September 25, 2011

Picture purge!

I just realized that I had over 200 pictures on my iphone of the boys the
 last 2 weeks or so, so I thought I'd do a mostly picture blog!  Enjoy some Steiner-boy cuteness!!

My little birds ... they love to stand next to the chair and have their
snack!  Usually fruit or string cheese!

Still loving their tunnel! They have some major
laugh-fests in here!

Getting so good at standing!

Mommy feeding both boys at once!
We don't do this too much!

Jack hanging with Grandpa

Will standing like a big boy!

Don't they look so cute in these outfits? Thanks
Auntie Kristen!!

Enjoying some porch time waiting for Daddy after work!

Getting ready for a walk around the neighborhood!

On our way to the swings!


This is SOOOO much fun!

These boys love to play!
Standing again!  Jack especially is really trying
to figure out standing without holding on!

Will made his way to the top of his toy box and was SO proud of himself!
And 10 seconds after this picture, the toy box was gone! It would have
been a very hard fall!

Sweet William

Daddy and the boys enjoying the porch

Look at our new shoes!  We are big boys now wearing size 4!!

Eating dinner, and sporting our cool new shoes!
(Notice Betsy always waiting for something to drop!)

It is fun to lay in our toys!

Sweet Jack!
(Gene & Kathy--they still love that cup!)

Pacis are only for chewing on and playing with now!

Can you see how long their hair is finally getting in the back?

Will's spots...

Our poor baby!  Thankfully they are gone now!

Cheering for the Huskers with Daddy!
Aren't they just growing up so fast?  I love my big boys!

September 24, 2011

I Love 30!!

It is 8:30pm on the evening on my 30th birthday, and I'm home, in my pajamas, blogging!  Why?  Because I'm worn out from the AMAZING birthday that my sweet husband made happen! And we just finished a delicious dinner at my parent's house to cap off the 24 hours of celebration!  I feel like the luckiest, most loved woman ever!  And I LOVE being 30!

Let me start off with what happened yesterday (and get ready for lots details, because I don't want to forget a moment!) ...

Justin told me the Thursday night not to cook dinner on Friday because he was taking me out for something special, the night before my birthday! So at 6:15 Friday night, my parents arrived to watch the boys for the evening, and we were off! I had no idea where we were going, but we ended up in Denton at a really nice restaurant called Hannah's.  It was a fancy place, and the food was so good!

We didn't get a picture there together,
but snapped this one on our way out!

I was thinking this was it, but Justin had more up his sleeve!  We started driving south, and again, I was clueless as to what we were doing!  It was around 7:45, and I had heard Justin tell my parents we'd be home around 9:30, so I wasn't sure what we would have time to really do since we drove quite a ways!  Little did I know, a spectacular surprise was coming up next!  We drove down to Addison (for all you non-locals, this is very close to Dallas, about 35 miles south of our house) which was very close to our first apartment when we moved here 8 1/2 years ago.  I was recognizing the area, and talking about the fact that I hadn't been down there in a long time!  We were driving by the small Addison airport and Justin said that we were going to go under the airport tunnel on our way so I thought that would be neat.  All of a sudden, Justin takes the wrong way at a Y in the road and missed the tunnel.  We end up in a office-looking area of the airport, and I think he's going to turn around.  I jokingly say, "are we going to go into the Air BP? (the name on one of the signs on the building ahead of us). I think he is going to make a u-turn, but he pulls in the parking space, and says, "Let's go!"

By this time, I'm super confused, and hesitantly follow Justin inside.  There is a small lobby and couches and a tv inside, and I can't figure out what we're doing!  I think Justin is messing with me, but then he says to a guy, dressed in gear like he works out on the airport tarmac, "we have an appointment at 8:30".  The guy tells us to have a seat on the couches and someone will be with us shortly.  I still have no clue!  After about 10 minutes of waiting, and a husband who wouldn't answer any of my questions, a guy walks in, introduces himself, and says we're ready to go!  Justin finally tells me what we are about to do ... go on a private plane ride over downtown Dallas!!!  I was just shocked!  And super excited!
Here I am, wondering what is going on!

Getting ready to board ... first flight in
years where I haven't shown my ID! =)
 We sat in the back seat and the pilot explained to us that we'd be taking off, flying over White Rock Lake, then to the south end of downtown Dallas for some great views, then back over Love Field and back to the airport--a 30 minute tour by air of Dallas! We cuddled in the back of the plane, and there were even a dozen red roses waiting for me on my seat when I got into the plane ... my hubby thought of everything!!
Trying to get a self portrait... this was the best we could
do where both of our heads were in the pic!

With our headphones on, wind blowing into the plane!
(Isn't my hubby so handsome?!)
The views were spectacular, and it is just amazing to see the huge Dallas downtown area from the sky!  It was a perfectly clear night, so we could see in all directions!  We realized what a HUGE area this metroplex really is!
Cool picture with lights of downtown reflecting
on the underside of wing

A short video Justin got with his iphone ...

 After we landed, one more pose in front of my birthday plane!!

A very happy (and surprised and amazed!) 30 year old ... totally in awe of what my husband pulled off!!

What a fabulous start to my birthday!

This morning, after we fed the boys, Justin went out and got us a delicious breakfast--yum!  We had a relaxing morning, and Justin had another fun day planned!  At 10:45, we were all ready to go to Lake Ray Roberts, a lake not too far from our house, to spend the mid-day having a Subway picnic lunch, and enjoying swimming, walking, and just hanging out as a family.

We had to take a slight detour to the urgent care when our sweet Will had a bad rash on his arms and legs. (We had already taken him to the pediatrician on Friday with a mild rash that they had given us medicine for, but it had gotten MUCH worse!)  The protective (and slightly worried) mommy in me knew we needed to break from our plans to make sure he was okay.  So after an amazingly quick visit, calming of our nerves by letting us know it wasn't anything too major, but just a rash in reaction to something, and a steroid shot to help the rash go away, we were back to our plans. Thankfully, he didn't have any fever or other symptoms, and was acting like his sweet little self, so we knew we could still have a fun family day.  His rash is now almost completely gone, so we'll just be watching what they eat or come in contact with carefully this week to see if anything makes the rash appear again.

So after that we were off to the lake, and it was so relaxing!!
Feeding the boys their lunch lakeside!
Who knew that this beautiful spot was so close to us?!  We will definitely be heading here regularly!!

And there are even beautiful groves of trees with paved walking paths through them!  We had a great little walk exploring more of the area!
My handsome boys

Another view of pretty areas to come enjoy!
After we came back, rested and got freshened up, I wanted to take a few pictures with my boys on my birthday.  They truly are my greatest gifts, and I treasure them each and every day!  I am so looking forward to this decade of being their mommy!

Mommy and Jack

Mommy and giggling Will
 There was a softball game going on across the street, so they didn't want much to do with a picture facing the camera, so this one will have to do of us together! =)
Notice their new, big boy tennis shoes!

Then last, but not least, on this INCREDIBLE birthday, we headed over to my parent's house for a special birthday dinner!  They had already given me my present--window cleaning on our house! Isn't it amazing that as you get older, presents you would have HATED when you were younger are AWESOME! I love my beautiful clean windows!  Since I'm here every day, I really appreciate that thoughtful gift!  Thanks guys! My mom is a great chef, and tonight she cooked us a scrumptious meal of tequila lime fish, vegetable bundles, salad, her special pilaf, and apple pie a la mode for dessert!  SO good!  Thank you, Mom and Dad!!! It is so nice being this close to you and getting to celebrate with you! After that delicious meal, it's no wonder all I can do is lay here on the couch and blog! =)

Another pic with my Will!

My birthday balloon!
What a fabulous, fun, and completely surprising 30th birthday!  I'm so very excited to have finally hit this  milestone! Strange, I know, but I really am so happy to be 30!  I feel like the majority of my 20s was spent wanting nothing more than to be a mommy, and many many many tough experiences in that journey.  But now, God has chosen to bless my life with these two little miracles, my precious sons, and I don't take them for granted at all.  I know how it is to want children more than anything (and am continually praying for my friends that are still waiting on God for their miracles!) and I love that this new decade of my life will be completely filled with memories of them as they grow in to amazing little boys!  I pray that God will give Justin and I wisdom as we raise our children, and instill in them a love of the Lord and for the people around them.  I want more than anything for them to be men who love God and treat people with respect and love!

Thank you to all the wonderful people in my life who have made my birthday special!  I've gotten wonderful cards, e-cards, text messages, emails, facebook messages, and many beautiful renditions of "Happy Birthday"!  I'm a lucky woman to have you in my life... thank you so much!

Our family

And Justin ... can I just say ... You Rock!  Thank you for such a special, memorable, and surprising 24 hours!  I love you more than anything, and I'm thankful to God each and every day to get to share my life with such an incredible man!!  You're the best, my Love!

September 16, 2011

1 Year Old

Our boys are one YEAR old!!!

This is their last picture with their stickers, and it just cracks me up!  They have definitely gotten harder to take pictures with their stickers over the last few months, and we didn't even come close to smiles this time. But I loved the little personalities that we captured here!  These boys are so expressive with their faces, especially with their eyebrows, so this had to be the picture for the month! Will (blue sticker) tends to be more serious about new things, making sure all is okay before giving his huge smile and belly laugh.  Jack tends to have more of a sense of humor lately, and is quick to giggle at things. Oh how we are blessed each and every day to be their parents!!!

I waited to post this a little bit past their birthday so I would have their latest stats from the pediatrician.  We went to the doctor this week, and the boys had their 12 month shots... the first shots they've had in 5 months!  Poor babies! They weren't too happy, but actually didn't cry as much I was anticipating!!

Here are their 1 Years Stats:

  Weight: 20 lb 14 oz (18%)
  Length: 29.5 in (35%)
  Head Circ: 18.75 in (81%)
  Weight: 21 lb 6 oz (25%)
  Length: 30 in (52%)
  Head Circ: 19 in (91%)

(They haven't really grown that much since their last appointment, but our pediatrician says that they have finally caught up from their 'preemie-ness' so she wasn't concerned.)

-They are still in size 4 diapers and are mostly wearing 12 month clothes.  They are long and skinny, so they can still fit into some of their 9 month clothes!

-They eat about 26 oz formula in 4 bottles, along with 3 meals and some snacks throughout the day.  I feel like they eat a ton, but these guys are so busy that they are must be burning off most of what they eat!  The pediatrician told us to go one more month on formula, then to switch them to whole milk and take away bottles at the same time.  Yikes! Mommy has to get ready for that one!! =)  But it sure is nice to be able to feed them anything!  They are getting pretty good at finger foods, and it sure is fun being able to take them out to restaurants and give them things off our plates!  They are good little guys when we're out!  That will most likely all change once they can walk and want to go exploring, but for now, it is nice!

-Like I mentioned before, they are developing the best little personalities!  They are so different from each other, which makes life with identical twins super fun!

-Jack is definitely our giggler, like I mentioned earlier.  The other night we had over some friends, and Jack spent the first few minutes just gut laughing at their 2 1/2 year old!  His laugh is contagious, and we love that he has a joy deep inside that just bubbles out!

-Will is quieter, and tends to take things in more before reacting to a situation. He is happy and giggles just as much a Jack, but usually it takes him a few minutes to make sure all is okay.  He is starting to have some "mommy don't let me go" moments!  We went to play at a new friend's house last week, and the first 10 minutes or so, he was like a little monkey attached to my chest!  But then, he realized how much fun his brother was having, and he was off and playing the rest of the time!

-They both are still thumb suckers, but Will much more than Jack in the last few months.  Jack sucks his thumb when he is super tired (or at the doctor's office!) and Will sucks his when he is tired, but also quite often as a security sort of thing.  As a mom of twins, I don't mind that they suck their thumbs.  It is so much easier for me than having to keep track of 2 pacifiers!  I talked to our pediatrician about it and she wasn't concerned at all either.  She said they will most likely grow out of it by around 4, and if they don't, I'll just deal with it then! =)

-They are both into EVERYTHING!  They crawl, they are beginning to climb, and they scoot around furniture with no fear at all!  Will is fearless and has this thing about climbing over the green box we keep their toys in...which hasn't bode well for his poor little forehead.  Usually I can catch him and get him down before his head carries him over, but this week, he was too fast for me and he now has a scrape on his forehead from hitting the baby gate on the way down. =(  But it doesn't stop him and he is back at it again! Boys!!  They are so cute when they play together! Many times throughout the day, they giggle, tickle, and play with each other with huge grins on their faces!  I love seeing their interactions and how much they love each other!!

-They still sleep all night long, from around 7:30/8pm to 7:30am.  They take a morning nap from about 9-10:30 and an afternoon nap usually around 1pm for an hour or so. We're so thankful for our good sleepers!

-The boys seem to be loving their new house!  Every morning when we wake them up, we look out of their upstairs window at our 'front yard" (the huge park across the street) and they are just mesmerized! They also like to sit out with us on the front porch and people watch!  There is usually a softball game going on at the park, people playing, riding bikes, etc, and they are fascinated!  We are so glad we moved out here!

-They are both getting to be pros at attention-getting sounds... fake cries, gagging, coughing, et c.  It cracks me up that even though they are so young, they already have figured out how to do this! There are rarely real tears around here, but there is a lot of 'crying' for attention! It is so funny!

-The boys say all sorts of noises/vowel sounds and "dada".  They still think "mama" is just hilarious and will not say it. =( This is the only area where our pediatrician still thinks they are behind on.  I guess by one year they should have said their first word, but none of us are concerned. When we left the NICU, they told us that speech would most likely be the last thing to catch up, since they were preemies, boys, and especially, twins.  So we are not worried at all, and they will figure out how to talk when they're ready to!  It is super cute to watch them "communicate" with each other though... I'm convinced that twins have their own way of understanding each other.  Even though they don't talk, they sure seem to know what they other is doing, or laugh hysterically together at things!  Having twins is wonderful!!

I think those are all the major updates of our little guys for now! We thank God each and every day for these two precious miracles He gave to us, and are so honored to be their parents!  I am so thankful to my husband for working so hard for our family so I can be home enjoying every single moment with my little boys!  I can honestly say that being their mommy is the best thing that has EVER happened to me (other than marrying their daddy!) and I treasure this job that God has given me!  Being their mommy is the best!

I love you, Will & Jack, more than you'll ever know, and I can't believe that you are 1 year old already!  I look forward to our adventures together as you figure out this great big world!  You two are the best!  Love, Mommy

September 10, 2011

Birthday/Moving Weekend

I was so proud that I got up the boys' birthday party pictures so quickly, but there were so many more great pictures and videos from the rest of our crazy fun weekend!  So as I've gathered them from all who took pictures last weekend (I didn't seem to manage to take many with my phone), I've been looking forward to sharing them!

We Steiners don't like to do things normally or easily, hence the fact that we threw the boys' first birthday party on the same weekend we were moving!  Actually, that wasn't the original plan at all, but I'm so glad it worked out that way.  Justin ended up having 5 days off of work (unheard of!!) for all the events, and we had so many extra hands around to love on the boys and help us finish packing and move!  God knew it would work best this way! =)

The boys loved wearing their special hats on Thursday, their actual birthday.

They had a birthday breakfast, complete with birthday attire!

And then they had a lot of fun opening all the birthday cards that came for them!  They thought they were delicious!

Uncle Aaron came out for the whole weekend, and the boys were in Heaven!!!  The boys love their Uncle, and they have so much fun with him!  

Jack had fun modeling Uncle Aaron's cool sunglasses!

The boys got these great plaid shirts from Auntie Kristen!
They looked great with Uncle Aaron in plaid too!

Flying up over the camera ... they were giggling so much,
but this is the best picture I got! 
Of course I missed taking pictures of it, but Uncle Aaron introduced the boys to their first Otter Pops!  You know the ones in the long plastic? The boys each got bites of his, and they LOVED it!  After the first shocked face from it being so cold, they kept coming back for more!  Hilarious!

After a spectacular birthday party, and then much help from everyone in the final packing of our old house, we were off to the new one!

Gosh we have a lot of stuff! =)
We are still a mess inside, but the house is slowly getting organized and is feeling like home! We are so happy to be back out here, and we have already met new friends in the neighborhood!

The boys and I went out for a walk, and headed for a little park with two baby swings!

Where are we going Mommy?
Since I was attempting swings for the first time, and I was by myself, I decided that the boys could just ride together.  They seemed to have fun!  At first, they weren't quite sure what to make of it, but by the end, they loved it!

Smiles from Jack

Cute little 4-legged shadow!

Will was all grins too!
The boys have gotten to spend some time in their baby pen since the house isn't quite baby safe yet.  It works pretty well, but in the last day or so, they are figuring out they can climb it. Ugg.  So the new gates have been installed, and we're just about to give them more room to roam!

We also broke out the Thomas the Train tent that Uncle Aaron got them.  Boy is it a hit!!

Exploring inside and out!

Will LOVED it and just kept playing, long after Jack was done!

Then he decided Thomas was a good place to rest! Too cute!

The boys were given these adorable shirts by Sara, a girl that works for my brother.  Aren't they too perfect? I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot of this over the years!

The boys also got walkers from my parents and my brother. (Are these boys spoiled by all of our family or what?! Just wait until I post more pictures of the great gifts the boys received!!) Since we have a lot more tiled area in this house, the boys have plenty of room and love them!

And last but not least, a couple pictures of the boys with their last monthly sticker picture--this one says 1 year!  I can't believe it!

These boys are on the move, and are loving the new stairs!
I'll post their official update next week, after we have their one year pediatrician appointment.

We are having so much fun with our big boys!