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?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Daycare Buddies!

We got to hang out with our new daycare friend, Mason, who is exactly one week older than us. Our moms thought we needed a picture of all of us together.....

We were content when the photo shoot started and we had our pacifiers........

Ooops! Then we lost our pacifiers! Help, Mom!

Seriously, Mom! How much longer?!

Likely our better side and best picture:)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekend with Friends

Evan & Jaden's After-the-Babies-are-born Babies Shower!
We skyped friends Monica, Anne, Heather and Amber!
Laura, Kristin, Jaden, Jenny, Grant, Ashley, Evan, Julie

Grant: 7 months, Jaden: 7 Weeks!

SOooo tired after such a fun weekend!

The weekend went too fast!! Evan and Jaden got to meet their 7 month old friend Grant who flew in with mom, Jenny, and friend, Ashley, from Minneapolis. The boys got spoiled being held on Saturday by my four friends that were here as we video chatted for a virtual baby shower with some other friends – most all of us have known each other since kindergarten! What a fun Saturday afternoon! Evan and Jaden didn’t sleep the best at night as I think they just sensed that Ashley would graciously hold them if they squirm and grunt a little!! It was nice to have the extra set of hands at night!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Barium in a Bottle

Waiting for our friends from Minneapolis......wish the plane wasn't delayed!

Evan.....not to sure about that barium solution, waiting for some real food!

Jaden - exhausted after playing with Mason and Maddox all morning! Thanks, Lauren!

Today Evan had an upper GI x-ray done because of excessive spitting up–including hours after eating. He did a great job during the whole procedure! He had to drink white barium liquid from a bottle while lying on the x-ray table. He chomped on that bottle of barium like it was candy! Then the radiologist turned him from side to side and watched the liquid. The barium passed easily through to the small intestine, so our fear that he may have pyloric stenosis (narrowing of the sphincter that connects the stomach to small intestine) was ruled out! However, we did then watch as the barium solution went the other direction---up the esophagus… he officially has reflux. We’ll keep doing what we have been by trying to keep him upright as much as possible. Jaden doesn’t spit up at all… it’s quite the contrast!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

6-Week Weigh-In

Jaden and Evan

Jaden - 6 weeks going on 16.........thinks he can 'hold' his own bottle:)

We know the routine....if we kick and scream enough, we'll get fed!!

The boys had their weight checked this week and both are growing right on target for catch up growth. Jaden (AKA Chunky Monkey) weighs 6 pounds 12 ounces and Evan (AKA Little Dude) weighs 5 pounds 11 ounces. We will continue to fortify breast milk (increasing the calorie density from standard 20 kcals/ounce to 24 kcals/ounce) for at least 1 more month.

I had a busy week with dentist and eye appointments, conference calls with students, and a recruitment presentation at Bradley University…..none of which would have been possible without amazing friends and family to help watch the boys at random times throughout the week!! I am looking forward to catching up on sleep after the homecoming festivities this weekend!

Newborn Pictures



Evan - during one of the brief 5 minute spans that he actually did sleep during the photo shoot!

Photos taken by Jen Lavazza Photography

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Adventures with Aunt Laurie!

Cookies for dinner!! Aunt Laurie is in charge!!

Hi. I'm Jaden. I am 5 weeks old and I think naps are for babies and since they call me 'Big Dude' - I'm done with naps!!

Evan's cuddle time! Trying to convince Aunt Laurie to move to Illinois!

We were all so excited to finally have Aunt Laurie come to visit!! The boys picked her up at the airport with a sign, and she had one on-the-job-training with a feeding before I left for an afternoon of faculty meetings. She did awesome with feeding two at a time! The boys were so good on Friday…even during their ‘crabby time’ in the evening, It seems like whenever we have people visiting the boys are angels, but we are not making up this crabby time:)

We had a busy day Saturday with a 5K race in the morning which the boys were supportive spectators. Then Laurie was in charge from 1pm on as we had a baby shower and a wedding to attend. Jaden did not nap much in the afternoon and Evan showed off his evening crabby time. Needless to say, Aunt Laurie never got to nap. I think I heard her say she was exhausted after just 24 hours at our house!

The boys got lots of snuggle time with their Aunt and she figured out some tricks…..although instinct is to rock or sway with a baby, Evan just wants to be held tight and to be still. Talking and singing also helps. Luckily the boys can’t tell that their mom and Aunt are a little flat when they sing! Jaden likes movement, so the swing comes in handy often. The night went very well last night and now we are getting ready to venture to church.

Thank, Aunt Laurie for all of the attention!! The boys will work on their letters, numbers and colors for next time:)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Happy 1 Month Birthday!!

Evan and Jaden turn 1 month old!



One month………wow has this month gone fast!! When I look at the boys and changes this month – there is the obvious: the boys are growing! Each has gained at least a pound. They are eating more, and sleeping less. Jaden has graduated to Newborn diapers and Evan can sit in his car seat. They are mastering tummy time and enjoy having books read to them….their favorite is Bubbles Bubbles. They also have gone on many walks, tailgated at an ISU game, and slept soundly during the sermon at church.

They are becoming more and more active…..I am looking forward to what month#2 brings.