So, I'm sure y'all are wondering how things have been 'round here since the girls have come home.  Well, I think we have been somewhat like any other couple that has brought their child home for the first time.  We have had kisses, dirty diapers, crying, cuddling, and much much more!

Adeline and Maralee are 12 weeks old in their cute new dresses!

After we brought the girls' home on Wednesday, we decided that Raleigh and I wanted to have our time alone with them.  The grandparents left and we just had the girls all to ourselves.  Raleigh decided to take the rest of the week off so for two whole days, it was just our little family of six.  We shared some great memories that I will never forget.  I loved having Raleigh home and I especially loved bonding more with the girls.  Feeding them at home is so much easier than feeding in the hospital.  I have found my spots that work and it really helped me having Raleigh around to assist.  In between feedings, we enjoyed getting some cuddle time on the couch.  It was so sweet having them lay on our chests as we all enjoyed the peacefulness of being at home.  Sometimes, the girls would lift their necks and just look up at us with those big blue eyes.  At times, they would laugh and then instantly we would see a puckered lip forming.  It is so darn cute!  Also, we have had fun watching our dogs observe the girls.  When we first came home, Lu Lu was more excited to see us and she also smelled food so that was all she focused on.  Lu Lu is a very clever dog and she has learned that if she is nice to the girls she will get to sit close to us still.  Obi, on the other hand, is so curious.  When he came barreling into the house, he instantly started to smell their car seats.  He is such a gentle dog and will lay his head in Raleigh's lap during feeds allowing their little bottoms to rest a top his head.  He doesn't seem to mind having these new additions.  I think the biggest thing that has bothered them is our late night feeds because we are constantly getting out of bed so the dogs are having to move as well.  Obi usually retreats to the couch and Lu Lu ends up all over the place by the end of the night!

Raleigh, Maralee, Obi and Lu Lu enjoying some couch time

Maralee and Adeline
Thank you Aunt Ashley for our bunny sleepers!
Maralee is O-U-T!
 
 Adeline loves some cuddle time with dad!

Other than cuddling, we have gotten to experience some first time memories around here.  We gave the girls their first baths and Maralee has officially tee-teed on me while I was washing her!  They give us some crocodile tears but they seem to like having their hair washed.  Such girls!!!! 

 Maralee's first bath!

 She is clean but not happy!!!

 Adeline's first bath!

She did good until the end!  
 

Another first memory that we made was taking the girls' on a walk around the block.  With the temperature being so hot, we have tried to make the walks quick and short.  It just feels so good to me to get outside.  Walking the dogs in the evening has always been a cool down time for us and a great way to transition from work to home.  We have been looking forward to pushing a stroller on these evening walks and I really enjoyed getting to do this.  Right now, we are having to use our Graco Duo-Glider but we also purchased a jogging stroller at a consignment sale that we can't wait to use when the girls get old enough. 

The bumpy roads put the girls to sleep!

Thursday was a big day for us because we had to go to the optometrist and the pediatrician.  Both visits went well and it really helped me to have my mom that day.  It worked great because she could watch the girls while I did the paperwork and she was also a much needed extra hand toting them to and from the car.  Our first appointment for the day was the optometrist.  As I mentioned before, preemies have to constantly have their eyes checked to make sure that they do not develop retinopathy which is when retina detachment can occur.  Both girls' eyes are still in stage 1 (lowest stage, so that is good) but we will continue to have follow-up appointments with our NICU optometrist and then a pediatric optometrist.  After that visit, we had a short lunch break and then it was on to our pediatrician.  The girls' were weighed and thankfully they both gained weight!  Adeline is 5.2 and Maralee is 4.13!  Both weights are good but still a little under what they should be so we are going back this week to check on their progress.  I really like our pediatrician so far because he seems to want us to have a normal experience with our girls.  He encouraged us to have some awake time and play time with them; which makes me feel like they are just like any other newborn baby.  Soon, we will have to visit the cardiologist and the early development program but this week we just had these two visits.

Maralee in pink and Adeline in blue

Friends, we are so fortunate to have family members that want to help us and want to see our children.  They headed home last Wednesday but when the weekend arrived they were up here again to have their visits with the girls.  Also, both of our moms have agreed to come up once a week each to help me.  This is great because it gives me a break and also lets me run errands, work on the blog, sleep, etc.  We have been getting through the late night feeds but we are still figuring out the best system for us.  Poor Maralee loves to be held after her feeds and while this is great during the day; it is hard for us at night.  If we put her back in the pack-n-play right after she is finished, she will cry her little head off.  Also, Adeline has not been regular at going poopey, so she tends to get a little fussy when she is getting close to doing her business.  With that said, I had a hard time by myself on Friday and I had my first little breakdown that evening with Raleigh.  I felt so bad crying because it had nothing to do with the girls' or him but more to do with exhaustion and lack of fresh air.  So, this weekend I took Lu Lu on a walk while Raleigh watched the girls and it did me so much good to have a little bit of alone time.  Also, on Sunday we had a day date to Auburn while Raleigh's parents had their time loving on the twins.  I think it is so important for parents to spend time together and focus on their relationship to make their family stronger.  Sunday was just what we needed after a long first week of firsts!

Raleigh's parents and grandmother
 
 My parents gettin' their baby fix!

I can't believe that the girls are 13 weeks old.  Having them home just seems so natural.  Even though the late nights are tough, I still love this experience.  It is so worth it to have them in my arms at all times of the day.  This week, I have been reading in the book of Joshua and I feel like our experience has somewhat mirrored the experience of the Israelites. After being blessed with children (like Abraham and Sarah), we had to travel in our desert until we reached the land filled with milk and honey.  We (like Moses) had to "not let this Book of the Law depart from our mouths; we had to meditate on it day and night" (Joshua 1:8) in order for us to defeat our enemy.  Also, like Joshua we had to "Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9).  Finally, after fighting our battle, we had rest from war (Joshua 11:23) and have joyfully received our inheritance.  Joshua 21:43 says, "So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took possession of it and settled there.  The LORD gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers.  Not one of their enemies withstood them; theh LORD handed all their enemies over to them.  Not one of all the LORD's good promieses to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled." 

Adeline looks so cute cuddled up in the boppy!
 
 Sometimes the girls touch each others' hands while they sleep...forever sisters!

Friends, I know with all of my heart and soul that God delivered those babies into our arms.  I know that He is the one to be given all praise and honor for He remains true to his promises.  Our God is a God that shows love and mercy to His children.  Our family is so grateful for receiving our inheritance and we want to continue to show how He is impacting our lives.  Next Monday, August 9th, we will celebrate our blog's first year of existance.  We have come so far from where we started and we want our message to continue to grow.  Please continue to check the blog because on that Monday we will be sharing the direction that we think God is leading us in our spiritual walk with him.  Thank you friends for rejoicing with us as we have our baby girls home at last.

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

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