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Rory and Quinn: 4 Months

“Little boys should never have to go to sleep because every morning they wake up one day older”.  That’s not an exact quote but it’s definitely an exact paraphrase of something someone said.  And it’s true.  In fact, it’s usually one of my final thoughts before placing each of you into your crib.  I look at you now, today, and realize that you’re much bigger than the day I first met you.  You’ve both grown and changed and…..”matured” isn’t the right word but I’ll use it anyway.  Your faces are filling out and your limbs are getting stronger.  You both smile more and more and you laugh constantly.

This month you’ve both taken a serious notice of one another – uh-oh, it’s 12:54am at the time of this writing and I’m suddenly hearing little noises percolating from the bedroom…….it’s Rory, up for his midnight feeding.  Hello there, little buddy.  When you were born you used to grunt while you slept and while you ate. Now, about three days ago you started to “talk” during any time you weren’t sleeping or eating..  Actually, I suppose it isn’t very fair that I put quotes around that word.  If tonality says anything at all, you both have a mouthful to say to anyone that will listen.  You screech, mumble, warble and sing, sometimes to me, sometimes to your mom, sometimes to your sibling and sometimes to yourself.  I walked into the bedroom a few afternoons ago after getting out of the shower and found you, Rory, lying in your crib on your side, humming like an infant mogwai.

For reference of what a mogwai is, please google search the term, “mogwai”.  Sidenote: Quinn, you sort of resemble a mogwai.  Trust me, it’s okay and is a heck of a lot better than resembling a golem.

I love listening to the two of you make sounds.  Rory, your noises are more like songs and coos while Quinn’s, yours are more in the vein of laughs and screeches.  If you are upset you put your fists down at your side and go, “eeeeEEEEEE!!!!”  When you do this I shake you a little and you laugh, haha.

We also recently purchased you each your very own Johnny / Jenny Jump Up.  We plop you down in this swing that hangs from the door frame and watch you bounce…truth be told there’s not a HUGE amount of jumping that’s happening…..YET…..but I’m sure it will begin shortly.  Currently you both mostly just hang there and stare at one another, swinging around and gently pushing yourselves in one direction or the next.

I’m really enjoying watching you grow but, as usual, it holds a side of bitterness to it.  You’re both rolling over, making noises and beginning to grab things with your hands – you’re turning into toddlers!!  Today we gave you both your first taste of mushy rice cereal and you LOVED IT!…..just kidding.  Quinn, you began to lap it up like a dog but I’m not totally certain you a.) enjoyed it or b.) knew what you were doing.  Rory, you just started to cry.  Perhaps you’d enjoy it more if we splashed a little soy sauce on it?

I’ve started working nights and this last week with the two of you has been fanTASTIC!!  I am so happy to be blessed with additional time to spend with my kidlets during the day.  Working the standard 9-5, I missed you so and was feeling cheated out of a more time-dynamic relationship.  Now the flood gates are open and we get to spend nearly the entire day together before I go to work at 6:30.  It’s GREAT!!

That said, I do enjoy the weekends when I stay up late all alone, trying to remain on my night schedule, when I hear one of your mews from the back room and I rescue you from the dark, bring you into the light and feeding your hungry bellies.  It’s phenomenal having you both around but it’s also nice to get some one on one time as well.  I truly cherish our time together and am always more and more excited to see the people you are becoming.  Will you hate onions?  Will you like rock ‘n’ roll?  What will your favorite color be?  You’re here in our arms but there are so many unanswered questions.  Don’t worry, though, we’ll discover it all together.

3 Months

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3 Months

Rory and Quinn.

Looking at our monthly photos amazes me.  It’s incredible to see how you’ve grown so much in just the last 30 days.  Where you were once so easily carried around with one arm you are suddenly requiring the constant assistance of two.  Watching you grow and change has been an amazing treat but it also saddens me in a strange way.  Part of me looks forward to the days when you will crawl and walk and talk but another part of me just wants you to stay as you are – as our cooing babies.  You are wonderful little people and everyday I find myself loving you more and more.

I suppose that since I can’t control time nor the human growth element (yet…) I should just embrace your amazing process and run with it.  Just promise me that you’ll never be too cool to give me hi-fives.

Earlier this month your mom and I decided to embark on a well deserved vacation up to San Francisco to visit some good friends of ours.  Were we expecting the trip to be different than what we were used to, traveling alone or with dogs?  Yes.  Was it different?  DEFINITELY.  Was it more difficult?  Sometimes.  Was it more fun?  Sometimes!  There’s something strangely exhilarating about changing a babies diaper in the front seat of your car in a light drizzle at a gas station in a town you’ve never been to.  There’s something romantic about waking up at 3am in a strange hotel and watching Mtv with your family.  There’s something illuminating about buying beer then realizing that you don’t have a bottle opener and getting on YouTube to find a “How-To-Open-A-Beer-With-Your-Keys” video.

Rory, you fuss less and less as the days go on and Quinn, your eyes get bigger and bigger.  Rory, you’ve begun to thrash your arms and legs around, swiping at little objects and slapping me in the face while I sleep.  Quinn, you’ve begun to roll over, mostly onto your side and ALMOST onto your stomach.  Rory, you don’t even try to roll; you prefer laying face down and, from one deranged mouth-breather to another, that’s okay with me.  Quinn, you laughed for the first time when your mom was giving you a bath a few weeks ago.  The sound of your coos makes us smile; you’re becoming quite a noisy baby and will “talk” with us if we ask you questions.  Your big gummy smile cracks me up.  Rory, you drool…a LOT.  Honestly, I’m not even so fearful of you smothering yourself in your blankets as I am of you drowning while you sleep.  We put bibs on you in the middle of the day just so you don’t get your shirts soppy wet.  Quinn, you’ve begun waking up at 6:30am pretty consistently.  You are not hungry.  You are not wet.  You just want to play.  You cry until someone sits you up, at which point you look at us, smile, laugh and then start to coo.  I don’t even care that it’s 6:30.  Rory, you sleep all night….you actually sleep all night and most of the day.  The other day you slept 10 1/2 hours.  You are a true professional and you take your rest very seriously.

Everyday I leave to go to work and everyday I think about you all day long.  It’s tough to be away from you for such stretches…..maybe I should tape a picture of myself to the ceiling above your crib?  Maybe I should get you a live webcam?  When I come home and pick you up, it is clear that you recognize me and laugh.  You both do it and those two moments are the absolute highlight of my day.  We’ve got more family coming to town soon – Your Aunt Theresa, who you haven’t met yet and your Grandma June is coming back for her second visit and I think they’ll both be pleasantly surprised at how big you’ve gotten and at how much Rory drools.

TWO MONTHS

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Two Months

Happy two month Birthday, Rory James and Quinn Marie!  I guess what they say is true – time really does fly when you’re mad with sleep deprivation and tottering on the edge of delirium!  WEEE!!

Rory, you fell asleep in my arms a few nights ago while I was watching a Roseanne marathon on Netflix.  (Netflix is something that will have probably come and gone by the time you’re old enough to understand….Roseanne is forever).  I took you into our bedroom to lay you in your crib and noticed how strangely big you’d gotten all of a sudden.  It seems you’ve almost doubled in size and the box of “old” baby clothes that we just packed away seems to attest to that.  In some regards it’s sad – seeing you growing up so quickly and watching as certain aspects of your “newbornness” get piled away but it’s also very exciting and amazing.  You’ve become less fussy over the past few weeks (Praise God!  Thank you, Jesus!  Shalom and peace be with you!!) and you’ve actually begun to smile, seemingly under your own will.  You see, previously you’d only lift one side of your lip up into the air ala Elvis but I think you were mostly in the throws of a milk enduced bender.  You’re getting heavier and heavier as well.  Your last doctor’s appointment weighed you in at an astounding 12lbs 7oz and 24.6″.  You, my friend, are a meatball, deep fat fried and covered in cheese.  Don’t worry though, I hear you grow into it at around 14.

Quinn, gentle Quinn.  At 10lbs and 22″, you sit silently on the couch, lying in wait for your perfect opportunity.  You lure your victims in with your large doughy eyes and cunning smile.  You paralyze your grandparents and our friends with your Gerber Baby face and then, when their defenses are down, you strike.  With the wail of a wild banshee and the redness of a cherry tomato, you scream as though you were being drawn and quartered.  It is a rarity for The Fireball to ignite but when it does, everyone should be warned to stand back and, in the event that they are caught in the line of fire, stop, drop & roll.  You’ve recently become much more alert, holding your head up for minutes at a time while gazing at the world around you.  People stop us on the street to say, “Look at that baby!  She just has so many facial expressions!” and then they see that we’re each carrying a child and they say, “You have two!” but Rory is usually asleep, his fists clenched, dreaming about punching something.

Our nights were getting better and our sleep was getting longer and then….we don’t really know what the heck happened.  Suddenly you decided to move back to three feedings a night and refuse to shut your eyes once you’d woken up.  Sometimes it’s frustrating because I feel like you don’t understand how truly delicious sleep can be and I have no way to tell you yet but let me just say this….If I have to be up with two people screaming at me to shovel food down their gullets, I’m glad it’s you two.

ONE MONTH

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One Month

Roe and Q,

Happy one month birthday!

Before you were born everyone told us, “Time will fly by all too fast so you better enjoy them while they’re little” and for once, all the unsolicited advice was correct.  I can’t BELIEVE you’ve been here for a month already – that’s the entire lifespan of a fruit fly!!  Regardless of how brief the last thirty days have seemed, they have packed a serious punch, like a dwarven version of Mike Tyson.  Now, not to sound like a decrepit old woman already but it really does seem like only yesterday that I was still massively pregnant and begging you to evacuate the premises……..

I’ll be honest, this has been a pretty intense month with you so far.  At everyone’s (unwanted) suggestions, we were bracing ourselves for the worst ( The Antichrist) but thankfully you’re not even close to as difficult as we were expecting (you’re only about as bad as The Pope) but it’s still FULL THROTTLE.  Sleeping is certainly not the thirteen straight hours we were used to but we’re still functioning with the every 3 hour feeding schedule you’ve so politely mapped out for us and are THRILLED that you’re on any kind of a consistent schedule at all.  The first night we had you home with us was insane; it was like The Three Stooges Have a Baby.  We were clueless idiots bumbling around with you all night while you were up for 6 hours straight tag teaming us.  After the first night spent inside Dante’s Inferno we were definitely bleary-eyed, sleep deprived and wondering what exactly we had signed up for.  Top to bottom, feeding you has been the most challenging part for us as you both are very thirsty Schrute babies (Dwight K) but everyday is getting better, easier and less painful for my poor mammaries.  John’s nipples seem to be doing fine; he claims to have taken an intensive 12 hour internet boot camp on milk-tating dads.

Both your Grandmas left two weeks ago so we are now fully on our own with you and it was pretty scary at first.  When you cried we felt like chimps trying to disengage an A-Bomb, slapping at random buttons hoping it would shut off.  The first couple days at home with you alone by myself (while your dad was at work) were pretty hard but the more I get to know your separate little personalities and bends, the easier it gets.

Rory, at this point in your life:  you love sleeping on your stomach (much to my and the AMA’s discomfort), hate having your diaper changed, want to be fed the moment you open your eyes, snore while you sleep, grunt while you eat, constantly want to be snuggled and look just like your dad.  I wouldn’t go so far as to outright call you a fussy baby but you’re definitely tipping the scale in that direction.  Hey…speaking of scales……you are a seriously stout little man at 10 lbs 6 oz and 22″ long.  Coincidentally, you are the exact dimensions as an Irish lager and hold the same physical attributes: tall and pale.  Your dad and I frequently refer to you as Meatloaf, Cinder Block or Ham Steak and play Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine who gets to lug you around in the Moby wrap.  Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE to carry you with us but in our own self interest and the safety of our lower backs we have to trade you off from time to time and take mandatory 15 minute breaks.

Quinn, at this stage you are our calm baby.  You like to sit in your little lamb chair and just look around, smile while you sleep, love to have baths and are mesmerized by lights.  You are awake much more frequently but are very self content – although when you do get mad you scream very loud and kind of sound like a dying bobcat.  You are also getting much bigger in your own right at 8lbs 11oz and 20.5″ long but do not pack the heavy punch that Rory does, as a little lady you are much more dainty…ironically, you have more chins than a Chinese phone book.  The bigger you get the more you look like me (although at a whopping 9lbs 8oz you still don’t weigh as much as I did at birth) and you definitely have my/your Grandpa Wade’s eyes and eyelashes.  Right now our nicknames for you are Quinnie Pig, The Pig, Bobcat and Voldemort….because sometimes, when you’re swaddled and have a hood on you do sort of resemble The Dark Lord from Harry Potter Book 1 (also known as Harry Potter and the Sorcerors Stone OR as it is referred to in England, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone). Yes, we are nerds, you’ll have to live with it.  The other day while you were taking a nap next to me on the couch you woke up, looked right at me, smiled and put your hand on my face.  I don’t think it gets much better than that.

Has parenting been everything we were hoping it would be?  YES and more.  Has it been as difficult as we were anticipating?  NO thank goodness.  Can we imagine a life without you?  NO…but maybe an evening…We both are so incredibly blessed to have you.  Two years ago when your dad got cancer we thought it was the absolute worst thing that could ever happen to us and we were afraid that we’d never be able to have children.  Two years later, it was directly BECAUSE of that terrible and wonderful diagnoses that we ended up having twins.  Because of cancer, you are here.  Everyone tells us that God can take muddy circumstances and turn them into something gold.  Now, with absolute certainty, we can both say that every sleepless night, dirty diaper and  high frequency scream was worth every moment of chemotherapy.

We’re excited to meet you and talk to you when you’re finally old enough to read this…and for the day that you do: remember to just sit back and relax.  Right now you’re in the other room sobbing because you’ve dropped your pacifier.  Remember, things only get easier.

-mom and dad.

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