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Monday, January 31, 2011

Bathtime Fun

Well, my camera is fixed, sorta. Julie figured out that it was a shutter problem, but now I've messed with the settings so much it's going to take a good hour to figure out how to get it back to normal. An hour I haven't found yet. So these pictures are from Cassie's camera and she even edited them for me on Picassa! (Thank you Cassie!)
I've mentioned it before but bathtime is my favorite time of day right now. Not only does it mean we are shortly away from bedtime (hey, I need some time to myself once in awhile!), but it typically turns even the grumpiest baby into a smiling, kicking, squealing ball of joy. It's so nice in fact, that if I weren't concerned I might dry out their skin too much, I would seriously consider plunking them in there once or twice MORE a day than just at night. It's guaranteed happiness, and we like that around here :)

Elijah happy despite his bad cold!

Evie being a ham. Nice bubble mohawk!

Oh no, two-finger sucker? Despite my efforts to make him a binky-baby I think this may be the outcome....
Next up once my camera is allll better: fun in the jumper!

Friday, January 21, 2011


I'm missing out on baby moments, if not for my phone I would really feel like a terrible mom! Next time I have someone at my house who can kid-sit for a bit I will run it to the store, I swear! I will also put away that stack of laundry, get the vacuum fixed, clean the floors, finish some arts/crafts projects, clean the bathroom, and update my blog with something more interesting than a list of unfinished chores. And now, I'm headed to the neighbors for game night :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I've had a lot of jobs in my life. I started working at 15, before I could even drive mom or dad took me to work at my first job at Andicott Floral. Then it was Bed Bath and Beyond, then Russ' for quite awhile, both in Grand Rapids and Holland. I had a brief stint at Kingma's Produce, then in college it was nannying, an office assistant in the Education Department at Hope, security at Holland Hospital, retail at Harborwear, and icecream scooper at Nutcracker Sweets. After college I was a Branns waitress, and finally kitchen designer at Standard and Youth Pastor at church. That's 12 jobs. While I absolutely loved being a youth pastor, and various things about all those other jobs, nothing comes close to being a stay at home mom and wife.
I always knew I was meant to be a mom, I remember telling people in college that it was all I really wanted to do. But I also knew I wanted to have a thorough education and of course, if it took a long time or I never got to be a mom, I wanted to be able to support myself...
While some days all I want is for Elijah and Evelyn to take a decent nap so I can get some stuff done or have a few moments to myself, all it really takes to define a good day is happy babies and food on the table for dinner. I know there are a lot of women who need to work outside of the home in order to feel fulfilled, and that's fine, but for me, this is really all I need.
Every day that passes I feel more and more settled into this lifestyle. We've reached the point where I can accomplish more than just one thing a day; like cleaning the bathroom AND writing a grocery list. Or doing a few loads of laundry AND reorganizing the nursery. They are little things but I love that my sense of accomplishment is growing as the babies learn to entertain themselves and be happy without being held all the time.
I've also noticed lately that some of the things I love most about being a mom and wife are small. I love being able to wear what I want every day. There's no dress code if I want to stay in comfy pants all day, but most of the time I enjoy just dressing the way I am most comfortable: jeans and a nice top. (I'm especially loving the long tops and leggings/skinny jeans- SO comfy yet fashionable!:) I also truly enjoy finding ways to stick to our budget while still making healthy meals and keeping us stocked with all the essentials plus some fun extras. Who'd have thought that finding a great price and free shipping online for cloth diaper detergent could feel like I won the lottery?
While life has gotten a bit more challenging lately the challenges are the type that really suit me. There is nothing better than providing comfort and happiness for my family. Overcoming obstacles like finding the best way to put a baby to sleep, or discovering a new recipe that's easy, inexpensive, and tasty, are keeping me busy and happy lately. I also love that I feel better able to keep up with friends and family. While coffee with friends or a day spent with my sister might seem like a luxury, it's part of what keeps me sane and allows all of us time to talk about our kids, our faiths, our marriages, etc. It's like a business lunch, only better, because these are people I really want to invest my time in!
This might seem like a silly post, but since one day I plan to print out my blog for posterity, I think it's important to write about the little things and not just major milestones. Right now I'm really enjoying the little things.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Heemstras Lately

I know it's time to update the blog but I'm at a loss for a good topic so I'll just give a brief glimpse into our lives lately.
Andy has been flying quite a bit, most recently he was gone for a week and I did my first two nights alone. I had help from friends/family for 4 of the 6 nights but I'm glad I went ahead and took the plunge into doing a couple nights by myself. Things like that always seem more intimidating than they are don't they? It isn't something I'd want to do on a super regular basis, but I have to say it went well. I just keep telling myself this stage is brief. Pretty soon they'll be sleeping completely through the night and then I won't have to worry about who will be here with me or whether I'm mentally capable of handling a whole night alone!
The babies are doing well at night; we seem to have established a bedtime of 7:30 or 8pm and we've developed a good routine. We start out with a nice bath, fresh (and over-stuffed for duration) diapers and pjs. Then we grab a couple warm bottles of nighttime formula. The nighttime formula is thicker and sometimes a bit for Elijah to handle since we have to use faster-flow nipples, but regardless the effort usually knocks them both out. If we're lucky they sleep until 1 or 2 am, eat, sleep till 5am, eat, then sleep again until 8 or 9am. Ideally we all get up at 8am as this sets us up for hitting the same bedtime that night. The morning nap seems to be getting regular too. They definitely sleep the longest stint of the day at around 9:30 or 10am.
Right now daytimes are still a trick. Elijah is a hot and cold baby- when he's happy he's very happy, when he's not he is VERY not! He also sleeps much less than Evelyn so I'm constantly making him "try" to nap when his sister does though we are largely unsuccessful. Thankfully having just one baby awake allows us to spend some quality time with him and Evie still gets the sleep she needs whether we are in and out of the nursery with Eli or not.
Evie is in many ways the "easy" baby. She usually puts herself to sleep like a dream- put her in bed on her tummy, insert pacifier, cover with blankie, done. As long as she's tired, she'll close her eyes and try to sleep no matter how wide awake she seemed before. A couple days ago she even fell asleep with the hiccups! In fact, if I try to put her to sleep with rocking or cuddling it is actually a more difficult process. She lets us know when she is tired and down she goes. Elijah needs rocking but since we switched him to his belly we've accomplished the "drowsy but awake" approach to laying him down which works most of the time.
Right now my favorite time of the day is bathtime, they love their baths now! Both of them will sit in their little seats and smile away as we pour water over them and scrub them from head to toe. Andy and I both take our time as they seem to enjoy it so much. They are also getting better about lotion applications so I like to give them each a little massage before putting on the pjs. Bedtime is pleasant most nights and since they go to bed at 8 o'clock it seems like we finally have a little time to ourselves to accomplish whatever we can't get done between naps during the day or to just plain relax!
One of the most fun developments is that they are becoming very aware of their surroundings, including each other. If we prop them in such a way that they can see each other they both break out in huge grins. Eli is really finding his voice and getting louder, he'll talk and talk to Evelyn who mainly smiles face-cracking smiles back with the occasional verbal response. They do tummy time together and grab at toys, suck on blankets, grab each other's hands, etc. I forget that being so aware of other babies isn't "normal" at this age- when they see other babies their age they both try to smile and/or coo at them but most babies simply don't respond! Maybe being a twin helps them learn some social skills a bit early??
They've also started "exercising" alot. Until now they were so small and basically immobile that we rarely had to strap them into their swings and bouncies. Not so anymore! Several times they've kicked their way to the bottom of a bouncy and today Evie's little feet were tapping the ground as she swung, she'd worked her way down so far. She also likes to pull acrobatics in the crib: a couple weeks ago I found her in the exact opposite position I'd left her in- feet where her head had been! Since her mattress is slightly inclined right now I think this did not help her congestion :).
As for me, I've started going to TCC's women's Bible Study. I also have MOPS twice a month, and the neighborhood girls and allll the kiddos have been getting together once a week for coffee in the morning. We pass babies around and enjoy catching up. This week we started talking about joining the new Kroc Center nearby so we can work out together and I'm hoping if we join to do the baby swim classes you can start at 6 months. Gotta get ready for summer!!
In short, we've been having a lot of fun lately, I can't believe in just a few short weeks we'll already be able to start "solid" foods in the form of rice cereal! Both babies can sit in the bumbo and love to "stand" on our laps. They are growing in leaps and bounds and we are loving watching them change and learn!
(I'm sorry for the lack of pictures, our camera is on the fritz so I've mainly been taking pictures with my phone and uploading those to Facebook...hope to get our good camera fixed soon!!)