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Monday, December 26, 2011

A (Posed) Christmas Morning Picture Progression

 Merry Christmas from the Heemstra's!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My Family's Family Christmas

I just love our family Christmas.  It's always uber crazy, lasts about six times longer than it needs to, and is full of all kinds of shenanigans.  First thing this year we decided to get the annual grandkids picture since they were still fresh, dressed, and unruffled from any naps.  This first one is probably the overall best, taking all parties into account, my kids don't look that great but everyone is present and accounted for, looking in the general vicinity of the camera, and with a halfway pleasant smile on their face. 

This next picture was taken a split second later and it's waaaaay fun to click back and forth between them, especially when you look at Evie's and Reece's face.
 Here we see that Reece is beginning to escape, Molly is losing interest, Raegan has disappeared behind Evelyn's ponytail, Evie is getting into full rock-out picture-taking mode, and Elijah is throwing silly faces at whoever is to his left.
 Will you look at this face???
 CHEESE!  Check out my new chomp that FINALLY made an appearance!
 Papa and two of his girls.  Evelyn has really been laying the charm on thick with Papa lately...
 Poor Elijah, this was so not his weekend.  On Friday night around midnight he began puking...and didn't stop until Sunday morning around 5am.  He ended the Christmas party with a wonderful projectile vomit across most of Nana's kitchen.  Whew.
"Don't step on me, I might puke!"

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Snotty nose, pale skin, tired eyes, bad hair day, lack of cute holiday outfit...
Cute face and outfit but bruises all over her face...
Who says the Holidays have to be cute? I may be a few days late but I'm thankful for these guys this year, bruises, snot, messy hair and all!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Love Bugs

The twinners' little personalities have been growing by leaps and bounds lately, they are learning so many new things, it's hard to keep track!
For posterity I want to record a few of my favorites:
Hugs n Kisses- both kids are learning to hug and kiss each other and other kids. They've been practicing their skills with their friend Ani, it is so cute to watch them. In a rare moment of sibling love the other day they were sitting on the couch and Evie laid her head on Eli's shoulder for a few seconds, it's so fun to see them be affectionate with each other!
"Where's Evie?"- One day I noticed Evelyn putting her hands over her eyes so I said, "Where's Evie?" She removed them and grinned, the classic peek-a-boo game. However for some reason in the last couple of days she has gotten confused so that when I say "Where's Evie?" She throws her hands up over her ears and grins at me..."Can't hear you mom." Thing is, Elijah now also believes this is how the game is played so you'll usually see him in the background, also covering his ears. :)

"Where's your belly?" When he doesn't confuse this question with the above mentioned, Elijah is just precious when he points to his tummy with one chubby little pointer. He also often doubles over with laughter afterwards.
Books. Both kids are starting to love books and I couldn't be happier. For the longest time they'd bring me a book, then walk away or shut the book the moment I opened it. Now one or the other will bring me a book, sit in my lap, and let me read at least three pages!
Skype. Andy got his own laptop recently and so now we have the ability to "Skype" each other. This means the kids can see him and he can see the kids on the computer. Wow, it was so fun to watch the first time...Elijah was beside himself he was so excited, he kept trying to grab the screen and would not stop smiling.
Evelyn on the other hand stared at him hard, then turned around to cling to me and cry. After a few minutes she suddenly warmed up and gave him a half smile, then some "yah! yah!'s" Absolutely adorable to watch :)
This is not cute but again for posterity- Evelyn has recently taken to going No. 2 in the tub. Every. Single. Time. You won't be seeing any pictures anytime soon and I don't know if the tub relaxes her or is just a result of terrible timing on my part, but this phase can end as quickly as it began...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How Far We've Come!

Around this time one year ago we had two tiny, squished-looking infants who basically cried, ate, pooped, and slept (all day and in 20 minute intervals at night :)

Today we have two healthy, vibrant, active one-year olds who still cry, eat, and poop, but also sleep (mostly) through the night, walk, communicate in their own way, and are just generally about the cutest kids you could ever hope to see.
Love you E2!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chicken Progression

This weekend we headed to some dear friends' home in Big Rapids to hang out on "the farm." Before E2 came along I used to get up to Kim and Troy's every few months for a day or two. I couldn't believe as we pulled up that I had not been up since well before the babies were born. It was great to spend time with them and see their (nearly) completed new house which had only been framed inside the last time I was up. My favorite was seeing the kitchen Kim and I designed together and the guest room that has one of the best views in the house. While it's still tough to travel with two babies we had a great time and it was so fun to introduce Eli and Evie to all the great animal friends on the farm!

A more recent addition to the crew were some piggies and a flock of Orpington Chickens. Here is a great progression of pictures from this afternoon when Troy caught one of them so the kids could see and pet one up close:

Exhibit A: Orpington Chicken

Elijah meets his first chicken: "It won't bite me?"

"Can I trust this guy?"

"You sure?"

"I think I'll pass."

"Oh fine, but just one finger."

"Hm, he's kinda...fluffy. Hey Evelyn, check this thing out."

"No really, it's ok. I'm a pro now."

Big brothers gotta be there for their little sisters.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

SO Not One of My Finer Moments As a Mother...

I can't share this on Facebook because it is simply too stomach-turning and there is no good way to make light of it in a status update, but since only people who love me and trust me and KNOW that I am not neglectful and generally capable of caring for my children read this blog...I just have to share one of my not-so-fine moments as a mother so far.

Yesterday my kids played with razorblades. I'm not kidding.
I was in the kitchen doing dishes (by hand, for the last time! Thank you hubby for fixing my dishwasher), and the kids were playing under the highchairs like they like to do after lunch. (They can push them around and they roll all over the dining room, it's kinda cute) After a couple minutes I realized it'd had suddenly gotten very quiet in my dining room so I went to investigate.
They were in the bathroom. In the "no-no" drawer that houses Daddy's replacement razors (they are all usually tucked neatly into little plastic cases...though this doesn't do much for my case I am sure). Evelyn was waving around an empty handle to a razor. Elijah was sucking. YES SUCKING on the head of a razor!! Words cannot express the drop of my stomach, the cold sweat that broke out all over my body, or how very much I did not want to look into my little boy's mouth at that moment.
Turns out, he had cut his tounge but it was pretty minimal. He actually protested when I took the stinking thing away!! He was oblivious to any sort of pain and while I debated giving him a sippy of milk or even tylenol (I was afraid they might make any cuts he had not noticed suddenly sting), all he wanted was his pacifier and he went right to sleep for his afternoon nap!
So needless to say I breathed a huge sigh of relief and the razors are finding an all-together new place to hang out. Uhg, I just cannot thinking about what that would feel like to run your tounge over a "Mach 5" razor...gives me shudders just thinking about it.

I'm an awesome mom...

Monday, October 10, 2011

A light? Or A Train?

We had our one-year check up today...

Everyone seems to be right now track as far as height/weight goes. Turns out Elijah is still less than 20lbs!! 19lbs 7oz (7th percentile) w/ a height of 30 3/4" (79%) and an average-sized head :) 46cm (44%). Evelyn is, as always, surpassing her brother in the height/weight department at 21lbs 9oz (58%), 30" high (78%), and slightly-larger-than-average head circ of 45cm (68%).

That might not seem "right on track" but since they are both following a nice curve on the graph over time, they are doing just fine.

While I tried to talk to our pediatrician the kids scrambled and climbed and stumbled all over the place. I liked that my Evelyn was climbing the step stool and standing on one foot while chewing on a tennis shoe the whole time he talked to me about baby-proofing and saying "the number of times your child is in the hospital for injuries over the next year will tell us how good you're doing with baby-proofing." Hm.

My second favorite moment was when he informed me that the 2nd year is going to be just as hard, if not harder than the first year with twins. He then turned to Elijah and said: "Just when Mommy thought there was a light at the end of the tunnel she's finding out it was actually a train coming at high speed!"

Thanks Dr. Mogul, that's why we like you: you're honest.

Now, because sitting down to blog is a luxury and I need to be as efficient as possible, here are a few "picks" from our recent trip to Sietsma's Apple Farm :)

Less interested in pumpkins, more interested in strands of grass.

Since Daddy does not understand that you really can find a flawless apple (he thinks one bruise is just fine), I had to teach Evie the perfect apple-picking skills. Here she is showing off.

After naps that day it was bottle time but Elijah wanted nothing to do with it...until found out that Sam makes a great spot to relax and eat.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Preview

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

On The Eve of "One"

For some reason I feel compelled to get the "We Are Turning One!" post just right, I want to touch on what I've learned this year and do justice to both the ups and the downs of life with twin babies. For tonight though, on the eve of their first birthday, I think I'll just jot down some haphazard notes on Thing 1 and Thing 2. That well-worded post about what life looks like for us right now can come later :)

A little bit about Elijah:
Eli, 'Lijers, LieLie, Lijah, we're a fan of nicknames around here and I'm afraid poor Elijah might be known as "Lie" from here on out...It's just what comes out of my mouth! He is the definition of "such a sweet boy," he has time for cuddles, plays great on his own with just a couple of toys, and offers up the greatest smiles and giggles. He has three "words" that come out repeatedly but I'm afraid are rarely used properly: "Mama," "Dada," and "Nana." He loves to repeat the wrong one back at us when we tell him to say one. ie. "Elijah, say "Mama." ......."Nana." :) He's not a temper-tantrum thrower, rather when he doesn't get his way he places his head on the floor and gives the most heart-wrenching cries you've ever heard from a little boy, complete with crocodile tears and big gulps for air. The best is when he does this from a standing position and ends up like a little pyramid in the middle of a room. He's walking (started at a little over 11 months), is great at shape-sorting, and loves LOVES to walk around with something stick-like in each hand with which to bang on things. At church nursery he heads straight for the little play structure where he can drop balls in and watch them travel through the toy and come out at the bottom. He likes to tackle his sister now that he can walk, and does so with all the intensity of a true wrestler (hands around the neck!), perhaps he's found his sport of choice. He's a total binky-baby with at least one in his hands and one in his mouth at night, more if you'll allow him. He even sucks on his sister's binkies- upside down. Elijah is a picky eater (his chosen diet is short enough to list: sausage, hot dogs, bread, blueberries, yogurt, granola bars, and cereal) thankfully he'll take any veggie pureed on a spoon so I try to pump those into him as much as possible. He's not that big a fan of the sippy but often pushes the bottle away too. The kid lives on air and carbs...we are working on this. Praise Baby is still a great distraction, especially if he's tired- he plants himself as close to the tv as he can get and just sits there with same game-face his daddy got when he used to play xbox. Another thing to note is that he is drawn to light like a wayward mosquito. Once he learned that pulling the little cord on the fan makes the light go on and off he literally climbs whoever is holding him to reach for it, straining with all his might with the biggest smile and widest eyes you've ever seen. Balloons get the same reaction and I just love his little head full 'o staticky curls. He is totally Mommy's little man.

Evelyn...Evie, Evs, Evie-Lyn, Evlyns...this girl has a got a lot of names as well. She is pretty much anti-talking right now, though she loves to use all kinds of inflection in her voice when she babbles (usually "Ba ba ba ba"). She can kill ya with a smile, open-mouthed and almost toothless (she has two bottom teeth). She is a seasoned walker (started at about 10 months), but look out if you get in her way- she is a temper tantrum thrower and loves to throw them when she gets underfoot and falls down. She has an ear-splitting cry when she's mad and often gives herself the hiccups because of it. Thankfully her redeeming qualities are plentiful- she's a pretty good sleeper, though every night we get a wake-up call at 11pm- just a couple whimpers and she's done -she eats like a champ (her diet is a bit more extensive but her favorites are: hot dogs, canned green beans and carrots, peas, cheese, lunch meat, strawberries, grapes, and today she ate a giant mushroom off my pizza). She too loves her binkies but is not as attached as her brother. She loves to lift heavy things, it's sometimes a bit shocking what she thinks she can carry around (the top of Nana's activity table? tipping over a huge laundry basket full of clothing to get at a pop can? no problem), and rarely plays with toys. Give this girl a spoon and the lid to a jar and she's content to walk the house just lookin around. Evelyn is truly glued to mommy's side, or rather, calf, and if I'm gone from a room more than 27 seconds she'll set out to find me. She also thinks she's a big kid and loves following the hoard of neighborhood kids up and down the block- no looking back at mom, off she goes the moment her little fat feet hit the concrete. I am slightly afraid of what adolescence will bring us with this little girl. She's a smarty pants, and already cops a little 'tude when we tell her what to do. While her brother can sit entranced by Praise Baby for the full 45 minutes, she lasts about 2 minutes before finding something else to do. She is a Daddy's girl all the way :)

Things I'm enjoying right now:
They love the dog, Elijah especially enjoys lounging on him, and Evelyn prefers to stand next to him and pat, pat, pat him on the neck. They both like to kiss and snuggle him.

While the past month has been extremely trying for me with this transition into the fall schedule, new nap schedule, and the occasional pop-up cold, I'm loving that we really are more flexible now adays. We have more things to distract us than ever before if we need to be out and about when one or both of them would prefer to nap: people are more interesting, food is a good option, even just a sippy of water can earn me minutes of calm.

Finally it feels like we can begin to enjoy those things that are supposed to be fun with kids- playdates, the park, holidays and outings, while we are still a long way from getting the most out of these activities it is so much fun to see them interact with their surroundings and the excitement at new things!

We're just loving our two little one-year-olds, despite the trials and tribulations of every-day life with two infant/toddlers, they are such a blessing and so much fun!

One More Day of "0"

I don't think I can begin to summarize my feelings on the past twelve months...I think it's a post I may work on for awhile so that I can get it just right.

Today however, we're in the throws of "the fall cold," nap transitioning, and the busyness of preparing for a birthday party so I guess I'll just do my best to enjoy this one last day of "no years old" and try to find a way to blog about it later :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011


They look good together don'tcha think?

They get into trouble together too...this was a lazy afternoon around the house when Evelyn pulled a bag full of garlic Parmesan pita chips out of the pantry and proceeded to dump them on the floor and have a heyday of garlicky goodness. All three of my children had garlic breath for the rest of the day (Samson being the 3rd).

On another note we scheduled one year pictures! Can't wait to see how those will turn out :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How Our Minds Work

This may be a boring post to some but I was struck again today by just how weird our minds are. I don't know about you but I've noticed that my mind has learned several things "on it's own" over the years...Maybe I should explain; you know how you associate a smell with a person/place/memory? Maybe it's a perfume, the smell of your favorite food, or how most of us think of Christmas when we smell cinnamon and nutmeg. Those are the most common unintentional things our minds learn but it can make other weird associations too. Maybe this strikes me more because I love psychology and understand why my mind has learned these things even though I had no intention of it doing so, but regardless I think it's pretty interesting if you can pick out similar things in your own brain. Maybe you'll never notice any of your own, but for the record, all of the following examples have taken me months or YEARS to realize where happening, but you remember the same moment in time often enough while always doing the same thing and eventually you start to notice...

For instance:
My kids got a new toy right around the time we took a road trip to Iowa. They played with it in the car often and it plays a cute little song about riding in the car. It also says "I'm a cat" etc. when you push on the different animals (B, this may sound familiar since it came from your house). Anyways, while they played with this new toy I was reading a new series of books- The Hunger Games. Guess what instantly pops into my head every single time the kids play with that toy?? Yup, The Hunger Games, specifically a female character that must have played a prominent part in the story when they were playing with that toy particularly hard.

Another example:
When I go to enter Evelyn's pin number into the phone directory for babyfood testing I always think of Harry Potter. Specifically the scene in The Goblet of Fire when the characters are taking a portkey to the Quidditch World Cup (yeah, I know...). I can only guess that I was watching that movie at one point when I was trying to remember her pin or entering it over and over as I often end up doing until I got it right.

My last example:
EVERY SINGLE TIME I CURL MY HAIR...I think of my friend Beth from college. I know why...it's because 7 years ago when she got married it took about 3 hours to spiral curl alllll of her very long hair. It's so ingrained in my mind I can't help but think of her every time I do it myself. Love you Beth!

There are various others that involve smell: two colognes that remind me of boys I liked in high school, the smell of hot pavement and diesel smells like India, cool weather with drizzly rain is Ireland, the smell of spring reminds me of a particular spring during my Junior year of high school, ketchup smells like Russ', etc.

So those are a few of my weird connections...what are yours?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sorry Sammy...

You know you've been neglecting your dog when...

You are walking past the bathroom to put away some clothes in the nursery and you suddenly hear the bath toy that is attached to the wall in shower going off. Since this particular toy never goes off on it's own and the curtain is shut you are confused.

Upon further investigation your dog is standing in the shower (curtain still closed, the toy gave away his otherwise stealth maneuvers).

You then watch as he proceeds to lick alllll the water up from the walls and drain left over from your shower that morning. It is then that you realize he has been sitting next to his water dish for about an hour and has now taken matters into his own paws finding the only other source of water in the house that is available to him. Sure, kids were crawling all over him while he sat there by his bowl, and he was looking cute and all, but his objective was obviously not babysitting. To borrow a term from The Pioneer Woman "Home Boy" was thirsty.

Sorry Sam, you've made a lot of sacrifices in the past year...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Sailing...Take Me Away...."

"...to where I always wanted to be...wanted to be..." Just a little N'Sync for your Tuesday-kinda-like-Monday morning. Enjoy!

And...That's a wrap.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bubble Wrapped

Bubbles. They like Evelyn.

She's kind of oblivious to them.
Would rather grab the camera.
"They don't dare stick to me."