Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Merry Christmas

Christmas time is here!  It is my favorite time of year and I can confidently say that this is my happiest Christmas I've ever had, now that my little girls are here celebrating along with us.

There is so much I enjoy about this time of year: the use of cinnamon and nutmeg in tasty treats and coffee, classical Christmas Music, cooler weather, doing good for others and remembering the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ within our church community.

I started playing Christmas music during mine and the girls' breakfast every morning, starting the day after Thanksgiving. They love the music and tend to do a little jig in their seats while eating their Cheerios, which I love.  What's better than a little dance party to cheerful music in the morning?

Trae and I looked forward to taking Lyla and Nixon to "meet" Santa Claus for months. We made an official appointment to meet him, so we could avoid any lines and got to meet him right away! We held them while we said "hello" to Santa, so the girls could get a good luck at Santa before sitting on his lap and seemed cautious, but inquisitive.  In true Nixon-form, she was so interested in him- she just stared at him and I could see her little wheels moving and knew if she sat there much longer, his beard would be pulled, for sure.  No tears- just lots of stares at his beard, which made Trae and I laugh.   Lyla looked at him and then looked back at us, behind the camera jumping up and down like crazy trying to get a smile out of our stunned little girls.  Once she saw us not coming to pick her up.. the cries started and didn't stop until Mama ran over to comfort her.  Let's be honest though, the crying photo really is the cuter photo.

To be fair, here are the other cute photos proving my Lyla was a brave baby girl for the first few shots.

 After all the Santa-drama we decided to go out and treat the girls to a lunch out with Mom and Dad.  Thankfully, Austin has lots of healthy lunch spots where I can be sure the girls will have healthy, nutritious (even organic) food options!  Throw on a long sleeved bib and some yummy bib and my smiley babies were back!!

"Hey Ma- I love pesto sauce!"

Our church hosts a Vespers concert, performed by the Texas Lutheran choir, every year.  I attended the event when I, myself was a TLU student, but haven't had the availability to attend again until this year.  Trae and I thought the girls would love the event since it had everything they loved: Christmas lights, Christmas music, and our church.. Ok, and snacks that mom and dad fed them to keep them quiet. 
It was a beautiful concert. The choir blew us away with their vocal performance.  It was because of their amazing performance I felt SO BADLY when Lyla started squealing in delight when they would start singing. And OF COURSE it was always during a lull in the music or during a classically serene moment that she decided she would "sing" along.  

I was that mom. 

Although our neighbors sitting around us were very kind, giving us smiles, giggles and reassuring pats on the shoulders, I just couldn't bear to think that my daughter was taking anything away from the beautiful experience from someone else, so I took her to the back of the church where our Pastor was there to greet us. Having daughters himself, he offered to take her from me to give me arms a break. Loving Pastor Pete and also loving the opportunity to shake my arms out from carrying my big girl, I took him up on it!   

Have I mentioned lately how difficult Lyla is to hold? She is a mover and a shaker!
A   's q u i r m e r' , if you will. 

Throw in some upbeat Christmas music and a beautiful Christmas display and she was downright dancing in Pastor Pete's arms. He peered at me over his glasses chuckling "woah! She is heavy!" I could only laugh and nod my head in agreement before we both agreed she was too excited to be held by someone who wasn't used to her 'classic' dance moves.
"Go Bulldogs!"

Lyla and I watched the entire program from the back of the church, her "singing" and dancing the whole time.  It was an amazing event, one that we plan to go to yearly.. but hopefully be able to sit through it, next year.

This year we celebrated Christmas from our house. While Trae's work schedule dictated our plans a bit, we were glad to start the tradition of celebrating Christmas Day at our house, without rushing to get anywhere.  We have always wanted our babes to enjoy the Christmas tradition of going to church, coming home to a home cooked meal and waking up to see what Santa brought them in their own house and then chilling out in our PJ's all day, like Trae and I so fondly remember doing ourselves.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was just the 4 of us, so we chose to go out to eat for dinner (between nap times at 1:00) and the girls loved getting all dolled up in their Christmas best and enjoying a little dinner with Mom and Dad.
We went to Maggiano's since it was close to the house, not super formal (or expensive), had wine (yes, it was 1:00.. but it was also Christmas Eve celebration!), AND Maggiano's has a special deal where you can buy a meal and get a 2nd portion for the "next day".

Since we ate our "dinner" for lunch, this ensured that we would have an actual Christmas dinner when we got home from church that night! Win, Win!
Lyla giggling at Christmas Eve dinner

After a yummy meal, we attempted a family photo while Lyla was loudly telling us how tired she was, and then left.
Sweet Lyla T. fell asleep on the way home.

A blurry picture at our first Christmas Eve Dinner!
Our kiddos are such schedule-junkies from their A-type Mama who lives and breathes with lists and schedules, so I can't blame the sweet girl for just trying to keep to her sleep schedule!
We didn't want to wake her and relive the TLU Vesper concert , so we let her sleep in the car while I went inside, played with Nixon on the floor, made bottles, changed Nixon and came back to the car 30 minutes later.. still with Trae in the car, with the car running and Lyla still sleeping.  


Church, as always, was beautiful. This was our first year at the kid-friendly early service, and while we missed the candlelit songs and full choir, we loved being around all the families and little kids that sang and clapped throughout the service. It gave us a glimpse of what we had to look forward to over the coming years.  
Both babes did great, loving the music and clapping through the service.  

Christmas Eve church service at St. Martins
We stopped by the Chapel on the way out of church and spoke to the boys, like we normally do when at church. However, stopping by on Christmas Eve was such a surreal experience. No one else was in the Chapel except the 4 of us, so we got to hold Lyla & Nixon and just "be".  Trae and I looked at each other with tears in our eyes, some representing the happiness that we felt, having our healthy girls in our arms and some for the baby boys that we are missing so terribly still, every day.

While we love that the boys ashes are at our church, surrounded by love.. we take comfort in the fact that we feel the boys with us at home all the time.. not just at church. 

We dressed the girls in their Christmas PJ's that night after their normal bed time routine and told them all about Jesus who died for us, explained that their brothers are with Jesus and God and went to bed with a grateful heart.

Christmas Day

Christmas Day morning, my parents (Nana & Pop Pop) drove in from San Antonio. We made blueberry pancakes & eggs for us all, along with the traditional coffee & mimosas to go around. The girls gobbled their pancakes down in no time, like they were all ready to see what Santa brought them!

We took the girls to the tree to see their toys & unwrap their gifts and while they didn't really 'get' the excitement, they got lots of toys that sang to them & lit up and they were ALL ABOUT them. Nixon also really enjoyed ripping the wrapping paper slowly then putting it in her mouth. 

"No Nixon, don't play with the paper- look at the toy- how neat!"
..Nixon is grabbing for the piece of paper I just removed from her mouth..

My brother, his wife Mandy and my niece and nephew came over to play, open gifts and spend time together.  It was so great to see Lyla & Nixon play with Addison & Jack and have fun together. 

My Mom, Dad & Brother
Aunt Mandy & Lyla having fun on Christmas Day
Addison & Jack showing Lyla their new toys
Lyla wanting Mom to stop taking photos and to start playing, already!
December 26, 2014

The day after Christmas, we packed up the car with all the gifts for Trae's family and hit the road to go to Glen Rose. Trae's sister, Carrie & her family was already there and Trae's mom already had the house all ready for us, as usual.

Glen Rose is always such a treat to visit- it's relaxing and beautiful and when its decorated for Christmas, its no exception! Sharon loves to decorate and her house looked so festive all lit up.  Lyla & Nixon loved looking around at all the lights and bright decor.

We all exchanged gifts and loved watching Lyla & Nixon help us unwrap our gifts and play with all their new fun toys.

Their 1st baby dolls!

Poppy pitching in during bath time

Aunt Janice coming to visit
We stayed in Glen Rose for a couple more days before Trae and I left the girls with their Nana & Poppy while we returned to Austin to have our new closet installed.  We had a busy 3 days of organization without our little ladies, but ended up with a beautiful new organized closet that we adore.  

Christmas was such a blessing. We got everything we wanted in being able to spend time with all our family this Christmas with Lyla & Nixon.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

9 Months

Lyla & Nixon's 9th Month started on a crisp, beautiful THANKSGIVING day!

Turkey Trotting
Nana & Poppy Schultz were in town cooking up all of our Thanksgiving favorites and setting the house up for our friends to join us for dinner before we made our way down to our last Texas Longhorn tailgate of the season!

Trae and I decided to start a new tradition for our little family of 4, of running the Austin Turkey Trot.  It's an activity we used to do before we started having babies, and one we really enjoy. Austin is such a fit city, its really fun to get out & get some good exercise in with thousands of other Austinites,  before a day of eating yummy treats.
All done with our trot!
Happy girls with their papa post trot

I was a little worried with how the girls would react to all the noise, runners, cold weather since the run was right in the middle of what should be their long morning nap.  I had visions of my girls flipping out a mile into the race and us saying "sorry- 4 more miles to go!".  Thankfully my little ladies were total champs and loved looking at everyone running by and waving at them (our girls tend to take after Mommy & Daddy and be social butterflies wherever they go).  About a mile in, they dozed off and slept until the very end of the event! They woke up all smiles and happy little girls to be heading home to lots of yummy food!

Their Nana had set aside perfect portions of turkey and potato's for the girls to dig into when they got home and did they ever!  They liked turkey quite a bit, and didn't care much for the macaroni & cheese (what?!) but the mashed potatoes they LOVED.  When Lyla  likes something very much she will jump up and down in her seat and flap her hands like a little bird making an "mmm mmmmmm, mmmmmm" sound while Nixon will sit patiently but stare you down until you give her another bite.

"More Mashed Potatoes, please!"
Tailgating in style

After our delicious meal, we all headed down to tailgate to celebrate the football season with our family & friends.  The girls got to play with all the other kids, practice crawling around on the grass and "talk" to anyone who wanted to listen. After a busy day, we headed home for an early dinner & bedtime while Papa & Poppy stayed to watch the game.  A GREAT 1st Thanksgiving for my loves.

Family Tailgate photo, Hook 'EM!
All ready for tailgate for Nana & Poppy!
"Sister, Thanksgiving is FUN!"

9 Month Dr Appointment

The girls did quite well for their 9 month appointment.  Both had to have a shot, but Mommy has gotten smarter after all these shots and came armed with a bottle, which calmed them down immediately after the shot and made for a much better overall experience for everyone.

It shouldn't come as a surprise to us how much our girls are growing, but my goodness- they are growing like weeds!  It's more common for twins to run a bit small in their first year, but not our twins! Our twins are above most singletons on the growth chart and growing!  I'm guessing once we start getting more mobile and active, their weights will taper off a bit, but until then.. we're just some healthy little girls.  I remind them often that Mama & Papa were also healthy babies and that it's just GREAT.



9 Month Updates

It's official.. Lyla is crawling.   She was so close for so long... we were expecting it to happen earlier since she was practicing anytime we put her on the floor since October.  Something clicked around Thanksgiving and sure enough.. away she went!

Lyla is LOVING her new found freedom.  If this is any indicator of her teenage years.. I'm in trouble!  Of course I hadn't gotten around to baby-proofing my house for the impending crawling... despite seeing it coming for weeks, so when Lyla immediately started crawling towards every outlet in our house and trying to stick her teeny tiny fingers in the teeny tiny death holes I shrieked and stuck her in her bouncer for 30 minutes while I dug out our outlet covers and proceeded to cover up every single outlet on our lower level.  Funny how she doesn't like them anymore now that they are covered.   Once the outlets were covered, she made her way over to our fireplace to start practicing pulling up.  I continually redirect her over to the padded leather couch & padded ottoman to practice pulling up, but she insists to learn over by the hard, brick fireplace. Needless to say, I am on the lookout for something to make our fireplace safe as I write this. The newest spot we're exploring is the dog door. Lyla loves to go over to it and peek out the plastic flap looking for George to come and lick her on the face.  Meanwhile I'm diving for my baby while having visions of dogs running her over or her deciding she can stand up and crawl out of the dog door. (yes, I know I'm crazy..)
"Look, Mama! I found the dog bowls! "
And she's off!!
"Look Mama! Stairs! I want to go UP them!!! "
Lyla has 6 teeth (4 top and 2 bottom), loves to bite on anything and also loves to grind her little teeth together which has me in goose bumps from the terrible sound it makes.  I'm hoping she is just getting used to having her teeth there and this grinding stops soon- it's like nails on a chalkboard!!
Bathtime SPLASH PARTY!!!!!!

Both my girls LOVE bath time. Thank Goodness.  We bathe every single night as party of our nightly routine and it's a fun time every s i n g l e night. Lyla treats it like a splash party, soaking Mama & Papa like we are in the Shamu Splash Zone while Nixon loves playing with the rubber ducks and hearing Mama say "quack, quack, quack".

Lyla is our independent, smiley girl. As long as she isn't exhausted or super hungry.. you will almost always see our girl with a big smile on her face. Even when she is angry, she tends to smile thru it.. almost as if she's saying "I know I'm being silly, Ma.. but it's hard and I'm MAD!"  She loves playing games and anything with a song or noise to it will automatically catch her attention. She is very inquisitive and likes to find things out by feeling, touching & figuring it out. She is a true giggle monster and loves to play hard, often wrestling with Mom, Dad, the dogs and of course her twin sister.  We love our Lyla-bean, So much.
Miss Lyla is my more picky eater, preferring fruit over any meat, cheese or vegetable.  A true favorite are the yogurt melts that I give after breakfast or dinner is over, as a dessert. If Lyla had it her way, it would be her whole meal. Well, that and bananas. Lyla-Bean loooooves her some bananas!


Miss Nixon isn't crawling yet.  She likes to sit and stare at Lyla crawling everyone and Mama chasing after her.  While she isn't crawling, she is rocking on her hands and knees and 'army-crawling' around the playmate to get to the toy she wants to play with.

My "Nixie-bear" is definitely my contemplative baby. She likes to analyze situations and fully understand a situation before reacting, unlike her more compulsive twin sister. She ADORES her time with her Papa, always giving big cheeky grins to him and belly laughs when he leans in and gives her bunches of kisses.  She LOVES watching Lyla play, talk and do just about anything.   If sister isn't paying attention to her, Nixon will laugh or grunt to get her attention, then giggle excitedly when it works.  She'll do just about anything to gain attention from Mama, Papa and sister including squealing, giggling or making a funny face.  I wonder if my little Nixon will be the joker or actress of our family! Nixon is also my lovey-dovey baby. She loves hugs, kisses and sitting on laps.  She does not like to be left alone in a room.  If sister isn't next to her and you leave her side... instant cries commence. She really is the kindest soul and we LOVE her so!

Like her sister, Nixon also has 6 teeth (4 top, 2 lower) and is drooling like crazy so I know another tooth will sprout up in the next few weeks.  Nixon is such a great sleeper, so I know anytime she starts waking up in the middle of a night, we have a new tooth trying to come to the Schultz party.  The past few weeks she has been waking up around 2-3AM so we'll see!

Nixon loves to eat just about anything. If she doesn't care for it, she might make a "yuck" face in the first 2-3 spoonfuls, but will finish it off when sister will turn her head or "whack" the spoon away, spraying food all over Mama & Papa.  Her favorites include pears, prunes, sweet potato, tilapia, shredded cheese and greek yogurt.

Additional 9 Month Happenings...

 We love our city so much that Trae and I have made it a point to get out and involve ourselves in some of the many children-friendly activities.  This month we took the kids to the Chuys parade downtown.  It was a super windy day, but it was fun to see all the big balloons come down Congress Avenue with our awesome police, fire and EMS crews with their lights on.  L&N didn't seem to care, or even really notice the mammoth sized balloons - they liked pulling our sunglasses off and seeing all the crowds much better. So we'll try again next year.. for now, parades are out.

I make 90% of the girls' food from scratch. I enjoy making them healthy, organic food and knowing they are getting the best nutrients for their little growing bodies. It's really been a lot of fun to see their taste buds mature and watch them try new things.  We tried spaghetti this month and were BIG, BIG fans of it. They literally were licking their trays when all the chicken and noodles were gone.   So I learned spaghetti needs to be in our rotation and I ALSO learned that tomato sauce stains white trays as I spent hours bleaching their trays long after dinner was over.

 We took a trip into San Antonio this month to see Nana & Pop-Pop Young and L&N's Great-Grandmother, Jeanne.  It was a fun visit with Lyla crawling all over the place and both girls getting to play with some of my old baby toys that my Mom kept.  My mom also kept all the dresses she smocked for me 30something years ago and is now giving me all the dresses I wore so the girls can wear them! I love that L&N will get to wear my dresses made by my Mama all those years ago!