2.27.2011

T.Q. Tshirts




Most of y'all will remember that we posted about the Team Quinn tshirts and that we all wore them on the "Keep the Beat" walk a couple of weeks ago. We purchased 25 or so for our immediate family members and for those participating in the walk and I must say (humbly, of course!), that they were a hit.

Anway, I've had a few inquiries on how to get a Team Quinn shirt, so this is what we have decided to do...

(And I've felt a little weird and hesitant about putting this out there because I didn't want my friends to feel like they needed to purchase a shirt to support our family or spend any $ to be a part of Team Quinn. Anyone who has prayed or thought about Quinn during this journey is fully on T.Q. - I absolutely recognize that and we are thankful and blessed beyond measure! But I do realize that people love our fiesty daughter and want to cheer her on -- so this was the best thing we could come up sans as much awkwardness as possible)

If we can get at least 10-15 requests (which is the mininum for our "t-shirt guys") - then we would love to order some more for folks to wear on Q's big surgery day (and even on the day of her cardiologist appts, etc or just whenever you feel like it!). The cost would be $10 to you. (Just to clarify so you know we aren't making a profit, the actual cost of the t-shirt is $11+ plus shipping.)

And what we would absolutely LOVE to do is take $5 of your "donation" and give it back to "It's My Heart" (http://www.itsmyheart.org/). So bottom line, for every t-shirt ordered, Matt and I will match $5 to go towards Congenital Heart Defect research.

If you would like to order a tshirt(s), please send me a message at meaganclanahan@yahoo.com specifying number to order, sizes, address, etc. Of course, we won't request payment until we receive enough orders to reach our minimum.

The cut-off order date will be April 15th (Tax Day) because it's a memorable day to us all :) ha. Once I receive all requests, I will then place an order for the shirts. They typically take about 2 weeks for me to receive and then they will be shipped out to you or hand-delivered, should you live in the Houston area.
 *They do have children sizes as well, Youth Small through Youth XL.*
Again, I want to reiterate, Matt and I will not make a penny off of these orders. It's My Heart will be the primary benefactory and we will just use a portion of the $10 to cover the bare-bones expenses. We wish we could just buy t-shirts for everyone who wanted one --- in another life, it might be possible :) But  I don't know if you've seen the price of gas lately??? : ) $3.17 and counting, my friends. And my grocery store bill as of late - omg.

I want to thank everyone who has contacted me about getting a TQ shirt. We were totally taken aback that people would want one! Since some time may have passed since your initial request, I would sincerely appreciate a reminder email if you are still interested.






Team Quinn loves you!

In His Hands,


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2.25.2011

Need a Weekend Cocktail?

So after taking care of 2 babies all day, I have been known to enjoy a glass of wine while getting dinner prepped. Or two. Whatever.  Anyway, if you are looking for a new red wine to try, I highly recommend you pick up a bottle of Colby Red. I am not typically a "red" girl - I love me some Pinot Grigio - but this is delish. Not dry at all and perfectly smooth.

So why am I promoting a certain type of wine on here (without any sort of kickback/compensation/free diapers/free wine incentive)?

I happened to catch a story on the Today Show last week (I say that like I just happened to turn on the tv and saw it - but we are pretty much Today Show peeps in the house from 7am-11am). Anyway, they had this little boy on there with his winemaker dad talking about the wine that they created together.
I was so touched by his story and selflessness to give back for heart research. This is a synopsis of Colby's story (taken from the website, http://www.colbyred.com/)

Colby Groom is now 13 years of age. Just prior to his 10th birthday he underwent back to back open heart surgeries. He is now a seasoned volunteer with the American Heart Association and was inspired to raise money for heart research through creating a wine with his Dad, notable winemaker Daryl Groom and Colby Red was born.

COLBY’S MISSION: To raise research dollars from the sale of each bottle of Colby Red by supporting charities that promote heart health.

COLBY’S GOALS:
1) to raise $100,000
2) to raise $250,000 and beyond

Of course, I just had to track this wine down. When I clicked on the website to buy it, it was completely out of stock online. However, Walgreens has now started carrying it - and wouldn't you know, my little neighborhood drug store has it! It's only $10 per bottle and it is worth every penny just from the taste of it --- but also the fact that 100% of all the profits go to support various charities that support heart research.

I'd like a case, please :) Have a great weekend & consider enjoying a delicious glass of wine. Remember, red wine is heart healthy anyway so no guilt factor!


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Why Do We Give Back?

This past Thursday, I had the distinct pleasure of representing my church at “A Celebration of Life Luncheon” hosted by the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. Along with over 800 other members of our community, we were invited to this special event to be recognized for efforts in hosting blood drives all over the Greater Houston area. When I first received the invitation a couple of months ago and found out that we were being nominated for a “Celebration of Life” award, I must admit I was a little taken aback. My first thoughts were, “Why us?” Not that we didn’t do a great thing that blustery day in November by acquiring 26 pints of blood --- but it just seemed like such a small amount compared to these large scale drives that other corporations, organizations , and non-profits put together. I even wondered if they had made some sort of clerical email error in sending us the invitation but was assured by our representative they had not.

So with a somewhat selfish motive to get out of the house sans 8 month old twins, I made my way to downtown Houston today with absolutely zero expectations except perhaps to have a nice lunch and some adult conversation. Needless to say, I was a little shocked when after I checked in, that I was referred to the nominee table, and then handed a nominee “Finalist” badge for our little church. Still, in the back of my head --- what would be the chances of winning and most importantly, did it even really matter?

Once inside, we were treated to an exceptional testimony from a mother of a son with Acute Lymphatic Leukemia. Her faith in God was evident and inspiring, as was her sincere appreciation for every single person who donated this year – to the tune of over 300,000 pints of blood just in the Houston area. And then it came time for the awards. Our group award, categorized under “New Groups”, was second to last so I heard about six other stories of huge corporations, hospitals and companies who brought in 300, 1000, and one even over 4,000 pints of blood in their quarterly drives. And our church was there why? And then it was time for our category --- we were among three finalists. And to my great shock (and to the surprise of our worship leader who attended alongside me), they called our name. So yes, my fellow church attendees, you are now the proud owners of a blue vase trophy thingie with our name inscribed on it as “New Group” of the year. If anyone needs a unique flower vase for a special occasion – well, please know we have one you can borrow.

As I was thinking about it on my drive back to the ‘burbs, I can honestly say I am still not 100% sure why we were recognized. And while I am thankful for those who nominated and voted for our church, I know with a fact that we did not host this drive for recognition or to receive pats on the back about what good little Christians we are. We participated in the drive and prayed for the donors and recipients alike because of our hearts for Christ and desire to serve His People. And that got me thinking even deeper --- why was I so unsure that our 26 pints were not worth much? Because I guarantee you, those 26 pints made a world of difference to the people who received them. Over 60 people’s lives were saved because of your selflessness. T hat is not a small number. And who knows how many people may have had renewed faith in Christ or come to God once they were given that second chance at life. 1, 2, 10? One life and it was completely worth it.

How many times do we not give back because we wonder if it will make a hill’s beans of difference? I know that I am guilty. There seems to be so much despair, so many people that need help, so many people we should serve, but sometimes I don’t. Mostly because I am somewhat paralyzed by the overwhelming need. How can just little ole me make a big difference? Can you relate?

Yet as I was sitting in this room of “big wig” donors (and even the Mayor of Houston herself), it reminded me that we are just a part of the body of Christ. We may not be called ever to host a drive for 4,000 pints of blood. We may never be called to rebuild hundreds of homes on the Gulf Coast. We may never be called to bring thousands to know Christ. We may never serve meals for thousands.

But we can give 26 pints of blood. We can rebuild one or two homes in Galveston. We can bring a hundred to know Christ. We can bring a single meal to a neighbor or friend in crisis. And who knows what else He has in store for us. We give back because Christ calls us to serve His people. Whether it’s 1 or 1,000, it makes no difference to Him as long as we are serving where He calls us. And that we are not serving with an expectation of receiving accolades, awards, or recognition at fancy lunches. I know that I desire to serve so one day I can hear from my Lord, my God, “Well done, my good and faithful servant”.

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2.22.2011

A Tacky Post

So when I was having my mommy's night out dinner with my friend Katie last week, she happened to point out to me that I didn't have a "Follow Me" button on my blog. Of course, I knew what that particular feature was having seen it on multiple blogs that I follow --- but somehow I thought I always had one.

Anyway, to show off my blog proficiency, I did not.

So if you are so inclined and would like to join in the rambling and randomness that is this blog, please feel free to follow. You can find the icon in the top right hand corner. If not, no worries - blog stalk away : ) ha. I do plenty of that in my "free" time.

Hope y'all had a better Tuesday than we did around this place. Most of our days are wonderful, but it isn't always butterflies and rainbows as much as I would like it to be. Q was on an eating strike (and if you've read this blog for any amount of time, you know how critical it is that the child eats & gains weight),  which in turn sent me into choco-aholic fits. I must have downed 12 Dove milk chocolates today, along with a few handfuls of Goldfish, and 2 benadryls to ward off the potential egg/wheat allergy that would soon appear on my face.

Hey, you do what you have to do for chocolate. Praying for a better Wednesday!!!

And just for grins and giggles, a few recent pics.


Their new favorite pose & way to play together

Sweet Quinn

Hi, Ryan!

Quinn doesn't like to just play in her jumper thingie, she likes to lay underneath it with another toy in hand.  Multi tasking girl already.

Ryan sticks out his tongue all the time now. I think he likes the way it feels on his teeth --- and trying to feel the 7th & 8th coming in, yikes!

Sleepy boy

Hanging in our playpen

Yes, we have toys for the kids, but they would much rather play with our water bottles & remote controls.

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2.21.2011

Team Quinn is Keeping The Beat

This past weekend was the "Keep the Beat" 5k walk sponsored by the CHD organization, "It's My Heart". (I talked about Team Q and the walk here).

I am not even sure I can put into words my feelings on this weekend. It was incredibly emotional for me to see literally thousands of people all gathered for this walk. So many friends and families were joined together in "teams" rallying for the support for these precious children. I don't know what I quite expected from the event, but I did NOT expect so many people to be out there.

It was overwhelming & humbling all at the same time. More often than I care to admit, I get into my own "bubble" and forget how many other families are dealing with such serious heart conditions.  But wow, Quinn is certainly not alone.

Some interesting statistics:

 1 in 100 babies born will be diagnosed with a congenital heart defect (40,000 per year).

CHD's are the most common birth defect.

There are at least 35 different heart defects.
(Quinn's specific heart defect makes up less than 1% of all CHD's - meaning she is a 1 in 10,000)

And this is the one that blew me away:

Nearly twice as many children die from Congenital Heart Defects in the United States each year as from all forms of childhood cancers combined. Yet funding for pediatric cancer research is 5 times higher than funding for Congenital Heart Defects.


Matt and I are so thankful that so many members of our immediate family & close friends were able to join us for this walk - and incredibly grateful for the prayers from all of those who could not participate. Besides the walk, a definite highlight of the weekend was finally being able to meet our newest niece, Ady. She was born just a couple of months after the twins, but it seemed everytime we would try to get together, there was a sick baby, sick child, sick adult, surgery over here in H-town, etc etc. Life happened.

So we FINALLY got to meet this precious girl (she is a joy!) and also spend some wonderful quality time with our niece Riley who is such a special little girl. We had so much fun hanging out with her as she helped us push the double stroller the entire 3.2 miles without complaint, played soccer in our backyard, threw around the football, performed cartwheels and attempted round-offs. Basically, we all thought we were 6 years old again. But Miss Riley had some amazing energy and outlasted all of the adults --- we kept having to "sub" ourselves in to keep up with her. And now my legs are aching because my 30 year old body just really shouldn't do cartwheels anymore.

After we completed the walk, everyone came over the house for a yummy meal of pulled pork sandwiches (Thanks for the recipe, L&G!), brisket, potato salad, coleslaw, andouille dip, and fufetti cupcakes decorated with green & white sprinkles & green candy hearts to match our T.Q. colors.

(Side note: for some reason I like to believe that I am crafty AND that I can bake - a dangerous combination. For the Super Bowl I decided it would be a wonderful idea to make a football shaped cake. It was just a hot mess and resembled in no way the football cake recipe I was attempting to duplicate. Then for this event, after trying to hunt down some heart-shaped cake molds and failing, I went with the cupcake idea. Of course, I saw these candy heart molds and just had to attempt it. I bought this crazy green color candy stuff, melted it down just like the instructions said and poured it in the molds. Let's just say I am still picking green candy off my counters and my hearts were more like deformed squares, but what-ev. I think they tasted ok at least)

We had so much fun just hanging out with everyone and relaxing. It has been forever since our families gathered for anything other than our father's funerals, so it was quite a treat to have almost everyone together. Oh and for the cutest moment, Riley walked in the door with the most precious skirt and top which Q just happens to own as well - Mommy & Aunt Emmy have the same taste! So as soon as the princess woke up from her long overdue nap, I changed her so they would be matching. I don't know if it was a girl thing or what, but Riley & Quinn were besties from that moment on and wherever Riley went, Quinn would look for her. Precious.

Anyway, the whole weekend was just a treat. Exhausting but worth every second. I am incredibly grateful to our families and friends who donated not only financially, but also their time and energy to be with us on this special day. I will remember it forever --- and already cannot wait to do it again next year when Quinn is a heart defect surgery SURVIVOR.

Here are some pics from the weekend --- I think Matt's brother got some better ones than me, so hopefully I will get those from him soon.


Matt and I

The babes at the beginning of the walk. They were so tired because they were missing their nap but they perked up later!


Kendra and I

Aunt Stacey, Uncle Christian, cousin Riley and cousin Adyson

Prepping for the walk

Terri playing with the babies of course!

Cousins!

The whole crew of Team Quinn

Matching!

This just kind of melts me

As does this. You can see how they adored each other.

Such a happy girl! (and getting sooo much attention!)

Uncle Blaine & Aunt Christina

Matt and Ady - doesn't she just look like a baby doll?

Hanging out with our newest niece

Ummm, have you ever tried to take a picture with 3 infants and a 6 year old? Those kids were looking in every direciton but the camera.

Another attempt

At least Riley knows how to pose and smile!

Go TEAM QUINN!!!

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2.17.2011

A Day in the Life.. (8 months)


So I think we are about to come up on a schedule change at the Clanahan house so I wanted to record our schedule at 8 months old for posterity sake. Unless you are in need of some reading-induced Ambien, you can probably just skip ahead to the next entry in your blogger :) But I wanted to be able to put this down so I would remember for future reference --- you know, in case God continues to have a sense of humor and we are blessed with another set of twins in the future (ha. my uterus hurts just thinking about it)

R&Q Schedule at 8 months old:

6am: Mommy wakes. Pours a large diet coke and begins heating bottles.

6:15am: Littlest princess stirs (she may stir earlier but she is typically sort of patient until 6:15am). Pick her up from the crib and get my 10 seconds of cuddle time while she tries to adjust to the light. Love that girl. Although I fear she will be just like me when she gets a little older - not exactly a morning person.

6:15-6:25am: Feeding the princess. Typically takes a great bottle and takes it fast. Makes Mommy happy.

6:30am: The little prince is up. Gives me big smiles in his crib and thrashes his feet around. As soon as I bring him into the living room to eat, he gets VERY impatient. Hungry boy.

6:30am-6:40am: Feeding the little prince

6:45am - 7:00am: Mommy eats, watches kids play, catches up on blog and all things important on people.com. Tries to gather some energy for the rest of the morning.

7:15am: Solid breakfast time. Q gets 2 tablespoons of cereal or oatmeal mixed with her formula. Ryan gets 1 tablespoon and typically gags on most of it. I think we will stop cereal for him soon. He's not loving it and I've tried everything to make it better for him. They both get fruit of some kind (peaches, apples, pears or a mixture of all 3 depending upon how crazy Mommy is feeling). Cheerios all around. Quinn eats them. Ryan lets them drop into his bib. Quinn typically eats a great breakfast!

7:30-8am: More playtime & diaper changes and Mommy tries to clean up from breakfast, start laundry, wash dishes, etc

8:15am:  Babies down. Mommy showers. Catches up on email, phones, and blogs. All the important things.

9:45am: Babies back up. Diaper change & clothing change. Depending upon whether we are going out for the day, Quinn may or may not get a bow and Ryan may or may not get socks. If we're not going out, I don't bother with either because they are just going to pull them off in the car. (Yes, I am THAT mom that brings her kids into restaurants without socks. How in the heck am I supposed to keep those things on??!! Their feet are the most fascinating things to them right now.)

9:55am:  Quinn attempts to eat. Usually she has had such a big breakfast that this bottle holds little interest. Two months ago, I used to be able to fight her a bit to take just a little more. Now she is freakishly strong and literally could wiggle/jump/manuever out of my arms. Mommy doesn't fight anymore. Puts princess down who happily resumes her playing that I so rudely interrupted with unimportant things like eating.

10:05am: Move onto Ryan. Takes a pretty good bottle. Wants to look around everywhere while eating. Loves the computer screen. And freakishly loves Hoda & Kathie Lee. (But so does Quinn. They are GLUED to the screen when they first come on for the day. I am sure that is Mommy Mistake #922 that I have made - always having the tv on. But to be fair, I have it on more for background noise. It freaks me out to just hear my own voice talking in an empty house. And we watch educational programs. Like Dr. Oz. And Food Network (oh, they love them some Guy Fieri, too!). And Nate Berkus. So now we can figure out the early warning signs for cancer, fix a healthy and quick meal in 30 minutes, and re-arrange our living room furniture so it matches our family function needs?? Yes, please!)

10:15am:  Quinn gets her first snack of the day - full fat vanilla yogurt. She eats an entire bowl of it. It's amazing. She loves it. Wish I could just feed her yogurt. (And on a side note: Full-fat yogurt is almost IMPOSSIBLE to find these days. Unless you want to pay the premium for "Yo Baby" - which I don't since I pay a premium for Good Start. I finally tracked it down at HEB and almost got run down by 4 other eager yogurt/dairy buyers. Who were going for the low-fat stuff. Suckers.)

10:30am:  Playtime and Mommy finishes getting ready to depart if we are having an "outing". Mommy wipes oatmeal, peaches, yogurt off her babies foreheads, chins, behind the ears and in their noses so they look nice and respectable like.

10:45am: Out the door to go somewhere to run some needless errand. MUST get out of the house. Sonic run #1.

11:00am-1pm: Typically gone somewhere. Mommy picks up lunch somewhere, usually a drive thru unless she is feeling like she has superhero energy to take the "boat" in some unsuspecting sandwich shop. If we are home, then the twins will sleep from about 12:00 - 1pm in their crib. If we are out, they cat nap in between stops and sleep heavily on the way home.

1pm:  Ryan bottle. No fuss, no muss. (are we seeing a pattern??)

1:10pm: Quinn bottle. Usually a great one. Makes Mommy happy. Quinn happy & giggling. Sweet, sweet, funny girl.

1:20pm: Quinn's second snack - 2 tablespoons of oatmeal or rice cereal mixed with formula and our newest addition, olive oil drizzled on top. And because we like Rachael Ray, only EVOO for this girl.

1:30-2:45ish: More playtime! Mommy tries to eat lunch during this time. And make formula. And wash bottles. My arch nemesis. But we do get in some good playtime & sometimes Mommy laughs so hard that she cries.

2:45-4:00ish: Naptime for babies. Sometimes for Mommy, too. Depends on the day. Usually I try to do my bible study reading then.

4:10pm: Ryan bottle. Usually a good ones. Depends on his mood.

4:30pm: Quinn bottle. It's a toss up - sometimes good, sometimes bad. Mommy tries not to stress about it.

4:45-5:15pm:  Mommy waits for Daddy to get home. Babies wait for Daddy to get home. More playing. The kids try to help fold laundry, but prefer to roll in it instead. We work on our colors. "This is mommy's BLUE hoodie. This is mommy's ORANGE hoodie. These are Mommy's BLACK yoga pants. These are Mommy's GRAY yoga pants."

5:15-5:30pm: Dada is home! Kids so excited. Mommy must be so mean during the day because those kids faces just LIGHT up with Daddy comes home. But I LOVE seeing it. They are just in love with their daddy. And I am obviously thrilled to see him.

5:45pm: Solid dinner of cereal or oatmeal and some veggie that really isn't a veggie that I am familiar with. Except for the night that I mashed my own sweet potatoes for them and both babies gagged. Maybe fruit for a little dessert. Cheerios again all around.

6:00pm: Best hubby ever - takes the kids to bathe. Mommy starts dinner & has a glass of wine. Ahhhhhhh.

7:00pm: Make bottles for last feeding and the next day's first feeding. Give princess her medicine and pray she doesn't throw up her solid dinner b/c she gagged on the Prevacid.

7:15pm: Either Mommy or Daddy feeds Ryan depending upon where Mommy is in the cooking process.

7:30pm: 1st attempt to feed Quinn. Sometimes it's a success, sometimes a big, fat fail. If fail, place sweet princess in her pack 'n play and let her fall asleep.

7:45pm: Mommy & Daddy eat dinner and perhaps have a cocktail.

8:00pm : One cleans up & the other wakes the princess and attempts a final feed. If princess is asleep, then it's usually a success. If not, well... what can you do... tomorrow is another day.

8:00-9:00pm: Catch up on our shows. Typically DVR'd episodes of Modern Family or American Idol. Not much time for tv watching these days.

9:00-10:00pm: Daddy catches a shower & tries to decompress from the day. Mommy blogs or reads stupid magazines. Tries to decompress from the day.

10:00pm: Bedtime for both. Sometimes Mommy can't sleep so she types out blog posts or writes emails or categorizes pictures. But bedtime for Mommy no later than 10:30pm. GONE.

4:00am: Daddy up and ready to start the day at the gym. Darn all of his energy - where does he get it?? Mommy mumbles something about having a good day and promptly falls back asleep until 6am and it's Groundhog Day all over again :)

As much as I may joke about the exhaustion of their schedules, the bottom line is that it truly is a privilege and a responsibility that I take very seriously. Probably too seriously some may argue. I categorize everything. Feeding times, amount taken, poop diapers, pee diapers, whether someone was sick that day or what ---- but it has all proved very helpful in being able to relay info back to Q's cardiologist, pediatrician and dietician --- I think otherwise, I would confuse the kids a bit in my head. This way it's all there.

But am I rigid on my schedule? Absolutely. I feel like I have to be otherwise we would all lose our minds. And it's worked so far. But I have a feeling a change is coming --- we are going to lose a nap somewhere and probably drop a bottle feed. I am excited to lose the bottle, not so much with the nap :) And it makes my head hurt to think about re-orchestrating schedules. But I have a feeling that somehow it will develop naturally. We'll see...

Either way, the kids and I have so much fun during the day --- and while sometimes I crave adult conversation, I am fascinated every day by the new things they are doing. I love the way they interact, I love their sweet giggles, belly laughs, screams of joy, and babble non-sense. I even like their tired screams (for a minute) - because it typically means a nap is coming!

And yes, in case you were wondering... I am very A-Type.

And Blessed.

In His Hands,
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2.15.2011

My Little Valentines

What a perfect Valentines Day! We spent most of the morning in our pjs & then finally got our act together to bring a surprise to Daddy at work. The kids decided last week that they wanted to see their Dada during the day, so we went and picked up a couple of huge cupcakes and hand delivered them to his office.
Amazingly enough, in the 2+ years that Matt has worked at his current company, I have never been to his office building. Mostly because it's a massive complex of buildings and parking garages that kind of stresses me out. And it's pretty tight on security as well. At the gate I had to beg and plead with the security guard to let me in and even hold up my bag of cupcakes & point to the babies in the back to gain access.

Anyway, as it turned out, when we got there Matt was heading back from another building from across the interstate. To keep him off track (and to find out how long we would be waiting), I told him that something edible was being left at the front desk for him & I needed to know how long he would be to let the security guards know. So as soon as he walked in the door, he made a beeline for the front desk eyeing someone else's huge Edible Arrangement --- and completely missed the fact that his wife was sitting with his children and a huge double stroller in the lobby of the building!

 I guess the boy was excited to receive a delivery on Valentine's.

It's a little thing, but it was such a treat to see Matty during the day. And I think it kinda made his day to be able to show off his little Valentines to some of his co-workers we came across in the lobby. Too fun. And I'm sure the afternoon sugar high didn't hurt either.

The kids were completely off schedule by then but I will say it was worth it. I also learned an important lesson. These kids (especially Ryan) are not ready to go every 4 hours yet for their bottles. They still need that 3 hr to 3 1/2 hour window. And they definitely still need that mid day nap that they totally missed yesterday. A little (ok, a lot) cranky last night.

While I will be glad when we can drop another feeding, I am willing to be patient a little longer, especially if it means I have happier babies in the afternoons when I am borderline delirious and exhausted. I am assuming it will happen naturally that they start skipping a nap and then going longer between feedings?

(Help, a little advice from my mommy friends - am I getting them into a habit and should I start stretching them some & dealing with the crankiness? How did it work for y'all? Remember - these babies are really 7 months, not 8months+ when it comes to this development stage. And my dietician thinks it's fine to still be doing every 3 hour feedings for a little bit longer - which means 5 feedings per day - no nighttime feedings as they sleep through the night. And advice is appreciated!!!)

After getting some solids stuffed down them & last bottles and baths, Matt and I were finally ready to tuck into our fancy Valentine's Day dinner.

Pizza and champagne.

Pizza bought with a Groupon I purchased 4 months ago no less.

It was perfectly delicious and actually quite the treat since we so rarely have pizza around here. And it is our annual Valentine's tradition and has been for almost 10 years. (well, we usually make the pizza but exhaustion and laziness won out & we ordered in) Not to mention that we had a very nice dinner out to Pappas last Saturday, so we had already splurged. And now I need the food fest to come to an end. Between this past weekend of food stuffing & just being stuck at home or relegated to drive throughs because of our freezing weather for the past couple of weeks, I am feeling a little sluggish. But now that our schizo Houston weather is 70+ degrees, I have been breaking out the jogging stroller and getting us all some fresh air! Loving my jogging stroller - and it is quite the work out for sure.

Anyway - here are some pictures of the babies 1st Valentine's Day!


Ryan - my little love bandit. And quite the flirt with the ladies.

I am almost giving up on taking these "group pics" while I am solo. I must have deleted about 10 pictures to get this one acceptable picture where both kids were looking at the camera and not crawling off the chair. Forget smiling, I just wanted them both to at least seem they were remotely interested in looking at the camera.

Quinn almost launching off the chair. But I love the look on her sweet face

Her little Valentine's Day outfit. And probably the last year that Daddy will let her wear a skirt that short!

Ryan following Mommy's directions to look at the camera. Quinn ignoring Mommy's directions.

Showing off her standing skills as usual

Ryan really could care less about standing. He was also less than impressed when he toppled backwards moments after this picture was taken. Thus effectively ending our photo session.


The obligatory floor shot

Quinn must have gotten into the cupcakes because she was not keen on heading to bed last night. But it gave us some snuggle time!

Daddy with his sweetest Valentine.

And she is out! Finally!



Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day! I have to say, since we have never been an extravagant Valentine's Day family, it was so  nice to have a day filled with little displays of love. And so much fun to have these two little ones to celebrate with & make new traditions together as a family.


2.12.2011

Uncle B & Aunt C Remix

So my brother and sis-in-law were so inspired by R&Q's earlier "Shake It" video that they decided to put their own twist on it. I laughed so hard when I saw the end result posted to their facebook page last night. It.was.awesome.

Here is the "Remix" version.

And that Willow Smith is talented,  huh?


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2.10.2011

Shake it, Quinn

Remember when I referenced the new head shaking that Quinn was doing when finished feeding? Well, here it is - in it's full glory. Feeding babies is not glamorous work but often hysterical.

And here is also where you notice such a dramatic difference in their personalities. One womb, one mommy, one daddy, 2 VERY different children that are equally loved the same for all of their quirks :)


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2.08.2011

R&Q Make 8

In a throwback to my Louisiana friends, R&Q made 8 months old! When we moved to Louisiana, I heard that phrase all the time ---"Susie just made 30" or "Little Bobby just made 2." Never heard that before growing up in the 'burbs of Dallas. But I kinda like it --- so R&Q made 8.

Of course in true Meagan fashion, I am posting this ever so late. I guess my excuse this month is last week we were hit with an artic blast that must have ascended straight from hell. You would think being stuck at home in sub-freezing temperatures would have left me plenty of time to catch up on my blogging. But you would be wrong. All of the sitting around and lamenting about the weather turned my brain to mush. Plus, both kids came down with an "artic blast" cold, so I spent the majority of the days disinfecting, cleaning, re-disinfecting, wiping noses, rocking and soothing when I could, and trying to keep two kids separate who insist on being in each other's space no matter how much room I give them.

It should be noted that taking pictures in the rocking chair with their sign this month with two increasingly babies was near impossible. Next month I'm going to need an extra pair of hands as both kids each almost managed to topple off the chair while trying to crawl to some unseen object. Oh, and they like to eat the paper sign now.

See below for my best attempts:







There, enough excuses?

Ryan - What You Are Up To @ 8 Months Old

We have a new hat!

Sitting so well now
Rosy red cheeks and rosy red nose to go with our 3rd cold of the season.

Sweet boy. Love this face.





- Ry, I have no idea how much you weigh right now! I am guessing probably about 17.5lbs since you are typically about 2 1/2 more than your sissie. But you are getting heavy! You were going through a "growing out" phase last month, but this month I think you are starting to streamline longer now. You are fully in 6-12 month clothing from everywhere and only can wear 9 month sleepers. And 12 month ones are soon in your future.

- Big excitement this month on eating... you still take 5 bottles a day, usually around 6 or 7 ounces per. But now we  have added more solids. You still gag on rice cereal and oatmeal unless I mix it up with something. Not your fave. But you have made your way through all of the fruits and veggies. Your favorite veggie is probably sweet potatoes and your favorite fruit is a toss up with apples and pears. We also started giving your cheerios and while you don't understand that you can swallow it, you sure like to play with it in your new front teeth.

- So speaking of teeth... you now have SIX. Whoa. I kinda forgot that you had them the other day and let you grab my hand to put in your mouth and OUCH. Sharp little buggers.

- You are doing so many fun things now. You love to move around and while you aren't the most proficient army crawler yet, you are starting to get the hang of it. Your new move is hiking up your butt and just when I think you are going to lurch forward on all fours, you somehow crawl backwards. It's awesome. You also love to rock your butt in the air which makes us both laugh hysterically.

- You are still a babbling fool. You have definitely discovered your "yell" this month - not an unhappy yell, more of an exclamation of excitement. When both you and your sister get going at the same time, I am fairly sure the neighbors think we have a zoo over here.

- You remain a completely content and happy child. You are so good when we go out and about and love to smile at everyone! And when we go to someone's house, you are just in awe for the first 30 minutes just checking out your surroundings and taking it all in. We attended a Super Bowl party the other night and our friends couldn't believe how amazingly comfortable you were to just to be passed from one person to another and just settle all in. You are still the cuddler for sure!

- Ryan, I am so loving you at the this age! (Not that I didn't love you so much at other ages!) But you are discovering so many new things each day and it makes us so happy to see you grow and develop so healthfully & happy. Love you, Big Guy!

Quinn: What You Are Up To @ 8 Months Old


Showing off our cute sweater dress from Aunt Emily & our boots from Gigi

We L.O.V.E. to stand. All.the.time.

A rare picture of Quinn sitting. She can do it, she just has no interest in sitting still. Notice she is about to lurch forward to crawl after something.

Our purple day! For some reason, I didn't catch many smiles this month - I think it's because she is just too busy to sit and smile for mommy! But let me assure you, the child grins from ear to ear!


 - Quinn, you weigh 15lbs 2oz now! Big girl. I know this because you have been weighed 3 times in the past 2 weeks...once by the cardiologist, once by the dietician, and once by your doctor on Monday. Your weight & height are still perfectly proportional. We call your curve at the doctor's office the "Quinn Curve" -- meaning you are making your own way on that curve but everytime you are perfectly consistent. Thank you, baby.  And I constantly remind the doctors, heart condition or not, you were not going to be a big child anyway. Your Gigi is insistent that your Momma was not even on the growth chart when I was a baby :) It's in the genes, honey.

 - You are wearing 6 and 9 month sleepers - but the 6 monthers are getting tight. You are completely out of our 3 month Carter's and have moved onto 6 months, although those are getting tight as well. You wear 6-9 month or 6-12 month everything else and sometimes it's a little big but we are learning young to sacrifice for fashion :) Those clothes are SOOO much cuter, so keep growing baby girl. ha.

- You have been introduced to so many foods this past month. You love almost everything we put in your mouth. Your exception tonight was avocado - it made you gag but I think that was more of a texture thing than a taste. Your favorite veggie is either carrots or peas (gag!) and your favorite fruit is the same as Bubba's, apples or pears. We are adding a bunch of extra stuff to fatten you up even more and you are tolerting it so well (we'll go into more detail in a later post).

- NO teeth yet but I think you are working on it. You chew EVERYTHING.

 - You "army crawl" everywhere - and fast now. No longer are you content to stay on your back. You must be in everything at all times. I think you could be on a show called "Baby Hoarders". One or 2 toys is not sufficient and 3 barely passes muster. You typically like to get them all in a pile around you, lay on one and hold one between your legs and one in each hand. I think it's a protective mechanism so your brother doesn't have a chance :)

 - You babble all the time as well. Lots of syllables, dada is a constant. Even when dada isn't around. We are working on "mama". No one seems to want to say that one yet :)

- You still love your Exersaucer and go completely nuts in it. I love watching you play - you have such extreme joy and it makes me smile. You yell and laugh and just seem to love life. May you always have such enthusiasm, baby girl!

- More new things - you have learned to shake your head "NOOOOOO!". You shake it over and over and over if we are trying to feed you solids and you are done. Have no idea where you picked that up but you just started doing it one day. Now you just do it because you think it's funny and it makes us laugh. We finally caught it on video tonight and hopefully can post soon.

- You are such a happy child as well --- you are wonderful being out and about & like your brother, you are extremely social and happily offer up smiles to everyone. I wish we could be out more because I think you are a total social butterfly. And you love to show off. When we have babysitters come over, you totally have to show them your new trick and you always make sure they are looking and see how precious you are :)

- Baby Girl, you are my heart. You are an inspiration to me in so many ways ---- you deal with all of these darn doctors appointments so much better than Mommy and you are always willing to flash me the most darling smile even after I have been struggling for 20 minutes to feed you a bottle (yup, you are still STUBBORN in this area). But it doesn't faze you.. And you continue to prove everyone wrong about your stamina and energy --- you have more energy than your parents!! Love you, sweet girl.

We continue to thank God every day that He has chosen us to raise these blessings for the past 8 months. Through all of the challenges, exhaustion, and sometimes a little frustration, we have experienced the most immense joy and love possible. We love you, Ryan & Quinn - may you always know that.


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