Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spaghetti Time!

One of the girls' favorite meals is spaghetti...not the canned kind, but good, old-fashioned homemade spaghetti with meat sauce. In fact, they love any kind of ground meat dish - lasagna, tacos, I try to plan one meal a week with ground meat so they can have all the leftovers. I think spaghetti was one of the first real "meals" I ever fed them, and they would just nearly gorge themselves on it if I let them. It's funny to watch how differently they approach their trays of spaghetti - Caroline picks up one noodle at a time, and delicately places it into her mouth. The mound of spaghetti doesn't take much of a dent at this rate!
I usually have to get out the fork and help her get a little more in each mouthful or we'd all be sitting around for hours eating spaghetti!

Claire, on the other hand, picks up fistfuls of spaghetti and stuffs it into her mouth. The bib does nothing much, it's mostly a decoration while eating spaghetti!

Claire will have noodles down her arm, but that doesn't stop her! She just goes ahead and licks her arm - no sweat!
However she can get the most spaghetti into her mouth at one time, she will. No time wasted here!

I love me some spaghetti!

Friday, March 25, 2011

In Her Own Words...

Claire shares about her accident last weekend (excuse my incessant questioning!)...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Baby Dolly

The girls' favorite toy/sleep friend is their "Dolly," a German plush doll with a rattle inside, but the attraction of this doll is her braids. They LOVE to carry her around by the braid and then they wrap the braid around their finger and suck their thumb to go to sleep. Usually I keep Dolly in their cribs, but when I get Dolly out, they love carrying her around. Since Claire had a rough weekend, I've been a little indulgent and have let her carry Dolly around all week.

Caroline was such a good sister that she, too, has gotten to carry around her Dolly all week. They are exactly the same, but I put a black dot on Caroline's to tell them apart.

Since the girls have turned 14 months, I have noticed a big change in their abilities and personalities, and even more of an inclination to start playing with each other. Now that they are mobile, this corner of the house is their favorite place to play. They go around this corner and hide and squeal when the other pokes her head around. If I'm on the computer and one of them spots me, she screams and starts laughing and gives away her position.

Yesterday, I turned around for maybe 3 minutes to reply to an email, and when I turned back around, the sweet sisters had decided to do a little cleaning for me using the wipes.

Huh? There's nothing going on here...

We're still keeping Claire in close proximity, but happy to report that she's doing very well this week. It will just take some time for all of us to adjust to letting her get back to normal.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Not Your Typical Sunday

This past Sunday, right after feeding the girls their lunch, Paul and I decided to eat later, so like we always do, we strapped Claire into her booster seat. These seats are very secure - as you can see, attached to the chair in two places, and they have the option of either having the tray attached, or just using the adult table as the eating surface. No differently then usual, we took the tray off and scooted Claire right up to the table to sit with us while we ate.

Not five seconds later, as I was going outside to get Caroline to put her in her chair, and as Paul was finishing putting together his sandwich, we both hear a loud crash, and immediately in the back of my mind, I instinctively knew what had happened, though hoping it was not so. I ran back into the house just as Paul was running towards Claire, only to find that Claire had pushed off the edge of the table and completely toppled herself strapped into the chair backwards onto the tile. When we raced in, we see the chair like this, only with Claire in it and her head resting on the tile. We do believe that the seat saved her life because had she fallen out of it without being strapped in, she may have hurt her neck or spinal cord.

Thankfully, she began screaming, but about five minutes later, became limp and turned white. At that point, I began racing out to the car as Paul loaded up Caroline. We raced to the nearest ER, but the drive there was the worst part of the day. Claire kept fading in and out of consciousness, and I thought many times that we were losing her. Once we finally arrived at the ER, they checked her over and did a CT scan on her head. After a few minutes, the doctor peeked into our room to let us know that she had indeed fractured her skull and an ambulance was going to take her to Texas Children's in the Medical Center.
Obviously I didn't have (or really want) my camera at this point, but the saddest and scariest thing I've ever seen was my own daughter sitting in her car seat strapped to a stretcher being loaded into an ambulance. That is NOT a sight I ever want to see again. I rode with her, nearly throwing up myself because I was so upset and nauseated, and we finally arrived at the hospital.
After a while of waiting and seeing the ER doctor, we finally saw the neurologist, only to have him tell us that the fracture was very tiny and she would be just fine. He said that it takes about 2-3 months to heal, so we have to be very careful with her while it's healing, but told us we could go home that night. I was paranoid to have her sleep that night because I didn't want her slipping into unconsciousness again, but God saw her through the night and we all woke up much happier.
Claire is doing very well now - it doesn't seem like anything even happened, and she's not even fazed by sitting in her chair again. She has a nice bump on the back left side of her head, but there is no bleeding or even bruising at this time.
We are so thankful for our Claire - there is nothing like a hospital visit to the ER to put your priorities into perspective. I thank God for my girls every day, but now, I'm more thankful than ever. Claire is my sunshine and I'm so happy that God has taken care of her.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hide and Seek

In the midst of trying to recuperate, the girls have been creating some fun of their own now that Claire can crawl and Caroline scoots along. Typically, they will be in separate rooms, but figure out where the other one is, so they both start heading towards each other. Once they meet at a corner, they play "peek-a-boo" and scream and laugh. Claire loves to hide her head behind the wall from either Caroline or me.

Caroline will "give up" and turn around, only to have Claire reveal her location and squeal!


This is where the games can go south pretty quickly. Caroline will purposefully scoot up to Claire and not let her pass, and then they will both swat at each other. Today, I was out of the room a second, and when I came back, they both had their hands at each other's throats. Neither one was fussing, but they both looked guilty as sin when I caught them. I'm noticing that there is not a pushover between the two of them - they seem very evenly matched as far as their aggressive streak goes (they definitely did not get that from Paul!).

At least Claire can move a little more quickly than Caroline and get away from her -but I'm sure that won't be lasting too much longer!

Colds at the Culbertsons

The last week has been a tough one for us Culbertsons. Last Tuesday (over a week ago), Claire started feeling a little feverish and lethargic, then a runny nose ensued. By Thursday, she wasn't getting any better and her eyes started leaking this horrible gunk - make that gushing...her eyes were all swollen and looked like she had been in a fight, then would get stuck shut when she slept.

Meanwhile, being in close proximity, Caroline starts exhibiting the same symptoms, but isn't far enough along for a doctor's visit. Claire visits the doctor on Thursday to find out that she has an ear infection plus conjunctivitis. We start her on amoxicillin and eyedrops (which cost $80 for a half ounce - the bottle is the size of a quarter).

By Friday, Caroline's eyes start oozing, then I feel like I'm getting a sore throat, typically the start to symptoms of a cold. Over the weekend, I take Caroline to the urgent care clinic, where they find out she just has a cold and slight conjunctivities, but no ear infection. Eye drops follow.

Meanwhile, I'm hanging in there, but Paul starts getting a sore throat around Saturday or so. The girls are still fighting their infections, not doing that great, and by Sunday, we are all four just sitting around. By this time, I'm usually feeling a little better, but when I wake up on Monday, I'm worse, and Paul is worse. He goes to the doctor and starts a Z-pack, and I just think in my mind, "Well, I usually have 1-2 really bad days w/a cold, so I'll just wait it out." Monday, Tuesday, changes. By Wednesday, I'm feeling like I have the flu - achy, chills, feverish, congested, I finally go to the doctor and start my Z-pack.

I finally slept through the night last night (thanks to Claire crying about every two hours the last 4-5 nights because she sits up and then gets "stuck" and can't lie back down), but didn't wake up as refreshed as I'd hoped. I'm just praying that Z-pack kicks in today. I don't think I've ever had a sinus infection that has dragged on this long. I feel like we've all been slammed with the cold tsunami and we're just trying to survive!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Moving Right Along...

On Saturday, Claire officially started crawling, and while she isn't super fast yet, she definitely cruises around and has figured out that she can make her own decisions about where to go. Caroline follows her around by scooting, and she's really almost as fast as Claire is.

Jack is not too sure about having two babies who can chase him around now!

Here I come!

This is fun! Why didn't I do this sooner?

Whatever room I go to, they crawl/scoot to be with me; it's cute and I'm glad they can get around now on their own. We spent the weekend childproofing a lot of things - not a moment too soon!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Center of Attention

I've been meaning to post about this for a while, but last week, I experienced the "perfect" situation to give my post some meaning and substance. Let me start off by saying that I'm not the type of person who enjoys the spotlight or people "noticing" things about me. When I get a haircut or a new outfit, and I know that people will notice, I semi-dread going to places where I know friends who will comment on that. I typically downplay anything new I buy or don't even talk about it because I just don't like the attention. Don't ask me why - just the way I am!

So, I guess God knew that He wanted to stretch me in this area by giving me twins...we literally cannot go anywhere without people commenting on them or asking questions about them. Just a few from the litany of questions I get EVERYWHERE we go...Are they twins? (my personal favorite, and the most common - now I have to bite my tongue to stop myself from answering sarcastically) Are they identical? Do twins run in your family? Are they girls? (another personal favorite since I dress them in pink about 95% of the time) Is it harder than just one? (come on people, are you really that naive?) I'm sure you have help, right? (Uh, right)

Then, I'll get a few comments as well...Oh look, twins...Double trouble...You have a lot on your hands...Those sure are handsome boys (I actually get this a lot - just because babies don't have much hair doesn't make them boys! On a side note, I was at a toy store and bought pink toys and the salesman, looking at my cute little "boys," was like, "Um, do you know that those are pink? (basically doubting that I know what gender my own children are!)

Most of the time, I just answer politely and move on...however, last week, a lady basically accosted me (or rather, my stroller) while asking about the twins. Here is how the conversation went:

Lady: Oh look, twins!
Me: Yes (politely saying nothing and walking quickly towards the checkout line at Target)
Lady: Are they fraternal? (as I'm turning the stroller away from her)
Me: No, they're identical (still walking quickly to the line)
Lady: Really?
Me: Yes, they are identical.
Lady: Hey, wait a minute...(at this point, she GRABS my stroller and starts to turn it back around, acting like she's the mother and I'm making it up)
Me: They are identical. (Said in quite a firm voice as I make my getaway, thinking, Lady, get your hand off my stroller!)

It doesn't matter where we go, whether it's Target, the mall, the park, church, anywhere. I know twins are not the norm, but it's not like they are unusual or warrant this much attention. I guess I (and they) are going to have to endure this for the rest of our lives! Now I know why Michael Jackson covered his kids with a blanket for so long...I don't agree with who he was, but I might have to borrow that blanket idea sometime soon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Two x Three = Six

Yesterday, two friends of mine (and their babies) all got together for a playdate...six kiddos under the age of two! This is when I'm actually glad I have twins, and NOT multiples of a higher number. How in the world do people manage?

Since we've moved to our house, we've been meeting more and more friends with babies the girls' age, and getting together with friends we already knew who happened to live in our area. It's been fun to have a change in our day and hang out with some friends for all of us!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Speedy Scooter at 14 Months!

Who knew scooting around could make someone go so fast? Well, apparently Caroline has figured out the trick, because just in the last few days, she is scooting around very quickly. She's been scooting around for a while now, but now she seems to have an agenda and very specific places to go now, and she does this at a very determined pace.

Her favorite destination right now seems to be Jack's water bowl, which she loves to push around and spill constantly. This morning, it was the printer paper under our bed, which I found spread all over our room in about 100 sheets. Around lunch, it was the top to the can of stain I was using, so Little Bit made handprints of dark wood stain on the tile floor in about two seconds before I could turn around. Thank goodness it wasn't on the carpet or the rug!

Yesterday, she scooted over and figured out that the gate was at the top of the stairs (which we just installed on Saturday - not a day too soon!).

Hey Mom! Just hanging out up here!

As soon as I put her down, off she scoots...she's not crawling, but she's almost as fast and I'm having to watch her constantly! At least Claire hasn't caught on quite yet - she's trying to advance to pulling up on furniture and crawling more traditionally on her knees. My days are about to get really crazy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Caught in the Act...

The latest mischief that Caroline likes to create is scooting right next to Claire and snatching her toys or grabbing her clothes or scratching her arm. I place them as far apart as I can, but inevitably, Caroline inches closer and closer. If I step out of the room or act like I'm not there, she pursues Claire even more and then as soon as I make my presence known, she turns around and smiles and drops her hands like she was doing nothing wrong. She definitely knows exactly what she's doing!
Claire does seem very interested in Jack and whatever he's doing. She loves to hug him or push him away if he's in her space. Today she discovered his water bowl and thought it was fascinating that he could drink out of it that way. I'm just waiting until she wants to try that same trick.

Temptations, temptations!
Keeping the girls busy doesn't seem to be a problem - the problem is trying to make my day less busy!