplexed and amazed at what they were witnessing. Once they got up from their nap they went right back to the door and it was obvious that they wanted to go check out this fluffy white stuff that mom and dad kept calling "snow".

We packed the girls into their new snowsuits, complete with booties and mittens, and out front we went! We placed each girl into the 4" of fresh snow in the yard and they just stood there, frozen in place. After a few minutes they started moving around some, but they were still very tentative. Bri had a hard time taking steps and keeping her balance, so she spent a good chunk of her time on all fours in the snow. Very funny. Livvy, after watching her sister struggle, decided that sitting was the best option, so she promptly plopped down in a pile of snow close to the sidewalk.

Miss Olivia when first placed in the snow =)

Miss Brianna after getting her bearings a bit and figuring out that she really could walk in her snowsuit =)

Both girls sitting in the snow...much easier than trying to navigate around in it!

They made it outside for about 15 minutes before they wanted to come back in. It was still snowing like crazy, and the wind was blowing, and frankly the girls weren't fans of wet cold snowflakes smacking them in the face. Regardless, I really think they had a good time! I intend to take them out again tomorrow =)

We have our MoM's group Christmas Party tomorrow, complete with Santa, so as long as I remember to bring my camera I will have more pictures to share. Otherwise, not a ton going on here, and that is TOTALLY okay.

As many of you have asked, I did have Si snap a quick picture of my expanding belly tonight for your viewing pleasure. I don't really think I look pregnant at this point (12 weeks 3 days). I think I'm currently in that "did you eat too many bacon cheeseburgers?" phase. Bleh! Patiently waiting for the cute little pregnant belly to come forward...I suspect it will probably be 5-6 weeks yet though. I have my NT scan next Friday, and an OB appointment the following Wednesday (the 14th?). I will be 14 weeks at my OB appointment and as long as this little peanut participates, he thinks he will be able to determine gender. Woo hoo!

Okay, really, that's all for now. Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

Until next time!