Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Our Christmas Card/Letter '08

Dear friends and family,

We are insane(ly happy) parents of 20-mo-old twins, Chance and Grace. This year, we've revamped our ideas about . . .

*Nature/nuture. These babes showed their distinctive personalities IN THE WOMB--Chance, the T-storm who craves action (fumble drills anyone?) and fixates on vehicles with wheels (though he's also a tenderhearted cuddler); Grace, the contemplative nurturer who now uses her verbal skills to boss us . . . and to tell us frequently that she loves us (accompanied by wonderful, dainty hugs and kisses).

*The definition of "busy." Okay, "busy" began with twins, say this overworked former book editor and a current vice president (of performance improvement--a potentially ironic job title for a daddy of twins).

*The dangers of shopping carts. Chance is "all boy," so we learned this month after his first ER visit--and CT scan, thankfully showing nothing amiss, praise God.

*The importance of sleep (a.k.a. the torture of sleep deprivation). Not until one year did both sleep through the night (i.e., 8 hrs) at once or did their naptimes overlap for more than 30 min. It's impossible to know how many brain cells we lost.

And what a spectacle twins are! Whenever we're out . . . "Are those twins?" (sometimes followed by the astonishing "Are they identical?") and the hackneyed "You have your hands full!"

With the arrival of Chance and Grace, these parents also have been humbled. The everyday miracles of their lives amaze us. We're greedy with them. But we share them. Because we know they're gifts from God. In '08, we traveled 'round the U.S. to see loved ones, and some even entered the chaos of our home. (BTW, watching your family interact with your children is a surreal experience in unconditional love--and who doesn't want to thank their parents profusely once they learn just how much child-rearing really is?!) Keep in touch; we thank you for loving and praying for our twins.
Miracles abound this Christmas. Rejoice! Rejoice! . . . O come, O come Emmanuel . . . (Happy birthday, Jesus!)

Below: A few pics from the "photo shoot" for the photo card (taken at the Country Inn and Suites near our house--so, no, that's not our Xmas tree or fireplace. Our Xmas tree is on top of the tv hutch, out of the reach of tiny hands, and we don't have/need/want a fireplace.).

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Chance Pants
Santa Daddy and Grace Lily kiss.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas #1

Grace and Chance, loved babes, will celebrate four (yes, 4) Christmases with family this year. Right after Thanksgiving, we visited Grandad and Grandmother Baumgartner; Aunt Pat (Eric's sister) brought Gracie her very first baby doll! Our born nurturer (i.e., Grace) jumped right into role-playing with Aunt Pat. And Chance zoomed his new dump truck around the room. (Thank you, Pat!)

Chance removing Gracie's socks (don't ask; we don't know why . . . )
Gracie and her Grandad . . .
Gracie and Grandad's reading light . . .

The tickle game (?). We cannot imagine what life would be like with only ONE baby now (yes, we confess that we occasionally wondered what it would be like to have only ONE during that first year) . . . they play together so adorably these days (usually but not always).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Guessing December Weather

Baumgartner Believe It or Not in December . . .

It actually got cold enough to wear winter coats here in SC--below freezing for about 5 nights in a row, daytime high of about 40-45. The twins did NOT love their coats, though we received some compliments from our neighbors about Gracie's coordinated pink-and-zebra outfit (see pic).

Of course, only about a week later, the temps were back up near 70, so we decided to feed some of the neighborhood geese for the first time.

Chance dug into the bread bag, practicing his throwing technique. Unfortunately, the weights of bread and his football differ significantly, leaving him dumbfounded over the miniscule 6-in trajectory of the bread pieces.

A couple of geese drew closer and closer as they tried to nab Chance's bread pieces.

Did you know that a domesticated goose will drool and hiss at someone with food? Gracie is beginning to freak out at said goose in this pic . . . and Mommy decided to leave the bread behind and quickly distract her twins with dirt/sticks/whatever.

CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION! As members of the SC Aquarium, we were invited to the Xmas celebration--Oh my gosh! The free food on this night more than compensates for the yearly membership . . . food from real local caterers and restaurants, free champagne, free wine, free chocolate-dipped strawberries, free sugar cookies to decorate . . . well, Mommy decorated them and handed them to the twins (without Daddy, who was away for work, jugging 19-mo-old twins can be a challenge in certain situations).

Another mommy offered to take a pic of us . . . all dressed in red and eating the sugar cookies!

Gracie's latest pastime: running. Video shows her running laps around the island separating our living room and kitchen (Chance, too, though he's not the big-time enthusiast that she is.)