Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Baby Races!

Here is a video from when Evan and Jaden were about one month old. They would kick so much during tummy time that we learned they pushed off of things in the process. Thus, the beginning of baby races!

And of course, tummy time brings lots of crying, FYI!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Baby Jesus!

When a gal from church asked if one of the boys would be Jesus in the live nativity this past Sunday, I couldn’t say no. What an honor! After agreeing I found out that that would mean Nathan and I would play Joseph and Mary! We decided to make it a game-day decision on who would play the part of Jesus. It was nice going to church knowing that we an understudy for the part of baby Jesus.

Jaden had a fussy morning, so Evan played Baby Jesus. Jaden watched from the back and fell asleep during it:)

The boys reading their first Christmas book!

To watch part of the March to the Manger--it is at the end of the sermon:
(Anxiety to Acceptance 12-18-11) once it loads press play and scroll to 24 minutes.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Getting Ready for Christmas!

Ever since our tree went up (Thanks family for helping with that over Thanksgiving weekend!) the boys have loved to look at the lights on the tree. Lights and ceiling fans could keep the boys entertained for hours!

We are lucky that this year we do not have to travel over the holidays. Although the weather looks perfect for the long car ride. Nathan’s parents will be visiting over the Christmas weekend, and my family will come for New Year’s weekend. As we celebrate our first Christmas with the boys, I am interested to know what your family traditions are? From games to gifts to food, each family seems to have something special that they look forward to each year. Leave me a comment with your traditions, and/or what you do to make the Holidays a special time for kids!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Gift that Keeps on Giving.......


Yes. Again.

Mid November, at the end of our travels in South Dakota, Nathan got strep throat. So this is a hardy strain of strep. Three days later, I got it. And 5 days after my meds were gone (3 days after S.D. relatives left after Thanksgiving) I got it again. 3 days later, Nathan. 2 days later our friend and day care provider (who we did hang out with before Nathan knew he was getting it) got it. And now again, I tested positive, 5 days after my meds ran out……but trying to think of where I got it from----I was not really in contact with anyone this past weekend.

I share all of that and then note that our pediatrician tells us over and over that babies can’t get strep. Well, last week, Jaden developed a bad rash. It almost looked too gross to be called a ‘rash’…..but we’ll go with that! And the statin (antifungal) cream wasn’t doing anything. The day I found out I had strep again, I asked for an antibiotic for Jaden instead of the cream. He loves the amoxicillin and the day after he started the antibiotic, his rash is improving! Yeah! We are going to get more antibiotics for Evan – because if he doesn’t have this yet, he will!

There is still a mystery to our strep carrier. I have Lysoled and Cloroxed wiped everything down….three times. We don’t have a cat or a dog (I guess some can be carriers). The babies are the only true common thread in all three cases. Please post any other ideas you have regarding finding the carrier!

Luckily, Jaden and Evan have been sleeping well, eating well, and showing off their smiles!

Jaden: drinking his medicine like it's candy. I must say, it does smell pretty tasty!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Remembering an Amazing Mom

After finding out we were having twins, the first person I shared this with was my dear friend and colleague, Tricia Widner Johnson. She was someone I could trust, share dreams with, and gain insight about raising boys as she had three boys of her own. This past June she passed away unexpectedly. Turner Hall is just not the same without her. A month before she passed, she gave a baby gift to another colleague, Elizabeth, who had just had a baby boy. Elizabeth graciously gave me that gift which included this adorable plush elephant which chimes rock-a-bye baby. It brings tears to my eyes every time it plays. Today, December 9th, was Tricia’s birthday. I thought about her a lot today, and this elephant helps me remember her love for her family and what a wonderful mom she was.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy 3 Month Birthday!

Jaden and Evan: 3 Months



Cliché, but I cannot believe it has been three months!! So many changes in just the past month. Probably the biggest change is sleep!! Evan is now out of the car seat at night and is sleeping in his own crib. We have the mattress at a slight incline to hopefully help with any reflux. So far he has been doing really well at night. We have our routine down: In the evenings we feed them at 6, 8 and 10pm. I term it ‘front loading’! After feeding at 10pm, the boys fall asleep on their own while I pump and they do not wake until 5:30 or 6. Actually, Jaden is the one to wake first. And he’s not screaming hungry, he is just ready to play. He comes downstairs with me to get the bottles ready, make coffee for myself, and then we go back upstairs to wake Evan. After feeding them around 6, they both have been taking a morning nap in the same crib until they eat again around 9am and then we head to daycare. They love daycare and all their daycare buddies!! They don’t sleep much there, but I’m told they behave. Hopefully these sleep-filled nights continue!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Taking the Plunge!

Baptism Day

Sunday, November 27, 2011

This past Sunday Evan and Jaden were baptized at Calvary Methodist Church. Pastors Randy and Grant performed the baptism and our friend Michael Pitzer was able to sneak away from his duties with the high school Sunday school to hold the baptismal font. After being baptized, the pastors walked with each of them around the congregation while everyone sang “Jesus Loves Me.” It was truly a beautiful baptismal service.

Jaden and Evan's Godparents are Uncle Kyle & Aunt Rachel

and Aunt Laura respectively.

Evan loves moving his arms around - just can't sit still!

Honorary sponsors Jonah and Elliott. After meeting Evan and Jaden when they were just weeks old, Elliott was just certain he and Jonah were their Godparents! He even took their birth announcement for show-n-tell – too cute!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Likely the last second before a pacifier was warranted!

Happy Thanksgiving! So much to be thankful for this year……especially our two little miracles, Jaden and Evan. This weekend both sets of Grandparents and both of the boys’ Aunts and Uncle came to visit from South Dakota. It was great to have everyone here to celebrate Thanksgiving…..and to watch the boys while I shopped!

I made a gratitude tree for the table center piece, but had to make a rule that Nathan and I would write Evan and Jaden on a leaf and everyone else had to think of other things…….they argued that others things did not compare. How true! We are blessed!

We all went to the Turkey Trot Thursday morning!
The boys with their new bibs- ready for the race!!

Come on brother! Let's go play outside!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

What's in a Name?

Evan John and Jaden Edward.

Picking out names….what a big responsibility! For many years, we liked the name “Ethan.” But a couple years ago, many close family and friends also liked that name and named their boys Ethan. So Nathan gave it the twist, and Evan evolved and stuck as our ‘boy’ name. When we found out we were having two boys, it was a challenge to pick the second boy’s name. We could be all rhymey-rhymey like Fred and Ted or same first letters like Bob and Bill. But we decided we wanted two individual names. I searched on online lists of boy’s names. After coming up with a list of my top five, my first choice was Aiden. Nathan had a friend who’s girl is named Aiden, so he was not as certain. After some brainstorming, Jaden was decided.

The boys’ middle names are their Grandpas’ middle names. John for Grandpa Chris John Schumacher and Edward for Grandpa Al Edward Raeder. John is also Nathan’s middle name and Julie’s Grandpa Manus’ name. Without knowing it, we had selected initials ‘E’ and ‘J’ for both boys!

Today I couldn’t imagine Evan and Jaden being named anything else! The names are perfect!

These nutrition facts onesies were a gift from my dietetic interns – snips, snails, and puppy dog tails…….that’s what little boys are made of! Too cute!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wedding Weekend!

The boys have been such great travelers the past two weeks. With their Aunt Rachel getting married last Saturday, it was a big weekend! They got to meet so many second cousins, Great Aunts and Uncles, and take a four-generation picture with Great Grandma Remmele! Since Nathan and I were in the wedding party, the boys had their own personal attendants at the wedding….Aunt Laurie and Grandma Pam! Thanks to our friends Tyler & Michelle in Rochester, MN, we were able to split up the drive home. Again, the boys slept for most of the time in the car. The laundry and bottles were piled up this morning, but I think we are finally unpacked and back to our routine……if we ever really did have one!

Evan and Jaden
had to include both these pictures - their expressions change every second!
Thanks Nancy Slostad for the super-cute hats!

Jaden with Aunt Rachel

Four Generations

Evan and Jaden with their Grandparents

Evan, cuddling the morning after the wedding......
enjoying his first breakfast at Perkins!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Evan's Adventures with Grandma and Grandpa Raeder

“My name is Evan.” Grandpa Al has been teaching me to say that for the past week. My lips move when he talks, but nothing comes out yet. I just grunt back and forth with Jaden instead. We have been so lucky that for the past week we have been spoiled at Grandma Pam and Grandpa Al’s house. Jaden and I found out that if we just let go of our pacifiers, start to fuss a little, someone will come rushing to us and give us attention! It works so well if you ever want to be held and rocked. I hope it works next week, too, with Mom and Dad.

Grandma and Grandpa made sure we got our exercise in every day. Tummy time was a game they liked to play. It’s a lot of work, though. Jaden does a better job at moving his head up and side to side on his tummy. But I win every time we kick and push off Grandpa’s hands. Pretty sure I am going to be faster than Jaden when we start running!

Jaden was often last-picked to be fed because he is a really slow eater. Grandma Pam was really good at multi-tasking when feeding him. Jaden liked to help her read the newspaper. I spit up a little after eating, so everyone was really cautious with me. I got extra cuddle time to make sure I stayed upright after I ate.

My favorite part of the day was when Grandpa read to me! We read Bubbles Bubbles like 10 times every day and the animal book. The animal book took a lot longer to read than when Mom reads it because Grandpa would tell me a story about every animal as he turned the page. He thinks that maybe someday me and my brother could have our very own rabbit, because daddy probably won’t let us get a doggy. Jaden got to read the books, too, but he fell asleep during story time whereas I would mouth the words with Grandpa. Can’t wait til I can read to him!

We had such a fun time at Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Watertown. They kept it so nice and warm for us, and if we were ever upstairs, Grandpa made sure we had blankets to keep us warm. Looking forward to having them visit us for Thanksgiving. Today we are off to visit Grandma and Grandpa Schumacher in Volga. Aunt Rachel is getting married on Saturday. I bet we’ll have to get all dressed up and take more pictures for Mom!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Cow Says Mooo!

Evan is sleeping again…’s opposite day today! But I have to tell you about our adventures at the farm! Mom got to ride the 4-wheeler out to the pasture where all the baby cows and their moms were. She found my baby cow #075, but not Evans, #26.

This is mom’s cow which has a silly upside-down ‘J’ on it’s head!

Grandpa took us to see the John Deere tractor. It was soooo much bigger than it looks in my farm book back home.

Then we got to sit in the 4-wheeler, too! When Evan and I can sit up by ourselves, that will be so fun to ride around the pasture in. I suppose we’ll have to take turns driving it.

We got to see the kitty cats too. We counted 7 of them. Evan and I stayed nice and warm with our fleece jackets that Aunt Laurie got us. We can’t wait to go back in the summer!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Jaden's South Dakota Adventures

My brother and I finally made it to this far away land called South Dakota. I don’t remember the 710 mile drive to Grandma and Grandpa’s house because I slept for all of it and Evan was up for just 30 miles. I am guessing in another 2 years that drive is going to seem very very long!

Aunt Laurie came to stay the weekend with us and I made sure to get up really really early so mom would have to bring me upstairs so I could make coffee with Aunt Laurie and enjoy lots of attention. She watched us all day Saturday and I made sure Evan and I were really good while mom was in Sioux Falls.

Sunday was a busy day. We got to see our friend Grant again and his parents. Also we met Heather and we can’t wait for her to visit us in just two weeks! We got to meet Ethan too in church. Looking forward to playing with him and Grant next summer.

In the afternoon Great Aunt Bondell and Great Uncle Chuck came to meet us. Evan and I decided to switch rolls a little this week so he slept almost the entire time during their visit and then I was the fussy one at night! Kind of fun to get all that extra evening attention!

Although our friend Nora didn’t want to play with boys, she did come over to meet us and got to ride in a red wagon all the way from her Grandma and Grandpa’s house on the other side of Harper Park. We walked with Nora and her sister Madeline to Lincoln Park. Can’t wait until Evan and I are old enough to play there. The side-by-side slides look like so much fun. I am sure I could beat Evan down them!

Looking forward to more South Dakota adventures this week! I heard we may even get to meet the cows!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

2 Month Birthday!

Evan & Jaden turn 2 months old!



This month was filled with lots of visitors which made the weeks go so fast!! Everyday I could tell the boys were growing and filling out their newborn outfits. They interact with us and each other more and more. Sleeping well at night has also been a big improvement during month two. They sleep for longer stretches, do a great job of putting themselves back to sleep (unless they have company to impress by staying up!), and they are awake a lot more during the day.....especially Evan:)

Monday, October 31, 2011


The boys played a little dress up game as we were finding outfits for
them to wear on Halloween. I think we had more fun than they did:)

One option: Peanut M & M's!

Another Option: Freeport Pretzels
(Mascot from my mom's hometown)

We opted for the Halloween onesies which you can see Evan was very fond of!!!

While Evan had a little fussy time at the end of Halloween,
Jaden took advantage and snuck some of his brother's candy! Shhhhh!

3 little pumpkins!! Jaden, Mason, and Evan.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Survivor: Schumacher Island Edition

Ashley masters two at a time!

Travel buddies Grant and Jenny, Julie with Evan and Ashley with sleepy Jaden.

Guest writer, Ashley Bennett Ewald, shares her experience after surviving a weekend at our house.

It's been almost a week since I got to experience life with twins, and truth be told, I am *still recovering.* The care and feeding of twins is not for wimps. Frankly, it's not even for regular humans. I'm convinced Julie either has super powers or a secret caffeine IV-drip.

I arrived late on a Friday night, and since the flight was late, I knew I had already cut into Julie's precious sleep time. Julie was completely relaxed about it, and handed me a baby as soon as I walked in the door. It was Jaden, whom she dubbed the "easy one." He snoozed in my arms, and I thought, "hmm, this won't be so bad." He promptly peed on me (and himself) while I tried to change his diaper. I noticed that after that debacle, Julie did the rest of the diapers. Still, I was not about to be deterred. I gave Jaden his pre-bed bottle and managed to successfully burp him (beginner's luck). Meanwhile, Julie got Evan fed, she pumped, and we were all in our respective beds, cribs, or carseats (Evan has to sleep on an incline) by 12:30/1 a.m.ish. Three and a half short hours later, Julie and I were up again feeding the boys for round 2. Jaden is the slowwwwest eater, while Evan wolfs down his bottles. Since Jaden ate so slowly, I stayed up a bit longer rocking him to sleep (Evan was already in dreamland). I realized at this point that I had become a contestant on Survivor: Schumacher Twins Edition. I insisted I was "in it to win it" and decided that to do that, I just needed to outlast the baby. (Outwitting and outplaying weren't viable options at that hour.) Easier said than done, especially in a very comfy glider chair in the middle of the night. I prevailed and was back to sleep by 5:10 a.m.

Little did I know that Jaden was just lulling me into a false sense of security, as he woke up again at 6:30 a.m., or at least, I think he did. . . I may have just been delirious. When I got to the nursery, both babies acted like they were sound asleep. "Which one of you is crying in here?" I said before realizing that the monitor was on, and I probably shouldn't be vocalizing my early morning thoughts lest Julie think I'm crazy. Jaden did stir a bit, so I grabbed him before he could wake up his brother. We rocked for awhile, and I was back to sleep by 7:20 a.m. but up again minutes later when my travel buddy and her 7 month old came in to say good morning. They are lucky they are cute, that's all I have to say about that. A few minutes later, Julie was up and at 'em, looking bright eyed and bushy tailed as my grandmas would say. Not only was she totally coherent, she actually made us caramel rolls for breakfast. Leave it to her to be an incredible hostess while simultaneously mothering 7 week old babies!

Saturday went well, and we got to visit with old friends both in person and via video during our baby shower for the boys. Evan would not sleep (but wasn't fussy either -- just wide awake). I kept looking at him and saying, "How are you awake right now???" because I felt like I might collapse at any moment. After the shower was over, we all got second winds and went for a gorgeous autumn walk, which caused the boys to fall asleep in their stroller and snooze right through the grown ups' dinners. When they woke up, Julie and Nathan helped the twins demonstrate an awesome feat of twin strength known as Baby Racing. I'm not going to divulge the details, because you really have to see it to believe it. I'm hoping Julie will post a video of this phenomenon soon. I can say that Evan totally smoked Jaden (lapped him, actually), which is impressive considering Jaden must be 20% bigger. Then again, he has a lot more weight to haul around, while Evan is a lean, mean fighting machine. Plus, Evan is just awake more, so he probably learns a lot of tricks while Jaden is out cold.

The 10 p.m. feeding went well (I got to feed both babies at the same time and managed not to cause any permanent damage), and I was in bed by 11:30 p.m. or so. The next thing I knew, it was 3:30 a.m. I had totally slept through the 1 a.m. feeding and forfeited the game! Noooo! Those boys are sure lucky their mama was there to prevent them from starving. As it turned out, Jaden had been up for the past couple hours, so Julie and he had hung out downstairs (couch and swing respectively). I did manage to feed both babies at the same time again and get them to sleep by 4:30. As I rocked them, I noticed first Evan and then Jaden smile in their sleep. When they did that, I felt like I was in that scene in the Grinch Who Stole Christmas where the Grinch's heart grows three sizes. Those two little smiles just made me melt. But it was too late. . . I'd missed a feeding and been voted off the island. My flame was extinguished, and as I boarded the plane for my early morning flight home, I realized three things:

1) I was nauseous -- physically ill, people -- from lack of sleep;

2) Those babies sure are cute and cuddly. It's hard to believe, so you will just have to take my word for it that they are even cuter in person than in their photos; and

3) Julie might actually be a robot. At every feeding time, she has to change both babies, get their bottles warmed up, feed and burp them both, get them both back to sleep, and then pump and store more milk for next time. Seriously, she's a machine, and in fact, I'd be convinced of that except that I've known her since kindergarten (I can actually remember what she looked like when she was only 5 years older than Evan and Jaden -- freaky!). Seeing her as a mom is extremely cool and a touch surreal. She is relaxed yet super organized, calm but very loving, and even better (and what surprised me most), she is still the same Julie. She hasn't let motherhood make her grouchy or obsessed or paranoid or any of the things I assumed it would do (and have witnessed it do to others). She still has a great sense of humor, finds time to work out and do her hair and makeup, meal plan, answer students' emails and teach a class. . . I could keep going and going. Of course, she also has an awesome co-parent in Nathan, who is a master bottle washer, baby whisperer, and chef.

I feel very lucky to have met the twins while they are still so brand new, and I'm grateful that Julie and Nathan let me get a tiny taste of what their lives are like every day. I'm also grateful that I get to sleep for 8 hours straight tonight, but let's keep that between us, ok?