Sunday, July 29, 2012

Grammy Time

Since the twins' arrival, Jason and I have discussed the Lord's great wisdom in designing the family to begin with 2 adults for one baby. We have quickly learned that the ratio of 2 parents to 2 children in a new family is not quite enough. Thankfully, we have been SO blessed with loving & selfless mothers who have offered to live with us for a length of time to help us adjust to our new family of four. The ratio of 3 adults to 2 infants is much easier to manage! Amy's mom Elaine arrived in Billings on the twins' 3rd day of life and stayed with us for 6 weeks. What an amazing blessing she was! Her presence made our new role as parents much more enjoyable and manageable. Grammy cooked yummy meals, cleaned our home, washed our clothes & our babies' clothes, held, burped, fed, and changed twins, ran errands for us, served on "baby duty" so we could sleep longer, helped to problem solve various health issues for Amy, accompanied Amy to doctors' appointments, and showered limitless love upon us and our sweet boys. You might be wondering if Amy & Jason did any work at all during this time... :) You'd be right if you're determining that Grammy basically did it all! Her servant heart was especially needed and appreciated as Amy was recovering from her C-section and various ensuing infections, and as Jason returned to work. Grammy is such an amazing woman of God, and our family was abundantly blessed by her love.


Thank you again Grammy for living with us and serving us. We loved our time with you! We all love you so much!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Special Occasions & Special People

In early July, it was a joy to celebrate two special holidays with our two special boys. More great excuses for photo opps! For the 4th of July, we set Jaden and Cody on a special latch-hooked flag (made by Grammy) in honor of the boys' Great-Grandpa Sylvester, whose big hobby was latch-hooking. We always have such fun observing the boys' humorous expressions and their random, sporadic arm & leg movements during these photo shoots.

To celebrate the 4th, Mommy, Daddy, and Grammy took Jaden and Cody to their 2nd ever barbecue cookout. The meal was held at the Bolls' home. We loved the chance to connect with many friends, and Jaden & Cody enjoyed meeting some new young friends, too. We know it won't be too long until our boys are running around with these little buddies-- Noah, Micah, Landon, Abby, & Ethan. What a fun event! Thanks for hosting, Bolls!

The other special occasion we celebrated early this month was Mommy's birthday. In honor of this day, both boys were dressed in shirts that read, "I get my good looks from my Mommy." Daddy had an important talk with Jaden & Cody about being on their best behavior. Unfortunately, the boys only listened for half of the day, as their evening was very fussy. Nevertheless, it was a joy to celebrate Mommy's special day with our new expanded family.

We have also enjoyed welcoming some special friends into our home to meet and hold our boys. The Cochrans, Jamie and her twin girls Kate and Emma, are such a blessing to know. Jamie is a wealth of knowledge regarding twins, and she has been an amazing support to Amy all throughout her pregnancy. Jamie was also Amy's stand-in substitute for the last few months of pregnancy when Amy had her many doctors' appointments and when she went down to teaching 1/2 days. We praise God for you, Jamie!

Emma did a wonderful job of holding Cody, and Kate was quite the expert with Jaden. Thanks for visiting and spending time with us, Cochran family!

Another fun visit was from a dear church friend, Inger, who brought over some yummy food, some flowers, and a couple nice gifts. What a thoughtful friend! It was a joy to catch up with her and receive some important mothering advice from her as well. Here is Inger with Jaden.

And finally, Amy received a surprise visit from one of her Bible study girls, Maggie, and Maggie's sister Regan. Maggie, unbeknownst to Amy, was visiting Billings from Indiana and dropped by to meet the boys. They came bearing yummy truffles, too. What a treat to see both girls and to have the two sisters hold two brothers! Regan is holding Jaden, and Maggie has Cody below. So good to see you girls!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

One Month Old

It's hard to believe that one month has already passed since these two precious boys have entered our lives. We both have talked about how abruptly and dramatically one's life and daily routine changes upon the arrival of children. Despite the many sleepless nights and the countless new challenges of parenthood, however, we know that we wouldn't trade these boys or our new life for anything. We have absolutely loved getting to know Jaden & Cody during this past month. And now that they have offically reached their one month birthday, we thought we'd reflect upon their little personalities and accomplishments. Jaden is on the left in both pictures below.

Both Boys
  • sleep best in their Rock n Play cradles - best stretch is 3 hours!
  • growing steadily as they become better eaters
  • love to stretch, especially after waking up
  • like to relax to music
  • hate their changing table & their midnight feedings
  • fairly content with bathtimes
  • very quiet church-goers
  • love sitting in their swing and being outside
  • have obnoxiously loud bowel movements :)
  • love to be held

  • currently 8 lbs. 5 oz.
  • overall more consistent & predictable
  • stronger eater
  • loves to be held upright on one's shoulder
  • soothing to have hands by his face
  • can be independent (in a swing or bouncer) for longer stretches
  • loves to grunt
  • increasingly strong neck muscles
  • people highlight his resemblance to Daddy

  • currently 7 lbs. 7 oz.
  • wide-eyed and curious
  • our sloppy eater
  • smaller, yet has a larger head circumference
  • loves being in his SnuggleMe
  • more likely to hold one's gaze
  • loves to flex his big toe
  • more likely to be startled
  • people highlight his resemblance to Uncle Andrew

Visitors and Outings

It seems as if our days have gotten away from us a bit... :)  Throughout the last couple weeks, our day-to-day living has pretty much settled into a routine.  Daddy is back at work and survived a busy, sleep-deprived VBS week.  Mommy and Grammy continue lovingly caring for the boys all throughout the day.  We talk about updating the blog a lot.  Then, it's time to change, nurse, hold, or try to get a growing baby to sleep, and the days slip away.  Amidst the regularity of our daily routine, we have had the recent joy of welcoming some wonderful visitors to our home to see the boys.  Besides just attending worship at our church, we also have gone on some outings as a family which have helped Amy and the boys get out of the house.  Described and shown below are our wonderful "escapes" from routine. :)  We start with the visitors...

Our dear friends, Jonathan and Jennifer, came by for a visit so our boys could meet their boys.  Noah was super cute with how quiet he was, and Micah seemed happy to look at his new sleeping friends then play with their toys. :)  We think these four boys are going to have quite a fun time growing up together.  As others have shared, there might even be some "Boll to Schleicher, back to Boll, alley-oop to Schleicher" moments on a Trinity basketball court some years down the road.  I suppose the alley-oops could go to a Boll boy, too.  We praise God for the love and friendship of this dear family.   

Our Principal and Kindergarten teacher (Mr. and Mrs. Thomas) came over for our boys' first official "home visit" by Trinity staff.  Rick told us later that as he looked at the boys, he just couldn't help but think about how much work they are!  We'll take the bulk of the work now...we look forward to watching these two friends and all of our other Trinity co-workers deal with the "work" of telling our boys apart in about 5 years and 2 months as they walk through Trinity's doors as students. :)  Suzie is holding Cody.

Amy has had the great joy and privilege of leading a Small Group Bible study for younger women in our home for the last few years.  They've met faithfully on Tuesday nights without a lot of time off for pretty much any reason.  Thanks to their dedication and the willingness of one of the group's members to host, these ladies have continued to meet for study and fellowship this summer, despite their fearless leader being a bit occupied with other duties on Tuesday nights lately.  Amy felt well enough to invite as many of the group that were in town back over to our house one of the past Tuesday nights.  Becky (holding Jaden), Richelle, and Alecia (holding Cody) took advantage of meeting the boys and encouraging their Mommy.

Karole Michel is a friend first, fellow teacher at our School second.  We have appreciated Karole's (and her husband Roger's) support during our years in Billings.  Karole is a fellow guitar player with Jason for Trinity's Saturday night worship services, and she has taught with Amy each of the years we've lived in Billings.  She's great with children of all ages, and Jaden took full advantage of her care and cuddle on one recent morning.

 Thank you, visitors, for your time and effort to come see us!  We thank God for your friendship and love!  We kindly ask anyone else who might think about visiting to simply call first to set up a time.  Thanks for the courtesy!  Now on to some of our outings...

Jason's first evening ministry commitment after getting back in the DCE swing of things was a Youth Board cook-out and informal meeting.  This group of people has been a huge support for Jason in ministry ever since we moved to Billings.  They extended their care and support to the littlest Schleichers and were happy to be some of the first church members to hold the boys.

Here is our good friend (and one of Jason's fellow pick-up football partners), Josh, cradling Cody like the running back he dreams he is.

Kim brought her daughter, Ryann, to the barbeque.  During the last two years, Ryann has been a member of Trinity's youngest Youth Group called "Flicker" for 5th and 6th graders.  The board has yet to vote, but I doubt adding Youth Groups down to infants to include Jaden and Cody is going to happen anytime in the near or distant future.  Jason has always joked about "Baby Youth", but now that he is Daddy to a couple such babies, Flicker will most likely be as young as Trinity goes for Youth Ministry. :)

Rhonda, our chairwoman, and a grandma to twins herself, proudly holds Cody.

Janese and Julie show proper holding technique for our little zonked-out "Copy" and "Paste" guys.

Sherri and Theresa enjoy the fact that our boys were content throughout the dinner and loving the outdoor fresh air.

Another outing took us to a follow-up doctor appointment for Amy.  We really grew close to our medical team since we saw them about every two weeks throughout pregnancy.  These are four of the six super supportive professionals who cared for us and our boys for 36+ weeks.  We were blessed to get to know these people on a pretty personal level, and we thank God for their teamwork in order to best take care of our boys.

Our family (minus Daddy) ventured out to Walmart and Hobby Lobby on different days, but we don't have those trips documented with pictures.  Neither of the trips allowed for pictures since all Mommy and Grammy had time to do was talk to the gobs of people coming up to the double stroller for a peek and sharing time.  We've always heard that babies out in public attract comments and onlookers.  We don't know what having one baby is like, but after these two short outings, twins are like the world's most powerful people magnets...times two hundred. :) 

Our final documented outing was to Trinity Lutheran School for the VBS Ice Cream Social.  Amy LOVED seeing many school parents and students who are not members of our church.  It was fun for Jason to tell many of the VBS kids throughout the week that the twins would be coming to the Ice Cream Social.  Needless to say, our boys were celebrities that night, and the School sign out front also announced a word of welcome to them.

Visitors and outings...these are blessings from God for an adjusting family that can feel like shut-ins at times.  We praise God for our supportive and loving Church and School family of faith.  May God continue to bless you, Trinity family!  We're excited to see many more of you in the days and weeks to come.