Saturday, December 29, 2012

Phoebe and Piper's 1st Christmas

This year our growing family kicked off Christmas by spending Christmas Eve at one of our favorite places...Saddleback Rancho Capistrano!  It was a LONG day for both Piper and Phoebe but I have to say they were such troopers.  Thank goodness for our amazing church family who stepped up in a major way to help me take care of both girls while daddy was working very, very hard.


Christmas morning this year was very mellow.  James and I fed the babies as usual and then they took their morning nap while I made us breakfast.  We both laughed as we ate together thinking that this is the last year we will have a peaceful Christmas morning breakfast!

I just had to make James and Mickey pancake...his favorite!
After morning nap time was done James and I got the girls up and it was time to open presents.  It was so funny to watch the girls try to rip the paper off of the packages.  Once we helped them all they wanted to do was play with the wrapping paper and not the toys.  Both girls LOVED the green crinkly paper that their Nonie used in some of the gifts to them.  They would not stop fighting over it.


That afternoon James and I packed up the car (it is amazing how many things two babies need) and headed over to my parents house to celebrate Christmas with my mom, dad, two sisters and two brother in laws.  We had a great time as always!  The food was amazing and Piper and Phoebe got spoiled beyond belief.  I don't know who had more fun opening up and playing with the toys, James and I or the girls?!?


We also got some great news from my sister Natalie and her husband Mike (who currently live in Maryland and were visiting with their dog Tank for Christmas). Mike got a job out here in California so they will be moving back home very, very soon!  We were all thrilled and can't wait to have them home.  I think James is especially excited to have his new best buddy Tank close by!


This Christmas was filled with so many wonderful firsts and blessings.  I can hardly wait to see what next year has in store for all of us!

Cousin Time

This Christmas was a very special one in my family because we have four new additions...Jayden, Cash, Piper and Phoebe.  My Auntie Margie was awesome enough to host us all for lunch at her house.   It was always a tradition in my family to get dressed up on Christmas Eve and take a TON of pictures.  Although a lot has changed over the years the picture taking part of my mom and her sisters has remained the same.  My mom and aunts had the brilliant idea to take all the cousins pictures.  Here's a few.... (I don't think the babies were too happy about it all).

Phoebe, Cash, Jayden and Piper are all tired of the grammies taking pictures!


After picture time the cousins did get some play time in which I think they enjoyed a lot more!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Family Photo Shoot


For Christmas this year my sisters and I decided to get my parents a photo session with a professional photographer.  The last time we took family photos was years and years ago.  I think I was even sporting my 80's teased out bangs in the pictures...not a good look for me! :-)  With this idea in mind Hillarie set up a session with a super great photographer Lauren Scotti (check out her stuff, its awesome http://laurenscotti.com/).  My mom and dad chose San Juan Capistrano for our back drop.

The morning of the shoot I was up at the crack of dawn so I could get myself ready before it was time to get Piper and Phoebe ready.  I was very grateful that the sun was out that morning but amazed at how cold it was.  My car showed that it was a chilly 45 degree's outside..BRRRRRRRRR!  Despite the cold we had a great time.

Lauren has posted two pictures from our day so far and I can hardly wait to see the rest!  I think I know who will be taking the babies 1 year old pictures for us in May...WAHOO!!!






Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Happy 7 Months!

With so many firsts yesterday (first trip to Dana Point Harbor, first picture with Santa) I almost forgot to take Piper and Phoebe's 7 month old picture.  James and I can hardly believe our little miracles are already 7 months old.  They bring so much happiness and joy to our lives.  Since it is Christmas time I can't help but think that they are the greatest gifts we have ever received.  Thank you God for our babies!

Piper was ready to smile however, Phoebe wanted to play/eat her sticker instead of smiling for the picture! 

Both girls are growing so fast!  Phoebe is in love with solid foods.  Each new food she tries she gobbles up no problem.  Piper on the other hand takes a little longer and requires some convincing that the food I am giving her in fact is yummy. ;-)

Piper and Phoebe both love to play and play and play.  They are rolling all over the place and I think are getting pretty close to start the crawling phase.  I am excited to see this happened but scared at the same time because that means baby gates everywhere and a TON of baby proofing.  Not sure if James and I are ready for this yet.  I don't think we have a say in it all so we better get ready no matter what!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Fun-Day!




Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Fun-Day!

Today I decided that I am going to start something new on my blog that I am going to call....Monday Fun-Day!  This idea came from my friend Holly's blog (she does wordless Wednesday's).  Since Monday's are our family days I'm going to post pictures of our family adventures with no writing.  I am very excited and am hopeful I will not miss a Monday. :-)





Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rice Cereal, Oatmeal & Peas



I have honestly been so excited since the doctor told me I could give Piper and Phoebe rice cereal.  I have googled it, looked at a TON of websites and finally settled on a recipe that I thought was best.  After searching several different grocery stores to find short grained organic brown rice I was finally ready to go.  I followed the directions of the recipe very closely (even though it is the easiest thing on earth to make) as I wanted to get it just right for my sweet girls.  I mixed the cereal with some formal, a familiar taste for them, and got set to go.

Both girls were less than thrilled about their rice cereal experience.  Piper was more interested in smiling at her daddy and I thought Phoebe was going to gag up the cereal several times.  Don't worry, I am not going to give up.  We will keep trying a little bit every day.  I will not give up! :-)

I have been trying to post the videos of the girls trying the rice cereal and it will not upload because the videos are too long. :-(

So I tried the rice cereal for several days and each time Piper and Phoebe did not like it.  Tonight (per recommendation from a couple mommy friends) I decided to try organic oatmeal instead.  I am happy to say that Phoebe really liked the oatmeal and Piper thought it was just ok.


Since rice cereal and oatmeal were not a huge hit for Piper I decided that I needed to try some veggies.  I am really trying hard to find something that my sweet little Piper will like.  When we were little and having dinner at Auntie Margie's house she always told us, "Eat your peas!"  That is one of my sister Hillarie's fondest memories of hanging out at Auntie Margie's.  I think it is funny!

video

I bought some organic frozen peas and busted out my super cool Baby Breeza!  I LOVED using the Breeza.  It was super easy.  Above are some short videos of the girls trying peas for the first time.  Just like with the other foods, Phoebe liked the peas and Piper did not.  I am not going to give up with Piper, I am determined to find food she will like!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!


Today was Piper and Phoebe's very first Thanksgiving.  In honor of the special day Grammie made the girls adorable onesies and matching head bands.  They looked SO cute!!  James and I had a great meal and afternoon with my mom and dad.  The food was amazing as always and so was the company.  This was the first holiday that we had that was so quiet and mellow.  We missed both of my sisters, my brother in law Mikey and of course my grandma.  This was our first holiday without gram.  It was hard/sad not having her at the house with us.  I just keep having to remind myself she is in a much better place.

    



I really enjoy Thanksgiving, not only for the food but because it reminds me to stop and remember how truly blessed I am.  This year in particular I am thankful for my health and the health of my family, the addition of Piper and Phoebe (our two little miracles), for being able to share a contract with an amazing teacher and of course my family, my church family and my friends.

Now that Thanksgiving is over I can officially get into the Christmas spirit which makes James SO very happy.  He has already been begging me to listen to Christmas music.  I love how he loves Christmas!  


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

6 Month Visit to the Doctor


Today was Phoebe and Piper's 6 month old doctor appointment.  Dr. Ball was booked up for months so we saw Dr. Roberts.  She was great!  Very patient and understanding despite all of our questions.  James and I were excited and nervous for this day.  We were excited to see how much the girls weighed and find out if they could start on solid foods, but nervous/sad about the shots.  No matter how many times we go to the doctor the cry that the babies give when they get their shots still brings tears to my eyes.  Thank goodness for brave James.  He watches the shots and then hands me a baby to comfort when it is all over with.  With flu season approaching we had to decide if we wanted the babies to have the flu shot and also if James and I wanted to get the flu shot.  James and I are total needle wimps but after talking to the doctor we decided that we would get family flu shots today...oh goodie!

On the bright side here is a quick update on Piper and Phoebe:

Piper-- 12 pounds 14.5 ounces, 23 1/4 inches long
Phoebe-- 12 pounds 9.5 ounces, 23 1/4 inches long

Dr. Roberts was very pleased with both girls growth and development.  The most exciting part of the visit was the doctor gave us the ok for Phoebe and Piper to start solid foods.  Just recently both girls will wake up every time James and I eat and want to be around us and our food.  No more peaceful dinners out for James and I where the babies sleep quietly in their stroller.  To get ready for this new milestone I am going to google rice cereal recipes and get to work on making it ASAP.  I am so excited I can hardly stand it.  I promise James and I will try to get some good photos of the babies first food experience and post them on the blog soon.




Saturday, November 17, 2012

Happy 1/2 Birthday!


I can hardly believe that my sweet little angels are 6 months old today!!!  They are growing, learning and teaching me so much each and every day.  When James and I think back we can not even imagine our lives with out Piper and Phoebe in them.  Even though they have only been with us for 6 short months it feels like forever.

Piper has become quit the little entertainer like her Daddy.  She loves to smile, laugh and play with her voice.  I swear she thinks she is Tarzan sometimes.  She gets her voice so loud you could probably hear her a mile away! :-)  Piper also loves to roll over.  It is amazing how far she can travel in her crib each night.  I never know what I am going to see when I go into her room in the morning.


Phoebe loves to think and analyze EVERYTHING!  She will grab onto her toys and hold on so tightly.  Most recently Phoebe has just started to play with our faces when we are close to her.  It melts my heart every time.  Phoebe is a hard core thumb sucker and she can not live with out her softie (blanket).  She sucks her thumb and rubs her softie just like I did when I was little.

Phoebe LOVES to blow raspberries
Piper LOVES to stick out her tongue 
Both girls are so different and I love that about them.  I can not wait to celebrate their individuality as they grow!
Here's a photo for Daddy without the hair bows!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gigi


Today we lost an amazing woman, mom, grandma, great-grandma and yes she was even a great-great grandma.  Clarice June Moersch went to be with Jesus this morning at 12:15 am.  I will miss her deeply and recall of all the fun times we had together over the years.  Despite my sadness and heavy heart I am thrilled for her because I know she is up in heaven right now with papa looking down on us smiling, free of pain and suffering.

My gram was an amazing woman.  She was a mom to 5 beautiful daughters, 13 grandchildren, 12 great - grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.  When I was a little girl my gram watched me when my parents went to work.  I LOVED the time I got to spend with her making Jello, playing with her toes (yes I was an odd child), taking trips to the German market and so many other things that would be too long to list.

My Gram was seriously the strongest woman I have ever encountered.  She survived stage 4 melanoma, bladder cancer, and congestive heart failure.  Thanks to amazing doctors and her iron will to live and survive my gram, a woman who was not supposed to live past the age of 65 (due to her congestive heart failure) lived 94 wonderful years.

I am so very grateful that gram was able to meet and spend quality time with my sweet angels, Piper and Phoebe.  We have wonderful pictures and videos of them together that I can not wait to share with my girls when they are older.  Each time gram held Piper or Phoebe it was a true gift.  She had an amazing way with my babies.  They loved their Gigi and would fall fast asleep in her arms as she was sing, talk to them and tell them stories.


As my gram's health was failing over the past few weeks I was able to bring Piper and Phoebe over to her apartment almost everyday.  Right when gram saw me she would immediately ask, "Where are those babies?"  I loved to hear her say those words and I loved how much joy my girls brought to her.  I will always cherish the memories I have made with gram, my mom, my sisters, my cousins and my aunts over the last few weeks.  What a gift we were all given!!

I know this is not a good-bye gram but a see you later.  My gram will always be in my heart and her namesake will be carried on in our little Phoebe June.






Baby Care Center


Thanks to my friend Holly our weekly visits to Disneyland have become SOOO much nicer.  She clued me in on an awesome service/room that both Disneyland and California Adventure offer to its park guests.  This amazing service/room I am talking about is the Baby Care Center.  Inside the Baby Care Center are HUGE changing tables, a private nursing room for mommies and babies only, a microwave, filtered water, high chairs, toddler potties, a coloring table and a selection of baby items you can purchase such as formula and diapers (mommy must haves).  Apparently, this room has been open in Disneyland from the very first day the park opened.  I personally think Walt was far ahead of his time and a genius for setting up this room.

James and I had to take a picture with baby Walt Disney

Monday, October 29, 2012

Disneyland Sunday


After church on Sunday James and I decided to make our 2nd family trip up to Disneyland with Piper and Phoebe (even though we were both exhausted from a crazy busy day).   After getting all of the baby stuff in the car we were off.

It was a very warm night up in Anaheim and the babies did not need to wear their ears until the very end of the night.  We started our visit off by riding Pirates of the Caribbean with some of our awesome Rancho Capistrano friends, the McKinley's.  It was so nice to spend some time with them at Disneyland.  Even though the babies slept through most of the ride I think they enjoyed it. ;-)

At Dinner Piper was playing with mommy's Minnie ears

After our ride James was starving and so were the girls.  We stopped to feed daddy and give the girls their late night dinner.  Then it was off to Finding Nemo.  James and I were shocked that there was hardly a wait for this very popular ride.  We could not pass up this opportunity.  Phoebe slept through the whole entire ride.  Piper decided that she had to get in on the action.  She started fussing big time. No patting or shushing could get her to stop.  James finally took her out of the carrier and turned her around so she could see the ride.  As soon as she was free to see Piper stopped crying.  It was so awesome to see Piper enjoying the ride.  James and I both agree that Phoebe and Piper will like this ride a lot as they grow.

Piper waiting in a very short line for Nemo

After two rides and a long day mommy and daddy were ready to head home.  We did a little window shopping and then headed home.  It was another awesome night at the Happiest Place on Earth.  I have a feeling we will be back again real soon!

Happy Baby

Piper has found her little toes!!!  She loves performing a one handed "happy baby" pose.  I think she is getting ready to do yoga with her Auntie Hillie-Bear!



Also, Piper has started really belly laughing.  Hearing and watching her laugh makes my heart soar.  I seriously tear up each and every time I hear or see her laughing.

video

Phoebe and Piper are truly a blessing to our lives.  I look at them each day and am in awe that God trusted James and I to care for them.  I love my babies and I LOVE being a mommy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

USC Kick Study--Part 2

On Monday my dear friend Erin and I took Phoebe and Piper up to the USC Health Sciences Campus to participate in the 2nd part of a kick study being conducted by a PhD student there (the first part of the study was done when the girls were 1 month old, according to their gestational age).  She was measuring how much force babies exert when they kick.  The information she is gathering will hopefully help her to find ways to give early interventions for babies with Cerebral Palsy.

Both girls were so good during the study!  They didn't even mind all the straps and other things that were connected to them.  After the kick study the girls were weighed and measure (my favorite part because I like to see how BIG they are getting).  Piper is now 12 pounds 2.6 ounces and Phoebe is close behind her at 11 pounds 13 ounces.  Both girls were about 23 inches long.

Phoebe enjoying being weighed

After the girls were sized Barbara conducted a quick check on their developmental skills.  Both girls performed great!



I really enjoyed have Phoebe and Piper be a part of this study and was so excited to help out our favorite college, and Piper and Phoebe's future alma mater! 

Piper and Phoebe's 1st Trip to Disneyland

On Sunday night James and I decided to take an impromptu visit to Disneyland.  We have been wanting to take the babies for a long time now but felt it was just too hot and they we were also waiting for them to get a little bit bigger.  Well since the weather cooled down a bit and the babies are bigger we thought, why not go tonight!  We packed the car with all of our baby gear, including our new Ergo baby carriers, and hit the road.  James and I could not wait to get to Disneyland to see all of the Halloween decorations and enjoy an evening of fun together.

As soon as we parked the car and got out I made James take a picture of Phoebe and I near the Mickey parking sign.  Not only was this the girls first time at Disneyland but it was their first time riding in the baby carrier too.


Even the tram ride to the park was exciting.  Both girls were wide eyed, taking in all their surroundings.  I loved imagining what was going through their little heads as we traveled towards the Happiest Place on Earth.

Once inside the park James and I were on a mission to find Phoebe and Piper their very first pair of Minnie ears.  I was thrilled when I found these adorable pink ears.  I have a feeling we will get good use out of these this winter.  We also decided it would be a fun tradition to get the girls a new pair of ears each year at this time.


The night air was perfect, not too hot and not too cold.  James was thrilled that he did not even need to wear the jacket he brought.  After walking around Main Street for a bit we headed over to the Haunted Mansion (all done up in A Night Before Christmas for the holidays), Piper and Phoebe's very first ride at Disneyland.  The wait was shorter then we thought and before we knew it we were jumping aboard our "Doom Buggy".


After the Haunted Mansion we headed over to the Pooh Bear ride.  I knew this ride would not have a wait at all and I was right.  We hopped right on and Phoebe even woke up a little bit during the ride to look around at all the bright colors.

Our trip ended with mommy and daddy buying themselves some yummy treats and then we were back on the tram and headed home.  Even though our trip was brief it was SO much fun!  I can hardly wait to tell Piper and Phoebe all about their very first trip to Disneyland and show them pictures when they are older.

Piper checking things out with Daddy