Welcome to the Blog on Clara and Wilson McGarvey!

Clara's amniotic sac ruptured on June 7, 2011 when we were 24 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Ten days later, Clara and Wilson were born. They have already enriched our lives in ways we couldn't have imagined, and we wanted to share those experiences with our friends and family. So sit back and enjoy the read - they are full of excitment and surprises!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Twin City Key Learnings

In my work life, we develop recaps at the end of each big program. We always include a slide titled "Key Learnings". I thought it was only appropriate for me to provide my Key Learnings from the Twin City. So here goes, in no particular order.

1. I hope I never have twins.
2. Clara and Wilson will be raised in a home full of love and laughter. I hope they like to laugh because there is a lot of it in that house.
3. I hope the kids appreciate Morgan's love for music and CD's love for cooking.
4. I'm glad CD and Morgan are the same people they were before the kids came along. Besides the fact that they now have two kids.
5. Today, on my first morning not waking up in the Twin City, I slept past noon EST. It has been YEARS since I've slept that late.
6. I don't know why the kids each decided to have a major explosion in my lap on Wednesday. Maybe it was their way of saying "don't go." Next time I will tell them the way to my heart is not through poo in my lap.
7. I think the twins' nanny must have a heart of gold and the patience of a saint to take on this gig.
8. When caring for the kids, sometimes you need a glass of wine. Sometimes you need a bottle.
9. Sometimes you need a pint of ice cream.
10. If I were in the field of baby inventions, I would make something that made newborns poo more easily. Or I would get that stork to deliver clean bottles every day.
11. I loved my time in the Twin City. Especially when they would sleep for hours at a time and look so angelic.
12. I appreciated the times I escaped from the Twin City. Whether to my friend Elizabeth's house for a cup of tea (literally), running to Kroger for CD, or going out for dinner and drinks with my former co-workers, I enjoyed getting out of the house. I also looked forward to coming back.
13. When I had the opportunity to take a shower, I would shut the bathroom door, crank Adele on my iPhone, and enjoy this "mini break".
14. I would be remiss if I didn't thank my employer, Integer, and our Be You With Us program. BYWU allows employees an additional week off during their 5, 10 and 15-year anniversaries with the company. As soon as I found out that CD was having twins, I knew I wanted to use my week to come to Louisville and help her. 
15. CD's time to run errands, pay bills, do laundry or pick up the house is limited. She crams as much into her day as possible. Morgan does, too.
16. I think CD sleeps about 4.5 hours per 24 hour period. Morgan doesn't sleep much more than that. I don't know how they function day after day.
17. Wilson is heavy. He is going to get heavier. Clara, too. (Especially since she would often eat more than him the past few days.) Who needs the gym when you have these two? 
18. I think I would like to go back to the Twin City. Once I recover from this trip.
19. I can't wait until the kids come to Chicago. 
20. I really can't wait to watch these kids grow up. They are true miracles. I know I'm not the only one that has been inspired by their journey.

And with that, I'm out. Thank y'all for reading, and thanks to CD and Morgan for letting me be a guest blogger. 

Until the next trip,

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Q&A with Morgan

CT: Thank you for letting me ask you some questions, Morgan. Are you scared?
Morgan: CT, this is the dumbest thing we've ever done [as he walks out of the room]

CT: So you have two kids. They are twins. That is crazy.
Morgan: This really is the dumbest thing we've ever done.

CT: How do you feel about embarking on having two kids at home for two months?
Morgan: Are you still doing this interview?

CT: Every morning you do the 8 a.m. feeding and then you go to work. What do you think about when you are driving from the house to the office?
Morgan: How many more days until CT leaves?

CT: Some people may say you "get a break" when you go to work. What do you think about this?
Morgan: By "some people", do you mean you?

CT: From my perspective, I think having twins is the true definition of partnership in a marriage. I think you guys balance this very well.
Morgan: I haven't seen Chris in three months.

CT: What is your favorite part of the day with the kids?
Morgan: When they are sleeping. Just kidding...sort of.

CT: What is the biggest change in your life since the babies came home?
Morgan: What life?

CT: What do you miss - if anything - about your pre-baby life?
Morgan: I can't remember that life.

CT: What is your favorite baby invention?
Morgan: The pacifer. 

CT: Last night you said that Clara can't wear makeup until she is in high school. When will she be allowed to start dating?
Morgan: Whenever she wants. And I allow her to do so.

CT: Talk to me about how Chris handles all of this every single day.
Morgan: She's barely holding on.

CT: I think CD looks awesome. 
Morgan: Great.

CT: Can CD still come to Chi for girls weekends? I promise we won't get crazy.
Morgan: I have no idea where Chi is. But she is anything but shy.

CT: What if I told you that Chi is Chicago?
Morgan: What if I told you that I knew that the first time?

CT: Will you take a family trip to Chi in the next few years? I can child-proof my apartment. 
Morgan: Are you still asking questions? Yes.

CT: Where do you most want to take the kids when they get a bit older?
Morgan: To their grandparents' house.

CT: Thanks for putting up with me for a week. Sorry I always ask you so many questions.
Morgan: No you're not.

CT: When can I come back?
Morgan: I'm planning a guys trip in June.

CT: Now where would I find a headshot of you that I can post with this entry?
Morgan: [Blank stare] Unbelievably, that's the dumbest question you've asked in this interview. I keep all my headshots with my agent.

Morgan: Any more questions, CT?
CT: Is there anything else you'd like to add, Morgan?
Morgan: I hope you are able to type this interview in the sarcastica font. Things are actually going really well. Now I feel like I need to make fun of you again.

Q&A with Chris

CT: Thanks for participating in this blog entry.
CD: No problem.

CT: You have kids. Twins.
CD: Thank you, Captain Obvious.

CT: How do you feel about this?
CD: Overwhelmed.

CT: Tomorrow will be two months since Clara came home. That means you have made it through two months with two kids. Congrats.
CD: Thank you.

CT: Most popular question ever - how do you do it all?
CD: I have no choice.

CT: On Sunday you asked me what the biggest surprise was since I was here. Now I ask you - what has been the biggest surprise in having the kids home?
CD: I have two answers.
1) How long it takes to get anywhere. We are ALWAYS 30 minutes late.
2) How much poo a little creature can create.

CT: What is your favorite part of the day with them?
CD: When they are sleeping. Just kidding. Real answer: playtime when they smile at me.

CT: Since the twins came home, what has been your biggest luxury?
CD: The drive-thru at Starbucks.

CT: How often do you shower?
CD: On a good week, three times. 

CT: You look awesome and you are back to pre-baby weight. How have you gotten there? 
CD: Starvation. I don't have time to eat.

CT: What do you miss - if anything - about your pre-baby life?
CD: I miss everything about pre-baby life.

CT: When are you going back to work?
CD: Back to work? I AM working! This is the most continuous job I've ever had. I work 168 hours a week and don't get paid overtime.

CT: Good point. When are you going back to work at Yum!?
CD: January.

CT: How are you going to be able to manage it all after you throw Yum! work into the mix?
CD: I don't know.

CT: Tell me about how Morgan handles all of this.
CD: I think Morgan handles it better than I do. He is very patient and helpful. He is a natural.

CT: What are you most looking forward to doing with the twins as they get older?
CD: I'm really excited to leave the house with them in April. Even if that is just to a friend's house who also has kids.

CT: I hope you can come to a 2012 girls weekend in Chi.
CD: Me too. This year I didn't have such good luck.

CT: Thank you for letting me stay with you for a week.
CD: No comment.

CT: Will you promise to FaceTime once a week after I leave? 
CD: Yes. Absolutely. Can it be on my terms? Like during the 4 a.m. feeding?
CT: Uh...

By The Numbers

Babies: 2
Cribs: 2
Rocking chairs: 3
Diapers used per day: 12 (at least)
Bottles used per day: 14
Boppys: 2
Swings: 2
Bouncy seats: 5
Baths in a week: 3
Burp cloths in the load of laundry I folded this morning: 15
Bibs in the load of laundry I folded this morning: 19
Ginormous bottles of hand sanitizer around the house: 4
Pack-n-play: 2 (one of the two is made for twins)
Bumbo: 2
Changing tables: 2
Car seats: 2
Car seat bases: 4
Diaper Genies: 2
Wilson's explosions on Auntie CT's lap: 1, but powerful enough it could have been 3

While some of this is not a surprise (of course there are 2 babies), some of it is CRAZY! I can't even venture to guess the total number of burp cloths, bibs or outfits these kiddos have. This is, in part, due to the generosity of so many of you!

And here are some of my most favorite photos of the two together...

More soon,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Boss

Yesterday I told CD I felt like she was my boss.

Here is how some of our conversations go.

Me: Do you want me to do bottles, go to Walmart or help with a child? [Insert other chores as appropriate...laundry, heat up lunch, pick up dinner, take out the trash.]

CD: What do you think you should do?

Me: I think I should first do bottles, then I should help with a child, then go to Walmart.

CD: Sounds good.

Me: Ok boss.

When I lived with CD & Morgan, she made this delish cake for my 28th birthday

June 2010...CD (and our friend Deb) came to Chi for a girls weekend. We have many fun memories of this night. Well...they have fun memories of this night. I do not remember much.  

Running my first 1/2 marathon on my 30th birthday. CD joined me around mile 8. She kept talking, talking, talking. Finally she asked, "do you want me to stop talking?" I responded, "YES!" But she got me to the finish line...for that, I am very thankful. 

Now I just hope my boss doesn't scare me with a fake insect in my bed like she did during a camping trip in college. This was before I was outdoorsy...I was so mad at her!!! (I'm talking about Circus in the Woods, SW01 friends.)

Tomorrow is my last full day. Sad face. I plan to make the most of it!


P.S. What I haven't told y'all is that before each entry can be posted, they have to be reviewed by CD and/or Morgan. As CD was reviewing the above entry, she tells me that she still has the fake cockroaches from 2001. Katie Greene, you should have trashed those during the June house cleaning effort! :)

All About Wilson

I've heard from several of you, "when is Wilson's post coming?" There is no way I would leave him out of the spotlight! Rest assured, below you will learn more about John Wilson :)

Here are 10 things I want to share:

  1. Oh my heavens this boy is HANDSOME!
  2. I am jealous of his eyelashes. His sister will surely be jealous in 14 years when she is applying mascara to her lashes (Morgan says she won't wear makeup until she is in high school). Pair the lashes with those big baby blues and you have a killer combo!
  3. I was excited my clothes had escaped spit-up until this morning when he spit up on me about 17 minutes after I woke up. Fun!
  4. His nickname is the "mellow fellow". Thank you, Wilson, for chilling most of the time. 
  5. Tonight I took Wilson in the living room to write this post and he did NOT like that. Much like his sister, he wants to be where the action is (a.k.a. where the parents are).
  6. He is in double digits! Tonight he weighed in at 10 lb 1 oz. This is a huge accomplishment! Wish we could give you a cookie. But not the Graeter's ice cream that is in the freezer. I'm going to polish that off tomorrow.
  7. Wilson is a busy body. When he's awake, he is always moving his arms and legs.
  8. He is somewhat of a messy eater. Must have a bib. There is often dribble dribble.
  9. I wonder what was upsetting him last night when he was screaming bloody murder, he woke up his sister, and it took three 31-year-olds to calm him down. Note this contradicts #4 above. I understand that sometimes a boy has to say what's on his mind.
  10. Sometimes he just stares at you and smiles. I love this.
Here are some photos to illustrate everything that is Wilson...

Perfect example of the Mellow Fellow

"Lady, who are you, where did you come from, why do you take so many pictures of me, and when are you leaving my house?!?"


Although you were asleep, I will forever treasure this photo :)


Monday, November 21, 2011

All About Clara

I'm halfway through my visit in the Twin City. Wow. Even though I kept thinking it was Tuesday ALL DAY LONG, I can't believe I only have a few days left.

Today's blog entry is dedicated to sweet Clara Marie. Here are 10 of my favorite things about Clara :)

  1. She is a beautiful little girl
  2. She smiles in her sleep and it's enough to melt your heart
  3. She doesn't like to miss any of the action (if you need to get a drink from the kitchen, you better take her with you)
  4. She takes her big snooze around 5 p.m.
  5. She weighed 8 lb 10 oz last night
  6. I think she smiles like Morgan and has CD's nose
  7. Her eyes are the brightest of blues
  8. She is a clean eater—she barely needs a bib!
  9. She wants all of your attention. Don't you dare check your Facebook feed while she is in your arms!
  10. She scrunches up her face when she's looking at you. Or maybe she just does that to me. I imagine she is thinking "who is this crazy lady and when will she stop feeding me and changing my diapers???"
And now on to the photos...

What an adorable bundle!

Precious face

When I feed her, those sweet little hands are near the bottle or near her face

 During this afternoon's meal

I would love to share more tonight but I'm yawning and my left arm is about to go numb from holding this sweet girl as I type. 

More tomorrow!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Biggest Surprises

This morning at breakfast, CD asked, "CT, what is the biggest surprise since you've been here?"

My answers:

  1. The whole deal with the bottles. I guess I thought clean bottles got dropped off by a stork once a day. But they do not. The bottles and their parts have to be handwashed, air dried, sanitzed in the microwave, and put in a bucket. WOW
  2. The importance of the burp. I knew you were supposed to burp after a kid eats, but you really have to make sure they burp!
  3. The amount of breast milk Chris has saved. Those of you that have been reading for a while have seen the photos and know that breast milk had been transported back to the hospital and to other homes due to the power outages in Louisville. But here's the reality: until a few hours ago, there was breast milk in five places. FIVE DIFFERENT HOMES! CD is quite proud of her breast-milk hoarding skills. So you can imagine her sadness when she had to discard this much milk today. 

The reason for the discard: between Chris' c-section and car accident, this milk was laced with Percocet. The neonatologist said that if Chris didn't have to feed this milk to the kids, don't. Even though she has plenty in the remaining four homes, she was still sad to see her hard work go to the trash. 


Last night CD & Morgan had an engagement party to attend. CD decided I could handle being solo with the twins. I'm not sure Morgan thought this was a good idea but he went along with it. [I was thinking "They must need out of the house BADLY if they are leaving me alone on day 2!"]

Here's how the night went.

8:45 - CD & Morgan left

8:45 to 9:40 - It was a rotation. In college, the "rotation" involved vodka. Last night, the "rotation" included Clara crying, me picking her up and soothing her, her calming down. Then Wilson would cry, I would put Clara down, pick him up, soothe him, he would calm down. Then Clara would cry and I would start the rotation all over again. Fun, right? :)

9:45 - Massive wailing from both kids. OMG. What do I do now?!? I do this...

Somehow I was able to get both of them in my arms at the same time. They instantly calmed down. Hallelujah!

10:05 - I felt like Clara was zonked enough so I managed to get her in the swing. Wilson was stirring so he stayed in my lap and we watched the end of the Texas/K State game.

11:15 - Auntie CT was tired, Wilson was not. We had snuggle time on the couch. Clara still zonked in swing.

11:40 - Wilson hungry. Very hungry. [Me thinking "just a little bit longer, little guy"]

11:50 - Changed Wilson in preparation for his midnight meal.

12:05 - CD & Morgan got home. I put Wilson in one of their arms, said "he is STARVING" and ran to the bathroom.

Whew! We all survived! But really...it was much scarier to think about what could happen instead of dealing with what did happen. And I think Mom and Dad really enjoyed their night with friends. CD looked AWESOME and Morgan...well, I think he had fun, too. When are you guys going out again?   :)

More soon,

32 Hours In...

and they leave me alone with two babies. Oh my goodness! I think CD & Morgan trust me more than I trust myself :)

Hello blog readers! I am honored to be a guest blogger the next few days. I am even more honored that CD & Morgan would let me come stay and help for (almost) a week.

As Morgan said below, the three of us went to college together. We certainly have great memories of our time at Mizzou but let's be honest, those times are a bit hazy. Fast-forward to '05 and '06, I was thrilled to be a part of Morgan and Chris' mountaintop proposal and Louisville wedding. Two years later, I moved to Louisville and actually lived in their guest bedroom for a couple of months. It was basically like the movie You, Me and Dupree!

As you can tell, we've had our share of laughs the past 10? 11? 12? years. I now live in Chicago but (of course) look forward to CD's girls weekend trips to Chi or to my return trips to Lville. Actually, CD missed our 2011 girls weekend because her water broke on Tuesday before she was to come on Friday. She casually sent a text that said "not going to make it this weekend, water broke, in hospital". To ensure she was included all weekend, our other girls weekend chronie, Deb, video'd everywhere we went. Videos were loaded to YouTube and sent to CD while on bedrest.

Anyway...my single-girl life in Chicago is QUITE different from life in the Twin City. Morgan thinks I am going to be so freaked out that I will leave two days earlier than currently planned :)

My goal is to blog several times during my visit and I promise the subsequent posts will be about the babies instead of the adults. I hope to give you insight into the Twin City that you haven't seen yet, especially how these humble parents handle the challenges with two.

Speaking of the babies (since that is why y'all are here), below are my favorite pictures of each of them so far.

Enjoy...I'll be back with more soon!
CT (or Auntie CT to the wee ones)

Does it get any sweeter than Clara Marie? This was her expression about two minutes after I arrived Friday

Well hello Mister Wilson! I could look into your beautiful eyes all day!