Wednesday, December 29, 2010


14 months! It's official. You ladies are toddlers. And I'm reminded of that every moment we spend together, whether Jane, you're walking laps around the house - and it's still that super cute stumbly, drunk woman walk - or whether Lucy, you're playing pretend something or other. When did you figure out how to play make-believe? There's so much about you two that I get to learn. And that you get to teach me. Earlier this week, while you were eating lunch, Jane, you said something that sounded just like "cupcake". And I said, "Cupcake?! There's no cupcake!" (Yes, a lot of my comments to you end in exclamation points, because I'm sooo excited to talk to you.) And you looked at me like, whatever, mom. And Lucy, you pointed to your bib (you were both wearing your birthday bibs that have cupcakes on them). So, I stood corrected. When did the two of you become smarter than me?

We had a delightful Christmas. This year was with the Hartman side of the family, which actually turns out to be more Reiff than Hartman. You two were the hits of the holiday. You both got spoiled rotten - from the ridiculously cute Ugg boots that that you're proudly sporting, to the riding tractor and pull-behind trailor. Luce, you sat in the tractor seat and beamed. Seriously, that grin nearly killed me. Jane, you're not a big fan of the tractor or the trailer yet. I'm cool with that. No rush on the growing up thing. We caught up with the Stroessner side of the family on New Year's. You guys got to play with your cousins and got a lot more great presents. Your little cousin Hannah was asleep in her swing when we got there and neither of you noticed it for a little while. But then Jane, as you were toddling around, you caught sight of her and did your Frankenstein walk/run straight to her side where you stood there rocking her and pulling on her swing toys. It was pretty cute. You both played with your older cousin Eva and her new Potato Head family. I'm so glad you have cousins your age to grow up with. We also got to celebrate Grandma's birthday with a yummy ice cream cake. I believe you each had a substantial piece all to your selves. Good thing we're still trying to fatten you up.

You guys like your ABC book, your shape and color cards, your new dolls (which, quite frankly, are a little scary to me), and chasing the cat. You both like to crawl/race up the stairs, and it never fails to make my heart skip a beat when I walk around the corner and one or both of you are already several stairs up. Jane, you're an expert at coming back down them and recently you decided that you were ready to walk down them. You're not. Lucy, you're a bit more cautious about coming down and start your back up to the stairs a good three feet away. But then as soon as you get to the first one, you go into hyper speed and it's all I can do to keep two steps in front of you.

You're both talking up a storm, and I love to listen, especially when you're talking to each other like you're doing right now in your cribs. It's not just one word things anymore, you two are carrying on conversations (minus the understandable words part), and look at us like you expect us to respond.

I love you little meatballs! I'm excited to see what 2011 holds for our family!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

One year already?!

Oh my goodness, I've missed your birthday. Not your actual birthday, but the part where I write about it and you and all the amazing things we're up to. So here goes.

Happy belated birthday Lucy! Happy belated birthday Jane!

You two have been with us now for a whole year, and I can hardly believe that you haven't been with me for my entire life. What did I do without you? Oh right - sleep and eat and run errands with careless abandon. Just joking around. I mean, it's all true, but as it turns out, you're both worth all the sleep deprivation, the eating hot meals cold and cold meals hot, and the packing up of the world to make a "quick" trip to the grocery store.

Speaking of the grocery store, you both were there, but I'm not sure you realized that I got chastised at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago for trying to take one of the kid carts outside. "Those have to stay in the store, ma'am." "Um, I got this one from the parking lot. So it was out of the store. And I can't get both of my kids back out to the car without pushing them in this cart." "Well, it has to stay in the store." And so on... And speaking of kid carts, you both love the grocery store and especially get a kick out of the cart where you each get a steering wheel. Jane, you were a little tired last time, and you leaned your head on Lucy's shoulder at first, but then you got in the spirit of things and started steering. Both wheels. Yours wasn't enough. You needed your sister's wheel, too.

We've been able to watch you two grow and change over this past year, and I have to tell you, it has been like an observation in nature vs. nurture. We treat you the same, but you are DEFINITELY not the same. I hope that helps as you continue to grow and become. I worry already about the twin thing and making sure that people treat you as individuals rather than "the twins".

Some highlights of our year (in no particular order):

Bringing you home from the NICU. I hadn't prepared myself for the possibility that we'd be going home from the hospital without you. Your dad and I cried ourselves silly on that drive home. We were with you every day. I held you and fed you and read magazines to you and changed diapers and sang to you and finally, after twelve very long days, the doctor said that you, my little feeder-growers, were eating well enough on your own to be released. And you were still soooo tiny. Ay caramba. I look at pictures of you now from back then and think it's amazing that we didn't break you. Your little legs were like pipe cleaners and your pacifier took up most of your face.

So many diapers! Your Uncle Eric started stocking up on diapers for us before you were born, and thank goodness he did! Anytime your Nana and Pops came over to visit, they'd bring a big box of diapers. I'm pretty sure that I'm a favorite customer of where, get this folks, your order is delivered the next day! And, if you deliver to an address in KS (thanks Shawna and Amanda!), no tax! This is just an approximation, but I believe we've gone through about 18 millions diapers this year. No pressure or anything, but if you want to be early potty-trainers, I'm all for it.

We took your first long road trip when you were only five months old so you could meet your great-grandma, great aunt and uncle, and many cousins in South Dakota. I can't decide if your daddy and I were brave or crazy or a little of both, but you did better than we ever expected, and you even got to see the Corn Palace.

Food. Sometimes you love something, sometimes you hate it, but it's always an adventure. Things you've loved: peaches, quiche (spoiled little Room 39 quiche eaters!), yogurt, smoothie pops, oranges, pasta with pesto sauce, cheerios, pineapple, macaroni and cheese, biscuits and gravy, oatmeal. Things you haven't loved so much: hummus, quinou, green beans. I completely understand why gerber and those nasty looking gerber graduates meals exist. Because sometimes little people don't care that mama or daddy just made them some amazingly delicious, homemade, good-for-you food and choose to spit it out or throw it at the cat or stuff it in their little ears.If we have to go through a phase where all you eat is white or chicken nuggets or something equally disturbing, I think a part of my soul will shrivel up and die. Right now, since one of you (Lucy) is at the 7th percentile for weight, and the other of you (Jane) is at the 10th percentile, you're getting ice cream after dinner, pudding for snack, and all the pumpkin bread you can eat. I feel like we're fattening up the Christmas goose or something.

Peekaboo, That's Not My Monkey, and our morning wrestling match. You both love peekaboo, especially when you play with your dad. It involves hiding under a blanket and flapping around with glee both while you're under there and when it gets pulled off and we scream "PEEKABOO" at you. Watching you sit in the middle of the living room floor with a blanket thrown over you while you wiggle and squirm and wave those little arms is adorable. We have read, re-read, and re-re-read That's Not My Monkey and other favorites so many times now, but there are a handful that are still your favorites, so how can we say no more monkey book? We can't. Now that it's getting cold, you have to wear coats when we leave the house. It doesn't matter how early I try to start the getting ready to go process, it always takes us right up until 5 minutes after I wanted to leave. That may be because I have to chase you two little rugrats all over the place trying to put socks on and then your coats, ah, your coats. Lucy, you scream like the world is coming to an end when I try to put shoes on you. And Jane, you become a WWF woman (minus the greasy body and weird costume) when you see me coming at you with your coat. If you don't believe me, know that it took three grown women to hold you down when you had to have blood drawn for your 1 year appointment. I am impressed with myself every morning when I get the three of us out of the house dressed and more or less ready for the rest of the day.

Snuggles, hugs, and more baby love. I can't tell you how much I love the hugs you girls give. Or when you rest your little head right into that crook of my neck. Or when I'm working in the kitchen, and Jane, you crawl up behind, stand up, grab the back of my legs and hang on. I don't think I'll ever care how dirty you've just gotten my work pants. That's how much I love it.

Words. Things you said when you were born: WAAAAAA. Things one or both of you say now: yellow, more, wa-wa, poop, windmill, ball, light, block, cookie, amy, pops, pa-pop, nana (both for grandma and banana), mama, dad, knee, bath, yo-yo, watch, hippo, car, truck, and more every day! And your animal noises! oh my! you know what a cow says (moo), what a rooster says (cock-a-doo), what a tiger says (roaar), what a kitty says (meeow), what a monkey says (ooh-ooh-ahh-ahh), what a sheep says (baa), what a doggy says (woof), what an owl says (whoo-hoo). I can't wait until I get to ask you how your day was and you tell me!

Girls, I love you so much. You are two of my very best people in the whole world. Thanks for being my babies

Friday, September 17, 2010

The tenth month


Things we've done, experienced, and eaten:

Road trip to Colorado! We took a long Labor Day weekend and stayed with an old high school friend of mine, Heather, and her family in Fort Collins. Lucy and Jane were so much easier in the car than either of us expected. Of course, it probably helped that we stopped about 134 times on the way there and back. There were planned rest stops for breakfast, lunch, and bottles; there were multiple unplanned diaper change stops (the "uh-oh, that smell cannot be a good sign" stop); and there were a few freakout "why are there bees in the car; GET THE BEES OUT OF THE CAR!" stops.

Jane and Lucy had their first tastes of Ethiopian food - both are fans. They had their first tastes of Mediterranean food - Lucy likes falafel; Jane does NOT like falafel. They both are crazy for peaches. We've learned about the BRAT diet. That's what they're on right now because of a yucky virus. Bananas, rice, applesauce, toast. It's definitely not as adventurous or as tasty as they prefer, but if it takes care of the diarrhea, well, who am I to argue?

Our girls are crazy fast crawlers. Safety gates are installed and are being used as monkey bars by one Jane Stroessner. Lucy just watches like she's waiting for Jane to crack her head open. Which is a real concern. They like to chase their daddy, Mark the cat, and toys that roll. Jane finally figured out how to sit back down when she's tired of standing, but apparently she doesn't have that mastered yet at daycare. Miss Hattie said that she was fussing and fussing the other day when she was standing at the toy cube and Miss Hattie finally figured out that she just wanted to sit!

The girls have been trying to mimic words and sounds for a little while now, but it has gotten painfully cute recently. Jane says "cock-a-doooooo" after we tell her that's what a rooster says, and Lucy answers "mooooo" when asked what a cow says.

I cannot believe these little ladies are now eleven months old. They aren't babies anymore! We are having the best time loving our girls. Can hardly wait to see what the next month has in store...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ten months

When did this happen?! How is it that you have been living with us for ten months now? You girls are such a joy. Lucy, this month you have started to crawl. And I can't put into words how ridiculously cute it is to watch you cautiously maneuver around. But, at the same time, you're like a tonka truck, climbing over anything (or anyone - watch out Jane!) in your path. Jane, you continue to show us you're excited by stiffening your legs, flapping your arms, and making a big O with your mouth. It's adorable. And, not to be outdone, you've also begun crawling, just a week after your sister.

You ladies started daycare this month. So now your schedules are completely jacked up! You still spend Mondays with me, two days with Nana and two days now at daycare. The first day I dropped you off, Lucy, you cried and cried when Miss Linda took you from me. Jane, you were pretty happy playing on the floor with some new toys. As much as I wanted to take you back Luce, and make it all better, I knew that the best thing for both of you was for me to hightail it out of that room. And I did. And then I cried my eyes out in the hallway. However, your daddy and I are so excited about this place we've found for you. You are going to grow and learn so much over this next year with your new friends and Miss Carla and Miss Hattie.

Lucy, you've just started clapping your hands together. I can even get you to give the occasional high five. The funny part to me is that you actually clap at appropriate times. If you're proud of yourself, you clap. If we say, "good job, Luce", you clap. You're a freakin' genius. Jane, just the other day, you were watching Lucy do this and decided to get with the program. Only, you can't figure out how to clap your palms together and instead you hit your fists together and then seem confused about why your knuckles don't make the same noise Lucy's claps make.

It's funny to see some of your differences. Like eating. Lucy, you're the neatest little baby eater I've ever seen. I can put macaroni covered in pesto sauce on your tray, and you pluck up one piece between your thumb and finger and pop it into your mouth. Repeat. Jane, you pick up a similar piece of pesto macaroni and first it gets rubbed in your hair. Then you see if it will fit in your ear. Next, you check the smushability factor by squishing it in your little baby fist. Finally, any remnants are pushed into your mouth. I'm pretty sure your favorite part of mealtime is getting your hands as dirty and sticky as possible and then waiting for Maggie to walk by your high chair so you can pet her and collect a handful of dog hair. This has made you squeal with delight on more than one occasion. It has made me squeal with something a little less than delight.

There's so much about you two that I just want to hold onto forever. The way you crawl and climb all over your daddy. Your sweet baby hands grabbing my neck (even though that really hurts!). The way we can be in the car or going for a walk, and Lucy, you'll start in on your humming, and I'll join in, and then Jane will join us. Your daddy seems to think this is the three of us "droning", but I love it. The way you grab food from your sister's tray, even though you have the exact same thing on your own. Your soft breath at night when we go in to whisper good night and make sure you're covered.

How did I get so lucky?

All my love and then some,

Friday, July 16, 2010

These are a few of our favorite things...

What baby doesn't love these?

ALL NATURAL, GOURMET SNOW CONES The syrups are made from all natural ingredients without ANY artificial colors/flavors. Yummy! I'm convinced Jane & Lucy remember their mama slurping these things down all last summer, and now they love 'em. Closest thing to a mojito these babies are going to get for a while.

Christmas present from Grandma and Grandpa Stroessner. They love to knock over anything Daddy builds.

One of our best books

I know; it's kind of a surprise to all of us.

These are my favorite things.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Happy 1st summer!

Jane & Lucy,

Here's the thing. I feel so blessed, fortunate, lucky. To borrow (and alter) an idea from Lewis Carroll, you two are full of muchness. I'm sitting here typing at the kitchen table, while you, Lucy are chillin' in your high chair, eating cheerios and talking to me. Jane is upstairs napping. Sometimes, simple things like this make me feel so full from the "muchness" of it. You're sitting there, patting your little hand on your tray, sunlight hitting your sweet head, kicking your feet, and you're being such a sweet, precious, beautiful, normal but so beyond normal baby that I'm overcome with momminess. I did not know about this feeling before I had you two. Sure, your dad and I wanted kids, and we thought it would be fun and fulfilling and all that good stuff, but you girls are so much more. Thus the muchness.

I adore everything about you two. Lucy, your hair is a hilarious faux-hawk, and I refuse to tame it or flatten it or try to make it anything other than what it wants to be. But don't worry - we're not trying to make a baby hipster of you. I love that you pat my legs while you're sitting on the floor playing and that you turn around to make sure I'm still watching you and that you hate to be talked over so your voice gets louder and louder until you're screeching, but you're not angry, you're just making sure you're heard. I love your belly laugh. Jane, I'm pretty sure you give the best hugs an eight month old can give. You are a book, toy and cheerio stealer. If your sister has something you want, you take it. At some point, this will not be okay (like maybe next month when we start to tell you no), but right now, it's funny and cute. You flap your arms at everything. You want another bite? You flap your arms. You want to be picked up? You flap your arms. You're excited? You flap your arms. You have a high humor standard, refusing to laugh at our silly antics. It's not that you're unhappy - very much the opposite. You're almost always smiling. But we have to work to amuse you. And then it's almost as if you laugh (your half cough/half laugh) just to humor us. But you love to make Lucy giggle and that is maybe the cutest thing in the world to watch.

Happy first summer ladies. I find myself looking forward to all the fun things we're going to get to do together in future summers while also wanting this one to never end.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Seventh Month

How did this happen that our girls are 8 months old today? Jane and Lucy are ridiculous. They're ridiculously beautiful and fun and funny and smart and strong. I often say their cuteness isn't fair to all the other babies. This has been my favorite month so far. They've had their first sno-cones, their first trip to the zoo, their first ear infections. They've gone swimming, been to the farmer's market, and learned the polka at Kindermusik (rather, I learned the polka at kindermusik, and they got to dance with me). Jane, Jeff and I survived Jane's first diaper rash. We all got through Lucy's bout with the ear infection that wouldn't go away. They have a high chair! They sit up by themselves; they fall over by themselves. They love reading with Daddy. They are my favorite little people in the whole world.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

Lucy & Jane,

Thank you for making me a momma! Last year at this time, I was pregnant with you two, so I felt like that was my first official mother's day, but I can tell you now that growing you inside of me is a LOT different than growing you outside of me. So, once again, I'm claiming this as my first real mother's day.

These past six months have been the most poop-filled, sleep-deprived, bottle-making, diaper changing, bouncing, soothing, walking, rocking, making up songs on the fly months of my life. They have also been the most love-filled months of my life. I can't help but regularly watch the two of you in amazement and wonder and awe as you discover and grow and continue to become. You are my babies. My daughters. Pieces of me and your daddy. I could not love you more. Thank you for being here.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Road Trip!

Lucy and Jane have survived their first real road trip (I'm not going to count the relatively quick drive to see Grandma and Grandpa in Jeff City)! We went to South Dakota for a long weekend so the Hartmans could meet these little cuties.

They were soooo good! Here are some highlights:

They got to see the world's only corn palace! Notice I didn't say world famous...

More corn palace fun:

Then they got to meet their great-grandma Hartman. She's where we got Jane's first name Sophia (interestingly, Grandma doesn't go by Sophia either - she's a Gertie).

And yes, that's the girls in matching pjs! Unfortunately, they have a little bit of stranger anxiety going on, so they didn't let Grandma hold them for too long before they'd start the waterworks.

They also got to meet and play with their great-uncle and aunt - Ted and Charlene, their cousins (really they're third cousins or first cousins twice removed or something like that, but it's just easier to say cousins) Bill and Lynette, Todd and Tarin and their kiddos, and Mark and Raylee, whose name I may have just mispelled.

Jane celebrated our return home by rolling over for the first time! It's amazing how quickly they're changing and developing into little people with distinct personalities and senses of humor and smiles that will just about kill you...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's Spring! (almost...)

Yesterday after work it was warm enough (and still light out thanks to Daylight Savings) to take the girls and Maggie for a stroll around the neighborhood. It was the first time both girls were awake for a walk. Jane made "mmm" noises for every bump (so a lot of noises), and Lucy practiced being cute.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

This is the seat we bought Lucy & Jane over the weekend, and they LOVE it. In fact, I think we're only a short time away from them fighting over who gets to sit in it. Jane has been practicing her sitting skills longer than Lucy, and now she likes to grab the bee and play with the little donut ring things under the bee. By the way, she's going to be a lefty!
Lucy got tired of staring at the monkey on the activity mat this morning, so I put her in the Super Seat (that's really what it's called), and she bobbled around for a good 10 minutes. She got the hiccups and every time she hiccuped, her head would loll backwards, and you could tell that it took all her concentration and neck strength to pull it back upright. Our cute little bobblehead...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

4 months!

The video below was taken a few days ago. Lucy makes her most recent noise while Jane is fascinated with her own hand.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Party girls

Lucy and Jane got to go to their first birthday party today! Our friends Mike and Jen have a little boy, Finn, who turned one, and we got to join in for the festivities. It's hard to believe that in less than a year, our girls will be that big and maybe even running around. Anyway, they got to wear their party dresses, and if I do say so myself, they are beautiful in them. Thanks for the dresses Grace!

I can hardly believe they're already almost 12 weeks old. In some ways, it seems like we've had them forever, and in other ways, well, time has flown by. I was packing up clothes that don't fit them anymore and almost shed a few tears as I put those tiny little newborn onesies away. Okay, maybe there's no "almost" about it. My babies are going to be three months old in no time!

There's nothing cuter than a nearly naked baby, right?

Things I love about Lucy (in no particular order):

1. This girl has some wild hair.
2. She smiles with her whole face. Sometimes with her entire body.
3. When she's sobbing inconsolably, I can cradle her up against my body, rock her a few times, and she calms down quickly.
4. She snorts. I know. That's kind of sad because she's having trouble breathing, but seriously, it's so cute.
5. She has the most expressive eyebrows I've ever seen on a baby.

Things I love about Jane (again, in no particular order):
1. She has some serious chipmunk cheeks.
2. Her sneezes. Achoo, achoo, huh-ahhhhhhhhhh.
3. When you put her up on your shoulder, she snuggles, almost melts, right into you.
4. She's so observant. Sometimes when she and Lucy are in their crib together and Lucy starts crying, Jane just watches her.
5. She loves to coo and carries on quite the baby conversation.