.:23:. // hibernation \\ 

^Bear cub A (Lainy) – – – – Bear cub B (Hannah)^

A few months ago (right before the real cold set in), I went on a chilly walk with my two little ones. We strolled past a grassy den-like cove, that looked as though it could be a perfect spot for a bear to fluff her pillows and chill until spring. I discussed this scenario with my girls – how bears hibernate, taking long naps until “the snow starts to melt and pretty little flowers bloom!” I made it sound very desirable with subtle persuasive cues alluding to how wonderful sleeping is.  …praying they would take a nice long nap when we got home.

Then I had one of those moments, as we continued our walk in silence… One of those daydream moments. I imagined myself nestled in that cozy spot, laying on freshly fluffed pillows, getting a wonderfully long nap… Just like a mama bear (in my story, bears love fluffy pillows). I imagined someone graciously bringing my girls home to their beds while I snuggle up in that den and get lost in sleep. Unfortunately,  I’ve been cursed with a terrible ability to nap – I’m not typical mama bear material… but the “daddy” bear I share my fluffy space with has a pretty comfortable relationship with hibernation ;).

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taken by one of my children and very fitting as this is the typical view of my lower half…

As a Minnesotan, I’ve proudly worn my puffy parka and big-ole-furry boots to the grocery store. I love when big pretty snowflakes fall from the sky, I can handle below zero weather and dark winter mornings haven’t kept me from being a morning person. – – – But as a mama in Minnesota, I now have my puffy parka pockets full of Kleenex, bandaids, disney chapstick, extra tiny gloves, crumbs of some sort, something sticky or just plain unknown… My big-ole furry boots once looked cute when I wore my sassy skinny jeans but now they stare up at me partially covered by my yoga pants and yell “get a hold of yourself! What is happening here?!”. Oh, and mornings… I’m still (what some might consider) a morning person. However, sluggishly rolling out of bed has become a more common introduction to the day. We push ourselves out the door like a roll of Pillsbury dough… you know the ones that “POP” open when you peel them and hit the container against the counter (release of aggression, EH?). Well, I’m not aggressive… and I’m not Canadian but their is a small sense of fulfillment when that tube pops open.  Where in the world am I going with this? This is exactly how we get out of the house. After all of the getting un-dressed/dressed/brushing teeth/throwing little tantrums/trying to look like tame sweet bears… once we “POP” out of our cozy den of a home, their is a huge sense of fulfillment + accomplishment. Really? Yes, with two toddlers who love playing in diapers and have a strong sense of determination when it comes to dressing themselves – inside out . upside down . slowly but surely – getting out of the house feels like I completed a marathon some days, and I only have two!

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Me + my bundled little cubs, just to walk into the mall…

Motherhood is tiring. Just ask any mama bear… Go ahead, she’ll tell you exactly why she naps for so long. Because she NEEDS it! Or she’ll growl and claw at you, due lack of sleep and frequent interruption of the hibernation she’s seeking.

>Funny story<<

Their once was a tired mama bear who never hibernated and she was extremely exhausted, and possibly a little irritable. With a smile and many sighs, she did what she could to keep her ‘coat’ clean and fluffy, her den in order and her cubs content. However…

…some growls and sharp claws may have come out a few times……..maybe.

The end.<<
Unfortunately, us mamas don’t get to nap like real mama bears, but we definitely deserve a break and time to ourselves. We need a little R&R, we need to slow down, take deeper breathes, fluff those pillows and chill until spring. Winter can really drag a mom down and wear her out – especially after months of being continuous toddler entertainment, while (mostly) indoors.

Now, excuse me while I go fluff my pillows in my den and close my eyes for a few months…

…or minutes. (very easy to get those two confused).


 

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///\\\

I’ll let daddy bear take over.

 

 

 

 

>Follow Ladybugs + Jumping Beans :: LBJB on Facebook too https://www.facebook.com/ladybugsjumpingbeans/

.:19:. This thing called “bond”.

 

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Alaina (left) + Hannah (right): 20 months

April 10th marks National Sibling Day (according to someone, somewhere). I like to jump on bandwagons sometimes and celebrate random things. But this to me, this isn’t as random as one might think. I truly think this is something to be celebrated. The blessing of a sibling is amazing. We are born adoring our family, defending, protecting, and looking up to them. We soon find our own identity, we make our own choices and at some point we branch out and form our own life and family. But we never forget where we began. We may have our differences, strong views and perspectives in life, we may even lose touch or drift apart, but something holds us together – a memory, a story, a person… weak or strong, we always have a BOND.

I may be a dreamer, as I imagine my girls will remain best friends for the rest of their lives, thinking about how they’ll make the news… “90 Year Old Twins, Still Best Friends” (as they giggle over tea and hold hands).  Of course, my husband and I will be 120 living in a glorious place probably learning about such news via SKYpe (get it?). ah ha, ok (and I will not be a retired comedian).


Since day 1, I have been fascinated with this world of twins.  How special it is to raise two at once.  Chaotic and challenging in it’s own right, but this unique bond is simply amazing. I really wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I am always surprised, taken aback and even a little offended (but I get over that quickly) when I get those looks of “good luck” or “no thank you”, as if raising twins would be the most horrible thing ever. I’ll tell you, it is not. Watching them grow up together is really the best thing ever.

{the beginning}
I recently found myself reflecting back on day 1, when my girls came into this world together, well… 2 min apart.

After a shocking welcome, followed by gasping screams of “I’m here!!!” my babies’ fears seemed to subside when they were near each other. When I first held them together, it was beautiful… and when they made eye contact, as blurry and non-identafiable as I’m sure it was, I could see their heart rates increase on the monitors. As a first time mom, with preemies, and in the Special Care Nursery, I was actually scared “what was happening?”, but I quickly understood.

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Eyes locked. hearts raced. hands touched. tiny coos emited from the mouths of two. two babes. sisters. twin sisters.

As I stared at two sets of tiny everything, my mind raced with wonder.

Do they know…

they lie beside a tiny shoulder they will someday cry on, another set of feet they will run and dance with, another mouth to chat and giggle with, hands to hold and hug each other with?

what fun they will have exploring this world together?

how much they love each other?

how much they’ve changed our lives?

{and the rest of their life}
I cannot predict their future, but I can pray that they remain beside each other. I pray they find comfort on each other’s shoulders when that time is needed.  I hope they can keep up with each other and wait for one another…even when one wants to go fast and the other wants to slow down. I hope they can speak the truth and advise each other while holding back words of regret. I pray they can support each other as they sometimes “learn the hard way” and as they make those big life decisions (college, career, love, family). Through thick and thin, good and bad.  Sisters, siblings, what a wonderful bond.

Watching my two innocent sweet baby girls grow right before my eyes, is more than a blessing, it’s an honor to be their “mama”.  I am determined to guide them together, teach them to love each other and always have each other’s backs. Partners in crime (to be expected), both of my social gals are beautifully unique; outgoing, silly, wispy strawberry blonde (Alaina) and timid, serious, clever, brunette (Hannah). It is so awesome to watch them teach and learn from each other as they explore the world in their own way. They had one another before I even knew them and I pray this amazing and unique bond will only strengthen throughout the years.

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tummy time + learning to sit is pretty fun with a partner.

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“I wub sissy” is a favorite phrase.

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Now, at almost 2 years old, I watch my once preemie girls learn to comfort and defend each other. With caution and delight I witness their precarious wobbly run as they excitedly chase one another. I can’t help but belly laugh along with them as they roll around on the floor or dance their little hearts out – clapping, screaming and stomping their feet ~ I’ve never seen such passionate little dancers. Waking up to their chit chat/giggle sessions is simply wonderful. And the hugging… Well, it may result in a tackle on the floor but it’s all good intentions!


This thing called BOND… I think they’re getting it.

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::Happy National Sibling Day::

.:15:. {daydreaming} A mama’s escape.

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“look what happens with a love like that, it lights up the whole sky.” -author unknown

{daydreaming} Let’s be honest, this is sometimes the only escape we get.

In this busy life of chasing two toddlers and keeping myself from being too unkempt, I somehow have the time to daydream.  It’s somewhere in the hours (or seconds) I have to myself while my girls play together, while they dance/laugh/and roll around on the floor together and of course while they are in their own little slumber. I daydream about organized drawers, clean and folded clothes, continuously happy children (ha), continuously happy mama (as I interrupt this message with a sneeze), freshly polished nails, clean floors, dishes and so much more. So, in all reality, my daydreams consist of stuff I could probably deal with if I wasn’t daydreaming. But, that just wouldn’t be fair.

I haven’t had a good night of sleep since before I was pregnant. Since then, my lack of sleep has been filled with…

excitement and joy – we’re having a baby!

anxiety – we’re having two babies?!

fear – if I sleep than I won’t hear the babies.

stress – I have so much to do and no time to do it, and I must think about all of it instead of sleep.

exhaustion and confusion – why in the world can’t I sleep by now??

Are you like me?  Please say I’m not alone or completely out of it!

I see daydreaming as a break, even somewhat of an escape. Heck, at times I’m probably sleeping with my eyes open but it’s my moment: my 3 seconds of deep breathing, my 5 min of relaxation, my 10 min of envisioning normalcy, because it will come again someday. Right? Please tell me it will. Well, my positive outlook is that these daydreams will all add up to a wonderful night of sleep. With lack of sleep comes lack of energy. However, I still have a version of the energy I had prior to kids, but it’s shifted a bit and I expend it much quicker than I ever had in the past. Unfortunately, I can’t replenish it as fast. Dancing, singing, dodging food, coloring with toddlers who have an appetite for crayons and dressing little ones who prefer tiny sock hats versus socks on their feet – all of that can really wipe me out.


However, I have discovered that these daydreams can backfire. It’s like that relaxing feeling you have during and just after a massage and then you realize you have two 20+ lb weights to carry for the rest of the day.

While in a recent daydream of some sort, I was watching my girls play with each other – peering in while I slowly gulped my black coffee in a groggy daze. They were actually playing, sharing and laughing! This was a first and I couldn’t believe what I was finally witnessing!  These girls really love each other and to SEE this love was so incredibly amazing that it felt like a real dream. I even got a sneak peak of a unique combination of emotions… Anger from accidental hair pulling and eye poking, followed by sincere concern and forgiveness (a pouty lip made an appearance), along with a desire to help and assist while figuring out a puzzle together. I even saw a hug and a kiss on the head somewhere in there!

I snapped out of my stare and this sweet exchange between my two girls continued. I snuck away to finish the dishes and moments later, two screamers b-lined it to my legs begging to be held, almost “pantsing” me. Ok, they succeeded. Is that a word?  Pantsing: when you are unknowingly approached by someone (or more) and they pull your pants down.  It has to be a word, because I think it happens to me daily. Maybe my pants need to be tighter or I need to switch to jumpsuits.

…and this is where the Motherhood of the Yanking Pant Hands begins. Sounds like it would make for a very popular movie ;).

Back to the story. So, I had just been “pantsed” (past tense of the verb Pantsing) by my two little drama queens who, not moments before, were playing very sweet roles in each others life – making for an award winning day dream. Talk about tag-team attack! When I turned to one, the other one yanked and when I unclenched one set of mini “yanking pant hands” the other set of hands took over and finished the job.  Yep, they have very effectively learned how to “pants” their mother. Maybe if I would have screamed and flopped on the ground (like they do during diaper changes), I would have survived… but I think that would be very unmotherly of me.  I guess I have to learn to accept this process of needing to be held: First comes the beg in their eyes, then a yanking and pulling on anything that is getting in the way of being held.  And I, the one and only MAMA, must sacrifice her pants sometimes.

Note: This has yet to happen in public and when/if it does you will all be invited to the world premiere of the Motherhood of the Yanking Pant Hands.

-You’re Welcome.


So, daydream every now and then. Savor those little and (sometimes) short lived moments of silence, bliss, stillness and call it a mini vacation! And when that silence is broken and the stillness quickly turns to commotion, you’ll be glad you gave yourself that time to stop {daydream} and breathe…

.:13:. {quickly} rockin’ around the Christmas tree.

This is our first Christmas with two little ones that can run, scream, grab, yank, kick, pull and probably anything else someone with a black belt can do. Toddlers + a Christmas tree do not mesh well.  Or at least that’s what I’ve been told. So, we decorated our tree very quickly and caged it up.

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Hannah (left), Alaina (right), Vulnerable Christmas tree (caged)

The entire process took an hour and it included a lot of “no no no”, crying, screaming, falling, tree grabbing, ornament breaking, a lot of coffee drinking by me+the hubby, not the babes – at least I don’t think they had any… or did they?  That would explain everything! …or they’re just toddlers. So, going back to the hour that it took.  I must be clear, this was record time for us.  Much longer and we would have a very unhappy tree, prostrate on the ground and the screaming decibels from our tiny shriekers would most likely increase tenfold.

We actually went back and forth between getting a tree or not.  Is is really worth it?  Will they even care? How are we even suppose to decorate with them running around? Where do we put it in our small home with a toy invasion problem? Well, as you can see we opted for the addition of a tree amongst the toys (toys not pictured as they are perfectly scattered just outside of the perimeter of the photo to your left).

With our coffee buzz and overtired brains, we thought – why not capture this “decorate with toddlers” experience somehow?!  A time lapse of us doing just that turned out to be pretty funny and honestly, exactly how it felt.  Rushed, busy and kind of crazy ~ Not just our life, but I’m sure how most people feel around the holidays. We are always rushing, greedy, needy, stressed out, thinking about what we want and where to buy that perfect gift, waiting impatiently in lines for “the best deals of the year”, and sometimes forgetting the meaning of Christmas.

Well, in the hustle and bustle of the season and the event that took place between our kitchen and our living room, we managed to enjoy. And I am happy to report that our tiny vulnerable tree (free from small fierce hands) is nicely snuggled in the middle of gifts and protected by our play yard. >>This is what these circular gates are for!!<< So far so good.  We've had it up for almost a week now and it remains intact, with very minimal needles on the ground, happy as a fir tree can be.  I retract my statement/question from above… "Will they even care?".  I've decided that our girls do care.  They see the tree lit in the dark at night and every morning and still act as if they've seen it for the first time. Big eyed girls, in awe, so giggly and happy to be in it's presence. Sounds like my two tots probably grasp the meaning of Christmas more than most of us.

From our family to yours, Enjoy!