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!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A picture says a thousand words . . .

 . . . or at least we hope so because we don't have time to write a meaningful blog entry right now! The short version of what's happening is simple; everyone is alive (including us) and gaining weight (including us). And if a picture says a thousand words, these seven pics constitute our longest blog entry to date. Enjoy!  

Wilson no longer acts like the bathtub is filled with battery acid,
which makes bath time much more fun!

She is incredibly cute . . . when she isn't crying.

Our two peas in their pod

Wilson looked dashing in his tux for the Golden Globes.
For those of you who are curious, Wilson wore an original Nick Hart
custom made jacket for the affair.

Wilson, Nick Hart, and some scraggly Justin Bieber look-alike
celebrated the arrival of the Hollywood awards season.

Reading or going to the bathroom? 

At the end of the day, Clara and Wilson have us all on house arrest,
but we're trying to make the most of it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

We Wish You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (Part 2)

Last New Year's Eve we enjoyed going out with friends and hoped we would soon become pregnant with our first child. This New Year's Eve we stayed at home and tried to balance our champagne flutes while feeding Clara and Wilson. The result was more awkward than Dick Clark's countdown. Wow, what a difference a year makes! We were really glad a few of our friends came over to keep us awake ring in the new year but, when the ball dropped, we were also happy to close the book on 2011.

If you've kept up with us through the blog this year, thank you. It means more than you'll ever know. It also means you know about all the ups and downs we experienced with Clara and Wilson, so we'll refrain from even attempting a recap. Instead, we'll use this opportunity to look ahead to 2012.

New Year's Resolutions
  1. Get More Sleep - we're hoping this is a New Year's Resolution the entire McGarvey family (cough, Clara and Wilson, cough cough) will adopt.
  2. Take Time for Each Other - whether once a week or once a month, take at least one night to go out for dinner, movie, concert, etc. without the kids.
  3. Empty the Diaper Genie Sooner - yeah, that needs to happen.
  4. Quit Talking to Each Other Through the Babies - for example, "Clara, I bet your daddy would love to get up and get your bottles ready" or "Wilson, is it Mommy's turn to change your diaper?" We are both guilty of doing this. However, when we catch ourselves doing it we intentionally make our comments funny and that usually results in delirious midnight laughter. (Typing this made me realize we must implement New Year's Resolution #2 and get out of the house a little more).
  5. Take Down the Christmas Decorations - it would really be great if we could do this before the end of January, but don't judge us too harshly if you drive by our house in February or March and see candles in the windows.
  6. Keep the Kids Healthy - it is important to remember how fragile Clara and Wilson are, especially during the height of cold and flu season.
  7. Keep Laughing - turns out that's important.
We've been writing this post in little pieces for most of the last 10 days, but our time at night is more limited. We have pictures of the kids we've been meaning to post for Chris' family in Arkansas, a birthday pic of Clara and Wilson for Uncle Dave's birthday, and some funny stories we want to share. Hopefully we'll get to some of those eventually. However, our biggest news of the New Year might explain the delay. On January 3rd, Chris went back to work. The transition has been smoother than we expected, and Chris is handling the situation with perfect aplomb, but our nights are little busier. Chris going back to work has also directly coincided directly with Clara's and/or Wilson 's decision to stop sleeping during the night. It hasn't been good for our sleep habits or our blogging. Hopefully we'll get more time to do both.

Thanks again for sticking with us through what was a pretty tough year. We're excited about 2012 and wish you all a Happy New Year!

The kids are growing every day. Their development led directly to the first
"Wilson, stop eating your sister's head" quote.
Hey, at least they're noticing each other.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

We Wish You A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (Part One)

(Part One is a recap of Christmas, Part Two will detail New Year's and our hopes for 2012)

Other than the day(s) we brought them home from the hospital, Christmas was our happiest day with Clara and Wilson. And to paraphrase the Grinch, no one quite knows the reason. It could be the gifts, the trees, and the lights. It could be Clara and Wilson slept through the night. But we think that the most likely reason of all could have been that our kids are so big, we're not worried about them being so small.

Christmas is the occasion we've thought about constantly since finding out we were pregnant. Initially we thought we would have one three month old child - and the first grandchild - at Christmas. Those expectations were quickly ratcheted up when we learned we would be holding two three month old children around the Christmas tree. All along we thought having three month olds would be great because the kids would be sleeping better, engaging more with the world around them, and Chris would still be on maternity leave through the holidays. It seemed like the perfect plan.

As has been well-chronicled in this blog, that is not how things happened. When Chris' water broke unexpectedly on June 7th, Christmas was the last thing on our minds. For several months, Clara and Wilson fought to stay alive at Kosair Children's Hospital while we, for the most part, helplessly watched. We did what we could. Chris pumped every two hours to get the best possible nutrition into Clara's and Wilson's feeding tubes. We practically lived at Kosair and constantly quizzed the doctors and nurses on the treatments and prognoses for our children.

Throughout their stay in NICU, we also searched for ways to cope with our new reality. We relied heavily on our friends, family, church, and even the grief counselors at Kosair to get through the roughest stretches. But we also constructed some self-defense barriers to guard against the worst. We didn't know - and the doctors couldn't tell us - how Clara and Wilson would progress.

For whatever reason, the last remnants of our emotionally protective walls were torn down Christmas day. The worries, fears, and emotional (not to mention physical) exhaustion evaporated as we finally felt like we made it. It was Christmas Day and there we were with two beautiful, babbling, smiling babies. Instead of jumping for joy, we turned into blubbering idiots. No really, if you spent the day with us you would have seen more tears in the span of a few hours than you would during an entire season of Oprah. We started crying in the car on the way to Morgans' parents' house, cried when watching Clara and Wilson open presents, cried during the blessing before Christmas dinner, and cried before going to bed. Chris has gone from being "steel" to being "Steel Magnolias." They were all tears of joy, but we still looked ridiculous. 

At least we weren't the only ones who looked ridiculous. Chris bought, made, and received Christmas outfits for Clara and Wilson. Rather than pick her favorite, Chris decided to dress the kids in most of them. Between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Clara and Wilson went through more wardrobe changes than Lady GaGa. Below is a sampling of what their first Christmas looked like:

It was fairly early on Christmas Eve, but our little Santa Wilson was already getting tired.

Uncle Gabe and Aunt Mary Helen give Clara and Wilson presents Christmas morning.
(Yes, Wilson went from a Santa suit to those Christmas pajamas. He will hate these pictures)

Aunt Mary Helen lets Clara model her new stylish sweater dress!

Uncle Zac and Aunt Sara hold the kids while Wilson shows off his rockin' Christmas socks.

It was awesome to have kids this year at Christmas. Watching them, our hearts grew three sizes that day.

Big Mac held the phone on speaker while we all talked to Captain Uncle Dave in Afghanistan.

The third outfit of the day and Wilson was still smiling.

The next morning, everyone was exhausted.
The Christmas we imagined a year ago happened. And as the Grinch would say, it came without packages, boxes, or bags. Because for this wonderful first Christmas, we had our family healthy and together at home. Clara and Wilson still have a long row to hoe, but we believe these Christmas miracles will be waddling around knocking ornaments off the tree this time next year. And for us, truly, Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart, and hand in hand.

(Part Two will be appearing soon, including a special Happy Birthday wish to Uncle Dave  . . . even though his birthday is today)