Monday, January 31, 2011

Catching up on the latest.

Well, we all know how tired I am of being behind. Here is a run-down of our past few months, which is mostly comprised of firsts and milestones :) It's crazy to look back at this list and see how far they've come in such a short time! At the beginning of the list 11/5/10), they are learning to sit on their own. By the end of the list, they are standing on their own (1/31/11). Amazing.

I was delusional thinking that this semester of Student Teaching would be any easier than past semesters.... In fact, it is going to prove to be way harder than the rest. I will slowly take over more and more of the school day from my cooperating teacher and will eventually be running the entire school day for at least 20 days, 10 of them must be consecutive. That means that I have to do the lesson plans for every subject that I'm teaching on TOP of projects that are due every few weeks. It's ridiculous and overwhelming. Anyways... Here's a timeline of what we and, more importantly, the boys have been up to lately...

nov. 5th infant-see program
This is a FREE program that my eye dr's office offers to help with early detection... you should check it out! The boys were asked to come help TRAIN the doctors who were there from out of town to be trained on how to administer the tests to children 6mo-2yr (i think that's the range). The boys were 6 mo and perfect subjects. They did a great job...even after having their pupils dilated!
At this appointment, they were officially good at sitting up.... very big deal!

nov 12th lowered crib mattresses b/c they were showing signs up pulling up.
mimi caught JH w/ wires. very scary!

nov 21---JH officially pulling up to feet on the end of their bouncers... mother's son---I was quick in my physical development---I walked at 7 mo!!

nov 22 H officially pulled up to feet! (not full standing position, but still pulled up)....

they are getting to be SO GOOD... already great babies, but, for example, we went to target with Eden, reagan and wyatt....boys were very quiet and happy in the stroller and only got fussy at chick fil a when it was nap time, understandably!

On that Target trip, they had their 1st time to ride in stroller and hold own bottle! did FANTASTIC! didnt drop them once! wow.

Boys have started to move into what i've read about.... 2, 2 hr long naps in morning and afternoon... they still do a cat nap in the afternoon. we'd do an earlier bedtime, but i think they will wake up too early.

nov. 30 both boys pulled up on the ottoman! new fave thing to do... stand at ottoman and pat it :) xoxo

dec. 1st.... Josh walked into nap time and JH was standing up in his crib! Same for me this afternoon... he was crying and i remembered that he'd done that earlier in the day, so I checked on it and he was standing up..

nov 14th, reagan's bday party! first time to try puffs

11/20 went to grand river outlets w/ Eden, Wyatt, Reagan, Josh, Jack Henry, Harrison

11/22 target w/ Eden, Reagan, Wyatt, Jack Henry, Harrison

11/23 tried the zoo for first time w/ Grace, Eden, Wyatt, Reagan, Jack Henry, Harrison... but we got rained out, so we went to Brookwood Mall for lunch :)

boys first thanksgiving last week...
josh's parents came the saturday after thanksgiving.
went to outlet malls to shop around

12/09 BAMOM new/expectant moms brunch/play date

12/10 jack henry cruising well and transferred from couch to chair
12/11 BAMOM cmas social

12/12 aunt cynthia/uncle tim babysat boys while we went to verizon party
H has started chatting more

12/13 started chatting a lot more again... lots of babbling

12/14 harrison pulled up in bed

12/17 JH said dada at dr
H ended up having 2x ear infxn/breathing treatment
jh 1 infn

12/18 trip to see regenia and milton---I got brave and took the boys BY MYSELF to see Regenia and Milton in Nashville... It's important to me that the boys have a relationship with their grandparents, near and far. I also felt like it'd honor them as their grandparents, and most importantly, Josh as my honey.

On this trip, JH started crawling hand/knee/hand/knee

12/22 Took the boys to see Santa. It was pretty anti-climactic. They weren't upset, but they weren't happy. It was time for a bottle, but I was afraid that they'd choose that moment to spit up, so I held off... I wondered afterward if they'd been happier for picture if I'd given them some bottle first. You live, you learn...

Right before cmas, JH started dancing
12/24 cmas even service at mtntop com church
1st time in other church nursery
met at turners' to exchange presents
Josh, the boys, and I spent night at my parents...even though we live down the street from them :) This is our tradition when we are in Bham for Cmas.

12/25 Christmas----It snowed on the boys' first Cmas, which made it all the more memorable.

12/26 Harrison crawling hands knees
My sisters Grace and Paige's bday dinner at parents

12/27 went to mcwane center w/ eden and kids and josh

12/31 Harrison started transferring

1/2 first time to ride in car attachment buggy at Publix. They loved it and didn't try to eat the cart hardly at all! haha

H 103 fever--- double ear infection again
JH ear antibiotic. gave big them time diarrhea and rash on their booties. It was a NIGHTMARE.

1/3 was reading book to H and he kissed the mirror 3 or 4 times... so sweet!

1/4 H started saying Dada!

1/6 H started clapping
went to visit MDO---we met their teachers and got a tour. I really hope that the boys will love MDO. I'm a big supporter of the social development side of it, especially!

1/9 We moved over to my aunt and uncle's house (even though they'd gone to Nashville) because of the snow/ice storm. They have a generator and we didn't want to chance losing power/heat with 2 little babies in the house! It felt like a little mini-vacation with my little family.

1/12 i started student teaching

1/14 JH clapping

1/16 The babies turned 9 months old!

1/18 started MDO---we wanted to make sure their diarrhea had stopped and their rashes had cleared up before starting at MDO.
noticed JH letting go and standing a little bit

1/19 JH standing big time!

1/20 JH standing and clapping... SO SWEET!

1/23 We moved our big boys up to size 4 diapers.

1/25 I got up at 5am and went to the gym. I'd like to get in the habit of doing this because I have GOT to lose a lot of weight (I'm totally overweight, and it doesn't help that my sister's wedding is in 110 days!)

1/27 JH waved for the 1st time! (at his Aunt Eden)
H has started standing some...

1/28 9 month well-baby JH was 28.5 in, 21 lbs 6 oz..... H was 28 in, 21 lbs 15 oz. Each has 1 ear infxn... ugh... Got anti-biotic shot and prescribed oral 1x/day for 10 days. Gave them diarrhea and some rash, but not as bad as last time, PTL.

1/30 I've noticed Harrison has started doing what I'd call "social laughing".... when we're all laughing, he'll join in.... it's sooo cute!
1/31 H standing for longer!

Boys have gotten more affectionate.... H likes to give kisses sometimes and then sometimes JH will come lay his head on me when I'm laying in their pen with them. Love it!

Whew!!! We're caught up on milestones/big firsts, etc... Although, it feels like they are always doing something new! The boys are continuously more and more fun. I am so grateful for them and the beautiful, healthy, happy boys that they are! I never want to take these blessings for granted.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

End of October

I started this on 11/13/10 but then got VERY busy.... so hang in there! xoxoxo

On the last October post, I ended mid-October... around that time, the boys started having longer spurts of sitting up on their own--especially Harrison.

At their 6 month appointment, Harrison weighed 18 lbs 6 oz and Jack Henry weighed 18 lbs 5 oz. I am drawing a blank on their lengths, so I'll have to get back to you on that one, but I do know they were still 3/4 in different, which makes a big difference... since they basically weighed the same, but Harrison looks bigger b/c he's chunkier from being shorter haha.

Ok the past post left you at the babies' 2nd dedication in Hendersonville, TN.... right outside of Nashville. We went to Nashville for Vanderbilt University (my alma mater) Homecoming, which Josh and I have done every single Fall since we started dating back in 2004! That makes this our 7th one together! wow! Anyways.... one convenient thing is that Josh's parents live in Hendersonville, TN, which, as I said, is right outside of Nashville (about 20 min), so we always have a place to stay AND we get to see Josh's parents all in the same weekend. Sometimes we've made plans to stay with friends/family in Nashville depending on what we've had going on that weekend so we could be closer to campus. This year, the Homecoming trip was the boys' first visit to see Gigi and Papa, so, of course, there was no staying in Nashville :) They needed to be right with Gigi and Papa for the visit! (I will say that it certainly didn't hurt to have free, enthusiastic and very loving babysitters built into the trip!)

One thing that we have learned about traveling with babies is to drive when they can sleep most or all of the trip. I did not have class the Thursday night before the weekend of Homecoming (Oct 22-24th), so I was home with the boys and was able to get us all packed. We were just waiting for Daddy Joshy to get home from work, which would be around 8:30pm... well, one thing led to another and I don't think we ended up getting on the road until 10pm. Fortunately thatguaranteed that the babies slept [HARD] the whole way! BUT... that also meant mommy and daddy Gamble were T-I-R-E-D! We stopped to get Daddy Joshy some coffee and gum (his stay awake arsenal) and headed up to TN. Needless to say, we got there late and went as straight to bed as we could after getting the boys settled....

I forgot to mention something VITAL to our life..... We started sleep training on Monday, October 18th, 2 days after the babies turned 6 months old. I personally feel (and there are books that support the feeling) that, although we had to endure some very strenuous times of bad sleep, etc., that 6 months old is a great time to do sleep training and probably the earliest I personally would do it. MAYBE 5 months. (obviously the rest of you should do what your comfortable with for your babies!) I feel that until about 6 months when they cry, they are trying to tell you something is wrong... but around 6 months, they learn to be a little more manipulative and learn to cry just to get you to come play. Who can blame them? Mommy and Daddy are the bestest, funnest people they know! Annnnyways....we decided to do the 5/10/15 gradual method and the boys have done very well with it. It's a month later and both of them sleep through the night 98% of the time and have been going down much faster for naps and bed time. We finally decided to do it for a few reasons... Harrison had really started fighting naps and sometimes bedtime badly. He would rare up and fight us trying to pat him to sleep... it was EXHAUSTING and heart breaking b/c you just wanted him to get some rest and he just cried and fussed... Jack Henry did some of that, but he was also getting up approximately every 2 hours after having been only waking us up 1-2 times when he was 3-3.5 months old.... CLEARLY we knew he was not only capable, but should be sleeping better than if he was going to be waking up so much, he needed to learn how to put himself back to sleep. So, sleep training it was. I had fought letting them cry as part of learning to self-soothe so hard.... and the bottom line is that they are going to cry some...and some days it will be more than others. In the beginning they will be exhausted and sleep better b/c they are tired from crying (that part makes me sad) but they do eventually learn to put themselves to sleep and life is so much better. You also do learn differences in their cries. I am a lot better at telling when they are just crying b/c they are angry or tired rather than distressed b/c they are stuck or something. Not perfect, but better. They are also actually having better car rides b/c they used to cry more in the car when they were tired and now they just lull off to sleep. Its very peaceful and sweet... and relaxing to not hear so much crying that I couldn't really do anything do help them stop or feel better. I digress. Bottom line. We have babies who sleep through the night more than just one time a month (as they did in [I think]July, [definitely] August, and [definitely] September).
Dont you just love that sweet face and those chubby thighs!

He doesn't suck his thumb often but I think it is so cute when he does :) Love this sweet face and thighs too! ah!

OK BACK TO HOMECOMING! Soooooo.......... We got up Friday AM and hung out around the house mostly. Then, per Gigi's request, we took the babies up to the hospital where she works so she could show them off :) She's a proud grandmama. After we got back, we hung out a bit and then I headed in to Nashville to get my hair cut at The Yellow House Salon, a new and SUPER CUTE salon in Nashville co-owned by a sweet friend, Kris Whipple. If you are in the area or headed that way, I SERIOUSLY recommend giving them a call and making an appointment. No lie, Kris gave me the best hair cut that I've had in a long time AND for a fraction of the cost. Plus, he's an very nice guy. Anyways.... While I was gone, Josh took the boys up to his High School to see his favorite teacher. He said it went very well, and I just love it that he wants to show off his baby boys. He is a very sweet daddy. That night, we met up with my cousins Rachel and Laura along with their husband and boyfriend, respectively, and a few other friends at Cabana, a delightfully delicious restaurant in Nashville. I remember sitting there thinking how we have gotten to such a wonderful place. We are in the place that I looked forward to for so long as a child.... adulthood... with our husbands/serious boyfriend... having babies (just me so far)... It was really pleasant and so nice to be able to spend time and enjoy each other.
Go 'Dores!
Harrison snoozing at the AOII house.
This is what we call HUGE SUCCESS.
We got to visit the Howorths, Charlie and Laurie, who have boy-girl twins who are 26. They are so sweet to the boys!

The next day, we headed to Vandy's campus with the boys after their AM nap. I was a bit anxious about how to handle naps and going to campus with the boys, but my mom gave me some great advice... we have to live life. She said to just go and that the boys would figure it out---they'd nap in the car or in their stroller and she was right! They did and it turned out to be a wonderful day of visiting with old friends, showing off our beautiful babies :), and eating good food! It felt amazing to be back on campus and brought back floods of memories. I like it that Josh and I have this yearly tradition and hope that we'll be able to continue it for many years to come! Who knows? Maybe the boys will end up at Vanderbilt (pray for athletic and/or academic scholarships!!! ha-ha) and we'll be coming up for Vanderbilt Homecoming and to visit our boys. Sigh...One thing that I adore about having these babies is that, while it feels like so much has already past in the 7 months that they've been here, we still have SO MUCH amazing life to experience with them! Vast amounts of laughs, fun, and growing up. I knew that I would love having children (that is honestly what I feel God has as my calling in life---wife/mommy), but I never imagined that they would just BLESS ME so much!

Back to Vandy.... that afternoon, we returned our little love muffins to their anxiously waiting Gigi and Papa and then headed BACK to campus to enjoy some time alone and attend the Vandy game! We had a fun time and got to meet up with more friends like sweet Lucie Burford and visit. The next morning was the boys' dedication and you all know how wonderful that was from my previous post... That weekend, JH really found his "squeal" and would just bounce in the jumperoo that their Gigi bought for up there and squeal and squeal.... so precious. Harrison also started slinging (for lack of a better way to say it) toys up and down... it is really cute and especially when he has a rattle in his crib and we'll hear him banging it on his mattress lol. That weekend they started wearing size 3 diapers during the day and overnight size 4 at night. They also tried banana for the first time and loved it! Up until that point, they had not eaten a huge volume of food, so they'd had some rice cereal and split a cube of food (the cubes are bigger than ice cubes). That was just all they were interested in eating and I knew they'd come around eventually and wasn't going to push more on them. They ate a whole cube together on 10/23/10 and have been increasing more since! On 10/25, they ate a whole cube (probably applesauce) and 1 whole banana!

10/25 both boys were army crawling (and maybe a little before that in their cribs, but I just really count it on the floor)

10/29 JH holding own bottle pretty well, esp if in little bottle

10/30 H started finding his paci on his own in his crib! Walked in this AM and he was just lying there, sucking on his paci like a sweet boy. Then, in 1st nap, when I went in to check on them, he was asleep with his paci in his mouth---that I didn't give him! So proud of these boys :)

10/30 The boys (esp JH) are getting in crawling position and are all over the place army crawling. H likes to push up on my hands to stand...big time. When he sees me sit on the floor, he'll cry and squirm over to me until I help him push up on me haha.

oct 30/31st----JH started crawling! Officially called it crawling on Monday when he'd gotten a little better. It's not a real classic "knee-hand" crawl... more of a both hands, both knees....inch worm crawl.
Aw man... that's so far, dad.
Miley is in trouble now! The boys, especially JH, have been into her, and now he can actually go get her!
H was doing some army crawling, too.

10/31 The boys' first Halloween! They were OBGYNs...aka: baby doctors... get the pun? haha anyways... they were SO CUTE in the baby scrub outfits that their Gigi had gotten them. They didn't trick or treat, but we did walk up and down the street some to say hi to neighbors and do a few house calls for the sick.
"Da da" with his "little men"
Dr. McPoopsalot
Dr. McDrooly
The Drs. Gamble

At the end of October, the boys had started to get a lot better at sitting up.... lol... but obviously weren't great at it yet haha...

It is driving me crazy that I've gotten behind on the blog. I'm sorry, y'all. School got VERY busy and that, along with my sweet boys, have kept me occupied and away from the blog. I promise I'll try to do better!