Life with twins is busy… Like I never knew I could be this busy… busy. It’s always equal parts busy and wonderful. But the days are just flying by and it’s hard to find/take the time to reflect. I can feel fall approaching and I’m overjoyed! For the prospect of apple picking, pumpkin patches fall colors and thanksgiving! Soups, cobblers and chili. Things have been chaotic but also incredible… I’ve been meaning to post a real update. So here’s an attempt.

We’ve had a lot of firsts recently.

The first “first” being our new little walker… Ainsley started taking lots of steps a while ago and then started taking upwards of 8-10 steps at a time. And now is full on walking. It’s so crazy to look over and see her walking across the room. She still loves crawling but seems to prefer being upright. Either walking, cursing furniture or pushing her scooter around.

Harlowe is signing and saying lots of words. She seems to have settled on food, shoes, fish, bebe, dog, sister, night-night, mama and a number of others. These are just the ones she has said in one form or another… not including all the ones she only signs! The girl longs for communication and it’s quite adorable.  
I resigned to being a minivan owner… It’s practicality won me over. Who can say no to automatic doors and liftgate. We made it almost 2 years with one car and I must say it’s nice to finally have a vehicle that fits all the humans and pets. 

We took our first family trip… It was an overwhelming whirlwind or wonderfulness. We drove overnight up to Baudette from Minneapolis for a family reunion. We were on the edge of Canada, nestled in the lake of the woods. There was a lot of planning that went into our long weekend but everyone seemed to do quite well.

We hoped the girls would sleep if we left around bedtime… and they did. They woke occasionally to make peeps but stayed asleep almost the entire 6ish hour drive.

A few things we learned about traveling with twins:

Renting pack-in plays saved us. Girls schedules adapted nicely. Girls who’ve slept in their own bedroom since around 4 months – had no interest in sharing a room with mama’s. We tried multiple times to sneak in after putting them down for the night… resulting in mad/awake babies. We tried to share a large bed all together which also didn’t work, as our girls thought this meant PLAY TIME! So, they slept in their own huge bedroom, in separate pack-n-plays with a huge comfy unused bed… and we slept on couches and recliners in the downstairs living room.

While up north the girls had their first boat (pontoon) ride to an  island for a fish fry. Played in white sand, chased waves and tried new foods. They had their first trip to a library and soaked it all in.

We had a health scare that came up at the girls 1 year well child appointments. Harlowe tested quite high for lead and was also slightly below her standard weight/height curve. Both girls had routine finger prick tests because we live in a home built before 1950. Honestly I wouldn’t recommend the finger prick – instead if you’re concerned I would just go for the venous blood draw, which we had to do at children’s anyways. The finger prick test is inaccurate if the babies blood doesn’t flow quickly as the pulling motion on the finger to extract blood can elevate levels. We had this same issue with Harlowe right after birth – they did a foot prick and it took forever to gather enough blood and then was inaccurate because the elevation from extracting it.

Sadly in our case Harlowe’s venous draw came back even higher. This has resulted in automatic County/State involvement. Home checks and the like. Where they talk down to me and make me feel beyond guilty. Trust me I’m feeling enough guilt all on my own. Today we have our second home visit, this time a 3 hour visit where they will test everything from home/water/dirt for lead.

We will most likely be required by law to redo the entire front porch along with numerous windows. We are waiting to see if we qualify for a grant assistance program. It still could have been a toy in the home but we haven’t found it yet. Ainsley had no level – so it’s all kind of a mystery. A scary heartbreaking mystery. One that shakes me to the core and makes me feel like a horribly parent. This could happen to anyone. I get that but it doesn’t make me feel like any less of a crappy parent.

We’ve been very responsibly in our old home. We repainted everything inside before the girls were born and are always with them on the front porch – not letting them chew on wood trim, etc. But something got by us and my baby is sick. This is all compacted by the fact that our home is still on the market… and now we have to invest in it more, when we just want out.

But you couldn’t tell by looking at her. Harlowe and sister are crazy thriving. Happy as can be and overall delights. We are soaking up all their recent toddlerness and find ourselves laughing harder each day. At budding communication, sharing, stealing/pushing, hugging/kissing by request and larger than life tantrums.

I know you all still come back for the photos… So here are a few from up north. I’ll try to get back on here and post a walking clip along with some from their 1 year party.

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