Luke had a follow up appointment with his Orthopedist this week, and I can not stand him (the doctor, not my sweet son) so David took Luke. I could write you an epic novel about all the reasons this man gets under my skin, but I'll spare you the details and just leave it at it's better if I don't go.
The great news is his feet are looking fabulous and we can keep his braces on just for night sleep as we have been doing. The doctor said the odds of Luke's feet turning back in at this point are as close to zero as is possible. Hooray! He said we'll keep the braces on at night right up until Luke turns 2, then be done for good. We are so pleased with this report!! When I was pregnant and we first went in for a consultation, they had given us a much more stringent path. Casts for 6 weeks, surgery, casts for 6 more weeks, and then braces on until age 3, for nights and naps. Well most of you know we never needed the surgery - and Praise God because the idea of putting my 6 week old under general anesthesia nearly gave me an aneurysm - and he was able to reduce to just night time sleep for the braces at like 10 months. And to be done with them a whole year earlier than anticipated?! Super. Luke does so great with his shoes, although he has serious beat up his crib as he tosses and turns in his sleep =). He rarely puts up any fuss when we put them on, even after we've given him a few nights off when he's sick or we're away from home or something.
David said he and Lucas had a blast together! It's so fun when we get to have one on one time with a baby. It's tempting for us to think that just having one toddler would be sooo easy, but I'm sure triplet parents think that when they see us out with "only" two =). And it goes without saying (but I'll say it anyways) we'd never have it any other way. We can't imagine life without either one of our sweet children.
After the check up, the boys stopped at Burgerville for lunch. Luke even got a temporary tattoo!
He was so proud to show it off!
Meanwhile, while the boys were out on their adventure, Abbey and I went to StoryTime at the Library by ourselves! Normally our whole family goes every Wednesday morning, but that day it was just us girls...
It was so special to get to spend one on one time with my sweet girl.
As much as each parent and each baby was happy to spend time the way we did, we were all four delighted to see each other again after a morning away. Especially these two, who came right in for a hug and kiss:
It's a strange dichotomy of both it's only been 16 months? and how has 16 months gone by so quickly?
This age is fun. Slightly less awesome than 14 months, simply because we are dealing with more independence and strong wills than we saw just two short months ago.
I titled this post as such because it's true. Some days in this job are very hard, but it's all worth it. I'd chose it all again.
I write about the hard stuff because it's real life. It's not because I just like complaining or because I've forgotten how blessed I am. It's because I feel it's important to be honest. Both so I can remember when these days are far behind us, and in an effort to never even pretend to give off the impression that things are perfect and we've got it all figured out over here. When we first brought the twins home and I was in UTTER SHOCK at how hard everything was, I found honest-mom-blogs to be few and far between. Which only made me feel certain that something must really be wrong with me. Once I realized that wasn't the case, I vowed to always be honest about my struggles in motherhood. And I've made some amazing, encouraging friends in the process.
So, the challenging stuff. There have been tantrums. Some big ones. And some strong wills. It's funny...I pray my children have strong, independent personalities...just not when it opposes with what I want them to do...=).
There are days where I feel like I say "no" a thousand times more than I say "yes". And as often as I try and phrase things more towards the positive..."we sit on the couch", frustration often sets in and I'm saying (in a louder tone than I am proud of) "NO STANDING ON THE COUCH!". They are into EVERYTHING. Especially Lucas. That boy is just sooooo busy. I was looking at an old ultrasound picture the other day, where Luke -even at 13 weeks in utero- was blurry as Abbey sat still. The same is true today. He is constantly in motion. And constantly keeping me on my toes...he brought me a book of matches the other day, proving to me that he can now reach into the top kitchen drawers. Ai yi yi.
I took them to a new park the other day, and in the 60 seconds it took me to get Abbey strapped back into the stroller to head home, Luke had climbed to the second tier of the giant play structure and aiming for the top.
I do love his curious and determined spirit - as much as it exhausts me sometimes - and I know God will use it for so much good in his lifetime.
Abbey is not nearly as busy, and is so content to just play quietly next to me. But she sure can be dramatic. When she wants something she can't have...prepare yourself. She will let you know her displeasure, to the point of sheer panic. The first few times it happened I worried a medical event was occurring, like she was having a seizure or something! She can take a long, long time to recover from such fits, and it's hard for me to know when I should try and help her get over it and when that's just making it worse and I need to just let her work it out on her own.
I find myself asking those kinds of questions often. Like, really often. There have been so many challenging days lately where my patience wears thin and I am just worn out by the time evening rolls around. I want very much to be a consistent parent and teach my children that obedience is expected...but sometimes it can be hard to reconcile my heart at night that being a Momma isn't all about snuggles and laughter and fun memories. So much of my days lately involve re-direction, distraction, and discipline. And it's hard.
But it's a job. Parenthood is a job. It's a relationship, sure. It can be very rewarding and very fulfilling. And when it's neither, I have to trust that my consistency now will be rewarding later.
There is so much good as well.
I was on my Moms of Multiples Group forum the other night, and a momma with 18 month old twins was lamenting how the second year was so much harder than the first. Now I may only be four months into year two, but so far I COMPLETELY disagree! Yes, this age has it's challenges, and yes they used to just stay on the floor where I put them...but now they SLEEP!!!! Seriously, maybe she had some of those infants I'm always hearing about who sleep through the night at 8 weeks or something. But mine didn't. And as much as I do have many, many fond memories of my babies early days, I enjoy them so much more now that I can function properly. Sure, I may be worn out by the time bedtime comes these days, but having my toddlers sleep 11-13 hours each night gives me time to re-coupe for the next days challenges.
And they interact with us. They seriously crack us up all the time! They have these hilarious little personalities and beam with pride when they make us laugh. And they are so smart and eager to learn. They know more signs than I can count and absolutely love to be quizzed on them. Sometimes even mid-meltdown you can say "show me 'cracker'" and they'll stop crying and sign it with a big grin on their face!
They also play together more and more, which is endearing. They are buddies, and it warms our hearts so much. They look out for each other, and it's so sweet to watch the different ways they show their love. As we settle in before nap time, Abbey has taken to laying across my legs while I stroke her hair. Luke takes his position in the crook of my arm, and he'll gently pat Abbey's head as well...melts me!
We are still pretty much on two naps a day, with one nap days still only occurring occasionally.
They are getting better at using forks and spoons, and are SO proud of these new skills!!
They've become interested in really sitting for Baby Signing Time and Play With Me Sesame. I'm not even gonna lie, it's wonderful. Try not to judge me. They will sit contently for 20+ minutes before losing interest, and it's precious time to me when I need to get something done without their "help".
There are many, many fun things happening in our house these days. I love that I can ask the kids "do you want to go to the park?" and they get all excited and run to get their shoes. I love that they are signing please and thank you, often without having to be reminded. I love the way a mischievous grin creeps across their faces as they duck down behind the coffee table and wait for us to ask "where'd they go?", and I love it even more when they pop up and scream to announce their hiding spot. I love their smiles and the way they run towards me with open arms when they need comfort, or even just want a hug.
Last weekend was a busy, busy one. David plays on our Church's softball team and Saturday they had an ALL day tournament.
The babies slept in for us a bit on Saturday morning, 7:00am and 7:45am respectively, (AH. MAZE. ING.) and so I decided to ditch the morning nap and head to the field to catch some early games before the heat set in.
Where we goin' Momma?
Way too distracted to look at the camera...
At first, Abbey and Luke were enthralled by the game...
Then, when Daddy had a break between games, they were enthralled with the water fountain...
Then, on to exploring...
...while occasionally stopping in to check on the game...
And we were so happy when Daddy got to hang out with us between games...
We also got to hang out with Poppa Bruce!
And our Aunt, Uncle, and cousins!
It was so fun to get to hang out with family and enjoy watching some of David's games. Luke and Abbey were troopers. Around 12:30 they started to get a little fussy and I knew it was time to head home for naps. I had prepared the nursery before I left, so my plan was to have them fall asleep in the van and then just transfer them to their cribs for a nice long, restorative nap.
The first part of my plan worked perfectly, they were out before we even left the parking lot.
The second part was an epic fail. They did NOT transfer to their cribs, and apparently felt like the 20+ minute car ride home had been just enough of a nap to not go back to sleep. But I assure you it was not enough of a nap to get rid of the crankies. The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to get them to nap, then giving up, then trying again...wash, rinse, repeat.
ANYWAYS. My sister Emily had called and had a rare opportunity to pop into town for like 16 hours (literally) and so I loaded the babies in the van and went to pick her up where her ride had dropped her. Lo and behold, both babies fell asleep on the way there. Not an ideal nap time (5pm) but I couldn't have cared less!
We were so happy to have Auntie Em here for the night, and my dad and stepmom were already in town, so they stopped by for a quick hello as well. So in one day, Luke and Abbey got to see 3 grandparents, 2 aunts, 1 uncle and 3 cousins! So fun =). Unfortunately, by the evening my kids were DONE (but to be fair, I'd pushed them pretty far that day...) so we didn't get any pictures.
I am so happy that my kids get to be surrounded by such a loving extended family so often! I hope they grow up knowing what a blessing that is.
So I haven't really blogged in over two weeks. We've been super busy. And then super sick. And we're not quite over it, so I must get to bed soon. But I felt like hopping on here and catching up a bit first. The last two weeks have included...
- Fun with old friends.
- A houseguest (the good kind, that cook meals for your family and help with your kids)
- My helpful husband being away for a much deserved night of Baseball and respite when the illness first began. I'd like to think I appreciate David on a daily basis, but I really, really realize how much I appreciate him when he's gone and I'm up until after 2am settling one child only to get up with the other at 6am.
- Pink eye, for (eventually) all four of us. That sucked. A friend and fellow twin momma sent me a text asking me if I knew where we had gotten in from, to which I replied "Satan".
- Learning the hard way that I am allergic to Sulfa meds.
- Attempting to work from home. Since my job has me interacting with patients who either just had, or are about to have, their chest cracked open, my doctor nixed the idea of me heading to the office while I had pink eye. To which I must say HATS OFF to those of you who work from home with toddlers. I don't know HOW you do it. It was impossible to work while they were awake, which means I spent every sweet moment of nap time working away.
- All four of us coming down with nasty colds. We're still not totally over it (and we're on day 8), with stuffy noses and two out of the four of us still hacking...but I no longer see The Grim Reaper pacing up and down the hallway. So, that's progress.
- Watching older kids, that I've known since birth, play with my babies.
- A shameful amount of Baby Signing Time. Seriously. There were days Luke and Abbey watched this more times than I can count. When your toddlers are sick and fussy, and you are sick and fussy, it's all about survival.
- Binkies, all day long. Again, survival.
- Tantrums. And while the majority of them were thrown by the toddlers, a decent percentage were from the adults in this home.
- Being so sleep deprived, sick and stressed that I actually called hospital security and bawled over the phone claiming my car had been stolen or towed...only to have them send out a guard who drove me around and found my car in the exact same spot I had been looking, just one floor up. Embarrassing? Yup.
- Having a deep cleaned house. When an illness passes through our home, I operate under the (futile) idea that I can combat the illness and make it go away quicker by sanitizing EVERY SINGLE nook and cranny of our home on a daily -sometimes twice daily- basis.
Alrighty. That about covers it. If you come back tomorrow, I'll post some pictures of the cutest little almost-16-month-olds you've ever seen!
Hmmm...where to begin?? I have been married for 10 years to a wonderful man, and after more than 2 1/2 years of waiting, hoping and praying, we were blessed with the most beautiful twins! Lucas and Abigail were born in March of 2010 at 38 weeks. God has been so gracious to us. We also have 2 adorable cats who tolerate us because we continue to feed them. I love Jesus, my family, my friends, a good cup of coffee, the beach, sleeping in, sunshine and witty banter. I choose to describe myself as "passionate" about most things. I can turn almost any moment into a kleenex moment, but that's ok... because I would rather feel too much than not enough, ya know?