Our precious boys...

Our precious boys...

Monday, December 17, 2012

SANTA FUN?


I'm not sure if we can really say that seeing Santa is fun for Eli and Will. But I have to admit, I don't mind the crying photos. :)

The boys would not let go of us. They were terrified. Very terrified. Will was actually clawing at my back with his arms tight around me when I tried to pull him off to even go to Nick.

And being the good parents we are, we forced photos upon them anyway...

Here's our free Santa pic at Cabela's. I didn't want to be in it, but oh well. At this point Eli was hysterical...and of course my eyes are closed...



I was able to peel Will off me to get a photo of all of them by Santa with my camera. At this point Will was hysterical.



But Will settled down fast enough to give Santa a high five! This pic is adorable!



And how could I not post these photos from last year? The boys were 15 months then. As you can clearly see, the boys were not big fans of Santa then either!

Here's the Cabela's Santa...



And the ECFE Santa...



These photos make me laugh...does that make me a bad parent? :)

That's okay they aren't big fans of Santa.

We know Jesus has us covered.

Happy Birthday, Jesus! Merry Christmas!



Saturday, December 15, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2012 FROM THE VINCELLI FAMILY


As we celebrate the birth of our Lord & Savior, we give thanks for another precious year together as a family surrounded with so many people we love & adore. Life is busy & sometimes absolutely crazy. But we are healthy & we are happy. We are grateful...we are blessed. Here is what happened in our 2012~

Learned what life is like with 2 busy toddlers who run in opposite directions. They can run fast. Really fast. Survived flying with two 18 month old boys to Florida. Vacationed on Sanibel Island with the Hess family and Cox grandparents. Didn’t want to leave. Will be back again. Dr. Nick celebrated 3 years at Horizon Eye Care here in Owatonna. Very grateful for his career that he enjoys. Eli and Will have gone to daycare a few mornings a week with our friend, Lisa, aka: the best daycare provider EVER! Amy is thankful for a break from the boys while she crafts. And the twins enjoy a break from mommy too. It’s a win-win for all. Amy celebrated 3 years with her online craft business, “Vincelli Designs & Decor” www.vincellidesigns.com. Business has really picked up this year and she is very thankful to do what she loves. Vacationed in Detroit Lakes with the entire Vincelli family for our annual golf vacation. Continue to do most everything in twos. Continue to do most everything in twos. (That is not a typo.) Celebrated Eli and Will’s 2nd Birthday in September. Questioned how we have survived 2 years of raising multiples. Are currently potty training two 26 month olds. Use your imagination. They are boys remember. It’s quite an adventure. But like we said, even with some rough times (no one told us parenting was so hard!)...we are grateful...we are blessed. Merry Christmas! Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

The Vincelli Family
~ Nick, Amy, Elijah, & Will ~

Thursday, December 13, 2012

FIRST TIME PLAYING IN THE SNOW!


You'd think since we live in Minnesota and with it being December and all, that we'd already have a lot of snow. Well, no, not at all. And I have been dreaming of a white Christmas. I wasn't just dreaming of it, I was literally praying for it. It just doesn't seem like Christmas without snow...

Here's a photo of our house that I took on December 6th. No snow. And in fact, our grass is greener now than it was this summer. For real. Greener. A lot greener. Weird.



But on December 8th, we finally started getting snow. And we got to play outside. Yippee! My dream come true. It was Eli and Will's first time playing in the snow. (They did get out in the sleds once last winter, but that was only for about 10 minutes. We hardly had any snow last year either.)

It only took 20 minutes to get them all bundled up and ready...



First we put them to work. (One of the perks of having twins...twice the free labor.)



Then we let them play. :)





And boy, did they have a blast! They were giggling and so full of joy. We played outside for a long time.

They built their first snowman together...



We pulled them around in sleds on our street...







I adore my little family!



And I adore my amazing husband!



Here's to hoping that all the snow doesn't melt before Christmas...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

2 Years, 2 Months, 2 Weeks, 2 Days!


Today, the twins are 2 years, 2 months, 2 weeks, and 2 days old!

I'm not some crazy person....seriously, I'm not! I just happened to notice this on the birthday counter on the top of my blog page. It lists how old the twins are. I'm so glad I noticed it!

Because...

We seem to like to do things around here in 2's. Gee...I wonder why? Two of this, two of that. Change one diaper, change the other diaper. Give one a kiss, give the other a kiss. Pull one down from climbing on the table, pull the other one from climbing on the table. You get the idea!

So it's only appropriate that we celebrate a day full of TWO's! :)

Happy 2 Years, 2 Months, 2 Weeks, and 2 Days my little happy, happy boys: Will & Eli!



This morning we put the ornaments on the Christmas tree. They were overjoyed!



You can see just how proud they are!



Eli



Will



Happy Belated Thanksgiving from my little Native American and Pilgrim!



We give thanks for our precious miracles, Elijah and Will. We give thanks for our faith, family, and friends. We give thanks for our home, clothing, and food. We give thanks for our health. We give thanks we live in a free country where we can freely attend church and worship our awesome God.

We are blessed beyond measure.

God bless you and yours this Christmas season!



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

SLOW DOWN, MOMMY, & SOAK IT ALL IN




I had a sweet moment tonight with my Eli. It's as if he was telling me, "Slow down, mommy, and soak it all in..."


Something was a little off and he cried and cried while trying to fall asleep. It was an uncontrollable, gagging cry which was slowly breaking my heart. I finally took Eli out of his crib and held him in my arms on my bed so Will could fall asleep in his crib.


In the dark, for the first time in over one whole year, I held my little toddler boy to put him to sleep and soaked it all in. This is a rare occurrence, you see, as I haven't held him to get him to fall asleep since he was a little over a year old. That was when we finally let the twins cry it out and ever since then, they easily fall asleep on their own with no tears. They just do not fall asleep in our arms at all. I am forever grateful that they fall asleep nicely on their own because we went through 13 months of being up many many times each night and spending way way way too long holding them to get them to fall asleep for all naps and at bedtime. (It was torture and I could go on and on and on about that. And if you're super bored, you can read this blog post about our Operation Cry It Out!) But I will warn you, it's very long!


Although, just the other day, I was thinking about how sweet it would be to cuddle them and have them fall asleep in my arms just every once in a while. I wondered what it would be like to hold a sleeping baby in my arms again. And here was my chance. I smelled his hair and patted his bottom as he whimpered every so often. His little sighs ended with a quiet, little laugh. He was happy to be in his momma's arms, so content. And I was overjoyed to have him there, so content. I soaked it all in.


I thought about how this could be a last. I may not ever have the chance to hold a sleeping baby or toddler of mine again. There's no guarantee I can get pregnant again. There's no guarantee anyone can ever get pregnant again. I though about him and only him. I soaked it all in.


I somehow forgot about the billion other things I could be getting done at that exact moment. I was just there...with him...feeling his breathing on my chest. Feeling peace...feeling joy. I gave thanks for my precious miracle. I soaked it all in.


Moments like this are limited and precious. And I know they should be occurring more often than they do. And that is all only because I need to slow down. I need to soak it all in. Slow down, Amy, and live in the moment!


As Elijah's breathing slowed down and he started lightly snoring, I kissed the back of his head. I laid him back down in his crib and proceeded to listen to Will jabber to himself for one whole hour longer. One whole hour until 9:30pm! That little stinker didn't want to fall asleep. But I soaked that in too. I know there will be day when he won't jabber to himself and I will long for those sounds again.


I am grateful for these moments tonight: The little reminder from my Eli to "slow down, mommy and soak it all in." And also the little reminder from my Will, that even if he's not asleep by the time he should be, I can still "slow down and soak it all in."


Monday, November 5, 2012

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD





Samaritan's Purse is a non-denominational evangelical Christian humanitarian organization that works worldwide to meet the spiritual and physical needs of people suffering from war, poverty, disaster, disease, famine, and persecution.

One of their ongoing ministries is: Operation Christmas Child. OCC is a 'global Christmas gift exchange' project operated by Samaritan's Purse. Each November it opens thousands of locations, typically at churches or schools, to collect shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies, personal items, and other gifts. These boxes are then distributed as Christmas gifts, accompanied by Christian literature.

From 1993 through 2008, some 69 million gift boxes have been handed out in more than 130 countries. AMAZING!

Each year our church, Good Shepherd Lutheran, collects shoes boxes for "Operation Christmas Child." A friend of mine, Tammy, leads this up each year at Good Shepherd. What a blessing she is! This is the 5th year Nick and I have packed shoeboxes to donate. It fills my heart with so much joy to do this each year. Such a simple yet loving gift that will touch the hearts of many. The main goal is to teach these precious children about a loving God who sent His son, Jesus, to die for our sins. Many of them have never heard about Jesus. These wonderful gifts help spread the good news of our Lord and Savior!

And this year was especially special because we took Eli and Will shopping to buy the items and then we filled the boxes together. I know they don't fully understand what these gifts are, but we talked about how they are going to children who don't have many toys or school supplies. And also how this will help these children learn about Jesus, which is the best gift of all and what Christmas is all about.

Click here to learn more about packing your own box: Operation Christmas Child - Samaritan's Purse

Here are some photos of Elijah and Will packing their shoe boxes. We made one for a boy and one for a girl! We purchased lots of fun things to put in them: pencils, paper, pencil sharpeners, toothbrushes, toothpaste, washcloths, jump ropes, socks, balls, hair ties, puzzles, combs, toys, crayons, candy, watches, and a letter from our family.



We had to do a little reorganizing:



Will



Eli





Our family encourages you to pack a shoebox or two and touch the lives of children all over the world. Please ask me if you have any questions. God bless you!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2012

I found these two cute little "things" running around our house.

So we decided to take them trick-or-treating. :)



We already had the Thing 1 ~ Thing 2 t-shirts. Then add red pants we also already had. So, all I had to make was the blue wigs. I bought two blue feather boas and hot glued them to $1 blue winter hats from Walmart. They looked awesome! So easy, fun, and inexpensive to make. My only mistake was that I forgot to have the boys try on the hats before I hot glued the boas to them. As you can see, they didn't fit quite well. Oops. Oh well, it worked.



All ready to go!



The one house we trick-or-treated at: Uncle Barry & Auntie Jesse's. Which was crazy as they had hundreds of children trick-or-treat down their street. When we pulled up in the minivan, I felt like I was in a movie. It looked just like a Halloween trick-or-treating scene. I always thought seeing so many kids trick-or-treating wasn't realistic, but apparently it is. Wow! I even had to direct Nick backing up the van when we were leaving so we didn't run any little kids over!



Cousins!



They were a bit upset when kids were coming to our door and taking away "their" candy. Oh my...oh my! They both were crying and screaming "candy, candy!" Maybe they'll understand it better next year.







Even with the tears, we had a wonderful Halloween. I love experiencing all these fun times through the eyes of two sweet little boys.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

MOMS OF MULTIPLES!



First of all, my belated apologies for this post. I was going to post it months ago, but one day I went back to do my final proofreading and it was gone. Ugghh...I know I can't remember everything I wrote and this one just isn't as good. I'm still upset about it. I'm not sure if I did something or if it was a computer error on the blog, but my post was gone. And I had to re-write it all over. Lesson learned. I will always save my posts to Word Document as well.

Jen, Stacy, Bree, Kelly, Holly, Heather, Heidi, and Nicole - this is for YOU!

There's a very special group of women out there. I am amazed at these women and I am humbled by them. They seem like super heroes to me. But deep down, I know they are just normal women...mothers who love their children with all their hearts. It's that simple.

BUT...

There is one part that isn't "that" simple.

Because, they aren't just mothers.

They are mothers...

of...

MULTIPLES!

These special women all birthed twins. Some boy/boy, some girl/girl, and some boy/girl. We all have twins because of different reasons. Some had twins with no medical assistance. Some have In-Vitro twins, after years and years of trying. Some have In-Vitro twins from donor sperm. Another has IUI twins from donor sperm. One has TWO sets of twins, with one set being step-children. And another is a mommy to angel baby twins in heaven, born at 24 weeks gestation, who both lived just an hour on earth, but live on forever in the hearts of many.

Some of these mothers of multiples are friends from college. But others I met in more interesting ways...

I met Nicole at the grocery store where I live and she later searched for me by posting on facebook to offer her help. She asked if anyone knew the couple who just had twin baby boys because she wanted to get in touch with them. Amazingly enough, we had a mutual friend and we connected. The power of facebook!

I met Heidi via Craig's List after selling her some of my twin items. Turns out we went to the same college for one year and she was in the same dorm as my husband and they were acquaintances. There are many other things we have in common and I'm so thankful to have kept in touch. Soon after we met in the summer of 2011, Heidi's baby twins were born at 24 weeks gestation and are now dancing in heaven with Jesus. After 5 ectopic pregnancies and the passing of her baby twins, Heidi and her husband are expecting a baby girl in December from their gestation carrier. Praise God!

But perhaps the funniest story of all is Heather. She was a pregnant mommy of twins in my neighborhood and saw us walk by with the double infant stroller. She proceeded to get in her car to chase us down and stopped to chat with us. Even though they moved out of town a year later, we keep in touch and share twin stories. We joke that her little twin girls, about 5 months younger than Eli and Will, would make great wives for them! If it's true love, the distance won't matter!

Some of our twins were born full term and were big babies. Some of ours were born premature and were little babies. And some were born very very premature and were the tiniest of babies. One set of twins was even born 2 weeks apart at 24 weeks and 26 weeks. Who says twins always have to be born on the same day?

Our experiences have all been very different, just as any mother with children. But there is one special thing that is exactly the same. We are mothers of twins. And that deserves an award all by itself. We have that "multiples bond" of knowing that we are a chosen few. And even though at times, it can really really rough and we want to give up, we push on. We just want a break and want to know what it's like to just carry around one baby. But thankfully, there are double the joys and we keep moving forward with the unconditional love for these precious little people!

These women have taught me to take it one day at a time. They've taught me it doesn't matter if your house is clean, it doesn't matter if you didn't put make-up on, and most of all, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. I've had to repeat that to myself many times:

It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks!
It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks!!
It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks!!!

There seems to be certain "rules" you should follow with children, but that all gets thrown out when you are dealing with multiples! And they reassured me that this is okay. People say, "Never wake a sleeping baby." But moms of multiples say, "Go ahead and wake up that sleeping baby!"

These women are AMAZING! I am so grateful for their guidance. Many of them have no idea how much they've truly helped me. I don't even know if any of them knew that I went through some dark times with post-partum depression. But they each helped me. I've picked their brains asking for guidance on anything and everything TWINS, even before the boys arrived. And they've all been more than willing to talk to me or email me, even though they were extremely busy with their own multiples.

Oh, the unending questions I asked:

How does double breastfeeding work?
Did you get them on the same feeding schedule?
Why can't they just SLEEP?
Did you wake up one twin when the other woke up to eat?
Did you get them on the same sleeping schedule?
How long did you let them sleep together in the same crib?
Will I ever get sleep again?
What double stroller do you recommend?
Am I going crazy?

Okay...you get the idea...

Well, we've survived the stares, the unwelcomed advice, and the lovely greetings of, "Double Trouble." We are warriors! We are moms of multiples!



Dear Jen, Stacy, Bree, Kelly, Holly, Heather, Heidi, and Nicole:

Thank you for giving me advice, supporting me, and encouraging me. You've all been honest and let me know it's hard, but you've also given me hope to know that each stage is different with new joys. And that day by day, God will give us the strength. You've believed in me as a mother especially when it was so hard to believe in myself. And I am forever appreciative for your kindness. Seriously, you have no idea! My heart overflows with joy each time I think of you!

We are a special group of women, we are MOMS: Mothers of Multiples.

Oh, and be excited ladies, because I'm pretty sure that God has a very special place reserved for us in heaven. :)



The Mother Of Twins

A meeting convened one day
in Heavens sacred hall.
The Ideal mother must be found
for twins so sweet and small.

She must be patient, first of all,
And kind and calm and wise.
And capable of chasing tears
away from little eyes.

She'd have to put her children first
And be so very smart
Have dedication and resolve,
A sweet and loving heart.

They all agreed you were the best
No other mom would do.
Yes, Heaven found the perfect one
And sent those twins to you.



And here are photos of our precious twins within their few weeks of life:



Josiah & Arielle



Audrey & Lillian



Carter & Logan



Marlowe & Greyson



Owen & Grant



Elijah & Will



And a special note to Heidi:

I think of your precious angel twins often. I picture them in heaven and try to imagine what they are doing. I'm not sure exactly what that is, but I do know they are in the most amazing place being held by the arms of Jesus safely waiting until the days they will be reunited with you and Aaron. Perhaps they swapping stories with relatives who have gone before you and they are playing with their other siblings! Charlie and Savannah are happy, they are safe, and they are loved. I know we'll never understand why they couldn't stay on earth. But we trust and we have faith. Our time on earth is so temporary. Your eternal lives together will be perfect.

Thank you for sharing this precious and private photo of your sweet babies.

Charlie & Savannah



Monday, September 24, 2012

2 YEARS OLD!


The boys had their 2 year well baby check this week.

We switched to a Family Practice Doctor because our Pediatrician moved out of state early summer. It was our first appointment with him. I guess now that they aren't "babies", they don't weigh them naked. So, the boys were weighed with their clothes and shoes on and also FULL diapers. So, their weights are a little off. Of course we weighed them again, naked, on our baby scale at home just to see how different it was. (Yes, I am a freak, I know!)

Elijah

28 pounds 1 ounce - 48th Percentile (But naked at home he weighed 27 pounds 5 ounces.)
34 inches tall - 31st Percentile
19.25 head circumference - 57th Percentile

Will

26 pounds 2 ounces - 26th Percentile (But named at home he weighed 25 pounds 4 ounces.)
34 inches tall - 31st Percentile
18.5 head circumference - 11th Percentile

They are fairly little dudes according to the charts, but them seem so big and grown up to me. They are still in 18 month clothing and now wear size 6 shoes.

I just have to share this video of the boys blowing out their candles at their party. It was so cute. They had never tried blowing out candles before so I didn't expect them to do it, but wow, they did great! But poor Eli got upset when we took his cupcake away to sing to Will. (My niece, Ava, is the beautiful opera singer in the background. HA!)



Sunday, September 23, 2012

TWO LITTLE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED



Two little monkeys jumping on the bed! Yup, they are definitely 2 years old now! Crazy, crazy, crazy boys...

















And of course a funny video of the little monkeys jumping on the bed!