For those of you who are looking for us, I am blogging at http://callmekristin09.blogspot.com now. Simplifying my life a little bit. This blog will be dead in a couple months, so update your link if you're interested in staying in touch!

Nine Months Old

The boys have officially been on this earth longer than they were in my belly. That’s nuts. But man it’s a blast! 9 months always sounded so old to me! I feel like they’ll be a year before we know it. I’m crazy about them. Cam is crazy about them. We laugh a LOT. And we poop a LOT. (Sometimes at the same time). They are chatter boxes. “Dada” was Nash’s first word. “Mama” was Gray’s. And now they both say “mama” over and over and over again. And for now I love it. I keep playing that scene of Get Smart over in my head where the kid is saying Mom over and over again and she responds with “SHAWN, SHAWN, SHAWN, SHAWN! Do you see how annoying that is??” But for now, I will enjoy being the object of their affections. Being adored by three handsome men…tough life, eh?

Cam took the boys to see their mama play in a softball tournament. Gray was less than enthused. haha. They did great! And I had a complete blast. I act like a teenager whenever I play sports again. I love them. I didn’t even play all that well, but man it was a good time! I got a little caught up in the game, because I was playing third, and this 18-year-old kid on a team we were absolutely killing over ran the bag and in all my maturity I squealed “Ohhh you’re OUT!” when I tagged him. And then I apologized profusely. Too caught up. So so fun.

I also slid into third while running the bases. I scored on the next hit and the umpire took his mask off and asked me if I had, in fact, slid. I responded “I’m just really having a good time.” I don’t get out much. But when I do, oh it’s a party.

This month, we also did a juice cleanse. Not for the faint of heart. Oh boy. I made it through a day and a half and wanted to quit. Cam made it three days. I did actually quit when I saw that I had given Gray diarrhea. No good. However, it has really changed my views on food. We need to eat a ton more fruits and veggies. And we have been. I ate vegetarian for an entire week and felt amazing. Since then, I’ve eaten meat much more sparingly and my meal ideas don’t start with meat, which is completely new. I asked my FB friends for veggie meal ideas and since then we’ve had Quinoa Salads, Crispy black bean tacos, Cauliflower alfredo, and tonight we’re headed toward eggplant parmesan. We are eating so, so good. And I love the lack of meat. We are juicing in the mornings. My favorite is grapefruit + carrot and sometimes I’ll add a fresh spear of pineapple to the mix. I haven’t got the heart to juice my greens again just yet. But I bet a bunch of spinach in fruit juice wouldn’t hurt.

Gray baby. Oh he is my happy, easy-going, hungry boy. Look at that smile. He cut his first tooth this month! Oh it has been a long time coming, and it made him downright miserable, so I’m grateful he’s got that cute little tooth instead of sore, sore gums. I know that other bottom tooth will be here shortly, but I will enjoy my happy boy for as long as I can until that happens.

These next few pictures melt me. We decorated for Christmas. As a family of four. We had to worry about where we set the ornament box. We saw just how exciting the glitter and lights really are. There is something about Christmas that kids just “get.” And I’m blown away by how full my heart was this night. After we decorated, the boys couldn’t settle down for HOURS. It was 10:15 and we were still listening to them roll around in their beds talking and laughing with each other. High on Christmas Magic. And Cam and I listened on the monitor or through their bedroom door to the display of sheer joy. Amazed that they probably would never understand that we feel that way almost every night after we go in to kiss them goodnight.

In my family growing up, we had this red tree topper. My parents always called it a star, so when I saw it at the store and told Cam we had to have a star for our Christmas tree, he looked at me like I had grown another head. It IS a star. Either way, we rotate who gets to put it on the tree. Since Nash was born first, it was his turn this year. Melt me.

We took the boys on their 4th and 5th flights to have Thanksgiving with my family in Utah. I remember being so terrified to fly when the boys were 4 months old. Um, I would do that again in a heartbeat. 8.5 months old is a different story. Oh they are BUSY! Gray continued to be the angel child he always is. He plays, talks, smiles at you, eats snacks, takes a nap. Nash on the other hand is standing on your lap pounding the headrest of the seat in front of you, down standing on the floor at your feet, laying on his stomach across your knees, and yelling just to be heard. He’s not mad, just doesn’t like the silence that airplanes bring.

Gray loved to watch all the lights and cars and baggage trains outside. We had to stop in Phoenix for 40 minutes each flight and Gray would press his face up to the window and just watch all the workers outside. Nash actually liked this quite a bit too. I just didn’t snap a picture of him. I love that they are so boy-ish! It makes me so happy to see that come out in them.

The ultimate treat for Nash, though, was the tray table. As soon as we hit cruising altitude [at least on the way there, on the way back the plane was full and we couldn't give Nash his own seat] I would pull the tray table down and set all of Nash’s toys on it. He would pull them off to play with them one by one, and as he lost interest in one, I would put it back on the tray. A conveyer belt of endless fun! It worked for seriously an hour. Parenting for the win!

What cracks me up is he was SO excited about the toys on the tray table. It invoked even more shrieking, but when I went to take a picture of him being all crazy, he gets quiet like “what? this isn’t insane. I’m not insane. I am chill. YOU are insane.”

This one is a better representation of what really went down. Constantly.

While we were in Utah, we got to go to the temple. It was my first time back in about a year! Once I hit a certain point in my pregnancy, my dress didn’t fit anymore and I didn’t feel like going much of anywhere. Oh it felt good to be back. We were doing a ton of family names my sisters and mom [but mostly my sister, Lindsay. Family History genius.] had prepared. We did sealings, which is like performing a bunch of marriage ceremonies for your ancestors and giving them the blessings of eternal families.

In our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe that marriage and family relationships can go on after this life. The temple is where these bonds are made. In a beautiful marriage ceremony, husband and wife are sealed for time and all eternity. If you are sealed before you have children, those children are “born in the covenant” and are sealed to you automatically. If you are not sealed before you have children, then those children are sealed to you through another beautiful ceremony “as if they had been born in the covenant.” I am so grateful for this knowledge and these teachings. It took us so long to have children and now that they are here, I know of a love I never knew was possible. Having the comfort of knowing they are mine forever, no matter what, gives me such peace. I am so grateful for temples. And this is one thing about the gospel I wish I could share with every. single. person. Don’t you think everyone deserves to be with those they love for eternity? I do. And they can be. Anyone can have this blessing. Everyone deserves it. And the most beautiful part of all is that the words “until death do you part” are no where near the marriage ceremony, because they do not apply. What is bound on Earth in the temple is bound in Heaven.

Please don’t be shy if you are at all curious about this. It would make me so happy to be able to share this blessing with even one person. And I just love talking about it. :)

Who could let this handsome man go? Not me.

All dressed up for church! I love my sisters. And my mom. In case you mistook her for one of my sisters, she’s the gorgeous lady in the middle. Don’t feel bad, people do it all the time.

I love this picture. When Gray is extra happy, he will make eye contact with you and smile so big his nose scrunches up. This is the first picture I’ve ever gotten of this scrunchy nose. Oh I love it.

And pretty much whenever Gray is being extra cute, Nash decides to be exceptionally crusty.

The McGuire Grandkids. Lillie girl in the middle. Love this.

Speaking of being expressive.

Here in Texas, we don’t get a lot of snow. [But it DID snow yesterday! woo!] So we have learned a lot about sunshine and crunchy leaves. We love leaves. We love kicking them, squeezing them, eating them, hitting them. Whenever Cam takes one of the boys out for a run, I take the other out to the front yard and we play in the leaves until Dad gets home. And then we all play together, and sometimes it results in a quick trip to the park.

Gray is a chatterbox! He has so many inflections in his voice and he is so expressive! I love hearing all about his thoughts. Sometimes we just lay on the floor and look at each other and he talks and talks and I ask to know more and he grabs my face and talks and talks, and eats my nose. It’s great.

Also, a friend described his hair as OUTSTANDING. I wholeheartedly agree.

Bahaha the faces! The swings are still a favorite. I love that they ride together. Instant happiness for these dudes.

For Christmas, the local library puts together this fantastic Santa’s village with about 20 different buildings to walk through sponsored by local companies. Santa arrives on a fire truck. There is a cafe. Ornament factory. Post Office. Concert Hall. etc. It is all lit up and decorated beautifully. We took the boys there on opening night and walked around to look at the lights. There was even a train! We love trains.

Love these pictures of our little family. People are so nice here! Without fail, someone notices me taking a picture of Cam and the boys and offers to take one of all four of us.

Also, the Ronald McDonald house has a fundraiser called “The Trains at Northpark.” They have set up this exhibit with tons of electric trains that wind through the US. It’s amazing. The boys loved it. I love watching their eyes follow the trains and I was pretty surprised at how well the followed even the fastest train! What a cool exhibit! We bought a Christmas ornament, it’s a tradition, and enjoyed the day with Dad. What a gift!

While walking the mall, we discovered this beautiful display. Santa and all the reindeer are completely made out of candy! So cool!

We stopped to listen to a children’s choir concert in one of the open areas of the mall and feed the boys. They sang song after song about Christ. In a public place. And it was perfect and uplifting. We sat next to this wonderful old man who kept commenting on how spunky the boys are and wanting to help with their bottles. With all this warm weather in Texas, I’ve had a hard time feeling Christmasy, but oh it is here!

Gray has been a poop monster. So he got changed in the trunk of the car. Silly boy. For the record, I have changed his diet twice. No change. The kid is just a pooper. He’s happy and healthy. I’ll take it.

We are not very good at going to Church events. Not that we don’t want to go. That’s never an issue. It’s just that in the getting there, we always have some sort of trouble. [Last time it was a meltdown triggered by a corset...] We drove up at 6:15, thinking it started at 6. Parking lot is empty. Boys are screaming. Cam is sniffling and coughing because he’s so exhausted from finals week that his health is taking a hit. I have never seen a nose run like that. And the sniffling was driving me nuts! Since the parking lot was empty, we decided to go home, but I was NOT going to cook, and we didn’t have money to go out to eat. So we went back. Terrible logic, I know. Cam knows me so well. I was LIVID that Cam had pushed us out of the house so fast. Not his fault, neither of us checked what time the party started, but I hated being stressed for no reason. I was feeding the boys while they were in their car seats and squished in that “back seat, in the middle, feet on the hump.” And Cameron turns the music on. Which is normally the last straw for me. I hate music during stressful, angry times. It only makes things worse for me. I didn’t recognize the music. And then without warning, the sweet melodies of Michael fill the car. Oh, I love Michael. Mr. Buble. And I smiled. Big. I love Michael. So, so, so much. Brilliant man. And he saved the day. We went to the Ward Christmas Party because of him. Sneaky move, Cam. But well played, sir. Well played.

And again, we see Gray playing sweetly on Dad’s lap, and Nash squirming around on the floor. He is a busy kid.

And sometimes, as a family, we just match unintentionally. So we had to take a picture. Love these men.

They sat on Santa’s lap for the first time. Gray was mesmerized. I couldn’t get a picture of him looking at me, he just stared and stared at the funny man. Nash pulled his beard. [Which was real, by the way.] Santa didn’t like that too much.

After the last monthly update I wrote, I realized I had forgotten some of the details because I hadn’t taken pictures of them. And that’s no excuse to not record something. Pictures aren’t everything.

So hopefully I can remember everything I’m intending to:

  • Gray likes to hit things if they make noise. The mirror, the ground, empty containers, full containers, his knee, the side of his head, anything.
  • Gray also likes the sound of his voice when his ears are in the water. He sings a long monotone note for 10 seconds or longer and then breaks into this goofy grin. It cracks me up.
  • Nash is grabby! He is so fast. Loves pulling Gray’s hair. But regardless of if there is anything to grab, his hands are always opening and closing and he holds his arms out above his shoulders constantly feeling the air. It’s hilarious. It looks like he’s trying to swim.
  • Gray also gave Nash three hugs last night after baths. It was adorable. Intentional, direct, unmistakeable hugs. There are some things you are just lucky to witness the first time they happen.
  • Grammy bought them white shirts and ties that actually fit! They haven’t had an oxford shirt to wear to church since they were 3 months old. It makes me so proud to see all three of my men in white shirts and ties on Sunday. Classy gents.
  • I changed 12 poopy diapers in one day. They think they’re hilarious. I find them slightly less amusing. But there are worse things. ha.
  • We are officially done breastfeeding. Nash just decided one day that he was done nursing. He just flat out refused. So I gave him a bottle and nursed Gray. And it was nice to gradually wean them [and me] off of nursing. Gray stopped nursing two days ago. And I feel really good about things. As soon as I realized that I didn’t need it for the bonding anymore, I felt much better about my babies growing up. It made me a little sad when Nash stopped cold turkey, but it gave me time to love on my Gray and appreciate him for staying little. People notice a lot that Nash is hitting milestones a bit before Gray every time. And then they compare my sweet Gray baby and wonder what’s taking so long. And I just scoop him up and love that he is my little guy for a little longer. When you have twins, you get the best of both worlds. Lucky, lucky me.

Hams

I believe we have learned what the camera is. . .

8 Months Old

I am really starting to love these monthly updates. I feel like once the details are recorded, my heart is OK to move on to the next milestone because I can come back and re-live the stages whenever I want. I did, however, catch a slight smell that reminded me of the NICU the other morning when I was cuddling Gray after feeding him and my heart broke just a little bit. And then he gave me a huge slobbery kiss on the cheek and I remembered that I wouldn’t trade this time for anything. Not even to have brand new Nash and brand new Gray again.

My boys love me. I know that. But, oh they love their dad. Dad is a hero around here. His lap is the best seat in the house.

These boys are QUICK. I still have to take one out of the tub at a time, so I drain the tub, wrap one up, lay him on the rug, and go get whoever is still in the cold, empty tub. And regardless of who is on the rug, they are naked and thrilled about it by the time I turn back around with their towel nowhere in sight.

See that mischievous smile on Gray’s face? Yeah, it’s showing up more and more these days. And it just makes me so excited. I LOVE the mischief that comes with boys. [I hope I remember that when they make me want to rip my hair out sometime down the road.]

And it makes me even more happy that they will ALWAYS have a partner in crime. Brothers are the best. And these two are major fans of each other.

Gray is so beautiful to me. He has his daddy’s eyes and nose. And I kiss them constantly. He is a doll.

This was my first attempt at shooting in manual mode with the remote control. I am just giddy about it! I feel like I can be in more pictures with the boys. It takes a lot of planning and a lot of tries, but then you get the one that really captures a feeling and it’s perfect. I love Gray’s hair and his little content grin in this one. We look out their bedroom window at the big green tree outside or the train as it goes by in the mornings. It is the best.

I keep thinking the boys need haircuts [around their ears especially! It's getting a little scruffy...] until I see a picture like this. Oh my handsome dude.

I’ve been taking the boys down to the Chiropractic clinic at Parker University every week for the past month. It has made such a difference! I am a huge advocate for adjusting from birth. There are two interns there that are specializing in pediatric chiropractic. They are the absolute best. The boys were having a hard time with constipation. I had changed their diet and pumped the fluids and nothing was changing. I mentioned this to the interns, they gave a quick adjustment and ever since, there is no sign of constipation at all. I just love how much chiropractic can do. I feel like it is so non-invasive and I love that I am not putting harmful chemicals into my babes’ bodies.

And when they get adjusted, they can play HARD because we will work out all the kinks later. They love playtime with Dad. He is working so hard lately. We live for the times he gets home before the boys go to bed. And the weekends. He balances everything better than anyone I know. It’s so impressive to me. And it makes me so happy that the boys look forward to their time with him and really make the most of it! They get so giggly when he’s around!

Nash consistently scooches himself right underneath the couch. He doesn’t like it under there. Hasn’t figure out how to avoid it. Poor kiddo. But I think it’s hilarious. haha.

Every time we put Nash in the stroller, he puts his fist in the air. And keeps it there for the duration of the ride. It’s so funny! I think he looks so handsome here. I love his dark hair and light eyes. He is such a lady killer!

We finally put the boys in the shopping cart after a friend of mine [Cam's cousin] sent me the most adorable picture of her little boy in a shopping cart. I couldn’t believe they were big enough for that! But oh we stopped traffic.

The fastest way to get everybody clean for church is a shower with Dad. The boys are so animated! They love the water. And love the naked. I think all babies love that.

beautiful, beautiful Nash.

CHEESE!

Gray has been chewing on anything and everything trying to get his teeth through. No luck so far. He sits up really well though. He is SO strong.

I give the boys some finger foods to practice with at every meal. They are getting better and better! Gray picks up the food and smooshes it into his mouth with the rest of his hand and gets the food in there 100% of the time now. Nash is working on pinching the food with his thumb and index finger and does a pretty great job of it. He probably makes it into his mouth about 70% of the time. I love watching them figure things out! It is so fun to see their minds working.

This is what I wake up to every day. Regardless of where I put them down to bed, they end up right against the side of the crib that borders the other crib. And they almost always wake up happy. It is so fun! The sadness comes when I pick one up out of the crib to nurse him. I try to switch off, but a lot of the time I just pick up the one who isn’t quite as happy as the other. And for the next 10 minutes, I sing our morning song roundup. It consists of a few originals. “Wake up, wake up, wake up I said! It’s time to get out of your bed. The day is here! It’s so much fun to wake each morning with the sun!” followed by “When you wake up be happy! Be happy when you’re awake! When you wake up be happy! It’s gonna be a good day! When the sun is up start smiling! It’s easy if you can. ‘Cause I love my Gray Baby! I love my Nash Man!” And then we sing the cougar fight song. A few times through this and it’s time to nurse the other one. I have really noticed a major change in myself from singing first thing in the morning. I am happier when we do this. I am a better mom. I love it.

OH that belly. :) [Nash]

OH those legs! [Gray]

We have been working on not hitting our brothers. It is a hard thing.

Sesame Street is on Netflix. The boys watch maybe 5 minutes of it before they are done and on their bellies playing with something else, BUT it gets me a shower! And they love the songs. It was so fun for me to see them enjoy that part of it. I felt a little part of my mom-dream fulfilled. Which sounds a little silly, but my mom let us watch Sesame Street all growing up and it is one of my fondest childhood memories. My siblings and I still adore a lot of the classics. And so many clips from Sesame Street still crack me up. I loved seeing Nash and Gray love something I loved when I was their age too.

We are vain. We have discovered ourselves in the mirror. And it is the best thing ever. They get so giddy when their reflection is staring back at them.

We watched the election. The boys couldn’t handle the tension.

Nash gave us his best analysis and prediction, which was that Romney would get the most votes but lose the election. Smartie pants.

Daddy taught them all about Nutella on Toast. We pretty much just think anything Dad does is the best.

The boys are wearing 12 month old jammies now. They look so grown up to me! Ah! Especially that last picture. My friend Karen sent them to us right before the boys got here and I remember thinking that they would NEVER fit something that big! They do. And at 8 months no less. Oh they grow up so fast! I love their hair in this picture too. Such handsome gents.

I have no idea where this wolf hat came from, but seriously? Seriously. I die. Look at that face! Cam takes one of the boys running with him after he gets home from school every day. It is such a treat. They are always so proud of themselves when they get back for getting such fun time with Dad. It makes me melt.

The longer Nash’s hair gets, the crazier it gets. He has my dad’s hair. Fine and thick. And it has a mind of its own. Especially after bedtime or naps. :)

I told a friend the other day that “I swear infertility is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” And I should probably explain. I feel like every little thing in my life is a blessing [that pertains to the boys.] I have bad days too. Don’t get me wrong. But seriously, I think everything is SO fun now! We are planning what to put in the boys’ stockings and what to get them for their birthday coming up and it just makes me giddy. I LOVE IT. I love them. I love making them happy. They are my whole world. And my world rocks.

Cruising for Chicks

Moral of the story: Just because Gray looks like he has completely forgotten the goal does not mean he will not win the race. Also, we will most definitely be having wingman issues in the future. oh boy.

Cloth Diapering Twins Part 3: The Wash Routine

So, once you start researching cloth diapers, you find out all sorts of crazy stuff that takes even more research. One being “the wash routine.” You do have to be careful, because some detergents aren’t safe for cloth diapers and can make them repel liquid which makes for really leaky diapers and sad babies. However, I don’t think it has to be so hard! I’m keeping this post short because I got so overwhelmed just trying to figure out how to clean them. Here’s what I do.

  1. Detergent: We have used Tide for our cloth diapers from the very start. It is Cloth Diaper safe. It smells good. I have had no problems with it. I am almost out, though, and have heard that the homemade laundry detergent I use for the rest of our clothes is Cloth Diaper safe [and cheaper] so I will absolutely be trying that out before I buy another jug of Tide.
  2. I use about 1/4 of what a normal load of laundry would get detergent-wise.
  3. Hot Prewash
  4. Hot Wash
  5. Cold Rinse
  6. Longest Cycle Possible
  7. Extra Rinse [You have to make sure the water is clear of bubbles. Any bubbles mean your diapers will have residue and won't be as absorbent. I sure wish someone had told me that before I started all this! Would've helped a TON.]
  8. On the clothesline or in the dryer [during winter months]

And then you see this out your kitchen window. Oh it makes my heart so happy!

Part One and Part Two of this series.