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smith twins: 6 months old.

I did something a little different for the boys’ 6 month update.  You may remember Dhara’s 10 month film.  I thought it would be lovely to do a little family film in similar fashion.  I’m so excited about this one — Josh filmed it, but he wasn’t sure if he got enough footage.  I wasn’t sure either, but I love a good film challenge!  After sitting down and going through each clip, I found bits and pieces that I loved, and reacquainted myself with Final Cut Pro.

The final product contains all the necessary pieces that really make for a successful Smith Family film: my husband sporting his fall beard and a lumberjack shirt, our comfy cozy leather chair that reminds us of a baseball glove, a beeeeautiful fall afternoon, and a baby, or two.  Enjoy : )

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smith twins: 5 months old.

I’m still a whole month behind on these little guys’ monthly photo shoots.  They just turned 6 months old — but these 5 month photos have got to be posted!  My lovies are getting to be big boys!  I can’t believe I have two sons!  Two rolly polly bundles of goodness who are completely different in every way possible.  At times they don’t even feel like twins because they are so different.  Rather, it’s like we’re caring for two babies who could have been born to us consecutively instead of at the same time.  This month it was all about the boys recognizing familiar people, smiling a whole lot, laughing out loud, grabbing things, and lots of baby talk.  Oh, and their hair has finally started to come in, so say goodbye to my baldy boys.

Rohan is definitely the bigger one of the two, but both boys are above average and have the chunky thighs to prove it!  This month they both began rolling.  Rohan was the first to roll due to his heavier weight.  He easily can roll from his back to his tummy, but not the other way around.  When he gets tired of being on his tummy, he sets his forehead down on his arm and cries like there’s no tomorrow — it’s hilarious to see, but of course we quickly scoop him up for a hug and lots of kisses! Rohan is not at all afraid of strangers — he’ll give anyone that huge handsome grin.

Kieran is our mover, shaker and thinker.  While he couldn’t roll as fast as Rohan initially, he can roll from his back to his tummy, and can roll back to his back, and quick too!  He can also scoot from one place to the other.  Kieran is very loving.  I love the way he tenderly holds my face and gives me wet slobbery kisses. Kieran is more apprehensive when it comes to new people — he will stare you down like no other.  But not to worry, he has beautiful, twinkly, almond shaped eyes that make you forget why he’s staring you down.

smith twins: 4 months old.

It’s neat how much your love can grow in a mere month!  We totally are in love with these little guys.  Their personalities have blossomed in such a short time. This update should have been posted sooner, but I thought better late than never. It’s so fun to watch these two grow together.  Every morning around 6 AM they wake me up with their chatter.  They start off in the crib together the night before, but by morning, one is usually in our bed.  So once they awake at 6 in the morning, I bring both into our bed, position them so they are facing each other, and then wait expectantly.  It usually takes them about 10 seconds to notice one another, but when they do it’s all smiles and coos and baby jabber for the next 15 – 20 minutes. They touch each other’s face and really communicate with one another with their “ahhh’s” and “ohhhhs”– it’s the sweetest thing!

Oh Rohan, Rohan Rohan… Your smiles never cease.  They are forever constant. One meaning of your name is “healing/medicine” — and it reminds me of the verse, Psalms 17:22, “A merry heart doeth good like medicine…”  This verse is so very appropriate for you.  I can see you delighting our hearts with your pleasant sun shine eyes and great big smile for as long as we live.  May God use you to heal hearts, and bring joy to people’s lives.

Kieran, you are so light on your toes, energetic and so full of life.  You are so precious, and so charming.  You love looking at the world around you.  Your name means “shining light”, and it reminds me of Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”  Your presence cannot be hidden because you make yourself known.  For fun, you love listening to the sound of your own squeals, and I love it too. We love all the chirps, coos, and baby words that come out of that adorable mouth.

these basket photos make me crack up because kieran is sitting on rohan’s lap. my two dear little boys! eeeee…love it!

smith twins: 3 months old.

It seems that blogging is much harder to do when you have more than one child, at least that’s been the case for me.  Gone are the days when I had all the time in the world when it was just Miss Dhara and I at home during the day.  These days it’s all about putting babies down for naps, taking short walks around the house with them when they’re awake because they love to look at the world around them, feeding, making meals interesting to my daughter, cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning.  The cleaning never ends.

But what’s the most exciting part of these last 3 months?  My baldy boys are over their colic/gassiness, well for the most part!  It feels sooo good to put them down for naps that last longer than 10 minutes!  They also smile alot now, and coo, and baby talk — oh, let the fun begin!  I was waiting for this stage, and whew, we’re finally here…

Rohan, not as serious as in the photo set above.  He is actually quite the opposite. I imagine him to be of the jolly sort when he’s older because he is all smiles.  His smiles consume him, as if he’s going to fall over from the sheer joy of it all.  I wasn’t able to capture any of it in this shoot because he was so enthralled/stunned by the camera.  I think he’s going to be a talker — he absolutely loves being in your arms, looking you right in the eye, and making conversation.  Rohan is also my squishy one.

Kieran is energetic and also loves being near people like his daddy.  These days he’s pretty enthralled by his fist and what it tastes like.  When you move his hands from his mouth, he’ll give you a charming smile like he knows he’s doing something he’s not supposed to be doing.  He also loves standing on his legs.  Kieran is generally very laid back and chill, but when he’s mad, oh he’ll let you know!  And Rohan is generally happy and cuddly and super expressive, but when he’s sad he makes it known.  Let’s just say that both boys have quite the set of lungs, and use them well!  It’s so amazing to Greg and I how different our two boys are.

the aunty who helps me with the kids loves to sit on the floor (in true Indian fashion), and dhara loves it too, so all on the floor they go!  dhara reading to the boys with her book upside down.

smith twins: 2 months old.

[Overdue May 25th Post/Photos].  My baby boys are growing into chubby little fellas.  It’s weird to think I gave birth to tiny 5 pound babies when my daughter was a 9 pounder!  Now, at 2 months old, they look alot like Dhara when she was born [in terms of their size].  This last month was really rough.  My poor babies were colicky/ gassy.  They still cry alot, and don’t sleep very long before gas pains wake them up.

This second month was the month I was supposed to be on my own with the kids since everyone at home works.  (Eeeee!  Home alone with colicky twins and a toddler is a scary thought).  The first month was covered with Greg staying home for 3 weeks, and then my super helpful sister who took off a week of work to help me with the kids.  This second month would have been a nightmare had it not been for my mom who was prayerfully determined to find help.

So we hired a Liberian woman named Cecilia to help me with the kids during the day.  After a week we realized that wasn’t going to work out.  Next, we immediately found the sweetest Indian aunty to help us with the kids.  She’s a godsend, I love her!  And she loves the kids like they are her own grandchildren — I love watching her with them.  The funny thing is that I only speak English and she only speaks Malayalam (our native dialect) — but we make it work and it’s better than I could have imagined — thank you Jesus!  So with her help, the both of us have managed to run around the house like crazy women consoling these two little ones.  Even though it’s been rough on the boys and us, these little guys have really begun to carve themselves into this family, and we love them for it:

Rohan: A sweetheart.  He’s sooo cuddly + squishy, just look at those cheeks!  He’ll give you a full blown smile, and it’s the most endearing thing.  He reminds me of my dad + brother.

Kieran: Also a sweetheart!  He’s strong + serious, yet will smile at you from the corner of his mouth revealing a very charming smile.  He reminds me of myself + Dhara.

rohan / kieran

practicing their synchronized swimming moves

on one of the quilts grandma sandy made for each of them

 

rohan hudson + kieran tozer.

Our twin boys are finally here!  Meet Rohan Hudson + Kieran Tozer.  (First names pronounced “row-haan” and “keer-in.”)  And 4 weeks early too!  Rohan and Kieran, fraternal twins, were born at 36 weeks gestation via cesarean section on Saturday, March 24th, 2012 because my water broke at 3 AM that morning.

Rohan, the elder of the two [by a minute], was born at 9:32 AM at 5 pounds/6 ounces and 19.25 inches long.  Kieran, was born at 9:33 AM at 5 pounds/13.4 ounces and 18.5 inches long.  Greg and I are truly in awe of these little people. It’s the sweetest thing to see our two boys laying together in their cot, forehead to forehead like best buds.

Like Dhara’s name, it was important to us that we choose meaningful names that represent our heritage.  The boys’ first names are Indian.  And if you are wondering about their middle names, Greg was keen on naming them after mighty men of God who lived their lives for the glory and honor of God.  Men who made an impact for the Kingdom.  Men who the boys can look to as a godly example and inspiration as they grow into men.  When Greg told me of his idea for middle names I immediately fell in love with it, hence the names Hudson and Tozer!

Rohan:  in Sanskrit, it means the one who takes the higher path; ascending; it also means healing, medicine / Hudson: after Hudson Taylor; radical missionary to China, man of faith, purpose, and resolve — a man who changed a nation.

Kieran:  in Sanskrit, it means ray of light / Tozer: after A. W. Tozer; Christian writer, a man of clarity and understanding, a man who knew God, encouraged others and helped others passionately pursue God.

our little smith dudes

Health-wise, we are so thankful that the boys have normal levels of jaundice, unlike what we went through with the Dhara-girl.  And my incision from the c-section is healing nicely.  Exciting news — we also may be going home today! [We joke that the babies aren’t really ours until we have permission from the hospital to take them home — until then, the babies belong to the hospital.] Overall, we are so grateful for all the prayers and love we received these past 9 months, and are so excited to now be a family of five!

30 weeks pregnant with twins.

Today, I am officially 30 weeks pregnant with our twin boys.  Twins are known to come earlier than singletons — which makes me wonder how much more time I have with my little family before our lives change forever.  I especially think about the time I have with Dhara.  She knows about her brothers, but she doesn’t really know what’s coming!  I pray she embraces the change!  Anyway, I’m hoping to make it to 37 weeks, at least.  Dhara arrived at 40 weeks on the dot!

These past couple weeks I’ve begun to feel more preggo.  I feel like a waddler.  I’m having more and more back/hip pain if I stand or walk around too much — shopping excursions with Dhara are becoming more difficult.  I usually like to save all my errands for one day of the week, but these days more than a couple hours on my feet means pain.  I feel pretty sore turning in bed, and getting in and out of bed must look pretty hilarious.  And every hour or so (maybe even more) my tummy tightens up like a basketball from a Braxton Hicks contraction — I don’t remember having them as often with Dhara.  I’m feeling a whole lot of movement — these guys are definitely trying to get comfortable in there, but it must hard due to the lack of space.  I do feel more movement than I feel kicks; although once in a while I’ll feel a strong kick which really takes me by surprise!  Even more recently I’ve begun to feel little hiccups which fondly remind me of Dhara, she used to get them all the time.

I still can’t believe there’s two of them in there.  I can’t wait to meet them, see what they look like — if they look the same or if they look different, if they look like Greg or look like me, kiss their little feet, snuggle close, give them soothing Indian oil massages, and tote them around in a comfy wrap.  So exciting!  Let’s hope they turn in the right direction come delivery time!  Next week I hope to post some of the baby sewing projects I’ve been working on — some cute stuff, stay tuned!

my diaper bag dilemma.

I’ve been on the search for a new diaper bag.  For my 30th birthday a couple weeks ago, my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and could you believe I asked him for “a really nice diaper bag?”  : )

For the past two years I’ve been toting around a Vera Bradley diaper bag — I like it alot, but I’m ready for a change.  I want something a little more “city,” as I’d like to call it. Something a little more stylish and not diaper-bag-like.  I’d prefer a nice leather bag, but of course that’s not practical considering I’d be carrying around bottles, food, and a wet bag of soiled cloth diapers.  So the search for the perfect undiaper bag has been pretty hard!  Someone seriously needs to get on the ball and make better looking diaper bags, because I must say that most diaper bags out there are so darn unattractive.  So I recruited my best friend, Gifty, to help me on the diaper bag search.  It took a while, but we narrowed down the options to 3 bags.  All of them being backpack type options because I honestly think a backpack would be the most convenient for toting around twins and a 2 year old.  I’m really torn between what to choose.  What would you choose?

SYM Charlie Diaper Bag – I love that this looks like a travel bag of sorts.  It’s got leather handles and even turns into a backpack.  I contacted SYM’s Catherine Choi, the designer of this bag, and she said she knows mothers of twins who use this bag and it totally works if you aren’t a person who carries alot.  I’m just not sure if it would hold enough for three kids.  But I overall love the look, and the fact that it’s a full fledged diaper bag that doesn’t look dorky.

Infusion Rucksack Bag – I LOVE that this is just a normal bag — it’s not a diaper bag.  I especially love rucksacks: a backpack in it’s simplest form.  This bag is so classy looking for a simple backpack/rucksack, in my opinion.  The only thing is that this bag isn’t lined inside, so accidental spills could ruin it.  I also contacted Infusion’s Abby Meadow, the designer of this rucksack, and she mentioned that there are moms who use this bag as a diaper bag and love it.  Overall, love it’s simplicity.

Okkatots Diaper Bag – This is NOT my ideal bag, but I included it in my top 3 because it’s so darn roomy.  This backpack honestly seems like the most ideal bag to carry 3 kids worth of items, and in a completely organized manner.  Look at all those compartments!  If I choose this bag, it would be functionality over fashion for sure!  In the end, I’m not opposed to choosing a bag for its functionality because it would probably pose as the easiest/most convenient solution, but then again, a girl’s gotta have a nice bag, right?  ; )

twin update + birthing options.

I had my fourth ultrasound this week at 26 weeks / 4 days.  It’s always a relief to see that the babies are growing healthy and strong.  They move around alot these days too — to the point where I can see my tummy jump in various spots.  I don’t remember Dhara having as much movement in utero.  The perintologist, a chatterbox for sure, said I most probably would not go past 38 weeks, but could go as early as 36 weeks!  Ahhh, that feels so soon!  The following ultrasound photos are from 23 weeks gestation.  Here are the most recent stats:

baby A: 23 weeks – 1.9 pounds / 26 weeks – 2.4 pounds, 149 beats/min

baby B: 23 weeks – 1.9 pounds / 26 weeks – 2.7 pounds, 145 beats/min

Back in mid August 2011, when we first found out we were pregnant with our second (at that point in our minds it was a singleton), we decided we’d like to look into birthing at a local birthing center.  So we drove an hour to the closest birthing center — a cute, old, white house — and took the tour.  While it seemed like a nice option, we felt that birthing at home would be a similar option, if not a better option.  I didn’t feel inclined to birth on their queen sized beds for some reason — it was a very clean facility, but just imagine sheets from the 70’s.  Although their birthing tub seemed more up my alley for a water birth — dim lights and a calm atmosphere.  But we still concluded that the birth center was not for us.  We really like the idea of a home birth, but not in my parents house!  …Maybe one of these days we’ll have my home water birth if God grants me my dream of a cozy old farmhouse or victorian cottage that Greg could fix up.

Now that we’re having two bambinos, the both of us seem to be the most comfortable birthing in a hospital.  There just seems to be too many risk factors involved.  One being that Baby A be in the head down position to have a normal birth and avoid a c-section.  The other reason being that Dhara had a high case of jaundice, and there is a chance that these babies could too; although we are praying that they don’t, because it’s really hard on our hearts and their little bodies.

Overall, everything is going great, and there are no complications, thank the good Lord!  We are getting our room ready for two little ones to join us, although I’m still not sure what we’re going to do with Dhara since she still sleeps in our bed.  We finally found a double stroller we love, and started a little pile of boy clothes — although, I must say, boy shopping is no fun.  No, not at all!

flashback.

…to this past summer 2011.  I came across photos of Dhara and her little cousins peach picking, so I had to post them!  Makes me excited for warmer weather and fresh fruit from the farm for homemade cobblers, buckles and tea cakes.

lucas and his mama

kayla and her mama

yummy yummy peaches perfect for peach cobbler